Nadine Soga, DMD
Thomas Rams, DDS, MHS, PhD

1234 19th St. NW, Ste 710
Washington DC, 20036
P: (202) 783-3450
Frequently Asked Questions

What type of toothbrush should I use?

A toothbrush with “soft” bristles, rather than “medium” or “hard” bristles, is essential in order to avoid damage to teeth and gingival tissues. A small brush head is also an advantage in reaching around each tooth more completely. Powered (electric) toothbrushes are very helpful in providing better plaque control as compared to conventional manual toothbrushes. However, all toothbrushes should be used at least twice a day to obtain best results, and replaced three to four times a year due to bristle wear. back to top »


Is one toothpaste better than others?

It is important to use a fluoride-containing toothpaste to gain protection against tooth decay. Some baking soda toothpastes possess greater antibacterial potential against periodontal disease-associated dental plaque microorganisms, and may be beneficial for patients with periodontal disease. We will be pleased to give you individualized instructions and training in your home oral hygiene procedures. back to top »


How often should I floss?

Flossing once per day is essential to reduce dental plaque biofilm growth between teeth that is not reached by toothbrushing. Interdental brushes, rubber tips, tooth picks, and irrigators delivering antiseptic solutions may be useful in many patients to supplement and/or substitute for flossing. back to top »


What's the difference between a crown and a cap?

There is no difference - “crown” is the professional name, and “cap” the common term, for a dental restoration that covers all or nearly all of visible surfaces on a tooth. They may be made of gold alloys, porcelain, composites, and sometimes stainless steel. Crowns are needed to restore dental implants, and on teeth with large restorations (fillings), fractures, marked dental decay, or previously treated with root canal (endodontic) therapy, as well as for cosmetic reasons. back to top »


What's the difference between a bridge and a partial denture?

Both are used to replace missing teeth. However, a bridge is permanently attached to teeth or dental implants surrounding areas of missing teeth, and remains fixed in the mouth throughout the day like natural teeth. A partial denture is daily taken in and out of the mouth by the patient, is secured to teeth only by clasps that can loosen with time, and potentially damage remaining natural teeth. As a result, patients are generally more satisfied with fixed bridges or dental implants to replace missing teeth than with removable partial dentures. back to top »


Do I need to have a root canal because I NEED a crown?

No, not all teeth needing a crown also need to have root canal treatment. However, most teeth with root canal treatment need crowns placed afterward to strengthen the tooth and restore its normal form and function. back to top »


What is non-surgical microbiologically modulated antimicrobial periodontal therapy?

Initially developed in the 1970s by legendary dental researcher Dr. Paul H. Keyes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and sometimes referred to as the “Keyes Technique”, it is a system for treating periodontal disease as a dental plaque-mediated bacterial infection, with specific disease-associated dental plaque microorganisms targeted for elimination or suppression on a sustained basis to extremely low levels compatible with clinical periodontal stability and health. In this approach as it has evolved to the present day, locally-applied antimicrobial agents during dental office appointments and in daily patient home care procedures, as well as short-term systemic antibiotic regimens on occasion, are used to supplement the benefits of conventional non-surgical periodontal therapy. In addition to standard clinical measurements and radiographic observations, the patient’s periodontal therapy is also regulated and adjusted using phase-contrast microscopic and/or microbial culture findings in subgingival dental plaque specimens. In Dr. Rams’ clinical experience over the past 30 years, the need for many types of periodontal surgery is markedly reduced by this approach if a high level of patient compliance in effectively performing daily home care procedures is attained and maintained. back to top »