Questions. Answered. NoBull.

Some of the most common questions our dental experts receive from patients are listed below. Take a look and we’re sure you’ll find one or two that may be on your list.

Cavities (Decay, Dental Caries)?

Dental decay is caused by an acidic environment that dissolves tooth structure. Sugar by itself does not cause dental decay. Having “Soft Teeth” is a myth. Cavities are most often created by 1. Bacteria in your mouth that metabolize sugar into acid 2. Foods and drinks that are acidic 3. Gastric reflux which is acidic 4. Changes in mouth chemistry often related to systemic or medication changes

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Should my child get dental sealants

Dental sealants have been proven to prevent dental cavities (decay), especially in high caries risk children. Dental sealants have a short life! One study concluded dental sealants only protect 50% of teeth for up to 4 years. While dental sealants can “seal-out” decay when a sealant breaks down, they can also trap bacteria and acid, effectively “sealing-in” decay.

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Do I have cracks in my teeth?

The key to detecting asymptomatic cracks/fractures is visual magnification and transillumination. At high magnification cracks/fractures are seen in nearly all teeth.

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What is a root canal?

Cleaning and filling the nerve system that supports a tooth. The goal is to remove all bacteria and seal the nerve system to prevent future bacteria growth.

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What does flossing do?

Flossing helps reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth and helps keep gums healthy.

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When should my child first go to the dentist?

As early as 12 months or sight of the first tooth. No later than 24 months.

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Should I use a mouthwash rinse?

While there is little conclusive evidence supporting that mouthwash does anything that brushing does not, it’s a good idea to fully cleanse your mouth of left over particles that brushing and flossing can leave behind. As such, brush your teeth well for two minutes twice a day and floss once a day.

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Do I need to worry about tooth decay in my infants (kids, toddlers)?

Yes, tooth decay occurs in children for the same reason it does in adults. Parents need to be smart and responsible regarding their infant’s and toddler’s oral care.

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What are dental crowns and why should I get one?

A dental crown is a reconstruction that fully covers a tooth. They should be done to ensure the integrity of the tooth’s nerve (e.g., to protect a tooth from fracture).

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Why did my temporary dental crown come off?

Crowns (permanent and temporary) should not come off in normal environments.

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How often do I need to visit the dentist?

12 months for a healthy adult with great oral hygiene and minimal dental procedures (restorations: fillings, crowns, etcetera).

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Does it matter what kind of toothbrush I use?

There is no conclusive evidence that electric toothbrushes are significantly more effective than manual ones. For best results, be disciplined and brush for about 2-3 minutes twice a day.

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Am I clenching and grinding my teeth?

Clenching and grinding are largely under-diagnosed. Patients are often in denial that they clench and grind because they are simply unaware. Muscle tenderness in the morning and teeth touching when you are not speaking or eating are indicators of teeth clenching and grinding.

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I have dental pain, what is it?

Dental pain generally comes from one of three places: inside the tooth, the gums, or the soft tissue and/or jaw muscles.

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My child broke their tooth, what should I do?

A trip to the emergency room cannot be cautioned against, but most emergency rooms have limited to no experience with teeth. An oral surgeon or pediatric dentist is often your best bet, except in severe cases.

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What’s the difference between implants and bridges, (bridgework)?

When one or more teeth are missing, patients may be given the choice between a dental implant or a bridge. Generally speaking, below explains the difference between replacing a single tooth with a single implant and crown, in comparison to a bridge: 

  • A tooth implant is a little more expensive up front but overall less expensive when longevity and replacement costs are considered. Implants should last 2, 3, 4+ times longer (all else equal) than bridges and are usually a better investment.
  • An implement prevents the need to prepare adjacent teeth. Statistically speaking, teeth that are prepared stand an increased chance of needing additional expensive dentistry such as root canals and crowns. 
  • Implants decrease the amount of food impaction that can cause gum problems. Both implant crowns and bridges accumulate debris differently than a natural tooth. 
  • Choosing a tooth implant compared to a bridge is a faster procedure and should require less time in the dental chair.
  • Implants can be harder to match the color in the anterior zone because fewer teeth are being altered. 
  • Implants are a more modern procedure. Usually, they provide a more stable solution than traditional bridges and feel more like a natural tooth.
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Why do different dentists say I have different numbers of cavities?

Not every tooth is a nail. A tooth’s environment, a patient’s history, and an estimated rate of progression should be among other factors, considered before recommending a restoration.

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When should I get a second opinion?

Get a second opinion any time you do not feel comfortable or confidant with your provider’s prognosis or recommended treatment.

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How does NoBull Dental screen dentists?

We have a list of requirements for education and experience, and we also know specifics like, does a dentist see children, what financing and insurance options are available, and the specific procedures and technology dentists offer.

How can NoBull Dental find the right dentists for me (and my family)?

Our questionnaire allows you to provide us with important information to guide us in selecting the right dentists for your needs, values, and goals. After completing our initial, 2 min. questionnaire, we will send you a more in-depth questionniare to learn more about what you want from your dentist. Our goal is to find the best dentist for you based on your personal values.

Who are the NoBull Dental experts?

Our dental experts don’t answer clinical questions that require an office visit, exam, x-rays, etc. They are professionals in the dental field who are experts with dental treatments, technology, common concerns, products, and more. They can answer general questions about what a specific treatment involves, what kinds of technology would make a procedure minimally invasive, or which brands of products are best for a specific situation. They also know what attitributes to look for in dentists because NoBull Dental experts are dentists.

Do I need dental insurance?

You do not need dental insurance or dental benefits to see a dentist. Arguably, many of the best dentists are out of some or all networks.

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Will a NoBull Dental dentist take my insurance?

If you specify which insurance you have, we can connect you with a NoBull Dental dentist who is either an in-network provider or who accepts the insurance, if such a dentist is available near you.

Can I use my health savings account (HSA) for dental care or dental products?

Usually, HSA funds can be accessed to pay for dental treatments, specialty dental procedures, products provided by the dentist’s office, and products prescribed by a dentist, (like mouthguards and sleep appliances). To find out whether certain products are covered by your HSA account, you’ll need to contact your employer’s human resources department or your health savings account management service.

What financing options are most popular with patients?

By far, CareCredit is the most popular line of credit for patients. CareCredit offers low, no-interest loans to qualified applicants- you can apply from your computer or smartphone. We can tell you whether the NoBull Dental dentists we recommend for you accepts CareCredit or other third-party financing. In some cases, dental offices and particularly orthodontist offices provide in-office payment plans.

How are dental fees generated?

Many factors go into determining the fees for dental services. These factors include but are not limited to:

  • the dentist’s education and experience
  • location of the dental office
  • technology available in the office
  • dental lab used
  • materials used for restorations and prosthetics
  • cost of procedures at other dental offices in the region

The amount patients pay depends on whether they have (and the dental office accepts their) dental insurance, a health savings account, a discount plan, or a health share plan. A dentist’s office will provide a patient with a list of estimated fees taking into consideration any insurance or discounts.

Will the estimated cost a dentist provides me with be the actual end cost?

Most estimates are close or right on the money. While some insurance companies could have changes in their coverage and/or unforeseen issues may arise during treatment, dental care estimates are not guaranteed. This is why they’re “estimates” and not just straightforward fees. You can ask your dentist to stop treatment and alert you when a procedure is going to exceed the estimated cost and by how much. However, having a backup plan like additional cash on hand, a credit card, or a pre-approved CareCredit line of credit is a good idea.

Do I have to pay out of pocket at the dentist’s office?

This depends on your insurance coverage. Before you undergo any treatment, your dentist office should be able to tell you the estimated out-of-pocket fee to expect to pay at your appointment. Note that many dental insurance plans pay for one dental cleaning and checkup every six months, and x-rays every one to two years, depending on the type of x-ray.