Dental Emergencies

What should I do if a tooth gets knocked out in an accident?

You need to know what to do when you suddenly lose a tooth. If you keep calm and follow these steps, everything will be okay.

  • Step 1: Find the tooth that has fallen out. Make sure not to touch the bottom (the root) of the tooth and only touch the top (the crown) of the tooth.
  • Step 2: Carefully rinse the fallen tooth with milk or water. Don’t scrub or wipe the tooth, simply rinse the root and the crown of the tooth. Make sure the tooth does not come into contact with any chemicals or soap.
  • Step 3: Carefully put the fallen tooth back into the empty socket. Stop the tooth from moving around by softly biting down a piece of medical gauze or soft fabric. If reinserting the tooth is not possible, then put the tooth in a glass or small container with milk. If you can’t put the tooth in milk, then place the tooth between your cheek and gums.
  • Step 4: Go to a dentist immediately, unless you have another injury that requires medical attention. 

What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?

When a tooth is lost, many problems occur. Eventually, if the tooth doesn't come out, chewing on the affected side becomes increasingly difficult and eventually, the remaining teeth can tip and erupt into the open gap.

Depending on the location where the missing tooth is, we would most likely suggest one of three options: 

Each of these dental treatments has its pros and cons. If you would like more information, book an appointment and we can go over the specifics of your case.


How long will my first appointment last?

It varies, but you should plan on spending about 30 minutes to an hour during your first visit. As family dentists, Fisher & Orfaly Dental can help busy families save time by eliminating the need for additional office visits for their children's teeth. During the initial meeting, Dr. George Orfaly makes sure to clearly explain the benefits, costs, and risks associated with each treatment. At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, helps with forms, insurance, and believes oral health education is an important part of preventive dentistry. 

My teeth feel fine. Should I still see a dentist?

You may not notice any problems with your teeth, but it's still a good idea to visit the dentist regularly because problems may exist without you knowing. Most dental insurances cover two preventive visits per year. Take advantage of it and book an appointment now! Your smile is important, and at Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, we can help keep your smile looking healthy and beautiful.

It's been a long time since I've visited the dentist. What do I need to do?

You're not alone in this! It doesn't matter if it's been six months or six years, it's never too late to start a healthy routine. Dr. George Orfaly can arrange for you to get a thorough and educational dental examination at Fisher & Orfaly Dental in Salem, MA. The team of Fisher & Orfaly Dental has been serving people just like you for nearly forty-five years, so take advantage of our experience!

I am a new patient. Can I get teeth cleaning done on my first visit?

Usually yes. During the first appointment, we will examine your teeth and gums thoroughly, including looking at your x-rays and reviewing your medical history. We will also allow enough time for regular teeth cleaning, too. If you would like to learn more about what would happen during your first visit to the dental office of Fisher & Orfaly in Salem, MA, call us on (978)-744-1209 or book an appointment.

General Dentistry

Will root canal treatment hurt?

Many people associate root canals with pain, but at Fisher & Orfaly Dental, this procedure should feel just like a dental filling and will allow you to get back on the road towards recovery quickly.

At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, trusted family dentist, Dr. George Orfaly provides hundreds of root canal treatments each year, and he takes great pride in providing effective and comfortable dental care when patients need it most.

Why choose dental implants?

Dental implants are one of the most stable and long-term solutions to missing teeth because they become a functional and reliable part of your dental system. They are the most realistic and natural way to replace missing teeth. Dental implants also improve your food choices. You don't have any restrictions because your dental implants won't move or shift while you're chewing.

What is dental filling material made of?

At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, we offer composite resin dental fillings which are durable and strong. Composite fillings are tooth-colored, so they can be closely matched with the color of existing teeth. They're also better suited for use in front or visible teeth than for back teeth.

Can I eat after I have a filling?

Composite fillings are hardened before leaving the dental office using a special light. Once the patient has left our
office, they just need to be careful not to chew on their tongue or lips if they're numb. They should avoid chewing on the side where the filling was done for a full day after the procedure. Dr. George Orfaly, of Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, recommends no sticky or hard foods that day.

What can be done about old and discolored fillings?

We all have fillings in our mouths that were put there many years ago, and some may have even been placed during our childhood. These fillings may be old, dark, unattractive, and make us feel self-conscious whenever we smile, laugh, or talk. Old fillings aren't just unattractive—they could also be defective. When an old filling is removed, the space between the tooth and filling may eventually become infected, allowing bacteria and food debris to get into the space.

At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, trusted family dentist Dr. George Orfaly can check your fillings and evaluate if they are defective and need replacement. If you just want to replace fillings because they're unattractive, you and Dr. Orfaly can decide which ones need replacing first and what replacement options will best suit you. Today, there are many state-of‑the‑art dental filling materials and techniques available that are quick, pain-free, and cost-effective for repairing old, unattractive, or damaged fillings.

Options for replacing old or discolored fillings:

You can choose from several different options when replacing old, unattractive filling materials at Fisher &Orfaly, Salem, MA. These treatments will provide effective, natural, and long-lasting replacement solutions for enhancing the health and beauty of teeth.

If I have a cavity and it doesn’t hurt, can I wait to get it fixed?

 A cavity grows larger and gets worse very quickly. Once it has been diagnosed, Dr. George Orfaly of Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, recommends you wait no longer than two weeks before having the tooth restored. Waiting for treatment longer increases the risk of an infection spreading to the nerve and causing loss of the tooth.

When are dental sealants recommended?

Brushing and flossing can remove most food particles and bacterial debris from the surface of teeth, but they don't get into the grooves of teeth where plaque accumulates. Tooth decay occurs most often in these deep grooves (which are also called “pits”) and fissures of teeth. The bristles of toothbrushes are too big to possibly fit and clean these areas. Dental sealants play an important role here.

A dental sealant is an extremely thin plastic coating that covers the chewing surfaces of teeth. It helps protect them from decay. Sealant material forms a protective barrier covering natural depressions in the teeth, making them much easier to clean and keeping these areas free of tooth decay.

Preventive Dentistry

Why do I have to visit the dentist every six months?

At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, Dr. George Orfaly believes that six months is an ideal frequency for regular visits because this allows us to identify and treat oral health issues early on before they become serious and painful. Most dental insurances fully cover at least two dental visits each year, so it is best to take advantage of your dental insurance and get your teeth checked at least once every six months. 

How often should I go for a dental exam and teeth cleaning?

Your teeth should be checked and cleaned at least once a year, but the dentist or dental hygienist may suggest more frequent visits.

Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for preventing dental problems and keeping your teeth and gums healthy. At your dental appointments at Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, your teeth are cleaned, checked for cavities, and treated if necessary. Many other things are checked and monitored to help identify, prevent, and treat dental issues.

Are dental X-rays safe and needed?

Medical and dental experts examine the use of X-ray technology and set guidelines for its safety. Sometimes dentists may suggest X-rays to diagnose certain problems. Advances in technology mean today's X-ray machines produce less radiation and are safer for patients than they were in the past. At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, we have upgraded to digital X-rays, which offer many benefits.

You may expect to receive X-rays during your first dental exam after not visiting a dentist for some time. This helps check the health of the teeth and gums.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Why do teeth need to be straightened?

Straight teeth perform better than crooked ones when it comes to chewing, biting, and talking. Furthermore, a straight smile helps boost confidence, is visually appealing, and can help ward off a wide variety of oral health issues.

There are many different types of malocclusion including overbite, underbite, crossbite, and overcrowding. Each of these alignment issues negatively affects the functionality and cosmetic appearance. That is why it is very important to straighten crooked teeth. At Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, we offer Reveal Clear Aligners as an alternative to braces to help straighten your teeth.

What is cosmetic dentistry, and how does it differ from general dentistry?

With cosmetic dentistry, you get a beautiful, healthy, and flawlessly perfect smile. General dentistry focuses on keeping your teeth and gums healthy, while cosmetic dentistry offers comprehensive treatments that improve and preserve the look of your smile.

Cosmetic treatments at Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, include:

Will my insurance cover cosmetic dental care?

Usually, cosmetic dentistry procedures are not covered by dental insurance. A dental procedure is considered to be cosmetic dentistry if:

  • The procedure exists solely to enhance the aesthetics of the patient's smile.
  • The underlying tooth or tissues are not damaged or impaired.
  • There is no medical necessity for altering the teeth or performing the procedure.

Fortunately, at Fisher & Orfaly Dental, Salem, MA, these procedures can be financed by CareCredit.