Q. How often should I see a dentist?

A. The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year.

Q. What should I expect during my appointment?

A. One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, take X-rays of your teeth as needed and complete a TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint) exam if you are having any TMJ problems. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you. If treatment is needed, we will make a plan with you to get the treatment done at our office. We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.

During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any pain or problems you may be experiencing and answer any questions you may have.

Q. What does "painless dentistry" mean?

A. 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.

Q. What if I have an emergency?

A. Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you in to our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office to get our emergency contact information.

Q. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?

A. Yes. We accept dental insurances. We will process your insurance claim and we will work with your insurance company to maximize your insurance benefits. We also offer a zero-interest rate payment plan through Care Credit Financing and also accept all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. For orthodontic treatment, we also offer in-office payment plans.

Q. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?

A. There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth: in office, overnight or daily. Zoom Whitening is a type of one day bleaching that is done in the office. The appointment lasts 1 ½ hours. For overnight bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a bleach tray that fits your bite. Each day you fill the bleaching tray with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it overnight or for a few hours during the day. The overnight bleaching process takes approximately two weeks.

Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available at our office, such as professional strength Crest Whitestrips and Chic Flic bleaching. To achieve the whitening results you desire, the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.

Q. What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?

A. Porcelain veneers or cosmetic bonding are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of resin to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and cosmetic bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.