Many people have questions about oral health and dental care in Boone, North Carolina. Please read through our FAQ page to find out answers to your questions! If you have any further questions or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Airey, our caring dentist, call Appalachian Dental Care today at 828-264-9938.

Q: How much does a dental implant cost?

A: We wish we could offer an exact number to you here on the website, but it is really difficult to be accurate without first evaluating your smile. A dental implant requires a healthy mouth, so there may be some work that we need to do before placing the implant. You might need to take care of a gum disease infection or consider a bone graft before placement. Give us a call to schedule a consultation, and we will be sure you get the accurate information you need!

Q: How can I be less nervous at the dentist?

A: We understand that almost everyone feels nervous at least occasionally. We have many ways to soothe your nerves, including amenities like blankets and neck pillows to keep you comfortable in our dental chairs. Not to mention, the chairs themselves help relax you with a massage! You can also receive two kinds of safe dental sedation: inhaled sedation (“laughing gas”) or an oral sedative.

Q: Can you help me stop snoring?

A: Yes! Snoring is generally caused when your airway is obstructed by your tongue or other soft tissues in your mouth while your sleep. In some cases, it may be a sign of a serious condition called obstructive sleep apnea. If you have apnea, you will briefly stop breathing many times a night. Dr. Airey can fit you for a custom mouthguard that moves your jaw into a position that will keep your airway clear. You will get a more restful night’s sleep — and so will other members of your household.

Q: How can I boost the appearance of yellowed, stained or discolored teeth?

A: Yellow or otherwise off-color teeth can be significantly brightened with a professional teeth whitening treatment from office! Dr. Airey is proud to provide our patients with the very effective Opalescence® teeth whitening system.

Q: Should I get an electric toothbrush?

A: The main thing is to get a toothbrush you are comfortable using — preferably one approved by the American Dental Association®. That said, several studies have shown that electric toothbrushes may have a slight edge over manual brushes in removing plaque from teeth. They are especially helpful for those with carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis or other mobility issues. They also have handy hygiene features such as timers that help you brush for two full minutes.

Q: Do you use metal fillings?

A: We use composite fillings instead of metal fillings. Since they are made of a composite material matched to the color of your other teeth, they blend in naturally with your smile. In addition, they may be better for your long-term health, since they do not contain mercury. While the FDA says mercury in metal fillings is safe, some research has raised questions about its use. We think it is best to avoid metal (amalgam) fillings whenever possible.

Q: Can you treat my sore and bleeding gums?

A: Sore and bleeding gums can be a sign of gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Fortunately, Dr. Airey can eliminate gum disease with a deep cleaning treatment called scaling and root planing. He may also prescribe an antibiotic treatment. If disease has caused your gums to recede, Dr. Airey can perform a gum graft procedure to restore your gums to health.

Q: How often should I see you for dental exams?

A: We recommend that you visit us every six months for a dental exam and dental cleaning. With our cleaning, we will remove stubborn plaque and tartar from your teeth to keep them healthy and cavity-free. Dr. Airey will check you for signs of teeth grinding, gum disease, oral cancer and other problems during your exam.

Q: Is Dr. Airey a cosmetic dentist?

A: Absolutely! As it happens, our office is prepared to give you a total smile makeover! Dr. Airey offers everything from professional teeth whitening to dental veneers and more. Besides, our cosmetic dentistry consultations are comfortable and informative, resulting in a plan of action that makes the most sense for your smile.

Q: Can you see me in a dental emergency?

A: At Appalachian Dental Care, we make every effort to see you for dental emergencies on the same day they occur. We are often able to work you into our schedule. If you call us outside our regular hours, you will find instructions on our after-hours emergency line.

Q: Does professional teeth whitening work better than OTC whitening?

A: It really does! The professional whitening products we use have a higher concentration of whitening ingredients than drugstore products, so they do a better job of removing stains. We will also make custom-made whitening trays for you using impressions of your teeth. The trays make it easy for you to completely cover your teeth while not irritating your gums.

Q: Can you help me stop grinding my teeth?

A: Yes! Dr. Airey can fit you for a custom mouthguard you wear at night or at other times you grind your teeth. It will prevent you from grinding and protect your teeth. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can damage your tooth enamel and give your teeth a worn-down appearance. Not only that, but it can cause headaches and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

Q: Do you accept my insurance?

A: We do accept most traditional dental insurance plans. We are a preferred provider through Cigna® and Delta Dental®. If you have a question about a specific plan, please feel free to call us prior to your appointment. We also offer other payment options, including credit cards and CareCredit® financing. We also have options for those without insurance, including our dental membership plan.

Q: How will I know if I need a root canal?

A: You will need a root canal if the soft pulp inside your tooth becomes infected, often from a cavity left untreated or another kind of dental injury. Performing a root canal can save a tooth that you would otherwise lose to infection. Fortunately, Dr. Airey has lots of experience performing this procedure. If you are nervous or worried about discomfort, you can receive dental sedation. One of the common signs you need a root canal is pain around your tooth. Your tooth may also look dark and be sensitive to hot and cold. You may also have swollen or tender gums. If you notice any of these symptoms, call us ASAP.

Q: How can I prevent cavities?

A: Cavity prevention starts with good oral hygiene. We will share oral hygiene best practices with you when you visit us for dental exams and cleanings. To supplement your home oral hygiene, it is important to visit us two times a year for these services. We also may recommend fluoride treatments or dental sealants for added protection against cavities.

Q: Should I get dental implants or dentures?

A: Your decision will be based on several things, including your oral health, your lifestyle and your budget. You can get conventional dentures or dental implant dentures to replace most or all of your teeth. Dental implant dentures do offer numerous benefits. They stay in place without adhesive and will not come loose the way traditional dentures can. Implants also help avoid bone loss by stimulating your jawbone when you chew.

Q: Is a custom mouthguard better than one from the store?

A: Yes, it really is! Dr. Airey uses impressions of your teeth for your mouthguard, which ensures it will fit perfectly. You will not have to worry about discomfort or an ill-fitting mouthguard becoming dislodged while you play. Unlike a store-bought mouthguard, you will not have to use the frustrating “boil-and-bite” method to adjust the fit.

Q: My mouth is a real mess. Can you help?

A: Yes, we can. A full-mouth reconstruction from Dr. Airey is designed to turn unhealthy mouths into healthy, functional mouths by replacing lost teeth, restoring and protecting damaged teeth, addressing gum issues if needed and much more. He can also beautify your smile using a wide range of cosmetic dentistry techniques.

Q: Can you remove my wisdom teeth?

A: Dr. Airey can gently extract teeth, including wisdom teeth. Before your extraction, he will use technology like our 3D X-rays to carefully plan your tooth removal procedure. During your procedure, you can get dental sedation if you want it. After we remove your wisdom teeth, we can use a process called PRP (platelet-rich plasma) that encourages speedy healing.

Q: Can I get dental implants?

A: The only way to know for sure if you are a good candidate for dental implants is a consultation with Dr. Airey, but chances are good you will be able to get implants. That is because we offer several kinds of implants, including mini dental implants. We can sometimes use mini implants in situations where full-size implants will not work. Dr. Airey can also perform a bone graft to strengthen your jaw and make you a better candidate for dental implants.

Q: Does the kind of toothbrush I use really matter?

A: Your toothbrush should be small enough to fit in the back of your mouth so you can brush those back teeth. Also, the bristles should be soft. Hard bristles will not get your teeth any cleaner, and they can even hurt your enamel and gums over time.

Q: What is a CEREC crown?

A: CEREC is a special machine that uses three-dimensional digital images of your teeth to create realistic, comfortable dental crowns during your appointment. By having a CEREC machine in our dental office, we can measure, create and place dental crowns all in the same day. We are one of the few dental offices in the area with this technology.

Q: What is the best way to replace a missing tooth?

A: This really depends on several factors, such as the number of missing teeth, the strength of your jawbone and your overall dental health. But one of the better looking and longer lasting methods is a dental implant. Dr. Airey will surgically implant an artificial root in your jawbone and then attach a beautiful replacement tooth to it. You will get the replacement tooth you need to eat and smile normally, and it should last for 20 years or more.

Q: Why would I need oral surgery?

A: There are several reasons why oral surgery might be the best option for you. Despite your best efforts, sometimes a tooth gets severely damaged or infected, and extracting the tooth is the only way to protect your other teeth and remove the pain. The same is true with wisdom teeth, which usually create problems when they finally come in. If your jawbone is too weak for implants, we can graft healthy bone tissue there. Likewise, we can graft healthy gum tissue to your gumline if it has receded from your teeth.

Q: Why should I care about cosmetic dentistry?

A: Imagine if you had only one set of clothes to wear. Then imagine those clothes are dingy, worn and ugly. How comfortable would you feel heading to a wedding, church or a family reunion wearing clothes you just know people are going to disapprove of? That kind of thing can destroy your self-confidence. That is what it is like when you have ugly teeth, and that is also why cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening and veneers can really help build your self-esteem.

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