Frequently Asked Questions
What is biological dentistry?
As the International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine states in their Standards of Practice, “Biological dentistry is concerned with the whole body effects of all dental materials, techniques and procedures. It unites the best clinical practices and technologies of western dentistry and medicine with a wide array of modalities beyond the horizon of conventional practice. For biological dentistry acknowledges, appreciates and considers the complex and dynamic relationships between oral health and systemic health within the context of the whole person. These things are inseparable.”
What’s the difference between “mercury-free” and “mercury-safe”?
“Mercury-free” means only that a dentist does not place new mercury amalgam fillings – the so-called “silver” fillings that were first devised nearly 200 years ago. But even mercury-free practices must handle such fillings when they need to be removed and replaced. That’s where “mercury-safe” comes in. There are strict protocols that we follow to minimize both patient and staff exposure to mercury vapor and particulate – as well as to prevent mercury from polluting the broader environment. Read more about the kinds of safety practices we follow.
Is your office metal-free?
Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as metal-free dentistry. Even ceramic crowns contain some aluminum – not the dark, shiny kind used to make things like soda cans but a benign form no different from the aluminum in sand on a beach or in glass cookware. (Learn more)
That said, we do not use “metal metal” as in much conventional dentistry. We use only BPA-free composites and ceramics for fillings, crowns and bridges. The partials, full dentures and aligners we provide are all non-metallic. For those who opt for dental implants, we use only ceramic materials, never titanium.
Most important is that the materials we use be biocompatible. Biocompatibility testing helps us ensure that the materials we use for a specific patient are not materials they will be reactive to, whether because of aluminum or some other constituent.
What type of biocompatibility testing do you use?
We rely on the Clifford materials reactivity test, which analyzes a small sample of your blood to determine which of thousands of dental materials you may have a problem tolerating and which would be safest.
What’s the best restoration material to use?
While there are a number of composites and ceramics that are broadly biocompatible, each person is biochemically and bioenergetically unique. Each of us has our own health history and health burdens, which can make us more reactive to some materials, less to others. Biocompatibility testing is critical for determining the safest materials to use, and the particular type of restoration to be done will help guide choices among those best options.
Can you tell if mercury, root canals or cavitations are causing my health problems?
No. Dr. Taylor is not a physician and therefore cannot diagnose any systemic illness on the basis of dental conditions. She can refer you to an appropriate physician and is happy to work with your provider to coordinate your dental and medical care.
Do you use latex?
No. Our office is completely latex-free.
Do you offer any kind of sedation during dental procedures?
Yes, we have a couple options for patients who need help relaxing during treatment. One of these is Alpha-Stim, a small device that uses proven, safe and effective Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation to dramatically reduce anxiety symptoms. The waveform passes between two electrodes that clip on to your earlobes, sending a signal to your brain that helps to reduce anxiety.
We also have nitrous oxide available. This safe inhalant is administered by nosepiece, and its effects wear off quickly.
Do I have to have x-rays taken?
All incoming patients need to have a full mouth set of x-rays done in order for us to have a proper understanding of their current dental conditions. However, if you’ve had a set taken within the last year, we may be able to use those. Please contact our office for further information.
For our ongoing patients, x-rays are never taken “routinely” – only when the situation warrants. X-rays are an important diagnostic tool and the only way we have of seeing what’s happening within your teeth and the health of the soft tissues around them and bone that supports them. To further minimize exposure to radiation, we take only digital x-rays, which reduce exposure by as much as 90%, compared to traditional film.
How much does such-and-such a procedure cost?
Treatment plans can vary from patient to patient, depending on their particular dental health situation. We make a point of discussing treatment plan options and costs at length with you before we begin any procedure or course of treatment. If you have specific questions about costs before scheduling your first appointment, please call us at our office. We’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you have.
Do you treat children?
Do you take insurance?
There are hundreds of different types of insurance companies, so this is actually not a simple question to answer! If you have a PPO or indemnity plan that allows you to see the provider of your choice, then we can most likely help you with your insurance. If you have additional questions regarding our policy or your specific insurance, please give us a call.
Do you offer any kind of payment plans?
Yes, we offer our own plans, as well as financing through the Lending Club, CareCredit, and Prosper. For details or to discuss your options, just talk with our office manager Heather. She’ll be glad to help you out!
Additionally, our Smile Plan membership program offers a variety of options with pre-payment discounts. You can learn more about the program here.