Frequently Asked Questions

You Asked. We Answered.


There are a lot of things to know and understand when it comes to making sure your dental needs are being properly met. Here are some commonly-asked questions. Just click the question to reveal the answer

My family drinks bottled water. Is this something Dr. Vacek should know?

Yes, it’s important to tell Dr. Vacek if your family does not drink tap water. Fluoride is essential for strengthening teeth and protecting against cavities and the vast majority of all community water is fluoridated, including Lincoln. Dr. Vacek encourages patients, especially children, to drink tap water. However, if your family chooses to drink bottled water, make sure you discuss that at your family visits. Dr. Vacek may recommend a fluoride treatment or supplement for better oral health.

I have headaches and it seems like I’ve tried everything. Can you help?

Persistent migraines and tension headaches can be a sign of TMJ dysfunction, a common problem in our fast-paced, high-stress society. Many times, patients subconsciously clench or grind their teeth, which can cause sensitive temporomandibular joints (TMJ) to become irritated and inflamed, causing symptoms such as headaches, jaw soreness, and ear pain.

Dr. Vacek checks for signs of TMJ dysfunction at routine dental visits. Often, a simple dental appliance is all that’s needed to alleviate headaches associated with TMJ dysfunction. These comfortable devices simply reposition the jaw, allowing overactive TMJ to rest.

Can I see my future smile before I decide to move forward with a procedure?

Yes! At Vacek Family Dentistry, we offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging to help you visualize the results of a recommended treatment. We’ll take a digital photograph of your smile and the Kodak Dental Systems software creates an instant, high-resolution image showing you the benefits of smile enhancements from teeth whitening to porcelain veneers.

I don’t have dental insurance. May I still make an appointment at your office?

Absolutely. Our Advantage Plan may be the perfect solution for you! We have many patients who do not carry traditional dental insurance, and depending on your situation, the cost/benefit ratio of third party dental insurance may in fact be questionable. In any case, we are here to help you obtain optimal dental health regardless of your insurance, or lack thereof.

Let us help you explore your options and customize a cost effective pathway to ideal dentistry. Non-insured patients are the fastest growing segment of our practice, so we know the unique challenges our patients face and can offer unique solutions. Call or email Sheila today and take advantage of a complimentary and customized analysis of your unique situation, goals, and options. Everyone deserves a beautiful smile! Vacek Family Dentistry can help.

Additionally, Vacek Family Dentistry offers a variety of financing options to help you get the dental work you need or the cosmetic dentistry enhancements you want. Our Lincoln family dental practice has partnered with CareCredit to give you more flexibility and choice, and you’re welcome to apply online or to talk more about these options during your visit.

As mentioned, our Advantage Plan is designed specifically for individuals, families and business owners to offer their employees benefits without the administrative, start-up, ongoing cost and limitations of traditional insurance. Contact us to make your appointment or to learn more.

I have a lot of silver fillings. Are they dangerous to my health and should I have them replaced?

The American Dental Association states that amalgam (silver) dental restorations are safe, so we do not routinely recommend their removal for our patients. However, the technology behind composite (tooth-colored) fillings is very good and always improving, so almost all new fillings placed in our Lincoln office are tooth-colored fillings. We treat amalgam fillings on a case-by-case basis, examining the restorations in your mouth, and inform you of any areas that exhibit wear, breakage or other potential problems. We would then recommend the replacement of fillings in the problem areas, and would likely use a tooth-colored composite resin. With today's technology, we are able to restore teeth to last for a very long time, and best of all, to look like your natural teeth.

When should I start brushing my child's teeth? When should I schedule their first appointment?

You should start brushing your child's teeth as soon as you see them! It is important to teach your child healthy dental habits from a young age so they will transition more easily to brushing on their own. Begin using a small amount of toothpaste, when your child is able to understand not to swallow.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a dental visit as early as age one. In our office, we ask that your child’s first visit with us be at one of your appointments. This allows us to talk with your child and explain the sights and sounds of a dental office. It’s a good way to transition before we schedule their first "official" visit. We love to see kids in our office, and our team is absolutely wonderful with children making dental visits fun, just the way they should be!

Do I need to take any precautions after I have a dental procedure, like a crown and bridge, inlays or onlays? What about deep teeth cleaning?

You may have sensitivity to cold and heat, as well as soreness, but that should go away in a few days after your procedure. Brush gently and floss carefully for the first few days. The same goes for deep teeth cleaning; sensitivity to cold and heat will subside. One note, do not chew or eat until numbness subsides. Brush and floss as usual, just be away your gums may bleed a bit for a few days.

I’m new to dentures. What can I expect and how should I care for them?

It is normal to experience some discomfort and speech problems while getting used to your new dentures. New dentures need several adjustments to fit comfortably. To help with speech, read aloud for a few minutes every day. Your mouth will adjust, and your speech will improve.

Remove your dentures every night to allow your gums to rest. Keep the denture in a container of water or denture cleaner. Thoroughly brush your dentures with water before wearing them.

How do I take care of my mouth after a tooth extraction?

For an hour after surgery, you should place pressure on the gauze pad covering the extraction site. If bleeding continues, apply new gauze should and pressure for an additional 45 minutes. After surgery, place a cold compress on your face near the extraction site for 10 minutes. Remove for 5 minutes. Repeat.

Do not eat or drink hot foods and beverages after surgery. Do not rinse your mouth. Do not use a straw. Do not spit. Do not drink carbonated beverages. Do not brush your teeth on the day of the surgery. Then resume normal home care, gently brushing and flossing. Bruising, swelling and pain are normal – particularly if you have had a wisdom tooth extraction. Take your prescribed medication and use a cold compress on your face.

Plan to eat soft foods, such as soups, milkshakes, fruit juice and yogurt, for 2-3 days. Do not bite your lips, cheeks or scrape your gums. Children should be watched carefully to make sure they don’t do this. It will damage soft tissues and result in pain.

I just had a tooth filled. Can I go to lunch?

You need to wait at least an hour following your visit before you chew anything. Wait until numbness subsides before eating. If you had amalgam fillings placed, do not chew for 24 hours.

Do not bite your lips, cheeks or scrape your gums. Children should be watched carefully to make sure they don’t do this. It will damage soft tissues and result in pain. Sensitivity to cold and heat, as well as any soreness, should go away in a few days.

I have a lot of swelling from gum surgery, is this normal?

Pain, swelling and bleeding is normal following gum surgery and dental implant surgery. A cold compress should be placed on your face near the surgical site for 10 minutes at a time, with 5 minutes off, the day of your surgery. This will reduce pain, swelling and bleeding. Take your prescribed medications as instructed.

You should keep your appointment for follow-up with your dentist. Do not raise your lips and probe the area with your fingers. Do not brush your teeth near the sutures. However, you should brush and floss the rest of your teeth as you normally would. You may experience loss of sensation at the surgical site, and nearby teeth may feel loose for a while. Do not spit or use a straw the day of your procedure. Avoid smoking for a few days.

I have a temporary filling from a root canal treatment. Is this just like a regular filling?

No, make sure not to bite hard for one hour after your appointment. Once the permanent filling is in place, chew carefully on the opposite side of your mouth.

Sensitivity should subside after a few days. Take your prescribed medication as directed. Do not bite your lips, cheeks or scrape your gums. Children should be watched carefully to make sure they don’t do this. It will damage soft tissues and result in pain. Sensitivity to cold and heat, as well as any soreness, should go away in a few days. Brush and floss gently.