Dental care questions answered

When should I bring my child in for a first dental visit?

Children should have all of their primary baby teeth by 22 months. We recommend a first dental visit at age 2 or 3. The first appointment will be what we call a 'Happy Visit' to explore the dental office, take a ride in the chair and do as much of an examination or tooth polishing as the child allows. There are many factors that affect the development of a child's gums, teeth and jaw, including allergies, thumb sucking, size of airway, tongue thrusting and mouth breathing. If we can catch these things early on, we can treat or monitor them to prevent or reduce issues later in life.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry simply means anything done to improve the appearance of a person's smile. It is not technically a dental specialty, however, it is an area of dentistry where many clinicians wish to hone and refine their skills. Extra training is available to hone the necessary skills and increase understanding of the principles to achieve the best aesthetic results for individual patients.
Cosmetic dentistry procedures include:
  • orthodontics
  • whitening
  • veneers
  • gum/tissue laser contouring
  • implants to replace missing teeth
  • crowns and bridges

Why do you take pictures inside my mouth?

There are several reasons why we take digital photos inside your mouth. Mainly, we want you to be able to see what we see. That way when we recommend a treatment, you will better understand why and how it will help you. As a dental care team, we want our patients to be fully informed about all of their options, whether they choose to follow through on recommended treatments or not. And being able to see what's actually going on inside your mouth will give you a whole new perspective on your teeth. Dental photos also allow us to monitor changes that can occur in the mouth, teeth and jaw over time. Besides all of that, it can be really encouraging for a patient to see before and after pictures of a specific treatment.

How can I prepare my child for a first dental visit?

Sometimes saying a little is better than saying a lot. Some parents have their own fears about the dentist that they pass on to their children without really meaning to.
Too much explanation about various dental procedures can inadvertently plant fear in children before they ever get to the dentist's office. Even saying "Don't worry, it will be OK," might make the child think there is something to be afraid of.
You can tell them a bit about what to expect. Let them know they are going to meet their dentist, go for a ride in the big chair and have their teeth cleaned with a 'special toothbrush'.
Your child may be fearful simply because it's a new environment and that's OK.
We call the first appointment a 'happy visit' where the child can explore the office, meet the dental team and check out our cool gadgets, like the vacuum and the handle that makes wind.
Once they are familiar with the office, if they let us we tickle their teeth with our special tooth brush and count their teeth to make sure they are all strong.
If the child doesn't allow all of this on the first visit, we can try again on the next visit.

Does teeth whitening damage enamel?

Whitening works by opening the pores of the teeth and removing stains. This does not hurt the enamel. Once the treatment is finished, a relief paste is applied that uses calcium and phosphate to close the pores and rehydrate the enamel.
This paste also helps reduce post-treatment sensitivity. A whitening treatment can last for years, depending on genetics, diet and other factors.

Can I use my insurance to pay for your services?

Yes, you can claim our services through your employee group insurance plan. We can direct bill your insurance company and assist you in submitting claims and pre-authorizations when necessary.
Keep in mind, however, that it is very difficult for us to track the remaining benefits coverage for each patient.
We will do our best to assist you, but tracking the extent of your coverage ultimately rests with you.