Frequently Asked Questions

Many of our patients have the same questions.  Here are some of the more popular questions we are asked every day.  We hope that by providing you an answer it will put your mind at ease when visiting our clinic.  “click on the answer tab to see the answer”

We get questions for a variety of reasons regarding our payment policies.  You can find out answers to your questions on the answers tab above, if your specific question is not answered please feel free to call our office.  We will be more than happy to help you.

Every once in a while we have a patient ask “Why do I need to pre-pay for my proposed treatment before I schedule an appointment for it, don’t you trust me to pay that day?”. This is a valid question that deserves further clarification.

Is pre-payment required for all appointments? – No, our policy states that for routine appointments such as cleanings, exams, or any dental work requiring an out-of-pocket over $200, your complete payment is due on the day of service. If you have dental insurance that we are in-network with, only your patient portion is due on the day of service.

When is pre-payment required? – For services that require appointment totals over $200, we do require complete payment before the appointment is scheduled. If you have dental insurance, only your patient portion is due before the appointment is scheduled.

In the instances where we do require a pre-payment, we see it as a commitment by both parties. We are committing the doctor’s time and skills necessary to complete the treatment, while the patient is committing to receiving the care. It has been our experience that patients are more likely to keep their appointments and get the work they need to be done when there is a financial commitment involved. Also, if we block off more than two hours of a doctor’s schedule for one patient, and then he or she decides last minute not to come in, that is the time taken away from another patient that may have needed our services on that day.

We feel having this policy helps us to better serve our patients in a timely manor. It’s our commitment to you and your commitment to us

Many of our patients are surprised to learn that there are different types of cleanings when it comes to oral health.  The type of cleaning perform is directly related to several factors, including how long it has been since your last cleaning and your overall oral health.  Your specific situation is determined during your initial exam.  Once we have examined you and taken X-rays then we will know what type of dental cleaning to perform.

– Prophylaxis – Generally recommended once every 6 months, this is the type of dental cleaning that many are used to from growing up going to the dentist. A “prophy” focuses mainly on maintaining healthy gum tissue by removing plaque, surface stain, and calculus (tartar) from mostly above the gum line. Your hygienist will scale any deposits off from above your gum line and finish with polishing and flossing your teeth. Generally, a fluoride varnish will be recommended to help protect your smile from cavities and sensitivity.

– Full Mouth Debridement (FMD) – An FMD will be recommended if it has been a long time since you have had a professional dental cleaning or if there is simply too much plaque, stain, or calculus on your teeth and around your gums to make accurate diagnoses. This is an overall “pressure wash” of sorts that removes most buildup from above the gum line and possibly slightly below (depending on how much buildup is there). This cleaning can be slightly irritating to your gums, so polishing is not completed at the end of the visit to reduce complications like excessive tenderness or even periodontal abscesses. Your hygienist will irrigate your gums with a prescription-strength antimicrobial rinse to aid with healing and will schedule you for a follow-up visit in 4 weeks to finish developing your treatment plan with your dentist and to polish your teeth.

– Gingivitis Therapy – this will be recommended if, during evaluation by your hygienist and dentist, it is determined that you have active gingivitis present in your gum tissue. Symptoms that your hygienist and dentist will look for include redness, swollen tissue, and bleeding upon measuring your gums. These symptoms need to be combined with very limited or no bone loss evident on the x-rays that will have been taken. Gingivitis Therapy is a bit more involved than a regular prophy cleaning and will focus more on removing plaque and calculus below your gum line. You may require some minimally invasive topical anesthetic to make the process more comfortable for you. Gingivitis Therapy can be slightly irritating to your gums, so polishing is not completed at the end of the visit to reduce complications like excessive tenderness or even periodontal abscesses. Your hygienist will irrigate your gums with a prescription-strength antimicrobial rinse to aid with healing and will schedule you for a follow-up visit in 4 weeks to ensure your tissue has returned to a normal level of health, make sure brushing and flossing is going well for you at home, and to polish your teeth. After Gingivitis Therapy, you will be able to return to a regular 6-month Prophy schedule.

– Scaling and Root Planing (SRP/Deep Cleaning) – SRP will be recommended if your hygienist and dentist are detecting signs of active Periodontal Disease. Symptoms of Periodontal Disease include, but are not limited to, red to purple gum tissue, swollen gum tissue, receding gum line, bad breath, loose teeth, and radiographic bone loss and calculus buildup. This is a serious condition that needs to be treated with the utmost care and diligence not only on the part of your hygienist and dentist, but also on the part of the patient with increased home care habits. SRP can be recommended for limited sections or for the entire mouth depending on the severity of the condition. Your hygienist or dentist will likely numb your gum tissues using a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure. Due to this, your appointments will likely be split into a right half and left half. Each of these appointments is scheduled for at least an hour and a half to ensure your hygienist can thoroughly and effectively remove the plaque and calculus below and above your gum line to arrest the disease and stop the progression of bone loss. This cleaning will be irritating to your gums, so polishing is not completed at the end of the visit to reduce complications like excessive tenderness or even periodontal abscesses. Your hygienist will irrigate your gums with a prescription-strength antimicrobial rinse to aid with healing and will schedule you for a follow-up visit in 4 weeks to check healing to ensure the disease is under control, make sure home care is being completed effectively, and to polish your teeth. After SRP is completed, you will need to stay on a 3-4 month Periodontal Maintenance schedule that will be determined by your hygienist.

– Periodontal Maintenance – Once SRP is completed, your gums will need closer monitoring and increased care to prevent active Periodontal Disease from recurring. Periodontal Maintenance is performed every 3-4 months due to the fact that the bacteria that cause Periodontal disease issues will return to their full, disease-causing strength within about 90 days. Your hygienist will measure your gums to ensure the disease is staying arrested. Periodontal Maintenance is a bit more involved than a Prophy and focuses more below the gum line. Your hygienist will scale any deposits off from above and below your gum line and finish with polishing and flossing your teeth as well as irrigating your gums with a prescription-strength antimicrobial rinse. Generally, a fluoride varnish will be recommended to help protect your smile from cavities and sensitivity.

 

If you find flossing on a regular basis a challenge, you’re not alone.  Many of our patients struggle to floss each time they brush their teeth.  You should be brushing AND flossing at least 2 times per day.  Why is flossing just as important as brushing your teeth? 

Your toothbrush does a good job of removing food particles and plaque along with quality toothpaste.  However, it is impossible for the bristles of your toothbrush to get into all of the tight spaces between your teeth.  Much of what you eat can become lodged in between your teeth, including food particles and plaque build-up.  Flossing gets in between your teeth and into those tight spaces, removing and freeing up food particles as well as any plaque that may be there.  Good oral health is a combination of regular brushing, flossing and dental cleaning appointments.  You cannot skip any of these items and expect to have a healthy happy mouth!

Many people like a good soda drink.  You may have a favorite like Coke, Pepsi, or Root Beer to name a few.  The problem is these drinks are loaded with sugar and are acidic.  That sugar and acid can over time cause problems.

When you drink soda, the sugars it contains interact with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid attacks your teeth. Both regular and sugar-free sodas also contain their own acids, and these attack the teeth too. With each swig of soda, you’re starting a damaging reaction that lasts for about 20 minutes. If you sip all day, your teeth are under constant attack.

There are two main dental effects of drinking soda: erosion and cavities.

Erosion

Erosion begins when the acids in soft drinks encounter the tooth enamel, which is the outermost protective layer on your teeth. Their effect is to reduce the surface hardness of the enamel.

While sports drinks and fruit juices can also damage enamel, they stop there.

Cavities

Soft drinks, on the other hand, can also affect the next layer, dentin, and even composite fillings. This damage to your tooth enamel can invite cavities. Cavities, or caries, develop over time in people who drink soft drinks regularly. Add in poor oral hygiene, and a lot of damage can occur to the teeth.

What you can do if you can’t give up Soda.

Limit yourself to just one soft drink per day.  Drink through a straw to keep it away from your teeth.  Drinking it faster can also help its effect on your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking a soda pop.  This will help wash away the sugar and acids.

Call: 941-788-8888

8441 Heritage Green Way, Bradenton FL

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