Frequently Asked Questions

What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?

Our entire practice team is knowledgeable in state-of-the-art sanitation techniques designed to ensure patient safety. This goes beyond wearing gloves and facemasks to prevent passing germs, but includes a specialized sterilization center and a water filtration system guaranteeing a fresh water source for each patient. The entire team is CPR Defibrillator Certified for Emergency Preparedness.

I really don’t like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?

We understand how anxious many people can be about visiting the dentist, so our goal is to create a relaxing atmosphere for our patients. Our staff members are trained to be attentive to your concerns and aware of your anxiety, so we can make your visit as comfortable as possible. We also have available some entertaining distractions for you to enjoy during treatment. For our patients that are particularly apprehensive or fearful of dental treatment, a prescribed oral medication will be taken one hour before the appointment. This medication will help you relax and ease your anxiety. During your fist appointment, we’ll spend time discussing any of your concerns with you, and then plan your treatment accordingly.

Is it bad if my gums bleed after I brush my teeth?

It’s definitely not a good sign to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require professional attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums could be caused by improper or rough “scrubbing”, instead of gentle, circular brushing motions. The use of a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one, plaque and/or tartar buildup below the gum line, or gum inflammation due to gingivitis or periodontal disease can also be the source.

If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing techniques, or occurs every time you brush, you may have some degree of gum or periodontal disease. We recommended you contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment. We can prevent and treat most stages of gum disease successfully through our non-surgical gum care procedures.

What if I have missing teeth?

Drs. Wainwright & Upite offer many solutions to replace missing teeth, depending on a patient’s priorities, expectations and personal situation. These technologies include bridges, implants or even precision fit, natural looking and feeling, partial or full dentures. There is no reason to live with missing teeth. Not only does a full set of teeth improve self-esteem and appearance, it makes the other teeth last longer by reducing the stress placed on the remaining natural teeth. It can also improve speech, digestion and the sense of taste.

Ask Drs. Wainwright & Upite about tooth replacement. Their outstanding skills, along with the specialists they enroll for your specific treatment if needed, can add years and function to the beauty of your smile.

What can be done about uncomfortable dentures?

Most people who wear dentures often experience a poorer ability to chew and enjoy food, and have discomfort and pain due to loose, ill-fitting dentures. Loose, ill-fitting dentures are caused by the structure changes in the jawbone because of missing teeth.

Using dental implants, we can make dentures look, feel and function close to natural teeth. We can slow the jawbone loss process to preserve bone and provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth, which will allow you to eat and smile with comfort and confidence. We’d be happy to speak with you further about the option best suiting your individual situation.

What if I don’t like the excessive or uneven display of my gums?

Sometimes people have too much gum tissue, making the teeth look short, or there is an asymmetry of tissue as you look at each tooth in the smile. The amount and appearance of gum tissue displayed is just as important as the teeth. Drs. Wainwright & Upite will be happy to discuss your options including artistic sculpting of the gum tissue to take a smile from good to great.

What can be done if I have stained or discolored teeth? How can I safely whiten my teeth?

Tooth whitening is one the safest, easiest and most remarkable procedures in cosmetic dentistry. You can revitalize your teeth to a healthy, more vibrant appearance and erase the signs of aging thanks to the modern technology of teeth whitening. We utilize a simple at-home whitening kit you can use during the day or night in the convenience of your home. This allows you to control the level of whitening you desire, in addition to allowing future touch-ups periodically with the reusable custom-made trays in this system. The results are incredible and long-lasting.

It is important we have a brief consultation before the procedure to evaluate the cause of discoloration, and to ensure you are a good candidate for whitening treatment. Teeth with dark gray staining due to tetracycline use or fluorosis are more resistant to whitening, so results may be less dramatic. In addition, synthetic restorative and filling materials, such as porcelain and composite resins, will not lighten. We may have to consider other options, such as bonding or porcelain veneers, to get you the brighter smile you always wanted.

I want my front teeth to look better but I don’t want to wear braces. What would you recommend?

Drs. Wainwright & Upite have a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of conventional braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers may be sufficient to give them a bright, symmetrical appearance. In other cases, it may be necessary to fit you with the latest in “invisible” braces called Invisalign. It uses a set of removable and comfortable clear trays to align your teeth. We’d be happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss the appearance of your smile and explore the option best fitting your individual situation and expectations.

Are X-rays really necessary?

Not in every case. Since gum and bone problems occur slowly over time, they are often not felt or detected from the surface. So, we take x-rays only when necessary to detect decay between the teeth and areas not visible to the naked eye. X-rays are also effective for detecting bone loss and infections at root surfaces of teeth. Many people are understandably concerned about excessive radiation. That’s why we take them only when we feel they are necessary and at the lowest effective levels.

What is bonding and how is it different from veneers?

Bonding is placing a tooth-colored material onto the tooth to strengthen or alter the tooth’s shape. Because no natural tooth structure is removed, it is best used on broken or chipped teeth. Although bonding is an inexpensive and ultra-conservative way to restore a tooth, it will discolor over time and is more prone to breakage. A veneer is a porcelain shell used to achieve a similar result. Veneers will not discolor and the strength far surpasses that of bonding. While it is a larger investment and requires special preparation of the tooth, the results are beautiful and long lasting.

How does your dentists keep up-to-date on all of the current techniques and materials?

Our dentists stay on top of the ever-changing field of dentistry through continuing education. They have completed extensive additional training in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, TMJ problems and treatment, and in occlusion and bite relationships. We also ensure our team completes continuing education courses. As a team and as individuals, our office makes it our responsibility to be familiar with the latest techniques and materials available.

How do I know when it’s time to come in for a checkup?

We will schedule your next care appointment at the end of your checkup. Before your next appointment, you will receive a card in the mail reminding you of your upcoming visit.

We suggest you visit our practice every six months, although some patients may need more frequent cleanings, so our hygienist can check for plaque that has hardened into tartar. Tartar requires professional cleaning to prevent periodontal disease. During your visit, our experienced hygienist will eliminate the tartar, and will monitor for other potential dental problems.

Do you accept my insurance plan?

We accept most major insurance plans, including Delta Dental, BCBS, and Guardian. We’re knowledgeable in the latest coverage trends, and will maximize your benefits. Also, we are more than happy to discuss the specifics of your plan with you prior to any treatments you may undergo.

What payment options do you provide?

For your convenience, we accept cash, personal checks, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. As a service to our patients, we are also pleased to offer payment plans through CareCredit. CareCredit will allow you to finance up to 100% of your dental care through either an extended or interest-free payment plan so you can afford the treatment you desire. During your initial consultation, we will discuss your payment preferences as they pertain to your particular treatment plan options. Click on ‘Financial Info’ to read more about financing.

Do you accept referrals?

Absolutely! Your referrals are the best compliments we can receive. We accept referrals from you, our patient, as well as other doctors. We will treat your family and friends with the same exceptional care and service we provide for you.

Our Office Location in Methuen, MA

Pleasant Valley
Dental Health

Family & Cosmetic Dentists

380 Merrimack Street
Suite 3E
Methuen, MA 01844

Tel: 978-685-2511

Our Office Hours:

Monday: 8am - 6pm
Tuesday: 8am - 6pm
Wednesday: 8am - 12pm
Thursday: 8am - 6pm
Friday: 8am - 2pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed