First Visit Questions
What will happen at my first visit?
As a new patient of Southview Dentistry, we begin your appointment with the hygienist. This visit will be mostly diagnostic and will take approximately an hour and a half. Our hygienist with get to know you, your dental history and any concerns you may have. She will take a series of digital x rays and photos of your teeth so that you and our doctors can see any areas of concern and create the best treatment plan. You will also get an oral cancer screening, TMJ/joint and muscle exam and a full bone and gum health exam. This is followed by an examination by the doctor to determine what type of cleaning is best for you. Most routine cleanings will be completed the same day.
Do I have to get X-rays done if I have had them previously done somewhere else?
The quality of x rays is greatly diminished when they are emailed or printed. So our doctors prefer new x rays so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Children's Dentistry Questions
My child has cavities in his baby teeth, why do we need to get them filled if they are going to fall out?
Cavities on children’s, primary, teeth are just like that in an adult in that they can cause tooth pain when they become large. It is very important to address the cavities with fillings when these cavities are small to prevent tooth pain and ultimately baby tooth root canals. It is also not recommended to “just pull” the tooth. One of the main roles of a baby tooth is to be a place holder for the up and coming adult tooth. If a baby tooth is pulled before it is ready to come out, the teeth around it will shift and close up the space that meant for the adult tooth. This will mean that there will be crowding in the child’s adult teeth that may not have occurred had the tooth been saved.
Why do I need to floss if I brush my teeth?
Flossing removes plaque from areas the tooth brush bristles can’t reach, between the teeth. Plaque that is not removed will eventually harden and become tarter. By flossing regularly, you remove plaque to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Are electric toothbrushes better than manual?
If a manual toothbrush is used for the right amount of time and done with proper technique, it can be as effective as an electric tooth brush. Many people don’t brush for the recommended 2 minutes and use excessive force. The electric tooth brush can help keep you brushing for the right amount of time and with the right amount of force.
I’m pregnant and my gums are more sensitive and bleed more, why?
New/changing hormone levels during pregnancy can cause normal, healthy gums to become red, inflamed and painful. This irritation is known as pregnancy gingivitis and is the body’s response to plaque and calculus buildup. It is important to stay regular and sometimes more frequent with your dental visits to remove this plaque and tarter to reduce the inflammation. When the gums bleed they allow access for bacteria to get into the blood stream and can affect the growing baby. Pregnancy gingivitis, if not treated, can lead to low birth weight and/or pre term birth.
What is a deep cleaning and why do I need one?
Scaling and root planning, also referred to as a deep cleaning, is a type of dental cleaning used to treat periodontal disease. This type of cleaning usually requires the gums to be numb so that the tooth and roots below the gums can be thoroughly cleaned.
Why do I need a second cleaning if I just had one today?
One type of cleaning we do here at Southview Dentistry is called a Phased cleaning. This is designed for someone that has not had a cleaning in a while or has advanced gingivitis. The first cleaning removes the bacteria, plaque and tarter. The second cleaning is done about 6 weeks later. At this cleaning we will reevaluate all areas and see how the gums have healed. We will discuss home care and check for improvements and address any concerns. If there are no more signs of gingivitis you will be changed to a healthy mouth cleaning that will be done every 6 months.
Can I “Oil Pull” instead of flossing or brushing?
Oil pulling is a practice of swishing coconut oil or sesame seed oil for 20 mins a day. It is thought to remove toxins, reduce inflammation and remove plaque. It is our belief at Southview Dentistry that there is no replacement for brushing and flossing. There is very little research or evidence to show oil pulling is effective. We find that it is hard enough to get people to brush for 2 minutes and floss let alone swish for 20 minutes a day with oil.
Are the whitening kiosks at the mall the same as you provide?
Teeth do not yellow/darken over night. Anything that promises gleaming white teeth in one treatment is not going to last. For longer lasting, whiter teeth, it is better to expose the teeth to the whitening agent, peroxide, for longer more frequent periods of time. We recommend bleaching trays where the patient is in control of the whitening process. Quick sessions can also be very painful to teeth. With the take home trays, the patient is in control and can reduce the amount of discomfort they may feel. Dental strength whitening also contains a product to help reduce sensitivity.
Is Invisalign an option for me? I didn’t wear my retainers after braces as a kid.
Invisalign is a great option to straighten teeth. It is a way to straighten teeth without wearing traditional metal braces. Invisalign uses transparent aligners to move teeth. It is a great option for people that have had braces as a kid and have noticed shifting of the teeth as an adult. Not everyone is a candidate, but Dr Kelly will be able to tell you that during your exam with her.
Dental Treatment Questions
How can I have a cavity if my tooth doesn’t hurt?
A cavity is a hole in a tooth that is caused by bacteria. This hole can vary in size. When the hole is very large and touches the nerve inside the tooth, the cavity causes tooth pain. The best time to fill the hole/cavity in the tooth is when it is small as to avoid getting near the nerve. If a filling is placed too close to the nerve, because of the size of the cavity, the tooth can continue to hurt and may need a root canal.
I just had a filling placed and now my tooth hurts, it didn’t hurt before.
Sometimes a white filling can be sensitive to cold or biting after being placed. This is not an often occurrence. However, one cause of this discomfort is that the filling was very large and close to the nerve. In this instance, the tooth could get better with time or could not improve and need a root canal. Another factor that could cause tooth pain is if the bite of the new filling is too high. This can occur if the patient is extremely numb and unable to reproduce their normal bite during treatment. This just requires a quick adjustment to the filling. It is important to have the filling adjusted because it will not wear down on its own.
What do I do if my temporary crown comes off?
It is very important to wear your temporary crown. Sometimes they can come off if not treated carefully. This temporary crown protects the tooth, keeps it from being sensitive and also acts as a place holder to keep teeth around if from moving. First thing to do is call the office at 704-781-8166 and let us know that it has come off. We will get you in right away to get it back on. If however you are in a place where you can’t get to our office try getting some denture adhesive and putting the temporary back on yourself.
Why do I need a guard if I don’t grind my teeth?
Teeth are not naturally worn. When your dentist or hygienist recommends a guard it is because the see signs of wear on your teeth. Your teeth tell a story. They fit together like puzzle pieces and show where they like to touch. When a grinding pattern is noted, a guard is recommended to protect the teeth and the jaw joint and muscles. This guard usually will not stop the patient from grinding but will protect the teeth and keep them from wearing away. If a patient is having jaw or muscle pain early in the mornings, this is a good sign that they are clenching or grinding their teeth at night. The guard will help to greatly reduce this pain by allowing the jaw joint to relax.
I need a denture but I am afraid it will be loose and fall out like my moms..
Southview Dentistry’s philosophy is to maintain teeth for as long as possible. But sometimes teeth are hopeless and must be taken out. Dentures are the more common option for replacing a full set of teeth. A denture can be loose: if it is very old and the bone under it has changed and shrunk, if there was not enough bone to begin with, if the patient doesn’t produce enough saliva or if the denture was not made properly. Things to counteract the problem of the denture falling out are the use of denture adhesives, the placement of implants to snap the denture in or to just remake the denture.
What are downgrades?
Majority of dental plans will downgrade composite fillings to amalgam fillings. In better detail, amalgam fillings (silver-colored) are made of less-expensive materials than composite fillings (tooth-colored-white) and require less of dentist time to complete. For this reason, they are less expensive than composite fillings. Insurance companies often pay for procedures based on what is called the Least Expensive Alternative Treatment (LEAT), so when you have a composite filling (white) placed, they will pay their portion of the treatment at the rate of an amalgam filling (silver) and you will be responsible for the remaining balance. In our office we only place composite fillings.
Delta Dental…Are you in network?
Yes, we are in network with Delta Dental. However, only Premier or PPO plus Premier.
How do I know if I have Delta Dental Premier, PPO or PPO plus Premier, if it’s not on my card?
The best way to find out is to call the customer service number on the card. Another way is to contact your HR department.
What happens if I have overpaid?
Insurance estimates are just that, estimates, and we occasionally get paid more by your insurance company than anticipated. If you have paid your co-pay based on that estimate then you will have a credit balance on your account. If you’re coming back to see us in the next week or so we will hold it for you and if you owe us a co-pay for scheduled treatment we will apply it to your account. Otherwise, we’ll send you a check.
Fluoride and Radiation Questions
I have read a lot about fluoride being toxic is this true and should I stop using fluoridated toothpaste?
Fluoride is toxic if ingested in large quantities. If you are just brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and no actually ingesting the toothpaste, the amount is very minimal. At Southview, we feel the benefits of fluoride far outweigh the risks and we do recommend out patients use fluoridated toothpaste and even add additional fluoride to their regime by using fluoridated mouth rinses.
Do I have to have x rays, I don’t want the radiation?
It is necessary for the doctor to have x rays of the teeth so that they can provide accurate information on the health of your teeth. In many instances, cavities cannot be seen in the mouth until they are too large to be just filled. This is when x rays are of the utmost importance, that cavity could be spotted early in development and been treated without needing further more costly work such as a root canal. But most importantly, Southview dentistry uses digital x rays and a lead apron with a thyroid collar, which provides the least amount of radiation. Patients receive more radiation from their cell phones and/or microwaves from one use than they would from a digital dental x ray.
I have diabetes, anything I should be concerned about with my dental health?
Diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infections, reduces blood flow to the gum tissue and can elevate sugar levels in the mouth. These can lead to gum disease and cavities. The best ways to prevent this is to maintain a healthy mouth with good home care, keep up on routine dental cleanings and keep blood sugar stable.
I take a lot of medications, should this affect my mouth?
Taking multiple medications can cause reduced saliva flow and thus to dry mouth. Saliva has a very important role in the mouth, it buffers acid, helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. We don’t want to take you off your medications so we recommend counteracting the effects of them products that can hydrate your mouth like biotene.
Do you have any specialist’s that you recommend?
We have many specialists that we trust and work closely with. Periodontist: PerioCare, Charlotte Perio Endodontist: South Charlotte Endodontics, Ballantyne Endodontice, Charlotte Endodontics Oral Surgery: Southpark Center for Oral surgery, Carolina center for oral surgery Pediactrics: Eastover Pediactrics, Carolna kids dentistry Orthodontics: Webb Orthodontics, Hull & Coleman, Burrow Orthodontics Oral medicine: Dr Michael Brennan
I am very afraid of the dentist and haven’t been in years. What should I do?
At Southview Dentistry, we understand that the dentist can be a very scary place for many people. You are not alone, between 9% and 15% of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. Most important thing is to let your dental care professional know your fears. This way they can help you work through the fears. At Southview dentistry we offer different levels of sedation to help you through any dental treatment. We offer nitrous gas, medications to reduce the anxiety or the combination of both for the most anxious patient. The doctor and you will select which is the best treatment for you.