FAQs

Will I have a cleaning at my first visit?
Your first visit will include x-rays and an evaluation by one of our dentists. Often times a cleaning is not the appropriate treatment needed initially. The doctors will incorporate your cleaning into your overall treatment plan so it is done at the optimal time (In some cases that is at the initial visit).
Are dental x-rays safe?
Yes. Our office utilizes a state of the art digital radiograph system. By capturing the images on a high definition digital sensor instead of a piece of x-ray film, the exposure time is greatly reduced. The amount of radiation exposure in a digital film is 80% less than in its conventional film counterpart. The total amount of exposure using this system is minimal and completely safe.
Why do I need x-rays and how often will they be taken?
X-rays are utilized to see areas of your teeth that cannot be seen by the dentist in your mouth. They also are used to see all of the structures (bone levels, roots, jaw, nasal sinuses… that are hidden under your gums.
There are various types of x-rays that we take to help us diagnose dental diseases:
1. Bitewing x-rays are taken once a year. They can see between the teeth and under the gums. These films are used to detect cavities that the dentist would not otherwise be able to see. They also are used to monitor bone levels to detect serious gum diseases.
2. Periapical films are used to take a picture of the entire tooth and its root. They are helpful in diagnosing the cause of dental pain or sensitivity. They are taken as needed due to your specific needs.
3. Full mouth series of x-rays are taken every few years to monitor overall dental health. This series of radiographs captures all of your teeth and the immediate supporting structures.
4. Panoramic films are taken when needed, and are used to evaluate other areas such as the jaw, nasal sinuses and wisdom teeth. They also are beneficial when planning for placement of dental implants to replace missing teeth. They also are used to monitor the eruption patterns of permanent teeth in children to help diagnose the need for braces.
Do I need a full mouth series of x-rays if I had a panoramic film taken?
Yes. Panoramic films are lower resolution than the films that are taken during a full mouth series. Even though panoramic films show a larger area, the small details seen in a full mouth series make them necessary to evaluate and diagnose dental disease conditions.
Why do I need bitewing x-rays every year?
The standard of care for bitewing x-rays is to take them once every 12 months. This is the recommended time frame needed to catch small cavities that begin to form between teeth. Waiting longer than this can allow more time for cavities to enlarge before they are diagnosed clinically. Routine bitewing films keep small cavities from becoming big cavities.
Why are there so many films in a full mouth x-ray series?
Each film is targeted to view specific aspects of every tooth in the entire mouth. This is the minimal amount of films needed to properly examine and diagnose conditions around all teeth.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry that specifically aims to be aesthetically pleasing through the completion of treatment. Not only may general dental treatments like fillings or crowns be cosmetic, but treatments used to correct the appearance of teeth, like veneers and bonding, are also cosmetic.
Why are soft drinks and sports drinks bad for my teeth?
Soft drinks are highly acidic. Even diet sodas that do not contain sugar have a very low pH. As liquids coat all areas of the teeth, the acid and sugars in soft drinks erode the tooth enamel and cause increased tooth decay. Drinking lots of water between meals helps to cleanse teeth. Soft drinks should be limited or more ideally eliminated from your diet.
The advertisements for sports drinks make them seem healthy. Unfortunately that is not the case. Sports drinks are nothing more than sugar water and will wreak havoc on your teeth, causing cavities.
When you are thirsty – reach for water, it is the healthiest option there is.
Why should I wear a mouth guard when playing sports?
The risk of damaging your teeth is ever present while playing sports. Collisions occur all of the time and your teeth are at risk. Dental trauma is not something anyone wants to experience. Fracturing or losing (avulsing) a front tooth is an injury that is devastating. The work needed to repair or replace that tooth is costly, time consuming and extremely invasive. The good news is that this is easily prevented. Wearing a well fitted mouth guard protects your teeth from trauma. Nothing else does. Wearing a mouth guard should be mandatory for all contact sports. Since it is not mandatory for many sports – make the smart choice and wear one every time you take the field or court.
How much does my dental insurance cover?
Your employer coordinates dental insurance benefits. If you have questions or concerned about the amount of coverage that your dental plan has, you should address this with your HR department.
Should treatment decisions be made based on what insurance coverage I have?
All insurance companies are in business to make a profit. In order to do so, they put many limitations and conditions on their coverage. These are not based on what an individual needs but on what contracted level of coverage your employer has chosen to offer.
At Paradise Dental Associates, we take the time to develop an individualized, customized treatment plan for each patient based on his or her needs. We do not diagnose based on what your insurance will cover. We diagnose based on what is needed to return and maintain optimum dental health.
Therefore, we tell all of our patients that dental insurance is helpful in assisting with the cost of dental care but can not be used to dictate treatment. Waiting for insurance benefits will lead to advancement of the dental disease process.
Who is responsible for paying if my insurance company denies a claim?
Ultimately, all patients are responsible for their financial accounts and paying for treatment that they receive. If an insurance company denies paying for a claim, the patient is responsible for this amount.
Why are my child’s permanent (adult) teeth darker than their baby teeth?
Adult teeth are naturally a darker shade than baby teeth. This is due to the amount of yellow dentin, which is the structure below tooth enamel. When an adult tooth is next to a baby tooth, this is often noticeable. However, it is completely normal.
Does my child need x-rays?
Children especially need to have routine dental x-rays because their teeth are less dense and can decay at an even quicker rate than adult teeth.
Why are my child’s permanent teeth erupting behind their baby teeth?
It is very common for adult teeth to erupt behind, and push out the baby teeth in front of them. Sometimes the tooth may fully erupt without the baby tooth falling out. If this happens, our dentists can help wiggle out the baby tooth for you.
Does my child really need fluoride at the dentist’s office if we get it at home?
The fluoride delivered at the dentist is a much higher solution than what is available over the counter or through a fluoridated water supply. Topical application of this fluoride is proven to help remineralize teeth and reduce the risk of decay.
Do I need to floss my child’s teeth?
Any teeth that are touching should be flossed. Brushing does not clean between the teeth and these areas are very susceptible to tooth decay. Flossing should occur at least once per day.
Why does my child have bad breath?
Poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, plaque and allergies can all contribute to bad breath. Proper oral hygiene that includes the brushing of cheeks, gums and the tongue are important to help reduce oral infections and bad breath. Infections like tooth abscesses and decay can also cause bad breath, so it’s important to stay up to date on routine dental appointments.
Do baby teeth need to be filled?
Most parents assume since the baby teeth will fall out anyway that they do not need to be filled. Actually, the opposite is true. Baby teeth need to have decay treated because those teeth are needed for several years to guide the developing permanent tooth into place. Losing the tooth too early will cause problems with the positioning of the permanent teeth as they erupt.
Are sippy cups ok for my child to use?
Sippy cups are shown to encourage more fluid flowing over the teeth than a normal cup. When they are used between meals they should only be filled with water. Milk or juice during the day in a sippy cup can greatly increase the risk of tooth decay.
NEVER PUT AN INFANT TO SLEEP WITH A BOTTLE OR SIPPY CUP CONTAINING JUICE OR MILK. This will lead to a devastating condition known as “baby bottle caries”. This condition is marked by extreme decay in every tooth in a baby’s mouth. It requires treatment with a specialist using general anesthesia.
How often should I see a dentist?
Preventative care is important to help maintain optimum oral health. We recommend that our patients come in at least twice a year for routine dental cleanings and exams. Since everyone is different, we see many of our patients three or four times a year to be certain they maintain optimum dental health. Waiting too long between visits can cause you to build up heavy amounts of tartar and allow early tooth decay or gum disease to go untreated. The earlier we catch treatment needs, the easier and less expensive they are to address.
What should I expect during my hygiene appointment?
When you arrive one of our hygienists will review your health history and conduct an oral cancer exam. If you are due for routine x-rays then those will be taken as well. The hygienist will use hand and ultrasonic powered instruments to clean plaque, tartar and stain from your teeth while reviewing oral hygiene and nutritional guidance with you. At the end of the appointment, one of Paradise Dental’s dentists will visit with you to discuss any concerns that you have about your oral health, and conduct an examination of your teeth and mouth.
What does painless dentistry mean?
Painless dentistry is a technique used by our office to help make your dental experience as relaxing as possible. Paradise Dental dentists use unique techniques to minimize discomfort during dental injections. We know that visual stimuli are also sometimes enough to make a patient anxious regarding dental treatment, so we also work very hard to make each treatment room comfortable and relaxing for our patients.
What if I have an emergency?
If you have an emergency during normal business hours, immediately call our office at (781) 598-3700 and let us know how quickly you can arrive. If it is outside of normal business hours, you may call the emergency # on our answering machine and one of the doctors will return your call as quickly as possible.
Are payment plans available?
We know that sometimes dental care can be costly. We work hard to coordinate payments through 3rd party insurance companies so that your expenses are minimal. We assist patients in making financial arrangements so that you can afford to complete the treatment that you need, before it progresses to something more advanced. One service we offer is our partnership with CareCredit, a dental treatment financing provider.
Can the dentist whiten my teeth?
We offer different types of whitening procedures depending on your needs and expectations. Paradise Dental offers in-office whitening, which will whiten teeth during an appointment, or take home whitening trays for patients to use on their own.
What if I have a gap or chip that doesn’t respond to normal methods?
If cosmetic bonding or recontouring is not an option for you, then porcelain veneers can correct most aesthetic needs. Our dentists will evaluate the anatomy of your smile to help you find the best treatment. This is often a combination of methods like whitening and a porcelain crown, bonding with veneers, or braces and a dental implant.
Phone: (781) 598-3700
Fax: (781) 598-3730
142A Canal St.
Salem, MA 01970