FAQs

Q. What causes tooth loss?

A. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay takes place when most of the tooth’s mineral makeup has been dissolved away and a hole (cavity) has formed. While tooth decay primarily affects children, periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects mostly adults. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque, and its earliest stage is known as gingivitis.

 

Q. How many times a day should I brush my teeth?

A. Most dental professionals recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal (and flossing at least once a day) is also a good way to maintain dental health

 

Q. When should a child have his/her first dental appointment?

A. A child should have his first dental appointment no later than his third birthday. Many dentists recommend a child have his first appointment when the first tooth comes in.

 

Q. Is it important to floss your teeth?

A. Yes. flossing once a day prevents the buildup of plaque and deters the onset of gingivitis and periodontal disease.

 

Q. What is cosmetic dentistry?

A. Also known as “aesthetic dentistry” cosmetic dentistry is a branch of dentistry that implements many different procedures to improve the beauty of your smile.

 

Q. What is a root canal?

A. Root canal is necessary when the nerve or blood supply of the tooth (also known as the pulp) is infected due to injury or decay. Root canal treatment involves removal of the diseased pulp, followed by the cleaning and sealing of the pulp chamber and root canal.

 

Q. What are dentures and who needs them?

A. Dentures are a partial or complete set of artificial teeth used to occupy the upper or lower jaw, usually attached to a plate. Simply put, dentures are a set of false teeth. If you have lost most or all of your teeth, you are a perfect candidate for complete dentures. If you still have some natural teeth remaining, a partial denture is recommended to help improve chewing ability, speech, and support for facial muscles.

 

Q. What causes oral cancer and what are some of the warning signs?

A. Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease. Many dentists believe vitamins A and E can help prevent the acquisition of oral cancer. Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.

 

Q. What are the treatments for periodontal disease?

A. If periodontal disease is caught at an early stage (when it has not progressed beyond the point of gingivitis), it can be treated with scaling and root-planing (removing plaque around the tooth and smoothing the roots’ surfaces). If the disease progresses to a later stage, the patient may need surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums, eliminating the hardened plaque build-up, and repairing the damaged bone.

 

Q. What causes oral cancer and what are some of the warning signs?

A. Tobacco (cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff) is the most common cause of oral cancer. Combining tobacco use with heavy drinking can also foster the development of oral cancer. Bad hygiene, prolonged irritation of the oral cavity, and extended exposure to strong sunlight on the lips are among other causes of the disease. Many dentists believe vitamins A and E can help prevent the acquisition of oral cancer. Early symptoms of oral cancer include: a sore on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat that does not heal; a lump on the lip, in the mouth, or in the throat; a red or white patch found anywhere in the mouth; unusual pain or bleeding in the mouth; swelling of the mouth; and any difficulty or discomfort felt in chewing or swallowing.

 

Q. What is gingivitis?

A. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums around the roots of the teeth. It marks the early stage of periodontal disease and it is characterized by red, swollen gums.

 

Q. Who needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted?

A. Anyone who is in danger of developing impacted wisdom teeth (third molars that only partially erupt or get trapped or stuck in the jaw) should have them removed so that they do not damage adjacent molars and cause other oral problems. In addition, anyone who is getting dentures should have their wisdom teeth removed.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Fern is always so friendly & easy to talk to – even in the middle of a teeth cleaning. The dentist gives great advice & is extremely polite. I’ll pay for the more expensive […]
Paige K.
I love Gentle Dental of Springfield! The staff is courteous, pleasant, and professional. I’ve been to a number of dentist offices and by far this office is the best. I recommend anyone looking […]
Felicia F.
Excellent staff, and the Dentist was the best I have experienced.
Harry G.
Dentist Is great and dental hygienist too! Office friendly staff too
Annmarie A.
Always a Great Experience at Gentle Dental Thorndale. Very professional!
Michael A.
The person who cleaned my teeth was extremely sensitive and kind about my dental phobia.
Susan G.
The dental hygienist was very nice, she answered all my questions and was great at explaining them along with pointing out what concerned her and why. She was also very gentle (no pun intended) with […]
Dave C.
Char just cleaned my teeth and she was awesome! My teeth looked amazing after and she was so sweet and funny! I hope she cleans my teeth next time too:)
Rebecca S.
The entire staff was so friendly. I was seen within an hour of calling for an emergency appointment!
Michelle E.
Completely satisfied
Charles L.
The friendly and personable staff…(especially office clerk “Regina” and Dr Valentine
Scott R.
Great people. Easy to get in
Todd H.
I love Dr. Valentine, she’s the best!
Jessica K.
I use to have dental anxiety until I started going to Gentle Dental of Springfield. From the minute I walked in the door until I checked out they were nothing but friendly and professional. I set my […]
Sean
The service is wonderful and the doctors are skilled.
Erik S.
Always has good availability…makes a root canal painless…very nice dentist and friendly staff….all around great office for dental health.
Rita M.
Love Dr. Fee and all the folks at Gentle Dental. The office is run very efficiently, the staff is always kind and professional and my teeth are VERY well cared for.
Kimberly M.
Dr. Machlus, did a great job on my teeth. His craftsmanship speaks for itself. It needs no Introduction. The receptionist and aides were outstanding as well. On top there job…not a moment to […]
Donald B.
Location and level of care
Aaliyah F.
Pleasant people, very competent technicians and dentists.
Marc G.
Find a Location
Near You
Healthcare Financing with
CareCredit
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here