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......Frequently Asked Questions

 
 



Frequently Asked Questions
Thoughtful Answers to Common Concerns


We want to communicate with you as clearly as possible, in the most convenient format. So if you need answers and prefer to read about them here, please browse through these common questions. If you'd rather talk to us in person, feel free to call us or email us anytime.

1. What makes you different than any other dental practice I can visit?
2. How do I know when its time to come in for a check-up?
3. At what age should my children first see the dentist?
4. Do you accept my insurance plan?
5. What different payment options do you provide?

6. How can I have whiter teeth?
7. What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
8. I want my front teeth to look better, but I don't want to wear braces, what can you do to help?
9. What should I do if I have an emergency and the office is closed?
10. My child has had an accident and knocked out an entire tooth. What do I do?
11. I have a temporary crown in my mouth that has come off or broken. What should I do?
12. Is it bad if my gums bleed after I brush my teeth?
13. My breath has a terrible odor. Is there anything you can do to eliminate this problem?
14. My spouse snores and keeps me up all night. I've heard that a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. If this is true, how do I find out if you can help?



What makes you different than any other dental practice I can visit?
Many insurance-driven practices treat patients with cookie-cutter solutions; we recognize that in reality, there are many important factors to consider before devising a treatment plan that will truly fit your needs! So, when you become one of our patients, we think of you as a person, not just another set of teeth to fix and clean. We take time to get to know you, listen to your concerns and objectives with regard to your teeth, and then help you understand your options for obtaining and maintaining the best dental health possible. We look beyond the surface problems and consider the underlying issues that may be causing problems now, or that may lead to problems down the road. And we recommend long-term solutions, so that you can smile for the long run.

How do I know when its time to come in for a check-up?

An average, healthy adult typically benefits from a professional cleaning and check up every six months. However, it's tough to generalize because every mouth is different. Some people are prone to gum disease, bruxism, or other ongoing oral health concerns that require more frequent visits; others simply need a routine professional tartar removal at regular intervals. That's why we're so careful to check methodically and determine what kind of ongoing professional treatment will achieve your optimum dental health…which could translate to a check-up every 2, 3, 4 or 6 months, according to your needs.

At what age should my children first see the dentist?
We love treating children, and enjoy helping them get started on the road to good dental health at an early age. We typically recommend bringing them in for a first appointment at the age of 3, when they're able to sit still in the chair and allow us to do a brief examination. This simplified early visit allows us to spot and prevent any potential dental problems, and provides a comfortable, non-threatening dental office experience for your child.

Do you accept my insurance plan?
Our office is willing to work with any insurance company. This means that we'll be happy to file your insurance for you, and will accept payment from them as well. Of course, we ask that patients understand up front the limitations of their own coverage, and take responsibility for their portion of the bill not covered by insurance. In any case, we're well versed in the latest coverage trends, and are more than happy to discuss the particulars of your plan with you prior to any treatments you may undergo

What different payment options do you provide?
We accept cash, personal checks, and all major credit cards. Your insurance plan co-pay is due at the time of your visit, and you're responsible for the entire amount not covered by your insurance. For more extensive procedures, or in cases where patients prefer to pay over time, we are happy to offer third party financing through CareCredit.

How can I have whiter teeth?
There are a number of procedures available to help whiten your smile. In many cases, an in-office whitening session can provide the change desired; in other cases, porcelain veneers offer a more effective solution. Dr. Tran can help evaluate your potential for whitening your teeth, based on their current color and the causes of any discoloration. If you opt for the whitening process, we offer the in-office ZOOM system requiring only a one-hour treatment session, and resulting in up to an eight-shade improvement! If you opt for veneer application, you'll simply need a couple of appointments at our office.

What precautions do you take to ensure patient safety?
Our entire practice team is well-versed in state-of-the-art infection control techniques designed to ensure patient safety. This goes beyond wearing gloves and face masks to prevent passing germs, but includes a specialized sanitation center and a water filtration system that guarantees a fresh, individualized, distilled water source for each patient

I want my front teeth to look better, but I don't want to wear braces, what can you do to help?
Dr. Tran has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of unsightly braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping and the addition of porcelain veneers or crowns is often sufficient to give them a bright, uniform look. We'd be happy to talk with you further about the option that best suits your individual situation.

What should I do if I have an emergency and the office is closed?
If you have a true dental emergency, simply contact either of our emergency numbers leaves information as to the exact nature of your condition, and one of the doctors will return your call right away.

My child has had an accident and knocked out an entire tooth. What do I do?
If there is no imminent medical emergency such as uncontrolled bleeding, unconsciousness or other bodily injury, contact us immediately at 510-487-8533 and we'll help you determine the safest and most appropriate action right away. Ideally, it's helpful if you can salvage the lost tooth, rinse it in plain water, and put it back into place temporarily until we can see him/her.

I have a temporary crown in my mouth that has come off or broken. What should I do?
If the temporary remains off of it's position, the tissue will undergo undesirable changes and your teeth may shift unnecessarily. So, we advise you to purchase some Fixodent denture adhesive and gently set it back in place. Then you'll want to call the office to schedule an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible.

Is it bad if my gums bleed after I brush my teeth?
It's definitely not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough, 'scrubbing' instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled tooth brush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods, or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.

My breath has a terrible odor. Is there anything you can do to eliminate this problem?
Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here's a checklist of procedures that can eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and tongue cleaning; regular professional cleanings, and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we can offer several solutions. First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. Or, we can recommend a specially -designed program such as the Oxyfresh program, which includes a toothpaste and rinse that actually breaks the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may also suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.

My spouse snores and keeps me up all night. I've heard that a dentist might be able to prescribe an appliance that prevents snoring. If this is true, how do I find out if you can help?
Snoring is tough on any relationship! And, since it can be caused by a number of factors, we encourage you to have your spouse come in for a consultation and analysis with one of our doctors to determine the cause. In some cases, a person may actually stop breathing for short periods during the night-a condition called sleep apnea. In other cases, snoring can be caused by enlarged anatomical structures within the mouth and throat. During sleep, the throat area relaxes, allowing these structures to collapse against one another and obstruct clear airflow. In the latter situation, we can prescribe and fit a special appliance called a 'snore-guard', which gently holds the mouth and throat in an open position during relaxed sleep and thus prevents snoring.


 

Cybelle Lan-Anh Tran, DDS - A Professional Corporation