Dental FAQs

dentist in laurel

Frequently Asked Questions in Laurel, Maryland

What Is Dentistry?

Dentistry treats and prevents disorders and diseases of a patient’s teeth, gums, and jaw. Good dentistry is necessary for maintaining long-term dental health. It significantly impacts the health of a patient’s entire body.

What Is A Dentist?

A dentist is a specialist who has been trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Dr. Natalie Kelley, your dentist in Laurel, MD, has completed many years of medical schooling to practice dentistry. In dental school, a dentist can choose to receive either a:

DDS = Doctor of Dental Surgery
DMD = Doctor of Dental Medicine

Some doctors decide to continue their studies in other specializations, such as:

  • Oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Endodontics (root canals)
  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Periodontics
  • Prosthodontics (dental implants)

To learn more about the many different specialties of dentistry, follow this link.

Are Regular Dental Cleanings Necessary?

Here at Charming Smiles, we know life is busy. Fitting dental appointments into your schedule is challenging, but proper oral hygiene is difficult to maintain by yourself. After every meal, brushing twice a day and flossing will keep most oral hygiene problems away, but not all.

Scheduling a cleaning at Charming Smiles Dental twice a year is highly recommended to maintain optimal oral health and catch problems before they become painful and costly. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized quality dental care because your smile is our top priority.

I Feel Fine. Do I Still Need To See A Dentist?

It’s crucial to schedule biannual cleanings here at Charming Smiles. Dr. Kelley recommends visiting the practice twice yearly because many dental problems don’t initially show symptoms.

We can identify problems, but we can also help keep your smile looking bright and fantastic. We know how important it is to have confidence in your smile. For this reason, we offer many cosmetic dental services like teeth whitening to help improve the aesthetics of your smile.

What’s A Dental Cleaning Like At Charming Smiles?

Biannual dental cleanings are recommended for proper oral hygiene. When you visit our state-of-the-art dental office, an appointment will include:

  • A complete oral examination
  • Oral cancer exam
  • Professional x-rays to catch cavities
  • Thorough cleaning by our excellent hygienists

After your professional cleaning to remove tartar, debris, and plaque from your mouth, Dr. Kelley coordinates with your hygienist and recommends a comprehensive dental care treatment for any problems. We can also recommend any aesthetic and cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening to improve your smile.

Please call our office at (301) 317-9020 to schedule an appointment for the best dental experience and the highest quality dental care you deserve.

At What Age Should I First Bring My Child To See The Dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children receive professional dental care as early as six months of age or when a child’s teeth begin to show. Dr. Kelley can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth and make recommendations.

When Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Dr. Kelley recommends changing toothbrushes at least every three months. If using an electric toothbrush, check the brand’s recommendation because you may not have to change the brush heads as often.

Dr. Kelley recommends changing your brush more often than every three months for patients with gum disease. Also, after brushing, please wash and rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and bacteria.

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease, aka gum disease, is from plaque and bacteria buildup in a patient’s mouth over time. If this buildup is not cleaned by brushing and flossing, it will eventually lead to gum disease. Periodontal disease can also be caused by smoking and chewing tobacco, teeth grinding, medications, and genetics.

Advanced forms of gum disease can cause bone and tooth loss and greatly affect overall health. Dr. Kelley recommends always brushing and flossing daily and scheduling dental appointments every six months as the best way to fight gum disease and decay. Some of the most common signs of periodontal disease are:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Abscessed teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth and loss of teeth

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call us as soon as possible. You can reach us at (301) 317-9020 or email us to schedule a consultation. Your dental health is our passion and concern. Click here for more information.

Do You Accept Insurance?

At Charming Smiles Dental, your dentist in Laurel, we accept most insurance and PPO plans. Please call our d for more information about insurance at (301) 317-9020. Before calling, please have your insurance information ready. Please plan to pay your copay or deductible portion at the time of service.

What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

At Charming Smiles, we accept cash, cashier’s checks, Visa, Master Card, Amex, and Discover. We accept payments via Paypal and Venmo. We also provide payment plans through our practice or third-party financing through Care Credit.

We provide discounts for those who pay in full at the time of service. If you have any additional questions regarding payment methods, please call us at (301) 317-9020.