Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need regular professional cleanings and dental exams?

Good oral hygiene is important for your smile – and for your overall health and well-being. Gum infections and periodontal disease are related to heart disease, stroke and preterm and/or low birth weight babies. Regular dental exams and professional cleanings can help prevent these and many other health problems.

The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. A few of the most important reasons include:

1. To help prevent gum disease

Gum disease is infection of tissues surrounding your teeth, and one of the major causes of bone loss if left untreated. Regular dental cleanings and good home care are main factors in preventing gum disease.

2. To help detect oral cancer

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one American dies every hour from oral cancer. Early diagnosis of oral cancer is very important in improving of the prognosis of cancer. When you have dental cleanings, you are also screened for oral cancer.

3. To help assure a healthy smile

When you have a beautiful smile, you feel more confident and satisfied with your being. When you feel confident, your social life improves, and it opens up the door for many possibilities in your career as well. Regular dental cleanings and hygienist's individualization of your needs, will help you to get and keep a healthy smile.

4. To help maintain good oral health

Regular dental visits will help your hygienist track and manage your ongoing oral health. During these visits, your dentist and hygienist will look closely for any signs of problems with your teeth and gums, and, as you probably know, when problems are detected early, they're much easier and less expensive to treat – and have a much better prognosis.

5. To help maintain good overall health

Research has shown and experts agree that there's a correlation between gum disease and chronic inflammatory diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, premature and low birth weight babies. Regular dental cleanings and exams will not only help to keep your teeth and gums healthy, they can help with the detection, prevention and management of other health conditions.

How often should I see a dentist?

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. We offer Nitrous Oxide to help ease your anxiety.

What if I have a dental emergency?

Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you into 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.

Broken Tooth

Rinse the area with warm water. Put a cold compress over the facial area of the injury. Call our office immediately.

Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Recover the tooth, making sure to hold it by the crown (top) and not the root end. Rinse, but do not clean or handle the tooth more than necessary. Reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, carry it in a cup containing milk or water. Because time is essential, contact us immediately.

Possible Broken Jaw

In the event of jaw injury, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief. Go immediately to an emergency room.

What is periodontal (gum) disease?

Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is the cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss; affecting three out of four persons at some point in life. It is usually painless until it is in an advanced stage.

The main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a soft, sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on our teeth. If plaque is not removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Toxins (or poisons) produced by the bacteria living in plaque irritate the gums and can make them red, tender, swollen and more likely to bleed easily. As gum disease progresses, the toxins can lead to destruction of the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth, forming pockets that fill with more bacteria, toxins, and tartar. Unless gum disease is diagnosed and treated, the bone loss will continue to progress, until the teeth become loose and eventually are lost.

Thorough removal of soft plaque by brushing & flossing, and professional "cleanings" to remove soft plaque and hard tartar deposits below the gumline, can minimize the risks and usually stop the progression of gum disease. However, other factors can affect the health of your gums, such as hereditary factors, stress, diabetes, pregnancy and genetics.

What are the signs of gum disease?

Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss.

There are many signs of gum disease. You should contact your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:

Bleeding gums during tooth brushing or flossing Red, swollen or tender gums Gums that have pulled away from the teeth Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth Pus between the teeth and gums Loss or separating teeth Teeth that look longer than they used to A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite A change in the fit of partial dentures

NOTE: You may have gum disease and not have any warning signs. In most cases, gum disease is not painful until it reaches advanced stages. Gum disease often goes unnoticed - it is sometimes referred to as a "silent disease". It's important for you to have regular professional cleanings andcheckups, including a periodontal examination, to diagnose and treat periodontal problems before they become advanced.

What can I do to control gum disease?

Gum disease can and will recur if you do not follow a strict program of supportive therapy. You play the major role in preventing further outbreaks of disease. Nothing will help you maintain the results of professional treatment better than daily removal of soft plaque by proper brushing, flossing, and other plaque control methods recommended for you. There are many benefits to safeguarding your periodontal health. By retaining your natural teeth, you can chew more comfortably and enjoy better digestion. You also keep a healthy smile, which is a natural asset to your appearance. For feeling good and looking good, nothing works better than your natural teeth. When your efforts are combined with regular visits to your dentist and periodontist, you have an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for a lifetime.

Are payment plans available for my treatment?

Yes. We accept many types of dental insurance and will process your claim. We offer an interest free payment plan or a low interest free payment plan through CareCredit and Chase, depending on your treatment plan. We also accept cash, check and most major credit cards, including MasterCard, Visa and Discover.