Frequently Asked Dental Questions

We answer your questions!

How do I know when it’s time to come in for a checkup?

We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If you need more frequent visits, we'll let you know. Checkups are important because even if you don't notice any pain or problems with your teeth, we may find signs of potential issues. For instance, demineralization is a precursor to decay, oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can be very stealthy. At your hygiene appointment, we'll clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth. We'll also make sure your gums are healthy and strong.

What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?

We follow strict guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and OSHA. Our practices include sterilizing reusable instruments in an autoclave and then sealing them for the next use, disinfecting treatment rooms between patient visits, and using disposable products when possible. We always wear disposable gloves during exams and treatment for your safety.

I don’t like drills. Are there any other options?

We offer air abrasion, an alternative to the traditional dental drill. With air abrasion, a stream of air and tiny abrasive particles whisks away decay. Because the tool emits no vibration, heat, or noise, which are the factors that cause pain associated with a dental drill, most patients don't even need anesthesia.

My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?

Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care. If your gums show signs of periodontal disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to alleviate your symptoms. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults and has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems. Untreated, gum disease can cause significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We’ll help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!

What are my options to replace missing teeth?

We offer bridges and dental implants. Learn more about these services on our services page and then call for a consultation. With digital X-rays, intraoral photos, and a thorough assessment of your dentition, we can help you decide which replacement option is best for you.

What are the benefits of a digital X-ray over traditional radiographs?

Digital X-rays offer unparalleled benefits over traditional radiographs: they’re convenient, safe for the environment, provide a great opportunity for patient education, can be transferred and copied accurately, and best of all, they’re safer for our patients. Digital X-rays emit about 80% less radiation than traditional methods.

I haven’t been to the dentist in years, and I’m ashamed to let a professional see the condition of my mouth.

First of all, congratulations on your wise decision to prioritize dental healthcare! Your mouth is a big part of your overall health, quality of life, and self-esteem. We’ll never judge you. Instead, we’ll help you by addressing your oral problems, explaining treatment options, and then scheduling a plan of action that suits your needs, schedule, and budget.

How can improve my smile?

That sounds like an easy question to answer, but it isn't! Smile design dentistry done right requires an initial consultation in which we’ll discuss your goals, preferences, and options for care. Generally speaking, we may suggest porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, all-white fillings, and/or replacement teeth. After your comprehensive evaluation and consultation, we'll present a treatment plan for your new smile. We also offer wax ups for smile previews.

My teeth are stained. Can you help?

Yes. We offer teeth whitening solutions to brighten teeth dramatically at home or in our office. Call for an appointment today!

I have old, dark fillings. Is there any hope for my smile?

Dark fillings and metal crowns can be replaced with strong, esthetic solutions. Our dentists have placed tooth-colored composite resin fillings for years, and we also offer porcelain crowns.

A healthy smile is integral to a healthy sense of well-being. Call Schutte & McKnight Dentistry today to reserve an appointment with Dr. McKnight or Dr. Konz. We’re proud to provide patient-centered general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry to patients from Leawood, Prairie Village, Overland Park, Kansas City, MO and surrounding areas.