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9840 E 81st St, Suite 101, Tulsa, OK 74133
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Dental FAQs

What can I expect at my initial appointment?

When you visit Glisten Dental, our goal is that you enjoy the Glisten difference. Everything we do is to give our patients the most relaxed and comfortable dental experience possible. We not only perform physical examinations and cleanings, we get to know you as an individual.

We recommend that our new patients reserve an hour and a half to two hours for their initial appointment, during which Dr. Nauman will examine teeth and gums, and discuss dental and medical history. This is also your time to talk with the doctor about your concerns and goals for your smile, as well as about your expectations and desires for care. If you feel anxious over receiving dental care, Dr. Nauman can provide details about sedation dentistry.

We are committed to providing each patient with the necessary details to help him or her become fully involved in their oral health goals. We do this with detailed images captured with our intraoral camera, and digital x-rays. Using these tools, we can show you exactly what we see during physical examination. Our office is also equipped with iPads that we use to educate our patients on oral care and necessary dental procedures. At Glisten Dental, you are an integral part of your own care. When you leave our office, you will have a clear picture of your oral health and all the necessary information to help you attain the greatest degree of oral health.

Where is Glisten Dental located?

9840 E 81st St, Suite 101
Tulsa, OK 74133

What new technology do you use at Glisten Dental?

Our patients deserve the best tools available. Dr. Nauman has equipped our office with the tools that will produce the best results in the most comfortable, safe, and efficient manner. Some of the tools used in our office include electric drills that produce less vibration, DIAGNOdent cavity detector, the Odyssey Laser, iPads, intraoral imaging, digital x-rays, high-definition televisions, and massage chairs.

As innovative new tools are invented, they will be assessed and added to our practice as necessary.

Why is Glisten Dental different from other Tulsa dental offices?

Glisten Dental is different in that our very core is the meaning of the word. To glisten is "to reflect with brightness." Every member of our staff takes this meaning to heart, and works here because they truly enjoy what they do. The service that we provide stems from a deep commitment to the provision of the utmost in dental care, and a commitment to personal excellence. When you visit Glisten Dental for the management of your oral health, you become a part of an extended family.

Dr. Nauman strives for perfection in the work she performs with our valued clients. She continually invests her time in education and training so that our patients may experience dental care like never before.

Why do I need a check-up and cleaning twice a year?

The recommendation from the American Dental Association is that teeth and gums receive professional care twice a year. Keeping with this timeline allows us to keep teeth safe from the buildup of tartar and plaque, something that cannot be accomplished even with the best brushing and flossing.

Plaque is a sticky substance that can adhere to teeth and allow bacteria to grow. This substance can harden and turn to tartar, becoming difficult to remove. If not removed through professional cleaning, tartar continues to collect at and under the gum line, resulting in gum disease. Gum disease not only threatens tissue, but can also lead to the deterioration of the bone that supports teeth.

The complications of gum disease can be prevented with twice-a-year cleanings and examinations at Glisten Dental. During these appointments, digital x-rays are taken, teeth and gums are evaluated for decay, gum disease, and oral cancer, and teeth are cleaned and polished by our oral hygienist. These steps are taken to avoid more invasive and expensive procedures that become necessary should gum disease develop.

Besides all the benefits of regular dental care, our office is a pleasant place to visit!

Why do I need x-rays of my teeth and do you have digital x-rays?

We recommend a full set of x-rays at least once a year. This allows us to easily view areas both above and below the gum line, and detect problems in the earliest stage possible. Many of the issues that eventually affect teeth or gums cannot be viewed in a visual examination. Using x-rays, we can see under crowns and existing fillings, and in between teeth. X-rays can alert us to problems like deep cavities, gum disease, infection around a tooth or in the jawbone, TMJ dysfunction, abscesses, cysts, tumors, or developmental abnormalities.

Glisten Dental is equipped with a digital x-ray machine. This diagnostic tool is more comfortable for our patients, and exposes them to 90 percent less radiation than a traditional x-ray machine. Digital x-rays also eliminate the need for film developing chemicals that harm the environment. Advanced in ability, this tool is also more powerful, showing us decay in its earliest form. This leads to prompt treatment of small cavities, which is good for the tooth as well as the pocketbook.

What is the benefit of electric drills, DIAGNOdent, laser dentistry, and other technology?

Over the years, new and improved technology has emerged, allowing dentists to provide a higher standard of care. At Glisten, we use both air-driven drills and electric drills. The electric drill is highly popular because it is quieter and produces less vibration, which leads to greater patient comfort. Most dental offices maintain the use of air-driven drills only. If you prefer a gentler, quieter dental experience, Glisten Dental is the place for you.

Dr. Nauman uses the DIAGNOdent laser to detect cavities more easily that may form in the deep grooves of back teeth. The DIAGNOdent laser senses tooth density, and provides a numerical reading that helps us more quickly identify areas of decay. Using this tool means that we can treat teeth sooner, saving as much natural tooth structure as possible. When a cavity is found and treated early, the filling is so small that many patients do not need anesthetic.

While the use of laser technology may be new to many offices, Dr. Nauman stays at the forefront of this innovative dental tool. We use lasers in the treatment of gum disease and in many of our soft tissue procedures, as this technology reduces the amount of pain and bleeding after treatment, can heal canker sores in a flash, and can make a gummy smile gorgeous.

What is the truth about amalgam (silver) fillings?

Dentists have used amalgam (mercury) fillings for well over a century, since this material proved an inexpensive alternative to gold. Amalgam fillings are composed of 50 percent mercury, a substance known to have toxic properties. Even taking out the toxicity factor, amalgam fillings are largely ineffective by today's standards.

Because amalgam fillings cannot bond to teeth, it becomes necessary to remove a large portion of tooth structure, creating a wedge that will hold the amalgam filling in place. The more tooth structure that is removed, the weaker the tooth becomes, even with the placement of the filling. The secondary problem with amalgam fillings is the lack of bonding between filling and tooth structure. Without this bond, bacteria can find a way below the filling, causing further decay.

Mercury is a substance that expands and contracts, which is why it was ideal for use in thermometers. Within the wedge created to support the filling, this cycle of expansion and contraction has a negative effect, often leading to cracks in the tooth. In the end, amalgam fillings can lead to the need for a root canal and/or dental crown.

At Glisten Dental, we provide healthy, long-lasting, mercury-free fillings that are both effective and cosmetically attractive. Our method uses advanced materials and technique that saves natural tooth structure and creates a strong bond between tooth and filling.

Should I have my mercury amalgam silver fillings replaced?

While Dr. Nauman does not perform any service that she herself would not receive, she takes a conservative approach to the removal of amalgam fillings as well. In restoring teeth with fillings, we use only mercury-free, tooth-colored composite material that bonds to the tooth. During dental examinations, existing amalgam fillings are evaluated. Often, amalgam fillings that have been in place for several years show cracks that threaten the integrity of the restored tooth. In such instances, the removal of the affected filling is beneficial. If, however, an existing amalgam filling is sealed and functioning properly, the decision to replace this filling is solely up to the patient, and typically made due to the concern over mercury toxicity. To minimize exposure to mercury during the removal process, we combine precise technique with high-end technology.

We replace amalgam fillings with tooth-colored composite material as often as possible. There are times, however, when a large filling is best replaced with a dental crown.

I am very nervous about dental work. Do you offer sedation dentistry?

We believe that everyone deserves a positive dental experience and take steps to accomplish this. Our office is designed to be a calm, peaceful environment, equipped with massage chairs and televisions in our treatment rooms. Our patients are treated to soft music, warm blankets, and a very caring staff that understand dental anxiety. We incorporate the use of innovative technology like lasers and electric drills, which decrease discomfort and reduce treatment time.

There are instances, however, where these steps are not sufficient in combating anxiety. In such cases, we offer sedation with nitrous oxide, oral sedation or IV sedation. Nitrous oxide has been safely used for many years, and is suitable for both children and adults who need some assistance relaxing during treatment. Our nitrous oxide is digitally monitored and delivered throughout treatment, relieving anxiety and increasing the patient's pain threshold. Nitrous oxide is a form of conscious sedation that allows the patient to respond to Dr. Nauman, but feel calm while receiving treatment. Once we turn off the gas, the patient feels no effects and is able to drive him or herself home. IV sedation is ideal for those patients who want to sleep through their dentistry.

If you feel anxious about receiving dental care, contact us to discuss your options for sedation.

What is the benefit of fluoride treatments?

Fluoride has been shown to promote the remineralization of enamel and provide a level of protection against decay. We recommend fluoride treatments for both children and adults. Although insurance benefits tend to only cover treatments for children, these companies are not in the business of dental care and should not tell you what is best for your oral health. We find that the benefits of treatment are well worth the minimal investment.

Fluoride is so beneficial to teeth that we promote the use of fluoride toothpaste beginning at the age of three. We also advise drinking fluoride-infused water and receiving fluoride treatments twice a year. With fluoride on board, early stages of tooth decay can actually be reversed, teeth become more resistant to decay, and bacterial activity is inhibited.

What should I do in case of a dental emergency?

If you experience a dental emergency, contact our office at (918) 528-7536! Some tips to handle dental emergencies include:

Tooth Knocked Out: Should a tooth be knocked out, it is important that you don't touch the root portion. Clean the tooth with water, milk, or saliva. Reinsert the tooth into the socket and keep it in place by biting down on a towel or napkin. If the tooth cannot be put back into the socket, it can be placed in milk or into the mouth between the cheek and gums while transported to our office. If treated within two hours, there is a high likelihood the tooth can be saved.

Soft Tissue Injuries: If injured, the gums, lips, cheeks, and tongue may bleed heavily. To reduce bleeding and swelling, apply pressure for 15 minutes, then apply a cold compress. If the injury extends through the lip or into deep tissue, call our emergency number or go to the emergency room.

Broken or Chipped Tooth: Sometimes a broken tooth can be bonded back together. If possible, save the broken piece and bring it to our office. Broken teeth can also be restored with all-porcelain crowns or veneers. Treating a broken or chipped tooth right away not only keeps your smile looking great, it can prevent the need for root canal therapy by protecting the root from damage.

Abscess or Toothache: If you experience a continuous dull ache, this could signal a damaged nerve, which means that root canal therapy is needed. The presence of a small pimple-like lesion with pain is a symptom of an abscess, which we can treat to get you out of pain. Contact our emergency number to arrange for treatment.

Temporary or Permanent Crown Fell Off: Crowns that fall off when our office is closed can be put back into place with dental cement purchased on the oral care aisle of your local grocery store. Crowns should be replaced within a few hours of falling out, or surrounding teeth will begin to shift, making replacement in our office more difficult.

Broken Denture or Teeth Broken Out of Denture: No matter how tempting, using superglue to fix a broken denture is never a good idea! Call our emergency number and we will see you as soon as possible to properly repair your denture appliance.

Is it a toothache or a sinus problem?

We sometimes consult with patients who contact us due to a toothache in the upper arch of the mouth. An examination may show that the teeth are intact and healthy, but x-rays determine that the real cause of pain is low-lying nerve bundles located in the sinus cavity. When these nerves are closely situated to the roots of teeth, it can be difficult to differentiate between tooth pain and sinus pain. Should x-rays show that sinus nerves are the cause of pain, Dr. Nauman may make a referral to an ear, nose, and throat specialist or allergist who can treat the cause of pain with either antibiotics or allergy medication.

Do you offer orthodontic options that will not require me to wear metal braces?

Enjoying a beautifully straight smile is something we all deserve. Many adults are discovering that their personal image can be greatly improved by addressing issues with misalignment, but there is apprehension about wearing metal braces. At Glisten Dental, our teen and adult patients may choose to straighten teeth with clear braces options that include:

Invisalign and Clear Correct: Two different products, but one main goal, both Invisalign and ClearCorrect consist of a series of custom aligner trays that are worn about 20 hours a day. Most people see results in twelve to eighteen months, wearing trays as prescribed in their treatment plan. These options are popular for their shortened treatment time and discreetness during the process. Dr. Nauman has treated many patients with these cosmetic orthodontic systems in the past decade, producing excellent results.

Six Month Smiles: This accelerated orthodontic program produces straighter teeth without the long treatment time that traditional braces require. A cosmetic solution to crooked, crowded teeth, Six Month Smiles uses clear brackets and tooth-colored wires to reposition the teeth that are visible when you smile, but do not address issues with bite. For those who want to correct mild to moderate crowding, mild overbite, underbite, crossbite, or gaps between teeth, Six Month Smiles may be the ideal program. Visit our treatment page for specific information on this cosmetic orthodontic system.

Minor Tooth Movement (MTM): Intended for those with very minimal crowding or spacing issues, this system consists of wearing a clear aligner tray for most of the day (approximately 20 hours). The MTM program is often used by adults who have experienced a shift in teeth after wearing braces in their youth. Producing results in just a few months, this is one of the most easily affordable options for cosmetic orthodontics.

Is a mouthguard for my active child really necessary?

Any child that engages in sporting activities should wear a mouthguard to protect the teeth from traumatic injury. Parents find that children tend to be less compliant with store-bought mouthguards that are boiled and molded. Our mouthguards are custom-made using a precise impression, creating a tighter and more comfortable fit. We also offer customization of mouthguards to feature team colors or logos, making them more fun to wear!

Why is there a dark line between my gums and my crown?

Although most crowns used today are tooth-colored on the surface, the substructure of a crown is often metal alloy. These porcelain fused to metal crowns were used for restorations on front teeth as well as back teeth for many years, due to the fact that all-porcelain crowns were viewed as too fragile to withstand the pressure of biting. Advanced technology now offers us the use of stronger forms of porcelain that are durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. Dr. Nauman only places all-porcelain crowns on front teeth, ensuring that there is no dark line at the gums. Although insurance companies tend to cover only porcelain fused to metal crowns on back teeth, Dr. Nauman prefers the all-porcelain option here as well.

What are veneers and Lumineers?

Dental veneers are a form of cosmetic enhancement, customizing thin sheets of porcelain and bonding them to the front of a tooth or teeth. Veneers cover chips, cracks, gaps, and other imperfections. Traditional veneers require teeth to be prepared through the removal of a small amount of enamel. LUMINEERS are a form of veneer that is ultra-thin, eliminating the need to remove enamel. As such, LUMINEERS are not a permanent cosmetic enhancement, and can be removed at any time should the patient desire.

I hear a clicking in my jaw when I chew, and I think I may grind my teeth. What can I do?

Clicking or popping in the jaw signals that the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are not working as they should. Misalignment or clenching and grinding of the teeth makes the muscles of the jaw work harder to stay in alignment, resulting in localized pain, toothaches, headaches, earaches, and tension in the neck and shoulders. We can help you correct TMJ disorder with a custom-made nightguard, worn while you sleep. This oral appliance fits comfortably and protects teeth from excessive wear, and the jaw from the pressure of clenching and grinding.

What is a root canal?

Our teeth have nerves that allow us to feel sensations of hot and cold. In some cases of severe decay or trauma to a tooth, the nerve becomes damaged or infected, causing intense pain. The only way to relieve pain and save the tooth is to perform root canal therapy, in which the affected nerve is removed and the canal cleaned and sealed off.

Many people fear getting root canal therapy, but this procedure has come a long way with advances in technology and technique. At Glisten, we carefully perform root canal therapy with specialized tools and offer patients the option of sedation should they feel anxious about the procedure.

Why has my root canal treated tooth turned darker?

After root canal therapy, it is recommended that the affected tooth be covered with a porcelain crown to maintain a nice aesthetic. The natural tooth, because it no longer receives blood supply from the root, will turn dark yellow or brown, and become brittle over time. Front teeth that are treated with root canal therapy do not require a crown for strength, but could be treated with one.

Why are my teeth discolored, and what can I do about it?

Our teeth are porous, and exposed to a number of stain-causing substances on a regular basis. The foods we eat, beverages we drink, medicine we take, and lifestyle habits we keep are all factors that may contribute to discoloration. Whatever the cause of stains, there is a solution at Glisten Dental.

Most discoloration can be effectively reversed with the KöR Deep Bleaching system we use at Glisten. This in-office treatment may be a jump-start that is followed up with at-home whitening, or can be used as a stand-alone treatment. We also provide at-home whitening trays that are far more effective than commercial whitening strips, containing higher levels of whitening agent to get the kind of lasting results you want. Stubborn stains that come from smoking or prescription drug use may not respond to traditional teeth whitening methods. These situations may be best approached with porcelain veneers, LUMINEERS, or dental crowns.

If you would like to discuss your options for obtaining a whiter smile, contact us for a free consultation.

My teeth are very sensitive. Why?

Some people are especially sensitive to hot and cold. This sensitivity may be due to enamel loss, receding gums, tooth decay, or grinding or clenching teeth. Through a thorough evaluation, Dr. Nauman can determine the cause of sensitivity and subsequently devise the exact treatment plan to relieve symptoms. There are in-office and at-home treatments that may be recommended, such as the use of Sensodyne toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Working with Dr. Nauman, sensitivity can be decreased and you can eat the foods you love without discomfort.

Why might I want dental implants?

We provide dental implants in our Tulsa practice as a permanent solution to missing teeth. An implant may be used as an alternative to a bridge, for the replacement of one or a few teeth. Implants are also used in conjunction with denture appliances to create a firm foundation on which dentures will not slip or fall out. Dental implants are safe and effective, allowing the smile to be restored to full function and beauty within just a few months. More information on dental implants can be found at, or in our office. Contact us for your consultation with Dr. Nauman to see how dental implants can benefit your smile.

What effect does tobacco have on my teeth?

The use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco exposes the body to nicotine, a chemical substance that inhibits the flow of oxygen to gum and bone tissue. As these areas are deprived of oxygen, the risk for gum disease rises significantly. Although gum disease can be treated with regular dental evaluations and cleanings, during which we screen for oral cancer, the best way to protect teeth and gums is to quit using tobacco products. To help our patients accomplish this goal, we provide prescription programs and a good dose of moral support.

Why is Dr. Nauman a cosmetic dentist in Tulsa?

Dr. Nauman loves performing cosmetic dentistry treatments on our patients, because there is nothing like seeing someone's smile and confidence transformed. In the Tulsa area, Dr. Nauman is a top cosmetic dentist, offering a wide variety of services that include Invisalign, Six Month Smiles, Snap-on Smile, teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, gum contouring, and other treatments. Our patients are in good hands with Dr. Nauman, who has spent many hours in continuing education training in the area of cosmetic dentistry.

What is causing my mouth to be so dry, and what can be done about it?

Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, may result in a sticky, dry, burning sensation, and odd taste in the mouth, bad breath, and an increased instance of tooth decay. Those who tend to experience dry mouth are the elderly, the very young, and those who take multiple medications, as well as those who breathe through their mouth, experience hormonal changes, are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment, or have diabetes. To relieve these symptoms, Dr. Nauman advises that patients sip water throughout the day, and use certain over the counter dry mouth remedies or Biotene products. In extreme cases, a prescription solution may be most suitable, in conjunction with fluoride treatments to protect teeth from decay.

What are sealants and what can they do for me?

Our teeth have grooves in them, some can be quite deep, creating areas where bacteria can hide and cause cavities. Sealants are clear or tooth-colored, and are bonded to the back teeth, where grooves tend to be deep. This protective coating reduces the risk of tooth decay significantly. We recommend sealants for children and adults, although insurance companies do not always provide this benefit. Regardless of what your insurance company will cover, we believe that the minimal cost of sealant application is well worth the investment when it can prevent tooth decay and the need for dental fillings.

What can I do about bad breath?

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem that many people experience at one point or another. When you know the cause behind bad breath, the condition can be easily treated. Some of the triggers that may lead to bad breath include the consumption of certain foods, like onions or garlic, poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, tooth decay, digestive problems, tobacco use, gum disease, sinus infection or a medical condition. To keep breath fresh, brushing twice a day and flossing every day is quite beneficial. It is also recommended that the tongue be brushed, especially the back of the tongue where bacteria may collect. Sipping on water and chewing sugar-free gum keep the mouth moist and may reduce the instance of bad breath.

Maintaining oral health through regular dental check-ups and cleanings is also a part of keeping breath fresh and healthy.

Why does flossing make my gums bleed?

Many people think their gums bleed because of flossing. In truth, bleeding gums is one of the earliest signs of gum disease, and is due to bacterial activity causing inflammation of this delicate tissue. If your gums bleed when you floss, contact us to schedule an examination and cleaning. If caught early, gum disease can be reversed.

Are certain foods or drinks good for my teeth?

We often hear that we should avoid foods high in sugar or acid if we want to keep a healthy smile. Eating more of the right types of foods, however, can also benefit teeth and gums. Foods that contain phosphorous and calcium, specifically, can build stronger bones and enamel. Adding calcium-rich dairy products, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and chicken to the diet, and consuming plenty of water benefits teeth and gums, as well as the rest of the body. Dr. Nauman also advises patients to keep teeth clean and prevent cavities by chewing on xylitol-containing sugar-free gum throughout the day.

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