Q: How often should I visit the dentist?
A: How often you go for a checkup depends on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people this means a check-up every 6 months. Your dentist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems you have that need to be checked or treated, how fast tarter builds up on your teeth, and so on.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I floss every day?
Do I smoke?
Is my overall health good?
Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?
Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist/hygienist’s instructions on how to brush properly?
The answers to these questions are all factors that affect your oral and general health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for check-ups.
It’s worth noting that you should not determine your need for dental care on what your dental plan covers!
Q: At what age should my child start seeing the dentist?
A: The Canadian Dental Association encourages the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by 1 year of age. The goal is to have your child visit the dentist before there is a problem with his/her teeth. In most cases, a check-up every 6 months will let your child’s dentist catch small problems early as well as to monitor the development of the dentition. Your child needs to see the dentist by age 2 or 3, when all the baby teeth have come in.
Q: What can I expect during my first visit, and do I need to bring anything?
A: During your first check-up, your dentist will first conduct an exam. He or she will look for signs of any health issues as they can relate to overall oral health. Your dentist will also look for gum disease, cavities, failing restorations, tooth fractures and oral infections. He or she is trained to catch small problems before they become big ones and often can treat a problem right away.
A checkup may include some or all of the following procedures:
Dental and medical history update—your dentist will ask you about any oral or general health problems you have.
Examination and sometimes treatment.
Dental radiographs (x-rays).
Cleaning—a cleaning makes your teeth and fillings smooth, so it’s harder for plaque to build up on your teeth. Plaque is clear and sticky. It forms on your teeth every day. If plaque is left on your teeth, it hardens into tarter (calculus). A cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It cannot be removed with your toothbrush. If tartar is not removed, it can help cause gum disease. A cleaning removes some stains so your teeth will look better.
You should bring along your insurance card (if applicable) and if are currently on any medications, you could bring along a list of them.
Q: Are you taking new patients?
A: Yes, our dental health professionals always welcome new patients looking for dental and hygiene care, and we thank our loyal patients for their referrals.
Q: What is fluoride, and how does it work?
A: Fluoride is a compound of the element fluorine, which is found universally throughout nature in water, soil, air and food. Existing abundantly in living tissue as an ion, fluoride is absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s growing teeth. Once teeth are developed, fluoride makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible. Two forms of fluoride protect the teeth: systemic fluoride and topical fluoride.
Q: What does MCP (Newfoundland Medical Care Plan) cover?
A: For children 12 years and under, the MCP plan covers:
Examinations at 6-month intervals
Cleanings at 12-month intervals
Fluoride applications for children ages 6-12 at 12-month intervals
Routine fillings and extractions
Coverage for children (13 to 17) in families receiving income support, or eligible families with low incomes who present us with their eligibility letter (with the correct date range) and their MCP card can receive:
Examinations every 24 months
Limited x-rays (once every 2 years)
Routine fillings and extractions coverage
Dollar cap of $300 per calendar year (April 1st-March 31st)
For adult recipients of income support, access plan or 65+ senior plan that present us with their eligibility letter or MCP monthly stub (with the correct date range) and their MCP card can receive:
Extractions (not impacted teeth)
Exams (once every 3 years)
Limited x-rays (once every 3 years)
Cleanings are not covered. There is a dollar cap of $300 per calendar year (April 1st-March 31st)
Q: Do you keep track of my benefit information like maximums and limitations so I won’t be billed for anything?
A: Unfortunately, no. We have a large patient database with over 50+ different insurance policies, so the only information we get on coverage and benefits is from you. We have no direct contact with benefit carriers about coverage or maximums, so if your coverage changes, you will need to bring in that information to your next appointment. If you are wondering about coverage of a recommended procedure, we can create an estimate to send to your insurance company. If you are concerned about exceeding your benefits allowed during the year, please contact your carrier before your appointment to determine if you have enough benefits for your treatment.
Q: Do you direct bill my insurance?
A: Yes, with most insurance companies we can; however, in order for us to submit a claim to your insurance carrier, you will need to provide us with your insurance card containing your policy and certificate number before your appointment. There are some insurance policies that do not allow direct billing. In that case, you will be required to pay the entire amount, and we can give you a claim form that you can bring in to your insurance for reimbursement.
Q: How do dental sealants work?
A: Dental sealants are a plastic coating placed on the biting surface of the teeth. They are very effective in preventing tooth decay. Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.