How do I know when it is time to come in for a checkup?

We recommend that patients with good oral health schedule a checkup and hygiene visit twice each year. If you need more frequent visits, we'll let you know.

Checkups are important because, even if you don't notice any pain or problems with your teeth, we may find signs of potential problems. For instance, demineralization is a precursor to decay, oral cancer often goes undetected until the later stages, and gum disease can be very stealthy.

At your hygiene appointment, we'll clean plaque, tartar, and hardened food particles from your teeth. We'll also make sure your gums are healthy and strong.

How do you look out for the safety of your patients?

Very well, actually! In addition to following guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), we use disposable products as often as possible.

Between each patient visit, we thoroughly clean treatment rooms and sterilize reusable instruments in an autoclave. Because we value safety, we have invested in a digital radiograph, which emits about 90% less radiation that a traditional X-ray machine. We also use intraoral cameras and photography for close-up images, which promotes accurate diagnoses.

If you have questions about our safety and sterilization methods, call us. We'll answer your questions with enthusiasm because we love dentistry and our patients.

My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?

Bleeding is usually a sign of a problem. When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from the patient brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. We can consult with you on the proper toothbrush and pressure for safe, effective daily oral care.

If your gums show signs of gum disease, we may recommend a deep hygiene treatment to stop the disease and return your gums to good health. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it has been linked to many overall health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and respiratory problems.

Untreated, gum disease can escalate to create significant damage to your health, so call for an assessment now. We will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life!

Does your office use lasers?

We use many kinds of lasers for precise, comfortable dentistry.

Our soft-tissue laser allows us to treat gum disease, perform crown lengthening, harvest and place gum grafts, reduce gum tissue for esthetics, and do biopsies. You will need no stitches after laser surgery, and bleeding is minimal. Most patients recover more quickly after laser surgery than they do following traditional surgery.

Our hard tissue laser removes decay, replacing the traditional dental drill. We can also do bone grafts with this laser.

What is a digital X-ray, and how is it different from traditional X-rays?

When compared to traditional radiography, digital X-rays emit 90-percent less radiation. Detailed images are immediately available for view on a chairside monitor in the operatory.

We can transfer digital X-rays and photographs quickly via the Internet to insurance companies and specialists, as well. Digital X-rays require no hazardous developing chemicals, so they're earth friendly!

I want to know more about changing my smile. What do you suggest?

An appointment. Your smile and your goals are unique. We offer a wide range of cosmetic services, and after your consultation, you'll know which services will deliver the smile of your dreams.

What can you do to improve the appearance of my smile?

Well, we'd like to start by evaluating your oral health, existing smile, and discussing your idea of a spectacular smile.

We may suggest porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, replacement teeth, and replacing metal dental work with esthetic restorations. However, your smile may benefit from some artistic bonding and reshaping or teeth whitening.

Maybe Invisalign clear braces will give you the straight smile you've always wanted. Call to schedule a cosmetic consultation, and together, we'll determine the best road to your ideal smile.

Do you refer patients to specialists?

While we are trained and equipped to handle many dental issues in our Mankato office, when a specialist would better serve you, we'll refer. Some dental specialists are oral surgeons, periodontists (supporting structures), endodontists (internal tooth problems), orthodontists (for moving teeth), and pedodontists (for children). We refer to only trusted professionals with whom we have a good rapport.

I have not been to the dentist in years, and I’m ashamed to let a professional see the condition of my mouth. Is your staff judgmental?

First of all, congratulations on your wise decision to prioritize dental healthcare. Your mouth is a big part of your overall health, quality of life, and self-esteem. We will not judge you, but help you by addressing your oral problems, explaining treatment options, then scheduling a plan of action that suits your schedule and your budget.

Do you accept dental insurance?

We are a Delta provider and will file out-of-network claims in most cases. We will accept your copay or deductible, then file your claim electronically. Learn more about dental insurance here.

What payment methods do you accept, and what are your financing options?

We gladly accept payment by cash, check, or credit card. If you are interested in financing your dental work, Dr. Kalina accepts CareCredit, a trusted name in patient financing. Apply for a no-interest or long-term patient loan at CareCredit.com.