Frequently Asked Questions

Does your practice file insurance?

Yes.  As a service to our patients we will file insurance claims for you.  During your first visit, you insurance coverage will be verified.  Once you coverage has be verified, we ask that you pay any portion not covered by your insurance at the time of treatment.  If your insurance coverage cannot be verified, we ask that you pay at the time services are rendered.  Some insurance carriers will only reimburse patients directly.  In those cases, patients are typically reimbursed within two weeks of treatment.

Is your practice a member of any networks, such as PPOs or DMOs?

Our practice is not affiliated with any insurance network.  However, we can file claims with all PPO carriers.  Most will reimburse us directly so that patients are only responsible for the portion that insurance does not cover at the time of service.

Why aren’t you associated with any insurance networks?

The philosophy of our practice maintains that you should select your dentist based on merit, not based on an agreement between the dentist and an insurance carrier.  Your health is one of the most important aspects of your life.  Therefore, we believe that you should select your dentist based on their ability to meet your dental needs.  Often times “in-network” dentists are overly aggressive with their treatment in order to maximize their production since they are discounting their regular services with an agreement with an insurance carrier.  They also frequently rush through procedures in order to fit more patients into their schedule, again to make up for discounted fees.   We desire to provide you with the best care possible:  taking all the time required to complete treatment correctly for long-lasting results.  We also allow plenty of time for each patient so that we can run on time as much as possible.  We understand that your time is just as valuable as ours.

Do you see children?

Absolutely.  Children should see a dentist by the age of three.  At their first appointment, your child’s teeth will be examined and also cleaned.  No x-rays are usually taken until around the age of five unless clinical examination reveals a potential problem.

What is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is a technique used to brighten the shade of teeth.  We use a safe and proven method to whiten teeth.  Molds of your teeth are used to make whitening trays.  A mild carbamide peroxide solution is placed inside the trays.  The trays are worn for one hour each day to lighten the shade.  While wearing the trays, you can still talk without worrying about the trays moving around.  Usually after 2-3 weeks of treatment, patients have the shade they desire.

Is whitening safe?

Yes.  The mild solution only affects the outer enamel surface of your teeth.  The solution oxidizes the organic pigments in the enamel.

What type fillings does your practice use?

We use composite resin restorative material for almost all our fillings.  These are the white fillings that are aesthetically pleasing and conserve more tooth structure than amalgam fillings.  Composite resin material does not contain mercury.

What are crowns?

Crowns are a type of dental restoration that encompass the entire portion of the tooth that lies above the gum line.  In comparison, fillings are restorations that are used to fill in or cover just a portion of a tooth.  Since dental crowns cover the entire visible aspect of a tooth, a crown becomes the tooth’s new outer surface.  Crowns can be made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, or all-porcelain.  Nowadays, the strength of all-porcelain allows its use a majority of the time.

Why would a crown be needed?

Teeth that have a fracture require a crown to prevent further fracture and loss of the tooth.  Teeth with large fillings often require a crown at some point due to fracture or loss of tooth structure.  If back teeth have root canals, these teeth usually require crowns as well to prevent fracture.  Additionally, crowns can be used for aesthetic purposes to improve the appearance of teeth that are misshapen, malformed, or have unattractive old restorations.

What are veneers?

Veneers are porcelain restorations that cover the front portion of a tooth only.  These are more conservative than crown restoration, and are used to improve the appearance front teeth.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation and infection of the gums and ligaments that hold teeth in the jaw.  Untreated periodontal disease will lead to swollen, bleeding gums, loss of bone, loosening of teeth, and eventual loss of teeth.  Regular dental cleaning and good oral hygiene can prevent periodontal disease.

What are implants?

Implants are titanium screws that are placed in the jaw to replace missing teeth.  The screw mimics the root of a natural tooth.  It usually take 3 months for an implant to integrate into the bone.  Once integration has occurred, an abutment is attached to the implant, then a crown is placed on the abutment for full function and appearance.

Are implants used with dentures?

Implants are also used to convert old dentures to over-dentures.  Implants are connected to the denture for much greater stability, allowing patients to eat well without concern of slipping.  This treatment is often one of the most life-changing treatments that we offer.  Patients that had not been able to eat well in years, now chew with confidence.  This treatment is especially helpful with lower dentures that have poor stability.

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