Dental Procedure & Billing FAQs
What precautions does Dr. Violette recommend in emergency care situations?
Some situations can be remedied or improved by following a few simple tips.
While these suggestions do not solve all problems, they offer first-aid care until you can come to our office or your local emergency room.
Knocked Out Tooth - Rinse the tooth gently under water to remove debris. Place tooth into the socket it fell from and hold it in place until you get to our office.
Otherwise, put the tooth into a baggie of milk and bring it to us so that we can determine whether reattachment is possible.
Cut / Bitten Tongue Or Lip - Thoroughly clean the cut, and then hold a cold compress against it.
If bleeding does not stop, go to your local emergency room, as you may need stitches.
Broken Tooth - A cracked or broken tooth should be rinsed immediately with warm water.
Next, hold a cold compress against the affected tooth to reduce swelling while on your way to our office for assistance.
Temporary Crown Falls Out - If your temporary crown falls out and you still have it, dry your natural tooth, apply a small dab of toothpaste to the temporary, and reattach it.
Please call our office so that we can professionally reattach your temporary as soon as possible.
Why can't I just have a filling? Why do I need a crown?
Fillings can be made from various materials and are good for fixing decayed sections of a tooth where "cavities" have occurred.
Fillings are not good for repairing cracks, broken cusps, extensive decay, or severely damaged old fillings.
There has to be enough of the natural tooth left to support a filling. If there is not, a crown is typically the only answer.
My tooth does not hurt and I have been told I need a crown, can I wait?
It is tempting to leave well enough alone when you are told that you have a condition that needs attention, and you feel just fine.
It can be a big mistake when you are talking about your health and your teeth. Here's why: A tooth that has a defective filling is a tooth that has bacteria and fluids seeping into it.
Acids from the bacteria can eat away at the natural tooth under the filling, eventually reaching the nerve and blood supply.
Once bacteria have contaminated the nerve and blood supply, the nerve will begin to fester, drain toxins out of the end of the root, and eventually produce an abscess.
This is often painful and never happens at a convenient time. Once an abscess has formed, an endodontic procedure, or root-canal is needed too.
Planning for a crown insertion can save you time, pain, and money in the long run.
My dentist says I need a crown, does that mean I need to have a root canal also?
Just because a tooth needs a crown does not mean that a root canal must be done. Once the tooth has been anesthetized, the doctor has the best chance to evaluate the possibility of a root canal.
It is possible for bacteria to contaminate a tooth nerve without any signs or symptoms for a patient.
If it turns out that the nerve has been microscopically contaminated, a root canal may need to be performed in the future.
Sometimes this may be done through the top of the existing crown, without the crown requiring replacement.
Even though this might happen, it is not reasonable or recommended too perform root canal treatment on all teeth requiring crowns.
I have dental insurance. Will it pay for my crown?
Your dental plan will help with the expense of a crown, but will not cover the full expense of a crown.
Most insurance companies have an annual maximum limit as to the amount of money they pay for any treatment during a calendar year. They also have a list of services that are covered or not covered.
Your dental insurance plan is not like your medical insurance. Dental insurance is a money benefit usually supplied by an employer to help employees pay for routine dental treatment, rather than true insurance to cover a medical catastrophe.
Most benefit plans are only designed to cover a portion of the total cost of dental care for any patient.
Many contracts are designed to pay a minimum amount regardless of what service you actually need. Despite this, any amount covered reduces what you have to pay out of your pocket. Any amount helps!
I received an Explanation Of Benefits (EOB) from my insurance company, saying my dental bill exceeded the "usual and customary." Does this mean that my dentist is overcharging me?
Keep in mind that what insurance carriers call usual and customary is really just what your employer and the insurance company have negotiated as the amount that will be paid toward your dental treatment.
It is frequently much less than what any dentist in your area might actually charge for dental procedure. It does not mean that your dentist is charging too much.