Accessible Version
Waters Family Dentistry

Smile More Dental Savings Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

The best way to help prevent cracked teeth is to prevent tooth decay. Daily oral hygiene habits of brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing are very important.  These habits minimize the destructive action of mouth bacteria. Regular dental visits are also needed to detect early decay and any cracks that may be starting.

If you have a cracked tooth you may experience sensitivity to biting or extreme temperatures. Sometimes the pain is not consistent. To diagnose a cracked tooth several tools can be used.  During your dental examination, the dentist may ask if you grind or clench your teeth or frequently chew hard foods. A dental x-ray can be made to check for decay. The dentist will visually and tactically examine the area. In addition, our office uses a “tooth sleuth” to check for biting sensitivity.  This plastic device is placed on isolated cusps of teeth and the patient is asked to bite together. A cracked tooth can often be difficult to diagnose as the cracks are sometimes internal and not detectable during an examination. If a cracked tooth progresses it may even cause a tooth fracture.


The treatment for a cracked tooth varies depending on the severity of the crack. Unlike broken bones, cracked teeth will not heal.  If the crack is isolated to the cusp or the area of the tooth above the gum line, the dentist can often repair the tooth with a filling or a crown.  However, if the crack extends farther into the tooth, a root canal and crown procedure may be needed. In some cases, the crack has spread so much that the tooth is not able to be saved.  

Great question! As there are hundreds of dental insurance companies out there, there is a possibility our office may be considered out of network for your dental insurance. It is a situation we have handled before, and you’ll be happy to know it doesn’t exclude you from being a patient in our office! In fact, for some of our existing patients, we are considered out-of-network for their dental insurance company. In many cases, we have found the differences between in and out of network to be negligible for routine care insurance reimbursement.

When you consider dental insurance, it’s important to understand, dental insurance typically covers basic care and is viewed as a method of payment and not a method of treatment. It’s interesting to note that in 1967, the annual maximum for most insurance was $1,000. If that amount was translated into today’s dollars, it would be over $7,000.

Sometimes we have patients whose employer changes the dental plan they offer. This typically happens at the beginning of a new calendar year. Occasionally we have found insurance websites don’t have the latest information about your coverage and we get better results with a phone call. To find out about your specific situation, we offer a complimentary insurance review and would be happy to answer any of your questions.

For years, the manual toothbrush has been the primary oral hygiene tool for removing plaque on a daily basis. Manual toothbrushes play an important role and can still do the job. However, with the evolution of the power toothbrush, many patients are choosing this alternative.

For most of us, brushing has become so routine we don’t give it much thought. The result is that many times we short-change our brushing time. We may be thinking about our “to-do” list and not pay attention to which teeth we have brushed or how long we brush in each area. Power brushes can greatly assist by providing audible beeps that prompt you to move your brush. They also have built-in timers that brush for a standard two minutes. With some brands, you can even customize the length or amount of vibration in your brushing sessions.

Power brushes can also be an advantage for getting children engaged in brushing. There is an “entertainment” factor, and the built-in timers help establish healthy habits. Regardless of which type of brush is used, parents should be supervising their children while they are brushing until they are age seven. This is to make sure they don’t miss the hard to reach spots like the inside surfaces of teeth near the tongue or the back molars.

Mechanical brushes vary in their mode of action; some vibrate, and others oscillate or spin. Sonicare is the brand we recommend in our office. It offers up to 31,000 vibrating strokes per minute. Beyond the mechanical cleaning of the brush, a secondary cleansing action occurs when the speed of the bristles disrupts the plaque. Studies have shown that power brushes can remove up to seven times more plaque than traditional manual toothbrushes.

For patients who have dexterity issues due to carpal tunnel, arthritis or stroke, the power brush requires less strength and movement from the wrist and elbow. It is also beneficial for orthodontic patients to clean around their braces effectively.

Whether you choose a manual or power toothbrush, it is important to angle your bristles at a 45-degree angle towards the gumline. At your next appointment with our hygienist, we can review your oral hygiene technique and discuss any areas in your mouth that may need additional care.

To schedule your dental cleaning appointment, please call our office at (308) 382-1734, and we will find a convenient time that works with your schedule.

If you clench or grind your teeth, a mouthguard will protect your teeth and spread out the chewing forces of your jaw.


To prevent a crack due to injury, wear a mouthguard while playing sports and participating in activities like skateboarding.   


Avoid chewing hard items like candy, pens, ice cubes, and popcorn kernels.

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