Q: What can I expect during my first visit?
A: If you haven't already done so, our staff will have you
fill out a medical history form. I will sit down with you to review
your history, go over your expectations, and get to know you on a
personal level. If you have current x-rays at another dentist,
please let us know so we can request them be sent to us. If current
x-rays are not available during your first visit, we usually will
take new x-rays. Depending on what treatment you require, we will
arrange a follow-up visit.
Q: I was told by my doctor that I needed to be pre-medicated when
going to the dentist. Why?
A: Some existing and prior medical conditions may make a
patient succeptible to life-threatening infections. These patients
must take a course of antibiotics before coming in for dental
treatment. Some typical conditions which require pre-medication are:
heart valve disease, joint replacement surgery, and some forms of
Rheumatic Fever. If you have been told to pre-medicate, it is
critically important that you do so!
Q: I'm 80 years old and still have most of my own teeth. My teeth
feel fine. Why should I go to the dentist?
A: The problem with dental-related conditions is, often you
only feel them when they become quite severe. There might be
underlying problems that you can't feel. Seeing the dentist
regularly allows us to diagnose problems early so we can avoid
expensive and complicated procedures. In fact, gum problems tend to
occur more frequently in old age. As we get older, our gums may
recede and we become more susceptible to cavities on the roots of
the teeth. Also as we get older, we tend not to brush as well (due
to reduced dexterity from arthritis, etc.). Sometimes, too, our diet
may change, and we find ourselves eating softer, more
carbohydrate-type foods which tend to infiltrate down into the gums
more easily. Good dental health is an important part of your overall
health no matter what your age. It is very important that you
continue going to the dentist on a regular basis.
Q: I have had dentures for several years, and they don't seem to
fit as well as when they were new. Should I have new ones made?
A: Not necessarily. Sometimes, if the teeth portion of the
dentures aren't badly worn, we can re-line the inner portion to
recapture the original fit.
Q: I have a lot of old almalgam fillings in my mouth. Should I
have them replaced?
A: Only if the fillings themselves are showing signs of
deterioration. This is something I can advise you on during your
Q: My daughter is 2 years old. When should I bring her in for her
A: Usually when her first teeth are in, which would be age 2
to 2 1/2.
Q: I see a lot of television ads for do-it-yourself teeth
whitening systems I can use at home. Why should I have it done in
A: We use a stronger concentration, which usually gives a
more profound effect. Even the Crest strips we use here in the
office are probably twice the concentration you can buy at the
Q: Do you do braces?
A: No, but we can recommend several excellent orthodontists
Q: Do you do dentures?
A: Yes, we do both full and partial dentures.
Q: I broke a tooth, and will probably need a crown. How long will
A: Usually two visits, a couple of weeks apart.
Q: I lost a tooth a couple of years ago, and couldn't afford a
bridge at that time. What kind of problems could develop over time?
A: The problem that could arise is that your teeth in the
proximity of that space might shift so your bite could possibly
change. It is something we can probably address with either an
implant or a bridge.
Q: I belong to a dental plan, but you're not on the preferred
provider list. Can you still bill my insurance for my treatment?
A: Yes. As a courtesy, we submit your insurance claim forms
for you, and our staff is always happy to explain how your insurance
works. Before any treatment we will give you an estimate of how much
your insurance will pay, and what your responsibility will be. We
also have convenient payment plans available to help you afford your
Q: I've seen the word "painless" used in dentists' advertising.
Doesn't going to the dentist hurt?
A: "Painless" means minimal discomfort during treatment. We
do that usually through local anesthesia and all patients are also
welcome to request nitrous oxide. Most of the pain a patient
experiences seems to come typically from the injection of the
anesthesic itself. So to minimize that I use a high-tech anesthetic
delivery system that minimizes the discomfort from the injection. As
an added bonus, we have a library of movies you can watch during
your treatment which can help take your mind off of the procedures.