Kingston Dental has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions by customers. Browse below to find answers.
Q: What if I'm having a dental emergency?
A: Dental emergencies are never convenient or timely. At Kingston Dental we are committed to our patients' dental health no matter what time of the day or night it is. If you are a current patient or a new patient, and have a dental emergency after regular office hours, please call (206) 419-7223 and you will be connected to Dr. Couch personally.
Q: Do you accept my dental insurance?
A: We accept a number of dental insurance plans. Your dental insurance is a contract between your employer and a dental insurance company, not your provider, Kingston Dental. Dental insurance policies cover specific services and rarely cover 100% of the cost of treatment. As our goal is to provide you the best dental care possible, we will not compromise our treatment planning and services based on insurance coverage.
We recognize that dental insurance can be difficult to understand. Kingston Dental will work closely with you to maximize your insurance benefits. However, there are literally hundreds of plans, unique to each individual. It is impossible for us to know the details of every individual's plan. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with your insurance plan and remember that your oral health and well-being will require your personal investment.
Q: What is Kingston Dental's cancellation policy?
A: We appreciate and understand that emergencies and unexpected events happen that may require last minute scheduling changes. Please notify our office as soon you are able. There is a $75 charge for missed or cancelled appointments with less than 24 hours notice.
Q: What is Kingston Dental's payment and fee policy?
A: Payment, or your insurance copayment, is due at the time of service. We reserve the right to require a deposit in advance in order to reserve your appointment for a particularly lengthy treatment. As a courtesy, we file your insurance claims at no cost to you. Remember, even if you have dental insurance, you are ultimately responsible for any balance owing for your treatment.
Q: Which type of toothbrush should I use?
A: In general, a soft toothbrush with a small head is recommended because medium and hard brushes tend to cause irritation and contribute to recession of the gums, and a small head allows you to get around each tooth more completely and is less likely to injure your gums. It's unnecessary to "scrub" the teeth as long as you are brushing at least twice a day and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. We do highly recommend Sonicare brand electric toothbrushes to all our patients.
Q: Is one tooth paste better than others?
A: Generally, no. However, it's advisable to use a fluoride containing toothpaste to decrease the incidence of dental decay. We recommend our patients use what tastes good to them as long as it contains fluoride. We also recommend against the use of "whitening" toothpastes because they are much more abrasive than the regular or "non-whitening" pastes.
Q: How often should I floss?
A: Flossing of the teeth once per day helps to clean between the teeth where your toothbrush can't reach. Flossing also helps to keep your gums healthy.
Q: Why do I need to have x-rays taken?
A: Dental x-rays allow the dentist to see potential problems that are hidden to the naked eye and cannot be see in a routine clinical exam. Most people can have x-rays updated annually without running the risk of missing something while it is still treatable. People that are at high risk for tooth decay should have x-rays updated every 6 months until the risk has been reduced. At Kingston Dental we use a digital x-ray sensor that allows us to reduce the amount of radiation needed to gather the information an x-ray provides by 50-70% over traditional x-rays.
Q: What's the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
A: These are restorations to repair a severely broken tooth by covering all or most of the tooth after removing old fillings, fractured tooth structure, and all decay. The restoration material is made of gold, porcelain, composites, or even stainless steel. Dentists refer to all of these restorations as "crowns". However, patients often refer to the tooth-colored ones as "caps" and the gold or stainless steel ones as "crowns".
Q: What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
A: Both bridges and partial dentures replace missing teeth. A bridge is permanently attached to abutment teeth or, in some cases, implants. A partial denture is attached by clasps to the teeth and is easily removed by the patient. Patients are usually more satisfied with bridges than with partial dentures.
Q: What about "silver" fillings versus "white" fillings?
A: Although the U.S. Public Health Service issued a report in 1993 stating there is no health reason not to use amalgam (silver fillings), more patients today are requesting "white" or tooth-colored composite fillings. We also prefer tooth-colored fillings because they "bond" to the tooth structure and therefore help strengthen a tooth weakened by decay. While fillings are also usually less sensitive to temperature, they also look better. However, "white" fillings cannot be used in every situation, and if a tooth is very badly broken-down, a crown will usually be necessary and provide better overall satisfaction for the patient.
Q: Do I need to have a root canal just because I have to have a crown?
A: No. While most teeth, which have had root canal treatments, do need crowns to strengthen the teeth and to return the teeth to normal form and function, not every tooth needing a crown also needs to have a root canal.