Do you accept referrals?
Yes. We love referrals. Wonderful people refer wonderful people, so we look forward to treating your friends, family or co-workers with the same expert care we extend to you. Ask us about our special “Gift Card” and other perks you’ll receive when sharing the great news of our office’s commitment to oral health with your friends!
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes. We are currently accepting patients of all ages, children to adults.
Do you offer flexible appointments?
Yes. Our regular office hours are from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Thursday. We are also open one Saturday each month for your convenience.
Do you accept my insurance plan?
Our office is very up-to-date on insurance. We can determine your insurance benefits based on information provided by your plan. We are a preferred provider for many plans. If we are not listed as a preferred provider for your plan, we find that 80% of the time you still have the ability to choose your own dentist. We’ll do our best to see that you receive your maximum benefits. We will complete your claim forms and even help argue your case if your claim is denied. We are always ready to help you get answers in understanding the complexities of insurance practices.
If your carrier is up-to-date (in over 70% of the cases), the claims will be transmitted via secure computer modem often before the end of your treatment day! We will always give you the most accurate estimate possible before proceeding with treatment. Please understand that this is only an estimate and is based upon the information available to us.
What are my payment options?
We consider our relationship with you to be of primary importance and will always make our recommendations based on what we believe is the very best treatment for you regardless of your insurance coverage or financial arrangements. For your comfort and convenience, we offer a range affordability options and welcome your questions.
What if I have an emergency?
Call our regular phone number at any time. If the office is closed, you’ll have the option to page the doctor by selecting option #3. Our after hours answering service can take your information, allowing Dr. Clifton to be personally paged to call you back, answer any questions pertaining to your emergency and then help you with your needs.
I do not like visiting the dentist. Can you help me relax?
We make every effort to make your visit soothing and relaxing! Music, dark glasses and blankets are all available for your comfort and relaxation. For some of our most nervous patients, oral sedation is available. Our friendly staff is always here to serve you and make you comfortable. Talk to us about your anxiety and we can be extra sensitive to your needs, as appropriate.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Imagine not being afraid to go to the dentist. Imagine being able to accomplish all your dental care in as little as one appointment. This is what sedation dentistry can do for you. You’ll be able to smile with confidence and chew your food without pain. If you’ve been putting off years of dental work, Sedation Dentistry can change your life.
Once you’ve experienced sedation dentistry with Dr. Clifton and his caring staff, you’ll probably never be afraid to go to the dentist again. His method of sedation calms you just enough to be aware of the treatment but allows you to wake up refreshed with little or no memory of what transpired. Because you are so comfortable, we can perform years’ worth of dental treatment in one or two visits! People with a busy schedule can get the dental care they need quickly and easily. We’ve had patients say “Sedation dentistry changed my life!”
How does it work? Well, it's simple! You take a small pill one hour before your appointment time, have someone drive you to the office and then just relax comfortably during your appointment! If you think it’s of interest to you to save yourself the trips of coming and going, then ask us about sedation dentistry and whether or not it might be appropriate for your needs.
What do you do to ensure patient safety?
There are so many different ways we put your safety first: using gloves, masks and glasses; ensuring sterilization of all instruments and handpieces, disinfection of counters and surfaces, testing our sterilizer weekly to make sure it meets all hospital level standards and more. Our state-of-the-art sterilization center is something you can see at any time if you’re interested in learning more. Each room is cleaned between patients and all proper sterilization procedures are carried out and monitored in meticulous fashion. Rest easy – at Stevenson Dental Care, we’re taking care of you probably better than you’ll ever know!
How can I safely whiten my teeth?
We offer at home whitening options. Make an appointment today and we’ll discuss what the best option for you might be.
If I use fluoride toothpaste, do I need additional fluoride?
This depends on your oral health status and any additional sources of fluoride that you may be receiving. There are naturally trace amounts of fluoride in water from the Columbia Gorge area, but these are below optimal levels recommended. Please talk to Dr. Clifton about this topic for individualized information.
Which is better: a manual toothbrush or an electric one?
Comparisons have been made between power-assisted (electric) toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes to look at the ability of each to remove plaque and prevent or reduce calculus (tartar) buildup, thus reducing gingivitis (gum disease). These research studies have shown both powered and manual toothbrushes to be equally effective when used correctly. So probably, in practical terms, which brush you use is not the critical factor, but how you use it is. At your dental cleaning appointment, your dental hygienist can recommend what would be best for your individual needs.
What if I don't treat my tooth decay?
You may have heard the expression “a stitch in time saves nine,” and treating decay early can prevent more serious conditions and extensive treatments. Tooth decay takes place in a tooth when the tooth’s enamel has been damaged or has dissolved, resulting in a hole or tooth cavity. Causes of tooth decay vary, but overall the damage is caused by bacteria living in the mouth and resting on teeth for long periods of time. These bacteria eat the same food we do and thrive on sugars in our food and drinks. These same bacteria release acids, responsible for the breakdown of minerals in our teeth. Depending on the seriousness of the tooth decay process, tooth decay needs different kinds of treatment. An early stage of decay, or surface demineralization, may be reversed by using fluoride. Holes formed by mild tooth decay may be repaired with fillings. Severe tooth decay may result in having the tooth capped with a crown, to protect the damaged part of the tooth. Further advancement decay into the tooth may cause an infection requiring a treatment called root canal filling. Decay progressing below the bone level may not be reparable and require removal of the tooth.
Regular dental exams can detect decay in the earliest stages.
Do I have to floss every day? Is it really that important?
Yes. Besides cleaning your mouth, flossing daily adds years to your life by eliminating the bacteria that’s around our teeth. The bacteria cause infection, which can seep into your blood stream and cause heart disease and stroke. So, besides the health of our mouth, it’s the overall health consideration that makes a daily flossing habit so important. For our teeth, the infection process happens in just a couple of days! Stay on top of your overall health by flossing regularly.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is a very serious disease that can result in tooth loss, contribute to heart disease and stroke and affect your overall health, but is generally painless, so you may not know you have it. In fact, recent studies indicate as many as four out of five people have some form of gum disease.
Although the symptoms of gum disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. They include:
- gums that bleed during and after toothbrushing
- red, swollen or tender gums
- persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
- receding gums
- formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
- loose or shifting teeth
- changes in the way teeth fit together on bitings or in the fit of partial dentures.
Even if you don’t notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. Some people have gum disease only around certain teeth, such as those in the back of the mouth, which they cannot see. Dr. Clifton can evaluate your needs and recommend a specific program to restore your good health.
Why do I need periodontal maintenance? Can’t I just get my teeth cleaned?
The word prophy or prophylaxis cleaning means prevention. Prophylaxis appointments, or cleanings, focus on preventing disease such as infection, bone loss, gum loss, etc. Periodontal maintenance means we’ve gone from a clean/healthy state (where only prevention is needed) into a deeper state, causing a need to really address the health issues within your mouth beyond the prevention level of care. Periodontal maintenance involves treating this deeper condition. There’s a difference between preventive cleanings and periodontal maintenance. But trust us on this one: Both are important and we’ll always only recommend what you really need.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first checkup?
“First visit by first birthday” sums it up. Your child should visit a dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between 6 and 12 months of age. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.
Are Mouth Guards Really Necessary?
According to the American Dental Association, an athlete is 60 times more likely to have an injury to the teeth when not wearing a protective mouth guard. A mouth guard is designed to help buffer the mouth and teeth from trauma. It is also an important piece of gear that should not be overlooked during participation in sports. Wearing a mouth guard is common in contact sports such as football, boxing, hockey and basketball, but a protective mouth guard can also be beneficial in non-contact sports such as snow skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, soccer and bicycling. Since studies have linked almost 1/3 of dental injuries to sports -related activities, a mouth guard is an important piece of sports gear, and Dr. Clifton's custom-made mouth guards offer superior protection.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life. If you are missing any natural teeth, Dr. Clifton may recommend you consider dental implants to replace the roots of a missing tooth or teeth so these teeth can be restored in a beautiful and natural manner. Implants can also be used to secure an unstable denture. Ask Dr. Clifton how you can benefit from a dental implant or implant-retained teeth.