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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are you accepting new patients?
    Yes! We're always happy to welcome new patients to our practice! Give us a call at (207)847-0353, or email info@smileintegrity.com and we'll be in touch soon!
  • Do you accept my dental insurance?
    Yes! We work with most dental insurances, with a few exceptions. Please call our office at (207)847-0353 for more information regarding your specific insurance coverage.
  • Do you accept MaineCare?
    No, we don’t accept MaineCare at this time. Unfortunately, MaineCare is extremely limiting for both children and adults. In fact, the reimbursements from MaineCare are so limited that we simply wouldn't be able to pay our team a livable wage or keep our doors open to continue caring for our patients if we did accept MaineCare. Many patients with MaineCare still choose to come see us and self-pay for the wonderful experience and high quality care we provide. Many more of our patients also previously had MaineCare but have since chosen to sign up for our in-house dental wellness plan (DenVantage) instead, since it typically provides much better coverage often at a much lower cost. DenVantage is our very own dental wellness plan we created as a much better alternative to dental insurance and MaineCare. To learn more about our DenVantage wellness plans, please visit the "No Insurance?" page on our website, call (207)847-0353, or email info@smileintegrity.com.
  • Do you treat children?
    Yes! Dr. J and our team enjoy taking care of the whole family! Currently, we're welcoming children ages 6 and up. We recommend that children below the age of 6 see a pediatric dentist until they're at an age where they're better able to behave and cooperate with their dental care. We've found that every child is different in how well they do during their earliest visits to the dentist. We're proud to say that most of our younger patients do great at their visits with us, but it's important to understand that every child is unique and your own child may respond differently. The only way for us to tell how your child will do at our office is to first start with a checkup visit. During this visit, we'll meet with you and your child and introduce your child to some of what's involved with a visit to the dentist. During these early visits, we use a strategy referred to as "tell, show, do" whereby we tell your child about each step of their visit and show them what each step entails before we do anything that might be new and unfamiliar to them. While we welcome and encourage a parent or guardian to stay in the room with your child, it's very important during your child's visit that you be a passive observer only and not interfere with our efforts to communicate directly with your child. We prefer to speak to each child directly both to show them the respect they deserve and so they can learn to trust and better cooperate with us. One of the biggest challenges arises when a parent/guardian interrupts our providers, as it can indicate to a child that they should listen to that individual instead of their provider. Too many voices and directions from multiple people can overwhelm a child and distract their attention away from our team, making it difficult or not possible for us to deliver the care they need. We'll see how your child behaves and determine their level of cooperation. If for some reason we feel they might not be ready to see a general dentist, then we'll make the appropriate referral to a local pediatric dentist.
  • Do you see emergency patients?
    Yes, we're always happy to try to accommodate urgent or emergency dental concerns for individuals who haven't yet established with us. That being said, please keep in mind that our schedule fills up very quickly and books out very far. We try hard to work emergency patients into our schedule as soon as we can accommodate them, but these visits are usually for an evaluation only and we can't guarantee same-day treatment. In the event that same-day treatment can't be provided, we'll do our very best to get you back in as soon as possible for any treatment you may need.
  • Do I need x-rays?
    Dental x-rays are a very important part of your dental checkups. They allow us to see where our eyes can't, like taking a behind the scenes look at your teeth and surrounding structures. X-rays allow us to look between the teeth to check for cavities and evaluate older dental restorations (like fillings and crowns). They allow us to look at the health of the foundation (bone) that supports your teeth. They allow us to look around the roots of your teeth to check for signs of infection, dysfunction and trauma (like clenching and grinding). This is only a handful of what x-rays can tell us about your dental and overall health. That being said, dental x-rays are considered to be part of the standard of care in dentistry. This means that they're a requirement in order for us as dental providers to be able to properly do our job to maintain your best possible dental health. We require a full set of x-rays for all new patients over the age of 18. This typically consists of at least 18 x-ray images that show us every tooth at every angle in your mouth. A full set of x-rays is typically acceptable for diagnostic purposes for a period of 3 to 5 years, after which it will need to be updated. We may also recommend a panoramic x-ray if indicated. This type of x-ray offers us a "zoomed out" view of your skull and can offer us a broad view of your teeth, jaw joints, eye sockets, nasal cavity, and nerves - just to name a few. We require 2 to 4 "bitewing" x-rays for patients ages 6 to 17. We usually take 2 bitewings of the right side and 2 of the left side. Whether a patient needs 2 or 4 bitewings depends on how many adult teeth are present. Bitewing x-rays are typically updated yearly and allow us to keep a close watch on things and detect any changes to your dental health before they become a bigger problem. New patients are always welcome to try to have their dental x-rays transferred from their previous dental office to ours, but please note that these x-rays must be current and of diagnostic quality and must be received by no later than 1 week before your Initial Visit. Otherwise, we'll need to take x-rays at your Initial Visit. We unfortunately can't accept paper or printed copies of x-rays but are happy to accept digital files. After we receive x-rays from your previous office, the doctor will review them and a member of our team will reach out to you if for some reason new x-rays do need to be taken so you can plan for that at your Initial Visit.
  • What should I expect during my first visit?
    Your Initial Visit with our team will hopefully be unlike any other dental checkup you've had in the past. Initial Visits for adults are typically around an hour and a half in length to allow enough time for our very thorough Comprehensive Oral Evaluation. Prior to your Initial Visit, you'll be emailed or texted a link to complete your new patient forms electronically. Please do so prior to your Initial Visit as we often need most or all of the time reserved for your appointment to provide you with the experience we believe our patients deserve. Carefully completing your forms beforehand also gives our team a chance to review them ahead of time in order to better prepare for your visit. If for some reason you're unable to complete your new patient forms electronically prior to your Initial Visit, please arrive at least 15 minutes early to your reserved appointment to allow enough time to complete your forms on one of our patient tablets. For patients with dental insurance, please also email a photo of the front and back of your dental insurance card well in advance of your Initial Visit. Without this information, we'll have no way of verifying and submitting to your dental insurance. You'll be greeted by a friendly member of our team upon arrival to our practice. They'll verify that we have all of the information we need to complete your new patient account. After that, feel free to sit back, relax, and help yourself to a complementary coffee or tea while our team finishes preparing for you! Another friendly team member will be out shortly to walk you back! Your visit will begin with us simply getting to know you! We love getting to know our patients before getting to know their teeth! Afterwards, we'll ask you some questions about your dental history, any concerns you might have, and your goals for the future of your dental health. We'll use all of this information to help us better understand who you are, what's important to you, and how we can best help meet your unique needs and goals. Your exam will begin with updating your dental x-rays, if needed. The doctor will spend some time reviewing your x-rays before starting the clinical portion of your exam. Your clinical exam will begin with a thorough evaluation of the outside of your face, including your jaw joints, facial muscles, lymph nodes and glands. We'll then move on to an oral cancer screening which can help us detect any suspicious abnormalities in an around your mouth. Your exam will continue with us taking some time to chart which teeth are present or missing, as well as your history of dental treatment. Finally, we'll take an in-depth look at your overall dental health, including the health of the gums and bone supporting your teeth, to identify any areas of present of potential concern. We'll then discuss our findings and recommendations with you, and work with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your unique needs, goals, timeline and budget. We pride ourselves on taking time early on with each of our patients to be sure that we all have a good understanding of where you're at and where you're going before getting started with your treatment. In our experience, this ensures the best possible outcome for your care.
  • Will I get a cleaning at my first visit?
    As a new patient to our practice, we have no way of knowing exactly which type of cleaning is best for you based on your specific dental health concerns. Many patients assume they can have "just a regular cleaning," but this isn't always the case. For instance, some patients have gum or "periodontal" disease that requires a different type of cleaning than a patient with normal, healthy gum and bone health. During your Initial Visit, we'll complete our thorough exam process which will help determine what type of cleaning is best for you. We'll take the time to discuss this with you and answer any questions you have, and we'll then schedule you to return to begin treatment.
  • How is a deep cleaning different from a regular cleaning?
    A deep cleaning, or "scaling and root planing," is indicated when an individual has tartar buildup farther below the gumline and/or if there are deeper pockets around a tooth or multiple teeth due to bone loss. In either case, these areas can't be accessed by means of a "regular" cleaning, which typically focuses on the areas of your teeth above the gum line and usually only goes to or just slightly below the gum tissue. Deep pockets with or without tartar buildup below the gumline, especially in the presence of bleeding gum tissue, almost always indicate periodontal disease, a very serious disease in the body whereby bacteria in the mouth burrow deeper and deeper into the gum tissue around teeth and destroy the foundation (i.e. bone) that supports those teeth. If periodontal disease goes untreated for too long, it can lead to loose teeth and eventually complete loss of teeth. A deep cleaning allows us to go all the way down to the base of these deep pockets and thoroughly debride/clean them, while also removing diseased tissue from the roots of the affected teeth so that new, healthier gum tissue can reattach and form tighter, shallower pockets that are easier to keep clean over time.
  • Do you remove/extract teeth?
    We do offer tooth removal/extractions depending on the tooth/teeth involved, the level of complexity, and the overall health and comfort level of the patient. In the event our doctor isn't comfortable extracting your tooth/teeth, we'll make the appropriate referral to a local oral surgeon.
  • Do you place dental implants?
    At this time we're restoring dental implants only, but not surgically placing them ourselves in our office. The actual surgical implant placement is typically performed by one of our trusted oral surgeon or periodontist colleagues. We'll be happy to discuss the option of dental implants with you and help determine if you're a good candidate, then make the appropriate referral to one of our trusted colleagues. Rest assured, we'll be with you every step of the way to ensure that your needs and goals are met, and that you receive the best end result. Please also note that there is typically at least a 4 to 6 month period of healing after having an implant placed, and this healing must be fully completed before our team can restore your implant.
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