Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is your financial policy?

Our goal is to provide our patients with the best dental care possible at the most reasonable cost. Payment for care is due at the time of service unless other arrangements have been made in advance. To help you, we offer a variety of payment options including cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and CareCredit®.

If you need special financing, CareCredit® is available in our office. CareCredit® allows you to choose from a variety of payment plans that permit you to pay for your treatment over time, while receiving the treatment that you need today. To apply for CareCredit® online, click here. You may also call (800) 365-8295 to apply by phone.

If at any time you have questions regarding your account, please contact us. Many times a simple telephone call will clear up any misunderstandings.

Do you give a discount for cash payment in full?


Do you offer weekend or evening hours?

Not at this time.

Are x-rays necessary?

Absolutely. It is impossible to see directly between the teeth or under the gums or bone without the use of a dental radiograph. Many diseases and conditions can only be detected with the use of dental x-rays. Radiographs allow dentists to detect disease and other conditions much sooner than the clinical examination alone.

Do you treat children?

We do. However, behavior and tooth maturity may affect our ability to perform necessary procedures properly. A consultation visit will allow us to assess what, if any, endodontic treatment is necessary.

Why should I save my natural tooth?

Although it is possible in some cases to replace an extracted tooth with an implant or bridgework, it is almost always preferable to try and save your own, natural tooth.

In a recent American Association of Endodontists survey, 76% of participants said they would prefer a root canal to tooth extraction.

Nearly 1/3 would not sell a healthy front tooth for any amount of money.

Most people are not aware that root canal treatment is a viable alternative to tooth extraction.

Artificial teeth can limit your ability to chew certain foods.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

Patients may need endodontic treatment, including root canals, if they experience any of the following symptoms: prolonged dental sensitivity to heat or cold; tenderness of teeth to touch and chewing; or facial or oral swelling.

Typically, your general dentist would refer you to an endodontist for treatment.

Will the treatment be painful?

We will take every measure to ensure that your procedure is in no way uncomfortable or painful. If treatment is needed, we will inject a small amount of anesthesia to gently numb a concentrated area of your mouth. For most patients, the feeling of numbness usually subsides after 2-3 hours. Most Patients who have had a root canal performed by an endodontist describe the procedure as virtually painless.

Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?

Yes, for most root canal treatments, we recommend that patients return to the office 1 year after the procedure was finished. Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment.

Will it hurt after the procedure?

It is normal for your tooth to be sore for the first few days after root canal therapy has been completed. Initially, soft foods are recommended, as they will provide less discomfort during chewing. The soreness may continue for a few weeks. It should gradually feel better as the time passes.

You may take over the counter pain medications if needed to manage any discomfort. If the over the counter pain medicine are not helping to alleviate your symptoms, please call the office.

A very small percentage of patients (less than 5%) experience post-operative swelling in the area that was treated. If this happens, please call our office immediately.

For female patients, there may be an interaction between antibiotics and oral contraceptives. If you are presently taking antibiotics or if our office has prescribed them, please use alternative means of birth control for your entire cycle that month.

If you have any questions or concerns following your treatment, please do not hesitate to call our office.

What should I expect on my first visit?

Your initial appointment will consist of a consultation explaining your diagnosis and treatment options. However, a complex medical history or treatment plan will require an evaluation and a second appointment to provide treatment on another day. Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your consultation: Your referral slip and any x-rays if applicable. A list of medications you are presently taking. If you have dental insurance, bring the necessary information. This will save time and allow us to help you process any claims. 

IMPORTANT: All patients under the age of 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation visit. Please alert the office if you have a medical condition that may be of concern prior to surgery (i.e., diabetes, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves and joints, rheumatic fever, etc.) or if you are currently taking any medication (i.e., heart medications, aspirin, anticoagulant therapy, etc.). X-Rays If your dentist has taken x-rays, you may request that they forward them to our office. If additional films are necessary, they can be taken at our facility. CT Scans Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art, full-cranial cone-beam CT (computed tomography) technology that provides highly accurate 3-D radiographic images for the diagnosis, planning and treatment of oral surgery. This technology provides full-cranial, highly accurate 3-D radiographic images for the diagnosis, planning and treatment of implantology and periodontal complications. Undistorted, anatomically correct views of the jaws, teeth and facial bones along with cross-sectional (bucco-lingual), axial, coronal, sagittal, cephalometric and panoramic views are easily generated. Three-dimensional images enable a level of anatomical accuracy and patient care not possible with 2-D technologies. With the addition of cone-beam CT technology in our office, our practice is committed to providing innovative, high-quality, patient care.


What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

What are dental implants made of?

Dental implants are composed of a titanium material and shaped like screws, cylinders or blades. Restorations — either dental crowns, bridges or implant-supported dentures — are secured to the implants after a healing period; or possibly immediately after the implant placement procedure.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants depends on many factors, such as the type of implant procedure, the location where the dental implant procedure is performed, the type of dental insurance you have, and the type of dental implant your dentist places. Single dental implants may range in cost from $1,000 to $5,000. The cost of full-mouth reconstructive dental implants can range from $24,000 to $100,000.

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

Coverage of dental implant treatment is determined by individual insurance companies. The amount dental insurance companies may pay toward treatment varies.

Are dental implants safe?

Dental implants are a safe and clinically proven alternative to bridges and dentures for replacing missing teeth in qualified candidates. People with certain risk factors, such as smokers, and those with inadequate bone density or who are immune-compromised, may not qualify for implant treatment.

Do dental implants work?

Dental implants are among the most predictable tooth replacement options. While there is no guarantee that an implant procedure will be successful, studies have shown a five-year success rate of 95 percent for lower jaw implants, and a 90 percent success rate for upper jaw implants.

Can smokers have dental implants?

Dentists strongly advise patients to quit smoking before undergoing a dental implant procedure. Smokers are at higher risk for dental implant failure.

How are dental implants placed?

Dental implants are placed into the jawbone after the dentist drills a small hole into the site where the tooth is missing. This hole is slowly widened to accommodate the dental implant screw. Once the implant is placed, the gum tissue is replaced over the implant and a protective cover screw is placed on top for healing. After up to six months of healing, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches an abutment, which holds the crown or tooth-like replacement to the implant. In some cases, the abutment may be placed at the same sitting as the implant. When the abutment is placed, a temporary crown will be provided to promote healing.

Is the dental implant procedure painful?

A combination of local anesthesia and sedation dentistry, if necessary, is used during implant placement, so patients do not feel pain during the procedure. After the initial surgery, discomfort should be minimal. However, prescription pain medications may be prescribed to relieve any post-surgical pain or discomfort.

What is the minimum age for dental implants?

Dental implants can be placed any time after adolescence or when bone growth is complete.

What are the advantages of dental implants compared to bridges or dentures?

Dental implants are stronger and more dependable than conventional bridges cemented to natural teeth, or traditional partial or full removable dentures. However, dental implants may be used to support a bridge or dentures when multiple teeth are missing to provide better support and stability, help maintain the jaw bone, and reduce gum tissue irritation. Also, dental implant restorations are not susceptible to cavities.

How long is the dental implant recovery period?

Healing from the surgical dental implant placement procedure make take up to six months. Fitting and seating the crown or other restoration may take up to two additional months after that. However, every case is different, and routine follow-up appointments and regular dental check-ups will be necessary to maintain good oral health.

How long to dental implants last?

A dental implant restoration can remain in place and function properly for more than 40 years when proper oral hygiene is followed and regular dental check-ups are maintained.

What is needed after a Tooth Extraction?

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next few days as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately.

What is a sinus lift?

The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks and on top of the upper teeth. These sinuses are empty, air-filled spaces. Some of the roots of the natural upper teeth extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there is often just a thin wall of bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth. Dental implants need bone to hold them in place. When the sinus wall is very thin, it is impossible to place dental implants in this bone. The key to a successful and long-lasting dental implant is the quality and quantity of jawbone to which the implant will be attached. If bone loss has occurred due to injury or periodontal disease, a sinus augmentation can raise the sinus floor and allow for new bone formation. A sinus lift is a common bone grafting procedures for patients with bone loss in the upper jaw. The procedure seeks to grow bone in the floor of the maxillary sinus above the bony ridge of the gum line that anchors the teeth in the upper jaw. By strengthening and growing bone in this location, dental implants can be placed and secured in the new bone growth. Am I a Candidate for a Sinus Lift Procedure? A sinus lift may be necessary if you: Are missing more than one tooth in the back of your jaw. Are missing a significant amount of bone in the back of your jaw. Are missing teeth due to a birth defect or condition. Are missing most of the maxillary teeth but require support for dental implants. How is this Oral Surgery Accomplished? In the most common sinus augmentation procedure, a small incision is made on the premolar or molar region to expose the jawbone. A small opening is cut into the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is pushed upward. The underlying space is filled with bone grafting material, either from your own body or from a cadaver. Sometimes, synthetic materials that can imitate bone formation are used. After the bone is implanted, the incision is stitched up and the healing process begins. After several months of healing, the bone becomes part of the patient’s jaw and dental implants can be inserted and stabilized in this new sinus bone. If enough bone between the upper jaw ridge and the bottom of the sinus is available to stabilize the implant well, sinus augmentations and implant placement can sometimes be performed as a single procedure. If not enough bone is available, the sinus augmentation will have to be performed first, then the graft will have to mature for several months, depending upon the type of graft material used. Once the graft has matured, the implants can be placed. The sinus graft makes it possible for many patients to have dental implants when years ago there was no other option besides wearing loose dentures. A sinus augmentation is generally performed at our office, under local anesthesia. However, some patients also may request oral sedative medication as well. Ridge Expansion In severe cases, the ridge has been reabsorbed and a bone graft is placed to increase ridge height and/or width. This is a technique used to restore the lost bone dimension when the jaw ridge gets too thin to place conventional implants. In this procedure, the bony ridge of the jaw is literally expanded by mechanical means. Bone graft material can be placed and matured for a few months before placing the implant.

What are the benefits of gum graft surgery?

Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession. Gum graft surgery will repair the defect. Gum grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During gum graft surgery, your periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity. In some cases, it can cover exposed roots to protect them from decay. This may reduce tooth sensitivity and improve esthetics of your smile. Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or esthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both: a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health – your keys to smiling, eating and speaking with comfort and confidence. Soft Tissue Graft: What Happens During the Procedure Three different types of soft tissue grafts are typically performed. Which type is used on you will depend on your specific needs, the graft procedures include: Connective-tissue grafts. This is the most common method used to treat root exposure. During the procedure, a flap of skin is cut at the roof of your mouth (palate) and tissue from under the flap, called subepithelial connective tissue, is removed and then stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. After the connective tissue -- the graft -- has been removed from under the palatal flap, the flap is stitched back down. Free gingival grafts. Similar to a connective-tissue graft, free gingival grafts involve the use of tissue from the roof of the mouth. But instead of making a flap and removing tissue under the top layer of flesh, a small amount of tissue is removed directly from the roof of the mouth and then attached to the gum area being treated. This method is used most often in people who have thin gums to begin with and need additional tissue to enlarge the gums. Allograft. Is used some cases, periodontist and patients prefer to use graft material from a tissue bank instead of from the roof of the mouth. Sometimes, tissue-stimulating proteins are used to encourage your body's natural ability to grow bone and tissue. Your periodontist can tell you which method will work best for you.