Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

+ What can I expect at my first visit?

Your first visit to Stonebriar Family Dentistry establishes a vital foundation for a trusting doctor-patient relationship. We make sure you always feel comfortable in our care and never start treatment without your “okay.” We want you to feel in control of your oral health. We know many dentists talk “at” you, telling you what is best, but Dr. Chitre talks “with” you. She works with you to come up with a treatment plan that meets all your dental needs and still fits into your budget.

Our mission at Stonebriar Family Dentistry is working together to realize a shared vision of uncompromising excellence in dentistry. To fulfill this mission, we are committed to:

  • listening to you to understand you specific dental needs
  • earning your trust and respect
  • working hard to meet those needs and exceeding your expectations
  • ensuring a compassionate environment in the process
  • striving for continuous improvement through your honest feedback

Your initial exam to Stonebriar Family Dentistry will last approximately one hour. This dental visit will help us get to know you and learn about your goals and needs for dental care. Generally, we take digital X-rays and photos of your mouth so that Dr. Chitre can thoroughly examine the structure of your jaw and the position of your teeth. Digital X-rays also allow Dr. Chitre to see the earliest signs of tooth decay. In most cases, we will clean your teeth and provide a dental evaluation that will outline any existing dental problems. We will also explain proposed treatments and answer any questions you have. We believe that excellent dental care begins with open communication, so we promise to speak candidly with you about our diagnosis and our treatment recommendations.

+ What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a safe, effective anti-anxiety agent. Because the effects are mild and fade quickly once the nitrous oxide gas is stopped, it is a very effective way to put you at ease during your dental treatment.

+ How long does it take to get a crown or a bridge?

Placing a crown or a bridge requires at least two appointments. We work with a trusted dental lab to create all of our restorations, and it usually takes a couple weeks for them to craft your crown or bridge and send it back to us.

At your first appointment, we'll adjust the shape of the tooth are teeth that are going to be fitted with the crowns. A bridge is a special type of crown that is held in place by additional crowns fixed to the neighboring teeth. We'll then take impressions of the shaped teeth and send these, along with images and Dr. Chitre's detailed instructions, to the lab that will create your restoration.

To protect your shaped teeth and keep you comfortable, we'll place a temporary restoration.

When your restoration returns from the lab, you'll return to our Frisco, TX dental office for your next appointment. At this appointment, Dr. Chitre will test the restoration in place to check that it looks good and fits correctly. When both you and Dr. Chitre are happy with the fit, we'll bond the restoration in place permanently.

You'll appreciate the comfort and esthetics of well-designed crowns and bridges at Stonebriar Family Dentistry. Call today to schedule an evaluation.

Dental implants replace missing teeth, and they are the replacement option of choice for both patients and dentists!

Patients love dental implants because no other tooth replacement looks and feels more like a natural tooth. You don't have to change your diet or worry about special cleaning techniques. Once the implant is in place, it will last for a long time with proper oral hygiene care and regular check-ups. In many cases, a dental implant can last a lifetime!

Dental implants are also versatile. We can restore dental implants with crowns, bridges, and even dentures! Denture wearers appreciate the convenience of dentures that stay put.

Dentists love dental implants for all these reasons and more! Unlike other tooth replacement options, a dental implant actually helps maintain your long-term dental health. In addition to preventing other teeth from shifting into the space left by the missing tooth, a dental implant works below the gums to stimulate your bone to maintain its density and quality. Diminished bone leads to additional lost teeth, creating an unfortunate chain reaction that can have major consequences in the long run.

Are you a candidate for dental implants? Find out by scheduling a consultation with Frisco dentist Dr. Chitre at Stonebriar Family Dentistry!

+ Will people know that I'm wearing dentures?

Most likely, no.

Modern dentures are a huge improvement over the awkward, artificial-looking dentures of the past. They are carefully crafted with both fit and esthetics in mind.

Your dentures will be designed for you. The shape and shade of teeth will complement your facial features and your skin tone so they look natural. Each tooth is individually designed and placed to allow for the subtle variation that occurs in nature. Teeth that are "too perfect" will register as fake, and we are careful to keep that in mind.

We trust our restorations and our prosthetics to a highly skilled lab with an excellent track record. Your comfort and appearance are important to you, and they are important to us as well. We want you to feel confident wearing your dentures and to enjoy an improved quality of life.

Dentures rely on suction to remain in place. This works well for the upper plate, but because there is less surface on the bottom of your mouth, lower dentures can still shift a bit. If you need a lower plate of dentures, we are happy to discuss dental implants with you. We can design dentures that snap into place on dental implants for a secure hold you can trust.

+ I don't want to wear braces because I meet regularly with clients. Do I have any other options?

Absolutely!

Straight teeth are an important part of a healthy smile, and they also help improve your self-confidence.

Metal bracket and wire braces, while effective, can detract from your appearance – and your professional image. Fortunately, a new solution is available that can discreetly give you the straighter, healthier, more attractive smile you've always wanted!

Invisalign is a remarkable advancement in orthodontic technology, and we are proud to offer it at our Frisco dental office!

The system relies on transparent plastic trays that fit snugly over your teeth. Once the trays are in place, they are essentially invisible! In fact, many of our patients refer to Invisalign as "invisible braces!"

Your tooth movement is plotted out from start to finish by Dr. Chitre, and a series of aligners is created to move your teeth according to the treatment plan. As you progress through treatment, you'll simply switch to the next aligner as directed by Dr. Chitre. Treatment times vary depending on your level of misalignment, but Dr. Chitre can let you know what to expect. While you remove the trays for eating and hygiene (which means no dietary restrictions and no hassles with flossing), you do need to wear the trays for at least 22 hours each day for treatment to stay on track.

Want to learn more and see if Invisalign is right for you? Call Stonebriar Family Dentistry today!

+ Why are my gums bleeding?

Gums can bleed for a number of reasons. Sometimes the problem is as simple as aggressive brushing, but sometimes bleeding is the first sign of periodontal (gum) disease. If you've noticed blood in the sink when you brush, please call our office to schedule a visit so we can determine what's behind it.

Many patients are brushing their teeth diligently but aren't using good technique. Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush that is too firm can cause damage to gum tissue and even your enamel. It can also lead to gum recession, which exposes your sensitive tooth roots and can lead to an increased risk of decay. Our skilled dental hygienists are happy to review your technique with you and help you learn better habits.

Periodontal disease can develop for quite some time before you notice symptoms like bleeding gums. This is one of the reasons why regular visits to our Frisco dental office are so important. During a regular cleaning and exam, we check for signs of gum disease that you might not notice initially. This allows you to get a head start on treating the condition before it begins to cause problems. Other signs that might indicate developing gum disease include:

  • Persistant bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Swollen or red gums
  • Tender gums

+ What are the advantages of tooth-colored fillings?

The most obvious advantage of tooth-colored fillings is that they're, well, tooth-colored!

Unlike the dark gray amalgam (metal) fillings of the past, tooth-colored fillings are made of a blend of BPA-free plastic and microscopic glass particles. When we create the mixture, we can actually prepare it so that the color perfectly matches the natural shade of your teeth. This means that once the filling is placed, even you probably won't be able to tell the difference!

The composite resin used in these fillings allows for several other benefits, as well:

  • Since the resin bonds directly to the tooth structure, we don't have to remove as much healthy tooth as we do to place an amalgam filling.
  • The metal in amalgam responds to heat and cold, which can cause the filling to become loose or even damage your tooth. Composite fillings don't have this issue.
  • Tooth-colored fillings are completely free of metal, which some patients express concern about.
  • The versatile material allows us to make esthetic repairs to other areas of damage to your tooth, such as chips, cracks, fractures, and even areas of discoloration.

We're proud to offer our patients the very best in modern dentistry, including tooth-colored composite fillings. Regular check-ups and cleanings help prevent cavities and allow us to catch any cavities that do develop when they are small. If it's time for a check-up, please call our Frisco dental office to schedule!

+ Is my root canal going to hurt?

We're familiar with the bad reputation of root canal therapy.

We have great news for you, however.

The pain that people associate with root canal therapy isn't from the treatment itself; it's actually from the problem that makes the treatment necessary! We take great care to make sure that you are numb and comfortable before we begin any type of treatment here at Stonebriar Family Dentistry, and we'll check on you throughout your procedure to make sure you stay comfortable.

We recommend a root canal when something has gone wrong with the pulp, the soft center of your tooth that contains the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth. When an infection or decay affects this area, it can be quite painful because it is so close to the nerves. A root canal removes the compromised pulp as well as the damaged nerve and replaces it with an inert filling. This treatment relieves the pain and helps the area heal.

You might experience some discomfort after anesthetic from the procedure wears off since your body is still healing, but this can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Dr. Chitre will discuss your needs with you before beginning your procedure.

If you are in pain and suspect you need a root canal, please call us right away. The sooner we complete treatment, the sooner you can feel like yourself again!

+ Am I a good candidate for veneers?

Have you considered making a dramatic change in your smile? Even if you are only seeking to improve the appearance of a single tooth, you might benefit from one or more porcelain veneers.

The best candidates for veneers have overall good dental health and no habits that could damage the veneers, like smoking, nail biting, or teeth grinding. Even if you do currently have a condition or habit that prevents you from getting veneers now, you can always seek treatment or work on breaking that habit and become an excellent candidate in the future!

Veneers are a good choice for concealing and improving the appearance of a range of esthetic dental flaws. Most people who seek veneers are looking to:

  • Lengthen short teeth
  • Close a wide gap between teeth
  • Repair a chipped or cracked tooth
  • Conceal whitening-resistant discoloration
  • Create the appearance of straighter teeth

Ultimately, the best way to find out if you are a good candidate for porcelain veneers is to call our Frisco dental office and request an evaluation and consultation with Dr. Chitre. She will examine your teeth and gums and discuss your short- and long-term goals with you to determine the best way to give you the results you want.

+ Is there actually a difference between the whitening you offer and the kits I can get at the drugstore?

Yes – in fact, the difference is practically night and day!

At Stonebriar Family Dentistry, we use KöR teeth whitening. This product is incredibly effective and can remove practically all staining, even staining that other professional whiteners can't touch. We start you off with an in-office treatment and then create customized trays for you to use at home to finish up the process.

The main difference between KöR and the whitening kits you see on the shelves at your drugstore or grocery store is that professional whitening products penetrate the enamel to release stains that are actually trapped beneath. Most drugstore whitening products bleach the enamel and can only remove superficial surface staining. These surface stains can often be removed by simply improving your brushing habits or scheduling a cleaning!

Some grocery store products do promise to penetrate the enamel, but the products we use come in a much higher strength for more effective (and faster!) results. Professional products are also less likely to cause sensitivity. They include desensitizing ingredients, and they also have customized trays unlike the one-size-fits-all or "boil-and-bite" trays available in over-the-counter kits. This means the product is far less likely to ooze out onto sensitive gum tissue.

Finally (but perhaps the most important), when you whiten your teeth through our office, you will have access to professional assistance whenever you need it. We are happy to answer your questions and address any concerns you might have.

+ My child lost a tooth that wasn't wiggly. Should I worry?

You don't need to worry, but you should get a hold of us to make sure that no damage was done to other teeth or the developing permanent teeth.

Baby teeth serve a number of important purposes (including giving your child a photo-worthy smile you can't resist!). They help your child eat solid food and learn to speak clearly. They also serve as placeholders for the developing permanent teeth.

As the permanent teeth move in to place and become ready to grow in, the baby tooth prepares by dissolving the root. As the root dissolves, the tooth becomes loose. Eventually, it falls out so the permanent tooth has space to come in.

An injury can disrupt this process. If the baby tooth comes out too early, other teeth can shift. This means that the permanent tooth does not have the proper space to grow in, which means that it might grow in incorrectly or become impacted and fail to fully erupt. Another possible scenario is that the nerve of the injured baby tooth can die, which means that the root of the baby tooth never dissolves and the tooth is not lost on schedule. This can lead to infection or abscess.

If your child injures their tooth or loses a tooth that isn't loose, call our office so we can evaluate. We may determine that a spacer will help hold the space for the developing tooth, or the damaged tooth may need to be extracted.

Or it might just mean a visit from the tooth fairy is imminent!

+ Why won't my bad breath go away?

Chronic bad breath is often one of the first signs of periodontal disease, unfortunately.

Tartar and the pockets that develop around your teeth are the perfect home for bacteria, and just like in other parts of your body, bacteria tend to emit odor. If brushing your teeth and using mouthwash isn't eliminating your bad breath, it's time to schedule an appointment for a cleaning. Our hygienists are trained to notice the warning signs of periodontal disease, and we'll work together to create a treatment plan that addresses your needs and stops the progress of gum disease in its tracks.

If your gum disease is still in the early stages, improved home care habits and a professional cleaning might be all it takes to set you back on track. If your disease has progressed further, however, we may need to consider deeper cleaning treatments to remove tartar from beneath the gumline and help the pockets between your gums and teeth heal. This deeper cleaning, known as scaling and root planing, removes built-up tartar and bacteria from beneath the gumline. Once this irritation is gone, your gums will fit tighter around your teeth, making it harder for bacteria to return. We may also recommend a local antibiotic to help kill off remaining bacteria.

+ What are the advantages of Invisalign?

Invisalign is quickly becoming a popular orthodontic option for both adults and teens – for a few good reasons!

Some of the reasons why Stonebriar Family Dentistry patients are choosing Invisalign include:

  • The clear, plastic aligners are virtually invisible, so you can correct your smile without wearing noticeable metal braces.
  • The smooth plastic is comfortable against tender soft tissues in your mouth, and you don't have to worry about rough brackets or poking wires.
  • Since you remove the aligners to eat, you don't have to worry about food restrictions like you do with traditional braces.
  • You also remove the aligners for home hygiene, so there is no hassle when it comes to brushing and flossing your teeth.

Invisalign can correct many of the same conditions as conventional braces, and if you've been considering orthodontics, it's worth scheduling a consult with Dr. Chitre to see if Invisalign is right for you. Our patients are thrilled with their results, and we're happy to show you pictures so you can see the transformations we can achieve at our Frisco, TX dental office!

Getting started with Invisalign is easy. We'll take impressions and digital images and plan your entire program out ahead of time so you know what to expect. Call today to schedule your consultation to learn more about Invisalign.

+ If I brush and floss my teeth every day, why do I need to come in for a cleaning?

First off – well done! We're so thrilled to hear that you are practicing great home hygiene habits!

While brushing twice daily and flossing once a day is a great start, unfortunately it's not perfect. Your teeth have so many small nooks and crannies where plaque and bacteria can hide, and the fact is that you simply can't reach all of them, no matter how dedicated of a brusher you are. Plus, if plaque remains in place for a period of time, it will eventually harden into tartar. Tartar is a mineralized deposit that can't be removed with a brush or floss; it requires professional instruments and know-how.

And that's why you need regular cleaning appointments with a professional hygienist. Hygienists are trained to seek out and remove these small deposits of plaque and tartar before they can turn into a big problem. At Stonebriar Family Dentistry in Frisco, TX, we take great pride in our fantastic hygienists! They are skilled at removing plaque and tartar comfortably and efficiently and have a good eye for identifying early signs of periodontal disease so we can intervene and stop it in its tracks. Plus, they are friendly and love getting to know their patients!

Think of your cleaning as a fresh start every six months. We promise you'll see the value of prevention!

+ Why do I need a root canal?

We know that nobody wants to hear that they need a root canal, but the truth is that it's a valuable procedure that can allow us to save a tooth that might otherwise have to be extracted. Additionally, with modern improvements to technique, anesthetics, and the instruments used, today's root canals are far simpler and more comfortable than they were in the past! Best of all, root canal treatment will relieve the pain you are likely experiencing as a result of infection or trauma to the inside of your tooth.

When the inside of a tooth becomes infected, we have two options – perform a root canal, in which the interior of the tooth is cleaned, sterilized, and filled with an inert material called gutta percha, or remove the tooth entirely.

Removing the tooth creates a cascade of adverse effects down the road, so we always recommend saving the tooth whenever possible. When you are missing a tooth, you are more prone to periodontal disease. Your other teeth will begin to drift, knocking your bite out of alignment and causing discomfort, excess wear, and possible cracking or fracturing. Without the root of the tooth, your bone will begin to diminish and weaken, which is likely to lead to loose teeth and additional tooth loss.

We want to help you avoid these consequences, plus the costs associated with replacing a tooth.

If you are in pain, don't delay. Call Stonebriar Family Dentistry today so we can help.

+ Are veneers reversible?

To place veneers, we must remove a thin layer of your enamel. This helps the veneers fit properly over the top of your teeth and look natural.

This does mean, however, that once the teeth are prepared, the process is not reversible. Dental enamel will not replace itself, and you will need to keep veneers in place to prevent sensitivity and keep your teeth healthy and looking great.

This is one of the reasons why we take our time to work with you and create a treatment plan that is right for your needs. Veneers are an investment in your smile, your appearance, and your self-confidence. We'll take all the time necessary to design beautiful veneers that are customized to complement the shape of your smile, your bone structure, and even your own skin tone. We want you to be absolutely thrilled with the end result.

With good home care habits, veneers can last as long as 10 years, but eventually they will need to be replaced. Veneers are stain-resistant and durable, but like your natural teeth, they can eventually wear down. When the time comes to replace your veneers, we will again develop a new set to make sure your veneers look natural and age appropriate.

+ Do I need a crown?

Crowns are a common treatment, but they aren't right for every situation.

Typically, we'll recommend a crown if:

  • A tooth has broken but there is still sufficient structure to save it
  • A tooth is unusually shaped and causing opposing teeth to not align properly
  • A tooth is severely discolored and can't be treated with teeth whitening
  • A tooth is worn down and needs to be rebuilt
  • We are protecting a tooth following root canal therapy
  • We are replacing a tooth as part of a dental implant

At Stonebriar Family Dentistry, you are in the driver's seat! We'll never tell you that you have to do something. We'll lay out your options and explain which treatments we recommend and why. We consider you a crucial part of your own treatment team, and we will always partner with you to make sure you feel comfortable and confident making your treatment decisions.

Crowns are a great choice that can help us preserve a tooth that might otherwise be lost. Whenever possible, we want to save your natural tooth to maintain the dependent relationship between the roots of your teeth and the bone in your jaw. In some cases, unfortunately, saving a tooth is not possible. We will let you know when this is the case and help you explore your options.

+ How can I help my child feel good about seeing the dentist?

Dental fear is so pervasive in our society, and unfortunately our media – even TV shows and movies aimed toward children! – promotes these negative feelings!

The good news is that we can stop this cycle in its tracks, and it's never too late.

The first step is to consider carefully what messages you have been giving your child about the dentist. Are you yourself afraid of the dentist? We understand if you are, but you will want to be careful not to unintentionally communicate your anxieties to your child. This can sometimes turn up in the language that you use. Children are quick to pick up on their parents' worries!

At your child's first appointment, we will take the time to get to know your child and introduce them to our practice and the people who work here. We'll help your child see that dentists aren't mean and scary; we're actually very nice people who want to help you have beautiful teeth and a healthy smile!

We'll work at your child's pace and won't proceed with treatment until they feel comfortable. Kids are naturally curious, and we are often able to use this to help them become more relaxed! We'll tell them about the instruments we use and let them look at their teeth with mirrors.

If you have any concerns about preparing your child, please don't hesitate to call us. We can share books and other resources that can help you and your child feel good about your next visit!