We have noticed that a lot of our prospective patients have similar questions, so we have listed a number of them below for your convenience. Check them out for more information, and then call Suzanne Mericle at 912-638-3559 to schedule an appointment with our dentist in St. Simons Island, Georgia.
Are you accepting new patients?
Yes. All you have to do is call the office to schedule your initial visit and ask any questions you may have about our services.
Do you treat children?
Yes. At Suzanne Mericle, we provide family dentistry, and we accept patients of all ages. We have appointments with children every day and can begin administering dental care at 6 months of age.
Though children are often nervous while at the dentist, Dr. Suzanne Mericle is trained and able to help calm your child, ensuring them that they are in a safe place. If we are unable to complete treatment for your child, Dr. Mericle will recommend that you see a pediatric dentist.
Do you accept my insurance?
Our office accepts most insurance plans and is a provider for Delta Dental. Before your visit, we will thoroughly check with your provider and give you a detailed dental treatment plan complete with accurate pricing. If you do not have insurance, we offer a VIP Savings program and accept CareCredit.
What should I expect on my first visit to your office?
Upon arriving at our office, you will be asked for your driver’s license, dental insurance card and your medical insurance card. You will then be given your new patient paperwork, which will allow us to get to know you better and provide the individual care you need. We always ask that you arrive early in order to complete this paper, or visit our Patient Resources page to print them out at home.
What if I have a dental emergency and your office is closed?
Dr. Mericle is available 24/7. If you have an emergency (bleeding, pain, swelling, etc.), please call our office for the emergency number. Generally, an existing patient of record can be seen within 24 hours of calling.
Why is visiting the dentist so important?
Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is important for several reasons. Primarily, dental visits will keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but that’s not all. Maintaining optimal oral health will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is extremely critical because it:
- Helps to prevent tooth decay
- Protects your mouth against periodontal (gum) disease, which sometimes leads to tooth and bone loss
- Prevents bad breath (brushing your teeth and flossing, in addition to visiting us regularly, will reduce the level of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath)
- Will help to keep your teeth bright by preventing stains from food, drinks and tobacco
Boosting your dental health affects your overall health. Conditions like dental infections, tooth decay and gum disease are known factors of system health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
How often should I brush and floss?
You should brush your teeth at least twice each day, and it is especially important that you brush your teeth before going to bed. Use an ADA-approved, soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste. We recommend that you floss daily. We also recommend that you use a mouth rinse. Please speak with our dentist and team if you have questions.
Why do I need to floss?
Flossing reaches the areas between the teeth and below the gumline that brushing does not, ensuring that plaque and bacteria are removed from your mouth.
How safe are dental X-rays?
Dental X-rays are extremely safe. In fact, you are exposed to less radiation with dental X-rays than you are from the sun in your day-to-day life. Advances in dental technology continue to make X-rays safer through the development of digital imaging and higher speed X-rays. Additionally, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked regularly for safety and accuracy.
When should my child visit the dentist for the first time?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children visit the dentist for the first time within six months of their first tooth erupting, or no later than their first birthday. These initial visits are designed to help your child feel comfortable in the dental office and ensure that they are growing and developing correctly.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is a field of dental care that focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth. Cosmetic treatments include preventive care and restorative dentistry as well as purely aesthetic procedures. Common cosmetic treatments include:
- Teeth whitening
- Dental veneers
- Tooth-colored dental fillings
- Dental bonding
- Tooth-colored crowns and bridges
- Dental implants
What are my options for replacing a tooth?
There are several options available for replacing your missing teeth. Our dentist will discuss your oral health needs and treatment options with you so that you can make a fully informed decision about your care. The options we may discuss include:
- Dental implants
- Dental bridges
- Complete or partial dentures, including implant-supported dentures
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a type of endodontic treatment recommended when injury, infection or decay reach the inner tissues of the tooth. When you receive this treatment, our dentist will remove the infected tissue, sterilize the tooth root canals and fill them with medicated material, and seal the tooth to prevent future infection. While many people associate this treatment with discomfort, advances in dentistry have made it possible for root canals to be performed comfortably.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a field of dental specialty which focuses on diagnosing, preventing and treating dental and facial irregularities, including misaligned teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are specialists who have completed two to three additional years of training following dental school to learn the best ways to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
Never! As long as your teeth and supporting structures are healthy, you can receive orthodontic treatment. In fact, about 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults.
When should children begin orthodontic treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontists® (AAO) recommends that children receive their initial orthodontic screening. Children are developed enough by this age that any developing problems will be apparent and we can determine if treatment is needed and when it should begin.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a damaging oral condition which affects the gums and which can lead to gum recess, tooth loss and bone loss if untreated. It is caused by harmful bacteria which infect and inflame the gums. Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Easy bleeding of the gums, especially when brushing and flossing or eating hard foods
- Gum recession
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between the gums and teeth
- Sores in the mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in the fit of your teeth or oral appliances
Our dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease during your regular appointments and will create a treatment plan to manage the disease if you are diagnosed.