New Patient Questions
How do I become a new patient?
We look forward to meeting and working with you. Clicking on this link (New Patient Forms) will download the New Patient Information Forms. You may also contact us by telephone or e-mail to request that these forms be E-mailed or mailed to you via USPS. Please fill out this information and mail, fax or e-mail it back to us. It is helpful to have your forms prior to your first appointment and important that you fill these forms out as thoroughly as possible. The forms help us get to know you and your health history, and lay the groundwork for us to understand your current health situation. It may also be helpful if you include a narrative about your circumstances and what you wish to accomplish.
What will happen at my first visit?
Since each patient is an individual, each first appointment is tailored to his or her needs. The time and investment for this visit varies according to those needs, and we will discuss them with you when scheduling your initial visit. Because of our commitment to your overall health and wellbeing, as well as our desire to provide you with the best, most comprehensive information possible, we generally do not “do” any dental work at your first appointment (this includes a cleaning). Everything that we do at your first visit will be diagnostic in nature. This means we will be taking records, which include photographs, x-rays as indicated , and doing a thorough exam, including TMJ, periodontal (gums) and tooth decay, in order to accurately diagnose your current situation.
In preparation for your visit, we ask you to make any additional notes about your current symptoms and health concerns you have which you think may be helpful in providing you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. We encourage you to describe them briefly but thoroughly, estimating how long you have experienced each symptom and grading the discomfort on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = mild, 10 = severe). You may also find it useful to spend some time writing about the events in your life as they relate to your health – or creating a timeline of your health issues and major life events. If you do this, please bring it with you or include it with the other material you send.
If you’ve had x-rays or dental study models of your teeth within the past three years, we encourage you to send them in advance (after we’ve scheduled your first appointment) or bring them with you. In most cases we will need updated x-rays, photographs and study models and other records taken on the day of your appointment, though bringing previous records has advantages. If you are addressing any medical issues with another health practitioner, we appreciate your sending or bringing copies of any relevant medical records, tests and medication history that may pertain to your dental situation.
At the beginning of your first visit we will meet with you and start getting to know you as an individual – not just your current health concerns, but also your needs, desires and values. Then we will conduct appropriate exams and diagnostic tests to determine your current dental health status. Once the exams and testing are complete, we will arrange a consultation to review (with you) our findings and recommendations. We encourage you to ask about all available treatment options, what we are recommending and why. We also encourage you to take notes and ask questions in order to fully understand our recommendations and philosophies. We may provide you with reprints of relevant articles, information on internet resources, and other references to help you gather the knowledge you need to make the best, most informed decisions about your health care. With this information in hand, you are free – and encouraged – to choose whichever path is best for you.
**We often recommend bringing a spouse, other relative, or friend to provide you with feedback and support**.
How long will my first appointment take and how much will it cost?
The time and investment for this visit varies according to your needs, and we will discuss them with you when scheduling your first appointment. This first visit typically takes 2 – 2 1/2 hours.
How long will it take to complete my treatment?
On a basic level, the type of treatment needed will largely determine the answer to this question. General restorative dentistry can be completed in a relatively short period of time (weeks to months). This question can be more accurately answered after all needed records are completed and analyzed. An even better estimate of needed time can be given after the first phase of treatment is completed, and patient progress and cooperation can be determined. Patient cooperation is a critical component in determining total treatment time. High levels of cooperation will not only reduce treatment time, and (therefore) the cost of treatment, but will also increase the level of success we can achieve!
How much will it cost to complete my treatment?
We can answer this question after all needed records are completed and analyzed. We give new patients a cost estimate for their main concerns at their consultation.
Do you accept my insurance coverage? Dr. Hanus is not a participating dentist in any insurance plan, nor is Dr. Hanus a provider in any PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) or an “in-network” provider for any insurance company. Payment in full is expected at the time of service, and your insurance company will reimburse you.
When you leave, we provide you with a completed standard insurance form which you can simply mail to your insurance company. The insurance company then pays you directly .
Why don’t you take insurance?
We don’t accept insurance because, if we did, the insurance companies would, in essence, dictate too much of how we should practice dentistry. From this perspective, it is a benefit to our patients that we do not accept insurance so that we can provide what we consider to be the best care to our patients. Our patients are seeking a different philosophy and style of dentistry which is what they and we consider to be a more health-promoting practice.
We do help our patients by proving them with the standard insurance forms and codes so they can simply mail them for reimbursement to their insurance carrier. When you visit our office, please make sure that we have all the necessary information, including up-to-date ID cards. Do remember, though, that your benefits contract is between you, your insurance provider and, as applicable, your employer. You are, therefore, the one with control and power when dealing with your insurance company, we have very little influence.
We have no involvement in and do not guarantee in any manner that you will get reimbursed. This is entirely between you and your insurance company and dependent on your insurance company and insurance plan.
Do you work with children?
Yes. We are a family practice dental office.
The ADA’s recommendation is to have the first visit at one year of age. The main purpose for such a visit is two-fold; to have a pleasant first visit for the child as well as to review appropriate oral hygiene care or nutritional practices, as needed, with the parents. The point at which a child should begin routine / regular visits varies with the maturity of the child.
However, if you suspect your child has a problem, a dental visit is important no matter what the age. An infant with no teeth can still benefit from an oral exam. A good strategy is to accustom the child to dentistry by permitting him/her to observe an older, well-behaved sibling having a routine cleaning. Though most orthodontists (or dentists who perform orthodontics) advocate waiting until all (or nearly all) of the permanent teeth are in before treating / evaluating the need for orthodontic care, we strongly recommend an evaluation at an early age. We believe that all children should have at least a basic evaluation done no later than six years old and often as early as two years
Going to the dentist makes me very nervous. Do you use sedation?
Dental visits can create anxiety for some patients but we have found that the vast majority of patients do not need sedation. We take time to listen to your concerns and information about past un-pleasant experiences and plan treatment to avoid re-creating them.
We do not use nitrous oxide or prescribe sedative drugs.
We have available a device called an Alpha-Stim, which is FDA approved to manage anxiety. It has small ear clips and a hand-held control which you operate, leaving you in charge, http://www.alpha-stim.com/ .
A 1999 study published in General Dentistry concluded:
“patients who experience anxiety are significantly comforted during various dental procedures by the use of CES [a.k.a. Alpha-Stim]. The results indicate a very significant improvement in patients” level of anxiety at the completion of the procedure.” http://theprovenremedy.com/Assets/pdf/26_winick_dental.pdf
Also, many patients benefit by utilization of EFT / acupuncture meridian therapy / ” tapping” for relief of stress. This technique of utilization of pressure or tapping on acupuncture points has helped many with fears associated with injections, gagging and, in general, “dental phobia”.
Do you offer fluoride treatments?
No. There is considerable debate surrounding efficacy and safety on this topic; until this issue has been settled by scientists and medical professionals on both sides, we believe it is wisest to err on the side of caution. Therefore we advocate avoiding the use / consumption of fluoride as a method of preventing tooth decay.
There are usually nutritional components involved in decay prone patients that we address to maximize long-term solutions. Also certain dietary modifications can promote re-mineralization of decay.
For more information you can visit the following website links….
Citizens for Safe Drinking Water
A Website Exclusively About The Fluoride Debate
Fluroide Debate PDF Booklet
Site dedicated to free and healthy drinking water
American Dental Association Position – ADA
Fluoride Action Network
Time Magazine’s Article in 2005
Keepers of the Well
Health World’s Position
Dr. Cole’s Article
What information should I bring with me from my previous/current Dentist?
If you’ve had x-rays or dental study models of your teeth within the past three years, we encourage you to bring them with you. In some cases we may need to take digital x-rays, study models, and other records on the day of your appointment.
Do you offer nutritional counseling?
We believe that nutrition is a critical component to the overall health of our patients and are glad to address your concerns. We do provide information and resources to empower you with the tools to make informed choices and to support change. It is our belief that this is an area each person needs to assume repsonsibility for themselves, as each person has different needs and responses to to dietary change or nutritional supplements.
The following are some nutritional information sources that we recommend. Please note that we do not endorse any specific philosophy listed for any given. Each person as an individual must make their own choice.
[Note: We do not present any of the information contained in these web sites as having been evaluated by the FDA, nor do we present or endorse any products which may be promoted as intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.]
http://www.terrywahls.com/ – Dr. Terry Wahls