FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues.  If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.

Click on a question below to see the answer.


Losing a tooth can be a very traumatic experience and it’s very unfortunate when it does happen.  Injury, accident, fracture, severe dental decay, and gum disease are the major reasons for having to remove a tooth. 

When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone that helped to support that tooth begins to atrophy, causing the teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth.  Also, the tooth above or below the open space will start to move towards the open space because there is no opposing tooth to bite on.  These movements may create problems such as decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth, and TMJ (jaw joint) problems.  These problems and movements do not result immediately, but will eventually appear, compromising your chewing abilities, the health of your bite, and the beauty of your smile.

Options for replacing missing teeth:

Implants and mini implants- Are a great way to replace one or more missing teeth. They may also be great to support ill-fitting dentures. A dental implant is an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jaw bone to replace a missing tooth. An artificial tooth is placed on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth. Implants are very stable, durable, and are the most aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option.

If you are missing teeth, ask us if they need replacement and what options are available to you. Together we will select the best replacement option for your particular case. Prevention and early treatment is always less involved and less costly than delaying treatment and allowing a serious problem to develop.


You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend more frequent visits.

Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.  At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities.  Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health.  These include:

  • Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss.  X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for sometime and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface.  Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth.  It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva.  The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums.  This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during toothbrushing and scaling.
  • Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
  • Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.

As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.  We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so we encourage you to see your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.


A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch and its growth and eruption are prevented by overlying gum, bone or another tooth.

Impacted teeth can be painful and lead to infection.  They may also damage adjacent teeth or roots.  More serious problems can occur if a cyst forms.  As the cyst grows, it may permanently damge adjacent teeth and the surrounding bone and nerves.  It may also hollow out the jaw.

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are not always impacted.  No one can predict when third molar complications will occur, but when they do, the circumstances can be much more painful and the teeth more difficult to treat.  Please contact our office for more information or to schedule a consultation.


Determining the cause of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problem is very important in helping your doctor treat your condition.  Arthritis , grinding the teeth at night, and a dislocation of a disk that is located between the jawbone and the socket can all cause problems for the TMJ. 

Our practice performs a complete evaluation before offering treatment options to our patients.  Please call us to schedule an appointment for evaluation if you are experiencing TMJ-related problems. 


Our office participates with Delta Dental and Anthem Dental for dental procedures, and Anthem PPO for medical procedures (wisdom tooth extraction and TMJ treatment).  We would be happy to file insurance claims for you for other insurance carriers, but payment is expected at time of service.  A credit will be sent to you if payment is made from your insurance carrier.  Please call us if you would like more information regarding insurance and billing. 

Contact Us

We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call us or use the quick contact form below.

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