COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT GENERAL DENTISTRY
What is general dentistry? What does it include?
General dentistry refers to comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. This includes regular cleanings, or fillings, crowns, bridges, even oral surgery. Young Dental is a comprehensive dental care office in San Francisco, providing routine cleanings, periodontal work, crowns, and emergency care for patients with infections or other emergency conditions.
I have a dental emergency. What should I do?
Young Dental is fully equipped to provide emergency dental care and address your needs as they arise. They offer same-day appointments, as well as antibiotics and other medications to make sure you’re comfortable if you can’t get into the office right away. They’re open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, with appointment times starting as early as 8AM and offered as late as 7PM.
How many cleanings do I need a year?
Two cleanings a year is the standard (every six months). Regular cleanings help maintain the health of your teeth and gums, and can catch small problems before they grow into bigger ones.
For first time patients, Dr. Young provides an easy and convenient online portal, which is safe and secure, so you can fill out your medical history and insurance information before you come to the office, decreasing your visit time. At your first visit, you’ll discuss your history and take digital x-rays to assess the condition of your teeth and provide a base for future evaluation. Dr. Young will work with you to address any specific needs or questions you might have.
Patients with a history of periodontal disease should visit a little more often, every 3 to 4 months. This is because the bacteria that can cause the most problems tends to grow stronger during that 3 to 6 month window. Frequent cleanings can keep the bacteria from causing more damage.
What does a cleaning involve?
Our dental hygienists are very gentle and attentive. They’ll discuss any needs you have prior to your cleaning. They use an ultrasonic device to clean over the teeth and make sure everything is nice and stable. For patients with recession (when gums have receded back to expose a root surface), hygienists can use hand instruments to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible. If you have sensitivity on a specific tooth, let your hygienist know and they will work carefully in that area.
Dr. Young knows the first step, getting yourself to the dentist’s office, can be the hardest for many patients. For that reason, they’ve made scheduling appointment as easy as possible, built around your schedule, and the office is designed to maximize your comfort from beginning to end.
What if I’m nervous about seeing the dentist?
Dr. Young treats a lot of nervous patients, as well as patients with dental phobias. The first step is the most difficult, and that’s calling or emailing the office. He makes it as easy as possible to get touch, and once you’ve reached out, he’ll work with you from the very beginning to make sure you’re comfortable every step of the way. If you’re nervous at your first visit, you can take small steps and plan for that first visit to be a consultation, rather than a cleaning. Dr. Young will meet with you to discuss your needs and goals, and how he might make you more comfortable in the future. Dr. Young also offers a variety of sedation methods to help keep patients relaxed during their visit, if required.
Why are fillings necessary?
A filling can be warranted for numerous reasons, the most common of which is for a cavity. Cavities develop from bacteria that feeds off sugars in a patient’s mouth. The bacteria sits on top of the teeth, where the grooves are, developing an an acidic environment that eats through the enamel layer. Once bacteria gets through the enamel, the cavity has to be filled to keep it from doing further damage and to restore the natural shape of the tooth. Dr. Young uses a mild drill to remove the cavity. A filling is then placed to restore the tooth and its function. If a cavity stays above the enamel layer, Dr. Young can educate you on how to clean around the area with a fluoride toothpaste and rinse to keep the issue from worsening. Fluoride helps mineralize the area, building a tooth back up after it has been damaged by bacteria. For patients with higher susceptibility to cavities, Dr. Young can use prescription fluoride to decrease the chance of cavity.
Another cause for a filling might be if a tooth has been chipped by trauma or clenching teeth. Fillings work very well when the cavity or chip is small to medium. But as they get larger, a crown is often a better solution. Crowns go over the tooth, so you’re biting on a solid restoration rather than a surface consisting of multiple materials. Dr. Young works with a lab in his building to make sure your restorations are perfect, reinforcing your natural smile and bite.