Benton & Nelson DDS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

You can find answers to some common questions below. Feel free to call us at (336) 760-1277 if you have a question that isn't listed here!

General

Yes!

Brushing can remove most of the plaque in your mouth, but the plaque in between your teeth can only be removed with flossing. Removing this in-between plaque is essential to prevent cavities and promote gum health.  

Yes, we recommend fluoride for most patients. There are many ways to protect the teeth with fluoride, including in-office fluoride varnish treatment, toothpaste, and fluoridated mouth rinses. Drs. Benton and Nelson will assess your fluoride exposure and risk of cavities and recommend a customized prevention plan for you. 

Yes, we love children! Our office focuses on family dentistry, meaning we are passionate about providing care to your entire family. 

We make their visits fun. During the dental appointment, we will do our best to make your child’s visit as enjoyable as possible. From calling our instruments “Mr. Thirsty” to prizes at the end of the appointment, we focus on making the dentist fun for the whole family!

We accept and file all dental insurance policies. Our office provides excellent care at an affordable price. We accept and file all dental insurance policies and will fight on your behalf so that you receive the maximum benefit.

Financial plans are available.  We offer financing plans that allow you to fit your needs into your budget.

Discounts for patients without dental insurance (cash pay). We also offer discounts to patients without dental insurance or for those who prefer to pay in cash. 

We accept all forms of payment. We accept cash, credit card, check, and insurance as forms of payment. 

Dental sealants are beneficial at all ages. Studies show that dental sealants can protect all back teeth from cavities, regardless of the patient’s age. 

Children are covered by dental insurance. In almost all cases, children can have their sealants covered by dental insurance. 

For adults, a sealant is cheaper than a filling! Unfortunately, dental insurances usually do not cover dental sealants in patients over the age of 18. However, we encourage all patients to consider dental sealants as they are less expensive than needing a filling on the tooth later because it wasn’t protected. 

  • Fluoride is beneficial at all ages: Studies show that fluoride is effective at preventing dental decay at all ages. Whether a patient is 5 years old or 90 years old, fluoride could be beneficial to help keep their mouth healthy and cavity-free!
  • Children are covered by dental insurance. In almost all cases, children’s in-office fluoride varnish treatments are covered by insurance.  
  • For adults, fluoride is cheaper than a filling! Unfortunately, dental insurances usually do not cover fluoride applications in patients over the age of 18. However, we encourage all patients to consider fluoride as it is less expensive than needing a filling later on because the teeth weren’t optimally protected.
  • Bacteria and plaque can’t get into the tooth: Dental sealants bacteria and plaque from being able to access the deep grooves and pits that exist on your back teeth.
  • Reduce cavy risk by up to 80%: Studies have shown that chewing surface cavities can be reduced by up to 80%.
  • Quick, easy, and non-invasive: Dental sealants are quick and easy to apply. This simple non-invasive procedure only takes a few minutes and can be completed at your cleaning visits.

We make sure you’re healthy at every dental cleaning visit. 

Drs. Benton and Nelson will always make sure your mouth is healthy at each cleaning visit. During the exam, the doctor will evaluate all of your tissues in your mouth as well as your neck and face to make sure they have no signs of oral cancer. 

We’re passionate about patient care, and provide screenings at no cost. 

Oral cancer screenings are one of the most important things that your dentist and dental hygienist can do for you. We take great pride in providing this service at no additional cost during your routine cleaning and exam.  

Manual toothbrushes: If you are using a manual toothbrush, then we recommend one with soft bristles with gentle circular motions.

Electric toothbrushes: Electric toothbrushes have been scientifically proven to be more effective than manual brushes, as they remove more plaque and debris. Currently, Sonicare and Oral B brands are the best. We are happy to recommend an electric toothbrush at your next cleaning visit!

Within 6 months of their first tooth coming in: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a year one dental visit or bringing your child to the office within 6 months of their first tooth erupting. 

The first visits are all about promoting oral health and checking development: Before age 3, your child probably will not be able to cooperate for a dental cleaning. However, it is still very important to take them to the dentist.

We will focus on discussing ways to promote oral health and prevent decay, such as with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene. We will also examine your child’s teeth to make sure there are no cavities and everything is developing normally. 

Sedation Dentistry

An excellent option to reduce nervousness: Laughing gas could be a great option for you if you are nervous about dental care.

A way to reduce a severe gag reflex: Nitrous oxide can also help reduce severe gag reflex, and is a great option for patients who have difficulties taking dental x-rays. 

Wears off by the time you leave the office: Unlike moderate sedation, the effects of nitrous oxide wear off within minutes, and you are free to go about your day normally afterward.

Won’t affect your memory. You will still have a memory of the procedure, but nitrous oxide will make your overall experience more pleasant.

Please visit our page on sedation dentistry to learn more!

Yes.

Dr. Nelson understands how stressful dental care can be, and he prioritizes a comfortable, painless experience. Like many people, Dr. Nelson has a lot of unpleasant memories of dental work as a child.   From the age of 4 to 18, he had just about every dental treatment procedure from fillings to crowns to extractions. 

Because of his personal experience, Dr. Nelson is committed to prioritizing patient comfort. Sedation dentistry is one of Dr. Nelson’s passions and one of the main reasons he became a dentist. Dr. Nelson is extremely motivated to provide dental care with a high level of compassion to patients with dental anxiety like himself. Dr. Nelson loves promoting oral health, relieving patient’s dental pain, and restoring healthy, beautiful smiles. 

We are a great office for patients who are nervous about their upcoming appointment. As one of the only general dentists in the Winston-Salem and Piedmont Triad area with a moderate sedation license, Dr. Nelson is able to guarantee stress-free care to even the most nervous patients. 

Our office employs multiple techniques to help keep you at ease while in the dental chair. We will discuss all of our options with you thoroughly, so you can choose the best treatment for you. 

  • Most effective, pain-free, and up-to-date numbing techniques. During any treatment, Drs. Nelson and Benton pride themselves on using state-of-the-art techniques to deliver painless numbing. We utilize the latest and most effective techniques for anesthesia. 
  • Calming nitrous oxide (laughing gas). For patients with anxiety, nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” will help eliminate nervousness and promote a more calm, tranquil state of mind. 
  • Stress-free sedation dentistry. Dr. Nelson is one of the only general dentists in the Winston-Salem and Piedmont Triad area who is trained and licensed in all forms of sedation dentistry. Patients are always given the option to choose dental sedation during their procedures to guarantee a stress-free experience. In fact, most patients say that going to the dentist was never easier and that they have no memory of the procedure at all!

A stress-free experience for the nervous patient. Patients who are nervous or anxious about their dental visit are encouraged to consider sedation dentistry.

If you elect to have moderate sedation dentistry for your dental procedure, you are guaranteed to have a stress-free experience with no memory of the procedure. In fact, most patients say that going to the dentist was never easier!

Other benefits of sedation dentistry:

  • Comfortable
  • Pain-free
  • Elimination of all dental anxiety
  • No memory of the procedure
  • Elimination gag reflex
  • Very safe and effective
  • Enables all treatment to be completed in one visit

Please visit our page on sedation dentistry to learn more!

Most effective, pain-free, and up-to-date numbing techniques: During any treatment, Drs. Nelson and Benton pride themselves on using state-of-the-art techniques to deliver painless numbing. We utilize the latest and most effective techniques for anesthesia. In fact, most patients say that going to the dentist was never easier!

Calming nitrous oxide (laughing gas): For patients with anxiety, nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” will help eliminate nervousness and promote a more calm, tranquil state of mind. 

Stress-free sedation dentistry: Dr. Nelson is one of the only general dentists in the Winston-Salem and Piedmont Triad area who is trained and licensed in all forms of sedation dentistry. Patients are always given the option to choose dental sedation during their procedures to guarantee a stress-free experience. In fact, most patients say that going to the dentist was never easier and that they have no memory of the procedure at all!

Please visit our page on dental sedation to learn more! 

Crowns

A protective cap for your tooth: A dental crown is a protective covering or “cap” that covers the entire tooth. Dental crowns can make teeth stronger and replace any missing tooth structure.  

Reasons your dentist may recommend a crown:

  • When a back tooth is cracked
  • When a tooth has large areas of decay or cavities
  • When a front tooth has a large chip in it
  • To protect a tooth after root canal treatment

Please visit our page on dental crowns to learn more!

Emergency Dental Treatment

Yes, we will see emergency patients who are new to our office. We understand how uncomfortable and life-altering dental pain can be. Drs. Benton and Nelson are committed to helping all patients in the Winston-Salem and Piedmont Triad area. We will see all emergencies, even if you are not patients of record at our office. 

Yes, we are happy to schedule a same-day emergency visit. We will rearrange our schedule so you can be seen on the same day. Call our office at (336) 760-1277 today!

Visit our page on emergency dental treatment to learn more.

Dental Implants

  • Schedule a consultation. Schedule a consultation with Drs. Benton or Nelson at our Winston-Salem office. All treatment options will be explained to you after careful evaluation, diagnosis, and planning. 
  • Decide if a dental implant is the best choice for you. Our doctors will listen to your goals and customize a plan that fits your needs, budget, and lifestyle. After hearing all of your options, you can decide if a dental implant, or alternative treatment option, is best for you. 

Please visit our page on dental implants to learn more! 

High success rate. Dental implants have a very high success rate of over 95%.

Permanent tooth replacement. Dental implants are a permanent restoration for single to multiple teeth.

Won’t come out. Dental implants will not come out when eating or talking.

You can chew again. You can chew anything with your dental implant that you can with natural teeth.

Maintain them just like your natural teeth. Dental implants require brushing and flossing, just like you would take care of your natural teeth. 

Very esthetic. The crown (the part that is visible in the mouth) is made of the same tooth-colored material that dentists use for crowns or veneers and will match your natural teeth.

Can’t get cavities. Dental implants are made of high-quality materials that cannot get dental decay.

Protect adjacent tooth structures. Dental implants prevent the recession of natural bone and gum tissue.

Don’t need to treat adjacent teeth. Unlike dental bridges, dental implants don’t require modifications or treatment to your adjacent teeth.

Cosmetic Dentistry

We can assess and address all areas of concern with your smile including:

  • Stained teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Spaces or gaps between teeth
  • Crowded teeth that overlap
  • Worn teeth
  • Undersized teeth

Schedule a personalized consultation. After a personalized consultation with Drs. Benton or Nelson at our modern Winston-Salem office, you will be able to decide which cosmetic dental procedures are best for you.  

Create the smile you’ve always wanted that you can afford. We will work with you to create the smile of your dreams with the most conservative and affordable treatment. We offer in-house payment plans and work with all insurances so cost never has to be a barrier to treatment.

Please visit our page on cosmetic dentistry to learn more!

  • Short-term cold sensitivity is normal. Whitening does not harm your teeth. However, it can make them sensitive to cold liquids in the short term. This sensitivity will go away with time. 
  • If you experience sensitivity, whiten less often. For patients who are more prone to cold sensitivity, we recommend whitening your teeth less often and for shorter periods of time. If you choose to have professional whitening or bleaching at our office, we will create a customized protocol based on your tooth sensitivity. 
  • Certain kinds of toothpaste can help. Certain kinds of toothpaste, such as Sensodyne, contain fluoride and potassium nitrate which helps decrease tooth sensitivity.

Please visit our page on cosmetic dentistry to learn more!

TMJ Treatment

There are multiple causes, and stress makes it worse. Multiple causes of TMJ pain can be present. In short, it can be caused by problems with your joint, your bone or your muscles. Stress often exacerbates TMJ symptoms.  

Please visit our page on TMJ pain to learn more! 

Wisdom Teeth Removal

  • Pain: Persistent pain coming from one or both sides of the jaw behind your last visible molar.
  • Swelling: Swelling in your lower jaw without any obvious cause.
  • Soreness: Chronic soreness behind the last visible tooth that lasts for a few days then goes away only to come back a couple of months later.
  • Partial eruption: You can see part of your wisdom tooth poking through the gums, but it does not come in fully.
  • Impaction: Your dentist tells you that your wisdom teeth are “impacted." This term means that your wisdom teeth will not come in normally because they are stuck in bone, against other teeth, or gum tissue.

Please visit our page on wisdom teeth to learn more! 

Loose Dentures

If you have loose dentures, you are not alone. It is a very common issue that affects millions of Americans. After evaluation by Drs. Benton and Nelson, you will be presented with treatment options that may include a denture reline, new dentures, or dentures supported by implants.

  • Adjustments and reline procedures: Loose dentures can often be addressed by adjusting them, or with a special procedure called a denture reline. 
  • Consider upgrading to an implant retained denture: Dr. Nelson has extensive training and experience with dental implants to help retain dentures. An implant retained denture will solve your issues and stay in place while you chew, talk, and smile!

Please visit our page on loose dentures to learn more!

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Only the most esthetic filling materials. If you need a filling to fix a cavity, then our skilled doctors will match your tooth with the proper shade of composite (tooth-colored) filling material. With the modern and high-quality tooth-colored filling materials that we use, our fillings are almost unnoticeable.

Please visit our page on tooth-colored fillings to learn more! 

Digital Dental X-Rays

Only the lowest possible dose for our patients: Our modern Winston-Salem office utilizes digital x-rays to make your experience safer, faster, more efficient, and to ensure the lowest possible doses for you and your family.

Our office’s x-ray promise: Our office will only recommend the x-rays that are appropriate and absolutely necessary. For patients who rarely have dental issues, we will take less frequent x-rays than normal. Just like other medical screening procedures, patients have different risks and that is reflected in the x-rays that we prescribe.

Please visit our page on digital x-rays to learn more!

  • Less than old “film” dental x-rays: Digital x-rays have 50% less radiation than traditional film-based x-rays.
  • Less than a cross-country flight: A flight from Los Angeles to New York City has 40 times the radiation exposure than a single digital dental x-ray.
  • Less than a day on the earth: A single day of background radiation from living on the Earth is the equivalent of 2 digital dental x-rays.
  • Less than a bunch of bananas: Eating 50 bananas is equivalent to one digital dental x-ray.
  • Less than a chest x-ray: A medical chest x-ray is equivalent to 100 digital dental x-rays.
  • Less than a mammogram: A mammogram is equivalent to 800 dental x-rays.
  • Less than a medical CT scan: A full-body medical CT scan is equivalent to 6,000 digital dental x-rays.

Sugar and acids feed the cavity-causing bacteria. 

Cavities are caused by too much sugar and acid. Acid can slowly dissolve your teeth and make them weaker. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth which also produces acid to weaken the teeth.

Dentures

Everything can be customized. It is important for all of these elements to be precisely customized for you because every mouth, tooth, and face is unique!

  • Tooth color or shade
  • Tooth shape (length and width)
  • Tooth size
  • Tooth position or alignment

Please visit our page on dentures to learn more!

Top lab technicians here in Winston-Salem: Our office uses an excellent, Winston-Salem based dental lab with experienced and talented clinicians. Using a local Winston-Salem lab increases the speed of the process, enables the doctors to discuss their vision with lab technicians who they know, and guarantees that the lab will use the strongest and most esthetic materials.

Our office never makes “one-size-fits” all dentures: We customize every aspect of the denture process to fit you! Our goal is to create a denture that is indistinguishable in appearance from beautiful, natural teeth.

Dental Bridges

  • Excellent treatment option for missing teeth: Dental bridges have been in use for over 50 years, and are an excellent replacement option for missing teeth.
  • Permanent replacement of teeth: Dental bridges provide a “fixed” replacement for missing teeth. They stay in place during speaking, eating, and brushing.
  • Very esthetic: Dental bridges look and feel like natural teeth.
  • High-quality, strong materials: Dental bridges are made with zirconia, which is a high- quality, cosmetic material fabricated by master technicians right here in Winston-Salem.
  • Customized to your smile: The size, shape, and color of dental bridges are customized for your specific situation so you have a natural look and feel.

Please visit our page on dental bridges to learn more! 

If you have one or more missing teeth: You could benefit from a dental bridge if you have one or more missing teeth with a natural tooth or implant on each side.

If you desire a permanent replacement of the tooth: Dental bridges are permanent, meaning that they cannot be taken out like a partial denture can. 

Porcelain Veneers

  • Dissatisfied with the color of your teeth: Dental veneers can improve the color or staining of front teeth, especially in patients who have tried dental bleaching (whitening) and are not satisfied with the results.
  • Dental wear or grinding: Over the years, grinding of teeth can slowly reduce the height of a patient’s front teeth. Porcelain veneers can increase the height of a patient’s front teeth to the original form and function before the teeth were worn down.
  • Chipped, broken, or traumatized front teeth. Previous trauma to teeth can often create an unaesthetic appearance. Teeth can turn grey or dark years after the trauma. Often, the old crowns or fillings that were placed at the time of the trauma no longer match the adjacent teeth. Dental veneers can be used to create a beautiful, natural smile for all front teeth.
  • Small tooth size. Many patients are born with smaller than average teeth. Often, this occurs on the top teeth called lateral incisors. Dental veneers can correct and size discrepancies and give you the smile you have always wanted.
  • Spaces between teeth. Spacing can also be corrected with orthodontics or braces but it is often preferable and quicker to close the spaces with porcelain veneers.

Please visit our page on dental veneers to learn more!

Tooth Extractions

Painless numbing techniques. During any treatment, Drs. Nelson and Benton pride themselves on using state-of-the-art techniques to deliver painless numbing. 

Quick, comfortable, and predictable treatment. Our office has all of the latest equipment and your procedure will be completed in a quick, comfortable, and predictable manner.

Medications to stay pain-free while recovering. We will give you the best medications in a customized pain-control protocol to stay comfortable after the procedure. Our team will also review how to take care of your mouth in the days following extractions.

Calming nitrous oxide (laughing gas). For patients with anxiety, nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” will help eliminate nervousness and promote a more calm, tranquil state of mind. 

Stress-free sedation dentistry. Dr. Nelson is one of the only general dentists in the Winston-Salem and Piedmont Triad area who is trained and licensed in all forms of sedation dentistry. Patients are always given the option to choose dental sedation during their procedures to guarantee a stress-free experience. In fact, most patients say that going to the dentist was never easier and that they have no memory of the procedure at all!

Please visit our page on extractions to learn more!

Gum Disease Treatment

Yes, most dental issues don’t become painful until they’re severe. 

Cavities don’t hurt until they are large. Cavities don't hurt until they reach the deepest part of your tooth (the nerve). However, once they reach the nerve, you might need a root canal instead of a simple filling, which could have been done when the cavity was smaller.

Gum disease doesn’t hurt, either. Gum disease typically involves painless destruction of gum and supporting gum structures. Gum disease usually doesn’t hurt until it becomes so severe that your teeth are loose. 

Please visit our page on gum disease to learn more! 

 

For most, every 6 months is ideal. Patients with healthy gums and teeth should visit the dentist for a cleaning and exam every 6 months.

For some, more frequent cleanings are necessary. If it has been a while since your last cleaning or if you are diagnosed with gum disease, then you may be advised to come more often. Once your gums are healthy, you can be moved to a regular 6-month schedule.

Please visit our page on gum disease treatment to learn more!

 

Plaque is a biofilm: Plaque is the collection of bacteria that can build-up on teeth within minutes. The bacteria gather together and form a complex network called a biofilm. You can probably feel plaque on your teeth if you forget to brush in the morning. Fortunately, routine brushing and flossing can remove plaque fairly easily.

Calculus is hardened plaque: Calculus is plaque that stays on your teeth for a long enough period of time to become hardened with minerals. This is what you may have felt being removed during part of your routine dental cleaning. Calculus removal is one of the most important reasons to come to your routine cleanings because it cannot be removed with a toothbrush or floss. The buildup of calculus over time can cause severe issues such as inflammation and gum disease.

Root Canal Treatment

  • Eliminate pain: Root canals relieve toothache pain!
  • Remove harmful bacteria: Root canals remove painful and dangerous bacteria that have entered your body through your tooth.
  • Save your natural teeth: Root canals save your natural tooth by avoiding tooth removal.
  • Quick and painless. Root canals can be done quickly and painlessly.
  • A cheaper and faster alternative to implants and bridges: Root canals and subsequent dental crowns are often cheaper and faster than removal of tooth and replacement with a dental implant or dental bridge.
  • Heal long-standing infections: Root canals allow your body to heal chronic infections which can raise your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Please visit our page on root canals to learn more! 

Call us at (336) 760-1277 to schedule your next appointment.
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