Dr. Jerry (Q & A)

Themed Image2


We like the Phillips Sonocare electric toothbrush for ultrasonic teeth cleaning. We love the Teledyne Water Pik to be used right after flossing and brushing to remove any debris you have loosened and to massage the gums. This is a MUST for people who have braces or fixed bridges. We buy these wholesale, directly from the manufacturer so we can pass the savings on to our patients. Ask about one today!




      All questions will be posted below and answered by Dr. Jerry himself - not an assistant.

                            Please allow up to 72 hours for your question to be posted.

Ask Dr.Jerry:


Q: As an ex-smoker I have yellow teeth. Is there a process you employ to whiten them back?



A: Your first step is to make sure you do not use tobacco products of any kind. Next step is to see your dentist for a professional cleaning. That should remove any tobacco remnants and restore your teeth to their natural shade. If your natural shade is yellower than you would like, your dentist will review with you all the methods available for lightening your teeth.


Q: I have read recently about the possibility of fluoride causing ill effects on the body.  Has this ever been a concern with you?

C. Simons


A: Fluoride in the concentrations used in your water and in ADA certified products should be of no concern. The American Dental Association checked out any and all concerns and has found no evidence of harm from Fluoride only good.


Q:  Is it normal for a dentist to get offended when you tell them you want a second opinion? My dentist told me I needed about $10,000 worth of work done. I was shocked, of course, and mentioned I wanted a second opinion before spending that much. He hit the roof and told me not to bother coming back. Is this ethical?


A:  It is normal for everyone to be upset when someone questions your opinions or proposals but you owe it to your patients to provide them with their x-rays so they can get another opinion and request of them to come back and discuss what they heard from the dentist who gave the second opinion. Many dentists approach dental problems in different ways which can vary in costs greatly, so feel free to see if your dentist can offer a compromise treatment at a lower cost. I am leery of any one who says my way or the highway


Q: A friend told me that if you want to make your teeth as white as they can be without resorting to bleach, to brush with salt or baking soda. Is this true? I would think salt would be too abrasive. What do you recommend?

A: Baking soda is very abrasive and not to be used on a daily basis. Salt does nothing. Teeth naturally get darker with age since we are brushing away the enamel and the layer underneath is a yellowish brown. Once you get your teeth clean(try Crest Pro-Health) that's as white as they are going to get unless you bleach or paint them.
Dr. Jerry

Q: What Can Be Done About Tooth Sensitivity? Cause & Relief


A: Almost every day we hear patients complain of sensitivity from one to all of their teeth. We have been quite successful in resolving most of these complaints.

First, let's talk about the causes. Recently the largest group has been people attempting to bleach their own teeth. Whether bleaching in a dental office or buying over the counter products, the chemicals involved often cause sensitivity. If there are areas of decay or worn spots at the necks of the teeth, these chemicals . . . To Read More . . .


Q: I've been seeing a lot about veneers and how they are much cheaper than crowns/caps. I am considering getting them, but I'm unsure about the price range and how long they last?  I have discoloration from being a tea lover all of my life, very sensitive teeth with a couple of chipped front teeth I'd like evened out.
Darlene - Kempsville


A: I personally like crowns over veneers. They are about $1000 each. That's about the same as the fee for veneers and the crown is a much more substantial restoration. Veneers are similar to false fingernails in thickness and in strength.


Q: What whitening products do you recommend? I have a big college reunion coming up in August and I want to look my best.
Katherine ~ Newport News


A: Dear Katherine, we get this question quite often. Let me first say that before you begin any type of bleaching you should have a check-up to be sure you do not have any cavities or area of dental sensitivity. If you don't, you might end up with some very sensitive teeth. Once that is resolved, you should understand that bleaching is not permanent and once started, it must be maintained or the teeth will return to their natural color. Our best results have come from over the counter Crest White Strips. These work best if you bleach only one arch(upper or lower) first. That way you can see the change more clearly.  People who bleach both arches at the same time don't see the difference and become discouraged and stop. Bleach the upper arch until you get the change you are looking for; then do the lower arch until they match up. Then continue with both at the same time to improve and maintain the look. You may need more than one box to get the whiteness you desire. Feel free to drop by and chat with Joy and Debbie at the front desk about this. No appointment or charge for a chat. Thanks for asking.


Q: Why do I always get "dry sockets"? 

James ~ Norfolk


A: Dry sockets are usually preventable if you take the proper precautions and follow your Dr.’s orders. Once the tooth or root is removed, the resulting space needs to be thoroughly cleaned by the dentist. The patient is then given gauze to bite on to stop the bleeding and an antibiotic is prescribed. The patient is advised that, though they feel fine, to take ALL of their prescribed antibiotics. They are then instructed not to change the gauze more often then once/hour. Do NOT rinse until ALL of the bleeding stops. The blood clot in the socket protects it from becoming infected. It must remain undisturbed for the rest of the day. NO VIGOROUS RINSING!  If the instructions are not followed, the clot is then lost and you will have a hole with exposed bone (dry socket). A:

Dentists used to pack these with medicated gauze and have you return daily until you were comfortable. Today, however, this is no longer necessary as long as you fully follow your Dentist’s instructions. I have found that I can teach the patient in 15 minutes how to use a piece of cotton the size of a pea with ONE drop of Oil of Cloves (Eugenol) gently placed into the socket.  This will stop the pain before they even leave the office. The patient then only has to change the dressing after meals until there is no longer a hole or any discomfort.

Q: I can't use Novacaine. Do you have anything else?

David ~ Portsmouth


A: We don't use Novacaine anymore. We use Citanest and Articaine. Both use one half of the Epinephrine which was causing racing heart beats, fainting and the shakes in Novicaine. We also have Citanest with no Epinephrine for patients with special conditions and for those who want the numbing to wear off more quickly.


Q: How do I make the teeth on my dentures whiter?

Carla ~ Va Beach


A: The teeth on dentures are made of plastic or porcelain. They do not lighten like natural teeth with the bleaches typically used for whitening teeth. We can send them to a dental lab and have the teeth replaced with whiter ones without changing the fit of the dentures.


Q: Do you use "sweet-air" and how much do you charge for it?

Mike ~ Newport News


A: Yes we use sweet~air, also known as nitrous oxide, on almost all patients to make the numbing injection more comfortable. We do not charge for this service.


Q: Do you do extractions and oral surgery?

Sam ~ Norfolk


A: Yes, we do all extractions here except for impacted wisdom teeth.


Q: Do you do veneers?

Debra ~ Suffolk


A: We prefer crowns to veneers. They are stronger, more protective to the teeth and run about the same price.


Q: How old should children be when they start seeing a dentist?

Donna ~ Portsmouth


A: We like children to come in with their parents starting around 3 years old. They are set up in a little chair with crayons and a coloring book while they watch their parents get cleanings and check-ups. At the end of each visit they are encouraged, not forced, to sit in their parent's lap so we can count their teeth. Some agree and some refuse the first few times until they are more used to us and their surroundings. We make no charge for this service. This is to help them get acquainted with our office and staff so that by age 5 - 6 they are ready for their first x-rays and cleaning.


Q: Who do my x-rays belong to?

Robert ~ Suffolk


A: When you have x-rays taken at a dental office you are paying for the dentist to take them and to read them. The x-rays themselves become part of you dentist's permanent records. You have the right to request that they be sent to another dentist. Some dentists will request that you sign a release and will charge you to duplicate them. The dentist is required to keep the originals. On occasion your insurance company may request your x-rays in order to verify the diagnosis and treatment prior to making the payment. They are also used to settle disputes. If you are planning on visiting a new dentist, it is best to bring your most recent x-rays in order to avoid paying for new ones to be taken again. This is especially important if you are seeking a second opinion. Be aware your dental insurance has limitations on the number of x-rays they will pay for per year.

























Dentistry with humor...