Our goal with this website is to provide you with as much information as we can to help you assess whether our office is the right one for you. If you have other questions that you feel would be beneficial for us to answer here, please let us know.

What days are you in the office?

We will be scheduling dental appointments on the following days generally from 8 AM to 5 PM:

1. What type of payment options are available?

We have several payment options available to help you better manage the financial needs of your treatment. We do our best to first maximize any dental insurance benefits you might have. In addition, we do offer a 5% discount on your fees if paid in full at the time of service with either cash or check. We also take Visa and MasterCard. We can process both American Express and Discover; however, we do have to add a 2% charge to process these 2 credit cards. In addition, we have both CareCredit and Lending Club financing options with some very favorable programs for those that qualify. You are welcome to apply for these at home or in our office at your appointment. We recommend that you contact them directly at the following:

Care Credit - 800-677-0718

Lending Club – 888- 596-3157

Our fees are the same for all patients. Your insurance company may reimburse you based on their own fee schedule, which may or may not coincide with our fees. You should be aware that insurance companies vary greatly in the type of coverage that is available. Some companies reimburse quickly while others often delay payments for months.

We do not offer in-house financing as we have determined that Dr. Hull, although an outstanding dentist, is in fact a terrible banker. Many patients will make monthly payments as a credit until they have enough to complete the next scheduled procedure.  We may be able to temporize treatment until definitive treatment can be accomplished.

2. What should I expect if I have dental benefits?

One of the great misnomers is that dental benefits are like regular insurance policies. The fact is that most dental benefit plans are very limited in their coverage. For most policies, the maximum benefit is generally limited to $1000 to $1500 per year. These same benefit amounts existed back in the 1960s, which in today's dollars would be equivalent to 4 to 6 times that amount. That is why it is so important to realize that dental benefits are exactly that and a very limited benefit as well.

We will do everything we can to take the maximum benefit we can utilize, but please be aware that it is not only unrealistic but very unhealthy to try to rely solely of this limited benefit to try to manage all of your dental needs. We gladly submit your claims for you, but it is important to realize that your dental benefits are a contract between you and your insurance company. We are not responsible if your company decides to change its position on coverage even after prior authorization has been done (and yes, it happens). Our best advice is to know your policy limitations and utilize the coverage as the limited benefit that it is.

3. What type of patients do we treat?

Our office welcomes families including children, adults, and the elderly patient, including most handicapped individuals as well. We do our best to help minimize the need to refer you to countless specialists, while at the same time, not hesitating to do so if it is indicated. Our goal is to be able to provide comprehensive family dentistry at reasonable fees. We accept most dental benefit programs, but we are not a Medicare/Medicaid provider.

4. Is your office a holistic dental office?

First, what is holistic dentistry?

In theory, holistic dentistry is a form of treatment that considers the whole person—body, mind, spirit, and emotions—in the quest for optimal health and wellness. According to the holistic philosophy, one can achieve optimal health (the primary goal of a holistic dental practice) by gaining the proper balances in life.

Holistic practitioners believe that the whole person is made up of interdependent parts, and if one part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected. In this way, if people have imbalances (physical, emotional, or spiritual) in their lives, it can and will negatively affect their overall health.

A holistic doctor may use all forms of health care, from conventional medications and therapies to a number of alternative therapies, to treat a patient. For example, when a person suffering from chronic TMJ pain pays a visit to a holistic doctor, instead of walking out solely with medications, the doctor will likely take a look at all the potential factors that may be causing the person's symptoms, such as diet and sleep habits, stress, and personal problems. The treatment plan may involve drugs to relieve symptoms, appliances to help minimize the joint or dentition damage, but also lifestyle modifications to help prevent the symptoms from recurring.

Principles of Holistic Health

Holistic health is also based on the belief that positive energy and nurturing support is the most powerful healing factors and that a person is ultimately responsible for his or her own health and well-being. Other principles of holistic health include the following:

  1. All people have innate healing ability (no one ever heals you but you).
  1. Patients are people, not diseases.
  1. Healing is facilitated by a team approach often involving the individual and multiple health care professionals in both traditional and alternative modalities.
  1. Effective treatment involves managing the causative factors of disease not just the symptoms.

Holistic Health: Types of Treatments

Holistic practitioners use a variety of treatment techniques to help their patients take responsibility for their own well-being and achieve optimal health. Depending on the practitioner's training, these may include or you may be referred for the following:

  • Patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. This may include diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship, and spiritual counseling.
  • Complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, massage therapy, naturopathy, and others
  • Western medications and surgical procedures

Cautionary Note!

Having a holistic label is not always an indication of competent care. The courts are filled with lawsuits filed against supposed holistic practitioners who have created major problems for patients with things like recommending wholesale filling removal, or removal of all teeth previously treated with root canals. As such, our experience has shown us that there is a wide diversity of how people will define a holistic dentist.

In our office, it means that we are conscious of all the dental materials that we use in any procedure and that we have done our best to research and utilize only the most highly biologically compatible materials that we can find. It means that we treat patients based on their specific needs. It also means that we will do our best to help direct our patients continually to more balanced and healthy lifestyle choices. We will provide information based on a patient's desire to look at either traditional and or alternative approaches and make changes in their lives that will afford them greater long-term health.

The mouth is an extremely critical environment in light of an individual's overall health. The relationship of dental disease to major health issues such as heart disease and diabetes is soundly established. In fact, there is now substantial scientific evidence to demonstrate the relationship of oral disease to over 100 systemic disease conditions.

Our scope of responsibility as dental health professionals has grown dramatically over the last ten years. Diagnosing things such as sleep apnea or diabetes, for example, are now potentially lifesaving responsibilities. Dr. Hull welcomes a discussion on what and how these considerations fit into your treatment options.

5. What are our hours of operation?

We are here from 8 AM to 5 PM on Mondays through Fridays. We work on an alternating flex schedule which means we try to make sure we are open at least one Monday, Tuesday, etc. every month. Please realize that on days we are not in the office working, we may be attending continuing education classes or in the mission field, which is one of our passions. We do everything we can to facilitate getting you in for treatment in a timely manner.

6. Do we offer free consultations?

We are delighted to have you come in the Sandpoint Dental Office just to meet our team or to answer any basic questions you might have about our services or fees. We cannot, however, give you a diagnosis or initiate any treatment without doing an exam and or x-rays as may be indicated. A comprehensive exam is the most important investment that you make and is the key to having the information that you need to make truly well informed decisions for yourself.

If you have current x-rays, we will be happy to request those. If the quality of the x-ray films is acceptable, we may not need to take any additional films. We strive to make sure that you have all of the information that you need to make good choices for your dental health.

7. Does our office do the same day implant supported teeth as seen advertised on TV?

This process is a technique in which implants are placed either following extractions or on an edentulous (toothless) arch and a fixed or semi-permanent restoration is placed on the same day. The short answer is "yes, we can do these procedures." The more important question from our perspective is "is this the best approach"?

First, it is important to realize that there is no scientific data to validate the long-term success of these immediate loading procedures. Implants have historically always taken time to integrate (fuse to and with the bone). Generally, with today's implants, it requires 2 to 3 months on the lower jaw and 4 to 6 months on the upper jaw for integration to be assured.

We live in a society that constantly demands things quicker and easier. The downside is that statistically we see a higher failure rate with these types of immediate loading implant cases. For this reason, we will generally recommend that you plan on a treatment approach that will give you the maximum opportunity for long-term success. We will thoroughly discuss with you all of the pros and cons of these procedures.

8. Does our office do the same day crowns (CERAC) we see advertised?

We have been reviewing and watching this technology for some time. There have been numerous improvements and this is a technology that in the future all of dentistry may utilize. This technology not only scans the crown preparation digitally (which we do), but then also mills a new crown out of a block of porcelain which allows the dentist to place the new crown at the same appointment (usually a 2-3 hour appointment).

We currently do not offer this service. Historically these crowns have experienced a higher breakage rate, often due to improper utilization. Not all crowns can or should be made in this way. We have a patient who had 10 of these crowns done and 8 have already failed within 2 years. Depending on the material, place in the mouth and time spent to finish a crown, the color and aesthetics of a traditional crown may be superior to same day crowns. This is truly an art, and a great laboratory technician is an extremely valuable component of any cosmetic practice. In milled crowns, the majority of the color and aesthetics are managed by staining the surface of the milled crown.

The cost of this technology can be prohibitive and at this time we would like to make our selection of crowns based on what is best for you, not based on paying for a machine. Some practices are thriving with this service and someday we may make the final step to utilize same day crowns.

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