Frequently Asked Dental Questions – Cary, NC

We’ve Got the Answers to All of Your Dental Questions

Do you have questions about any of the dental services that we offer, or how to take the best care of your smile at home? No matter what concerns you have, our dental team is always happy to take the time to address them. That way, you can make knowledgeable, informed decisions about your oral health. Below, we’ve answered some of the most common dental questions in Cary that we receive from our patients. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please call us!

How often should I visit Dr. Koch?

Though most people believe they only need to see the dentist once a year, we recommend you visit us at least every six months. That frequency helps us to help you prevent common oral health problems, such as gum disease and tooth decay. It also helps us diagnose and treat any unusual issues earlier.

Because of the thorough teeth cleaning you get at every appointment, visiting us twice yearly also helps you maintain a whiter, brighter, healthier smile.

Does teeth grinding really require treatment?

Nighttime teeth clenching and grinding, called bruxism, may seem like just a nuisance. But left untreated, it can result in oral health problems. As you grind your teeth at night you wear down the enamel, which protects your teeth. Preventing tooth decay will be more difficult as teeth wear and become structurally compromised. Also, you may end up with chronic headaches and jaw soreness.

Treating bruxism is simple: We’ll fit you with a comfortable nightguard you can wear while you sleep, protecting your teeth.

Do I still need a routine dental cleaning if I brush all the time?

Even the most thorough brushing can't reach some areas of your mouth. Our twice-a-year teeth cleanings lets us get those difficult spots.

Routine dental checkups also let us look for dental problems you probably can’t see or feel, like bruxism, oral cancer, issues with previous dental restorations, and more.

Can I bring kids to your dental office?

Yes. We offer children's dentistry services. We also offer family appointments, for your convenience. We provide a range of treatment options for developing smiles, including dental sealants, fluoride treatments, athletic mouth guards, and more. Many of our patients have seen us since they were kids, and many of them bring their own children to us down the road.

Who should get a mouthguard?

Anyone involved in sports or vigorous activities should consider a mouthguard. We recommend them for kids in particular, and not only kids who play sports. Many kids run around the yard, skate, or ride bikes. One bike tire plus one pothole could equal an expensive dental bill.

Over-the-counter mouthguards usually don't get the job done. Most are uncomfortable and offer less protection than the custom-made mouthguards we make here in our office.

Do you offer tooth-colored fillings?

We do! There's no reason to live with dark, unsightly fillings when beautiful tooth-colored fillings are available. That also means you avoid the dangers of having mercury in your mouth, which is one component of a traditional amalgam filling.

Composite resin is cost-effective, can be customized to match the color of your teeth, and is less likely to fail or fall out. Whereas old-style fillings may have weakened your teeth, composite resin strengthens them.

You still need to maintain your oral hygiene to prevent fillings from failing. But as long as you follow Dr. Koch's instructions, while keeping up with your brushing, flossing, and dental appointments, you’ll probably find yourself thinking about fillings much less.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the soft tissue that occurs when bacteria, plaque, or tartar build up and irritate the gums. The results are sore and bleeding gums, a receding gum line and, if left unchecked, even a loss of the jaw bone structure that supports your teeth.

Many people associate tooth loss with cavities, but more people lose their teeth due to periodontal disease. Gum disease is the #1 tooth-destroyer.

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

First, be sure you know the warning signs of an infection. Those signs include bleeding gums, red, swollen gums, and bad breath. If you don't treat gum disease early, it will continue to progress. It will not go away on its own.

Flossing your teeth daily is one of the most important things you can do to prevent gum disease. But gum disease can also be hereditary. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease you may want to make appointments with our office every three months to maintain optimum oral health.

How do you treat periodontal disease?

In the early stages we use a deep cleaning with local anesthetic, called "scaling and root planing." This type of cleaning is performed under the gums to remove tartar from the roots of your teeth. Once the roots of your teeth are clean, the gums can heal and reattach to the teeth.

If you have severe gum disease, scaling and root planing complements a topical antibiotic that works to kill the bacteria attacking your gums.

Does teeth whitening work?

It depends on what sort of tooth whitening solution you want to use.

Over-the-counter tooth whitening toothpastes, mouth rinses, strips, and gels make big promises, but only professional-grade whitening products can deliver.

Here at Dr. Koch's office, we use the KöR whitening system. That system is known worldwide as one of the most effective. It combines high-potency gels with precise fitting custom trays to achieve outstanding results.

What strips the potency from whitening gel? Your saliva. That’s why the KöR system trays seal your saliva away from your teeth so you get 6 to 10 hours of whitening activity, instead of 20 to 30 minutes. The whitening gels are even refrigerated during shipping and within our office to keep the chemicals stable.

What if I’m scared or nervous to go to the dentist?

At some point during your first appointment you will probably think, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.” That’s our goal, and that’s what virtually all of our patients discover.

We deliver a pain-free experience to everyone, and we offer sedation dentistry if you want it. We’re good communicators and take the time to understand your concerns.

Do you offer financing if I can't cover the full cost of treatment out-of-pocket?

We're happy to work with CareCredit, a third-party medical and dental financing solution. CareCredit specializes in providing low-to-no interest payment plans for more advanced treatments.

Are dental implants expensive?

Dental implant technology has improved over the years and has a high success rate. Dental implants don't decay and are much stronger than normal teeth. They're even anchored directly into your jaw bone. Though the total cost of the implants may seem expensive to some patients, it's important to remember that a dental implant can be a lifelong restoration.

You need to look also at the benefit of that restoration over the course of your lifetime. An implant will never decay or break. The comfort and convenience of implants can spare you from the discomfort and embarrassment of missing teeth, or of needing dentures.