Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the questions we see most often from our patients. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our office and we will be happy to assist you!
What Does My Insurance Cover?
Every insurance company and policy is different. Our insurance coordinator can work with you to explain what is covered and what remaining portion might be due. We don’t ever want you to be caught off guard about what dental treatments are or are not covered. We’re available to answer any questions you have about your dental plan.
Can’t You Treat an Abscess with Antibiotics?
While antibiotics may be a part of the treatment for an abscessed tooth, it can’t be the only treatment. Without a root canal, the infection will only remain, continue to recur, and spread.
Can’t You Just Fill My Tooth Instead of Placing a Crown?
If the decay or fracture in a tooth is large enough, just filling it won’t do the trick. There needs to be enough tooth structure left to “fill,” otherwise the biting forces of everyday use will cause your tooth to break apart. A crown will surround the remaining portion of your tooth and provide stability for you to chew with.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
A root canal is like a filling that goes into the nerve chamber of your tooth. It is needed when the inside of the tooth is infected. Otherwise, you would be patching a filling over the infection and sealing the bacteria in…which would lead to recurring abscesses.
Does My Child Really Need a Crown? Why Can’t We Just Pull the Tooth?
Pulling a baby tooth when it’s not ready is one of the last things you want to do before a permanent tooth comes in. Primary teeth serve as a guide for adult teeth and act as space savers in the mouth; removing them early can cause crowding and impacted teeth later down the road.
Will This Toothache Go Away, or Do I Need to Make an Appointment?
Toothaches don’t go away. They are usually the sign of a cavity, or if they are really bad, an abscess. If dental pain is prohibiting you from sleep or work, you need to come see us as soon as possible.
Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Some people experience pain or infections around their wisdom teeth, while others never do. If your wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, it can make them prone to decay or disease…which can spread to your neighboring teeth. If we see that there are potential problems with the eruption of your wisdom tooth, we may recommend having it removed proactively.
Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Tooth sensitivity can come from a number of causes. Whitening toothpaste or cold beverages are a common example. If you have receding gumlines from periodontal disease, it can make you more prone to sensitive teeth. Sensitivity to heat is usually a sign of nerve damage. Sweet sensitivity is a red flag for cavities.
Why Does My Child Need a Filling if Their Tooth is Going to Fall Out Later Anyway?
Excellent question! Your child’s baby teeth act as very important guides to direct the permanent teeth into their appropriate place. If we pull the tooth too early, orthodontic concerns can arise. The tooth will need to be filled, because baby teeth decay very quickly. If we left the cavity, it could cause an infection in the teeth around it.
I Chipped My Tooth. What Should I Do?
If possible, find the tooth fragment and immediately put it in a cup of milk (or tucked inside of your cheek) and bring it straight to our office. We may be able to bond it back in place.
Why Do I Have to Have Dental X-Rays So Often?
Although it may feel like you’re always getting x-rays, we only prescribe them as what is appropriate to the standard of care. X-rays are essential to screen for cavities and infection that isn’t visible to the naked eye during your exam. You might be surprised to learn that the radiation is even lower than what you would be exposed to on an airplane trip!
Do I Need Braces?
We’ll be happy to evaluate your bite to determine if you could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Some reasons braces may be needed include malocclusion, crowding, gum disease, TMJ disorder, or abnormal tooth wear.
Why Do I Need a “Deep Cleaning” if I Just Want a Regular Cleaning?
“Regular” cleanings are designed to prevent gum disease and remove minor amounts of buildup that collect between your checkups. If you haven’t had a cleaning in years or do not floss routinely, this may mean that there is a significant amount of buildup that has collected deep under your gum tissues. The area of gum disease requires much more time to clean.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial replacement teeth that are anchored into your bone like a real tooth. They can function as stand-alone new teeth, or to support restorations like bridges and dentures.