Blankenship Dental Care | FAQ
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What is a dental cleaning?

Regular dental cleanings are a very important part of keeping your mouth and body healthy. They will clearly help minimize the risk of gum disease and cavities. Studies have suggested that poor oral health is related to heart disease, dementia, and can contribute to low birth weight babies, as well as complications with diabetes.

The cleaning process is typically done by a licensed dental hygienist and focuses on removing tartar (what we call calculus) from your teeth, both above and below where the gum meets the tooth.

In our office we will explain the work that is being done, how to improve your overall oral hygiene, and even follow up to help schedule your next appointment.

Do you offer cosmetic dental services?

We provide a full range of dental services from basic maintenance and restorative treatment to cosmetic procedures.

Some of these procedures include:

  • Tooth colored fillings
  • Tooth whitening
  • Veneers
  • Implants
  • Crowns & Bridges
Do I have to file my own insurance claim?

In our office we file all claims for established patients and only require appropriate co-pay & deductible at time of service. We will file to all insurance carriers, but are participants in no specific plans. We feel our fees are reasonable and it is unfair to alter those fees based solely on a plans whims.

Give us a call to find out more about this easy and efficient handling of insurance.

How do I become a new patient?

Call our office and speak with one of our receptionists. Your first appointment will be with the doctor for a complete new patient examination which will include checking your teeth for cavities, fractures, etc., evaluation of your periodontal (gum) health, and an oral cancer examination, all to determine your needs. Appointments for cleaning and/ or treatment will be made at this visit. X-rays will be made as appropriate. We typically make the small bitewing X-rays once every 18 months and the large panoramic X-ray or full mouth series about every 5 years. If you feel you have current X-rays at a previous dental office, please call them or us to make arrangements to have them forwarded to our office. A release form is sometimes required. At your first visit, you will be asked for payment in full. The receptionist will gladly give you an estimate when you call. We are happy to file your insurance for your reimbursement. After the first visit, you are only responsible for your co-pay and deductible, then we will bill for any balance due once the insurance pays.

How does teeth whitening work?

Natural teeth can be whitened quite nicely using a formulation of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The bleaching chemical is carried to the teeth usually with a custom fitted tray. There are over the counter products and products only available through a dentist. The essential part of bleaching is chemical strength and time. The stronger the chemical the shorter the time required to achieve good results, but the greater the risk to the patient. A milder chemical, usually delivered at night while the patient sleeps, is considered the standard of care and is very safe. Results vary as all teeth vary slightly from person to person. Just as one person tans quickly and deeply, another may only get red or burn, the same applies to teeth whitening. Bottom line, all teeth will improve in color, but the final results are not always predictable. Also, most research shows that systems for bleaching teeth using a “special light” are not significantly better than non-light systems. The light tends to be more for show than actual enhancement of the bleaching process.

What are "root canals?"

Every tooth has one or more “canals” inside of the roots, much as the ink tube in a pen. In a healthy tooth, these canals are filled with nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. When these tissues become damaged and infected, from decay or injury, the tooth becomes painful and is described as “abscessed”. The treatment described as a root canal involves a dentist creating a hole into this canal system, cleaning the canals all the way to the end of the root, and then sealing them with a special sealer. This process removes the infected materials from the tooth and allows the body to heal the infection. Usually, the tooth requires a crown to protect it from breakage. Once completed properly, root canal treated teeth hold up well and usually provide years of service.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are basically artificial “roots”. Once placed into the jawbone and healed, they can be used to carry crowns or bridgework or they can be used to hold a full or partial denture more securely in place. Typically, the implants are placed by a surgical dentist and restored by a general dentist or prosthodontic specialist. Working time for implants tends to be 4-6 months for lower teeth, and 6-8 months for upper. Implant dentistry tends to be quite expensive due to the components and procedures involved, but they give us the ability to replace missing teeth in ways that would be impossible otherwise. Implants come in standard sizes that are more nearly the size of the actual tooth roots or in mini sizes that are much smaller, but at present have much more limited applications.

What kind of "fillings" do you use?

Our practice makes every effort to restore teeth to their original beauty and usually this involves the use of a tooth colored material which is a good product for most situations. However, some exceptionally large cavities do require the use of a metal filling material or a full crown. The bottom line is that we have a wide range of materials to restore a tooth. Your needs and wishes, along with our recommendations will always be considered.

Would you like to schedule an appointment?

If so, please call Amy or Kim at (919) 563-4300

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