What is dentistry?
Dentistry is the art and science of saving and restoring teeth to their ideal health and function.
What is a dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Your dentist has completed at least eight years of schooling, and received either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree, or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree.
Dr. Bellingham attended dental school in San Antonio at the UT Health Science Center School of Dentistry where he graduated with his Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 2007. He then went on to an advanced residency program at the Central Texas VA Hospital in Temple, Texas.
Why do I need to visit the dentist?
Early detection and prevention of oral conditions is the key. Cavities and gum disease don’t hurt until it’s too late. If you wait until something hurts, that usually means the tooth needs a root canal or needs to be extracted. The bone support that is lost from periodontitis (advanced gum disease) cannot be replaced. Early detection is crucial.
What should I look for when choosing a dentist?
Look for a dentist with experience and choose someone you feel like you can trust. Trust your gut. If you have a good experience and feel good about the interaction you have with the doctor and the staff, then you have probably found a good dentist for you.
During your appointment, consider the following:
- Is the office easy to get to and close by?
- Bellingham Family Dentistry is located in Plano, right off the Dallas North Tollway and convenient to Frisco and The Colony.
- Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
- We always provide a treatment plan with your insurance estimates for each procedure so you are aware of any and all potential costs before any treatment is started.
- Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?
- In addition to being a member of the ADA, Dr. Bellingham is a member of the DFW Study Club, a branch of the nationally known Seattle Study Club.
What services do you offer?
Bellingham Family Dentistry provides almost any dental service you would need. If we do not provide that service or feel that a specialist would be a better choice to provide that particular service, we will refer you to one we highly recommend. At our office, we like to treat conservatively, and we are more interested in what is best for you than trying to keep everything in house.
What’s involved in the first visit?
During your first visit to our Plano dental office, we will take a full set of X-rays, as well as a 3D CT scan. If needed we will also take photos of the teeth. We then will take measurements of your gums to establish their health to know if more than a standard cleaning is in your best interest. We will review all the X-rays, CT scan, and photos with you to show you what our findings are and discuss your treatment options.
How can I keep my teeth healthy in between visits to your office?
The best thing you can do is become proficient at brushing and flossing and make it a habit. Most dental problems can be prevented with good oral hygiene. Also, be mindful of your diet. All the brushing and flossing in the world can’t stop decay if you eat a lot of sugary and acidic food.
Do I need to visit the dentist if I have braces?
Braces make teeth much more difficult to clean. It is crucial to make sure your gums are healthy and you are not developing any cavities in the areas that are difficult to clean. Tooth movement becomes unpredictable when your gums are not healthy and can increase the length of your time in braces.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Simply call our practice! Our front desk staff will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.