Ralph S. McCracken, Jr., D.D.S., Inc.
Restorative, Prosthetic & Implant Dentistry


PH: (508) 829-3911

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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of toothbrush should I use?

The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. We find many of our patients benefit with the use of an electric toothbrush. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting our hygienist at least twice a year for cleanings. back to top »


Is one toothbrush better than others?

Generally, no. However, our hygienist will be happy to recommend which brush is best for your particular needs. It’s advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste or mouthwash to decrease the incidence of dental decay. Recent evidence shows that brushing with a fluoride containing mouthwash is better than using abrasive toothpastes by reducing premature wear of tooth structure caused by the toothpaste. back to top »


How often should I floss?

Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy. back to top »


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

These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain fused to gold or all ceramic porcelain. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps". back to top »


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

Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures. back to top »


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

No. While most teeth that have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal. back to top »


Is an implant better than a bridge?

In most cases, yes. A bridge needs to use the adjacent teeth to support the missing tooth or teeth. This requires the adjacent teeth (called abutments) to be prepared as if it required a crown. With an implant the implant individually replaces the missing tooth. Thus eliminating the unnecessary preparation of otherwise healthy adjacent teeth. Implants also have greater longevity than bridges. back to top »


Ralph S. McCracken, Jr., DDS  |  21 Mayo Drive  |  Holden, MA 01520  |  (508) 829-3911  |  Created by Dental Branding  |  Site Map