Davis Family Dentistry
Comprehensive Dental Care For All Ages

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

When it comes to your dental care, you might have questions – and you should!

At Davis Family Dentistry, we believe in providing patient-guided dentistry, so you decide on your goals for your smile and we'll help get you there! This involves educating you about your oral health so you can make confident decisions about the care that's right for your needs.

We always welcome your questions and have provided some of those we hear most often for your convenience. If you don't find the answers to your questions here, feel free to contact our office.

Other

Your mouth is a busy place. Bacteria – tiny colonies of living organisms are constantly on the move on your teeth, gums, lips and tongue. Having bacteria in your mouth is a normal thing. While some of the bacteria can be harmful, most are not and some are even helpful.

Certain types of bacteria, however, can attach themselves to hard surfaces like the enamel that covers your teeth. If they’re not removed, they multiply and grow in number until a colony forms. More bacteria of different types attach to the colony already growing on the tooth enamel. Proteins that are present in your saliva (spit) also mix in and the bacteria colony becomes a whitish film on the tooth. This film is called plaque, and it’s what causes cavities.

When refined carbohydrates or sugars are ingested, these bacteria present in the mouth use the sugar and convert it to acid that dissolves tooth enamel. The acid attacks start immediately after consuming sugars and last for 20-30 minutes.

Buy toothbrushes with soft bristles. Medium and firm ones can damage teeth and gums. Use soft pressure, for 2 minutes, two times a day. Both powered and manual toothbrushes clean teeth well. Manual brushes with mixed bristle heights or angled bristles clean better than those with all flat, even bristles. Powered toothbrushes may be easier if you have trouble using your hands.

Remember to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Change it sooner if the bristles look bent or splayed out. Bent bristles don't clean as well. (They're also a sign you may be brushing too hard.)

Toothpastes with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance always have fluoride, which strengthens and protects teeth. If you want a non-fluoride option, stores carry toothpastes and powders made with natural ingredients that don't have ADA testing and approval.

Many people do not see a dentist on a regular basis. They only go when they have a problem. This is known as "crisis treatment" versus "preventive treatment." While these patients may feel they are saving money, it often ends up costing much more in dollars and time. This is because many dental problems do not have symptoms until they reach the advanced stages of the disease process. An example is tooth decay. It is typical to hear, "Nothing hurts... I don't have any problems." But there is something present that needs attention.

Tooth decay often does not hurt until it gets close to the nerve of the tooth. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a huge cavity who has never felt a thing. The dentist can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it develops any symptoms. This early detection can help you prevent root canal treatment or even extraction.

At Davis Family Dentistry, we understand that when it comes to your dental care, finances are often a concern. We never want cost to be a deterrent for our patients, and we're happy to work with you to fit your treatment plan into your budget. We'll always discuss your treatment needs and finances with you before moving forward with any procedures so there are no surprises for you.

We're happy to file claims to your dental insurance for you, and our knowledgeable staff will help you understand your benefits, coverage, and out-of-pocket costs. We'll work hard to help you get the most from your insurance and understand your coverage so you can make educated decisions about the treatment and dental care that's right for your needs.

Even if you have dental benefits, treatment procedures are typically not fully covered. For patients who would like to make affordable monthly payments on their remaining balance, we work with CareCredit. They're a third-party financing company that breaks your treatment cost into payments and even offers some interest-free options for qualified patients. CareCredit is easy to sign up for and you'll receive a quick decision so you can move forward with your treatment.

Contact our office to learn more about your financial options.

Your comfort is always a top priority here at Davis Family Dentistry, and we do everything we can to ensure that treatment procedures are comfortable for you. We use some of the most effective dental anesthetics in the industry to ensure that you don't feel anything during your procedure, and our doctors are gentle and highly skilled at delivering the anesthetics to you effectively. We also offer amenities such as televisions in our treatment rooms so you can enjoy a program and take your mind off of your dental treatment.

If you tend to feel fearful about your dental care, we want you to know that you're not alone. Millions of Americans feel this way, and that's why we offer nitrous oxide. Also known as laughing gas, nitrous quickly enters your system through a mask worn during your procedure, and it leaves as soon as the mask is removed. Because it leaves your system quickly, you'll be able to safely drive yourself home after your appointment and continue with your normal activities. We can use nitrous for any type of procedure, so whether you need a cleaning or a more complex treatment such as root canal therapy, nitrous can help you feel at ease.

Dental Implants

The best replacement for a missing tooth is a dental implant. This reliable treatment restores both your root and your tooth.

During oral surgery, a titanium post is positioned into your bone, which replaces your root and helps keep your bone healthy. It's allowed to heal for a period of 3 to 4 months, creating an excellent foundation for your new tooth.

Your new tooth is a customized porcelain crown designed to give you function and esthetics. This means that you'll be chewing, eating, and smiling again in no time. Because your crown is designed to match your existing teeth, no one is ever going to know you were missing a tooth.

While many dentists refer their patients to other specialists for implant surgery, at Davis Family Dentistry, we offer our patients all aspects of implant dentistry, which means that we can treat you throughout the entire process from start to finish in the comfort of our own office. Dr. Kurtis uses advanced computer-assisted technology and 3-D imaging to plan the placement of your implant and ensure accuracy.

If you're living with a failing or missing tooth, we encourage you to call Davis Family Dentistry to learn more about your options.

Dentures and Partials

If you have a removable denture, you should take it out every night before you sleep. Gently brush the denture using a soft toothbrush or denture brush. Then, store the prosthetic overnight in water or cleaning solution. If you have remaining healthy teeth, continue to brush and floss them each day to avoid additional tooth loss. If you are fully edentulous (without teeth), you can carefully brush your gums to remove food and plaque, and you may want to use an antimicrobial mouth rinse to keep your gums healthy. Patients with implant retained dentures can brush these prosthetics the way they would healthy, natural teeth. Flossing will be a little trickier. We can show you proper technique to remove plaque and food that can get trapped between the denture base and gum tissue. Regardless of what type of denture you select, visiting our office every six months is essential. During these biannual dental appointments, we’ll examine the fit and function of your denture and help you keep them looking and feeling great. Traditional dentures typically need to be replaced every five to ten years, but with proper care, your implant retained denture may last for two decades or longer.

Partials are tooth replacement prosthetics that fill gaps in the smile. Following extensive tooth loss, these dentures allow us to retain healthy teeth while restoring healthy function. These tooth replacement prosthetics use a gum colored base material that is crafted to fit between healthy teeth. The replacement teeth are attached to this base, and the entire partial denture is anchored in place with clasps attached to healthy teeth.

Full dentures also use a gum colored base material to support replacement teeth. Because there are no remaining teeth to provide support, the base material is crafted to fit against the gums, creating suction that holds the denture in place. For added support, some patients choose to use a small amount of denture adhesive.

General Dentistry

Yes!

X-rays are an important tool that Drs. Kurtis and Joanne use to see what's happening internally in your mouth. This allows them to detect many concerns that could be missed with just the naked eye. We typically recommend that x-rays be taken once per year so we can monitor your oral health effectively.

Many patients are concerned about the safety of dental x-rays. At Davis Family Dentistry, we use digital x-rays. This type of imaging emits 80% less radiation than traditional x-rays and requires no harsh chemicals for developing, making them safer for the environment. Digital images are also readily available to view on screen in our treatment rooms so our doctors can discuss with you any issues they see right away. Digital x-rays deliver a clearer, sharper image that allows for more accurate early diagnosis of any dental concerns.

If you're considering a tooth replacement with a dental implant, Dr. Kurtis will use our 3-D cone beam imaging scanner to help plan and implement implant placement. Using these images helps ensure the success and longevity of your implant.

To learn more about digital x-rays, contact Davis Family Dentistry today.

 

The answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"

In the world of dentistry, there are many conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease that don't typically cause much pain in their early stages. That doesn't mean, however, that they're not affecting your oral health!

In fact, when you do feel pain, in many cases this means that the decay or infection has progressed and caused bigger and more costly damage. Treating these conditions in their earliest stages allows you to have the best opportunity for a successful recovery with the least invasive treatment procedures, which is always our goal for you.

At Davis Family Dentistry, we believe that prevention is truly the key to achieving and maintaining optimum oral health. When you come in for your routine six-month cleaning and check-up appointments, we screen you for these and other conditions. Believe it or not, Dr. Kurtis and Dr. Joanne can detect these concerns much earlier than you can, and one reason is that there are often not many symptoms at first.

When you're consistent and proactive about your oral health we can prevent many issues from occurring in the first place.

Contact Davis Family Dentistry today to schedule your next routine visit.

Your mouth is a busy place. Bacteria – tiny colonies of living organisms are constantly on the move on your teeth, gums, lips and tongue. Having bacteria in your mouth is a normal thing. While some of the bacteria can be harmful, most are not and some are even helpful.

Certain types of bacteria, however, can attach themselves to hard surfaces like the enamel that covers your teeth. If they’re not removed, they multiply and grow in number until a colony forms. More bacteria of different types attach to the colony already growing on the tooth enamel. Proteins that are present in your saliva (spit) also mix in and the bacteria colony becomes a whitish film on the tooth. This film is called plaque, and it’s what causes cavities.

When refined carbohydrates or sugars are ingested, these bacteria present in the mouth use the sugar and convert it to acid that dissolves tooth enamel. The acid attacks start immediately after consuming sugars and last for 20-30 minutes.

Sometimes described as “silver-colored” fillings, dental amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time. Because of their durability, these silver-colored fillings can sometimes be the best choice for large cavities or those that occur in the back teeth where a lot of force is needed to chew.

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural. 

At Davis Family Dentistry, Drs. Kurtis and Joanne like to begin seeing children around the age of three years old, unless parents have any concerns early on.

At your child's first visit, we'll take the time to help them acclimate to our office with a ride in the "big chair," an introduction to our tools, and an examination of their teeth and mouth. We'll explain everything we're doing so your child always feels comfortable, and we'll also clean their teeth if they're ready.

Our goal is to make dental visits fun for your child, while also helping them learn about the importance of their oral health.

As your child gets older, we may recommend additional services for them such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants. These treatments are designed to build small teeth and protect them from tooth decay and cavities. If your child chooses to participate in sports, we're happy to help with the right protective wear for their mouth and teeth. Almost half of dental emergencies are caused by sports injuries.

We encourage parents to bring their little ones along to their own dental appointments so children can see that the dentist is not scary. We look forward to building a relationship with your child that will set them up for a lifetime of success at the dental office!

 

Porcelain Veneers

Dentists are commonly asked if veneers can ruin teeth. Veneers are ceramic shells that are shaped like teeth and cemented over the regular teeth to improve appearance. Veneers alter the shade, size, and shape of teeth. The best thing is that the veneers are not designed to ruin teeth in any way. Instead, these porcelain pieces attached to the front surface of the teeth do the exact opposite.

Having dental veneers can do an excellent job of improving the aesthetic of discolored teeth. Whether the teeth are stained due to excessive fluoride, medications, coffee consumption, or anything else veneers will cover the discoloration. Veneers can also conceal portions of teeth worn due to erosion, chipping, grinding, and breaks. Veneers can successfully conceal damage to teeth as long as it is within reason.

Generally the veneer process will require two visits: one to prepare or shape the teeth and one to cement the restorations to the teeth. Between those visits Dr. Davis can place attractive interim restorations to help prevent sensitivity, allow for eating function, and provide a nice smile. The temporary restorations will mimic what the final veneers will look like. These temporaries are designed to be in your mouth for a limited time, but should be comfortable and natural until your new smile is completed.

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of precisely cut porcelain that are bonded to the front of your teeth. If there is damage such as cracks, chips or gaps, porcelain veneers are the perfect solution to cosmetically and structurally improving the teeth.

Root Canal Therapy

Some patients may experience tooth pain initially and then it goes away on its own or with the help of antibiotics. Just because it has stopped hurting doesn’t mean it is no longer infected. Root canal treatment is designed to disinfect the inside of the tooth (the source of infection) and stop the spread of infection.

Some patients may never experience pain with an infected tooth. In fact, root canal infection is often discovered through routine radiographs and/or clinical examination. The tooth may have a chronic infection that the body has accommodated enough to not have gone beyond the patient’s pain threshold.

Prior to performing any root canal, Dr. Davis will thoroughly examine all radiographic and clinical findings to determine if a root canal is indicated.

Today, getting root canal treatment is often no more uncomfortable than having a filling. In fact, root canal treatment doesn't cause pain but actually relieves it. Advances have made the treatment a virtually pain-free experience, many times accomplished in a single visit. Dr. Davis understands a great deal about pain management. With modern techniques and anesthetics, the vast majority of patients report that they are comfortable during the procedure. 

A severe toothache or dental sensitivity to changes in temperature are often an indication that a patient needs root canal therapy. This treatment is recommended when decay or damage reaches the inner portion of the tooth, the pulp, where the nerve structure is housed. When dental damage reaches the nerve, it can cause severe pain. Root canals remove the damaged structure, pulp, and nerve. This tissue is then replaced with a filling material, and the tooth is resealed. This prevents the potential need for extraction, replaces lost tooth structure, and protects the tooth from any additional damage or decay.

Tooth-Colored Restorations

Sometimes described as “silver-colored” fillings, dental amalgam has been used by dentists for more than 100 years because it lasts a long time. Because of their durability, these silver-colored fillings can sometimes be the best choice for large cavities or those that occur in the back teeth where a lot of force is needed to chew.

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural. 

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