1. Q: How often should I come to the dentist?

    A: Most children and adult should see their dentist for a regular cleaning and check up every six months. People at a greater risk for oral diseases should have dental checkups more than twice a year. Tobacco and alcohol use, diabetes, pregnancy, periodontal and gum disease, poor oral hygiene and certain medical conditions are some of the many factors that we take into consideration when deciding how often you need your dental cleaning and check up. Going to your regular check ups will help to keep your gums and teeth healthy as well as detect any early problems such as gum disease, oral cancer and cavities. The best way to maintain good oral health is to visit your dentist on a regular basis.
  2. Q: What if I have a dental emergency?

    A: From a broken tooth to dental infection, a dental emergency can happen anywhere, at anytime. It is very important for everyone to understand what needs to be done if such a problem occurs.

    Like any emergency, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation. You should call for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) if you feel the dental emergency warrants immediate care and attention, but not all problems require that.

    If you have an emergency during office hours, we’ll make every effort to see you that day. Dr. Fiscus is available for consultation after normal work hours and will perform emergency treatment after hours if deemed necessary.
  3. Q: Do you perform teeth whitening?

    A: Yes. Dentist-supervised treatments provide greater teeth whitening results faster than store bought kits. After a thorough exam of your teeth, gums and supporting bone structure, Dr. Fiscus will tell you whether teeth whitening is a safe option for your smile. We use a very effective home bleaching system by Opalescence. The treatment requires two appointments: the first to take and make a mold of your teeth and the second to deliver the bleaching trays and whitening product. The whitening lasts from one to three years and can be retouched periodically. We also have disposable take home trays (can also be done while you are at the office) that take only 15 minutes an application. We have several bleaching solutions that will meet your financial and time needs.
  4. Q: Can you treat snoring disorders?

    A: Yes.  A custom-made dental appliance can be very effective at eliminating snoring. Molds of your upper and lower teeth are made and then an appliance – which positions your jaw to allow better airflow when you sleep and, thus, reduces snoring – is fabricated. The appliance is much more comfortable than a CPAP device.
  5. Q: What insurance plans do you accept?

    A: We accept all insurance plans and are happy to submit the claims for you. We are preferred providers for Delta Dental Premier Option, however, we are not preferred providers for all insurance plans. If you have a different insurance plan, you will receive your out-of-network benefits which in many cases cover 100% of exams and cleanings. If you are unsure of your insurance we are happy to help you determine your benefits with our office.
  6. Q: How does Dr. Fiscus keep up-to-date on current materials?

    A: Dr. Fiscus subscribes to the latest industry journals to keep tabs on research and development in the dental industry. He also takes time for continuing education and ensures that his staff does the same. As a team and as individuals, our office makes it our responsibility to be familiar with the latest dental techniques and materials.
  7. Q: What is “occlusion” and why is it important?

    A: Dental occlusion refers to the contact between teeth of the upper jaw (or maxillary teeth), and the teeth of the lower jaw (or mandibular teeth). Static dental occlusion refers to the contact between the teeth when the jaw is at rest and dynamic occusion occurs when the jaw moves, as happens during chewing (or mastication). Proper occlusion is important for jaw joint health, dental health and general health.
  8. Q: What are the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction (misaligned jaw joints)?

    A: Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders can include:
    • Tenderness or pain in the face
    • Pain in the jaw
    • Pain in or around the ear
    • Pain in the neck area
    • Stiffness in jaw
    • Chewing discomfort
    • Difficulty chewing
    • Headaches
    • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
    • Locking of the jaw
    • Painful clicking of the jaw
    • Teeth that don't come together properly when eating or chewing
    • It's also important to note that some clicking of the jaw is normal and that other problems can cause facial pain, such as sinus pain, headaches and earaches.
  9. Q: My last dentist told me that I needed my teeth cleaned every three or four months. My insurance will only pay for two cleanings per year. If I come to your office will you agree to just let me get what insurance covers?

    A: More than likely you have or have had adult periodontitis which is why your dentist recommended the correct protocol set forth by the American Academy of Periodontology regarding “supportive periodontal therapy”. If this is in fact the case, not only was your last dentist correct in his recommendations, but to provide any less treatment would not only put the long-term prognosis of your teeth in jeopardy, but would allow your insurance company to dictate your health care. Only a dentist can legally diagnose and make treatment recommendations. They do so based on your individual need – not on what your insurance pays. Similarly, if your medical insurance only paid 90% of your cancer surgery, you wouldn’t ask the surgeon to leave 10% of the cancer. Proper treatment is the treatment needed to provide adequate care, without regard to insurance benefits and cost.
  10. Q: Why do I have to have x-rays taken so often, and why are they so important? I’m concerned about the amount of radiation I receive and don’t want to overdo it.

    A: A full-mouth set of x-rays (16 films) that we take in our office is equivalent walking a mile on a sunny day here in Colorado. We recommend a full-mouth series every five to seven years depending on the circumstances. Bitewing x-rays (two to four) are recommended every twelve to eighteen months depending on the individual. These x-rays are not only considered “the standard of care” but are crucial in diagnosing decay between the teeth and a host of other diseases that may be present in the bone or elsewhere. They help to add a three-dimensional view when used with our clinical findings from our oral exam.
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