3359B Hwy 9 E.
Little River, SC 29566
(843) 399-2525 Request an Appointment

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to visit the dentist for a checkup?

Twice-annual visits to the dentist are an important step for upholding good oral and overall health. And we say patients should visit the dentist at least that often. If you are at an increased risk of gum disease, decay, or oral cancer due to your age, lifestyle habits, or genetic factors, Dr. Hortman may recommend you come into our office more often. Maybe it seems like a lot, but these preventive visits are truly the key to maintaining a healthy smile for a lifetime to come. Consider it a small investment in time for a big ultimate payoff.

I am afraid of the dentist — and often avoid care. Can you help?

Whether you fear the dentist due to a negative past experience (the most frequent reason for dreading dental work) or simply because you dislike ceding control, we understand. That’s why Palmetto Dental Associates is pleased to offer nervous patients options in sedation to receive relaxing dental care at long last. Ask us about oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide.

Do I really need X-rays? Are they dangerous?

Yes. It’s a good idea to have a set of bitewing x-rays annually, and a panoramic x-ray every three years. In our state-of-the-art office, Dr. Hortman uses digital x-rays, which expose you to up to 80 percent less radiation than traditional x-rays. Regular radiography and intraoral photographs help us keep track of your oral structures and ensure that we notice the small changes that can signify larger oral issues — like hidden decay, malfunctioning dental work, or even oral cancer.

What is a cosmetic dentist?

A cosmetic dentist is one who provides treatments that aim to enhance the appearance of your teeth and gums. While many general dentists are beginning to offer cosmetic services, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Review before-and-after photos of actual cases, and discuss the dentist’s experience providing cosmetic dentistry. Take your time to ensure you are making an excellent decision for you and your smile.

I’m interested in porcelain veneers and Lumineers. What’s the difference?

Porcelain veneers require your cosmetic dentist to remove a small amount of enamel from the surface of each tooth before placement. Lumineers, however, are thinner, and rarely require the teeth be adjusted. Patients who choose Lumineers can go back to their natural teeth if they desire to do so in the years to come.

How do you ensure my family’s safety?

Great question. At Palmetto Dental Associates, we follow state and national guidelines to guarantee our patients enjoy superior dental care in a safe, clean environment. We thoroughly sterilize reusable instruments and seal them between uses, and completely disinfect treatment rooms between each and every patient visit. Feel free to contact us at any time to discuss our sanitation standards.

Is it normal for gums to bleed after brushing and flossing?

Healthy gums usually do not bleed. When they do, it is usually an indication of either aggressive toothbrushing or the beginning stages of gum disease. Do you brush and floss regularly, and visit the dentist for routine preventive care? If not, your bleeding gums may indeed be the result of a gum infection. Don’t delay gum disease treatment. When ignored, gum disease leads to heart complications, respiratory issues, and other issues with your overall health. The condition is especially worrisome for pregnant women, as it has been linked to premature births or low birthweight.

If you spit out blood after you brush or floss, please do not wait to get in touch with Palmetto Dental Associates. We will provide prompt early intervention to heal your gums and return your mouth to its good health.

I’m confused about the differences between crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays, and partials. Where can I learn more?

We know it can be difficult to keep track of all the comprehensive services your complete health dentist offers. That’s why we have carefully detailed the ins and outs of our treatments on our various service pages. Browse our website to find the information you need to know about achieving and maintaining solid dental health. Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Do you accept patients of all ages?

Yes! We look forward to welcoming all of your loved ones into our warm, welcoming dental practice, and we strive to meet all of your dental needs under one roof. If, however, we find that you would benefit from specialized care, we will provide an excellent referral for you to visit one of our trusted colleagues. Some children, for example, find it less intimidating to visit a pedodontist’s office (a dentist who focuses only on little ones). We’ll also refer dental implant placement and advanced root canals to local experts.

How about referrals?

Not only do we accept referrals — we love when our patients send friends and family members our way. We look forward to serving your referrals with the same level of superior care that you expect from our office.

Will my insurance cover my dental care?

Every dental insurance plan is different, and your specific benefits depend on the plan you selected. The level of services you can expect is usually reflected by the amount you or your employer pays as a premium, or the set fee exchanged for services each month. Most dental insurance completely covers preventive treatments, like your checkup and cleaning every six months. Restorative care is usually partially covered, too. Contact our office or your insurance provider directly to discuss the details of your coverage.

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