1. Where can I park?

Unlimited time parking spots are available on the north side of the square and our building on Washington St. The west side of the square also has unlimited parking spots.  The parking spots in front of the entrance to our building are for 3 hours.

2. How long should I anticipate my first appointment will be?

Initial evaluation appointments for adults are usually 90 minutes in length.  Sometimes this includes a routine cleaning.  However, we usually tell patients to not assume that a cleaning will be completed.  An initial evaluation for a child is ordinarily 30-60 minutes, depending on their age.

3. At what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

Pediatric dentists recommend that a child be brought to the dentist around the age of 1 year.  This type of appointment is not very long and usually focuses on education of the parent about good preventative habits

4. How often should I visit the dentist?

A typical adult or child patient should go to their dentist every 6 months for an intraoral evaluation and teeth cleaning.  Patients that have had a history of gum disease, normally need to be seen every 3 months.

5. What are my payment options?

Cash, check, MC/VISA, Care Credit(long term) financing, custom(short term) financing thru our office

6. I have thyroid issues. Do I need to worry about radiation from dental x-rays?

People who develop thyroid problems are usually wondering what caused it.  In the absence of any obvious reasons, some people speculate that dental radiation could be the cause.  No research has ever supported this theory.  Our office uses a lead apron with a thyroid collar to guard against any scatter radiation.  Even so, the doses we use are extremely low and safe.

7. How do I know if I have gum disease?

One of the most common signs of gum disease is redness and inflammation in your gum tissues, which results from the infection known as gingivitis.  Your gums might also bleed when you brush and floss them as the damage grows worse.  The best way to know for sure is to have it diagnosed during a professional dental evaluation.

8. Why do I need fluoride placed on my teeth after they are cleaned?

Topical application of fluoride is a great way to prevent the development of cavities(decay) in teeth.  By placing it on your teeth after a cleaning, it allows the tooth to become remineralized on all exposed surfaces of the tooth.  This remineralization makes the tooth surface stronger and more resistant to an acidic environment.  An acidic environment, whether it is caused by food, drinks, or bacteria, is the reason that teeth decay.

9. How long do I need to wait to eat or drink after fluoride is placed on my teeth?

After fluoride is placed on teeth, you may eat and drink right away.  However, it is best to avoid hot drinks and crunchy foods for 4-6 hours.  After 4-6 hours, you may brush your teeth normally.

10. Does whitening your teeth cause damage to them?

Professional whitening directed by a dentist does not cause damage to teeth.  Sensitivity that can develop during whitening is reversible.  Most over-the-counter whitening products are safe to use, but not as effective as that provided by a dental office.

11. Why do I need x-rays if nothing is bothering me?

Dental x-rays are a very safe and proven-effective way to help in the diagnosis of dental problems.  It is always beneficial to detect problems when they are small and undetectable by patients.  This allows the dentist to treat the problem early and hopefully avoid potential pain and complications of a larger dental problem.

12. If my tooth doesn’t hurt, why do I need to have work done on it?

Most dental problems start as small problems that are easy to correct.  For example, a small area of decay is usually undetectable to the patient.  If the decay gets large, the treatment becomes more complex to correct, resulting in the possible need for a root canal or extraction.  It is always best to treat problems early.  When a tooth becomes sensitive or painful, this usually means the problem is now large and will require more complicated treatment.

13. Is a white filling better than a silver filling?

White fillings and silver fillings are totally different materials and differ in many ways besides their color.  Our office prefers to do white fillings when possible because they are more cosmetic(same color as natural tooth), they form a bond to your tooth, require less destruction of healthy tooth, and have less cold sensitivity associated with them.  Silver fillings are less cosmetically appealing because they darken with time as they corrode.  They also have much more cold sensitivity and do not bond to the tooth.

14. Why do my gums bleed when I brush or floss?

Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation.  Most inflammation of the gums is directly related to a person’s ability to keep their teeth and gums clean.  Cleaning is best accomplished by daily brushing and flossing.  However, it is equally important to have teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist to remove tartar that accumulates above and below the gumline.  This helps to reduce inflammation and prevent gum disease (periodontal disease).

15. Why doesn’t my insurance cover 100% of all the charges?

Most dental insurance companies only pay 50-80% of charges in dental offices.  Employers have many different contract options with their insurance carriers and these policies may even differ within the same business.  Along with this, the policies usually have deductibles and yearly maximums that also limit the amount that they pay out to dental offices.

16. Why do I need a deep cleaning if I come to my regular cleanings? Why do I need to have my teeth cleaned every 3 months after having a deep cleaning?

Periodontal disease usually has no symptoms and patients often are unaware they have a problem until it is very large.  When gum disease is detected early, it is usually easy to keep under control if it is treated proactively.  Treating proactively includes a thorough deep cleaning, and then 3 month maintenance cleanings.  The bacteria under the gumline that cause the disease need to be “disrupted” within 90 days to promote a healthy environment.  Cleaning your teeth every 3 months keeps the unhealthy bacteria from creating deeper “pockets” of infection.

17. If I have crowns and I want to whiten my teeth, will the crowns also whiten?

Existing crowns will not change color with whitening products.  The only way to change the color of a crown is to remake the crown.

18. Why do we need to place fillings in baby teeth if those teeth will eventually come out?

Baby teeth are very important and should not be considered disposable.  They maintain the space in the mouth that is necessary for the eruption of permanent adult teeth.  If the baby teeth are prematurely lost, the adult teeth do not move into the right location.

19. Will I qualify for Invisalign aligners?

Older teen and adult patients with crooked teeth often worry about how braces might make their smiles look.  Yet, with Invisalign, that treatment can be so discreet that no one notices it unless you tell them about it.  To find out if you qualify for Invisalign, we’ll perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the nature and extent of your specific malocclusion.

20. Are dental implants best for replacing my teeth?

Whether you’ve recently lost teeth, or want a better way to support the dental bridge or denture that you’ve worn for a while, dental implants may be the optimal solution.  Designed to replace your lost teeth roots with biocompatible posts, dental implants offer greater support for your prosthesis and a better outlook for your jawbone’s long-term health.