Look below for some of the most frequently asked questions that patients have about dental care and dental health.
Do you take my insurance?
We are dedicated to helping you receive maximum “out-of-network” insurance benefits for your treatment. Our office accepts all dental insurance but is considered out-of-network. Our professional team is happy to submit claims for the convenience of our patients. Oakton Family Dentistry is a fee-for-service office. This means that our patients pay on the day the services are provided. Keep in mind that we do not know in advance what dental services (if any) your insurance company will cover. We can, however, estimate the final cost based on what other patients’ insurance companies have done. Insurance companies vary on what services they will or will not cover. We take the time to make sure that each patient understands the cost of his or her procedure before we begin.
What type of payment do you accept?
Our office accepts cash, check and most major credit cards. We are happy to offer cash discounts and “pay today courtesy” discounts for complex treatment. Call our office for details!
Do you offer in-house financing?
Yes, we are more than happy to work with you to form a payment plan that meets your needs.
I have a gap between my front teeth. What are my options for correcting this?
Gaps between the teeth (particularly visible ones) can mar the appearance of your smile. There are several options, depending on the size of the gap. If the gap is extremely large, orthodontics (like Invisalign® clear aligners) may be recommended. If the gap is small to moderate in size, porcelain veneers or dental bonding may be the best option. Our doctors will discuss your options with you, so that together, we can form a treatment plan that helps you meet your goals for a beautiful smile.
I have a lot of old fillings (silver) in my mouth that have been there for a while. One is sensitive and the others are just ugly. What are my options?
Old silver fillings tend to leak, so decay may re-enter the tooth. This can cause tooth sensitivity. In addition, silver fillings are not as natural-looking or aesthetically pleasing. There are several options for silver filling replacement, including composite (tooth-colored) fillings or porcelain inlays and onlays. All of these options provide a beautiful, healthy result.
What is the black line I see around the gum line of my crowns (or other people’s crowns)?
Black coloring on a dental crown likely indicates that there is metal beneath the porcelain portion of the crown. The line was probably not visible when the crown was first placed. Chronic inflammation of the gum tissue can cause it to recede from the metal, making it visible. In modern dentistry, it is no longer necessary to have metal in crowns, so the dark line can be avoided. Oakton Family Dentistry uses all-porcelain restorations.
I have some bonding and a crown on my front tooth, and I would like to whiten my teeth. What are my options for whitening my smile?
As the name suggests, teeth whitening whitens the teeth. Dental bonding and dental crown materials will not whiten and will stand out after your teeth are whitened. However, this should not stop you from striving to obtain a brighter smile. After your whitening treatment, we can upgrade your bonding and crown to match. When you come to our office, we will work with you to form an individualized treatment plan, so you can enjoy the smile of your dreams.
I hate the dentist. How is your office different?
Many people have not enjoyed going to the dentist until now. We strive to make visiting our office a genuine pleasure! Oakton Family Dentistry — which features pleasant music, Bose® noise-cancelling headphones, blankets and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) — is not your standard dental office. Come and see!
Do the over-the-counter products such as strips, toothpaste and mouthwash really work?
Many options for whitening your teeth can be found at your local grocery store. If you are wondering if they work, the answer is … sort of. Whitening toothpaste uses abrasive particles that can scrub staining from the teeth. Whitening gels and strips use formulas that whiten teeth from the inside. However, these products are not as concentrated as those prescribed by our doctors. The results from over-the-counter whitening products will vary depending on the level of staining, the type of stain and your overall dental health. Feel free to try these products, if you wish. Some people will get pretty good results. However, do not expect a dramatic change. If you would like a more significant color change that has a long-lasting result, your best bet is to see our dentists, who can recommend up-to-date, quality whitening treatments.
What are Invisalign aligners?
Invisalign aligners are basically invisible braces. This system straightens your teeth with a series of clear trays or aligners. You will wear each aligner for about two weeks before progressing to the next aligner. Treatment time usually varies from about six months to one year. As Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible, most people will not even realize that you are straightening your teeth. With this system, you can reach the straight smile you have always wanted without the inconvenience of traditional braces.
I recently had a tooth removed. Do I need to replace it, and if so, what should I do?
Yes, the tooth needs to be replaced. Replacing a missing tooth can keep the surrounding teeth from shifting out of place. Teeth that have shifted create areas that are difficult to clean properly and can lead to tooth decay and gum issues. In addition, shifting teeth no longer fit together as they should, which can cause excessive wear, headaches and many other issues. Dental bridges and dental implants are great options for replacing missing teeth.
Dental implants replace both the root and the crown of the tooth. The implant post is made of titanium and is surgically placed in the jawbone. After the area has healed, a dental crown is placed on the implant. Dental implants do not decay and can last for a long time. Implants are a great restoration choice when the neighboring teeth are healthy and aligned properly.
A dental bridge may be your best option if the surrounding teeth are not healthy. Placing a dental bridge involves reshaping neighboring teeth so that the dental bridge can be attached to them. The cost of a three-tooth dental bridge will likely be about the same as the combined cost of the dental implant placement and implant crown.
Obviously, there are many considerations to take into account for each individual patient who would like to replace a tooth. Our doctors will be happy to discuss your options with you and form a treatment plan.
How much does an implant cost?
This is a difficult question to answer, as everyone’s circumstances are different. The cost of dental implants will vary depending on the specific treatment needs.
OK, so what are the factors that increase or decrease the cost?
While we do not wish to go into the specifics of dental implant costs, we can help you better understand what factors come into consideration:
- Tooth location
- Laboratory cost
- The need to collaborate with dental specialists
- Multiple-tooth replacement vs. single-tooth replacement
- The amount of reconstruction needed to complete the procedure successfully
The best way to get a cost estimate for your dental implants is to come in for a free consultation and discuss what your specific implant treatment would involve.
Our team understands that covering the cost for dental treatment is a challenge for some. Please speak with our financial coordinator to discuss your financial options. Do not let the cost of treatment deter you from learning all the facts. A new, healthier, more attractive smile may be more attainable than you think.