Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect at my first appointment?
At your first appointment we do a complete and thorough exam that includes a full mouth set of x-rays and a panoramic x-ray to access tooth decay and the condition of wisdom teeth. We also look in the mouth at the teeth and gums to evaluate for gum disease and tooth decay. At this time we complete an oral cancer screening as well. By doing this we gather the information needed to educate you about the condition of your mouth and form the best plan of action to maintain a healthy mouth. Your treatment plan will be designed to meet your specific wants and needs.
How do I pay for treatment?
We accept cash, checks, and major credit cards, as well as file insurance for you and maximize your benefits. We have an in office discount plan that entails a yearly fee and the patient receives two free cleanings, yearly x-rays, and 20% off most dental treatment. We offer a monthly payment plan through care credit financing and also offer a cash discount when fees exceed a certain amount.
How often should I get a dental check-up?
This all depends on the health of your mouth. For a patient that has a healthy mouth a check-up may only be needed twice as year. However, for patients that are prone to tooth decay or other dental conditions more frequent visits may be recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. Regular exams and cleanings are essential to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
How often should I get dental x-rays?
The frequency of getting X-rays of your teeth often depends on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays as often as every six months; others with no recent dental conditions or gum disease and who visit their dentist regularly may get X-rays only once a year. If you are a new patient dental x-rays are required to establish a baseline record of your dental health as well as treatment plan any conditions found on the x-rays.
Are dental x-rays safe?
Dental x-rays do not expose you to high doses of radiation. We use digital x-rays which emit 80% less radiation than the traditional film x-rays.
How often should I brush?
Twice a day for two minutes is the “Golden Rule” of brushing. Brushing your teeth helps remove plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease.
What kind of toothbrush is the best?
There are certain characteristics to look for when selecting a toothbrush regardless of whether it is a manual toothbrush or a power toothbrush. First, check the size of the toothbrush head. It should allow you to reach all surfaces of the teeth easily. Large toothbrush heads can prevent you from reaching the back teeth and narrow areas of the mouth. For most people a smaller head is better. Always make sure the bristles are soft. Never use a hard bristle toothbrush on your teeth. It can be too abrasive and cause damage to the teeth and gums. Power toothbrushes are great for everyone to use.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
A toothbrush should be replaced at least every 3 months or when the bristles become frayed. It is also important to change your toothbrush after any illness to prevent reinfection.
How should I store my toothbrush?
A toothbrush should be stored so that it is allowed to dry out in-between uses. Using a toothbrush holder that has individual sections for each brush is the best choice. This allows the toothbrush to remain upright for proper drying and prevents all toothbrushes from touching.
What causes tooth decay?
The combination of bacteria and food causes tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque that contains bacteria is always forming on your teeth and gums. As the bacteria feeds on the sugars in the food you eat, they make acids. The acids attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating. Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
What are signs of gum disease?
Gum disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. However, warning signs of gum disease include the following:
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures