Klein Crossing Dental Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I go to the dentist?

If you are in good health with no dental issues, you should see a dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and checkup to ensure any minor problems are caught early and treated before they become major health problems. Regular professional dental cleaning and checkups are essential to preventive dentistry, keeping your teeth and gums healthy.


Are dental implants painful?

The process of placing implants in the jawbone is done while the area is numb, so you do not feel any pain during surgery. You will have mild to moderate pain with possible swelling for a few days following the procedure, which is easily controlled with over-the-counter medication. Within 5-7 days, all discomfort is gone. Most patients are pleasantly surprised by how little pain they experience.


How long does a dental cleaning take?

It depends on how much tartar and plaque have built up on your teeth. Most dental cleanings take 30 to 60 minutes, and this is time well spent to help prevent gum disease and get rid of harmful bacteria at the gum line.


How long do dental crowns last?

Our crowns are carefully crafted from high-quality materials and often last 8 to 10 years.


How can I prevent cavities?

Good oral hygiene is the best defense against cavities. Flossing every day and brushing your teeth twice daily with an ADA-approved toothpaste are essential, as are dental checkups and cleanings. Avoiding sugary foods and beverages will also help, as sugar breaks down into acids that eat away tooth enamel.


How long does a dental bridge last?

Depending on the type of bridge and how well you care for it, a dental bridge can last 5 to 10 years. Proper cleaning and maintenance of your bridge will lengthen its life.


How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth that replaces both the visible portion of a missing tooth and the missing root. The implant is a titanium or ceramic screw placed in the jawbone to provide a stable foundation for a crown or dental prosthetic that replaces the visible portion of the tooth.


Dental implants are superior to other tooth replacement options because the implants stimulate bone growth in the jaw and fuse with the surrounding bone preventing jawbone loss and the accompanying aged appearance. Dental implants are also preferred by patients who are not comfortable with dentures.


What is considered a dental emergency?

 A dental emergency is any dental injury or disease requiring immediate attention, whether for severe pain, bleeding that does not stop, or a serious infection. Common dental emergencies include:


  • Severe, throbbing toothache
  • Bleeding that does not stop
  • Knocked-out or loose tooth
  • Swelling of the face and jaw due to an abscess
  • Badly cracked tooth


If you are unsure whether you have a dental emergency, please contact our office at 832-717-0595 and ask. We can assess your situation and give you instructions on what to do until we see you in the office. If it is a true dental emergency, we will strive to see you the same day.


What do I eat after dental implant surgery?

A soft diet is required for several weeks after dental implant surgery, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bland. For the first week, stick with foods that do not require chewing, such as smoothies (but no straws!), soft ice cream, mashed potatoes, yogurt, hummus, refried beans, and applesauce. Feel free to add spices and use butter to improve the taste of foods. Over time, you can add soft foods such as soft-cooked foods like green beans, poached eggs, shredded chicken, and pasta. If you can mash the food with a fork or spoon, you can eat it. After the area is sufficiently healed, you can slowly add other foods.


When do kids start going to the dentist?

Kids should start seeing a dentist around their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts.


When should I take my baby to the dentist?

On or around their first birthday. The first visit will be short, and you are encouraged to hold them while Dr. Welty examines their teeth and gums. Our goal at the first visit is to make your child comfortable with seeing a dentist. They may be able to have a dental cleaning at this visit.


How often should I floss?

You should floss every day, ideally before brushing your teeth at night. Flossing dislodges any food debris stuck between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. It also loosens plaque and helps remove harmful bacteria that can lead to gum disease and bad breath.


What causes bad breath?

Certain harmful bacteria in the mouth cause bad breath. The most common reasons for the buildup of bacteria that leads to bad breath are poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, and smoking. Other, less common triggers include certain medications, acid reflux, and being on a restricted, keto-based diet.


Why do my gums bleed?

Your gums may bleed occasionally for several reasons, including aggressive brushing or flossing. However, if your gums bleed frequently, the most likely culprit is plaque buildup around the base of the teeth, leading to gingivitis and gum disease. Other causes may be diabetes, teeth grinding, or a vitamin deficiency. If your gums bleed, it is crucial to have them checked as soon as possible so we can get any infection under control, remove plaque buildup, and treat any gum disease.


Why is my mouth so dry?

There are many reasons your mouth may be dry. If it is a common occurrence, you should see your doctor, as a chronic dry mouth contributes to bacterial growth in the mouth, increasing your risk for cavities and periodontal disease. Possible causes of a dry mouth include:


  • Medications such as antihistamines and some antidepressants
  • Dehydration
  • Breathing with an open mouth at night
  • A diet high in sugar
  • Specific health problems such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or Alzheimer’s
  • Stress
  • Old age


If you have chronic dry mouth, there are ways to stimulate saliva production. Saliva is essential for washing away acids and sugars that can encourage bacterial growth and cavities. Talk to your doctor or contact our office to discuss your options.


What should I expect at my first dental appointment with Dr. Welty?

Your first appointment with Dr. Welty establishes a life-long relationship based on respect, compassion, and your dental health goals. A dental team member will take your medical and dental history to establish a baseline for your care. We take digital X-rays, and Dr. Welty performs an oral exam of your teeth, gums, and oral cavity, checking for oral lesions, cavities, and signs of oral cancer. Our hygienist will then evaluate your teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease and remove areas of plaque, tartar, and calculus. At the end of your appointment, we review your oral hygiene habits and, if needed, schedule a follow-up visit to treat any areas of concern.


What are the most common dental problems?

The top five dental problems in the United States are:

  • Cavities (nearly 90% of adults have one or more cavities in their lifetime)
  • Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Teeth grinding
  • Tooth sensitivity


What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease can lead to severe infections and tooth loss if not treated effectively. Early intervention is crucial to successful treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms, an appointment for periodontal treatment is warranted:


  • Puffy, swollen gums
  • Painful or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gums that are dark red or purple
  • Spitting out blood after brushing
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Pus or discharge from the gums


What is a tooth filling?

A filling is a compound placed in the space left in the visible portion of a tooth after the decayed portion is removed. At Klein Crossing Dental, we use a high-quality composite resin to fill the hole in your tooth. This resin is durable, strong, and biocompatible. It is also tooth-colored, making it virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth.


What type of toothpaste should I use?

We recommend a toothpaste containing fluoride, which can remineralize worn dental enamel to help prevent cavities. Sensodyne is a good choice if you have sensitive teeth, as it helps desensitize the teeth to hot and cold foods and beverages.