Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
For our general and cosmetic dentistry patients, the following questions are frequently asked. If you have a question that isn’t listed here, feel free to contact us:
Q: Is this going to hurt?
Ans: The quality of local and topical anesthetic really makes a difference these days. For high-anxiety patients, there are numerous sedative approaches, including IV sedation by a dental anesthesiologist; there are other noninvasive approaches like hypnotherapy and virtual reality DVD glasses. Putting patients in total control by slowing down, asking some questions and reassuring patients they are the director of their own dental experience is also very powerful.
Q: How much is this going to cost?
Ans: No one likes surprises when it comes to cost. Cost should be explained and a financial agreement reached before treatment begins. And, interest-free financing is available for up to two years these days with Care Credit. We can also prioritize care and phase treatment in stages.
Q: What about my insurance?
Ans: Insurance benefits are there to help pay the bills. Most plans allow for a $1000 maximum/year (just like in 1978). Dental practices will happily process insurance, but premium payers are always their own best advocates.
Q: What about porcelain caps that look black near the gumline?
Ans: Those were your dad’s teeth! Today, dentistry is much less invasive and with the materials available, the black gumline should be a thing of the past.
Q: Do you still use silver fillings?
Ans: We haven’t used silver (or mercury) fillings in 20 years. Today’s tooth-colored resin fillings (white fillilgns) are really compatible with natural tooth structure and greatly reduce the chance of tooth fracture. And they look really natural, too.
Q: What about sterilization?
Ans: Dental steam autoclaves are very effective sterilizers and these days almost everything we use is autoclaved. Today’s water systems are self-contained and use sterile water.
Q: How do you keep up with all of the new technology?
Ans: Today is really the Golden Age of continuing education. Some of us complete as much as 200 hours of continuing education per year. These days, regarding keeping up: If there’s a will, there’s all kinds of ways.
Q: Is your staff nice?
Ans: The old dental joke is “staff” is an infection. Dental “teams” basically reflect the philosophy of the dentist. Team meetings are really more about human communication. If dental teams aren’t friendly and/or don’t listen, let them know or make a change; that goes double for the dentist. Meet our Temple City Dental Team.
Q: Do hygienists clean my teeth or does the doctor?
Ans: Hygienists are specialists in dental cleaning. Oral hygiene, monitoring and care of early to moderate periodontal disease is their specialty. The answer should be “YES.” Managing periodontal disease can possibly add seven years of life.
Q: Where did you go to school?
Ans: I went to the USC School of Dentistry and yes, the reality is at least the equal of their great reputation. (Okay, so I told you some of these were maybe slightly less than universal.)
Q: Does Invisalign® work?
Ans: With close to 2,000,000 cases completed, Invisalign aligners indeed work. We’ve been believers since Day One and we’ve seen amazing transitions in periodontal health and functional health in addition to beautifully restored smiles. Today, Invisalign care is applicable to about 80% of adult orthodontics.
Q: Can dentists help me with my snoring?
Ans: Yes! Dentists are in a great position to screen for obstructive sleep apnea and even provide home sleep studies for patients who would need a diagnosis from a physician (only 24% of physicians screen for obstructive sleep apnea). Dentists can also provide sleep apnea appliances for those diagnosed with light or moderate sleep apnea or for patients who are CPAP-intolerant.