Your Frequently Asked Questions about Dentistry, Answered


How often should I schedule dental exams and cleanings?

You should plan to have a dental exam and cleaning at least every six months. If you have special dental needs or concerns, you might need to schedule general dentistry visits more frequently.

What type of toothbrush should I use?

Look for a toothbrush labeled with the ADA’s seal of approval. The bristles should be soft and the brush head should fit comfortably in your mouth. Electric toothbrushes are easy to use and effective, but not necessary. A traditional toothbrush can clean the teeth and gums very well.

I have a cavity. What can be done about it?

Teeth with cavities need to be filled. Dr. Hunter can place a natural-colored filling that blends in with the surrounding tooth structure, protects the tooth and looks completely natural.

What is a mouth guard and how do I know if I need one?

If you play contact sports or you know that you regularly clench or grind your teeth, you should be fitted for a mouth guard. These appliances cover the teeth to protect them from injuries and clenching or grinding.

What is the best way to replace a missing tooth?

There are a few ways to replace a missing tooth, including dental implants and dental bridges. Dr. Hunter will explain your options and help you pick the replacement best suited to your specific needs and goals.

I have lost nearly all of my teeth. What can I do?

Partial or full dentures can replace most or all of your teeth. Modern dentures are lightweight, comfortable and very lifelike. They may be removable or fixed in the mouth with dental implant posts. Dr. Hunter can fit you for a customized appliance that looks and feels natural.

I need a root canal. Will it be painful?

As long as the root canal is performed by a gentle, experienced dentist, it should not be a painful experience. Root canal may be necessary to save a tooth that has become infected.

I am unhappy with the way my teeth and smile look. What should I do?

Dr. Hunter, a talented cosmetic dentist, can lay out the vast selection of treatment options to improve your smile’s appearance. Depending on your specific concerns, the answer may be teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, orthodontic treatment or a complete smile design and makeover.

Will my dental insurance cover my cosmetic treatment?

Insurance rarely covers cosmetic treatment because it is considered elective.

How can I whiten my dull or discolored teeth?

One option is to undergo chair-side teeth whitening treatment or use at-home whitening trays. If your teeth don’t respond to professional bleaching, placing a set of porcelain veneers or bonding the teeth can conceal discoloration.

What is the best way to treat chipped or cracked teeth?

If your teeth have small chips or cracks, porcelain veneers can cover up the damage. If the damage is extensive, dental crowns may be a better option.

Don’t See Your Question Answered Here?

If you have a question about dentistry that wasn’t answered here, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Hunter. Call (619) 444-6157 or email our El Cajon dental practice today.