How can we help you?
We're experts at what we do so you don't have to be. But there's a lot to consider when making decisions about dental treatment, and you have a right to feel fully informed and have all your questions answered.
At Dr. Fairfax & Associates Family Dentistry, we're firm believers in educating our patients about the benefits of a healthy smile, so your questions are very important to us. We encourage your questions because we believe that an informed patient is a happy patient!
Here are a few of the questions we hear most frequently. Please give us a call if you're looking for other answers that you don't see here. A friendly member of our team will be happy to help you.
The American Dental Association recommends everyone visit their dentist at least every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. We understand, however, that life sometimes gets in the way and that people can’t always visit their dentist as often as they’d like.
If it’s been years or even decades since your last dental visit, we don’t want that to stop you from scheduling an appointment with our Fairfax dentist. We’re always happy to welcome new or returning patients who have gotten a little behind on their preventive dental care.
No matter how long it’s been since your last dental appointment, your first visit back will generally look the same as anyone else’s. We will first take an oral history of any medical or dental concerns you may have, and then we’ll obtain updated dental x-rays of your smile. Most often, this just means four small bitewing x-rays, but Dr. Fairfax may want a set of full mouth x-rays.
Then, the routine dental procedures involve cleaning your teeth thoroughly and examining you for any potential oral health problems, including loose teeth, gum disease, and oral cancer.
Our gentle hygienist will spend about 30 to 45 minutes removing tartar from your teeth using professional dental instruments. Then Dr. Fairfax will complete her oral exam and discuss her findings with you.
Depending on the overall condition of your teeth, we’ll create a proposed treatment plan that details any recommended work or treatments you will need going forward.
If you have an avulsed (knocked out) tooth, try to remain calm because if you act quickly, we may be able to save the tooth. Contact our Fairfax dental office, explain your emergency to our receptionist, who will arrange for you to be seen within two hours.
Saving a Knocked-Out Tooth
If it is a baby tooth, it should not be replanted. If it is a permanent tooth, handle it carefully by holding the crown (the wider, whiter part). Avoid touching the root (the more pointed, yellower part). If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently with water, taking care not to disturb any tissue that may still be attached to the root. Try to gently place the tooth back in the socket, then bite on a soft cloth or gauze to hold it in position.
Do not try to force the tooth back in place; if it can’t be replanted, keep it moist by placing it in the patient’s mouth (between the molars and cheek), in a small container with the patient’s spit, milk, or saline, or by placing it in a special storage media for avulsed teeth if available. Avoid storing the tooth in water!
Dental Emergencies in Fairfax
If your tooth has been knocked out, please contact our office immediately and we’ll get you the help you need.
Yes. Your dentist is responsible for caring for your teeth, gums, and jawbones as they relate to your teeth and gums. We cannot see or detect hidden changes, developments, or abnormalities in your teeth and jawbones without dental x-rays.
We share your concerns about dental x-rays, and we take every precaution and safeguard to minimize your radiation exposure.
Our X-Ray Process
- We follow a conservative schedule for diagnostic surveys.
- We use only digital film, which requires the lowest amount of exposure time and therefore has the least amount of radiation.
- We focus on technique and placement to eliminate the need for re-takes and additional exposure.
- We provide each patient with a lead radiation apron prior to x-rays being taken.
Check-up x-rays are taken only when indicated and under the following schedule:
- No new pathology for 18 months: X-rays every 12 months
- No new pathology for 36 months: X-rays every 18–24 months
- Full mouth survey: X-rays every 5 years or as indicated
We seek to render the most professional care using state-of-the-art practices and consistent with the standard of care. Dental treatment without necessary dental x-rays is unacceptable, sub-standard, negligent care.
Dental Exams in Fairfax VA
If you still have questions about dental x-rays, please don’t hesitate to contact our Fairfax dental office. We’ll be happy to speak with you and put your mind at ease about our dental x-rays.
We accept most PPO dental plans. As a courtesy, we will submit all insurance claims on your behalf for direct reimbursement of services. We also offer an in-house dental discount plan for patients without dental insurance. We currently work with the following PPO plans:
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield
UMR (Compass Rose)
Dominion DDS Dental