Dental FAQs

What Is Dentistry?

Dentistry is the treatment and prevention of disorders and diseases of a patients teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Dentistry performed properly is necessary for complete oral health, and it has a significant impact on the health of a patient’s entire body.

What Is A Dentist?

A dentist is a specialist who has been trained to prevent, diagnose, and treat oral health problems. Dr. Whyte has completed many years of medical schooling in order to practice dentistry. After schooling, a dentist can receive either a DDS or DMD degree. DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine. Some doctors specialize in pediatric dentistry as well, which means that they work with children from infancy up through teenage years. There are other specializations that a dentist may go to school for:

  • Oral and maxillofacial (includes pathology, radiology, and surgery)
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Endodontics (specialization in root canals)
  • Periodontics (specialization in gum disease)
  • Prosthodontics (specialization in dental implants)

Are Regular Dental Cleanings Necessary?

We know life is busy and fitting a dental appointment into your schedule may be challenging. Furthermore, proper oral hygiene can be difficult to maintain. However, brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing after every meal will keep many oral hygiene problems away, but not all. Scheduling cleanings twice a year at Dr Whyte Smile is highly recommended to maintain proper oral hygiene and catch problems before they become costly or painful.

Do I Need To See A Dentist Even If My Teeth Feel Fine?

It’s very important to schedule regular cleanings here at Dr Whyte Smile. Dr. Whyte recommends coming in twice a year. Not all dental problems have obvious symptoms at first, and catching them early will save money and hassle. The team at Dr. Whyte Smile can identify problems before they become painful and expensive. We also know how important it is that you feel comfortable with your smile, and we can help to keep your smile looking fantastic. This is why we offer many treatment options that improve patient aesthetics.

What’s A Dental Cleaning Like At Dr Whyte Smile?

Twice-yearly cleanings are recommended for proper oral hygiene. At Dr Whyte Smile, an appointment will include a full oral examination, oral cancer exam, professional x-rays to catch cavities, and a full cleaning by our amazing hygienists. Your cleaning will remove tartar, debris, and plaque from your mouth.


Dr. Whyte will coordinate with your hygienist and recommend a treatment plan for any dental concerns, as well as aesthetic and cosmetic treatments to improve your smile.


Please call our office at (804) 747-0105 to schedule an appointment or if you have any additional questions.

At What Age Should I Bring My Child To See The Dentist?

Professionals throughout the dental industry, as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), recommend starting dental checkups as early as six months of age. On average, this is when a child’s teeth begin to show. Dr. Whyte will examine the health of your child’s first few teeth and make recommendations.

When Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Dr. Whyte recommends getting a new toothbrush at least every three months. If you’re using an electronic toothbrush, be sure to check the brand's recommendation because you may not need to change the head of the brush as often. If a patient has gum disease, Dr. Whyte recommends that you change your brush more often then every three months. After brushing, it’s very important to wash and rinse your toothbrush with hot water, then store it upright so that it can dry between each use. This will kill germs and bacteria, and keep your toothbrush clean.

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Plaque and bacteria naturally builds up in the mouth, and when this buildup is not countered sufficiently with brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings, it can cause gum disease (called periodontal disease). Risk factors for gum disease include smoking and chewing tobacco, teeth grinding, certain medications, and genetics. Advanced forms of periodontal disease can cause bone and tooth loss, as well as permanent damage. To help prevent gum disease, Dr. Whyte recommends brushing and flossing every day and scheduling dental appointments every six months.


Some of the most common signs of periodontal disease are:

  • Abscessed teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth and or loss of teeth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Receding gum line

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call us as soon as possible. You can reach us at (804) 747-0105 or email us to schedule a consultation. Your dental health is our highest concern.

Do You Accept Dental Insurance?

Dr Whyte Smile accepts most insurance and PPO plans, but check with us. Please call our office at (804) 747-0105 for more information about insurance. Prior to calling, have your insurance information ready. Our practice policy requires patients to pay the co-pay or deductible portion at the time of service.

What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

For your convenience, Dr Whyte Smile accepts cash, check, cashier’s checks, Visa, Master Card, Amex, and Discover. If none of these payment methods suit your needs, we also provide payment plans through our office or third-party financing through Care Credit. We offer discounts for payment in full at time of service. If you have further questions regarding payment options, please call us at (804) 747-0105. We will do our best to find the right solution for you.