Request Request an Appointment Call Call Us Map View Map
We are open! Click here to read about our commitment to your safety.

Frequently Asked Dentistry Questions

At Signature Dental Care, patient education is a big part of our dental office! We want every visitor to feel well-informed about us, the inner workings of their smile, and the treatment options available to them here. On this page, you’ll find answers to many of the frequently asked denistry questions we receive for patients, all compiled in one convenient place. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, that’s not a problem either – just contact us directly here in Crystal River, FL.

Does Dr. Schnell provide children’s dental care?

Yes! We love families and see many of them. Our services are diverse, so we offer dentures for our older patients, as well as sealants for our youngest patients. Call to schedule comprehensive initial exams for everyone in your family – because their smiles are invaluable family assets!

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

Our dental office adheres to the American Dental Association’s recommendation that all people with good oral health visit the dentist for a checkup and professional dental cleaning every six months. In some cases, more frequent checkups and cleanings are necessary. We will schedule your next visit before you leave your appointment so you’ll know exactly when to come see us again. Since six months is a long time, we’ll also contact you to remind you about your visit about a week prior to the appointment.

What is the difference between a “healthy mouth dental cleaning” and periodontal therapy?

People with healthy teeth and gums need to visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. If gum disease is not present, a healthy mouth cleaning is done. During this procedure, our hygienist removes plaque, tartar, and decaying food particles from teeth. She also polishes the teeth so that they feel smooth and clean. At your healthy mouth cleaning, feel free to ask questions about oral healthcare and homecare tips. Brushing and flossing should be a simple and normal part of your daily life.

Periodontal therapy, or a “deep cleaning,” is intended to heal diseased gums. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding, sensitivity, and red/swollen gums. Sometimes, patients feel no pain with early-stage gum disease, also known as gingivitis. The condition can rapidly escalate as bacteria multiply in the warm, wet climate of the mouth. The bacteria create pockets between teeth and gums, breaking down the bond that provides support for your teeth and causing bad breath. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and up to 80% of the population has some level of the disease. If you are advised to have a deep cleaning, don’t delay. Let our hygiene team help you eradicate the bacteria and reverse the damage gum disease has caused in your mouth.

My gums bleed. Should I be concerned?

When gums bleed, the cause usually stems from the patient brushing too hard or from early-stage gum disease, also 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 strokes, heart attacks, 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!

My smile is missing teeth. What do you suggest I do?

You'll need to first schedule a consultation with Dr. Schnell. She can assess your oral health and discuss options for replacement teeth. In general, you can choose from crown and bridgework, partial or full dentures, or dental implants. As the most natural prosthetic to natural tooth structure, a dental implant offers a comfortable, natural-looking, and easy-to-care-for choice.

How can I improve my smile?

That sounds like an easy question to answer, but it isn't! Your smile is unique, and we won't compromise your individuality with smile enhancements. Smile design dentistry done right requires an initial consultation in which we will discuss your goals, preferences, and options for care. Generally speaking, we may suggest porcelain veneers or Lumineers, teeth whitening, all-white restorations, and/or replacement teeth. Orthodontics may also be involved. After your comprehensive evaluation and consultation, we'll present a smile makeover plan for your new smile. We offer digital imaging for smile previews as well!

What if I have an emergency when the dental office is closed?

If you have visited our dental office in the past year, call our on-call phone number, which is available on our answering machine. New patients should go to the emergency room or visit us when the dental office is open.

Will you accept my dental insurance?

We will be happy to explain your benefits and file your insurance claim. However, we are only in-network with Florida Blue, and we ask that you pay for your dental care at your visit if you have other PPO plans. Please visit our dental insurance page for more information.

What payment methods do you accept?

You may pay for your dental care with cash, check, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa. If you would like to finance your dental work, CareCredit offers up to 24 months with no interest for qualified applicants. Visit to apply.