Frequent Questions

How does the doctor keep up to date on all current techniques and materials

Dr. Troy Bartels takes many hours of continuing education programs each year. He is active in dental study groups, as well as a member of professional dental associations.

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

Unless you're having a problem, there's really no way you can tell on your own when it's time for a checkup. A usual schedule for cleaning and checkup is every six months. To help you stay on track, we can schedule appointments in advance and send you reminder cards shortly before your next appointment.

At what age should my child first see the dentist?

We love seeing your children and ask that you bring them in for their first dental checkup somewhere around two to three years old. This gives us a chance to spot and prevent any potential oral health/dental problems. We will do everything possible to give your child a positive, non-threatening dental office experience. Home care should begin after the first tooth erupts.

Do you accept referrals?

We welcome patients referred from other doctors and from our patients. We sincerely appreciate your recommendation of us to your family members, friends and neighbors.

Do you accept my insurance plan?

Our office accepts nearly all major insurance plans. We'll be very happy to discuss the particulars of your plan with you and help you understand your coverage before you undergo any dental treatments.

What do I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?

In case of a true dental emergency, please call our office number for instructions on how to leave a message for us. 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. Dr. Bartels helps cover the hospital for dental emergencies, so we may ask you to come to the hospital for treatment.

I have a temporary crown in my mouth. What happens if it comes off or breaks?

If your temporary crown comes off or breaks, carefully wrap up any pieces and place them into a protective container. Then call our Jonesboro dental office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for Dr. Bartels to reseat the crown. Try to avoid hot or cold beverages as the tooth will be very sensitive to extreme temperatures.

My child has had an accident and his/her tooth has been knocked out. What do I do?

Please contact us immediately. Simply describe the situation over the phone and our office staff will help you determine the safest and most appropriate plan of action. We will probably ask you to bring your child in to see Dr. Bartels as soon as possible. Place the tooth in a container with milk. This will nourish the tooth and help increase the chances of saving it.

What different payment options do you provide?

We accept cash, personal checks and all major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. (We offer a bookkeeper's discount for cash payments.)
We accept most insurance and will file your insurance forms for you. We do ask that you pay any insurance plan co-pay at the time of your visit, but we can bill deductible payments over a period of time.
We offer extended payment plans through CareCredit and Dental Fee Plan. Please let us know in advance if you desire to pay in installments so we can structure an appropriate plan for you.

How can I ask the Doctor questions directly?

We encourage our patients to have open, direct communication with the doctors. You can email them or leave a message for them. They will try to get back to you within 24 hours, depending on our office schedule and on the complexity of your questions.

How can I safely whiten my teeth?

There are a number of procedures available to help whiten your smile, from at-home teeth whitening products to in-office supervised treatments. Dr. Bartels can evaluate the potential for whitening your teeth based on their current color and the causes of any discoloration. Once the doctor and you have decided on the most appropriate method, whitening treatments can take anywhere from two to four weeks.

What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?

Every member of our practice team is well trained in state-of-the-art sterilization techniques designed to ensure patient safety. We wear gloves and facemasks to prevent passing germs. Our office also includes a specialized sterilization center.

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

This condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by improper, rough, 'scrubbing' instead of gentle, circular brushing motions, using a hard-bristled tooth brush instead of a soft one, plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line, or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease.
If you're still having this problem after brushing and flossing correctly, if the problem occurs every time you brush, or if you're feeling concerned about the bleeding, please contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.

I really do not like visiting the dentist. Is there anything you can do to help me relax?

We know that many people feel nervous about having their teeth worked on, so we make our office atmosphere as comfortable and relaxing as possible. For entertainment and distraction, we have special headphones with music, or you can feel free to just chat with the doctors and our staff). For longer or more complex procedures, we also offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and local anesthesia to keep treatment as pain free as possible.

Crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays and partials...where can I learn more about these procedures?

We offer several informative articles on our web site that are designed to help you learn all you need to about the various restorative and cosmetic techniques we offer. If you'd like even more information about a larger variety of topics, try visiting the American Dental Association’s website.

I brush every day, but my breath is still not fresh. Is there anything I can do?

Millions of people struggle with halitosis (bad breath) despite daily teeth brushing. Here are some things that you may be able to do to eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and tongue cleaning, regular professional cleanings, and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances.
If you practice good hygiene 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.
Finally, we may also suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition. In this case, we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.

Do I have to floss every day? Is it really that important?

A little regular flossing goes a long way and is truly critical for your overall oral health. Flossing loosens food particles in the tight spaces that your toothbrush cannot reach, gets rid of plaque build-up that toothbrushes alone cannot remove, and exercises your gum tissues. All of these are necessary to avoid gum disease.
Just think of daily flossing as the finishing touch after brushing – an insurance policy for your smile's future.

I want my front teeth to look better, but I do not want to wear braces. What would you recoommend?

We have a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of unsightly braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give them a bright, uniform look. In other cases, it may be necessary to use the "Invisalign" 'invisible' braces. We would be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation.