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Patient Resources questions and answers Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM Cosmetic Dentist General Dentist Sleep Apnea, TMJ, Invisalign, Porcelain Veneers, Dental Implants, Best Dentist of Carmel America's Best Dentist, Top Dentist Indianapolis

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitive teeth often come from the fact that your gums have slightly receded. This recession of the gum line allows the underlying dentin to show through which allows water and food easier access to the sensitive nerve. To manage this, there are a number of toothpastes, gels and even some dental procedures that can be applied. Speak to us in more detail if you have very sensitive teeth.

What should I do to prevent gum disease and tooth decay?
Great teeth and gum care start at home. Brushing and flossing on a daily basis is the best way to take care of your teeth and gums on a continual basis. By keeping to a daily routine you will greatly minimize the risk of gingivitis or tooth decay as you age.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is a disorder that involves the TEMPORAL bone of the skull, the MANDIBLE and the JOINT that connects the temporal bone of the skull and the mandible, thus the name TemporalMandibularJoint or TMJ. TMJ is a part of a broader dysfunction called Temporal Mandibular Dysfunction or TMD. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) syndrome is discomfort in the jaw joint that can be caused by numerous medical issues. Certain facial muscles that control chewing are also attached to the mandible. Problems in this area can cause head and neck pain, facial pain, ear pain, headaches, cervical issues,  a jaw that is locked in position or difficult to open, problems with biting and jaw clicking or popping sounds when you bite. Women seem to be affected more than men with TMJ. Some contribute this to the different make up of hormones seen in women versus men.The TMJ is comprised of muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and bones. You have two TMJs, one on each side of your jaw near your ear.Many people suffer from TMJ. It is often mistaken for other medical ailments thus overlooked in initial diagnosis. It was termed the Great Impostor by world renowned pediatric dentist Dr. Jim Garry due to its many symptoms and trigger points radiating from different parts of the stomatognathic system including the head and neck areas. Some estimates place the number of TMD suffers in the United States at 15% of the population. Dr. Adams believes it may be higher from what he sees in his practice and his own personal interactions with his colleagues as he teaches and lectures.


What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Disordered Breathing is a serious health problem, and its first appearance is usually indicated by snoring. Although snoring is generally viewed in the United States as a minor annoyance, something to be ignored or blocked out, it can be the first sign of a problem.Medical research has determined that Sleep Disordered Breathing is a condition that ranges in severity. Even the slightest snoring can be an indication of the onset or existence of a loss of airway patency, or muscle tone.Upper Airway Resistance syndrome (UARS) is marked by a greater loss of airway patency than snoring. Those who suffer from UARS are generally young, female, and may also experience gastroesophageal reflux disorder and/or asthma. Depression and hormonal imbalances are also common in those with UARS.The serious and often life-threatening problems start when sleepers begin experiencing apneas, where the body stops breathing for 10 seconds or more during sleep, and hypopneas, where the body breathes at a decreased rate and depth during sleep. The occurrences of apneas and hypopneas are called “events,” and their frequency throughout the night can adversely affect the body in many ways, even resulting in death. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the condition associated with apneic and hypopneic events. Choking, gasping for breath, and long periods of time without breathing are all signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.Snoring, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are all serious conditions that should not be ignored. Not only do they affect sleep, they are detrimental to an individual’s health. Research has discovered that in more severe cases of airway obstruction, a patient’s life is shortened by seven years and the condition is generally fatal.

What is the difference between Cosmetic Dentistry and General Dentistry? 

General Dentistry encompasses all aspects of dentistry.A General Dentist can perform most procedures that he or she feels competent and has the proper skill and training.As an example, Root Canals and Extractions can be performed by a General Dentist as long as the General Dentist has the proper training,skill set and feels competent in performing these procedures.

Cosmetics Dentistry involves the aspect of general dentistry that improves the appearance of the face, teeth and smiles. This is not a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association.Cosmetic Dentistry requires more training than one would get graduating from a Dental School.It is a combination of science and art. It is important to make sure you are going to a Cosmetic Dentist that has acquired a vast amount of Continuing Education and hands on training in the field of cosmetic Dentistry.Without the proper training and knowledge an inexperienced Dentist can make or break a cosmetic case.  


What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended. During your visit, our Hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and Oral Hygiene protocol for Home Care will prevent the Periodontal Disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms. It is caused by bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The immediate condition is known as ‘gingivitis’. The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. If not properly treated, the condition worsens. Noticeable symptoms now appear. They include:

  • Bad Breath
  • Gum Recession
  • Gum Sensitivity to Acidic Foods
  • Abscesses
  • Tooth Pain
  • Tooth Loss


How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. Through a series of Periodontal Cleanings, Root Planing & Scaling, Laser Therapy and Local Antibiotics, this condition can be controlled. Periodontal Surgery is only necessary for severe cases.

What is the Difference Between a White Filling and a Silver Filling?
Silver Fillings known as Amalgam, have been around for decades. They are made from  metal alloys and mercury.It was the best restoration for fillings year ago but there are better alternatives now.The problem with Amalgams is that the metal does not expand and contract the same as a natural tooth.This difference in expansion and contraction  puts stress and strain on the tooth as it goes through the normal wear and tear of chewing and drinking hot and cold liquids.It fills the tooth but does not necessarily restore the tooth.

White Fillings, also known as composites are often made of plastic or glass polymers. These cosmetic fillings allow us to fill a cavity and restore the tooth with a substance that will look and feel just like your existing tooth structure. This restoration is created with a resin material and is bonded to the tooth to give a seamless, tight restoration that prevents decay form forming at the tooth/restoration interface. Rather than a gray or silver material in your mouth, the composite color will match the tooth color.              

How Can I Improve My Smile?

There are several ways in today’s Dental World to enhance your smile. Certain procedures include:

  • Tooth Whitening
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain Veneers
  • Porcelain Crowns
  • Porcelain Bridges
  • Tissue Re-contouring with a Diode Laser

We have the capability to improve your smile using all or some of these procedures. Please contact our office so that we may provide you with a customized treatment plan.

What is Tooth Whitening?
Tooth Whitening is a cost effective and safe procedure to create a beautiful, healthy smile. Over the years, fluoride is has been added to the whitening product. This reduces the risk of tooth and gum sensitivity.

Tooth Whitening must be monitored by your dentist and only done after a comprehensive exam and hygiene cleaning.

The whitening process can last for a number of years if maintained properly. Beverages such as coffee, tea, cola and wine will reduce the lasting effect. Remember, if it could stain a white shirt, it will stain your smile!

What is Bonding?
Bonding is a cost effective procedure used to fill gaps in front teeth and to change a tooth’s color. The immediate results are amazing. Within a few hours, you will have a great smile! Bonding like Tooth Whitening may change color over time due to coffee, tea, cola and wine.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that go directly on your natural teeth. This entire procedure can take as few as two visits. Veneers change the size, shape and color of a patient’s teeth. This procedure is used to repair fractured teeth, teeth darkened by age or medication, or a crooked smile. Many times, patients ask for Porcelain Veneers to simply feel and look younger with a straighter, whiter smile!

What are Crowns?
Crowns are a permanent cosmetic procedure that covers the entire tooth. It can change the size, shape and color of the teeth in as few as 2 visits.

What is a Dental Implant?
A Dental Implant is a “man-made” replacement for a missing tooth or tooth root. Made from titanium, this screw-like object is inserted under the gum and directly into the upper or lower jaw bone. There is usually minimal discomfort involved with this procedure. After a period of a few months, the Dental Implant and the bone fuse together. This creates an anchor for the new tooth to be placed onto the dental implant.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implants look and function like your natural tooth.
  • Dental Implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth.
  • Dental Implants are maintained by routine hygiene visits to your dental office.
  • Dental Implants decrease the possibility of bone loss, periodontal disease, tooth movement, and further tooth loss.
  • Dental Implants replace the need for a Removable Full or Partial Denture.
  • Dental Implants focus only on the tooth or teeth that are missing. A traditional bridge would involve the two or more adjacent teeth being compromised to create a false tooth in between.


Who is a candidate for Dental Implants?
With major advancements in Dentistry and Dental Implants, most people are candidates for Dental Implants. There may be exceptions due to chronic illness, heart disease, and severe osteoporosis.

What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
The average Dental Implant Procedure takes 3 - 4 visits. The first visit is to x-ray the area and take an impression for a surgical guide and a temporary prosthesis to cover the Implant.

The next visit is to place the Implant. A local anesthesia is applied to the area. (Any additional sedation is no longer necessary unless deemed by the dentist). The dentist will then make a minor incision to place the implant. The implant is placed into the jaw bone. The area will then be covered with sutures. The procedure is usually completed with minor pain.

You will next return in approximately 3 months to begin creating the Porcelain Crown to place over the Implant.

How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
Fees from Dental Implants vary from dentist to dentist. Always schedule an Implant Consultation to discuss the procedure and all fees involved.

How long does a Dental Implant last?

With routine dental hygiene scheduled and proper home care, a Dental Implant can last approximately 30 years to a lifetime.

Does your office offer financing for services provided?
Please contact us to discuss the options we have available to make your perfect smile today!                           




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OUR LOCATION

3021 East 98th St Suite 220 | Indianapolis, IN 46280

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(317) 580-9222

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Tuesday:

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