frequently asked questions

Answers to your most frequently asked questions.


What insurance providers do we accept?

Vashon Dental processes all insurance providers. We have active contracts with Cigna, Regence BlueShield, and Delta Dental.

There are a few insurance plans (not insurance companies) that only cover a dentist that they select. It's essential to know that particular cases like these are rare, but since they exist, please note that there are some insurance plans out there that will not cover your visit. However, we take great measuures to verify and ensure this for you before your initial visit.

What forms of payment do we accept?

Vashon Dental accepts all major forms of payment including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

Dental Financing:
Being proactive about your mouth health will have you smiling for years to come. That's because regular dental check-ups by qualified dental professionals can improve your overall health and well-being by catching problems before they start.

For this reason we offer Care Credit which provides treatment payment plans with no interest for 12 months.

How do you get rid of bad breath?

Poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. Preventing plaque buildup is the key to maintaining a healthy mouth. You should brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes at least twice per day (morning and night). Some people find that brushing after every meal is necessary to prevent decay and bad breath. To prevent bacteria from growing on bits of food stuck in your teeth, floss at least once per day. Bacteria can also accumulate on the tongue, causing a foul smell. A practice known as tongue scraping can help you remove this thin layer of film. Using your toothbrush or a specialized tongue scraper, brush or scrape your tongue at least once per day. Learn more about why you should be brushing your tongue. Other remedies include:

1. Parsley
Parsley is a popular folk remedy for bad breath. Its fresh scent and high chlorophyll content suggest that it can have a deodorizing effect.

2. Pineapple Juice
Many people believe that pineapple juice is the quickest and most effective treatment for bad breath. While there is no scientific evidence to back up this theory, anecdotal reports suggest that it works. Drink a glass of organic pineapple juice after every meal, or chew on a pineapple slice for one to two minutes. It’s also important to remember to rinse your mouth of the sugars in fruit and fruit juice afterward.

3. Hydration
mouth dryness often causes bad breath. Saliva plays a very important role in keeping your mouth clean. Without it, bacteria thrive. Your mouth naturally dries out while you sleep, which is why breath is typically worse in the morning. Prevent dry mouth by keeping your body hydrated. Drinking water (not caffeinated or sugary drinks) throughout the day will help encourage saliva production. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.

4. Yogurt
Yogurt contains healthy bacteria called lactobacillus. These healthy bacteria can help combat bad bacteria in various parts of your body, like your gut. Yogurt may also help reduce bad breath. Probiotics in yogurt are effective in reducing the severity of bad breath. To use yogurt to fight bad breath, eat at least one serving per day of plain, nonfat yogurt.

5. Milk
Milk is a well-known cure for bad breath. Drinking milk after eating garlic can significantly improve “garlicky” breath. To use this method, drink a glass of low- or full-fat milk during or after a meal containing strong-smelling foods like garlic and onions.

6. Oranges
Oranges not only make for a healthy dessert, but they also promote dental hygiene. Many people have bad breath because they don’t produce enough saliva to wash away foul-smelling bacteria. Vitamin C helps increase saliva production, which can help eliminate bad breath. Oranges are rich in this vitamin.

7. Green Tea
Green tea has disinfectant and deodorizing properties that can temporarily freshen the breath. Mint has similar effects, so a cup of green mint tea may be an ideal breath freshener. Brew two cups of tea before going to bed and refrigerate it overnight. Pour your cool tea into a water bottle and bring it to work. Slowly sip on it throughout the day.

8. Apples
Raw apples have a powerful effect against garlic breath. Certain natural compounds in apples neutralize the foul-smelling compounds in garlic. This is particularly useful for people whose garlic breath lingers, because it neutralizes the compounds in the bloodstream, rather than just deodorizing the mouth.

Signs you need a root canal:

The only way to know for sure if you need a root canal is by paying a visit to your dentist. But there are several warning signs to be on the lookout for. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner your tooth can be treated, the better the outcome will likely be.

1. Persistent pain
Persistent tooth pain is one of the signs that you may need a root canal. The pain in your tooth might bother you all the time, or it might go away from time to time but always return. You may feel the pain deep in the bone of your tooth. Or you may feel referred pain in your face, jaw, or in your other teeth. Tooth pain may have other causes besides root canal. Some other possibilities include gum disease, a cavity, referred pain from a sinus infection or another problem, a damaged filling, or an impacted tooth that may be infected. No matter what the cause, it’s a good idea to see your dentist if you have tooth pain, especially if the pain is persistent. Early diagnosis and treatment for tooth pain typically leads to a better outcome.


2. Sensitivity to heat and cold
Does your tooth hurt when you eat warm food or when you drink a cup of coffee? Or perhaps your tooth feels sensitive when you eat ice cream or drink an icy-cold glass of water. The sensitivity could feel like a dull ache or a sharp pain. You may need a root canal if this pain lingers for an extended period of time, even when you stop eating or drinking. If your tooth hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold, it may be an indication that the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth are infected or damaged.

3. Tooth discoloration
An infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause your tooth to become discolored. Trauma to the tooth or the breakdown of the internal tissue can damage the roots and give the tooth a grayish-black appearance. According to Kenneth Rothschild, DDS, FAGD, PLLC, who has 40 years of experience as a general dentist, this discoloration is easier to see in a front (anterior) tooth. “Tooth pulps can die when there’s an inadequate blood supply, thus signaling a possible need for a root canal,” Rothschild explained. Although tooth discoloration can have other causes, it’s always a good idea to see your dentist if you notice that a tooth is changing color.

4. Swollen gums
Swollen gums near the painful tooth can be a sign of an issue that requires a root canal. The swelling may come and go. It may be tender when you touch it, or it may not be painful to the touch. “Swelling is caused by acidic waste products of dead pulp tissues, which may lead to swelling (edema) outside the root tip area,” explained Rothschild. You may also have a little pimple on your gum. This is called a gum boil, parulis, or abscess. The pimple may ooze pus from the infection in the tooth. This can give you an unpleasant taste in your mouth and make your breath smell bad.

5. Pain when you eat or touch the tooth
If your tooth is sensitive when you touch it or when you eat, it could indicate severe tooth decay or nerve damage, which may need to be treated with a root canal. This is especially the case if the sensitivity persists over time and doesn’t go away when you stop eating. “The ligament around the root tip of an infected tooth may become hypersensitive from the pulp dying. The waste products from the dying pulp may irritate the ligament, causing pain from biting pressure,” said Rothschild.

6. A chipped or cracked tooth
If you’ve chipped or cracked your tooth in an accident, in a contact sport, or by chewing on something hard, bacteria can set in and lead to inflammation and infection. Even if you injure a tooth, but it doesn’t chip or crack, the injury may still damage the nerves of the tooth. The nerve can become inflamed and cause pain and sensitivity, which may require root canal treatment.

7. Tooth mobility
When your tooth is infected, it may feel looser. “This can be caused by other factors besides pulpal necrosis (nerve death), but it can be a sign that a root canal is necessary,” said Rothschild. “Acidic waste products from nerve death can soften the bone around the root of a dying tooth, causing mobility.” If more than one tooth feels loose, the mobility is likely to have a cause other than an issue that may need a root canal.

What are the signs of tooth decay?

There are several signs that may indicate the beginning of a cavity. There are also a number of red flags that an existing cavity is getting larger. Here are some of the most common signs you may have a cavity.

1. Hot and cold sensitivity
Sensitivity that lingers after eating hot or cold food could be a sign that you have a cavity. When the enamel on your tooth starts to wear away, it can affect the dentin, which is the hard tissue layer below the enamel. Dentin contains lots of microscopic little hollow tubes. When there isn’t enough enamel to protect the dentin, foods that are hot, cold, sticky, or acidic can stimulate the cells and nerve inside your tooth. This is what creates the sensitivity you feel.

2. Lingering sensitivity to sweets
Although hot and cold are the most common sensitivities when you have a cavity, a lingering sensitivity to sweets and sugary drinks can also point to tooth decay. Similar to temperature sensitivity, a lingering discomfort from sweets is often a result of damage to the enamel and, more specifically, the start of a cavity.

3. Toothache
An ongoing ache in one or more of your teeth can indicate a cavity. In fact, pain is one of the most common symptoms of a cavity. Sometimes this ache can come on suddenly, or it can happen as a result of something you eat. This includes pain and discomfort in or around your mouth. You may also feel pain and pressure when you bite down on food.

4. Staining on tooth
Stains on your tooth may first appear as white spots. As the tooth decay becomes more advanced, the stain can become darker. Staining caused by a cavity can be brown, black, or white, and typically appears on the surface of the tooth.

5. A visible pit in your tooth
If the white spot on your tooth (indicating the start of a cavity) worsens, you will end up with a hole or pit in your tooth that you may be able to see when you look in the mirror or feel when you run your tongue over the surface of your teeth. Some holes, especially those in between your teeth or in crevices, can’t be seen or felt. But you may still feel pain or sensitivity in the area of the cavity. If you notice a hole or pit in your tooth, make an appointment to see your dentist. This is a clear sign that you have tooth decay.

What is a Holistic Dentist?

A holistic dentist understands that the mouth and body are connected and that illness or disease that occurs inside the body is reflected orally and vice versa.

Holistic Dentist Defined
Essentially, biological dentistry and holistic dentistry are the same. The two terms are interchangeable, so it’s common to see them used within the same context.

According to the International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine, a biological dentist understands that the mouth and body are connected and that illness or disease that occurs inside the body is reflected orally and vice versa. Factors like stress, diet, and sleep patterns have a direct impact on oral inflammation and disease.

Holistic dentistry is the practice of diagnosing, preventing, treating, and maintaining oral health considering the body and person as a whole