What should I expect at my first visit?

At Davis Dental Group, we are aware and understand that sometimes a trip to the dentist can be nerve-wracking and scary. You will find that Dr. Davis has a very gentle manner and has been known to ease the anxiety of some of the most fearful patients to the point that they now come on a regular basis without the paralyzing fear they once had. We find it helps if we can explain the process and you have an idea of what to expect.

When you call us, we will ask for some basic information, such as your name, address, and phone number. If there is dental insurance, we will obtain that information in order to verify your dental benefits before your appointment. A link to our New Patient Paperwork packet is available on our website to give you the option of printing it out to fill out ahead of time and bring with you, or, if you prefer, you can wait and fill out the paperwork once you are here. We ask that you arrive about 10-15 minutes prior to your appointment so that we can update your records in our system.

You will be greeted by our smiling front desk staff who will register your information. Then, one of our friendly Dental Assistants will get you seated in one of our comfortable treatment rooms to review your medical history and any medications you may be on. You will be asked if you are experiencing any issues with your teeth or jaw, or if you have experienced any changes to your gums or mouth tissue. Typically, we will take a series of digital x-ray films in order to examine the structure of your jaw, the position of any teeth that have not erupted, and to check if there are any issues with the roots, any possible bone loss associated with periodontitis or gum disease and of course, check for tooth decay and possible fractures around any existing fillings. If you recently had films at another dental office, it is always a good idea to request that your previous office email them to us or bring copies to your appointment. These can be used to assist in the diagnostic process and may eliminate the need for additional films. Please understand that we may still recommend that updated films be taken if the age of the provided films or quality of the images inhibits Dr. Davis’s ability to accurately diagnose your dental health. All of our films are taken using state of the art digital x-ray technology which exposes patients to 80% less radiation than traditional film based x-rays. We also use lead aprons to protect our patients.

Dr. Davis will perform a complete oral exam, including an oral cancer screening, evaluate your bite, and discuss any of your concerns and goals for a healthy mouth and overall good health. We want to hear what you have to say about your past dental care and what you expect for the future. She will review with you her findings from the exam and the films, and together you will develop a plan. One of our hygienists will evaluate the health of your gum tissue by taking measurements of the pockets between the gum line and the tooth. This helps determine what type of cleaning and frequency is right you. There are several types of dental cleanings that may be recommended based on the current health of your gums. Dr. Davis and our hygienists will make a recommendation to help you achieve and maintain good overall dental health for years to come.

What do I need to bring to my first visit?

Please bring the following items:

Photo ID

Insurance Card

Patient registration forms

All current x-rays from past dentists – ask them to email them to frontdesk@davisdentalgroup.com

What are your hours of operation?

We have a flexible schedule to help meet our patients’ needs. Our office is open:

Monday and Tuesday     7:00am to 4:00pm

Wednesday     10:00am to 8:00pm

Thursday     8:00am to 5:00pm

Do you accept my insurance?

As a courtesy to our patients, we will accept and file your claim to your primary insurance company. See below for more information about which insurance companies we participate with and what “insurance participation” means to you.

Dental Insurance
It is important to understand that your dental insurance policy is a contract between you and/or your employer and the insurance company. Our office is not part of that contract. The services and allowable fees selected are based on the cost of the policy to your employer and the negotiated arrangements with the dental insurance company, not your dental office. Your dental coverage is not based on what you need or what your dentist recommends for you. It is based on how much your employer pays into the plan. Employers generally cover some but not all of the employees’ dental costs. If you are not satisfied with the coverage provided by your insurance, let your employer know.

We are a PPO provider and do not participate with any HMOs. If you are unsure about what type of insurance you have, we advise that you contact your insurance company with any questions. When a dental office is considered a participating provider or “in network”, we pay the difference between our fees and those set by the insurance company. If you see an “out of network” provider, you may be responsible for the difference in cost.

We are considered an “in network provider” for the following companies:

Aetna (PPO II)
Cigna PPO
Delta Dental PPO/Premier
Dentemax *
Dominion Dental
Humana PPO
United Concordia
United Healthcare PPO
* Dentemax provides a fee schedule for over 150 insurance carriers. Because we participate with Dentemax, we are considered “in-network” for all carriers using their particular fee schedule. Your insurance company or your HR department should be able to tell you if your particular policy follows the Dentemax fee schedule.

We do our best to provide you with the most accurate estimate possible based on information obtained from your insurance company however, these estimates are subject to final approval by your insurance company and could change. You are responsible for the fees charged by our office, no matter what your insurance coverage may be. All estimated co-payments and any applicable deductible will be due at time of service and will be collected at the beginning of each appointment.

As a courtesy, Davis Dental Group will submit a claim to your primary insurance company for services rendered. Any portion of your bill not covered by insurance is your responsibility. Please note that any claim not paid within forty-five (45) days becomes your responsibility. It is important to keep us informed of any changes to your insurance plan. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please do not hesitate to ask.

Please note that payment is due at the time of service.

We are also members of the Ameriplan Discount Program.

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes, we contract with CareCredit to offer our patients a wide variety of payment plans. Click here to apply now or stop by the office and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to help you. In most cases we may be able to get you approved within minutes.

In addition to being able to offer convenient payment plan options through CareCredit, Davis Dental Group accepts the following forms of payment:

Visa       MasterCard       Discover

American Express       Cash      Check

What are the different types of cleanings and why can't I just have a regular one?

A “regular cleaning” or “prophylaxis” is for patients with healthy gum tissue. While many patients fall into this category, the presence of active bacterial infection and a loss of the supporting structures around your teeth may mean that a regular cleaning will not properly treat your disease. Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation and loss of bone) are active infections in your mouth that often require adjunctive therapy treatments.
A “full mouth debridement” is for patients who have not been to the dentist in a while and have significant plaque buildup and possibly the beginning of periodontitis (gum disease). If we determine that a full mouth debridement is the best course of action for you, you can usually expect a 2-step process. Its purpose is to remove much of the buildup of plaque and tartar to allow a full evaluation of the teeth and to see if further scaling is needed or if more frequent regular cleanings will be necessary. Once the full mouth debridement is completed, we will schedule you for a follow up evaluation with your hygienist to ensure that we see a resolution in the inflammation of your gums and improved pocket depth readings. Based on this follow up evaluation, we will recommend a dental cleaning frequency that will help maintain this improved state. Those cleanings may be “regular” or if the health of your gums has not improved as much as necessary, we may then recommend an additional type of treatment called “scaling and root planing.”

Scaling and root planing” is often referred to as a “deep cleaning.” This treatment is recommended for patients who are experiencing more significant level of periodontal disease and may follow a full mouth debridement or may be used as an initial therapy itself. Scaling and root planing removes the hardened plaque that can affect your bone levels as well as your overall health. Typically, this deep cleaning is completed in two separate appointments, with one half of your mouth being treated each visit, and usually requires local anesthetic. After the scaling and root planing is completed, the hygienist will discuss with you the recommended follow-up frequency for your particular case.

The cleanings you will have after scaling and root planing are known as “periodontal maintenance” and the frequency is typically either 3 or 4 months. These frequent professional cleanings (in addition to your good daily home care) are important because they help keep the periodontal disease from progressing and maintain attachment of the gums.

How often should I floss?

Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums because it helps prevent gum disease and cavities. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to help remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. That’s when trouble begins.

Do you offer sedation dentistry?

We do not practice what is commonly called “conscious sedation” or “sleep dentistry” however we want your experience to be very positive. We can offer a mild relaxant as well as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) during your appointments to make your treatment time more comfortable. We do require you to have someone drive you and stay with you during the procedure if you choose to use these comfort measures.

Do you warranty your work?

We are pleased to offer limited warranties on our services provided certain criteria are met. Please be advised that in order for these warranties to remain in effect, you must follow all treatment recommendations in a timely fashion and maintain the recommended schedule for your individual dental exams and cleanings.
Composite Fillings – These tooth-colored fillings are placed to restore teeth with small cavities or minor areas of decay. Use of this material allows the doctor to maintain as much natural tooth structure possible, thus increasing the potential longevity of that tooth. Composite fillings not only look better, but are also bonded directly to the remaining tooth structure which can help stabilize the remaining tooth structure.

Should a composite filling leak, chip, or otherwise fail, we will replace it for one year from the date of the initial service. Please note that this warranty does not cover the entire tooth. Teeth may develop another cavity on areas not associated with original filling. Those areas of new decay are not covered under this warranty.

Crowns and Bridges – A crown wraps your tooth in a protective surface that can prevent unwanted fractures, pain, and ultimately time and expense. Crowns may be recommended for a number of reasons. Any tooth that has less than 50% of its natural tooth structure remaining is inherently weaker and more likely to develop stress fractures. Teeth that have been treated with root canal therapy also become more brittle and thus more likely to break. Teeth that indicate a chronic sensitivity to chewing may also require a crown to relieve the pain.

For a period of five years after the placement of a crown, Davis Dental Group will replace the crown should the original restoration fail due to breakage, misfit, or decay.

Conventional bridges are a series of crowns linked together and are subject to the same conditions and warranties as individual crowns. If the teeth sustaining the original bridge are no longer sufficient support, we may credit your out of pocket cost for the original bridge toward a new replacement.

Root Canal Therapy – Root canal therapy removes infected material from inside the tooth. It is important to understand that a root canal is a therapy, not a cure. In order for Root Canal Therapy to be considered complete, the treated tooth must be protected with a foundation filling and crown.

If a tooth treated with a root canal and completed protective restoration fails with-in one year of treatment, we will send you for an evaluation with an endodontist (root canal specialist). Once the specialist has an opportunity to determine the cause of the failure, we may refund your out of pocket cost for the root canal. In addition, if the tooth cannot be saved, the cost of the protective restoration placed by our office may be credited toward replacing that tooth during the two-year period. Any potential warranty on root canals is considered null and void if the recommended protective restoration is not completed within 4 weeks of completion of the root canal therapy.

Sealants- Sealants are protective coatings that can be placed over the deep grooves in your back teeth to prevent dental decay. This simple measure is one of the best protective adjuncts dentists can provide. Often, insurance companies will deny this benefit based on age or tooth location. We recommend that all of our patients have sealants placed on appropriate teeth regardless of age or other qualifying factors.

Most sealants last a year or more but over time, they can break down or chip off. Should you elect for this very beneficial treatment, we will maintain your sealants indefinitely at no additional cost to you, provided you maintain regular dental check-ups. If the surface of a tooth has been protected by a sealant, and your insurance company did not pay for the sealant, your out of pocket cost for the sealant will be credited toward your new restoration. Please note- if you miss your regular 6 month exam (with a 30 day grace), we cannot replace your sealant at no charge. Additionally, should any tooth previously protected by a sealant have developed a cavity and your regular exams were not maintained, we cannot credit the cost of your sealant towards any treatment the tooth may now require.

If you have any questions about the services we provide and the warranties that back them up, feel free to ask us at your next dental appointment. Remember, by you becoming an integral part of the dedicated team caring for your dental health, Davis Dental Group can help you reach your dental health goals and keep that happy smile for years to come!

Does my child need to floss?

Children need to floss too! A child’s primary teeth, often called “baby teeth,” are just as important as adult teeth. As soon as he or she has two teeth that touch, you should be flossing. Because flossing demands more manual dexterity than very young children have, children are not usually able to floss well by themselves until they are age 10 or 11.

When should I start taking my child to the dentist?

The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a “well-baby checkup” for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb-sucking.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for several reasons, including:
• tooth decay (cavities)
• fractured teeth
• worn fillings
• gum disease
• worn tooth enamel
• exposed tooth root
Sensitive teeth can be treated with a desensitizing toothpaste or an alternative treatment based on the cause of your sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing tooth pain.

What are the warning signs of gum disease?

The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This is the only stage that is reversible. It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs, which is why regular checkups and cleanings are essential to your oral health. If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to a more serious and destructive form of gum/periodontal disease called periodontitis. Treatment depends on how far it has progressed and the type. Good homecare can help prevent the disease from progressing to a more serious form or from recurring. Brush twice daily, floss between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. Call us if you have concerns.

My partner says I grind my teeth at night. Is this bad for me? What can I do to stop?

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, often occurs unconsciously while you sleep. It can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw. Although it is often considered to be stress-related, teeth grinding can also be caused by sleep disorders. Your dentist’s choice of treatment will depend on the cause of your grinding, but you may be fitted with a mouth guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.

I feel like I have bad breath. What can I do about halitosis?

Halitosis (as known as chronic bad breath) can be a result of the bacteria accumulation in your mouth. This is not just the “morning breath” you wake up with that dissipates after brushing, flossing and rinsing. It is persistent and can be embarrassing, but it is not uncommon. To help get rid of halitosis, you need to pay attention to your tongue in addition to regular brushing, flossing and rinsing. Tongue scraping (with a special scraper, or even the side of a plastic spoon) helps rid the tongue of the bacteria that is typically the cause of bad breath. After brushing, practice tongue scraping followed by flossing and rinsing, If with this extra step you don’t notice an improvement, make an appointment with a dental professional. Dr. Davis can help diagnose and treat the cause of halitosis.

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