Common Questions

The following are some of the patient questions we routinely answer. If you do not find the information you are looking for here or would like additional information, please contact our office.

Q. Do you accept my insurance?

A. Most of our patients utilize their dental insurance plan in our office, however, we are an unrestricted provider. This means that we are not ‘in-network’ with any of the various dental plans. We have thought this through and state this sincerely and respectfully. We truly feel the artistic skill and expertise of our dentistry along with the superior customer service provided from the very first phone call to the actual delivery of care, is exceptional. The limitations and restrictions of most dental insurance plans do not come close to providing for the true value of these services.

We will file all dental insurance claims for our patients, and the benefit checks are sent directly to you at home, not our office. We routinely and vigorously fight for your rightful benefits when claims come under question, we are your advocate, however, we are not contractually obligated by any insurance companies.

Q. How do I know when it's time to come in for a checkup?

A. If it has been more than 6 months, as soon as possible. When you first visit our practice, we do a thorough evaluation of your dental health and establish an individual plan that meets the patient’s goals and necessary appointments to maintain health.

Q. Do you accept referrals?

A. Absolutely. Referrals are one of the finest compliments a dentist and the office can receive. Dr. Schaefer and his team are always eager to meet new people and help them achieve better dental health.

Q. How can I ask Dr. Schaefer questions directly?

A. There are a number of ways to ask Dr. Schaefer questions directly. He always welcomes your questions during your visit. Before your appointment, you can also call our office or Ask Dr. Schaefer questions directly using our online form.

Q. My child has had an accident and his/her tooth has been entirely knocked out. What do I do?

A. If your child’s tooth is knocked out during office hours and there is no imminent medical emergency, please contact us immediately. There is a chance Dr. Schaefer can replace the tooth if he sees your child preferably within 2-3 hours of the injury. When you call, he can advise you on the safest and most appropriate plan of action.

Q. What do I do if I have an emergency when the office is closed?

A. Dr. Schaefer is always ready to help you, even when the office is closed. If you have an emergency, please call our Louisville dental office and follow the instructions to contact him or the dentist on call.

Q. My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?

A. Yes, you should be very concerned about bleeding gums, especially if you haven’t had a check-up in a while. Bleeding gums can be caused by a variety of things, from a leaky filling to gum disease. While it may seem harmless, bleeding gums can cause a variety of serious health problems. If your gums bleed after you brush, call us to schedule an appointment so Dr. Schaefer can analyze the cause.

Q. Crowns, veneers, onlays, inlays, and partials. Where can I learn more about these procedures?

A. Dr. Schaefer usually recommends these procedures as part of a long-term plan. They are long-lasting, comfortable in your mouth, and look just like your natural teeth. Dr. Schaefer also recommends visiting the American Dental Association’s Patients and Consumers Guide website.

If you are curious about any procedure we recommend, we always welcome your questions. Dr. Schaefer strives to keep up on the latest research and findings. You can also use Caesy, the patient education system in our office, to print information on a particular procedure.

Q. Do I have to floss every day? Is it really that important?

A. Brushing cleans about 80% of your teeth while flossing covers the remaining 20%. Although that seems like a small percentage, this area is where all of the big problems originate. That’s why Dr. Schaefer believes flossing is very important.

There are other ways to help you clean your teeth if you don’t like flossing. Electric toothbrushes, such as those made by Rotadent, also help clean this area. When you come to our office, Dr. Schaefer can tell you about the alternatives to flossing and explain the benefits of one over the other.

Q. I want my front teeth to look better. What would you recommend?

A. There are a variety of ways to improve the appearance of your teeth. Dr. Schaefer can provide OrthoClear invisible braces. He also routinely creates plans that include gum enhancement, bonding, veneers and/or crowns.

Before we can make a recommendation, however, we must examine your mouth. Call us so we can schedule an appointment with Dr. Schaefer. After listening to your goals and concerns, he can suggest a way to help you enhance your smile.

Q. My spouse snores and keeps me up at night. I have heard a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. Can you help?

A. Certainly. We offer snore-guards, a small appliance that holds the mouth and throat open while you sleep and thus prevents snoring. These devices are easy to use, and we custom fit them to ensure your comfort. If you or your spouse snores, we suggest visiting us for an evaluation.

Q. What is Smile Analysis?

A. In a smile analysis, Dr. Schaefer looks at all the factors that compose a smile; these are the shape of a smile, the size, the smile line, and the position of your teeth, lips, and gums when you smile. He listens to what you want to accomplish and any concerns you may have. Once he has this information, he can provide a custom smile design. In a thorough smile analysis, digital photos of your smile from multiple angles provide vital information.

Q. What is Smile Design?

A. Using his digital camera, “trial smiles,” and wax-ups of your teeth, Dr. Schaefer can create a model of your new smile, review the smile design results with you, and discuss the next steps to make it happen.

Q. Can you show me what my smile can look like ahead of time?

A. Yes. We can create “trial smiles” by quickly and temporarily adding tooth colored materials to the teeth to give the patient a realistic look at the possibilities. We also utilize wax additions to models of the teeth and enhance digital photos to allow a preview of the proposed new smile.

Q. How does the doctor keep up to date on all of the current techniques and materials?

A. Dr. Schaefer is extensively trained, but because dentistry is constantly changing, he does a number of things to stay up-to-date on all of the current findings. He frequently attends continuing education courses that focus on the latest in cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry. He also belongs to a variety of organizations which offer seminars and conferences on changes in dentistry. If you have a question about a new development, Dr. Schaefer is always happy to speak with you about it.

Q. What makes you different than any other dental practice I can visit?

A. We do a variety of things that make us unique. Not only is Dr. Schaefer exceptionally skilled and trained, he is very enthusiastic about his patients and their dental health. Dr. Schaefer and his team strive to listen and recommend treatments that are beneficial to you. He is always happy to explain a service and take the time to perform it to the best of his abilities.

When you walk through our doors, you will see immediately what makes us different. To schedule an appointment, call us today.

Q How can I safely whiten my teeth?

A. Many patients ask Dr. Schaefer about whitening their teeth. Since each mouth is unique, he needs to evaluate your teeth to recommend a specific method. If you want to whiten your teeth, we use several teeth whitening systems in our office, including take-home kits, and Dr. Schaefer can recommend one that will be perfect for you.

Q. I really do not like visiting the dentist. Is there anything you can do to help me relax?

A. We can tell when people are nervous about being in a dentist’s office. Nothing seems to help them relax. That’s why we offer several amenities and oral sedation to make your visit comfortable. When you meet Dr. Schaefer, however, you may not need these. We have patients who once hated going to the dentist and now enjoy coming to see Dr. Schaefer. He has a very reassuring demeanor and is always happy to explain what he is going to do. If you need time to get ready, he will take that time to get the job done right.

Q. What different payment options do you provide?

A. We design your treatment to fit your budget and offer a variety of payment options, including financing through Republic Bank and other outside financing institutions such as CareCredit.

Q. Will I be charged if I need to cancel an appointment?

A. We know your schedule can change abruptly. Please call us immediately so we can reschedule you. If you cancel within 24 hours before your scheduled time, we reserve the right to initiate a cancellation fee.