Frequently Asked Questions
- Do you take my dental insurance?
We will bill any private dental insurance company for which we receive complete billing information, except Medicare and Medicaid, also known as Apple Health. Please bring your insurance information with you to your first appointment so that we may expedite reimbursement. We are premier members of Delta Dental of Washington, formerly Washington Dental Service. As part of the DHA Network we are preferred providers with Premera and most Assurant plans. We are open to see all patients regardless of insurance benefits. Many patients have been led to believe that they must see a dentist who appears in their preferred list, yet in many cases they are free to choose a provider with minimal restrictions. Insurance benefits may vary from provider to provider, though it been our experience that these amounts are minimal in most cases. Insurance can be confusing, please contact your insurance provider to clarify the specific details of your plan. We find insurance companies will provide their plan holders with more detailed information than we can obtain. We will happily help you predetermine coverage for any treatment if you request it. Our office staff is always available to help you with your insurance claims.
- How old should my child be for his/her first visit?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric or general dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. This visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future. The first appointment is most helpful for the parents because the dentist will review some elements that contribute to your child’s oral health such as oral hygiene, nutrition and diet, and oral habits. Your child will have the opportunity to see our office and meet our staff, which can be very helpful in preparing for future visits.
- When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a "smear" of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a "pea-size" amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. (Recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry).
- What do I do if I have an emergency when your office is closed?
If you are a patient of record and are having a dental emergency please call our office and follow the emergency protocol outlined on our voicemail. Our voicemail will inform you of which doctor is on call and of the number where he/she can be reached.
- If I just want a cleaning, do I need to have x-rays taken?
Not if you have had an exam in our office within the last few months. However, an exam is required for all new patients. During the exam, x-rays are taken to help the doctor see between the teeth and to examine the bone. This allows the doctor to assess the overall health of the jaw and to detect early decay so the proper treatment can be recommended.
- What is TMJ?
Pain or dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint is commonly referred to as "TMJ", when in fact, TMJ is really the name of the joint, and Temporomandibular joint disorder (or dysfunction) is abbreviated TMD. This term is used to refer to a group of problems involving the TMJs and the muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and other tissues associated with them. Some practitioners might include the neck, the back and even the whole body in describing problems with the TMJs.
TMJ disorders can also cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you move your mouth or chew. If you have persistent pain or tenderness in your TMJ, if you have facial pain and experience clicking when you chew or move your jaw, or if you can’t open or close your jaw completely, seek medical attention. Our dentist or a TMJ specialist can discuss possible causes and treatment of TMJ disorders.
Here are some helpful links where you may find additional information about your oral health: