Dentistry FAQs


Comfortable care at Gentle Dentistry

Each person is different and deserves the best

Dr. Grover and her staff understand that some patients may find visits to the dentist or particular dental procedures stressful, sometimes based on bad experiences earlier in life. Our approach is to respect your concerns, and then work as a team with you to find a way to provide new better experiences. Please let us know if you would like to use nitrous oxide for relaxation. Bring music to listen to while in the chair, tell us if you want a blanket, or if you have other ideas to ensure your comfort. We’re here for you.

Nitrous oxide

Why might you wish to consider having nitrous oxide during your dental visit? Because it provides a safe way to greatly diminish anxiety. Sometimes known as ‘laughing gas,’ nitrous oxide has been available to dental patients for many years. Most often used in conjunction with local anesthesia (novocaine), nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and provided to the patient as a sweet-smelling gas to be breathed through a nose mask. Patients remain in control of all bodily functions and are able to breathe on their own; they are conscious and can answer questions and can drive themselves home after the visit. For the vast majority of users, nitrous oxide provides relaxation within 5 minutes of inhalation, has no side effects on heart and lungs, is effective in minimizing gagging, and has no lingering after-effects. And no one has been found to be allergic to nitrous oxide in the 150 years that it has been in use. (If you have been diagnosed with COPD or are currently experiencing breathing difficulties then you should not use nitrous oxide.)

Treatment consultations and second opinions

Treatment consultations and second opinions are available. We are happy to help you think through decisions about dental treatment options, or offer an evaluation of a dental condition for which recommendations have been made by another practice.

Infection control

We are very serious about infection control and follow the guidelines of OSHA, the EPA, and the CDC. To ensure patient and staff health we follow recommended procedures including

  • Use of fluid resistant gowns, disposable gloves and face masks
  • Chemical disinfection of countertops and surfaces in treatment rooms before each patient visit
  • Sterilization of all dental instruments before each use, using an autoclave or chemical bath
  • Use of proper hazardous waste disposal procedures
  • Continuing education for all clinical staff on infection control topics

Preventive dental care at Gentle Dentistry

Screening is important

Dental screening is essential. In addition to brushing and flossing at home and having regular cleanings at our office, oral exams by a dental professional are an essential component of keeping your mouth healthy.

At initial and annual visits we will perform a gentle exam to identify if there are problems with the soft tissues of your mouth or signs of oral cancer. Regular screening for cancer is important because, with early diagnosis, the survival rate of those with oral cancer in America is very high. Gum disease screening is also important to identify any signs of periodontal disease.

In addition to a soft tissue exam and systematic evaluation of your gums, Dr. Grover will examine your teeth and may request that you have x-rays taken in order to locate any decay or disease in your teeth that’s not visible to the eye. For those who have natural teeth, a full set of x-rays should be taken every 4–5 years, and x-rays of back teeth (called bite-wings) should be taken every 1–2 years.

Obtaining a current medical history is another important screening. Please help us take the best possible care of you, by letting us know if you have been diagnosed or are being evaluated for cancer; have heart disease or high blood pressure; have diabetes; have an auto-immune disease; have a blood-clotting disorder or are taking a medication which prevents normal blood clotting functions. Of course, we’ll need to know if you have any allergies. Be sure to mention if you are, or are trying to become, pregnant!

Healthy gums and gum disease

There is a growing body of research that points to a strong relationship between dental and medical health. Although we still have much to learn about the mouth-body connection, gum disease has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, some forms of cancer, heart disease, and premature birth. Stress has been shown to have a negative impact on gum health.

Gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, is a form of gum disease which can usually be treated by the hygienist in our office, through routine cleanings and monitoring. More advanced gum disease, called periodontitis, is an infection of the gums and bone that could lead to loss of teeth if untreated; it can affect some or all of your gums and teeth. If your gums bleed easily, are swollen or tender, have pulled away from your teeth, or you have persistent bad breath then you probably have gum disease. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, we have treatment options in our office or it will be necessary to refer you to a specialist, called a periodontist.

Cavity prevention

A cavity is a bacterial infection, resulting in softening of tooth tissue over time. Severe cavities that go untreated may result in tooth loss or a need for root canal treatment. There are home and dental office treatments available to help you prevent cavities. We offer personalized home care consultations, dental cleanings and tooth polishing, sealants, effective fluoride treatments and other prevention aids, as well as screening.

Your first visit should be a comprehensive dental examination

Each new adult patient is provided with a comprehensive exam. Your dental situation will be carefully reviewed and you will have time to ask questions or discuss your concerns. Please let us know if you have anxiety about dental care, or if you’ve experienced any discomfort from dental treatment in the past. We have respect for individual needs and we are dedicated to assuring patients have comfortable visits. In order to make this visit as useful to you as possible, please bring the following to your comprehensive exam:

  • a list of medications you are currently taking and your medical history
  • information about allergies
  • x-rays from your previous dental provider if they are under 4 years old (or arrange to have them sent to us in advance)
  • if you have dental insurance, any necessary forms or information
  • your parent or guardian if you are under 18 years of age

This exam includes full periodontal charting and a multifaceted exam of your teeth and mouth, and may involve taking x-rays. The purpose of this visit is to detect and discuss any problems that need to be addressed, thus assuring you quality dental care. If your restorative dental issues are complex, a comprehensive exam may require several visits to discuss preferred outcomes. If you suspect you have periodontal disease it is especially important to meet with Dr. Grover before having a cleaning appointment with the hygienist, so that you receive the treatment most appropriate to your situation.

Teeth-cleaning visits

Depending on your oral health, we will recommend you schedule teeth cleaning as often as every three months or as infrequently as once a year. During a cleaning appointment our hygienist will clean and polish your teeth to remove plaque, stains, or tartar. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria on teeth that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Tartar is a calcified (hardened) form of plaque. This appointment is also a time to review your home care program with the hygienist, discuss any questions you have, and learn about new techniques that may be useful to you. New scientific data and new products are constantly improving home and office care options.


Restorative dental care at Gentle Dentistry

Composite or ‘white’ filling

A composite filling is designed to match the color of your tooth; with tinting and blending of composites, color match to the natural tooth can be excellent. Composite may be used to repair a defect or to restore a decayed tooth. Composite adheres to the tooth by a process called “bonding”. Composite has replaced silver fillings as the preferred material for fillings in most cases. If a composite restoration will be visible when you smile, you may wish to have in-office teeth whitening done first, to lighten the surrounding teeth before creating the matching composite color.

In-Office Light Activated Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening services are desirable for these reasons – to create a more beautiful smile, reflect a more youthful appearance, erase the daily staining effects caused by coffee, tea, wine, soda, or tobacco, attain a whiter shade for natural teeth prior to the replacement of missing teeth, and to brighten the smile prior to special occasions, career opportunities, etc.

We use the White2th system, which combines the effectiveness of high strength whitening materials with light activation. Typically requiring only one visit, White2th also provides enhanced protection of gum tissues during the whitening process. To maintain the brightest teeth, brief whitening “tune-ups” may be recommended at 6 or 12 month intervals.

Implant

A dental implant is an alternative to a partial denture or a bridge. A dental implant can be used to replace a single tooth, or several implants can be used to restore an entire smile. Gentle Dentistry works very closely with local oral surgeons or periodontists as an “implant team” in order to provide you with an optimal result. Implants are generally very successful and cannot get cavities, which is great!

Crown

A cracked, weak, or broken tooth may need a crown. If you have had root canal treatment done on a back tooth, then a crown is typically placed afterward to make sure that the tooth stays strong. Crowns can also be used to change the shape or color of a tooth. Most of the crowns made by Gentle Dentistry are manufactured with zirconia (an extra-tough high-strength ceramic), porcelain, or gold alloy.

Bridge

A bridge is one way to replace a missing tooth. Creating a bridge uses technology which is similar to the technology used in crowns, but a bridge is more complex and provides an artificial replacement tooth.

Veneer

A cosmetic dental veneer is a thin layer of tooth-colored material applied to a tooth, in order to improve its appearance.

Denture

A denture is a removable appliance that replaces all (full denture) or some (partial denture) of the teeth. Gentle Dentistry fabricates comfortable dentures that are durable and have optimal esthetic properties.

Front desk hours

Monday: 6am–1pm
Tuesday: 7:30am–2pm

Wednesday: 7:30am–5pm

Thursday: 7:30am–2pm

Friday: 7:30am–5pm


I always feel like I am in good hands with Dr. Graham. He puts me at ease with his expertise, skill and sensitivity to my dental care needs.
—Doug C., Pelham


How grateful we are for the care you have given over the years. Because of your early detection of a problem my husband has a good prognosis today.
—Ellen K., Conway