Helpful Patient FAQ
On occasion, patients will have questions about our services and common dental procedures. Treatment will vary, but our aim is to get you back into your normal routine as quickly as possible! Our amazing team is flexible when it comes to scheduling and putting the needs of our patients first.
Where do I download new patient paperwork?
Our New Patient forms are available to print and complete at your leisure – saving you time waiting in our office and giving you time to carefully review our policies and procedures. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach us at (843) 682-4601. DOWNLOAD HERE
How often should I see a dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) guidelines recommend visiting a dentist at least twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning. Our office also recommends a minimum of two visits per year.
What are your payment options?
We are committed to providing quality and affordable dental health care. You have multiple options for payment available. For your convenience we accept cash, check, American Express, Discover, Visa, Mastercard, Capital One and CareCredit. We also offer in house plans for your convenience. We understand that unexpected dental bills can sometimes strain finances. If this happens, talk with us immediately by calling us at (843) 682-4601. If you help us keep the lines of communication open, we can usually work out acceptable arrangements.
What should I expect during my appointment?
One of our staff members will compile your medical and dental history during your first visit. We will then examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, make X-rays of your teeth as needed and complete a TMJ (temporomandibular or jaw joint) exam. After we review your dental profile, we will discuss a diagnosis with you. If treatment such as a root canal (endodontics), braces (orthodontics) or oral surgery is needed, we will plan to treat you in our office or refer you to a specialist. We will discuss your options for treatment and fee payment and help you determine the best plan to fit your needs.
During regular follow-up visits, we will examine your teeth and gums, screen you for oral cancer, clean your teeth and make plans for treatment, as needed. We will discuss any pain or problems you may be experiencing and answer any questions you may have.
What does “painless dentistry” mean?
Painless dentistry is a means of ensuring your total experience in our office is as stress-free and pain-free as possible. We will discuss treatment options that may require no local anesthetic and whenever possible, alleviate pain by the means most comfortable to you.
What if I have an emergency?
Please call our office as soon as you determine that you have a dental emergency. We will be glad to work you in to our schedule if you have a dental emergency during regular business hours. After hours, over the weekend and during holidays, please call our office at (843) 682-4601.
Are payment plans available for my dental treatment?
Yes. We accept many types of dental insurance and will process your claim for you upon receipt of your co-payment. We offer a low interest rate payment plan and also accept most major credit cards.
Can the dentist whiten my teeth?
There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth: in-office, overnight or daily. One session of in-office bleaching generally lasts one and a half to two hours, and you can read or relax during the treatment. For overnight bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a mouthguard that fits your bite. Each day, you fill the mouthguard with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it overnight or for a few hours during the day. The overnight bleaching process takes approximately two weeks.
Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available, but it is important to use any bleaching product only under the supervision of a dentist. To achieve the whitening results you desire, the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.
What if I have a gap in my teeth, a chipped tooth or teeth that do not respond to normal bleaching methods?
We have many different procedures that can help these problems. Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Veneers can be positioned to close gaps. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.
What is “paperless” charting?
Our office is a completely digital (paperless) dental office. This means all x-rays and charting are made and recorded with the aid of the computer. This technology allows us to maintain your dental records electronically, and cuts down the unnecessary paperwork used with traditional paper charting. Traditional paper charting is difficult to keep standardized from doctor to hygienist to assistant. Even handwriting differences and coding make the charts look different. The computer eliminates this problem by using consistent charting methods that are accurate and precise, making it easy to read your dental chart and see up-to-date information. Digital charting standardizes the charting process so it is clear, easy to understand, and enables us to provide the most accurate and precise care to our patients. When needed, this method also allows us to quickly and securely share information with your other health care providers.
What is Periodontal (Gum) Treatment?
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one's teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these may be a sign of a problem. With proper gum treatments, however, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state.
If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to have it treated at the first sign of a problem.
What the basics of great dental care?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop. In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to
Make sure children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement (if living in a non-fluoridated area).