Dental FAQs

What is dentistry?

Dentistry is the art and science of preventing oral disease and restoring teeth and gums to full health. Often considered necessary for complete oral health, dental care can have an impact on the health of your entire body.

What is a dentist?

A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Dr. Kolnes and Dr. Khoury have completed at least eight years of schooling to obtain their Doctorate of Dental Surgery.

What should I look for when choosing a dentist?

If you’re looking for a new dentist, first start by asking friends and family for recommendations. You may also want to visit the practice’s social media pages to read reviews by other patients. A good way to evaluate a dentist is to go to the office and see what it is like. First impressions are very important. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the office clean?
  • Do the front staff greet you the new patient in a timely and friendly manner?
  • Is the dentist personable and caring?
  • Do they take my insurance?

At Montague Dental Excellence, we describe our practice philosophy in one word: caring. Our office genuinely cares about our patients. It is the reason why we have some patients for more than 30 years.

Why is visiting the dentist important?

It is estimated that people see the dentist more than they see their physician. The oral cavity is considered the gateway to overall health. Because of this, your dentist can evaluate the oral condition and possibly determine other systemic health issues. For example, patients with periodontal disease can often have a systemic diabetes problem. Many health conditions can show up as a symptom in the mouth. Your dentist will usually see you twice a year, so if there are any changes from prior appointments, this can be examined more closely.

How can I maintain my health between visits to Montague Dental Excellence?

The number one way you can maintain your oral health is to practice good home care of flossing and brushing. During your appointment at our Milpitas dental office, we will point out any problem areas and suggest the proper type of home care needed.

At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year. During this time, your son or daughter’s baby teeth will be coming in and we can monitor the health of those first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups at our Milpitas dental office every six months.

How often should I see the dentist?

Children, teens, and adults should all visit Montague Dental Excellence for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to come in more than just twice a year. Drs. Khoury and Kolknes will help determine how often you should visit our Milpitas dental office for regular checkups.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth.

If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.

What is a filling?

A filling is a synthetic material that dentists use to fill a cavity after all the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt, because we will numb your mouth with an anesthetic.

Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to us about what type is best for you and your teeth.

How often should I brush my teeth?

According to Dr. Kolnes, Dr. Khoury, and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque.

It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!

When should I change my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. We recommend that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently.

Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you’ve been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.

What is gum disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.

Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. If detected, it is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition.

Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting us every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease include:

  • Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gum line
  • Abscessed teeth

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! Conventional braces can cause periodontal issues, which can be difficult to resolve. Normally, we recommend visiting Drs. Kolnes or Khoury every four months when in full braces.

What happens at my first visit?

During your first appointment at Montague Dental Excellence, we will review your health history and discuss any concerns you have. Drs. Kolnes or Khoury will review your X-rays and perform a visual exam. There may also be a cleaning scheduled during your first appointment.

What types of treatments do you provide?

Drs. Kolnes and Khoury provide treatment specific to each patient's needs. General dentistry has many facets. Our office does everything from sedation to Invisalign® to crown and bridge to cosmetic dentistry.

How do I schedule my next checkup?

Simply call our Milpitas dental practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.