Q. How often should I see a dentist?
A. The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year.
Q. What should I expect during my appointment?
A. On your first appointment, one of our staff members will ask you to fill out your medical and dental history if you have not done so in advance. Before we begin, we will answer any questions or discuss any dental issues you might have, then do a comprenhensive oral examination, take X-rays of your teeth (if needed) and give you a thorough cleaning. If further treatment is required, we will take the time to explain what is needed and why, then offer all available options.
Q. What if I have an emergency?
A. Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental problem. We will be glad to work you in to our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office for the doctor’s emergency contact number.
Q. Do you accept insurance?
A. Yes, we do work all dental insurance companies, but are considered “out-of-network” providers. What this means is that we have not signed a contract with any insurance company that allows them to pay us directly for your treatment.
This is very important, because we feel strongly that doing high quality dentistry requires more time and effort than can be allowed with in-network plans.
The claims are submitted in exactly the same way, but with an out-of-network dentist, the patient covers the balance of the cost of the procedure. Depending on the procedure, most insurances cover 50% to 80% of our fees (some are even covered 100%).
Q. Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?
A. Yes. We offer payment plans and also accept most major credit cards.
Q. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?
A. Yes. We offer in-office bleaching as well as at home bleaching kits. Both work well and both have their advantages. We can discuss these during a consultation visit or a regular cleaning appointment.
Over-the-counter daily bleaching products are also available, are inexpensive, and for some people work quite well. (The ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.)
Q. In or Out of Network?
A. Some insurances offer no-charge and no-copay dental work with practices that are “in network”. This can seem like a great deal for any patient. But in many cases these practices are paid so little per visit/treatment that to make ends meet they must do very high volume work—in some cases 15 minutes are alloted to each patient. The rushed approach to treatment may solve a dental problem in the short term, but in the long run that rushed work will degrade more quickly and can lead to much bigger problems down the road—so the perceived savings can in fact equal a significant loss, both financially and in terms of oral and overall health. We believe that 15 minutes is not enough time to properly attend to a patient’s needs and give proper care. We are committed to providing superior, meticulous care to get the best results for oral health and an attractive smile, and that level of attention is simply not possible with high-volume care. For this reason we are not “in network. We do, of course, work with insurances to the very fullest extent possible.
(And if you come in for a consultation and you wind up doing the work we discuss, we discount the consultation.)