We have prepared this list of answers to the most commonly asked questions about our clinic.
- We will need your driver’s license, insurance card, and a list of any medications you be taking, including over-the-counter medications. If you have been instructed in the past to take antibiotics before any dental procedure, please call us to verify if it will be necessary for your initial visit.
- Typically the answer is yes if you have been keeping up with a dentist recommended regular cleaning schedule (usually every 6 months). However all cleanings (or dental prophylaxis) are diagnosed during the initial exam and if there is indications of gum disease a different type of cleaning may be recommended and, depending on the schedule of the doctor, may need to be scheduled on another day.
- In order to expedite your check-out time, we ask for pre-payment at the time of appointment for the dental care scheduled that day. We also offer a monthly payment plan of up to 18 months, interest-free, through a third party health card.
- PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization, and simply means the dentist has made an agreement with the insurance company to charge a reduced fee for certain procedures. "In-Network" describes a dentist that has agreed to the fee contract or "fee-schedule" set forth by the insurance company for its members. An "in-network" dentist is not allowed to charge fees higher than those set in the fee schedule.
- Please have all your information available or simply print out our new patient form and complete it at your convenience before your initial visit. If you know you have any medical conditions that may delay treatment such as, a heart murmur, diabetes, or high blood pressure, it may be advisable to obtain a medical release from your physician stating it is ok for you to receive dental treatment.
- It is our pleasure to file any insurance claims associated with our service directly to your insurance carrier. You will then receive a mailing from your insurance company stating the items claimed. Typically this is not a bill but merely a way for you to verify claims were made by us accurately. Please feel free to speak to our staff to answer any insurance questions you may have.
Maintaining a healthy smile has two main components — at-home dental hygiene and professional cleanings and examinations. With simple maintenance, you can avoid many of the problems that lead to toothaches, tooth loss, and many restorative procedures. Regular examinations will also help monitor any signs of serious diseases such as oral cancer, diabetes, liver disease, and nutritional imbalances.
Brushing - Brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. This is your first line of defense against cavities, gum disease, and subsequent tooth loss. And remember to replace your brush every two to three months.
Flossing - Flossing is the crucial next line of defense in the prevention of cavities and gum disease. When flossing, use an appropriate length of floss. Gently ease the floss between each tooth; then sweep it up and down several times while curving around the tooth at the gum line. Remember to floss behind your last tooth and to floss bridges and artificial teeth with the aid of a floss threader.
Dental Visits - Here at Avalon Dental, Dr. Yu will perform a comprehensive exam at every visit to monitor the progress of your home care and survey the state of your smile at each visit. Dr. Yu will then explain his findings and make recommendations to either maintain or improve your oral health. Afterwards, one of our friendly receptionists will schedule a follow-up visit for you.
- A dental sealant is a composite resin (high-tech plastic), material that is put on the chewing surfaces of back teeth to help prevent cavities along with good home care. Sealants provide a physical barrier to cavity-causing bacteria so they cannot invade the pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Remember though that sealants will not prevent cavities without good home care. They are placed to prevent cavities where the bristle of your toothbrush cannot reach.
- No. Fluorides, such as those used in community water, toothpaste, gels, varnish, and mouthrinse also help to prevent decay. Fluoride works best on the smooth surfaces of teeth. The chewing surfaces on the back teeth, however, have tiny grooves where decay often begins. Sealants keep cavity-causing bacteria out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants and fluorides work together to prevent tooth decay.
- Dental implants can be thought of as substitutes for the roots of missing teeth. They serve as an anchor for a restoration such as a crown or bridge that replaces missing teeth. Implants can be thought of as two separate parts. The first part, that replaces the root of the missing tooth, is placed in the bone of your jaw, usually by a dental specialist, such as a periodontist or an oral surgeon. The second part sits atop the first part and is usually placed by your general dentist. The health of your jaw bone greatly affects the success of dental implants. Conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as smoking can be contraindications to placing dental implants.
- You can consider a veneer as a thin porcelain covering that is bonded to the fronts of your teeth. They are elective, cosmetic restorations that should only be placed once you are able to maintain a healthy smile in terms of cavities and gum disease. They are placed after a very thin layer (less than half a millimeter) of your enamel on the fronts of your front teeth are carefully removed to make space for the thin sleeve of porcelain that makes up a veneer. They are made in a laboratory specifically for your tooth and then bonded on with a special dental cement. When treatment planned and placed correctly, a veneer should not irritate your healthy gums nor make your lips protrude more than normal or intended.
- Bruxism is the clenching and / or grinding of your teeth, especially at night. Clenching refers to tightly clamping your top and bottom teeth together. The force of clenching causes stressful pressure on the muscles, tissues and jaw. Jaw disorders, jaw pain, soreness, headaches, earaches, damaged teeth and other problems can result from bruxism. If clenching causes jaw pain, it can disrupt sleeping and eating, lead to other dental problems. Your dentist can make a clear night guard for you to sleep in to alleviate the clenching or grinding.