Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve put together a list of our most Frequently Asked Questions. If you’re unable to find the answer to your question, please contact us.
General Office Questions:
Are you taking new patients?
Unfortunately, we are not able to take on any new patients at this time. However, it is likely that we will begin doing so again at some point in the future.
I’ve never been to your office before, what should I expect?
Your first visit to Fremont Dental establishes the foundation for a sound relationship between you and your dentist. During this visit, we:
- review important background information (i.e. your medical and dental history). For your convenience, we have a “Patient Forms Portal” through which you can submit your medical and dental forms to us electronically.
- obtain pertinent radiographs
- evaluate the health of your teeth and gums
- perform an oral cancer screening, and
- discuss all of your possible treatment options and create your treatment plan with you.
Due to the varying conditions of each patient’s oral health (and the varying times required to clean the teeth of patients with those different conditions), we generally do not provide a cleaning at your first visit to our office.
Do you treat children?
Yes! At Fremont Dental Associates, we treat both adults and children providing comprehensive dental care for the entire family.
Do you provide after hours emergency care?
If you are a existing patient of Fremont Dental Associates AND you find yourself in pain at a time when our office is closed, emergency treatment may be available to you. If you are not an existing patient, you should contact your current dentist or local emergency room. We are not able to provide after hours care to patients who have never been to our office.
Emergency care can be obtained by calling our main office number and following the directions given. An additional fee may apply.
Can my child be brought to their dental appointment by his/her older sibling or grandparent?
Unfortunately all patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian during an office visit. If you wish to have an adult other than the child’s legal guarding bring your child to their appointment (such as a grandparent), we require a “Temporary Delegation Of Parental Rights And Limited Power Of Attorney”
Is the office wheelchair accessible?
Yes. Please let us know ahead of time if you would like us to make any special arrangements for you. We want to make your visit as comfortable as possible for you.
Billing and Insurance questions:
Do you accept my insurance?
Fremont Dental will process claims for most dental insurance plans. We do not accept medicaid.
Assuming that you accept my insurance, will I owe anything on the day of treatment?
In short, Yes. We do our best to estimate your out-of-pocket portion of the treatment cost (aka your estimated co-pay) before you receive treatment. It is your estimated co-pay that is due at the time of service. Please bear in mind, insurance companies do not always pay the full amount of their estimated portion. In the event that the reimbursement from your insurance is less than anticipated, you are ultimately responsible for the cost of the treatment.
Why do you estimate my co-pay versus giving me an exact amount?
Unfortunately, the only way to know EXACTLY how your insurance company will reimburse for any specific treatment is to actually perform the treatment and have the insurance claim submitted. Your insurance company reserves the right to deny any claim regardless if the treatment is considered a covered benefit and/or the treatment was pre-approved by your insurance company. (And yes, it happens). The possible reasons for this are too great to mention here. We realize that this seems a bit ridiculous, but this is how most (if not all) insurance plans work. With this in mind, we do our very best to provide you with the most accurately estimated co-pay possible and fight to get your claims approved when your insurance company initially denies them. However, in the event that your insurance company does not pay their estimated portion, you are ultimately responsible for the cost of your treatment.
Will I know what my treatment will cost me before you provide it?
- Following a comprehensive examination (including X-rays), we will provided you with detailed cost estimate for all of your proposed treatment.
- If you’re being treated for emergency care, we will provide you with a cost estimate following examination and diagnosis of the emergency.
An estimate for the cost of the examination (comprehensive or emergency) and X-rays, will be provided upon request.
What are your payment options?
Payment is expected at the time services are rendered. We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. We do not extend credit (In other words, we do not accept payments via a payment plan). However, we do offer dental financing through CareCredit®.
How can I tell if my insurance considers Fremont Dental to be in-network or out-of-network?
Many dental insurance plans will urge you to seek treatment only from dentists who they classify as “in-network”. In most cases, Fremont Dental will process claims for you regardless if your insurance plan considers us to be “in-network” or “out-of-network”.
Patient Care Questions:
When should my child first see a dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child see a dentist by their first birthday. Because dental problems (such as tooth decay) can begin as soon as the first tooth comes in, early dental visits can prevent much larger dental problems in the future. If you have questions or concerns about when your child should first see the dentist, we encourage you to contact our office for more information.
I’m very nervous about dental treatment. Do you do anything special to treat anxious patients?
Fear of dental treatment is very common. Our team members are experts at treating anxious patients. We offer relaxing nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and sedative medication when needed. Please inform the doctors or staff if you have any concerns.
Do I really need to take antibiotics prior to my dental treatment?
There are generally 2 reasons why you might be advised to take antibiotics prior to receiving dental treatment:
Certain Heart Conditions
Patients with specific heart conditions are at risk of a heart infection when bacteria gets into their blood stream. Because most dental procedures have the potential to introduce some bacteria from a patient’s mouth into their blood stream, the American Heart Association previously recommended that antibiotics be taken prior to receiving dental treatment for a large number of patients with specific heart conditions. In 2008, the American Heart Association significantly reduced the number of patients to which this recommendation applies. If you have questions regarding whether or not you should take antibiotics prior to your dental treatment, you should speak with either your dentist or your cardiologist. You can read more about the current recommendations from the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association.
Total Joint Replacements
Patients who have received a total joint replacement were previously believed to be at risk of their prosthetic joint becoming infected via the introduction of bacteria to the blood stream (a.k.a. bacteremia) during dental procedures. From this belief arose the pratice of administering antibiotics to dental patients in an effort to prevent possible infection of a prosthetic joint. However, after decades of debate over and numerous studies of this practice, there exists little evidence to support its continued utilization.show more
- In the 1970’s, many (most?) orthopedic surgeons believed that bateremia from dental procedures was a cause for prosthetic joint infections. Subsequently, many of these orthopedic surgeons advocated administering antibiotics before performing dental procedures to patients who had undergone joint replacement.
- By 1997, this practice was codified by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Dental Association (ADA) via publishing an advisory statement regarding the dental treatment of patients with prosthetic joints. In essence, it recommended that many patients with prosthetic joints receive antibiotics prior to dental procedures for a period of 2 years after joint replacement surgery.
- In 2003, the ADA and AAOS furthered the recommendation via another advisory statement.
- In 2009, The AAOS decided on it’s own to ratchet up the recommendation such that all patients with a prosthetic joint were advised to take antibiotics prior to dental procedures FOR LIFE.
- After much debate, in 2012 the AAOS (working with the ADA) relaxed from their 2009 position concluding that some but not all affected patients need antibiotic prophylaxis for life.
- In early 2016, the AAOS released an “Appropriate Use Criteria (AUC)” document which stated (among other things) that “The chance of oral bacteremia being related to joint infections is extremely low, with no evidence for an association.” and essentially declared that using antibiotics prior to dental procedures was “rarely appropriate” for nearly all dental patients with a prosthetic joint. (Although the link to the AUC above was originally accessible by all, the AAOS has since moved this document behind their pay wall and is now only accessible by its members.)
- In the fall of 2016, working in conjunction with dentists, the AAOS released a new AUC document titled “Management of Patients with Orthopaedic Implants Undergoing Dental Procedures”. This new AUC document was subsequently adopted by the American Dental Association. Of note, the new AUC still contained the previously mentioned statement that “The chance of oral bacteremia being related to joint infections is extremely low, with no evidence for an association.” As of summer 2023, this newer AUC still remains available to the public.
- In November of 2019, a group of researchers at Ohio State University reviewed the history of the ever changing guidelines that have been produced which pertain to the use of antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental treatment, as well as the divisions in the positions between the ADA and the AAOS on the topic, and proposed methods by which the two groups might acheive greater consensus. In the end, they concluded (among other things) that we need to “rethink any antibiotic prophylaxis prescribed, with a goal towards far fewer prescriptions.” Their findings were published in Volume 71 of “Clinical Infectious Diseases” in an article titled “Review of Guidelines for Dental Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Prevention of Endocarditis and Prosthetic Joint Infections and Need for Dental Stewardship”
You can read more about the current recommendations from the American Dental Association and the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons. If you have a prosthetic joint and have questions regarding whether or not you should take antibiotics prior to your dental treatment, we recommend that you contact your orthopedic surgeon.
The policy of Fremont Dental regarding the provision of antibiotics prior to dental procedures is as follows:
For patients with one or more of the following conditions:show list of conditions
- Artificial heart valve(s).
- A history of an infection of the lining of the heart or heart valves known as infective endocarditis, an uncommon but life-threatening infection.
- A heart transplant in which a problem develops with one of the valves inside the heart.
- Heart conditions that are present from birth, such as:
- Unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including people with palliative shunts and conduit.
- Defects repaired with a prosthetic material or device—whether placed by surgery or catheter intervention—during the first six months after repair.
- Cases in which a heart defect has been repaired, but a residual defect remains at the site or adjacent to the site of the prosthetic patch or prosthetic device used for the repair.
- Total Joint Replacement(s) in which one of the following are true:
- the patient is severely immunocompromised
- the patient has diabetes with
- Hemoglobin HbA1c ≥ 8, or
- Blood Glucose ≥ 200
- the patient has a history of periprosthetic or deep prosthetic joint infection that required an operation
Fremont Dental will provide prescriptions to be used as antibiotic prophylaxis prior to receiving dental treatment.
For patients with ALL other conditions:
Prescriptions for the purpose of antibiotic prophylaxis prior to dental treatment shall be obtained from the healthcare provider recommending that antibiotic prophylaxis be utilized.
Why fill a baby tooth if it will only fall out eventually?
A baby tooth saves space for a permanent tooth and helps guide it into position. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the teeth beside it can (and often do) tilt or shift into the empty space such that the permanent teeth may not have enough room to erupt properly. This often results in crowded or crooked teeth and can lead to extensive and costly orthodontic treatment in the future. If a baby tooth must be extracted early, a space maintainer can be put in to hold the space. However, it is almost always less expensive to restore a tooth than to replace it with a space maintainer. Remember: some baby teeth are not replaced until a child is 10 to 13 years old.
Are dental x-rays really necessary?
Many oral diseases, lesions, and conditions can be detected with the use of dental X-rays earlier than would otherwise be possible. These images allow us to see directly between the teeth as well as under the gums and bone. Many times, X-rays will reveal existing problems even when there are no other signs or symptoms of disease. A dental exam without X-rays can lead to extensive and costly treatment that could have easily been avoided had X-rays been utilized.
If I get a crown, my tooth can never get decayed again, right?
Unfortunately, a tooth can always become decayed regardless of whether it has been crowned or not. For this reason, it remains important to maintain proper home care and regular dental visits.