General Dentistry FAQ

I have bad breath, what can I do?

While mouthwash is the most common way people deal with this condition, bad breath may actually be symptomatic of various causes. For example, periodontal (gum) disease can also cause bad breath, and so can a tongue with debris on the surface. In these cases, deep cleanings and tongue scrapers are better solutions, respectively. So if bad breath is present, consult with the dentist to find out what the underlying cause might be.

Tongue Scraper and Deep Cleaning for Bad Breath

Dental care is very expensive, and I can’t pay everything at once.

So does this mean I can’t get what I need?

Absolutely not. Our clinic believes that dental care should be accessible to patients even when financials may be difficult on paper. Our fees are affordable to begin with, and we also offer payment options to patients such as CareCredit and DocPay. Please inquire about details if you think you need payment options.

CareCredit and DocPay

How often should I visit a dentist for exams and cleanings? Can I just come when I want?

Our office recommends a regular interval of six months between exams and cleanings. Our experience shows that patients who stick to this interval rarely experience any serious dental problems and experience much better oral health than patients that do otherwise.

Every 6 Months

Are X-Rays really necessary for dental exams? Isn’t radiation bad for the body?

Yes, with rare exceptions x-rays are a necessary component of any comprehensive and useful dental examination, the reason being that there are locations between the and in the bone that the human eye simply can’t see. While radiation should be avoided when possible, the amount of radiation used in a dental setting is minute and inconsequential compared to those performed in a Medical Doctor’s office. The chart below shows the relative intensity of radiation of dental radiography compared to some daily activities.


Radiation Dosage Chart

I am confused about dental insurances. I don’t know what kind I have and how it works.

Dental insurance and financing is a tricky field and many patients understandably do not understand the field. In general, two types of dental insurance exist, PPOs and DMOs. Differences between the two types can involve a great many details, but suffice it to say our office recommends PPOs for flexibility and a general higher quality of care. Always feel free to call our office to make sure and ask about details when necessary!

Dental Insurance

I don’t like dentists very much and I always experience anxiety and nervousness in a dental office.

What can be done for people like me when needing dental care?

Dental anxiety is a very common occurrence and our office deals with it on a daily basis, for adults, we offer oral sedation whereby a sedative is administered under monitoring. The sedative is anxiolytic and makes people who otherwise would be racked with nervousness to become much more receptive to dental care; in many cases, people fall asleep under sedation, although this does not always happen. Our office offers this service free of charge as a courtesy for our patients, so I quite if you think you might need it.

Dental Sedation

In the past, whenever I have tooth pain I can alleviate it with antibiotics.

Why can’t I just keep taking antibiotics instead of getting dental treatment?

While antibiotics are useful as an adjunct in dental infections, by themselves they will not address the source of dental infections, which requires real dental treatment. Therefore, while we prescribe antibiotics in certain acute, notable infections, we generally recommend patients to avoid taking excessive doses of antibiotics and to seek real definitive treatment. In addition to possibly developing antibiotic resistance, excessive antibiotic taking can lead to other problems such as yeast infections in female patients, for example.

How Antibiotic Resistance Happens

I have questions that I would like to ask the dentist.

I also have concerns in general that I want to ask before getting treatment. Is this ok?

We absolutely welcome patients to ask questions either of the staff or Dr. Tan anytime during their care. We believe in complete transparency in the diagnosis, treatment, and after care process. Do not shy from asking if you have any uncertainties!

Happy Dental Office