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Frequently Asked Questions

Cosmetic Dentistry

What's the best way to whiten my teeth?

Stores sell many whitening products, and you can get take-home gels and trays from your dentist, but neither is as strong as procedures done in a dental officeIf you want to try an over-the-counter whitener, look for one with an ADA seal. Check with  your dentist  for advice before you buy, especially if you have dental work or dark stains. And don’t keep using them, or you could damage your teeth.

Do you offer take-home teeth whitening?
At Columbine Creek Dentistry, we offer both at-home and in-house whitening to brighten your smile. Our home whitening treatments can brighten your smile in less than two weeks with daily applications. For almost immediate results we offer in-office bleaching. In one visit, we can lighten your teeth several shades for a white smile the same day. While there are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products available, not all are safe or effective. With our professional whitening treatments, you can be assured that they are safe and that you will get the results you desire. Your dental health is our top priority – we only use products that we know are safe for your teeth and will not put your oral health at risk.
Why should I get professional teeth whitening?
The enamel on your teeth is porous, making the surface difficult to keep white. Coffee, tea, red wine, nicotine and other substances can leave stains on your teeth, especially when you use these items every day. Even with excellent oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings, teeth become dull with age. This can make you look older and detract from the beauty of your smile. With professional bleaching or whitening, you can safely make your teeth brighter for a younger, healthier-appearing smile. At Columbine Creek Dentistry, we only use products that are not only effective but safe for your teeth and overall health.
Is teeth whitening covered by insurance?
Teeth whitening is considered a cosmetic treatment since it only enhances the appearance of the teeth and does not fix any medical or health-related issues. Therefore, most dental insurance policies do not cover professional teeth whitening or other cosmetic procedures, such as tooth shaping, filing, gum contouring or veneers. However, to ensure that our Columbine Creek Dentistry patients get the dental care they need or want when they have limited insurance coverage or no coverage at all, we have other financial payment options. For our patients without dental insurance, we have an affordable Dental Savers Plan to cover exams and cleanings while discounting many other needed treatments. We know how much teeth whitening can enhance not only one’s appearance but one’s confidence, approachability and overall image. Let our team at Columbine Creek Dentistry help you find financial solutions to get the dental care you need for your family. Contact our office today to find out if we accept your insurance or to learn more about our other financial payment options.
Does teeth whitening hurt?
Some may find that teeth whitening causes their teeth to ache and become sensitive to extreme temperatures. This is because many professional and At-Home teeth whitening kits use hydrogen peroxide as their active ingredient. Hydrogen peroxide unfortunately, can cause sensitivity for some and cause an achy feeling during the whitening process. Discomfort when drinking or eating hot or cold products can also occur while having your teeth whitened. Thankfully, any sensitivity that starts with teeth whitening is typically short-term and goes away with time.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
The benefits of Invisalign clear aligners are numerous and it’s no mystery why they are so popular. Invisalign effectively improves one’s smile without the inconvenience and appearance of traditional metal braces. They are less noticeable, removable, easier to clean and take less time to produce a beautiful smile compared to traditional braces. Visits to the dentist are also less frequent than they are for traditional braces which adds to the convenience factor. This is a vast improvement over wearing metal braces. Braces often require constant adjustments and repairs. Metal wires and rubber bands can break or need repair. Braces can poke your gums and hide food and bacteria behind the brackets. Certain foods must be avoided and braces can change the way you look and speak. Invisalign aligners are also removable so you can take them out when you eat and things don’t get stuck like they do with traditional wire braces. Here at Columbine Creek Dentistry we have been amazed at how satisfied our Invisalign clients are with Invisalign and are sure you will be too.
How long does Invisalign take to work?
In general, Invisalign takes 12-18 months before final results are seen. Most, however, will start seeing changes as soon as the first few weeks as the Invisalign aligners gently and gradually adjust your teeth and bite into proper positioning. Every two weeks new trays arrive with the next step in adjustment until your beautiful smile is fully visible and in position. For the best results, Invisalign clear aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day, removing them only for brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking. Everyone is different though and duration can vary depending on the degree of correction and adherence to the schedule. Most however, are amazed at how quickly the time goes especially when compared to the time it takes for traditional braces to produce results.
Am I a good candidate for Invisalign?
Columbine Creek Dentistry offers the Invisalign system as an orthodontic treatment that can straighten your smile without metal braces. Adults and teens love the comfort and discreet appearance of these clear aligners to improve the look and health of their smile. Good candidates for Invisalign are those who need mild to moderate correction of crooked or gapped teeth but want a treatment that will produce a beautiful smile in less time with less noticeable and more convenient than traditional braces. Mild cases of overbites, underbites and crossbites can also be effectively improved with Invisalign clear aligners. Contact Columbine Creek Dentistry today to schedule your consultation to learn more about clear orthodontics and whether or not they are the best option for you.
Does Invisalign hurt?
Compared to traditional braces, Invisalign clear aligners are much more comfortable. However, it is not uncommon for Invisalign to cause some discomfort when they are first fitted and when new trays are started, which typically occurs about every two weeks. Most of our Columbine Creek patients report that the discomfort is minor and will often subside after a few days. If the discomfort lasts longer than a few days, you can rest assured that our team at Columbine Creek Dentistry will do what we can to evaluate the situation, rule out infection or other complications and help reduce the pain, making you as comfortable as possible.

Emergency Dentistry

What is considered a dental emergency?

There are many different types of dental emergencies. Trauma can cause painful damage to a tooth or teeth that needs immediate care. Car accidents, sports injuries, and falls can often cause a broken or cracked tooth that requires emergency repair. Other urgent dental issues can be due to infection or decay causing a severe toothache that is too painful. Other dental emergencies include lost fillings, broken crowns, implant problems, and lost teeth. Whatever the issue, we want you to know you can count on Columbine Creek Dentistry when you need to see a dentist right away.

Do you have emergency appointments available?
Yes. We keep room in our schedule to handle dental emergencies for our patients. We offer same-day appointments and extended hours to handle urgent dental needs at our office in Littleton. At Columbine Creek Dentistry, we know that dental emergencies can be stressful, even frightening. Our office is designed to help our patients relax and feel comfortable, especially when they are experiencing anxiety. We have warm blankets, pillows and electronic distractions to help you relax when you come in with a dental emergency. We also have sedation options available to assist with pain and keep you calm while we complete your urgent dental treatment. When you are in dental pain or need quick assistance with a dental issue, call us first at Columbine Creek Dentistry. We will always do our best to get you in to get care the same day. We never want our patients to be in pain or wait longer than necessary to get the treatment they need for a damaged tooth.

General Dentistry

Are you accepting new patients?
Absolutely! Furthermore, we feel confident that you will be so impressed with our level of care and service during your first visit, you will schedule subsequent visits to our office. Columbine Creek Dentistry is different from most dental offices that you may have been to in the past. We strive to make everything simple and easy for our patients while giving them the best care in a relaxing atmosphere. For your first visit, we have convenient new patient forms online that you can fill out at your leisure. This helps make check-in quick when you come in. Our team will also record your insurance or financial information and answer any questions you have about costs or procedures. Contact Columbine Creek Dentistry today to schedule your first appointment with us! From the moment you arrive for your appointment, we will do our best to make sure you have the most enjoyable dental visit you have ever experienced.
What type of toothbrush and toothpaste should I use?

Buy toothbrushes with soft bristles. Medium and firm ones can damage teeth and gums. Use soft pressure, for 2 minutes, two times a day.

Both powered and manual toothbrushes clean teeth well. Manual brushes with mixed bristle heights or angled bristles clean better than those with all flat, even bristles. Powered toothbrushes may be easier if you have trouble using your hands.

Set a reminder to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Toss it sooner if the bristles look bent or splayed out. Bent bristles don’t clean as well. (They’re also a sign you may be brushing too hard.)

Most toothpastes will clear away bacteria growth and acids from food and drinks. Toothpastes with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance always have fluoride, which strengthens and protects teeth. If you want a non-fluoride option, stores carry toothpastes and powders made with natural ingredients that don’t have ADA testing and approval.

What dental insurance do you take?
At Columbine Creek Dentistry, we accept most major dental plans and we will help you through the claims process. We can explain your benefits and what your plan covers to help make it simple, easy, and affordable to get the oral health care you need for your family. Utilizing the preventative care benefits available through almost all insurance plans can be the best way to reduce your dental costs and prevent larger oral health issues. However, we understand that not all families have dental insurance and even those that do may have some out-of-pocket expenses. To ensure that our patients can still get the dental care they need when they have limited insurance coverage or no coverage at all, we have other financial payment options here at Columbine Creek Dentistry. For our patients without dental insurance, we have an affordable Dental Savers Plan to cover exams and cleanings while discounting many other needed treatments. Your oral health should never be ignored due to financial concerns. Let our team at Columbine Creek Dentistry help you find financial solutions to get the dental care you need for your family. Contact our office today to find out if we accept your insurance or to learn more about our other financial payment options.

Restorative Dentistry

How do dental implants work?
When dental restorations are needed, dental implants offer the most natural and functional results of any restorative dental options. Dental implants work by surgically anchoring replacement teeth into the jawbone so that they provide a stable and permanent solution to missing teeth. Replacement teeth look and function just like natural teeth even though they are artificial, fooling even the most scrupulous judge of appearances. The ‘root’ of the new tooth is a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw bone. Once the surgical site heals, a dental crown is adhered to the post to create a new tooth that can last for decades. While dental implants offer the best results for replacing missing teeth, there are considerations when determining whether implants are right for you. Like any surgical procedure, our medical team will need to ensure you are a good candidate for implants. The good news is that most of our patients who have suffered tooth loss can undergo implant surgery.
How long does a dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant process can take months from start to finish. First, your dentist will need to evaluate the health and strength of the bone in the area where the missing tooth is. Often, when teeth are absent for too long, the blood and nutrient supply decreases, weakening the bone in the empty space where the tooth used to be. In these cases, a bone graft is required. This means that a tiny piece of healthy, strong bone from one area of the body is removed and placed in the jaw where the implant will go. Time is then devoted to waiting for the bone graft to heal and stimulate new bone growth in your jaw. Once the jawbone is strong and ready to receive a dental implant, the placement procedure is scheduled. The actual procedure time may take just 1-2 hours.
Does dental implant surgery hurt?
At Columbine Creek Dentistry we aim to make your dental visits and procedures as comfortable as possible. During a dental implant procedure, the nerves are numbed with medication so no pain is felt during the procedure. To help relieve general anxiety about the procedure we have other options such as oral conscious sedationIV sedation or nitrous oxide. At your initial consultation we will discuss any and all options to help make your dental implant procedure go as smoothly as possible. Mild swelling and discomfort may be present after the procedure but pain, if present, tends to be mild and short-lived depending on the number of implants placed. If pain persists or is more severe than expected, the team at Columbine Creek Dentistry wants to be notified as soon as possible so we can do what we can to ensure our patients’ comfort and health.
What is the recovery process for dental implants?
Recovery time from dental implant placement can vary depending on a variety of factors including: ⦁ The number of implants placed ⦁ Overall oral health and strength of the jawbone ⦁ Smoking history ⦁ Age ⦁ Other medical conditions such as diabetes For single implant placement procedures with no bone grafting, swelling and discomfort are likely to be minimal and short-lived, likely just a few days. Most do well on a soft to liquid diet in order to minimize irritation and discomfort. After around a week to 10 days, you should be able to resume your regular diet or progress as tolerated but don’t worry, our team at Columbine Creek Dentistry will walk you through it all.
How do I care for my new implant?
Caring for your new dental implant is a breeze. They look, feel and function just like natural teeth and caring for them is very similar. Dental implants are designed to last but they will shine if they are brushed and flossed daily, ideally twice a day. A soft nylon toothbrush will also be gentle on the implant and be less abrasive than stiffer brushes that can damage the enamel of the artificial tooth. In addition to avoiding hard, stiff bristles, proper care of dental implants includes: ⦁ Using less abrasive toothpastes and mouthwashes such as those made for sensitive teeth ⦁ Avoid hard, sticky or chewy foods such as ice, caramel, hard candies, and apples. ⦁ Avoid or at least minimize tobacco and alcohol use. Both contribute to poor healing, decreased bone density, and overall poor oral hygiene.