Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you accept emergency patients? A: We treat emergency patients and make every effort to see the patient the day of their call.

Q: What kind of professional membership do you have? A: Dr.Hart is a member fo the ADA, the NC Dental Society, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the Amercian Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and the Craven Pamlico Dental Society. Dr. Hart is also a past president of the Craven Pamlico Dental Society and the NC Academy of General Dentistry. 

Q: Why would I want to be  your patient?  A:Patients are treated on time with no waiting or long delays in getting appointment times. They are cared for by an experienced compassionate staff in a pleasant setting, that listens to their concerns and questions. 

Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"? A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".

Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"? A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient.

Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings? A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. White fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they look like natural teeth. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.

Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown? A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.

Q: What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

A: OSA occurs when the airway is blocked by the collapse of tissues of the soft palate, tongue and neck onto the back of the throat. This collapse causes the lack of oxygen to reach the brain. When the levels drop low enough, the brain signals the person to wake-up to gasp for a breath by micro-arrousals. After the breathe, the person returns to sleep until the next event. This cycle continues throughout the night resulting in poor quality of sleep.

Q: What can a dentist do for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

A: Dentist who have received special training in the treatment of OSA can fabricate special oral appliances that open the airway by holding the jaw forward. This allows the patient to breathe normally throughout the night, preventing the dangerous drops in oxygen levels.

Q; When can oral appliance therapy be used?

A: According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, oral appliance therapy may be used to treat Mild OSA or Moderate OSA. For patients with Severe OSA, they may be used only after the patient has tried CPAP therapy and cannot tolerate the device or is non-compliant. Oral appliance therapy can only be used if the patient has had sleep study and a written prescription by their physician or sleep specialist. Appliance therapy may be used for snoring if there is no diagnosis of sleep apnea.