Dental Care - Frequently Asked Questions
What should I look for when choosing a dentist?
You should look for a competent dentist who has several years of experience with a long term staff. The staff should be people friendly and will see you promptly in case of an emergency. They should explain your choices for each procedure as well as the cost so that you can make an informed decision about your treatment. The office should run their schedule on time because your time is valuable.
Why are regular visits to a dentist important?
It is much easier to put out a small fire than a large blaze. Maintaining your teeth is safer, easier, and less expensive than letting things go untreated.
What is included in a new patient visit?
At the new patient appointment we perform a comprehensive examination, take appropriate x-rays and establish a course of treatment. If you are coming to us for the first time with a dental emergency, we will try to get you in that day and treat only your existing issue.
How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?
Some patients need their teeth cleaned every six months, while we see some every three months or once a year. After coming to us for a few visits, we can decide what will work for you.
Our recall or continuing care visits range from 3 months to 1 year. The time frame depends on the health and needs of the patient,
Can I be in the room during my child’s visit?
Yes, we encourage parents to be in the room during a child’s exam and treatment. Many children feel more comfortable if a parent is present and we can show the parent dental needs of their child.
At what age should I bring my child to the dentist?
We recommend bringing your child to the dentist by the age of 5 years old unless you see dark spots or obvious cavities.
Is it going to hurt?
Our goal is to make your visit as comfortable as possible and not hurt. Dr. Duncan understands that some patients are afraid and tries to be gentle and make you feel relaxed.
We have a great choice of local anesthetics (numbing agents) used to eliminate pain during your treatment. We also offer oral sedation for our adult patients.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease (Periodontal Disease) is a condition that affects the supporting structure of the teeth (gums and bone). Common signs of gum disease are bleeding or red gums, chronic bad breath, loose teeth or upper teeth that gradually start having spaces between them.
Why do I need x-rays?
The x-rays show tooth decay, bone levels, fractured teeth and missing and/or extra teeth that would otherwise go undetected. X-rays are only taken as needed using the fastest speed film, lead aprons and thyroid collars to minimize radiation exposure. The number of x-rays taken and the frequency with which they are taken are dependent on and customized to the patient and based on their individual needs.
Are silver fillings safe?
Silver fillings have been used in dentistry for hundreds of years. They have fallen out of favor because of their unnatural appearance. They are less expensive than composite fillings and are still used in very large fillings or places were moisture control is not possible.
What if I have an emergency on the weekend?
For our regular dental patients, who have an emergency, we provide coverage on all weekends and holidays.
How do I transfer records from my previous dentist?
You may contact your previous dentist to follow their procedure for transferring records or you may stop by our office and sign a release and we will send for your records.
If I need a denture, do I have to go without teeth while it is made?
If a denture or partial denture is needed, there is a way to provide you with a temporary or transitional appliance. Often we can add teeth to an existing partial denture for temporary use or make a denture that is placed the day your teeth are extracted. Your appearance is important to us too!!!