Frequently Asked Questions

For 25 years, Dr. Loper has been providing quality and reasonably priced dental care in Littleton, CO. Her number one goal is to provide customized dental treatment to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Each patient is treated with a unique approach to allow for the best dental experience possible. Our guidelines are created by you!!! Dr. Loper’s office has grown exponentially and this is mostly due to the kind referrals of her existing patients.

Dr. Loper has chosen staff to complement her style and as a result of this is certain to provide you with superb dental service. The entire staff looks forward to accommodating the dental needs of every person that walks through our door. Hope to meet you soon!!!

It is proven that humans are fascinated by beautiful smiles! Great smiles increase personal esteem as well as improving function.

As a reminder, when teeth are aligned properly they are also easier to keep clean. Braces also may help to alleviate headaches associated with misalignment of the teeth and jaws.

Braces are now available in a variety of options which can be suitable for all ages and needs. These include routine braces with metal brackets and wires, clear ceramic braces, braces on the insides of your teeth as well as a series of removable trays which can align the teeth.

We have several dental specialists called orthodontists that we will be happy to refer you to if teeth treatment with braces is necessary.

If you have been informed that you have gum (periodontal) disease, there are many options to treat your condition depending on the severity. The gum issues may be as simple as swollen, bleeding gum called gingivitis, to a more advanced situation that could include loose teeth, odor and inability to reverse the condition, called advanced periodontal disease. A multitude of adults have early to moderate to advanced stages of this dental condition. For many, a simple cleaning solves the problem. For others multiple treatments called scaling and root planing (or a deep cleaning) while numb may be necessary. This treatment is a more aggressive cleaning beneath the gums to remove calculus and tartar build-up. This treatment is generally followed with maintenance cleanings at 3 to 4 month intervals. The most challenging cases will be sent to a local “gum specialist” called a periodontist for treatment to include surgery, bone grafting and/or laser treatments. Once a patient has become stable gum disease wise they return to our office for routine care. A reminder that true periodontal disease takes years to show up in the mouth. A variety of factors add to the chance for gum disease to appear. Those include smoking, diabetes, poor oral hygiene, lapse in routine dental appointments, crooked teeth as well as some genetic factors including salivary content. We perform thorough evaluations at all of your cleaning visits which includes pocket probing, recession measurements, mobility observation, radiographic evaluation and intra-oral evaluation. We offer cleanings with both hand instruments and ultrasonic care. Your personal preference is always number one. Let your hygienist know your preference!

There are a lot of reasons to keep your family’s teeth healthy. Here is a list of ways to keep teeth healthy regardless if you are a child or enjoying the Golden years:

  1. Begin dental visits at an early age. 3 years old is ideal! Believe it or not, 25% of children show evidence of decay before entering elementary school. An option to help prevent decay is to place a sealant or coating in the deep grooves of a child’s tooth. This can reduce the risk of getting a cavity significantly.
  2. Use dental products that have the ADA (American Dental Association) logo on them. This includes toothpastes, mouth rinses and floss that can aid in reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease.
  3. Brush minimally two times per day and floss daily!
    • Toothbrushes should be replaced every 90 days
    • A super option for a toothbrush is a an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes offer a wider handle to grip which works well for individuals with dexterity issues. There is a timer which increases the time that all ages brush as well. Studies show the improvement in oral hygiene with the use of an electric toothbrush. This means a decrease in gum disease and cavities as well. Ask any of our staff members for dental product recommendations.
  4. Rinse with water or an antibacterial mouth rinse following eating if there is not a toothbrush available. Chewing sugar-free gum may also aid in rinsing food debris as the chewing stimulants your saliva which will then aid in decreasing gum disease and cavities.
  5. Wear a sports mouthguard during sporting activities such as skateboarding, baseball, volleyball, football, basketball and hockey. Trauma to your teeth can be irreversible! Ask our team if you are interested and we can fabricate a custom sports guard for you.
  6. Smoking and chewing tobacco have long-term effects on your teeth and gums. There is increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease as well as on your general health including cancer of the mouth or lungs. Please counsel your children of the negatives of smoking and chewing tobacco.
  7. Eat a well-balanced diet. This will most definitely make you a healthier individual but also aids in the condition of your teeth and gums.
  8. Avoid “sugar” loaded snacks and beverages. These break down into simple sugars that produce chemicals that erode your teeth causing cavities. Juices and soda are the worst culprits in assisting with tooth decay. Hard candy as well as sticky snacks are close to your teeth longer and therefore allow for a quicker deterioration as a result of this. Rinsing your mouth thoroughly with water following these foods is a terrific idea.
  9. Schedule routine dental appointments. These include a dental cleaning, routine exam as well as radiographs. As a reminder, it takes dental decay one year of growth before it shows up on an x-ray.

Nitrous oxide works well for individuals who have a moderate level of fear or anxiety related to dental work. Generally known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide can help alleviate anxiety regarding dental work, whether it is a cleaning, the injection or a dental procedure.

Laughing gas is really a mild sedative. By breathing in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen you are able to acquire an enjoyable sensation. Patients frequently pay attention to relaxing music of their choice to keep their mind and body relaxed. Nitrous oxide is administered simply by breathing allowing for a pleasant dental experience.

Nitrous oxide works very rapidly and begins to calm the patient within 3 minutes of administration.

Laughing gas can benefit patients struggling with epilepsy, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cerebrovascular disease as well as anxiety.

Unlike other sedative options, patients who use nitrous oxide don’t require an escort to drive them to and from their dental appointment. Nitrous oxide gas leaves the body rapidly. Actually, the “laughing gas” and it’s effects are gone completely following ten minutes of 100% oxygen.

We happily offer the use of “laughing gas” to all who would benefit from its effects to allow for a more pleasant dental experience.

Exactly What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is really a treatment that’s intent is to repair and save a tooth that’s badly decayed or has become infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and your tooth is then sealed. With no treatment the tissue and bone surrounding your tooth will become infected, swelling may occur as well as loosening of the tooth.

“Root canal” may be the expression used to explain the natural chamber within the middle of your tooth. The pulp is the soft area inside the root’s canal.

A tooth’s nerve supplies the feeling of hot/cold as well as pressure. Lack of the nerve won’t modify the day-to-day functioning of the tooth, but will allow the tooth to remain in a patient’s mouth. Following root canal treatment, a crown is highly recommended to protect your tooth as it is now brittle.

Why does the Pulp have to be Removed?

Whenever a tooth’s nerve is affected , it stops working and bacteria start to multiply inside the pulp chamber. The bacteria along with other debris may cause contamination which allows for a tooth to abscess at the end of the roots of the tooth. This can make the tooth seem taller due to the infection that is present. Additionally, an infection or abscess may also cause: swelling that could spread to other parts of the the face or neck, bone loss around the root, draining of the abscess into the oral cavity.

What Damages a Tooth’s Nerve and Pulp?

A tooth’s nerve and pulp may become inflamed and infected because of deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, large fillings or a crack within the tooth or from trauma to the tooth.

Signs that a Root Canal May be Required:

  • unprovoked severe tooth pain or discomfort
  • tooth pain unprovoked while sleeping that wakens patient
  • prolonged sensitivity to warmth or cold that lingers when the temperature is removed
  • darkening of the tooth
  • swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • a persistent or recurring “pimple” in the gums

We are happy to treat routine root canals in our office with state of the art equipment. For unusual shaped teeth, trauma, or the need for a re-treatment of a previously done root canal, we will refer you to a specialist called an Endodontist. Once treatment is complete, our office will provide you with a permanent filling or crown.

Have a question? Feel free to ask...