Visiting the dentist makes me anxious because I’ve had some bad experiences at the dental office. What can you do to help me relax?
It’s not unusual to have reservations about dental appointments or treatment. When you walk into Oklahoma Family Dentistry, the first thing you may notice is the atmosphere. For more complex procedures or more anxious patients, we also offer nitrous, local anesthesia or oral sedation as options to help you relax.
I want my front teeth to look better, but I don’t want to wear braces. Is there anything you can do to help?
There are a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of traditional braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers or crowns is often sufficient for a bright, uniform look. We’d be happy to talk with you further about an option that best suits your individual situation.
What is Invisalign? Is it an option for me?
Invisalign is a versatile option that can help correct a broad range of dental or orthodontic issues. In general the primary candidates for Invisalign are patients who need (or want) to straighten their teeth.
Below is a list of dental conditions which may lead our dentists to recommend a custom-designed Invisalign as part of your treatment plan.
• Overly crowded teeth – There just isn’t enough room in the jaw for all teeth to fit normally. Left untreated, an increased chance of dental decay and gum disease can prevent the teeth from working normally.
• Widely spaced teeth – Missing teeth or continued growth of the jaw bone can cause shifting of teeth due to extra space. The result can be periodontal (gum) disease.
• Crossbite – A simple misalignment of the upper and lower jaws causing one or more upper teeth to bite on the inside of the lower teeth. It can also occur on the front and/or sides of the mouth. Patients may experience excessive wearing of teeth, gum disease and bone loss.
• Overbite – Known to dental professionals as “overjet,” overbite is when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. Typically caused by genetics or the development of the bone that supports the teeth, this condition can cause gum problems and irritation, and wear on the lower teeth causing painful jaw and joint problems.
• Underbite – Underbite occurs when lower teeth stick out past the front teeth, and is generally caused by missing upper teeth. The condition can prevent normal function of the front teeth or molars and extraordinary tooth wear. Patients with an underbite are susceptible to painful jaw and joint problems.
Can you tell me more about crowns, veneers, onlays and inlays?
With today’s technology, materials, and advanced techniques, there are many options for restoring weak, broken, chipped, discolored, and/or crooked teeth, and bringing them back to their original shape and function. For example, we can apply an all-porcelain crown that covers the entire outside of the problem tooth. Crowns are also helpful to cover large areas of decay after they’ve been filled. Or, for large decayed or damaged surface chewing areas requiring restoration, we can apply a protective covering/filling or onlay made of either precious metal or composite resin material, thereby adding strength and preventing decay.
If you need fillings, we can use porcelain inlays instead of silver amalgams which actually strengthens the tooth and protects it against further fracture. Similarly, we can restore cracked, discolored, crooked or otherwise unattractive front teeth, to pretty, natural shapes and shades by applying paper-thin porcelain veneers to the fronts. If you’re interested in finding out more about these procedures, please ask for more info.
Why do you use tooth-colored fillings rather than silver (or amalgam) fillings?
Tooth-colored fillings, or composite fillings, are a mixture of glass and plastic that bonds much better to the tooth, and in the long run can strengthen the existing tooth. Silver (or amalgam) fillings have been banned in many other countries for decades. The primary reason for the ban was the mercury commonly used in the alloy. We use composite fillings because it is the best dental solution for our patients.
How can I have whiter teeth?
There are a number of procedures available to help whiten your smile. In many cases, we can whiten and brighten your smile in our office; in other instances, porcelain veneers offer an alternative solution. Our dentists can help evaluate your potential for whitening your teeth based on their current color and the causes of any discoloration. If you opt for the whitening process, we offer a traditional at-home whitening system, which requires anywhere from one to two weeks of daily sessions, and usually brings teeth up about two shades on the dental chart.
Why should I get my teeth whitened at Oklahoma Family Dentistry when I can buy whitening products at the grocery store?
Whitening systems sold at grocery or drug stores are simply less effective. They are often weaker, diluted and offer untested solutions. For the best results, we recommend the clinically tested products used by our office. And by using the best products available, you will save money and time.
General Questions & Health Concerns
I am terribly embarrassed by my breath which has a terrible odor. Is there anything you can do to help me?
Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here’s a checklist of procedures that can help eliminate the problem:
Tongue cleaning or brushing
Regular professional cleanings
Careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances
If your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we can offer several options. First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. Or, we can recommend a specially designed program which includes a toothpaste and rinse that actually breaks the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, you could have a more serious problem such as a systemic or internal issue, an infection or underlying condition, as examples. If that’s the case, we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.
Is it bad if my gums bleed after I brush my teeth?
It’s not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention and depends on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper or rough “scrubbing” instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled tooth brush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line, or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite proper brushing and flossing, or if it occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up a comprehensive evaluation appointment.
At what age should my children first see the dentist?
You are the most powerful influence on your child’s oral hygiene habits, so start your children off on the right tooth by setting a good example and establishing them with a dental home. We recommend parents bring children in for their first dental visit by his or her first birthday.*
We strive to make their first visit to the dentist fun and non-threatening. This provides us with an opportunity to spot and prevent any potential oral health/dental problems while also establishing a relationship with the child in anticipation of future visits.
*As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists.
Do I really have to floss every day? Is it really necessary to be so meticulous?
Daily flossing is truly critical for your overall oral health. Flossing loosens food particles in tight spaces that your toothbrush cannot reach, gets rid of plaque build-up that toothbrushes alone cannot remove, and exercises your gum tissues, all of which are necessary to avoid gum disease. Just think of daily flossing as the finishing touch after brushing, like insurance for the future of your smile!
How do I know when it’s time to come in for a check-up?
An average healthy adult typically benefits from a professional cleaning and checkup every six months. However, every mouth is different and some people are prone to gum disease, bruxism or other ongoing oral health concerns that require more frequent visits. Others simply need a routine professional tartar removal at regular intervals. That’s why we’re so careful to conduct comprehensive evaluations in order to determine whether you need a checkup every two, three, four or six months.
Why do I need to see the dentist first if I only want a cleaning?
To ensure we’re providing the appropriate cleaning for you, before we can recommend any dental procedure, including regular hygiene visits, more commonly called professional cleanings, we need to understand your medical and dental health history and the status of your current dental health. In order to do this, the dentist conducts a comprehensive evaluation.
Did you know there are at least four different types of professional dental cleanings, and our hygienists can deliver any of them? But we need to know what’s appropriate for you before they can get started.
Another reason to see the dentist first is that she or he will ultimately be responsible for your overall treatment. To meet that challenge, she or he will want to know what is important to you for your long-term dental health.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
Your safety is always our top priority. Our entire practice team is well versed in state-of-the-art infection control techniques designed to ensure patient safety. We go beyond wearing gloves and face masks, and focus on the prevention of spreading germs which includes a specialized sterilization center and a water filtration system that guarantees a fresh, individualized, distilled water source for each patient.
Do you accept my insurance plan?
Our office is willing to work with any insurance company. This means that we’ll be happy to file your insurance for you and will accept payment from them as well. We do ask that patients understand the limitations of their own coverage up-front, and take responsibility for their portion of the bill not covered by insurance. We stay well-versed in the latest coverage and insurance trends, and are more than happy to discuss the particulars of your plan with you prior to any treatment.
I’m concerned about the expense of dental care. What options do you provide for payment?
Recommendations for your care are based on what you need and want, as opposed to your insurance benefits. We also understand the need for comfort with your payment options which is why we work with you to maximize your insurance benefits so you’ll have a treatment plan that fits within your budget. Payments are due in full at the time of service and can be made by cash, check, major credit card, or monthly payments through CareCredit. Should you have any questions about our financial policies, please do not hesitate to ask.
Oklahoma Family Dentistry
What makes Oklahoma Family Dentistry different from any other dental practice I might choose?
Our practice may seem like so many others offering comprehensive, general and cosmetic dentistry. However, as the saying goes, the proof is in the details.
We offer more than one location to serve you, with offices in Tecumseh, Prague and Seminole.
From your first contact with our office, through an entire treatment process, there’s a real difference in how we serve you. Not only are you a patient to us, we consider ourselves to be partners with you in your dental care.
During the initial consultation and evaluation, you’ll see how we thoroughly evaluate, diagnose, and inform you of your dental condition prior to any kind of treatment. Your evaluation always includes a complete health history, visual examination and intraoral camera tour of the mouth, digital x-rays, and screening for a variety of conditions such as oral cancer, bruxism and myofacial/TMJ-related concerns.
Throughout the process you will be kept fully informed about everything we’re doing so you understand the status of your oral health. Additionally, we take into consideration your personal desires and concerns. A successful partnership is one in which everyone works toward the same goals. Together we’ll develop a suitable and unique treatment plan for a lifetime that offers you appropriate options for achieving exceptional and sustainable oral health, in addition to enhanced overall physical wellbeing.
Is there a way I can ask the dentists at Oklahoma Family Dentistry questions directly?
We encourage our patients to have open, direct communication with us, and we are available daily to answer your questions either via e-mail or voice mail. Depending on our schedules and the complexity of your questions, we try to respond within 24 hours.
What should I do if I have an emergency and the office is closed?
If you have a true dental emergency, simply contact our office at the phone numbers shown here on our website. Leave information with our answering service as to the exact nature of your condition, and we will return your call right away.
How do the dentists at Oklahoma Family Dentistry stay up-to-date on all of the current techniques and materials?
You deserve the latest in dental technology for your oral health. Advances in dental tools and techniques can mean more comfortable, faster healing treatment for you and your family. As dentists and hygienists, we subscribe to the latest industry journals to stay up with research and development in the dental industry, and attend ongoing continuing education seminars and conferences in various areas of specialty.
Does Oklahoma Family Dentistry accept referrals?
We’re happy to accept referrals from other dental offices as well as from our patients. We do appreciate it when new patients complete a patient evaluation form prior to their first visit. These forms are available on-line here and we also appreciate receiving all records and x-rays ahead of time if at all possible.