Find The Answer To Your Dental Questions In Our FAQs!

Dr. Keahey on a Patient's First Impression Read Transcript

Dr. Swartzentruber and our Carmichael Dental Care team receive many similar questions from patients. To save you time, we’re providing answers to FAQs here, but we can offer more information any time before or during your visit to our Montgomery, AL dentist office. Just call 334-600-1423 or contact us through our online form.

  • Q: What Are My Payment Options If I Don’t Have Dental Insurance?

    We never want a lack of insurance to prevent you from getting the care you need. So we offer many payment options, including Lending Club Patient Solutions, which allows you to make small monthly payments with no upfront cost. You may also be interested in the Carmichael Advantage Dental Savings Plan. For a $360 annual fee, this in-house membership plan  includes two yearly preventive visits, examinations, and necessary X-rays. You’ll also receive 20 percent savings on other dental procedures. For even more savings, ask about our multi-member plans.

  • Q: Is a Custom Mouthguard Really Better Than One From a Store?

    Yes, it really is. Since we use impressions of your teeth and other precise measurements for custom mouthguards, they fit better than mouthguards from a store. If you’ve ever tried the “boil and bite” method of adjusting fit for a store-bought mouthguard, you know it doesn’t really work that well. You’re more likely to consistently wear a mouthguard that fits you well. Call today to schedule your fitting for a custom mouthguard.

  • Q: Can You Help Me Feel Less Nervous at the Dentist?

    Yes, we’re committed to helping you relax when you visit us! Our care rooms have pillows, TVs, and headphones. We use patient-friendly technology like lasers to keep your treatments as comfortable as possible. If you’re still anxious, you can choose from two kinds of safe sedation: “laughing gas” to put you in a lightly relaxed state or an oral sedative you can take before your appointment.

  • Q: Why Do You Offer a Warranty on Dental Restorations?

    With proper care, dental restorations like crowns and bridges should last a long time. That’s why we work with the very best dental labs to supply your restorations. We are so confident in the quality of our treatment – including the work of our dental lab partners – that we guarantee it for three years. If your restoration breaks due to normal wear and tear during that time frame, you will receive a new one at no cost. The warranty covers crowns, bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures.

  • Q: Can You Help Me Look Younger?

    Our dentists can give you a more youthful appearance by taking years off your smile with cosmetic dental treatments. Then they can make the rest of your face look younger too, with Botox treatments to relax fine lines and wrinkles and/or Juvederm dermal fillers to add volume to areas like your cheeks and lips.

  • Q: How Often Should I See You for Dental Exams?

    We recommend visiting one of our Montgomery, AL dentists for a dental exam and dental cleaning every six months. Our professional cleaning removes plaque and tartar that can lead to cavities and gum disease. During your exam we’ll examine you for signs of trouble, including teeth grinding and oral cancer. Exams are also a great chance for us to get to know you better, so we can suggest personalized treatment options for you.

  • Q: When should my child come for his first visit?

    The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist about six months after their first tooth appears. For most kids, that would be around 12-18 months. Some children are ready to see a dentist at this point, but others aren’t quite ready to sit still and interact with the doctor. You know your child best – bring him or her in as soon as they are ready. This could be anywhere from 1-3 years of age.

  • Q: Should I Get an Electric Toothbrush?

    Several studies have shown that electric toothbrushes may be more effective than manual brushes in removing plaque from teeth, thanks to their vibrating motion. They show particular benefit for those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other mobility issues. Most electric brushes also have a timer that helps ensure you brush for a full two minutes. However, the main thing is to select a brush that you like and to use it regularly, whether it is manual or electric. Always select a brush with soft bristles, preferably one with the American Dental Association seal of approval. 

  • Q: Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

    Wisdom teeth may be uncomfortable as they are coming in – but this may or may not be a sign they need to be removed. Our dentists will examine you with digital X-rays and an intraoral camera to get a good look at these teeth in the back of your mouth. If they do need to be removed, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible with effective local anesthesia. You can also get dental sedation if you need it.

  • Q: I Broke a Tooth What Should I Do?

    If you broke a tooth, there’s no need to panic. Call us ASAP at 334-600-1423 so we can see you right away. You’ll even be able to reach one of our dentists after hours, if needed. If you’re in pain, we’ll numb you with local anesthesia and offer sedation if you need it. Depending on the severity of the break and the condition of your tooth, we can usuallly save it with a dental crown. If the tooth is so badly damaged it needs to be removed, we can gently extract it.

  • Q: Do You Use Metal Fillings?

    We don’t use amalgam (metal) fillings. Instead we use fillings made of a sturdy material called composite. Unlike metal fillings, we can match the color to your other teeth so no one will see them in your smile. Composite fillings also don’t contain mercury. While the FDA says mercury in fillings is safe for most people, some research has raised questions about the long-term safety of mercury. We prefer to avoid the risk.

  • Q: Is it safe to visit the dentist office during Coronavirus?

    It is safe to visit the dentist office. We are experts at keeping our patients and staff safe from the spread of infection. You can read more about our protocols specific to COVID-19 or call us anytime to discuss your specific concerns. The only patients who should stay away from the office are patients who are feeling poorly!

  • Q: Can You Help Me Get a Whiter Smile?

    Of course! We offer several teeth whitening options, one of which will be right for you. Surface stains vanish with our Opalescence teeth whitening treatments. You can get a treatment in our office, or we can provide you with professional-strength gel and custom whitening trays to use at home. For more stubborn stains, you can choose tooth bonding or dental veneers, both of which conceal stains that don’t respond well to whitening. Bonding and veneers can hide other flaws too, like chips or rough edges.

  • Q: What Is the Best Teeth Whitening?

    While there are lots of teeth whitening options available on drugstore shelves, they simply don’t work as well as our professional whitening treatments. Our treatments contain a higher concentration of whitening ingredients. We’ll completely cover your teeth while protecting your gums for an in-office whitening treatment. If you choose home whitening, we’ll make custom-made whitening trays for you to provide the same kind of coverage.

  • Q: Can You See Me for a Dental Emergency?

    We make every effort to see you ASAP after a dental emergency, usually on the same day. In fact, we reserve time on our schedule every day to accommodate emergencies. If you call our office after hours, we make it possible for you to directly contact one of our dentists. They can then advise you on what to do next. When you arrive, we’ll quickly treat you with patient-friendly technology. And you can get dental sedation if you need it.

  • Q: How Can I Prevent Cavities?

    Brushing and flossing your teeth every day is the key to preventing cavities. You also need to supplement your home oral hygiene with two trips to our office every year for professional dental cleanings and exams. No matter how diligently you brush at home, you’ll miss some plaque that over time becomes tartar that causes cavities. We remove it during cleanings. We may also suggest preventive treatments like applications of fluoride or dental sealants.

  • Q: Is Grinding Bad for My Teeth?

    Grinding can chip, crack, or even break teeth. If that happens, you’ll need a restorative dental repair like a crown. It’s better to prevent teeth grinding by wearing a mouthguard when you sleep, which is when most grinding occurs. Our dentists can fit you for a custom mouthguard.

  • Q: Which Kind of Dental Sedation Is Right for Me?

    Every person experiences dental anxiety differently. You may even experience different levels of anxiety for different procedures. To ensure you will always enjoy the right level of relaxation, we offer two kinds of safe dental sedation: laughing gas, which is inhaled through a small mask, or an oral sedative in the form of a small pill. We’ll help you determine which one is best for each situation.

  • Q: Can You Relieve My Sleep Apnea Symptoms?

    Yes, our dentists can help you get a better night’s rest and improve your overall health with a custom-made oral appliance. You’ll wear it while sleeping, and it moves your jaw into a position that keeps your airway open. This stops the frequent interruptions in breathing that characterize sleep apnea. Many people find sleep apnea appliances more comfortable and easier to use than a CPAP, another commonly prescribed treatment for apnea.

  • Q: What Are My Tooth Replacement Options?

    You’ve got lots of tooth replacement options at Carmichael Dental Care. Our Montgomery, AL dentists will help determine which one is right for your smile. For a replacement tooth that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth, we often recommend a dental implant. We work with an oral surgeon to get the implant placed, then add a dental restoration of your choice. Implants can replace anywhere from a single tooth to an entire mouthful of teeth. If you’d rather not get implants or aren’t a good candidate for them, you can get a dental bridge or dentures.

  • Q: Q: I’ve got weird jaw pain and my jaw pops. What is that?

    Jaw pain that happens for no reason, clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth, unexplained headaches, and other “weird” symptoms may be due to problems with the joint that acts as a hinge for your mouth. We offer diagnosis and effective treatment for TMJ problems. Call our office to schedule an appointment.

  • Q: Why Do I Need Dental X-Rays?

    Some areas in your mouth are just not visible to the human eye, such as between the teeth, below tooth enamel, and underneath the gums. We use digital X-rays to view these areas, which reduce your exposure to radiation by up to 90 percent when compared to film X-rays. When reviewing your dental X-rays, Dr. Swartzentruber looks for cavities, bone loss beneath the gum line, or any other area of concern. Digital X-rays are also used to detect wisdom teeth issues.

  • Q: My Gums Bleed When I Brush. What Should I Do?

    Healthy gums normally don’t bleed. When you see bleeding during brushing, this is a sign that your gums are inflamed due to bacteria that have found their way into the spaces between your teeth and gums (known as “pockets”). The first step you should take is to call us at 334-600-1423. We will:

    • Ask questions about your last dental cleaning and any new medications you may be taking to determine any related issues
    • Put you on a very consistent brushing and flossing regimen

    Bleeding gums is also a sign of periodontal (gum) infection, or inflammation associated with gingivitis. If detected early, we can treat periodontal disease and gingivitis with nonsurgical root planing procedures to remove bacteria and toxins from the infected areas. This stimulates tissue growth and healing.

  • Q: Isn’t Tooth Loss Just Part Of Getting Older?

    The short answer is “no.” With the help of a good Montgomery, AL dentist, it is possible to keep your teeth for a lifetime! Through regular visits and preventive care, we can keep your mouth healthy and help you develop a home care routine to give your teeth the foundation they need to stay clean and strong.

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