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Frequently Asked Questions

Please Contact Us For Any Additional Questions

What is an Independent Dental Hygienist?

An experienced Registered Dental Hygienist who practices independent of a dentist/dental office. They own and operate their own dental hygiene office and refer patients to a General Dentist or Specialist as needed.

Why seek out an Independent Dental Hygienist?

Independent Dental Hygienists are experienced preventative oral health care Professionals who wish to offer their oral health services in a unique, relaxed, no pressure settings for client centered care. Registered Dental Hygienists are now recognized as Oral Health Professionals in their own right. It is now recognized that what a Dentist is really good at (restoring teeth to health) and what a Dental Hygienist is really good at (preventing tooth and oral soft tissue disease), do not need to be achieved in same practice or the traditional Dentist office setting. Many Independent Dental Hygienists offer mobile care to public schools, nursing care facilities, private schools, and community outreach programs. Others practice in their privately owned Dental Hygiene Practices or in wellness centers. People enjoy and appreciate the flexibility of this new method of seeking their oral health promotion to suit their individual lifestyle and needs.

How do I pay? Does my insurance cover the cost?

Dental hygiene services are accepted by most insurance companies. You can always contact your insurance carrier for clarification of coverage prior to your appointment. 

For your convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, check, cash payments and CareCredit. We accept most insurance plans including Northeast Delta Dental Insurance,  Aetna,  Cigna, and  Maine School Management Association Dental Trust Fund


Your insurance policy is a contract between you, your employer and the insurance company. The amount of benefits you receive will depend on the quality of the plan purchased by yourself or your employer. As a courtesy to our patients with dental insurance, we provide the following services – if you provide us with the necessary information: we will estimate what your insurance will pay based on information provided. We will file your insurance claim for you and wait 45 days for your carrier to reimburse us. Any amount estimated not to be covered by your insurance is due as services are rendered. Any additional amounts not paid by your insurance will be due immediately upon billing. If your insurance company has not paid us in 45 days, we will bill you directly and will refund to you any subsequent amount we receive from your carrier for that claim. We are not responsible for any limitations in coverage that may be included in your plan. You are responsible for knowing the details of your specific dental plan. All charges you incur are your responsibility regardless of your insurance coverage.

Don’t I need to see a Dentist?

For many people, preventing oral health care problems is their main focus.  At your Dental Hygiene appointment, an assessment of the teeth, gums and all the tissues in the mouth will be done.  If concerns are observed, they will be discussed. Depending on the concern, you will be referred to either a General Dentist, or a Dental Specialist ie: Orthodontist, Periodontist...It is recommended that regular General Dentist exams occur once a year.

Who do I see for a Dentist?

If you have a Dentist you will continue to see that person for periodical exam. If you don’t have a Dentist, your Independent Dental Hygienist is able to refer you. We currently work with all local dentists in our area.

I can't get in with my current Dentist for months for a cleaning, can I come to you this one cleaning visit?

Sure, you can book this visit with us and then your next 3, 4, or 6 month visit with your general dentist. We are currently helping many dental offices with their overflow in their hygiene departments.

What type of cleaning do I book for, I see many choices?

If you are a NEW PATIENT, then you will select the New Patient with cleaning service. This is the initial records appointment, an oral cancer, periodontal and cavity screening is performed. For current patients of Sweet Smiles, you can select the routine adult cleaning or periodontal maintenance or deep cleaning. If you've had a routine dental cleaning within the past 12 months,  than you would book a regular Adult Cleaning (14 years and up) or a Child cleaning (13 years and younger).  A regular 6 month cleaning removes tartar buildup on the lower anterior teeth and slight buildup on your back teeth. This is followed up with a polish and floss. If it's been longer than 12 months, then tartar buildup is more prevalent and has accumulated on more teeth and more likely under the gum tissue causing gingivitis (gum infection).  Swollen gums and bleeding are present. This requires a more detailed cleaning visit, so a full mouth debridement is needed. Tartar buildup is removed from all your teeth from the gumline and up. Stain is removed as well. If tartar buildup is deep under the gums and pocket depths of 5mm or more, then a deep scale and cleaning would be needed. This very detailed cleaning where ultrasonic instruments are used to remover tartar buildup from under the gums. Periodontal patients require this every 3-5 years to prevent bone loss in most cases. If you still are unsure of what type of cleaning you need, then you can always book for a basic Adult cleaning, and we can evaluate you during this visit and recommend which treatment is best for you.

Will I lose my Dentist if I go to an Independent Dental Hygiene Office?

Absolutely not, you can keep your dentist for restorative needs and annual exams. Our office will work with your current dental office by giving necessary chart notes and probing measurements if needed. Many patients have gone to specialty offices such as an Orthodontist, Periodontist, Endodontist, and Oral Surgeon for specific treatment and return to their dentist for exams and restorative work as needed. Patients have the right to choose where to have dental treatment done. We are all a team of dental health professionals and will work together to get you the best dental care!!

What's different about your office?

It's a relaxed atmosphere where we LISTEN to you and your needs. We will try to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Visit our Coffee Bar/Beverage Area before or after your visit. Enjoy our heated massage chairs and your choice of music or TV.

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