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Reflections Dental Spa
Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): General Dentistry

How can we help you?

We know that there is a lot to think about when it comes to your dental care. That’s why the team at Reflections Dental Spa encourages your questions. When you have all the information you need, you can feel confident when you need to make a decision about your treatment. No question or problem is too small because if it matters to you, it matters to us.

Here are a few of the questions we hear most often, but you probably have some of your own. If so, please don’t hesitate to call our office or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!

General Dentistry

Based on statistics, the recommendations for pre-medicating with antibiotics have changed and evolved over the years. Until recently, patients with heart conditions and joint replacements needed pre-medication before routine dental procedures. However, due to a high incidence of antibiotic resistance, the American Heart Association and American Orthopedic Association have changed the recommendations.

We hear from some of our patients that they have always taken premedication before dental procedures. It is not recommended to take these antibiotics for the majority of these conditions and situations. We want to take every precaution to protect you, at the same time not exposing you to unnecessary antibiotics. We want to use the most current recommendations so you have better success fighting infections and less risk of adverse effects if you need antibiotics in the future.  

If you are unsure and have any further concerns, please discuss the situation with your physician first. Please be sure to request a prescription before your appointment if your doctor recommends pre-medication. We also carry some antibiotics for administration as pre-medication at our office in case you forget! But please remember that in the case of known allergies, we might not have what you can have or tolerate. Please call us at our San Ramon office if you have any concerns. 

Cavities form as a result of bacteria in your mouth called Streptococcus mutans. These bacteria produce acids when exposed to increased sugar intake, increased plaque accumulation, etc. These acids cause irreversible changes in your teeth. It begins with an area of demineralization, which is usually reversible if caught early. This progresses with time to involve more and more of the deeper dental tissues and can cause pain if left untreated. 

Genetics do seem to play a role in susceptibility to decay. But the primary culprits are poor hygiene measures, avoiding regular dental visits, a diet high in processed sugars, and an acidic diet. Medications, which can contribute to dry mouth issues, and habitual grinding are also a problem.

Your first line of defense is brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once a day, preferably at night. Reducing the frequency of food containing processed sugars will go a long way in prevention.

Give us a call at our San Ramon office to learn about measures to keep your teeth healthy and protect them from this cavity forming bacteria.

There are many reasons why people become anxious or fearful at the thought of dental treatment, and one of the most common is the anticipated discomfort of an injection.

There is a lot of great technology available today that’s designed to make your dental experience more comfortable than ever before. At Reflections Dental Spa, we use gentle anesthesia techniques that make uncomfortable injections a thing of the past!

The discomfort that most people feel with a conventional injection occurs when the anesthetic is deposited in the soft gum tissue. Today, we can virtually eliminate the discomfort of an injection because our computer-aided Wand system supplies a flow of anesthetic in a slow, comfortable manner, making the sensation barely perceptible.

In addition to experiencing an injection that you can barely feel, you won’t have to panic at the thought of a needle coming at you because the Wand system is a small instrument that looks like a pen. The Wand provides such a gentle experience that you may not even realize you have had the injection!

At Reflections Dental Spa, we pay attention to your comfort and offer state-of-the-art treatments that make your dental care easier. If you are curious and would like to learn more about our painless injections, please call us to arrange an appointment!

We would love to help, and we’ll start by telling you that each baby is unique!

The first baby tooth usually comes in between five and seven months of age and they usually have all their baby teeth by three to four years of age. But this can vary significantly! The permanent teeth start coming in around six years. Erupting teeth can cause a lot of drooling and fussiness in babies, and they usually have all their baby teeth by three to four years of age. But this can vary significantly! The permanent teeth start coming in around six years. Erupting teeth can cause a lot of drooling and fussiness in babies.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child see a dentist early after the time the teeth erupt. At our San Ramon office, we care for children three years and up. We recommend bringing them for a well baby visit around this time. We like to call them Smile Visits and most of the time that is all we do! Have them smile, brush or polish(depending on their reaction), and bribe them with prizes. We want them to be comfortable with the whole experience as much as possible. We cannot stress enough the importance of regular brushing from the time they get their first tooth. We recommend using a washcloth to clean their gums before the teeth come in!

We usually begin to limit pacifier use by three years of age to prevent any lingering effects on their jaw formation and teeth position. We also actively discourage letting them fall asleep while feeding since it can cause baby bottle decay, which is a rampant decay affecting almost all their teeth. Please make them sip some water or fall asleep with water in a bottle if they get fussy.

We at Reflections Dental Spa focus on prevention and education. These are building blocks that will help your child learn good oral habits for their lifetime.  We have seen from our experience that this can result in minimal dental issues throughout life, giving them a better chance to maintain their beautiful and healthy smiles! We look forward to partnering with you in your child’s future!

The orthodontist is an important part of your child’s dental team. We usually refer children by the age of seven or eight to have an evaluation by an orthodontist.

But it is of paramount importance that we, as your general dentist, work together with the orthodontist in ensuring proper care.  We play an integral role in keeping your child’s mouth healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. We should be the main driver in coordinating your dental care and be your child’s dental health partner.

It is critical to bring in your child for their regular exams and cleanings at our San Ramon dental office, especially while in active orthodontic treatment. Brushing and flossing is very difficult and time consuming with wires and brackets, leaving kids at a very high risk for plaque accumulation leading to cavities and gum disease.

We pay extra attention to their cleaning appointments and also increase the frequency of visits if any areas of concern are noticed. We do not want them to have straight teeth with unsightly white or brown spots or worse, cavities from lack of care.

Your Smile Team at Reflections Dental Spa, want to be a part of creating beautiful healthy smiles with you and your child’s help and support!

Having bad breath is one of the most common complaints we hear. It can be related to multiple issues including diet and other health conditions like allergies, diabetes, medications, etc.

Most of the time bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by bacterial plaque and ineffective oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing as well as brushing your tongue are necessary safeguards. Periodontal disease and an increase in disease-causing bacteria in deeper areas where they can grow are a significant cause of bad breath.

We at Reflections Dental Spa are very focused on improving your periodontal health. We firmly believe that the gums are the foundation of your teeth and recommend multiple preventive and maintenance measures to maintain their health.

Bad breath can also be a sign of active decay, broken fillings or infection. Drainage from infected teeth, food impaction in areas of bone loss can be a significant causative factor. Your diet can also be of prime importance, especially goods that contain garlic. Medications that contribute to dry mouth can also lead to halitosis. Please give us a call so we can evaluate any contributing factors and focus on steps to keep them under control.

We can help in giving you the confidence of a healthy and beautiful smile!

We usually recommend an occlusal guard when we see evidence of wear in your mouth like multiple broken fillings, flattened cusps, short clinical crowns or in some cases from your complaint of TMJ soreness or pain. Clenching, which involves excessive pressure while biting down for a long time or grinding when your jaw moves from side to side, can cause extensive damage and fracture to your teeth and restorations. The stress from the overactive muscles can cause chronic pain from TMJ issues.

We fabricate a custom guard to help prevent further wear. It involves creating molds of your teeth, which we send to the lab. It is like wearing a helmet when you ride a bike. Initially, there is an adjustment period, but it is for your safety and protection. A mouth guard is not a cure for grinding but is to prevent damage since most of the grinding happens at night when you have no control or awareness.

In recent years, more and more over the counter guards have come onto the market. But they are not customized for your teeth and do not have the features that we put in for your teeth protection. Something is better than nothing, but we recommend investing in a good quality lab processed guard to provide the maximum protection. Please also understand that, depending on the severity of your habit, we might need to replace the mouth guard. But is better that the wear is on your guard than your teeth!

Please call us at our San Ramon office so we can check to see if you there are any signs of wear that would necessitate an occlusal guard.

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