How does the doctor keep up to date on all of the current techniques and materials?
Dr. Vastardis subscribes to the latest industry journals to keep tabs on research and development in the dental industry. He also takes time on a regular basis for continuing education, and ensures that his staff does the same. As a team and as individuals, our office makes it our responsibility to be familiar with the latest techniques and materials available.
Can you show me what my smile can look like ahead of time with some of that fancy imaging stuff?
We routinely use dental imaging to help our patients visualize the end results of cosmetic and restorative work. By simply asking the right questions taking various photos of your current smile, and keying the correct input into the computer, we'll generate a graphic image to demonstrate accurately how your procedure will affect your smile.
How do I know when it's time to come in for a checkup?
An average, healthy adult person typically benefits from a professional cleaning and check up every six months. While twice daily brushing and daily flossing go a long way towards maintaining a healthy mouth, it's wise to check for plaque that has hardened into tartar requiring professional cleaning to avoid gingivitis.
What about my children, at what age do they first see a dentist?
Believe it or not, it's wise to bring a child in for their first dental visit about 6 months after their primary teeth have erupted, or generally around their first birthday. First of all, this provides the dental professional an opportunity to spot and prevent any potential oral health/dental problems; it also gives the child a positive, non-threatening dental office experience.
Do you accept referrals?
We're happy to accept referrals from other dental offices as well as from recommendations by our patients to their family and friends. We request that a patient evaluation form be completed prior to the first visit; we also require all records and x-rays be forwarded to our office.
Do you accept my insurance plan?
Our office works with most major dental insurances and we make every effort to determine what they will cover and what amount they will reimburse for your dental services.
What if I need to cancel an appointment? Will I be charged?
In order to maintain a well-run office, we request that all appointment cancellations be made at least 24 hours ahead of time. This ensures that you'll avoid being billed for our time and preparation; it also enables us to work in other patients' emergency visits.
What do I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?
In case of a true dental emergency, please contact our office voice mail and let us know the nature of your condition. We'll return your call promptly and give you helpful information over the phone, then determine if you need to be seen immediately.
I have a temporary crown in my mouth. What happens if it comes off or breaks?
If your temporary crown comes off or breaks, carefully wrap up the piece(s), place it into a protective container, and call our office to schedule an appointment for Dr. Vastardis to re-apply it as soon as possible. Under NO circumstances should you attempt to re-glue the crown or crown pieces back into position.
My child has had an accident and his/her tooth have been entirely knocked out. What do I do?
If your child's tooth is knocked out during office hours but there is no imminent medical emergency such as uncontrolled bleeding, unconsciousness, or other bodily injury, please contact us immediately to see Dr. Vastardis as soon as possible. Simply describe the situation over the phone and our office staff will help you determine the safest and most appropriate plan of action.
What different payment options do you accept?
We accept cash, personal checks, and all major credit cards. Your insurance plan co-pay is due at the time of your visit, but we can bill deductible payments over a period of time according to your particular situation. Please let us know ahead of time if you desire to pay in installments so we can structure an appropriate plan for you.
Is there a way I can ask the Doctor questions directly?
We encourage our patients to have open, direct communication with Dr. Vastardis. Therefore, he's available daily to answer your questions either via e-mail or voice mail. Depending on office traffic and the complexity of your questions, he strives to respond within 24 hours.
How can I have whiter teeth?
There are a number of procedures available to help whiten your smile, from at-home bleaching products to in-office supervised treatments. Dr. Vastardis can help evaluate the potential for whitening your teeth, based on their current color and the causes of any discoloration. Once you have decided on the most appropriate method, you'll probably spend anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks undergoing a series of simple whitening treatments. Most patients expect to end up with teeth approximately 2 shades brighter on the dental shade chart.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
Our entire practice team is well-versed in state-of-the-art sanitation techniques designed to ensure patient safety. This goes beyond wearing gloves and face masks to prevent passing germs, but includes a specialized sanitation center and a water filtration system that guarantees a fresh water source for each patient.
What makes you different than any other dental practice I can visit?
When you become a patient of our practice, we think of you as a person, not just another set of teeth to fix and clean. Our goal is to help you obtain and then maintain the best possible oral health. So, we take time to understand your dental history and evaluate the best options for your particular dental needs.
Is it bad if my gums bleed after I brush my teeth?
It's certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough, 'scrubbing' instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled tooth brush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods, or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.
I really don't like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?
We understand that many people have qualms about having their teeth worked on. So, we strive to create a relaxing atmosphere. For entertainment and distraction, we have special headphones and DVD movies available in all rooms so you can keep your mind on more pleasant things. And for the more complex procedures, we also offer laughing gas and local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and relaxed.
My breath has a terrible odor, but I brush every day. Is it just me, or is there something you can do to help?
Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here's a checklist of procedures that eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing and tongue cleaning, regular professional cleanings, and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we offer several solutions. First, we provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. We recommend a specially-prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to actually break the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may also suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.
Do I really have to floss every day? I mean, what's the big deal?
A little regular flossing goes a long way, and is truly critical for your overall oral health. It loosens food particles in tight spaces that your toothbrush cannot reach; it gets rid of plaque build-up that toothbrushes alone cannot remove; and it exercises your gum tissues. All of which is necessary to avoid gum disease. So, just think of daily flossing as the finishing touch after brushing -insurance for your smile's future.
I want my front teeth to look better, but I don't want to wear braces, what can you do to help?
Dr. Vastardis has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of unsightly braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give them a bright, uniform look. In other cases, it may be necessary to attach 'invisible' braces behind the front teeth. We'd be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation.
I'm a new patient and I know there is probably something I will have to fill out before I see the Doctor. 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 visit our New Patient Information page and choose the appropriate forms from the listing provided. From there, you quickly print the forms you need.
My spouse snores and keeps me up all night. I've heard that a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. If this is true, how do I find out if you can help?
Snoring is tough on any relationship! And, since it can be caused by a number of factors, we encourage you to have your spouse come in for a consultation and analysis with Dr. Vastardis to determine the cause. In some cases, a person may actually stop breathing for short periods during the night, a condition called sleep apnea. In other cases, snoring can be caused by enlarged anatomical structures within the mouth and throat. During sleep, the throat area relaxes allowing these structures to collapse against one another and obstruct clear airflow. In the latter situation, we prescribe and fit a special appliance called a ”snore-guard” which gently holds the mouth and throat in an open position during relaxed sleep and thus prevents snoring.
What is Bacterial Endocarditis?
Occasionally during dental treatment bleeding can occur. As a result of this bleeding, bacteria from your mouth can possibly enter the bloodstream and work their way to your heart. This presents a risk for some people with cardiac abnormalities because the bacteria may cause Bacterial Endocarditis, a serious inflammation of the heart valves or tissues.
Some heart conditions are more often associated with endocarditis than others. To determine if an existing heart condition poses a risk to you, your dentist needs complete health information on your medical history form. The form should also include the names and addresses of your family physician and/or cardiologist, as well as the names and dosages of all medications that you take.
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