Frequently Asked Questions
You may have questions about some of our policies or the treatments we use. Dr. Hughes always welcomes your questions before and during your visit. For your convenience, some of our most frequently asked questions are listed on this page. If you don't see the information you need here, please contact our office so we can better address your concern.
How does the doctor keep up to date on all of the current techniques and materials?
Dr. Hughes is extensively trained, but because dentistry is constantly changing, he does a number of things to stay up-to-date on all of the current findings. He frequently attends continuing education courses that focus on the latest in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. He also belongs to several organizations, including the Academy of General Dentistry, which encourage learning and offer seminars on advances in dentistry.
How do I know when it's time to come in for a checkup?
When you first visit our practice, we recommend visiting us every three to six months. If you take good care of your teeth, we may adjust this time period depending on the state of your teeth.
At what age should my children first see a dentist?
We would like to see children after their third birthday. At this time, we will perform just a visual exam to see how their teeth are doing. When your child is older, we will complete a more comprehensive exam.
Do you accept referrals?
Yes. We always welcome new patients to our office.
What payment options do you provide?
Our office accepts cash, check, and credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Discover, or American Express. As a service to our patients, we also offer financing options, such as CareCredit to pay for extensive treatments. If you have any questions, call us at (580) 223-3838.
Will I be charged if I need to cancel an appointment?
We know your schedule can change abruptly. Please call us immediately so we can reschedule you. If you cancel within 24 hours before your scheduled time, we reserve the right to charge you a cancellation fee.
What do I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?
If you have a dental emergency, please call our office number at (580) 223-3838 and follow the instructions to contact our on-call doctor.
My child has had an accident and his/her tooth has been entirely knocked out. What do I do?
If your child's tooth is knocked out during office hours and there is no imminent medical emergency, please contact us immediately. There is a chance we can replace the tooth if we see your child within the first hour. When you call, our office staff can advise you on the safest and most appropriate plan of action.
How can I ask Dr. Hughes questions directly?
Dr. Hughes welcomes any of your questions during your visit. If you have questions before your visit, you can call our office.
How can I safely whiten my teeth?
Many of our patients ask about whitening their teeth. Since each mouth is unique, we need to evaluate your teeth to recommend a specific method. If your teeth are cracked, chipped, or discolored, Dr. Hughes may recommend restorative services, such as veneers or bonding. If you want to bleach your teeth, we offer customized bleaching trays from models of your teeth after impressions are made.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
We take several precautions to ensure your safety as our patient. First, we keep up-to-date on the latest sterilization procedures and research. Our office complies and exceeds OSHA standards for safety. Our instruments are thoroughly sterilized in accordance with ADA accepted guidelines. Most importantly, we have a sterilization center where we can maximize efficient sterilization and minimize the chance of contamination through human error. If you have any questions, we would be happy to demonstrate our sterilization procedures.
Crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays, and partials. Where can I learn more about these procedures?
If you are curious about any procedure we recommend, we welcome your questions. Dr. Hughes strives to keep up on the latest research and findings. You can also use Caesy, the patient education system in our office, to print information on a particular procedure.
I want my front teeth to look better, but I do not want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
There are a variety of ways to improve the appearance of your teeth without braces. For example, Dr. Hughes may recommend porcelain veneers. This device is a thin layer of porcelain bonded to your teeth to make them look straight. Since each mouth is unique, we need to evaluate your teeth to make a recommendation. Call us so we can schedule an appointment. After listening to your goals and concerns, Dr. Hughes can suggest ways to help you straighten your smile.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
Yes, you should be very concerned about bleeding gums, especially if you haven't had a check-up in a while. Bleeding gums can be caused by a variety of things, from a leaky filling to gum disease. While it may seem harmless, bleeding gums can cause a variety of serious health problems. If your gums are bleeding, call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so we can analyze the cause.
What is Smile Analysis?
In a smile analysis, we look at all the factors that compose a smile; these are the shape of a smile, the size, the smile line, and the position of your teeth, lips, and gums when you smile. We listen to what you want to accomplish and any concerns you may have.
Do I have to floss every day? Is it really that important?
Brushing cleans about 80% of your teeth while flossing covers the remaining 20%. Although that seems like a small percentage, this area is where all of the big problems originate. That's why Dr. Hughes believes cleaning this area is very important. When you come in for your visit, we'll be happy to discuss flossing techniques and supplements to flossing.
I really do not like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?
We offer several amenities, including nitrous oxide, to make your visit comfortable. Often referred to as laughing gas, nitrous can help anyone who is excessively nervous about their visit, has a sensitive gag reflex, or requires surgery or other complex operations.
Before we can give you either of these products, however, we need to discuss your medical history with you. We will ask whether you or anyone in your family has had difficulty with anesthetics. We also want to know if you are pregnant, taking steroids, or on medication for high blood pressure.