Cosmetic Dentist Sunnyvale
Below is a list of some of the questions we get asked most frequently from our patients. If you have a question that isn't answered below, feel free to give us a call and we'll be happy to assist you.
Emergency Questions
What if I have a toothache?
Call us as soon as possible to have the tooth examined. Take ibuprofen to relieve pain if necessary.
What do I do if my child's tooth is knocked out?
Pick the tooth up by the crown (do not touch the root) and place the tooth in a cup of milk or under your tongue until you bring your child to the dentist (as soon as possible within an hour to increase the chances of saving the tooth). Call your child's dentist as soon as possible to let them know this is an emergency.
What if I cracked or chipped my tooth?
Call us to have the tooth examined as soon as possible to increase the chances of saving the tooth. Be careful when eating to prevent further fracture until you see us. Take ibuprofen to relieve pain if necessary.
Other Common Questions
What if a temporary crown came off?
Call us to have it re-cemented. If the temporary crown is intact, bring it with you to your appointment. If the temporary crown is fractured, let us know so we can prepare to make a new temporary crown.
What if a filling came out?
Call us to have it examined as soon as possible to have it properly restored otherwise the tooth is at risk to fracturing. Be careful when eating to avoid possible fracture. 
Post-Treatment Instructions
What should I do after an extraction?
• Maintain pressure by biting on gauze for 30-45 minutes. If bleeding continues, remove existing gauze and place new, moistened gauze and bit down for another 30 minutes. If heavy bleeding persists, call us as soon as possible.

• Apply an ice pack 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. Repeat as necessary for several hours after extraction to minimize swelling. If swelling occurs, apply a moist warm towel to swollen area 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off.

• Take prescribe medication as directed

• Eat a soft diet (ex: mashed potatoes, yogurt, smoothie with a spoon, etc.)

• Rinse with warm salt water the following day for 1-2 weeks

• If stitches remain more than a week, call us to have them removed
What should I avoid after an extraction?
• Avoid brushing teeth near extraction site for the first 48 hours (resume brushing this area after 48 hours)

• Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco for at least 5 days

• Avoid drinking alcohol or carbonated beverages

• Avoid spitting for 48 hours

• Avoid drinking through a straw

• Avoid using mouthwash or mouthrinse

• Avoid rinsing vigorously

• Avoid consuming hot liquids

• Avoid strenuous exercise
What should I expect after a root canal?
For the first few days after treatment, your tooth may feel sensitive, especially if there was pain or infection before the procedure. This discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Follow your dentist's instructions carefully.

Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different form your other teeth for some time after your root canal is completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, call us as soon as possible.
What should I expect if I just got a filling?
Avoid eating on your new filling until the numbness has worn off (to prevent you from accidentally biting your cheek or tongue). You may experience some cold and heat sensitivity and gum soreness. This usually subsides within a few days. Call us if you have any questions.
Pregnant Women
Can I still go to my cleaning appointment if I just found out I'm pregnant?
Yes! Dental cleanings and exams during pregnancy are not only safe, but are recommended. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums. Regular checkups and cleanings are essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.
What about x-rays during pregnancy?
Routine x-rays, usually taken during annual exams can be postponed until after the birth.
Dental emergencies, however, may require limited x-rays in order to perform the procedure.
What about getting dental work during pregnancy?
Dental work such as filling cavities should be done to reduce the chance of infection. If dental work is done during pregnancy, the second trimester is ideal. Once you reach the third trimester, it may be very difficult to lie on your back for an extended period of time.

The safest course of action is to postpone all unnecessary dental work (such as teeth whitening or other cosmetic procedures) until after the birth. However, sometimes emergency dental work such as a root canal or tooth extraction is necessary.

What about medications used in dental work?
Lidocaine is the most commonly used anesthetic in dental work. If dental work is needed, the amount of anesthesia should be as little as possible, but still enough to make you comfortable. We may request an OB-GYN approval to use anesthetic prior to any necessary dental work.
Suggestions for addressing your dental needs during your pregnancy:
• The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that pregnant women eat a balanced diet, brush their teeth thoroughly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily
• Have regular dental checkups and cleanings during your pregnancy
• Let your dentist know if you are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant
• Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or until after delivery if possible
• Elective procedures should be postponed until after the delivery
• Maintain healthy circulation by keeping your legs uncrossed while you sit in the dental chair
• Take a pillow to help keep you more comfortable

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums
How often should I visit the dentist?
You should visit the dentist at least twice a year. A dental exam can reveal early signs of decay and disease that you may not see or feel. Catching these conditions early can help control them before them get worse and harder to treat. Additionally, getting a cleaning by a trained professional will remove plaque in areas you may have missed or cannot reach.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
You should brush at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. You should floss once a day as well, preferably before going to bed.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a sticky, clear film which forms every day on teeth from food debris and bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it can lead to gum disease and cavities. Regular dental check ups, along with brushing and flossing every day, can help prevent plaque buildup on teeth. In addition, avoiding sugary snacks and eating a balanced diet can help control plaque.
What can I do about bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors, including the types of food you ingest, periodontal disease, dry mouth, and other causes. Going to your dentist will help you determine the cause of your bad breath, so that you can take steps to elminate it.

Regardless of the cause of your bad breath, good oral hygiene and regular checkups to the dentist will help reduce it. Brushing and flossing will eliminate particles of food stuck between your teeth which emit odors. It will also help prevent or treat periodontal disease (gum disease), caused by plaque buildup on your teeth, which can lead to bad breath. Dentures should be properly cleaned and soaked overnight in antibacterial solution (unless otherwise advised by your dentist). Finally, make sure to brush your tongue regularly to eliminate any residue.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
What is periodontal (gum) disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place. Typically, periodontal disease occures when plaque builds up on the teeth and hardens, often due to poor brushing and flossing habits. The gums can become swollen and red in the early stage of the disease, called gingivitis. As the disease advances, periodontal disease can lead to sore and bleeding gums, pain while chewing, as well as tooth loss.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The following are signs of periodontal (gum) disease, and you should contact your dentist if you experience any of these:

  • gums that bleed while brushing
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene. This includes brushing, flossing, and visiting you dentist regularly. Also make sure to eat a healthy diet to get the required vitamins and minerals necessary for your teeth.
Teeth Whitening
Why do our teeth turn yellow?
While our teeth start out pearly white, they can discolor through the years as our enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows dentin, a yellow color substance that makes the core of our teeth, to show through. This is what gives our teeth a yellowish tint.
What are the different types of teeth whitening options?
Below are the three most popular teeth whitening options available today.

In-office teeth whitening
In-office teeth whitening works by producing a significant color change in your teeth in short amount of time, usally within an hour to 2 hours. The procedure is done at the dentist's office applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits
These whitening kits are purchased from your doctor for use at home with your custom-made whitening trays made from our office. The strength of the gel used in these kits is lower than that used for in-office bleaching, and thus the gel can be applied for longer periods of time. Usually the trays are worn a couple hours a day or overnight for a few days or weeks depending on the product.

Over the counter whitening
Over the counter teeth whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration gel than both in-office whitening and take-home kits purchased from your doctor. While they are cheaper, they typically are less effective than methods that can be performed by your dentist because of the low concentration gel. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, which can result in irritation to your gums while wearing the trays.
How long does teeth whitening last?
Teeth whitening usually lasts from one to three years before darkening of the teeth is noticed. Additionally, once your teeth have been initially whitened, typically only "touch ups" are required to maintain the whiteness.