Dental FAQs

Answers to Common Dental Questions

Q When do you like children to have a first dental visit?

We want to see your child when they have teeth! Most children respond well to a dental visit around age three, though the ADA recommends children have a first visit at one year of age. Bring your child with you to your appointment so that he or she can become acclimated to the dentist's office. If you notice any development problems with your child's mouth or teeth, call us to schedule a visit immediately. Otherwise, we'd like to begin teaching your children how to care for their teeth and gums when they reach three or four years of age. By age five or six, they can begin hygiene treatments and regular checkups.

Q Do you refer patients to specialists?

While we are trained and equipped to handle many dental issues in our office, including extractions, root canals, and dental implant placement. If Dr. Carmen feels a specialist would better serve you, he'll refer. Some dental specialists are oral surgeons, periodontists (supporting structures), endodontists (internal tooth problems), orthodontists (for moving teeth), and pedodontists (for children). We refer to only trusted professionals with whom we have a good rapport.

Q What are crowns in an hour?

With innovative CEREC technology, we can create custom crowns, inlays, and onlays in about an hour. This means that in just one visit, you can get a custom-made, all-white, reliable restoration. No temporary. No follow-up visit. It's that simple.

Q I avoid dental visits because of anxiety…is this normal? Can you help?

Many people fear dental visits because of negative past experiences or control issues. We understand dental anxiety and offer a solution to help you overcome your stress. With sedation dentistry, we can help you gain full peace of mind and body so that you can receive the dental work you need – and deserve.

Q What happens if missing teeth are not replaced?

Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including additional tooth loss. Research shows that if a missing tooth is not replaced, up to 20% of adjacent teeth will fall out in the next 4 to 8 years. Missing teeth also cause remaining teeth to shift, resulting in spaces between teeth, food impaction, bite collapse, chewing alteration, and TMJ pain. You’re also more susceptible to gum disease, a serious health condition that can significantly shorten your life span.

Q Are there differences between over-the-counter teeth whiteners and professional teeth whiteners?

Over-the-counter whiteners are not as efficient as professional-grade treatments. The whitening kits you buy at the drugstore are not customized to fit the shape of your teeth, making them messy and ineffective. In addition, they typically only whiten two to three shades. With professional teeth whitening you have more options. You can visit our office and receive a one-hour deep bleaching whitening treatment that will leave your teeth up to 10 shades whiter. We also have home teeth whitening kits that are custom designed for maximum comfort and efficiency. Each night for a week or two you’ll need to apply our professional-grade whitening gel to the trays, and then wear them at night. Within just a few days, you’ll notice a difference, and by the time treatment is complete, you’ll smile with confidence. Take-home trays can also touch up and maintain in-office whitening.

Q I have chronic headaches. Can you help?

Chronic headaches may be a symptom of a misaligned bite, bruxism (grinding), or TMJ disorder. Dr. Carmen will carefully examine your occlusion (bite), jaw, head, and neck to determine the underlying causes of your pain. Oftentimes, we can correct the problem with a custom nightguard. Call our office if you have more questions about headache relief with non-surgical therapies.

Q How does Dr. Carmen keep up to date on current techniques, technology, and materials in dentistry?

Dr. Carmen – and our team – takes more than the state's requirement for continuing education each year. We also read trade journals, attend professional association meetings (ADA, AGD, AACD, DOCS), and do everything we can to keep in tune with the latest developments in general and cosmetic dentistry, as well as dental technology. We are passionate about our careers, so we enjoy soaking up new information on our profession, then sharing it with you!

Q Does my insurance cover that?

Dental insurance is diverse. Some policies cover only a small percentage of fees, while others cover 50 percent or greater. The more you or your employer pays for premiums, the better the coverage, in most cases. For the most part, dental insurance covers some restorative and preventive procedures. Cosmetic treatment is not usually covered. We accept CareCredit to make cosmetic dentistry affordable for all of his patients. If you have questions, give us a call. We'll be happy to tell you what your insurance will cover.

Q What are my payment options?

We accept cash, check, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover). We also offer affordable financing through CareCredit. Apply now to see if you qualify for an instant line of credit.