Frequently Asked Questions

Tooth Cross SectionBelow is an archive of dental questions and answers arranged into categories. If you can’t find the question you are looking for, try the search below, or use the “Ask a Question” at the very bottom. We will do our best to get an answer to you right away.

General Questions

Do you treat children?

At Scheumann Dental Associates, both Dr. Gary Scheumann and Dr. Jessica Pickard welcome patients of all ages!

Are you accepting new patients?

Absolutely!  As a new patient at Scheumann Dental Associates, your first appointment will include a comprehensive exam, x-rays and a consultation. We will answer all your questions, as well as go over your suggested treatment plan, fee estimates and flexible financing options and will assist you in scheduling any future appointments.  We pledge to do our best to meet your dental needs with quality care in a pleasant and comfortable environment.

What payment methods do you accept, and what are your financing options?

Now there are many ways to make a better smile affordable.  We accept most major credit cards, including Visa, Master Card, and Discover.  For larger amounts, no interest financial arrangements are available through one of our Financial Coordinators.

We also offer Lending Club payment plans and Care Credit and Citi Health Card, healthcare credit cards specifically designed to allow convenient monthly payment options for treatments you want and need.  To learn more about Lending Club, call 1-800-630-1663, for Care Credit, call 1-800-839-9078, for Citi Health Card, call 1-866-832-8762, or click on the logos below to be directed to the corresponding websites.

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Do you accept my insurance?

We accept all traditional plans for dental insurance (and selected in network plans) and are Delta Dental Premier Providers.  We will be happy to process your claim for you upon receipt of your estimated copayment. We will file an insurance claim to any insurance company.  Typically, most insurance companies allow you to see any dentist you prefer.  Some plans may require you to visit a participating provider.

What is sedation dentistry?

Ever drive to a dental office just to turn around in the parking lot and return home due to fear and anxiety? Then sedation dentistry is for you! By definition, conscious sedation is produced by the administration of certain medications and is an altered level of consciousness that still allows the patient to respond to physical stimuli and verbal commands and to maintain an unassisted airway. It allows for an anxiety free appointment. The patient is continually monitored during the appointment. We are more than happy to discuss this option for you and prepare a personalized treatment plan for you.

What is Invisalign and how does it work?

Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth while improving your overall dental health. Invisalign is an alternative option to the traditional metal braces and uses invisible aligners to help straighten your teeth without involving any metal. Treatment usually averages 6-18 months and the average aligner is worn for 2 weeks before switching to a new set. Each case is personalized to fit your goals and needs and can differ from the average. Schedule your appointment today to see if you are a candidate!

Hygiene

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

Our office follows guidelines based on periodontal/gum health, oral hygiene, and decay history.  If you know that your teeth, gums and bone are healthy, we recommend you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice per year.  The examination should include an overall oral health screening to check for oral cancer and signs of other systemic diseases whose symptoms first appear in the mouth.   If you have periodontal or gum disease, more frequent maintenance cleaning appointments may be necessary to maintain your overall oral health and keep the disease under control.  Frequency may also be based upon your history of cavities or quality of oral hygiene.  It is important to diagnose decay at the incipient stage, before it breaks through the enamel. Therefore, by having regular dental cleanings, examinations, and fluoride treatments we can attempt to break this cycle.

As an adult, how does fluoride benefits benefit my oral health?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is used to help prevent tooth decay.  Tooth decay occurs when bacteria and sugars, present in the mouth, form acids that erode the tooth’s protective enamel.  Fluoride helps to re-mineralize the enamel by bonding materials to the weakened areas.  In-office fluoride treatments are inexpensive, easily applied, and very beneficial for adult patients.  The fluoride varnish is painted on the teeth after a professional cleaning to prevent cavities and reduce sensitivity.  Patients that benefit from this simple treatment include:  frequent snackers and sippers, patients with orthodontic appliances, crowns and bridges, a history of cavities, root exposure or a dry mouth.

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a gingival infection that affects the gum tissue and bone that support your teeth.  Bacteria on and between the teeth, and under the gum tissue attack the gingiva causing irritation, this is called gingivitis.  Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease.  Gingivitis is reversible with proper hygiene, including correct brushing twice a day, daily flossing, and maintenance cleanings.  If gingivitis is not reversed, the bacteria begin to affect the bone, breaking down the tooth support system.

Treating Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can be treated in office with a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing.  Deposits are removed deep under the gingiva to help improve the health of the bone and gingiva.  Continued good home care and frequent maintenance cleanings (every 3-4 months) are important to maintain good oral health.

Replacements (Implants)

What are implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored to the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. One of the major benefits of implants is that they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support and they are permanent and stable. Implants are a good solution to tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth.

What are implants made of?

Implant material is made from different types of metallic and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with the body tissues. Most implants are made of titanium, which bonds well with bone and is biocompatible, making it an ideal material for implants.

How are implants placed?

First, a general dentist, oral surgeon, or other specialist will perform surgery to place the implant's anchor in the jaw. The surgery can last several hours, and it may take as long as six months for the jaw bone to grow around the anchor to hold it firmly in place. Once the implant is stable and the gums have healed, the dentist or specialist makes the artificial teeth and fits them to the post portion of the anchor. Your dentist will work with you to create an implant that fits well and is comfortable and attractive.

Who places the implants?

Depending upon their training, general dentists, oral surgeons, or other specialists can place implants.

Who should get implants?

Implants are not an option for everyone. Because implants require surgery, patients must be in good health, have healthy gums, and have adequate bone structure to support the implants. While lack of adequate bone support is a limitation, additional procedures may be available to create a good implant site. People who are unable to wear dentures also may be good candidates . The success rate for implants decreases dramatically among those who suffer from chronic problems, such as clenching or bruxism, or systemic diseases, such as diabetes. Additionally, people who smoke or drink alcohol may not be good candidates. For more information, talk to your dentist.

What is the difference between implants and dentures?

While implants are permanently fixed in the mouth, dentures are removable. A conventional removable full denture depends upon support from the bone and soft tissues rather than being solidly fixed in place; as a result, dentures may not offer as much stability as implants.

How do I care for implants?

Poor oral hygiene is a main reason why some implants fail. It is important to floss and brush around implants at least twice a day. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your new implants. Additional dental cleanings (up to four times per year) may be necessary to ensure that you retain healthy gums.

How will I adjust to implants?

Most people adjust to implants immediately; however, some people feel slight discomfort and notice differences in chewing or speech for a short time. Patients will soon see a difference in their confidence level and enjoy their new smile.

Teen Oral Health

Should I limit drinking soda?

YES! Whether at school, home or on the weekends, teens are drinking more soda than they have in the past. In 1977, 12 to 19-year-olds drank 16 ounces of soda a day. In 1996, this same age group consumed an average of 28 ounces a day. Not only is sugar harmful to teeth, acidic flavor additives can also erode and damage tooth enamel. There are simple ways you can limit the harmful effects of sodas. Try sipping soda through a straw. It cuts down on the contact the beverage has with your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda. It can also reduce the risk of cavities.

Why should I avoid oral piercings?

Tongue piercing remains a teen trend, however it is not always a healthy choice for your mouth. People chip teeth on tongue piercings while eating, sleeping, talking and chewing on the jewelry. Tongue piercing commonly causes fractured teeth. The fracture can be confined to tooth enamel and require a filling, or it may go deeper, in which case, can cause a need for a root canal or extraction.

Infections are also common with oral piercings, and they cause more than pain. A tongue can swell after being punctured, however in some cases the tongue becomes infected and swells so much that it may cut off breathing. Unclean piercing equipment can cause other infections, such as blood-borne hepatitis.

Why should I make time for healthy habits?

Quick meals in the form of "nutrition" bars and fast food help keep you alert and on schedule between school, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs. However, today's fast-paced lifestyle threatens to leave the teen generation with permanent damage to oral and overall health. You can keep travel-size brushes in lockers or back packs. Chewing sugarless gum with xylitol after meals or snacks can also help cleanse your mouth. Drinking water throughout the day can help clean your teeth of excess bacteria and food debris.

 

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