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12 Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

One way we develop trusting relationships with our patients is by being open, honest, and transparent. Dr. Ko and our dental team want you to feel confident coming to us with any question or concern you have and knowing you will get the facts you need to make informed decisions about your dental treatment.

Many of our patients share similar concerns, and we've included some of their questions on this page. If there's something else on your mind, we encourage you to contact us by email or by calling us at (253) 848-7281

General Information

We love treating families at 12 Dentistry! By providing comprehensive general dentistry for children, tweens, teens, and adults, we make it convenient for everyone for your family to receive quality dental care.

General Dentistry and Much More

Dr. Ron Ko is an experienced dentist in Puyallup who is as comfortable helping toddlers with their first dental visits as he is working with our senior patients’ unique needs. Check out the array of services we offer to accommodate your family’s ever-changing dental needs:

  • Dental exams and teeth cleanings
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Dental crowns and bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Root canals
  • Tooth extractions

Because we understand how great an attractive smile can make you feel, we also offer cosmetic dentistry, including clear aligner therapy, bonding, veneers, and teeth whitening.

We also offer emergency dental care, so you always have a dentist in Puyallup to turn if you or a family member develops a toothache or breaks a tooth.

Schedule a Family Dental Appointment

At 12 Dentistry, we want to make it easy to receive high-quality dental care in a warm and friendly family environment. If your family is due for routine cleanings and exams or you have other issues like cavities and gum disease to address, we’d love to help!

Please call us at (253) 848-7281, and we will be happy to help you schedule a family dental appointment.

At 12 Dentistry, we want to make it easy for you to receive quality dentistry, and one way is to assist you with all of your dental insurance needs. We are in-network with the following insurance plans and are happy to file all PPO claims on our patients’ behalf.

  • Cigna
  • Delta Dental
  • GEHA Connection Dental Federal 
  • Guardian
  • MetLife
  • Regence
  • Regence Group Administrators (RGA). 
  • United Healthcare

Most people don’t realize that you can still visit a dentist who is out of your network. It works a bit differently because you pay us in full at the time of treatment, we submit and follow up on your claim, and the insurance company reimburses your covered portion directly to you. While you may not receive the discounted rate of an in-network dentist, many patients believe the quality of care they receive is worth the slight difference in cost.

We also work with CareCredit, a third-party lender that makes it convenient to finance the cost of your dental care with low-interest and no-interest loans. In addition to dentistry, you can also use CareCredit for health and wellness needs like vision, hearing, dermatology, and veterinary expenses.

We take the health and well-being of our older population very seriously. If you are a senior who is uninsured, we are pleased to offer a five percent discount for cash payments.

If you have any questions about insurance or financing, please call our Puyallup dental office, and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.

Cosmetic Dentistry

All of us will notice at some point that the natural brightness of our smile fades as we age. This is one reason why professional teeth whitening at our Puyallup dental office is such a popular treatment.

Reasons for Tooth Staining and Discoloration

There are several reasons why you have stained, discolored, or yellow teeth:

  • Natural aging: As you age, microscopic pores open in tooth enamel, exposing more of the yellowish color of the layer of dentin beneath it.
  • Staining foods and beverages: Frequently consuming food and beverages that stain your teeth compounds the problem. Some of these are coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored berries. In limited quantities, these are fine, but if your teeth are stained, they could be the culprits.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Sometimes, we see patients with yellow teeth caused by a lack of proper oral hygiene.

Professional Teeth Whitening for a Fresh Smile

Fortunately, professional teeth whitening at our Puyallup, WA dental office is an effective procedure that quickly and affordably transforms a dull smile. With a professional take-home teeth whitening kit that includes custom whitening trays, you can achieve amazing results in just two weeks of at-home use.

Learn More about Teeth Whitening

Your smile says a lot about who you are, but if you’re hiding your teeth because of red wine or coffee stains, most people never see the real you. If you want to see your brightest, whitest smile, call our Puyallup dental office to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist to discuss teeth whitening.

General Dentistry

Professional teeth cleanings with a hygienist in Puyallup, WA should occur every six months for most people. Because we customize the type of cleaning that’s right for you, you may require more frequent cleanings if you have gum disease.

Why Routine Teeth Cleanings are Crucial

Your gum health is essential for your oral health and your general well-being. Periodontal disease can be quite destructive to gums and teeth. There’s also significant evidence linking it to serious conditions like heart disease and lung disease, diabetes, dementia, and pregnancy complications.

Staying current with your hygiene appointments at 12 Dentistry every six months is the best way to ensure that your gums are healthy. You may not notice mild symptoms like bleeding or puffy gums, but your hygienist will and can plan prompt treatment before it affects your long-term oral health.

What a Dental Cleaning Involves

During your six-month teeth cleanings at our Puyallup dental office, your hygienist carefully checks for signs of periodontal disease. Your teeth and gums may feel fine, but gum disease is widespread because it is often very mild or asymptomatic. 

We use a specialized dental instrument to gently scrape away plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline, floss between teeth, and polish them with a gentle abrasive toothpaste.

Schedule a Dental Hygiene Appointment 

If it’s time for your six-month teeth cleaning and exam, call our Puyallup dental office to schedule an appointment. If it has been a while since your last checkup, don’t worry! We’re partners in your oral health, and we will never judge or lecture you.

At 12 Dentistry, our dentist always recommends a professional teeth cleaning before any teeth whitening treatment at our Puyallup dental office.

Clean Teeth Ensure the Brightest Results

Think of your cleaning appointment as the first step toward a brighter, more youthful-looking smile. Just as you prepare the walls before you paint your house, your hygiene appointment prepares your teeth to achieve even, consistent whitening results.

The cleaner your teeth are, the better they will respond to whitening treatment. With no plaque or tartar to get in the way, the whitening gel contacts all surfaces of your teeth evenly to deliver stunning results.

Start with a Healthy Smile

We also need to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy before we undertake the whitening process. If you currently have cavities or gum disease, we’ll treat them first. The final step is the dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar and polish your teeth, so they’re squeaky clean.

Schedule a Dental Cleaning to Get Started

If you have questions about professional teeth whitening in Puyallup or are ready to schedule your dental cleaning to get started, please call 12 Dentistry. We look forward to helping you achieve your brightest, healthiest smile.

Healthy gums don't bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, so if you notice "pink in the sink" when brushing, there's a good chance you have gum or periodontal disease. At 12 Dentistry, Dr. Ron Ko offers periodontal disease treatment at our Puyallup dental office to get your oral health back on track.

Prompt Gum Disease Treatment

We need to address gingivitis promptly; if allowed to progress to its most advanced stage—periodontitis—you can even start to lose healthy teeth. A gum infection opens pockets between your teeth and gums that can ultimately cause your teeth to become loose and fall out. 

Unfortunately, gum disease is so prevalent that it is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The comforting news is that in its earliest stage, gum disease is treatable with a thorough professional cleaning and a commitment to better oral hygiene.

Conscientious brushing and flossing, combined with routine exams and cleaning appointments, are your best bet for avoiding gum disease and the dental problems that go with it.

Schedule a Teeth Cleaning in Puyallup, WA

If it has been a while since your last dental cleaning, please call 12 Dentistry to arrange an appointment with one of our skilled hygienists. If they find evidence of gingivitis, they will discuss with you a treatment plan to get the disease under control and save your smile.

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