Frequently Asked Questions
The following are questions we hear most frequently from new patients. Because you have taken the time to visit our website, we want to help you maximize your time and your visit to our website. The following information is provided as a starting point for you. Ultimately, what is best for you can only be determined upon a dental examination by one of our Tri-City dentists.
During your new patient exam our doctors will do a very thorough exam. Also, we will take photos and any necessary radiographs, and our doctors will review these with you. Afterwards, our doctors will customize a treatment plan for you. Often, insurance companies cover a portion of this visit.* *We do not know in advance what services (if any) YOUR insurance company will cover. We can only guess based on what other patients’ insurance companies have done in the past. All insurance companies (as well as the hundreds of different plans within each individual insurance company) vary on what they will or will not cover. We are happy to submit claims for our patients who are then reimbursed by their insurance companies. We are a fee for service office which means our patients pay for their services on the day the services are provided.
Our office will help you to receive maximum ‘out-of-network’ insurance benefits for any treatment. We are not listed providers on any insurance provider lists. Our team is happy to submit claims for our patients who are then reimbursed by their insurance companies. Mid-Columbia Dental is a fee for service office which means our patients pay for their services on the day the services are provided. We do not know in advance what services (if any) YOUR insurance company will cover and we can only guess based on what other patients’ insurance companies have done in the past. All insurance companies (as well as the hundreds of different plans within each individual insurance company) vary on what they will or will not cover. As with all medical providers, many times our fees will exceed what your insurance company will pay. We make sure our patients understand the cost of every procedure before we start.
Congratulations on your decision to get started with us! We welcome new patients for a consultation visit or you can skip ahead to the new patient exam. During a consultation visit, we will take photos of your smile/teeth. Our doctors will review these photos with you and discuss treatment options. During the new patient exam our doctors will do a very thorough exam. Also, we will take photos and any necessary x-rays, and you and your doctor will review these together. Afterwards, our doctors will customize a treatment plan for you.
We hope you have chosen our practice because you want to receive excellent dental care. Our goal is to provide excellent treatment for our patients. That includes thorough exams for the purpose of understanding your overall oral health. What if you had a small cavity that did not hurt, and your doctor did not do a thorough exam? So, your doctor did not ‘find’ your cavity. Later your tooth abscessed (which can be very painful) and you needed to have a root canal and possibly a crown. You would probably be upset that your doctor did not find this problem sooner. What if you had oral cancer, and by finding it in the early stages, your condition was treatable? Our doctors want to provide excellent treatment for you and, in order to do so, must do a thorough exam in order to know and understand your overall oral health.
Gaps between teeth, especially gaps that show in your smile, can take away from the beauty of your smile. Depending on the size of the gap, there are several options. For extremely large gaps, Invisalign is usually recommended. For small to moderate gaps, bonding or porcelain veneers may be the best solution for you. Our doctors will discuss your options with you and together we will customize an ideal treatment plan to give you the gorgeous smile you deserve.
Old silver fillings leak, causing decay to re-enter the tooth, which may cause sensitivity. Not to mention they are unsightly. A great option for silver filling replacement are porcelain inlays and onlays, which provide an optimal aesthetic and healthy result.
The black coloring likely indicates that there is metal underneath the white porcelain part of the crown. The black or gray line you see around the crown was probably not there when the crown was placed. Over time, chronic inflammation of the gum tissue causes it to bleed easily and perhaps recede from the metal, exposing it. No longer is it necessary to have metal in crowns or that unattractive dark line. Mid-Columbia Dental uses all-porcelain restorations.
Our doctors recommend whitening first to their patients. Once your teeth are as white as you like, then our doctors will match the bonding or veneers to that whiter shade. Our whitening procedures work quickly, so in no time you will have the beautiful smile you want and deserve.
Oftentimes, dental implants are the best restoration for a missing tooth. Our doctors will discuss your options with you in order to customize an ideal treatment plan. The implant process is relatively simple and requires two steps. First, the implant is placed into the tooth-socket where your tooth root used to be. Second, a restoration is created and placed on the implant to restore the crown of your tooth. For patients who are missing many or all of their teeth, implants may be the solution for restoring all of the missing teeth, offering great life-improvement. Sometimes, a few implants may be placed in order to stabilize floppy dentures, another terrific improvement in the lives of many denture-wearers.
If you’re considering various options to replace multiple teeth, your best bet is to schedule a consultation visit with us. Each option may have pros and cons based on your specific wants and needs, so we’d love to sit down and discuss your objectives before making a determination.
No one ever enjoyed going to the dentist, until now. We have revolutionized the dental experience, where going to the dentist is a pleasure! With comfort, music, nitrous oxide, HDTVs, noise-canceling headphones, and tempurpedic patient chairs, this is not your grandpa’s dental office. In fact, it seems more like a spa than a dental office. Our patients feel pampered each time they visit us. Come see for yourself.
You heard right. Studies implicate gum disease as a risk factor for developing heart disease. These studies show the bacterial infections of gum disease are associated with bacterial infection of the blood, inflammation, and a strong immune response, all of which are significant risk factors for the development of heart disease. Also, the most common strain of bacteria in dental plaque can cause blood clots that induces heart attacks when they escape into the bloodstream. Beyond heart disease, gum disease in pregnant women is considered a risk factor for low birth-weight babies. Proper brushing and yes, of course, flossing, combined with routine visits to your dentist help to reduce your risk of gum disease. Ask your dentist and hygienist if you are at risk for gum disease and what you can do to eliminate it.
You are not alone in feeling this way. Millions of Americans feel tremendous anxiety concerning dental treatment. Fear, coupled with embarrassment and shame, has kept nearly half of all Americans from seeking necessary treatment for years, even decades. Fortunately, dental phobia doesn’t have to keep you away from the dentist any longer. Amenities like noise-canceling headphones, laughing gas, ceiling TVs, and more conservative, gentle procedures will help take the edge off. For some fearful patients, an anti-anxiety pill is just what the doctor ordered. Most patients snooze through the appointment and feel no discomfort. Years of dental neglect are erased in just one appointment. Once-fearful and embarrassed patients chew without pain and smile with confidence for the first time in years! These benefits are often life-changing for people who have procrastinated getting their mouths healthy or enhancing their smiles.