Frequently Asked Questions
Question: I have some old crowns on teeth that discolored areas making them very obvious. This makes me very self-conscious when I show my smile. I would like to change them out, but, want to make sure that they would be worth changing. Is this possible?
Answer: Your smile says a lot about you and your personality. Certainly, when you are able to smile with “reckless-abandon” you are able to show everyone who you truly are. We can help you change these old restorations out to newer generation porcelain crowns that are lifelike. These restorations have very similar properties to your own natural teeth allowing you to smile with confidence.
Question: I am looking for an office that provides me with confidence and trust. I have relied on insurance carriers to refer me to offices in the past and have come away less than pleased with the level of service I received. What are some of the things that I should look for?
Answer: It is important, first and foremost, that you get the right feeling about your dental office. Most people understand this, however, feel limited by issues such as insurance plan limitations and restrictions as to who carriers say you can see. Aside from this, get a good idea of what your ultimate goal is with a particular dental office (you may be interested in a place to call a dental home for you and your family or resolve a cosmetic issue). Look for an office where the staff take the time to ask you about these goals and then listen and act consistently to make sure they are met. Also, ask about their qualifications (advanced training and certifications) as well as to see any photos of patients that were previously treated (if you are looking for more involved treatment such as in a cosmetic situation).
Question: I am a person that tries to make sure that I can do things to help my level of health be as good as reasonably possible. How does good oral health help me other than to keep me from getting cavities and gum disease?
Answer: The road to optimum oral health is a relatively simple one. It really comes down to some daily habits that take relatively little time. The benefits over time are great as it limits costs and time associated with dental care to repair damaged teeth. Recent scientific studies are showing that the benefits of optimum oral health also help keep cardiovascular health at a higher level. The reason that this is so is because when dental plaque (which is present in our mouths) is not kept under control on a daily basis, it causes damaging effects to the gums. Among the problems that occur is inflammation of the tissues around teeth, mostly without any pain or discomfort. Inflammation, in general, is intended for short term repair of damaged tissues, but when present over extended period of time, will damage healthy tissues as well. This is the basis for which many disease processes in the body are thought to be made worse by long-term inflammation of the gums commonly seen in many patients who are not aware of their existing oral health status.
Question: My gums bleed easily when I eat or brush. What can I do to help this?
Answer: Gums that bleed easily, although not painful, are a warning sign that some form of gum disease is present. The main reason that this occurs is because of the presence of bacteria at or below the level of the gums around teeth. The most effective thing that you can do is to floss the bacteria off of the teeth underneath and between them. In any event it is advisable that you seek the advice of a skilled dental professional to help you regain optimal levels of oral health.
Question: I would like to become a patient of record in your practice. What can I expect on my first visit?
Answer: Because trust and relationships are such a vital part of good care, we feel it is important for you to get to talk, one-on-one, with Dr. Suarez on your first visit. We usually do this before any examinations or other clinical care is delivered. This gives you a chance to express your goals as well as any other pertinent information with us. In addition, it allows you to get a better sense of how we operate and determine if our office is a “good fit” for you. We find that this time spent with you before any care is delivered allows us to know more about who you are. In the long-run it sets our relationship with you on a path that hopefully gives you the level of comfort and peace of mind necessary to make sound choices regarding your health.
Question: I have neglected my dental health and feel embarrassed to come in for care.
Answer: Although this isn’t a question, it is a comment we often hear from patients who are visiting our office for the first time. Feeling this is quite normal as dental health is quite a personal thing. We realize that for many people the decision to come to the dentist may come with some level of guilt due to known problems or extended periods without care. Rest assured, we are totally committed to your goals and your future. We recognize that for people that feel this way, it has taken much to finally commit to their health. Our focus is in the future. There is very little we can do about what has happened in the past other than to allow it to help us create a better future for you.
Question: I consider myself a “healthy patient”. Can I just come in for a cleaning?
Answer: We always welcome someone who wants to be part of our “family”. It would be a pleasure to serve you in any way you see fit. We know that the path to health is not a “cookie cutter” approach. Everybody comes to see us in different stages of health. If you are already there then we want to make sure we help keep you on the path to a great future.
Question: I am very self conscious about my breath. What can I do to make sure I remain confident that my breath is fresh?
Answer: Many people have this concern. Common approaches to ensure fresh breath are gum and mints. However, sometimes this is only helps in a limited fashion. A common reason for halitosis, or bad breath, is bacteria building up on oral tissues. A professional cleaning can many times remedy a persistent issue with a person’s breath. Another effective method to improve your breath is to use a tongue scraper. These are plastic devices available at many drug stores which are used to clean the top of your tongue at the furthest point back that you can reach. Often times bacteria here are responsible for creating the problems with bad breath and once removed allow you to enjoy the confidence of being in public without worries.
Question: The thought of having any dental procedures done makes me very anxious!! Frankly, it has kept me from regularly visiting the dentist. I know this is probably not a big deal, but still I worry. What can you do for me??
Answer: It has been statistically proven that fear / anxiety is the number one reason that people avoid a trip to a dental professional. These feelings are deeply rooted and are a big problem for those people who procrastinate while needing routine dental care. This is quite normal. Dentistry has come a long way, and for someone like yourself, many things are available to help you overcome your obstacles to worry free oral health. The absolute must is that you keep control of your oral health. Keep your mouth problem free by very close monitoring of your condition. A good office will recognize that dental visits are a chore for you and will help develop a bulletproof strategy to keep your mouth on the easy side of dental care where you can have little worries if any. Another very helpful method is to find a place where you have a high level of trust and confidence in the people that help you. You can also choose to have your treatment performed with the help of sedation, allowing treatment to be completed quickly while you are resting comfortably.
Question: I would like to brighten my smile. I am concerned about the safety of teeth whitening procedures. How safe is this process?
Answer: Whitening is probably the most requested dental procedure in any office. There are many different ways to get your smile looking its best giving you the confidence to smile boldly. All professionally administered whitening systems are safe and provide results that will meet your expectations. The most important aspect when considering whether to whiten your teeth is to consult your dental professional. Let them know about your concerns and expectations so that you are satisfied in all areas. The main benefit when having professionally administered systems is that you have trusted individuals tailoring a treatment plan to ensure that all your needs are met comfortably and safely.
Question: I am considering making improvements to my smile, but not sure how to figure out exactly what needs to be done. How can you help me figure out the best way to help me smile with confidence?
Answer: One of the most important elements to helping people such as yourself is when you call our office. Our team will ask you a series of questions allowing Dr. Suarez to ask specific things about your expectations and pinpoint what you want. You and Dr. Suarez will go through a thorough evaluation of all elements that make up the esthetics of your smile (we call this a “Smile Analysis”). We will spend time with you demonstrating where issues might be in your smile and you will help us determine what the best path will be once all the information is presented to you. You are always in the “driver’s seat”, free to decide how best to address your needs.
Question: I am a little concerned about the time it would take to address all of my needs. I have a busy schedule and have to make best use of what little time that is available for my visits. How can you help me?
Answer: If time is a factor, please let us know upon first calling the office. We will look to see how we can maximize your time to minimize the number of appointments necessary. Every patient is different. Some may have more involved needs than others. If you are someone who has a more complex need addressed, the way to maximize time is to have a well outlined plan before commencing treatment where multiple needs are addressed at the same appointment. If your treatment needs are simple, then efficiency will be easy to achieve.