We have created a list of frequently asked questions and answers for your convenience. Select the frequently asked question from the list below to see the answer:

General Dentistry | Cosmetic Dentistry | Restorative Dentistry | Teeth Whitening | Periodontal Disease | Orthodontics | Fear of Dentistry | Trust | Regular Exams and Screenings | Financing & Insurance

General Dentistry


Q: How do I know if I need my wisdom teeth pulled?


A: Located at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are the “third” molars at both ends of the top and bottom row of teeth. In some cases, the teeth grow without any problems and do not need to be removed.

However, if your wisdom teeth are impacted in your jaw or gumline, they will have to be removed. As they grow beneath the gumline in an angled or horizontal direction, they can cause the normal, healthy teeth to shift. Wisdom teeth that are unable to “erupt” above the gumline can lead to inflammation and infection. In the case of a partial eruption, a pocket often forms under the gumline, which can lead to cysts or tumors.

If left untreated, wisdom teeth cause permanent damage, including cavities, nerve damage, gum infection, bone infection, and a weakening of the jaw.

Q: What procedures do you offer in your office?


A: We offer comprehensive dental services for your convenience and continuity of care. Basically, we offer anything you may need for the health and appearance of your entire family’s smiles, all under one roof.


Cosmetic Dentistry


Q: I watch Extreme Makeover. Can your office do the same kind of total smile makeovers on me that I see on TV?


A: Yes! Through the art and science of complete dentistry, we can transform the appearance and enhance the health and comfort of your smile. Best yet, you can have your new smile in as little as two to three comfortable visits. A smile makeover can do much more than improve your smile. It can also increase your confidence and self-esteem, take years off of your appearance and even help you feel better physically.

Q: I hate my dark fillings. What can I do?


A: Dark fillings, also called silver mercury or metal amalgams, not only detract from the appearance of your smile, they may also cause damage to your teeth.

The metal fillings in your teeth act much like metal does outside the teeth. The react to changes in temperature. Exposed to heat, they expand. Exposed to cold, they contract. As they expand and contract, they can actually weaken and crack the teeth they were meant to protect.

This movement also creates a small opening where harmful bacteria can enter and become trapped, leading to further decay of the tooth. Rarely does our team remove silver fillings without finding additional decay underneath.

At Jackson Creek Dental Group, we offer natural-looking composite resin and porcelain inlay and onlays for the safe, strong and attractive restoration of your teeth. These alternatives not only strengthen your tooth and last for years, they virtually disappear in your smile!

Q: My teeth are worn and chipped. Can you make them look better?


A: From composite bonding to porcelain veneers, we offer a variety of options to restore your teeth to a natural, attractive and healthy appearance.

Q: What is involved in veneering a tooth and how long will it last?


A: Porcelain veneers are thin shells of fired porcelain that are placed on the front surfaces of the teeth. Offering a natural look and feel, veneers dramatically change the length, width, color and shape of a tooth.

Versatile and strong, porcelain veneers are used for a variety of smile enhancements, from complete smile makeovers to repairing a chipped tooth. Restoring teeth to their natural beauty, veneers also resist staining, creating an enduring white, bright, straight smile.

The process is simple. First, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth. That mold is sent to a lab with precise instructions of what’s to be done. The lab creates a “wax up” – a wax mold of how the enhanced smile or repaired teeth will look. You and your dentist will review the wax up and either make changes or give the lab approval to proceed. From the wax up, the lab will create your new “teeth” of porcelain.

Once the wax up is approved, your dentist will prepare your teeth (shape them to accommodate the veneers) and will fit you with temporaries (temporary version of the “new smile”). When the porcelain veneers are ready, the temporaries will be removed and the veneers will be bonded to the teeth.

After a week or two, the veneers may need to be adjusted to provide a more comfortable bite or fit.

You can expect the veneers to last for years.

Q: Do I have to do anything special to maintain a veneered tooth?


A: No, just care for your teeth as you usually would. Simply brush and floss daily and see the dentist/hygienist at least two times a year.

Q: I’ve been hearing about cosmetic recontouring. What is this procedure?


A: A “gummy” smile can make teeth look short and unattractive. Using a variety of techniques, gums can be recontoured to reveal a more appealing smile. Not only can the laser quickly sculpt excessive and uneven gums, it also immediately seals the tissue, helping the patient heal faster and more comfortably. This procedure can be completed in a single office visit.


Restorative Dentistry


Q: When would I need a crown versus a veneer?


A: A crown, also called a cap, is a custom-made porcelain restoration that is used to repair and strengthen a tooth that has fractured, has a large cavity, has an old filling that has failed, has had root canal therapy or when a tooth cannot structurally support itself.

Q: What is bonding and how long will it last?


A: Bonding is a method of restoring decayed teeth, making cosmetic improvements, changing the color of teeth or reshaping teeth with a composite resin. Bonding will lighten any stains, close up minor gaps and can be used to correct crooked teeth.

First, a thin coating of a plastic material is applied on the front surface of the teeth. A bonding material is then applied and sculpted, colored and shaped to provide an attractive, natural-looking result. A high-intensity light then hardens the plastic, and the surface is finely polished.

This restoration will last for years.

Q: I have a bad tooth and just want to have it pulled out. Will you do that or will you make me have a root canal?


A: We firmly believe that you should do all you can to keep your original tooth as a missing tooth can have a negative impact on your oral health. If root canal therapy will restore your tooth, we strongly recommend that you have the procedure. If it won’t, we’ll be happy to discuss your options with you. It is far less expensive to restore your tooth than to replace it in the future.

Q: What is the best way to replace my missing teeth?


A: There are a variety of options for tooth replacement: bridges, full or partial dentures, implant-retained dentures and dental implants.

A dental bridge (or pontic) is a custom-made false tooth (or teeth) that is permanently placed between two healthy teeth, filling in the area left by a missing tooth (or teeth). The bridge is held in place by porcelain crowns placed on the healthy teeth on each side of space to be filled. Bridges help reduce the risk of gum disease, correct some bite problems, restores ability to chew and increases confidence.

A denture is a removable appliance that replaces missing teeth and adjacent tissues. Made of resin and porcelain, complete dentures are used to replace all the teeth. When some healthy teeth remain, a partial denture can be used. A partial denture also keeps the remaining healthy teeth from shifting positions in the mouth. Full and partial dentures improve chewing ability and speech, and support facial muscles. Dentures also enhance appearance.

Permanent fixtures, dental implants replace both the tooth and the root. They are ideal for people who have a missing tooth or missing teeth, (perhaps due to an accident), but are in good general oral health. Natural looking and strong, dental implants can replace one tooth, several teeth or all the teeth. They provide improved health (you are able to bite and chew comfortably; and reduce chances of gum disease), and enhanced appearance.

Implant-retained dentures offer the confidence, comfort and security of dental implants when replacing all the teeth. First, implants are surgically placed within the jawbone. Once healed, custom-made dentures are fabricated to fit securely on the implants, restoring both the form and function of the smile.

Q: What are dental implants and why would I want to consider them for replacing my missing teeth?


A: Dental implants replace both the tooth and the root. They are ideal for people who have a missing tooth or missing teeth, (perhaps due to an accident), but are in good general oral health.

Q: What is involved in doing an implant and how long do they last?


A: To replace one tooth, an impression of the existing teeth will be made and sent to a dental laboratory. The lab will create a tooth designed specifically to fit in the space, and match the size and shape of the remaining healthy teeth. In the interim, your dentist will place the artificial tooth root into the jaw, and allow the area to heal. Once the implant is complete, your dentist will place the new tooth in the mouth.

To replace missing teeth, we will take a mold of your teeth. That mold is sent to a lab with precise instructions of tooth shape, size, and bite measurements. The lab creates a “wax up” – a wax mold of how the new teeth will look. Once the wax-up is approved by you and your dentist, the lab creates your new “teeth” of porcelain. In the interim, we will place the artificial roots into your jaw, and allow the area to heal. Once the implant is complete, we will place the new teeth in the mouth.

Q: Do I have to do anything special to maintain an implant?


A: Not only do dental implants look, feel and function like your natural teeth, you take care of them as if they were natural teeth. Simply brush and floss regularly and see your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and exam.

Q: How do I know if I am a candidate for implants?


A: Dental implants are an ideal solution for people who have a missing tooth or missing teeth, (perhaps due to an accident), but are in good general oral health. If you have suffered tooth loss to disease of the tooth or gum, you are not a good candidate for the procedure.


Teeth Whitening


Q: How do I remove stain and discoloration from my teeth?


A: There are a variety of ways to whiten and brighten your smile.
If your teeth have naturally discolored over time due to aging, smoking, drinking colas, coffee, tea or red wine, they can be whitened with KoR Deep Bleaching. KoR can even help with tetracycline stains.

Q: Can I bleach my teeth without going to the dentist’s office?


A: There are a variety of at-home bleaching products available at stores. However, be warned. These products are costly, but do not offer the prescription-level whitening agents used at the dentist’s office. Your results won’t be as dramatic. They may be uneven, brightening some areas and not others.

For a beautiful white smile, your safest, most-effective and attractive choice is your dentist.

Q: I have a lot of spaces between my front teeth. What can I do to get rid of them?


A: Depending upon the shape of your teeth and the size of the gaps, the gaps between your teeth can be closed with the application of composite bonding or porcelain veneers. The results will be completely natural looking! Another treatment option is Snap On Smile. Snap On Smile is a custom made appliance that snaps over your natural teeth, correcting any cosmetic problems, including chips, gaps or crooked teeth. This treatment does not require any drilling, injections or change in tooth structure. And it’s removable! Snap On Smile provides an immediate, albeit temporary solution.


Periodontal Disease


Q: My gums bleed when I brush. Isn’t that normal?


A: No. Bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal disease. Often there are no symptoms. Gums can recede, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay, abscesses and tooth loss – all without any bleeding or tenderness. But many people have at least minor symptoms, which can include the following:

  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Puffiness or tenderness of the gums
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Loose-feeling teeth

The bacteria that causes periodontal disease has also been linked to serious health problems such as heart diseases, poor circulation and premature and low birth weight babies. When we treat periodontal disease, our concern is for your overall health, not just your teeth.

Q: I have really bad breath and can’t figure out why. Can you help?


A: Excessive oral bacteria can cause bad breath. These bacteria can be found in crevices or fuzzy areas on the tongue, under old fillings or crowns, or in deep-gum or bony pockets around the teeth. A complete, thorough dental examination will uncover these problems with subsequent solutions, all in one dental office. Yes, a healthy, FRESH smile for life.

Q: I have been told I have periodontal disease. What actually causes it and how do you treat it?


A: Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria gets trapped beneath the gum line, causing the gum to detach from the tooth root. As the disease progresses, the “pocket” gets larger, allowing more bacteria to get in, creating a dangerous cycle. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to infections, abscesses and tooth loss.

A variety of new technologies, such as ultrasonic scalers, make the treatment of this disease more thorough and comfortable than ever before. We can apply antibiotics directly to gums to help kill bacteria that cause the disease. High-tech lasers can aid in diagnosing the disease and make treatment more comfortable. In short, this disease is treatable, even at an advanced stage, to help you keep your teeth and improve your health.



Orthodontics


Q: As a general dentist, do you do orthodontic work?


A: Yes. At Jackson Creek Dental Group, we offer comprehensive orthodontic services for children and adults, even into your 60’s.

Q: I’d like to straighten my teeth but do not want to wear metal braces. Is there another alternative?


A: If the thought of wearing braces is holding you back from the smile you have always dreamed of, Invisalign® is perfect for you! Invisalign straightens your teeth without using ugly metal brackets and wires, but with a series of clear, custom-fit, removable aligners. Once the treatment is complete, you’ll be smiling like you never thought possible! We offer this service on a selected basis.

Q: I have seen Invisalign® being advertised a lot. What exactly is Invisalign?


A: If the thought of wearing braces is holding you back from the smile you have always dreamed of, Invisalign® is perfect for you! Invisalign straightens your teeth without using ugly metal brackets and wires, but with a series of clear, custom-fit, removable aligners. Once the treatment is complete, you’ll be smiling like you never thought possible! We offer this service on a selected basis.

Q: My teeth are very crooked. What are my options for having straighter teeth?


A: At Jackson Creek Dental Group, we offer a variety of options for a straight smile. We offer orthodontics for children and adults, Invisalign invisible braces, and instant orthodontics for the cosmetic enhancement of your teeth. Unlike the braces and Invisalign that take a commitment of time, instant orthodontics uses porcelain veneers to straighten the appearance of your smile. This procedure can be completed in only two to three comfortable visits.


Fear of Dentistry


Q: I am a coward when it comes to going to the dentist. What kinds of things can you do to relieve my anxiety and fear?


A: First of all, today’s dentistry and advanced technology make dentistry more comfortable than ever before. At Jackson Creek Dental Group, we do all we can to make sure our patients are relaxed and at ease. But if you require a bit more help, options are available.

We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) in each treatment room. Safe and effective, nitrous oxide is delivered through a mask. As you inhale the gas, you will gradually relax and drift off. When the procedure is over, the gas is simply removed.

If you require a bit more help relaxing, consider sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is perfect if you:

  • Have excessive fears about dental appointments
  • Have difficulty getting numb
  • Hate needles and shots
  • Hate the noises and smells associated with the dental office
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Have highly sensitive teeth
  • Have complex dental problems that will otherwise take several appointments to complete
  • Wish to have a comprehensive smile redesign

You simply take a little pill prior to treatment, leaving you completely relaxed and extremely comfortable. Safe and effective, sedation dentistry dramatically reduces the body’s natural tendency to tense muscles while stressed, helping you to feel at ease. Dental anesthetics are more effective while the body is relaxed, practically eliminating any concerns about discomfort during treatment.

Our team monitors you constantly and you are never left alone. You will still be awake enough to respond to the doctor, but will essentially sleep through the entire appointment.

Q: Do you use nitrous?


A: Yes, we offer the relaxing benefits of nitrous oxide (or laughing gas) to our patients.

Q: How does sedation dentistry work?


A: Sedation dentistry is safe, effective and simple. We will give you a prescription for triazolam. Before your appointment, you take a pill that will help you feel relaxed and at ease. Dental anesthetics like Novocain are more effective while the body is relaxed, practically eliminating any concerns about discomfort during treatment.

Our team monitors you constantly and you are never left alone. You will still be awake enough to respond to the doctor, but will essentially sleep through the entire appointment.



Trust


Q: How do I select a dentist I can trust?


A: When choosing a dentist for you or your family, there are a number of areas to consider:

  • Does the dentist offer the services you need?
  • Does the dentist have advanced training in that area of care?
  • Does the dentist stay current on dental innovations?
  • Does the dentist offer the best possible care available today?
  • Does the practice offer a variety of dental services so you can enjoy a continuum of care under one roof, and not have to be referred to other dentists for specialized treatment?
  • Is it easy to communicate with your dentist?
  • Does the dentist understand your expectations?
  • Is the practice warm and welcoming? Do you feel comfortable there?
  • Is the support staff helpful and friendly?
  • Do they give you a thorough PRE-treatment estimate?
  • Are they proud of their work? Do they guarantee their work?

A simple phone call to the practice can answer most of these questions.

If the answer to the above questions is yes, you’re well on you way to finding the right dentist for you.

Q: What kinds of credentials do your dentists have?


A: Each of our doctors is passionate about making sure that they are well educated in the latest advances in dentistry. They have instructed at Loma Linda School of Dentistry, and are all members of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, the Sacramento District Dental Society, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the American Association of Functional Orthodontics. Dedicated to remaining on the leading edge of dentistry and related technology, they are committed to continuing education. In fact, their post-graduate training is three to five times the requirement mandated by the state.

Q: Having a dentist that is up on the newest technology and procedures is important to me. What type of continuing education do you and your staff participate in?


A: All the doctors have 3-5 times the required continuing education required by the California State Dental Board. We learn because we want to, NOT because we have to.


Regular Exams and Screenings


Q: If I get my teeth cleaned every six months will I still have to see the dentist?


A: Regular cleanings and exams are essential to your oral health. X-rays are an important component of your exams. In fact, we x-ray your teeth one time a year to get a closer look at their health. When your teeth are x-rayed, the dentist will review the film and take a look at your teeth as well. Aside from this, you will only see the dentist if you experience any problems with your teeth.


Financing & Insurance


Q: I may not be able to pay for my services up front. What are my financial options if I get my work done at your office?


A: At Jackson Creek Dental Group, we want you and your family to have access to the best dental services available so you can enjoy your smiles for life. But we also realize the financial constraints families are under these days. To help you achieve a comfortable balance, we accept a variety of insurance plans, have a team of coordinators ready to assist you with insurance claims, and even offer a variety of financial options to meet your budget needs. As a service to our patients we offer CareCredit, Springstone and Chase Health Advance financing. They offer a full range of payment plans to meet almost every financial need.

Q: Do you automatically bill my insurance company?


A: For our insurance patients, we will quote fees, and from the information you give us we will provide an approximate estimate of the amount your insurance company will most likely pay as covered benefits under the terms of your contract. Most plans do not pay for the entire cost of your care. It is your responsibility to be sure you are eligible for treatment when dental services are provided. There may be a deductible, a yearly maximum, a reduced fee table, or other limitations and/or excluded services.

We will accept assignment of benefits. This means we will collect your estimated co-payment when treatment is rendered and process your initial claim. We will wait 90 days after your treatment for payment by your insurance company, after which it is your obligation to pay the entire amount due. There will be a finance charge in the amount of 1.25% per month, or 15% annually, on any balance over 90 days.


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