Larry Porteous Family Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions

(510) 761-6916
665 Parker Ave
Rodeo, CA 94572
Larry Porteous D.D.S.
Q: Why should I replace a missing tooth?
A: "A tooth replacement is essential for speech and function. It prevents the shifting and movement of teeth and preserves the periodontal (bone) health around the tooth. For all these reasons and more, we recommended that a missing tooth be replaced. We suggest partial dentures or bridgework, but an implant is another possibility. We don’t do implants, but we do build crowns on implants."
Q: Does teeth whitening have any negative consequences? How long will it last?
A: "No, bleaching teeth isn’t harmful. Although nothing is permanent, the product we use—Opalescence—has sustained whitening aspects that make it last."
Q: At what age do you start seeing children?
A: "Three years old. They have their teeth by then, and they’re cooperative enough that we can work with them."
Q: What can be done to help patients when they’re undergoing a painful procedure like wisdom teeth extraction?
A: "With the use of nitrous oxide and local anesthetic, we can guarantee patients won’t feel pain with any procedure we recommend."
Q: How often should I come in for a cleaning?
A: "Depending on ’your oral health, we recommend a cleaning every three, four or six months."
Q: How important is flossing?
A: "It’s an absolute must and should be part of daily routine care. There are two important things about flossing—frequency and proper technique, which we explain to our patients during cleaning appointments. Without flossing, only half the daily bacteria produced in your mouth are removed."
Q: Why are root canals sometimes recommended?
A: "A root canal is a procedure that can actually save an infected tooth and relieve a patient of pain. It’s a very useful procedure that’s not nearly as bad as its reputation."
Q: What about tooth-colored fillings and cosmetic dentistry?
A: "Depending on the tooth, the area of the mouth and the size of the restoration, plastic or composite fillings are an option. Some people ask about veneers, which fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry. The kind of veneers we use—Lumineer Veneers—are considered no-prep (no preparation procedure required). This means there’s no cutting or reducing of the tooth structure to change tooth color or shape, or to close the spaces in between teeth. This is unlike a crown, where a tooth has to be cut down for the crown to fit."