Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Care
How frequently should I see my dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that both children and adults see their dentists two times yearly. The office visit will include a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist and an oral examination of the teeth, gums and other soft tissues of the mouth.
What happens during a visit to the dental office?
First, one of the staff members will record the relevant information about your health history. Then, we will examine your teeth and gums and take a quick set of x-rays. The oral exam includes evaluating the jaw for Temporomandibular Joint problems (TMJ) and a screening for oral cancer. The dentist then formulates a treatment plan and discusses any goals you may have in mind for the health and appearance of your smile.
Our office is equipped to handle a wide range of dental services, including oral surgeries, orthodontics and root canal therapy. Treatment and associated fees are carefully spelled out in advance so that you and your dentist can make informed decisions about your dental health.
What is “painless dentistry?”
Painless dentistry is a term that assures the patient that he will experience no pain or stress during his dental procedures. We will work with you to explain our procedures and to offer you the level of dental anesthesia that is appropriate for your level of comfort. Options include local injection, oral sedation, and laughing gas or nitrous oxide. All drugs are carefully monitored by the dentist and dental assistant.
What if I have a dental emergency?
Rest assured that if you experience a broken tooth, lose a tooth or have some other dental problem arise unexpectedly, we can take care of you right away during normal office hours. If the incident occurs after hours, call us, and we will put you in contact with an on-call dentist. We understand that emergencies happen, and we are prepared to help you with them.
What payment options do I have?
There are different ways to pay for your dental care. Of course, there are cash and dental insurance. In addition, we accept major credit cards, including Master Card and Visa.
I don’t like the color of my teeth. Can the dentist whiten them?
The short answer is yes. While there are many whitening agents available over the counter, the best and safest results come by way of a visit to a dentist experienced in cosmetic procedures.
We recommend our in-office whitening procedures. They are completely painless and take anywhere from an hour and a half to 2 hours. At home methods of whitening take longer–usually overnight or even may need daily application. Also, the whitening agents are applied with a mouth guard which is fitted directly on the teeth. The whitening gel stays on the teeth overnight. Results usually take up to 2 full weeks. Another method involves applying the gel during the day for a few hours.
Some people purchase whitening products from sources other than the dentist, but experience shows that the best results, and the safest, too, are those recommended by a dental professional. The American Dental Association advocates whitening in the dental chair rather than at home. The dentist is the best person to evaluate the sources of stains and other discolorations of tooth enamel and to determine the correct way to improve the color.
What can I do about teeth that hold me back socially and professionally?
It’s true that a person’s smile counts toward making a good first impression–whether it’s at a job interview or at an important event such as a wedding.
Our dentists are skilled in many cosmetic procedures such as bonding and porcelain veneers. These minimally-invasive and innovative services can dramatically improve a smile by repairing minor cracks and chips, correcting minor misalignment and filling in small gaps. These services are cost-effective as well, and patients report a high degree of satisfaction with the results.