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If you have a question that has not been answered here, call us at (704) 225-8555 during normal business hours, or email us at anytime!

  • What is The Dental Discount Program?
    Piedmont Family Dentistry's brand-new Dental Discount Program is a new plan offered to patients that do not have dental insurance. For an annual fee, members receive: 2 Free checkups, 2 Free Simple cleanings, and one set of checkup x-rays per membership year! Discounts of 30-60% off our regular fee schedule.
  • What is a “simple cleaning”/
    An Adult Prophylaxis is commonly referred to as a “simple” or “free” cleaning. This is the type of dental cleaning that most patients have during their checkup visits. However, if you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease (“gum disease”), resulting in a scaling and root planning (“deep cleaning”), then the dental cleaning you receive during your routine checkup visits is called a Periodontal Maintenance. Patients who are diagnosed with gum disease are not eligible for simple cleanings. And just as with virtually all dental insurance, Periodontal Maintenance is not covered as a “free service” under our Dental Discount Plan- but it is eligible for the reduced fee schedule.
  • Can I have the second cleaning anytime?
    Just like any insurance plan where you must use your benefits in annually- or lose them- your 2 cleaning visits are only good during each membership year. You must use your 2 checkup visits within each membership year- any unused benefits will not carry over.
  • What if I have to be referred to a specialist?
    We have several specialists- Oral Surgeons, Endodontists, Periodontists and Pediatric Dentists- who have agreed to extend discounts to our Dental Discount patients! And since these providers have been working with our office for over a decade, we feel confident that they will always provide our patients with superior service.
  • Is this Discount Plan the same as insurance?
    Our Dental Discount Plan is not dental insurance and can only be used at Piedmont Family Dentistry. However, there are no claims to file, or waiting periods to be met or pre-existing conditions that would limit the care that you need for you or your dependents.
  • What is a "Dependent"?
    A dependent is either the spouse or the child of a member. Children are covered up to age 26, irrespective of their student status.
  • What exactly is a 'deep' cleaning? At my last dental visit, my Dentist told me that I would need a 'deep' cleaning- She even suggested that I would need at least four visits to complete it!
    If your Dentist or Hygienist recommended a deep cleaning, that means that you have some form of gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis. Research now shows that gum disease can be symptomatic or even contribute to more systemic diseases including diabetes and heart disease- and current treatment regiments reflect the seriousness of the diagnosis. Though the severity of gum disease can only be ascertained by a dental examination, look out for these warning signs: Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, Loose teeth Swollen gums Visible accumulation of plaque or tartar Bad breath These symptoms can indicate the presence of periodontitis.
  • Can you tell me how much the price of treatment will be over the phone?
    We at Piedmont Family Dentistry recognize 2 important things: one, it is more important than ever to plan for significant expenses. Two, not every one has the luxury of setting up multiple appointments with different clinics to find out which treatment plan winds up being the most cost-effective. So if you have recently visited another dental office, received a treatment plan, but still want to to compare cost of treatment with other offices- you can send us, or bring in the treatment plan and we will give you the cost of the same treatment in our office at no charge. Please be sure to delete the name of the other office when you give us your treatment plan. If you do not have a treatment plan from another office, we encourage you to visit our office for a limited evaluation and the appropriate x-rays. Most insurances have provisions for this visit, and if you do not have dental insurance, you may find our Dental Discount Program to be more than helpful- plus you can save up to 60% off on all of our services! Email: Fax: (704) 225-8556 or visit our office during normal business hours.
  • What are cavities?
    Quite simply, a cavity is a hole in a tooth caused by decay (caries). In the early stages, cavities do not hurt, and don't have any real symptons, but as the decay progresses through the inner layers of the tooth, you may begin to feel some pain, or sensitivity, or even see some discoloration. It is always better to address a cavity when it is small, since the treatment may include a small filling or even periodic observation coupled with home care modifications. The larger a cavity is- particularly, if it is large enough to see, and/or cause pain- the higher the chance that you will need root canal therapy, a crown, or possibly an extraction. One important point to remember: caries is the disease process that causes cavities. So, the best approach is not only how to fix the cavities, but how to prevent the disease.
  • What is the difference between "caries" and "cavities?
    Dental caries is the disease process that leads to dental cavities. The disease, caries, is caused by a several bacteria found in saliva (most notably,Streptoccocus Mutans and Lactobacilus Acidophilus) that create an acidic environment around teeth. The acidic environment, in turn, causes the enamel on the teeth to lose essential minerals-- a process called demineralization. The more the enamel is demineralized, the weaker it becomes until, eventually, it cavitates. Hence, a cavity. Some important things to remember: The cavity-causing bacteria turn starchy/sugary food into acids. Note: carbohydrates and regular sugar can all be turned into acid-- which in turn, will demineralize enamel. Saliva is your best defense against cavities: As the acid demineralizes the enamel on the teeth, your saliva puts the minerals back- a process called remineralization. Everyones mouth goes through a constant battle of demieralization and remineralization. Most of the time your saliva wins, so your teeth won't have cavities. But if your teeth lose more minerals than it can put back, you will have a cavity. Saliva needs time to work- about 30 minutes. Once you put something sugary in your mouth, the acidic destruction begins. After you are done eating, it takes your saliva 30 minutes to neutralize the acid attack. The cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from one person to another. Filling a tooth does not prevent dental caries, it fixes dental cavities. A tooth filling simply fixes the destruction caused by the disease (dental caries). To prevent future cavities, we have to control, or eliminate the disease process.
  • I am three months pregnant. Should I continue to see my Dentist?
    Absolutely. Besides the obvious maintenance benefits, pregnant women are particularly susceptible to a form of gum disease known, appropriately enough, as pregnancy gingivitis- which can be maintained with periodic recall visits. Additionally, research has begun to show a correlation between periodontitis and low birth weight babies. Talk to your Dentist or Physician for more information. Be sure to mention that you are pregnant when you visit your Dental Office- she may decide not to take x-rays or even to postpone or alter certain treatments and medications until after consulting with your Physician or OBGyn.
  • How often do I need to visit the Dentist?
    It is recommended that you visit your Dentist every six months for a routine checkup or 'recall' visit. Sometimes your Dentist may schedule a more frequent recall schedule.
  • When should my child begin to see the Dentist?
    As soon as he or he has teeth! Teeth can begin to decay as soon as they erupt into the mouth- particularly in children who drink from a bottle or 'sippy' cup. It is important to schedule regular appointments to monitor and preserve their healthy mouths. Besides, the earlier a child visits the Dentist, the less apprehensive he or she will be.
  • I’m a new patient. Before I moved here I had x-rays done, why do I need them again?
    Dental x-rays help us visualize diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam. In addition, x-rays help us find and treat dental problems early in their development, which can potentially save you unnecessary discomfort, and even expensive treatments. No examination would be complete without a set of current x-rays, which typically means once a year. So a good rule of thumb is: if it has been more than a year since your last x-rays, you are more than likely due for an update. But if your x-rays are current, we would likely request them from your previous dental office. There are 4 types of x-rays that we typically use: Full Mouth Series (FMX), Bitewings, Periapicals ("PAs") and Panoramic xrays (Panorex).
  • What kind of x-rays do dentists take? And how often do they have to take them?
    1. Full Mouth Series ("FMX"): The full mouth series of x-rays are designed to take detailed images of each tooth and the surrounding structures. We usually prescribe them every 3-5 years and are used to diagnose most dental conditions like gum disease, cavities, dental abscesses, and pathological lesions. FMX x-rays consist of a mixture of Bitewing and Periapical x-rays. 2. Bitewing x-rays ("Bites"): These are typically taken once a year and are used to screen for cavities. Bitewing x-rays are not typically used on front teeth and are not used to diagnose gum disease. 3. Periapical xrays ("PAs"); PAs show the whole length of the tooth and, like Full Month Series x-rays, are used to take detailed images of a single tooth, as well as the surrounding teeth and supporting structures. They are usually prescribed in situations where the focus in on a single tooth- as when a patients comes in with pain. 4. Panoramic Xrays ("Panorex", "Pans"): These are taken for an overview of the oral cavity (mouth), as well as the entire maxillofacial area- which includes the midface, upper and lower jaws and surrounding areas. They are used more routinely by Oral Surgeons and Orthodontists during treatment planning, but have considerable less diagnostic value to the General Dentist who need more detail.
  • What is a nightguard?
    A nightguard is a custom-fit plastic device that is placed over the teeth to prevent clenching and grinding (bruxism). Most have the the look of a mouthguard as used in sports but it much thinner and therefore more comfortable.
  • OK, but I don't grind my teeth. At least I don't think so!
    Most people grind their teeth are not even aware of it! However, there are four main signs that you are grinding your teeth: The surfaces of your teeth are cracked, chipped or smooth: This is the most common symptom exhibited by patients who grind. Deep notches on the side surfaces of your teeth that are not caused by decay: These lesions (defects) are known as abfractions and a common consequence of grinding. Sensitive or painful teeth with no decay or gum disease: Habitual grinding can teeth to be hypersensitive- and feel like a toothache. Painful jaw muscles, or 'tension' headaches, particularly in the morning: Because the muscles that move the jaw around are overworked, they can get cramped and fatigued. Most grinding patients exhibit one or all four of these symptoms. And in each instance a mouthguard is recommended to reduce the trauma of teeth-on-teeth grinding.
  • Do I really need to go to the dentist for a nightguard? I mean, they sell them at Walmart!
    You’re right, nowadays all sorts of dental products are available in stores and even online- and some patients have even success with them. But the bottom line is that any store-bought nightguard will not be customized to fit your mouth. As such, they tend to be loose and bulky and when used incorrectly can actually make the muscular pain worse!
  • Will my insurance cover a nightguard?
    More and more we are finding that a lot of insurance companies are affording coverage for nightguards as treatment for grinding (bruxism). In our office we have also found that giving submitting a pre-treatment estimate to the insurance company is a more predictable way of finding out if your insurance company does cover it and how much it will cover.
  • I just can't sleep with something in my mouth! Is there no other way?
    The function of a nightguard is to physically keep your teeth from unconsciously grinding against each other. While there are other treatments and therapies that aim to prevent the physical act of grinding, a nightguard simply reduces or completely eliminates the destruction and side-effects that are the result of grinding (tooth fracture and wear, headaches, sensitivity, mobility, etc). So if the goal is to eliminate the effects of grinding, rather than its underlying causes, a nightguard is imperative. The good news is that there are various types of nightguards: from hard to soft; from ones that cover the whole arch to those that only cover a few teeth, all of which can be custom-tailored to maximize your comfort!
  • Is there any real benefit to those fancy toothbrush systems I see at the store?
    These days there are several options for electric toothbrushes- it can get overwhelming! We recommend 2 main brands: The Oral B, by Braun and the Sonicare by Phillips. Electric toothbrushes are generally more effective at removing plaque than manual toothbrushes. Other features that electric toothbrushes offer: Pressure sensors that prevent patients from brushing too hard, thereby reducing gum recession. Timers that encourage patients to brush for the recommended time: 2 minutes. Reminders to change the brush head. Different brushing modes; useful for sensitive teeth or gum-massaging action. The main difference between the Oral B and Sonicare toothbrushes is the brushing: Oral Bs are known for their oscillating technology, Sonicares, for sonic technology.
  • What does "Use it or lose it" mean when it comes to dental insurance?
    Each year dental insurance provider allows a maximum dollar amount for dental services- an amount that can range anywhere from $1000.00 to $3000.00 per benefit year, more or less. And while you still have to pay your dental insurance premium every month, any unused benefits do not rollover from year to year- if you do not use your benefits during the specified period, you will lose them.
  • Do you take my dental Insurance?
    We accept almost all most forms of dental insurance. The only exceptions being Medicaid and any insurance that is an HMO Typically we will verify your insurance prior to your visit so we can have a better understanding of your benefit plan. We we will then collect any co-payments and and deductibles in-office, and file a claim with your insurance company on your behalf at no extra charge.
  • What networks are you in?
    We are in network providers for the following insurance companies: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Cigna Dental Delta Dental Metlife Guardian Ameritas
  • I have dental insurance, why do I have a balance?
    There are several reasons why a patient would have a balance for treatment, even with dental insurance coverage and with prior verification, including: Frequency limitations Treatment that was downgraded to a lesser service Benefit maximum reached When we we give a patient an estimated cost of treatment (or what we call a “treatment plan”) we try to get the most accurate picture of what thier insurance company will cover. However, we cannot make any guarantees that their insurance company will cover what they say they will cover. As a matter of fact, most, if not all insurances have a standard disclaimer that essentially states- the final decision of payment will only be determined after they receive a submitted claim. We try to use the information your insurance company gives to us but they have the final say on what they will and will not cover. As such, while we can guarantee that the cost of our services will not change from the treatment plan, we cannot guarantee that your insurance will pay what is estimated.
  • Do you accept HMOs?
    Currently we do not accept HMOs.
  • Do you accept Medicaid?
    Currently we do not accept Medicaid.
  • I had an injury at work- will you file the claim with Workers Comp?
    At this time we do not file claims with Worker's comp. However patients have one of 2 options: The patient can pay for the services we render, and then file the itemized invoice with Worker's comp The patient can have an examination and then send the an itemized treatment plan to their Worker's Comp insurance who would then issue payment to us prior to treatment.
  • Do you offer payment plans for treatment?
    While we do offer limited payment plans in house, for patients who wish to stretch their payments out as long as they can, we offer third party financing with CareCredit.
  • What are the “limited” payment plans you offer at Piedmont Family Dentistry?
    For cases that require multiple visits, like crowns, and dentures, we can divide the patient’s out of pocket costs by the number of visits it will take to complete the treatment. Final payment is due upon completion of the procedure.
  • What repayment options does CareCredit have?
    If you would like interest-free plan, Care Credit offers 3, 6 and even 12 repayment plans at no interest. As you can expect, these are the most popular plans, especially when you consider the advantages of paying for care, over time,interest-free! If you would like more time to repay, there are several low monthly extended payment plans, up to 60 months. We have found by having several repayment options, we can satisfy a wide variety of our patient's needs.
  • Can I use CareCredit to pay for my teeth-whitening? What about veneers?
    You can use CareCredit to pay for any procedure performed in our office! From crowns to dentures, from deep-cleanings, to electric toothbrushes- as long as it is offered in the office, you can use CareCredit to pay for it!
  • My credit is not as good as I'd like. Do you think I'd still qualify for CareCredit?
    While the folks at Care Credit have the final decision, in our experience their approval rates are high. Sometimes patients are shocked when they get approved and call back absolutely excited! Other patients have felt that using a spouse or parent as a co-applicant increased their chance of approval- and we have yet to see a denial for co-applicants.
  • Can you tell me how much the price of treatment will be over the phone?
    We at Piedmont Family Dentistry recognize 2 important things: one, it is more important than ever to plan for significant expenses. Two, not every one has the luxury of setting up multiple appointments with different clinics to find out which treatment plan winds up being the most cost-effective. So if you have recently visited another dental office, received a treatment plan, but still want to to compare cost of treatment with other offices- you can send us, or bring in the treatment plan and we will give you the cost of the same treatment in our office at no charge. Please be sure to delete the name of the other office when you give us your treatment plan. If you do not have a treatment plan from another office, we encourage you to visit our office for a limted evaluation and the appropriate x-rays. Most insurances have provisions for this vist, and if you do not have dental insurance, you may find ourDental Discount Program to be more than helpful- plus you can save up to 60% off on all of our services! Email: Fax: (704) 225-8556 or visit our office during normal business hours.
  • I’ve heard of a cap or a crown... but what is that?
    A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth- covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. A crown is often needed when a simple filling will not restore the tooth properly.
  • Are all crowns the same? What are they made out of and which one would be best for me?
    The longevity and durability of your crown is directly related to the materials selected to make the crown. So let’s take a look at different options. Metal Crowns The more precious metal or gold content in the metal the better the fit and better for the health of gums around the crown. Keep in mind fit is an important factor in sealing out the bacteria that tries to get between the crown and the tooth, possibly causing decay and premature failure of the crown. Porcelain Crowns All porcelain crowns are generally considered the most aesthetic choice since they closely resemble the color and appearance of your teeth. Porcelain continues to improve and in fact there are newly developed porcelain materials, such as zirconium and empress 2 that can better withstand the forces of chewing. Porcelain crowns can give you the Hollywood smile that you are looking for. Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns The third kind of crown has a porcelain exterior with a metal framework supporting it underneath. The porcelain gives you the desired aesthetic, and the metal framework provides better structural support making the porcelain much stronger. This type of porcelain-metal hybrid crown can be used to replace missing teeth in any area of the mouth, front or back. Again, as a rule, the more precious metal or gold content in the metal, the better the fit and better for the health of gums around the crown. An example of this great type of crown would be the “captek” crown.
  • My last dentist wanted me to get a gold crown- why would he say that? Aren't the tooth colored ones better?
    The gold alloy used in dental crowns is the most biocompatible of all available dental materials: it fits better, it requires the removal of less tooth structure in the preparation phase; and, because it has relatively the same hardness as natural teeth, it is causes considerably less wear on the opposing teeth like a ceramic materials would. All things being equal- a gold crown is the best clinical choice. But the problem, of course, is the color- and most patients would prefer to have a crown that blends in aesthetically. When esthetics is not a concern- for example with molar teeth that are not visible during normal function-- we will suggest gold crowns due to the superior functionality. However, the patient always has the final say when it comes to esthetics!
  • What are immediate dentures? I need to have front teeth taken out, and I don't want to go without teeth!
    An immediate denture, as its name implies, is a denture that is placed in your mouth immediately after your teeth are removed. It makes the transition to dentures less noticeable and also helps keep you performing everyday functions, like chewing and speaking.
  • What are Partials?
    Partial dentures or "Partials" are replacement teeth for people who have lost one or more of their teeth. They are different from Complete Dentures which replace all of the teeth in an arch. Partial dentures can be taken in and out of the mouth and consist of a denture base, which closely resembles the color of your gums and denture teeth, which are attached to a supporting framework. The partial denture then attaches to the existing teeth via a clasp or some other retentive device.
  • I only have a few teeth missing and my Dentist recommended that I get a denture. I'm only in my thirties! Aren't dentures for older people?
    Whenever a tooth is extracted, it throws off the equilibrium of the whole mouth. Top teeth need bottom teeth to bite down on, otherwise the opposing tooth will begin to shift and may begin to literally grow out of your head! Front teeth need back teeth for self-preservation: back teeth can handle the pressure from chewing and biting much better than front teeth can. Chewing on your front teeth can cause them to shift and spread, or even to chip and break. When your dentist suggested dentures, he was probably concerned about the overall stability of your teeth. And while dentures are the most cost-effective method of replacing missing teeth, other methods such as bridges or implants are more stable methods to accomplish the same end. Plus, you won't have to feel 'old'!
  • What is Dry Socket? My husband had his tooth pulled and two days later he was in a lot of pain- the Dentist told me he had it.
    One of the side effects of an extraction is a condition known as Alveolar Osteitis or 'Dry Socket'. It is not an infection that can be cured by antibiotics but rather, an inflammation of the bone that used to surround the now missing tooth. The pain can range from a localized ache to a radiating pain that feels even worse than a toothache and it can begin up to three days after a tooth is extracted. Though in some aspects Dry Socket pain is inconsistent in its manifestation, its occurrence reduces significantly if a blood clot is maintained in the socket for as long as possible. Your Dentist will give you a list of instructions to explain what you can and cannot do following your extraction visit to help avoid this very painful condition.
  • My tooth is killing me! I want to come in and have it pulled the same day- can you help!
    Few things are worse than acute tooth pain, however many of the horror stories of painful extractions arise when a patient insist on having a “hot tooth” worked on. It is almost impossible to numb a hot tooth completely-which is one thing you absolutely need during a tooth extraction- and often ends up an excruciating experience. Typically who present with acute dental pain associated with a dental infection or abscess will be prescribed a course of antibiotics (and pain medication, as indicated) both to relieve the pain and more importantly, to clear up the infection enough for any subsequent anesthesia attempt to be successful. After a course of antibiotics, the patient is then ready for whatever treatment is decided upon.
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