Q: When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
Q: What is a soft-tissue laser?
Q: What sedation option is best for me?
Q: What is the best way to whiten my teeth?
Q: Will Invisalign work for me?
Q: Is sedation dentistry safe?
Q: How long should my child brush his or her teeth?
Q: What is a root canal?
Q: What are the signs of gingivitis?
Q: How often should I visit the dentist?

Q: When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?
A: You should take your child to the dentist after receiving his or her first tooth. Dr. Harrell will examine their mouth to make sure it is healthy. Your child will typically not receive a dental cleaning, however, until about age two. Of course, if you have any concerns about your child’s teeth, then you should bring him or her in.

Q: What is a soft-tissue laser?
A: A soft-tissue laser is one that is used commonly in the dental field to help contour the gums and soft tissue within the mouth. It is a great alternative to traditional oral surgery for periodontal treatment and cosmetic gum reshaping to fix gummy smiles. Soft-tissue lasers take away the pain that you might otherwise experience with handheld dental tools.

Q: What sedation option is best for me?
A: The sedation option that is best for you will depend on your medical history, the procedure you are having performed, and your level of anxiety. Nitrous oxide and oral sedation are more mild forms of sedation, while IV sedation provides a deeper level of sedation and may be better for longer procedures and for those who are very anxious or phobic.

Q: What is the best way to whiten my teeth?
A: The best way to whiten your teeth is through an in-office treatment. Dr. Harrell, a top cosmetic dentist in Brandon, offers professional-strength whitening with KöR and Zoom! bleaching systems. You can also follow up with whitening at home to ensure your teeth remain white at all times. For practical maintenance, you should brush after you drink coffee, tea, wine, or other staining foods and beverages.

Q: Will Invisalign work for me?
A: Invisalign is used to help correct crooked and misaligned teeth. The clear aligners will place a small amount of pressure on your teeth to help even them out. Dr. Harrell will make sure you are a good candidate for the procedure before the aligners are made. If you have significant bite issues, braces may be a more effective orthodontic option. See our Orthodontics page for more information on these treatments.

Q: Is sedation dentistry safe?
A: Yes. Sedation dentistry has been proven to be safe, and nitrous oxide is even safe for children. Whenever you are under sedation, we will monitor you and your vital signs to ensure your safety throughout the procedure. We will also review your medical history and consider any current medical conditions that may interfere with your ability to receive sedation, specifically oral or IV sedation.

Q: How long should my child brush his or her teeth?
A: We recommend that your child brush his or her teeth for about two minutes. Of course, three minutes is even better, but we understand it can be difficult to get children to brush in the first place. If you need tips on how to get your child to stop resisting tooth brushing or to make sure they reach every area of their mouth, ask us.

Q: What is a root canal?
A: A root canal is a procedure that removes the infected nerve from the inside of your tooth. During the root canal procedure, the pulp and nerve of the tooth are removed and then the tooth is cleaned out thoroughly. After the procedure is over, the tooth will be sealed. You may also want a dental crown to protect your tooth and restore your smile.

Q: What are the signs of gingivitis?
A: If you think you have gum disease, it is important that you come into our office for a consultation and exam. If you do have gum disease, you will notice your gums are red, swollen, and tender. We are able to treat gum disease with PerioLase laser treatment, scaling and root planing (also known as deep cleaning), flap surgery (second stage treatment, if needed), and Arestin antibiotics in the deep pockets that form in severe cases. We also teach you ways to help prevent gum disease so that you can keep your mouth and your body healthy.

Q: How often should I visit the dentist?
A: Preventative dentistry is the key to ensuring your mouth is healthy. We recommend that you come in for a dental appointment and preventative cleaning once every six months, or twice per year. This schedule allows us to catch any problems early on and prevents a problem from going on too long, causing pain and more expensive treatments.

If you have any more questions for us, don’t hesitate to call our helpful team at 248-469-0218.