Frequently Asked Questions for Dentists

To better serve you we’ve put together a list of the most frequently asked questions for dentists. If you don’t see your question answered here please give us a call at 386-882-9900 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

FAQ Topics:

Are you accepting new patients?

Yes! We are always accepting new patients and we would love to reserve a time for you with one of our Doctors for a thorough new patient exam.

What insurances do you accept?

We are out of network with all insurance companies except for Aetna with Extend. Only Aetna insurance cards with the Extend tag are accepted. However, if you have a PPO plan, we will file an insurance claim as a courtesy and your insurance will send you a direct reimbursement for covered expenses.

Where is your office located? Are there multiple offices?

We are located at 1221 Dunlawton Avenue STE in Port Orange, FL, across the street from Port Orange Imaging Center. We are locally owned and this is currently our sole office.

Can you do everything in your office or will I have to go to different offices?

We try to do as much treatment as we can in house, however, we do utilize specialists for complex Oral Surgery and Endodontics. Our goal is to keep you safe and comfortable and at times we do need to utilize our professional colleagues for complex treatment. Our Doctors will send you to Doctors that they recommend and have a relationship with, but you still have the choice to go wherever you choose with our Doctors referral.

Are your Doctors Oral Surgeons?

We currently do not have an Oral Surgeon at our office, but we do have a Periodontist and Prosthodontist, which are specialist with years of additional training.

Is a cleaning included in the new patient exam?

A full exam and x-rays are required before we can reserve time with one of our hygienists. After one of our Doctors diagnose the appropriate cleaning we can reserve the appropriate time with one of our skilled hygienist at your earliest convenience.

Do you guys knock people out? Is this the Dentist for scaredy cats?

We are a conscious sedation practice. This is a designation that only a few local Dentist have and requires a State certification along with extensive hospital training. We do everything possible to make you comfortable and sedation is one way to make you comfortable. Our sedation levels range from Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), oral or pill sedation, and IV sedation. All sedation levels keep you awake so you can respond to the Doctors request during your procedure. Many of our patients have no recollection of their visit and state they felt that they were asleep. Just inform your Doctor that you are interested in sedation and we can decide which option works best for you! Please see the Sedation (include hyperlink) section of our website for more information.

Can you tell me a little bit more about your QDP?

QDP is an annual reduced-fee savings plan for families and individuals that allows all QDP Members to receive quality dental services at greatly reduced prices. Unlike conventional insurance plans, with QDP there are no deductibles, no yearly maximums, and no waiting periods to begin treatment. QDP benefits begin immediately on plan registration. The membership is $249, then $209 for each additional immediate family member that signs up.

Our QDP Benefits include:

  • Simple teeth cleanings (two per year) for non-periodontal patients. Periodontal patients receive a credit towards their perio maintenance visits. Each perio maintenance visit is $65
  • Complete annual dental exam
  • All x-rays needed to complete annual exam including 3D scan ($350 value)
  • Teeth whitening strips ($100 value)
  • Emergency Exams ($49 value)
  • A 20% savings on general and major dental procedures
  • A 20% savings on implants and implant restorations
  • A 20% savings on short term orthodontic care
  • A 20% savings on all OTC products including in-house prescriptions

Certain restrictions apply. Contact our office for more information.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a false root used to replace missing teeth. Essentially, it is a small titanium fixture that is placed into the jawbone, on top of which a single crown (cap), a fixed bridge, a partial denture, or full denture can be attached. Once the implant attaches to your bone, a piece called an abutment is connected to the implant and then the artificial tooth/teeth are attached. Therefore, there are 3 parts to an “implant tooth”, the dental implant itself, the abutment, and the artificial tooth. You may also use dental implants to support dentures and other full mouth prosthetic’s.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

A good candidate for dental implants will be a patient with adequate bone for the implant placement. A dental implant patient must commit to excellent oral hygiene as well as professional cleanings in order to keep the gums healthy. Excessive smoking and drinking will greatly increase the chances of implant failure. The good news is that most people are candidates for implant placement. Please call our office to schedule a complimentary implant consultation where we can visually examine your mouth and answer any questions you may have.
Dental implants allow you to confidently eat the foods you have been missing out on for years. They can replace a single tooth, up to your entire mouth. There is no need to settle for a loose denture anymore! Bring back your confidence with dental implants and get the smile you deserve.

What are the disadvantages to dental implants?

As with any medical procedure, there are risks associated with implant placement. Implant placement can be followed by an infection and having you body reject the implant. The success rate of implant placement is greater than 98%, but complications can and do happen. If you have had a large amount of bone loss from years of wearing dentures or other factors, you may need to have bone grafting which can increase the cost of your implants. Finally, we believe that nothing can replace a natural tooth. We will make every effort to educate you and help you make the best and informed decision when thinking about tooth replacement options.

What if I do not replace my missing teeth?

Your jawbone will begin to shrink due to lack of stimulation. Losing your teeth will affect your smile and change the shape of your face do to the bone loss. This will cause your face to look prematurely aged, which could lead to a lack of confidence in your smile.

When can I return to work?

For a typical implant placement, you can generally return to work the next day in the absence of any unusual complications.

Will placing an implant hurt?

No. Most of the implants placed in our office are place under local anesthetic. If you are fearful of medical procedures, we offer a wide variety of sedation to keep you comfortable during the procedure. The complexity of your case can also affect the level of discomfort. Our Doctors will review your individual case after careful planning and review all of your options in a personalized consultation.

How long to implants last?

Implants can last for many, many years. The main factor to the overall long term health of the implant is hygiene. It is very important to brush and floss your implant site as well as coming in for professional cleanings to clean areas missed by daily brushing.

What is sedation dentistry?

Our Doctors have been trained and certified to administer Moderate (conscious) Sedation. Conscious sedation is different than general anesthesia. You will be administered drugs that have a drowsy, pain free, calming effect over you. Many patients become amnesic and have very little, if any, recollection of their visit. You are administered the medicine in either pill form, or through an IV.  Your vital signs are monitored at all times to ensure your safety.

There are three main levels of sedation:

  • Minimal sedation (anxiolysis) – It is the lightest level of sedation and can be performed by any Dentist. It is designed to change your mood to be unconcerned about the procedure but you are still alert.
  • Moderate sedation – This level of sedation requires significant hospital or university training for Dentist and certification through the State of Florida. This level you are more sedated, becoming drowsy. It is very common to actually fall asleep during your procedure from your comfort level. You are still responsive during moderate sedation.  Under moderate sedation you are never “knocked out”. Moderate sedation is the highest level of sedation allowed by the Florida Board of Dentistry in an in-office setting with a certified practitioner.
  • Deep Sedation/General Anesthesia – This is the level of sedation where you become unconscious and often reserved for a hospital setting for complex surgery. This is not done in a dental office unless a practitioner has a General Anesthesia permit and an ambulatory center.
Anyone can search the Florida website to confirm their dentist’s level of sedation training —  Search appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/HealthCareProviders to confirm

Dr. John Kulaga is a licensed Moderate Sedation ProviderWhy should I choose sedation?

Sedation is appropriate for many reasons. Here are a few considerations for sedation:
A good candidate for dental implants will be a patient with adequate bone for the implant placement. A dental implant patient must commit to excellent oral hygiene as well as professional cleanings in order to keep the gums healthy. Excessive smoking and drinking will greatly increase the chances of implant failure. The good news is that most people are candidates for implant placement. Please call our office to schedule a complimentary implant consultation where we can visually examine your mouth and answer any questions you may have.

Can anyone have sedation?

Our doctors will need to determine your eligibility for a sedation appointment based on several factors. Things that will be reviewed are your age, health, medication list, and procedure being performed. Its very important to disclose ALL medications, supplements, and an accurate medical history. This includes any herbal medicines and occasional recreational drugs you may be taking.  Your physician’s contact information will also be required for communication via medical consultation. This is important for your overall safety so up to date and accurate information is vital.

Can I eat before my sedation appointment?

You may not have solid foods 8 hours prior to your sedation appointment. You may have small amounts of water up until 2 hours before your procedure.

Will I feel any pain while under sedation?

Even though you are not completely “knocked out”, you will be relaxed and pain free during your procedure. The sedative drugs along with the local anesthetics will help relieve your discomfort. You will prescribed pain medications as necessary while healing.

How long does it take to recover from the sedation drugs?

The recovery time depends on each individual’s response to the sedative drugs being used and time under sedation. Once the administration of the sedative drugs is completed, the recovery is swift and you will begin to recover within an hour. You will remain in our office until your Doctor feels you are fit to be discharged. Once discharged, you must not operate any motorized vehicle for at least 12 hours and should be monitored at home by your escort.

Will I have any side effects?

In general, side effects should be minimal, however, each person reacts differently to sedation drugs. Side effects could include loss of consciousness, drowsiness, dizziness, shivering, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

How can I get my teeth whiter?

Teeth whitening can be a frustrating and unpredictable process. Most teeth whitening products use a peroxide gel as the active agent to whiten the teeth. The issue with many gels is that there is contamination with saliva that rapidly reduces the potency of the whitening gel. At White Wolf Dental, we recommend the KOR whitening system. KOR Whitening has developed trays that seal out saliva that can offer continuous whitening for 6 hours per application vs 30 minutes from other competitors. Contact our office to find our more information about KOR Whitening.


How come I am not getting a regular cleaning?

This is a common question many people have. It all depends on the health of the gums and the tooth-bone attachment. A regular cleaning is called a prophylaxis aka “prophy”. A prophy is preventative treatment that, with proper daily flossing and brushing, helps to prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.

About half of the adult population in the U.S, 30 years and older, has some form of periodontal disease while more than 70% of those above 65 have it. (https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/periodontal_disease/index.htm) Once you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you will likely remain on a 3-4 month periodontal maintenance regimen for life. If you move about the country seasonally, we can help communicate your needs to your dentist(s) of choice.


What is periodontal probing and what do the numbers mean?

Determining periodontitis is not as simple as a pocket depth despite the use of pocket depth values as indicators to the necessity for treatment. Periodontal probing allows your clinician to identify the status of your periodontal tissue. The probing is measured in millimeters and up to 3mm is considered to be healthy. Once you begin to read 5mm+, this indicates bone loss and action needs to be taken to prevent further bone loss, and ultimately tooth loss.


Should I get an electric tooth brush?

Electric toothbrushes are very useful, but not necessary for everyone. It really depends on each individual’s brushing habits and ability to successfully remove plaque without damaging the gums. The best thing to do is to get the advice of your clinician to can help determine if an electric toothbrush is appropriate for you.


What kind of tooth paste should I use?

There are many types of toothpastes out there from non-fluoride, to anti-cavity fluoride, baking soda inclusive, and even those that include ‘whitening’ agents. Each paste has it’s benefits and drawbacks. At this time, we do NOT suggest use of a tooth paste with Triclosan, an ingredient recently banned by the FDA from use in soap products. The FDA has not declared it unsafe for oral use, however our doctors feel it best to wait for more long-term studies before promoting patient use.


How do I get rid of bad breath?

There are many factors that cause bad breath. Many times its due to poor hygiene. Although you may be brushing and flossing your teeth, the key is to do it correctly. At White Wolf Dental our hygiene department is trained to help our patients with effective brushing and oral hygiene. If you want to learn how to be more effective with your brushing, simply ask one of our skilled hygienist at your next visit. They would love to help maintain your healthy smile!


Do I really have to floss?

Flossing or use of some type of cleaning device between teeth can be very helpful in disruption of the harmful bacterial colonies that grow between teeth. It is strongly advised to help prevent cavities and bone loss.


Should I use mouthwash?

Oral mouth rinses can be helpful for many reasons, but there are so many out there that it is difficult to choose. Please discuss mouthwash use after your dental exam as different types may be used with specific purposes.


Why do I have to have an exam and x rays just to have my teeth cleaned?

There are several reason’s why an exam is necessary to have your teeth cleaned. The first reason is that it is required by law to have an exam prior to a cleaning, then annually after your cleaning:

2018 Florida statue 466.024

1. A dentist licensed under this chapter or a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 must give medical clearance before a dental hygienist removes calculus deposits, accretions, and stains from exposed surfaces of the teeth or from tooth surfaces within the gingival sulcus.

2. A dentist shall conduct a dental examination on a patient within 13 months after a dental hygienist removes the patient’s calculus deposits, accretions, and stains from exposed surfaces of the teeth or from tooth surfaces within the gingival sulcus. Additional oral hygiene services may not be performed under this paragraph without a clinical examination by a dentist who is licensed under this chapter.

 

Our Doctors are required to conduct a thorough examination and determine the type of cleaning that is appropriate based on the health of your gums and teeth. A regular cleaning (prophylaxis) is not appropriate for an individual with periodontal disease who would require a deep scaling and root planing, as well as an increased frequency of maintenance visits to aide in disease control.

 

Finally, our Doctors believe that an oral health examination does save lives through cancer screening. The doctors have been trained to help identify oral pathology in its early stages which can, and has previously helped to prolong the lives of our patients.


Why can’t I have a cleaning at my first visit?

A cleaning is not guaranteed on the first visit as your oral health status is unknown to our doctors. Once our Doctors perform a mandatory examination on your first visit, we can properly diagnose and recommend the next course of treatment for you. We will reserve time for you with one of our skilled hygienists for a cleaning or with one of our Doctors if more than a cleaning is required.