Many people have questions about their dental care in Germantown, Maryland. We invite you to read our FAQ page for answers to common questions. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Sarmad Khamas, call Platinum Dental Group today at 301-540-4425.
First Things First
When you arrive, our team will provide you with new patient paperwork to fill out. This will help us get to know you and prepare to provide your treatments. We ask that you arrive 15 minutes early for your first appointment if you are filling your paperwork out in person, or that you complete your paperwork online prior to your appointment. You will also need to bring your ID and dental insurance card if you have one.
During your first visit, we will provide a full exam, X-rays and a comprehensive exam. If time allows, a cleaning may also be performed. Our dentist will sit down with you to discuss your dental and medical history, your dental treatment and why you have visited the dentist that day. We believe in attaining a comprehensive understanding of your oral health so that we can provide you with the quality, personalized care you deserve.
I am pregnant, can I come in for a cleaning?
Yes! Your oral health is vital, especially during pregnancy. Make sure that you attain a release from your medical doctor indicating that you can visit a dental office for care. Please note that we will not take X-rays during your visit if you are pregnant.
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is caused when harmful bacteria collect on your teeth. These bacteria feed on carbohydrates in your mouth and produce acid, which attacks your tooth enamel. This acid eventually leads to decay and, if untreated, can cause pain, infection and tooth loss. You can help prevent decay by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, visiting the dentist regularly and maintaining a balanced diet.
What is dry mouth, and what can I do about it?
Dry mouth occurs as a result of reduced saliva flow. Saliva plays a key role in your oral health, working to control bacteria and wash away food debris. A lack of saliva may be caused by medications, disease, smoking or the use of other tobacco products. If you have a dry mouth, speak with our dentist. We will recommend ways to treat it and improve your oral health.
How often should I see the dentist?
You should visit the dentist at least once every six months. Depending on your individual needs, Dr. Khamas may recommend a more frequent schedule your visits for you.
How often should I change my toothbrush?
We recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. If the bristles on your brush become worn or frayed, or you have been sick with a cold or other bacterial infection, you may want to replace your toothbrush sooner.
What are some of the symptoms of oral cancer?
Common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Small red or white spots in the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- A persistent sore throat or feeling as if something is caught at the back of the throat
- Lasting sores on the face, neck or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal
- Loss of feeling, pain or numbness in the face, neck or mouth
- Lumps, bumps or rough spots on the gums, lips and other parts of the mouth
- Difficulty in chewing, speaking or swallowing
- Changes in your bite or in the fit of oral appliances such as dentures
More than 34,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. As early detection is key to effective treatment, we strongly recommend that you visit our dentist every six months.
What is a missing tooth clause and waiting period?
A missing tooth clause is when an insurance company will not pay for a tooth to be restored in any fashion that was removed prior to you becoming effective with the plan.
A waiting period means that you have to wait an allotted amount of time before having treatment done. For example, if you have a 12 month waiting period on major treatment, generally for crowns or bridges, you will have to wait 12 months before the insurance would pay for any treatment in that category.
Our dentist may take dental X-rays to view your entire mouth. These images allow Dr. Khamas to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your oral health so that we can provide you with the care you need. X-rays are taken periodically as part of your regular dental exams but may also be recommended prior to a restorative treatment or if you are wearing dentures. Your X-rays help determine if you have adequate bone to support dentures as well as checking for problems such as bone fractures, cysts, tumors, lesions and sinus issues.
Why do my gums bleed?
Gum bleed with they are irritated, inflamed and infected. Bleeding gums are not normal, and if your gums are bleeding during regular brushing, flossing or eating, you should make an appointment with a dentist immediately.
Bleeding gums are a common sign of periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease develops when plaque (a soft film of bacteria) remains on the teeth. This bacteria inflames and infects the gums, leading them to bleed and display other signs of disease. Our dentist can provide treatment for gum disease to stop the bleeding and improve your oral health.
It is essential that you continue to brush your teeth and keep your mouth clean even if your gums are bleeding. You may need to use a softer brush for a few days if your gums are inflamed. After a few days of thorough cleaning, your gums should stop bleeding, and a good oral care regime will prevent the bleeding from occurring again. We recommend that you schedule and keep regular dental appointments to receive additional preventive care. If bleeding continues to persist, it may be a sign of another health problem, and you should consult our dentist for more information.
I am undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation for cancer treatment. How does this affect my health?
Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cause a variety of oral health problems, including mouth sores, infections, dry mouth, bleeding of the gums, and general soreness and pain. These issues are harder to prevent and control while undergoing treatment as your immune system is compromised due to your cancer treatments. There are some special mouthrinses and other options that our dentist may recommend to help control and alleviate discomfort and other problems. Please speak with a member of our team for more information.
I have dentures. Is it necessary for me to see my dentist?
Absolutely. Visits to the dentist include more than just an examination of your teeth. While individuals who have received dentures no longer need to worry about problems like cavities, there are other issues which may develop, such as ill-fitting appliances, mouth sores and broken appliances. Annual visits to our office are recommended so that our dentist can check that your dentures are in good condition and fit properly, perform an oral cancer screening, perform a head and neck exam, and check for signs of any other oral problems.