We Specialize In Patient Care

Our team places your experience first. Our patient resources are on this page. The answers on this page are to help you understand the questions that we receive the most. Please follow up with us if you have further questions.


What is a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontists are specialists in the restoration and replacement of missing teeth and oral/facial structures with natural, esthetic, and functional replacements. This includes surgical implant placement, the simple to most complex implant supported restorations, laboratory and clinical training in esthetics/cosmetics, crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, removable complete and partial dentures, dental implants, TMD-jaw joint problems, traumatic injuries to the mouth’s structures, congenital or birth anomalies and/or teeth, snoring and sleep disorders, as well as oral cancer prosthetic reconstruction and continuing care.

How much is a cleaning?

There are “three” levels of cleaning that we perform in our office. Each patient’s cleaning will be tailored to their specific needs. After a comprehensive exam, our doctors will formulate a treatment plan based on all the information gathered. This plan presented to you will include treatment specifics, such as fee, treatment alternatives, and time frame.

Are you taking new patients?

Of course! We love getting the opportunity to meet new faces!?

Do you take my insurance?

Yes, as long as your company allows you to choose your own dentist. We are an out-of-network or unrestricted dentist. As a courtesy, we will file your claim with your insurance company, the remainder of the balance after the claim is paid is the patient’s responsibility.

Do you see children?

Yes! Around the age of 3, we begin to assimilate kids into an actual appointment where we will perform a comprehensive oral exam, dental cleaning, and oral hygiene instructions for parents and kids. Our main goal is for your child to be comfortable in our office, so we work to gradually build a positive relationship with them. If your young child is already apprehensive, or has had a bad experience in another practice, we work closely with our local pediatric dentists to get your kiddos taken care of!

What should I do if my child gets a tooth knocked out?

If the tooth is a permanent tooth, time is extremely crucial. Immediately stick the tooth back in the socket. Don’t worry about getting it straight or having it turned backwards; just get it in the socket and immediately call your dentist. If you are uncomfortable placing the tooth in the socket, put it in a glass of milk and get your child to the dentist as quickly as possible. If the tooth is a baby tooth, do not put it in the socket because damage to the permanent tooth can occur. When in doubt, put the tooth in milk and see your dentist immediately.

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

If you are already a patient of Merrell & Nichols Dentistry and you have an emergency, please call our office number at 806-689-6684 and follow the instructions to contact our on-call doctor.

What do I do if I grind or clench my teeth?

Bruxism is the grinding or clamping of the jaws that occurs outside of normal function and is frequently caused by physiological stress. If you are experiencing bruxism, come into the office for an evaluation.?The forces that can be generated will cause wear and fracture of natural tooth surfaces, crowns, or other restorations. Clenching and grinding may or may not cause pain in the muscles or joints. If there is evidence of clenching and grinding or joint pain the dentist will likely recommend a night guard to protect the teeth and existing restorations, and possibly relieve pain.

Is fluoride good or bad? Why does it stain my teeth?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil and water. When teeth are forming (prenatal to 6 yrs.), and there is appropriate amounts of fluoride in drinking water, the mineral will strengthen teeth while they are forming. If there is too much fluoride in drinking water, enamel will form with brown stains or chalky white areas. In extreme cases, excess fluoride will cause teeth to be brittle and prone to decay and fracture. Alternatively, inadequate levels of fluoride in drinking water will cause teeth to be more susceptible to decay.

How safe are dental x-rays?

Dental x-rays are safe.?Dental Images require exposure to very low levels of radiation?which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects very small. The number of x-rays you need should be determined by your risk for gum disease and dental decay, in consultation with your dentist. Our state of the art technology, digital x-rays, use about 80 percent less radiation than conventional x-rays. In general, dental x-rays emit lower levels of radiation than other medical x-rays. Check with your dentist, if you have certain medical conditions or are undergoing treatments such as radiation therapy. Always mention these conditions or any changes in your health, as well as any other x-rays, you’ve had elsewhere. We use x-rays because radiographs show the condition of your teeth, their roots, jaw placement, and the composition of your facial bones. They can help detect the presence or degree of gum disease, abscesses, and abnormal growths. Digital x-rays, frequent examinations, and cleanings help to ensure a lifetime of smiles.

What should I do about bleeding gums?

People often respond to bleeding gums with the wrong method of treatment. Usually, gums that bleed are a symptom of the onset of periodontal disease or gingivitis. But often, people stop brushing frequently and effectively because it may be painful or it may cause the gums to bleed again. Instead, when gums are inflamed, brushing often and effectively is imperative. More importantly, you should see your dentist to have a periodontal screening and recording performed in order to determine the level of disease present and the best treatment course to pursue. It is also worth noting that chronic dental pain and discomfort are obvious signs of a problem. Over-the-counter drugs may provide some temporary relief. These medications usually only mask the existence of a problem and should be taken on a temporary basis. It is important to see your dentist as soon as possible if your gums begin to bleed.

New Patient Experience

The first step in becoming a new patient is an initial consultation. Give us a call and we will set a time aside for you. Choosing to receive dental treatment is a big decision, and we respect your reasons for wanting to improve the way you look and feel. Learn More ?


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