What do I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?
Severe pain, a broken or lost tooth, or a cracked filling constitutes a dental emergency, and timely treatment is important. In case of an emergency, call our Marietta office at 770-425-2001. During business hours, a same-day appointment will usually be arranged during your call. After hours, our 24-hour answering service will forward your information to Dr. Howard. He'll return your call as quickly as possible.
What if a temporary crown or bridge comes off?
If your temporary dental crown or bridge does come off, give our office a call so we can provide you with specific instructions and also make arrangements for you to come in and have it re-cemented. In the meantime, we can walk you through placing the temporary restoration right back on your tooth. Doing so will protect the teeth from irritating stimuli, such as hot or cold foods and liquids. Wearing the temporary crown will also hold the tooth in place and keep it from shifting position (an important factor in how well or how easily your permanent dental crown can be fitted.) If the bite on your temporary crown or bridge seems incorrect when it is placed back on your tooth, then it might be advisable to leave it off.
If your temporary dental crown or bridge doesn’t seem to stay in place very well, many dentists will suggest that you fill it with toothpaste, Vaseline, or denture adhesive before you place it over your tooth. If used, this technique should only be done for a few days. You will need to be careful with your restoration in this state. Please remove it when you eat or sleep so that you won’t accidentally swallow it or bite on it. Anytime the crown or bridge is not in your mouth, it should be kept wet in a glass of water or a closed-up baggie.
What payment options do you accept?
Dr. Howard's practice is fee-for-service, but most dental plan benefits are happily accepted. After your first visit, charges are submitted to your insurance company, and payment is accepted directly from the carrier. Estimated patient co-payments are due at the time of service. Any refunds or invoices for charges not covered by insurance are sent to you when your insurance company responds to our claim. Other financing options - including a special 12-month, no-interest health-care credit card - are available for qualified applicants. Call or visit office manager Marie Hensley for more information.
How can I safely whiten my teeth?
Teeth whitening is a safe, effective, and lasting way to brighten most smiles. Whitening treatments are most successful in removing yellow, brown, and orange tinges that result from age, coffee, tea, and tobacco.
We offer in-office Zoom! Whitening and take-home teeth whitening. Zoom! Whitening takes about an hour and provides dramatic results after just one treatment - up to eight shades! Take-home whitening can lighten smiles up to 6 shades (as seen on the dentist's shade scale) and requires daily use of a customized, gel-filled mouth tray.
Because some teeth do not respond well to whitening, it's important to get your dentist's advice. Teeth with dark gray tones from fluorosis, smoking, or tetracycline use often do not whiten as dramatically, and artificial tooth materials (such as silicants and porcelains) cannot be whitened at all. In addition, sensitive teeth and teeth with worn enamel typically should not be whitened. If you have gum disease, we'll want to restore periodontal health prior to bleaching.
To find the smile-brightening option that's best for you, call today to schedule an appointment.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
Dr. Howard and our staff are committed to your safety. For your protection...
- All dental team members wear new, disposable gloves and masks for each patient.
- Dental instruments and supplies are either disposable or heat-sterilized in an autoclave for each patient.
- All dental handpieces are heat-sterilized after each use.
- Plastic sleeves protect the intraoral camera from oral fluids during use; the protective sleeves are changed after each patient visit.
- Clean, new protective barriers for each patient protect surfaces from contamination that could otherwise be spread from one patient to the next after the rooms have been completely sterilized.
- To prevent contamination, instruments that have been sterilized remain in protective packaging until they are opened for use at chairside.
- Dr. Howard's laser dentistry patients are provided specially designed eyewear to protect their eyes from all potentially harmful light.
If you have questions about our sterilization and safety practices, just call us.
What makes your practice different from other dental offices?
While most dental professionals are aware that patient comfort is important, Dr. Howard and his team make it a priority. From high-tech laser dentistry to tension-reducing terry-cloth neck rolls to the caring smiles and personal attention you'll receive at each appointment, a comfortable, stress-free dental visit is the goal.
Dr. Howard also puts his teaching experience to work in each patient's treatment-planning presentation. He uses images from an intraoral camera to help you understand the need for any proposed treatments. With his multimedia patient education system, he helps you explore your cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry options and decide which treatments are right for you.
I really don't like visiting the dentist. What can be done to help me relax?
For some individuals, our friendly staff, calming music, soothing terry-cloth neck rolls, and relaxing environment may not be enough to reduce dental tension. Dr. Howard understands and offers sedation dentistry to soothe fearful patients and alleviate anxiety. We also offer drill-less dentistry with lasers and air abrasion.
Crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays, and partials...where can I learn more about these options?
Our services page is a great resource for learning about dental procedures. If you have questions about these or other dental procedures, don't hesitate to call our dental office in Marietta. We would be happy to explain any aspect of your dental care or our available services.
I want my front teeth to look better, but I don't want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
Cosmetic bonding, porcelain veneers, and all-white crowns can improve your smile in faster, less involved fashion than orthodontia. Call today to make an appointment for an exam and personal consultation to discuss your individual needs.
How do I know that I really need the dental treatment you're recommending?
Sometimes, it's hard to understand why some treatments are recommended, especially when you're not feeling any pain or seeing any signs of dental problems. However, small and nearly invisible issues such as hairline tooth fractures and early-stage decay can create significant damage if left untreated.
For the most thorough exam, Dr. Howard uses an intraoral camera. With a small, pen-like wand that transmits real-time video images to a monitor, he can obtain a magnified view of your teeth and soft tissues. Just as importantly, you're able to see what he's seeing, so he can better explain – and you can better understand – proposed treatments.