We get questions from our patients, from callers and from random people in the line at the grocery store, at concerts and even at the airport! Below you’ll find the questions that we hear most often. If you have a burning question that isn’t listed here, don’t lose sleep over it!
I am so terrified of going to the dentist! Can you help me?
Yes we can help you! We are SO sorry that you are terrified of the dentist. Every day, we see patients who are scared of the dentist, who are anxious and who hate even thinking about the dentist, let alone visiting one.
Sometimes people are afraid because of a past traumatic experience. Other times it’s related to another fear or dread. One of our core values is respect and we want all of our patients to feel respected and taken care of whether they love coming to see us or not.
With modern sedation options, we can offer you a safe and relaxed dental experience that is easier and more comfortable than you could have ever imagined. Don’t take our word for it though! Click here to learn more about how sedation dentistry is giving fearful people freedom to smile!
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Why six yes’s? Because we offer payment plans through six different third party financing companies. Why six banks? Because we want our patients to be able to find the best offers for their situation. Our office offers no interest and low interest payment plans as well as long term payment plans. We are committed to helping our patients afford the healthcare that they need. Yes x 6!
Is Dr. Bec a Spurs fan?
OF COURSE he’s a Spurs fan!!!!!! Go Spurs! Having said that, he doesn’t know much about basketball because he grew up playing soccer. So if you ask him if he thinks they should have made that substitution in the third quarter of last night’s game, he’s not gonna know. But who said you have to know about the game to love the team? Go Spurs!!!!!!!
Do you accept my insurance?
The short answer is yes! The long answer is given to each patient individually at their consultation. Click here to learn more.
Where are your patients from?
We are so grateful for every one of our patients, no matter where they’e from. It’s an honor that people trust us with their dental care! That being said, it’s an even greater honor when people travel, passing countless dentists on their way to our office, because they trust us, they love our work and they have decided that they want us to take care of their smile no matter what.
We have patients from all over the greater San Antonio area as far out as Boerne, Pleasanton, Floresville and Lytle. We have patients who drive all the way from Laredo, Houston and Dallas. We also have patients who drive from Mexico. However, the Longest Commute awards go to our patients who FLY in from as far away as Boston, Portland, Los Angeles, Virginia and Washington State! To all of our patients: thank you for your trust, your commitment to your health and for being a part of our Alamo Dental Health family.
How do you invest in our community beyond serving patients?
Social profit is one of our core values, which means that not only do we invest in our community, so do all of our patients!
Our Smile for Smile Initiative was founded as a way of giving back to needy people and communities connected to our patients in San Antonio and around the world. Our Goal is to Spread Smiles, Knowledge, Help and Health to as many people as we can, and when we say WE, we don’t just mean us, we mean YOU too!
A portion of every dental procedure goes to support these outreaches, and beyond that, our patients are generous, big-hearted people who donate money, toys and love to support special outreaches in San Antonio and beyond. Together we can change the world, one smile at a time!
Through Smile for Smile, we’ve seen people with no teeth smiling again. We’ve offered gum care instruction at diabetic seminars in San Antonio and taught people how to prevent cavities in impoverished communities in Romania. We’ve volunteered at free dental clinics for San Antonians as well as on the border in Laredo and Del Rio, and we’ve also spent weekends working in clinics serving the underserved. We’ve volunteered at orphanages in Haiti and delivered toothbrushes to kids who have never had their own.
Do you need a reason to smile today? Head on over to our About Us page and check out the pictures of our Smile for Smile Initiative. You’ll never believe a kid could look so happy getting a toothbrush as a present!
Click here to learn more about Smile for Smile.
I just want a cleaning. Can you do that for me?
Absolutely yes. Why do you ask? We’re happy to offer all of our patients cleanings. Which kind of cleaning did you need? If you’ve read our page on cleanings, then you know that there are five different types of cleanings, a fact that almost no one in the general public realizes thanks to mass marketing for cleanings as if there is only one type of dental cleaning.
Our mission is to see our patients healthy, healthier or healthiest. We are never willing to offer basic cleanings when active infection is present; however, we will always be willing to offer each patient the type of cleaning that they need based on their gum health! This is determined by evaluating bleeding, puffiness, plaque build up, pocket depth, pus and bone loss according to nationally accepted ADA guidelines for gum disease.
So what makes us so stickler about giving people the right kind of cleaning?
Easy ? we’ve seen what happens when you don’t. In our implant work, we’ve met too many patients who have lost their teeth in spite of regular cleanings because a dentist out there was willing to give them basic cleanings that weren’t treating their gum infection.
People don’t like being told that they have infection. People don’t like having to pay more for deep cleanings. People usually don’t like dentists who tell them their problems. Fortunately, we don’t like seeing people lose their teeth unnecessarily. Our policy doesn’t always foster friendship in the short term, but it does save teeth and sometimes it even saves lives. From our perspective, that’s what matters.
Tech Talk: How high tech is your office?
This is a fantastic question because everyone wants to go to a dentist who uses the latest technology and every dentist’s website mentions high tech somewhere. BUT, are they really ALL high tech? In reality, very few offices are equipped with and trained to use truly cutting edge equipment. One of our core values is technology because it makes such a difference in providing our patients with excellent dentistry and predictable outcomes. Dr. Bec’s background in computer science helps keep him on top of new technological developments in both the dental field and the digital world. So what’s high tech in dental these days?
Portable Digital Xrays: Getting xrays in our office, you won’t find yourself encircled by a wall-mounted sea serpent thing wrapping around you in the dental chair. No more waiting for ages while biting on an poky, uncomfortable piece of metal and plastic while an assistant yells, ?Don’t move! Don’t move!? These handy xray scanners look like something Princess Leia would use in Star Wars. They are hand-held, FAST and have lower radiation as well.
3D CT Scanners: Outpatient CT Scanners have been available for a while, but have only been in use in dentists? offices for a short time. Many general dentists still refer people out for CT Scans and some dentists still place implants with no scan at all (bad idea). Our office is equipped with an iCAT scanner that takes both 3D scans of the skull and jaw bone as well as 2D panoramic xrays.
Digital Implant Surgery Planning: In this perfect marriage of 3D CT Scan technology and high-powered computing, we can visualize a patient’s bone and plan the exact location for implant placement within a fraction of a millimeter. This allows us to idealize implant placement to take advantage of bone thickness, nerve locations, and restorative possibilities. Digital surgery planning optimizes implant placement and surgery results.
Implant Surgical Guides: It’s one thing to plan a surgery that is supposed to place an implant within a fraction of a millimeter of a specific location. It’s another thing to perform with that degree of precision. The only way this can be done is with a surgical guide, designed with the 3D CT Scan to match the surgical plan. These guides place the implant where it is supposed to go and even stop the drills and implant at the exact depth needed. Surgical guides are an important safeguard for patients, protecting them from the human error that can cause accidental nerve damage, overly deep implant placement and crooked implants.
iTero Digital Impression Scanner: No one loves getting a goopy, gunky impression taken. These days, you can often avoid an old fashioned, goopy impression if your dentist has a digital impression scanner. We still take regular impressions sometimes, but everyone loves it when they can avoid the goop!
Oral and IV Sedation: Most dentists have had laughing gas in their offices for decades, but many fewer dentists offer the latest oral sedation and IV sedation. We make sure that we stay current on the latest developments in dental pharmacology so that our patients get the most effective options for comfortable, relaxing dental appointments.
Endodontic Microscope: Lots of dentists do root canals, but usually only specialists have an endodontic microscope to verify their work. These microscopes are a type of old tech/high tech. It’s not new technology, but these powerful microscopes are cutting edge, specialty-level equipment not typically found in general offices.
Dental Lasers: Lasers are just now really finding their place in dentistry as we discover their incredible anti-bacterial, healing-promoting properties. Lasers are revolutionizing the way that we treat may dental conditions and particularly periodontal disease. Lasers don’t require any numbing because they are remarkably comfortable even though they are remarkably effective.
Are you expensive?
Hmmm? Whenever we hear this question, we’re unsure if the person asking is trying to determine if our fees are too high OR if our fees are high enough to prove that we do quality work.
Sticker shock and how a patient feels about our fees depends on whether or not they can afford them and on how much they already know about the regular cost of dental services.
The most straightforward answer we can give to this question is to tell you how we compare to other dentists in San Antonio. Every year, the American Dental Association publishes a survey of fees for every area of every city in the whole country. We periodically purchase this guide and revise our fees so that we are in the middle of the pack of what dentists charge. We’re not the cheapest and we’re not the most expensive.
Our goal as a practice is to provide patients with the highest VALUE of service, meaning great quality at a great price. At the lowest end of the price spectrum, we can’t provide dentistry that we would be willing to put in our own mouths (or even the mother-in-law’s). At the most expensive prices, the quality is phenomenal, but only movie stars and politicians can afford it.
Excellence is one of our core values and our goal is to provide our patients with excellent dentistry, the kind we want in our own mouths, at a price that lots of patients can afford. Does that answer your question?
Do you have Friday appointments?
Yes, actually, we do. On some Fridays, we see patients by appointment only for dental treatment. These appointments fill up fast, so grab one while they last!
How can I know that you do good work?
How can you know that a dentist does good work? Two words ? Get proof.
- Get proof of expertise.
- Get proof of past work.
- Get proof of patient satisfaction.
Get Proof of Expertise:
You can verify expertise by checking out the dentist’s certifications that show extra training and skill development. If a dentist isn’t open about post-doctoral training, there is a good chance he doesn’t have much.
Get Proof of Past Work:
Check out the results gallery of a dentist’s work. Ask the dentist about his warranties and work guarantees. If restorative work doesn’t have any type of guarantee, it may be because he doesn’t trust his work to last.
Get Proof of Patient Satisfaction:
Read patient testimonials, both here on the website and online.
Innovation is one of our seven core values and that means innovation in dental treatment as well as patient relations. We believe that patients deserve the best care and we also believe that they should be able to verify that their dentist is qualified and committed. It’s easy to say that we do good work and to claim to be committed to innovation. You deserve proof. Period.
How do you help people who are afraid of the dentist?
We meet patients all the time who have avoided the dentist for years because they’re afraid. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist leads to more problems, broken-down teeth and unhealthy gums. We know that these fears are real and that they are powerful. That’s why we offer three different levels of sedation: laughing gas, oral sedation and IV sedation. We make sure that our fearful patients are able to get the care they need while feeling comfortable and relaxed. It may not seem possible, but sedation is a safe and effective way to experience dentistry without the crippling anxiety and fear.
Why don't you give price quotes for everything over the phone?
It’s frustrating to call an office to find out how much something is going to cost only to hear that they don’t give prices over the phone.? Some people write us angry emails Don’t you know how much you charge?!? Why else won’t you tell me?? We understand their frustration. Not giving prices can look like stupidity or greed.
Here’s why we don’t give exact prices for most procedures over the phone:
For any dental or medical procedure, there is the price for the main procedure, say, placing an implant. Yes, we know how much that basic procedure costs. What we do not know without a detailed examination and a 3D CT Scan is whether or not placing an implant in your mouth and getting a good result will involve that basic procedure or whether it will require additional procedures like bone grafting, bone contouring, extractions, healing abutments, custom abutments, basic crowns or multi-step ones. We could quote you the price for the basic procedure (placing an implant), but end up needing to add or subtract expenses from that base price depending on what you need, what you want, and how your body heals. There is no way we can give an accurate estimate of implant cost without an exam and a CT.
Some offices simply charge one simple package price to get around this issue. The problem with package pricing is that inexpensive packages inevitably cut corners and disappoint patients with non-ideal results, while expensive packages take care of every possible complication but overcharge most regular patients. We want to get a great result without complications at the best price possible and that means giving accurate estimates after a thorough exam.
Your hygienist said I have gum disease. How can I know that's true for sure?
This is a great question. It’s really hard for patients to know if diagnoses are accurate in dentistry and medicine. A professional examines you and then tells you that you have a condition. Do you really? We’ve all heard about offices that treat patients for conditions they don’t have, right?
If you have a question about your diagnosis, ask us to show you in your own mouth while you’re still at the appointment. We will not feel threatened or defensive. We want to answer your questions so that you can feel confident about your treatment. Dental appointments should always be like show and tell. If we can see the problems, you can too. Some things, like xrays, aren’t easy to read if you haven’t been trained, but we’re happy to give you Xrays 101 if you need it so that you can see what we’re talking about.
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, we can show you the redness and bleeding. We can also show you your perio-probings that measured the depth of infection under the gums. We can show you the bone loss and deep calculus on your xrays. If you think of a question when you get home, please email us, call us or make an appointment to stop by and see the doctor for a chat. You need to be able trust your healthcare providers because successful treatment depends on doctors doing their best in treatment and patients doing their best with homecare recommendations. If you can’t trust your dentist or doctor, you need to find a new one.
Integrity is one of our team’s core values and we believe firmly that integrity is the foundation of trust, and that trust is the foundation of an effective doctor-patient relationship.
Will I like y'all?
Picking a dentist is a very personal choice. Think about it…it’s more personal than picking a hairdresser ? Hair grows back! A dentist takes care of your SMILE!
These days finding a healthcare professional is a little bit like internet dating. You read someone’s profile. You check out their qualifications. You find someone who’s a great fit on paper’ but in the end, it’s that first date that matters. We all want to find someone who feels comfortable, somebody who thinks like us, somebody who gets our jokes, someone we can trust. Isn’t that true? How we feel about people matters.
We invite you to come and meet us ? like a first date. Ask questions. Tell us a joke. Take a tour. Meet the team. Come see if we’re a good fit for you. Joy is one of our core values as a team. If we can make you smile, then we’re probably a good fit to take care of your smile!
Do you ever do cases for free?
This is one of those questions that most people wonder about, but few are willing to ask. The answer is Yes!
Through our Smile for Smile Initiative, we choose a number of cases per year that we treat in our office for low or no cost to the patient. These individuals are always friends or family of existing patients who have hit on tough times. We choose cases where the severity of their dental problems is creating a serious need that can only be treated in a clinic like ours that does specialty dentistry as well as general dentistry. The number of cases accepted every year varies depending on the number of nominations we receive and the severity of selected cases.
If you are a patient of our practice and know someone in desperate need of dental help, please contact us about current Smile for Smile openings.
Click here to learn more about Smile for Smile.
New Patient Forms
Hello! We can’t wait to meet you!
Yes, forms are the tedious part of becoming a patient. We know there are a lot of blanks to fill in and boxes to check when you’re only getting your teeth taken care of, but this information is actually a really, really important part of helping us take good care of you.
It may not make sense right now why we need to know all your meds or the fact that you have asthma, but, please believe us, we don’t want you to figure out the hard way why we need that information! We are required to have these papers before we can offer any diagnoses or treatment.