Hillcrest Dental
David J. Akkara DMD

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.

These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.


This is a common question, and the short answer is yes, dental x-rays are safe. Today’s digital radiographs mean patients are exposed to even less radiation than they were with traditional x-rays. (Note that pregnant women should let us know ahead of time of their condition; we will weigh the pros and cons of doing x-rays based on the individual situation.)

Radiation exposure from today’s x-rays is minimal; in fact, you are likely to be exposed to more radiation taking a walk on a sunny day or boarding an airplane. The risks of skipping dental x-rays can negatively impact your oral health.

Prevention is key in protecting your oral health, and dental x-rays enable your dentist to spot problems while they are still small and before they escalate into big issues.

Why Dental X-Rays Are Important

  • Early detection of tooth decay. The earlier a cavity is spotted, the smaller the filling. Often tooth decay that is in its earliest stage cannot be spotted by the naked eye but only through a dental x-ray.
  • Your dentist is likely the one healthcare professional who examines your mouth regularly. Changes that could signal issues such as oral cancer are crucial to discover early.
  • If you have gum disease, you are at risk of bone loss, and often an x-ray is the only way your dentist can spot this. It’s vital that your dentist know how far your gum disease has progressed to recommend the proper treatment.

If you have questions or concerns about dental x-rays, please call our Orlando dental office!

While our dentists can diagnose many conditions with a visual exam, we cannot always see what is happening beneath your protective tooth enamel or below your gumline. Digital dental x-rays make this possible and allow us to make an earlier diagnosis, potentially saving you time and money and allowing us to treat conditions before they become critical – or painful.

By offering digital dental x-rays, we have significantly improved the safety of the care we provide. Digital dental x-rays emit up to 80 percent less radiation than traditional x-rays and give us instant access to high-resolution images for proper diagnosis of conditions such as bone loss, decay, and infection.

The cost of dental x-rays is low compared to complex restorative dentistry, making them a good investment in your oral health and the appearance of your smile. Without them, we would only have part of the story when it comes to your health, and the rest would be left to chance.

If you have questions about the necessity, safety, or process of digital dental x-rays, we encourage you to call or ask at your next appointment. We are dedicated to providing quality dentistry that supports a healthy, comfortable smile, and we look forward to hearing from you.

At-Home Teeth Bleaching

We are bombarded today with advertisements for teeth whitening systems that are available in discount and drugstores, but how well do these work? The truth is that most will not do much to whiten teeth beyond removing some surface stains. Some of these are abrasive and can cause permanent damage to your tooth enamel.

The safest treatment with the best results is professional teeth bleaching through your dentist. At our Orlando area dental practice, Hillcrest Dental, we offer an at-home whitening system that is convenient and provides consistent results.

It’s easy to whiten your teeth with our at-home whitening system. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Brush and floss your teeth about an hour or two before bedtime. Rinse thoroughly.
  2. Place the custom-filled tray firmly over your teeth, spitting out any excess gel or foam.
  3. Leave the tray in place for two to eight hours.
  4. Remove the tray, wiping it out to remove any excess gel.
  5. Repeat step 2, this time leaving in the tray for one hour. Remove the tray again, wiping out the gel, and reload the tray.
  6. Put the tray back over your teeth and wear it for another hour.

Anytime you remove the tray for longer than 15 minutes, place new bleaching gel in it before you use it again. Re-apply the bleaching gel for about seven days in a row.

Call Hillcrest Dental to find out more about our at-home teeth bleaching system!

Composite Veneers

Veneers provide an excellent option to vastly change the look of your smile in a relatively short amount of time. At our Hillcrest, FL dental clinic, we offer two types of veneers: porcelain and composite. Deciding which ones are right for you will depend on a number of different factors.

Porcelain veneers—These are wafer-thin shells of porcelain that adhered to the surface of the tooth after a portion of the enamel has been removed to make room for them. This makes them a permanent restoration. The procedure for getting porcelain veneers takes place over a couple of dental appointments because the veneers need to be fabricated in a lab after we take impressions of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are the more durable of the two, lasting up to 15 years with proper care.

Composite veneers—Composite veneers are engineered resin affixed to the teeth but without any preparation done to the surface of the tooth. These are the quicker of the two veneer options because they can be done chairside in just one visit to the dentist. You can walk in and out of our office in the same day with a completely different smile! Composite veneers are designed to last for about four to eight years.

Both are custom-made to complement your smile and can match your teeth or be made to give you a whiter smile.

Dental Implants

The problem with missing teeth goes beyond esthetics, and dental implants are generally considered to be the best tooth replacement option available. You’ll be pleased to know that most people are good candidates for dental implants, but the best way to find out for sure is to make an appointment for a consultation at our Hillcrest, FL dental clinic. Dr. David Akkara will assess the current state of your oral and overall health, and he can make tooth replacement recommendations based on his findings.

In some situations, patients might find that they are at risk of less successful dental implant rates. These include:

  • Patients with diabetes that is not under control.
  • Patients who are on medications that compromise their immune system.
  • Patients who have received chemotherapy in the past.

Many of these issues can be overcome; it is important that you provide Dr. Akkara with a full medical history to improve your chances of success with dental implants.

If you have questions about dental implants or other tooth replacement options, we invite you to make an appointment at Hillcrest Dental. We look forward to restoring your smile and protecting your oral health with modern dental treatments such as dental implants.

The short answer is that it depends because treatment costs vary depending on your particular situation. If you have dental insurance, we will work with it to ensure you can maximize your coverage.

We understand that losing a tooth can be somewhat traumatic—both emotionally and financially. If you are considering a dental implant, you should understand some of the factors that go into pricing for this dental restoration.

  • Getting even one dental implant is a surgical procedure, and your dentist’s overhead, geographical location, and fee structure will all impact the cost.
  • You must consider the state of your current oral health. If you are lacking the required amount of jawbone to support the implant, a bone graft might be necessary. If you need a tooth extracted, this too will factor into the cost of your dental implant.

Although getting a dental implant is no small financial investment, the fact that a dental implant can last for a lifetime should also be considered. Your quality of life with implants versus dentures is another factor. Dentures will need adjustment over the years, which will cost you money down the road. With proper care and regular visits to the dentist for examinations and cleanings, dental implants are a low maintenance tooth replacement option.

Call Hillcrest Dental to make an appointment for a dental implant consultation, and we can determine how much your costs will be.

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