F.A.Q.

The following are questions we hear most frequently from new patients. Because you have taken the time to visit our website, we want to help you maximize your time and your visit to our website. The following information is provided as a starting point for you. Ultimately, what is best for you can only be determined upon a dental examination by one of our doctors.


I am a new patient and would like to get started. What will my first appointment be?
Congratulations on your decision to get started with us! We welcome new patients for a consultation visit or you can skip ahead to the new patient exam. During a consultation visit, we will take photos of your smile/teeth. Our doctors will review these photos with you and discuss treatment options. During the new patient exam our doctors will do a very thorough exam. Also, we will take photos and any necessary radiographs, and you and your doctor will review these together. Afterwards, our doctors will customize a treatment plan for you.

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I hate the dentist. How is your office Different?
No one ever enjoyed going to the dentist, until now. Dr. Susan Estep and Dr. Peter Boulden created a dental spa, where going to the dentist is (believe-it-or-not) a pleasure! With serene surroundings like cascading waterfalls, and featuring nitrous oxide (laughing gas), 27″ TVs in the ceiling, Bose noise-canceling headphones, and tempurpedic patient chairs, this is not your father’s dental office. In fact, it seems more like a spa than a dental office. Our patients feel pampered each time they visit us. Come see for yourself.

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What does the new patient exam consist of? Is it covered under my insurance?
During your new patient exam our doctors will do a very thorough exam. Also, we will take photos and any necessary radiographs, and our doctors will review these with you. Afterwards, our doctors will customize a treatment plan for you. Often, insurance companies cover a portion of this visit.*

We do not know in advance what services (if any) YOUR insurance company will cover. We can only guess based on what other patients’ insurance companies have done in the past. All insurance companies (as well as the hundreds of different plans within each individual insurance company) vary on what they will or will not cover. We are happy to submit claims for our patients who are then reimbursed by their insurance companies. We are a fee for service office which means our patients pay for their services on the day the services are provided.

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Do you take my insurance?
We will help you to receive maximum ‘out-of-network’ insurance benefits for any treatment. We are not listed providers on any insurance provider lists. We are happy to submit claims for our patients who are then reimbursed by their insurance companies. We are a fee for service office which means our patients pay for their services on the day the services are provided. We do not know in advance what services (if any) YOUR insurance company will cover. We can only guess based on what other patients’ insurance companies have done in the past. All insurance companies (as well as the hundreds of different plans within each individual insurance company) vary on what they will or will not cover. As with all medical providers, many times our fees will exceed what your insurance company will pay. We make sure our patients understand the cost of every procedure before we start.

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What type of payments do you accept?
We accept cash, check and most major credit cards. We offer payment plans through Capital One. Capital One offers payment plans for six months with 0% interest or extended payment plans with interest. One of our staff members will review the Capital One payment plans with you at your appointment.

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I am a new patient with your office and I just want my teeth cleaned and nothing else. Why is a new patient exam necessary just to get my teeth cleaned?
Hopefully you have chosen our practice because you want to receive excellent dental care. Our goal is to provide excellent treatment for our patients. That includes thorough exams for the purpose of understanding your overall oral health. What if you had a small cavity that did not hurt, and your doctor did not do a thorough exam? So, your doctor did not ‘find’ your cavity. Later your tooth abscessed (which can be very painful) and you needed to have a root canal and possibly a crown. You would probably be upset that your doctor did not find this problem sooner. What if you had oral cancer, and by finding it in the early stages, your condition was treatable? Our doctors want to provide excellent treatment for you and, in order to do so, must do a thorough exam in order to know and understand your overall oral health.

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What exactly are veneers?
Porcelain veneers are used to create brilliant smiles. Veneers are very thin pieces of porcelain that actually bond to your teeth and improve the shape and/or color of your teeth. The porcelain bond to your teeth is nearly as strong as the natural enamel bond in teeth. One of the most successful procedures in dentistry today, porcelain veneers may be the best way for you to achieve the gorgeous smile you want and deserve.

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What are Lumineers? How are they different from veneers?
Lumineers are a brand of porcelain veneers made by Den-Mat Corporation. They are a little thinner than other porcelain veneers (? mm thick versus ½ mm thick for most porcelain veneers), so the claim is that they can be just pasted or bonded over the top of your teeth with no drilling or contouring, because they add very little bulk to the teeth. That makes them seem very easy to place. However, there are complexities in all cosmetic cases that must be considered before deciding what type of treatment you want or need.

For instance, if your dentist says he/she is not going to contour your teeth beforehand, the smile-design process becomes more complicated. Your dentist has very little room to work to make things look good. And no matter how great the ceramist, the lab cannot make up for a dentist’s lack of knowledge or expertise in a situation like this.

If your concerns are crooked teeth or dark-colored teeth, your goals may not be entirely met by Lumineers. If you and one of our dentists discuss your goals beforehand, together we can determine a customized treatment plan that is right for you. This plan may include Lumineers, porcelain veneers, Invisalign, whitening or a combination of these.

More about Lumineers:
Dent-Mat (the company that makes Lumineers) is advertising them to the public. Dent-Mat has a certification program where dentists can take a two-day course to learn how to place them. If the dentist pays the fee and attends the program, he or she becomes certified to place Lumineers and earn a spot on Den-Mat’s referral list. We advise you to use caution. A two-day course probably will not transform a general dentist into a cosmetic dentist. For a cosmetic procedure like Lumineers or porcelain veneers, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a cosmetic dentist.

Also beware of the advertising hype. The advertising states that Lumineers are only 1/3 of a millimeter thick. Well, other porcelain veneers are typically ½ of a millimeter thick, so the difference isn’t as dramatic as the advertising would make you think. And when a no-drill technique is used, you will likely end up with a slight ridge where the Lumineer meets your tooth. This ridge could attract stains that will show up at the edge of your Lumineers. Also, plaque may build up on this ridge causing tooth decay or gum disease.

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How long do veneers and Lumineers last?
When cared for properly, porcelain veneers and Lumineers can last for a very long time (10 or even 20 years). On average, they probably last 8 to 15 years. Failures are typically caused by poor oral hygiene or failure to wear a night guard when one is recommended.

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I have a gap between my two front teeth. What are my options for closing the gap?
Gaps between teeth (especially gaps that show in your smile) can take away from the beauty of your smile. Depending on the size of the gap, there are several options. For extremely large gaps, orthodontics (Invisalign) is usually recommended. For small to moderate gaps, bonding or porcelain veneers may be the best solution for you. Our doctors will discuss your options with you and together we will customize an ideal treatment plan to give you the gorgeous smile you deserve.

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I have chipped/broken my front tooth. What are my options for correcting this?
Fractured front teeth are unsightly. The broken teeth are uneven and have a negative effect on your appearance. Depending on how large the fracture, there are several restorative options. Sometimes bonding will restore small fractures or slightly chipped teeth. For larger fractures or broken teeth, porcelain is usually the best option to restore and strengthen the teeth. Before jumping into treatment, however, our doctors first want to know why your teeth are breaking. It is important to find out so that your restorations will be more predictable and last longer. Our doctors will discuss your options with you and together we will customize an ideal treatment plan to give you the gorgeous smile you deserve.

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I have a lot of old fillings (silver) in my mouth that have been there for a while. One is sensitive and the others are just ugly. What are my options?
Old silver fillings leak, causing decay to re-enter the tooth (which may or may not cause sensitivity). Not to mention they are unsightly. Options for silver filling replacement include direct composites (tooth-colored fillings) or porcelain inlays and onlays, all of which provide an optimal aesthetic and healthy result.

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Porcelain inlays and onlays are mentioned a lot. What are they exactly?
Porcelain inlays and onlays are state-of-the-art, conservative dental restorations. Essentially they take the place of silver fillings, but they provide more strength to the damaged tooth and have the added benefit of looking just like the natural tooth. In comparison to crowns or ‘caps’, inlays and onlays require less removal of tooth structure and replace only what is needed (i.e. old fillings and decay). The porcelain inlay/onlay is a conservative, aesthetic, and long lasting treatment for replacement of silver fillings. They can last 15-20 years or longer.

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What is that black line I see around the gumline of my crowns (or other people’s crowns)?
The black likely indicates that there is metal underneath the white porcelain part of the crown. The black line you see around the crown was probably not there when the crown was placed. Over time, chronic inflammation of the gum tissue causes it to bleed easily and perhaps recede from the metal, exposing it. No longer is it necessary to have metal in crowns or that unattractive dark line. Drs. Estep and Boulden use all-porcelain restorations.

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What is Zoom?
Zoom! and Zoom2! are in-office whitening procedures that can be performed only in a dental office. A patented whitening solution is applied to your teeth and a light (with a specific frequency) activates the whitening solution. The result is a whiter smile in about an hour (total appointment time is about 2 hours). Zoom! is featured on ABC’s hit TV show “Extreme Makeover”.

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How many shades whiter can I get with Zoom? How long does it last and is it guaranteed?
Your teeth may whiten six-to-ten shades, depending on what color your teeth are to start with. We will do a basic exam of your teeth, check the beginning shade of your teeth and identify the type of staining in or on your teeth. This will enable us to better estimate the results you will achieve. You can help to maintain your dazzling smile by avoiding staining foods and beverages (e.g. coffee, tea, red wine) and by visiting our hygienist for frequent cleanings. If you are like many of us who wish not to give up our simple pleasures (coffee, red wine), you can also purchase a take-home whitening system to maintain your pearly whites.

Your teeth will whiten to some degree with Zoom!2. We have not seen a case so far of a patient achieving no whitening result. Should your teeth not whiten, we will refund your investment.

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How is Zoom different from Brite Smile?
There is a slight difference in whitening gel components and a slight difference in the activation light. For all practical purposes, the two In-Office Whitening procedures are the same.

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I want to whiten my smile but I am also thinking about getting bonding or veneers on my front teeth. What should I do first?
Our doctors recommend whitening first to their patients. Once your teeth are as white as you like, then our doctors will match the bonding or veneers to that whiter shade. Our whitening procedures work quickly, so in no time you will have the beautiful smile you want and deserve.

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I have some bonding and a crown on my front teeth and I would like to whiten my teeth. What are my options for whitening my smile?
Teeth-whitening procedures are just as they sound. They whiten teeth. The bonding and crown will not whiten and will appear darker after your teeth become whiter. However, this should not keep you from having the white smile you desire. It may be very simple to upgrade your bonding and crown after your whitening procedure. Chances are the new bonding and crown will be better looking as well. When you visit our office, our doctors will work with you to customize a treatment plan to achieve a gorgeous white smile!

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I am missing a tooth and am considering an implant. What is the process for an implant? Are implants more feasible than dentures?
Oftentimes, implants are the best restoration for a missing tooth. Our doctors will discuss all of the options (and the pros and cons of each option) with you in order to customize an ideal treatment plan for you. The implant process is relatively simple and requires two steps. First, the implant is placed into the tooth-socket where your tooth root used to be. Second, a restoration is created and placed on the implant to restore the crown of your tooth. Our esteemed specialist places your implant and our doctors make the restorations.
For patients who are missing many or all of their teeth, implants may be the solution for restoring all of the missing teeth – offering a great life-improvement for these patients. Sometimes, a few implants may be placed in order to stabilize floppy dentures – another terrific improvement in the lives of so many denture-wearers.

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Dentures, Partial Dentures, Implants: Which one is right for me?
At your New Patient Exam, our doctors will do a thorough exam and we will take photos and necessary x-rays of your teeth, gums and jaws. You will review these digital images with our doctors and together you will develop a treatment plan that is best for you.

Oftentimes, implants are the best restoration for a missing tooth. Our doctors will discuss all of the options (and the pros and cons of each option) with you in order to customize an ideal treatment plan for you. The implant process is relatively simple and requires two steps. First, the implant is placed into the tooth-socket where your tooth root used to be. Second, a restoration is created and placed on the implant to restore the crown of your tooth. Our esteemed specialist places your implant and our doctors make the restorations.

For patients who are missing many or all of their teeth, implants may be the solution for restoring all of the missing teeth – offering a great life-improvement for these patients. Sometimes, a few implants may be placed in order to stabilize floppy dentures or partials – another terrific improvement in the lives of so many denture-wearers.

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I would like to get gold caps placed on my front teeth. What does this involve? Does our office offer this?
Beautiful smiles come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. While many people prefer porcelain veneers for a typical smile makeover, others would like to have gold placed on their front teeth. The processes (porcelain veneers and gold onlays) are very much the same, starting with a New Patient Exam. From here our doctors will customize a treatment plan to fit your goals for your mouth, teeth, and smile.

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Do we have other locations?
Our dental spa has one location. We are very conveniently located at 1875 Old Alabama Road, Suite 130, Roswell, GA 30076.

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What are your fees?
Consultation: $83; the fee will be applied as a credit toward any future work done by our office.
New Patient Exam: $223
Whitening: Bleaching Trays, Customized Bleaching Trays, and Zoom: $110 – $605
Invisalign: $3,630-$6,050
Bonding: $155 – $329
Veneers – $983 – $2,200
Crowns — $1,249 – $1,599
*Please note our fees reflect ranges which can vary depending of circumstances. Our fees are subject to change.

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