Michael Smith DMD, LLC
Dentist in Belleville, IL

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

It’s natural to have questions about your oral health, and we want to help you find the answers you need. We know that patients who feel confident and informed about their dental needs tend to enjoy better oral health and fewer problems.

For this reason, we encourage and welcome any questions you have regarding your dental health. Rest assured that no question is too small, and the only silly question is one that goes unasked! We’ve shared several below that we hear frequently, but your needs are unique, and you may have several questions of your own. Don’t hesitate to contact us by calling (618) 235-5141 or emailing us using our online contact form so we can help you.


Insurance is an important benefit because it allows you and your family to maintain healthy smiles and control dental costs. We are pleased to accept numerous dental insurances that are listed below. Even if you don't have one of these plans, we can still submit your claim for you on your behalf.

  • Aetna PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
  • Cigna
  • Connection Dental
  • Delta Dental
  • Dental Network of America
  • Guardian
  • GEHA
  • Humana PPO
  • Humana Federal Advantage
  • Maverest Network
  • MetLife
  • Tricare
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare
  • Unum
  • Zelis Network

As valuable as it is, dental insurance isn’t always straightforward when it comes to determining benefits. But we can assure you that we will be your advocate in determining what your benefits are, how they apply to proposed treatment, and providing estimates that are as accurate as possible. We will ensure that you get the most out of your benefits and are always happy to follow up on outstanding dental claims on your behalf.

If you don’t have dental insurance, we can still help you. We have an in-office savings plan for our uninsured patients that includes preventive exams, cleanings, discounts on services, and much more. Please visit our financial page for more details.

We also work with CareCredit, a third-party financing solution available through our Belleville dental office. CareCredit can help you get the care you need today and then pay off the balance over several months with small, manageable payment amounts.

Dr. Smith, Dr. Fazili, and Dr. Ridenhour believe in being open and transparent when it comes to the cost of dental treatment. However, it’s impossible to say what it will cost or even which treatment you need until we see you and perform an examination.

What we can tell you is that we don’t want anyone to forgo dental work because of their budget. Our experienced and knowledgeable dental team will work with you to find a solution to get you the quality dental care you need.

If you are insured, we will perform a pre-treatment benefits analysis to give you an approximate idea of what your final cost will be. We accept numerous insurances, and you can find a complete listing on our financial page.

For our uninsured patients, or patients with out-of-pocket costs, we’re pleased to offer CareCredit, a third-party financing option available through our office. CareCredit is perfect for situations when you have an unexpected dental cost, need help with a co-pay, or just want to pay for your dental care in small monthly amounts. Approval rates are high, and if you’re approved, you can start using CareCredit right away with no waiting period.

At the office of Michael Smith, DMD, understand that everyone is concerned about the cost of dentistry, so please call us so we can discuss your needs and how we can help you. Our dedicated team will be happy to talk to you and find a way to help them get the quality dental care they need. Please call our Belleville dental office at (618) 235-5141 so we can assist you.

Generally, Dr. Smith is in the office Monday through Thursday. This is subject to change, of course, so it’s always best to call our office first at (618) 235-5141.

Digital X-Rays

Dentists can’t treat what they can’t see, and many dental problems develop inside teeth or under the gums—areas that we can’t detect with a visual exam alone. For this reason, digital dental x-rays are essential for accurately diagnosing these conditions and providing the most appropriate treatment.

When we take digital x-rays, we are looking for:

  • Cavities between teeth
  • Decay under existing fillings
  • Bone loss related to gum disease
  • Root canal infections or abscesses
  • Abnormal growths including tumors or cysts

Your x-rays help us detect these conditions and also assist us in planning root canals, tooth extractions, and dental implant placement.

Bitewing x-rays that show us the crowns of molars and premolars help aid in the early diagnosis of decay and gum disease. If you have a healthy smile and no history of dental problems, we may only take x-rays every two or three years.

For patients with ongoing issues like gum disease or a history of poor oral health, our dentists might recommend them every year. We would also recommend a set of bitewings to establish a baseline if you are a new patient who doesn’t have current x-rays.

Your safety is of the utmost importance to us, which is why we use digital x-rays that emit about 80 percent less radiation than film-type x-rays. You can be confident that we never take unnecessary x-rays and will always explain why we recommend one and what we hope to learn from it.

Please call our dental office in Bellevue if you are ready to schedule your next dental checkup.

Emergency Dentistry

Yes! We understand that dental emergencies can be upsetting and leave you wondering what to do next. If you have a toothache, lost crown, broken tooth, or any other urgent dental situation, call us at (618) 235-5141, and we will see you as soon as possible.

When you call, a helpful member of our team will ask what symptoms you are experiencing to determine how urgently we need to see you. Some problems, like a broken tooth, may be able to wait until the next day; others, like an excruciating toothache or jaw swelling, indicate a serious oral health issue that we need to address right away. Both may be signs of an advanced tooth infection that can even be life-threatening if left untreated.

We are open five days a week, and with three dentists on staff, there’s a good chance we can see your dental emergency the same day. While we may not be able to complete treatment that day, we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that you are safe and comfortable until we can schedule a separate appointment to treat it.

If you have tooth pain or any other urgent dental issue, don’t hesitate to call us right away. We would rather chat with you and find out you don’t have an emergency than have you suffer needlessly wondering what to do next. If you have a problem and think you need an emergency dentist in Belleville, please call the office of Michael Smith at (618) 235-5141, so we can help you.

General Dentistry

Achieving and maintaining excellent oral health isn’t difficult, and we are here to help you. Our dental team recommends that you bring your family in for dental exams and cleanings every six months. Even if your teeth are feeling fine and aren’t experiencing any noticeable problems, you still need to stay current with these appointments.

It’s always better for your oral health if we find cavities and gum disease when they first start developing. Checkups at the office of Michael Smith, DMD allow us to detect and treat these problems in their earliest stages before they cause discomfort and harm your oral health.

For example, say you have a small cavity that Dr. Smith, Dr. Fazili, or Dr. Ridenhour finds during your routine checkup. We’ll schedule an appointment to place a simple tooth filling and have you on your way with a healthier smile.

But imagine that you’ve missed several checkups and don’t come in until you have a toothache. This means that decay has already caused significant damage to the tooth. Now, instead of a simple filling, we may need to perform a root canal or remove the tooth if it's unsalvageable.

Our Belleville dentists stress the importance of preventive dentistry because it can spare you unnecessary pain and the cost of more complex dental treatment. Dental exams and cleanings every six months—or as recommended—are the easiest and most affordable ways to ensure that your family’s smiles stay healthy. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.

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