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FAQ About Our Encinitas Dentistry Services

Find Answers to Your Most Commonly Asked Questions!

If you don’t see your question answered here, feel free to call our Encinitas dentistry team at 760-230-6638. You can also click here to send your question via our convenient online form!

General Questions

What makes you different than any other dental practice I can visit?
I’m nervous about dental procedures. Can I be asleep?
How does the Encinitas dentist keep up to date on all of the current techniques and materials?
What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
Will my dental care treatment hurt?
What do I do if I have a dental emergency when the office is closed?

Cosmetic Dentistry Questions

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?
What types of problems does Cosmetic Dentistry solve?
Should I consider Cosmetic Dentistry?
My friend just told me about a Smile Makeover. What exactly is that?
What types of problems does a Smile Makeover address?
Can I afford Cosmetic Dentistry?
Can my jagged teeth be corrected?
What is “Instant Orthodontics”?
My teeth are crooked. Are braces my only option?
How long do veneers and dental crowns last?
How can I turn my dull and discolored teeth into a whiter and brighter smile?
Is tooth whitening (bleaching) harmful to my teeth?

Restoration Dentistry Questions

I have a missing tooth. What can your dentistry services do for me?
How can I replace missing teeth?
I need a lot of dental work, but going to the dentist scares me. How can you help me?
Why do you recommend metal-free dental crowns and bridges?
Is dental restoration painful?

Other Treatment Questions

My spouse snores and keeps me up all night. I’ve heard that a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. If this is true, how do I find out if you can help?

Financial & Paperwork Questions

Do you have financing for dental work?
Do you accept referrals?
Do you accept my insurance plan?
What payment methods do you accept?

 
 

Answers to Your General Encinitas Dentistry Questions

 
 

What makes you different than any other dental practice I can visit?

We are dedicated to providing excellence in dental care; to giving you sophisticated dental treatments using the latest technology in a caring environment of competence, enthusiasm and a concern for your well-being. At each visit, we promise to explain everything thoroughly and to take the time to listen to your concerns about your dental experience.

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I’m nervous about dental procedures. Can I be asleep?

We can do several things for you, including a safe and light sleep. We use safe oral sedation, and your health is never in any danger. We also have Nitrous Oxide and use stereo headphones. The combination of light sedation, headphones, and Nitrous Oxide often has patients so relaxed they fall asleep during our procedures. For more advanced dental procedures, Dr. McElroy is a certified dentist for safe IV sedation. During your initial exam and consultation, we can discuss sedation dentistry with you in more detail to find the right option for you.

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How do the Encinitas dentists keep up-to-date on all of the current techniques and materials?

Our Encinitas dentists subscribe to the latest industry journals to keep tabs on research and development in the dental industry. They also take time on a regular basis for continuing education, and they ensure that our dental team members do the same. As a team and as individuals, our office makes it our responsibility to be familiar with the latest techniques and materials available.

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What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?

Our entire practice team is well-versed in state-of-the-art sanitation techniques designed to ensure patient safety. This goes beyond wearing gloves and face masks to prevent passing germs. It includes a specialized sanitation center made specially to cater to your safety.

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Will my dental care treatment hurt?

We’ve solved the mystery of comfortable dentistry! If you haven’t been to a dental office in a while, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Today’s dentistry is faster than ever before, and procedures are virtually pain-free. All of our staff members are highly trained to make each of your visits as pleasant and as comfortable as possible. We have many options to help you relax here, including needle-neutralizing topical anesthetics, new deep-numbing anesthetics, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and oral medications. Patients have been so relaxed that they even have fallen asleep in our dental chairs!

If you are nervous about your dental appointment, we want you to feel comfortable sharing your fears with our Encinitas dentists at McElroy Smiles By Design. When you let us know you feel anxious, we can take some extra measures to ensure you feel fully at ease throughout your entire appointment.

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What do I do if I have a dental emergency when your Encinitas dental office is closed?

If you are bleeding heavily, or if you have severe damage to your jaw or believe you have a broken jaw, go directly to the emergency room. Then follow up with our Encinitas dental office during regular business hours.

In the case of other types of dental emergencies, call our regular office number at 760-230-6638. Our message center will provide you with Dr. McElroy’s emergency voice mail access number. Dr. McElroy makes it a point to always be accessible for dental emergencies.

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Answers to Your Cosmetic Dentistry Questions

 
 

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic Dentistry is the art and science of designing wonderful smiles. It involves all aspects of general dentistry with a special emphasis to assure that individual teeth, as well as your smile, look their very best. Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the aesthetics of the whole smile. New advances allow the dentist to shape, lengthen, lighten, and straighten teeth to make the restoration look as natural as possible and achieve a natural-looking smile.

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What types of problems does Cosmetic Dentistry solve?

If your teeth are dark or worn and make you look older, if gaps or chips make you feel self-conscious, or if crooked or discolored teeth stop you from smiling fully, Cosmetic Dentistry can help. The negative effects of abnormal gum tissue or out-of-date dental treatment are also problems that can be corrected with Cosmetic Dentistry. How long does it take to get a new smile? Although each case is unique, some new smiles are completed in a single visit.

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Should I consider Cosmetic Dentistry?

Look carefully at your smile. If you feel it could be better, you should consider Cosmetic Dentistry. Having a beautiful smile goes deeper than appearances. It gives you confidence. It will give you an edge in your everyday activities – improving your professional and personal image.

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My friend just told me about a Smile Makeover. What exactly is that?

Esthetic dentistry is the art and science of designing wonderful smiles. It involves all aspects of general dentistry with a special emphasis on individual teeth and their overall harmony and balance in your smile. Look carefully at your smile. If you feel it could be better, consider having a smile makeover.

A beautiful smile can increase your confidence and self-esteem, giving you an edge in life by improving your professional and personal image. In short, a smile makeover is a complete reconstruction of your smile, from the inside out, with a comprehensive analysis and redesign of your gum tissue and teeth.

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What types of problems does a Smile Makeover address?

If your teeth are dark or worn and make you look older, if gaps or chips make you feel self-conscious, or if crooked or discolored teeth stop you from smiling fully, a Smile Makeover can help. Although every patient’s smile is unique, some new smiles are completed in a single visit. A Smile Makeover can redesign the shape of your gums and teeth, and change the overall look of your smile. It’s not just about beautifying your smile. It’s also about maintaining the strength and health of the rest of your teeth.

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Can I afford Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic Dentistry offers many different options. Some patients require treatments that are relatively easy and inexpensive. Others need more extensive procedures to reach their goals. Questions are always answered and fees are discussed before treatment begins. Financing is also available. Your monthly payments may be able to be extended for up to 5 years!

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Can my jagged teeth be corrected?

Absolutely! Contouring your front teeth can produce incredible results in improving your smile. Using a specialized tool, the professionals at Smile by Design can painlessly reshape your teeth and give you the smile of your dreams.

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What is “Instant Orthodontics”?

Instant orthodontics is a procedure that straightens teeth using bonded porcelain veneers or crowns instead of braces. It can close large gaps between your teeth and correct overcrowding in one or two visits. Your teeth become naturally stronger by the bonded porcelain veneers.

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My teeth are crooked. Are braces my only option?

Not necessarily. Our Encinitas cosmetic dentist has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give them a bright, uniform look.

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How long do veneers and dental crowns last?

The amount of time a veneer or dental crown (cap) lasts depends on many different factors, including at-home care, a patient’s commitment to follow-up visits with the dentist, and the quality of the dental crown or veneer.

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How can I turn my dull and discolored teeth into a whiter and brighter smile?

Teeth whitening is a dream-come-true if your teeth are stained and dull. In a little over an hour, your teeth can be up to eight shades whiter. You can even opt for the weekend treatment and have your teeth around six shades whiter before you head to work on Monday. The procedure is completely pain-free and absolutely safe.

If you want a brighter smile, contact our Encinitas dentistry office today. Our experienced Encinitas cosmetic dentists can help evaluate your potential for whitening your teeth, based on their current color and the causes of any discoloration. We will then work with you to decide on the most appropriate method for your teeth whitening procedure.

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Is tooth whitening (bleaching) harmful to my teeth?

Tooth whitening treatment is not harmful to the teeth. It removes stains from the teeth that may be caused by coffee, teas, tobacco, and food. We’ve been using tooth whiteners for years and have never seen any adverse effect on teeth or gum tissue. A small percentage of patients can experience sensitivity after bleaching, but this usually goes away over time. The length of time that bleaching’s effects last can vary depending on the individual and his or her cleaning habits.

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Answers to Your Restoration Dentistry Questions

 
 

I have a missing tooth. What can your dentistry services do for me?

You have a few options to choose from. You can opt for a dental bridge. They fill in the space left by lost teeth, but they also help support the surrounding teeth. Another option is a dental implant. An implant is inserted directly in your jaw bone and will become a permanent fixture in your mouth. If your tooth is gone, but the root is still intact, you can place a new crown on the root.

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How can I replace missing teeth?

It is not necessary to live with missing teeth any longer! At McElroy Smiles By Design, we have several procedures to help replace missing teeth, including dental implants, dental bridges, and natural-looking partial or full dentures.

A complete set of natural-looking teeth not only improves your confidence and self-esteem but also increases the longevity of your natural teeth by removing the stress placed on them. Click here to read more about our available restoration procedures.

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I need a lot of dental work, but going to the dentist scares me. How can you help me?

Our Encinitas dental office is now offering a service called “Conscious Sedation.” It’s totally safe and effective in treating patients who may be apprehensive about dental treatment. Before we begin working, you’ll take a pill that causes relaxation and sleepiness. This makes it possible for us to provide comprehensive care with fewer reservations, no pain, and very little memory of the dental experience.

Dr. McElroy is also certified to provide safe IV sedation for more advanced dental procedures. During your initial consultation at our Encinitas dentistry office, tell your dentist about your fears. We can discuss your sedation options to choose the right one to put you at ease throughout your procedure.

If you’d rather not be sedated, you can also bring your favorite CD or video. Watch your favorite movie or listen to a CD while we work to make your smile perfect!

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Why do you recommend metal-free dental crowns and dental bridges?

Dental crowns (caps) and dental bridges used to be made of porcelain bonded to metal. This resulted in very opaque, unnaturally white teeth with black margins and, after a few years, gum tissue irritation. We now use metal-free, pure porcelain crowns, and bridges that create a more natural-looking smile. These non-metal restorations allow the natural tooth color to show through, which allows for better color matching. Due to its strength, porcelain can actually increase the strength of your tooth. Reactions to metal allergies are also avoided with all-porcelain crowns.

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Is dental restoration painful?

We’ve solved the mystery of comfortable dentistry. If you haven’t been to a dental office in a while, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Today’s dentistry is faster than ever before, and procedures are virtually pain-free. All of our staff members are highly trained to make each of your visits as pleasant and as comfortable as possible. We have many options to help you relax here, including needle-neutralizing topical anesthetics, new deep-numbing anesthetics, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), and oral medications. Patients have been so relaxed that they even have fallen asleep in our dental chairs!

If you are nervous about having your dental restoration performed, we want you to feel comfortable sharing your fears with your dentist at McElroy Smiles By Design. When you let us know you feel anxious, we can take some extra measures to ensure you feel fully at ease before, during, and after your procedure.

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Answers to Other Common Dentistry Questions

 
 

My spouse snores and keeps me up all night. I’ve heard that a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. If this is true, how do I find out if you can help?

Snoring is tough on any relationship! Since it can be caused by a number of factors, we encourage you to have your spouse come in for a consultation and analysis with Dr. McElroy to determine the cause.

In some cases, a person may actually stop breathing for short periods during the night – a condition called sleep apnea. In other cases, snoring can be caused by enlarged anatomical structures within the mouth and throat. During sleep, the throat area relaxes, allowing these structures to collapse against one another and obstruct clear airflow. In the latter situation, we can prescribe and fit a special appliance called a ‘snore-guard’, which gently holds the mouth and throat in an open position during relaxed sleep and thus prevents snoring.

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Answers to Your Financial & Paperwork Questions

 
 

Do you have financing for dental work?

Yes, for qualified applicants we offer financing programs. Feel free to call our Encinitas dentistry office at 760-230-6638 to learn more about our monthly payment plans!

If you do not already have dental insurance, you may also find our Dental Membership Plan to be a convenient option for our affordable dental services. Click here to learn more about our membership plan!

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Do you accept referrals?

We would be grateful and honored to receive your family and friends as part of our family, and we always welcome new patients. Most of our patients are referred to us by word-of-mouth, and we consider that to be one of the highest compliments our patients can give.

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Do you accept my insurance plan?

Our dental office accepts nearly all of the major insurance plans. We’re well-versed in the latest coverage trends and are more than happy to discuss the particulars of your plan with you prior to any treatments you may undergo. Feel free to call our Encinitas dentistry office at 760-230-6638 in advance of your appointment to discuss your insurance, as well.

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What payment methods do you accept?

We accept cash, personal checks, and all major credit cards. We are also pleased to offer several financing plans, some of which are interest-free. Call our office at 760-230-6638 or click here to use our online contact form if you would like to learn more about our financing options.

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Our Dentists Provide 5-Star-Rated Encinitas Dentistry Services, Including Dental Cleanings, Invisalign, Wisdom Teeth Removal, Root Canals, Veneers, TMJ Treatment, Sleep Apnea, Dental Implants & Dental Sedation Serving Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Marcos, Vista, Oceanside, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Escondido & San Diego, CA

Your Top-Rated Dentist in Encinitas, CA

"This is a fantastic Dentist, McElroy and the associates in the office are amazing. Our daughters enjoy every time they are here. Very good practice, highly suggested!!"

- Cody H.

"I would definitely recommend Smiles By Design dental office to anyone who is looking for a personable, honest, thorough, and professional dentist. Dr. McElroy and his staff make you feel so comfortable, you forget you are at the dentist!! Highly recommend!"

- Kelly C.

"Had my first appointment at McElroy smiles by design, and the staff was so friendly and informative. It was an enjoyable experience and I plan on going back in the future."

- Isaac W.

"Thanks to everyone in the office! Great service and very punctual. Dr.McElroy is a wonderful dentist, he is very professional and friendly. He does what it takes to do the job perfectly— even if it requires extra time. I needed a lot of work when I first came to the office, but now when its all done, I love the outcome and my new smile! I am stoked!!"

- Wera S.

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of McElroy Smiles. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

What To Expect On Your First Visit

Dr. McElroy is excited to provide you a $99 new patient special!

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Discuss Your Goals With Dr. McElroy

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Thorough Exam & Professional Cleaning

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Digital X-Rays

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Discuss Your Potential Treatment Options

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Bonus: Free copy of Dr. McEroy’s Book