Westgate Dental – 1000 73rd Street, Suite 1 West Des Moines, IA 50265. Call (515) 223-5001

About Us

Frequently Asked Questions

General Dentistry FAQs

At what age should I take my child for their first dental appointment?

It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that children begin going to the dentist by age 1 or within six months of the first tooth erupting. Babies can begin teething at any age and in rare cases, some babies are born with teeth already erupted. However, most start to teeth around 3-6 months of age. Having a child come to the dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups not only helps them become more comfortable with dental care but also helps to instill knowledge of proper oral health. Our goal is to not only educate the children but to answer any questions the parents may have on proper home care for their child.

Dental Implants FAQs

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are small metal screws that are surgically placed into the jaw and are hidden under your gums. Having an implant placed not only helps to preserve your natural bone structure, but after it is done healing (usually about 4-6 months) the implant can be restored with replacement “teeth”. This gives patients the best result for replacing missing teeth and is the closest option to a natural tooth.

How much does an implant cost?

The cost of an implant can vary based on several factors, which will be determined at your complimentary consult. Our team will give you a full estimate of cost at your visit, based on your needs. No treatment will be started prior to you being notified of any cost.

Will I be awake for the surgery?

Yes, most patients don’t need any sedation for this procedure. Our office does offer IV sedation or nitrous oxide as an option if needed for the patient’s comfort.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

Who should try sedation dentistry?

Most people who avoid seeing the dentist usually suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobia. People with dental phobia or anxiety often have past traumatic experience, low pain tolerance, or resistance to the numbing injections that are mostly used by dentists. Some dental patients can’t deal with a gag reflex, while others are too embarrassed about their weak teeth condition. Sedation dentistry is beneficial to overcome your fear of dental visits
We often notice patients who have not been to a dentist in years. It’s not uncommon for dentists to see patients who require extensive, complex treatment. However, with sedation, we can usually accomplish complete care and restoration in just one comfortable, anxiety-free visit.

Will I be unconscious?

Many levels of sedation are available, and we can help you choose the one most appropriate for you. Sedation is as uncomplicated as consuming a pill, and you will be conscious and responsive throughout the procedure. However, you will remain deeply rested so that you won’t feel any discomfort or anxiety.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes, and our experienced team of clinicians will monitor your vital signs throughout your visit. You will receive compassionate, personalized care that will make you completely relaxed during the treatment. The treatment results will ultimately leave you feeling confident and happy about your smile.

How long does it take?

Depending on your teeth condition, your sedation may last from two to six hours. Our well-trained staff focuses on providing uninterrupted treatment with advanced sedation techniques. Moreover, we can usually treat even the most severe cases in a single visit using sedation dentistry.

Does someone need to accompany me?

Someone must escort you to and from the dentist’s office. Although you will experience complete alertness after the procedure, you will still be under the influence of sedation.

How do I get started?

Our friendly staff will gather some necessary health information from you. Then our specialists will discuss your specific treatment needs and proceed with the required procedures. We will help you achieve your dream of a natural healthy smile through our sedation technique.

Denture FAQs

I need dentures. Where do I start?

Call our office and set up a consultation. Our doctors will do a comprehensive exam and determine your needs. The dental team will spend time at this visit to answer any question and discuss expectations for your treatment.

How much pain is involved with getting dentures?

When you’re first fitted for new dentures, it’s normal to experience minor irritations, which should fade as your mouth becomes accustomed to the denture or partial. The period of discomfort can vary from patient to patient based on your treatment. If you’ve previously worn dentures and now have a new set, you know what to expect, but they still may take some getting used to as well as possibly needing adjusted to fit comfortably. Similarly, if you had some natural teeth present that were removed at the time of the new dentures, the areas where the extractions were performed may be painful or uncomfortable for up to several weeks after the removal of the teeth. Regular visits to your dentist to adjust the dentures as you go through the normal healing process are recommended.

What are partial dentures?

A partial denture is used to replace multiple teeth when the patient still has some of their natural teeth. The partial is retained by holding on to one of the remaining teeth, helping to restore some of the patients chewing function and aesthetics.

What kind of dentures should I have?

Patients looking for the most comfortable and best functioning denture will be happy to know that an implant supported denture is the best option.

What do dentures feel like?

Like most new things, dentures take some time to get accustomed to. For a couple of weeks, they may feel a bit lose until they are appropriately held in position by your cheek and tongue muscles. You may even feel some minor irritation or soreness in the beginning, but you don’t need to endure any lingering pain or discomfort. At Smiles on Hickman in Des Moines, we help relieve pain and discomfort through regular fitting adjustments

What should I do if my denture is cracked or broken?

Call our office and we will get you scheduled with the doctor or denture tech. It is important that you don’t try to repair or adjust the denture yourself, doing this can actually cause further damage and make it so the denture is no longer able to be properly repaired. Super glue and other house hold products are toxic and should not be used to repair any cracks or broken areas. Please put your safety first and let us fix your dentures!

Will my dentures need a replacement?

We believe that dentures require to be repaired or renewed every once in a while. This is due to the typical wear over time and changes in your gums and bones. Our specialist Dr. Theis will inform you about ways to increase the life of your dentures. However, for your health and comfort, they will likely need to be adjusted or replaced at some point.

Can I eat normally with dentures?

Most patients need to learn how to use dentures properly and as a result, it takes a little time to get used to them. The majority of patients never regain full chewing function with traditional dentures, there often is difficulty with harder foods, chewy foods, and sticky foods. Using a small amount of denture adhesive (no more than three or four pea-sized dabs on each denture) may help stabilize the dentures and help hold them in place while you learn how to get comfortable with them and may make the learning process easier. The best option for function and comfort would be to stabilize the denture with implants on the upper and lower arch.

How is eating different with dentures?

Initially, you may find it challenging to eat all types of food. At Smiles on Hickman, we provide solutions to make chewing easier for patients in the first few days. We recommend eating soft foods and making sure that food is sliced into small pieces. Once you become more comfortable chewing with your new dentures, you can resume your regular diet.

Are there any foods I should avoid while wearing dentures?

Fortunately, there are very few restrictions on what you cannot eat while wearing dentures; however, it’s not advisable to bite down directly on to hard or crunchy foods like whole apples and crusty bread. It is usually the angle at which most people bite that causes the dentures to fracture. If you still have concerns, our specialists can go into detail about what foods to avoid.
If you find it increasingly difficult to chew or bite with your dentures over time, schedule an evaluation with our experts at Smiles on Hickman in Des Moines. Additional problems may pop up when eating with old, worn-out dentures or if your mouth structure has changed. Both situations can be managed and solved through new dentures.

Can I sleep in my dentures?

It is not recommended to sleep in your dentures. It is important for your gums that they get a break from the pressure and rubbing that can be caused by dentures. Prolonged used of dentures can lead to sores and a higher risk of fungal or bacterial issues in your mouth. You should never wear your dentures 24 hours a day without preforming proper oral hygiene. Dentures should be cleaned and stored in water during the night.

Are dental adhesives necessary?

Advancement in dental technology has made it possible to create dentures that fit and perform better than ever before. As a result, modern dentures usually don’t require adhesives.
We may recommend you to use adhesives while you are adjusting to your new dentures, but later on, you won’t need to worry about adhesives. During this initial phase, you may feel your dentures slipping away when you laugh, smile, or cough. However, the more you wear your dentures, the better you will be able to regulate their movements in every situation.
If your dentures feel loose, even after getting adjusted to them, it means that they don’t fit properly. We address that problem by adjusting your dentures or replacing them if they are not suitable for your mouth anymore. If your mouth has inadequate bone structure, dentures will be more challenging to wear. Therefore, dental implants may be recommended to you. These are fixed in the bone and adequately hold the dentures in place.

Are dental adhesives necessary?

At night your denture should be taken out and brushed with water. Do not use any toothpaste on your denture. This will create small abrasions in the denture which will trap bacteria, leading to unpleasant odors and discoloration. There are multiple options for denture cleaning tabs if you would like to soak your denture at night. These can be found at your local drug store.

How Can We Help You?

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5* Google Review

"The team are rock stars. My husband and I have been patients for years, and we bring our three children to this office as well. All five of us receive five-star care. We have received exceptional service and kind attention, both during regular checkups and during more complicated procedures. He's is a fantastic dentist, and his staff are so welcoming and caring. I highly recommend Westgate Dental Care for patients of all ages."

Heidi J
Call Westgate Dental On (515) 223-5001
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Westgate Dental

1000 73rd Street, Suite 1
West Des MoinesIA 50265

(515) 223-5001

Monday: 8:00am to 3:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am to 3:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am to 3:00pm
Thursday:8:00am to 3:00pm
Friday: Closed

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