For Patients

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about our dentistry?

Our billing and insurance experts take care of all the paperwork giving you one less thing to worry about!  We accept most major dental insurance plans and all major credit cards.

All of our dental offices are handicap accessible and our pediatric dentists have extensive experience treating patients with disabilities. We recommend these links for more information:

YES!  We offer Outpatient General Anesthesia at our new Malvern, PA Surgi-Center and at Mercy Suburban Hospital in Norristown, PA. 

 

Dental radiographs (x-rays) are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Dental x-rays may reveal:

  • Abscesses or cysts.
  • Bone loss.
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
  • Decay between the teeth.
  • Developmental abnormalities.
  • Poor tooth and root positions.
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.

Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage can save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. The amount of radiation exposure from a full mouth series of x-rays is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.

Dental x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered safe. Dentists take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation when taking dental x-rays. These precautions include using lead apron shields to protect the body and using modern, fast film that cuts down the exposure time of each x-ray.

The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based on the review of your medical and dental history, dental exam, signs and symptoms, age consideration, and risk for disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

We're Here When You Need Us...
Dental emergencies are a part of our practice. You should never hesitate to call us when you’re in pain. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day and a dentist is always on call. We schedule emergencies as best we can while taking into account our regularly scheduled patients.

Common Injuries and What You Should Do:
Injuries to the mouth may include teeth that are knocked out, forced out of position or broken. Sometimes lips, gums or cheeks have cuts. Oral injuries are often painful, and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.

When a tooth is knocked out you should:

  • Immediately call us for an emergency appointment.
  • Attempt to find the tooth.
  • Gently rinse, but do not scrub the tooth to remove dirt or debris.
  • Place the clean tooth in your mouth between the cheek and gum.
  • Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket. This could cause further damage.
  • Get to the dentist as soon as possible. If it is within a half hour of the injury, it may be possible to re-implant the tooth.
  • If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, (e.g. young child) wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse in milk.
  • If the tooth is pushed out of place (inward or outward), it should be repositioned to its normal alignment with very light finger pressure. Do not force the tooth into the socket. Hold the tooth in place with a moist tissue or gauze. Again, it is vital that the injured individual be seen by a dentist within 30 minutes.

Minor Fracture
Minor fractures can be smoothed by your dentist with a sandpaper disc or simply left alone. Another option is to restore the tooth with a composite restoration. In either case, you should treat the tooth with care for several days.

Fracture Moderate

Moderate fractures include damage to the enamel, dentin, and/or pulp. If the pulp is not permanently damaged, the tooth may be restored with a full permanent crown. If pulpal damage does occur further dental treatment will be required.

Severe Fracture

Severe fractures often mean a traumatized tooth with a slim chance of recovery.

Injuries to the Soft Tissues of the Mouth

Injuries to the inside of the mouth include tears, puncture wounds and lacerations to the cheek, lips or tongue. The wound should be cleaned right away and the injured person taken to the emergency room for the necessary suturing and wound repair.

Bleeding from a tongue laceration can be reduced by pulling the tongue forward and using gauze to place pressure on the wound area.

Pediatric Dental or Orthodontic EMERGENCIES
Call the office where your child is normally seen or the office closest to you if a non-patient:

Montgomery County & Mainline
Upper Merion Dental Assoc.
(610) 337-2325

Delaware County & Mainline
Broomall Pediatric & Orthodontics
(610) 356-1454

Bucks & Montgomery Counties
Highpoint Pediatric Dental Assoc.
(215) 822-4042

Bethlehem Pediatric Dental Assoc.
(610) 954-4042

Allentown Pediatric Dental Assoc.
(610) 433-2357

Adult Dental EMERGENCIES
Upper Merion Dental Associates
(610) 337-2325

Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Read more about the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease and Causes of Periodontal Gum Disease.

What to Expect: At your initial appointment, the doctor will review your medical and dental history and give you a complete oral and periodontal exam. He will look for any gum line recession, loose teeth and assess your bite. A small measuring instrument will be placed between your teeth and gums to determine the depth of periodontal pockets. X-rays may be taken to check for possible bone loss.

The doctor will recommend the least invasive and most cost-effective treatment for your diagnosis. Many patients benefit from non-surgical periodontal treatment, such as scaling and root planing (a careful cleaning of the root surfaces and deep periodontal pockets). Periodontal surgery may be necessary for severe cases.

  • gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing or flossing
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath
  • pus between the teeth and gums
  • loose or separating teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

The main cause of periodontal (gum) disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth.

The following factors may also affect the health of your gums:

Smoking/Tobacco Use: Tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease. Tobacco users are also at increased risk for periodontal disease. Recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.

Genetics: Research proves that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease. Identifying these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of the disease and getting them into early treatment may help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Hormones: Hormonal changes in women occurring from puberty, pregnancy and menopause may affect many of the tissues in your body, including your gums. Your gums may become sensitive, and at times react strongly to the hormonal fluctuations. This may make you more susceptible to gum disease. Recent studies suggest that pregnant women with gum disease are seven times more likely to deliver pre-term, low birth weight babies.

Stress: Stress is linked to many serious conditions including hypertension, cancer and numerous other health problems. Stress also is a risk factor for periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.

Medications: Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. Please inform your dental care provider if you are taking any prescription drugs or over the counter medicine regularly.

Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth: Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which these periodontal tissues are destroyed.

Diabetes: If you are diabetic, you are at higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal diseases. These infections can impair the ability to process and/or utilize insulin, which may cause your diabetes to be more difficult to control and your infection to be more severe than a non-diabetic.

Poor Nutrition: A diet low in important nutrients can compromise the body's immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infection. Because periodontal disease is a serious infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums.

Tip of the day

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help rinse harmful acid off your teeth to help you preserve tooth enamel. Research indicates that xylitol most likely inhibits the growth of oral bacteria that cause cavities.

Read more tips

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CHILDREN'S DENTISTRY

Visit our Children's Dentistry website to meet our dentists, view our services, and learn more about our patient information.

Children's Dentistry