Randy E. Otteson DMD PC Portland, Oregon
 

PATIENT INFORMATION

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PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS

FAQS

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PATIENT INSTRUCTIONS:

FIRST VISIT

From the first day you join our office, we will cater to your dental needs. As part of your first visit with us, you will fill out a comprehensive medical and dental history. These forms are important because they help us to determine the course of your treatment. We have to know about allergies, sensitivity to anesthetics, long-term medications, etc.

On your first visit we will conduct a comprehensive examination and a periodontal evaluation. Full mouth x-rays are necessary in order to fully examine you, as it gives us a picture of the tooth structure above and below the gum line, as well as enables us to evaluate the bone structure surrounding your teeth.

After gathering all of the necessary information, your treatment will be reviewed with you. This allows you and the doctors to develop a personalized plan for your oral care. We will work with you so that your oral care plan will be convenient for your lifestyle and busy schedule. We look forward to helping you maintain a happy, healthy smile.


EMERGENCIES

We sincerely hope that you never have a dental emergency, but if you do, we offer 24-hour emergency service for our established patients. If the emergency occurs during our normal office hours, please call the office at (614) 866-5966 and explain your situation. We will make every effort to accommodate you as soon as possible. For after hours emergencies, please call the doctors house (for only established patients).

In the meantime, here’s what to do until you get to our office:

BROKEN FILLINGS: Save the filling if possible so we can have a look at it. Rinse your mouth gently with lukewarm water to remove debris – warm salt-water rinses or dissolved baking soda can be soothing. If the tooth is sensitive, protect it with dental wax or, in a pinch, sugarless gum.

LOST CROWN: Displaced crowns can sometimes be reused; hang onto it. Try to affix the crown with denture adhesive or, if it won’t stick, use dental wax to keep the tooth away from air.

KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH:
 Don’t panic. If we can treat you within about an hour, chances are we can reseat the tooth for good. Don’t touch the tooth root – this could damage delicate nerves. Gently replace the tooth where it belongs if you can, or keep it moist in milk.

DAMAGED BRIDGES, DENTURES, and PARTIALS: Do not risk home repairs. Glue can destroy composition materials and cause tissue erosion. Keep all the pieces, even the smallest, and call us to schedule an appointment. We can usually return an emergency repair to you within 24 hours.

TOOTHACHE:
Toothaches are common and nasty. They tell you something is wrong that needs attention. Rinse your mouth with warm water and try to floss away any food particles. Don’t lodge aspirin near the tooth – it will irritate, even ulcerate, gum tissue. Ice packs or a numbing agent may make you more comfortable while you’re scheduling an appointment. Toothaches may go away, but the source of the pain won’t.

LACERATIONS OR JAW DAMAGE: Lacerations or jaw damage require immediate treatment at a hospital facility or an oral surgeon’s office. Take such injuries seriously. Delay may result in further damage.

 

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?

A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.

Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?

A: Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.

Q: How often should I floss?

A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.

Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?

A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".

Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?

A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.

Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?

A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.

Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?

A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.