Frequently Asked Questions

Why are checkups recommended every six months, even for people with great oral health?

We use DIAGNOdent laser cavity detection to find cavities in the earliest stages, and often that means that you do not see or feel them. Early detection allows us to provide the most conservative treatment, which saves you time, expense, and possible discomfort. We also use the ViziLite to screen for oral cancer, a disease that will affect more than 30-thousand Americans this year. Oral cancer is deadly, but early detection offers an 80-percent cure rate. Gum disease is another problem that we try to catch early. It has been linked to stroke, heart attack, osteoporosis, and other health risks, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.

Do I need X-rays?

Because we use a digital system, our patients are exposed to about 80-percent less radiation than with a traditional radiograph. X-rays and intra oral photographs help us track your oral health and address problems early, when conservative dentistry can correct most issues. If you have not had a checkup and X-rays in a while, call us for an appointment.

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My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?

Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from the patient brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to stop the disease and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!

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Do you refer patients to specialists?

While we are trained and equipped to handle many dental issues in our office, when a specialist would better serve you, we will refer. Some dental specialists are oral surgeons, periodontists (supporting structures), endodontists (internal tooth problems), orthodontists (for moving teeth), and pedodontists (for children). We refer to only trusted professionals with whom we have a good rapport.

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My smile is missing teeth. What do you suggest I do?

You will need to first schedule a consultation with the dentist. He can assess your oral health and discuss options for replacement teeth. In general, you can choose from crown and bridgework, partial or full dentures, or dental implants. As the most natural prosthetic to natural tooth structure, a dental implant offers long-lasting, comfortable, natural-looking choice. Dr. Palmer works with a specialist for implant placement surgery, then will create lifelike crowns, bridges, partials, or dentures to attach to the implant posts.

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What do you do to protect patients against cross-contamination and bacteria?

Our team takes great pride in advanced sterilization procedures. Hand pieces and instruments are sterilized after every use. Barrier techniques for equipment are used whenever possible, and all surfaces are scrubbed and disinfected between patients. Our chairside personnel also practice barrier techniques with jackets, gloves, masks, and eye coverings. We assure you that every precaution is taken to avoid cross-contamination between patients. We adhere to guidelines established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Center for Disease Control.

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