Q. I want a dentist who does everything in one place, but I've found that most general dentists refer a lot to specialists. Why?
A. There are over 30 basic procedures that a general dentist must master with most of these having 3-6 sub-categories or complications. This means that the general dentist must be prepared with inventory, education and equipment for between 90-180 procedures. This makes it difficult to be all things to all patients at all times. What matters is that patients receive the best quality care whether it's done by the general dentist or a dental team led by the general dentist. In our office doctor Dr. Phillips performs virtually all procedures but refers when he feels it is in your best interest.
Q. My six year old son has a loose tooth he keeps playing with and I keep telling him to leave it alone. His father on the other hand tells him to get it out. Who is right here?
A. I'm the last one to want to get in the middle of a man and woman with differing opinions, but the fact of the matter is that it is just as bad to keep a baby tooth too long as it is to lose it too soon. Baby teeth that fail to fall out can affect the alignment of the erupting permanent teeth. Also a once loose tooth can become stuck to the tissue, cause irritation and become painful. Then children often resist removing it on their own.
Q. Should I wait until my son is 12 years old to start braces?
A. No. Actually the sooner we can start the better because we can simplify treatment, get a more stable result and reduce the need for the removal of teeth. By the age of nine the upper jaw has reached 90% of its growth potential so we start many children between 7-9 years of age.