GENERAL QUESTIONS

Are you seeing new patients?

Yes! And emergency patients can usually be seen within 24 hours, often on the same day if you call before noon.

Can I have my cleaning and my work done at the same visit?

Sometimes. It depends on many factors, but generally it’s safe to plan on a cleaning first, and then work on subsequent visits.

Why do I need to see a specialist?

Sometimes procedures are beyond the scope of our equipment or expertise. We can handle most procedures in-office, but we have a network of outstanding specialists to whom we refer for the more complicated procedures.

Can I eat after I have a procedure done?

It depends on the procedure. We sometimes advise waiting until the feeling comes back if you have been numbed. If teeth have been extracted, we advise a soft diet for a few days.

PROCEDURE QUESTIONS

What is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment (commonly called just a “root canal”) is the removal of the “guts” of the tooth – the vein, artery, and nerve. This is done for a variety of reasons, but the most common is to relieve pain because the tooth is either dying or already dead. The treatment leaves an intact tooth that can still be used but has no feeling. Root canaled teeth almost always need a crown placed afterward.

What is a crown?

A crown is also called a “cap.” It is a replacement of the outer “skin” (the enamel) of the tooth. This may be done when the tooth has been root canalled, when the tooth is fractured, or when there is not enough tooth structure remaining to hold a traditional filling.

Why do I need a crown?

Crowns are placed for many reasons, but the most common are 1) the tooth has had a root canal treatment and is more prone to breakage, 2) the tooth has had multiple fillings and is more fragile than when it was “just tooth,” and 3) the tooth has fractures, or cracks, which can lead to splitting and eventual tooth loss.

What is a bridge?

A bridge replaces one or more teeth. It usually involves a crown on two or more teeth on either side of a space, and a replacement tooth or teeth ‘soldered’ onto the crowns and sitting on the gums.

What is a veneer?

A veneer is like a porcelain press-on nail for your tooth. It usually replaces only the visible, or “facial,” side of the tooth. Veneers may be recommended for severely stained or worn teeth, or simply to cosmetically enhance an otherwise healthy smile.

What is an onlay?

An onlay is a big filling that replaces one or more of the cusps, or “points,” on the chewing surface of your tooth. It can be metal, plastic, or porcelain. The porcelain ones at our office, like our crowns and bridges, can be made and placed in a single visit.

What are sealants?

Sealants are plastic coatings, usually placed on the chewing surface of teeth. They often have fluoride in their structure and protect the teeth during youth and early adulthood, when teeth are vulnerable and patients don’t usually have the best oral hygiene habits!

What is a filling?

Fillings are placed for many reasons, but the most common are 1) the tooth has decay (cavities), and 2) the tooth is broken from an accident or from grinding/clenching or ice chewing. The most common types of fillings are clear composite resin and metal. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, which we will be glad to discuss with you.

Do I still need to premedicate with antibiotics?

From the ADA: “In 2014, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs assembled an expert panel to update and clarify the clinical recommendations found in the 2012 evidence-based guideline, Prevention of Orthopaedic Implant Infection in Patients Undergoing Dental Procedures.

As was found in 2012, the 2014 updated systematic review found no association between dental procedures and prosthetic joint infections.  Based on this review, the 2014 Panel concluded that prophylactic antibiotics given prior to dental procedures are not recommended for patients with prosthetic joint implants.”

Please see the article for more information.

Still recommended for antibiotic prophylaxis are patients with:

  • prosthetic cardiac valve or prosthetic material used for cardiac valve repair
  • a history of infective endocarditis
  • a cardiac transplant that develops cardiac valvulopathy
  • the following congenital (present from birth) heart disease:
    • unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including palliative shunts and conduits
    • a completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material or device, whether placed by surgery or by catheter intervention, during the first six months after the procedure
    • any repaired congenital heart defect with residual defect at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or a prosthetic device (that inhibit endothelialization)

Why do I need scaling and root planning?

Patients who have “taken a break” from the dentist for a few years or who have very heavy calculus (“tartar”) buildup sometimes need a more vigorous, “deep” cleaning than normal. Our goal is to get our patients to the point that all they need are routine cleanings every four to six months. Our hygienists can discuss this in detail with you.

Why do I need xrays? Can I refuse them?

Cavities, or tooth decay, can advance rapidly and go from incipient to rampant in mere months. We need a “behind-the-scenes” look every six to twelve months to properly diagnose the state of your teeth. You have every right to refuse them, but we generally don’t recommend it.

INSURANCE

Is my insurance going to pay their portion?

Most of the time, yes. However, we have no way of knowing until they send a check whether the insurance company will follow through or not.

I paid my portion at my visit. Will I owe more?

We do our best to provide our patients with accurate insurance estimates, but we can only go by what the insurance company tells us. Sometimes the insurance companies don’t pay what they tell us they will, but then again, sometimes they pay more. In that case we write the patient a check!

Do you offer discounts?

Yes! We offer senior citizen and military discounts! Ask Angie at the front desk for details.

Do you have payment plans?

Yes! For those without insurance, we offer the Cameron Dental Club pricing. Ask Angie for details.