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Dr. Lerner provides the highest quality dental care and experience I've encountered. Everyone is helpful and personable.

-Gardner, KS

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FAQs - Gardner Family Dental CareFAQs

For your convenience, we have assembled this list of frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer below, or, if you still have questions, ask us a question. Please do not submit emergency questions or questions highly specific to a case.

General

Are you a member of the ADA?
Yes, Dr. Lerner is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Kansas Dental Association (KDA).
Do you accept my insurance plan?
We accept all insurance plans. If there are restrictions on which dental care providers you may visit, please make sure to check with your carrier to be certain that Family Dental Care is on their list of providers. Going to an out-of-network provider does not mean that your carrier will not cover the care that you receive, but it may be paid at a lower rate.
Is information provided about fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled?
Yes. All information about fees and payments is discussed in detail during the treatment planning session. At each visit, you will receive a receipt detailing our services and the amount due at next visit.
Do you take payments?
Interest-free, third-party financing is available upon credit approval.
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
The Family Dental Care office is proud to be OSHA compliant and beyond, utilizing all current infection-control practices, universal precautions, employee training, state-of-the-art sanitation techniques, and appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure the health and well-being of our patients, hygienists, and staff.
What makes you different from any other dental practice I can visit?
Many things! The first thing that makes us different is we listen to what our patients have to say. At Family Dental Care, we feel that one of the easiest ways to help our patients feel comfortable is to encourage them to talk to our dental team about their concerns. We pride ourselves on being extremely friendly and happy to listen to what you have to say. We know that our patients are much more relaxed if we talk them through our procedures. Additionally, our practice offers the best and most -proven general and cosmetic dentistry services available today. We back these with the finest materials, products, tools, and labs available.

As always, the focus of our practice is your comfort. We know your teeth may be sensitive, so we strive to be gentle. We also offer nitrous oxide or oral sedation to make your visit comfortable. Often referred to as laughing gas, nitrous can help anyone who is excessively nervous about their visit.
What techniques do you employ to help me prevent dental health problems?
A proactive oral healthcare plan includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet, and visiting your dentist regularly. At Family Dental Care, we recommend regular dental checkups and cleanings at least every six months to maintain healthy teeth and gums and to help diagnosing and treat common dental problems.
Are special arrangements made for handling emergencies outside of office hours?
Dr. Lerner is always available when something unexpected happens. Family Dental Care has a 24-hour Emergency Line. If you need help at any time, simply call our office and follow the “emergency” instruction. Be sure to leave your name, phone number, and a brief description of the problem. Dr. Lerner or a Family Dental Care staff member will return your call as soon as possible.
How do I know when it’s time to come in for a checkup?
An average healthy adult who brushes and flosses regularly should see their dentist for a check-up every six months. When you visit our office, we will make sure to set you up with postcard or phone call reminders at the recall interval that is best suited to your needs.
What if I need to cancel an appointment?
If at all possible, we would appreciate 24 hours advance notice. We understand that emergencies arise and are sometimes unavoidable and unpredictable. However, we make every effort to remind you in advance of the appointment times you have reserved by sending reminder post cards and contacting you by phone or email so we would appreciate the same consideration by giving as much notice as possible if conflicts arise. Time reserved on the schedule is reserved exclusively for you and nobody else. Last minute cancelations or no-shows are nearly impossible to fill and those times are minutes that could be devoted to treating someone else in need. Keeping reserved appointment times enables the office to run more efficiently and keep the cost of your care to a minimum.

Children

What age should my children first see a dentist?
It is highly recommended that children be seen by a dentist at 24-36 months of age to begin a comfortable rapport with our team of providers. If you have a child that is younger, we will be glad to recommend a Pediatric Dentist, if you would feel more comfortable with that treatment environment.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay in their children?
As always, it’s best to encourage positive oral care habits by example. Set a good example for your child by brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, and scheduling a regular dental check-up visit for yourself. You may also want to speak to your child about the benefits of good oral health and stress the role nutrition plays in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. For more information about proper oral health care, as well as brushing and flossing instructions, please talk to one of our trained dental hygienists. We’re glad to help.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Family Dental Care loves to serve the dental needs of kids. We think Kids Are Cool and have made our office very child friendly. If your child is very young (under 24 months of age) or exceptionally apprehensive about treatment and may require sedation, a Pediatric Dentist may be preferred. We will be happy to recommend a great Pediatric Dentist, if your needs suit their specialties.
What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
Even before teeth have erupted, it is a good idea to get into the habit of wiping your baby’s gums with gauze or a soft, wet cloth. As teeth erupt, look for a baby toothbrush that has a small, soft bristle head and a large handle that will fit your hand. Also, fluoride toothpaste is beneficial to teeth as soon as they appear (especially if your water is not fluoridated). To prevent problems, keep toothpaste out of your child's reach, and use only a pea-sized drop when brushing. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallow it; this is a concept that is sometimes difficult for very young children to comprehend. If your child complains of a stomach ache at any time after ingestion of toothpaste, a dairy-based “treat” will neutralize the fluoride and ease the symptoms.
Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
As your child ages, persistence in thumb sucking and fondness for pacifiers will not generally cause significant problems unless it is continued beyond 4 to 5 years of age. In terms of the mechanical consequences, older children who suck their thumb may cause some problems with their bite alignment due to the pressure the thumb exerts on the front teeth.
How safe are dental X-rays?
The risk is tiny, considering the huge diagnostic benefit. A compliment of X-rays will cause less radiation exposure than an hour outside in the sunshine (digital imaging reduced exposure to X-rays significantly more). As a benefit, X-rays help us diagnose relatively common disorders such as cavities, periodontal disease, and infections. Without the ability to see inside the teeth and beneath the gums, some common dental conditions may go unchecked and patients wouldn’t benefit from simple treatments to correct these potential problems in time.

Cosmetic

What is teeth whitening?
In cosmetic dentistry, whitening or bleaching treatments have become very popular with people of all ages. Whitening restores a tooth’s surface color by removing stains and reducing plaque. So any product that cleans your teeth (such as toothpaste) is considered a whitener. Of course, the term whitening sounds better than bleaching, so it is more frequently used, even when describing products that contain bleach. According to the Food and Drug Administration, the term "bleaching" is permitted to be used only when the teeth can be whitened beyond their natural color. This applies strictly to products that contain bleach, such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.
What are the effects of whitening your teeth?
Whitening allows you to see moderate to substantial improvement in the brightness and whiteness of your smile. Most of us start out with sparkling white teeth, thanks to their porcelain-like enamel surface. Over the years, the enamel is worn down, becoming more transparent and permitting the yellow color of the dentin (the tooth’s core material) to show through. Whitening restores a tooth’s surface color by removing stains and reducing plaque.
Can it damage the teeth?
Teeth whitening treatments are considered to be safe when performed by a trained, licensed professional and procedures are followed as directed. Bleaching can cause a temporary increase in sensitivity to temperature, pressure, and touch. Some of those who use peroxide whiteners experience some degree of gum irritation resulting from the bleach concentration or from contact with the whitening trays.
How long does teeth whitening last?
Normally, teeth whitening administered or prescribed by a dentist can last from 5 to 7 years. However, maintaining your whitened teeth might depend on several unique and individual factors. If your present discoloration is due to regular consumption of tea, coffee, wine, or tobacco products, you may wish to change these high-stain behaviors so that the whitening effect will last longer. Also, teeth may require whitening touch-ups from time to time.
Who is a good candidate for teeth whitening?
Anyone who would like to benefit from a whiter, brighter smile is a good candidate. Whitening or bleaching treatments are universally valued by men and women alike. Whitening (or bleaching) treatments are available to satisfy every budget, timeframe, and need.
What are some examples of cosmetic dentistry procedures?
While traditional dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing and treating oral disease, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a person's teeth, mouth, and smile. Every cosmetic dentist will offer different services. The most common services and procedures associated with cosmetic dentistry are Teeth Whitening, Composite and Porcelain Tooth Veneers, Dental Implants, Dental Bonding, Dental Bridges, Tooth Contouring and Reshaping, Dentures, Cosmetic Gum Surgery, Dental Fillings, Crowns, and Caps.
Why would someone need or be interested in cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry offers many options for people who are unhappy with their smile. If you are one of these people, we encourage you to contact us and learn about the various treatments available to beautify your smile at Family Dental Care.
What is a veneer?
A veneer is a composite or porcelain laminate that is adhesively bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct and repair chips, cracks, and even slight malpositioning. Veneers will improve a worn appearance or severe tooth discoloration. Veneers may also be recommended if you have gaps in your teeth or if you have not had success with teeth whitening.
How long do veneers last?
There are no hard and fast rules about how long you can expect your porcelain veneers to last. With good oral and dental care, you can certainly expect that they will remain cosmetically pleasing and structurally sound for many years, but it is unrealistic to expect that they will last forever.
Will veneers eventually stain?
Porcelain veneers are very resistant to staining. Good dental and oral care can help to minimize the potential for staining. You certainly may want to avoid an excessive exposure to tea, coffee, red wine, colas, and tobacco products.
What is bonding and how is it different from a veneer?
For chipped, broken, discolored, or decayed teeth, composite bonding is a dental composite material with the look of natural enamel and dentin that is applied to the surface of a tooth. To finish the process, the bonding material is sculpted into shape, contoured to match the tooth, and then hardened with a high-intensity light. The result is a restoration that blends perfectly with the remainder of the surrounding tooth structure and the rest of your natural teeth to create a healthy, beautiful smile.

Seniors

As a senior adult, do I really need to be concerned about cavities anymore?
Actually, cavities can be more frequent in older adults for a number of reasons. Adults are more likely to have decay around older fillings. Cavities in the tooth root are also more common, as gum tissue begins to recede in older adults exposing the tooth root surface to decay. Xerostomia (dry mouth), resulting from the natural aging process itself and certain medications and diseases, can lead to rampant tooth decay.
What causes my teeth to suddenly become more sensitive to both hot and cold?
Tooth sensitivity is caused by the stimulation of cells within tiny tubules located below the hard enamel of the tooth. When parts of the hard enamel is worn down or when the gums have receded, these tiny tubules may be exposed. Pain may then be felt if you eat or drink foods and beverages that are hot or cold. Pain may also be felt by touching your teeth or exposing them to cold air. Sealing the tubules with various medicaments can reduce, if not completely eliminate, sensitivity.
As a senior, am I more at risk for oral problems?
Yes, although they are definitely preventable and treatable with the right oral care plan. The most serious oral concerns for seniors are perioral and oral mucosal tissue pathologies (cancers and precancerous formations), severe, untreated caries and periodontal diseases, tooth loss resulting from oral diseases and conditions, oral expressions of systemic diseases.

Additionally, the risk of oral cancer increases with age. Any lesion found on the tongue or anywhere in the mouth needs to be examined and closely watched. Oral cancer has been associated with the use of tobacco products and the drinking of alcoholic beverages.
What can be done to make loose teeth more secure?
With excessively loose teeth, you may wish to visit a periodontist (a dentist who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing diseases of the soft tissues of the mouth, gums, and supporting structures for the teeth. During your visit, a periodontist will examine your condition, review your oral hygiene practices, and discuss your medical history and ongoing options. If you desire a periodontal consultation, Family Dental Care will be happy to help you with a recommendation.

Douglas Lerner, DDS

325 E. Main St, STE A
Gardner, KS 66030

(913) 856-8721

Hours:
M: 8am - 5pm
T: 8am - 6pm
W: 8am - 5pm
Th: 7am - 5pm

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