Learn more about Common Chandler Dentistry Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about dentistry and oral health issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
Click on a question below to see the answer.
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes, we love new patients! Our office welcomes walk-ins, but we encourage pre-arranged appointments to ensure optimal timeliness and attention. Contact our Chandler, Arizona office at (480) 559-8143 to speak with a scheduling coordinator. To save time during your first visit, download and complete our new patient forms before you arrive.
How come my first visit takes so long?
The first visit in our office, for an adult, can take an average of 90 minutes. Once you’ve completed your paperwork and we’ve entered your information into our database, and prepared a chart for your permanent record, we take you back for your digital full-mouth series of x-rays. This is usually done at the first visit and then once every three years. Then, you will have a periodontal evaluation to screen you for the correct type of hygiene therapy (or cleaning in layman’s terms). If your cleaning is routine, it can be done during your first visit, after which you will have your Comprehensive Exam with your Doctor.
Your exam includes a full intra-oral examination of your teeth and tissues, including an oral cancer screening. Your doctor will be checking for many things, including decay, fracture, break-down of old restorations, various disease indicators, as well as talking to you about any orthodontic correction you may need. If you have cosmetic concerns, he will make his recommendations on ways to improve your smile. This first visit for your cleaning and exam is a great time for you to ask any questions about your dental health.
If the doctor has recommended any treatment, one of our treatment coordinators will present an estimate (or schedule you to come back for a treatment consultation if more time is needed) and will schedule your next hygiene and/or treatment visit(s). All of this can take up to 90 minutes, but please rest assured that your future continuing care visits will usually be an hour or less.
How do I pay for my visit/co-pay?
We take cash, debit, and all credit cards (Visa, MC, Amex, Discover), as well as flex spending cards, and third party financing through CareCredit and ChaseHealthAdvance. We no longer accept personal checks.
Can you tell me about your doctors?
Dr. Poelman graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Medical Biology. In 2002, he graduated from Case Western Reserve University as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. He has completed specialized training in cosmetic dentristry and orthodontics. Dr. Poelman and Dr. Jenkins opened the Provinces Dental care in 2002.
Dr. Bergloff was raised in New Mexico, where he graduated with honors in 1999 from New Mexico State University. He went on to graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia in 2004. He joined us here at the Provinces in 2005. His wife, Ruth Chau-Bergloff, is also a dentist, and works with us on many Fridays and Saturdays as well.
Dr. Jenkins hails from Utah, where he graduated from University of Utah. He then went on to attend Dental school at Ohio State University where he graduated in the top of his class in 2000.
For more information about our doctors or our friendly staff, visit Our Staff.
With three doctors, can I see anyone I want?
Yes. As far as we are concerned, you can see any doctor or hygienist you prefer. We don’t mind! If time of day, or day of the week, is more important to you, you can elect to see whoever is scheduled to work during the time that is most convenient to you. There are a few instances where we will ask you to finish treatment you have started with one doctor, before starting treatment with another doctor. If you have a preference for one doctor (or Hygienist) over another, please let your scheduler know. Our doctors and hygienists are AMAZING, but they cannot all be here for all of our extended hours, so letting us know if you prefer one doctor or hygienist over another is essential.
What are your hours?
Monday & Tuesday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday & Thursday: 7 AM - 7 PM
Friday: 7 AM - 4 PM
Saturday: 7 AM - 2 PM
How often do you do x-rays?
We like to do x-rays every six months, so that we can catch problems while they are small. Don’t worry; if your insurance only covers them once per year, we will write off the cost of your second set each year. If you are a cash patient, we only ask you to pay for one set of x-rays per year, and the second set we will write off as a courtesy to you.
I'm terrified of the dentist, do you have laughing gas?
Are you a "dental coward"? Don't worry, you are not alone! Although we do not use nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, our doctors and staff are sensitive to the needs of anxious patients and have other resources to make your visit comfortable.
I haven't been to the dentist in many years, what should I do first?
When you call to make an appointment, we will offer you an easy, painless 1st visit. At your first visit, a certified radiology technition will take digital x-rays. Next, the doctor will meet with you. You and your doctor will discuss your dental health concerns and create a plan to bring you to optimal dental health. Last, you will meet with a treatment coordinator who will help you schedule your treatment to best fit your budget and schedule.
How old does my baby/child need to be in order to have a dental appointment?
We advise bringing in your child between the age of one and two for their first visit.
Do you take my insurance?
All indemnity plans are welcome in our office as our fees usually fall below "Usual & Customary". We participate with many PPO dental plans. If we are not contracted with your PPO plan, please call us so we can review your policy. We'll tell you if your policy works well in our office or not! Please call ahead to ask about "Discount" types of insurance plans. Some of these plans work better than others in our office. We do not accept DMO (managed care) plans or AHCCCS. If you are unsure which type of insurance plan you have, please contact your employer's HR representative for more information.
What if I don't have insurance?
No insurance? No problem. We offer a pre-payment courtesy to all cash patients. We also offer payment options through ChaseHealthAdvance and CareCredit.
I missed my appointment but still received a bill. Why?
We work very hard to stick to our schedule so that you can have the appointment time that is most convenient for you, and to minimize your wait in our reception room. We rely on our patients to keep their appointments as scheduled in order to stay on time, and make appointment time available to those who really want it. When you schedule an appointment with a provider in our office, whether it is treatment with the doctor and/or assistant, or a hygiene appointment with one of our Hygienists, we’ve reserved that time exclusively for you, and it means that we may have turned away another (sometimes more than one) patient that wanted that time. We feel badly when we turn away a patient who desired treatment at that particular time, and then find out that they could have had it if only we’d known you weren’t coming.
In addition, a failed appointment means that we have to pay a staff member, and in most cases, several staff members, for the time that you reserved. It is extremely expensive for the practice to pay staff during a failed appointment; the failed appointment fee is largely symbolic and in nearly all cases, does not even come close to covering the cost of your missed appointment. In order to fill that time, we need a minimum of two business day’s notice. This gives us time to call patients on our waiting list to inform them of time available, and gives them time to check their schedule and call us back to let us know if that time will work or not. In some cases, we may have to make eight or ten calls, leave messages, and wait for people to call us back – just in order to fill a single cancellation. It’s worse when someone just doesn’t show up for their appointment, or cancels without proper notice, because we are unable to fill that time.
Please be aware of the expense, difficulty, and frustration that cancelled or failed appointments cause, and that excessive cancellations and failures cause fees to go up for everyone.
My insurance paid for my white filling as though it was a silver filling. Why?
Your insurance may have what they term an "Alternate Benefit" clause. That means they reserve the right to pay less for the services you received, if they can possibly think up an alternate to the treatment you had. For example, most dentists place white, mercury-free fillings. These white, ("resin" or "composite" fillings) have been a treatment standard for decades, and there have long been questions about the safety and longevity of mercury-amalgam (silver) fillings. Yet, many insurance companies are still paying for white fillings as though they are silver fillings. Why? Because that is how dental insurance companies make the highest profit margin. Dental insurance companies are not looking out for your health, nor do they have your best interests at heart, regardless of how slick their advertising may be. Your Provinces Dentist recommends and provides the clinically correct procedure for your health and well-being.
My medical insurance pays for everything I need. Why doesn't my dental insurance do that?
Dental Insurance is, in every way, as different from Medical Insurance as night is from day. Many people expect Dental insurance to "act" like a Medical policy. This can lead to disappointment, and can sometimes be damaging to the relationship between Dental Office and Patient.
There are many kinds of dental insurance. What does it all mean?
Indemnity Plan: Allows you to select your own dentist and go to any office you choose. These plans usually pay most or all of your Preventative and Diagnostic services, with a small co-insurance percentage for minor restorative, and a larger co-insurance percentage for major services. Indemnity, like most plans, will carry an annual maximum benefit. This plan allows you and your provider the most freedom of choice.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): PPO dental plans operate like an Indemnity plan, but the Insurance company will tell our office what we are allowed to charge you for services, and will claim that if you visit "in-network" dentists you will have a lower out-of-pocket cost. However, we have seen that with many PPO’s, there is no difference in your out-of-pocket cost. We participate in the vast majority of dental PPO’s. Even if we don’t participate in yours, your benefits may still work perfectly in our office. Each plan is different, as are the needs of each patient. Our office personalizes our service to you by calling your insurance as a courtesy to you, and honestly informing you if we are in-network or not, whether your plan will work well in our office, or if your out-of-pocket costs would truly be lower if you went elsewhere. This is rare, but we will tell you if it is the case.
Discount Plan: Discount plans "rent" you access to PPO network dentists in return for you paying a premium to them each year. If we participate in one of the PPO networks (such as Aetna or Dental Benefit Providers), and you purchase a dental discount plan in that network, you would pay a "discounted" fee at the time you receive service. The fees are "usually" lower than Usual and Customary Rates (but not always!). As always, we recommend researching thoroughly what your options are and if this will actually save you any money, once you take their premiums into account.
Direct Reimbursement Plan: Some employers have a plan in which they directly reimburse employees for dental services they receive.
Capitation Plan (also called Dental HMO or "DMO" plans): Capitation dental plans designate specific dentists for treatment. You will have to select one dentist that you will see for treatment, and he/she will decided if or when he/she will refer you for specialty care (such as a root canal or extraction). There are forms and can be lengthy pre-determination times for services, even if you are in pain. These DMO dentists have a contract indicating that they will be paid a monthly fee for having you signed up in their office, regardless of whether dental treatment was provided to you! It is to their financial benefit to collect their monthly capitation check while minimizing the amount of time they spend seeing you in their office. Then, even when services should be "covered 100%", your DMO dentist can add costly "upgrade" fees to your services, and you may end up with higher out-of-pocket costs than with a traditional insurance plan. Many patients find, as well, that they cannot get an appointment for routine services such as a "100% covered" cleaning or exam for weeks or months. These are a few reasons why we do not participate in capitation or DMO plans.
When can I eat?
When the numbness has worn off, you should be able to eat.
What can I eat?
A soft diet, nothing too spicy, avoid hard/crunchy foods like tortilla chips.
Can I drink hot/cold beverages?
No hot drinks while numb; you won’t be able to gauge how hot and you might burn yourself. There’s no problem with cold drinks, as long as you are not using a straw.
How long will I be numb?
It depends on how much anesthesia was given for the procedure, and can vary greatly from one person to the next. For some people, the numbness starts to wear off right away, and others can take hours. A good rule of thumb is about two to three hours.
Why can’t I rinse or spit vigorously, or drink through a straw?
We ask you not to rinse, spit, or drink through a straw because this can cause more bleeding than is necessary, and can dislodge the blood clot (necessary for healing) which has formed. If you lose the blood clot in your extraction site, you may experience "dry socket" which is a very painful –and avoidable- complication. If you think you may have a dry socket, please call the office for additional treatment.
I’m home now, but still bleeding. Now what?
It’s normal to experience bleeding after an extraction or oral surgery. Saliva mixing with blood can give the impression of "a lot of blood". Unless your mouth is quickly filling up with a profound amount of blood, what you’re experiencing is most likely normal. Place a slightly moistened gauze pad (provided to you after your surgery) on the wound and press with your finger for about 5 minutes. Keep biting on the gauze for another half hour. If, after doing this, you are still experiencing some bleeding, bite on a moistened tea bag. Yes, this really works! The science behind this old adage is solid; the tannic acid in the tea bag helps your body form the blood clot you need by constricting bleeding. Avoid becoming excited, sit upright, and do not exercise or perform any physical work. If, after you have followed all of these instructions, you still have concerns about bleeding, you may call the office for instructions.
Why is my jaw sore?
Your jaw could be sore from remaining open, and injections can frequently cause a lingering soreness; the removal of teeth can also cause soreness. Remember, you’ve just had a surgery. The healing process takes time, and other factors like age and health will determine how sore you will be. Use a cold pack on the area, and take an over the counter anti-inflammatory; we like to recommend Ibuprofen (generic is fine, but you can use Advil or Motrin if you prefer name brands). Most ibuprofen is sold in 200 mg pills or capsules. Take two to four of them every four to six hours for as long as you are experiencing discomfort.
My face/jaw is swelling. Is that normal?
Swelling is normal after dental surgery. Applying cold to the area (such as a plastic bag, filled with ice and wrapped in a towel) will minimize swelling. Apply the ice as much as possible for the first 36 hours following your surgery. After 36 hours, applying moist heat will help to reduce the size of the swelling.
How long will this take?
Plan on an hour. Sometimes it can be less, sometimes more. The doctor will be able to give you a great idea about the length of time your particular surgery will take.
Am I going to hurt afterwards?
Most patients are fine afterwards, and report needing nothing more than over-the-counter pain relievers. We like to recommend Ibuprofen; either name brand or generic is fine.
Is it supposed to bleed afterwards?
Some oozing is normal, in the surrounding tissue. Many times, we place implants at the time of extraction, and some bleeding is to be expected with this procedure. If you experience profound bleeding (your mouth filling up quickly with blood) please call for instructions. Keep in mind: blood, mixed with your saliva, can give you the impression that there is far more bleeding than there really is. Please see our extraction/oral surgery section of this FAQ for helpful information.
Can I chew in the implant area?
Our general recommendation is to avoid chewing in the area until we restore your implant with a crown. Many times patients will opt to have a temporary "tooth" placed, but those would be cosmetic, rather than for chewing.
What is this metal thing?
After we place an implant, we usually place a "healing cap" which looks like a small, smooth, metal button in your gum tissue. This helps to "form" the gum tissue so that we can restore your implant with a crown later on.
When will I be able to have my crown(s)?
We usually won’t restore an implant with a crown for eight to ten weeks. Each patient’s situation is individual; sometimes it takes longer, even up to three or four months.