Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Dentistry?
Dentistry is the treatment and prevention of disorders and diseases of a patient’s teeth, gums, mouth and jaw. Dentistry performed properly is necessary for complete oral health and it has a significant impact on the health of a patient’s entire body.
What Is A Dentist?
A dentist is a specialist who has been trained to diagnose, treat, and prevent oral health conditions problems. Dr. Yoong has completed many years of medical schooling in order to practice dentistry. After schooling, a dentist can receive either a DDS or DMD degree. DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery degree and DMD stands for Doctor of Dental Medicine. Some doctors specialize in pediatric dentistry as well, which means that he or she works with children from infancy up through the teenage years. There are other specializations that a dentist may go to school for:
- Oral and maxillofacial (includes pathology, radiology, and surgery)
- Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics
- Endodontics (specialization in root canals)
- Periodontics (specialization in gum disease)
- Prosthodontics (specialization in dental implants)
What is a Dental Hygienist?
A dental hygienist or oral hygienist is a licensed dental professional, registered with a dental association or regulatory body within their country of practice. Prior to completing clinical and written board examinations, registered dental hygienists must have either an Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from an accredited college or university. Once registered, hygienists are primary healthcare professionals who work independently of or alongside dentists and other dental professionals to provide full oral health care. They have the training and education that focus on and specialize in the prevention and treatment of many oral diseases.
Dental hygienists have a specific scope of clinical procedures they provide to their patients. They assess a patient’s condition in order to offer patient-specific preventive and educational services to promote and maintain good oral health. A major role of a dental hygienist is to perform periodontal therapy which includes things such as periodontal charting, periodontal debridement (scaling and root planing), prophylaxis (preventing disease), or periodontal maintenance procedures for patients with periodontal disease. The use of therapeutic methods assists their patients in controlling oral disease while providing tailored treatment plans that emphasize the importance of behavioral changes. Some dental hygienists are licensed to administer local anesthesia and perform dental radiography. Dental hygienists are also the primary resource for oral cancer screening and prevention. In addition to these procedures, hygienists may take intraoral radiographs, apply dental sealants, administer topical fluoride, and provide patient-specific oral hygiene instruction.
Are Regular Dental Cleanings Necessary?
Here at Healthy Living Dental we know how busy life can be. Fitting a dental appointment into your busy schedule seems to be one of the most difficult things you have to do. Proper oral hygiene is difficult to maintain. Brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing after every meal will keep many oral hygiene problems away, but not all. Scheduling a cleaning at Healthy Living Dental twice a year is highly recommended to maintain proper oral hygiene and catch problems before they become costly and painful.
Do I Need To See A Dentist Even If My Teeth Feel Fine?
It’s very important to schedule regular cleanings here at Healthy Living Dental. Dr. Yoong recommends seeing you twice a year. There are many problems with can exist without knowing. Not only can we identify problems before they become painful and expensive but we can also help to keep your smile looking fantastic. We know how important it is to feel comfortable with your smile. This is why we offer many treatments to help improve patient aesthetics.
What’s A Dental Cleaning Like At Healthy Living Dental
Sixth-month cleanings are recommended for proper oral hygiene. At Healthy Living Dental an appointment will include a full oral examination, oral cancer exam, professional x-rays to catch cavities, and a full cleaning by our amazing hygienists. Your cleaning will remove tartar, debris, and plaque from your mouth.
Dr. Yoong will coordinate with your hygienist and recommend a treatment plan for any problems that are found. We’ll also recommend any aesthetic and cosmetic treatments to improve your smile.
Please call our office at 805-677-7703 to schedule an appointment or for any additional questions.
At What Age Should I Bring My Child To See The Dentist?
Recommendations by professionals throughout the dental industry as well as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is as early as six months of age. This is when a child’s teeth begin to show. Dr. Yoong will be able to examine the health of your child’s first few teeth and make recommendations.
When Should I Change My Tooth Brush?
Dr. Yoong recommends at least every three to four months. If you’re using an electronic toothbrush, make sure to check the recommendation of the type of toothbrush because you may not have to change the head of the brush often. If a patient has gum disease Dr. Yoong recommends that you change your brush more often then every three months. Also, after brushing it’s very important to wash and rinse your brush out with hot water. This will kill germs and bacteria and keep your toothbrush clean.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease
Gum disease is also called periodontal disease. Plaque and bacteria build up in a patient’s mouth. When this build-up is not treated in the early stages it can cause gum disease. Periodontal disease can also be caused by smoking and chewing tobacco, teeth grinding, certain medications, and genetics. Advanced forms of periodontal disease can cause bone and tooth loss as well as permanent damage. Dr. Yoong recommends that brushing and flossing every day as well as scheduling dental appointments every six months is the best way to fight gum disease. Some of the most common signs of periodontal disease are the following:
- Abscessed teeth
- Extreme tooth sensitivity
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth and or loss of teeth
- Red, swollen or bleeding gums
- Receding gum line
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms please call us as soon as possible. You can reach us at 805-677-7703 or email us to schedule a consultation. Your dental health is out highest concern.
Do You Accept Insurance?
Here at Healthy Living Dental we accept most PPO insurance plans. We are also a Delta Premier provider. Please call our office for more information about insurance at 805-677-7703. Prior to calling please have your insurance information ready. Also, please plan to pay your co-pay or deductible portion at the time of service.
What Payment Methods Do You Accept?
For your convenience here at Healthy Living Dental we accept cash, check, cashier’s checks, Visa, Master Card, Amex and Discover. If none of these payment methods suite your needs we also provide payment plans through our office or third party financing through Care Credit. If you have any more questions regarding payment methods please give us a call at 805-677-7703 and we’ll do our best to find the right solution for you.