1. Do I need to arrive early for my first appointment?
Yes. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early to fill out any remaining patient forms if you have not done so online.
2. What should I do if I require premedication?
Please be sure to request a prescription prior to your appointment, or if you are unsure, contact us and we can help.
3. What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
Please bring the following items with you to your appointment:
- Dental Insurance Card (if applicable)
- Identification such as Driver’s License, Military ID or State ID
- Patient paperwork filled out online or arrive 15 minutes early to fill out in office.
4. How long will my first appointment last?
It varies, but please plan on 1 to 1.5 hours for the first visit.
5. Do you accept referrals?
We are happy to accept referrals from other dental offices, as well as from our patients regarding their family and friends. Your referrals are our best compliments!
6. Do you take my insurance?
We are in-network for Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Delta Dental, Humana and we process all claims through any PPOs. We also accept all major credit cards as well as third-party financing through Lending Point. We know the cost of dental care can be tough on family budgets, and this is why we place such an emphasis on preventive care dental appointments at our office. It might seem counterintuitive to visit the dentist when you aren’t experiencing any dental problems, but these routine preventive visits mean we can keep problems from developing.
For example, when a small cavity is discovered at a routine dental appointment, you may not even need a dental filling if it’s caught early enough. Contrast that with letting that tiny bit of decay grow into a larger area that lets bacteria get down into the tooth root. Suddenly, you have a painful tooth infection, and you might need a root canal to save your tooth. If you hadn’t skipped a preventive appointment, the need for a root canal could likely have been avoided.
Keep in mind that most dental insurance plans will cover most or all of the cost of your preventive exams twice a year.
7. What is a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.
8. What is a filling?
A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic.
9. What is gum disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting the dentist every six months will help prevent gingivitis and more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:
- Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Receding gum line
- Abscessed teeth
10. Why do I need x-rays? Are they safe?
X-rays are an invaluable tool that help our doctors see what’s happening internally in your mouth. We typically recommend that you have x-rays taken once per year because these images help detect dental issues such as tooth decay in its earliest stages that may not be found during an examination and long before you may be aware of it. They’re available for review immediately, so the doctor can discuss your needs and make recommendations much quicker. This allows you to be proactive about your oral health and take care of any problems before they become bigger and more costly issues.
At Ironwood Dental, we use digital x-rays, which actually emit 80% less radiation than traditional x-rays. In fact, you’re more likely to receive more radiation from a day spent rock climbing or hiking out in the Arizona sunlight than you would from dental x-rays. Digital x-rays are better for the environment as there are no longer harsh chemicals needed to develop them. It’s also easier to share the digital images with other pertinent providers or your insurance, if necessary. Digital x-rays are safe, and they help our patients have a more pleasant and exceptional experience and make educated decisions about their oral health.