Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled some of our most frequently asked questions covering all sorts of topics from insurance to baby teeth. Our goal is to help you receive any needed treatment but also to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions.

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What is an abscess?

Whenever a cavity or crack or other form of trauma reaches the center of the tooth where the nerve is located, the tooth responds by slowly cutting itself off from the blood supply of the body. Once the blood supply is no longer feeding the tooth, it begins to “die” or become necrotic. The body sees this now necrotic tooth as a foreign body, and a small abscess may form typically at the end of the root. The abscess itself is just a small pocket of infection or “pus.” With no where to drain the abscess can get big enough to cause substantial swelling. Antibiotics can temporarily reduce the infection, but until the source of the infection (the tooth) is either removed or treated, the infection will reoccur.

Why do I need Root Canal Treatment?

Once a tooth is infected, root canal treatment may be the only way to save it. Our teeth have canals in the center with vital tissue and nerves. When a tooth becomes infected, the nerve and all the vital tissue is accessed usually through the top or chewing surface of the tooth and removed. A bio-friendly substance is placed in the canals and sealed. This works by “tricking” the body into accepting the necrotic tooth. Root Canal Treatment is often followed by a crown to insure durability. With no blood supply feeding nutrients to the tooth, it can become brittle and break, thus requiring a crown.

How do I have a cavity if my tooth doesn’t hurt?

Cavities often don’t cause any pain or discomfort until they get big enough to reach the nerve inside the tooth. It’s both less expensive and less invasive to catch and repair cavities while they are small. Don’t wait until it hurts!

Is fluoride bad or good?

Here is a great article we found online that explains the difference between systemic fluoride and topical fluoride. We recommend and offer an incredible fluoride varnish developed by 3M that can greatly reduce the risk of cavities and of course is applied topically. This article helps dispel some of the myths regarding Fluoride and explains how it remineralizes tooth enamel when the ph in the mouth drops.

Do you accept my INSURANCE?

We file any type of employer sponsored insurance. We are proudly considered out-of-network for all policies except Delta Premier. Visiting an out-of network dentist doesn’t necessarily mean that your insurance will pay less and you will pay more. What it does mean, is that Dr. Cook is NOT beholden to an insurance company. We can offer the services that are best for our patients regardless of what an insurance party will or won’t cover, and rest assured we will gladly do our part in making sure you receive the benefits you are paying for. In most cases, patients have very little to NO out-of-pocket costs for routine cleanings and check-ups regardless of whether they choose an out-of network or in-network provider! We will gladly do a complimentary benefits check at your first visit or any subsequent visit.

Do you accept walk-ins?

It’s always best to call and schedule an appointment. Dr. Cook and his team rotate their time between two office locations, which means they may be serving patients at one office when you happen to drop by the other. When we reserve an appointment, we prepare a room specifically for your needs. Don’t worry, If you call ahead with an emergency, often we can work you in the same day.

Do you accept medicaid or medicare?

We do NOT accept Medicaid. Click here to find a provider near you who does or visit the SC Healthy Connections website. Medicare does not cover dental expenses; however, some Medicare supplement polices purchased in addition to Medicare may. You’ll need to check your policy specifically to make sure you can see an out-of-network dental provider. These policies tend to vary greatly, and a representative with your insurance can best help with benefit questions.

Do you offer Payment PLans?

Yes! Outside Financing is available through a company called CareCredit. Dr. Cook even offers interest free finance options with Care Credit. You can apply online here or give them a call at 1-800-365-8295. It’s quick and easy and can be used anywhere Care Credit is accepted.

do you see children & Adults?

Absolutely! We welcome children beginning at age 3, and we also see adults. In fact parents often comment on how much they appreciate the convenience of scheduling appointments at the same time as their kids.