Family Dentistry FAQs from Macon Smiles

At Macon Smiles, our family dentistry practice provides a comprehensive range of dental services to patients of all ages in the Macon, GA, and surrounding areas. Our mission is to help patients achieve beautiful, healthy smiles through comprehensive dental treatment. Our Macon dentist, Dr. Sheila Shah, is an expert in using general dental treatments, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry to create an ideal smile, personalized for each patient’s unique needs and lifestyle.

The treatments we provide are essential to a healthy smile, but patient education is important too. Our team members firmly believe our Macon Smiles patients need to know everything about their treatment plan — it’s critical to a healthy smile! So to help you learn more, we’ve put together a few of the most common questions we’re asked, along with the answers.

Dr. Shah Answers Common Questions About Family Dentistry

Have questions about dental health and treatment? We've got answers. Take a look at the frequently asked questions below to get answers to some of the most common questions about dental treatment.

Q: How often should I visit my Macon dentist?

A: In keeping with the American Dental Association (ADA), we recommend every patient should visit the dentist a minimum of every six months for a check-up appointment, consisting of a dental exam and professional teeth cleaning treatment.

Q: What can I expect during a Macon Smiles appointment?

A: What to expect depends on the reason for your appointment – but if you're coming in for your initial consultation, there are a few main elements. First, one of our team members will compile all your medical and dental history, asking you questions as necessary to get a complete history. After this, Dr. Shah will perform a comprehensive oral examination, which includes checking your mouth for cavities or other problems, performing an oral cancer screening, and taking diagnostic records like x-rays as needed to further understand your dental situation. After the exam, Dr. Shah will talk with you to explain the results, communicate any problems or conditions she finds, and outline any treatment recommendations. We'll then talk through your treatment and financial options to create a plan for moving forward with treatment. We’ll also discuss preventative treatment strategies you can employ between visits.

Q: What is "painless dentistry?"

A: Painless dentistry describes our approach to making your treatment as pain-free, stress-free, and comfortable as possible. We use a variety of techniques to achieve this including both non-invasive treatments that don't require anesthetic as well as local anesthetics, sedatives, and general anesthesia. We'll talk through your options to decide on the most comfortable option for you.

Q: What do I do if I have a dental emergency?

A: Thankfully, true dental emergencies are rare – but in the case of dental trauma, extreme pain, or any other dental emergency, we ask patients to contact our Macon, GA, office immediately so we can talk you through what to do. If it's outside our office hours and you feel your teeth, mouth, or general health are in danger, we recommend heading straight to the emergency room.

Q: What are my financial options for dental treatment?

A: We believe dental treatment should be affordable for anyone, and we offer a variety of flexible financing options to help treatment fit into our patients' budgets. We accept most major dental insurance plans and will process your claim for you so you don't have to worry about it, and we also accept payment made by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. We also proudly offer 0% financing through CareCredit for an even more affordable option. No matter what your treatment or financial situation, our Financial Specialist will talk with you to go over your options and choose the best one for you.

Q: Do you offer teeth whitening at Macon Smiles?

A: Absolutely! We offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments, including powerful in-office teeth whitening. We use industry-approved teeth whitening methods that are proven safe and effective, allowing us to whiten any smile. While we offer a number of options, we usually recommend Zoom! professional teeth whitening, which takes only one office visit and leaves teeth dramatically whiter.

Q: What's the best kind of toothbrush? How often should I replace it?

A: We recommend that adults use a small to medium-sized soft-bristled or bi-level toothbrush, while kids should use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also effective and may provide more convenience, although both manual and electric brushes are sufficient to prevent decay. You should replace your toothbrush whenever you notice that the bristles are wearing down, or at least every three months.

Q: Which type of toothpaste should I use?

A: Pretty much any toothpaste brand is fine – just make sure you're using fluoridated toothpaste that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, while the ADA seal tells you the toothpaste is safe and effective to use.

Q: Do I have to floss every day?

A: Flossing is critical to preventing plaque and cavities from forming between the teeth, and to be effective, you do need to floss on a daily basis. Daily flossing is also vital to the health of the gums.

Q: Does Macon Smiles offer laser dentistry? What is it?

A: Laser dentistry involves using a narrow, concentrated medical laser to carry out procedures on hard and soft tissues. Laser dentistry allows us to perform surgical procedures without needing to cut or stitch tissue. Because laser dentistry involves less trauma to the tissue and the laser automatically seals the blood vessels and nerve endings in the tissue, it minimizes bleeding, reduces the risk of infection, and causes less pain and swelling after the surgery.

Contact Your Macon, GA, Family Dentistry

If you have any questions that aren’t covered here, please feel free to ask! Just contact us and our friendly team will gladly answer any questions you may have! If you’re ready to set up an appointment with Dr. Shah, please fill out and submit our handy Appointment Request form and we’ll assist you in scheduling a time that’s convenient for you. We’re excited about hearing from you soon and helping you achieve the beautiful and healthy smile you deserve!