Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most frequent questions we get asked.  If you have any other questions, please contact us!

Q: Do I need fluoride during my hygiene appointments? Why?

A: Children and adults both benefit from topical fluoride treatments. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel of kids teeth while they are forming in order to decrease decay rates. After the teeth are fully formed it may seem as though there is no benefit from fluoride treatments. However, with age comes recession of the gums and exposure of the root surfaces of the tooth. This surface is 700 percent softer than enamel, leaving these surfaces much more susceptible to decay. Fluoride is the best way to help prevent these cavities from forming, and to help remineralize early decay. In addition fluoride can help control tooth sensitivity. These are the two most important reasons we provide fluoride treatments to patients of all ages at each re-exam appointment.

Q: What should I do if a tooth is knocked out completely?

A: If the tooth is a permanent tooth and it is dirty, rinse it gently in running water, but DO NOT scrub it or remove any attached tissue. Insert the tooth back in the socket if possible. If this is not possible, place the tooth under the tongue or in a cup of milk. Call your dentist immediately (the best prognosis is obtained if treated within 30 minutes).

Q: What should I do for a toothache?

A: Rinse mouth out to remove any food debris. Take pain medication as directed on the bottle. DO NOT place aspirin on or near the tooth as this will burn the tissue. If there is swelling place an ice pack over the area. Call your dentist ASAP to get an appointment.

Q: Why does my child need sealants? When should my child get sealants?

A: The back teeth (molars) form with deep pits and grooves on the biting surface. This is the most common location that we see decay. This is because they are impossible to keep clean as the bristles from the toothbrush cannot reach into them and the plaque is easily able to build up here. By cleaning these pits and filling them with sealant material, we prevent this from occuring and decrease the risk of decay. Teeth receive the greatest benefit from sealants when they are applied to newly erupted teeth.

Q: Why do I have bad breath? What can be done about it?

A: Dental reasons for halitosis (bad breath) can include plaque, bacteria, decay, periodontal disease, and coated tongue. Mouthwashes, toothpaste, and gum are some ways to temporarily mask the problem, but the best way to eliminate it is to remove the cause. Regular dental visits and adequate daily home care is the best prevention. If the problem persists after all dental origins are resolved, consult your physician as it can also be caused by systemic conditions such as diabetes.

Q: How can I tell if I have periodontal disease?

A: Periodontal disease is hard for you to detect because it is painless. Some common signs and symptoms include: chronic bad breath, red, swollen, or tender gums that bleed easily, and shifting or loose teeth. Call a dentist today if you have noticed any of these symptoms to have a thorough examination of your gum tissues and the bone levels supporting your teeth.

Q: In addition to cleaning my teeth, why is a 6 month check-up needed?

A: Regular dental visits are important because they allow early detection of many conditions that may arise in your mouth. These include cavities, periodontal disease, cysts, tumors, and even oral cancer. Early detection and treatment for these things can save you time, money, and even your life!

Q: Why doesn't my insurance cover all the costs of my dental treatment? Why do I need the work if my insurance company won't pay for it?

A: Dental insurance isn't actually insurance at all, which is defined as a payment to cover the cost of a loss. It is a monetary benefit set up to help pay for a portion of dental treatment and reduce your out of pocket expenses. Employers select a plan based on the cost of the plan, not the dental needs of their employees. It is your dentists' responsibility to diagnose and treat your specific dental needs regardless of what your insurance policy pays. We are happy to assist you with any questions you may have regarding your current insurance coverage, but the ultimate responsibility to pay for your dental bill lies within you. Some questions regarding your dental coverage may be directed to you, your employer, and your insurance carrier.