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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

When it comes to your dental care, we sincerely want to hear and answer all your questions. Dr. Brett and his knowledgeable dental team enjoy helping you better understand your oral health. A better understanding of your oral health usually means healthier and stronger teeth, and we love to see healthy, strong teeth. For your convenience, we've compiled some of the questions our patients ask most.

If you don't find the information you were looking for below, please just call our office, and we will be happy to answer your question over the phone. 

Children's Dentistry

At Alpine Family Dentistry, we make the same recommendation as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry when it comes to your child's first dental visit. You should bring your child in for their first dental appointment by the time they receive their first tooth or by their first birthday.

Starting dental appointments early on in a little one’s life is important because it can help your child get acclimated to visiting the dentist at a young age. That way, your child is less likely to experience dental anxiety when dental work becomes necessary. If your child develops a cavity that needs attention or suffers a tooth injury, the experience will be much less traumatic if they are treated in a dental office they feel comfortable in.

young boy sitting in dental chairEarly dental care may also save you money. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a study published in Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed medical journal, showed that children who visit the dentist for their first exam before their first birthday have 40 percent lower dental costs in the first five years of their lives than children who do not receive dental care before their first birthday. With regular visits, your dentist can help your children keep their teeth clean and healthy, which means fewer dental problems as they age.

My Child’s First Dental Appointment

At your child’s first dental appointment, you can expect a thorough assessment of his or her oral health. During the appointment, Dr. Brett and our friendly dental team will help educate you on the best methods for providing excellent dental care to your child. While you are in our dental office, feel free to ask any questions you have about your child’s dental care needs. We are here to help you in any way we can, and we always want you to feel comfortable with your child's dental care and treatment.

Children’s Dentist in Eagle River, AK

At Alpine Family Dentistry, we can help you keep your children’s teeth healthy and their smiles bright as they grow. Reach out today to schedule your child’s first dental appointment with Dr. Brett.

Baby teeth can develop cavities just like adult teeth can, and it is important to get those cavities treated.

While baby teeth are basically a placeholder for your child’s permanent teeth and will eventually fall out, a cavity in a baby tooth can cause pain until it comes time for your child to lose the tooth. We do not want your child to live with unnecessary pain, especially when a cavity can be easily treated in our Eagle River dental office.

young woman smilingThe cavity may also lead to problems beyond the baby tooth. The cavity can develop into an infection that can affect the permanent tooth underneath the baby tooth, which is a situation we want to avoid. At Alpine Family Dentistry, we want your child’s permanent, natural teeth to stay healthy and strong, so they don’t develop dental problems down the line.

Your child may also lose the baby tooth prematurely due to a cavity, which can cause adjacent teeth to shift into the empty space, preventing the permanent tooth from coming in as it should.

If you suspect your child has a cavity, please reach out to our Eagle River dental office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Brett.

Treating a Child’s Cavity in Eagle River, AK

In our dental office, we have a friendly, understanding dental team. We love working with parents and children to keep children’s teeth healthy and strong as they grow. If your child has a cavity, we will work to make them as comfortable as possible during the dental treatment appointment. We have blankets and neck pillows if needed for added comfort.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s dental treatment, please talk to our dental team. We are happy to answer your questions and address your concerns so that you feel secure and confident in your child’s dental care.

Dental Crowns and Bridges

Dental crowns in Eagle River can restore your smile’s function, vitality, and appearance. Crowns are tooth-shaped caps that fit over a weak, brittle, injured, or decayed tooth to protect it from further damage or wear. Crowns can also cover severely stained teeth, giving your smile a brighter, whiter look. 

woman smilingThe Dental Crown Process 

Dr. Brett is highly skilled and experienced in placing dental crowns on patients of all ages.

Typically, he begins with a full-mouth examination, including digital x-rays. He also gently cleans and prepares the tooth for its crown.

Once the tooth is properly cleaned and prepped, he builds the tooth back up and places a temporary crown so you can still chew, speak, and smile comfortably. You only need to wear the temporary crown until the lab creates your customized, permanent cap, which may only take a couple of weeks.

At Alpine Family Dentistry, we offer zirconia, e.max, or gold dental crowns. Zirconia crowns are ideal for back teeth because they are very durable, while e.max crowns work very well on front teeth. Once Dr. Brett places your permanent crown, you can enjoy your newly restored smile! 

With a dental crown, you can enjoy all of your favorite activities without worrying about tooth pain, a potential injury, or a brittle tooth structure. A dental crown is perfect for protecting and preserving your natural tooth’s structure while enhancing your smile’s appearance and function.  

Dental Crowns in Eagle River, AK

Alpine Family Dentistry is here to help you with all of your dental needs. Whether you have a decayed or broken tooth that needs a crown, or you’d like to replace missing teeth with a bridge, we can help! 

Call us today at (907) 694-2409 to schedule your dental appointment with Dr. Brett.


Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a great option when it comes to cosmetic dentistry. We consider dental veneers an investment in your smile, and our Eagle River dentists strive to give your teeth the shine you’ve always wanted. 

woman getting dental veneersHow to Make Your Veneers Last

Well-maintained veneers have the potential to last decades. Seems worth it, right? The longevity of dental veneers depends on how well they are taken care of. 

Here are some factors that will ensure a longer time span and protect dental veneers:

  • Consistent and quality dental hygiene (brushing, flossing, mouthwash, etc.)
  • Consumption of foods that generally aren’t harmful to regular teeth 
  • The use of a mouthguard while playing sports 
  • Having healthy teeth before veneer application 

Factors that decrease the longevity of dental veneers:

  • Gradual gum recession
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Junk food unhealthy for regular teeth
  • Potential trauma causing cracks or fractures in teeth or veneers
  • Poor dental hygiene 

How To Care for Veneers

A good rule of thumb is to treat your veneers with care, just like regular teeth! 

Visit us at our dental office in Eagle River! We proudly serve Chugiak and other nearby communities and would love to have a consultation with you about the possibility of dental veneers!

Emergency Dentistry

If you have knocked out a tooth, don’t panic. It may be possible to save the tooth. However, to save a tooth that has been knocked out, you must receive dental treatment as soon as possible.

man holding jaw from pain during emergency dentistryIf you’ve had a tooth knocked out, follow the below steps:

  • Contact our office as soon as possible, let us know your tooth has been knocked out, and arrange a dental appointment
  • Rinse the tooth (do not scrub it!) to clean off any debris or dirt
  • Put the knocked-out tooth back in your mouth, either under your tongue or between your cheek and gum
  • If it isn’t possible to put the tooth in your mouth, you can place it inside a clean cloth and put it in a container of milk
  • DO NOT try to put the tooth back into the empty socket in your gum
  • Go to the dental office for re-implantation

Re-implantation is only possible in some cases, and the procedure must be performed promptly for it to work.

Emergency Dentistry in Eagle River, AK

In our Eagle River dental office, we provide emergency dental services. If you’ve experienced a dental emergency, reach out to our dental office as soon as you can for advice and to set up an emergency dental appointment.

We will do our best to see you in our dental office as soon as we can. We know how scary a dental emergency can be. At Alpine Family Dentistry, Dr. Brett and his dental team are here to help you through those emergency situations with empathy, caring, and skill.

General Dentistry

Your first dental appointment at Alpine Family Dentistry will start at our welcoming front desk. You will be asked to provide your dental insurance card, if you have one, and the completed new patient paperwork, which we provide on our website. You can print off the provided paperwork at home and fill it out to bring with you to make the check-in experience faster and more convenient.

woman smiling in dental chairIf you have not filled out the new paperwork in advance of your appointment, please arrive about 15 minutes early, and we will provide you with the paperwork to fill out in our dental office. You can fill out the paperwork and wait for your appointment time in our cozy, family-friendly waiting room, which was designed with your comfort in your mind.

Dental Appointment in Eagle River, AK

We always look forward to meeting new patients in our comfortable, log cabin dental office. The Alpine Family Dentistry team will help you keep your teeth bright and healthy, and we will make your appointments as convenient and easy as we possibly can.

If you have any concerns we can address or any questions about your first dental appointment, please reach out to our friendly dental staff. We want to make your first experience in our dental office pleasant and welcoming, and we want you to make you feel at home.

Your first dental appointment with Dr. Brett will include a thorough dental cleaning, an evaluation of your teeth and gums, and an oral cancer screening.

woman looking at smile after dental cleaningDr. Brett and his dental team will look at all aspects of your oral health to make sure your teeth and gums are staying healthy and strong. If we notice any developing dental issues, our dental team will bring them to your attention and discuss possible dental treatment options with you.

During your first dental appointment, we will also answer any questions you may have about your oral health and dental care. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions that are on your mind, whether it is about our dental office, a procedure, oral hygiene, or another matter altogether. We are happy to provide in-depth answers to your oral health questions.

Your first dental appointment should take between one and one and a half hours.

Dental Cleaning in Eagle River, AK

At Alpine Family Dentistry, we want to help you create and maintain a beautiful, healthy smile. The best way to do that is with a good oral hygiene routine at home and regular dental cleanings and exams in our Eagle River, AK dental office.

If you are in need of dental care in the Eagle River or Chugiak areas, reach out to our dental office today to schedule your first appointment. We are always eager to welcome new patients into our office. We look forward to meeting you!

Preventive Dentistry

For most patients, a visit to the dentist for a dental cleaning exam is needed every six months. Twice yearly dental cleanings and exams help to keep your teeth and gums free of plaque and tartar, and they give Dr. Brett a chance to fully evaluate your oral health.

With regular exams, Dr. Brett can track any oral health changes, including developing cavities or other issues, like gum disease. Early treatment is ideal when it comes to dental issues. If you catch a dental problem early, the treatment is generally less invasive and less expensive than if it is allowed to progress. That is true of cavities, gum disease, and most other oral health problems.

man smiling in dental chair after regular cleaningFor example, if you wait and don’t seek treatment, a cavity that could have been fixed with a simple dental filling could need a dental crown or a root canal, both of which are more invasive than filling and will have more of an impact on your wallet.

At Alpine Family Dentistry, we are strong believers and preventive dental care. Even if you don’t suspect cavities, you should be seeing your dentist regularly. With regular exams and early treatment, your teeth will stay stronger and last longer.

Dental Exam in Eagle River, AK

Don’t wait until something breaks or hurts to visit the dentist. Dr. Brett and his friendly dental team are here to help you keep your teeth clean and healthy so you don’t have to deal with more serious dental issues down the road.

Reach out to our Eagle River dental office today to schedule your appointment for a dental cleaning and exam.

Professional Teeth Whitening

Many over-the-counter whitening strips and kits use harsh and unsafe whitening chemicals. And often, they don't produce the desired results once the treatment is complete, leaving some people to wonder if teeth whitening works at all. This can be very disappointing.

The good news is that teeth whitening not only works but, when done professionally, can transform your smile.

woman smiling after teeth whiteningIn-Office and At-Home Professional Teeth Whitening

At Alpine Family Dentistry, we provide both in-office teeth whitening and at-home whitening trays. However, for the best results, we recommend visiting us directly. Under dental supervision, we can use the most potent ingredients for the best outcome while ensuring it doesn't harm your teeth and gums.

For convenience, our take-home treatment option can't be beaten.

When used correctly, take-home custom-made whitening trays are your second best option for teeth whitening. They offer the convenience of over-the-counter strips but with professional dental strength whitening agents. However, our at-home whitening system may take a little longer than in-office treatments. 

Teeth Whitening in Eagle River, AK

Alpine Family Dentistry is proud to provide professional teeth whitening services to Eagle River, Chugiak, and the surrounding areas. Let our friendly staff show you how comfortable a trip to the dentist can be, and let our dentists help you find your dream smile.

Tooth Extraction

Most often, tooth extractions are performed by dentists when there is nothing other procedures like fillings or a root canal can do to save the tooth. Generally, it is preferable to save the tooth and the root if it is at all possible, but there comes the point where trying to keep the infected tooth in will do much more harm than good. Your dentist will only consider tooth extraction as a last option for the total health of your mouth. 

You may also need extraction for other reasons, like for dental posts and to make room for major dental reconstruction, as well as emergency surgery on the jaw.

woman getting tooth extractedDangers of Avoiding Tooth Extraction

Losing a tooth sounds like a big deal, and it can be scary, but thanks to modern advances in dentistry, not only is the extraction process more comfortable than ever, there are options for helping you recover your smile.

If your tooth is infected and sufficiently damaged, it will fall out on its own eventually anyway, but that's no reason to leave it in. The bacteria can spread and cause irreversible damage to your gums and jaw bone. Not to mention that until the nerve in the tooth dies, it is likely to cause debilitating pain.

Looking for an Eagle River AK Tooth Extraction Specialist?

Alpine Family Dentistry is proud to service Eagle River AK and its neighbors with reliable expert dentistry. If you need a tooth extraction or just a check-up, contact us to brighten your smile.

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