Frequently Asked Questions are answered by our dentist
Shahram Karimi, D.M.D.
Choose a question from one of the categories above,
or scroll down this page.
If you have a question that is not answered here,
please call us or send an
email to Dr. Karimi.
- Can I get a complimentary cosmetic dental consultation?
Absolutely. Call our front desk (508 696-0222)
or use our on-line
to request a complimentary cosmetic consultation.
We will sit down with you, go over your needs, and discuss
available options. There is no obligation to this visit. We
consider it a form of patient education, and when patients
are well informed, it's better for us all!
- What's included in the Comprehensive Examination?
This is a process through which we are able to
provide a thorough diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan. It includes
an oral cancer screening, periodontal examination, and a caries exam.
If you are a tobacco or smokeless tobacco user, you are in primary
danger of developing oral cancer. This oral cancer screening
helps in early identification of pre-cancerous conditions. Periodontal
disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
We take the health of your gum and bone tissue very seriously. Bone
loss is a significant consideration in determining the outcome of
any cosmetic dental treatment. During the visual caries exam,
I'll locate any areas of decay on chewing surfaces and between the
teeth. The findings from these examinations, together with the documentation
provided by (radiographic) x-rays, help me determine the most conservative
treatment plan for your oral needs.
- What is a Veneer?
This is a restorative procedure, and is a specialty
at Paradise Dental Group. Customized from porcelain, veneers are thin,
semi-translucent facings bonded to the fronts of teeth. Veneers are
durable, stain resistant, and natural looking. They conceal broken,
chipped, discolored, crooked, and misshapen teeth, all while providing
you with the winning smile you have always wanted.
- What is a Crown?
A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth in
order to strengthen it as well as restore it to its normal shape
and size. A crown may be placed to support a large filling when
there is little remaining tooth structure; attach a bridge; protect
weak teeth from fracturing; or restore fractured teeth. A tooth
that has been treated with root canal therapy will require a
crown following treatment to provide strength and support the
tooth. We only use materials for crowns that will provide the
longest lasting benefits to our patients, and our patients are
thrilled that there are no more ugly metal bands at the gum line.
~~ And now, you can get a crown at Paradise Dental Group
IN ONE VISIT. No waiting for your crown to be fabricated, we do
it in house with our CEREC milling system. One visit provides
you with a beautiful new ceramic crown.
No more messy
impressions, no more temporary crowns, no more waiting days or
weeks for your crown to be fabricated. Get your crown done
in ONE visit. For more information, read the sections below on
and the CEREC
- What is an Onlay?
When you do not need a full crown, an onlay may
be the solution. The onlay procedure is a restoration in which porcelain
is applied to a tooth surface to provide support as a conservative
treatment option. Where needed, an onlay can function as a support
at the same time that it improves your smile just as beautifully as
a traditional veneer.
- What is used to fill a tooth cavity?
We use composite (white) fillings, customized to
match the rest of your teeth. Made of tooth-colored material, composite
fillings restore the teeth's natural beauty. Composite fillings are
virtually indistinguishable from non-restored teeth. The composites
we use have proved to be extremely durable and stain resistant, and
are excellent options for both front and back teeth.
- What is a bridge?
A fixed bridge, usually made of porcelain-faced
gold/metal, is used to replace missing teeth. A bridge helps to create
a normal bite, prevent stress on the dental arch, prevent the drifting
and tilt of adjacent teeth, inhibit decay in difficult areas, and
slow the onset of periodontal disease. Bridges are composed of abutments
(the sound teeth on either side acting as supports) and the span (a
framework attached to the abutments with artificial teeth attached
to that framework). This is one of our areas of expertise at Paradise
- What about implants?
Dental implants replace teeth that have been missing
since birth or have been lost due to gum disease, infection, trauma,
or decay. Implants are surgically attached to the jawbone and become
a permanent part of your mouth. With implants, patients no longer
experience the slipping, moving, and irritation of dentures. Dental
implants look, feel and function like natural teeth because they are
made of a metal that is highly compatible with the jaw bone. As a
result, the implant (a small post that protrudes from the gum) is
able to fuse easily with the underlying bone. Basically, it is a two-part
procedure: First, a highly experienced oral surgeon or periodontist
(our office can recommend one for you if needed) performs the surgical
procedure for your implant. Then I partner with your surgeon to follow
your treatment to the restorative phase. Last, I complete the implant
procedure by attaching natural and functional tooth structures to
the implant components, providing you once again with the comforts
and confidence that accompanies a beautiful smile.
- Please explain Full and Partial Dentures
are indicated if some serviceable
teeth are present for support in conjunction with the gums and jawbone.
A partial denture, though removable, provides form and function replacement
for missing teeth.
are used if there are not any teeth left for
support. The full denture covers more of the jaw than a partial denture
and is partly held in place by a natural vacuum in the mouth. To learn
about an alternative to dentures, see the section on "Implants."
- Can bonding improve my smile?
Yes. Bonding is a cosmetic process in which tooth-colored
material is applied to tooth surfaces, sculpted into shape, hardened
and polished to match surrounding teeth. With this procedure we can
close gaps, repair chipped or fractured teeth, and disguise discolored
teeth. Bonding usually requires just one office visit and no anesthesia.
Bonding is the treatment of choice for patients who have minor front
- Can I whiten my teeth at home?
At-home tooth whitening procedures offer patients
with stained, discolored, or dull teeth an opportunity to have a whiter,
brighter smile. Whitening significantly reduces external surface stains
caused by food and beverage. We can provide you with a professional
at-home whitening system which is comfortable and affordable, in conjunction
with in-office appointments to monitor progress. We will take impressions
of your mouth to prepare your custom-fitted trays, and specifically
select a whitening program for you. The process is then completed
in the comfort of your own home.
- How about In-Office Whitening of my teeth?
This is a very popular cosmetic procedure provided
for patients who want their teeth whitened in just one office visit.
Nothing to take home, no trays, no muss, no fuss. The latest and most
advanced whitening materials are used to give you a dazzling smile
in just one visit. The results of our in-office whitening process
are absolutely remarkable.
- What are sealants?
Sealants protect the chewing surfaces of the back
teeth and should be applied as a child's permanent teeth erupt.
Though typically placed on children's teeth, adult molars can
also be sealed, provided a tooth does not show evidence of decay.
The sealants that we have placed have been highly successful
in preventing decay.
- Why are Fluoride Treatments important?
Children - Fluoride applications help to
strengthen the enamel on your child's teeth, making it more difficult
for cavities to begin. Children should receive fluoride treatments
every six months.
Adult Tooth Desensitization - Fluoride is also helpful to adults
to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by exposed root surfaces
(receding gums). Regular fluoride application helps eliminate root
sensitivity. Our patients have found it helpful to have a series of
fluoride treatments to reduce their sensitivity, following by possible
- Why should a hygienist clean my teeth?
Regular prophylaxis - Your teeth should
be professionally cleaned and polished on a regular basis. We call
this 'regular prophylaxis' During this visit, a professionally trained
and certified hygienist will clean under your gum line where a toothbrush
cannot reach. This process helps promote healthy gums by removing
the plaque that causes decay and gum infections. I will examine the
cleaning after the hygienist is through, and this also allows me to
monitor your oral health and answer any questions you may have about
Periodontal maintenance - Once your mouth is restored to health,
it is important that you make a commitment to maintain your dental
health. To achieve this you should return on a regular basis for a
routine examination, scaling, and root planing.
- What is Nightguard Therapy?
Nightguards are used as a treatment option to
prevent damage to the chewing surfaces of the teeth associated
with grinding and clenching during sleep. A pattern is taken
of your teeth and an acrylic appliance created which you wear
when sleeping. This conservative treatment is highly recommended
for patients with TMJ dysfunction, or those who suffer headaches
or jaw pain from clenching/grinding at night.
- What is Occlusal Treatment?
Occlusal Adjustment- Proper functioning
of the jaws and teeth is often hindered by malocclusion (a bad bite).
Adjustments to the bite can be made so that your teeth fit together
properly for chewing and swallowing. Minor polishing of the enamel
surfaces or fillings of the teeth can help redistribute and redirect
the biting forces.
Occlusal Guards - An overbite or an underbite can sometimes
be corrected with an occlusal guard, which realigns your teeth and
- What about patient protection?
Our facility consistently applies state-of-the-art
sterilization and disinfection techniques to provide our patients
with maximum protection from disease. Before and after each patient
appointment, all treatment surfaces (e.g., countertops, chair surfaces,
lights, x-ray machines, and trays) are disinfected with the most effective
and safest products available. To ensure your safety, we follow a
number of standard sterilization procedures with all instruments and
handpieces, utilizing an ultrasonic cleaner, autoclave and dry heat
sterilizer. All our machines used for sterilization are monitored
regularly to ensure their effectiveness and safety. Staff members
use masks, safety glasses, and new gloves for each patient. All staff
members are updated regularly in proper patient protection procedures
and have been vaccinated against Hepatitis B virus. We will be happy
to answer any further questions you may have regarding patient protection
and give you a personal tour of our sterilization facility.
- What kind of anesthesia is used?
We advocate local anesthesia. This anesthesia is
injected into the gum tissue at or near the area to be treated, producing
a numbing effect that wears off after the procedure. Most dental patients
find that the use of local anesthesia allows them to experience dental
treatment comfortably. There is no drowsiness and it will not interfere
with your drive home.
- Where does Advanced Technology fit in?
Our investment in advanced technology is designed
to give you the best choices available for your oral health care.
Our office is computerized with a system which efficiently manages
the most complex information in the dental industry.
a computer terminal in each operatory for convenient quick
access. We use the Casey interactive dental education program to
assist in explaining dental techniques to you.
Our X-ray machines
and Panorex systems capture images to provide information vital
to your treatment. The Intra-Oral Camera projects images of the
inside of your mouth onto a television screen, enabling you
to see clearly, understand, and participate in your treatment.
also have the CEREC system in house. CEREC is an acronym meaning
Chairside Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic. This
computerized camera and milling system allows us to provide
you with a crown or other restorative treatment in just ONE
visit. No more messy impressions, no more temporary crowns,
no more waiting days or weeks for your crown to be fabricated.
- What is CEREC?