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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Cosmetic Dentistry

Does teeth whitening really work?
What are Porcelain Veneers?
Should I use bonding with Porcelain Veneers?
What role does preventative dentistry play in cosmetic dentistry?

General Dentistry

What is plaque, and how does it affect my teeth?
What is a tartar and how can I control it?
My gums bleed when I brush or floss. Is this normal?
How often should I have my teeth cleaned?
What can I do about bad breath?
What is a root canal treatment?

Insurance Policy

Do you accept my insurance?
What are some questions and concerns about insurance benefits?
What is your payment policy?
Do you offer payment plans?

Does teeth whitening really work?

Today, bleaching is very predictable and safe. It can be done in the dentist office or at home. However regardless of the method you choose, touch-up is needed. The over the counter systems can work, but because they do not use custom trays, the gel does not uniformly touch the teeth and are therefore usually slower and very unpredictable.

What are Porcelain Veneers?

The Porcelain veneers are a thin layer of pressed porcelain that are form-fitted and cemented to cover the front of the teeth (it resembles fake nails and could be as thin as a contact lens). Veneers are the most conservative cosmetic treatment. They can be used in many cosmetic concerns such as closing gap between teeth, or to cover chipped, stained, or mis-aligned teeth.

Should I use bonding with Porcelain Veneers?

Bonding is a composite (hard plastic resin) material that is applied to the teeth to correct many of the conditions that can be corrected by a veneer. If they are very minor corrections, then bonding might be more indicated. But, because it is plastic, it will chip, stain, etc. It is a viable alternative that you should discuss with your dentist.

What role does preventative dentistry play in cosmetic dentistry?

Preventive dentistry is crucial for maintenance of our teeth. Also, since cosmetic restorations are made of glazed porcelain, regular followup appointments are important to maintain their high luster.

What is plaque, and how does it affect my teeth?

Plaque is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. If left undisturbed, the bacteria in the plaque produce byproducts that can not only irritate the gums and make them bleed, but it can also lead to periodontal disease. A daily regimen of proper brushing, flossing and rinsing (plus, regular dental visits), will help you keep your teeth healthy.

What is a tartar and how can I control it?

In most cases, tartar is “hardened plaque” that has been left undisturbed. It's a black, solidified protein layer at the gum line that can only be removed safely with a dental scaling instrument during hygiene cleanings. The best way to control tartar is to brush and floss every day.

My gums bleed when I brush or floss. Is this normal?

Healthy tissue doesn't bleed. This is most likely a sign of early gingivitis. If you experience bleeding gums, see your dental health professional to review proper brushing and flossing techniques. Schedule a soft tissue evaluation with your dentist that will include x-rays and prophylaxis cleaning. Gum bleeding must be taken seriously because if left untreated, it will lead to periodontal disease.

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

People accumulate plaque at different rates. Although most insurance plan coverage is for a twice a year schedule, it's sensible to get your teeth professionally cleaned as often as your dental health professional advises you, even if it's every 3 months.

What can I do about bad breath?

Proper brushing and flossing normally reduces the bacteria that causes bad breath. The newest addition to effective oral hygiene has been tongue cleaning. Since research shows that 85% of bad breath can be controlled by removing bacteria that colonizes on the back of the tongue, it's a good idea to use a tongue cleaner at least once a day.

What is a root canal treatment?

Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then your dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.

Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!

Do you accept my insurance?

We accept insurance benefits provided by all PPO and indemnity plans. We are an In-network provider of many PPO plans (that helps you reduce your out-of-pocket expense). Here is a partial list of insurances we are provider of:
Aetna Dental PPO
Allegiance Benefit Plan Management
Ameriplan USA
Ameritas Dental Insurance
Anthem PPO
Assurant PPO
Blue Shield PPO
Careington PPO
Careington Platinum POS
CCPOA Benefit Trust
Connection Dental PPO
Delta Dental PPO
Delta Dental Premier
Delta Kaiser Plan
First Dental Health PPO
FiServ Health PPO
Fortis/Assurant PPO
GE Financial
Genworth PPO
Great West Healthcare
Guardian PPO
HealthComp Administrators
HealthEdge Administrators
Heathnet PPO
Humana Dental
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield
Integrity Administrators
Interactive Medical Systems
Interplan PPO
Jefferson Pilot Financial
Lincoln Financial Group
Mercer Administration
Metlife Dental PPO
Mutual of Omaha PPO
ODS Health
Operating Engineers
Premera Blue Cross
Premier Access PPO
Principal Financial PPO
Regional Care
Safeguard PPO
Safe Health Dental
Security Life
Select Benefit Administrators
Standard Insurance
SunLife Financial PPO
Teamsters union
Transwestern Insurance
U A Local 447
UFCW Northern California Health and welfare trust
Unicare 100 and 200 Plans
United Administration Service
United Concordia
United Health Care
Washington Dental
Wellcare PFFS (Private Fee for Service)
WellPoint Blue care 100, 200, and 300 plans
Wellpoint PPO

This is just a partial list! If you are not sure if we are a provider of your insurance, please call our office at (916) 817-8900 and we will be happy to find that out for you.

What are some questions and concerns about insurance benefits?

Employers and other plan sponsors offer dental benefits for a variety of reasons, including promotion of oral health and attraction and retention of high-quality employees.

Regardless of why the plan is offered, its intent is the same: to help individuals by paying for a portion of the cost of their dental care.

Almost all dental benefit plans are the result of a contract between the plan sponsor (usually an employer or a union) and the third party (usually an insurance company). For this reason, concerns about your dental plan should first be directed to your plan sponsor.

Limitations in coverage are the result of the financial commitment the plan sponsor has agreed to make and the benefits the third-party payer will offer in exchange for that commitment.

Treatment decisions must be made by you and your dentist. While dental benefit coverage should be taken into account, it should not be the deciding factor in your choice of treatment.

American Dental Association has detailed FAQ on understanding your dental benefits here.

What is your payment policy?

We expect payment at the time of service. If you have insurance, we collect your estimated portion (deductible and/or copay) at the time of service. For your convenience, we accept payment in cash, major credit cards (Visa and Mastercard), and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard).

Do you offer payment plans?

We offer you some choices for a no-down-payment, no-interest payment plans. You must qualify for such plans through an easy credit application with our third party partners. Currently, we work with Citibank health card services, Chase HealthAdvance (formerly known as Unicorn Financial), and Carecredit Financial. You may visit their web-site and apply on your own. Alternatively, you may fill up the paper application in our office, and our friendly staff will submit the application on the web for an instant approval. It's that easy!