Frequently Asked Questions

When you’re trying to find the right dental home for you and your family, you probably have questions about what we do and how we work. We welcome them!
Good communication and information sharing are key to the positive, trusting relationships we aim to build with each and every patient we see here in our North Austin office.

Here are some of the questions we hear most often – along with answers.

Questions About Our Office

Do you take insurance?

While we don’t participate in any dental benefit plans, we’re happy to complete the paperwork for you so you can file your claim with your provider. We can even file the claim for you so you can be reimbursed directly. However, you remain financially responsible for any treatment we provide you.

Do you offer any payment plans or other financing?

Our team is happy to work with you to make the payment process easy, affordable, and stress-free. Flexible plans are available through CareCredit, helping you break down your overall costs into manageable payments at little or no interest.

Do you treat children?

Yes, we welcome patients of all ages! We recommend you bring your child in for their first visit around age 1 or as soon as teeth begin erupting so we can make sure their orofacial development is proceeding properly. This early visit also helps them begin to get used to the unfamiliar sights, smells, and sounds of a dental office. The earlier you establish regular dental care as the norm, the easier their future appointments tend to go.

If we’re unable to see or treat your child for any reason, we can refer you to a holistic pediatric dentist who can serve their needs.

Do you HAVE to take x-rays?

For every new patient, we need a current full mouth set of x-rays to establish your dental record and so we can track any changes over time. That said, if you’ve had a good quality set taken within the last 12 months, we may be able to use them.

After that, we take x-rays only when needed to provide your dental care. All of our x-rays are digital, which require far less radiation than conventional film x-rays. We can also provide you with a homeopathic to help counteract the radiation you are exposed to.

What can I expect at my first visit?

In addition to getting to know each other and discussing your needs and desires, your first visit is largely about creating a record of your current oral and overall health. You can learn more about all of the different procedures your or your child’s comprehensive first visit will include

I have MCS. Is your office fragrance-free?

We regularly use essential oils in our office. However, we are always happy to make accommodations for you as needed.

Questions About Holistic/Integrative Dentistry

What do you mean by “integrative” dentistry?

There are two key things that make a practice “integrative.” One is the philosophy that the mouth can’t be fully understood except in relationship to body, mind, and spirit. How you treat one can – and does – affect the others, and vice versa. We see each patient as a unified whole.

The other aspect is our marriage of modern clinical dentistry with traditional healing wisdom. All the advanced techniques and technologies we use are complemented by nutrition, herbal medicine, energy medicine, and other “alternative” practices as we care for the whole person. It’s a best-of-both-worlds approach, where evidence-based practices are selected according to each individual’s needs and goals.

Do you offer any payment plans or other financing?

Our team is happy to work with you to make the payment process easy, affordable, and stress-free. Flexible plans are available through CareCredit, helping you break down your overall costs into manageable payments at little or no interest.

Questions About Common Dental Problems

I’m experiencing a lot of jaw pain. What could be causing it?

The two most common causes of chronic jaw pain are bruxism (habitual teeth grinding) and TMJ dysfunction. The latter occurs when the jaw joints are suffering from strain, injury, or displacement. Dr. Bruno is highly skilled in the treatment of this debilitating condition, offering a variety of therapies suited to each patient’s needs.

What should I do for a toothache?

A toothache indicates some kind of infection in the tooth or gums, or damage to the tooth, or both. Because of this, it’s important that you see a dentist as soon as possible. Your mouth is mere inches from your brain, and infection can easily travel from the teeth and gums to this most vital of all vital organs.

In the meantime, dabbing some clove oil or arnica around the tooth may bring some relief, as can a cold compress on your outer cheek, next to where the painful tooth is.

What’s the best replacement option for missing teeth?

Dr. Bruno recommends dental implants in most cases because of their exceptional longevity and virtually seamless nature. In both appearance and function, they’re the closest thing to natural teeth. But some patients may be better-suited to options like bridges or dentures. We’ll be happy to review all three with you in greater detail so that you can decide on the choice that best fits your personal needs.

Is it true that a dentist can treat my sleep apnea?

If you have mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Dr. Bruno may be able to help you achieve a good night’s rest at last. A variety of appliance therapies are available to help keep your airway open while you sleep. Dr. Bruno is glad to talk with you about your specific needs and recommend a plan of action for you.

Sleep apnea isn’t something that should be ignored. It doesn’t get better on its own and can ultimately result in serious health problems such as hypertension, GERD, cognitive decline, stroke, fibromyalgia, and even death.

Questions About Mercury Amalgam & Biocompatibility

Does the material you use for tooth-colored fillings and sealants contain fluoride? BPA? Derivatives of BPA?

Today, there are lots of excellent composite resins to choose from for restorations or sealants, including resins that are both fluoride-free and free of BPA and related compounds. Those are the materials we prefer, further guided by the patient’s own biocompatibility test results.

How can you tell if a certain material is biocompatible?

There are several ways we can find out which dental materials are most compatible with your unique biochemistry. The gold standard is serum testing, in which a small sample of your blood is sent to a lab for analysis. The lab then provides us with a report of which materials you may be reactive to and which are safe to use. For patients with a history of sensitivities or chronic illness, we strongly recommend serum testing before any restorative work is done.

We can also test materials here in our office with applied kinesiology (AK), which is a fine, low-cost option for healthy patients with no history of sensitivities.

I want to get my amalgams replaced. How much does it cost?

The cost of safe removal and replacement of mercury fillings depends on many factors, such as the number of fillings and surfaces involved, and where they are in the mouth. Our front desk can give you a rough estimate, but the specific cost will be determined and reviewed with you once Dr. Bruno has completed your treatment plan.

If I have you remove my amalgam fillings, do you HAVE to replace them with something else?

Yes, you do. Tooth remineralization is not the same thing as growing new tooth structure. It’s impossible for you to grow a new tooth. If you were to leave a drilled out tooth uncovered, it would be an easy trap for food debris and even more vulnerable to harmful bacteria and other pathogens.

Are root canals safe?

Dr. Bruno believes that root canal treated teeth are a constant load of exotoxins on the nervous system. This can lead to a higher inflammatory response and more likely chronic inflammatory diseases. When root canal teeth are present, Dr. Bruno will evaluate the patient’s ability to methylate and detox, and then offer her recommendations based on their total toxic burden and their expressed health goals and desires.

Have a question not answered here? Contact us to ask! We’re here to provide answers to all your dental questions and concerns.

Book an appointment with Dr. Bruno now!