General Dentistry FAQ's

How often should I go to the dentist for a teeth cleaning?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), healthy individuals should receive “regular dental visits, at intervals determined by a dentist.” If you are generally healthy, this means cleanings and exams twice per year. We believe regular preventative care is crucial to avoiding larger issues down the road. When we can identify cavities and early stages of gum disease, for example, we can take simple steps to correct them. When we do not know about these issues until they have progressed into abscesses and periodontal disease, treatment is more difficult and more expensive.

If you have gum or periodontal disease, more frequent dental visits may be needed to maintain good oral health. If you suspect you have gum disease, schedule an appointment so we can identify any areas of concern quickly.

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Is flossing really important?

Yes. Despite some of the press in 2016 that research was not showing clear oral health benefits from flossing, guiding institutions like the ADA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) agree flossing is important for good oral hygiene. With 40% of tooth structure located where toothbrush bristles cannot reach, flossing is necessary to ensure food, plaque, and bacteria are removed. This helps prevent cavities from forming and improve overall gum health. Given the links between gum disease and heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes—to name a few—flossing is a key component to your overall health.

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Are dental x-rays safe?

While many people ask about the long-term effects of x-rays on the body, the data shows newer digital technology has greatly decreased the amount of radiation to which we are exposed. When comparing dental x-rays to other medical x-rays, dental x-rays come out far ahead. In fact, a standard set of four bitewings has the same level of radiation as a 1-2-hour plane ride. This is before we factor in the protection that comes from the lead apron we place over you before we take the x-rays.

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What type of anesthesia is used for wisdom tooth extraction?

It depends on the dentist and it depends on the tooth. If the tooth has already erupted, then usually you can use a local anesthetic like Lidocaine. If it's impacted or growing in the wrong direction, then that's usually when the dentist would recommend a local anesthesia.

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Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ's

What teeth whitening is best?

If you have read our blog article on teeth whitening, you know this is a popular topic. With more products on the market than ever, you have choices:

  • Over-the-Counter: Whitening strips are widely available in drug stores. The whitening solution is diluted so it is gentle on teeth, but it will take multiple applications to see results. They have a pre-pasted solution so you only have to adhere them to your teeth. These are the most cost-effective.
  • In-Office: This is the most expensive option, but it offers the quickest results because the bleaching solution is highly concentrated. However, many patients report sensitivity after the fact. Even patients who do not otherwise struggle with sensitivity report discomfort after in-office bleaching.
  • Take-Home kits: This option is the middle-of-the-road choice. While not as fast-acting as the in-office option, it is still generally faster than over-the-counter solutions, and with little to no sensitivity. We create custom whitening trays for you to take home, along with a supply of whitening gel.

Which is “best” depends on you. If you have never tried whitening, you may want to test out an over-the-counter option first. If you have whitened before without sensitivity, the in-office option may be the way to go. If sensitivity is not too much of a concern, but the cost is, the take-home kit may be best.

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Restorative Dentistry FAQ's

How do you treat a chipped tooth?

If you chip a tooth, rest assured we have options to fix it. In many cases, we can use some bonding material to fill in the piece that chipped off, restoring your tooth to full function and aesthetics. The process is simple and does not require any anesthetic. The bonding material is very strong. It will eventually need to be replaced. But bonding can last for up to 10 years with proper maintenance. Very small chips can even be smoothed out without requiring any bonding.

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How much does it cost to get a tooth extraction?

The total cost of tooth extraction is hard to say without an initial exam and x-ray because we don't know the type of extraction you're going need. Will it be a surgical extraction or a simple extraction? The cost will vary.

If you visit the office and allow Dr. Dennis to do an exam and an x-ray, we can give you detailed pricing that will outline what your portion will be, if you have insurance.  We can also let you know what your insurance company will cover. 

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Dental Insurance FAQ's

What type of insurance do you accept?

We accept all PPO plans. What that means is that we accept Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Guardian, Humana, Principal, as long as it's a PPO plan, you can use it here. The fact that it is a dental insurance PPO plan, means that when you come to Dr. Dennis, you get an additional discount. When you come to Peach Valley Dental, bring your dental PPO plan and we'll verify it for you and also go over your benefits with you so that you are informed in terms of what your insurance will cover and what it won't cover. 

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What does the annual maximum on dental insurance mean?

The calendar year max or annual maximum on dental insurance is the amount of money that your insurance company gives you to cover services that you may need to have at a dental office.

You may also ask, "well how much is that a month?" That amount depends on your employer and the plan that they select for their employees. Some insurance companies may do a $500 calendar year max, while other insurance companies may also do a $2000 or $5000 calendar year max.

The higher your annual maximum, the more work you can get done. You may also want to consider the percentage at which your services are covered for diagnostic and preventive services. That usually includes your dental cleanings, your exams, and your x-rays. Under most dental insurance plans, those services are covered at 100%.

There are also frequency limitations in terms of how often you can have those services rendered. With that being said, you may be able to get an exam, x-rays, and cleanings twice in a calendar year.

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Pediatric Dentistry FAQ's

When to start cleaning baby teeth?

You can start with newborn gum care. You just take a small cotton swab or a soft baby washcloth and clean their gums after feeding them, especially if you're using formula. As they get a little older, four months, six months-ish, you can start using a baby finger brush. You will gently rotate around their gum tissue and around their little teeth.  As they get to six months - nine months, there are little toothbrushes available with very, very soft, small bristles on them to brush your baby's teeth.

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