Dental FAQ

It’s natural to have questions about the dentist. So we’re answering 20 of the most frequently asked questions about our dental services. Here you’ll find details about family dentistry, preventive care, cosmetic options, and helpful tips about unexpected issues like a chipped tooth. With advances in technology and equipment, it’s a good idea to ask questions about your options before arriving at your first appointment. 

Frequently asked questions

What should I look for when choosing the right dentist for me?

Your oral health is an important investment in your overall health, and finding a dentist who can help you achieve the highest possible dental care is essential. Here are some questions you may want to ask your potential dentist:

  • Is the office easy to get to from either home or work?
  • Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
  • What’s the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry?
  • Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
  • Ask to see if they take your dental insurance.
  • If you do not have dental insurance, ask if they offer a dental membership plan.

What is considered a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies are generally divided into two categories: urgent and non-urgent. A non-urgent dental emergency involves treatment that should be completed within 24 hours but does not require immediate care. An urgent dental emergency involves treatment that requires immediate care to alleviate extreme pain, swelling, or trauma.

My temporary came off. What do I do?

If you lose a temporary tooth or have one fall out, please call us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. In the meantime, be careful about chewing on the tooth as you may damage the tooth before we place the temporary back on.

What insurance do you take?

We are in-network with most PPO dental insurance plans. Please visit this page to find a list of PPO insurances we take. If you don’t see your insurance provider on this list, feel free to either visit us or call our knowledgeable team for more details. 

Why should I floss, isn't brushing enough?

Brushing your teeth regularly doesn’t get all the plaque and food particles off your teeth because it only reaches the parts of your teeth visible to you. The bacteria that cause bad breath, gum disease (periodontal disease), tooth decay, and gum inflammation love to hang out in between your teeth. With regular use of dental floss, it helps remove plaque and maintains healthy gums. When plaque is not taken care of, it eventually hardens into tartar and becomes difficult to remove.

Why is visiting the dentist so important?

Visiting your dentist regularly is an essential part of your dental care. When you go in for your regular dental check-up, your dentist will be able to identify problems with your teeth that you might not notice on your own, as many dental problems don’t develop symptoms until they’ve reached an advanced stage. Despite how important it is, many people still neglect visiting their dentist or put off on dental care. Please let your dentist know if you have dental anxiety due to an unpleasant previous experience or feel uncomfortable receiving dental care. They will be able to help ease your fear.

Do you accept new patients?

Yes, we do! We’re a family-friendly practice that welcomes new patients of all ages. Our office features state-of-the-art equipment and friendly, knowledgeable staff members. We look forward to helping you keep your smile bright and healthy!

My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see a dentist?

The answer is YES. Regular checkups and dental cleanings are important because they allow your dentist to clean your teeth, keep an eye on your teeth and gums for issues that you may not even be aware of, such as cavities, gum disease, and bone loss.

With regular dental visits, your dentist can make small adjustments to improve the health of your teeth so that you can enjoy them for many years to come. Such as professional teeth whitening, natural tooth-colored fillings, tooth replacement options, and more.

At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children see a dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts, generally between one and two. During your child’s first dental checkup, your pediatric dentist or family dentist will be able to examine the health of your child’s few teeth.

What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, to protect their baby teeth from decay. Starting at a young age is crucial, as it gets children in the habit of brushing and helps keep their oral health in good shape.

What Can Happen When You Brush Too Much or Too Hard?

While tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it can still be damaged by using the wrong toothbrush or brushing too hard. You can sometimes repair it by using fluoride toothpaste, but not if it’s already too far gone. If you overbrush or use the wrong toothbrush, it will wear down your tooth enamel and leave you vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities.

How can I get a whiter smile?

Your dentist can recommend a variety of ways to make your teeth whiter. To get the best results, talk with your dentist about the right option for you. They may recommend in-office teeth whitening or custom take-home trays to brighten your teeth. If you can’t make it to a dental office for a whitening dental procedure, you can use over-the-counter products like whitening strips, whitening toothpastes, and rinses for surface stains. The only disadvantage to OTC whitening products is they are not as effective as professional treatment done by your dentist.

Why does the dentist take X-rays?

To provide an accurate treatment plan, dental X-rays help your dentist examine your mouth for cavities, tooth decay, and other oral health issues that are not readily visible during a visual examination. The American Dental Association recommends that patients receive dental X-rays every 6 to 18 months, depending on their risk level for tooth decay.

What can I do about sensitive teeth?

Visit your dentist if you’re experiencing sensitive teeth. They will be able to identify or rule out any potential causes of the pain—and work with you to fix any problems. Depending on the underlying cause of your sensitive teeth and gums, your dentist might recommend any of the following remedies: desensitizing toothpaste along with a soft-bristled toothbrush, fluoride, root canal treatment, or a change in diet (eating or drinking less acidic foods).

What are cavity-fighting dental sealants?

Sealants are a preventive dental treatment used to protect teeth from cavities. The treatment is applied on the chewing surfaces of your teeth, and both adults and children can apply dental sealants. However, they are most commonly used with children. You and your child may benefit from having a sealant placed on a permanent tooth, especially if you or your child has had dental decay or cavities. Ask your dentist whether a sealant is right for you or your child if you’re unsure.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is caused by bacteria and plaque buildup on the teeth that are not treated early. Other known causes of gum disease include the use of tobacco products, poor oral hygiene, teeth grinding, some medications, and an individual’s genetic makeup. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis; if detected, it can be treated. If left untreated, gingivitis may develop into gum disease where in severe cases will lead to tooth loss. Brushing and flossing frequently and visiting the dentist every six months for regular checkups will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of gum disease. Common signs of gum disease:

Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
Chronic bad breath
Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
Extreme tooth sensitivity
Gum recession
Abscessed teeth

How can cosmetic dentistry help improve the appearance of my smile?

Today, many cosmetic procedures can be done with simple and minimally invasive treatments such as teeth whitening that produce dramatic results. Whether you want to have a single tooth restored or undergo a complete mouth makeover, your cosmetic dentist will work with you to customize a plan tailored to meet your needs.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implant treatment is a popular tooth replacement method among patients and dentists alike. Some of their many benefits include:

They’re a permanent solution for tooth replacement.
The implant is custom-made to look, feel, and function like your natural tooth. This helps you maintain a healthy appearance and enjoy the confidence of a beautiful natural smile.
Implants help you preserve your facial shape, and your lips and cheeks will not appear sunken.
Improves the quality of life as they no longer have to worry about their missing teeth.
Prevents tooth decay and cavities in the surrounding area.
Can be used to stabilize dentures and create a more comfortable bite.
Eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth
Dental implants are attached directly to the jaw bone and do not require the healthy adjacent teeth to be altered like with a dental bridge.

Where can I learn more about your other dental procedures?

When it comes to questions about dental crowns, veneers, crooked teeth, dental bonding, or other dental procedures, our Fairview dental office has the answers. Check out our service pages for more information or contact us, and our knowledgeable dental professionals are happy to answer questions about your oral health.

How do I schedule my next dental appointment?

Our friendly and knowledgeable team of dental professionals are ready to assist you with your dental health. To schedule your dental checkup or your next dental treatment, call our office, and we’ll be happy to assist. If you have any questions during your appointment, your dentist will be able to answer any of your questions you may have for a more healthy smile.