Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I really do not like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?
A: Many people are uncomfortable with visiting the dentist. Your comfort is our highest priority at The Dental Shoppe and our office is designed so that you can enjoy a relaxing dental visit. Nitrous oxide is also offered to keep you comfortable and relaxed.
Q: I brush everyday, but my breath just is not fresh. Is there anything I can do?
A: Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can 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 can offer several solutions.
First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. Or we can 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.
Q: What is a crown and why do I need one?
A: If Dr. Langefeld, Dr. Czapla, or Dr. Matthaei has recommended a crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to cavities. The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes decay is removed, leaving healthy tooth structure, just not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most crowns are precision-milled porcelain or gold and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long lasting smile.
Q: I know I need X-Rays, but I’d prefer to not be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-Rays?
A: Yes, we do offer digital X-rays (radiographs). Digital X-rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film-based X-rays. You will find that at The Dental Shoppe, we research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety and comfort.
Q: How does fluoride help my teeth?
A: Research shows that fluoride reduces cavities in both children and adults by halting tooth decay. It also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes visible. Interestingly, many people continue to be misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is a safe chemical component when used correctly. When your dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, usually in the form of a fluoride varnish, gel, or foam, that fluoride is more concentrated than the fluoride contained in toothpaste or mouthwash. The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength fluoride varnishes, gels or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Q: I just want my smile to look good. What are some options to help the appearance of my smile?
A: You are not alone. Most people want to have a nice smile since it is the first thing others notice about you. You may be interested in a few minor adjustments or may have concerns that need more attention. Some smiles can be enhanced with simple whitening or bonding treatments. Other smiles need porcelain veneers, crowns or bridges, gum contouring, periodontal therapy, or a combination of all these techniques. Drs. Langefeld, Czapla and Matthaei will suggest a treatment plan for you based on your goals, areas of concern and the overall condition of your oral health. Contact The Dental Shoppe for a complimentary smile evaluation to determine what course of action will produce the best solution for you.
Q: I want my front teeth to look better, but I do not want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
A: The Dental Shoppe team has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of traditional 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. We would be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation. Attention to detail, respect for the individual and a true concern for each patient are the hallmarks of our personal care and our quality product. We are committed to helping you fulfill your ultimate self-image.
Q: How can losing a back tooth affect my smile?
A: Losing a back tooth will darken your overall smile, making it look smaller and narrower. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth has teeth on both sides of it. Function during chewing will be reduced and function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth. When you are missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces, and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or the need for restorations.
Q: What are my options to replace a missing tooth?
A: By replacing missing teeth either with an implant or a bridge, you will alleviate the problems associated with missing a tooth and give your smile back it’s beautiful, full appearance. A dental implant is an excellent solution and is becoming the standard of care for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth, or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures. A bridge is also one solution for replacing a tooth. By using neighboring teeth as the supportive structure, your dentist at The Dental Shoppe places a porcelain restoration into the vacant space, restoring the functionality and look of your smile.
Q: What can I expect from my first appointment?
A: During your first appointment, your overall dental and oral health will be assessed with a comprehensive oral evaluation. Upon completion of your medical / dental health form, we will ask you to tell us your goals regarding your smile, teeth, and gums. Digital photos and X-rays will be taken of your teeth to identify areas of decay, cracked teeth and malfunctioning restorations. DIAGNOdent™, a specialized laser, will also be used on your teeth, notifying us of early areas of decay that are not visible on the X-ray or digital photographs. Our goal at The Dental Shoppe is to preserve as much of your teeth as possible by catching decay in its earliest stages. We’ll also assess your gums and recommend the appropriate hygiene treatment for you.
Q: Do you accept new patient referrals?
A: Over the years patients have given us the compliment of referring family and friends to Drs. Langefeld, Czapla and Matthaei. The Dental Shoppe’s reputation for excellent dental care depends on two things: our good work and your beautiful smile. Your confidence in our care motivates us to continue to strive for excellence. Thank you for your referrals. Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.
Q: My teeth keep chipping and cracking. What causes this? What can I do about it?
A: Many people who notice chipped or cracked teeth, but don’t remember when the injury occurred, damaged their teeth while they were sleeping. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night will cause your teeth to chip, crack and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a nightguard. A custom fitted night guard protects your teeth from grinding and clenching in your sleep. Drs. Langefeld, Czapla, and Matthaei take great care in making sure you have a proper fit to prevent pain in your jaw joint. If you suffer from headaches, you may find that a reduction in grinding leads to headache prevention. Many headaches start during the night, caused by the extreme pressure generated as you grind and clench your teeth.
Q: I want and need a lot of dental work, but I’m afraid I can’t afford it. Do you offer monthly payment plans?
A: Yes, we do offer monthly payment plans with our financial partner, Care Credit™. We provide a variety of ways for you to pay for your treatment so that it fits comfortably into your personal or family financial goals. The Dental Shoppe business team works with you to create the solution that accommodates you so you can have the beautiful, healthy smile you have always desired.
Q: I want cosmetic dentistry. Does my insurance pay for it?
A: Dental insurance is designed to assist you in paying for your dentistry. Most procedures are not fully covered by your insurance. Cosmetic dentistry, in particular, is not covered by most dental insurance plans. To help you afford your smile, The Dental Shoppe offers a variety of payment options in addition to a monthly payment plan provided by our financial partner, Care Credit™. We also pay special attention to maximizing the benefits that your insurance does provide. Ask our business team how you can comfortably afford your dentistry and maximize your dental insurance benefits.
Q: My gums bleed. Why is this?
A: Gums affected by periodontal disease become red and inflamed, often bleeding during brushing or flossing. Timely treatment can reverse these conditions. However, if these conditions are ignored, your periodontal disease can worsen, becoming a condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is much more difficult to treat.
Periodontitis affects your gums, bone and teeth in a manner that cannot be reversed. To prevent tooth loss, you may require more extensive, specialized treatment from your general dentist or even a periodontist. If left untreated, periodontitis results in tooth loss – teeth either fall out on their own or must be extracted. If you don’t diagnose and treat periodontitis in its early stages, you may require extensive surgery to save your teeth and may put yourself at risk for other serious health problems.
Q: How do sealants protect teeth?
A: A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids and guarding against disease-causing bacteria. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.
Q: I want my teeth to be whiter. Do you recommend at-home or in-office whitening?
A: Dentist directed at-home whitening from Nu Radiance® is an effective way of brightening your smile. Your Dental Shoppe dentist customizes the treatment to ensure your happiness with the results. Your custom home whitening kit involves a special tray that is customized to fit over your teeth. You will also receive prescription whitening gel, which is inserted into the tray before you wear it. Drs. Langefeld, Czapla, and Matthaei give you detailed instructions about how long you should wear the tray each day and when you can expect results.
Q: What are dental implants, and how can they replace missing teeth?
A: Dental implants involve the placement of a titanium post directly into the jawbone. Once the post has bonded to the bone, it can act as a new, solid support for a natural looking, porcelain restoration. Implants can replace a single tooth, or an entire set of teeth, offering more function and permanence than traditional dentures. They also promote bone retention, eliminate the issues associated with ill-fitting dentures, and look and function like natural teeth. With proper care, they can last a lifetime.