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 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: The brand of the toothbrush is not as critical as the type of bristle and the size of the head. A soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings.

Q: Is one toothpaste better than others?
A: Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride.

Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to prevent cavities from forming between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.

Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".

Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.

Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" better to the tooth structure than amalgam and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. Composite fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, and they also look better. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient. Also, in some cases, insurance companies may not allow composite fillings on molars or other normally "hidden" teeth since it's still considered a primarily aesthetic restoration. In these cases, if a composite filling is desired, your insurance company may assign benefits based on an amalgam filling, and you will be responsible for the difference in cost.

Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth which have had root canal treatments do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.

Q: Can I pay for my treatment in installments?
A: No. Payment must be made at the time of treatment. Our office accepts most insurance plans, MasterCard, Visa and personal check.

Q: Are you on my PPO plan?
A: We do participate in several Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. Check with your insurance company or call our office to see if we're on your plan.

Q: Are you on my HMO or DMO plan?
A: We do not participate in any Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Dental Maintenance Organization (DMO) or other capitation-style insurance plans, as we feel strongly that these plans are detrimental to both the patient and the provider. Capitation plans require the patient to select and use a participating provider, and make it difficult to use any provider outside the "network". A relatively small number of providers actually participate in these plans, reducing the patient's available choices even further. Doctors and facilities who participate in these plans are paid a monthly stipend based on the number of patients who have enrolled and selected them as their provider. Beyond that, providers are often not able to recuperate their cost when treatment is actually rendered, reducing their incentive to schedule and treat their HMO/DMO patients. In the end, only the HMO/DMO companies win, while patients and providers typically lose.


1405 Cannon Parkway
Roanoke, TX 76262
817.430.1212