What insurances are accepted at your office?
For starters, we see any and all patients regardless of their dental insurance plan. We also have a large patient base that is uninsured. Both Dr. Stan and Dr. Kristy are in network with the following insurance companies: BC/BS Preferred, Delta Dental Premier, United Concordia, Cigna and UMR. We also offer a 20% discount for active duty military families. If you do not see your insurance company on the list, we can still see you! We file all insurances. We also offer Care Credit at our office to help finance your dental treatment if needed. Our office manager’s name is Ronda and she would be happy to provide any additional information. With 25 years of experience, she is the friendly face that greets all of our patients when they come through the door.
Are dental X-Rays necessary and are they safe?
In short, the answer to both of these questions is yes.
Dental X-Rays are a necessary diagnostic tool to help your dentist diagnose disease in your mouth that is not visible during your regular clinical exam. How often X-Rays should be taken depends on your present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. Your dentist will perform an exam and review your medical history and then decide if X-Rays are needed based on your specific oral situation. Remember that the best and most conservative treatment depends on early detection. X-Rays not only allow your dentist to detect decay, they also allow him or her to view the overall condition of your teeth and their roots, jaw placement, and the composition of your facial bones. All of these things are important to determine a treatment plan that is best for you and are also useful in the early detection of oral cancer.
Dental X-Ray exams are safe; however, they do require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. The development of digital imaging, which we employ in our office, lowers the amount of radiation even more. Your dental provider will also always use a lead apron to shield your body even further from the already low dose of radiation. To give you an idea of the amount of radiation you receive from an average dental X-ray see the following example:
Bitewing radiographs are used on the average patient once every year and they consist of two to four images of the back teeth. This exposes a patient to about 0.005 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation (a millisievert is a unit of measure). By comparison, because radiation is part of our environment, people in the United States are exposed, on average, to 3.2 mSv every year from background sources of radiation.
Why are my gums bleeding?
If your gums are tender or bleeding, you probably have gum disease. Gum disease comes in many stages, the earliest being gingivitis. Bleeding and tender gums are usually the first signs of gingivitis. The symptoms described are caused when bacteria forms between your teeth and gums. When there is too much bacteria, plaque forms which causes irritation and that is where the bleeding and swelling come in. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that can ultimately result in tooth loss.
If you suspect you may have any of the described conditions, you are at the right place! Visiting your dentist regularly can help reverse these conditions, and in more advanced cases, can help keep disease from progressing. Many factors contribute to gum disease including at-home oral hygiene, frequency of professional dental visits, dry mouth, systemic health conditions, diet, tobacco use, pregnancy and history of gum disease in your family. At our office, we will determine which of these factors is causing gum disease in your mouth and partner with you to get you back on the right track so you can maintain a healthy smile for life.
What kind of dental treatment can I have while I am pregnant or trying to get pregnant?
Routine dental treatment is very important during your pregnancy for a number of reasons. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums. Normally, we prefer you to schedule your routine dental visit during your second trimester. Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth. Elective treatment may be postponed until after the baby is born but emergency dental treatment is important for the health of you and your baby during pregnancy. Always let one of our team members know if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant at the beginning of your dental appointment. In addition, we are happy to discuss treatment considerations with your doctor if needed.
When should I take my child to the dentist and how often?
You can talk to your dentist about scheduling a visit to be seen as soon as his or her first tooth erupts. Teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they erupt through the gums. Frequency of dental visits will depend on your child’s specific needs, but at least once per year is recommended. Regular visits at a very young age help to eliminate fear that is often associated with going to the dentist. Also, early detection may prevent treatment that could cause fear of the dentist. Your child’s mouth is important not only to his or her developing primary and permanent teeth, but also to his or her overall health. If you have questions about your child’s teeth, come see us! We love seeing children in our practice and can begin seeing them at any age.
Why are my teeth so sensitive and what can I do to fix this problem?
There are a number of causes of tooth sensitivity including tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn down fillings or tooth enamel, exposed roots and gum disease. Enamel, in a healthy mouth, protects the inner layers of your teeth. This is important because the innermost layer of your tooth houses nerves. When enamel coverage is compromised from any of the aforementioned causes, there is a more direct transmission from the outside environment to the nerves in your teeth and therefore teeth become sensitive and can even be painful.
Sensitive teeth can be treated, but the type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Let someone on our staff know if you are having these issues so we can recommend a treatment that is right for you. Treatment may range from something as simple as a desensitizing toothpaste all the way to the need for root canal therapy.