Ready for a Better New Patient Experience?
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Convenience at Your Fingertips:
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We are always eager to assist new patients as well as existing patients. We are here to help!
Common FAQs From New Patients Like You
Dr. Griffin, are you a D.D.S. or a D.M.D., and what’s the difference?
Hi, thanks for asking. I am a “D.M.D.” — a Doctor of Dental Medicine. The abbreviation “D.D.S.” stands for “Doctor of Dental Surgery.” As for the difference, it’s in name only: across the United States, as with Columbia and Lexington, SC, DDS and DMD degrees are equivalent.
As a new patient in your office, what can I expect during my first visit?
You can expect an experience completely different than you’ve ever experienced before — NOT cookie cutter. We put your mind at ease from the moment you walk in the door. Dr. Griffin will greet you with a short personal “get-to-know-each-other” interview. Our practice is not built on treating teeth, but on building relationships. We discuss your concerns, address your questions, and develop a plan to help you achieve your unique dental goals. Or, as Dr. Griffin puts it, “I want you to get out of dentistry everything you hope to achieve.”
Can I afford your dental work — do you accept my insurance?
We offer convenient, flexible payment options. Depending on the exact nature of your insurance plan, we’ll work with you to make sure that you maximize all of your benefits. Our fees reflect the value of our quality, education, and service. Dr. Griffin likes to offer a slightly different perspective, “Often it is more expensive to get something done cheaply only to have to re-do it sooner than necessary. I only have time and money to do things properly… once. Also, typically the longer you wait, the more expensive it will be.” We accept all major credit cards and can help arrange interest-free payments, up to 18 months, through CareCredit.
What can I do if I’m nervous about seeing you?
We promise you that nothing scary will happen during your first visit — it’s just a “look see.” If you do need dental work, but don’t like the noises, the needles or the equipment, we use virtually painless injection techniques and offer several sedation options that are fully capable of removing your anxiety and reducing — if not eliminating — any pain or discomfort.
Be honest with me now: Does teeth whitening really work?
It really, REALLY does work! We have many satisfied patients that agree with us. Through the use of our professional teeth whitening system with take-home trays, you can achieve and maintain the tooth color and shade level you prefer indefinitely. We can even whiten crowns and restorations!
Is it better to use a manual or electric toothbrush?
It is BEST to use a high-quality electric toothbrush. High-end products by Oral B® or Sonicare® are very dependable and effective; they are proven to make a statistical difference in the reduction of plaque. Remember, you get what you pay for. Also, proper brushing technique is important. You can even use water alone if your technique is right.
Is there a way to know what my teeth will look like before any treatment happens?
When we are redesigning your smile, you not only can see how things will turn out — we craft your smile together to achieve just the right results. For other treatments, we can offer a glimpse into what your teeth will look like; and we do everything we can to empower you with as much information as possible so that you understand what to expect from your treatment.
What’s the difference between a restorative and a cosmetic dentist?
Every dentist is a “general” or “restorative” dentist. From there on, it’s about specialization. Many dentists refer to themselves as “cosmetic” dentists, but the key to discovering the reality of that statement is their credentials. Look for a membership in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) and ask to see “before-and-after” pictures during your initial consultation.
Does the health of my mouth really affect my body health?
Absolutely. A periodontal (gum) infection is just that — an infection. Just like the flu or the cold, it’s a foreign invasion of bacteria. And it’s literally 2-3 inches away from your brain. These infections affect your blood supply, entering your bloodstream and causing fairly significant issues. In fact, numerous studies suggest an increased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lung infection, low-weight, pre-term babies, and respiratory diseases when periodontal disease is present in your mouth.
Do you send your restorations to out-of-country labs?
Never. Always in the USA. Without exception.
Should I be concerned if I have a tooth that is missing but not visible?
Yes, you should. A missing tooth is not merely an aesthetic issue. Your teeth maintain their health by “occlusal force” — the natural, very healthy tension between each of your teeth. In the short-term, a missing tooth looks bad, but in the long-term, it can negatively affect adjacent teeth and create bite problems that can lead to TMJ and chronic headaches.
Are silver fillings safe? What kinds of materials do you use?
In Dr. Griffin’s opinion, they are unequivocally not safe. Think of it this way: There are only two locations, by law, where mercury fillings can exist: In a specially-approved plastic-shielded bag that is capable of holding biohazardous material and inside a human tooth.
Amalgam fillings don’t bond to your teeth. Over time, structurally and functionally, they expand and contract, fracturing your teeth and allowing micro-cracks where harmful bacteria can enter and produce recurrent decay.