Frequently asked questions of the dentist

Looking for a pediatric dentist?

Dr. Vetter loves to see children...she has three boys of her own.
Did You Know?...

Did you know that there are 20 baby/primary teeth and 32 adult/permanent teeth.

Dr. Vetter's Dental FAQs



What is a dental sealant?


A dental sealant is a plastic material (resin) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – the premolars and molars. The sealant bonds to the pits and grooves on the biting surfaces of those teeth, and helps protect them from getting cavities. It is recommended for both adults and children, and only takes a few minutes to apply.

What is a dental implant?


A dental implant is a man-made artificial replacement for natural teeth. It is a titanium cylinder that is placed where the missing or lost tooth was. They are compatible with the human body and will attach to the jawbone and gum tissue. They have been around for several decades, and are quickly becoming the treatment of choice for replacing missing or lost teeth.

I was told that I have a cavity, but how come it doesn’t hurt?


Decay starts in the outer layer of the tooth known as the enamel. This tooth layer has no nerves, so when decay is present there is no pain associated with it. It is only once the decay grows to moderate in size that most people experience pain. That is because now the decay is very close to the inside nerve of the tooth or already into the nerve of the tooth.

Does teeth whitening damage your teeth?


No! Teeth whitening does not soften, demineralize, or weaken the teeth in any way. It has been proven over the years be safe and very effective.

Will tooth whitening work for me?


There are many causes of tooth discoloration; things like coffee, colas, and smoking are among the most common. Some medications, old fillings, and aging can also cause your teeth to stain over time. Dr. Vetter will determine why your teeth are discolored, and then recommend the best whitening system for you. In most cases the final results are striking!

What is a laser cavity detector?


The DIAGNOdent is among the newest technologies available for cavity detection. It is a small laser instrument that scans your teeth with harmless laser light searching for hidden decay. It looks similar to a ball point pen with a cord attached. The DIAGNOdent allows a dentist to monitor the areas below the hard surfaces of the outer layer of your teeth (enamel), and if decay is present to treat the tooth conservatively before major destruction of the tooth structure can occur.

What is Toothprints?


Toothprints is an identification method used to help the authorities when a person is missing or lost. Like a fingerprint, dental imprints are unique to every person. This thermoplastic wafer is used to record individual tooth characterizations, and other important information for identification. Once taken, the imprint is stored in your legal files in the event of an emergency situation. It is recommended that an initial Toothprint be made when your child is age 3, repeating it at age 8, and again at age 13 after the second permanent molars have come in.

What are Veneers?


A veneer is a thin, semi-translucent “Shell”, permanently bonded to your tooth. Veneers are customized to your teeth and usually made out of porcelain. They are a cosmetic procedure used to treat a variety of dental conditions such as: spaces between teeth, broken or chipped teeth, stained or unsightly old fillings, discolored or stained teeth, and misshapen or crooked teeth.

What is a Root Canal?


A root canal is a therapy done on a tooth to treat a disorder of the nerve (pulp) of the tooth. Usually it is done when a tooth has an infected nerve and has pain and discomfort (sometimes there is just an infected nerve without any pain or discomfort). The diseased nerve is removed and the empty chamber is cleaned and sterilized. Then the chamber is filled with a special filling material. A temporary filling is placed until a final restoration can be done. In the back teeth a crown is usually the final restoration of choice, and in the front, it can often be either a crown or a filling.

Is there a link between gum disease and heart disease?


Studies have found that the incidence of heart disease is about twice as high in people with periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease may increase your risk for a variety of health concerns including: Diabetes, Stroke, Weakened Immune system, Lung Disease, Preterm low birth weight babies, Respiratory Disease, Osteoporosis, and Stomach ulcers. By keeping regular maintenance appointments with your dental team, you will help increase your chances for a long and healthy life.

When should my child first go to the dentist?


Every child should have a dental appointment by the age of three. It is important to brush your child’s baby teeth and to look inside their mouths every day. If at anytime you see dark spots or stained areas then it is advisable to make a dental appointment right away regardless of the age of the child. Many children see the dentist before age one for a quick exam and get acquainted visit.