Many people have questions about their dental care.  To help you understand your treatments, we have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter.  For more information about our comprehensive dental services in New Albany, Ohio, and to make your appointment with Dr. Timothy Backiewicz, please call New Albany Family Dentistry at 614-656-4379.

How often should I have a dental checkup?
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year (every 6 months).  These routine checkups help us monitor your oral health and detect any dental problems in the earliest stages of development.  During these appointments, we will provide a thorough cleaning and examine your teeth and gums for any signs of problems.  This includes a bite assessment, periodontal exam, and oral cancer screening.

If you need more frequent visits in order to maintain good oral health, we will set up a schedule for you.

I have chronic headaches.  Can you help?
Chronic headaches may by a symptom of a misaligned bite, bruxism (teeth grinding), or a TMJ (jaw joint) disorder.  Our dentist will examine your bite, jaw, head, and neck to determine the underlying causes of your pain and provide you with a solution.

What can I do about stained or discolored teeth?
New Albany Family Dentistry provides custom, take-home teeth whitening trays to brighten your smile and reduce or remove the stains and discolorations from your teeth.  Please contact our office for more information about our take-home whitening treatments.

How can you help me improve the appearance of my smile?
We offer a variety of cosmetic dental treatments to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance the beauty of your smile.  Advances in dentistry have made it easier than ever before for you to achieve your smile goals and enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile.  Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of treatments, as well as preventive and restorative dentistry.  Common cosmetic treatments include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Composite (tooth-colored) dental fillings
  • Porcelain dental veneers
  • Porcelain dental crowns
  • Dental implants
  • Orthodontics
  • And much more!

Do you provide dental care for children and elderly patients?
Yes!  Our dentist love families, and we welcome patients of all ages.  We provide pediatric, senior, and special needs dentistry to meet the needs of all our patients.

I’m having a dental emergency!  What do I do if the office is closed?
If you are experiencing a dental emergency after hours, please call our office at 614-656-4379 and let us know that nature of your condition.  We will return your call as soon as possible, provide you with information and instructions over the phone, and help you make an appointment with our dentist as soon as possible.

Do you accept dental insurance?
New Albany Family Dentistry accepts almost all dental insurances.  As a courtesy service to you, we will file your claims electronically and accept assignment of benefits.  Your co-pay or deductible will be due at the time of service.

For more information, please visit our Financial Options page.

What payment methods do you accept, and do you offer financing options?
Our office accepts cash, check and all major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.  We offer third-party financing options through CareCredit.  CareCredit provides low- and no-interest payment plans to work with your financial situation.

For more information, please visit our Financial Options page.

Are dental X-rays safe?
Absolutely!  Even traditional film radiography produces less radiation exposure than what you experience in your day-to-day life.  With the advancement of technology, we have been able to further reduce your exposure by using digital X-ray, which produce 80-90% less radiation.  Additionally, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for safety and accuracy every two years.  X-rays are completely safe for use.

Why is flossing important?
Flossing cleans the areas between your teeth and below your gum line, where your toothbrush cannot reach.  Flossing regularly reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth, which in turn helps prevent the formation of plaque and tartar (calculus), and reduces the likelihood of developing cavities or gum disease.

What are dental sealants? 
Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating painted onto the chewing surfaces of the teeth.  They work to block out bacteria, plaque, food, and other debris from the deeper grooves of the teeth to prevent decay.

Children are usually the recipients of sealants – sealants are typically provided on permanent molars and premolars as soon as those teeth come in to provide protection for the teeth between the ages of 6-14.  Our dentist may recommend sealants for adults if they have unusually deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of their teeth or are at greater risk of developing tooth decay.

What treatments are available for changing the shape of my teeth?
If your teeth are misshapen or gapped, there are several options to give them a more regular appearance.  Common treatments to change the shape of teeth include:

  • Dental bonding
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental veneers
  • Tooth recontouring (reshaping)

We will provide you with information about the cost, durability, and treatment time of these treatments during your consultation, as well as answers to any other questions you may have.

I’m afraid of visiting the dentist.  What can I do about this?
If you are afraid or anxious about visit the dentist, you are not alone.  It is estimated that up to 15% of Americans avoid visiting the dentist due to fear and anxiety.

Our dentist and team at New Albany Family Dentistry are committed to helping you feel comfortable in our office, and we are happy to accommodate your needs.  If you experience dental anxiety or fear, please speak with us.  We take your feelings seriously, and we will work with you to determine the best ways to help you feel at ease during your appointment.

What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is a degenerative oral disease that affects the gums and supporting structures of your teeth.  It is caused by bacteria trapped in plaque, and if left untreated, it can develop to the point where it destroys your gums and supporting bone tissue, eventually leading to tooth loss.

Our dentist provide a periodontal examination as part of your regular dental checkups.  If gum disease is detected in your mouth, we will work with you to create a treatment plan to help you manage the disease and regain your oral health.  Your treatment will depend on the severity of the disease.  Milder forms of periodontal disease may only require a thorough cleaning and an improved at-home hygiene routine, while severe forms of the disease may require more extensive surgical treatments from a periodontal specialist.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
Common symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender gums
  • Easy bleeding of the gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose/separated teeth
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Persistent halitosis (bad breath)
  • Changes in your bite or the way your teeth fit together
  • Changes in the fit of dentures or other removeable appliances

When should my child visit the dentist for the first time?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should visit the dentist for the first time about 6 months after their first tooth erupts, or no later than their first birthday.  These initial visits are designed to help children feel comfortable and at ease in the dental office and begin developing a trusting relationship with the dentist.  The dentist will advise parents on good oral hygiene routines, ask about the child’s oral habits, and gently examine the child’s mouth.

Why are baby teeth important?
Baby, or primary, teeth play an important role in the development of your child’s mouth and in maintaining good oral health.  Primary teeth help with:

  • Speech production and development
  • Eating and nutrition (proper chewing and good digestion)
  • Self-confidence
  • Straighter smiles (holding the place of the permanent teeth)
  • Excellent long-term oral health

When should my child have his or her initial orthodontic evaluation?
Children should have an orthodontic evaluation at about age 7, and before their 8th birthday.  This allows orthodontists to diagnose any potential problems before they become serious, and avoid the need for more extensive treatment at a later age.  Your child’s orthodontist will be able to determine if and when any orthodontic treatment is needed.