Our main goal at Nelson Dentistry is to protect the health of our patients, our team, and our community. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and under the direction of both the American Dental Association (ADA) and Montana Dental Association (MDA), we are closing the office for all non-essential dental treatment until further notice.  Should you have urgent dental needs, please contact us at 406-542-3305 and we will advise you on how to proceed. We wish you all good health. Please know that we will get through this together!
Nelson Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Other

How can we help you?


It depends. But typically right away if you'd like. Let's break down the details though:

  • Routine Cleaning:  You're in the clear to eat right away.  However, if you needed fluoride varnish, then stay away from hot liquids for the next half hour (sorry coffee drinkers!).Male Dental Patient | Dr. Jonathan Nelson
  • Gum Therapy:  You might have needed to get numb for this, be really careful to not bite your lip, cheeks, or tongue!
  • Tooth-Colored Composite Filling:  We use a special "flashlight" to cure the composite as hard as it's going to get, so you're safe to use it like regular.
  • Silver-Colored Amalgam Filling:  These take time to harden completely.  When you leave they are pretty hard, but you should still "baby" them with soft foods for the next 24 hours.
  • Temporary Crowns:  These are... well... temporary.  So they're not meant to be as rugged as the permanent crown.  This means that they come off easier (which is good for when we want to replace them with the permanent) and they're not as strong.  So extra care must be given to avoid sticky and hard foods.
  • Permanent Crowns:  These are tough and pretty, the only thing to remember is that the cement usually needs some time to completely set.  Avoid sticky foods for the rest of the day.

Dental Services in Missoula MT

Give our team a call today to get to know our friendly dental team, and book a cleaning, exam, or consultation! We are currently accepting new patients. 






Family Dental Patients | Nelson DentistryAt this time I am unable to open the office on the weekends. HOWEVER, I know how tough it can be finding the time around work, school, and the kids.  So I have extended our business hours to allow hard-working patients to be seen before or after work.  I even offset our lunch break to help patients have the option to be seen during their lunchtime!  And while most dental offices are closed on Fridays, we're open.  So odds are we have something that can work for you.  

Flexible Dentist in Missoula

And if you're at work now, multitasking and don't have time for a phone call, click on our widget in the lower right to "chat" (if we're in the office) or leave a message.  You can also send us an email through our "Contact" page.  We're pretty good at responding quickly.  And of course, our phone number is at the top of this page!



As a general dentist I do not, by default, have a specialty.  However, there are some dental proceduresDental Patient | Filling | Nelson Dentistry that I have worked extra hard to become very proficient at in addition to routine dental work.  I have taken advanced training with world renown instructors in cosmetic dentistry, occlusion (how your teeth bite and function together), and composite (tooth-colored filling material) artistry using advanced layering techniques.  My goal is to provide my patients with restorative dental work that appears indistinguishable to natural teeth, to not only the patient but to other dentists.  It's actually not too hard to make something that looks white and roughly the same shape as a tooth, but the artistic challenge to recreate natural beauty is very rewarding.

Dental Specialties 

As an FYI there are nine recognized specialties by the American Dental Association (ADA):

Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics, and Prosthodontics.

Nearly all of these specialties require additional schooling above and beyond dental school.  Some even require a residency.  Perhaps the most intensive training is for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery where the specialist goes through dental school, medical school, and also a residency--that's a lot of schooling!



I recommend that your baby be first seen by a dentist when their teeth first appear or by their first birthday.  The first teeth that usually appear are the bottom front teeth at around six months. I like to seem them at this early age to catch any growth and development problems, catch cavities, make sure you know (especially if it's your first baby) how to clean the teeth, and to help the baby become accustomed to the dental office.  

First Visit to the DentistBaby at the Dentist | Dr. Jonathan Nelson

Nearly all babies and kids are a little scared to be in a new and unique environment and be laid back, and indeed most of them cry.  But it's not because they're hurt, it's just because it's new.  Typically the earlier and more consistent your kiddo is experiencing the routine of a dental visit the sooner they become accustomed to it, and it stops being scary.  It's not uncommon for children who don't start seeing the dentist when their first teeth come in to finally come in when a tooth hurts. At which the tooth usually hurts from a big cavity.  And if one tooth has a big cavity, usually there are several other cavities. This sets them up for a bad dental experience and they will often need to be treated by a specialist, possibly under sedation.

Kid's Dentist in Missoula 

One of the worst things you can do for your baby is to let them go to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice (even diluted).  This leads to getting a lot of cavities, possibly needing to have the teeth pulled if it's bad enough.  If your baby can't seem to sleep without a bottle, try using warm water, or feed them before putting them to bed.  It's even better to let them fall asleep with the bottle and take it away then to leave it with them all night or for the nap.  

Give our team a call today to schedule your child's first dental check-up!

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