Find The Answer To Your Montgomery Dental Questions In Our FAQs

Dr. Swartzentruber and our Carmichael Dental Care team receive many similar questions from patients. To save you time, we’re providing answers to common dental questions in Montgomery, AL here. However, we can offer more information any time before or during your visit to our dentist office. Just call 334-600-1423 or contact us through our online form.

Can You Help Me Get A Whiter Smile?

Of course! We offer several teeth whitening options, one of which will be right for you. Surface stains vanish with our Opalescence teeth whitening treatments. You can get a treatment in our office, or we can provide you with professional-strength gel and custom whitening trays to use at home. For more stubborn stains, you can choose tooth bonding or dental veneers, both of which conceal stains that don’t respond well to whitening. Bonding and veneers can hide other flaws too, like chips or rough edges.

Can You Help Me Look Younger?

Our dentists can give you a more youthful appearance by taking years off your smile with cosmetic dental treatments. Then they can make the rest of your face look younger too, with Botox® treatments to relax fine lines and wrinkles and/or Juvederm® dermal fillers to add volume to areas like your cheeks and lips.

Can You Relieve My Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

Yes, our dentists can help you get a better night’s rest and improve your overall health with a custom-made oral appliance. You’ll wear it while sleeping, and it moves your jaw into a position that keeps your airway open. This stops the frequent interruptions in breathing that characterize sleep apnea. Many people find sleep apnea appliances more comfortable and easier to use than a CPAP, another commonly prescribed treatment for apnea.

Can You See Me For A Dental Emergency?

We make every effort to see you ASAP after a dental emergency, usually on the same day. In fact, we reserve time on our schedule every day to accommodate emergencies. If you call our office after hours, we make it possible for you to directly contact one of our dentists. They can then advise you on what to do next. When you arrive, we’ll quickly treat you with patient-friendly technology. And you can get dental sedation if you need it.

Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth may be uncomfortable as they are coming in – but this may or may not be a sign they need to be removed. Our dentists will examine you with digital X-rays and an intraoral camera to get a good look at these teeth in the back of your mouth. If they do need to be removed, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible with effective local anesthesia. You can also get dental sedation if you need it.

Do You Use Metal Fillings?

We don’t use amalgam (metal) fillings. Instead, we use fillings made of a sturdy material called composite. Unlike metal fillings, we can match the color to your other teeth so no one will see them in your smile. Composite fillings also don’t contain mercury. While the FDA says mercury in fillings is safe for most people, some research has raised questions about the long-term safety of mercury. We prefer to avoid the risk.

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is the key to preventing cavities. You also need to supplement your home oral hygiene with two trips to our office every year for professional dental cleanings and exams. No matter how diligently you brush at home, you’ll miss some plaque that over time becomes tartar that causes cavities. We remove it during cleanings. We may also suggest preventive treatments like applications of fluoride or dental sealants.

How Often Should I See You For Dental Exams?

We recommend visiting one of our Montgomery, AL dentists for a dental exam and dental cleaning every six months. Our professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar that can lead to cavities and gum disease. During your exam we’ll examine you for signs of trouble, including teeth grinding and oral cancer. Exams are also a great chance for us to get to know you better, so we can suggest personalized treatment options for you.

I Broke A Tooth! What Should I Do?

If you broke a tooth, there’s no need to panic. Call us ASAP at 334-600-1423 so we can see you right away. You’ll even be able to reach one of our dentists after hours, if needed. If you’re in pain, we’ll numb you with local anesthesia and offer sedation if you would like. Depending on the severity of the break and the condition of your tooth, we can usually save it with a dental crown. If the tooth is so badly damaged it needs to be removed, we can gently extract it.

I’ve Got Weird Jaw Pain And My Jaw Pops. What Is That?

Jaw pain that happens for no reason, clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth, unexplained headaches, and other “weird” symptoms may be due to problems with the joint that acts as a hinge for your mouth. We offer diagnosis and effective treatment for TMJ problems. Call our office to schedule an appointment.

Is a Custom Mouthguard Better Than One From A Store?

Yes, it really is. Since we use impressions of your teeth and other precise measurements for custom mouthguards, they fit better than mouthguards from a store. If you’ve ever tried the “boil-and-bite” method of adjusting fit for a store-bought mouthguard, you know it doesn’t really work that well. You’re more likely to consistently wear a mouthguard that fits you well. Call today to schedule your fitting for a custom mouthguard.

Is Grinding Bad For My Teeth?

Grinding can chip, crack, or even break teeth. If that happens, you’ll need a restorative dental repair like a crown. It’s better to prevent teeth grinding by wearing a mouthguard when you sleep, which is when most grinding occurs. Our dentists can fit you for a custom mouthguard.

My Gums Bleed When I Brush. What Should I Do?

Healthy gums normally don’t bleed. When you see bleeding during brushing, this is a sign that your gums are inflamed due to bacteria that have found their way into the spaces between your teeth and gums (known as “pockets”). The first step you should take is to call us at 334-600-1423. We will:

  • Ask questions about your last dental cleaning and any new medications you may be taking to determine any related issues
  • Put you on a very consistent brushing and flossing regimen
Bleeding gums are also a sign of periodontal (gum) infection, or inflammation associated with gingivitis. If periodontal disease is detected early, we can treat it and gingivitis with nonsurgical root planing procedures to remove bacteria and toxins from the infected areas. This stimulates tissue growth and healing.

Should I Get An Electric Toothbrush?

Several studies have shown that electric toothbrushes may be more effective than manual brushes in removing plaque from teeth, thanks to their vibrating motion. They show particular benefit for those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility issues. Most electric brushes also have a timer that helps ensure you brush for a full two minutes. However, the main thing is to select a brush that you like and to use it regularly, whether it is manual or electric. Always select a brush with soft bristles, preferably one with the American Dental Association seal of approval.

What Are My Payment Options If I Don’t Have Dental Insurance?

We never want a lack of insurance to prevent you from getting the care you need. So we offer many payment options, including CareCredit, which allows you to make small monthly payments with no upfront cost. You may also be interested in the Carmichael Advantage Dental Savings Plan. For a $360 annual fee, this in-house membership plan includes two yearly preventive visits, examinations, and necessary X-rays. You’ll also receive 20 percent savings on other dental procedures. For even more savings, ask about our multi-member plans.

What Are My Tooth Replacement Options?

You’ve got lots of tooth replacement options at Carmichael Dental Care. Our Montgomery, AL dentists will help determine which one is right for your smile. For a replacement tooth that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth, we often recommend a dental implant. We work with an oral surgeon to get the implant placed, then add a dental restoration of your choice. Implants can replace anywhere from a single tooth to an entire mouthful of teeth. If you’d rather not get implants or aren’t a good candidate for them, you can get a dental bridge or dentures.