Q: I really do not like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?
A: Your comfort is our top concern. We are specially trained in the latest techniques and provide an environment where you feel safe, in control and gently cared for. Our team is dedicated to making your treatment quick and enjoyable.

Q: I brush every day, but my breath is not fresh. Is there anything I can do?
A: Millions of people struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, despite daily teeth brushing. Here is a checklist of procedures that can eliminate the problem: twice daily brushing, daily flossing and tongue cleaning; regular professional cleanings and careful cleaning of any dentures or removable dental appliances. However, if your hygiene is meticulous and the problem persists, we can offer several solutions.

First, we can provide a plastic tool called a tongue scraper that cleans away bacterial build-up on your tongue and significantly alleviates odor. Or we can recommend a specially prepared rinse or toothpaste designed to actually break the odor-causing sulfur bonds that cause bad breath. Finally, we may also suspect a systemic or internal problem such as an infection or underlying condition, in which case we may recommend a visit with your family physician or specialist to identify the cause.

Q: I know I need X-Rays, but I’d prefer to not be exposed to unnecessary radiation. Do you offer digital X-Rays?
A: Yes, we do offer digital X-Rays. Digital X-Rays use less radiation and are safer for you than traditional film X-Rays. You will find that in our dental practice, we research the latest trends in technology to find the solutions that promote your overall health, safety, and comfort.

Q: If I lose a back tooth, how will that affect my smile?
A: Losing a back tooth will darken your overall smile, making it look smaller and more narrow. Your smile will appear to stop short, and the look will be exaggerated if your missing tooth has teeth on both sides of it. Function during chewing will be reduced and function of many teeth can be affected by losing just one tooth. When you are missing a tooth, you compensate by chewing differently, putting pressure on different parts of your mouth. This can cause your other teeth to shift, creating gaps and spaces and may even cause fractures that result in additional tooth loss or the need for restorations.

Q: I want and need a lot of dental work, but I’m afraid I can’t afford it. Do you offer monthly payment plans?
A: Yes, we do offer monthly payment plans with our financial partner, Care Credit™. We provide a variety of ways for you to pay for your treatment so that it fits comfortably into your personal or family financial goals. Our team works with you to create the solution that accommodates you so you can have the beautiful, healthy smile you have always desired.

Q: My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be concerned about?
A: It is certainly not desirable to have bleeding gums following brushing. However, the condition may or may not require attention, depending on the source of the problem. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: improper, rough ‘scrubbing’ instead of gentle, circular brushing motions; using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or gum sensitivity due to gingivitis or periodontal disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing methods or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation appointment.

Q: What is periodontal disease?
A: Periodontal disease (also called gum disease or gingivitis) refers to the infection of the supportive tissues of the mouth due to toxic bacteria found in plaque. Many individuals suffer from some degree of gum disease, and if left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, breakdown of the soft tissue in the mouth and jaw as well as other significant health problems. Your dentist at Balboa Victory will assess and diagnose your periodontal health and if needed, advise the appropriate therapy to restore gums and supportive tissues. Then, our specially trained hygienists will administer advanced periodontal therapy.

Q: How do sealants protect teeth?
A: A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth—premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids and guarding against disease-causing bacteria.

Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. However, toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to efficiently extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by “sealing out” plaque and food.

Q: I want my teeth to be whiter. Do you recommend at-home or in-office whitening?
A: Dentist directed at-home whitening and in-office whitening procedures are both effective ways of brightening your smile. In either case, your dentist customizes the treatment to ensure your happiness with the results.

Your custom home whitening kit involves a special tray that is tailored to fit over your teeth. You also receive prescription whitening gel, which is inserted into the tray before you wear it. Dr. Menalagha gives you detailed instructions about how long you should wear the tray each day and how long you should expect the entire home whitening process to take, leaving you with a dazzling smile.

If you desire immediate results, visit Dr. Menalagha for an in-the-office whitening procedure. Again, the treatment utilizes a special tray that fits around your teeth. However, with your dentist’s supervision, a much more powerful whitening gel is used, giving you amazing results in just a few hours!

Q: How can I safely whiten my teeth?
A: Tooth whitening is one of the simplest forms of cosmetic dentistry available today. At our office, we offer two methods, both using the revolutionary Venus White Ultra treatment. If you would like to obtain results in just one hour, you may elect to undergo this treatment in our office; or, if you prefer a take-home kit, we offer the Venus White Ultra at-home kit– using the same patented ingredients.

Remember, it is important that we have a brief consultation prior to your choosing a whitening system, since some people are better candidates than others for the treatment. For example, if your teeth are darkened to a yellow, brown or orange tinge due to age, coffee, tea or smoking, chances are very good that teeth whitening will bring lasting, satisfactory results. However, if your teeth are a dark gray tone from fluorosis or tetracycline use, whitening results may be a bit less dramatic; further, whitening does not lighten resins, silicates, porcelains or other synthetic materials. Ask us how teeth that may not be whitened with the Venus White Ultra method can be transformed into beautiful teeth through cosmetic dentistry.