General Dentistry Questions

Can I use my insurance benefits with Sinclair Smiles - Encinitas?
Yes. Absolutely you can use your insurance benefits with Sinclair Smiles – Encinitas. We always submit a courtesy claim to any PPO insurance company on your behalf.
What is plaque, and why is it harmful?
Plaque is a sticky film that can coat teeth, is acidic, and contains bacteria. If dental plaque is not removed when it is soft, it can harden, turn into tartar, and become difficult to remove later. Plaque and tartar can damage teeth, lead to tooth decay, gum disease, or ultimately tooth loss. To prevent plaque, brush, and floss frequently, and make sure to schedule regular dental cleaning appointments with your dental hygienist.
Do teeth need fluoride?
Fluoride helps make teeth strong and prevents tooth decay. The American Dental Association (ADA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and CDC agree that children should use fluoride toothpaste for brushing, taking care not to swallow the fluoride. Adults are at high risk for tooth decay also; therefore, adults should use fluoride toothpaste also.
How often should I floss?
It is recommended you floss once per day, preferably at night. Flossing your teeth is critical for a healthy smile. Flossing teeth helps clear food and plaque from around your teeth. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease, prevent cavities, reduce bad breath, and promote good oral health. Either waxed or unwaxed floss works great.
At what age are dental sealants most effective?
Dental sealants are most effective once adult molars are present in a patient’s mouth. Sealants help prevent tooth decay by filling in, and thus protecting, the natural pits and grooves in the surfaces of teeth.
What are my options for replacing a missing tooth?
Implant, tooth-supported bridge, flipper, or removable partial denture are all options for replacing missing teeth. A dental implant to replace a missing tooth is the recommended treatment when viable. Viability depends on the patient's health and jaw anatomy.
What causes teeth to decay?
Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria in plaque that can build up on teeth. Some leading causes of bacteria and acid buildup are frequent snacking (especially on high-carb foods), sipping sugary drinks, and not cleaning teeth well. If plaque is allowed to build up, it can create further problems such as cavities, gum recession, gum disease, and dental abscesses around teeth and in the gums.
Why do my gums bleed?
Bleeding gums is a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease (gum disease). The buildup of plaque and/or tartar around the gum line can cause inflammation in the soft tissue around the teeth. Gingivitis is a common and early form of gum disease. If plaque at the gum line is not removed, it can harden into tartar, leading to increased bleeding and irritation. This can lead to periodontal disease. Gingivitis or periodontal disease may make the gums appear irritated, red, and swollen, sometimes causing them to bleed when someone is brushing, flossing, or eating.
Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?
Your teeth may be sensitive to cold if the outer protective layer of the tooth, called enamel has worn down or decayed. The enamel of teeth protects the tooth above the gum line and covers the dentin. Loss of enamel can expose sensitive parts of the teeth and can allow heat or cold to stimulate the nerves of teeth more effectively. Root exposure can also lead to sensitivity in teeth to cold. Root exposure happens from gum disease, trauma to the gum tissue, and/or from clenching and grinding your teeth.
What causes dry mouth during the night?
The common causes of dry mouth at night are snoring or breathing through the mouth. This can occur because the nasal passage is clogged or inflamed. In addition, some medications can reduce salivary flow in general, causing dry mouth.

Cosmetic Dentistry Questions

What is cosmetic dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is the term used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance of teeth, gums, and/or bite. Cosmetic dentistry primarily focuses on improving the aesthetics, color, position, shape, size, alignment, and overall smile appearance of the dental patient’s smile. Sinclair Smiles – Encinitas provides general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry to help you achieve a healthy and amazing smile.
What is tooth bonding?
Tooth bonding is a modern cosmetic dental procedure that repairs chipped, cracked, or otherwise broken teeth. Tooth bonding uses a composite resin that covers the area of your broken or damaged tooth to help make it look as good as new. The composite bonding color is tooth-colored. This type of tooth repair is beneficial because bonding allows cosmetic fixes with tooth-colored materials.
What helps the pain after teeth whitening?
Some patients experience mild pain after teeth whitening. For discomfort, common over-the-counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen can help with tooth sensitivity after whitening.
What does dental bonding look like?
Dental bonding is the modern application of tooth-colored material to repair damaged or broken teeth. Bonding is preferred because it creates a stronger and more aesthetically pleasing bond.

Dental Emergencies Questions

What is the most common dental emergency?
Call 911 in the case of a medical emergency. The most common dental emergency is extreme tooth pain or a severely damaged or chipped tooth. Most chipped teeth or dental pain can be addressed during the next business day. Patients of record can call our office after hours for instructions on how to reach Dr. Sinclair for advice on a dental emergency.
What happens if a broken tooth goes untreated?
If a broken tooth goes untreated, the damage can cause the nerve and other dental tissue to get infected. If a tooth infection occurs, the likelihood of losing the tooth increases. Therefore, the sooner proper dental treatment can be taken to repair the damaged tooth, the more likely the tooth can be saved, pain can be alleviated, and further damage can be prevented.
Is a broken tooth an emergency?
Call 911 in the case of a medical emergency. Minor chips and cracks in teeth are not considered a dental emergency and can typically be addressed on our next business day. Patients of records can call our office after hours for instructions on how to reach Dr. Sinclair for advice on a borderline dental emergency.

Financial & Paperwork Questions

What payment methods do you accept?
Our dental office accepts cash, checks, HSA/FSA, and major credit cards and can provide dental financing through CARE Credit. We also submit courtesy claims to all PPO insurance companies for our patients.
Do I need to fill out new patient paperwork at my dental appointment?
Yes. To have a holistic understanding of your dental health and provide you with the best dental care, we have dental registration forms that must be completed before seeing Dr. Sinclair or our registered dental hygienists. Our front office team will have them ready for you when you arrive at your first visit with us, or you can pre-fill them on our website here.
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