Q: Do you accept my Dental Insurance?

A: There are so many different dental insurance plans out there it is not practical for us to list all of the insurance companies we work with here.  The best way for you to determine if your dental insurance is accepted at our office is to call us at (715) 425-5780 and speak with Linda or Lisa.  They will even contact your insurance company for you in order to receive detailed information outlining your specific dental insurance benefit package which they will then review with you.

Q: What are sealants?

A: Dental sealants are an excellent first line of defense against the most common type of cavity that young people are highly susceptible to as their adult teeth erupt. Sealants fill in the grooves on the top chewing surfaces of teeth utilizing dental bonding materials which glue to the tooth surface sealing out bacteria and the sugars they eat. By sealing out these bugs which cause cavities with the acid they produce the likelihood of a cavity developing on the top surface of the tooth is greatly reduced. We recommend that kids have sealants placed on their adult molars and premolars as they erupt into their jaws, usually between the ages of 6 and 12.

smiling-familyQ: Do I need my wisdom teeth?

A: Called wisdom teeth due to their emergence into the mouth later in life.  The upper and lower third molars generally arrive when people are in their late teens or early twenties.  Since these teeth are the last in the jaw to erupt they often come into a jaw which is already crowded with little room to spare.  They often erupt misaligned, positioned horizontally, angled toward the second molars, or angled inward or outward.  This crowding and misalignment can result in damage to adjacent teeth, nerves, or bone, and the risk of this occurring may indicate the necessity for their removal.  Often little, or none, of each tooth comes into the mouth above the gums, becoming what we call impacted.

As a result of becoming impacted or infected, wisdom teeth should also often be removed.  While not everyone’s wisdom teeth must be removed, if surgery is necessary, having the teeth removed between the ages of 17 and 21 is recommended, because the younger the individual the better their healing capacity.  Your wisdom teeth may or may not be recommended for removal dependant on your own personal situation.  Only after a thorough clinical and radiographic exam can that decision and recommendation be made.

Q: What is a root canal?

A: The root canal is the space inside of the tooth which contains the nerve and blood vessel supply to the tooth, also called the pulp.  Exposure of the pulp by a cavity, trauma, or fracture of the tooth can cause infection of the pulp which can even spread into the adjacent bone.  Infection in this enclosed space of the root canal can lead to death of the pulp tissues and even an abscessed tooth.  Signs you may be experiencing infection in your tooth’s pulp include severe toothache, swelling, significant pain during chewing, increased pain in the tooth when drinking cold or warm liquids, or increases in your tooth pain when bending over or laying down.  This infection of the pulp is treated with root canal therapy.  During root canal therapy the root canal system is accessed through the top of the tooth, the inside of the tooth is cleaned with tiny instruments and cleaning agents which remove the entire contents of the root canal system and kill all of the infection inside the tooth.  Once completed, the root canal is filled back in with a rubber sealing material.

It is recommended that all posterior teeth that receive root canal therapy be restored with a full coverage crown, often referred to as a “cap”.  Sometimes placement of the crown on the tooth requires placement of a post inside of the canal space to hold on a large filling, called a core, which in turn holds the crown in place.   These restoration options will be discussed with you when we consult the need for root canal therapy and before any treatment is begun.

Q: Does my child need braces?

A: While many children need braces for functional or tooth eruption/position improvements to stabilize their bite for a lifetime of dental health, there are also many children with slight crowding of their front teeth who do not “need” braces but who could benefit cosmetically from braces if you or they would like.  During a consultation we will thoroughly evaluate your child’s dental condition both clinically and radiographically in order to assess whether your child might need or like braces.  We will only recommend braces as a need for your child if they are truly necessary, and we will discuss your options with you for elective orthodontic treatment if you want braces for cosmetic improvements.

Q: Are braces just for kids?

A: Today, orthodontic treatment is a viable treatment option for almost any adult. Although, our great grandparents, for the most part, lost their teeth around the age of 40, today’s 25 year olds can plan on keeping their teeth for another 70 years. This rate of toothlessness has declined due to dramatic improvements in dental health care, including alignment of teeth with orthodontic treatment. If left untreated, many orthodontic issues can become worse. Called malocclusion, issues with your bite can lead to tooth decay due to frequent food impaction, periodontal disease, and even tooth loss over time. While the stigma of adults wearing braces has all but disappeared, there are cosmetic options available including tooth colored braces or clear aligner therapy such as Invisalign. If you think you are too old for orthodontics, think again.

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