We Specialize In Quality Patient Care

Welcome to Merrell & Nichols Dentistry in Lubbock, Texas. Dr. P’Jay Merrell and Dr. Kathleen Nichols prioritize your comfortable and effective treatment. We hope this patient resources page will help you understand the answers to the questions we receive the most. Please follow up with us if you have further questions.


What is a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontists are specialists in restoring and replacing 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, and 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
-oral cancer prosthetic reconstruction
-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 the information gathered. This plan 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 dentist. We are an out-of-network or unrestricted dentist. As a courtesy, we will file your claim with your insurance company. The patient is responsible for the remainder of the balance after the claim is paid.

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 build a positive relationship with them gradually.

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. Immediately call your dentist. If you are uncomfortable placing the tooth in the socket, put it in a glass of milk and take it to your appointment. If the tooth is a baby tooth, do not put it in the socket because damage to the permanent tooth can occur. Put the tooth in milk when in doubt and see your dentist immediately.

What Do I Do if I Have an Emergency When the Office is Closed?

If you are already a Merrell & Nichols Dentistry patient and have an emergency, please call our office at 806-698-6684 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. When you do this, the forces on your teeth can cause wear and fracture of natural tooth surfaces, crowns, or other restorations. Clenching and grinding may or may not cause muscle or joint pain, so you may be unaware there is an issue. If you are experiencing bruxism, come into the office for an evaluation.

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 are appropriate amounts of fluoride in drinking water, the mineral will strengthen teeth while developing. If too much fluoride is in drinking water, the 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 fluoride levels in drinking water will cause teeth to be more susceptible to decay.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Dental x-rays are safe and help detect the presence of gum disease, abscesses, and abnormal growths. Dental Images require exposure to very low radiation levels, about 80 percent less than conventional x-rays. Low radiation makes the risk of potentially harmful effects minimal. The number of x-rays you need should be determined by your risk for gum disease and dental decay in consultation with your dentist. Check with your dentist if you have certain medical conditions or are undergoing treatments such as radiation therapy. Always mention these conditions, any changes in your health, or any other x-rays you’ve had elsewhere.

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 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 to determine the disease level 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 symptoms and should be taken temporarily. It is essential 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. We know you want to look and feel your best, and we can help you get there in Lubbock, Texas. Call us today to schedule an appointment.



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