Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
[Click on a question below to see the answer.]
1) Will my insurance cover my appointment/treatment?
Your insurance is a contract set up between you, your employer and the insurance company. We have limited access to the details of your insurance so we recommend that you be aware of the limitations of your insurance.
Provide a copy of Tx plan suggested by DDS explain its under basic coverage. Provide Ins benefit form if we do not have the information to call their Insurance company and ask about the codes given. Bring the information to the office as to coverage breakdown. If further assistance is needed our Tx Coordinator can help them out.
2) Why is it important to keep scheduled dental appointments?
Hygiene appointments are made to accommodate your oral and health care needs. Lapses in hygiene treatment will negatively affect your oral and in turn your overall health. Recommended time lines in hygiene treatment are customized to fit your specific to oral health care needs.
3) What does it mean when my gums bleed when I brush and floss?
This is a warning sign that gum disease is present and needs to be treated by a dental hygienist. Gum disease is what leads to tooth loss and failure of dental treatment. This frequently occurs in the absence of pain, making it an important first symptom in detecting the disease.
4) There are so many different toothbrushes on the market today. How do I know which one is the right one for me?
This is a good question, which we hear daily. The brand of the toothbrush is not nearly as critical as the type of bristle, the size and shape of the head and how frequently you replace your brush.
We recommend a soft bristled brush with a small head. The soft bristles are most important for the health of your gums. A small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums.Daily frequency of brushing and replacement with a new brush are much more important issues than the brand you choose.
We recommend replacing your brush at least once a month.
My employees and I all brush, on average, 5 times a day. We brush first thing in the morning, after each meal and at the end of the day .
If you are not able to do this because of your busy schedule, we recommend brushing twice a day at a bare minimum.
5) What is Decay?
Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
6) At what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?
It is never too early to get a child acquainted with their dental team. Most children have some teeth by age one and most of their teeth by age two. Decay can start within months of eruption and accidents can occur anytime. It is recommended that children start coming to the dentist between age one and two for a chair ride and an oral exam.
7) Is whitening safe for my teeth?
Although teeth whitening seems relatively new, whitening agents have been used in dentistry for many years. They are usually peroxide based, and can be very successful when used as directed. Some patients with nerve exposure notice sensitivity, but this can be managed by our dental team’s expertise. Don’t wait for that beautiful smile any longer.
8) Can whitening too much damage your teeth over time?
Whitening too much can cause sensitivity and abrasion – too much is never recommended.
9) What’s the difference with whitening products in stores vs in office whitening offered by Dentists?
Over the counter products are milder vs in office whitening products. Always advisable to have an assessment done to see if you are a candidate for vital whitening procedures.
10) When should my child first use toothpaste and how much should I really use?
Removing food and plaque from the teeth and gums should be done routinely as the first tooth erupts; however a cloth or soft-bristled toothbrush dampened with water is only necessary in the early stages. As your child gets older he or she can use a “training toothpaste” that is non-fluoridated up to age 3. At or around the third birthday, your child should transition to fluoridated toothpaste that is flavored especially for children when they are able to expectorate. Try to avoid minty flavors which can be perceived as “too spicy” or “burning” to your child’s tongue. When applying the toothpaste, only the bristles should be coated thinly; unlike the large, swooping ribbon of paste that is shown on commercials.
11) How much toothpaste should an adult use?
An adult should use a fluoridated toothpaste that is the size of a small green pea; unlike the large, swooping ribbon of paste that is shown on commercials. Most toothpastes are abrasive and too much may cause tooth sensitivity.
12) How can I tell if I have gingivitis or periodontitis (gum disease)?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which often causes discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Having regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect if periodontal problems exist.
Periodontal disease begins when plaque, a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria, food debris, and saliva, is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria produce toxins (acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.
Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than nonusers to form plaque and tartar on their teeth.
- Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings that may trap plaque and bacteria.
- Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure meds, oral contraceptives. Some medications have side affects that reduce saliva, making the mouth dry and plaque easier to adhere to the teeth and gums.
- Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Can cause changes in hormone levels, causing gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacteria toxins.
- Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc.
- Genetics may play role – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis. Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
- Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
- Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
- Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
- Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
- Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
- Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
- Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
13) How safe are x-rays? Why do you leave the room when taking x-rays on me?
Dentist will prescribed x-rays only when needed – client specific. Improved digital x-rays technology means up to 80% less radiation exposure vs old conventional manually chemically processing of x-rays. We step out of the room to activate x-ray tubing and there is no residual radiation left in the room after.