Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: New Patients
How does Dr. Young ensure my safety during dental procedures?
We follow a number of health and safety guidelines. First, our office complies with and exceeds OSHA standards for safety. All of our staff also maintain CPR certification. With every patient, we follow universal protocols. These safety procedures are established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA). Under these regulations, our dental team is required to use the appropriate protective wear, such as gloves, masks, and eyewear. After your visit, we disinfect the operatory and sterilize all of the equipment. We have a sterilization center where we minimize the chance of contamination through human error. We use a cassette system that allows the instruments for your procedure to remain in a sterile tray and wrap until they are in your room and ready to be used. This is another area where we surpass all requirements to ensure the best quality of care for our patients. If you have any questions, we would be happy to demonstrate our sterilization procedures.
How do I know when it is time to come in for a checkup?
We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If you need more frequent visits, we will let you know. Checkups are important because, even if you don't notice any pain or problems with your teeth, we may find signs of potential concern. For instance, demineralization is a precursor to decay, oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can be very stealthy. At your hygiene appointment, we will clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth. We will also make sure your gums are healthy, strong and there is no sign of decay.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause can stem from the patient brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper floss and toothbrush and technique for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend non-surgical deep cleaning to stop the disease and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, cardio-vascular disease, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!
I have chronic headaches. Can you help?
Chronic headaches may be a symptom of a misaligned bite, bruxism (grinding and clenching), or TMJ disorder. Dr. Young will carefully examine your occlusion (bite), jaw joint, and muscles in the head, and neck to determine the underlying causes of your pain. Often, we can correct the problem with a custom night guard. Call our dental office if you have more questions about headache relief with non-surgical therapies.
What are dental implants and how long do they last?
Dental implant restorations are a safe alternative to bridges, partials, or full dentures. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth due to a titanium anchor attached to the jawbone. Once the implants are secured, your dentist attaches a handcrafted, permanent crown to each post. The restorations will match your natural teeth and blend seamlessly with your smile. The life of the implant depends on your age, oral status, and personal hygiene. With proper maintenance, they may last a lifetime.
What is a digital X-ray, and how is it different from traditional X-rays?
When compared to traditional radiography, digital x-rays emit 80-percent less radiation. Detailed images are immediately available for view on a chairside monitor in the operatory. We can transfer digital x-rays and photographs quickly via the internet to insurance companies and specialists, as well. Digital x-rays require no hazardous developing chemicals, so they're earth friendly!
I avoid dental visits due to anxiety…is this normal? Can you help?
Many people fear dental visits due to negative past experiences or control issues. We understand dental anxiety and offer solutions to help you overcome your stress. With nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation, we can help you gain full peace of mind and body so you can receive the dental work you need.
What is a cosmetic dentist?
Cosmetic dentistry is not a specialty recognized by the American Dental Association, so any general dentist can claim to be a cosmetic dentist. To choose a good cosmetic dentist, review the doctor’s before-and-after photos of actual cases, ask about his or her postgraduate education in cosmetic dentistry, and make sure that you feel confident and comfortable in the dental practice.
I want to know more about changing my smile. What do you suggest?
An appointment. Your smile and your goals are unique. We offer a wide range of cosmetic services, and after your consultation, you will know which services will deliver the smile of your dreams.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Absolutely. We bet you did not know that teeth whitening, in some form, has been around since the 1700s. Modern teeth whitening uses safe and effective bleaching gel to remove stains and discoloration. Choose from Zoom! Whitening in our office or convenient take-home teeth-whitening kits.
How can I pay for my dental care?
We accept cash, personal checks, and Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We offer financing through Chase Health Advance and CareCredit. We would be happy to assist you in the application process. To investigate financing through these organizations online, visit Chase Health Advance and click on "Find a Practice" on the right-hand sidebar to begin the application process. You can visit CareCredit and click on “Patients,” then click on the “Apply Online” icon in the left tool bar.
FAQ: Dental Insurance Benefits
PPO plan vs. DHMO plan?
When you select a PPO, preferred provider organization versus a DHMO or dental health maintenance organization, one of the most significant benefits you receive is the freedom to choose your provider, switch providers, and see specialists without having to get permission from your insurance company. DHMO plans require their members to select a primary care provider (PCP) from a list and you can switch providers once a month. Once you select a PCP, some providers may not see you until you appear on their monthly active roster list.
PPO plans also give you the most control over your dental care. DHMOs normally have a list of procedure codes that are considered "covered" procedures. The codes differ based on the type of procedure and the material that is used for the procedure. For example, a filling code for a silver filling is different than the code for a tooth-colored filling. If the procedure code is not listed as a covered procedure your provider is contracted to perform the covered service with the material that is assigned to that code. Plan benefits are typically not allowed for alternate procedures, even if the alternate procedure is recommended by your dentist. Covered services on DHMO plans are normally the most cost effective treatments which at times can be outdated. Provider reimbursement for DHMO plans are typically low. As a result, the providers that are contracted may have to double or triple the amount of patients that are seen in one day, limit the time spent with each patient, and/or multiple providers may oversee your care. Low provider reimbursement could also mean less dollars and time available to invest in advanced techniques and necessary advanced technology that allows for more accuracy in diagnosis and treatment. For the most part PPO plans allow you to choose which procedures are best for you, each plan is different and some more restrictive than others, but most plans offer alternate benefits (see next).
What is an alternate benefit?
The carrier pays toward a less expensive, but "adequate" service, such as an all-base-metal crown instead of a porcelain/ceramic crown. The patient can still opt for the porcelain/ceramic crown but the percentage that the insurance pays will be based on the "adequate" service, which results in a lower percentage being paid by the insurance carrier but benefits are still payable and the patient is able to choose what is best for them.
Why is my insurance annual maximum so low?
Dental insurance started being offered in the 1970's and the average maximums back then were the same as what they are today even though the cost of living has rose significantly in the past four decades. Most dental insurance annual maximums are between $1000-$2000 per covered member with a $50 annual deductible that applies to treatment appointments, but waived for cleanings and exams. Fortunately, premiums for dental insurance have remained relatively low as well. Even with a low annual maximum of $1000 it is possible to stay on top of your dental care with regular dental check ups that include cleanings, exams, and x-rays. The idea is to be able to cover a few fillings or even a crown or two per year as they come along. It is very rare if you are being seen regularly that you will need multiple services all at once. If your dentist recommends a filling it is best to not put it off because it will only get more expensive. If patients decide to delay treatment to the next year, and then the following year a little more treatment is recommended that gets put off to the next year after that, over time your dental care needs will outgrow your benefits available. The best remedy for a low annual maximum and reducing your overall out-of-pocket expenses is routine cleanings, exams, and x-rays and prompt completion of recommended treatment.