FAQs

Mercury is a toxic material that makes up almost half of a silver filling. The theory is that the mercury is locked up with the metal. The amount of mercury that leaks over the life of the filling is minimal, and therein lays the controversy. How much is acceptable? I believe that when a silver filling needs to be replaced, it should be with something other than silver, but it could be left alone otherwise. If a patient is concerned with cosmetics or is sensitive to metals, then replacing it with a composite or porcelain is appropriate.
Historically, dental radiography emitted significant radiation, but with the advent of super fast films and digital radiography, radiation levels have become relatively insignificant. Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to the low radiation levels emitted by dental X-rays.  Some of the improvements are new digital X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed, higher speed X-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results, and the use of film holders that keep the film in place in the mouth. We use digital X-rays in my office, and though I always try to minimize X-rays, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Typically, unless specifically requested, bottled water does not contain fluoride. In fact, most municipalities no longer put fluoride in tap water because of costs. Fluoride is such a good cavity fighter in children that it is well worth the effort. You can purchase fluoridated water through various companies or get a prescription for tablets from your dentist. Check with your city water municipality to find out if fluoride is added.
Sedation dentistry refers to putting a patient into a light sleep through the use of medication delivered orally or intravenously. This requires special training by the dentist. Sedation dentistry is used in more complicated procedures or for patients who are unusually afraid. In our office, I find that the use of nitrous oxide or anti-anxiety medication is sufficient for most fearful patients.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are considered a relic from our evolutionary past and are unnecessary for function and aesthetics. In a case where the jaw is not large enough to accommodate third molars, or if the person cannot adequately clean them, then removing all four is recommended. However, if the teeth erupt properly, there is no reason to extract them.
There are several ways to whiten teeth, but the common denominator is hydrogen peroxide in one form or another. The in-office method employs the strongest gel and supplements it with a ultra-violet light that allows whitening to occur within one hour or less. A patient can also be given custom-made trays with much weaker gel, which can produce equivalent whitening in about two weeks of daily use. The store-bought products use the weakest gel and take about one month of daily use to attain the same results.

At our office, we include the trays together with our in-office service to provide long-term maintenance.

Teeth whitening is a safe, effective procedure, and does not typically include any negative side effects. Minor side effects may consist of:

  • Increased temporarily tooth sensitivity to hot or cold.
  • White spots on the surface of the teeth if you have decalcification spots already.
The three most commonly used materials are silver/mercury, composite, and porcelain. Silver lasts a long time, is easy to place, and is inexpensive. A composite is tooth-colored, hence more attractive, and it is still easy to place. My experience is that composites don’t last as long as silver, but teeth rarely fracture, whereas it is more common with silver fillings. Porcelain fillings are my personal favorite, as they combine longevity with beauty, but they are more expensive and require two visits.
During sleep, people normally keep their jaws relaxed and separated. But, some people contract jaw muscles until jaws meet the teeth leading to clenching or grinding teeth against each other. The pressure jaws can exert is enormous and this pressure, as well as the movement of the teeth, causes the damage and pain. When the teeth clenching or grinding cause damage, the condition is called bruxism. While most people clench their teeth at night, some do it during the day as well. Most people first learn that they are grinding teeth after their dentist informs them that their teeth are worn out, enamel cracked or teeth lose. Many people experience pain in their jaw, neck and eyes and debilitating headaches in the morning, after a night of teeth grinding. People who are grinding their teeth habitually need to protect their teeth and TMJ (Temporo-mandibular jaw disorder) from further damage with an occlusal guard or NTI.
If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9% and 15% of Americans state they avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. The first thing you should do is talk with your dentist. The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist. Once your dentist knows what your fears are, he or she will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable. There are a number of strategies that can be used to help reduce fear, anxiety, and pain. These strategies include use of medications and sedations.
If a manual toothbrush is used for the appropriate amount of time, and done with proper technique, it can perform just as well as a powered toothbrush. But many people don’t brush for the recommended two to three minutes. Children are also good candidates for powered brushes, as their brushing habits may not be optimal.

While everyone certainly does not need an electric toothbrush, in many instances they can be beneficial. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about which brush is best for you.

Most dental problems don’t have any symptoms until they reach more advanced stages; so it’s better to not wait until it hurts. It is best to get a thorough dental exam, and diagnose and treat problems early. Waiting often makes problems more difficult and more expensive to fix.
When you are asleep, saliva production in your mouth decreases. Since saliva is the mouth’s natural mouthwash, most people experience morning breath. Bacteria found on teeth, in the crevices and on the taste buds of the tongue, break down the food particles, which produce sulfur compounds. It is actually these sulfur compounds, which give our breath a bad odor.
Most people have some degree of bad breath after a night’s sleep. This is normal and usually clears when the flow of saliva increases soon after starting to eat breakfast. During waking hours, saliva helps to wash away bacteria and food particles. Saliva also helps to dissolve the unpleasant smelling sulfur compounds.

Chronic, long-term mouth odor can be a sign of serious illness. See your dentist if this is a concern.

Current Offers

New Adult Patient

$99
X-ray and Exam with cleaning.

New Child Patient

$49
X-ray and Exam with cleaning and Fluoride.

Single Implant

$995
Does not include abutment and crown.

Award

Top Dentists in Westlake Village
Dental Wellness of Westlake Village has been recognized as a Top Westlake Village Dentistry practice in 2015.
Verified by Opencare.com

Reviews

Office Hours

Monday : 8AM – 5PM
Tuesday : 8AM – 5PM
Wednesday : 9AM – 6PM
Thursday : Closed
Friday : 7AM – 4PM
Saturday : 9AM – 1PM (By Appointments Only)