Frequently Asked Questions

Before contacting us, please browse our FAQ section.
Before contacting us, feel free to browse our Frequently Asked Questions to clarify any concerns you may have. For all other healthy mouth questions, visit the American Dental Association’s Mouth Healthy website by clicking the logo on the right.
I really do not like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?
Many people are uncomfortable with visiting the dentist. Your comfort is our highest priority, and our office is designed so that you can enjoy a relaxing dental visit. Stereo headphones and heated massage cushions are available to keep your mind on more pleasant things. We also use the latest techniques to deliver the most comfortable and near painless treatments. Nitrous oxide may also be offered to keep you at ease.
I brush everyday, but my breath just is not fresh. Is there anything I can do?

Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can eliminate the problem:

  • Twice daily brushing
  • Daily flossing and tongue cleaning
  • Regular professional cleanings
  • Careful cleaning of dentures / removable dental appliances

However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we offer the following solutions.

  • A plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor
  • A specially prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to break odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath

If we suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.

I know I need X-rays, but I'd prefer to not be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-rays?
We use digital X-rays that use less radiation and are safer than traditional film X-rays. They are also easier to add to your digital records. You will find that in our dental practice, we research the latest technology trends and advances to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety and comfort.
I'm told I snore and may have Sleep Apnea. Can you help?

It is important to be properly diagnosed prior to attempting any treatment. You should seek the help of a sleep center for evaluation [call us at 808-526-2800 for a referral]. Once your Sleep Apnea is confirmed, the gold standard of treatment is the CPAP machine. However, many people cannot or will not use it. We can provide you with a custom-fitted oral device to help control your Apnea and help you get the sleep you need. For more information, visit the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine website.

I've heard that a laser technique can cure my Sleep Apnea, is that so?

No, laser treatments (called laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty) do not cure Sleep Apnea. While there have been some studies that show that using laser may provide some short-term relief, it may actually worsen your snoring and sleep problems.

What are some options to help me get the best smile?
You are not alone. Most people want to have a nice smile, as it is the first thing others notice about you. You may be interested in a few minor adjustments or may have concerns that need more attention. Some smiles can be enhanced with simple whitening or bonding treatments. Others require porcelain veneers, crowns or bridges, gum contouring, periodontal therapy or a combination of these techniques. Dr. Wilhite will suggest an individualized treatment plan based on goals, areas of concern and the overall condition of your oral health. Contact us for a complimentary smile evaluation to determine what course of action will produce the best solution for you.
What can I expect from my first appointment?
During your first appointment, your overall dental and oral health will be assessed with a comprehensive oral evaluation, including a cancer screening. Upon completion of your medical / dental health form, we will ask about your goals regarding your smile, teeth and gums. Digital photos and X-rays will be taken of your teeth to identify areas of decay, cracked teeth and malfunctioning restorations. Our goal is to preserve your teeth by catching decay in its earliest stages. We’ll also assess your gums and recommend the appropriate hygiene treatment for you.
Do you accept new patient referrals?
YES! Current patients are welcome to refer family and friends to our practice. Our reputation for excellent dental care depends on two things: our good work and your beautiful smile. Your confidence in our care motivates us to continue to strive for excellence. Thank you for your referrals. Your trust and support are greatly appreciated.
My teeth keep chipping and cracking. What causes this? What can I do about it?
Many people notice chipped or cracked teeth, but don’t remember when the injury occurred. Grinding or clenching your teeth during the night can cause your teeth to chip, crack and even break. To keep you from seriously damaging your teeth, we recommend a dental appliance called a night guard. A custom-fitted night guard protects your teeth from grinding and clenching in your sleep. If you suffer from headaches you may find that a side benefit of your night guard is headache prevention. Ask us about having a night guard customized for you.
I want cosmetic dentistry. Does my insurance pay for it?
Most procedures are not fully covered by insurance. Cosmetic dentistry in particular is not covered by most dental insurance plans. To help you afford your smile, we offer a variety of payment options outside of dental insurance. We also pay special attention to maximizing the benefits that your insurance does provide. Ask how you can comfortably afford your dentistry and maximize your dental insurance benefits.
What different payment options do you provide?

Helping to make your dental care financially comfortable and affordable is important. We offer several options:

  • Cash or personal checks
  • VISA / MasterCard
  • Monthly payment options

We estimate fees and insurance reimbursements before starting recommended treatments and can gladly file insurance forms for you. Optimal, comprehensive dentistry is what we practice. We do not base our treatment on what insurance will or will not pay; it is based on what is best for you. Any treatment not paid by insurance is your financial responsibility.

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

It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums after brushing. The condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following:

  • Improper, rough ‘scrubbing’
  • Using a hard-bristled tooth brush
  • Plaque and / or tartar build-up below the gum line
  • Gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease

If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.

Sometimes when I chew I get a sharp pain. What can I do to correct this?
Most dental pain brought on by chewing is caused by a fracture, or crack, in the tooth. The pain can be corrected with an inlay / onlay, a porcelain crown or with a more advanced treatment. It is best to correct this as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the tooth. Contact us today to schedule a visit.
How can porcelain veneers help my smile?

Porcelain veneers improve your smile by correcting the cosmetic concerns:

  • Gaps in teeth
  • Chips and broken teeth
  • Dull or yellowing teeth that cannot be whitened with traditional means
  • “Gummy smile” (showing too much gum when one smiles)
  • Crooked teeth

Porcelain veneers broaden, straighten, whiten and beautify most any smile. This procedure can be done in as little as two clinical visits. Feel free to come in today or send us an email to ask us how porcelain veneers can improve your smile.

I want my teeth to be whiter. Do you recommend at-home whitening?
Dentist directed at-home whitening is an effective way of brightening your smile. Your personal home whitening kit from Dr. Wilhite includes a special tray that is customized to fit over your teeth, prescription-whitening gel and detailed instructions for your treatment. The average home whitening process will take between two and four weeks, leaving you with a dazzling smile