Dr. Robert K. Thompson, JR DMD

Frequently Asked Questions

All of our infection control procedures, devices, PPE, and disinfectants are up to date and in accord with CDC and OSHA guidelines, as well as recommendations by the American Dental Association and Massachusetts state requirements.  This has been the case for over thirty years in the office and has recently been augmented due to concerns about coronavirus.  See our page on sterilization for more.

What are the office hours?

Our office hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8:30 AM-5:00 PM and Friday 8:30 AM -2:30 PM from October 1 until May 31.  During the summer (June 1 through September 30) we are open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  In order to make things as fair as possible for everyone involved, we require that all scheduling changes and cancellations be made during those times when the staff and I are actually in the office.

How often should I see a dental office for checkups?

There is no set time for the frequency of dental checkups. The correct time between cleanings for a particular patient needs to be determined by the dentist and his staff based upon that patient's individual condition. Although a majority of patients are seen twice a year, many patients are seen three or four times annually due to their circumstances. I base my recall frequency for any patient upon the needs of that particular individual.

When should I see a dentist immediately?

You should see a dentist as soon as possible when:

1. You have a trauma to your mouth resulting in a broken tooth or filling.

2. You have constant pain in a tooth or your jaws.

3. You have pain caused by heat that lasts more than a few seconds.

4. You have pain caused by simple chewing.

5. You have swelling in the mouth or facial area.

What can be done about cold sensitivity?

Cold sensitivity, particularly at the gumlines of the teeth, is very common. When not associated with actual decay or a broken tooth or filling, it can often be controlled with an over-the-counter sensitivity toothpaste. Most patients get relief from the use of these products over the course of a few weeks.

Does Dr. Thompson use "gas" or general anesthetics?

I use local anesthetics only, no "gas" or general anesthetics. This makes it much easier to communicate with patients during treatment.  I will prescribe oral medication to control anxiety in patients who may need it.

Does Dr. Thompson bleach teeth?

Yes.  I have been bleaching teeth effectively for over thirty years using a tray technique.  This is a very effective and, more importantly, safe way of brightening your teeth.

Are any of the metals used in fillings or crowns a risk to my health?

To date, despite exhaustive research to try to prove otherwise, there is no valid scientific evidence that metal alloys used in restoring teeth pose any health risk. In 
fact, alloy restorations have been used literally for centuries with great success.  However, today alternative tooth-colored materials exist which can be used to restore teeth without silver alloy or cast gold. Patients may opt to choose these techniques after being informed of their cost and limitations.

Does Dr. Thompson refer to specialists?

Although I am a general practice dentist and perform the bulk of the work required by my patients in my practice there are times when patients will require the services of a specialist dentist. At that time I will make the appropriate referral.

Does Dr. Thompson do implant dentistry?

Yes,  the restorative part of implants. The surgical phase of the implants is performed by a dentist with whom I work closely, someone who is specialized in this type of surgery, such as a periodontist (gum specialist) or an oral surgeon. I then place the "teeth" (usually some type of crown, bridge or denture) onto the implant.

How can I transfer records from my previous dentist?

Government privacy regulations (sometimes known as HIPAA) do not allow us to directly request copies of records from your previous dentists.  You will need to contact them in order to make that request.  Those records can be sent either in hard copy form or via e-mail.  Let us know which they would prefer and we will be happy to pass along the address required.

What is Dr. Thompson's policy regarding broken appointments?

Unless they have a legitimate reason for doing so, patients who fail to keep an appointment with less than twenty-four hours notice will be charged a broken appointment fee.

Can I pay for my services by credit card?

Yes, by MasterCard or Visa.

What is Dr. Thompson's policy regarding dental insurance?

My office accepts most regular insurance plans, including Blue Cross/ Blue Shield Dental and Delta Dental. The office fills out and submits insurance forms as a  courtesy to the patient. Treatment is based on patient need, not insurance coverage.  For example, a patient may need to have a check-up more often than twice a year even though their plan only covers two.  Ultimately the patient, not the insurance company, is responsible for charges made for services rendered.

I do not participate in any managed care, PPO, or capitation plans.  That does not mean you cannot see me if you have one of those plans.  Many of my patients have these types of plans and can see me as an out-of-network dentist.

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