Sequoia Family Dental

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): General Dentistry

How can we help you?

Deciding on a health care provider for your family is a big responsibility that should not be taken lightly. If you are like most people, you probably have a lot of questions. We love questions because it usually means you are interested and passionate about your oral health. 

We hear some questions frequently, so we’ve put some of them here. But if your question isn’t answered, feel free to contact us!

General Dentistry

Yes! Give our office a call, and we can schedule a convenient time for your first visit. 

Ideally, people should visit the dentist twice every year for examinations and cleanings. In some cases, however, dental treatment might be needed initially—particularly if it has been a while since the last dental visit. After the completion of a patient's treatment plan, our goal is to bring patients to a level of oral health where they will only need to come in twice per year to have a cleaning and a checkup. Radiographs may need to be taken periodically to help monitor and detect any issues before they become a more significant problem.

Some people can benefit from more frequent visits to the dentist, particularly those who fall into a high-risk group. These include situations such as the following:

  • People who smoke or use tobacco products
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Those who have diabetes
  • People who are currently experiencing gum disease
  • Those who have a weak immune system
  • People who tend to develop cavities or plaque buildup
  • Those who are under a lot of stress or experiencing an illness

When you come in for your appointment, Dr. Tran can make recommendations based on the current state of your oral health. 

There are many options for replacing a missing tooth or multiple teeth, including implants, bridges, partials, and dentures. Different options are recommended depending on how many teeth are missing, bone levels, health conditions, financial concerns, and aesthetic preference. Many of our patients have benefited from seeing Dr. Tran for a consultation to discuss which option is right for them.

Fillings and crowns are similar in the sense that both are ways of restoring a tooth to repair decay and prevent further damage. Typically the deciding factor is how much tooth structure is compromised. For a filling, the decayed tooth structure is removed, the remaining structure is cleaned, and the cleaned out cavity is then filled with composite (white) filling material. A filling appointment takes one visit to complete. A crown is recommended when a filling can't replace enough of the tooth or make the tooth strong enough. Crowns are also necessary after root canal treatment. The process for a crown takes two visits. First the tooth is shaped by the doctor with a handpiece, an impression is taken, and a temporary crown is put in place. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is fabricated. After 2-3 weeks, the permanent crown is cemented in place. Unlike the filling, a crown covers the entire tooth, like a hat. Whether you need a filling or a crown, Dr. Tran will be sure to answer any treatment questions and discuss which option is best for you.

The two most common materials used for dental fillings are amalgam and composite. Amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. It is commonly referred to as a "silver filling" because of the color. The FDA does deem amalgam to be safe for dental use, but the mercury tends to raise concern for some patients. Resin composite fillings are made of a ceramic and plastic compound. They are often called "white fillings" or "tooth-colored fillings" as they blend in with the surrounding natural tooth structure. For restorative work at our office, Dr. Tran only places fillings using composite material.

The goal of any dental office should be to minimize the pain or discomfort from dental treatments. While we cannot guarantee that your visits will be entirely pain-free, our staff will do whatever we can to make your visit as comfortable as possible. 

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In response to the ADA recommendations regarding the COVID-19, our office is open with limited hours until further notice. Our team will continue to respond to calls and emails during this time. Please call us to schedule your appointment. Thank you so much for your understanding.