Dental FAQs

What is dentistry?

Dentistry is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions, disorders, and diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw. Often considered necessary for complete oral health, dentistry can have an impact on the health of your entire body.

What is a dentist?

A dentist is a specialist who works to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health problems. Our dentists have completed at least seven years of schooling, and received either a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) degree, or a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree. Specialist dentists, specialize in certain fields of dentistry after completing 2-6 years of additional education after receiving the DDS or DMD degree.

Specializations include:

  • Endodontics (root canals, root surgeries, implants)
  • Oral and maxillofacial (including pathology, radiology, and surgery)
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
  • Pediadontist (children under 18 years of age)
  • Periodontics (gum disease)
  • Prosthodontics (crowns, bridges, dentures, complex rehabilitations)

Why is visiting our dentists so important?

Visiting our dentists regularly will not only help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of your body healthy. Dental care is important because it:

  • Help prevent tooth decay
  • Protect against periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to tooth and bone loss
  • Prevent bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing our dentists regularly will help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath
  • Give you a more attractive smile and increases your self-confidence
  • Help keep teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, drinks, and tobacco
  • Strengthen your teeth so that you can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of your life!

My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see the dentist?

Your teeth may feel fine, but it's still important to see our dentists regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your smile's appearance is important, and our dentists can help keep your smile healthy and looking beautiful. With so many advances in dentistry, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, missing, or misshapen teeth. Our dentists offer many treatment choices that can help you smile with confidence, including:

  • Professional teeth whitening
  • Fillings that mimic the appearance of natural teeth
  • Tooth replacement and full smile makeovers

Why are the Pacific Dental Care and Fastbraces® dentists for me?

Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you have found the best at Pacific Dental Care and Fastraces®. Dr. Bueno and Dr. Sellick are the best and have incredible communication skills to go along with their expert dental skills.  Both are incredibly artistic and work well together. Their teamwork is a strength no other dental office can offer.

  • Is the appointment schedule convenient?
  • Is the office easy to get to and close by?
  • Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
  • Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
  • Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
  • Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
  • Do the dentists continually further their education by taking classes to stay up to date with the advances in dentistry?

How can I take care of my teeth between dental checkups?

  • ALWAYS remember to brush your teeth at least two times a day, and floss at least once, preferably at night.
  • Make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and ask our dentists if you need a fluoride rinse. This will help prevent cavities.
  • Avoid foods with a lot of sugar (sugar increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth causing more plaque and possibly cavities) and avoid tobacco (this can stain your teeth, cause gum disease, and eventually lead to oral cancer).
  • Brush your tongue! By brushing your tongue, you will remove food particles and reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria. Tongue brushing also helps keep your breath fresh.
  • Be sure to schedule your routine checkup. It is recommended that you visit our dentists every six months.

At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six months of age and no later than one year of age. During this time, your child's baby teeth will be coming in and our dentists can examine the health of your child's first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.

How often should I see the dentist?

Children, teens, and adults should all see our dentists for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to see ouir dentists more than just twice a year. Our dentists will help determine how often you should visit for regular checkups.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once, preferrably at night.

What is a filling?

A filling is a synthetic material that our dentists use to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because our dentists will numb your mouth with an anesthetic.  Many smaller fillings can be done with the laser and require no anesthetic.  This is why catching and treating decay when it is small is recommended by our dentists. Fillings are made from a variety of different materials, including composites, gold, or ceramic. If you need a filling, be sure to talk to our dentists about what type is best for you and your teeth.

How often should I floss and brush my teeth?

According to our dentists and the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth at least two times a day. Brushing keeps your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy by removing bacteria-causing plaque. It is also recommended that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride when you brush your teeth. You should spend at least a minute on the top teeth and a minute on the bottom teeth, and remember to brush your tongue; it will help keep your breath smelling fresh!  You should floss your teeth prior to brushing to remove larger food particles and the plaque buildup in between the teeth.  This will allow the fluoride toothpaste to be more effective when you are brushing your teeth.

When should I change my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. Our dentists recommends that adults and children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to change their toothbrush every four to six weeks to keep any bacteria from spreading. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If you've been sick, be sure to change your toothbrush as soon as possible.  New UV lights designed to kill the bacteria on your toothbrush are readily available.   Ask us abou the Sonicare electronic toothbrush has this UV light available. 

What is gum disease?

Also known as periodontal disease or pyorrhea, gum disease is mostly caused by plaque and bacteria buildup that is not treated in its early stage. Other causes of periodontal disease include tobacco use, teeth grinding, some medications, and genetics. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, and, if detected, is treatable. Gingivitis left untreated may turn into gum disease. Advanced gum disease will lead to tooth and bone loss, and is a permanent condition. Brushing your teeth regularly and visiting our dentists every six months will help prevent gingivitis and lessen the effects of more severe cases of periodontal disease. Common signs of gum disease:

  • Red, irritated, bleeding, or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth, or loss of teeth
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gum line
  • Abscessed teeth
  • Generalized toothaches

If I have braces, do I still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it's even more important that patients undergoing orthodontic treatment visit our dentists more often than every six months. With braces, food may be caught in places that your toothbrushing and flossing can't reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Because we do most of our orthodontics in the office, we can easily coordinate the hygiene schedule best suited for you.  If you happen to be one of the rare cases referred to the ortho

How do I schedule my next checkup?

Simply call our practice, Pacific Dental Care and Fastbraces® at (925)426-1300 and one of our friendly team members will be happy to help schedule your next dental checkup at your convenience. If you are a new patient, please let us know and we will provide you with all the information you need for your first dental visit.  We even have online forms you can fill out beforehand to speed up your visit.

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