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Q. How often should I see a dentist?

A. The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year.

Q. What should I expect during my appointment?

A. After reviewing your medical history, we will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, make X-rays of your teeth as needed and complete a TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint) exam. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you. If treatment such as a root canal (endodontics), braces (orthodontics) or oral surgery is needed, we will plan to treat you in our office or refer you to a specialist. We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.

During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any pain or problems you may be experiencing and answer any questions you may have.

Q. What does “painless dentistry” mean?

A. Painless dentistry is a means of ensuring your total experience in our office is as stress-free and pain-free as possible. We will discuss treatment options that may require no local anesthetic and whenever possible, alleviate pain by the means most comfortable to you.

Q. What if I have an emergency?

A. Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you in to our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office for the doctor’s emergency contact number.

Q. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?

A. Yes. We accept many types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment. We accept most major credit cards and debit cards, including MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

Q. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?

A. There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth:  in office or daily at home.  One session of in office bleaching usually lasts one and a half to two hours, and you can read or relax during the treatment.  Often, multiple sessions are necessary.  For daily bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a custom try that fits your teeth.  Each day you fill the trays with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it 30 minutes to one hour during the day for as many applications as needed to achieve the "brightness" you desire.

Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available, but it is important to use any bleaching product only under the supervision of a dentist. To achieve the whitening results you desire, the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.

Q. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?

A. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.

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