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Ask the Doc

What Insurance Plans Do You Accept?

We accept most insurance plans. However, we do not accept Medicaid – and only some Medicare plans. You should contact your insurance company or health plan provider to verify that we are classifed as an in-network care provider.

How Much Will My Insurance Cover?

Each insurance company and health plan differs in coverage and cost. The only way to be certain of your benefits is to contact your insurance carrier or health plan provider directly. They will be able to give you a detailed explanation of your benefits. As a convenience to our patients, upon your request we can submit a pre-authorization form that should indicate final cost and coverage.

What Does a Hygienist Do (and Why Should I See One)?

Hygienists are specially trained in gum health and their services focus on the treatment and prevention of gum disease – and the improvement/maintenance of over-all oral health. One way to prevent gum disease is to schedule regular cleanings. Usually this is a “routine” cleaning but can also be “in-depth” when needed. Hygienists can also apply sealants and flouride to harden teeth (particularly in children) against cavities and tooth decay.

What is "Gum Disease?"

There are two main types of gum disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is irritation, redness, and swelling of the gums, and – if untreated – can quickly lead to Periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe infection that damages teeth, gums, and potentially the jaw bone. Extreme cases can require reconstructive surgery and even hospitalization.

Do you Offer Teeth Whitening?

Yes! First we take impressions (“molds”) of your teeth so we can create custom-fit bleach trays. We give you the trays, along with bleach and instructions, to take home and use at your convenience. Trays may be used more than once.

Are Silver or White Fillings Better?

“Silver” fillings are called [silver] amalgam (typically a mixture of silver, mercury, tin and copper) while “white” fillings are called [resin] composite (a mixture of plastic and glass). Traditional amalgam has been used for over 150 years, and is easier to work with, more durable, and more cost-effective than composite fillings – although, cosmetically, newer composite fillings can be an attractive or even appropriate option. Regarding concerns over mercury (a heavy metal) as a binding-agent in amalgam, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has evaluated all available studies and found no reason to limit its use. In fact, the FDA concluded that amalgam fillings are safe for adults and children ages 6 and above and does not recommend removal of existing amalgam fillings unless necessary. The safety and well-being of our patients is paramount. Accordingly, we monitor the latest research and advancements in dental materials – and invite our patients to use good judgement when weighing alternatives.

Do I need a dental crown?

Some people call a dental crown a cap. When a tooth has been compromised, either from decay, a possible fracture, or root canal treatment, a crown may be needed to restore the integrity of the tooth. This depends on how much of the tooth structure is missing.

What is a dental crown?

A crown is a covering that goes over all of the tooth to protect it from the forces of biting.

What is a root canal?

A tooth has living tissue inside of it- some people call this the nerve. If the tooth gets a cavity bad enough that the decay goes into this nerve area, or if the tooth is fractured or traumatized into the nerve area, a root canal may be done. This nerve tissue is removed from the canal system, and the canals are filled with a material that seals off the tooth.

Will my teeth move if I extract that tooth?

If you remove a tooth, the tendency is for the other teeth to tilt or move into that space. If you remove a tooth, the tooth that was above it or below it may even extrude into that space. It is not guaranteed that they will move, that is just the tendency.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a titanium post, placed into the bone to replace a missing tooth. They are the best option for tooth replacement. They look and feel very close to your
real teeth.