Frequently Asked Questions
“I hate my smile. My teeth are crooked, discolored, and my gums are puffy and red. I would love to have healthy, straight, white teeth and a broad "Hollywood" smile. Can you help me?”
Absolutely! Because we screen for periodontal disease, we always address gum problems first. Also, we offer functional orthodontics & Invisalign, so we can straighten your teeth and give you the broad, "Hollywood" smile. We can bleach your teeth whiter, or if more appropriate, veneer or crown your teeth with beautiful white porcelain. Our team has the expertise and the experience to give you the beautiful smile that you have always wanted.
“I am interested in orthodontics. Can you explain your treatment philosophy?”
First, let us disclose that we are general dentists, but we have been treating orthodontic patients for over 20 years. For us, orthodontics is not just about straightening teeth. It is also about harmonizing facial profile and esthetics and alleviating TM joint problems, if necessary. We achieve this not by extracting teeth (except in rare situations), but with functional orthodontics. For patients who qualify, Invisalign is also an option.
“I have severe migraine headaches, along with neck-back-shoulder problems, and sometimes hearing problems. I was told that I have temporomandibular disorder (TMD). What is TMD, and how do you treat it?”
Unless you have experienced trauma or have rare genetic problems, TMD is caused by the jaw joints butting or compressing too hard against the area where it meets the skull, near the ear canals. This is almost always caused by an improperly aligned lower jaw. We screen all patients with a simple test called the "inner ear palpation test." Anyone can do this test with or without assistance. In severe TMD cases, we take further tests, X-rays, and related data. TMD is initially treated with a custom orthotic appliance that fits in the mouth and ideally repositions the lower jaw to a better position. The TMD orthotic appliance can alleviate pain and nagging symptoms 90 percent of the time. If a patient desires a more permanent solution, functional orthodontics, orthotic crowns/bridges, or orthotic partials may be the best solution.
“I keep hearing about the harmful effects of mercury in silver fillings. Can you tell me more about this?”
While there is no conclusive research to prove that mercury in silver fillings is harmful, except in individuals who have an allergy to mercury (which is rare), our office is sensitive to this issue. We offer mercury-free restorations such as posterior composites and posterior porcelain inlays/onlays and crowns. The initial cost of posterior porcelain restorations may be more expensive than composite restorations, but posterior porcelain restorations are much more esthetic and color stable. They also have less potential for leakage and underlying decay, and they can last significantly longer.
“Why do my back fillings look black? When I smile, people can see dark fillings near the corner of my mouth, and this makes me self-conscious. What you do about this?”
Those black fillings are actually silver fillings that started out grey. Over time, the surface turned dark. These fillings can be replaced with a custom-fitted, porcelain crowns, inlays/onlays, and veneers. We can replace your black or silver fillings with tooth-colored porcelain restorations. For smaller restorations, white composite fillings may be indicated. The quality of our all- porcelain restorations, however, is unmatched in esthetics and longevity.
“I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. My physician treated me with a C-Pap machine, and I just cannot wear it. I hear that you treat sleep apnea. How do you treat this condition?”
Sleep apnea is often associated with being overweight. Excessive fatty tissues in the neck can constrict the throat and cause disrupted airflow to the lungs. The other cause of sleep apnea is sinus constriction and/or throat constriction caused by improperly positioned lower jaw. Many patients have natural occlusion that causes the jaw to bite in a backward position. When a recessed lower jaw presses against the throat, the "pharyngeal" airway is restricted. Our dentists can widened constricted sinuses with an orthodontic expansion appliance, and the pharyngeal constriction can be alleviated with a sleep apnea appliance such as a TAP appliance or a Soma Appliance. This is a very conservative, non-surgical treatment and very successful in most patients.
“I am very concerned about cleanliness and sterilization. What is your office policy on this?”
Every doctor and team member in our office make sterilization and infection control top priority. All of our reusable instruments are scrubbed and then placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. They are then steam-sterilized. We monitor our autoclave monthly by checking its effectiveness in killing every spore and bacteria. First impressions are important, and our patients have always remarked on how modern, clean, and organized our office is. They feel very comfortable letting us work in their mouths. We love hearing that.
“Do you accept insurance?”
Yes. We accept insurances, and as a courtesy to you, file most insurance claims. Learn more about our financial policies here and feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your insurance coverage.