Some Common FAQs for Dentists

Our extensive experience in the holistic dentistry and mercury-free dental field has allowed us to identify some of the most common questions patients may have when they are coming to our office or looking for dentists nearby. We’ve put a list together here to field a bulk of the commonly asked questions in the dental arena.

What is laser dentistry?

A relatively new technology, laser dentistry began in the 90’s. Laser dentistry is when we use an instrument that produces an intense, narrow beam of light. At Susquehanna Dental Arts, we primarily use it to treat gum disease and perform less invasive soft tissue surgery.

What is DIAGNodent?

You may be used to the typical dentist “pick” they use on your teeth. This has been upgraded thanks to laser dentistry, and this laser device allows us to detect cavities hidden in places that regular x-rays can’t. Often the DIAGNodent laser can replace the pick you are used to by offering superior sensitivity and accuracy as studies have demonstrated. This allows us to find decay at an earlier stage when it can be treated conservatively.

What is Invisalign®, and will it work for me?

Invisalign is a clear set of braces that are custom-made to align your teeth. These smooth and comfortable braces gently and gradually shift your teeth based on a personalized plan. Even though this is a simple concept, it requires hi-tech computer modeling software coupled with robotic aligner fabrication. If you’re interested in exploring whether Invisalign is right for you, please contact us.

Invisalign is best used for ages 17 and up.

Invisalign vs Braces

Learn more about Invisalign® on our Invisalign page.

I need to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth, where should I start?

We offer mini implants, also referred to as minimally invasive implants. These implants have revolutionized treatment options. If you’re tired of loose dentures, or need teeth replaced, implants are likely the best choice for you. We’ll help match you up with the right dental procedure based on your unique situation.

Learn more about our mini implant and regular implant options on our Mini Implants vs Implants page.

Can I save my tooth?

Sometimes a porcelain crown can save your tooth. Other times bonded porcelain veneers can give you a new smile and change your life, so talk with our experienced dental staff to see if this would be an option for you.

How safe are the x-rays?

Dental x-rays have progressed greatly in the last couple of years. No longer do you need to hold little films while dentists take your picture. Today we have digital x-ray sensors that require much less exposure than conventional film. These require exposure to very low levels of radiation.

What is a root canal?

Root canals are simply a removal of your tooth’s nerve and pulp, with a cleaning and sealing of the inside of the tooth. This procedure is offered as a way to save a tooth that is infected or badly decayed, preventing the tissues around your tooth from becoming infected as well. If this happens, abscesses could form and you could lose your tooth.

By removing the pulp, we prevent a variety of issues that a root canal infection can cause, including swelling in the face, neck or head, bone loss around the root tip, and more.

How do I know I need a root canal?

Here are some of the most common warning signs that you might need a root canal.

  • Persistent sensitivity to or pain from cold or hot food and drinks
  • A darkening of the tooth
  • Toothache when you chew or apply pressure to the tooth
  • A persistent bump on the gums that resembles a pimple
  • Swelling or tender gums

What causes a tooth’s nerve and pulp to be damaged and require a root canal?

There are several ways you can damage your tooth’s nerve and pulp, mostly related to trauma to your mouth or face. If you experience repeated dental procedures on a tooth, have large fillings, or there are any chips or cracks in your tooth, then your nerve and pulp can become irritated or inflamed.

Deep decay is another way you can damage your tooth’s nerve and pulp, so make sure you’re brushing and flossing daily and also scheduling your regular dental visits! If participating in sports, be sure to wear a properly fitting mouth guard.

What is an IAOMT Dentist?

If you follow the Susquehanna Dental Arts social media pages, you’ve likely seen several items from the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology. The IAOMT is a trusted academy of over 800 dentists, health professionals, and scientists who’ve been working together since 1984 to help promote public health and the concept of integrative medicine, or how your oral health can affect your overall wellness.

Visiting an IAOMT dental practice provides several benefits. Since our own Dr. Allison is an accredited member of the IAOMT, you can be sure you’ll receive all of these when you visit us here at Susquehanna Dental Arts:

  • Mercury-free, mercury-safe, and biological or biocompatible dentistry
  • Ongoing training and education
  • Cognizance of each patient’s uniqueness

What is ozone therapy?

Ozone therapy is a disinfecting method whereby an oxidative burst of ozone kills any infective microorganisms. The oxidative burst has additional benefits to your health, including better blood flow, quicker healing and an enhanced immune response.

Some additional benefits include:

  • Ozone is gentle
  • It doesn’t make noise
  • It doesn’t hurt
  • It doesn’t make you uncomfortable
  • It’s versatile and can be used on every patient, every day
  • It is safe, and it is impossible to be allergic to oxygen/ozone therapy

Learn more about our Ozone therapy option on our Oxygen/Ozone Therapy page.

What is Clifford testing?

Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing (CMRT) is a laboratory screening test used to help identify any sensitivity a patient may have to various chemical groups. This test is currently offered to dental and orthopedic patients. The same 94 chemical groups are tested in both panels, but correlated with different databases of products depending on the panel ordered. The dental panel reports on over 17,204 trade-named dental products.

Learn more about our Clifford Testing option on our Clifford Testing page.

In-office whitening or at-home whitening?

Whitening strips or at-home whitening kits are convenient, but may not be as effective as in-office whitening. Whitening at home can take as little as 12 minutes, whereas having it done professional in our office takes 2 hours. In-office is more of a deep whitening, and can be followed up with at-home whitening as maintenance.

Learn more about our teeth whitening options on our Teeth Whitening page.

What’s the different between traditional implants and mini implants?

Dental implants are a great way to support single tooth, partial, or complete dentures, without the messy adhesives or uncomfortable bite you typically run into with dentures, crowns, or bridges. If you want to keep your smile looking great but suffer from loose dentures or missing teeth, dental implants are a great option.

For over 15 years Dr. Allison and the team at Susquehanna Dental Arts have also provided mini dental implants for those who want a better solution. We’ve become the experts in mini implants, and have successfully trademarked our own Premium Comfort-Snap Dentures™.

Learn more about our mini implant and regular implant options on our Mini Implants vs Implants page.

What is one main difference between a regular and mini implant?

The length of time for healing with mini implants is much shorter than the 4-6 months you’ll see with regular dental implants. Dentures can also be fitted immediately with the mini dental implants.

Learn more about our mini implant and regular implant options on our Mini Implants vs Implants page.

In most cases, which implant is ideal for patients with bone loss?

For patients with bone loss, typically the mini implants are ideal since they can be placed in areas with much narrower bone.

Learn more about our mini implant and regular implant options on our Mini Implants vs Implants page.


For more information, additional questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us at 717-684-3943. We look forward to hearing from you!