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Why does the dentist take X-rays?

Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissues cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth. An X-ray examination may reveal: small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing restorations (fillings), infections in the bone, periodontal (gum) disease, abscesses or cysts, developmental abnormalities, and some types of tumors. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort. X-rays can detect damage to oral structures not visible during a regular exam. If you have a hidden tumor, X-rays may even help save your life. Your Dentist will evaluate your need for X-rays based on the conditions present and your dental history. There are many benefits to having X-rays taken. Any additional questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist.

What is a fluoride treatment, and does my child need one?

"Treatment with flouride is an effective way to strengthen your tooth's enamal. It takes a few minutes to apply a fluoridated varnish or gel that has a higher concentration of fluoride than in over-the-counter products. Your hygieniest can apply the product with a soft brush. After application, you should not brush or floss for 4 to 6 hours afterward, and no eat for a few hours. Drinking can resume immediately. The American Dental Association recommends flouride treatments for adults as well as children. Speak to your dentist about how flouride can help you achieve optimal dental health.

A fluoride varnish is applied with a soft brush and you will not be able to eat or drink for a few hours afterward. A fluoride gel takes 4 minutes to apply, and you should avoid eating and drinking for 30 minutes after treatment."

I have no insurance and bad credit. Do I have any options?

At Gentle Dental, we welcome new patients at $57 for an exam, all necessary xrays, a cleaning and treatment plan. This is a great way to get to know the practice. We also accept Essential Dental, a discount dental plan that allows members to have the dental care they need at the savings they can afford. Get instant access to savings on all dental services plus free exams and x-rays. Please call your nearest office to speak to a patient care representative about your payment options.

When should my child have dental x-rays taken?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association have guidelines to determine when and how often children should have xrays. The dentist will use his or her clinical judgement, using these guidelines, after a thorough review of your child's health history and a clinical exam. Your child's first dental appointment can be by age 1 or 6 months from the first tooth eruption.

When should I take my child to the dentist for their first visit?

The timing for baby teeth differ for each individual but all 20 baby teeth are usually in by 3 years of age. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 6 months of age. Baby teeth are just as suseptible to cavities as adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room. Proper oral hygiene is important as soon as your baby is born and it is critical to establish good oral health habits early.

Will my insurance cover cosmetic dental care?

Insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses for cosmetic treatment vary. Our practice will work with your insurance provider to verify coverage and will provide you with different treatment options to achieve your cosmetic goals. We will review treatment options with you to find a payment option for your needs and your budget.

I’m concerned about cost. What are my payment options?

At Gentle Dental, new patients pay just $57 for an exam, all necessary xrays, a cleaning and treatment plan. Our fees are competitive and we will carefully review the costs of your treatment with you and discuss payment options. Please call your nearest office to speak to a patient care representative.

What is gum disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics.

Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease. If detected, it is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition.

Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our office every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease.

Common signs of gum disease:

  • Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gum line
  • Abscessed teeth

Do you accept any discount dental plans?

Gentle Dental offices accept Essential Dental, a discount dental plan that provides immediate savings on dental care for you and your family. The plan has no waiting period and no annual maximums. Exams and xrays are free. Individual, 2 individuals and family memberships are available starting at $99. For more information and to enroll, visit essentialdentalplan.com. Essential Dental is not insurance.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole on the surface of your tooth caused by tooth decay. Cavities form when plaque builds up on your tooth and combines with sugar from the foods you eat, creating an acid that eats away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly.

What is a filling?

A dentist uses a filling to fill a cavity. First all tooth decay is removed, and then a synthetic material is used to fill the hole. Filling can be made from a variety of differnt materials including composites, gold, or ceramic, and can be made to match the color of your teeth.

Why should I floss, isn't brushing enough?

Flossing reduces the number of bacteria in your mouth. There are millions of these microscopic creatures feeding on food particles left on your teeth. These bacteria live in plaque which can be removed by flossing. Brushing your teeth gets rid of some of the bacteria in your mouth. Flossing gets rid of the bacteria the toothbrush can't get to. That's the bacteria hiding in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you do not floss, you allow plaque to remain between your teeth, and eventually it may harden into calculus/tartar. Plaque can be removed by brushing. Only the dentist or dental hygienist can remove calculus/tartar. Ask your dental professional to show you the proper way to floss. You will both notice the difference at the next cleaning appointment.

When should I change my toothbrush?

Replace your toothbruth every three months. For patients with periodontal disease, it is recommended to replace your toothbrush every four to six weeks. If you have been sick, be sure to replace your toothbrush as soon as possible. It is recommended to read the instructions for replacement guides for electric toothbrushes as they may need to be replaces more frequently.

What are sealants?

Sealants are a thin plastic coating painted on chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. They act as a barrier, protecting your teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The Sealant bonds to the grooves in your teeth forming a protective shileld over the enamel of each tooth. Sealants have proven effective at preventing cavities in adults as well as children, but are most commonly used on children. Ask your dentist whether sealants are a good choice for your family.

How do I take care of my teeth between appointments?

It is important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss as well!