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Clarkson Dental Group
1748 Clarkson Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

At Clarkson Dental Group, we believe that the better informed our patients are, the better they can make good decisions about their oral health.

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.

Other

We work with most insurance plans to help our patients achieve optimal oral health. However, Dr. Mahlin is not a member of any “network.” Here is why:

Dental insurance plans offer a package of covered benefits. Your needs may or may not be covered. Dr. Mahlin's responsibility is to work for you and in your best interest. Dr. Mahlin does not work for the insurance company.

As an educated consumer, you must be very careful; there are dental offices that do not explain all of your treatment options because the insurance does not pay for some of those options. This, in Dr. Mahlin's opinion, is wrong. We believe that all options, and the advantages and disadvantages of each, must be fully explained to our patients. Then you can decide which course of action is right for you.

Typically, there are two types of dental insurance:

  1. You must see a participating "in-network" dentist in order for your insurance to pay.
  2. You can go to any dentist you choose, whether "in" or "out" of network and your insurance will pay.

Whether they have insurance or not, our patients tell us they come to our office because they wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

If you have further questions, please email us or give us a call.

Dental Emergencies

At Clarkson Dental Group, we take the health and safety of our staff and patients very seriously. If we suspect a patient of having the virus, or if a patient has told us they have been diagnosed, we will ask that they do not come to our office until they are medically cleared. 

Patient Safety and Health Is Our Main Priority

Our COVID-19 Sanitation Protocol

At Clarkson Dental Group, we can avoid transmitting respiratory infections by sticking to cough etiquette measures like washing hands, providing tissues, and using no-touch receptacles to throw away used tissues. 

We follow OSHA-mandated sterilization procedures to clean and disinfect each room before and after each patient.

Our Dental Office Is Safe and Sanitary

Dr. Scott Mahlin and his entire dental team in Chesterfield, MO is here to provide emergency dental care. If you are experiencing dental pain or problems with your oral health, please give us a call immediately. 

Cosmetic Dentistry

No. This may be attributed to advances in the cosmetic dental procedures, utilization of local anesthetics and sedation, and providing care in a relaxed and caring environment.

If you feel self-conscious about your teeth or if you want to improve the look of your smile, cosmetic dentistry offers excellent options for creating a beautiful, more confident smile.

Cosmetic dentistry has grown in popularity in recent years as more and more people realize that a healthy smile can contribute to their overall health. People now want teeth that are healthy and look great.

At our Chesterfield, MO dental office, we offer a variety of cosmetic dental treatments to improve your smile. The first step is to contact Clarkson Dental Group to make an appointment to talk to Dr. Scott Mahlin about your smile goals.

Some of the treatments we offer include:

  • Teeth to get rid of stains, whether from medication, aging, foods, drink, smoking, or other lifestyle habits
  • Composite (tooth-colored) fillings, both to fill cavities and to repair chipped, broken, or discolored teeth
  • Porcelain veneers to camouflage flaws with the smile, including gaps and misalignment
  • Dental crowns to cover up damaged teeth or strengthen weakened teeth
  • Dental implants for the best tooth replacement option available
  • Stunning, custom full smile makeovers

Find out how cosmetic dentistry can give you the smile of your dreams. Give us a call today!

Cosmetic dentistry is utilized to enhance the beauty or appearance of our smiles to include the teeth, gums, and alignment of our bites.  The discipline will focus on enhancing the esthetic of the smile and is customized to the individual’s treatment desires.  This goal may be obtained by one or more of the following dental modalities: whitening (chairside or professional take-home), composite bonding, orthodontics (i.e. Invisalign), recontouring, inlays or onlays, implants, veneers or crowns.

General dentistry’s primary focus is to provide routine basic and preventative care. Patients who are concerned with the how their teeth look, may consult with a cosmetic dentist.  A cosmetic dentist has further enhanced their skills in the aesthetic treatment(s) they can provide.

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns are utilized to properly protect and a maintain a tooth that has undergone a sizable injury which has compromised its integrity. These injuries may be due to fractured or cracked tooth structure, endodontics treatment (root canal), failed pre-existing restoration, large cavity, and/or a misshapened tooth.

After receiving your dental bridge, you should expect to eat and chew without problems. This includes eating all the foods and drinks you normally would. As a friendly reminder of the limitations with your new bridge, if you wouldn’t do it with your natural tooth, don’t do it with your bridge.

There is no definitive timeline for the effectiveness of a dental bridge. With great care, we can expect a dental bridge to typically last up to a full decade. Although many bridges can last a lifetime, the longevity of a dental bridge hinges on one’s oral health, routine oral care, and diet. 

It’ll take 2-3 weeks to have your custom crown made. We work exclusively with hand-picked dental labs to provide an optimal result in strength, shade, fit, anatomy, longevity and comfort. Our dental lab technicians carefully design and create a crown that functions flawlessly with your own teeth.

Our dental bridges are custom designed to fit and accommodate your distinctive preferences. This careful design process pays attention to color, size, and shape of your natural teeth to blend seamlessly into your smile. If you are missing teeth, a dental bridge can significantly improve your face by making you look younger and you will naturally want to smile more.

To prolong the health of your bridge and supporting teeth, it is recommended to:

  • Brush at least twice daily
  • Floss daily under the false tooth of the bridge and your natural teeth
  • Follow the recommended professional care of your dental team
  • Eat a balanced diet minimizing foods high in sugar or acid
  • Avoid chewing hard foods, ice, or other hard objects

We begin the creation of your custom crown within 4 months of having your implant placed and full healing of the dental implant is observed.

Yes. The older materials used to create crowns offered very limited esthetic and strength options.  Unfortunately, this created an obvious difference in the smile when attempting to blend the crown(s) with the natural teeth. Advancements in the crown materials utilized to match your natural teeth have improved dramatically. Our goal is to shade match your teeth and crowns so they will appear incredibly lifelike and natural. 

A bridge is a custom tooth replacement that fills in the space of a missing tooth or several teeth. The advantages of bridges include aesthetics, returning to natural chewing and bite function, restoring the intrinsic beauty of the face shape and contours, and is non-removable.

Crowns are indicated for the protection and maintenance a single damaged or injured tooth.  This allows the patient to retain their tooth.  In instances where a natural tooth is missing, a bridge allows us to replace the missing tooth with a fixed solution (i.e. cannot be removed).

A dental bridge is a fixed, or non-removable, option to replace one or more of your natural teeth.  Your custom dental bridge procedure will require two dental visits to our office. The first visit allows us to create a model of the affected teeth and the second visit involves fitting your custom dental bridge.

If you’ve had a damaged tooth or have been without a tooth for a while, your family and friends may notice that your smile has improved. However, they’ll be unable to determine exactly what has changed.

Dental Implants

In most cases, dental bone grafts are one of most predictable and successful procedures in implant dentistry. It is possible to see incomplete bone integration as a result of the bone graft  procedure. If you’re a candidate, additional grafting may be indicated to provide the optimal foundation for your new implant. The dental bone grafts will typically fail due to infection, smoking, and/or health conditions such as: uncontrolled diabetes and immune compromised ailments.

Yes. The utilization of a CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) allows real time anatomical accuracy for diagnosing, precise planning, locating vital anatomical structures, and delivering the unsurpassed healthy dental implant you desire. Its utilization dramatically decreases surgery time and increases your dental implant success.

Our office works with you to ensure a quick and full recovery as soon as possible. This can be expedited by following all post-operative directions and care to include taking prescribed antibiotics and analgesics, maintaining diligent oral health care by carefully brushing and keeping area clean, and rest at home. Of greatest importance, is to not disrupt the surgical area and allow for it to heal. Absolutely refrain from the following: smoking, spitting, strenuous activity, or sucking through a straw for the first 24 hours after your dental implant placement.

Considering your individual surgery, we typically advise allowing the numbness to subside before eating at the site of the dental implant placement. To minimize post-operative discomfort, we advise a soft-food diet for the 24 hours after surgery. This includes yogurt, ice cream, soup, jello, applesauce, etc.

To ensure your complete comfort and optimal care, we’ll usually allow for approximately an hour or two for the dental implant placement. Typically, our patients are allowed to heal for 3-4 months after the dental implant placement prior to their custom crown placement.

Osseointegration is the term used to describe the dental implants successful fusion to your natural bone. This process can take 3 – 6 months after dental implant placement to successfully complete.

Many of our patients report minimal to zero discomfort after their dental implant placement when IV Moderate Sedation is utilized for their procedure. In most cases, our patients may experience minimal discomfort and swelling at the implant site for a 5-7 days after surgery. This may be managed with pain medication and at home post-operative care.

Our ultimate goal is to create your custom dental implant to make it look and feel like your natural tooth.  It will fit seamlessly to match your smile since it closely mimics the beauty, form, and function of your real teeth.

We begin the creation of your custom crown within 4 months of having your implant placed and full healing of the dental implant is observed.

Just like our natural teeth, dental implants need to be regularly maintained with both home care and routine evaluation/cleaning by your dental professional. For all medical and dental  surgeries, there are potential complications or side effects that can occur. The risks may include infection and/or nerve injury at the site of the dental implant placement. However, when a qualified dental professional performs the dental implant procedure, it considered one of the most predictable and safest procedures in dentistry.

General Dentistry

No. Think of the bacteria producing plaque and calculus on your teeth like a splinter in your finger that has become infected. If you took an antibiotic to treat the splinter in your finger then you may feel a little better, but the splinter is still present. Only until you completely remove the irritant, the splinter, can you begin to heal. The same is true for the deep cleaning treatment to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus causing gum disease. Once removed, it too will allow the body to heal and return to a non-diseased state.

We work with most insurance plans to help our patients achieve optimal oral health. However, Dr. Mahlin is not a member of any “network.” Here is why:

Dental insurance plans offer a package of covered benefits. Your needs may or may not be covered. Dr. Mahlin's responsibility is to work for you and in your best interest. Dr. Mahlin does not work for the insurance company.

As an educated consumer, you must be very careful; there are dental offices that do not explain all of your treatment options because the insurance does not pay for some of those options. This, in Dr. Mahlin's opinion, is wrong. We believe that all options, and the advantages and disadvantages of each, must be fully explained to our patients. Then you can decide which course of action is right for you.

Typically, there are two types of dental insurance:

  1. You must see a participating "in-network" dentist in order for your insurance to pay.
  2. You can go to any dentist you choose, whether "in" or "out" of network and your insurance will pay.

Whether they have insurance or not, our patients tell us they come to our office because they wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.

If you have further questions, please email us or give us a call.

It is best to replace your toothbrush once every 3-4 months. If you are unsure how long it’s been, simply look for frayed toothbrush bristles. In addition, it is also advised to replace your brush sooner if you have been sick.

When overall dental health is present, it is recommended you visit the dentist every 6 months to ensure you maintain optimal oral health. If there is a history or current indication of infection, more frequent dental care will be advised.

Approximately 75% of adults experience some form of anxiety in relation to obtaining dental care. You are not alone and should not be embarrassed. Open communication with our office regarding your anxiety will allow us to create a custom care plan that allows you to obtain the treatment you deserve with your comfort and safety in mind.

Also know has pyorrhea of the gums, periodontal or gum disease is caused by bacteria. Improper or infrequent oral hygiene allows bacteria to form plaque and calculus around the teeth and gums. The bacterial plaque and calculus formation cause the gums (periodontium) to become inflamed and results in bone loss.

General dentistry’s primary focus is to provide routine basic and preventative care. Patients who are concerned with the how their teeth look, may consult with a cosmetic dentist.  A cosmetic dentist has further enhanced their skills in the aesthetic treatment(s) they can provide.

Some five million teeth are knocked out every year, according to some studies, and if your tooth is one of them, try not to panic. The first thing to do is locate the tooth, picking it up only by the crown; avoid touching the roots of the tooth. If you can, put the tooth back in its socket. If that isn’t possible, you can try putting it between your cheek and gum to keep it moist.

It’s crucial that you get to the dentist quickly—within a half-hour, if possible—if there is any chance of saving the tooth. The longer you wait to get to the dentist, the less likely it is that reimplantation will be successful.

Because it’s not uncommon to have a knocked-out tooth, it might be worthwhile to purchase a save-a-tooth container to keep in your first aid kit. The kit is available in many pharmacies.

It’s best to avoid getting a tooth knocked out in the first place, and although some traumas cannot be avoided, some can.

  • Be sure you and your children wear mouthguards when playing sports to protect your teeth.
  • Wear your seatbelt in vehicles to help avoid trauma.
  • Walk away rather than engage in a fight.
  • Don’t use your teeth as tools or chew hard items such as ice and jawbreakers.

If you experience a knocked-out tooth or some other dental emergency, be sure to give us a call.

Periodontal Treatment

No. Think of the bacteria producing plaque and calculus on your teeth like a splinter in your finger that has become infected. If you took an antibiotic to treat the splinter in your finger then you may feel a little better, but the splinter is still present. Only until you completely remove the irritant, the splinter, can you begin to heal. The same is true for the deep cleaning treatment to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus causing gum disease. Once removed, it too will allow the body to heal and return to a non-diseased state.

The procedure itself is painless. We are able to successfully navigate painless care as the result of advances in treatment modalities and anesthetics. In a majority of our patients, they report minimal to no post-operative discomfort.

At a minimum, you should brush in the morning after you get up and at night before you go to bed. You should also floss at least once per day, preferably at bedtime. Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay and dental disease.

When you skip brushing and flossing, you give plaque a chance to build up on your teeth. The bacteria present in plaque will create acids that can cause tooth decay. If the plaque isn’t removed, it will harden into a substance called calculus, which can build up over time, eventually causing gum disease. The formation of plaque is a continuous process, so it’s crucial to stay on top of it with regular brushing and flossing.

Although good home care is an essential element in taking care of your oral health, it’s equally important to see your dentist every six months for examinations and cleanings. Even with diligent brushing and flossing, plaque still builds up and needs to be removed with special dental tools.

Are you overdue for a dental checkup? We are always welcoming new patients to our Chesterfield, MO dental office. Call Clarkson Dental Group today to make an appointment!

Also know has pyorrhea of the gums, periodontal or gum disease is caused by bacteria. Improper or infrequent oral hygiene allows bacteria to form plaque and calculus around the teeth and gums. The bacterial plaque and calculus formation cause the gums (periodontium) to become inflamed and results in bone loss.

As more and more studies show, there is a connection between systemic health and oral issues, such as gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a common gum infection that many people don’t even know they have. This serious condition not only causes tooth loss if it goes untreated, but it can also affect the health of your entire body.

Numerous studies have shown that people with gum disease are at a higher risk of developing serious diseases, including heart problems, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s—just to name a few. When gum disease is present, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs, causing additional infections. There is still plenty of research to be done, but it seems clear that there is a connection.

This is one of the reasons it’s so important to visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. Many people don’t even know they have gum disease until their dentists see the signs after conducting a periodontal examination. If it is caught early enough, gum disease might be able to be reversed; in its later stages, it can only be managed, and tooth loss cannot be ruled out.

Skipping routine dental appointments can put your entire well-being at risk. Make an appointment today at our St. Louis dental office.

The periodontal cleaning includes a cleaning that is deeper than a normal cleaning. We all have ‘pockets’ around our gums attachment to our teeth. In health, we may easily maintain this shallow pocket depth with both routine oral and professional hygiene care. If the oral health care is not maintained, these shallow pockets begin to accumulate bacteria in the forms of plaque and calculus. The resultant irritation of the bacteria causes inflammation and bone loss. To disrupt this progression and the presence of the bacterial infection, a deeper cleaning is prescribed.

A prophylaxis is a treatment to prevent infection. While periodontal therapy is indicated for active gum infection leading to inflammation and bone loss. A prescribed deep cleaning is indicated.

Preventive Dentistry

At a minimum, you should brush in the morning after you get up and at night before you go to bed. You should also floss at least once per day, preferably at bedtime. Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay and dental disease.

When you skip brushing and flossing, you give plaque a chance to build up on your teeth. The bacteria present in plaque will create acids that can cause tooth decay. If the plaque isn’t removed, it will harden into a substance called calculus, which can build up over time, eventually causing gum disease. The formation of plaque is a continuous process, so it’s crucial to stay on top of it with regular brushing and flossing.

Although good home care is an essential element in taking care of your oral health, it’s equally important to see your dentist every six months for examinations and cleanings. Even with diligent brushing and flossing, plaque still builds up and needs to be removed with special dental tools.

Are you overdue for a dental checkup? We are always welcoming new patients to our Chesterfield, MO dental office. Call Clarkson Dental Group today to make an appointment!

It is best to replace your toothbrush once every 3-4 months. If you are unsure how long it’s been, simply look for frayed toothbrush bristles. In addition, it is also advised to replace your brush sooner if you have been sick.

When overall dental health is present, it is recommended you visit the dentist every 6 months to ensure you maintain optimal oral health. If there is a history or current indication of infection, more frequent dental care will be advised.

Also know has pyorrhea of the gums, periodontal or gum disease is caused by bacteria. Improper or infrequent oral hygiene allows bacteria to form plaque and calculus around the teeth and gums. The bacterial plaque and calculus formation cause the gums (periodontium) to become inflamed and results in bone loss.

As more and more studies show, there is a connection between systemic health and oral issues, such as gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a common gum infection that many people don’t even know they have. This serious condition not only causes tooth loss if it goes untreated, but it can also affect the health of your entire body.

Numerous studies have shown that people with gum disease are at a higher risk of developing serious diseases, including heart problems, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s—just to name a few. When gum disease is present, oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to major organs, causing additional infections. There is still plenty of research to be done, but it seems clear that there is a connection.

This is one of the reasons it’s so important to visit your dentist every six months for routine checkups and cleanings. Many people don’t even know they have gum disease until their dentists see the signs after conducting a periodontal examination. If it is caught early enough, gum disease might be able to be reversed; in its later stages, it can only be managed, and tooth loss cannot be ruled out.

Skipping routine dental appointments can put your entire well-being at risk. Make an appointment today at our St. Louis dental office.

Brushing and flossing are effective at removing most food particles and bacteria from the teeth, but they often cannot reach the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Most dental decay occurs in these grooves, usually present in the back molars of the mouth. The back molars are difficult to reach, so they are often not cleaned properly.

A dental sealant is a thin plastic coating that is applied to the teeth, protecting the chewing surfaces from collecting food particles and bacteria. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the teeth below from decay.

Although usually thought of for children only, teenagers and adults can also benefit from dental sealants as part of their preventive care dental program—especially those who are prone to cavities.

Sealants are easy to apply and take just a few minutes per tooth. We can check the integrity of your sealants, monitoring for wear and tear, at your routine dental appointments. Sealants can be reapplied as needed.

Find out more about dental sealants at your top dentist in Chesterfield, MO, Clarkson Dental Group. Call today to make a dental appointment for an examination and teeth cleaning. Ask us about dental sealants and other preventive dental care options.

Sedation Dentistry

IV Moderate Sedation (a.k.a. Conscious or Twilight Sedation) allows you to be in a relaxed state during its administration. Since we can ensure your complete comfort and relaxation, it common our patients will experience periods of sleep during their dental procedure. More importantly, most of our patients report almost complete amnesia (do not remember the dental procedure(s)) during their IV Moderate Sedation administration.

Yes. Dentists and their staffs who have completed the State Dental Board approved education, annual testing, maintain stringent patient and facility care protocols, and obtained all necessary permits, site certificates, and inspections may safely administer IV sedation in their dental office.

Our office administers IV Moderate Sedation, also called Conscious or Twilight Sedation, allow us to carefully maintain a relaxed state during the patient’s dental treatment. Due to the patient’s comfort, it is common to fall asleep during this type of anesthesia administration. Many of our patients remember nothing at all and report not feeling anything during their procedure.

The effects of the IV Sedative medications can last up to the remainder of your surgery day. It is advised to take it easy for the first 24 hours after your sedation appointment.

The immediate effect of the IV Moderate Sedation drugs will wear off in the first several hours after your sedation appointment. We advise our patients to allow for 24 hours to fully recover from the anesthesia.

Approximately 75% of adults experience some form of anxiety in relation to obtaining dental care. You are not alone and should not be embarrassed. Open communication with our office regarding your anxiety will allow us to create a custom care plan that allows you to obtain the treatment you deserve with your comfort and safety in mind.

Teeth Whitening

Over-the-counter whitening products can be a great way to whiten your teeth. The store-bought kits will offer whitening gels/rinses that are in much lower concentrations compared to the products utilized in the professional dental office. Additionally, depending on the patient, a minimal improvement in shade of the teeth can be observed with over-the-counter products.

Results can be unpredictable, depending on such factors as the patient’s age, existing dental restorations, the type of stain that is present, and the heredity of the patient. 

We don’t have any evidence that teeth whitening poses any risks to you or your baby during pregnancy.  However, we recommend avoiding teeth whitening during your pregnancy and while breast feeding.

Professional teeth-whitening is considered safe for your teeth.

For optimal results, schedule a dental appointment for a pre-treatment teeth cleaning and checkup.  At this appointment, we’d be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding your teeth whitening treatment.

We typically see professional whitening results last 1-2 years. If you notice your teeth becoming darker, you may touch-up your whitening treatments as you see fit.

For professional in-office custom fitted whitening trays and whitening gel, expect to spend around $400.

Whitening your teeth is not a permanent solution. Expect your teeth to fade a little over the next 1-2 years. Much of this is dependent on your diet, health, oral hygiene, and how your teeth look after the initial whitening treatment. Fortunately, subsequent whitening treatments will provide you results much more quickly than the initial treatment.

You may notice increased sensitivity when you begin your teeth whitening treatments. We expect all tooth and/or gum sensitivity to diminish over time.

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We are open and ready to welcome you back! Please read our reopening letter here.  Do you have a question or concern about your dental appointment during COVID-19? Please refer to our page about dental emergencies during COVID-19, our blog about how to reduce the spread of the virus, and our FAQ about the safety of your dental appointment. Dr. Mahlin, Caleb, Jerri, Kim, Lauren, Nikki, and Pat.