Dental FAQ

Dental FAQ

I had a bad experience with getting the needle injected anesthetic when I was a child. Is there anything that can be done to eliminate the shot or to remove the pain?

Dr. Corey's method of numbing the patient includes use of a topical anesthetic to the gum first. He then releases a small amount of Novocain and gradually completes the process. Patients love this pain-free method. Also, for certain dental procedures, we can use the Waterlase technology, which is a dental laser that uses a hydrokinetic process, which gently washes away decay with laser-energized water droplets. This can be used for decay removal, cavity preparation, and a variety of other procedures. In most cases, use of the Waterlase laser means no drills, no needles, and no numbness at all.

I've heard of dental lasers. Are these safe and what is the advantage to using them?

Yes, dental laser technology is a safe, effective procedure. In the hands of a dentist like Dr. Corey, who is specially training and certified to use this equipment, the laser provides pinpoint accuracy, which reduces the risk of damaging adjacent healthy tissues. The primary safety measure necessary during laser treatment is proper protective glasses. While there are soft tissue (gums) and hard tissue (tooth) lasers, the Waterlase technology that is a special laser that is used on both hard and soft tissues. Dr. Corey is currently the only dentist in Fort Wayne using the Waterlase technology. The advantages to using the Waterlase process include the fact that, in most cases, there is no numbness, no drills, and no needles.

If I have a tooth that is decayed and may not be salvageable, isn't it better to just pull the tooth and be done with it?

No. If at all possible, it is better to save the tooth and cover it with a crown. A missing tooth also affects the overall function of your other teeth. They are all needed for proper support and stability in your mouth. Because the teeth on the opposite arch no longer have anything to chew against, they may begin to shift out of the socket, which could lead to more tooth loss.

I'm in my thirties and finally have the money to spend for braces on my front teeth. Is there a method of correcting my over-bite that is less noticeable than traditional braces?

Yes, one excellent solution is Clear Correct, a virtually invisible method of straightening teeth that uses a series of custom-made, nearly undetectable aligners. Using the latest in 3-D computer technology, the Clear Correct staff will take Dr. Corey's treatment plan and the impression he has made of your teeth, and they will create a series of precisely customized aligners. The length of treatment is about the same as traditional braces.

Are dental procedures always painful?

Most dental procedures are carried out under local anesthesia, which makes the procedures totally painless. In addition, the modern day high-speed drills cause less vibration and are more comfortable for patients. With the use of Waterlase technology there may be no need for anesthesia. Waterlase is painless.

What are sealants and why do we need them?

Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth or molars to keep out germs and food. The most important reason to get sealants is to prevent tooth decay. The chewing surface of our back teeth may have deep pits and grooves that our toothbrush bristles cannot clean. Sealants fill those grooves before decay attacks teeth.

When should children get their first dental x-ray?

Usually, most children will have had x-rays taken by the age of 5 or 6. As children begin to get their adult teeth around the age of 6, x-rays allow Dr. Corey to see if all of the adult teeth are growing in the jaw, look for bite problems, and determine if teeth are clean and healthy.

Why do I need a splint or Night Guard?

Many people grind and clench their teeth from time to time; the medical term for this is bruxism. Occasional teeth grinding does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged. In some cases, chronic teeth grinding can result in fracturing or loss of teeth. The chronic grinder may wear his or her teeth down to stumps. Grinding can lead to a multitude of problems including costly restorations like crowns, bridges, partials and dentures. That's why Dr. Corey prescribes night guards or splints to protect your teeth during sleep.

What causes plaque?

Plaque is the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. It makes teeth "feel fuzzy" to the tongue and is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed. You can help prevent plaque by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day with a rounded-tip, soft bristled toothbrush. Pay particular attention to the space where the gums and teeth meet. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. See your hygienist every 6 months for a check-up and cleaning.

What causes cavities?

Cavities are the result of tooth decay. Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as breads, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest these foods, turning them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth called cavities, or caries.

Do all wisdom teeth need to be extracted?

Normally, people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth: upper and lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around 6 years of age. The second molars grow in at around age 12. In many cases, wisdom teeth do not grow in properly, have a poor bite relationship, or have unhealthy gum tissue around them. Often wisdom teeth improperly erupt and become impacted, requiring them to be extracted or pulled. Wisdom teeth are typically removed after the roots are formed or at least three-fourths developed. This primarily occurs within the adolescent years.

Do you accept my insurance?

We will file your insurance claim. Your plan may require you to visit a participating provider. Dr. Corey is a provider with Parkview Signature Care. Typically, most insurance companies allow you to see any dentist you like.

My insurance did not pay as estimated, why?

If you should receive a letter from your insurance carrier stating our fee is above their usual, customary, and reasonable payment amount, your carrier may have set a ceiling or limit on various procedures. What your insurance carrier may not tell you is that other carriers may pay our charge in full.

The office of Dr. Samuel L. Corey DDS, PC has established what we feel to be reasonable and competitive fees for our services in this geographical area. The fees we charge for dental services are the same for every patient. We will give you a treatment estimate so that you may check with your insurance carrier to see what will be paid. It is the patient's responsibility to be aware of their benefits and procedures that are covered or unfortunately not covered.

We will gladly submit your claims at the time of service. We expect the unpaid (co-pay) portion to be satisfied at that time. Please remember your insurer dictates your coverage, we don't.

We feel that it is unfair for an insurance carrier to imply that we have mistreated you by overcharging for services rendered. This places the doctor in a sensitive situation, which could damage the patient/doctor relationship. We are very conscious of our charges and our commitment to you.

If you have any questions, please let us know so that we may be of service.