Frequently Asked Questions

You and your dentist will be long-term oral health care partners; therefore you need to find someone with whom you can be comfortable. To find a suitable dentist, such as Dr. Jarwa, whom can meet your needs, consider visiting us to take a tour of our state of the art dental office and consider asking the following questions as a starting point:

-What are the office hours? Are they convenient to meet your schedule?
-Is the office easy to get to from work or home?
-Where was the dentist educated and trained?
-What’s the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry?
-How often does the dentist attend conferences and continuing education workshops?
-What type of anesthesia is the dentist certified to administer to help you relax and feel more comfortable during any necessary dental treatment?
-What arrangements are made for handling emergencies outside of office hours? (Most dentists make arrangements with a colleague or emergency referral service if they are unable to tend to emergencies.)
-Is information provided about all fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled? (If you are comparison shopping, ask for estimates on some common procedures such as full-mouth X-rays, oral exam and cleaning, and filling a cavity.)
-Does the dentist participate in your dental health plan?
-What is the office policy on missed appointments?

This is one of the most asked questions. It is rare that we can do this all in same day, generally because we don’t know exactly how much time your cleaning will take, until we have done a thorough exam. Sometimes we are able to do this, but it is rare.
Exposure to all sources of radiation — including the sun, minerals in the soil, appliances in your home, and dental X-rays — can damage the body’s tissues and cells, and can lead to the development of cancer in some instances. Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of X-rays is extremely small.

Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to the low radiation levels emitted by today’s X-rays. Some of the improvements are new X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed, higher speed X-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth (which prevents the film from slipping and the need for repeat X-rays and additional radiation exposure).

Also, the use of lead-lined, full-body aprons protects the body from stray radiation (though this is almost non-existent with the modern dental X-ray machines). In addition, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years. Some states require more frequent checks.

The answer to this varies. Patient’s extent of gingivitis and/or periodontal disease varies. We used to look at getting your teeth cleaned as, “if you get your teeth cleaned you won’t get cavities or periodontal disease.” Now in dentistry we tend to look at teeth cleanings as hedging your bets, doing all you can do minimize what YOU are susceptible to. I have patients who get their teeth cleaned every 3 months, and still have severe periodontal disease even though they floss every day and get there dental cleaning 4 times a year. The opposite is true as well, I have patients that only come in once a year, they are not great brushers or flossers, and yet they have no tooth decay or major periodontal disease. The point of all of this is that we tailor every cleaning regimen to each individual patient, based on what we think is needed for us to feel like we are doing everything we can to minimize what YOU are susceptible to, nothing more, nothing less.
In general, studies show that an electric toothbrush is better than brushing alone.
Yes, fluoride treatments are routinely used after cleaning for children, but many adults benefit from fluoride treatment as much as, or even more than children. Adults who show the following characteristics would benefit from a Fluoride Varnish treatment:

-Frequent decay
-Gum recession with exposed tooth root (roots are more vulnerable to decay)
-Sensitive teeth
-Dry mouth (a lack of normal saliva flow makes teeth more susceptible to decay)
-Infrequent brushing and flossing
-Frequent consumption of soda pop or other acidic drinks
-Crowns or multiple fillings (the edges of crowns and fillings are prone to decay)
-Active orthodontic treatment (brackets trap more plaque making teeth more likely to decay)
-Developmental defects in the teeth

The basic problem in dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a lack of saliva. This can be caused by diseases of the salivary gland, medications that decrease salivary flow as a side effect or as a natural result of aging. This decrease in saliva can lead to a number of severe dental problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and mouth infections.

The best way to combat this problem is to use sugar free candy or gum and to drink plenty of water. Do not use sugared candy or soda, as they can lead to rapid dental decay in patients with dry mouths. Several over the counter products are also available that can help with some dry mouth symptoms. If you’re concerned that you may have xerostomia, contact Dr. Jarwa or your physician to determine its cause and see what might work best in your situation. Ask us how you can have xylitol gum and mints for free.

We accept all patients, whatever the situation. That’s why at Grace Dental we have an in house plan that you can utilize for an affordable fee. We also offer 3rd party financing from companies that in general offer no interest for different periods of time such as CareCredit.
We accept cash, and all major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. We also accept financing through CareCredit, a third-party institution. CareCredit offers interest-free payment plans, allowing you to get the treatment you need as soon as you are ready. Ask us about CareCredit; we have applications on hand and can have a response for you in just a few minutes. Click here for more information about CareCredit.
All accounts with a balance owing are billed monthly. We bill insurance carriers as a courtesy for our patients however the patient is financially responsible for all balances due for whatever your insurance does not cover and your regular copays made by your insurance plan.
Within the past decade, composite resin fillings have become the standard of care for restoring decaying teeth. Made from a tooth-colored putty-like substance, composite resin fillings are durable, biocompatible restorations with the teeth structure. Most patients elect to get white composite fillings instead of silver amalgam fillings due to their many benefits, including:

-No health risks associated with the use of composite fillings.
-The tooth-colored material can be matched to blend in with surrounding teeth.
-Bonding effect that enhances the strength of the teeth rather than weakening it.

Although most patients prefer composite fillings, there are some disadvantages that they should be aware of:

-Tooth-colored fillings are more expensive than silver fillings
-The use of composite materials requires more skill on the part of the dentist; this results in higher prices and highlights the importance of choosing a qualified cosmetic dentist to perform your procedure
-Possible sensitivity for a period of time.

On the contrast the amalgam over the past few years, amalgam fillings have become a hot topic in the dental and medical worlds. Why? Because of their mercury content. Over time, amalgam fillings have been known to break down and leak, releasing potentially harmful substances into the bloodstream of the patient. Additionally, as amalgam fillings fail, the cavity underneath can become exposed, increasing the patient’s chance of experiencing further tooth decay and eventually needing a root canal to save the tooth from extraction and the mouth and body from severe infection. This problem can go undetected by x-ray due to the nature of the amalgam filling and its nature of hiding the cavities. Because of their dark appearance, amalgam fillings are dark, unaesthetic and can cause amalgam tattoo to the dentin and or soft tissue.

We like to separate whitening into two broad categories: IN OFFICE and TAKE HOME bleaching. In-office systems generally whiten faster, than take home systems. The benefit of take home systems is that you get a custom or semi-custom tray that you bleach at home again, when you feel the color is fading. We use an in-office/take home system that offers the benefit of a quick boost in whiteness at the office, and you also get a semi-custom tray and take home bleach, so you get the best of both systems. Some patients require more intensive in-office bleaching to get the desired results (in other words some teeth are harder to bleach than others). Ask our staff about our In-Office Zoom Whitening today.
A Root Canal is a procedure to remove the dental pulp (nerve and blood vessels) and/or infectious bacteria of a tooth that is causing a certain pain, exhibiting swelling in the gums, or discoloration following trauma.

See more about root canals (CLICK HERE)

A crown (sometimes referred to as a “cap”) may be recommended for several reasons. When a tooth has had a large filling, the overall structure of the tooth is greatly weakened putting the tooth at risk for breaking. A crown can reinforce the structure of the tooth there by strengthening it. The long term success of a crown is improved if done before a tooth breaks. A crown will also be recommended if you were to break a piece of tooth, as large fillings are not as durable, over time, as a crown.

Does it hurt to bite or chew with a particular tooth? This may indicate a crack in the tooth. A cracked tooth is made to feel better by preventing the crack from opening or spreading by covering the tooth with a crown. A cracked tooth left untreated may progress to the point that the tooth breaks in such a way that it becomes no longer repairable and must be removed. Other reasons for crowns include: misshaped or discolored teeth, as part of a dental bridge, following root canal treatment, or as the final step with an implant tooth.