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General FAQ

At Madison Family Dental, we welcome any questions and appreciate interest in what we’re doing. You may want to know more about us and the services we offer, so we’ve answered many of the questions we commonly receive. If you have a question that you’d like answered, please fill out a contact form or call us at (608) 274-5970.

General Questions

Can I communicate with my dentist via email?

We love to hear from our patients, however we need to be careful about using electronic communication to discuss dental care. Questions that are not urgent (requiring a response in less than 24 hours) can be emailed. Our email is monitored during business hours, and we sometimes forward emails to our dental assistants to be answered more promptly. We strive to return emails within a 24 hours.
If you have an urgent need, please call our office at (608) 274-5970.

How do I receive my patient records?

To request your patient records, call (608) 274-5970 or send us an email.

Do you have Spanish (español) interpreters/translators on staff at MFDA?

Yes, we have Spanish translators that are available on staff to serve you. Los intérpretes españoles de personal.

What is your contact information (phone number and address)?

5709 Odana Road, Madison, WI
Phone: (608) 274-5970
Fax: (608) 274-0158

502 Nelson Court, DeForest, WI
Phone: (608) 846-3302

Appointment Questions

What types of appointment confirmation or appointment reminders are available? Can I change my type of reminder?

Currently we have phone, email and text options for appointment reminders. Check in with our reception staff to confirm your preferred form of communication.

How do I cancel my scheduled appointment?

Please call us at least 48 hours in advance to cancel your appointment.

How do I check my appointment? Can I do this online?

Call us at (608) 274-5970 and we will be happy to confirm your appointment (at this time, you cannot check your appointment online). We do have the option of e-mail confirmation. Send your email address and your request for email confirmation to our general email.

Do you offer childcare during parent appointments?

While we do not offer child care for patients and visitors, we do offer an extended schedule to allow for appointments before school / work and during the lunch hour and evening. Our Madison hours are 7am to 7pm Monday through Thursday and 7am to 4pm on Friday.
Our Deforest hours are 8am to 5pm Monday through Thursday and 8am to 4pm on Friday.

I’m a new patient. What paperwork is required of me to bring to my first appointment?

New patient paperwork is available here. If you prefer to fill out paperwork once you get to our office, you may do so; in this case, we ask that your arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment to allow adequate time to complete the forms.
We also ask that you bring your insurance cards and any pertinent information from your previous dentist (e.g. x-rays).

Company Questions

How is Madison Family Dental an actual family?

When Dr. Ron Schmidt and Dr. Don Pfahler founded Madison Family Dental in 1981, they made a commitment to treat patients and staff like family. In 1987, Dr. Schmidt’s daughter, Dr. Lori Veerman, joined them and has continued to support and carry on their vision. At MFD, we have a number of family members on staff, including a mother/daughter-in-law pair and a sister/sister pair. We also pride ourselves on a tradition of longevity: many staff members have worked at MFD for more than 20 years. Learn more about our history here.

Who founded Madison Family Dental?

Madison Family Dental was founded in 1981 by Dr. Ron Schmidt and Dr. Don Pfahler. 2011 marked Celebrating 30 Years of Smiles and we look forward to many more years of serving Madison. More on our history here.

What job or career openings are available for hire?

Visit our Careers page for the latest openings.

How do I contact Human Resources?

Please call our offices at (608) 274-5970 during the hours of 7am to 7pm on Monday through Thursday or 7am to 4pm on Friday.

Payment Questions

Can I get a loan for my dental services if I don’t have the cash upfront?

We are pleased to work in conjunction with Wells Fargo Financial to offer interest-free financing for dental services. Wells Fargo Health Advantage offers plans which allow you to finance $400 or more for a period of 6 or 12 months. Apply online and see if you qualify today.

Are you wondering about financial arrangements and dental insurance?

We are committed to providing the best care possible and, if you have dental insurance, we are eager to help you receive your maximum allowable benefits. To do so, we need your assistance and your understanding of our payment policy.

In most cases, payment is due at the time of service unless special payment arrangements have been approved in advance by our staff. However, if you have been scheduled for a new patient exam and have proof of insurance, payment will not be due at the time of service and will instead be billed to your insurance provider. We will then notify you if additional payment is required.

If you do not have insurance, we offer a 5% discount if paid by cash or check on the day of service (returned checks are subject to additional fees and will be assessed to your account). We also accept MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express but no discount is offered. Interest-free financing is available through Wells Fargo.

Please understand that:

  • Your insurance is a contract between you, your employer and the insurance company. We are not a party to that contract.
  • Our fees are generally considered to fall within an acceptable range and, therefore, we are covered up to the maximum allowance determined by each carrier. This applies only to companies that pay a percentage (such as 50% or 80%) of “U.C.R.”  U.C.R. is defined as usual, customary and reasonable. This statement does not apply to companies that reimburse based on an arbitrary “schedule” of fees, which bears no relationship to the current standard and cost of care in this area.
  • Not all services are a covered benefit in all contracts. Some insurance companies select certain services they will not cover.

We must emphasize that, as dental care providers, our relationship is with you and not your insurance company. While the filing of insurance claims is a courtesy that we extend to our patients, all charges are your responsibility from the date the services are rendered. We realize that temporary financial problems may affect timely payment of your account. If such problems do arise, we encourage you to contact us promptly for assistance in the management of your account. If you have any questions regarding the above information, please don’t hesitate to contact our business office – we are here to help you!

Do you offer gift cards?

No, we currently do not offer gift cards for our services.

Do you offer sales or promotions?

On occasion, we offer promotions for teeth bleaching, Invisalign and electric toothbrushes. Watch for information on our website and in the office.

Service Questions

Can I get my wisdom teeth pulled at MFD?

In most cases, when wisdom teeth removal is recommended, we refer you to an oral surgeon (they’ve undergone 4-5 years of additional, specialty training).

Can I get braces at MFD? Is there an orthodontist on staff?

Madison Family Dental does not have an orthodontist on staff; however, two of our dentists, Dr. Lori Veerman and Dr. Christine Julian, are Invisalign specialists. Since 2008, they’ve improved the smiles of many patients.

Do you offer sedation dentistry? Do you have any types of anesthesia?

We do not offer sedation; however, we offer other alternatives like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and valium. Learn about the pros and cons of sedation dentistry at

Do you offer endodontics (root canal treatment) services?

Yes, we do. Learn more about root canals here.

Insurance Questions

Who are your insurance plan providers?

As a service to you, we file insurance for most dental plans. We are in-network providers for Physicians Plus, Delta Dental, American Dental Plan, Humana, WEA, and Ameritas. Your payment, or co-pay, is required at the time of service. We are not a provider for Badgercare. If you do not have insurance, we offer a 5% discount if payment is made with cash or check at the time of service. Learn more about insurance at MFD here.

What if I don’t have dental insurance? How do you make my dentistry more affordable?

We watch that our fees are consistent with the level of care, skill, and judgment your case requires and are in line with fees in our area. For your convenience, we accept Visa, Discover, MasterCard, American Express, debit cards, cash, and personal checks. We also offer no-interest financing through Wells Fargo; these plans allow you to finance $400 or more for a period of 6 or 12 months. Click here to apply online and see if you qualify today!
If you’re uninsured, we offer a 5% discount with cash or check payments on the day of service (debit cards excluded). We’re happy to answer any financial or insurance questions you have.

I’m on Medicaid. What information regarding dental coverage is available to me?

Since we are not a Medicaid provider, our Medicaid patients choose to pay with cash, check, or card for our services. If you pay with cash or check (debit cards excluded), a discount of 5% is offered. We request payment on the day of service.

Product Questions

I’m sensitive to the dental products available at my local store. What types of natural products are available on the market?

While we don’t endorse any one type of natural toothpaste or mouthwash, one brand we find effective is Tom’s of Maine. Another brand we find helpful to patients with dry mouth or other health concerns is within the Biotene. We recommend you discuss your personal situation with your MFD dentist or hygienist so that we can make recommendations best suited to you.

Do you sell toothbrushes? What toothbrushes to you endorse or recommend?

We sell two types of toothbrushes in our office: manual and electric. We recommend the Oral B family of products. We especially encourage our patients to consider purchasing electric toothbrushes, as we believe they significantly improve the level of oral hygiene that patients can achieve.

Care Questions

Will I need my wisdom teeth pulled?

Every patient’s treatment needs are unique. Your MFD dentist will evaluate your mouth and your x-rays to determine if wisdom teeth removal is required. Your treatment needs will be explained to you and a referral to an oral surgeon will be made in most cases.

Why are my teeth sensitive?

Teeth can become sensitive when the root surface of the tooth is exposed, which occurs when your gums recede. Gum recession is usually caused by aggressive tooth brushing and scrubbing along the gum line or by poor oral hygiene. In the case of poor oral hygiene, plaque can build up around your gums and teeth; plaque hardens into tartar, the bacteria in which can cause gingivitis and periodontal disease, which leads to gum recession.

Exposed roots are made up of microscopic tubes that lead directly to the nerve of the tooth. When the tooth is exposed to cold or pressure, the tooth nerve is stimulated and you feel discomfort. While sensitivity is often caused by root surface exposure, it may be a sign of a more serious problem. It’s important to see your dentist, who can evaluate your case and recommend appropriate treatment.

How can I treat my sensitive teeth?

Over-the-counter sensitivity toothpastes, which contain potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, are often very effective in treating sensitive teeth. It may take several weeks of continuous use before you notice a decrease in sensitivity. Foods that are highly acidic, such as soda, sports beverages and citrus fruits can increase tooth sensitivity. If you are consuming these foods regularly, they may counteract a desensitizing toothpaste.

If you do not get relief by brushing gently and using a desensitizing toothpaste, it’s important to see your dentist to rule out other problems. In addition, there are desensitizing products that we can prescribe for home use and special compounds that can be applied directly to the root surface to reduce your sensitivity.

How do I know if I have gum disease and what should I do about it?

It’s possible to have gum disease (periodontal disease) and experience no warning signs. This is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Several warning signs can signal you have periodontal disease include:

-Bad breath or bad taste
-Bleeding gums
-Red, swollen or tender gums
-Loose teeth or teeth that have moved
-Sensitive teeth
-Pus coming from around the teeth
-Pain when chewing
-Any changes in the way your teeth fit together

Several factors can increase your risk of developing periodontal diseases:
-Smoking or chewing tobacco
-Systemic diseases like diabetes
-A number of medications, for example steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer drugs,
calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
-Dry mouth due to medications or diseases
-Crooked teeth or dental work that has become defective

If any of these risk factors or symptoms apply to you, visit the American Academy of Periodontology website and take their Periodontal Disease Risk Assessment Test. This tool will provide you with more information about gum disease and its risk factors.

As a patient at Madison Family Dental, your dental healthcare team (your dentist, your hygienist, and sometimes a periodontist) will annually measure your gum tissue health and recommend appropriate therapy when needed.

My dentist has diagnosed a crack in my tooth. Why is that important, especially if it doesn’t hurt?

Cracked teeth show a variety of symptoms, from no discomfort to erratic pain when chewing (possibly with release of biting pressure) or pain when your tooth is exposed to temperature extremes. In many cases, the pain may come and go. Unlike a broken bone, the fracture in a cracked tooth will never heal and is rarely detected on an x-ray. In spite of treatment, some cracks may continue to progress and separate, resulting in tooth loss. Early diagnosis and treatment are extremely important. Like cracks in a windshield, cracks in teeth often start small and progress slowly. The sooner a crack is detected and treated, the better the chance of saving your tooth. Placement of a crown on a cracked tooth provides maximum protection and reduces the likelihood that the crack will worsen. Once treated, most cracked teeth will continue to function and provide years of comfortable chewing. Talk to your dentist about your particular diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

My teeth are crooked, but I don’t want to wear braces. Is there anything else I can do?

Yes – for a smile that can transform your appearance, Invisalign is your answer. Invisalign aligners are practically clear, so hardly anyone will know you are straightening your teeth. The aligners are very comfortable and won’t interfere with your day-to-day life. Invisalign is removable and, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to eat and drink what you want during treatment by simply removing the aligners. You can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.

In addition to improving the appearance of your smile, Invisalign can also improve the health of your mouth. Straight teeth allow for easier cleaning, which will help keep your gums healthy and prevent cavities. Straight teeth also make chewing easier and prevent excess stress on the teeth and supporting tissues. So, if you are ready to take a look at the benefits of a properly aligned smile, our two certified Invisalign providers, Dr. Veerman and Dr. Julian-Hoernke, would be happy to meet with you to help determine if Invisalign is right for you.

Learn more about Invisalign®.

How can my jaw help me perform better in sports?

No one ever told you that your jaw could help you perform better. That is because not many know this. Hundreds of years ago, a small group of people were on to something: Ancient Greek athletes bit down on leather straps during competition to gain an edge, and Viking and Roman warriors clamped down on leather bits for focus on the battlefield. They understood that doing so improved performance, but the concept itself never evolved… until now. Under Armour Performance Mouthwear has been engineered to unlock the power and potential that is blocked by one of the human body’s instinctive reflex systems: teeth-clenching. With safe, custom-built UA Performance Mouthwear, athletes in any sport – from football to hockey to golf – can capitalize on an innovation that makes you stronger, faster, and better. Whether you need protection in contact sports or just want to improve your game, Under Armour Performance Mouthwear with ArmourBite Technology gives every athlete an edge.
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