Frequently Asked Questions

We know that you have choices when it comes to choosing the right dentist to work for you and your loved ones. We devote ourselves to making Wanlass Dental the best option for all your dental needs.

Dr. Wanlass, a general dentist, is also trained and certified in cosmetic dentistry. He devotes himself to making Wanlass Dental the best option for all your dental needs. This makes it possible to treat most dental issues for our patients in one convenient place.

Our mission is to provide our patients the highest quality esthetic dentistry; in a warm, caring environment where value exceeds expectations.

How do I prepare for my first visit?

In order to help you with your dental care, our team needs to get to know you better. We ask that you arrive 15 minutes early to complete your new patient paperwork. If you'd like to save time in the waiting room, download your patient form here. Bring your completed paperwork with you to your appointment and be prepared to offer the following:

  • Your health or dental insurance card and form of payment

  • A list of any medications you are currently taking

  • Describe any dental problems you've experienced over the past six months.

  • If you have dental anxiety, please let us know. We have a variety of methods to successfully treat fearful patients.

  • The need for medications, such as antibiotics, before dental work

What can I expect during my dental checkup?

The dentist or hygienist will ask about your recent medical history, examine your mouth and decide if you need x-rays. Depending on your treatment plan, the hygienist may use special dental instruments to check your gums for gum disease.

If I have good oral hygiene habits at home, do I still need to visit a dentist?

In short, yes. Keep brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily to keep up on good oral hygiene. It’s the best way to fight tooth decay and gum disease. Only a dental hygienist will be able to use advanced dental procedures and tools that reach into crevices to get your teeth completely clean and healthy.

Regular visits to your dentist are important in discovering oral health problems early and preventing many problems from happening in the first place. In many cases, a dentist is the first health care provider to diagnose a health problem in its early stages because of regular oral examinations.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush or floss?

Several things can cause gums to bleed, including plaque buildup and vitamin deficiencies. It could be your first warning sign that gum disease is present. Only an examination by a dentist and dental hygienist will be able to diagnose the problem and offer treatment options.

At what age should I start bringing my child to the dentist?

You should bring your child in by the time they've celebrated their first birthday. First visits are mostly about getting children comfortable with the dentist's chair and educating parents on how to care for baby's teeth.

Prevention is important especially between the ages of 6 and 12 when baby teeth give way to permanent teeth. A dentist can decide if there's a need for sealants on cavity-prone molars.

​​​​​​​Also, when your child is around age 7, it's important to get an orthodontic evaluation. Waiting until your child is in their teens for braces isn't the best prevention in oral health care. Orthodontics is about modifying jaw growth, so identifying the skeletal cause of crooked teeth early on helps make sure your child has a beautiful smile later in life.

What are a list of concerns that should prompt me to see a dentist?

  • Hot or cold tooth sensitivity

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss

  • A family history of gum disease or tooth decay

  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

  • If you have fillings, crowns, dental implants, dentures, etc.

  • Crooked teeth or an uneven bite

  • You don't like your smile

  • Any pain or swelling in your mouth, face or neck

  • Sores in your mouth that aren't healing

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Diagnosed medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eating disorders, or are HIV positive

  • Dry mouth

  • Tobacco product use

  • Undergoing medical treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or hormone replacement therapy

  • Jaw pain from opening and closing or popping noise when chewing

How can I tell if I have periodontal disease?

Most people don't realize they have periodontal disease because it's usually painless in the early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which can cause pain and discomfort, it is possible to have periodontal disease without any noticeable symptoms. If you suspect you may have gum disease it's a good idea to call your dentist for a check-up as soon as possible.

Signs to look for in periodontal disease:

  • Red and swollen gums

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Loose teeth, or new spacing between teeth, indicating bone loss

  • Pus around the teeth and gums, indicating an infection

  • Tenderness or discomfort, that could be caused by plaque, calculus or bacteria irritating the gums

There are several factors that may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease, other than poor oral hygiene, including:

  • Tobacco use and e-cigarettes can lead to an array of complications in your oral health.

  • Medications can cause side effects including dry mouth, which makes it easier for plaque to adhere to your teeth and gums.

  • Systemic diseases, including diabetes.

  • Genetics can play a role in a more aggressive type of periodontitis. If you have a family history of tooth loss you should pay extra attention to the care and maintenance of your gums and teeth.

Are X-rays necessary to complete my exam?

Dental X-rays are a useful diagnostic tool when helping to detect damage, loss of bone, abnormalities in jaw structure and diseases that aren't visible during an oral exam. X-rays also detect cavities between teeth and below gums which cannot be seen by the naked eye.

We use digital radiography, which uses up to 90 percent less radiation than traditional film X-rays. Not only are we are able to see results immediately, we can shorten appointment times and radiation exposure to our patients.

​​​​​​​The safety benefits of digital radiography are not limited to patients. Our dental team benefits from lessened exposure to radiation with digital equipment. And we've taken the toxic chemicals from developing film X-rays out of the environment.

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