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Vermont Hills Family Dental
Dr. Christine Brown

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

At Vermont Hills Family Dental, we like our patients to be involved and active in their oral health care, so we always appreciate your questions. Asking them allows you to get the answers you need, and also informs us about what aspects of your oral health really matter to you. When we understand your needs, wants, and desires, we can recommend the treatment to meet them.

We receive lots of questions and have shared some of the most frequently asked below. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Feel free to call us at (503) 246-7700, and we will be happy to find the answers you need.

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Children's Dentistry

Yes! We are delighted to treat children in the Portland area, from toddlers to teens, with age-appropriate dentistry to keep their smiles happy and healthy. Dr. Brown and our team enjoy engaging with kids and getting to know them and their unique personalities.

Oral health care in childhood is incredibly important. There are a lot of steps we can take early on that lay the groundwork for a healthier smile as an adult. Additionally, helping establish a routine of oral hygiene and health care for your child sets them up for a positive, healthy attitude about oral health care that will benefit them for a lifetime.

From their first low-key visit as a toddler around age one, we’ll guide your child gently toward accepting dental care as part of their lives. We start slowly to get them engaged and interested, and then, as they mature, we’ll add dental exams, cleanings, and treatment as needed.

Preventive dentistry is as essential for kids as it is adults, if not more so. Most children can benefit from dental sealants that act as a protective barrier to prevent cavities from forming. Some kids may also need supplemental fluoride applications, and Dr. Brown will be happy to determine if your child isn’t currently getting enough fluoride to keep their teeth healthy.

We enjoy providing children’s dentistry to the smallest smiles in Portland, and we would love to meet your little one. Please call Vermont Hills Family Dental to schedule an appointment to get started.

Cosmetic Dentistry

There’s never been a better time to take steps to improve the appearance of your smile. Cosmetic dentistry offers numerous options to take your smile to the next level, and our Portland dentist would love to talk to you about the possibilities.

Some of the aesthetic flaws that Dr. Brown commonly addresses for her patients are:

  • Repair chipped teeth
  • Restore broken teeth
  • Improve the shape or size of certain teeth
  • Straighten crooked, crowded, or gapped teeth
  • Whiten stained, discolored, or yellow teeth

Using a combination of tooth-colored fillings, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and teeth whitening, we can resolve all these concerns and many others. Every smile is unique, and our cosmetic dentist will explain your options and guide you to the treatment that will achieve the results you want.

If your dental needs are more complex, and you also have functional issues to resolve, Dr. Brown offers full mouth reconstruction. In this case, she may recommend a combination of cosmetic treatments and restorative dentistry such as crowns, bridges, dentures, or dental implants.

Whatever cosmetic flaws concern you, we will meet them with an individualized treatment that meets all your unique needs. If you would like to learn more about the cosmetic dentistry options we offer, please call our Portland dental office to schedule an appointment.

Emergency Dentistry

When you experience a dental emergency—whether you break a tooth or have a toothache—all you can think about is getting help and relief. At Vermont Hills Family Dental, we offer emergency dentistry for patients in Portland and surrounding areas who can’t wait for treatment.

Call us to resolve whatever situation you’re facing, and we'll provide the prompt treatment and relief you need.

Some of the most common dental emergencies we treat are:

  • Broken teeth
  • Lost crowns or fillings
  • Toothaches
  • Jaw pain or swelling
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Infected or abscessed tooth
  • Dental trauma

Critical emergencies that require prompt treatment include tooth pain, jaw pain, or abscessed teeth. Dental trauma such as knocked-out teeth must be treated immediately to avoid long-term damage to your oral health.

The first step is always to call us first and let us know what’s happening. You may not have the presence of mind to think clearly, and our dental team can help you.

They will explain how you can deal with your emergency until we see you and schedule you for our next available appointment. If you are in pain, we will do everything we can to see you the same day and provide the prompt treatment and relief you need.

Dental emergencies are no fun. You have the stress of the event itself and the uncertainty about the outcome. Please don’t wait to call us if you are experiencing an oral health emergency. We will provide the reassurance you need and arrange to resolve your problem as quickly as possible.

General Dentistry

According to the American Dental Association, dental checkups and cleanings should take place every six months. This interval works well for many people, but the fact is that it varies by individual.

The goal of these appointments is for your Portland, OR dentist to be able to stay a step ahead of problems like cavities and gum disease. For those who have a history of excellent oral health and have no ongoing conditions, twice a year is sufficient.

However, patients who have a history of cavities or are dealing with gum disease often require more frequent appointments. It’s always easier to prevent small problems from taking over your oral health than treating them once they do. By seeing you more frequently, we can help you avoid the discomfort and expense associated with more complex issues.

At Vermont Hills Family Dental, we don’t just tell you what you need; we use technology like digital x-rays and intraoral cameras that let you see what our dentist sees. You are an active participant in your dental care, so you can understand why our dentist recommends a specific treatment. When you do, you can make more confident and informed decisions about your oral health care.

If you are due (or overdue) for your next dental exam and hygiene appointment, please call to schedule an appointment at our Portland dental office.

Preventive Dentistry

The answer depends on your current oral health. If you have been proactive with routine exams and cleanings in the past, you may require only a maintenance cleaning or prophylaxis. In this case, we may have enough time to complete it on your first visit.

Typically, we schedule first visits with Dr. Brown who likes to spend some time learning if you have any concerns you would like us to address. Your appointment time is devoted exclusively to you, so you can be confident that you have our undivided attention.

She will perform a thorough examination that includes digital x-rays and periodontal probing to look for evidence of gum disease. It’s only after conducting this evaluation that we can determine which type of teeth cleaning is appropriate for your needs.

If you have noticed bleeding when you brush or puffy, inflamed gums, you probably have gingivitis. This is the earliest stage of gum disease, and a simple cleaning to remove plaque and tartar may be all you need.

For periodontal disease that is more advanced, you may require scaling and root planing, also referred to as deep cleaning. In this case, we would schedule you for a separate appointment when we have plenty of time to do a thorough job.

If you are due for your six-month cleaning or it’s been a while, and you have some catching up to do, please call Vermont Hills Family Dental. We look forward to helping you maintain your healthiest smile.

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