FAQ’s

 

Everyone has questions, SmileMakers has answers!

 
dental-questionsWhat age should I bring my child to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first visit to a dentist should occur within 6 months of their first tooth erupting or by their 1st birthday. Preventative dental health care is emphasized at the dental visit including proper oral hygiene procedures and nutritional counseling if necessary. The child can often sit in the parents lap making the experience a most pleasant one.
 
Can I bring my children to the same dentist that I use?
This depends on the philosophy of your dentist. At SmileMakers we are a family dental practice and as such we treat children that are of the age of cooperation. This is highly varied based on the individual. In the rare case, where a child lacks the maturity for conscious treatment, than we refer the patient to an appropriate provider whom utilizes a dental anesthetist to sedate the child so quality dentistry can be performed. It is of the utmost importance that all dentistry be delivered under the safest conditions and your child have the most positive experience possible. Some dentists choose to limit their practice to adults only.
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How long will my teeth stay white once I bleach?
This often depends on dietary influences; as well as, personal dental hygiene. It is fair to say that most bleached teeth will remain whiter than prior to bleaching for months. If proper maintenance is done, than one can maintain the bleached effect almost indefinitely. This may require the use of home bleaching trays every so often, with an in office bleaching process every few years. Consult your dentist about the specifics regarding your personal situation.
 
Will the dentist hurt me?
We get this question all the time. Dr. Eiswert tries his very best to keep dentistry as comfortable as possible. First of all, many dental procedures are completed painlessly without the use of anesthesia. In the case where dental anesthesia is advised, we use strong topical anesthetic agents to numb the injection site prior to the shot. We then administer adequate anesthetic to provide a comfortable dental experience. Furthermore, we have available nitrous oxide (laughing gas); as well as, oral sedative agents can be prescribed to increase the probability of a comfortable dental experience.
 
I have two insurance carriers, will dentistry cost me anything?
There are many reasons that a patient has to pay a co-payment etc. for dentistry. First of all, not all dental procedures are covered procedures by a dental plan. Also, many patients require dentistry to be completed that exceeds their annual dollar maximum allowed under their plan. For example, many plans offer a $1500.00 annual limit. Once the insurance plan payments reach the annual limit, than any services exceeding that amount would be the patient’s responsibility.

Furthermore, some plans have deductibles to be met prior to any insurance coverage beginning. However, under most circumstances, we at SmileMakers make a good faith effort to review all anticipated costs to you prior to initiating dentistry.
 
My hygienist says I have periodontal disease; can someone catch it from me?
Periodontal disease is very common disease among people of all cultures. Because periodontal disease is a bacterial disease, there is a certain level of contagiousness. A newborn is born with no bacteria in their mouth. It is often the mother that introduces bacteria via kissing their new baby. However, there are many factors influencing whether a person will develop periodontal disease if exposed to someone that already has the disease.

There are immune, hygiene, physical health issues, and habits etc, to consider that often makes a person more susceptible to periodontal disease. Discuss these issues with your Smile Makers dentist.
 
I have periodontal disease and my insurance only covers two cleanings a year, why has the dentist or hygienist recommended I come in more often than twice a year?
Periodontal disease treatment and control varies on an individual basis. The hygienist and/or dentist may recommend a more frequent interval for cleanings “periodontal maintenance” based on the current state of your periodontal disease. This frequency may be every 3 or 4 months or a different interval. Often, uncontrolled periodontal disease will cause teeth to be lost and a diminishing ability to chew. A more frequent interval is advised to help you maintain your teeth longer in life.
 
Can you just put me to sleep during my dental procedure?
SmileMakers currently does not offer any intravenous or general anesthesia. However, we have found that it is rare patient that really requires such increased risk in the performance of dentistry. SmileMakers does offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas); as well as, oral sedative agents can be prescribed to increase the probability of a comfortable dental experience. Please ask your SmileMakers dentist about your personal situation.
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I was told that since my parents have had dentures since they were young that I should expect to have dentures too, is this true?
SmileMakers does not support this belief. There is little evidence supporting an inherited trait to assure to loss of teeth. It is observed too often that poor hygiene or other habits such as smoking are a learned behavior from a parent. It is generally these factors that may predispose a person in the loss of their teeth. Also, some people do not prioritize oral health and feel that teeth are a disposable body part. They realize later in life that they should have made their oral health a much higher priority in those younger years.
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Should my 4 year old brush his/her own teeth?
This can be allowed but only under a responsible person’s supervision. Young children often lack the appropriate motor skills and levels of understanding to properly clean their teeth. After a child brushes, it is a good idea to physically inspect their teeth to see if there is any plaque remaining. This can be done visually with the aid of disclosing tablets if necessary. The missed areas then can be brushed by the supervising person. Keeping your child involved in their own hygiene is a responsible way to produce a more responsible adult.
 
Am I too old for braces?
How old are you? Kidding aside, we at SmileMakers have placed braces on a 6 year old and a 65 year old. The timeliness of braces is highly subjective and should be discussed with your SmileMakers dentist. We do not believe there is a preset age that makes one not a candidate for braces.
 
How often do I need dental X-rays (radiographs)?
Dental X-rays (radiographs) help your SmileMakers dentist visualize diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral/visual exam. In addition, X-rays help us find and treat dental problems early in their development, which can potentially save you money, unnecessary discomfort, and maybe even your life.

The frequency of getting X-rays of your teeth often depends on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays as often as every six months; others with no recent dental or gum disease and who visit their dentist regularly may get X-rays only every couple of years. If you are a new patient, your dentist may take X-rays as part of the initial examination and to establish a baseline record from which to compare changes that may occur over time.
 
Why can’t I pay for my treatment when all my work is done?
We try very hard to create a win-win situation at SmileMaker. Although we have great empathy for patient’s financial concerns at SmileMakers, we have high overhead costs obtaining and maintaining the technology to render quality care to our patients. Since dental treatment often involves staging of delivery of care, we insist on arrangements for full payment at the time services are rendered. We have financing options, including interest free options that can be extended over multiple years.
*****WE DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN MediCal****
 
Help! My wife is making me sleep in the spare room. Can I do anything about my loud snoring?
We have a low cost treatment solution for your snoring at SmileMakers. Over the past years, SmileMakers dentist have made an oral appliance that holds the lower jaw forward which opens the posterior airway space reducing and/or eliminating the snoring sound. We have put people back in bed together after years of sleeping apart due to snoring. Please consult your SmileMakers dentist with any specific question you may have or schedule an appointment for a free consultation.
 
My kids are in sports. We were advised to get an athletic mouth guard, is a store bought one just as good as the one that a SmileMakers dentist makes?
Even store bought mouth guards will provide some protection against sports injury. However, because the store sold mouth guards are not customized during manufacturing, best protection of the teeth and gums can be achieved by a lab manufactured dentist involved athletic mouth guard. The mouth guard that we fit our patients for here at SmileMakers is customized based off of impressions of the patients’ mouth and sport(s) involved. The thickness of the mouth guard varies based on the anticipated contact force. For example, a kickboxing mouth guard would have more thickness and therefore more protection than a badminton mouth guard.
 
My dentures are so loose. They won’t stay in my mouth, what can I do?
There are a few options. First, get a thorough dental examination. Assuming your dentures were well fitting when you first got them, there are tissue changes that occur with aging, weight loss etc. than can affect the fit of a denture. Sometimes a denture adjustment can be done and improve the fit. However, you may require a new set of dentures.

There are a few alternatives given the fact that your dentures are as well fitting and adjusted as possible and still loose. First, you can use store bought denture adhesives. These come in both powder and cream. Remember hot liquids will soften and diminish the holding power of adhesives.

Secondly, we at SmileMakers place small implants (mini-implants) into the jaw bone. These mini implants have a male type head which fits into a female type housing in the base of the denture. It is a relatively painless procedure which will allow your dentures to stay in you mouth. SmileMakers has very good success with these implants and has improved many denture wearers quality of life. Call SmileMakers for a free consult today.
 
My teeth were OK until I got pregnant, and the baby took all the calcium out of my teeth. Can this really happen?
Although we have heard many people state this, there does not seem to be any reliable scientific evidence that a mother’s teeth provide a good calcium source for baby’s developing bones. In fact, if there was inadequate calcium levels in the mother, the mother’s bones would provide a quicker calcium source than her teeth for the developing baby.
 
I think my child needs braces. What age should we start?
Need is a “loaded” word. Very few children or adults “need” braces. In other words, very few people suffer malnutrition due to misaligned teeth. However, if braces are desired to improve the appearance and/or function, than an age (if selecting one age) to initiate braces would be 11. Please bear in mind, that this highly subjective. Some children go into TWO phases of orthodontics. The first phase often starts at age 8 or 9. If you have any questions about the specifics of your child, please call for a free consultation as soon as possible. It is never too early to get a consultation. We’re waiting for you at SmileMakers.