At Palmerston Dental, we are committed to educate our patients on oral health conditions, dental procedures, and proper oral hygiene techniques. We believe that education is the key to a productive and successful patient/dental office relationship. Our professional team is readily available to assist you with any questions or concerns. Listed below, for your reference and to help our patients in their everyday dental care, is a list of commonly asked questions:

Q: Do you accept dental insurance?

A: We do! Every insurance carrier is different, but we will do our best to help you by submitting your dental claim for you, either online or by mail. We accept direct payments from insurance companies, in which you will be responsible to pay any remaining portion of the bill. Some insurances pay the patient directly, in which case you will pay the full portion of the bill and be reimbursed directly. As all dental benefit plans and insurance companies vary, we promise to do our best to help you with the complications of dental claim submissions.  

Q: What if I don't have dental insurance?

A: We understand that even basic treatment dental costs can be overwhelming without the help of dental insurance but we believe that dental treatment should not be neglected because cost is a concern. We work with our patients to come up with affordable treatment plans and convenient financial and payment options so that even the most advanced dentistry treatments are within the reach of each of our patients. 

Q: What causes a toothache?

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Q: Are bleeding gums a sign of a problem?

A: Bleeding after brushing and flossing can be unsettling. It can also be a sign of an otherwise mostly silent disease - periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a leading cause of tooth loss. It is a build-up of bacteria from plaque and tartar that can inflame or infect gum and bone. 

Periodontal disease causes deep pockets to form in tissue between the gums and teeth. This can give the appearance of puffy or receding gums. During dental exams, we routinely examine your gums. There are a number of treatments for bleeding gums and periodontal disease, including removing plaque and tartar below the gum line. These treatments, performed in a dental office, are called scaling and root planing. They allow the gum to heal and become healthy again. We recommend daily brushing and flossing as well as regular checkups and cleanings to help prevent periodontal disease.

Q: Do I really have to go to the dentist every six months? Do I need x-rays at each visit?

A: How often you go for a dental exams depends on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a dental exam every six 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 tartar builds up on your teeth, and so on.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I floss every day?

  • Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist's instructions on how to brush properly?

  • Do I eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods?

  • Do I smoke?

  • Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?

  • Is my overall health good?

The answers to these questions are all factors that affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for dental exams. It's worth noting that you should not determine your need for dental care on what your dental plan covers. 

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Q: Do I need x-rays at each visit?

A: How often you need to have x-rays also depends on your oral health. A healthy adult who has not had cavities or other problems for a couple of years probably won't need x-rays at every appointment. If your dental situation is less stable and your dentist is monitoring your progress, you may require more frequent x-rays.

If you are not sure why a particular x-ray is being taken, ask your dentist. Remember that dental x-rays deliver very little radiation; they are a vital tool for your dentist to ensure that small problems don't develop into bigger ones. (click here to find out more)

Q: How Do I Care for My Child's Baby Teeth?

A: Though you lose them early in life, your primary teeth, also called baby teeth, are essential in the development and placement of your permanent teeth. Primary teeth maintain the spaces where permanent teeth will erupt and help develop proper speech patterns that would otherwise be difficult; without maintenance of these spaces, crowding and misalignment can occur, resulting in more complicated treatment later. Baby teeth also are primers for teaching your child good oral care habits. It is important to take care of your child's primary teeth. Even though primary teeth last only a few years, decay, cavities and infection can take its toll and may require expensive treatment to repair. (Click here to find out more)