Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Dentistry?
Dentistry is the treatment and prevention of disorders and diseases of a patients teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Dentistry performed properly is necessary for complete oral health, and it has a significant impact on the health of a patient’s entire body.
What Is A Dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who has been trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Dr. Clark has completed many years of medical schooling in order to practice dentistry. After schooling a dentist can receive either a DDS or DMD degree. DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine. Some doctors specialize in pediatric dentistry as well, which means that they work with children from infancy up through teenage years. There are other specializations that a dentist may go to school for:
- Oral and maxillofacial (includes pathology, radiology, and surgery)
- Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
- Endodontics (specialization in root canals)
- Periodontics (specialization in gum disease)
- Prosthodontics (specialization in dental implants)
Are Regular Dental Cleanings Necessary?
Here at Clark Family Dentistry, we know how busy life can be. Fitting a dental appointment into your busy schedule seems to be one of the most difficult things you have to do. Proper oral hygiene can be difficult to maintain. Brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing after every meal will keep many oral hygiene problems away, but not all. Scheduling a cleaning at Clark Family Dentistry in St Joseph, Missouri twice a year is highly recommended to maintain proper oral hygiene and catch problems before they become costly and painful.
Do I Need To See A Dentist Even If My Teeth Feel Fine?
It’s very important to schedule regular cleanings here at Clark Family Dentistry. Dr. Clark recommends coming in twice a year. Not all dental problems have obvious symptoms at first, and catching them early will save a lot of money and hassle. Not only can we identify problems before they become painful and expensive, but we can also help to keep your smile looking fantastic. We know how important it is to feel comfortable with your smile. This is why we offer many treatments to help improve patient esthetics.
What’s A Dental Cleaning Like At Clark Family Dentistry?
Twice-yearly cleanings are recommended for proper oral hygiene. At Clark Family Dentistry, an appointment will include a full oral examination, oral cancer exam, professional x-rays to catch cavities, and a full cleaning by our amazing hygienists. Your cleaning will remove tartar, debris, and plaque from your mouth.
Dr. Clark will coordinate with your hygienist and recommend a treatment plan for any problems that are found. We’ll also recommend any aesthetic and cosmetic treatments to improve your smile.
Please call our office at 816-232-1444 to schedule an appointment or if you have any additional questions.
At What Age Should I Bring My Child To See The Dentist?
Professionals throughout the dental industry as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend starting dental checkups from the time of first tooth eruption but no later than 1 year of age. On average, this is when a child’s teeth begin to show. Dr. Clark will be able to examine the health of your child’s first few teeth and make recommendations.
When Should I Change My Toothbrush?
Dr. Clark recommends getting a new toothbrush at least every three months. If you’re using an electronic toothbrush, make sure to check the recommendation of the type of toothbrush because you may not have to change the head of the brush often. If a patient has gum disease, Dr. Clark recommends that you change your brush more often then every three months. Also, after brushing, it’s very important to wash and rinse your brush out with hot water, then store it upright somewhere it can dry between uses. This will kill germs and bacteria and keep your toothbrush clean.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
Plaque and bacteria naturally up in a patient’s mouth, and when this buildup is not countered sufficiently with brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings, it can cause gum disease (also called periodontal disease). Risk factors for gum disease include smoking and chewing tobacco, teeth grinding, certain medications, and genetics. Advanced forms of periodontal disease can cause bone and tooth loss as well as permanent damage. Dr. Clark recommends brushing and flossing every day and scheduling dental appointments every six months as the best ways to fight gum disease.
Some of the most common signs of periodontal disease are:
- Abscessed teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth and or loss of teeth
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Receding gumline
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us as soon as possible. You can reach us at 816-232-1444 or email us to schedule a consultation. Your dental health is our highest concern.
Do You Accept Dental Insurance?
Here at Clark Family Dentistry, we accept most insurance and PPO plans, but check with us. Please call our office at 816-232-1444 for more information about insurance. Prior to calling, have your insurance information ready. Also, please plan to pay your co-pay or deductible portion at the time of service.
What Payment Methods Do You Accept?
For your convenience here at Clark Family Dentistry we accept cash, check, cashier’s checks, Visa, Master Card, Amex, and Discover. If none of these payment methods suit your needs, we also provide payment plans through our office or third-party financing through Care Credit. We also provide discounts for those able to pay in full at the time of service. If you have any more questions regarding payment methods, please give us a call at 816-232-1444 and we’ll do our best to find the right solution for you.