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What should you ask your dentist after your exam?

Ask your dentist about your treatment plan.

A visit to the dentist can sometimes be more than routine, especially if your dentist recommends a customized diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan for you. Depending on your case, the recommendation could range from a basic filling (most patients) to a dental implant, braces, a deep cleaning or extensive periodontal treatment.  So it’s wise to ask for clarification and further explanation if you have questions.  Consider asking the following:

  • What part of the recommendations are covered under my dental plan?
  • What part of the treatment is not a covered benefit, and what would my cost be?
  • How much of the total treatment cost will I be responsible for?
  • Do you offer a payment plan?
  • How many visits will be required to complete treatment?
  • What can I expect after treatment? Will I be able to eat?
  • What are the consequences of declining treatment?

It’s always important to understand your dentist’s diagnosis and your plan’s copayments to avoid surprises. Armed with a thorough understanding of your treatment plan, you’ll be on your way to enhancing your smile and improving the health of your mouth, teeth and gums.

Children's Dental Health is Important - Steps to a Healthy Smile
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends parents take their child to a pediatric dentist within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears, but no later than the child’s first birthday. If that seems early, consider this: Tooth decay is the single most chronic health problem suffered by children and, if left untreated, can destroy the child’s teeth and have a strong, lasting effect on a child’s overall general health. Tooth decay can be caused by bacteria which interacts with carbohydrates in the diet, producing acids that result in mineral loss from teeth. that’s why it’s important to follow these guidelines at an early age:   Wipe infant’s gums with a clean, wet gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding. Begin brushing infant’s teeth as soon as first tooth appears twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Parents should use a ‘smear’ of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than two years of age. Twice-daily use has benefits greater than once-daily brushing. Do not nurse or breast feed for prolonged periods. Infants should not be put to sleep with a bottle of milk, formula, sugar water, or fruit juice. If an infant falls asleep while feeding, the teeth should be cleaned before placing the child in bed.   As your child gets older, you’ll want to encourage them to drink from a cup by their first birthday. This means moving from the “sippy” cup, which is meant only as a transition from the bottle to a real cup. Be wary of what you put in a sippy cup. Only use water, except maybe during meals. Allowing a child to drink from a sippy cup filled with juice or milk throughout the day continuously bathes the child’s teeth in cavity-causing bacteria.   Dental health habits develop at an early age. Parents should use a dab of toothpaste and perform or supervise a toddler’s toothbrushing. Teach them how to brush, and to spit out – not swallow – the toothpaste. Help them develop good eating habits early on and choose sensible, nutritious snacks.   By being proactive about your child’s teeth will help avoid painful – and potentially costly – dental health problems later.
What Is a Dental Home?
“Home” can have various meanings and have many emotional attachments, but when the word is used to describe your dentist office, it can cause some head scratching.     The fact is, when it comes to dental services, a “dental home” makes a lot of sense. The concept originated from the need for patients to visit various dental specialists for their recommended treatment – and the inconvenience caused by scheduling multiple appointments at offices all over town. (Most general dentists need to refer their patients to specialists for braces, extractions, implants or periodontal treatment.)   Dental home means comprehensive services. That’s why Western Dental & Orthodontics fits the description of a dental home so perfectly. While the company started over a 100 years ago with a small office in Los Angeles, it has grown to be the largest and most experienced dental provider in the West, with more than 240 offices in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.   Western Dental offices provide the full range of dental services and are staffed with doctors and specialists from the top dental schools in the country. Besides general dentistry, their services include dental implants and restorative crowns using the highest quality materials available, periodontics, endodontics, orthodontics and extractions. And, because of the importance of good oral hygiene in maintaining overall health, each office team includes trained dental hygienists who provide complete oral hygiene services – from routine teeth cleanings to treatments for the various stages of gum disease.   Western Dental brings special meaning to the term “dental home.” It’s part of their commitment to provide comprehensive, quality care to every patient, all in one office.