Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, we have compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions.
If you do not see the answer to your question here, please contact us with your questions.

You should bring your dental insurance information, a list of your medications and allergies, and any medical conditions that you have. You will be required to fill out some paperwork, including a medical history information card, and personal contact information.
During your first appointment you will have a series of routine X-rays taken that check for cavities. If you have any specific concerns, such as tooth pain, broken or missing teeth, or wisdom teeth further X-rays will be taken to visualize these areas of concern. Dr. Spackman and Dr. Polos will then do a visual examination of your mouth and teeth, and discuss his findings with you along with possible options for treatment. In most cases, only dental hygiene (cleanings) will be provided on the day of the first appointment. When you are finished with the doctor, the front desk team will provide you with a written quote for the treatment decided upon, and will book your next appointment for the start of treatment.
The cost of dental treatment varies depending on the treatment modality selected. For example, to replace missing teeth, a partial denture is less costly than implants. Dr. Spackman and Dr. Polos will discuss the various treatment options with you and inform you of the difference in cost. You will be provided with a written estimate for all work to be done before treatment is started.
Spackman Dental gladly accepts all insurance plans and will direct bill your plan on your behalf. We do not charge people with dental insurance more than people who do not have insurance.
At Spackman Dental, your insurance company will be billed for treatment as it is provided. You will not be billed until all the planned dental treatment is completed and your insurance company has paid us directly. Only then will you be sent an invoice for the amount that your insurance company would not cover.
X-rays allow Dr. Spackman and Dr. Polos to visualize oral structures that are not visible by just looking in the mouth. Many diseases or problems can be found before they become painful and are much more difficult (and expensive) to fix. These include:
• Small cavities
• Infections in the bone
• Abscesses and cysts
• Periodontitis (advanced gum disease)
• Some types of tumors
The newer dental X-ray films use far less radiation than previous films, and are very safe. Most people are exposed to about 3.000 mSV (millisievert) of radiation per year from natural sources such as from outer space and minerals in the soil. The total amount of radiation from bitewings (4 dental X-rays – the usual number of X-rays taken during a check-up) is about 0.038 mSV. Compared to the average amount of radiation from natural sources, dental X-rays only make up about 1% of the total amount of radiation that most people are exposed to in one year.
Most people should have a check-up and cleaning once every 12 months. If you tend to build up plaque and calculus quickly, the Dental Hygienist at Spackman Dental may recommend an increased frequency for regular cleanings, usually every 6 months.
Teeth that have had a root canal are dead because the living tissue inside the tooth has been removed and only the hard outer layers of Dentin and Enamel remain. Over time, dead teeth become more brittle and are more prone to fractures of the root and/or cusps. Only by placing a full coverage crown can possible fracture or breakage be prevented, ensuring many more years of service from the tooth.

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