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Frequently Asked Dental Questions - Midland, TX

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re unfamiliar with dental care, it can feel overwhelming. Dr. Philipps and the rest of our team are here to help you understand what you need to know to keep your smile protected from decay, injury, and infection. Below you’ll find answers to the frequently asked dental questions we hear. If you have more that are not addressed here, just give us a call. We’d be happy to schedule an appointment for you to meet with Dr. Philipps to discuss your questions.

What is occlusion?

Your occlusion, or bite, has to do with the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth. Imbalanced occlusion, known as malocclusion, often results in teeth grinding. Depending on the severity of the case, teeth grinding can cause tooth wear, fractures, cracks, or breaks, as well as chronic headaches and TMJ disorder. Dr. Philipps will examine your occlusion and may offer simple therapies to restore your bite and preserve your smile.

My gums bleed when I brush. Should I be concerned?

Bleeding gums are often a sign of early stage gum disease, known as gingivitis. In this early stage, gum disease can be treated and reversed. However, gum disease can spread rapidly, and if it reaches an advanced stage, treatment becomes more complex, and the condition cannot be reversed. Bleeding gums could be a sign of a serious problem, so see us immediately.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Yes. Dentist-supervised teeth whitening has been approved by the FDA as safe and effective. The active ingredient in professional bleaching gel, carbamide peroxide, gently removes stains without altering tooth structure. You should always consult Dr. Philipps before beginning a teeth-whitening regimen, so she can determine which method of whitening will work best for your teeth. We may recommend other whitening alternatives for patients with decay, sensitivity, or existing dental work.

What’s the difference between dental crowns and porcelain veneers?

Crowns, also called caps, cover the entire tooth, whereas veneers cover only the front surface. Crowns and veneers can both be used to improve the appearance of teeth; however, crowns require more tooth preparation. In many cases, we recommend veneers for patients with relatively straight teeth and crowns for those with discolorations or severe misalignments. Both crowns and veneers can restore an imbalanced bite, and oftentimes, patients benefit from a combination of the two procedures. After an evaluation, Dr. Philipps will explain your options and recommend the procedure that’s best for your smile.

What are my options to replace missing teeth?

Depending on the number and location of missing teeth, Dr. Philipps may recommend crown and bridgework or dental implants. Each option has its advantages, but dental implants are widely accepted as the “Gold Standard” for modern tooth replacement. Because of an anchor secured in the jawbone, dental implants offer unrivaled support, comfort, and longevity.

Do digital X-rays pose benefits over traditional X-rays?

Digital X-rays pose several benefits over traditional X-rays. With 90% less radiation, digital X-rays are safer for our patients and the environment. Digital X-rays do not require hazardous chemicals to develop, and we can show them to you instantly on a chairside monitor. We also store them digitally, so they can be infinitely and inexpensively reproduced for educational, insurance, or referral purposes.

Do you accept dental insurance?

As a courtesy to our patients, we accept insurance and will file your claim for you. Patients are encouraged to contact their insurance provider prior to treatment for an explanation of coverage. It’s important to remember that dental insurance benefits range, and your level of coverage is based on the premiums you or your employer pays. In general, insurance will cover some preventive and restorative treatments. Cosmetic treatments are typically not covered. Ultimately, you are responsible for any fees incurred during your visit. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office.

What are your payment and financing options?

We accept cash, check, MasterCard, and Visa. For patients who would like to make payments on their treatment, we have partnered with CareCredit, which offers affordable financing for those who qualify. Visit the CareCredit website or call our office for details.