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FAQs

Answers to Common Questions

Our Office

What can I expect when I first visit Dr. Como?
Your first visit will take about an hour. Dr. Como will perform a comprehensive exam, including X-rays, an oral cancer screening, and a tooth-by-tooth inspection. He will also spend this time getting to know you, evaluating your needs, and explaining treatment options. For more information, visit our new patient visit page on this website.

Do you accept referrals?
Yes, and thank you for your confidence. We appreciate your referrals and promise to extend the same comprehensive, caring service to your friends, family, and coworkers that we give you every time you visit.

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Implants

Why replace missing teeth?
Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth is not replaced, up to 20% of adjacent teeth will fall out in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth also cause remaining teeth to shift, causing spaces between teeth, food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. You’re also more susceptible to gum disease, a serious health condition that can significantly shorten your life span.

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a safe alternative to bridges, partials, or full dentures. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth because of a titanium anchor attached to the jawbone. Dr. Como will secure the implants in a brief surgery and then, after the implant site has healed, he will attach a handcrafted, permanent crown to each post, or a bridge or denture to a few strategically placed implants. The restorations will match your natural teeth and blend seamlessly with your smile.

Why are implants a better option than traditional bridges?
Traditional bridges require significant reduction of healthy teeth, because the replacement crown relies on neighboring teeth for support. Implants are supported by the jawbone, which make them a more life-like alternative. Additionally, bridges may have to be replaced every 8 to 10 years and they can cause tooth sensitivity and additional tooth loss. The life of the implant depends on your age, oral status, and personal hygiene, but with proper maintenance, they can last most people a lifetime.

Who makes a good candidate for dental implants?
Most patients are implant candidates; however, an ideal implant patient has good oral health, adequate bone structure, and doesn’t drink excessively or smoke. Dr. Como will evaluate your unique case to determine if implants are right for you.

What does implant placement involve?
Implant placement involves a brief, and highly predictable, oral surgery. Dr. Como performs the surgery in our New Rochelle dental office with the aid of computer-imaging technology. The number of implants you receive will depend on the number of missing teeth and the type of restorations you prefer. After the surgery, the implants will need to heal for about four months. During this time, the bone fuses to the implant in a process called osseointegration. This creates a solid foundation for the permanent restoration, which Dr. Como will affix in a second appointment. If you have additional questions about dental implants, please feel free to call our office.

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General Dentistry

Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with good oral health?
We find cavities in the earliest stages, and often that means that you don't see or feel them. Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We also screen for oral cancer, a disease that will affect more than 30-thousand Americans this year. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80 to 90% percent survival rate. Gum disease is another sneaky problem that we try to catch early. It has been linked to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.

Why Do I need X-Rays?
X-rays and intraoral photographs help us track your oral health and address problems early, when conservative dentistry can correct most issues. To provide optimal care, we take bitewing X-rays every 1 to 2 years and a panoramic or full mouth X-ray series every 3 to 5 years. Because we use a digital system, our patients are exposed to about 80-percent less radiation than with traditional radiographs. If you haven't had a checkup and X-rays in a while, call our dental office in New Rochelle, NY for an appointment.

Why is oral cancer so serious?
Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. The painless, sneaky disease often goes undetected until it spreads to the neck and lymph nodes, at which time treatment becomes less effective. Dr. Como will perform an oral cancer screening during your exam. If oral cancer is detected in the early stage, patients are more likely to survive.

My gums bleed when I brush, should I be worried?
Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from the patient brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to stop the disease and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!

What is occlusion?
Occlusion, also called bite, is the way your top and bottom teeth fit together when you close your mouth. Your occlusion can be affected by injury, tooth loss, eating habits, as well as, cosmetic or restorative dental work. If your occlusion is off balance, it can result in teeth grinding, chronic headaches, or TMJ disorder. Dr. Como will evaluate your occlusion during your regular dental exam.

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Cosmetic Dentistry

What is a cosmetic dentist?
Cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association, so any general dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. To choose a good cosmetic dentist, review the doctor’s before-and-after photos of actual cases, ask about his or her postgraduate education in cosmetic dentistry, and make sure that you feel confident and comfortable in the office.

Is there a difference between over-the-counter and professional teeth whiteners?
Over-the-counter whiteners are not as efficient as professional-grade treatments. The whitening kits you buy at the drugstore are not customized to fit the shape of your teeth, making them messy and ineffective. In addition, they typically only whiten two to three shades. With professional teeth whitening you have more options. You can visit our office and receive a 90 minute deep bleaching whitening treatment that will leave your teeth up to 10 shades whiter. We also have home teeth whitening kits that are custom designed for maximum comfort and efficiency. Each morning or night for a week or two you’ll need to apply our professional-grade whitening gel to the trays, and then wear them for one half hour. Within just a few days, you’ll notice a difference, and by the time treatment is complete, you’ll smile with confidence. Take-home trays can also touch up and maintain in-office whitening.

How can you close the gaps between my teeth?
Cosmetic bonding is a simple, esthetic procedure used to fill gaps in a single office visit. Dr. Como will blend a composite resin material to match the shade of your teeth, then shape and sculpt it, so that it blends seamlessly with your natural smile. A curing lamp hardens the material, creating a super-strong bond. Depending on your smile, Dr. Como may suggest porcelain veneers. In just two visits, porcelain veneers turn stained, chipped, misaligned, and widely spaced teeth into Hollywood-ready smiles.

I have old, metal dental work. Is there any hope for my smile?
Dark fillings and metal crowns can be replaced with strong, aesthetic solutions. Dr. Como has placed composite resin fillings for years, and we also offer all ceramic porcelain crowns which can eliminate the black margins of old preexisting crowns and grey colors shining through.

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