Madison Dentist Phone
First Choice Dental

facebookTwitterYoutube

Patient Support

Patient Frequently Asked Questions:

patient

I'm a new patient and I know there are forms I will have to fill out before I see the dentist. Is there any way I can get copies of any forms that you need me to complete in advance?

We're happy to provide you with all the necessary new patient forms prior to your first appointment. Simply click on one of the following links to access this form. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the forms.

Verona FormMiddleton FormFitchburg FormWest Madison FormSun Prairie FormSun Prairie North Form
Downtown FormCampus FormEast Madison FormWaunakee FormOrthodontics Forms 

Is it bad if my gums bleed after I brush my teeth?

Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper or rough scrubbing instead of a gentle circular brushing motion, using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one, plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line, or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Contact our office for an evaulation.

I have bad breath and I brush everyday, is there something you can do to help?

Many people struggle with bad breath, or halitosis, despite daily brushing. Try brushing three times a day, flossing daily, and tongue cleaning; regular professional cleanings and cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. If your hygiene is meticulous and you still have this problem, we can offer several solutions.

I have a temporary crown in my mouth. What happens if I break it?

Call our office as soon as possible. Sometimes you can put the temporary back on yourself using toothpaste, vaseline, or temporary cement from the drug store. If the temporary breaks, we need to see you as soon as possible to replace it. Leaving a temporary crown off for more than a couple days may affect the fit of the permanent crown.

I don't like the silver fillings in my mouth. What can I do to make them look better?

Dark silver fillings are made of dental amalgam - a mercury silver filling material that grows dark and stains teeth as the years go by. Mercury silver fillings also expand or grow larger with age, while the tooth underneath stays the same size. This change can sometimes cause the teeth to fracture. This is one of the reasons our office places very few amalgam fillings. We are able to replace mercury silver fillings with bonded tooth-color composite fillings; and we can restore those teeth with larger mercury silver fillings by using crowns.

I want my front teeth to look better, but I don't want to wear braces, what can you do to help?

There are actually several options to consider. The simplest is recontouring your front teeth followed by whitening. Gaps, rotated, crooked, and misaligned teeth can be improved by simple one- appointment bonding of the problem teeth with tooth-colored resin cured by laser light.

A more natural, longer lasting look can be accomplished by covering your misshaped, spaced, or rotated teeth with porcelain veneers. They are thin facings of porcelain bonded to the teeth with laser light in a two-appointment procedure. For more extensive cases, all-porcelain crowns can be bonded to your teeth to change the color, correct the alignment and give a natural smile. It takes from one to three dental appointments for any of these restorative procedures versus two or more years for braces.

patient

What sterilization precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?

The strictest regimens of disinfection and sterilization are conducted to ensure the safety of each patient and the dental team. All operatory surfaces are disinfected with a tuberculocidal disinfectant which will kill all known viruses and bacterial spores. All instruments are autoclaved for total sterility. Tuberculoses spore strip testing is conducted weekly with results analyzed by an independent lab to ensure the autoclave is operating properly. Disposable items are used whenever possible. Our dental chairs have self-contained water systems using bottled water. This allows us to regularly flush the lines with disinfectant to maintain the ADA's recommendations for dental unit water line cleanliness.

What are your office hours?

We see patients by appointment from 7 am until 5 pm, Monday through Thursday and 7am until 4pm on Fridays (office days and hours may vary by location).

What if I need to cancel an appointment?

In order to maintain a well-run office, we request that all cancellations be made at least 24 hours ahead of time. This enables us to work in other patients' emergency visits.

What makes your office different from any other dental practice I can visit?

We can sum up the difference in one word - commitment. Our entire staff is committed to giving you the most beautiful, longest lasting, highest quality dentistry with the most gentle, caring experience possible, exceeding your expectations. We listen to our patients and give them what they want. Through much continuing education, our office is committed to excelling in the latest procedures and technology to provide you with the very best care available today. And, we use master lab technicians to provide the strongest, most cosmetic restorations.

What will be done on my Initial New Patient Examination?

After we greet you we will review your medical and dental histories, and then answer any preliminary questions about your dental needs, your cosmetic dentistry desires, and your insurance. We will then take any necessary digital intra-oral photographs and x- rays of your teeth and mouth. We will test each tooth for beginning decay with a laser-powered Diagnodent. We will measure the pocket depth of each gum to check for gum disease. If you need and want a cleaning, it will be done next. Then along with the photos and x-rays, the doctor will do a thorough examination of your bite, gums, teeth, and cosmetic dentistry issues. Dental models may be necessary.

The doctor will explain all findings and treatment recommendations. You will have an opportunity to ask questions or inquire about alternatives. Fees, insurance, and financial arrangements will be discussed by a treatment coordinator. The Initial New Patient Examination requires between 1 and 2 hours. A few well-planned appointments will be booked. And, before you know it, your work will be complete. To save time at the Initial New Patient Examination, please bring your completed new patient forms that were mailed or e- mailed to you. You can also print these forms under Patient Support. To make an appointment for your Initial New Patient Examination, contact us today

patient

How can I learn about my dental problems and how to fix them?

At your exam and consultation, we will show you close-up intra-oral digital photos of your teeth and the inside of your mouth. We will describe in detail as we show you photos, models, and x-rays of other cases like yours. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure that you might need. Many dental topics and procedures are dealt with on this FAQ's page and under our Services page.

How do you make my dentistry more affordable? Do you offer payment plans?

We watch that our fees are consistent with the level of care, skill, and judgment your case requires and are in line with fees in our area. We want our patients to get their dentistry without worrying about the financial part. We accept Visa, Discover, MasterCard, debit cards, cash, and personal checks. Very popular are low to no-interest dental credit cards with smaller monthly payments over time: Care Credit and The Marquis Card by Wells Fargo. We would be happy to answer any financial or insurance questions you have.

What do you do to make my experience in your office gentle? Do you offer relaxing gas or sedation?

First, since we are committed to painless, painfree dentistry, we do everything possible to make each visit here a truly wonderful experience. We have a gentle, caring staff that listens and then explains each step carefully. We have relaxing nitrous oxide gas available, which really takes the edge off without causing you to fall asleep. Many of our patients love our music earphones. If your case is more complex or if you are more nervous, we offer oral sedation for deeper levels of comfort. You can go to sleep, wake up, and have all your dentistry done.

For gentle local anesthesia the doctor will place a numbing gel on your gums first so you won't feel a thing. In fact, our doctors are well known for their no-sting local anesthesia and we use a new anesthetic solution that is very fast and effective.

What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?

We employ the most comprehensive digital sterilization program know today. In addition, all staff have completed training with an extensive monitoring program to provide a sterile and safe environment for patients. All procedures comply with guidelines established by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control to protect you. You can be confident we will never compromise when it comes to your health and safety.

How can I safely whiten my teeth?

One telltale sign that it is time to whiten your teeth is if you are embarrassed to smile because of the color of your teeth. There is no reason to suffer any more as there are two easy, efficient, SAFE ways to whiten your teeth - up to nine shades lighter.

For fastest results we offer both Sapphire and ZOOM! Whitening. We place whitening gel on the teeth, which is enhanced by a strong advanced power light. In-office whitening will lighten the teeth to about 85-90% of their maximum brightness in just over an hour. For Home Whitening, we make custom trays that fit over your upper and lower teeth, which hold a whitening gel that is not enhanced by light. You must wear the trays several hours per day or nights for 8-12 consecutive days. Home Whitening will lighten the teeth to 100% of their maximum brightness, but over several days. This technique is less expensive than in-office whitening. Many opt for Combo Whitening, which includes in-office whiteninig followed by only 2-3 consecutive days of Home Whitening. Then you have the trays with which to touch up your whitening with the Home technique each 6 months.

patient

What can I do to protect my teeth from damage from my clenching and grinding?

Between one half of all adults over the age of 18 clench or grind their teeth, mostly at night, which can severely wear down or crack teeth and fillings, loosen teeth in the gums, and make the bone and gum support of the teeth shrink. Clenching and grinding is the number one cause of headaches, jaw joint soreness and popping, and painful jaws. By wearing a 1/8 inch thick custom-made strong plastic tooth appliance, a Night Guard, over the upper or lower teeth cuts these symptoms tremendously.

What do you do to make my experience in your office gentle? Do you offer relaxing gas or sedation?

First, since we are committed to painless, painfree dentistry, we do everything possible to make each visit here a truly wonderful experience. We have a gentle, caring staff that listens and then explains each step carefully. We have relaxing nitrous oxide gas available, which really takes the edge off without causing you to fall asleep. Many of our patients love our music earphones. If your case is more complex or if you are more nervous, we offer oral sedation for deeper levels of comfort. You can go to sleep, wake up, and have all your dentistry done.

For gentle local anesthesia the doctor will place a numbing gel on your gums first so you won't feel a thing. In fact, our doctors are well known for their no-sting local anesthesia and we use a new anesthetic solution that is very fast and effective.

What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?

We employ the most comprehensive digital sterilization program know today. In addition, all staff have completed training with an extensive monitoring program to provide a sterile and safe environment for patients. All procedures comply with guidelines established by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control to protect you. You can be confident we will never compromise when it comes to your health and safety.

How can I safely whiten my teeth?

One telltale sign that it is time to whiten your teeth is if you are embarrassed to smile because of the color of your teeth. There is no reason to suffer any more as there are two easy, efficient, SAFE ways to whiten your teeth - up to nine shades lighter.

For fastest results we offer both Sapphire and ZOOM! Whitening. We place whitening gel on the teeth, which is enhanced by a strong advanced power light. In-office whitening will lighten the teeth to about 85-90% of their maximum brightness in just over an hour. For Home Whitening, we make custom trays that fit over your upper and lower teeth, which hold a whitening gel that is not enhanced by light. You must wear the trays several hours per day or nights for 8-12 consecutive days. Home Whitening will lighten the teeth to 100% of their maximum brightness, but over several days. This technique is less expensive than in-office whitening. Many opt for Combo Whitening, which includes in-office whiteninig followed by only 2-3 consecutive days of Home Whitening. Then you have the trays with which to touch up your whitening with the Home technique each 6 months.

What can I do to protect my teeth from damage from my clenching and grinding?

Between one half of all adults over the age of 18 clench or grind their teeth, mostly at night, which can severely wear down or crack teeth and fillings, loosen teeth in the gums, and make the bone and gum support of the teeth shrink. Clenching and grinding is the number one cause of headaches, jaw joint soreness and popping, and painful jaws. By wearing a 1/8 inch thick custom-made strong plastic tooth appliance, a Night Guard, over the upper or lower teeth cuts these symptoms tremendously.

What does it mean that my gums bleed?

What is gum disease? How do you treat it? Bleeding gums are not normal and indicate that active gum infection is present. Gum disease is the most common disease in the world, yet often goes undetected because it produces very little pain. Gum disease, however, is the leading cause of tooth loss.

Gingivitis is gum disease where the infection is in and under the gums around the necks of teeth in areas where plaque and calculus have accumulated. Periodontitis is more serious gum disease where the infection has spread into the supporting tissues and bone around the teeth. Clenching, smoking, diabetes, improper diet, and poor health can advance gum disease. All gum disease is helped by proper diet, good oral hygiene, brushing, and flossing. Regular check-ups and cleanings are fundamental. Stopping smoking and wearing a night guard if you clench are important. There is a well documented connection between gum disease and heart disease.

Gingivitis is treated by having the teeth professionally cleaned more often, and often scaling and root planing is required. Periodontitis is treated by more extensive scaling and root planing, and if serious enough it requires referral to a periodontist for gum surgery. Do I have to floss every day? Is it really that important? What kind of floss is best? The use of dental floss is essential in preventing gum disease. Most oral health problems are related to dental plaque-the soft, sticky layer of bacteria and food film on the surface of your gums and teeth, particularly along the gum line. When dental plaque grows, it infects the gums and releases toxins that irritate the gums causing gingivitis and periodontitis. The toothbrush can't reach difficult areas of the tooth, like between teeth and along the gums. Using dental floss at least once a day provides effective removal of dental plaque. Lightly waxed dental floss is effective and the easiest to use.

How often should I come in for examination, cleaning, and x-rays?

At the completion of your initial dental appointment, we will invite you to be in our prevention follow-up program (recare). The interval between recare appointments varies from person to person. Most children and young adults should come in every six months for an examination and cleaning. Back teeth cavity x-rays or bitewings are most often needed once a year and jaw or full mouth x-rays are needed every three to five years.

Middle-aged and older adults, who form more calculus, and all patients with gum problems needing periodontal cleanings are seen every three or four months with scaling and root planing every couple of years. Do we accept referrals? Yes we do. We not only accept referrals, but we actually ask you to refer your friends, family, and those with whom you work. We love showing new patients a wonderful experience at our office. We believe a referral is the highest compliment you can give us.