FAQ at Great Smiles Family Dentistry in Toledo, OH
Who is the BEST dentist for you?
When searching for a new dentist the best recommendation is always one made by asking a family member or friend. See our testimonials! This will help in giving you a little bit of background on what type of office it is, and whether or not other people are happy with their dentist. If you are new to an area and do not have a friend who can recommend someone for you, then please see our website for more details.
You can either call or visit our office to find out such things as: How do they answer their telephone? What are the office hours? Are they convenient to your schedule? Will they work with your insurance plan if this is important to you? Do they treat children if you have any? Are they available in case of an emergency? Does the dental staff make you feel comfortable? Are they courteous and helpful? Are the answers to your questions direct or evasive? Paying a visit to the office will help you to assess the atmosphere of the office and help you decide whether or not you would be comfortable there.
Your visit to the dentist should be pleasant and comfortable. You need to feel relaxed with your dental team in order to ensure that you can work together in maintaining a healthy happy smile. Take the time to ask around for a dental office that can meet your needs.
How often should I go to my dentist for a check-up?
Some people tend to have a rather strange attitude towards checkups. If the dentist does not find something wrong, their time has been wasted. As a matter of fact, a series of successful visits can discourage them from ever seeing their dentist and hygienist again. The idea that you should only see the dentist when something is wrong is not only ridiculous but can end up costing you a lot of money, comfort and time.
Your dentist is trained to detect and treat many problems before you are even aware of them. The goal is prevention – prevent disease, decay and tooth loss. Your dentist can help you but only if you make the appointment. It all comes back to teamwork. Only you, your dentist and your hygienist can determine how often to make a visit, but most for most people, twice a year is sufficient. Checkups should not be a one-time event. They are necessary for regular assessments of the condition and the well-being of your mouth. Check-up procedures vary with each dentist, but basically will contain: a review of dental and medical history, an overall examination of the mouth including oral cancer screening, a professional cleaning, possibly a fluoride treatment, and a general assessment of hygiene at home. Regular checkups are a MUST in the fight against gum disease.
How do I keep my teeth?
Do I really need x-rays?
Dental x-rays are taken routinely by your dentist. There are many diseases and dental defects, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, especially where teeth are concerned. These may include such things as decay under old fillings, teeth trapped below the gums, cavities between the teeth, bone loss as a result of gum disease and changes in either jaw bone structure which can be affected by many systemic diseases.
If you are a new patient, your dentist may recommend x-rays to check the current status of your mouth and to check for hidden problems. Upon your first visit to the dentist he or she will usually take those x-rays that will be necessary to comprehensively assess your oral health. A full series of x-rays usually consists of 14 – 18 films. A Panoramic x-ray film showing a much greater areas of your jaw bones may be needed as well in order for your dentist to comfortably and competently examine you. Every six months or so your dentist may take a small series of x-rays consisting of four to six films. A six-month period is a long time in the life of a cavity and it is for this reason that a visit to the dentist every six months is so important. X-rays are generally safe when only taken as needed to keep the exposure to a minimum.
I am afraid of going to the dentist... What can I do?
We Cater to Cowards!
If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9% and 15% of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The first thing you should do is talk with your dentist. In fact, if your dentist doesn’t take your fear seriously, find another dentist. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable.
The good news is that today there are a number of strategies that can be used to help reduce fear, anxiety, and pain. These strategies include use of medications (to either numb the treatment area or sedatives or anesthesia to help you relax), and even use of lasers instead of the traditional drill for removing decay. In our office we implement the use of nitrous oxide(laughing gas) and iv sedation(sleep dentistry). In addition we offer several amenities like headphones, pillows, music, basic cable television, and blankets to make you visit comfortable.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease or periodontal disease or gingivitis as it is also called is the number one cause of tooth loss today. The reason you lose teeth from gum disease is because this disease attacks the gums as well as the bone, which are the foundation in which your teeth rest. As the bone literally dissolves away from around your teeth, your teeth become loose and eventually fall out. Anyone at any age is susceptible to gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque. If the plague is not removed on a daily basis it will form calculus, which is the breeding ground for the germs which cause periodontal disease.
Bleeding gums are the first sign that there may be a problem with the gums. Puffy, tender red gums are also a sign that there is an infection present. Bleeding gums however are not always present even in severe cases of gum disease. Routine and regular visits to your dentist are the best way of catching gum disease in its early stages before too much damage has been caused. Gum disease will not go away by itself or with improved home care. The only way of removing plaque deep under the gums is with professional cleanings. Once you have had a gum problem you will always be susceptible to recurring problems, so be sure to see your dentist on a regular basis – every two to three months, unless he or she recommends otherwise.
How does a tooth decay?
A substance known as plaque causes tooth decay. Plaque is a clear bacteria laden film, which develops on the teeth. The bacteria in plaque interact with the starches and sugars we eat and form an acid, which breaks down or de-mineralizes our teeth. As this process is going, on our saliva along with properties it has, acts to help re-mineralize teeth. When the demineralization process is faster than that of remineralization a cavity occurs.
There are several things that can be done to slow down or totally prevent this breakdown process which leads to cavities. One of the most important contributors to decay are sugars, and eliminating or drastically reducing your intake of them will help greatly in preventing tooth decay. Proper brushing and flossing, and removal of the plaque will also help in preventing breakdown. Home fluoride rinses help aid in the remineralization process. Of course routine visits to your dentist are of importance not only in the early detection of cavities but professional cleanings and fluoride treatments are very important in maintaining a healthy happy mouth.
There are several things that you can do to help prevent tooth decay. The most important of course is the diet. What you eat plays a very important role in the overall well-being of your mouth and the rest of your body. Since sugars are directly related to the breakdown process, which causes decay, eliminating sugar from the diet will have a direct impact on cavities.
Plaque and sugar interact with one another to form an acid, which breaks down the enamel of the teeth, resulting in a cavity. Proper removal of plaque will also greatly reduce the risk of getting cavities. Thorough brushing and flossing will not only remove sugar from the mouth but also the plaque, which has formed on the surfaces of the teeth since the last brushing. Certain foods will help to keep the mouth in a healthy state. These foods include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and any low sugar foods that won’t aid in tooth decay.
I can't afford dental care. Are there resources available?
No insurance, no problem, ask about our Smile Saver Discount Card
Interest free plans available through carecredit.com
Dental procedures range in cost from relatively inexpensive routine care to top of the line, cutting edge restorative and cosmetic procedures. If you’re looking to save money on dental bills, then the best course is routine care. Skipping cleanings and checkups can lead to gum disease and large cavities. Avoiding repairs to preexisting fillings can lead to expensive crowns and painful root canals. By attending to your dental needs on a regular basis, you can avoid unnecessary expenses.
Dental insurance can be provided by an employer or purchased independently, but you may find your dental insurance is limited to routine and necessary procedures and will not cover cosmetic dental work.
Check with your dental insurance provider to determine insurance coverage levels before you decide to have any dental procedures performed. This way, there will be no surprises when the final bill arrives.
Once you’ve decided on some dental procedures, whether routine, restorative, or cosmetic, it’s time to determine how to pay for them. Dental insurance is one option and, if you have dental insurance, you should check before starting any procedures to see what is covered.Paying by cash is another option. Be sure to ask your dental office if they have a discount policy for cash-paying patients, as many dental offices do. Many dental offices also offer a short-term dental loan (Care-Credit), which are similar to putting your procedures on a credit card but the interest is typically much lower.You can also finance your dental procedures using a credit card, which can be a very expensive option if you’re extending the payments over a long period of time.The best way to approach dental financing is to get a complete estimate from your dental professional. Then speak with the financing department to see what options are available. Dental office staff deal with financing on a daily basis and will be able to provide all the financing choices available to you and should be able to steer you in the right direction.
We also offer an in-office discount plan for those that do not have dental insurance. Please call our office for more details.
Do tooth paste whiteners work?
Whitening toothpastes typically only clean surface stains and don’t actually change the color of the teeth. There may be some visible results but the teeth aren’t actually being whitened. We advise you come to our office to see which whitening options are best for you. We offer several whitening programs.
I don't like my teeth or smile - What can I do?
A wide variety of options are available to improve tooth function and how your smile looks. For example, teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers, lumineers, porcelain crowns, invisilign(teeth straightening), and snap-on-smile can improve your smile within as little as one day to 2 weeks. If you’re looking to have cosmetic dental procedures performed, research your cosmetic dental options and dentists before deciding what procedure best suits your needs to assure you receive quality service and a beautiful smile that will be long lasting.
When should I take my child to the dentist for their first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday. In our office we offer cartoons on television, balloons, and prizes for children to make their visit comfortable.
FAQs About Invisalign
What is Invisalign?
How it works
What are the aligners made from?
How do I get Invisalign?
How do I care for Invisalign?
Is sedation right for me?
Sedation can be a good choice for you if you have overwhelming fears or worries about having dental procedures. If you are very sensitive to pain or discomfort, sedation can help you. Also, If you have a very sensitive gag reflex, you may be a good candidate.
Will I be asleep while under sedation?
No. You will, however be in a very relaxed state. You will experience little to no discomfort, and in many cases, may not even recall most of the procedure afterwords
How long will I be under sedation?
The length of your sedation time will depend on both the type sedation used, and the amount of time it takes to complete your procedure. Typically this can be anywhere from two to six hours.
Will I be monitored while under sedation?
Your health and safety are of absolute importance to us. Your vital signs will be monitored at all times during sedation and you will receive the best in care.
Are there any long term effects of sedation?
There are no long term effects. The short term effects are grogginess, sleepiness, forgetfulness, etc, and will pass within hours.
Which procedures can I have sedation for?
Sedation is appropriate almost any dental procedure we offer. If you are feeling anxious about a particular procedure, ask if sedation is right for you.
How long will it take to complete my dental procedure?
Will my insurance cover sedation?
We will review your health plan to see if it will cover your sedation. Many times they do not, however we can discuss cost and finance options so that you can make an informed decision about including sedation with your procedure.