Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to your dental health, we recognize you have questions.

We encourage you to ask them because we know our answers will put a perfect smile upon your face. For your convenience, we have prepared answers to frequently asked questions, but we would also be happy to address your questions personally in a consultation visit or over the phone. Please help us help you, by letting us know your dental concerns today.

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++Isn't dentistry just a pain and painful?

Not with Dr. Morrison. His exceptional service means dentistry will never again be a pain in your life and his excellent care means dental work will never again be painful to you either. Dr. Morrison strives everyday to go above and far beyond the stereotypes for dentists and dentistry.

++Why should I care about my dental health and receiving superior dental care?

Dentistry can provide your first line of defense to a multitude of ailments. In fact, many problems can be first diagnosed through oral examinations. And that is just one of countless reasons your smile is important. You speak, eat, are known, smile, and laugh through your mouth; a smile can make any day; it’s the easiest way to give back; and it’s the only universal, non-verbal communication around the world. It comes down to the question, for something so important, why would you want to give anything but your best? Here at the Center, we help you discover your true smile identity so each smile is nothing but the best and we invite you to discover that for yourself. With your smile clearly being your greatest asset, taking cosmetic and healthful care of that smile will pay dividends for your life and its health, liberty from low self-esteem, and pursuit of happiness.

++What makes Dr. Morrison so special and different from any other dentist?

Dr. Morrison is more committed than most and a perfectionist whose results always match that standard. Dr. Morrison believes in empowering you, as a person whom he is privileged to serve and as a guest of his dental chair with needs, questions, concerns, intelligence, and personal desires - not just a patient. He helps you be a partner in your care.

Not all dentists are created equal, but his guest believe Dr. Morrison rises to the top. He has received excellent training and done exceptionally well throughout all of it, having received numerous accolades for his gifted hands at dentistry throughout his decades of dental service – the best of which he will tell you is his guest’s personal testimonies. Finally, Dr. Morrison is a man of faith and family, with the integrity, morals, and ethics that correlate. He invites you into his proverbial practice family and treats you with the respect and compassion of one of his own family members. We believe these are some of the many things that make Dr. Morrison different and special.

++How do I contact the office?

Our contact information can be found on our Contact Page by clicking here.

++How do I schedule an appointment?

Contact us at 301-637-0719 today to join the Center for Dental Health team.

++How do I get to Dr. Morrison's office?

For you convenience, you can get personalized direction by clicking here.

++What is I am a nervous guest and need nitrous oxide (laughing gas)?

We strive to put you at ease with our care, but we would also be glad to accommodate you with nitrous oxide if you feel you need it. We will provide you with more information about this option now so you can feel completely at ease. Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas, which you can breathe.

Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe, you receive 50-70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

You are able to breathe on your own and remain in control of all bodily functions.

You may experience mild amnesia and may fall asleep, not remembering all of what happened during the visit.

There are many advantages to using Nitrous Oxide:
  • The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.
  • There is no after effect such as a "hangover"
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • It works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.
Reasons to not use Nitrous Oxide:

You should not utilize Nitrous Oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, exotic chest problems, M.S., a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.

You may want to ask us for a "5 minute trial" to see how you feel with this type of sedation method before proceeding.

++How does Dr. Morrison protect from infection

Infection controls and universal precautions protect guests and other team members alike. Everyone benefits from our rigorous infection control. The cornerstone in a good and safe dental practice is the element of trust. You should feel free to discuss these matters with Dr. Morrison at any time. We here at the Center follow procedures recommended by several federal agencies: the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These measures include:

  • Disinfectant hand soap
  • Gloves and face masks
  • Chemical disinfection of countertops and surfaces
  • Sterilization of all equipment before every use
  • Item 05

We sterilize all reusable equipment, including dental hand pieces. We use an autoclave, which is a device that kills bacteria and viruses by steam, heat, and pressure.

++I Just had a procedure done, but what do I do now?

You can find our post-operative dental care instructions for each of our procedures at your convenience online by clicking here.

++What do I do for home care?

In the spectrum of life, very little. Dr. Morrison recommends a regime that will keep you out of the chair as much as possible. This includes brushing twice a day, once in the morning and another time before you go to bed, or, if you prefer, after every meal. He also advises you floss one of those times, before you brush. Dr. Morrison’s preferred brushing and flossing technique is very different than most. The standard many of us learned when we were young, Dr. Morrison explains, is insufficient at cleaning as it simply moves the dirt and plaque around the tooth surfaces and irritates the gums. Dr. Morrison teaches several light, blanching brushes of a soft to medium toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to each tooth is ideal. These strokes should be done at the gum line of each tooth and followed by a swift stroke upwards toward the tooth’s biting surface. Both the inside and outside gum line of every tooth must be brushed in this manner. To conclude your brushing, Dr. Morrison suggests a brisk brush of the biting surfaces and tongue as well as spitting, but no rinsing. As for flossing, Dr. Morrison advocates guiding a taught portion of floss, roughly 18 inches long, up and down the sides of each tooth and then removing the floss from between the teeth by pulling to and out the side of the space between them, as opposed to lifting it up and out the top of the space. If your teeth are especially sensitive, consult with Dr. Morrison. Dr. Morrison clearly demonstrates this entire method at your first cleaning.

++How do I take care of my bridge or dentures?

For your own surrounding teeth, Dr. Morrison’s prescribed regimen of brushing and flossing will keep them clean. This is of critical importance as the bridge or denture relies on any neighboring teeth for support. Brushing and other cleaning solutions can be used to clean the actual devise.

++What dental products should I use?

There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between them difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most.

Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the guests. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator if you choose to use one. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes called Rotadent and Interplak.

Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with Dr. Morrison.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stages of gum disease.

Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. If you like, use these in conjunction with proper brushing and flossing.

Ultimately, the products are not what are important, but rather the proper home care, brushing and flossing.

++Why is home care so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum, or periodontal, disease than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

++How can I prevent cavities?

Most of the time cavities are due to a diet high in sugary foods and a lack of brushing. Limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, of course, can help. Also, the longer it takes to eat or drink, the longer residue stays on teeth and the greater the chances of getting cavities.

Every time someone eats, an acid reaction occurs inside their mouth as the bacteria digests the sugars. This reaction lasts approximately 20 minutes. During this time the acid environment can destroy the tooth structure, eventually leading to cavities.

Consistency of a person\\\\\'s saliva also makes a difference; thinner saliva breaks up and washes away food more quickly. When a person eats diets high in carbohydrates and sugars they tend to have thicker saliva, which in turn allows more of the acid-producing bacteria that can cause cavities.

Tip for cavity prevention:
  • Limit frequency of meals and snacks
  • Brush and floss
  • Watch what you drink
  • Avoid sticky foods
  • Make treats part of meals
  • Choose nutritious snacks

++I don't understand all the dental jargon! How do I learn more?

Of course, we would be happy to explain anything in person, but we also have numerous resources to help you at your own convenience. For dental definitions, visit our Dental Dictionary. To learn about anything and everything you could possibly desire of the dental world, see our annotated list of links. If you still feel lost, let us know and we would love to assist you personally, by having you contact us.

++What is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS)?

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists specializing in surgery of the mouth, face and jaws. After four years of dental school, surgeons receive four to seven years of hospital-based surgical and medical training, preparing them to do a wide range of procedures including all types of surgery of both the bones and soft tissues of the face, mouth and neck.

++What is an Endodonist?

The Endodontist examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and destructive processes, including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues of the teeth.

Endodontists examine guests and interpret radiographs and pulp tests to determine pulp vitality and periapical tissue condition. They evaluate their findings and prescribe a method of treatment to prevent loss of teeth.

++What is an Prosthodontist?

The prosthodontist examines and diagnoses disabilities caused by loss of teeth and supporting structures. They formulate and execute treatment plans for the construction of corrective prostheses to restore proper function and esthetics of the mouth, face, and jaw.

++What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist has at least two additional years of training beyond dental school. The additional training focuses on management and treatment of a child’s developing teeth, child behavior, physical growth and development, and the special needs of children’s dentistry.

++What is an Orthodontist

An orthodontist prevents and treats mouth, teeth, and jaw problems. Using braces, retainers, and other devices, an orthodontist helps straighten a person\\\\\'s teeth and correct the way the jaws line up.

Orthodontists treat many problems, including crowded or overlapping teeth or problems with jaw growth and tooth development. These tooth and jaw problems may be caused by tooth decay, losing baby teeth too soon, accidents, or habits like thumb sucking. These problems can also be genetic or inherited.

++When should I schedule my child's first dental visit?

The first "regular" dental visit should be when the child is either two or three. This first visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. It is great, however, for them to take a ride in the dental chair and learn from an early age that the dentist is not a scary place, but can be fun. We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination or you can simply accompany your child by sitting in the other chairs in the clinical suite and watching.

++What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?

We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child\\\'s reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.

Here are some "First Trip" tips you might want to use:


  • Take your child for a "preview" of the office.
  • Read books with them about going to the dentist.
  • Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visi
  • Speak positively about your own dental experiences.

++What do I need to know about baby teeth?

The first baby teeth that come into the mouth are the two bottom front teeth. You will notice this when your baby is about 6-8 months old. Next to follow will be the 4 upper front teeth and the remainder of your baby\\'s teeth will appear periodically. They will usually appear in pairs along the sides of the jaw until the child is about 2 1/2 years old.

At around 2 1/2 years old your child should have all 20 teeth. Between the ages of 5 and 6 the first permanent teeth will begin to erupt. Some of the permanent teeth replace baby teeth and some don\\\\\'t. Don\\\\\'t worry if some teeth are a few months early or late as all children are different.

Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.

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Office Info

Morrison Cosmetic Dentistry

5454 Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 1505
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Call Us
Office: 301-637-0719
Fax: 301.652.0752
Hours of Operation
Tues thru Fri – 7am to 5pm
Send us an Email

Morrison Cosmetic Dentistry

5454 Wisconsin Ave
Suite 1505
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

803 Russell Ave. 
Suite 2-C 
Gaithersburg, MD 20879

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