How can we help you?
We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures.
These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.
We will always do our best to give you an accurate quote prior to your next appointment. The quote is based on any prior knowledge that we have regarding your treatment need and any insurance coverage that you have. There may be instances where the treatment needs change or there are changes in insurance coverage, so the actual fee may vary. In questionable situations where insurance is involved (particularly with large cases), we may need to send a prior authorization request to your insurance so that we will be able to give you the most accurate quote. Remember, if your insurance coverage changes, let us know as soon as possible so that we can calculate your cost accurately!
Every insurance plan is different. Dental insurance is a benefit that often provides coverage for many dental procedures, but only your dentist knows what is truly the best treatment for your particular tooth or situation. Our staff will work with you and your insurance to help you get the most benefit from your specific insurance plan, but keep in mind that your insurance company does not know you or your mouth, and the coverage of a procedure is often determined by a list of rules that may not even pertain to your specific situation. Our experienced staff will always try to inform you up front about any out-of-pocket expenses that you may incur for your treatment.
Teeth are very complex, and in many cases, it is impossible to see everything that is going on with a tooth by the naked eye. Routine x-rays are recommended so that we can diagnose interproximal tooth decay (cavities in between your teeth) because it is impossible for us otherwise to see in between your back teeth. By taking these routine x-rays, we are able to identify normal-size cavities before they become large cavities, so that fillings can be done before a tooth becomes infected which then requires a root canal or extraction. X-rays are also necessary so that we can see the anatomy of the roots of your teeth. Teeth have large roots below the surface of your gums and the roots can only be seen via x-ray. We need to take x-rays to identify abscessed teeth, to check the anatomy of the roots prior to tooth extraction, and to verify the total health of your teeth every 5 years or so. Rest assured that we do everything we can to minimize your radiation exposure, and that we only take the least amount of x-rays that are needed for your situation to provide you with the best possible dental care. We also have all digital radiography which drastically reduces the amount of radiation that you are exposed to.
Baby teeth are placeholders for the permanent teeth that will erupt in the future. If baby teeth are decayed and not treated, then they may become infected. An infected tooth is like any infection in the body and so it must be treated, and typically the only treatment at that point is to extract the baby tooth. If a baby tooth is extracted too early, then it often causes spacing problems as the teeth around the extracted tooth will shift and eliminate the space that is needed for the permanent tooth to erupt in the future. If a baby molar is extracted at age 6, it is very possible that the permanent tooth to replace the baby molar will not be ready to erupt until the child is age 12 or later, and most likely there will not be any space for that tooth to properly erupt by that time. We always recommend filling baby teeth that have cavities unless the child is likely to lose the tooth naturally in the near future. Very young children should always have their cavities filled to prevent pain, infection, and early loss of baby teeth.
Yes, electric toothbrushes are significantly more effective than manually brushing with a regular toothbrush. Everyone should spend two minutes brushing their teeth both morning and night, but most people do not even spend 30 seconds! When an electric toothbrush is used, the bristles are moving much more rapidly than a person can move a brush, which allows for better cleaning in any amount of time. Electric toothbrushes will remove more plaque and tartar than manual brushing, and are more gentle on the gums, therefore offering the best clean without causing gum recession. We always recommend electric toothbrushes, but especially for patients with a history of aggressive brushing, recession, root abrasion, periodontal disease, heavy tartar build-up, or a high decay rate. Any electric toothbrush will work, but we prefer a rotary brush with a small brush-head and soft bristles.