New Patient FAQ

+ Are you currently taking new patients?

Yes! We are always happy to have new patients!

+ How do i make an appointment?

You can either make an appointment online or call the office to schedule!

+ What do i need to bring to my first dental appointment?

Please bring the following:

  • online form printed out if you filled it out beforehand
  • your insurance card from your current plan
  • any x-rays from a previous dentist that you wish to be forwarded to our office

+ How long will my first appointment last?

It varies, but most new patient appoints last about 1 hr to 1 hr 15 min

+ WHat can i expect during my first dental visit?

The dentist or hygienist will ask about your recent medical history, and discuss any dental problems you may be having. Unless you have a recent set of x-rays from a previous dentist, x-rays will most likely be taken. The hygienist may use a special dental instruments to check your gums for gum disease. Your dentist will examine your mout and evaluate your overall dental health and conduct an oral cancer screening by holding your tongue with gauze, checking it and your whole mouth, then feeling your jaw and neck.

+ What insurances do you take?

Our doctors believe in providing the highest level of care possible to help our patients achieve optimal oral health as a way to improve their quality of life. It is not therefore possible for the doctors to participate in all insurance plans, as low reimbursement rates from many of the companies would make it impossible for us to maintain the quality of care that we believe in. This list is subject to periodic change, but the most current information as to insurances we participate with are listed below. Some of the insurance websites are not up to date, and have the doctors listed incorrectly as being providers for some insurances which they are not. Please call our office if you have any questions or need clarification with any insurance questions.

Our doctors will be happy to see you as a patient even If you do not have dental insurance or are not in-network with our dentists. Our staff will be happy to assist you in seeking reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeing one of our doctors as an out-of-network provider.

Dr. Gluck is an in-network provider with the following insurance companies: Metlife, Aetna, Delta Dental, Guardian, United Health Care, Cigna, UMR, GEHA, Ameritas, United Concordia (Alliance), and Lincoln Financial.

Dr. Robinson is an in-network provider with: Metlife, Aetna, Delta Dental (Premier), United Health Care, GEHA, Lincoln Financial, Ameritas, Assurant, United Concordia (Alliance), and Principal.

Dr. Saghir is a provider with: Metlife, Aetna, Delta Dental, Guardian, United Health Care, Cigna, GEHA, Ameritas, Assurant, Principal, and United Concordia (Alliance).

Dr. Saludis is a provider with: Metlife, Aetna, Delta Dental, Guardian, United Health Care, Cigna, GEHA, Ameritas, Assurant, Principal, and United Concordia (Alliance).

Dr. Kreuzer is not in-network with any insurance companies, but our staff would be happy to help you in getting reimbursement directly from your insurance company for any services he has provided.

 

General Dentistry/ Preventative Care

+ Why should i got to the dentist regularly?

Many dental problems begin developing long before a patient expieriences any symptoms. Regular dental visits are important because they can help spot dental health problems early on when treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. They also help prevent many problems from developing in the first place. Visiting your dentist regularly is also important because some diseases or medical conditions have symptoms that can appear in the mouth, that can be detected with the help of your dentist.

+ How can I prevent cavities and keep my mouth healthy?

  • Healthy habits. Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily are essential for everyone, no matter how unique your mouth is. It’s the best way to fight tooth decay and gum disease. Also limiting frequent consumption of sugary foods and drinks helps prevent cavities from forming!
  • Build a relationship with your dentist. Continuity of care is an important part of any health plan. When your dentist sees you regularly, he or she is in a good position to catch oral problems early. Keeping consistent recall visits are important to catch problems early and prevent them from happening.It's also important to keep your dentist up to date on any changes to your overall health as they can affect your dental health.
  • Talk about it! You and your dentist are a team in determining what the best treatment plan is for you. Have questions about your oral health or certain dental procedures? Start a conversation. Ask your dentist to explain step-by-step. The dentists at Watergate love having satisfied, healthy patients!

+ Why does the dentist take x-rays?

Many diseases of the teeth and surrounding bone cannot be seen when the dentist examines the mouth clinically. An X-ray examination may reveal:

  • small areas of decay between the teeth or below existing fillings
  • infections in the bone
  • bone loss (periodontal disease)
  • abscesses or cysts
  • developmental abnormalities
  • some types of tumors

Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can save time, money and often unnecessary discomfort. X-rays can be critical in early detection of tumors in the jaw. Also catching benign conditions, such as cysts or bone abnormalities, via an X-ray is useful to monitor if they change over time. The dentist will evaluate your need for X-rays based on the conditions present in development. There are many benefits to having X-rays taken. Any additional questions or concerns should be discussed with your dentist.

+ What is Fluoride and why is it important for my teeth?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and in water. Some city water contains fluoride, so by drinking tap water you will acquire fluoride. If drinking water does not have fluoride, supplements are available.

Fluoride is important to dental health because it helps prevent tooth decay by making your tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria in your mouth. The lack of exposure to fluoride places individuals of any age at risk for dental decay.

Fluoride has also been shown to help decrease sensitivity in some patients. Talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about whether you're getting the daily amount of fluoride you need

+ What can I do about my sensitive teeth?

Sensitivity toothpaste, which contains strontium chloride or potassium nitrate are very effective in treating sensitive teeth. After a few weeks of use, you may notice a decrease in sensitivity. Highly acidic foods such as grapefruits, lemons, and other citrus, as well as coffee, tea, and soda can increase tooth sensitivity, and work against sensitivity toothpaste.

Sensitivity can also be caused by abrasion from brushing too hard with a stiff-bristle toothbrush and gum recession.

If you do not get relief by brushing gently and using desensitizing toothpaste, see your dentist. There are special compounds that can be applied in our office to the roots of your tooth to reduce - if not eliminate - the sensitivity. High-fluoride containing home care products can also be recommended to help reduce tooth sensitivity.

+ I've never had an oral cancer screening before, why do I need one now?

Oral cancer can form in any part of the mouth or throat. Most oral cancers begin in the tongue and the floor of the mouth. Anyone can get oral cancer, but the risk is higher if you are male, over age 40, use tobacco or alcohol or have a history of head or neck cancer. Early detection of oral cancer is one of the most effective ways of catching a big problem before it can no longer be treated. Oral cancer can be very deadly if left alone and untreated. Chances are, your dentist has done the screening in the past, but did not tell you that was what they were doing. In addition, new modalities are available such as the VelScope that helps aid in diagnosis of areas that may appear suspicious.

 

Dental Trauma and Emergencies

+ I knocked out a tooth, what do i do? can it be saved?

Oral injuries are often painful, and should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible. If you have knocked out a tooth, these tips may be able to save it:

  • Rinse, do not scrub, the tooth to remove dirt or debris
  • Place the clean tooth in your mouth between your cheek and gum or under your tongue
  • Do not attempt to replace the tooth into the socket as this could cause further damage
  • Get to the dentist as quick as possible. Successful re-implantation is possible only when treatment is performed promptly
  • If it is not possible to store the tooth in the mouth of the injured person, wrap the tooth in a clean cloth or gauze and immerse it in milk.
  • If the tooth is not knocked out but loose, still see the dentist as soon as possible to see if the teeth need to be splinted for proper healing.

+ I am having a problem with my mouth or pain in a tooth, what do i do?

One of our doctors is always on call and can be reached in case of a dental emergency. There are several types of dental emergencies that can occur, and all have different remedies.

  • If the emergency ever involves swelling that narrows the airway, swells the tongue, or limits opening, the best place to go is the emergency room before calling the dentist.
  • If you are having pain in a tooth/ area, call your dentist immediately. Try to remember any details about the pain (when did it start, does anything make it worse, does anything make the pain go away, etc)
  • If a tooth is broken, always save the piece that was lost to show to the dentist. If the area is sharp, you may consider putting a piece of wax over the tooth to protect the tissues nearby until you are able to see your dentist.
  • If a crown is lost, attempt to put it back in place and call your dentist immediately.

Regardless of the situation, always call us or email us to find out what is the best course of action. If you are traveling out of the immediate area or even out of the country, you can call or email us to find out if we have any recommendations for offices to visit in the area you are traveling in.

 

Dental Care for Children and During Pregnancy

+ I am pregnant, how does this affect my dental care?

You should continue to get your regular cleanings during pregnancy, and it is important to inform your dentist of the change in your health status. Your gums may be more inflamed due to changing levels of hormones, and it is important to maintain excellent homecare during this time for that reason. Regular x-rays can be postponed until after the baby is delivered, however an x-ray may be needed for emergency situations that can’t wait until after the baby is born. Dental infections left untreated can pose a risk to the fetus, and emergency dental treatment may be necessary to maintain the health of the mother and child. Radiation from dental X-rays is extremely low and every precaution is taken to minimize radiation exposure by using proper techniques, updated equipment, and lead body shields.

+ When do you recommend I bring my child in for their first dental appt?

Once your child gets their first tooth, you can bring them in for a visit. The sooner they are comfortable in a doctor’s office and realize it is a non-threatening situation, the better. Kids need to see the dentist twice a year after they have their first tooth, just as adults are recommended the same. The first x-rays should be taken on children depending on the clinical exam. If there is a question on the eruption of their teeth, trauma to the teeth, or suspected areas of cavities, the doctor may recommend x-rays at a fairly young age. This is decided on a case by case basis.

+ What are dental sealants? how do they help protect my child's teeth?

The American Dental Association cites sealants as "an effective weapon in the arsenal against tooth decay". Sealants are a thin coating painted on chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. They seal off the deep grooves of these teeth that are difficult to clean and are more prone to decay.

 

Medications and Dental Care

+ I used to take antibiotic premedication before my dental tx, but recently I was told it's no longer necessary. WHy?

In 2007, the American Heart Association developed new guidelines that changed which patients were required to have antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental treatment to prevent infective endocarditis. These guidelines explicitly state that people with mitral valve prolapse (MVP) are not required to premedicate prior to dental work, which is a big change from past thinking on this topic. Antibiotic prophylaxis is no longer recommended except for the following heart conditions:

  • Unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including palliative shunts and conduits
  • Completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material or device, whether placed by surgery or by catheter intervention, during the first 6 months after the procedure
  • Repaired congenital heart disease with residual defects at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device. The previous guidelines for antibiotic premedication for total joint replacement are unchanged, and anyone with a joint replacement within the last two years is still expected to premedicate. The reason for the premedication for joint replacement is that it is at risk for developing an infection at the site of the prosthesis. After the two years, only high risk patients (immunocompromised or with systemic disease) may need to premedicate for some, but not all, dental procedures

+ I am on a lot of medications that causes my mouth to be dry. How do I Prevent this?

Saliva is very important for a number of reasons. Saliva helps to keep the mouth clean by lubricating the teeth and tissues to carry away debris from food. Saliva also helps to buffer the acidic environment inside the mouth that causes the formation of cavities and decalcification of tooth structure. Saliva is also important in lubricating food to aid in swallowing, as well as initial digestion of food prior to entering the stomach. If salivary flow is low, you are at a much higher risk for getting new areas of decay quickly. Therefore, it is important to let us know if you have been noticing dryness of the mouth. We can call your doctor and ask if alternative medications can be used that may not cause dry mouth, or we can recommend salivary replacement therapies to help fight against the dryness. If you suffer from dry mouth, you need to come in on a regular basis to ensure you are not getting rampant decay as a result, and need to be watched closely to help cut down your high risks.

+ I’M TAKING FOSAMAX®, IS THERE ANY REASON TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT MY DENTAL TREATMENT?

FOSAMAX® is in a class of commonly prescribed drugs called bisphosphonates, often used to treat low bone density. Other commonly used oral drugs in this category are Actonel and Boniva. Bisphosponate use has been shown to be associated with increased incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw.Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BON) has been defined as exposed, necrotic bone in the maxillofacial region persisting for more than eight weeks in a patient who is taking, or has taken a bisphosphonate, and has not had radiation therapy to the head and neck. Oral bisphosphonate use places patients at very low risk for developing BON. The actual incidence is unknown, with estimates ranging from zero to 1 one in 2,260 cases for oral bisphosphonate users. Much higher rates have been shown to occur in patients undergoing IV (intravenous) bisphosphonate therapy. I.V. bisphosphonates are typically used to treat bone pain, hypercalcemia and skeletal complications in patients with multiple myeloma, breast cancer, lung cancer, and Paget’s disease of bone. Most dental procedures for patients taking oral bisphosphonates are safe, but particular precautions should be taken in emergency situations and in patients taking i.v. bisphosphonates. Risks and alternatives should always be offered to the patient on a case by case basis. A physician should always be consulted before deciding to discontinue use of the medication, since the benefits will often far outweigh the risks. Please be sure to alert your dentist if you have started taken these medications or are currently taking them.

+ I take medication to help control diabetes. What should I know before recieving dental treatment?

Research has established that people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease.

If blood glucose levels are poorly controlled you may be more likely to develop gum disease and could potentially lose teeth. Like all infections, gum disease can be a factor in causing blood sugar levels to rise and make diabetes harder to control. Be sure to see your dentist regularly for check-ups and follow home care recommendations. If you notice other conditions such as dry mouth or bleeding gums, be sure to talk with your dentist. And don't forget to mention any changes in medications.

If your diabetes is well controlled, make sure you are taking your medications as scheduled. If you take your medication in the morning, be sure to also have a meal before your dental appointment to avoid a drop in your blood sugar.

 Don’t see your question? Call or email us and we will be happy to help!