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Frequently Asked Dental Questions
Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with great oral health?
Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We also screen for oral cancer, a disease that will affect more than 30-thousand Americans this year. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80-percent cure rate. Gum Disease is another sneaky problem that we try to catch early. It has been linked to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
When do you like children to have a first dental visit?
We want to see your child when they have teeth! “First visit by first birthday.” That’s the view of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and our office as well. Pediatricians agree. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children who are at risk of early childhood cavities visit a dentist by age 1. Bring your child with you to your appointment so that he or she can become acclimated to the dentist’s office. To prevent early childhood cavities, parents first have to find out their child’s risk of developing cavities. They also need to learn how to manage diet, hygiene and fluoride to prevent problems.
But cavities aren’t all that parents need to learn about their child’s dental health. The age 1 dental visit lets parents discuss:
- How to care for an infant’s or toddler’s mouth
- Proper use of fluoride
- Oral habits, including finger and thumb sucking
- Ways to prevent accidents that could damage the face and teeth
- Teething and milestones of development
- The link between diet and oral health
After this first visit, the dentist will suggest a schedule of follow-up visits. In the past, dentists typically called for visits every six months. Now, the schedule may vary according to each child’s needs and risks.
Your child may fuss during parts or all of the dental visit. However, parents may be surprised at how accepting infants can be when the dentist examines them. They may enjoy the attention and novelty of the visit.
If possible, ask another adult to come with you. It’s best if this is someone who helps to care for your child. You want to be free to talk comfortably with the dentist or hygienist and to focus attention on your child. For this reason, it is best not to bring other children along at this first visit. Bring an extra diaper and snack for your child. Also bring a favorite toy, blanket or other familiar object. This will help your child to know that the dental office is a comfortable and safe place.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support teeth, and it usually starts early in life, then progresses as a person ages. It all starts when plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus) below the gum line. This irritates vulnerable soft tissues and infection can set in. Combined with decaying food particles lodged between teeth and bacteria emitted by plaque, the infection can spread quickly. Symptoms are so mild in the early phase, many patients don’t recognize them: red, tender, swollen gums, bleeding when brushing teeth. As the condition progresses, gums recede from teeth and pockets of bacteria form. The bacteria can destroy gum tissue and bone, causing tooth and bone loss. Recent studies have linked gum disease to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and pregnancy complications. Good news is, gum disease can be prevented with regular trips to the dentist and proper home care. Call our South Charleston dental office today to reserve your appointment.
How do you look out for the safety of your patients?
Very well, actually! In addition to following guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and OSHA, we use disposable products as often as possible. Between each patient visit, we thoroughly clean treatment rooms and sterilize reusable instruments in an autoclave. Because we value safety, we have invested in a digital radiograph, which emits about 80-percent less radiation than a traditional X-ray machine. We also use intraoral cameras and digital photography for close-up images, which promotes accurate diagnoses. If you have questions about our safety and sterilization methods, call us. We’ll answer your questions with enthusiasm because we love dentistry and our patients.
How are digital X-rays better than traditional radiographs?
When compared to traditional radiography, digital X-rays emit 80-percent less radiation. Detailed images are immediately projected on a chairside monitor, providing visual aids for the dentist to explain your condition and treatment options. We can transfer digital X-rays and photographs quickly via the Internet to insurance companies and specialists, as well. Digital X-rays require no hazardous developing chemicals, so they’re earth friendly!
My smile is missing teeth. What do you suggest I do?
You’ll need to first schedule a consultation with the dentist. He can assess your oral health and discuss options for replacement teeth. In general, you can choose from crown and bridgework, partial or full dentures, or dental implants. As the most natural prosthetic to natural tooth structure, a dental implant offers a comfortable, natural-looking, easy-to-care-for choice.
How can I make my smile brighter?
We offer In Office Professional Whitening and custom-made take-home trays with professional whitening gel for safe and effective teeth whitening. In Office Professional Whitening can deliver a brilliant smile in one office visit. If you prefer, you can whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home with prescription-grade whitening gel and custom mouth trays. Home whitening yields excellent results – up to eight shades or better! Two weeks of use produces optimal results, but if your teeth reach the desired shade before then, simply discontinue treatment.
How can you straighten my smile without using metal braces?
Depending on your unique case, we may suggest porcelain veneers or Invisalign clear braces. Dr. Chapman or Dr. Puderbaugh will sit down with you and review your dental records, their assessment of your situation, and options for treatment. We offer financing up to 24 months no interest and convenient appointments to make dentistry fit with virtually anyone’s lifestyle.
Do you accept dental insurance?
We currently accept all private care insurance plans (plans that do not require you to select a dentist from a list or require our office to accept a reduced fee for service) and are in-network with a few plans as well. We will bill your insurance as a courtesy. Click here for more information about dental insurance.
How can I pay for my dental care?
We accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and personal checks (for existing patients with an established payment history). If you need an extended payment option, many of our patients have found CareCredit to be very helpful.
- NO down payment
- NO interest for up to 12 months (up to 24 months for Invisalign)
- NO prepayment penalties
- Low interest loans
- Long-term loans
- Revolving credit for other medical, dental, vision procedures
- Easy online payment option
- Easy online application process
CareCredit has helped more than six million patients afford the procedures they want or need. With 20 years in the patient finance industry, CareCredit has established a stellar reputation.
Will I be charged if I miss an appointment?
A specific amount of time is reserved especially for you and we strongly encourage our patients to keep their appointments. When we reserve an appointment for a patient, that patient is the only one scheduled at that time. The focus of our doctors and hygienists will be only on that patient’s care and the time allowed is very important. If you must change your appointment, we require at least 24 hours notice to avoid a cancellation fee.