Common Dental Questions
What can I expect at my first visit as a new patient?
As a new patient, it is important to arrive to your appointment a few minutes early to fill out your medical and dental history for both the hygienist and doctor to reference. When in the chair, new patients can expect to take a full mouth set of x-rays if necessary, a cleaning with the hygienist, and a comprehensive exam with the doctor. If the hygienist or doctor find signs of periodontal disease, patients may need to schedule additional time with the hygienist.
Are digital dental x-rays safer than traditional film X-rays?
Yes! Digital dental x-rays use less radiation than traditional x-rays. Radiation exposure during a full mouth set of x-rays can be compared to spending 1 hour on an airplane.
What are the benefits of white composite fillings vs. silver amalgam fillings?
Not only do composite (white) fillings look more natural than amalgam (silver) fillings, but they last longer and are better for the tooth. The dentist doesn’t have to drill as much healthy tooth structure away because the composite resin can fit into smaller spaces while adhering to the tooth.
When should I take my child to the dentist for their first check-up?
Between ages 2 and 3, we recommend the child come in at their parent’s appointment for their first visit to get acclimated to the dental office atmosphere. This allows the hygienist and doctor to familiarize the child with the different tools and sounds they can can expect during their first hygiene visit. The hygienist will also provide the child and their parent with oral hygiene instruction.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents can help their child to brush their teeth once in the morning and once before bed time and to floss once daily. It is important to help your child maintain a healthy diet as well. Avoiding sugary foods and drinks is helpful in the prevention of tooth decay (soda, juice, sweets, etc).
What insurance plans are accepted at your office?
We are “in-network” with Delta Dental PPO, Delta Dental Premier, Cigna PPO, and Healthpartners, however we accept all insurance plans. Some insurance plans require that patients see providers who are in their network, so it is important to familiarize yourself with your insurance plan to ensure you receive coverage at the dental office you choose.
What is the difference between in-network and out-of-network providers?
Out-of-network refers to a patient seeking care outside the network of doctors, hospitals or other health care providers that the insurance company has contracted with to provide care. It usually applies to health maintenance organizations (HMO’s) and preferred provider organizations (PPO’s). An in-network provider is one that is contracted with the insurance company to provide services to plan members for specific pre-negotiaited rates.
Why isn’t the recommended treatment a covered benefit on my insurance plan?
Your dentist diagnoses and provides treatment based on his or her professional judgement and not on the cost of that care. Some employers or insurance plans exclude coverage for necessary treatment as a way to reduce their costs. Your plan may not include this particular treatment or procedure, although your dentist deemed the treatment necessary.
Why was my insurance benefit different from what I expected?
Your dental plan may vary for a number of reasons such as:
-You have already used some or all of the benefits available from your dental insurance.
-Your insurance plan paid only a percentage of the fee charges by your dentist.
-The treatment you needed was not a covered benefit.
-You have not yet met your deductible.
-You have not reached the end of your plan’s waiting period and are currently ineligible for coverage.
How do I understand my Explanation of Benefits (EOB)?
The EOB identifies the benefits, the amount your insurance carrier is willing to pay and charges that are and are not covered by your plan. The statement includes the following information: the usual and customary rates, copayment amount/patient portion, remaining benefits, deductible and benefit paid.
What is a crown?
The dentist will remove any previous filling structure or decay from the tooth and place a permanent “shell” around the tooth to strengthen the tooth.
The dentist will remove the infected nerves of the tooth and place a rubber material into the tooth’s canals. Typically after a root canal is completed a crown is needed, as the tooth is dead.
What is an implant?
An implant is a procedure where a titanium post is placed into the patient’s jaw bone. Once the post is integrated into the bone, a crown is placed over it. This is usually done when the patient is a missing a tooth.