Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
» I don’t like to visit the dentist. How can you help me relax?
Dr. Gillis and our staff understand how anxious many people can be about visiting the dentist. We strive to provide a relaxing, caring environment so that all our patients feel safe and comfortable. Our staff members are trained to be attentive to your concerns and aware of your anxiety. We do offer patient comfort measures like headphones for your listening pleasure and neck pillows and warm blankets to help you relax. During your first appointment, we'll spend time discussing any of your concerns with you, and then plan your treatment accordingly. For especially anxious patients, we offer nitrous oxide or prescription medications as sedation dentistry to make your visit more pleasant.
» Are dental x-rays really necessary?
Dr. Gilils and her staff understand your concerns about dental x-rays, radiation, and the cost of dental x-rays. That is why we strive to follow the recommendations set forth by ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) and take only the necessary x-rays to assure your good health. We need images which show the tooth structure between the teeth and below the gums and supporting tissue for a comprehensive exam. Our new digital x-rays and digital radiography sensors reduce the amount of radiation by up to 90% compared to standard dental films. And the x-rays are visible instantly on computer screens in each treatment room. Digital technology also often eliminates the need to retake x-rays as the images can be enhanced to provide the required information. There are many things we cannot see without the aid of dental x-rays to show us concerns in the bone around the teeth and decay between teeth that cannot be seen visually. We cannot use pain or other symptoms to show early dental problems. These symptoms usually do not occur until the infection or destruction has advanced, requiring more extensive, and more costly, procedures to save your teeth.
» What is the difference between whitening in your office and kits I can buy at the store?
Although they offer some success, over-the-counter kits are not as effective as professional whitening because Dr. Gillis and her staff use stronger solutions that remain in contact with all of your teeth for the desired bleaching time. We can create custom trays for you so your teeth are fit precisely and it will prevent the solution from sitting on your gums. In addition, custom trays allow you to spot bleach selected teeth that seem to be responding more slowly. We want you to have the best results so that you end up with a great smile.
» What teeth whitening methods are offered in your office?
We offer three methods of teeth whitening from Opalescence and Zoom for your specific needs, which include:
- take-home whitening gels and custom-fitted trays.
- prefilled disposable whitening trays.
- in-office whitening or power bleaching.
The current, state-of-the-art bleaching system that we use with most patients is custom-tray whitening. Specialized trays are made from models of your teeth, and these enable you to easily whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. For clients who want immediate results, we offer an in-office power bleaching system. Follow the link to see more about our available teeth whitening procedures!
» Do you accept my insurance plan?
We accept all dental insurance, but we are not a contracted provider for any dental plan. We will complete and submit your dental claims electronically, which usually results in payment within two to three weeks. If you have any questions about your insurance, just ask Linda, our insurance specialist. She will be happy to help you maximize your available benefits.
» What is bonding, and how does it differ from porcelain veneers?
Bonding works best for small repairs. With bonding, tooth-colored composite is shaped and permanently affixed to the tooth's surface. Veneers, thin shells of custom-manufactured porcelain, often cover larger issues in teeth. The primary difference is that bonding is less expensive than veneers, but does not last as long. Bonding leaves much of the natural tooth exposed, so if your natural tooth color changes, the bonding will not blend well. Veneers cover the full surface of teeth, and their color is permanent.
» Sometimes my gums bleed. Should I be concerned?
One of the signs of periodontal disease, gum disease, or infection of the gums is bleeding while brushing your teeth. Approximately 80% of American adults have some form of gum or periodontal disease. Many people don’t realize they have gum disease because it doesn’t hurt in early to middle stages of its progression. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause bone and tooth loss. We need to take a look as soon as possible, so call our office and schedule an appointment.
» What can be done about bad breath?
No one wants bad breath, but everyone gets it, or at least worries about it at one time or another. There are many possible causes for bad breath including tooth decay, periodontal disease, tobacco use, certain foods, illness, or it can also be a side effect of some medications. The key to avoiding bad breath is eliminating it at its source, the bacteria living in your mouth. Please schedule an appointment so that we may help locate the source and provide you with solutions.
» What payment options do you offer?
We accept a variety of payment options including cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover card, and American Express. We also offer 3 to 6-month interest-free financing or up to 60-month financing with attractive rates through CareCredit. Our staff can help you determine the best option for your budget.
» My front teeth are crooked. What can you do to make my front teeth look better without using braces?
For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, reshaping and placing porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give you a more attractive smile. We might also be able to correct the misalignment with all-porcelain crowns. You can learn more about these options on our cosmetic dentistry page or see some examples in the Smile Gallery. We'd be happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss the appearance of your smile and explore the best option for your situation.
» What can be done about my missing teeth?
When you have missing teeth, a variety of options exist to replace them and improve the look and function of your mouth. Implants offer a strong and lasting alternative, but we may also use bridges or a partial denture to complete the work and give you back the confidence you deserve. For more information, check out our restorative dentistry page.