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FAQs

FAQs

Do you Take My Insurance?

We accept all types of dental insurance, whether we’re considered in or out of network with those plans, and we file your claims for you. South Waterfront Dental is a preferred provider with ODS Premier (Delta Dental) & PPO, Blue Cross Blue Shield (PAR) and Aetna (PPO) and we accept PacificSource, Standard, and Cigna insurance plans. It is critical to first check with your insurance company to make sure you are not restricted from seeing us.

How Can You Help Me Stay within my Dental Budget?

We pride ourselves on helping patients maximize their dental benefits each year by assisting you in keeping track of your remaining benefits. We also offer financial options; three months interest free on certain balances and alternative financing. In addition, we accept credit cards.

What if I’m a bit Nervous About Coming to the Dentist?

Dr. Beck always allows ample time to address your individual needs and concerns. He never provides a service unless you are comfortable with it. In addition, you’ll notice the relaxed, fun-loving atmosphere that greets you when you visit our practice. Our team offers extra comforts such as blankets, pillows and stereo headphones to complement any treatment you are receiving

We also have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) available. Depending on your health, we may also prescribe an oral sedative to help you relax.

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are biocompatible metal anchors that are positioned in the jaw bone underneath the gums to support an artificial crown or bridge, as well as complete or partial dentures, where a natural tooth or teeth are missing. Dental implants are a great alternative to bridges because they feel and work most like our natural teeth.

Dental implants are usually done in two phases; first you will see an oral surgeon to have the implant placed. After 4-6 months of healing, we will fit a custom restoration on top of the implant post to replace your missing tooth or teeth. Every case is different, so you should ask Dr. Beck if you have any specific questions about your mouth and implants.

What is Root Canal Treatment?

The root of a tooth includes a nerve. When the nerve dies it can become infected and can cause discomfort, swelling and complications that if left untreated will cause long term damage to your mouth. Dead nerves are more commonly caused by deep decay in the tooth but can also be caused by an injury to the tooth such as getting hit in the mouth.

Root canal treatment requires removal of the nerve, which is done through the biting surface of the tooth. After root canal treatment the tooth will require a crown to function properly and to protect it from fracturing.

Can I Get Fillings that are Not “Silver”?

Yes! The doctor places composite or tooth colored fillings that look natural. Silver or amalgam fillings expand and contract with variations in temperature, acting like a wedge in your tooth that can cause a fracture, composite fillings do not.

Do I Get a Cleaning on My First Visit as a New Patient?

The South Waterfront team and your Dentist in Southwest Portland Oregon Dr. Todd Beck, are dedicated to your entire oral health. At your first visit we reserve 2 hours of our time so that we can do a thorough job of assessing your oral health. This first appointment will include a full mouth series of digital radiographs (X-rays), a periodontal evaluation by the hygienist (checking for the health of your gums) and a comprehensive examination. This will allow the doctor and your hygienist to determine the type of cleaning that is best for you. We will try to complete a cleaning that day; however, depending on how long its been since your last cleaning and the condition of your teeth and gums, it may require additional appointments.

Do I Have to Have X-rays?

Just as lab work is often needed at your physicians office to fully assess your condition, radiographs (x-rays) are critical at the dental office to fully assess oral health. Please keep in mind that two thirds of your tooth (the entire root system) is located below the gum line and is not visible without radiographs. In addition, only a small amount of decay, infection and abnormalities are visible without radiographs.

We strictly adhere to the American Dental Association’s guidelines and never take radiographs unless they are needed for a proper diagnosis. We are also mindful of your concerns about radiation. That’s why our radiograph units are regularly inspected by the State. We also use the most advanced digital x-rays to further cut down on your radiation exposure. You get more radiation from being in an airplane for a few hours than you do from a complete series of dental radiographs.

Glossary of Terms and Helpful Links

Glossary of Dental Terms

American Dental Association

Academy of General Dentistry

OHSU School of Dentistry

…. there will be more links in the future.