Commonly asked dental questions

With over 30 years of experience in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, we've collected some of the most frequently asked dental questions from our patients and answered them for you.

Why do I need to cancel my cleaning if I have an active cold sore (herpes)?2024-05-29T20:01:45+00:00

When we are working in your mouth, we are pulling and stretching tissues along with spraying water therefore causing a risk to spread the cold sore (herpes) to other areas of the like your eyes.

Why can’t I get a cleaning until 6 months after a heart attack?2024-05-29T20:00:56+00:00

When you get your teeth cleaned, we are stirring up the bacteria under the gumline. In doing this it can make a patient more susceptible to systemic infections. For this reason, we wait 6 months or would need your specialist approval if it’s before the 6-month protocol.

Your oral health affects your overall health.

Can I only get one cleaning a year?2024-05-29T20:00:01+00:00

This is a common misunderstanding with your insurance plan. Every insurance gives you a certain amount of units of scale, which is the time spent on scaling your teeth. For example, some insurance companies (provincial government) give you 12 units of scale per calendar year. On average a patient would use 2 units at one visit, so technically you could have your teeth scaled 6 times a year.

The 6 – 9 months is normally the maximum for a recall exam (check-up) or polish.

Why do I get a lot of build up on my lower front teeth?2024-05-29T19:55:10+00:00

This is because of the proximity of the saliva glands that are located behind those teeth under the tip of the tongue. Some people have more active glands than others therefore creating quicker and heavier build-up.

Why do my gums bleed when I floss?2024-05-29T19:54:09+00:00

Bleeding gums tell us that things are not as healthy as they should be and you need to continue to brush and floss to make the bleeding stop with healthier gums.

Why do we need scaling?2024-05-29T19:53:30+00:00

It helps prevent gum disease.

Is a biteplane the same as a night guard?2024-05-29T19:25:59+00:00

Yes. A biteplane, also known as a night guard, is an acrylic appliance that custom fits over your top or bottom teeth.

How long does it take to get a biteplane?2024-05-22T00:03:01+00:00

To get a bite plane, you will need to have a digital scan completed (10 – 15 mins). Once the lab receives your scan, they begin the fabrication process and your biteplane will be ready within 1 – 2 weeks. Once we have it, we’ll book you an appointment and we’ll ensure the appliance fits properly.

Are biteplanes covered by insurance?2024-05-21T23:59:37+00:00

Biteplanes are covered by most insurances companies.

Why does one need a biteplane?2024-05-21T23:59:23+00:00

Biteplanes are recommended to a patient for various reasons such as if you grind your teeth, clench your teeth, TMD, tension headaches, protection for cosmetic dentistry like crowns, veneers, and bridges, and if you have implants.

When does a tooth need a crown?2024-05-07T23:00:26+00:00
  • When a tooth has a root canal
  • A tooth that has been heavily restored
  • When a tooth has hairline fractures
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic preferences
Are Cerec crowns covered by insurance?2024-05-07T22:59:59+00:00

Most dental insurance plans provide some coverage for full-coverage crowns. To ensure you are covered, contact our office and we can send a pre-determination to your insurance so you will know exactly what your policy covers before we start the process.

How long does a crown last?2024-05-07T22:58:45+00:00

Typically, a crown can last 5 – 8 years keeping in mind there are a lot of factors that vary from patient to patient for example, grinding, medications, underlying medical conditions, tooth structure under the crown, condition of oral cavity, and more.

Do I need my previous molds or to take new impressions?2024-05-07T22:58:22+00:00

No impressions needed! Our CEREC primescan has an intraoral scanner that allows you to perform high-precision digital impressions of the patient’s teeth, without the use of traditional impressions.

How long is this procedure?2024-05-07T22:57:49+00:00

To allow time for us to prepare the tooth, design, and mill the crown we like to tell our patients to be prepared for a 2- 3-hour appointment. However, this appointment does not require the patient to be present for the whole time.

It takes approximately 1 hour to prep the existing tooth, 1 hour to design, mill, sinter, and polish the restoration and 30 minutes back for us to try in and cement the crown. Within that timeframe, there are 45 minutes to 1 hour where you can read a book or shop around the mall.

If by chance you cannot do a 2- 3-hour appointment, call the office and let us know. We can arrange the appointment to be 1.5 hours and you can come back to the office later that day or any other day you prefer for cementation.

What is CAD/CAM ceramic dentistry?2024-04-03T14:12:58+00:00

It is is a field of dentist and prosthodontics using CAD/CAM to create dental restorations. CAD/CAM also known as Cerec, is most commonly used to manufacture crowns. The process of fabricating a crown, with this technology has become more predictable over the years and more convenient for patients. Depending on the tooth involved, you can now have your crown prepped, designed, and finished in one appointment.  At your crown appointment we will prep the tooth for a crown, then take a digital scan. The assistant will start to design your new crown chairside and once completed, we will send it to our milling unit (Prime mill) and the machine will cut a crown out of a block of Zirconia. Once the crown has been milled, it will than go into an oven (speed fire) where the temperature will rise upwards of 1600 degrees. When completed the crown will then cool. Once cooled, the crown is polished. Finally, we try the crown in and once cemented the patient is on their way!

Am I a candidate for teeth whitening?2024-04-03T14:12:33+00:00

If you’re interested in whitening your teeth for a upcoming wedding, grad or vacation, we require that you’ve had a dental exam within the last 6 months and have no outstanding dental treatment (like fillings).

How much does a cleaning cost?2024-04-03T14:12:06+00:00

That question is difficult to answer, a cleaning can range from $150 – $220+. The cost of a cleaning is based on the number of units of time it takes to complete the treatment.

What is your appointment policy?2024-04-03T14:11:40+00:00

Every appointment slot is booked for YOU, therefore we require a 24 hour cancellation notice. Without notice we may not be able to accommodate another patient who is anxious to be seen.

What should I expect at my first visit, should I bring anything with me?2024-04-03T14:11:21+00:00

Depending on your reason for booking, you might expect a full exam, x-rays, oral cancer screening, potential cleaning. Bring along your insurance information and list of medications.

At what age should my child start seeing a Dentist?2024-04-03T14:11:01+00:00

It is recommended by the Canada Dental Association that once a child starts to get teeth; they should see a Dentist. Although they may cry on their first visit, continuing to have an exam every 6 months to get them use to the chair, environment and procedure.

How often should I see a Dentist?2024-04-03T14:10:43+00:00

Every 6 months or more frequently if recommended by your Dentist or Hygienist. It is important to assess the hard and soft tissues in the mouth for early detection of  cavities, fractures, infections and oral lesions such as oral cancer or other systematic issues that may occur in the mouth.

Do you offer sedation?2024-04-03T14:10:22+00:00

Yes, Dr. Brown offers oral sedation but not nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation. She provides minimal to moderate sedation with triazolam (medication like Ativan). Treatment with her can be booked after a consultation to review your medical history and need for sedation.

What does MCP cover?2024-04-03T14:15:56+00:00

Children 12 and under:

  • Dental exam every 6 months
  • Cleaning every 12 months
  • Fluoride starts at age 6, every 12 months.
  • 2 bitewing x-rays every 2 years and some other x-rays.
  • Routine dental work like fillings and extractions
  • Sealants

Income support for children 13 – 17 years:

  • Dental exam every 24 months
  • 2 bitewings every two years and some other x-rays
  • Routine dental work like fillings and extractions
  • Cleanings are not covered.

Income support for adults (must bring your monthly MCP stub to your visit):

  • Routine fillings
  • Extractions (not impacted)
  • Dental exam once every 3 years
  • Bite-wings every 3 years.
  • Cleanings are not covered.
  • Maximum coverage of $300.00 per calendar year, April 1st – March 31st. The cost of an exam and x-rays are deducted from your maximum coverage.
  • New patients on income support will not be eligible for direct billing and will be given a reimbursement form to submit to MCP.
What types of payment do you accept?2024-04-03T14:15:57+00:00

We accept cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

Do you direct bill insurance companies?2024-04-03T14:15:58+00:00

We direct bill most insurance companies. When booking your appointment, you can ask one of our receptionists if your insurance is one of them.  Please keep in mind you are responsible for knowing your insurance coverage.

Are you accepting new patients?2024-04-03T14:15:20+00:00

Yes! We are a family practice and always accepting new patients into our clinic.

Am I eligible for the CDCP if I already receive coverage from provincial government programs?2024-03-28T15:21:21+00:00

If you’re eligible for existing provincial government programs, you’ll still be able to apply for the CDCP. Provincial dental programs aren’t included in the insurance category that Heath Canada has listed as a qualifying factor.

Should I cancel my private insurance?2024-03-28T15:20:54+00:00

Dentists believe that the CDCP should improve access to care for people who don’t have benefits. The CDCP should not take away or replace the benefits that people already have. If you have an existing one, you shouldn’t cancel. You’re still considered to have access to dental insurance, and therefore be considered ineligible for CDCP, if you choose to opt out of available benefits like these.

Should I cancel my appointment and wait for CDCP?2024-03-28T15:19:44+00:00

No, we strongly recommend that you continue with your regular scheduled appointments. If you cancel, you will deal with wait times, we don’t know what will be covered, and your current condition could worsen. You and your dentist can determine the best plan for your oral health.

Why are you charging an additional fee (balance billing)?2024-03-28T15:18:05+00:00

There’s no additional fee. This is the usual fee we charge that is set yearly by the Newfoundland Dental Association (NLDA) for all patients, regardless of their specific dental benefits coverage. The federal government decided not to fully fund the CDCP. Unfortunately, this lack of funding puts the responsibility on the patients and their dentist.

Dental offices are like mini-hospitals and there’s a lot that goes into the cost of dental care – expensive equipment, infection control, rent, utilities, staffing cost, and high levels of training and so much more. We believe dentists should be fairly compensated by the government to offset this cost.

How much is covered?2024-03-28T15:17:15+00:00

You’ll have some out-of-pocket costs because the CDCP doesn’t cover 100% of the normal fees. Every group has a different level of coverage, so that will impact your level of co-payment and the remaining balance billed by your dental clinic.

When can I get my benefits?2024-03-28T15:16:37+00:00

Once you apply through Health Canada and they confirm that you qualify, your information will be shared with Sun Life, who’ll enroll you in the CDCP. Sun Life will then provide your coverage start date and member card.

The start date to access oral health care will vary based on when each group can apply, when the application is received, and when enrollment is completed. Please contact the government with any specific questions.

Is Avalon Dental enrolling in the CDCP (Canadian Dental Care Plan) as a provider?2024-03-28T15:12:50+00:00

Our dental clinic hasn’t made that decision yet, as we haven’t received all the information. We support increasing access to care for the people in our province.

What are your business hours?2024-04-03T14:15:20+00:00

Please visit our Locations & Hours to view our current hours of operation.

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