Dental Care FAQ
During our years of providing family dental care to our community, we have noticed that many of our patients have similar questions regarding their oral health. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
What do I do in case of a dental emergency?
We understand that accidents happen when you’re least expecting them. If you experience a dental emergency, it’s important to know how to handle the situation so you can avoid further damage and can save your tooth.
Here are common dental emergencies and the steps you should take afterwards:
ToothacheFirst, rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Then use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove any food or debris that may be caught between your teeth. Do not put aspirin or another painkiller against your gums or aching tooth as it may burn. If the pain continues, contact Dr. Hooks for an appointment.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If you have bitten your tongue, clean the inside of your mouth by rinsing with salt water. If your lip is cut, gently clean the area with a cloth. You can also apply a cold compress to reduce any swelling. If the bleeding can’t be stopped with pressure, go to an emergency room to seek medical care.
Objects Caught Between Teeth
Try to dislodge the object by using floss, brushing, or swishing warm water. When flossing, you can tie a knot in the floss and thread it between your teeth in a “sawing” motion. Do not use sharp tools like toothpicks, paper clips, or safety pins to remove stuck objects. If you are unable to safely dislodge the object, contact Dr. Hooks.
You should call Dr. Hooks immediately. He will determine if the nerve has been damaged and whether you need additional treatment. Until you come in for your appointment, rinse your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to the area to prevent swelling and relieve pain.
Knocked-Out Baby Tooth
You can leave the baby tooth out, but if bleeding persists, go to an emergency room and make an appointment with Dr. Hooks as soon as possible.
Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth
Find the knocked-out tooth, and pick it up by the crown (top). Do not touch the root when handling the tooth. Rinse the tooth but do not scrub it or remove any pieces of tissue that might be attached to it. Gently reinsert the tooth into its socket if possible. If not, put the tooth in a cup of milk. Visit the dentist immediately, and remember to bring the tooth with you!
Possible Broken Jaw
Apply a cold compress to the injured area to control any swelling. Visit the dentist or an emergency room immediately.
What should I expect at my first visit?
Your first visit to Hooks Family Dentistry will consist of a complete dental examination with Dr. Hooks. He will sit down with you to discuss your unique dental needs and how best we might fulfill your goals for your smile. During this oral exam, Dr. Hooks will check for signs of oral cancer as well as any other abnormalities, such as tooth decay, jaw dysfunction, or defective fillings. He will also check your periodontal (gum) health to ensure that you are not experiencing gum disease. If you don’t exhibit any signs of periodontal disease, then we will perform a routine cleaning. Otherwise, we will come up with a more comprehensive treatment plan to get your gums back to optimal health.
Additionally, a member of our team will most likely take X-rays of your mouth. If you have recently had X-rays taken at another dentist, we ask that you bring them with you to your appointment or you email them to our office at email@example.com. The American Dental Association recommends that full series X-rays be taken every three years.
A first visit will take around an hour and a half for adults and roughly 45 minutes for children. The cost of an initial adult visit includes the complete exam, full-series X-rays, teeth cleaning and polishing, fluoride treatment, oral cancer screening, periodontal diagnosis, and at-home oral hygiene instructions. The cost of an initial children’s visit includes the complete exam, bite analysis/orthodontic evaluation teeth cleaning, fluoride treatment, and brushing instructions.
Throughout your time with us, we strive to make your appointment as enjoyable as possible. If you have any questions during your visit, please do not hesitate to ask. You can save time at your initial check-in process by filling out new patient paperwork at home and bringing it with you.
How much of my dental care will my insurance cover?
Dental insurance plans vary widely in their exclusions, deductibles, maximum benefits, co-pays, and fee schedules. Most benefits are determined as an agreement between the insurance company and the sponsor/employer. We’ve seen some insurance plans that only cover the least expensive treatment option, regardless of professional recommendations. We want to make clear that what your insurance will cover is not always all you need to maintain optimal oral health.
We ask that all new patients bring their current dental insurance information with them so we can have the information on file. If your insurance plan has changed, we ask that you please keep us updated. We use this information to advise you regarding your financial options and treatment plan, and to submit your claims for you.
Once we have received benefits information from your insurance company, we will be able to give you an estimate of costs regarding what is covered and how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket. If you have any questions about whether your dental insurance is covered, you can visit our Financial page or contact our office.
Why do I need to visit the dentist twice a year?
It’s important to see the dentist every six months so we can detect and diagnose problems while they are still small. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, there is a chance that problems have developed and caused serious damage that requires subsequently more serious (and expensive) procedures to correct. For example, the chance of beating oral cancer increases the earlier you catch it, and damage from gum disease can be reversed if we treat it in its earliest stages. We would much rather keep up your oral health and prevent issues than react to them once they’ve progressed.
Additionally, over time, plaque can build up on your tooth and sometimes become calculus or tartar. During routine cleanings, we remove this substance so that it doesn’t stay on your teeth and lead to tooth decay or damage.
It’s still crucial that you take proper care of your teeth and gums at home, even if you come to the dentist twice a year. Don’t forget to brush and floss at least twice a day!
Are dental X-rays safe?
The amount of radiation in X-rays used in dentistry is extremely small. Our office also uses digital X-rays, which have significantly less radiation that traditional X-rays. Whenever you are getting X-rays taken at our office, we make sure to take all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and comfort.