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  • Frequently Asked Questions


      In Case of Emergency

      If this is a medical emergency please call 911 or visit a medical emergency clinic. 

      A vital part of our service is being available for your emergency needs. Please explain your problem to our receptionist, who will arrange an immediate appointment for you.

      After hours you can reach the dentist on call by calling 810-689-4198.  The operator on duty will relay your message to the doctor, who will return your call.

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       My Child's First Visit

      Oral care should begin early in a child’s life. Both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommend that a child’s first visit to the dentist take place when the child reaches 12 months old or soon after the first baby teeth appear.  These initial visits are very important in shaping your children's attitudes and behaviors at the dentist's office.

       What to Expect

      At your child’s first visit we won’t just be looking for cavities.  We want to help you prevent your child from having early childhood cavities. 

      During your child’s first dental visit we will:

      • Examine his/her mouth, teeth and gums.
        Evaluate adverse habits like thumb sucking.
        Check to see if he/she needs fluoride.
        Teach you about cleaning his/her teeth and gums.
        Discuss cavities prevention through diet.
        Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits.

      At the visit be prepared to hear your child fuss during the oral examination and toothbrush demonstration. However, parents are often surprised at how often infants are very passive and quiet and appear to enjoy the attention and novelty of the visit.

      For infants and young child we will do a knee-to-knee exam.  This works by having you and the dentist sit facing each other. Your child sits on your lap, facing you. You then lay your child back with his or her head in the dentist's lap.  This allows for your child to be embraced by you while the dentist can closely see into your child’s mouth.

      As the child gets older it is good for the dentist and child to develop a positive relationship.  You might be asked to wait in the waiting room while the young patient is introduced to the dental world.   We will then bring you back after the appointment for the discussion. 

      Try to pick an appointment time when the child is likely to be in a good mood.   The time should not clash with his or her snack time or nap time.

      Talk to him/her about what he/she will see at the dentist.  There will be a special chair for him/her and some bright lights to help the dentist look into his/her mouth.  Talk about the dentist using gloved fingers and special tools to touch and count his/her teeth.  Maybe playing dentist at home will give him/her a better idea of what a dental visit is about.

      Read some books or watch children’s shows on visiting the dentist.  The Stories about tooth fairies or dentists who are friendly and cheerful or how dental visits can help children have strong teeth can be very appealing, and help promote good dental health and a good attitude towards dental visits.

      Show your child that going to the dentist is a positive experience.  Many times when parents are anxious about going to the dentist, the young child can sense those negative feelings and suffer the same anxiety.   Parents should put that feeling aside, be positive and try to avoid showing fear or anxiety regarding the matter.  Give your child the encouragement to look forward to going to the dentist and let him/her know that this is part of growing up.  The dentist will help him/her have strong and healthy teeth. 

      Bring the child’s favorite toy along to the visit.  It can help them feel more secure when they have their familiar things with them.  We have storybooks in our waiting room, but you can also bring your child’s favorite book and read it together while waiting for the dentist.

      If you have anymore questions please contact us via email or phone. 

      Colgate has a wonderful educational link with more information below:



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      We ask that you schedule an initial evaluation with the doctor. At that time your questions will be answered, the necessary procedure determined and discussed, and a short health history taken. We will then schedule you for a surgical procedure if required. The surgery may be done in one of our local surgery centers or at a local hospital. After surgery you will usually have one or two post-operative appointments to check your recovery.

      Occasionally, we experience emergency scheduling of patients involved in accidents and other acute emergencies. We do try to stay on schedule; however, there are instances when even the best of planning cannot control your waiting room time.

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      Financial Policy


      For your convenience, we have multiple options for payment available.  We accept cash, checks, Visa and MasterCard.  Our team is always available to help you with your dental insurance plan and can assist you as you decide on financing options. 

      dentist      dentist

      Our office also offers three to six month interest free payment plans through CareCredit. For more information on the CareCredit on click logo below.


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      Co-Payment: All co-payments and deductibles are payable when you check in at the front desk.

      Our team is always available to help you with your dental insurance plan and can assist you in filing your claims.  We are also accepting certain insurance policies as preferred providers.

      Are you wondering how to pay for dental care?  Yes, sometimes it can seem expensive, but neglecting care until "something" changes can be very harmful.  The conditions that you need treated can get more complicated and more expensive if left untreated.   Dental insurance can assist in paying for most routine dental appointments.  Having dental insurance can encourage more routine visits to the dentist and thus decrease the chance that more complicated treatment needs will occur unexpectedly.  We accept most all dental insurances. 

      We are Delta Premier Providers, Cigna PPO Radius Network Providers, United Concordia Providers.  We also accept MetLife, Aetna, UnitedHealth, Humana, SET/SEG, Guardian, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Healthy Kids. 

      We are providers for Active Duty Military, Reserve Military and Retired Military.

      Unfortunately, many have lost their dental insurance, or have had recent plan changes.  We offer interest free in-office financing options and Care Credit.  We also offer a 5% discount cash payments in full the day of service.  We accept VISA, Master Card, Discover, Personal Checks and Cash.

       Financial considerations should not be an obstacle to obtaining dental health and the beautiful smile you desire.

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      If your previous dentist has taken recent x-rays (within 6-months), you may request that they forward them to our office. If there is not enough time, please pick them up and bring them to our office. If additional films are necessary, they can be taken at our facility.

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      Infection Control

      To keep patients and staff safe and healthy, infection controls and universal precautions are necessary.  Everyone benefits from rigorous infection control.  Dr. Parrott was the Infection Control Officer at 2 consecutive duty stations while serving in the Navy.  Drs. Parrott and Hengehold and the dental staff are well trained in infection control. You should feel free to discuss this topic with Drs. Parrott and Hengehold and receive a straightforward answer.

      Our entire team follows procedures recommended by several federal agencies: the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These measures include:

      • Disinfectant hand soap
      • Alcohol based hand sanitizers available
      • Gloves and face masks
      • Chemical disinfection of countertops and surfaces
      • Sterilization of all equipment before every use
      • Disposable materials

      We sterilize all reusable equipment and we test our sterilizers regularly.

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      Home Instructions

      After Tooth Extraction or Implant Placement
      After Composite Fillings
      After Deep Cleanings
      After Crown and Bridge Appointments
      After Root Canals
      After Cosmetic Reconstruction
      After Your Child's Visit

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      After Tooth Extraction

      DO NOT DISTURB THE AREA:  For the next few days, and especially the first 24 hours, it is very important to allow your body to form a good clot and start the natural healing process. Swishing, sucking through a straw, and smoking can all dislodge the clot. Keep anything sharp from entering the wound (crunchy food, toothpicks, eating utensils). Be sure to chew on the opposite side for 24 hours.

      BLEEDING:  When you leave the office, you might be biting on a gauze pad to control bleeding. Keep slight pressure on this gauze for at least 30 minutes. Don't change it during this time; it needs to remain undisturbed while a clot forms in the extraction socket. After 30 minutes you may remove it. You may bite on another gauze or a tea bag for another 30 minutes if you feel it is still bleeding.  Small amounts of blood in the saliva can make your saliva appear quite red. This is normal and may be noticed the rest of the day after the procedure.

      SMOKING:  Smoking should be stopped following surgery. Healing and success of the surgery will be substantially reduced by the cigarette smoke chemicals in your body. Also the suction created when inhaling cigarettes can dislodge the clot. Smokers are at greater risk of developing a painful Dry Socket.

      PAIN:  Some discomfort is normal after surgery. To minimize pain, Take two Tylenol, Nuprin, Advil, or similar non-aspirin pain reliever every 3 to 4 hours until bedtime to maintain comfort. Take it before the anesthesia wears off. If prescription pain medication is prescribed, take it as instructed on the label. Don't exceed the dose on the label. Taking with food or milk will help reduce upset stomach. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery when taking pain prescriptions. Do not drink alcohol while taking prescription pain medications.

      NAUSEA:  This is most often caused by taking pain medications on an empty stomach. Reduce nausea by preceding each pain pill with soft food, and taking the pill with a large glass of water.

      SWELLING:   Applying an ice bag to the face over the operated area will minimize swelling. Apply for 15 minutes, then remove for 15 minutes. Continue this for the first day.

      NUMBNESS:  The local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area. Sometimes the extraction causes residual numbness or tingling for six weeks or longer.

      BRUSHING:  Do not brush your teeth for the first 8 hours after surgery. After this, you may brush your teeth gently, but avoid the area of surgery for 3 days.

      RINSING:  Avoid all rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after extraction. Rinsing can disturb the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper healing. This could cause bleeding and risk of dry socket. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon soda + 8 ounces warm water). Avoid commercial mouthrinses.

      DIET:  Eat soft foods for the first two days. Maintain a good, balanced diet. Return to normal regular meals as soon as you are able after the first two days. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

      ACTIVITY:   After leaving the office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Keeping blood pressure lower will reduce bleeding and aid healing.

      ANTIBIOTICS:  If you were given an antibiotic prescription, take all of them as directed until they are gone. Women: some antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Use alternate birth control methods for two months.

      SINUS:  If your sinus was involved in the procedure, you should avoid blowing your nose or playing a wind musical instrument for one week. Use of decongestant medications might be recommended.

      FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENTS:  You may need to return to the office to have sutures removed, or just for a brief follow-up healing check.

      Please call your dentist if you have:
      • uncontrollable pain
      • excessive or severe bleeding
      • marked fever
      • excessive warm swelling occurring a few days after the procedure
      • reactions to medications, especially rash, itching, or breathing problems

      Following these instructions very closely will greatly help your comfort, and promote uneventful healing of the area. If any of the instructions are not followed, you might have significantly more discomfort, and the success of the procedure may be affected.

      After Implant Placement

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      After Composite Fillings (white fillings)

      When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb.

      It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office at (810) 987-8310.

      You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office.

      If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (810) 987-8310.

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      After Deep Cleanings

      To minimize the discomfort and aid proper healing following your deep cleaning, we suggest the following:

      After the procedure, take aspirin, Tylenol (acetaminophen), or Advil (ibuprofen) before the anesthetic wears off.  Continue to take one tablet every four hours for the next two days.

      Rinse with a warm salt-water solution (mix ½ teaspoon salt in 8 oz. warm water) two or three times an hour for the next day or two.

      Use a soft toothbrush at least two times a day.  Be gentle and clean thoroughly.  Slight bleeding may occur while brushing as the tissues begin to heal.

      Avoid strong spicy seasonings for the next few days.

      As the tissues heal, some sensitivity to cold may occur.  Use a desensitizing toothpaste (such as Sensodyne), or fluoride gel (such as Prevident or Gel-Kam) frequently (at least 4 times/day) for 1 to 2 weeks.  Also, the cleaner the teeth are kept, the less sensitive they will be.

      Faithfully use any other oral hygiene aids that have been recommended (floss, Perio-Aid, rubber tip, Sonicare, Proxabrush, Gel-Kam fluoride, Peridex mouthrinse, etc).

      Refrain from smoking for 24 hours or longer.  Tobacco interferes with healing.

      If you have any questions or concerns, please call our office at 810-987-8310. 

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      After Crown and Bridge Appointments

      Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete.  On the first appointment the teeth are prepared.  Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made.  After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment.  Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.

      On rare occasions temporary crowns come off.  Call us at 810-987-8310 if this happens, and keep the temporary so we can re-cement it.  It is very important for the proper fit of your final restoration that temporaries stay in place.

      It’s normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity after each appointment.  Your gums may be sore for several days.  Rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a tsp. Of salt in a cup of warm water, rinse-swish-spit) to reduce pain and swelling.  Use medication as directed.

      To help keep your temporary in place, avoid eating sticky foods (especially gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth.  It’s important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully and remove the floss from the side to prevent removal of the temporary crown.

      If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office.

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      After Root Canals

      Though 90% of the root canals we perform are completed in one appointment, root canal therapy may take more than one appointment to complete. Since anesthetic has been used, your lips, tongue and the roof of your mouth may be numb for several hours after your appointment. Avoid chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has worn off.

      Between appointments until the tooth is fully restored, it is common (and not a problem) for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. If the entire filling fall out or if a temporary crown comes off, call our office to arrange a time so it can be replaced.

      It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment. To control discomfort, take the pain medication prescribed by our doctors as recommended.

      If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them as directed, even if all signs and symptoms of infection are gone. To protect the tooth and keep the temporary in place, avoid eating hard and sticky foods (gum) and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Continue to brush and floss normally.

      Usually, the last step in root canal treatment is the placement of a crown on the tooth. A crown will protect the tooth from breaking in the future. If your bite feels uneven, if you have any signs of swelling or increasing pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at (810) 987-8310.

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      After Cosmetic Reconstruction

      It is possible that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite, especially if large alterations are needed to the teeth.  If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite after several days, call our office at (810) 987-8310 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

      Some hot and cold sensitivity may be experienced following treatment.  Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication such as over the counter Ibuprofin or Tylenol may be used is no other medical contraindications exist.

      Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments.

      Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances (such as beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils) and sticky candies. Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea and berries.

      If you engage in sports let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.

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      After Your Child's Appointment

      Following dental care it is important to keep an eye on your child.  If dental anesthetic was used, you must make sure that the child does not chew on the lip or tongue. It is also important not to allow the child to touch or play with the area to avoid inducing an infection. 

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