FAQS

Q: HOW DOES DR. RAO KEEP UP-TO-DATE ON ALL OF THE CURRENT TECHNIQUES AND MATERIALS?

A: Dr. Rao subscribes to the latest industry journals to keep tabs on research and development in the dental industry. He also takes time on a regular basis for continuing education, and ensures that his staff does the same. As a team and as individuals, our Yonkers dental office makes it our responsibility to be familiar with the latest techniques and materials available.

Q: WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER DENTAL PRACTICE I CAN VISIT?

A: When you become a new patient of our practice, we think of you as a person, not just another set of teeth to fix and clean. Our goal is to help you obtain total wellness through oral systemic care, and that includes maintaining the best possible oral health through conservative preventive measures. We take time to understand your dental history, medical history, how the two are related, and evaluate the best options for your particular dental needs.

Q: WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE AN EMERGENCY WHEN THE OFFICE IS CLOSED?

A: In case of a dental emergency, please contact our Yonkers dental office voice mail. If you are in a great deal of pain, contact Dr. Rao either by email or by his emergency cell number. Let us know the nature of your condition. We will return your call as soon as possible, give you helpful information over the phone, and then determine if you need to be seen immediately. 

Q: WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO YOU TAKE TO ENSURE PATIENT SAFETY?

A: Our entire practice team is well trained in state-of-the-art sanitation techniques designed to ensure patient safety. This goes beyond wearing gloves and facemasks to prevent passing germs, and includes a specialized sanitation center and a water filtration system guaranteeing a fresh water source for each patient.

Q: I BRUSH EVERY DAY, BUT MY BREATH JUST IS NOT FRESH. IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO?

A: Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and tongue cleaning; regular professional cleanings, and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if you visit us regularly for general dentistry, your hygiene is meticulous, and the problem persists, we can offer several solutions.

First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. Or, we can recommend a specially-prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to actually break the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may also suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause. 

Q: DO YOU ACCEPT MY INSURANCE?

A: We accept all dental PPO and traditional plans. However, we do not accept Medicaid. You are only responsible for what your insurance doesn’t cover, not the entire bill. If you owe anything for treatment, this will be explained to you before any work is performed. We handle all the paperwork. If you have any other specific questions pertaining to your insurance or no insurance, please feel free to call us so we can better answer you. 

Q: WHAT IS A VENEER?

A: A veneer is a very thin layer of natural-looking, composite or porcelain material that is applied to your tooth to improve its appearance. Veneers can cover teeth that are chipped, stained, uneven or even slightly crooked. 

Veneers can usually completed in just a few visits, providing you a quick and easy way to give you a beautiful new smile. 

Q: ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS PAINFUL?

A: Mild tenderness can be expected with any surgical procedure. Dr. Rao works with several experts in the field of implant dentistry to ensure that the procedure is as painless as possible. When the proper directions are followed, Dr. Rao's patients have seldom used the prescribed pain medication beyond the day of the implant placement. 

Q: WHAT IS GUIDED IMPLANT SURGERY?

A: In some cases, the placement of multiple implants (3 or more) may be complex. To ensure that you get the best orientation of the implants and minimal tenderness, Dr. Rao may recommend the use of the surgical guide. This guide is an acrylic tray that is designed based on your individual CT scan and that fits on your gums and your gums ALONE. 

Q: DO I NEED A CT SCAN IN ORDER TO PLACE THE IMPLANT? DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE RADIATION?

A: First of all, the use of computerized tomography (CT) is the standard of care in any implant placement. CT scans are 3D volume images that show the surgeon al the dips, bumps and the locations of various anatomical structures (nerves, arteries, sinuses). To not get one prior to the placement of the implant would put your well-being in danger, not to mention our professional license. As far as the radiation is concerned, the type of CT we perform in the office is known as a cone beam CT. This is different from a medical grade CT in that our machine only scans the location of the arch or jaw that we specify and not the whole body or region of the body. The amount of radiation given off is no more than that of a few digital x-rays that we take in the dental chair. 

Q: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LASER WHITENING AND TRAY WHITENING? WHICH IS BEST?

A: The type of teeth whitening that’s right for you depends mostly on how much time you have. For immediate results, one-hour Zoom! Whitening is your best choice. If you don’t mind waiting a few weeks—and don’t mind wearing a tray for several hours each night—in-home tray whitening could be a better choice. We provide both types of treatment, but costs vary.

If you’re considering teeth whitening but aren’t sure which method is right for you, please call our office for a free consultation. We’ll be glad to explain the differences between the whitening systems and help you determine what would work best for your situation.

Q: DO YOU ACCEPT EMERGENCIES?

A: We do accept patients who have dental emergencies. Please call our office and let us know what your problem is so that we can schedule an appointment as quickly as possible. If you have an emergency after our normal office hours, please call our office and the answering machine will refer you to a number where you can get assistance. 

Q: WHAT IS PLAQUE?

A: Plaque is the accumulation of bacteria microorganisms and their products, which sticks to the tooth surfaces. Dental plaque is soft and easily removed by brushing and flossing the teeth. Accumulation of plaque can lead to gum disease (gingivitis) and periodontal disease, as well as tooth decay. 

Q: WHAT IS CALCULUS (TARTAR)?

A: Calculus is dental plaque that has mineralized. Calculus can form when plaque is not removed from the tooth surfaces. This plaque becomes old and eventually forms into calculus. Calculus can form above or below the gum line. The bacteria that stick to calculus can cause gum disease (gingivitis) or periodontal disease. Calculus cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. A dental hygienist checks for calculus formation when you visit the dental office. It is removed with special instruments designed to adapt to the tooth surface affected without causing trauma to the soft gums. 

Q: WHAT IS GINGIVITIS?

A: Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Some common features associated with gingivitis are red and swollen gums, and the presence of bleeding while brushing and flossing. The cause of gingivitis is the bacteria in dental plaque. This disease is reversible with good oral hygiene practices. 

Q: CAN I HAVE PERIODONTAL DISEASE EVEN IF I DON’T NOTICE ANY SYMPTOMS?

A: Yes. Periodontal disease affects three out of four adults at some time in their lives. It doesn’t necessarily hurt and you may not even be aware that you have it until an advanced stage. That’s why scheduling routine visits with your dentist is important. 

Q: HOW IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE DIAGNOSED?

A: If you have healthy gums, they fit snugly around your teeth. With periodontal disease, the supporting bone and gum are destroyed, forming pockets around your teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist can determine whether or not you have periodontal disease by measuring the depth of pockets. A periodontal probe, a dental instrument that is used like a ruler, is inserted into the pocket. The probe measures the depth of the pocket from the crest of the gingiva to the base of the pocket. A healthy sulcus ranges between 0 to 3 millimeters in depth. Spaces with a depth of more than 4 millimeters are called pockets and are evidence of periodontal disease and a depth greater than 6 millimeters indicates advanced periodontal disease. If your gum disease is left untreated, you may need surgery. 

Q: CAN I AFFORD COSMETIC OR IMPLANT DENTISTRY?

A: Yes. We will gladly work with you to find the best payment option that fits comfortably in your budget.