Q: Why does my tooth hurt?

A: Toothaches can range from causing mild sensitivity to severe discomfort, and they can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common causes of toothaches are tooth decay, infection, a fractured tooth, sinus problems, neuralgia, and more. If your tooth hurts, please schedule an appointment with our dentist for personalized treatment.

Q: What causes tooth decay?

A: Dental caries, or tooth decay, occurs when a tooth’s structure softens and breaks down. This is often caused by the bacteria and acid in dental plaque. Tooth decay is irreversible; however, it is preventable with good, consistent dental habits. If your tooth is starting to decay, it can be treated in a variety of ways by your dentist.

Q: What options are available for making my teeth look better?

A: Advanced dental techniques and technology have given us several options when it comes to improving the look of your teeth. These options range from simple teeth whitening and bleaching treatments to cosmetic dental veneers. These treatments and more are meant to enhance and brighten your smile.

Q: What is the purpose of “deep cleaning”?

A: Getting your routine cleaning at the dentist may not be enough to maintain good periodontal, or gum, health. Some people’s gums are more susceptible to gum disease than others. If you are at risk of developing gum disease, Dr. Debra Craig may recommend deep cleaning, which is an advanced treatment used to clean your teeth and gums, and to maintain your oral health.

Q: Why do I have sharp pain when I chew on something hard?

A: Typically, experiencing sharp pain while biting is caused by a tooth crack or fracture. If your tooth is cracked, Dr. Debra Craig will determine the extent of the damage and provide you with the appropriate treatment.

Q: Why do I need a crown? Won’t a filling do?

A: If your tooth is extremely damaged, decayed, or cracked, a filling may not be sufficient to repair the damage. Fillings are supported by the remaining tooth structure, but if there is too much damage, there will be nothing to support the filling, making the filling weak and your tooth susceptible to further damage. In cases like this, a crown will provide more permanent and effective results.

Q: What is a root canal?

A: A root canal treatment is performed when a tooth is abscessed, infected, or chronically uncomfortable. During a root canal, the tooth’s nerve is removed, thus also removing the discomfort. These procedures can often be performed comfortably under local anesthetic.

Q: Will I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

A: Wisdom teeth often emerge during the late teens. Depending on the size of your mouth, emerging wisdom teeth can cause alignment issues and other problems. More often than not, there will not be enough room in your mouth for your third molars. Dr. Debra Craig can determine whether or not you will need your wisdom teeth removed by evaluating X-rays and considering other factors that may affect your oral health.

Q: Why do my jaw joints make clicking and popping noises, and hurt sometimes?

A: When your jaw makes clicking or popping noises, it could be a sign that you are developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) difficulty. If the pain or noises continue or worsen, you may need to receive treatment. Most TMJ treatments are conservative and fairly simple.

Q: How much assistance can I expect from my insurance?

A: It depends on your dental insurance. With all the different insurances out there, patients can receive a variety of benefits. Generally, most insurances require a co-pay, and benefits are limited to a predetermined amount each year. At Harmony Family Dental, we are able to check your benefit packages within specific, larger companies to help determine what portion of your benefits still remain.

If you have any other questions about your dental care or oral health, or if you are ready to set up your next appointment with our friendly dentist in Spokane, Washington, please feel free to contact our office today. We are happy to provide you with the information you need.