Q. How often should I see a dentist?

A. The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year.

Q. What should I expect during my appointment?

A. One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, make X-rays of your teeth as needed and complete a TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint) exam. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you. If treatment such as a root canal (endodontics), braces (orthodontics) or oral surgery is needed, we will plan to treat you in our office or refer you to a specialist. We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.

During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any pain or problems you may be experiencing and answer any questions you may have.

Q. What does “painless dentistry” mean?

A. Painless dentistry is a means of ensuring your total experience in our office is as stress-free and pain-free as possible. We will discuss treatment options that may require no local anesthetic and whenever possible, alleviate pain by the means most comfortable to you.

Q. What if I have an emergency?

A. Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you in to our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office for the doctor’s emergency contact number.

Q. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?

A. Yes. We accept many types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment. However, insurance benefits are not a guarantee of payment. We offer interest-free and low interest rate outside payment plans and also accept most major credit cards.

Q. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?

A. There are different methods available for bleaching the teeth: in-office or take-home. In-office “power” bleaching generally is performed in a three day sequence which achieves faster results, and you can read or relax during the treatments. For take-home bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a custom made bleach tray that fits your bite. Each day you fill the custom tray with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it one hour daily for two to three weeks. The take-home bleaching process achieves results in approximately two to three weeks.

There are various other over-the-counter daily bleaching products available in retail stores, but it is important to use any bleaching product only under the supervision of a dentist. To achieve the whitening results you desire, the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.

Q. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?

A. We have many different procedures that can help these problems. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Veneers can be positioned to close gaps. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.

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