Q: What can I expect from my first appointment?
A: During your first appointment, your overall dental and oral health will be assessed with a comprehensive oral evaluation. Upon completion of your medical/dental health form, we will ask you to tell us your goals for your smile, teeth, and gums. Digital photos and X-rays will be taken of your teeth to identify areas of decay, cracked teeth, and malfunctioning restorations. Our goal is to preserve as much of your teeth as possible by catching decay in its earliest stages. We will also assess your gums and will recommend the appropriate hygiene treatment for you.
Q: Do you accept new patient referrals?
A: Yes, most definitely! Over the years, patients have given us the compliment of referring family and friends to our practice. Our reputation for excellent dental care depends upon two things; our good work and your beautiful smile. Your confidence in our care motivates us to continue to strive for excellence.
Thank you for your referrals. Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.
Q: I know I need X-rays, but I prefer not to be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-rays?
A: Yes, we do offer digital X-rays (radiographs). Digital X-rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film-based X-rays. You will find that in our dental practice, we research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety, and comfort.
Q: I have heard that existing silver/metal fillings may be harmful. Should I have these fillings replaced?
A: It depends on the condition of your existing fillings. Cooper Moss Advanced Dentistry has not used amalgam fillings in over 20 years because we believe that tooth-colored resin composite materials are a superior option. We recommend that silver amalgam fillings be replaced when there is evidence of decay or structural breakdown of the filling or tooth, or when the patient desires replacement for cosmetic reasons. A consultation with one of our dentists can help you make this decision.
Q: I really don’t like visiting the dentist; is there anything you can do to help me relax?
A: Many people are uncomfortable with visiting the dentist. At Cooper Moss, your comfort is our highest priority, and our office is designed so that you can enjoy a relaxing dental visit. For entertainment and distraction, stereo headphones with music or cable television and movies are available so you can keep your mind on more pleasant things. Nitrous oxide is offered to keep you comfortable and relaxed. Our trained staff is also able to offer oral conscious sedation for patients who need additional help to completely relax during their appointment or who want to complete extensive cosmetic or restorative treatment in a single appointment.
Q: What is oral conscious sedation, and is it right for me?
A: Oral conscious sedation refers to a light sedation method that is achieved by taking oral medications in contrast to achieving deeper sedation either intravenously or by injection.
Generally, the level of sedation achieved is enough to significantly reduce anxiety so that even the most fearful patients are able to undergo extensive dental procedures without feeling deep worry or concern. The medications cause significant sedation although they are not as strong as general anesthesia. With oral conscious sedation, patients are conscious and can answer questions or respond to commands. A benefit of these medications is that they create an amnesic effect, so people are unlikely to remember much about the time period in which they were sedated. As they gradually recover full consciousness, it may seem like very little time has passed.
When people undergo dental treatment with oral conscious sedation, they cannot drive and need someone else to take them to and from the dental office. If significant dental anxiety has caused you to delay needed dental procedures, please contact our office, and schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooper to discuss whether or not oral conscious sedation may be right for you.
Q: I brush every day, but my breath is just not fresh. Is there anything else I can do?
A: Millions of people struggle with halitosis (bad breath) despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing; daily flossing and tongue cleaning; regular professional cleanings; and, careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and if the problem persists, we can offer several other solutions.
First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue, significantly alleviating odor. Or, we can recommend a specially-prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to actually breakdown the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may suspect a systemic or internal problem, such as an infection or some other underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or a specialist to identify the cause.
Q: Sometimes when I chew I get a sharp pain. What can I do to correct this?
A: Most dental pain brought on by chewing is caused by a fracture, or crack, in the tooth. The pain can be corrected by placing an inlay/onlay, a porcelain crown, or with more advanced treatment. You want to correct the pain as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to the tooth and to hopefully avoid tooth loss. Contact us today to schedule a visit.
Q: I just want my smile to look good. What are some options to help the appearance of my smile?
A: You are not alone. Most people want to have a nice smile because it is one of the first things others notice about you. You may be interested in a few minor adjustments, or you may have concerns that require more attention. Some smiles can be enhanced with simple whitening or bonding treatments. Other smiles need porcelain veneers, crowns, or bridges; gum contouring; minor orthodontics; periodontal therapy; or, a combination of all these techniques. Our dentists will suggest a treatment plan for you based on your goals, on your areas of concern, and on the overall condition of your oral health. Contact us for an evaluation of your smile to determine what course of action will produce the best solution for you.
Q: I want my front teeth to look better, but I don’t want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
A: Cooper Moss Advanced Dentistry has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of unsightly braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping may be sufficient. Other situations may be helped by the use of porcelain veneers and/or crowns to give them a bright and uniform look.
We also have over ten years of experience with the Invisalign® system which allows our adult patients to gain straight teeth without the traditional braces experience. We would be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation.
Q: I want my teeth to be whiter. What do you recommend?
A: Dentist-directed, at-home whitening is an effective procedure for brightening your smile.
An at-home whitening kit involves a special tray that comfortably fits over your teeth. The tray includes a prescription whitening gel which whitens your teeth as you wear the tray. One of our clinical team members will give you detailed instructions about how long you should wear the tray each day. You should expect the entire home whitening process to take between two and four weeks, leaving you with a brighter and more attractive smile.
Q: What is a crown, and why do I need one?
A: When a significant portion of a natural tooth has either broken off or requires removal because of decay, a filling is not strong enough to reliably restore the tooth. In these situations, a crown will commonly be recommended.
A crown is a dental restoration that covers the remaining portion of the tooth, providing strength and replacing natural function. Cooper Moss Advanced Dentistry fabricates precision-milled porcelain crowns and partial crowns in our office utilizing the CEREC system. In some cases, we partner with outstanding local dental laboratories for fabrication. All crowns are customized for each application, giving you a natural, long lasting smile.
Q: How can porcelain veneers help my smile?
A: Porcelain veneers improve your smile by correcting a multitude of cosmetic concerns, including: gaps in teeth; chipped and broken teeth; dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means; “gummy smiles” (showing too much gum when one smiles); and, crooked teeth.
Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten, and beautify most any smile. This procedure can be done in as little as two clinical visits. Many of our patients feel like this was the best improvement they could have had done for their overall confidence. Ask us at your next visit how porcelain veneers can improve your smile, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Why do I need to worry about replacing a missing back tooth?
A: There are both cosmetic and functional reasons that support replacing a missing back tooth. Your smile suffers from a lost back tooth because it appears smaller and narrower than it was before. The corners of the mouth appear darker, and your smile loses its impact.
Chewing function is also reduced by the loss of even one back tooth. When you are missing a back tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or in the need for more restorations.
Q: What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?
A: By replacing missing teeth either with a bridge or with an implant, you will alleviate the problems associated with a lost tooth and will restore your smile to its beautiful, full appearance.
A bridge is one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, your dentist at Cooper Moss Advanced Dentistry will place a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile.
A dental implant is often an even better solution. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural-looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can not only replace a single tooth, but also an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures.
Q: My teeth keep chipping and cracking. What causes this, and what can I do about it?
A: Many people notice chipped or cracked teeth but don’t remember when the injury occurred. Often, the damage occurred while they were sleeping. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night will cause your teeth to chip, crack, and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a nightguard. A custom-fitted nightguard protects your teeth from grinding and clenching in your sleep. At Cooper Moss Advanced Dentistry, we take great care to make sure you have a proper fit to prevent pain in your jaw joint.
Do you also suffer from headaches? You may find that a side benefit of your nightguard is headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night, caused by the extreme pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth. Ask us about having a nightguard custom created just for you.
Q: My gums bleed; why is this?
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions; however, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.
Periodontitis affects your gums, bone, and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive treatment from a hygiene team member or even from a periodontal specialist. If left untreated, periodontitis ultimately results in tooth loss. If periodontitis is not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.
Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?
A: Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and in adults. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. When your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in either toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength, fluoride varnish, gel, or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Q: How do sealants protect teeth?
A: A sealant is a bonded resin that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of premolars and molars (back teeth). This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the enamel from plaque and acids and guarding against disease-causing bacteria. This process is particularly helpful in children when the permanent molars and pre-molars have first erupted and are most susceptible to tooth decay. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Q: I want and need a lot of dental work, but I’m afraid I can’t afford it. Do you offer monthly payment plans?
A: Yes, we offer short-term, monthly payment plans with our office, and longer term payment plans through our financial partner, CareCredit®. We provide a variety of ways for you to pay for your treatment so that it comfortably fits into your personal or family financial situation. One of our business team members will work with you to create a solution that enables you to have the beautiful, healthy smile you have always desired.
Q: I want cosmetic dentistry. Does my insurance pay for it?
A: Dental insurance is designed to assist you in paying for your dentistry. However, most procedures are not fully covered by your insurance. Strictly cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is not covered by most dental insurance plans. To help you afford your smile, we offer a variety of payment options, in addition to a monthly payment plan provided by our financial partner, CareCredit®. We also pay special attention to maximizing the benefits that your insurance does provide. Ask one of the members of our business team how you can comfortably afford your dentistry and maximize your dental insurance benefits.
Q: What different payment options do you provide?
A: Helping to make your dental care financially comfortable and affordable is important, and we proudly offer a variety of options:
- Cash or personal checks
- 5% cash discount for advanced payment of your entire treatment plan
- VISA or MasterCard
- Three-, four-, or six-month, no-interest, monthly payment plans, as well as low-interest and extended payment plans through CareCredit.
We are also happy to estimate fees and insurance reimbursement before starting recommended treatments and will gladly file insurance forms for you.
Optimal, comprehensive dentistry is what we practice, and we do not base our treatment on what insurance will or will not pay. We base our treatment on what is best for you, and any treatment not paid by insurance is your financial responsibility.