• FAQ

  • General Questions

    I just had some dental work done and I have the following symptoms. Do I need to come in?

    The restoration feels high – When you are numb, it can sometimes be difficult to adjust a new filling or crown.  Please do not wait for the restoration to wear down as it could take a long time and traumatize the tooth.  We will try to accommodate your schedule and squeeze you into our schedule for what should be a short appointment.

    Cold sensitivity – This can be normal especially if it lasts only a few seconds or less after consuming something cold.  It should gradually get better and in time go away.

    Spontaneous, lingering or constant pain – These symptoms could be the sign that a tooth needs a special filling called a root canal filling.  The nerve is living tissue and requires a good blood supply.  A healthy nerve recovers quickly from any strain induced by having a dental procedure.  A weak nerve might not give you any problems or signs that it is slowly dying but could easily die right after or shortly after a dental procedure.  For those of you who don’t know what a root canal filling is, it is a rubber like filling that replaces the nerve and seals the tube like space in the tooth’s root.  Like any filling, you should be numb and comfortable.  Afterward, consider the tooth to be a little weaker and take care not to chew on it until it is crowned. 

    When should my child first visit the dentist?

    Recent American Dental Association recommendations are that children begin appointments at age 1.   As a parent, I can tell you that this is early for most.   The ADA really wants dentists to do nutritional counseling and to do quick visual exams.    I recommend that parents occasionally inspect their child’s teeth.  Using a flashlight, lay your child on a bed face up and look for anything unusual.  I am happy to see children as early as 1 and I think that 2.5-3 is also a good range to see kids for a first visit.  Know that my goal is always for a non threatening visit.   If the child is tired and not having a good day, the visit might be a trip to the toy box for a good memory of the office and we’ll try again at a later date.   Some kids allow exams and cleaning but again, this is unpredictable.  As for nutritional counseling, here are some basics:

    • Don’t let children fall asleep with juice in a sippy cup or bottle.   The acid from the juice can easily cause cavities if left on the teeth for a prolonged period.
    • Know that fruit and juice is acidic and it is a good idea to brush or at least rinse afterward if practical.
    • Use caution with fruit roll ups and raisins as these foods are sticky and will keep sugar and acids on the teeth where they remain.
    • Sugar is not bad for teeth but sugar is converted into acid when there is plaque (bacteria) around.   Therefore it is necessary to begin cleaning a child’s teeth as soon as they are in.

     

    How important are baby teeth?

    They are very important to your child’s health.   They certainly can develop cavities which if left unchecked, could lead to infections, swelling and pain.   If there is early tooth loss, the neighboring teeth can drift into the space of the lost tooth and this can block a permanent tooth from erupting.   They also allow your child to learn how to properly chew and get nutrition.  And, don’t forget about those family photos!

     

    Is it normal to have a child’s permanent lower front teeth come in way behind the baby teeth?

    Several times a year I get a frantic call from a parent and they are concerned that this looks very wrong.   In fact, this is common and normal.   Once the tooth erupts higher, the tongue can exert force on it to move it forward and the baby tooth with then become loose and fall out.

     

    Will there be any pain with visits to the dentist?

    This is the million dollar question.   Because we use our best skills at delivering anesthetic slowly and comfortably, in theory there is no need for discomfort in the dental office.    Practically, people are not usually numb for cleanings and occasionally, we do not achieve full anesthesia with the first amount given.   Therefore, we ask people to be very open with us so that we know when to use anesthetic or other agents for cleanings and when to give more anesthetic during a procedure.   We always try to keep you comfortable and to maintain your trust.

     

    Can individuals find affordable dental insurance?

    Insurance companies are in business to make money.   They do this by taking in more than they spend.   When they insure a large group, they know that statistically many people will not utilize their insurance and they profit.   When individuals seek insurance, they know that it is usually people that think they have big expenses that seek to insure.   Therefore they have restrictions and waiting periods and limits which help them profit.   So, the answer is that I have never seen a policy for individuals that made sense.   Please let me know if anyone out there finds a good plan.

     

    Is it normal for a tooth that was just worked on to be sensitive?

    It can be.   When we work on a tooth, it is normal for the nerve inside your tooth to be slightly damaged.   This causes an inflammation with swelling which pressurizes the nerve.   These nerves are often sensitive to cold and that sensitivity goes away quickly.   If the nerve was weak to begin with, it is possible for a nerve to die immediately, soon or some time after a procedure.   It is always best to call if you have any questions.  Lastly, the bite has to be right.   If the new filling or crown is a little high when you grind your teeth, this can agitate the nerve.   The solution here is to let the dentist adjust the new work.

     

    What insurance to you take?

    We accept any insurance that does not direct you to go to only a dentist from a list.   These are called DMOs and unless you go to one of their dentists, you will not have any coverage.   The best insurances do not restrict who you see.   We take all of these.  PPOs have preferred providers who are on their list.   If you have a PPO you can still see any dentist that you would like but the reimbursal  change to “your out of pocket” expense may be a little more if the dentist you choose is not on the list.  We take all insurances other than DMOs.   As of Feb of 2009 we are preferred providers for Delta and Metlife.

     

    What payment methods do you accept?

    We accept cash, checks, visa and mastercard.   We can also apply for a 3rd party credit company for you.