Dental FAQs

Dentistry is not what it used to be. Technology and techniques have greatly improved over the years. Procedures that once took several hours may take just half the time now. And better tools have taken away much of the discomfort of dentistry, leaving you with a quick, comfortable, and safe treatment.

We believe that knowledge is power: Below are some of the more common questions we hear in our office. Go ahead and take a look – you may be surprised by some of the answers!

Administrative FAQs (see below for health questions):

Do I need dental insurance to be treated?

No, many of our patients pay for care without the assistance of dental insurance.

How much does a dental visit cost?

This depends on the type of care provided, which varies by treatment and by the patient. We will discuss costs with you prior to starting any work.

Do you offer payment plans or other financing options?

We offer multiple options for paying for your dental care, including credit cards, cash, and dental financing plans.

What dental insurance do you accept?

To find out if we accept your insurance, give us a quick call at Seattle Office Phone Number 206-624-7706. Our receptionist can help you understand your benefits.

What should I do if I have a dental emergency?

If you are a patient of record, please call us for instructions on how to contact the doctor. If you are a new patient, please call us during business hours – we will do everything we can to see you the same day, if possible. If your situation is life-threatening, you should get medical help immediately.

What is your cancellation policy?

We request that you notify us 48 hours prior to your appointment. Without notice, we may charge a late fee to your account.

Dental Health FAQs:

Are dental x-rays safe?

Dental x-rays have one of the lowest radiation exposure rates of all medical imaging. In addition to that, we always do our best to minimize exposure, only performing x-rays when absolutely necessary and always employing protective measures to minimize exposure.

What is a dental crown?

Dental crowns are fabricated with precision in a lab to mimic the look and function of real teeth. They are needed when not enough natural tooth remains to fulfill chewing and aesthetic functions. The most common conditions requiring dental crowns are root canal treatment and cracked broken or heavily decayed teeth.

How do dental implants work?

Dental implants are used to replace missing adult teeth. They function just like real teeth, allowing patients to eat and smile just like they would with a natural tooth. The implant is screwed into the jawbone, allowed to “osseointegrate” with the bone, and then a crown is placed on top. If properly maintained, dental implants can last a lifetime!

Is fluoride safe?

Yes, fluoride is safe. Scrutinized for over 70 years by scientists, fluoride has consistently been shown to prevent tooth decay without adverse health effects. Learn more about fluoride on the ADA’s website

Why is oral hygiene important?

Oral hygiene is the most important step in protecting your teeth for life, and it may even help to reduce the risk of disease around the body. Poor dental health is linked to many different conditions including diabetes and heart disease. Brushing twice a day and flossing once is all you need to stay on top of oral hygiene at home.

Do I still need to floss?

Yes, flossing is the ONLY way to remove bacteria and food particles from between teeth, which is a very common area for decay to set in.

How often should I visit the dentist?

You should be seen every six months for a regular checkup and teeth cleaning. In some cases, as with periodontal disease, we may recommend that you visit us every three months.

When should my child go to the dentist for the first time?

Your child should see a dentist when the first tooth comes in, or before his or her first birthday – whichever comes first.

What causes sensitive teeth?

There are many different causes of sensitive teeth – some are benign, and some require attention, such as tooth decay, exposed roots, infection, and gum disease. The only way to know for sure is through an oral exam in our office.

What if I have a broken tooth?

If you have broken or cracked a tooth, call us immediately to set up an appointment as quickly as possible. The sooner we see you, the more likely we will be able to save the tooth.

Are teeth alive?

Yes! While the crown of the tooth is made up of hard tissue, the inside of the tooth (the “roots”) have nerves in them that are alive.

I have a broken filling – what should I do?

Call us as soon as you suspect that you have broken a filling to set up an appointment. The sooner we can get to it, the better chance we have of saving the tooth.

How long do veneers last?

While not permanent, dental veneers do last quite a long time. When properly cared for, they can last anywhere from 10-20 years.

What causes tooth decay and cavities?

Poor oral hygiene, not seeing the dentist regularly, and sugary and acidic foods and beverages are responsible for most cavities.

What are teeth sealants?

Usually applied to the molars and other frequently decayed areas, tooth sealants protect the enamel of your teeth from damage and thus reduce the risk of cavities – a great investment for most families.

I am afraid to go to the dentist.

You are not alone! We see patients every day that have anxiety about dental work. Luckily, there are many ways that we can help alleviate dental anxiety. Often it is enough to simply talk about the specific fears you have. This allows us to explain the procedures and treatments to you thoroughly and prepare you with any needed accommodations. Earphones are another great tool for managing dental anxiety. And, if needed, we can discuss anesthesia options.

What do I do if I knock a tooth out?

If you or your child has knocked out a tooth (avulsion), gently rinse (but don’t rub or touch) the tooth with milk or water. Be careful not to touch the root of the tooth. Keep the tooth moist in a glass of milk, water, spit, or the patient’s mouth (if possible) until you can be seen. Call us immediately for instructions and an appointment – the sooner we see you, the more likely we can re-implant the permanent tooth.

Do not see your question on this list? Please call us at Seattle Office Phone Number 206-624-7706 for more information!