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Dental FAQs

Q. Do you take new patients?
A. Yes, we are currently accepting new patients and in most cases can see you for a complete exam within a couple days. Emergency visits are accommodated on the day you call, in most cases.

Q. What do I do if I have an emergency when your office is closed?
A. If the situation cannot wait until the next business day, patients of record can reach the doctor by calling the office at 406-388-8006.

Q. I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist yet I recognize the importance of seeing the dentist to maintain good oral health. What should I do?
A. 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. We use various or a combination of methods to help you. Call to schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific needs and questions.

Q. Do you offer nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas)?
A. Yes.

Q. What are your fees?
A. There is an extensive range of services that we offer, so it is difficult to cover all of the fees that could be involved with your treatment, prior to an exam. Following the initial comprehensive exam, however, we will provide you with a detailed list of any treatment needed, including the charges for each procedure.

Q. What is included in a comprehensive exam?
A. During your regularly-scheduled dental appointments your dentist will likely look at your gums, mouth, tongue, and throat.

Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a comprehensive dental examination. During your checkup appointments your dentist will likely evaluate the health of your gums, perform a head and neck examination (to look for anything out of the ordinary), examine your mouth for any indications of oral cancer, diabetes, or vitamin deficiencies. Don’t be surprised if he/she also examines your face, bite, saliva, and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Please visit our web page for further details.

Q. How do whitening toothpastes work and how effective are they at whitening teeth?
A. All toothpastes help remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth. None of the home use whitening toothpastes can come even close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentist’s office through chair side bleaching or power bleaching. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth’s color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist’s office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

Q. If I just want a cleaning, do I need to get x-rays taken?
A. Not if you have had an exam in our office within the last few months. However, an exam is required for all new patients. As part of the exam, x-rays are taken to help the doctor see between the teeth and to examine the bone. This allows the doctor to assess the overall health of the jaw bones and to detect early decay so the proper treatment can be recommended. For the best long term care of your oral health we recommend you get your cleanings twice a year, or as recommended by your dental hygienist.

A. Several different options are available to change the shape of teeth, make teeth look longer, close spaces between teeth or repair chipped or cracked teeth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and re-contouring.

  • Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth.
  • Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
  • Veneers (also sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth.
  • Re-contouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth’s length, shape or surface.

Each of these options differ with regard to cost, durability, “chair time” necessary to complete the procedure, stain resistant qualities, and best cosmetic approach to resolving a specific problem. Talk to your dentist to see if one is right for you.

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