How can we help you?
Patient education is an essential part of the services we provide at Bethlehem Town Family Dental. When you understand the impact that your oral health can have on your life, you’re more likely to be proactive about dental care.
Nobody expects you to know everything about dentistry, which is why we’re available to answer all your questions. The more information you have, the better prepared you are to make important decisions when the time comes. All the answers below are written by our team instead of some template that is used by hundreds of other dental offices.
Unfortunately, we have found this sales tactic to be very popular in corporate dental offices operating in chains and franchises. At Bethlehem Town Family Dental, we simply do not believe, and will not consider, in this type of business model.
Our Model is Based on Trust
Instead, we believe in building a strong trust with our patients and the community. Every procedure we recommend will be explained and any procedure that could be considered preventive or optional will be communicated to our patients. We believe healthy teeth are teeth that don't need any dental work.
The simple answer is no.
Moderation is Important
The important part about controlling sugar intake is the frequency of exposure to sugar. While we strongly advocate the elimination of sodas, sports drinks, and candies, we understand we need sugar to survive.
The Thirty Minute Rule
If you had to drink a cup of coffee with sugar, we recommend drinking that cup within 30 min to lower the frequency of sugar exposure. Every sip or bite of something sugared will turn your mouth acidic and will take 30 min to return back to normal. If you sip your coffee every 30 min you can imagine your mouth is acidic at all times. This is also why sticky candies and candies that dissolve in your mouth are the worst culprits because they take a long time to eat.
Rinsing After Sugar Intake
On top of limiting the frequency of exposures to sugar, we also recommend reducing sugar concentration and acidity of the mouth after the intake of sugar. Ideally, you should brush your teeth, floss, and/or rinse your mouth with mouthwash after each exposure to sugar. This is especially important if you had something sticky that will stay on your teeth for a while. However, we understand not everyone has access and time to a brush, floss, and/or mouthwash every time you eat or drink. We recommend at least rinsing your mouth with water after you eat or drink something with sugar to wash away some of the sugar and acids.
If you feel you have negative impacts from your sugar intake, or you're due for a check-up, contact our office today!
How did I get a cavity?
Specific types of bacteria on your teeth would take in sugar that you eat or drink and convert the sugar into acids. The acids that are released would dissolve your teeth and make them weaker. As more minerals are dissolved away from your teeth, you would eventually get a hole, also called cavity. At this point, your teeth are decaying as the bacteria multiply and this process just gets repeated as the hole gets larger.
What can I do to prevent a cavity?
There are different stages of cavity depending on the progression of decay. Unfortunately, once the “hole” is formed, the only option you have is to drill away the bacteria inside your tooth and fill the hole with a filling. However, we can reverse the progress if you are still in the early stages of forming a cavity, this is called the demineralization stage.
Teeth are made up of mostly minerals. The acids released by bacteria causes your teeth to lose the minerals and making the teeth weaker. This process creates areas called the demineralization zones on your teeth. Fortunately, these areas can be remineralized again if it’s returned back to health by following the recommended protocols. Remember, these protocols do not make your existing cavities go away, they also do not make you immune to cavities. The caries prevention protocols simply lower your risk to getting more cavities by killing bacteria and making the teeth stronger.
No Silver Fillings
We do not use any amalgam (silver) fillings in the office so we do not introduce more mercury into the environment. Any old amalgam (silver) filling, placed by other dentists, that's removed from patient's teeth are captured by a mercury trap so we do not leak any mercury into the environment.
Dry Pump System Reduces Water Waste
We use a dry pump system to supply our air and suction, this means we significantly reduce the amount of water we utilize and conserve energy.
Digital X-Rays Reduce Harsh Chemicals
Our office has digital x-rays. We do not use any conventional x-rays so we avoid the use of harsh chemicals like developer and fixer for films. Modern technology and equipment ensure less energy consumption. (The LED light bulbs help too!)
At Bethlehem Town Family Dental, we totally understand the difficulty of taking time off from work. This is why we have decided to open early at 8am on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and open late until 7pm on Monday and Thursday. We also offer Saturday appointments, but these are ONLY reserved for special large cases that require additional attention and is not meant for routine appointments. As we move forward, we continuously look for ways to expand our hours of operation, but at the same time treat our staffs fairly so they have reasonable work hours. Our hours of operation is another example of our dedication to make your visit easier. Call us today to book your appointment at a time that's convenient for you.
This topic has always been a major concern for most patients. At Bethlehem Town Family Dental, we take over 20 dental insurances because we want to make it easier for the majority of people to receive great dental care. If you have a dental insurance that we do not take it is simply because we cannot afford to take it. Some insurances offer reimbursement rates that are just too low to even maintain business operation. If we do not take your insurance, we welcome you to call us so we can make recommendations based on your situation. For patients without insurance, we offer payment plans like CareCredit to help spread the payments into 6 or 12 months interest-free payments. Additionally, we put out coupons and deals at times for patients without insurances to help reduce the financial burden of dental care.
We Want to Make Your Experience Convenient and Enjoyable
While insurance companies certainly aren't fun to deal with, we strive to provide the best service possible to make your experience easier. We work with over 20 dental insurances and each of them have additional sub-plans that all have different policies, rules, and regulations. Because of this complicated situation, we will request some basic information from you and your insurance policy ID so we can call and ask for the breakdown of your specific plan.
We Work With You
Once we obtain the specifics of your plan, we will work with you to come up with an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs based on your treatment plan. A lot of times we will send out a pre-authorization for you to your insurance company and see if certain larger procedures would be covered, and if they are, how much of it is covered. We work hard to avoid financial surprises.
What If the Insurance Company Denies Coverage?
Sometimes after all of our efforts, the insurance company can surprise all of us with a denial. Rest assured we will work with you to resolve the issue, but it is important to understand that we do not control the insurance company and the decisions they make. In the rare instance where the insurance decided not to cover for a procedure, it would be your responsibility to pay for the completed procedure. With all of our efforts mentioned above, this is very rare and can usually be solved when we work together and get you involved to call the insurance company. We are confident we can keep financial surprises down to a minimum.
We couldn't agree more. Bethlehem Town Family Dental is owned by the dentists, Dr. Henry Huang, and his wife, Dr. Fei Yang Xu. They moved into the area in 2012 and have established permanent residence and do not plan on moving away or retiring anytime soon. They wish to start a family in this area so they will be around for quite a long time. Also, we work very hard to retain our staff as well. We believe happy staffs will make your visit better. This means every time you come back for a 6 month check up, you will see a lot of familiar faces!
We Hear Your Concerns
We have read the same news articles and we were shocked just like everybody else. We take sterilization and infection control in our office very seriously. In our office design, we strategically placed the sterilization center right at the center of the office so every patient who enters the office can visibly see the area.
Our Sterilization Process
Sterilization center is where all the instruments are sterilized and go from the dirty (red) side to the clean (blue) side. We are confident to show our sterilization protocols and we have nothing to hide. Our sterilization center cabinetry is specifically designed by a dental manufacturer to make the sterilization process as efficient as possible. We encourage every patient to ask for a tour of the office.
Cavities Can Be Unpredictable
Getting cavities is just like any other medical conditions. We can predict your risk of developing a cavity to a certain extent, but there will always be cases that are unpredictable.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
If you are following our caries prevention protocols closely and still getting cavities, then we must examine other possibilities. If your teeth are congenitally weaker than normal due to a genetic defect you can certainly have a much higher risk for cavities. If you have a dry mouth because you take a lot of medications or you have a condition that causes dry mouth, you can have a higher risk for cavities. If you are eating something frequent that has sugar or will be converted to glucose in the mouth and you didn’t know about it, this can increase your risk to get cavities as well.
Last but not least, some patients think they are doing a great job brushing and flossing, but when we discuss oral hygiene techniques we realized they weren’t really doing the right things. You could’ve missed cleaning multiple areas in the mouth and result in bacteria build up.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you're worried about tooth pain or a possible cavity, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
A Thorough Examination
When we do an exam, we check everything in the mouth thoroughly to screen for dental decay (cavities), periodontal disease, oral cancer, and any other abnormalities. When we do a cleaning, we are removing plaque and tartar, also called calculus, on the teeth to reduce the amount of bad bacteria on the teeth that cause periodontal disease and dental decay.
Preventative Care Saves You Trouble Later On
At the interval of every 6 months, new issues such as new cavities can develop and become observable in our exam and new plaque and tartar build-up can accumulate and requires removal. It's always better to find problems early so they can be treated with a less invasive procedure. For example, a small cavity found early may only need a small filling while a big cavity found late could require a root canal therapy and crown. It's also better to keep the teeth tartar free as frequent as possible to avoid the bacterias that cause bad breath, inflamed gums, and bone loss. Some patients may require a cleaning interval of 3-4 months because of their periodontal condition.
Good Oral Health Affects Your Wellbeing
Good oral health is very important, not only does it affect your ability to eat, it also affects your general health. Poor oral health has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, premature birth, and respiratory diseases. Fortunately, most dental insurances allow an exam and cleaning and certain x-rays every 6 months. Let's work together to maintain your overall health. Call our office today to schedule your appointment.
Fluoride has been shown to do two very important things: it slows bacteria growth and strengthens teeth surfaces.
Slowing Bacteria Growth
Fluoride inhibits the way bacteria utilizes sugar and grow, this eventually stops them from multiplying and releasing acids. While fluoride is brushed onto your teeth, it also bonds to the substructure of your teeth surfaces, making them much tougher than before. Now your teeth are a lot more resistant to the acids and if your teeth start to dissolve it would release the fluoride bonded to the surface and inhibits bacteria growth again.
Topical fluoride is not the same as systemic ingested fluoride. We strongly recommend topical fluoride such as fluoride found in toothpaste, mouthwash, and varnish because they're generally not ingested. We understand a very small amount can be swallowed, but the amount is minuscule and does not post a threat to our health.
Please don't ever feel awkward to ask me this question because people ask me all the time. My wife and I have been living and breathing for more than 34 years even though we don't look anywhere close to 34 years old. We have been practicing dentistry for 8 years. During these years, we attended many continued education courses, found the best dental products, and worked with the most amazing people to bring you our modern dental office. We have learned the newest techniques and incorporate the newest technology into our practice to ensure you receive the best treatments. We are very confident in our dentistry and our smile gallery, blog case studies, and reviews are there to back us up. We also work with some of the best specialists in the area and can refer you to the specialist for specific treatments. We welcome you to visit the office, take a tour, and meet us so we can answer any questions you may have.
Having healthy teeth is not difficult, but it does require a commitment on your part. Basically, there are three things that contribute to your oral health – oral hygiene, diet, and genetics. You don’t really have any control over your genetics, so we will leave that out of our discussion for now.
Taking Daily Steps
To achieve good oral hygiene, you must brush twice a day for at least two to three minutes each time, and floss at least once a day. We also recommend the use of mouth rinse and, if needed, we may prescribe a prescription-only toothpaste that has a higher amount of fluoride to fight cavities.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
For diet, we recommend that you avoid prolonged and frequent exposure to sugar. For example, if you have a cup of coffee with sugar, finish it quickly rather than sipping it every 20 minutes. Each sip you take deposits sugar on your teeth, and it takes 30 minutes for your mouth to bring the acids back to a neutral level.
The same recommendation applies to sugar-filled snacks and beverages. Additionally, we recommend that you reduce your overall sugar intake and avoid eating sticky candies and sweets that slowly melt in the mouth.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you’d like more information about the steps you can take to improve your oral health, please give our Glenmont dental office a call. We’ll be happy to arrange an appointment for your next exam and cleaning.
Meet Dr. Huang
As a new patient, you will start by meeting the doctor. He’ll then prescribe the necessary x-rays and, with the help of our hygienist, determine the type of cleaning you need.
If your general gum health is good, a regular cleaning will be suggested, which will be done on the same day with our hygienist.
If we find that your gum health is not so great, we would first complete a regular cleaning, but in addition, we would also recommend that you consider a deep cleaning, called scaling and root planning. This procedure will allow us to clean beneath the gum and remove calculus build-up, bacteria, and toxins to return your gums back to health. Local anesthesia will be provided to ensure your comfort during the procedure.
Because it's a time-consuming process, we would most likely schedule this procedure on another day for a longer appointment. After the cleaning, the doctor will return, evaluate the x-rays, and do a comprehensive exam.
We Make A Treatment Plan for You
With a thorough exam, we can make a treatment plan and we will walk you through each step of the plan to make sure you understand every detail before we move forward. Afterward, we will schedule convenient appointments to complete your treatments.