Richard M. Orlowski, DMD

Family Dentistry

RTP Dentist


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Are electronic toothbrushes better than my regular toothbrush?

A regular toothbrush (manual brush) does a very good job in removing dental plaque, the cause of decay and gum disease; however, studies have shown that for the average person an electric toothbrush (power brush) tends to be more effective than a manual brush in removing plaque. If you are going to buy an electric toothbrush buy a good quality brand such as Sonicare or Oral B.

Can there be a link between tooth and gum problems and my overall health?

The mouth is filled with countless bacteria, some linked to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Accumulating scientific evidence suggests that periodontal or gum disease may be associated with a number of systemic disorders such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Given this potential link between periodontal disease and systemic health problems, prevention may be an important step in maintaining overall health.

I think I may have a gum problem. What are the signs of gum disease?

If you notice any of these signs you may have a periodontal problem (gum disease) and should be evaluated by a dentist.

  • gums that bleed during brushing and flossing
  • red swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistant bad breath
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose or separating teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures
  • exposed tooth roots

What are sealants?

A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to a chewing surface of a back tooth (premolars and molars). The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel by "sealing out" plaque and food. Sealants are easy to apply, and takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth.

Is whitening your teeth harmful to the enamel?

Whitening your teeth, under the supervision of your dentist has been proven safe and not harmful to enamel in clinical studies over a period of many years. The primary whitening agent, carbamide peroxide, has been used safely by millions of people worldwide.

What is the right age for my child's first dental visit?

In general between the ages of two and three years old is the appropriate time for a child's first dental visit. Each child is different and it is more important that the child has a good, successful experience rather than what is accomplished at the first visit.

I've been told that I have periodontal disease and need scaling and root planing. What is that and what can I expect?

The first non-surgical step in treating periodontal disease involves a special cleaning called scaling and root planing also referred to as "periodontal" or "deep" cleaning. After a local anesthetic "novacaine", is given to eliminate any discomfort, an instrument called a scaler and/or an ultrasonic cleaner is used to carefully remove the plaque and tartar below the gum line. This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and periodontal pockets to shrink.

I'm very nervous about going to the dentist, can I be sedated for my treatment?

Yes. Patients who are avoiding dental care because of anxiety can be sedated for their visits. One pill can be taken before the appointment adequate to deal with most anxiety and dental phobias. You will need to be driven to and from the office.

Do you accept my insurance plan?

We accept almost all insurance plans and will file the insurance claim on your behalf. Our Insurance Coordinator also will be happy to review your benefit plan with you should you have any questions about your coverage.

What can I expect on my first visit?

If the reason for your first visit is an immediate concern or problem (e.g. discomfort) that problem will be evaluated and treated on the first visit. However, for the routine initial visit a new patient is thoroughly evaluated with a comprehensive examination and a complete mouth series of radiographs (x-rays). The evaluation consists of the following:

  • a thorough discussion of any problem or concern the patient may have
  • a review of the patient's medical history to determine how the patient's medical status may effect treatment
  • an oral cancer screening evaluation
  • evaluation of the patient's occlusion (bite)
  • assessment of the periodontal (gum) health and hygiene status
  • thorough examination of the teeth and any existing fillings, crowns, partial dentures, dentures, bridges

If any problems do exist those findings are discussed with the patient and a prioritized plan of treatment is developed based on the patient's needs, concerns and desires.

New Patients

Mention our website when you call for an appointment and receive a $50.00 credit to your account.

Office Hours

Appointments are avaiable

Tuesday through Friday

as early as 7:30 A.M.

Contact Us

2304 S. Miami Blvd. Suite 126

Durham, NC 27703


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