Before Treatment Begins
As you consider having extensive dental treatment, it may be beneficial for you to review the following points:
- Time Commitment. Because of the nature of dental appointments, it may be necessary for you to take some time off work. A few longer appointments are generally more efficient and less inconvenient than many short appointments. This will minimize your time in the office. Once the treatment has begun, it needs to be completed in a timely fashion. If treatment is delayed or missed, it could change the proposed treatment plan.
- Dentistry is both an art and a science. In complicated and technically difficult cases, and because of our high standards, it may prove necessary to redo a portion or go back and retake impressions or remake crowns, etc.
- Make certain you are aware of what treatment is required and the goals of treatment. If you do not understand why we have made a particular recommendation or treatment sequence, or the length of treatment required, please ask us for clarification before treatment begins. It is possible that previously undetected dental problems will be discovered once tooth preparation has begun. When this occurs after the treatment plan has been developed, you will be immediately informed.
- You should be comfortable with all financial arrangements before any treatment is begun. Pre-estimates sent to insurance carriers can help approximate your out-of-pocket costs. Establish your dental budget. This will determine how much and how quickly treatment can proceed. Understand that you, and not your insurance carrier, are ultimately responsible for the total cost of treatment. If you would like to have more treatment than you can easily afford at one time, the dental procedures can be done in phases over months or years. This will also allow you to use your insurance benefits to the maximum permitted. Payment is expected as work is completed.
- Thorough oral self-care is very important, both at the beginning of treatment and afterward. The better your oral health is, the easier the restoration process will be.
- While dental restorations function well for years of service, nothing lasts forever. Not us, not dental restorations. We use the best available dental materials and techniques, but the reality is that some restorations simply last longer than others. With today’s longer life span, the restoration might even wear out! The better you maintain your dental restorations, the longer they will last. Just as with anything else, proper maintenance is required.
- Before beginning treatment, understand clearly what will be required of you for daily oral self-care, your periodic professional dental hygiene re-care appointments, and the limitations of the restorations and dental prostheses you will receive. This means that you must brush and floss your teeth as instructed every day.
- Dental restorations are subject to the same physical abuse as natural teeth. Whatever oral habits will break a natural, undrilled, undamaged tooth⎯such as chewing ice, biting fingernails, hard objects etc.⎯will probably be able to break a restoration as well. Expansion and contraction for hot liquids and cold foods can cause damage, as can the wet, dark, bacteria-filled oral environment of the oval cavity.
- If you have ever considered whitening your teeth, the time to do it is before dental restorations are placed in teeth that are visible when you talk or smile. If you are interested in tooth whitening, ask us now!
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