Frequently Asked Questions

Why is visiting the dentist important?

Dental care is important because it:

  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • Protects against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
  • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
  • Gives you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
  • Helps keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
  • Strengthens your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

My teeth feel fine. Do I still need a dental checkup?

  • Your teeth may feel fine, but it’s still important to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile’s appearance is important, and your dentist can help keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer need to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Today’s dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:
  • Professional teeth whitening
  • Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
  • Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers

How can I care for my teeth between dental check-ups?

  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once!
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride and ask your dentist if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
  • Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
  • Don’t be afraid to brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit the dentist every six months.

At what age should I start taking my child to the dentist?

  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year of age. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth.

How often should I have a dental checkup and exam?

  • Children, teens, and adults should all see the dentist for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for gum disease may be required to see the dentist more than just twice a year. Your doctor will help determine how often you should visit the dentist for regular checkups.

Why is it important to use dental floss?

  • Brushing our teeth removes food particles, plaque, and bacteria from all tooth surfaces, except in between the teeth. Unfortunately, our toothbrush can’t reach these areas that are highly susceptible to decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone. 

How to floss properly:

  • Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion, gently saw the teeth.
  • Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

How often should I brush my teeth?

  • According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!

What can I do about stains or discoloration on my teeth?

  • It’s important to have your teeth evaluated by your dentist to determine if you’re a good candidate for teeth whitening (or bleaching). Some stains require professional removal, and some are due to the way the teeth were formed or medications. Your dentist can discuss your options during your next visit.

If I have braces, do I still need a dental checkup every six months?

  • Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

How do I schedule my next checkup?

  • Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit. Also, check out the “At your first visit page” for important information and forms to complete. 

Does your office offer sedation?

  • Our office does not offer oral or gas sedation. Patients can take medication for anxiety prior to the appointment but please let your provider know at the start of the appointment.

How do I get an antibiotic premedication prior to my dental appointment?

  • If you have previously been told by your treating physician that you need an antibiotic premedication, please bring your prescription to your next appointment. This is important for our office to keep on your medical chart.
  • If you need a refill of your antibiotic premedication, please call our office 48 hours prior to your appointment so we can call it in to your pharmacy.

What should I do if I have bad breath?

  • Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.
  • There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduces bad breath by as much as 70 percent.

What to do if you grind your teeth?

  • Grinding wears down your teeth causing damage, increased sensitivity, and even loosening teeth. They can crack or fracture, and grinding has been known to cause both issues. Your teeth can also be flattened from constantly rubbing against one another. Grinding not only damages your teeth, but it leaves you more susceptible to other complications in the future, as well. Beyond your teeth, grinding can lead to jaw pain and headaches. If you wake up with a sore, tired jaw on frequent occasions, this could be a sign that you grind or clench your teeth throughout the night.
  • If grinding is an issue for you, make an appointment to see us. First, we will assess the extent of the damage that may have already occurred due to grinding. We will then work with you to identify a solution that will keep your teeth strong and healthy.

Do you accept dental insurance?

  • Yes! We are an in-network provider with Delta Dental but can file with other insurance carriers as well. Currently, we do not accept or file with Medicaid. We will file insurance claims, but the patient is responsible for any deductible or non-payment from the insurance company.

What is an insurance deductible?

  • A dental insurance deductible is the dollar amount you must pay for covered dental services before your dental plan starts to pay.

    • Your deductible amount resets once every 12 months. Many dental plan providers follow the calendar year (e.g.; January through December). Check with your dental plan provider to confirm the exact dates

    There are two types of annual dental insurance deductibles:

    • At the individual level – a single person’s 12-month out-of-pocket dollar amount that must be paid to your dentist before the insurance plan will pay for covered dental services.
    • At the family level – all family members on the same plan have a combined 12-month out-of-pocket dollar amount that must be paid to your dentist before the insurance plan will pay for covered dental services.

    All dental plans have a maximum of benefits that the insurance company will pay each year.  Patients are responsible for the cost of services to the dentist once this maximum is reached.

What is an in-network provider?

  • Dentists who work in-network are also known as participating providers. They are contracted within your dental insurance company because they have agreed to provide dental services at rates determined by the insurance company.
  • Patients who see an in-network provider will still have deductibles and co-insurance payments to the dentist for services rendered.

Can I still see the dentist if my insurance changes?

  • Yes! Our office will file your new insurance. Please make sure to bring your new card with you at your next appointment.
  • If you do not have a copy of your dental insurance card, then contact your human resources person at your job for details or look up your benefits online through your dental insurance company’s website.
  • Currently, we do not accept or file with Medicaid.

How to access the Patient Portal?

  • In order for patients to login using our website link you will need to contact our front office to receive an email from our medical record system.  Patients will need to follow that link in the email and create their login.  The login is only good for 24 hours and then it will expire.  After completing the setup for a username and password, patients will be able to login to the portal from this website.  Patients can access appointment information from past and present, payment history or balances, forms, and patient education.  

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