Welcome to your one-stop shop for Patient Resources! Fill out forms before your appointment, get your questions answered, and learn more about payments and financing.
Payments & Financing
Cost and Fees
The cost of your treatment will be presented on a treatment plan following your exam with Dr. Sonnen. If you have dental insurance, the estimated coverage and patient portion will be included on this plan. All services will be explained prior to receiving treatment. Any questions regarding cost and payment options will be discussed at that time.
We request that payment is made in full when service is rendered. If you have insurance, your copayment, coinsurance, and/or deductible is due at this time. Any remaining amount not covered by your insurance will be due following the processing of your claim. If your claim is denied, then you will be financially responsible for the remaining balance.
Financing & Payment Plans
We understand dental procedures can be expensive. Therefore, we are proud to offer financing and payment options so that our patients are able to receive the treatment they need. Depending on the type of treatment, payments may be spread out over the time it takes to complete a procedure. Also, patients may be eligible for a courtesy reduction in cost if they pay for the procedures in full prior to undergoing treatment.
We currently accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards. For patients that prefer to use financing, we accept Care Credit and Springstone. These financing options allow patients to receive their treatment while extending payments over a longer period of time. Both companies offer interest free payment schedules from 6 months to one year or more. If a patient is interested in applying for either of these financing plans, the Azure Staff will gladly explain the differences and can even assist with the application process.
What should I expect at my first appointment?
During your first appointment, the Azure Dental team will obtain your comprehensive medical and dental history and you will complete all necessary paperwork. These forms can be downloaded so that you may complete them prior to your appointment. It is located under the Patient Forms Section. Once your information is added to our system, you will start your appointment with a full series of digital x-rays. This includes 18 different x-rays that capture multiple views of your teeth from the coronal portion (chewing surface) to the tip of the root. Seeing the full root is important for determining if there is an infection or other condition associated with your teeth or surrounding bone. Traditional bite wing x-rays do not show this view of the teeth.
Next you will receive a periodontal evaluation and charting. During the exam, your gums are measured to determine if there is any sign of inflammation of the gums or bone loss present. If the supporting structures of your teeth are healthy, then you will receive a prophylactic cleaning. If you require a scaling and root planning or “deeper cleaning” due to periodontal disease, a treatment will be presented. The steps of the cleaning and benefits for this service will also be discussed at this time.
Once your periodontal charting and x-rays are complete, you will have an in depth exam by Dr. Sonnen. Each tooth will be evaluated for decay, your periodontal status will be assessed, and you will be screened for signs of oral cancer and other conditions of the mouth. Following this exam, Dr. Sonnen will go over her findings and any necessary treatment. If you have a lot of work to be done or specific concerns about a certain area of your mouth, she will help you prioritize the steps of your treatment and discuss your options. This is also a good time to convey any cosmetic concerns because they may influence the course of treatment. If you have a more complex treatment plan, you may be reappointed for a consultation in order to allow for ample time to discuss the options and answer any questions regarding the process and treatment.
Do you accept my insurance?
Azure Dental is an in-network provider with most PPO insurance companies. Our office manager has a complete list of these companies and can verify the information for you. For certain companies or type of policies, we may recommend that you verify our participation with your provider directly before arriving for your appointment.
If we are not in-network with your insurance company, we will file the necessary paperwork to process your claim. In some cases, the insurance company will pay us directly for services rendered, and in other cases they will reimburse the patient for their expense.
We encourage new patients and current patients with new coverage to provide our office with as much detail as possible regarding their insurance policy. This way we may avoid verification and eligibility issues on the day of your appointment.
How often do I need to get my teeth cleaned?
Many of our patients have healthy gums and excellent home care. These patients only require dental cleanings and check ups every 6 months. Patients that have undergone scaling and root planing therapy must receive cleanings (periodontal maintenance) on a more frequent basis. They are seen every 3-4 months. When a patient has had a “deeper cleaning,” the pockets around the gums may be more difficult to thoroughly clean at home. More frequent cleanings ensures a plaque and calculus free mouth so that the gums can continue to heal and encourage further pocket depth reduction around the teeth. Success with scaling and root planing requires a lifelong commitment from patients. One cleaning does not rid you of the harmful bacteria causing the inflammation and bone loss. Each patient requires a different frequency in their recall for cleanings. This will be determined by your dentist.
If a patient is pregnant or has an orthodontic appliance like a palatal expander or braces, it may be recommended to have an additional cleaning per year. Hormones and the presence of brackets can cause increased gum inflammation and irritation. Reducing plaque and calculus can decrease the potential for gums problems or decalcification (white spots) on the teeth once braces are removed.
What can I expect after my filling?
While most people do not have any symptoms or complications after their dental procedures, few will have minor problems or situations to avoid afterward. Please review the possible scenarios below. If your problem is not described or you would like to discuss the matter further, do not hesitate to call our office at 850-477-2355.
Many procedures performed in the office require the use of local anesthetic. Patients may experience soreness and inflammation at the injection site. The muscles and jaw may also be sore and uncomfortable when opened due to undergoing a longer duration procedure like a root canal. These issues usually resolve within a few days. You may take an anti-inflammatory medication like Advil, use ice packs, or gentle massage of the muscles in order to help alleviate the pain and stiffness.
After having crowns, root canals, or fillings, your teeth may be sensitive following the procedure. If the cavity was close to the nerve, then the tooth will likely have some sensitivity after the treatment. It is advised to avoid chewing anything hard or crunchy for a few days until the tooth has had a chance to recover. Many times Dr. Sonnen will recommend a patient completely avoid chewing on the side that had a crown or root canal. After these procedures, the tooth will have a temporary crown or filling with an increased risk of breaking unlike untreated teeth or those with permanent crowns.
If you develop any sores or ulcers in your mouth following treatment, please swish with warm salt water and avoid highly acidic foods. Contact the office if your symptoms worsen or seem different from those you have experienced before.
What if I have a dental emergency after hours?
If you have a dental emergency after our normal business hours and require immediate attention, please call 850-366-2611. Dr. Sonnen will address your issue and either offer advice or a solution. If the problem cannot wait until the next business day, then Dr. Sonnen may arrange for you to be treated after hours in the office for an additional fee.