We have compiled some of our most frequently asked questions in one place. This is a great place to start learning more about Essex Smiles and the services we provide. Have a question not answered here? Give our team a call. We want to you to feel confident in your journey to a beautiful and healthy smile.
I often forget that I have a scheduled appointment. Do you call the night before as a reminder?
No worries! We remind you of your appointment by either text or email (your choice). We customize reminders especially for you. Most of our patients prefer a one-week advance reminder, with a second reminder the day before their appointment, and a last reminder on the day of their appointment.
How often should I have my teeth cleaned? I sometimes go years between appointments. Is it necessary?
On average, most people require thorough dental prophylaxis(teeth cleaning) once every six months. More frequent cleaning may be necessary for people that have diabetes or have a history of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Recent research has shown that people with gum disease have 2-3 times the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. So, taking care of your oral health also benefits your overall health!
A regular cleaning, or “dental prophy” is recommended for people who do not have any bone loss, periodontal disease, or infection present around their teeth. Additionally, there should be no bleeding, receding of the gums (making the tooth appear”longer” by exposing its’ root), and no infection present.
If you notice your gums bleed while brushing or flossing, or they appear red or swollen, this may be early signs of periodontal disease. Once periodontal disease is confirmed by the appearance of bone loss on a dental x-ray. Root Planing/Scaling is the process of removing tartar, toxins, and bacteria from the full length of the root surface.
This procedure is typically one of the first steps in treating periodontal disease. It is needed to stop the progression of the disease, and restore your mouth to good health.
For your convenience, we offer flexible financing options to pay for your much needed dental care. Since every person’s finances are unique, we are confident that one of our payment options will be ideally suited for you. There will be no surprise costs or hidden fees, and we will strive to make payment options as painless as your dentistry!
Regarding your insurance, we work with your insurance company! Even though dental insurance is a private arrangement between you and your company, we will tirelessly work to make sure you receive your maximum insurance benefit. We will file your claim and handle all of the necessary paperwork for you!
Although a visual clinical exam is part of a thorough dental exam, hidden areas of decay (cavities) and other problems of the teeth may be hidden in the supporting bone which cannot be seen with just a visual exam.
Radiographs are a necessary part of good patient care. Here at ESSEX SMILES, we use digital radiography, which produces up to 90% less radiation than conventional dental x-rays.
Perhaps the best explanation can be found at the Pankey Institutes website:
The Pankey Difference
“Pankey-trained dentists are taught how to treat their patients as individuals, how to do complete examinations, how to take enough time to listen and answer questions fully, and how to create a practice that reflects their own personal values.
Optimal care is the goal of Pankey-trained dentists, and this creates long-lasting comfort, function and naturally beautiful teeth. Your Pankey-trained dentist will discuss treatment options and counsel you on making appropriate choices.”
Dr. Orrico is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists who are dedicated to professional development and continuing education. All AGD members must remain current with advances in the profession to provide quality patient treatment. A general dentist who is a “Fellow” in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) has been recognized by other general dentists as a leader and exemplifies to other dentists the importance of quality continuing dental education.
To achieve the FAGD award, a dentist must complete a minimum of 500 dental education credit hours, pass a comprehensive exam, and been an AGD member for five consecutive years. While attaining Fellowship is a challenge, it allows dentists to remain current with what is new in dentistry, and to incorporate the latest techniques into their practice. To date, out of 195,941 practicing dentists in the United States, only slightly more than 10,000 (5.1%) have achieved Fellowship.