Alafaya Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
A Great Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): General Dentistry

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At Alafaya Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we pride ourselves on educating our patients about dental care so they can be an active participant in their own oral health. As a patient, you have a right to be informed about your treatment. We make every effort to explain a procedure in enough detail for you to understand why it's important and how it can benefit your oral health.

But you may still have questions, and we've shared a few of those we hear most frequently. We're always here for you, so if you still need more information, please don't hesitate to contact our office.

General Dentistry

Child brushing teeth | Orlando DentistDepending upon the brand and level, electric toothbrushes can be more effective than brushing manually.  They tend to remove more plaque and stain without causing any damage to the surrounding tissues.  For example, certain brands of electric toothbrushes take away the ability for you to brush too hard.  Also, with an electric toothbrush you only typically need 2 minutes to effectively remove plaque whereas a manual toothbrush would require 3 to 5 minutes to do so.  Electric toothbrushes can also reach under the gums more. For more info, contact our Orlando dental office today!

General Dentistry | Orlando FL Dentist We pride ourselves on being thorough with our patients and their needs, and a dental exam and x-rays are needed before your cleaning.  Often times dental cleanings are given much less importance than they warrant. The number one cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease which is why regular dental cleanings and effective home care are so important. Most patients have no symptoms from years of missed dental cleanings which allows them to assume no problems exist. The progression of gum disease occurs over a long period of time and the damage done by the bacteria in plaque and tartar is irreversible. 
A dental cleaning is a procedure that is prescribed to a patient based on their individual needs. The type of cleaning needed, the level of intensity and frequency can only be determined after a thorough exam with x-rays.   Dr. Michaelson will use the x-rays to evaluate your gums, bone level, and any pocketing of the gums to determine the type dental cleaning you require and whether it will take more than one appointment. After we review this information and the costs, we can schedule you with one of our hygienists, Deanna or Christina. During the cleaning, the hygienist will review any recommendations that will help you with your home care to maintain your dental health. 



We understand dental anxiety, and you are not alone. Past bad dental experiences, injections, and fear of pain are a few concerns patients might have.

If you feel sedation will help you with your dental services, let us know. We will prescribe a pill for you to take one hour before the dental procedure to reduce anxiety. You will need a driver to bring you to your appointment and take you home. Most importantly, Dr. Michaelson and our entire team are very gentle and sensitive to your needs and will make your experience as comfortable as we can. 

Also, you can take advantage of our amenities, which include headphones with music, TV, neck wraps, and paraffin wax to help ease your anxiety and take your mind off your worries. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

Essix Retainers Orlando FLPlease follow these instructions, as well as instructions provided by your dentist for optimal results in use and longevity of your orthodontics appliance.


  • Wear your retainer at all times during the day except for when eating or drinking anything other than water.  The essix retainer is designed to serve as a cosmetic appliance as well as hold the adjacent teeth in position so the space doesn’t close.


  • Brush and floss your teeth before insertion every day
  • Upon removal, the retainer may be cleaned with COLD water only (to prevent the plastic from warping) and liquid soap or toothpaste. Toothpaste can cause a dull clouding of the retainer over time.
  • With your soft toothbrush  clean the inside of your retainer. Using care not to brush abrasively.
  • Your appliance may be soaked in an over the counter denture cleaner for 2-3 times a week for a maximum of 20 mins. 
  • Your retainer should be stored in a dry case
  • NEVER  soak your appliance in mouthwash, or alcohol based rinses
  • NEVER soak your appliance in bleach or harsh chemicals
  • NEVER boil your appliance, it can distort.
  • Keep appliance away from animals. They will chew appliance.


  • Be aware that your retainer will need to be replaced periodically depending on regular wear and tear, if lost, or broken.
  • You can expect your essix retainer to last for the normal healing time of 8-12 months.

Essix Retainers in Orlando, FL

For more info, contact our Orlando dental office today!

Cavities also known as tooth decay are weakened areas if the teeth. It can affect both the enamel (which is the outer layer of the tooth) and the dentin (softer inner layer). The cause of cavities comes from the bacteria in plaque. This is the soft film layer that accumulates on the teeth every 24 hours. The acid in the plaque dissolves the enamel creating holes or cavities. Everyone can get cavities. And cavities can even happen under existing fillings and crowns.  If a cavity continues to grow and not be treated they could need a lot more than a simple filling. Catching things earlier is the best way to prevent major problems from happening. Call our Orlando office today to schedule an appointment!

Root Canal | Orlando FL DentistA root canal is a dental procedure that treats the nerve of an injured or an infected tooth.  Once the infection in the tooth has been treated with a root canal it can remain and function in your mouth. Root canal is a safe predictable procedure that has over a 95% success rate.  The procedure itself is painless and patients often say that the experience resembles having fillings done.  In the rare instance that the procedure is uncomfortable or there is post operative pain, it is almost always due to the patient ignoring the infection in their tooth.   Once the area is numb and the patient is comfortable, Dr. Michaelson cleans out and disinfects the nerve of the tooth.  He will use small files to clean and shape the inside of the canal.  The tooth is then dried and filled with a sealer to prevent reinfection.  Since a root canal involves taking the blood supply out of a tooth, the tooth becomes brittle and can break easily if it’s not covered by a crown.  A lab fabricated crown can be made to add strength to a tooth that has had a root canal.  Teeth that endure the brunt of the biting forces from eating and chewing especially need the added protection of a crown. For more info, contact our Orlando dental office today!









At Alafaya Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we can offer several tips on how to handle your dental emergency until we can see you.

The first thing you should do when you notice a dental health issue is to call our Orlando, FL dental office at (407) 381-3000.

Some common emergency dental situations that we can help diagnose and treat include:

Tooth pain—Ignoring tooth pain won't make it magically disappear. On the contrary, many of us will find that it will only get worse. If your tooth is aching, rinse your mouth out with warm salt water to flush out any particles and help with inflammation. A cold compress can also help with pain and swelling until you can come to see us.

Fractured tooth—If you have chipped or broken your tooth, keep any broken fragments safe until you can come to our dental office. 

Loose or missing dental crown or filling—A dental crown or filling that is loose or has fallen out may not be a critical situation, but it does not to be looked at by your restorative dentist. Dr. Gary Michaelson and his incredible dental team can restore or replace your dental prosthetic to strengthen, protect, and beautify your smile. 

Knocked-out tooth—If your tooth has been knocked out, we may be able to restore it. It's essential to handle the tooth gently by the crown and not to let the root dry out. Patients can hold the tooth in their mouth until they can see us.

We offer same-day emergency dental care any time you are undergoing anything unusual or painful with your oral health. We are available to take your emergency dental call at any time. 

Dentist Orlando FLGum disease, tooth decay, or even your tongue can be a source of bad breath. Bacteria feed in the mouth, and this can produce unpleasant odors. Many foods and drinks can increase your chance of having bad breath, such as:

  • Cookies, cakes, or anything sugary, which will fuel the bacteria
  • Foods with high protein like meat, chicken, and fish
  • Acidic drinks and foods, which speed up bacteria reproduction (so be aware of coffee and citrus intake) 
  • Anything that contains alcohol, from your evening cocktail to even alcohol-containing mouthwashes, which dry your mouth and help the bacteria thrive 

After a thorough dental examination, we will suggest the correct treatment for your specific needs to help control this problem. For more info, contact our Orlando dental office today!

Dentist Orlando FLA regular cleaning can be done if the gums are healthy and free of infection and if there is minimal plaque and tartar.  If you are overdue, and have missed routine cleanings, the gums will typically have areas where they are inflamed due to an accumulation of bacteria and tartar.  The amount of tartar accumulation will representative of your home care routine and how many cleaning you have missed.  In order to remove this infection, it will take more than a regular cleaning to do so.  We will use the x-rays and a thorough clinical exam to recommend the appropriate type of cleaning to and how many cleanings are necessary.  We will also help you get on a routine to maintain gum health. For more info, contact our Orlando dental office today!

According to the American Dental Association, many adult Americans experience tooth injury from playing sports. Many of us might think a friendly game of ball couldn't be more innocent and fun; the truth is if you're not wearing a sports guard, you could be vulnerable to a sudden blow to your face. 

If your tooth is damaged because of an injury, whether from a sports game gone rogue or a misstep into a pole—our cosmetic dentist in Orlando, FL can help save or restore your tooth. Even a simple backyard game can result in a visit to your emergency dentist. 

Car accidents can also result in tooth injury, especially when a collision is involved. If you are experiencing uncontrollable bleeding or a head injury, we might recommend you call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room. 

We may not realize it, but many dental emergencies can be prevented entirely. Poor oral hygiene can quickly result in cavities, tooth decay, infection, gum inflammation, gum disease, and even tooth loss. 

We can't predict when a terrible accident will occur, but we can put a full stop on the gradual deterioration of our dental health. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily, along with avoiding sugary foods and drinks, can go a long way into keeping you way from tooth pain. 

If you are experiencing tooth pain, do not hesitate or "wait it out." Call Dr. Gary Michaelson and his dedicated dental staff so we can treat you right away. Dental pain will never go away; it's our mouth's way of telling us to fix a problem immediately. 

Dental Cleanings Orlando FLWhen a person’s mouth shows sign of gingivitis and/or gum disease, a more frequent cleaning regimen is advised.  Since there is no cure for gum disease, catching and treating gum infections at an earlier phase is crucial.  Brushing and flossing at home can only reach so far under the gums.  Patients with inflammation in the gums are not able to reach these deeper areas.  More aggressive bacteria collect in these deeper areas which can lead to destruction of the surrounding bone, and even tooth loss.  Coming in more frequently for cleanings may allow us to treat these areas in a more conservative approach before they cause irreversible damage. 

Patients who have a tendency to build up more tartar as well as patients who are in braces can also benefit from coming in more frequently for cleanings.  Tartar acts as an irritant to the gums and can make the gums puffy and bleed easily.  The brackets and wires for patients in braces can make proper oral hygiene at home difficult.  Increased plaque retention can lead to inflammation of the gums as well as cavities. 

For more info, contact our Orlando dental office today!

Dr. Michaelson may suggest to remove an old filling if it's defective or may cause a future problem. Over time, the metal in silver (amalgam) fillings expands and contracts, causing openings for decay. These tiny movements can also crack the tooth. Replacing old defective amalgam fillings is the best way to prevent recurrent decay and brighten up your smile.

Once Dr. Michaelson removes the old filling, he will prepare the tooth, place the tooth-colored material, and dry the aromatic bonding material with special, high-intensity plasma arc or LED lighting, which cures in five seconds, as opposed to the traditional halogen lights that take over sixty seconds. Dr. Michaelson will ask you how the new tooth surface feels and then show you how you now only have natural colored fillings that are undetectable to plain sight. Do not worry about your diet. You can eat right away. Your filling is ready for use as soon as you get it. 

If you have questions about your silver fillings and whether or not they should be removed, please contact our Orlando dental office today!. A member of our team will be happy to answer your questions or arrange a convenient appointment with Dr. Michaelson.


Dental Fillings Orlando FL

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