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.
At this time during the COVID-19 pandemic, every person who enters this building MUST WEAR A MASK. This includes all employees, patients, and vendors. Patients will be required to wear a mask from the time that they enter the building until we are ready to work in the mouth during the scheduled procedure. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided to you.
If you refuse to wear a mask, then we kindly ask you to postpone your dental appointment to allow for other patients to be seen as we do our best to accommodate all of our patients in the safest possible manner.
Our office is one of the safest places you could be! In dentistry, we always follow very strict infection control protocol. During this time, we are doing even more to ensure the safety of our employees and our patients at all times. We are following all of the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), American Dental Association (ADA), and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for dental care during the pandemic.
Some of the changes you will notice include but are not limited to the following:
Every person in the office is wearing a mask at all times (the only exception being a patient who is in the course of a dental procedure in his/her own treatment room). We are limiting the number of patients in the office at any given time and we are structuring appointments in a way that you will most likely not even encounter another patient as you enter and exit the office. Each room is fully sanitized between appointments, and we have removed all non-essential items from all rooms (e.g., brochures, magazines). We are not using the waiting room at this time; when you arrive for your appointment, you will call to let us know that you are here and we will bring you in to the office (one patient at a time) at the time of your appointment. Each patient is screened, temperature is taken, and the patient is escorted directly to his/her treatment room.
Our providers are wearing extra personal protective equipment (PPE) in addition to our typical masks, glasses, and gloves. The addition of surgical gowns, plastic face shields, and high level surgical masks and/or respirators are some of the "extras" that you will see.
It is recommended that a patient NOT bring any visitors to the appointment unless he/she needs to be accompanied in order to complete treatment (e.g., young children, disabled patients, elderly patients). If a visitor is necessary, the visitor must also be screened and wear a mask at all times in the office.
You can rest assured that our office is safe during the pandemic. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please call the office prior to your appointment so we can address them!
Typically, we welcome a visitor with a patient as it may make the experience more comfortable for the patient. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot allow extra people to enter the office unless absolutely necessary. We would ask during this time that you NOT bring any extra people to the office for your appointment. If you do, we will ask that the extra person(s) stay in the car during your appointment. Exceptions to this would include patients who are young children, disabled, elderly, or otherwise require additional assistance in order to have their dental procedure completed; in these cases, we ask that you bring only ONE visitor as a companion. The visitor must be screened for signs/symptoms of COVID-19, have his/her temperature taken, and must wear a mask the entire time while in the building.
We ask that you DO NOT enter the building when you arrive and please do not arrive too early for your appointment. If you visit our office during this time, please CALL US at 814-664-4011 when you arrive and we will gladly let you know when we are ready for you! We will also inform you if your provider is running behind schedule and give you the option to reschedule your appointment if necessary. Our goal is to keep the number of patients in the office to a minimum at all times. If we are not ready for you to enter the building, we will kindly ask that you wait in your car until we are ready.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following all of the guidelines from the PA Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the safety of our patients and staff. One of the most important guidelines is that we practice social distancing at all times. In order to control the flow of patients in and out of the office and to eliminate patients coming into contact with one another, we are asking that all patients call the office upon arrival.
We are having each patient rinse for 60 seconds with Peroxyl mouthrinse because it may significantly decrease the viral load in the mouth of an infected person. Hydrogen peroxide has been shown to oxidize an thereby inactivate an enveloped virus such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Peroxyl mouthrinse is available over the counter and has been well accepted by our patients! Most patients really like the taste and the fresh feeling that it leaves in the mouth. Furthermore, Peroxyl is an excellent rinse for mouth sores of any kind as it helps with the associated pain and encourages healing of oral tissue.
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.
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we are unable to accept new patients at this time. We were forced to close the office for several months during the pandemic and our priority is to get caught up with our existing patients before we will be able to accept new patients. Please check back in the future because we are confident that we will be able to take new patients again at some point!
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.