Most people need to visit their dentist for a regular hygiene visit twice a year, or once every six months. There are exceptions to this rule, however. If you have gum disease, or a history of gum disease, we may recommend more frequent visits. Some patients come three to four times a year. We assess each patient and the health of their teeth, gums, and bone at each visit to make a personalized recommendation for your oral and overall health.
Dental x-rays, or radiographs, are incredibly important to your comprehensive exam. Their job? To diagnose or take a closer look at what really is going on in your mouth. You’re probably wondering why an x-ray is necessary if you have impeccable dental health, or if you have a dentist that is fully capable of looking in there themselves. X-rays allow your dentist to see things in your mouth on a deeper level. With the goal of providing the best possible care to patients, dentists know that just a visual examination won’t cut it (even though we really really wish we had x-ray vision). Dental x-rays are a great diagnostic tool that can help your dentist see any damage or disease that isn’t visible to the naked eye. X-rays can show us tooth decay, bone loss, infections, positioning of teeth to help with braces, wisdom teeth, and implant placement, cysts, and even some tumors, With x-rays, we can accurately diagnose and treat dental problems and be proactive rather than reactive to issues in the mouth, which can prevent pain, infection, tooth loss, and additional and more involved procedures. It is important for us to have all the information we need in order to properly take care of your dental health and make a personalized recommendation for which type of dental xray our patients would benefit from.
Patients ask us about whitening their teeth all the time. Who doesn’t want a whiter and healthy smile? The safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth is to speak with your dentist or dental hygienist about what type of teeth whitening they would recommend for you. We have several whitening options for our patients that include custom take home trays, professional strength whitening strips and trays, professional whitening kits, and in-office whitening procedures. We will evaluate your smile and help you safely choose from our options that best fit your oral health needs and cost as well.
Dental insurance can be very confusing. In fact, most people never fully understand their dental benefits. There are several different dental insurance providers, and any given insurance provider may offer hundreds of different dental insurance plans. Many dental plans are tailored specifically for your employer and may differ drastically from a plan that they provide for another company. Most dental plans have an annual limit of coverage that is unrelated to the amount of treatment recommended for the patient. The treatment that our office recommends for our patients is based on their individual needs to achieve and maintain excellent oral and overall health- not what the insurance company dictates.
Our office is considered out of network with dental insurance companies, but that does not mean you cannot be a patient in our office. If the dental insurance plan that your employer has chosen has out of network benefits, our office may be covered. Many of our patients do not have dental insurance and pay at the time of service. For our patients who do have dental insurance, our office is happy to complete and file the insurance paperwork on your behalf. All payments are due at the time of service unless prior arrangements have been made. We accept Master Card, Visa, American Express, and Discover. Payment plans can also be arranged for extensive dental treatment. To best understand your dental benefits and expectations of reimbursement and payment, please call our admin team who are always happy to help you.
Gum disease, tooth decay, injury, or a genetic condition can all be behind missing teeth and can negatively impact chewing, speaking, and esthetics (which is why we try so hard to help you maintain a healthy smile).
There are several treatment options available to replace missing teeth including:
-Dental implants (another question- what are implants?): A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically place in to the jaw bone and the bone grows around it to hold it in place, where it acts as the root of the tooth. A single implant or several implants can be placed to replace missing teeth. A connector, known as an abutment, is placed on, or built into, the top of the dental implant, which connects it to the replacement tooth. Finally, a crown, a replacement tooth, is custom fabricated to match your natural teeth, completing the dental implant process.
-Fixed dental bridge: A fixed bridge essentially bridges a gap caused by a missing tooth using a dental prosthetic or artificial tooth. The prosthetic is attached to adjacent teeth and then bonded in place using dental cement. The bridge stays in place and is unable to be taken out by the patient.
-Removable partial dentures: This dental appliance consists of replacement teeth on a base that can be inserted and removed by the patient. Your natural teeth stabilize and hold the removable plastic base in place, although some dentures have a clasp that adjoins to natural teeth. The base is designed to match the color of your gums, and the teeth the color of your natural teeth.
-Complete dentures: Complete dentures are similar to partial dentures but are fabricated when all of the teeth are missing. We are more than happy to evaluate every patient’s needs to help determine which replacement options are possible and which one best suits your needs.
Were you surprised by any of the answers to these questions? What other questions do you have about your dental health that we can answer for you? Call our office at 518-869-1138 for any other questions you may have. We will be happy to answer them!