How does Dr. Nix keep up to date on all of the current techniques and materials?
Dr. Nix is a member of three study groups – one for dental lasers, one for orthodontics and one for general dental topics. These groups meet to discuss new techniques, new instruments, equipment and materials. In addition to these groups, Dr. Nix has over 1000 hours in continuing education. Currently his educational emphasis has been in cosmetic dental techniques, prosthodontics, dental laser use, and orthodontics. In addition to taking time out of the practice for continuing education, Dr. Nix subscribes to various professional journals, is a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Texas Academy of Laser and Hi-Tech Dentistry, American Orthodontic Society and the Dallas County Dental Society.
How do I know when it’s time to come in for a check-up?
The American Dental Association recommends a healthy adult have his/her mouth examined every 6 months. However, all people are not the same. We evaluate your mouth and then make a determination depending on what you need. We see some people every 3 months, most every 6 months, and others only once a year.
At what age should my children first see the dentist?
We like to see children in our office by the age of three. At this time we can evaluate not only the health of the mouth, but also the development of the mouth to help eliminate or reduce problems that may occur later. We also suggest you bring your child with you during your cleaning appointment. This allows your child to observe you and how Dr. Nix and his staff work with you. They see it is a safe environment. We show them the chair, light and instruments we use. After your cleaning, your child is usually eager to do what Mom or Dad did and we can then examine your child’s teeth. Occasionally, a child may be unsure so we let the child sit in the parent’s lap and lean you both back in the chair together to examine their teeth. This helps the child feel safe. First visits are fun!
Do you accept my insurance plan?
Our office accepts almost all of the traditional dental insurance plans. However, some companies have plans requiring you to see only certain dentists on a list they provide to you. There are hundreds of these types of plans. Some insurance companies make special plans for some employees. If you have a list and our name is not on your list, it is still possible that you may have out-of-network benefits in our office. We will be glad to help you determine your coverage.
What do I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?
If you have a dental emergency, call our office. If we are not in the office, you can obtain a number to get in touch with Dr. Nix, or another dentist may be on-call for him. If your emergency requires immediate attention, our area has several hospitals and emergency clinics that can also help you.
I have a temporary crown that has come loose. What do I do?
If the crown fits the tooth fairly tightly and the tooth is a little sensitive, you can place cream (not powder) denture adhesive, toothpaste or Vaseline inside the crown and place it back on your tooth. This will hold it on if you can come in to the office the same day. If the tooth is not sensitive, it will not hurt to leave the crown off for up to 3 days. If you leave it off longer than three days, the tooth may shift, affecting the fit of the crown.
My child has had an accident and his/her tooth has been entirely knocked out. What do I do?
This is an emergency that requires immediate action to save the tooth. The longer the tooth is out of the mouth, the less the chance it can be saved. First, look at the tooth. If the tooth is only about ¼ of an inch long and the child is 5 to 7 years old and has not lost a baby tooth in this area, it is likely the tooth is a baby tooth that was nearing the time to come out naturally. This is not a problem as long as bleeding and swelling can be easily handled. If the tooth is about an inch long, it needs to be placed back as soon as possible. Grab it by the white (enamel) end. The root will be slightly yellow. If the root is clean, try not to touch it. If it is clear to you by looking at the shape of the other teeth which side is the front and which is the back, place the tooth back into the socket until it is even with the other teeth. Then call our office immediately for further instructions or to schedule an emergency appointment. If the tooth is dirty, place it in milk if available, or water (if milk isn’t available). If no milk or water is available and it is reasonable to do so, have the child hold the tooth under his or her tongue until you can get to the office. DO NOT SCRUB THE TOOTH TO REMOVE DEBRIS.
How can I safely whiten my teeth?
There are a number of procedures available to whiten your smile, from at-home bleaching products to our laser teeth-whitening procedure. Dr. Nix can discuss with you which options would be best for your teeth.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
Your safety is taken very seriously in our office. We have state-of-the-art sterilization equipment. We use a clean water system specially designed to prevent bacteria contamination that can occur in the small water lines in dental offices. Also, when appropriate, we use disposable items.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
Healthy gums do not bleed with brushing and flossing. Bleeding is typically a sign of gum disease. Gum disease can progress with no pain until teeth become loose. Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss. Gum disease has been linked to other health problems like heart disease, stroke, respiratory ailments, osteoporosis, diabetes, low birth weight and premature babies. Gum disease is easy to treat when caught early.
I really don’t like visiting the dentist. Is there anything you can do to help me relax?
We understand your feelings and have worked very hard to create an environment to make your visit pleasant. The concept of The Smile Spa design is to put you at ease. From the relaxing atmosphere to a caring staff, we have paid attention to every detail for your comfort. We also have sedation options, from light, relaxing medications to heavy sedation.
I want my front teeth to look better but I don’t want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
A new smile can revitalize your overall appearance and improve your self-esteem. A new smile can change your life! There are several procedures that can give you a brighter, more attractive smile. These non-orthodontic treatments include veneers, whitening, bonding, cosmetically contouring your teeth and correcting a “gummy” smile.
My spouse snores and keeps me up at night. I’ve heard that a dentist might be able to help people that snore. Can you help?
Snoring is a common problem we can help with. When a person is snoring, they are NOT breathing effectively. Even though it may sound as if the person is breathing because you can hear the sounds of snoring, blood oxygen monitors show oxygen does not get into the blood effectively. This results in lower levels of oxygen in the brain. Years of snoring can cause problems with memory and brain function. Both you and your spouse would benefit by ending the snoring. A common cause of snoring is during sleep; the jaw and tongue muscles relax, allowing the lower jaw to move to where the tongue is pressed back against the throat. This partially blocks the airway, creating the snoring sound when the air moves against the tongue, throat and soft palate. A dental appliance for snoring can hold the jaw in position, preventing the airway from being closed down, thus stopping the snoring and allowing better breathing. This is a very common problem and there’s no need to lose sleep over it! Please give us a call so we can arrange to talk to you and your spouse about various treatment options. Look forward to restful nights and more productive, not to mention happy, lives!
What is Smile Analysis?
The key to success in aesthetic dentistry is a clear understanding of your desired outcome. When you decide to correct or enhance your smile, Dr. Nix will discuss your goals and customize a plan to meet your needs. The Smile Analysis is a planning step we use to help design a smile that’s exactly what you want. It is also a time to discuss options and what to expect during treatment.
I don’t like shots and drilling on my teeth. Are there any other options?
Yes. Many of our fillings are now done with a technique called air abrasion. Air abrasion is a way to conservatively remove decay with minimal to no effect on the good part of the tooth. The technique is similar to the way a sand blaster works. Very small particles are sprayed under high pressure into the decayed areas. This abrades away the decay. Since it is not removing the good part of the tooth, it is rarely sensitive. This allows the decay to be removed without shots to numb the tooth.
Can you tell me what braces cost?
Our fees for braces are determined on an individual basis. If your teeth are pretty straight, the time and fee will be less than if your teeth are very crowded. The range for full braces is from $3,200. to $6,500. Partial braces and simple situations would be less. Braces are smaller, faster and more comfortable than ever before. There are many new options available to move teeth. There is no charge for a consultation visit to discuss braces and cosmetic changes to your teeth. During this visit we can give you a time and cost estimate that would be based on your needs.
Where can I learn more about dental procedures?
The American Dental Association has an excellent Web site discussing procedures and answers most common questions about dentistry. The address is www.ada.org.