Frequently Asked Questions

What insurances do you take?

We take all insurances but are considered in-network with the companies listed below. We realize that understanding your coverage details and options is often challenging. As always, please call our office to discuss coverage and payment details.

  • Guardian Dental PPO
  • Delta Premier
  • Met Life Dental PPO
  • DenteMax
  • BlueCross and BlueSheild Dental PPO
  • Aetna Dental PPO
  • Cigna Dental PPO

Do you have financing options?

We do not finance through our office itself, but we accept Care Credit, which offers a wide range of financing options. You may qualify for coverage of your total costs or a portion thereof. You may also consider financing any portion of your care not covered by your regular insurance.

What do I need to bring for my visit?

Our goal is to provide you with every piece of information necessary for you to proceed with confidence through the course of your oral health procedures. Coming fully prepared to your first visit will enable us to give you the best care and most accurate feedback. Please bring the following to your first appointment:

  • X-ray
  • Referral form from your dentist
  • Insurance card
  • List of current medications that you are taking

Can I use the X-ray from my Dentist?

Yes, we can use an existing x-ray as long as it is a panoramic x-ray and it is less than one year old.

What exactly is the scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery?

This title refers to the specialty of dental practice that deals with the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and defects of the mouth, jaws, face and related structures. It includes the removal of impacted and decayed teeth, placement of dental implants, biopsy and removal of cysts and tumors of the mouth and jaws, treatment of facial trauma and reconstructive jaw surgery.

What does “maxillofacial” mean?

Maxillofacial refers to the face and jaws, which along with the mouth, comprise the areas of expertise of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.

Do I have to have a consultation appointment?

We prefer to do consultation appointments on all patients prior to surgery. This initial appointment allows Dr. Jones to provide you with the finest care and help you prepare for your procedure. He will review your medical history to address any issues beforehand and to ensure that your surgery can run smoothly. Also, Dr. Jones will discuss what to expect before, during and after the procedure and present the different options for anesthesia that we offer.  After the consultation is finished, the front office staff can go over insurance and payment options, if needed.

What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

Regardless of your lifestyle, you are probably at risk for having a tooth knocked out.  More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year! If you know how to handle this emergency situation, there is hope.  We may be able to reimplant your tooth if you act quickly, calmly and follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate the tooth and handle it only by the crown (chewing part of the tooth), NOT by the roots.
  2. DO NOT scrub or use soap or chemicals to clean the tooth.  If it has dirt or debris on it, rinse it gently with your own saliva or whole milk.  If that is not possible, rinse it very gently with water.
  3. Get to a dentist within 30 minutes.  The longer you wait, the less chance there is for successful reimplantation.

How to transport the tooth

  • Try to replace the tooth back in its socket immediately.  Gently bite down on gauze, a wet tea bag or on your own teeth to keep the tooth in place.  Apply a cold compress to the mouth for pain and swelling as needed.
  • If the tooth cannot be placed back into the socket, place the tooth in a container and cover with a small amount of your saliva or whole milk.  You can also place the tooth under your tongue or between your lower lip and gums.  Keep the tooth moist at all times.  Do not transport the tooth in a tissue or cloth.

Accidents happen, but you can prevent broken or knocked-out teeth with some preventive measures, too:

  • Wear a mouth guard when playing sports
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Avoid fights
  • Avoid chewing hard items such as ice, popcorn kernels, hard breads, etc.

What are my options if I am missing teeth?

When you lose a tooth, the jawbone that helped support that tooth begins to shrink, causing teeth on either side to shift or tip into the open space of the lost tooth.  The tooth above or below the open space will also start to move because there is no opposing tooth to press against.  These movements may create decay, gum disease, excessive wear on certain teeth and TMJ (jaw joint) problems.  You won’t see these results immediately, but over time tooth loss will take its toll, compromising your chewing abilities, the health of your bite and the beauty of your smile.

Options for replacement of missing teeth

Removable bridges: This type of bridge is a good solution for replacing one or more missing teeth, especially in complex dental situations where other replacement options are not possible. These bridges are usually made of artificial teeth with metal clasps that hook onto natural teeth. They are the most economical option, but may be the least aesthetically pleasing, as the metal clasps are often impossible to completely conceal.
Fixed bridges: This type of bridge is generally made of porcelain or composite material and is anchored permanently to natural teeth adjacent to the missing tooth. It is not removable and very sturdy. It requires that 2 healthy, natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth be crowned to hold the bridge in place.
Dentures: This type of tooth replacement is used when most or all of the natural teeth are missing in one dental arch. Dentures are removable artificial teeth made to closely resemble your original teeth.
Implants: This option is very stable and durable. Implants are the most aesthetically pleasing replacement option for one or more teeth and can be great to support ill-fitting dentures. Implants are comprised of an artificial root that is surgically placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. An artificial tooth is placed on the implant, giving the appearance and feel of a natural tooth.

If you are missing teeth, contact us to discuss your questions and concerns. Together we will select the best replacement option for your particular case. Early prevention can help you avoid a serious problem and is always more economical.

Can implants be rejected?

No! They are made of an inert metal, which has no history of rejection by the body. They are not living tissue, such as lung or liver, so there is no reason for your body to reject them. If failure should occur, and this is only a remote possibility, it is mechanical in nature and not due to rejection by the body. Implants are widely successful, depending upon certain factors such as implant location, amount and quality of bone, etc. These factors will be evaluated before we place your implants.

What is the difference between IV Sedation and General Anesthesia?

With general anesthesia (GA), you are totally unconscious. You can’t feel any pain, even without local anesthesia. For more complex or longer procedures you need to have a “breathing tube” inserted.

IV sedation in dentistry is conscious sedation. You experience a depressed level of consciousness during which you can breathe independently and/or respond purposely to verbal command.  The amnesia effect with IV sedation means you don’t remember any of the procedure and wake up with surgery completed.

This is used in procedures that would be very unpleasant if you were conscious (like very complex extractions of bony impacted wisdom teeth), certain other types of oral surgery and for people with extreme anxiety of dental procedures.  We carefully and continuously monitor our patients during their anesthesia and they recover in 20-30 minutes.

How am I monitored during sedation?

The monitors we use for general anesthesia depend on both the type of procedure and your medical condition. Minimally we will use these monitors: blood pressure, EKG, heart rate and temperature. We will use a stethoscope and 2 monitors for breathing. The pulse oximeter (placed on the fingertips) measures the oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (oxygen carrier) in your blood. This monitor has markedly improved the safety of anesthesia.

How do I know the instruments and materials used are sterile?

All instruments are cleaned and sterilized after each use. Each instrument pack or bundle is tested with chemical indicators to confirm sterilization parameters have been achieved. Our autoclaves (sterilizers) are also tested with each use. Each patient receives their own IV bag or nitrous mask to prevent transmission of disease to other patients. Our office meets and exceeds sterilization standards.

What happens if I have a “dry socket” after an extraction?

A dry socket means that you have lost the blood clot that should normally fill the space after a tooth extraction. Pain that starts about 2-3 days after the extraction and is not relieved by your medication is also a symptom of a dry socket.  Over time it becomes more severe and can radiate to your ear. Other symptoms include bad breath and an unpleasant smell and taste in your mouth. Smoking, rinsing and spitting a lot or drinking through a straw can increase your risk of getting a dry socket.

Treatment includes a series of 4-5 visits when we will clean the tooth socket with water, removing any debris from the hole and then fill the socket with a medicated piece of gauze or a special paste to promote healing. You will need to return every couple of days for a dressing change until the socket starts to heal and your pain lessens.
Follow your post-operative instructions closely to decrease your chances of developing a dry socket.