FAQs - Everything Mint*

Q: I’ve heard that Mint* Dental Studio is different from other dentists in the area; how are you different?

A: There are three main ways that our practice is different from an average dental office:

1. Your experience should be enjoyable. We offer a variety of refreshments in our reception area, hand treatments and jewelry cleaning during your tooth cleaning, plus Netflix on Demand during extended treatment appointments.

2. Personal service. We see you as an individual, not just another patient.   We believe you deserve time with our staff and doctors to be able to address any questions or concerns you may have with your dental needs. We invest in you and specifically devise a customized treatment plan based on your personality, specific needs, and past experiences.

3. Our treatment philosophy is conservative. Often times, small areas of early tooth decay can be treated non-surgically (without a filling) and we have great success with this.  Also, if there are ever multiple treatment options available, we will always discuss these with you.

Q: I have dental benefits, but it looks like you are not a preferred provider. Will insurance still cover my care at Mint*?

A: While we are not a preferred provider for any insurance carriers and require payment at the time of service, we do the research and will submit claims to any insurance company on your behalf and request that they send your reimbursement directly to you. This benefits patients in many ways:

1. We do not need to hire an additional staff member to bill insurance, follow up on claims, enter payments, send statements to patients, and follow up on patient accounts.  This keeps our overhead lower so that we can pass the cost savings on to you, the patient.

2. The cost of dentistry is the same whether a provider is contracted with insurance or not.  If an office is contracted, they accept reimbursement that is lower than the cost of the dentistry, which means the office needs to see more patients in the same amount of time in order to stay open.  This means patients may not be able to spend as much time with the dentist during their appointment, or may be over-treated.

Q: I used to see Dr. Gillette at Mint Dental Studio, where is she?

A: She is still living in Bozeman and doing great! Despite initial intentions to continue some work at Mint, she has been keeping more than busy with public speaking and community health projects at the national, state and local level. She does not anticipate returning to Mint.

Q: How much does a New Patient Exam and Cleaning cost?

A: The cost of a new patient exam and cleaning can vary widely, depending on what radiographs are needed and what type of cleaning is required.  If we are able to receive current radiographs from your previous dentist (within a year for close-up bitewing radiographs to look for cavities between teeth, and within 5 years for full mouth series or panoramic radiograph) we can use those, which will keep the cost of your fist visit down. Another thing that can affect the price of this first visit is how long it has been since your last cleaning and how well you have taken care of your teeth during this time. Please call or email and we can put together an estimate based on your particular situation.

Q: Why do I need radiographs of my teeth?

A: Radiographic images are necessary to evaluate areas that are not visible to the naked eye, such as between teeth, the roots of teeth, underneath fillings, bone levels, and to evaluate growth and development.  Radiographs can reveal conditions such as decay, abscesses, gum disease, tumors, and tooth position among other conditions. We evaluate each patient and determine radiograph frequency on an individual basis.  The determination is based on many factors such as patient age, cavity risk level, and signs/symptoms the patient is experiencing.  Some patients may need radiographs every year, and some patients may be able to go up to 3 years between sets of radiographs.

Q: Can I schedule just a cleaning as a new patient, without an exam or radiographs?

A: Since we have not seen or diagnosed the health of your gums, we are unfortunately unable to schedule just a cleaning for new patients.  There are many types of cleanings, each one specialized for the gum health of the patient.  Unless we diagnose the health of your gums, it is possible that you would receive the wrong type of cleaning.  Additionally, an exam with a dentist is important to make sure that any oral conditions like decay, fractures, broken fillings, and/or oral cancer are diagnosed so that the appropriate treatment can be started.  If conditions are caught early, the treatment is usually easier and less costly than waiting until you experience pain.

Q: I have had bad dental experiences in the past and I am anxious about having my treatment done.  Do you offer anything to help me through my appointments?

A: Yes!  Dental anxiety is very common and can be a big hurdle for patients who need dental treatment.  For this reason, our office offers several levels of sedation.  For most patients and procedures, inhalation of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be a great solution to dental anxiety.  Nitrous is only effective during the time you breathe it, so patients are able to drive themselves after their appointment and are able to return to work that day. 

If nitrous does not provide strong enough sedation or a patient is having a bit of work done, oral sedation (a pill you take before the appointment) is a good option.  With this type of sedation, you may not remember the procedure and you will need someone to drive you home and remain with you, since your memory and decision making skills may be affected.

For extensive treatment (like wisdom teeth extractions) or severe anxiety, we offer IV Sedation.  This is stronger than oral sedation and we are able to provide the correct amount of sedation for you since the medication is given via an IV, instead of orally.  This also requires someone to drive you and stay with you for the rest of the day, and patients may not return to work or school after this type of sedation. Finally, we offer treatment under general anesthesia if you have a medical condition, severe anxiety, or any other condition that requires general anesthesia for treatment. We offer this either in the office with a dental anesthesiologist or at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, depending on your individual needs.