Frequently Asked Questions

Patterson Votilla Dentistry Checkups Dental Hygienist

Answers to questions about our office, our policies and dental care in general. If you have any questions you don't see answered here, please contact us. Thank you!

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Do you take my insurance?

In our practice, we're happy to process your forms and help you maximize your benefits. That said, we base our recommendations on your needs and desires, not on the limits of any given plan. Because we adhere to the highest standard of care, we've elected not to participate in discount plans. While we are not listed as a participating provider with any dental insurance companies, we are experienced in helping you maximize your benefits. We will submit your paperwork for you, and most claims are filed electronically on the day you are here. Many insurance companies will send payment directly to us, so we only ask you to pay the remaining balance. Feel free to call us and we'll be happy to talk with you and answer any insurance questions.

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What if I don’t have dental insurance?

No problem! Most people don't, and in these challenging economic times, dental benefits seem to be one of the first things to be dropped by employers today, both for their employees and retirees. We have many different payment options available, including interest free financing for up to a year with CareCredit.

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Can I get my teeth cleaned without the dentist seeing me for an exam?

Generally, no. The exception to that is for some of our patients who see the hygienist every three months instead of every four or six. The exam includes a thorough evaluation of your jaws, teeth, soft tissues, head and neck, as well as an oral cancer screening. This is the standard of care, and complies with the state board of dental examiner’s requirements.

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Do you see children or do I have to take them to a different office?

We see a lot of children in our practice. Many of our patients choose to bring their children here, and most of them do just fine. We will refer children to a pediatric dentist if we feel they would be better served in that specialty.

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I was told I have some cavities. Can I wait to take care of them later?

We will never make you take care of any treatment you aren’t ready to have completed. Keep in mind that any recommended treatment will never be more conservative, more cost effective, or less invasive than it is today. Tooth decay won’t disappear by itself! Delaying treatment simply allows a cavity to get bigger, which can mean the treatment may become more involved. The same is true for most all oral health problems.

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What happens if I have an emergency after you’re closed, or on a weekend?

One of our doctors is always on call. We would ask you to simply call the office to let our answering service know that you are having a problem and you need to speak with a doctor. They will contact the doctor, and he will call you back when he gets the message. Together, you can determine the best solution for your emergency.

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How much radiation is in those x rays?

Surprisingly little, and we’re decreasing those already low amounts dramatically. All of our radiographs are digital. There is 70% less radiation using the digital x rays than with film.

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What can I do for my bad breath? It’s embarrassing!

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. There are various causes of bad breath, but in most healthy people the greatest cause is bacteria on the tongue. Simply getting into the habit of brushing your tongue can greatly reduce instances of bad breath. Not brushing frequently enough or properly will also cause bad breath. Food particles that remain in the mouth for an extended period of time promote the growth of bacteria. We can show you how to clean your mouth properly. Sometimes a medical condition or treatment can cause dry mouth (xerostomia). We can recommend products to help alleviate that. The best thing you can do to prevent bad breath is to maintain your dental hygiene at home and keep your appointments with us. Our hygienists can clean areas of your mouth that you may have a harder time reaching, thus leaving odor causing debris behind.

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Botox at the Dentist? Really?

Absolutely! Dentists are more familiar with facial anatomy than anyone. They have had the most experience with facial injections and know best how to give them comfortably. For certain types of headaches, Botox (and similar products) may provide relief.