Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question for our doctors? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Below, you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions our patients ask us every day. If you happen to have a question that we haven’t answered on this page, no worries, just give us a call! We’re always willing to take extra time to ensure you completely understand your dental care and treatment options.
How long is a new patient visit? What will happen?
Your first appointment with us will take about an hour. A member of our front office team will review your paperwork and discuss the reasons for your visit, then escort you to a treatment room to meet your dentist. After discussing your medical and dental history, as well as your expectations, your dentist will conduct a thorough exam of your teeth and soft tissues. We’ll take some digital x-rays and use an intraoral camera to take pictures inside your mouth as well. You’ll also receive an oral cancer screening. We may take a dental impression to analyze how well your top and bottom teeth fit together. Your dentist will explain his findings, answer all of your questions, and discuss treatment recommendations. You’ll leave with a plan to achieve the fantastic smile that you deserve!
Why are checkups recommended every six months even for people with great oral health?
Because they give us the opportunity to catch small problems before they can turn into big ones.
We use DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection to find cavities in their earliest stages, and often that means before they can be seen or felt by a patient. Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We also screen for oral cancer, a disease that will affect more than 50,000 Americans this year. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80% cure rate. Gum disease is another sneaky problem that we try to catch early. This common bacterial infection has been linked to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
We follow strict guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and OSHA. Our practices include sterilizing reusable instruments in an autoclave, then sealing them for the next use, disinfecting treatment rooms between patient visits, and using disposable products when possible. We always wear disposable gloves during exams and treatment for your safety as well.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from brushing too hard or from early-stage gum (periodontal) disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of periodontal disease, however, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to alleviate your symptoms and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults and has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to significantly damage your health, so call for an assessment now. We’ll help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!
What are one-visit crowns?
With innovative CEREC technology, we can create all-porcelain crowns while you wait. In just one visit, you can get a custom-made, all-white, reliable restoration. No temporary. No follow-up visit. No messy impression. It's that simple.
What happens if missing teeth aren’t replaced?
Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth isn’t quickly replaced, up to 20% of the adjacent teeth will be lost in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth can also cause the remaining teeth to shift, creating spaces between them, food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. You’re also more susceptible to gum disease, a serious health condition that can significantly shorten your lifespan.
What are my options for replacing missing teeth?
We offer fixed bridges, partial dentures, and dental implant restorations. You can learn more about these options on our Services pages, then call for a consultation. With digital x-rays, photos from an intraoral camera, and a thorough assessment of your dentition, your dentist can help you decide which replacement option is best for you.
I have chronic headaches. Can you help?
Chronic headaches may be a symptom of a misaligned bite, bruxism (grinding), or a TMJ disorder. Our dentists can use advanced neuromuscular dentistry techniques to determine and treat the underlying causes of your pain. Oftentimes, we can correct the problem with a custom nightguard or by gently building up the surface of back teeth to correct the bite misalignment. Call our office if you have more questions about headache relief with non-surgical therapies.
How can I make my smile brighter?
We offer custom-made teeth whitening trays with professional-strength bleaching gel for safe and effective whitening in the comfort of your own home. Home whitening yields excellent results – up to 8 shades or better! Two weeks of use produces optimal results, but if your teeth reach the desired shade before then, simply discontinue treatment.
What can you do to improve the appearance of my smile?
Well, we'll start by evaluating your oral health, existing smile, and discussing your idea of a spectacular smile. We may suggest porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, replacement teeth, a gum lift, and/or replacing metal dental work with more esthetic, tooth-colored restorations. Call to schedule a consultation, and together, we'll determine the best road to your ideal smile.