FAQ

I've always dreamed of having whiter teeth. Can you help me?

Absolutely! We’ve noticed that everyone wants a whiter, brighter smile. We offer teeth whitening to remove stains caused by tea, coffee, food, plaque and tobacco. Our practice has provided tooth whitening services for many years. We know that our products are safe and effective. Using our different whitening procedures, we can help your teeth become eight shades lighter.

What is Dr. Dixon’s opinion on silver (amalgam) fillings?

Amalgam is an alloy of approximately 50% mercury and 50% other metals including silver, tin and copper. It is a unique compound in that it is the only metal alloy that can be mixed at room temperature - and since it sets hard within a few minutes, it is ideal for restoring teeth. It has been used for over 100 years.

Amalgam has never been shown to be unsafe by any credible research. The American Medical Association (AMA) recently published findings that showed no negative health consequence of any kind to having amalgam fillings. However, there has been and always will be controversy – mercury is one of the most toxic substances on earth.

Knowing that, why not use a safer and better looking alternative? Why use a material that turns black and discolors teeth when you can have a natural tooth-colored resin or porcelain restoration?

When should my children first see a dentist?

The best time is around three years of age, unless you suspect a problem earlier. Morning appointments are best for children – they feel more relaxed and easy-going then. To better prepare your children, let them come to the office and observe Mom or Dad having their preventive care visit. Let them come in each time a family member has a preventive care visit. Familiarity builds comfort.

Preventive home care is important from the day your child is born. The following are a few suggestions:

  • Always clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth.
  • Start brushing the teeth as soon as they start coming in. Use a pediatric, soft-bristled toothbrush, and very little toothpaste.
  • Never let your infant go to bed or take a nap with a bottle or sippy-cup of juice or milk. This will prevent “Baby-Bottle Decay.”
  • Develop good home care habits as soon as possible. We suggest a good family night-time routine.

My friend just told me about a Smile Makeover. What exactly is that?

Cosmetic dentistry is the art and science of designing wonderful smiles. It encompasses all aspects of general dental care, and places a special emphasis on each tooth and their overall harmony and balance in your smile. Examine your smile carefully. If you believe your smile could be better, think about having a smile makeover. A beautiful smile can boost your confidence and self-esteem, and improve your personal and professional image. A smile makeover is a complete reconstruction of your smile, from the inside out, with a comprehensive analysis and redesign of your teeth and gum tissue.

How can I replace missing teeth?

Having a full set of teeth improves your confidence, appearance, nutritional health, and your self-esteem. It also increases the longevity of your other natural teeth by removing the stress placed on lone-standing individual teeth. A full set of teeth all work together to share in the chewing forces applied to them. They wear less, break less, hurt less, and last longer. Quite simply, a half set of teeth will not last as long as a full set, no matter how hard you take care of them. We have several procedures to help replace missing teeth, including implants, bridges, natural looking partial dentures or complete dentures. It is not necessary to live with missing teeth any longer – there is always a way to replace a tooth that is lost.

Will it hurt?

If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, we believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Dentistry is faster than ever, and procedures are nearly painless. Each team member understands how you feel and will do their best to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

What happens if the office is closed and I have an emergency?

Call our regular office number and leave a message detailing the nature of your emergency. We will call you back as soon as possible, provide you with helpful information and determine if you need to be seen immediately. Our voice-mail service has several options available for immediate after-hours care.

Is everything sterilized?

Yes. Our staff is highly trained in the proper methods of instrument sterilization and disinfection of treatment room surfaces. All instruments and handpieces (drills) are sterilized after every use, as is required by law. Instruments that can withstand high temperatures are sterilized in a heat pressure autoclave. Plastic instruments that can't be autoclaved are sterilized in chemical solution. These methods of sterilization kill the viruses and microscopic organisms capable of transmitting every known disease. All water that is used during your treatment comes from a self-contained, water purification system. This system creates water that is cleaner and safer than tap water.

We guarantee that you will not find a cleaner, safer, more spotless dental office anywhere.

What will happen when I get a dental implant?

During the procedure, an implant is placed into the jawbone in the space of the missing tooth. A crown is created and attached to the top of the implant to serve as the visible portion of the tooth. Dental implant placement is typically less painful than an extraction and takes less than 45 minutes. Local anesthetic is applied to prevent discomfort. Our oral surgeon will insert the implant into the jawbone and cover it with gum tissue. The implant is allowed to heal and "osseo-integrate," which means that it will bond with the surrounding bone over the next two to four months. While this portion of treatment is taking place, you’ll wear a temporary replacement tooth. Once the implant bonds with the surrounding bone, it will be uncovered. The oral surgeon will attach a post to the implant. A permanent crown is created to fit the post. Your final result will be a tooth that looks, feels and acts like a natural tooth.

Do you accept new patient referrals?

Yes. We very much appreciate the referral of our patients’ friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members. Our dental practice continues to grow by the trust, confidence, and positive word-of-mouth of those patients. A vote of confidence or a word of praise is something that means a lot to each one of us. We are proud of our reputation, and even more proud that our patients help support it.

What is your appointment cancellation policy?

As a patient of our office, we are dedicated to providing you quality care and are happy to reserve an appointment time exclusively for you. We understand that your time is just as important as ours and we will try to make every effort to remain on schedule. However, some visits are more complicated than initially anticipated, and there are emergencies that arise everyday that could delay us. If we are running significantly behind schedule, every effort will be made to notify you so you may choose to either come in later or reschedule. Likewise, if you are going to be late, we ask for the same courtesy. If you arrive significantly late, your scheduled appointment may be modified or you may be asked to reschedule.

We kindly ask for at least 24 hours notice if you are unable to keep your appointment. When a patient misses an appointment time that was reserved specifically for them, or cancels at the last minute, other patients in need of treatment cannot be seen.

Therefore, if we do not have adequate notice of a change in plans regarding your scheduled appointment - and if we are unable to use that appointment time for someone else – we will bill you for an office visit, which is only $35. This is our minimum charge for using office time when no other service is provided. We feel that this fair for everyone.