Frequently Asked Questions

DENTISTRY FAQS

Please do not hesitate to call our office at 716-332-2444 if you have any questions regarding any aspect of your family’s dental care. Our staff is happy to assist you in keeping your smile happy and healthy!

HOW DOES WINNING SMILES WORK WITH DENTAL INSURANCE?

At Winning Smiles we strive to make every effort in providing you and your family with the finest care, along with the most convenient financial options. We will work with you to ensure we can maximize your insurance reimbursement for covered procedures. We participate with several insurance carriers, so please call us so we may assist you.

Please call your insurance company and ask if they participate and are in-network with Winning Smiles at Amherst, Orchard Park or Buffalo location.

Please bring your insurance information with you to every appointment so that we can expedite reimbursement. If you or one of your family members are already a patient and have had a change in benefits or employer, please provide the new information at you or your child’s next appointment or by phone before the appointment.

DOES WINNING SMILES OFFER FINANCING FOR DENTAL TREATMENT?

We also provide financing through Care Credit to help our patients obtain affordable financing options for their treatments. Patients are able to apply for Care Credit and use their Care Credit card to pay for healthcare expenses. Please speak with a member of our administrative team, if you have any questions or concerns regarding payment options. You and your child’s dental health is our ultimate priority and we are happy to work with you to find an affordable payment solution that meets your family’s needs.

WHAT IS PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY?

Pediatric dentists are dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through early adulthood. They have the experience and qualifications to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood. Children begin to get their baby teeth during the first 6 months of life. By age 6 or 7 years, they start to lose their first set of teeth, which eventually are replaced by secondary, permanent teeth. Without proper dental care, children face possible oral decay and disease that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications. Today, early childhood dental caries—an infectious disease—is 5 times more common in children than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever. WHAT KIND OF TRAINING DO PEDIATRIC DENTISTS HAVE? Pediatric dentists have completed at least:

  • Four years of dental school
  • Two additional years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children, teens, and patients with special needs
  • What Types of Treatments Do Pediatric Dentists Provide?

PEDIATRIC DENTISTS PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE ORAL HEALTH CARE THAT INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:

  • Infant oral health exams, which include risk assessment for caries in mother and child
  • Preventive dental care including cleaning and fluoride treatments, as well as nutrition and diet recommendations
  • Habit counseling (for example, pacifier use and thumb sucking)
  • Early assessment and treatment for straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite (orthodontics)
  • Repair of tooth cavities or defects
  • Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes, congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, and attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder
  • Management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short frenulae, mucoceles, and pediatric periodontal disease
  • Care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced, or knocked-out teeth)

PEDIATRIC DENTISTS — THE BEST CARE FOR CHILDREN Children are not just small adults. They are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind. A pediatric dentist offers a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. When your pediatrician suggests that your child receive a dental exam, you can be assured that a pediatric dentist will provide the best possible care.

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD MY CHILD FIRST SEE A DENTIST?

The first dental visit should be at or around your child’s first birthday or upon the eruption of their first tooth. To learn more, click here. You can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist and the staff will explain all procedures and answer any questions. To learn more about our Terrific Todder Program, click here. It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that might cause unnecessary fear, such as “needle”, “pull”, “drill” or “hurt”. The office makes a practice of using words that convey the same message but are pleasant and non-frightening to the child. Parents are welcome to accompany their child for their first visit. We are all highly experienced in helping children overcome anxiety; we will even allow them to sit in the parent’s lap if necessary. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. We can usually establish a closer rapport with your child when the parent is not present. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension. For the safety and privacy of all patients, other children who are not being treated should remain in the reception room with a supervising adult. WHEN AND WHAT IS MY CHILD’S FIRST “REGULAR” VISIT? We will begin with a thorough risk assessment and identify any risk factors that could leave your child prone to dental disease or a malocclusion (improper bite). Developing tooth decay, gum disease, or adverse habits such as thumb sucking are just some of the conditions that will have an adverse affect on the oral health of your child. We will gently examine your child’s teeth and gums . X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child’s permanent teeth under the gums). We may clean your child’s teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child’s teeth and make dietary and treatment recommendations if necessary. 

WHEN CAN I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR MY CHILD?

Children tend to do better in the dental office when they are not tired. Therefore, we encourage morning appointments, especially for pre-school or nervous children. For many children, just a simple filling at the end of a long day, when they are tired, can seem like a major ordeal. Please keep in mind, one of our goals is providing dentistry that is as pleasant as possible for your child. Also keep in mind that a dental appointment is an excused absense from school. While we understand that evening appointments tend to be more convenient for many families, we have found that daytime appointments are more productive, cooperative, and stress-free for our patients.

When we schedule an appointment for your child, that time is reserved solely for your child. We do not double book and we take pride in the fact that because we value your time, as much as we hope you value ours, we make every effort to see your child at the time scheduled. For this reason, it is very important that you have your child in the office at the time scheduled. If you are late, it may be necessary to reschedule your child’s visit.

WHY DO TEETH NEED FLUORIDE?

Fluoride, often called nature’s cavity fighter, helps safely prevent tooth decay. The American Dental Association has endorsed fluoridation of community water and use of dental care products with fluoride for over 40 years. If your local water supply does not contain fluoride, ask your dentist how you and your family treat your teeth to be sure it is benefitting your smile.

WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?

Wisdom teeth are third molars and people generally have three permanent molars in the upper right, upper left, lower right and lower left areas of the mouth. The first molars “grow” at about age 6, the second around age 12 and the third around ages 18-20 – a maturation time when people are considered to be wiser, hence the name. Wisdom teeth may erupt sideways, only partially, or become trapped (impacted), leading to pain, infection, and gum line and facial swelling. When any of these conditions arise, your dentist may determine that wisdom tooth extraction is necessary.

HOW DOES PREGNANCY AFFECT MY ORAL HEALTH?

Recent research indicates that poor oral health can contribute to pre-term delivery and/or a low birth weight of the baby. Women should discuss oral health issues with their physician and/or dentist.

Basic dental health concerns during pregnancy include:

  • Need for additional calcium
  • How to ensure optimum oral health
  • Brushing and flossing more carefully and frequently
HOW LONG DO PORCELAIN VENEERS LAST?

The expected lifetime of a porcelain veneer is somewhere between seven and twenty years. Veneers may sometimes lose their bond over time or chip. If this happens, they can be repaired or replaced. Also, over time, the living tooth and gum tissue around the veneers will undergo changes that may require alterations to your veneers.

IF I WANT DENTAL IMPLANTS, HOW DO I BEGIN THE PROCESS?

Pursuing dental implants begins as every dental procedure does: with a visit to with one of our highly skilled general dentists. He or she is in the best position to consider your request, examine your current condition and your past records, then help you make an informed decision.

Often, a 3D image or CT scan is taken of the jaw bones to make measurements and plan appropriately for the surgery.

In addition to the CT scan, impressions may also be taken in order to construct a guide to precisely place the implant in the best position possible.

Our team is trained to assist you in handling your specific dental concerns and guide you through the process of dental implants and restoring your smile.

IF I AM CONCERNED ABOUT THE MERCURY IN DENTAL AMALGAM, SHOULD I HAVE MY FILLINGS REMOVED?

If your fillings are in good condition and there is no decay beneath the filling, the Food and Drug Administration and our doctors do not recommend that you have your amalgam fillings removed or replaced. Removing sound amalgam fillings results in unnecessary loss of healthy tooth structure, and exposes you to additional mercury vapor released during the removal process.

However, if you believe you have an allergy or sensitivity to mercury or any of the other metals in dental amalgam (such as silver, tin, or copper), you should discuss treatment options with your dentist.

The average life span of any dental “filling” is 10 years.

DO I REALLY NEED X-RAYS?

Dental x-rays are taken routinely by your dental provider. There are many diseases and dental defects, which can not be seen by the naked eye, especially where teeth are concerned. These may include concerns such as tooth decay beneath old fillings, teeth trapped below the gums, cavities between the teeth, bone loss as a result of gum disease, and changes in either jaw bone structure which can be affected by many systemic diseases. If you are a new patient, your dentist may recommend x-rays to check the current status of your mouth, check for hidden problems, and establish a thorough new patient record. Upon your first visit to the dentist will typically capture the radiographic images necessary to comprehensively assess your oral health. A full series of x-rays usually consists of 14 – 18 films. A panoramic x-ray film, showing a much greater areas of the jaw bones, may be needed as well in order to perform a comfortable and competent examination. Every six months or so, your dentist may take a small series of x-rays consisting of four to six films. A six-month period is a significant amount of time in the life of a cavity during which many changes can occur. For this reason, a visit to the dentist every six months is crucial in preventing and treating dental concerns before they erupt into greater and more complicated issues. X-rays are generally safe when exposure is kept to a minimum, and are taken only as needed.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD HAS A DENTAL EMERGENCY?

Winning Smiles Pediatric Dentistry offers 24-hour emergency care for our patients. If a dental emergency should occur after hours, please call our office at 716-332-2444 and follow the prompts to reach a pediatric dentist on call. Leave your contact information and the doctor will call you within minutes.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD’S BABY TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT?

Contact our office as soon as possible.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD’S PERMANENT TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT?

DO NOT rinse or wipe tooth off. Fibers are on the tooth that need to reattach. Do not scrub the tooth. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or have your child bite down to keep it in place. If you can’t put the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth under your child’s tongue and in contact with their saliva. If you are concerned about your child swallowing the tooth place it in a container of milk (or water, if milk is not available). Come to our office immediately. Please call our emergency number 716-332-2444, if the injury occurs after hours. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY CHILD’S TOOTH IS FRACTURED OR CHIPPED?

Contact our office as soon as possible. Time is of the essence! Our goal is to save the tooth, protect the health of the nerve and prevent infection. Rinse the mouth out with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. It’s possible that if you can find the broken tooth fragment, it can be bonded back to the tooth.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY CHILD HAS A TOOTHACHE?

Call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. To help comfort your child, rinse out the mouth with warm salt water. You may use Tylenol or Motrin as directed.

HOW CAN WE PREVENT DENTAL INJURIES?

Simple. Sport related dental injuries can be reduced or prevented by wearing mouthguards. Child proofing your home can help reduce injuries at home. In addition, regular dental check ups will contribute to preventative care.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IN CASE OF AN ADULT DENTAL EMERGENCY?

Winning Smiles Adult Dentistry offers 24-hour emergency care for our patients. If a dental emergency should occur after hours, please call our office at 716-332-2444 and follow the prompts to reach a pediatric dentist on call. Leave your contact information and the doctor will call you within minutes. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY PERMANENT TOOTH IS KNOCKED OUT? Rinse the knocked out tooth in cool water. Do not scrub the tooth. If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or have you child bite down to keep it in place. If you can’t put the tooth back into the socket, place the tooth under your child’s tongue and in contact with their saliva. If you are concerned about your child swallowing the tooth place it in a container of milk (or water if milk is not available.) Come to our office immediately. Please call our emergency number 716-332-2444, (option 8) if it is after hours. The tooth has a better chance of being saved if you act immediately. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A TOOTH IS FRACTURED OR CHIPPED? Contact our office as soon as possible. Time is of the essence! Our goal is to save the tooth, protect the health of the nerve and prevent infection. Rinse the mouth out with water and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling. It’s possible that if you can find the broken tooth fragment, it can be bonded back to the tooth. WHAT DO I HAVE A TOOTHACHE? Call our office immediately to schedule an appointment. To help increase comfort, rinse out the mouth with warm salt water and use Tylenol or Motrin as directed. HOW CAN I PREVENT DENTAL INJURIES? Simple. Sport related dental injuries can be reduced or prevented by wearing mouthguards. In addition, regular dental check ups will contribute to preventative care.

IS WINNING SMILES HIRING NEW TEAM MEMBERS?

Our practice is built upon the hard work and dedication of a team with a common goal: to provide the very best for our patients! We are always looking for enthusiastic and dynamic individuals to join our team. If you feel you would make a positive addition, please email your résumé to JoanieB@winningsmilespd.com or fax to 716-332-2445.

WHAT IS WINNING SMILES' PRIVACY POLICY?

A PDF of Winning Smiles’ Notice of Privacy Practices can be viewed here.

WHAT IS WINNING SMILES' FINANCIAL POLICY?

Our financial policy can be viewed here.

DOES WINNING SMILES OFFER A VETERAN'S DISCOUNT?

All of our locations offer a 25% discount to veterans with a “Thank a Vet” card.