FAQs

If you have questions, other people probably had them before you! Browse our list of frequently asked questions, and feel free to contact us directly if you don’t find the answers you need. We’re here to help!

What should I expect on my first visit?
What forms of payment are accepted?
What options do I have if I don’t have insurance?
What if I have a dental emergency?
Dental offices make me nervous. Can you help me?
I lost a tooth, do I need to replace it?
Why do my gums bleed?
How can I make my smile to look better?
Can you fix crooked teeth?
Can veneers help me have a more confident smile?
What teeth whitening options do you provide?
Do you offer tooth-colored fillings?
What is a crown?
How many appointments are needed for a crown?
Can I have my teeth cleaned on the first visit?
Do x-rays give off a lot of radiation?
Will my check up/cleaning include an oral cancer screening?
What should I expect on my first visit?

You will be welcomed warmly the moment you walk through the door. We will ask you to fill out new patient paperwork to help our office get to know you. You can print these papers from our website and fill them out prior to your visit, or arrive 15 minutes early to fill them out.

When it is time for your appointment, the hygienist or assistant will escort you to your appointment room and introduce herself. We will determine the x-rays needed for optimal care. Dr. Cummings will then review your medical history, x-rays and make a complete record of your existing restorations and needs. He will take the time to discuss any questions you may have, make recommendations to help you achieve optimum oral health, and work with you to suggest the best route to achieve your goals. After you discuss your concerns and questions, we will print out your treatment plan and present it to you along with a financial estimate, and schedule an appointment that works best for you.

Download and print off your Patient Forms.

What forms of payment are accepted?

We accept credit and debit cards, and work with most major insurance providers. We offer a wide range of flexible payment and financing options. These include Care Credit (third party financing,) personal checks, and most major credit cards. We also offer a five percent bookkeeping courtesy. If you have financing concerns, please talk to our office staff.

Check out our Payment & Insurance page for more information.

What options do I have if I don’t have insurance?

We offer our own unique memberships for existing patients who don’t have insurance. Both monthly or yearly plans are available. To learn more about our adult, children, and periodontal membership packages, check out our Payment & Insurance page for more information.

What if I have a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies can include facial trauma that damage the structure of the teeth or jaw, loss of a permanent tooth, severe tooth pain, or signs of infection. Our office phones are answered on the weekend and Dr. Cummings also has his cell number available for existing patients.

If you have a dental emergency please give us a call at 615-460-0123.

Dental offices make me nervous. Can you help me?

Yes, our practice offers a wide variety of sedation options as well as drug-free relaxation aids. These include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, noise canceling headphones, sunglasses, blankets, and more. Our goal is to provide a pleasant and relaxing experience for every patient, every time. Dr. Cummings 30 years of experience is reflected in how he listens to you and your needs, and adjusts personal care accordingly.

Check out our Services page for more information.

I lost a tooth, do I need to replace it?

Yes! The absence of any tooth can lead to bone loss, additional loss of other teeth, and cause other teeth to shift toward the gap. Replacing the missing tooth will preserve your oral health and the appearance of your smile. A single tooth may be replaced with an implant or a fixed bridge. Dentures may also be an option when a large number of teeth are missing. Dental implants have many benefits over other choices. Today, most dentists and patients agree that implants are the preferred tooth replacement option. Implants create more denture stability and may be an option for you.

Check out our Implants page for more information.

Why do my gums bleed?

It is possible that your toothbrush is too stiff or you are brushing too aggressively. However, another likely cause is gum (periodontal) disease. Additional symptoms of gum disease may include puffiness, tenderness, or redness of the gum tissue. Gum disease does not always cause pain.

Schedule your periodontal exam by giving us a call at 615-460-0123.

How can I make my smile to look better?

You’ll be amazed by how many options there are! Our treatments range from cosmetics, orthodontics to whitening or full smile makeovers, and much more. Arrange a consultation to learn about what’s best for you.

Check out our Cosmetic Dentistry page for more information.

Can you fix crooked teeth?

Yes. Invisalign (clear aligners) treatment is an option for most people. Traditional braces, while used less frequently by adults, is also an option we provide.
Check out our Invisalign page for more information.

Can veneers help me have a more confident smile?

If you want to change the color, size, shape, or overall appearance of teeth, veneers may be a great choice for you!

Check out our Cosmetic Dentistry page for more information.

What teeth whitening options do you provide?

The best choice depends on your needs and preferences. If you are in a hurry, in-office treatment is better because results are instant with just one visit. However, patients with sensitive teeth fare better with home treatment because it is gentler and more gradual.
We offer the NEW Advanced ZOOM Whitening for instant results, as well as custom whitening trays for those who wish to whiten at home.

Check out our Cosmetic Dentistry page for more information.

Do you offer tooth-colored fillings?

Yes. This dental office has not used dental amalgam in the past decade. Furthermore, we take the appearance of you smile seriously, and we use carefully color-matched cosmetic materials.

Check out our Cosmetic Dentistry page for more information.

What is a crown?

A dental crown is a restoration that covers and restores a tooth. They are often used for deep fractures, severe decay, broken teeth, or for protecting teeth after root canal treatment. Our crowns are made of various materials including: porcelain, porcelain to metal, all metal, or zirconia. The doctor and patient can select the material together to best suit the patient’s individual needs.

Check out our Crowns page for more information.

How many appointments are needed for a crown?

Generally, the process takes 2 appointments, which are 1-2 weeks apart. But, since we have our own in-house lab, many crown cases can be completed in the same visit.

Check out our Crowns page for more information.

Can I have my teeth cleaned on the first visit?

Typically you can have your teeth cleaned on the first visit. Our hygienists will take x-rays, and check for periodontal/gum disease. When gums are free of infection, a cleaning will be performed during your first visit. When infection (gum disease) is present, you will be given the option to begin gum treatment same-day, if time permits. Gum treatment takes longer than a standard cleaning to help rid your infection, and additional appointments may be necessary.

Check out our Hygiene page for more information about your cleanings.

Do x-rays give off a lot of radiation?

The radiation involved in the traditional x-ray process is approximately equal to what you would receive from 60 minutes in natural sunlight without sunscreen. During the process, the patient is covered in a protective apron covering the torso. However, we believe that safer is always better.
For that reason, we transitioned to digital radiographs over a decade ago. This imaging system emits less radiation while providing more detailed diagnostic data than the traditional method. Furthermore, the process is more comfortable, especially for patients with jaw pain. We also have our equipment inspected by state officials to ensure we can deliver what we promise.

Check out our Technology page to learn more about other equipment we offer.

Will my check up/cleaning include an oral cancer screening?

Absolutely! We recognize that oral cancer is one of the deadliest health risks facing our patients, and that early detection is the key to successful treatment If an abnormality is detected we will biopsy the area and treat, if necessary.

Check out our Hygiene page for more information about your cleanings.

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