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Dental FAQs

San Bernardino Dentist

What Is Dentistry?

Dentistry encompasses diagnosing, treating, and preventing various conditions and diseases affecting the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. It’s a crucial aspect of overall oral health care, with its proper practice having a profound impact on oral health and the general health and well-being of a patient. Good dental health is integral to overall health, as issues within the mouth can often indicate or lead to systemic health problems.


What Is a Dentist?

A dentist is a medical professional specializing in treating and preventing oral health issues. After extensive medical education, dentists earn either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine)) degree, allowing them to practice dentistry. For example, Dr. Patel has undergone rigorous schooling to become proficient in dental care. Dentists may also pursue further specializations, such as pediatric dentistry, which focuses on dental care for children from infancy to adolescence. Other areas of specialization include:


  • Oral and maxillofacial fields encompass pathology, radiology, and surgery.
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics deal with the alignment of teeth and jaws.
  • Endodontics, focusing on root canal treatments.
  • Periodontics, specializing in the treatment of gum diseases.
  • Prosthodontics is dedicated to dental implants and restorative dentistry.
  • Each of these specializations requires additional training and education, enabling dentists to provide comprehensive care in various aspects of dental health.


Are Regular Dental Cleanings Necessary?

Regular dental cleanings are crucial for maintaining oral health. At My Dentist & Orthodontist, we understand the challenges of a hectic lifestyle and how difficult it can be to fit in a dental appointment. However, the effort is genuinely beneficial. While brushing twice a day for two minutes and daily flossing are excellent practices for oral hygiene, they don’t always cover all aspects of dental health. Regular cleanings at My Dentist & Orthodontist are crucial as they help maintain optimal oral hygiene and enable early detection of potential issues, preventing them from becoming costly and painful.


Do I Need to See a Dentist If My Teeth Feel Fine?

Yes, you must visit your dentist regularly for cleanings, even if your teeth feel fine. Dr. Patel can offer tailored advice on the frequency of these visits to align with your dental health requirements. It’s important to note that many dental issues don’t present noticeable symptoms in their early stages. 


Regular dental check-ups enable the early identification and management of potential problems, averting pain and costly treatments in the future. At My Dentist & Orthodontist, a range of treatments is available to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your smile, helping you feel more confident and comfortable.


What’s a Dental Cleaning Like at My Dentist & Orthodontist?

When you visit My Dentist & Orthodontist in San Bernardino, your appointment will consist of several comprehensive steps to ensure oral health. It starts with a thorough oral examination, including an oral cancer screening, followed by professional X-rays to detect cavities. The appointment also features a detailed cleaning process, efficiently removing tartar, debris, and plaque from your mouth.


Dr. Patel, your San Bernardino dentist, will carefully review your oral health and develop a treatment plan for any issues discovered during the examination. In addition to addressing oral health concerns, Dr. Patel and the team will also suggest aesthetic and cosmetic treatments to enhance the appearance of your smile. To schedule an appointment or get more information, contact the office at (888) 599-7005.


At What Age Should I Bring My Child to See the Dentist?

Dental professionals and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend scheduling a child’s first dental visit around six months, typically when the first baby teeth start to emerge. During this initial appointment, Dr. Patel can examine the health of your child’s early teeth. This visit is also an opportunity for Dr. Patel to offer advice on managing teething, reducing the risk of tooth decay, and establishing effective cleaning habits for your child’s dental care.


When Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Your San Bernardino dentist, Dr. Patel, advises replacing your toothbrush every three months. If you’re using an electric toothbrush, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s guidelines, as the replacement frequency for brush heads might differ. People with gum disease may need to change their toothbrushes more frequently. Additionally, it’s crucial to thoroughly rinse and clean your toothbrush with hot water after each use and let it dry upright in an open space. This practice helps eliminate germs and bacteria and ensures the brush stays hygienic.


How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

To determine if you have gum disease, it’s essential to understand that it’s caused by plaque accumulation and bacteria in the mouth. This buildup can lead to gum disease if not addressed in its initial stages. Factors like smoking tobacco, grinding teeth, certain medications, and genetics can increase the risk of developing this condition. Periodontal disease may lead to irreversible damage in advanced stages, including bone and tooth loss. Dr. Patel advises that the most effective preventive measures include daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. Common indicators of gum disease are:


  • Teeth that are abscessed
  • Heightened sensitivity of teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Teeth becoming loose or falling out.
  • Gums that are swollen or bleed easily.
  • Gum lines that appear to be receding


Monitoring these symptoms and maintaining good oral hygiene are vital in identifying and combating gum diseases. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call your San Bernardino dentist immediately. Your dental health is our highest concern.


What Are The Different Options For Tooth Replacement?

Fixed Bridges: Made of porcelain or composite, cemented permanently to adjacent natural teeth.

Dentures:  Removable artificial teeth for cases where most natural teeth are missing.

Implants: Artificial roots placed into the jawbone, offering a stable and aesthetically pleasing option.


How Can Old, Unattractive, Or Discolored Fillings Be Improved?

Various state-of-the-art materials and procedures, such as composite fillings, crowns, inlays/onlays, and porcelain veneers, are available to replace old fillings and enhance your smile.


What is the connection between periodontal (gum) disease and other medical conditions?

Periodontal disease involves the infection and inflammation of the gums and supporting bone structure. It has been linked to several systemic health issues. Research suggests that the bacteria causing periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream, potentially affecting other parts of the body. This condition has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, as the inflammation may contribute to the narrowing of arteries. Additionally, it can exacerbate diabetes by impacting blood sugar control, and respiratory diseases might be aggravated due to the inhalation of bacteria from infected gums. This connection underscores the importance of oral health in maintaining overall well-being. 


When Are Dental Sealants Recommended?

Your San Bernardino dentist recommends sealants for children and teenagers (ages 6-16), infants with deep grooves in teeth, and adults with tooth surfaces that are challenging to clean. They protect the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars.


What Should Be Done If A Tooth Is Knocked Out?

Handle the tooth by the crown, not the roots. Rinse it gently if dirty, and try to get to your San Bernardino dentist within 30 minutes for the possibility of reimplantation.


What are the main goals of cosmetic dental treatments?

Cosmetic Dentistry encompasses various treatments and procedures aimed at enhancing the aesthetics of one’s smile. 


Modify Teeth Appearance: Adjust size, shape, and alignment for symmetry and appeal.

Close Gaps: Use bonding or veneers to fill spaces between teeth.

Bite Correction: Improve alignment for better function and appearance.

Teeth Whitening: Lighten and brighten teeth color to enhance smile.

Repair Damage: Fix decayed, broken, or chipped teeth with fillings, crowns, or bonding.

Replace Missing Teeth: Use implants, bridges, or dentures to complete the smile.

Update Old Treatments: Replace outdated dental work with modern, aesthetic options.


Each goal aims to improve both the look and health of the teeth. For more information, visit My Dentist & Orthodontist, your San Bernardino dentist.


What Causes Bad Breath, And How Can It Be Prevented?

Bacteria on the tongue, certain foods, and medical conditions can cause bad breath. Proper oral hygiene, avoiding odor-causing foods, and regular dental check-ups are crucial to prevention.


When Are Wisdom Teeth Typically Removed?

Wisdom teeth are often removed in young adults (ages 15-25) when they become impacted or cause pain, infection, or other dental problems.


Do You Accept Insurance?

My Dentist & Orthodontist in San Bernardino accommodates a wide range of dental insurance and PPO plans. To ensure your specific insurance plan is accepted, we recommend contacting our office directly at (888) 599-7005. When you call, please have your insurance details readily available for reference. Additionally, be prepared to cover any co-pay or deductible amounts at the time of your appointment. For more detailed information about our insurance policies and to confirm your plan’s acceptance, please contact us.


What Payment Methods Do You Accept?

At My Dentist & Orthodontist, in San Bernardino, California, we offer various payment options for your convenience. These include accepting cash, personal checks, cashier’s checks, and Visa and MasterCard credit cards. We provide flexible payment plans directly through our office for those who require alternative payment methods. Additionally, we offer third-party financing options through Care Credit. We also offer discounts for patients who can pay in full during their service. If you have further questions about our payment methods or need assistance finding a suitable payment solution, please contact us at (888) 599-7005; we will be happy to assist you.