Welcome to the FAQ section of Dr. Despond’s Dental Office in Waterdown. We hope this section brings some insight in to your personal dental care and reminds you to schedule a checkup appointment to keep you smiling!
1) What can I expect during my first visit?
The first visit is our opportunity to hear your concerns, and assess your dental needs by providing a complete oral examination, along with any necessary x-rays. We will require a medical and dental history prior to the examination, and any current x-rays can be forwarded from your previous dentist (we can arrange that for you if you like). We will also take any necessary x-rays, as they help us see important evidence of tooth decay, or other dental disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis. A thorough treatment plan will then be discussed and various treatment options will be explained to you. Generally, new patient examinations take approximately 45-60 minutes. So, if you wish, we can also arrange a thorough dental cleaning at your first appointment, or at a later date. Any necessary dental insurance claims will be sent electronically (if your company permits) to simplify the process.
2) What about payments?
We are a fee for service type of dental office, meaning we do ask and expect payment at the end of each treatment, or series of treatments, unless alternate terms have been arranged. We do not like financial terms to be a barrier to achieving good dental health, so Michelle will be happy to discuss payment details for more complex treatments. To facilitate an easy payment process we accept: cash, cheques, Visa, Mastercard or debit cards.
We gladly provide pre-estimates for our patients, prior to treatment, so that there are no financial surprises. This also allows time for patients to discuss and make informed decisions regarding their treatment options.
3) Do you always feel a cavity?
The early stages of tooth decay usually do not cause any discomfort, as the decay is occurring on the outside of the tooth’s enamel (far from the nerves). Once the decay progresses deeper to the next layer, the dentine, then temperature and sweets may start to send signals that something isn't quite right. Ignoring these signs at that point may result in something more than a filling being needed. So the value of regular dental examinations is to find early stage decay and keep things simple!
4) I don't eat a lot of sweets, why did I still get decay?
While it’s true that sweets, especially sticky foods held in the mouth frequently or for prolonged times, can cause tooth decay, other food sources can also cause damage including the sugars glucose, lactose, fructose, and sucrose. Additionally, acids from lemons, citrus juices, or soft drinks also increase the risk of decay, as the acids erode, or “demineralize”, the protective enamel.