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Dr. Edward Chappelle is the president of the National Dental Association.

Dr. Chappelle is presently practicing general dentistry in Bowie, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., with an emphasis in cosmetic dentistry. He served as president of the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society, Washington, D.C.   Dr. Chappelle has served in numerous leadership roles for the National Dental Association (NDA). He served as Speaker of the House of Delegates for seven years and is currently president of the NDA.

Why do crowns and root canals cost so much?

Crowns and root canals are procedures that take a fair amount of extra training to learn to do properly.  What you are paying for is the expertise of the doctor to perform these procedures as precisely as possible and with the least amount of pain.

Why are implants so expensive? Is it safe to get one every two years?

Placing implants is surgery.  The implant has a fixed cost by the manufacturer and the additional cost is for the expertise of the surgeon.  If the implant is done correctly, in general it should last you a lifetime with proper care. Yes it is safe.

What can I do to whiten my teeth?

A basic way to whiten your teeth is to use a good whitening toothpaste, there are some good ones on the market. You can also use baking soda and peroxide to brush with, but be careful, if you over do it you can damage your teeth, and finally, the safest way, is to see your dentist for a professional consultation and treatment.

Why are “gaps” frowned upon in USA?

Gaps, or what we call Diastemas, don’t fit what we have learned in this country as beauty.  In some countries it is a sign of beauty.

What age would you recommend getting Invisalign?

Invisalign is a method of Orthodontic treatment, Your orthodontist would be the best judge of when it is appropriate. Because it is a system of trays, you have to be old enough to be responsible

Can diabetes cause gum disease?

In itself, diabetes does not directly cause gum disease, plaque, tartar and the bacteria associated with them cause gum disease.  Uncontrolled diabetes makes it worse.

Is fluoride helpful?

It can help adults avoid cavities also, and Fluoride varnish may help improve root sensitivity.

Do you service Atlanta?

I don’t personally service Atlanta, but the National Dental Association has many members who practice in Atlanta.  Call our office for names 202-588-1697,<>.

What does it mean if your gums bleed when you brush?

If your gums bleed when you brush, you may have gingivitis, inflamed gums, an early sign of gum disease.  See your dentist for a check up

I have a question about the home teeth whitening kits. Are they any good to invest in?

Some of the kits may be a good first step. They can give you an idea of how well your teeth will whiten.  Consistency of use gives the best results.

 I wear dentures what’s good to keep them clean?

There are a lot of good commercial cleaners on the market.  Brushing the outside of the denture with a soft tooth-brush to remove food particles and plaque will help.

Can the dentist tell me if he knows a GOOD, GREAT DENTIST in Indianapolis?

You can check with the National Dental Association for members in Indianapolis.  202-588-1698,<>

What are the benefits of using braces? What age do you think Is the best for someone to get them?

Braces or Orthodontic treatment can help correct misaligned teeth.  Examples are crowded teeth, excessive spacing of the teeth, a narrow arch, buck teeth, retruded teeth.  Your Orthodontist can determine what the best age is, however, young children can be seen for consultations as to when to start treatment. Typically around age 7 or 8 is a good time for the consult.

I have terrible breath and geographic tongue, any help?

Bad breath or Halitosis, has many different causes, gum disease, decaying teeth, infected tonsils, sinus problems, stomach problems.  The treatment depends on the cause.  Typically geographic tongue is not an issue, but you could consider using a tongue scraper to remove food particles and surface bacteria from the tongue.  Also, check to see if you are vitamin deficient.

What can I use to whiten my teeth?

The best way to get good whitening results is to see your dentist.

What is the name of tooth paste to buy?

There are many different toothpastes on the market, any of them will do.  Brushing and flossing do the work, and the toothpaste just improves the taste and helps to remove surface stains

Is that line for Crest good for the kids?

Crest is good.  Just beware of tartar control toothpaste, it is not good for young children because they have a tendency to swallow it.  A pea size drop of toothpaste is all you need, adults and children.

Is a battery tooth-brush better than a manual?

Battery toothbrushes can do a better job if used properly.  However, manual is fine if you brush correctly 2 mins 2 times per day.

How do u get your teeth white again.?

As we get older, the enamel gets thinner due to wear, and our teeth look more yellow, the best way to whiten is to see your dentist for a professional consultation and a recommendation of how best to deal with it.  Professional bleaching is one option.

What is your opinion on invisalign braces alternative?

Invisalign is a great option for adults who may not want to have traditional braces due to their appearance.  But it is a more expensive alternative

What can be done for bad breath? I do floss and rinse.

The first thing is to determine what the actual cause of the bad breath is.  Is it gum disease, dental decay, sinus problems, stomach problems.  Then it can be treated properly.

Is peroxide good for your teeth?

Peroxide has been used for many years and is reasonably safe as long as you don’t use a lot and don’t swallow it.

How much do veneers normally cost?

The cost of veneers is different in different areas of the country. Cost range is usually from about $900 and up

What was the name of the tooth paste and tooth-brush that removes plaque?

Any good soft toothbrush will adequately remove plaque.  New ones work better than old ones.  You should change your brush every 2 to 3 months.  Toothpaste alone will not remove plaque

Dr. Edward Chappelle Answers Your Dental Health Questions  was originally published on