Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Dental Questions & FAQs, Glen Cove, NY

Whether you are interested in a cosmetic makeover, a full mouth rehabilitation or simply in search of a new dental practice to call home, when making decisions regarding your oral care it is important to be as well informed as possible.

As an integral part of his practice philosophy, Dr. Sami builds strong relationships with his patients and believes in educating patients about all their options so they can make well-informed decisions about their dental care. We have created this page to provide short answers to some of our most frequently asked questions by actual patients of Gold Coast Smiles. If you require further information, or can’t find an answer to one of your specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss things further or to set up a consultation with Dr. Sami. We’d be happy to help!

Will my new smile look fake after my Cosmetic Makeover?

Whether it is porcelain veneers or metal-free crowns, Dr. Sami prides himself in his ability to custom tailor and naturally enhance the overall features and appearance of your teeth to help meet your individual goals, desires and personality. We do not believe in a “one size fits all” solution, which typically results in bulky, opaque life-less appearing dental restorations. Utilizing the services of an experienced ceramist and only the most modern materials and techniques available, Dr. Sami is able to create porcelain veneers and metal-free crowns, applying customized shading techniques and translucencies, to give you a much more natural appearance.

Our patients are always amazed at not only how beautiful their new smiles are, but also at how natural and undetectable they appear.

What do you mean by “same day dentistry” or “same day crowns”?

Traditionally in the past, or in dental offices that do not utilize Cerec or CADCAM technology, patients who required laboratory fabricated dental restorations such as crowns, inlays or onlays, endured gooey impressions during their first visit, followed by uncomfortable temporary or provisional plastic crowns that they’d wear for two weeks till the permanent restoration was completed. Many patients found these temporary crowns became loose or fell out.

At Gold Coast Smiles we embrace CAD/CAM technology known as Cerec. Traditional impressions are eliminated and replaced with revolutionary, digital scanning technology. The scanned image of your tooth is sent to our in-office milling unit, which will fabricate and custom design your new, metal-free restoration, using the same highest quality materials that laboratories use. With Cerec there are no second appointments, impressions/molds or temporary plastic crowns. To learn more about Cerec and same day digital dentistry, visit Cerec page.

I’m not a fan of the dentist, will I be comfortable throughout my treatment?

Our philosophical belief at Gold Coast Smiles is that there is no excuse for any patient to not feel at ease during any treatment received at our office. It is always disappointing and concerning for us to hear about negative experiences and horror stories that some patients had to unnecessarily go through in the past while receiving dental treatment. When you’re in our care, we want dentistry to be the last thing on your mind.

We have designed our office to help our patients relax by providing amenities that create a warm, inviting atmosphere. Unlike your typical cold, sterile dental environment, you will find our modern Glen Cove NY facility filled with rich decor similar to an upscale resort. Flat screen TV’s, neck pillows, blankets and Nitrous Oxide analgesia are just a few of the amenities we provide to you during your scheduled treatment appointments.

Most importantly our warm and friendly team is well trained to listen to any concerns you may have and go out of their way to make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed from the moment you walk through our doors. Don’t take our word for it, please see what other patients have to say about us.

Why can’t I just wait until my teeth start to break or hurt before we fix them?

At Gold Coast Smiles, Dr. Andrew Sami subscribes to a philosophy firmly grounded in conservative comprehensive care with a proactive approach towards preventative care and patient education. It is Dr. Sami’s belief that every patient should be presented with options that help best restore their Oral Health and overall well-being.

By adopting a proactive, preventative approach to dental treatment, we are not just improving your oral health, we are also avoiding situations where teeth may begin to fail, fracture or become infected, often leading to more extensive and costly dental treatment than if these same teeth were restored and reinforced earlier.

Often times we are able to avoid root canal treatments, extraction of teeth or other surgical procedures, or more involved general dental procedures such as fixed bridges. Most importantly, we are able to keep your teeth in the best possible condition to continue doing all the everyday things we enjoy like smiling and eating all your favorite foods without restriction.

I have a lot of old silver fillings in my mouth. Aside from being ugly, are they unhealthy to keep around?

Amalgams, or “silver fillings,” can present a number of complications over the lifespan of the tooth in which it is placed. Aside from being unattractive, these silver fillings can weaken the surrounding tooth structure over time. Silver fillings expand and contract in response to temperature variations in our mouths. Because the physical properties of these silver fillings are vastly different than our teeth, this expansion and contraction almost always leads to cracks in the amalgam fillings themselves and can even effect the surrounding tooth structure.

These cracks allow bacteria in our saliva to leak underneath the silver fillings and cause decay to recur. Over time, aside from cavities re-developing, these micro-cracks eventually weaken the tooth further, often resulting in a major break of part of the silver filling or an actual fracture of part of your tooth. At Gold Coast Smiles we offer many more superior options than silver fillings that are not only esthetically pleasing, but are healthier for your teeth. Depending on the condition of the tooth/filling in question, options for replacing old silver fillings include composite (tooth colored) fillings, porcelain inlays or onlays and metal-free crowns, all of which provide an optimal aesthetic and healthy long term result.

What is the black line I see around the gumline of my crowns?

The black or gray outline seen is a strong indication that there is metal underneath the porcelain of the crown. These PFM, or “porcelain fused to metal” crowns were very typical prior to the advent of the more modern materials we have at our disposal. Some dentists today are still choosing to utilize these older metal-based crowns if they are not well experienced in the superior and healthier options modern dentistry has to offer.

The black line you noticed was probably not there when the crown was first made and placed. Over time, irritation and inflammation from the metal has caused the gum tissue to recede away from the margin of the crown, exposing the dark line seen today. Our practice only uses all porcelain/ceramic based crowns (metal-free), eliminating those unattractive dark lines.

I’ve been told I have gum disease. I’m not in any pain and would prefer not to have any treatment towards my gums. I don’t understand what the big deal is if my teeth/gums aren’t bothering me?

“Gum disease,” or periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissue that support your teeth. There are many causes of this incurable disease and while we can get it under long-term control, the most common cause of regression is a lack of proper home care and maintenance visits to your dentist leading to an excessive buildup of plaque and tartar in the mouth. Because symptoms are generally painless until conditions become well advanced, periodontal disease is considered a silent disease. When untreated, periodontal disease leads to gum infections and loss of teeth.

Studies have also shown that periodontal disease is not only a silent disease but can also be a silent killer! Science has implicated periodontal disease as a risk factor for developing heart disease, diabetes, higher incidence of stroke and even low birth weight babies in pregnant women who have gum disease. These studies have revealed the bacteria that are harbored around our teeth travel through our bloodstream to produce further inflammation elsewhere in our bodies.

Because we believe it’s important that patients take their oral health and wellness seriously while having a proper understanding of the mouth-body connection, we thoroughly screen and treat periodontal disease in our office. A healthy and strong foundation is essential for any successful treatment to be completed on your teeth. More importantly because we believe your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, a proactive, preventive approach towards periodontal disease is our commitment to you to help establish and maintain your overall health and well-being.

I’ve had braces in the past but I’m noticing my teeth are shifting again. Should I straighten them out again? I’m not prepared to go through metal braces for a 2nd time. What other options do I have?

It is very common for patients of all ages to notice their teeth shifting, or becoming more “crooked” over time. Whether or not you had braces in the past, it is typical for teeth to shift as we age, particularly our lower front teeth, due to natural changes in our gums, bone and other surrounding anatomy.

Aside from cosmetic concerns, crowded teeth present us with obstacles such as difficulty in properly cleaning them, which can eventually lead to periodontal (gum) disease and/or cavities. Fortunately, we have simple solutions to correct crowded teeth that don’t involve conventional braces. One of our exceptional tools to straighten teeth is Invisalign, or clear/invisible braces.

With Invisalign, a set of clear trays are custom fabricated to fit over your teeth and gradually move them to their proper position. Each tray is worn for two weeks before switching to the next tray until your prescribed treatment is completed. Minor to moderate crowding is typically corrected with Invisalign in a matter of months. Because Invisalign does not use metal, brackets or wires, casual observers are unlikely to even notice you are wearing the trays. With Invisalign, we can not only provide you with a better smile, but a healthier one too.

I am missing a tooth. Is it worth replacing? Are implants worth considering and what’s the process involved?

The simple answer is, yes, you need to replace the tooth. While it is true that missing teeth can cause a cosmetic dilemma, most patients don’t realize the important functional and health considerations involved with missing teeth. Since teeth are place holders for one another, often when a tooth is removed, neighboring teeth begin to shift and move. Teeth that have drifted can create areas that are difficult to clean and maintain resulting in decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Furthermore, when teeth shift, they do not “fit together” properly anymore, causing major problems for your bite that can result in excessive wear, possible headaches and muscle tension and even fracturing and further loss of additional teeth.

In most cases, dental implants are the optimal option for replacing missing teeth. Because every patient’s circumstances are different, Dr. Sami will go over all relevant options including the pros and cons involved with each one before deciding on the right replacement option for you. If implants are selected, the process is relatively straightforward and completed in two phases. The first step involves the surgical placement of the implant, or an artificial tooth root, into the tooth socket where your tooth used to be. This step is performed by one of the very experienced and skilled dental specialists with whom we work. After appropriate healing takes place to allow the implant to firmly integrate into the surrounding bone, Dr. Sami will then create a custom restoration that connects into the implant and properly fits the dimensions of your missing tooth or teeth.

Implants provide us with many very versatile benefits. Aside from a beautiful smile, implants allow you to eat your favorite foods, and they last many years (usually decades) since they never decay and help maintain your jaw bone. For patients that are missing just one or even all of their teeth, implants may be the right solution to allow these patients to gain many quality of life improvements that they’ve been previously lacking with missing teeth or even ill-fitting dentures. We can even use just a few implants to stabilize those loose or floppy dentures, providing another terrific improvement to the life of denture wearers.

What are my options for whitening my teeth? Do those advertised products like strips and rinses actually work?

There is an overwhelming amount of whitening products available for purchase. The question is, do they actually work? The short answer is, yes, but only to a small degree. Some advertised whitening products such as toothpastes, don’t contain any whitening products at all. Instead, abrasive particles are placed to help scrub off the external stain on our teeth. In the case of strips or other whitening gels, they do contain formulas that whiten teeth from the inside out. However, these products are considerably less concentrated than ones used in a dental office. The take home message is, whether these over the counter products actually contain whitening formulas or not, you can only expect to achieve a very minimal result from them.

With any teeth whitening procedure in general (professional or over-the-counter), results can greatly vary between patients, depending on the current color of their teeth and the types of stain present. Occasionally we do recommend starting off with these over-the-counter products before committing to more comprehensive whitening procedures to gauge your response to them. This is particularly true for patients who report having sensitive teeth and feel they may not be able to tolerate an in office whitening procedure. While some patients have achieved fairly good results with over-the-counter products, no one will see a dramatic difference from using them.

If your goal is to seek significant color change to your teeth, it’s best to discuss your options with your dentist first, who has access to superior whitening procedures. In some cases, with the proper guidance and education provided by Dr. Sami and his team, patients may realize that whitening isn’t the right option for them and there may be better, longer lasting alternatives to achieve the smile they desire.

How can I afford Services such as Cosmetic or Implant Dentistry?

We understand cost is a big concern for most people when it comes to their dental treatment. At Gold Coast Smiles, we believe that quality dental care should not be dependent on financial concerns or constraints. Because of this firm belief, we’ve gone to great lengths to develop options where financial arrangements are individually tailored – just like our dental treatment plans – to help best suit each one’s needs.

There are many options that we provide to meet everyone’s lifestyle. This includes financing partners with whom we work with that can offer zero financing for up to one year so you can have the highest quality of care and that new smile you deserve. With the help of our experienced financial coordinators, we are able to provide you with options that not only make sense, but also allows you to fit the dentistry you’ve always wanted into your lifestyle. When it comes to paying for your dental care, we want you to feel comfortable, pressure free and happy with your investment in your health.