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    Shore drive dental FAQs

    Will it hurt?

    We do everything we can to minimize any discomfort you may have. We will also tell you when we expect your discomfort to become something more. Rest assured that we will give you analgesics and/or pain pills if necessary to be sure your discomfort is minimal. When it comes to injections, we place a topical gel first, let it sit for 2 minutes, then Dr. Richmond injects a small amount to begin the numbing process. After a pause, the rest of the anesthetic is injected, making the process reasonably comfortable.

    Can I make payments?

    We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, Cash and Checks. Our financing is available through Care Credit. They pay us, and you make monthly payments to them. You will be given an estimate before each visit as well as an opportunity to speak with a member of our business staff regarding our financial options.

    Do you take emergencies?

    Yes. We recognize that emergency situations do occur and will see you as quickly as possible. If you call early in the morning, you should be able to be seen the same day.

    How much is it going to cost?

    This depends on many factors, primarily what service is provided and whether or not you have insurance. We will give you an estimate before each visit based on the information you provide.

    Do you use silver filling material?

    No, please see I have chosen to use only the tooth colored composite filling material for routine fillings. Although silver, also known as amalgam, has been in use for many years, there has been some controversy about its use due to the mercury included in its makeup. After much research, I have made the decision not to use amalgam in my practice. We recommend you remove existing amalgam fillings.

    Are you accepting new patients?

    Yes, we are accepting new patients of any age! Call (757) 276-4270 for an appointment.

    How soon can I be seen for a cleaning?

    We can usually see you within 2 weeks. If we do not have an opening, we can place you on our priority list for the first available appointment.

    What about fluoride?

    Fluoride is present in toothpaste, city water, tea, and in many other sources, so for most people, additional fluoride is not necessary, even for children. Exceptions would be those people with dry mouth, (caused by many prescription medications), those whose personal habits (drinking soda, sweet tea, candy, etc.) making them prone to cavities, and those people with very sensitive teeth. My recommendation is that fluoride is dispensed on a case by case basis. Please see

    Can anything be done about tetracycline stains?

    Yes, recent advances in whitening procedures have given us a great tool for whitening teeth, even tetracycline stained teeth. Be sure to ask a staff member about the Sapphire Whitening System.

    How soon can I eat or drink after a procedure?

    It depends on what service was performed. After a filling, as soon as the numbness wears off you can eat. Drinking is ok right away, just be careful that you don’t drool. After an extraction, drinking is ok in a couple hours but NOT through a straw. Eating is ok after the numbness wears off and soft non-spicy foods are best for a couple days.

    Why does a root canal need a crown?

    Once a tooth has had a root canal it is no longer vital, which means it does not “feel” like it used to. You cannot tell easily if it is being overloaded, especially in the molar (high chewing force) area. This means that you can chew something very hard on the tooth and it will not sense an overload which could break the tooth. This is especially true if the tooth had a large cavity before it required the root canal therapy. For that reason, we usually recommend a crown to cover and protect the tooth.

    If I have to cancel an appointment, will I be charged?

    Usually not, yet it depends on the circumstances. We do appreciate 48 hours notice if you cannot keep an appointment. By letting us know well ahead of time, we will be able to make that time available to another patient. If you cancel an appointment and we cannot reschedule you quickly, we will be happy to place you on our priority list for the first available opening.

    What kind of options do I have for restoring my teeth?

    There many options available for restoring teeth. Fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, partial dentures and more are possibilities. It mainly depends on what your long term goals are for your teeth. We will be happy to discuss your options with you. Please go to the “Services” section of this web site to see what services we offer.

    Do I need to make an appointment or can I just walk in?

    We see our patients by appointment. We ask that you call in advance so that we may reserve a time just for you. We make it a priority to see our patients on time and ask that you extend the same courtesy to us.

    What should I do if I have a bad odor or taste in my mouth?

    Mouth odors and bad tastes can come from digestive problems, sinus drainage and lung diseases as well as from infected teeth and gums. An examination can usually discover or rule out mouth issues, especially if it has been some time since you’ve had your teeth cleaned and examined. Mouthwashes and rinses only mask underlying issues so an oral exam is the best way to find out what is really going on.

    Can I get my teeth cleaned without the dentist examining me?

    Generally, no. Dr. Richmond examines each and every patient seen. His exam includes your teeth, gums, an oral cancer check as well as the outer facial area, head and neck. Would you really feel comfortable passing up that exam?