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Frequently Asked Questions

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Afordable Dental Care

  • Affordable Dental Care | Chula Vista

    Where can I find affordable dental care?

    It is risky to go without dental insurance, although so many Americans do without it due to coverage restraints or budgetary limitations. Fortunately, we offer a variety of payment options to ensure that your dental treatment is affordable. We accept all major credit cards and partner with CareCredit and other companies.

    The CareCredit payment program is specifically designed for dental patients and can also be used for co-payments, deductibles, treatments and procedures not covered by insurance. We welcome the opportunity to discuss all available options to see if a payment arrangement can be worked out for your situation.

Amalgam Fillings

  • Amalgam Fillings

    What's the latest word on the safety of amalgam-type fillings?

    Over the past several years, concerns have been raised about silver-colored fillings, otherwise called amalgams. Because amalgams contain the toxic substance mercury, some people think that they are responsible for causing a number of diseases, including autism, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis. The American Dental Association (ADA), the FDA, and numerous public health agencies say amalgams are safe, and that any link between mercury-based fillings and disease is unfounded. The cause of autism, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis remains unknown. Additionally, there is no solid, scientific evidence to back up the claim that if a person has amalgam fillings removed, he or she will be cured of these or any other diseases. In March of 2002, the FDA reconfirmed the safety of amalgams. Although amalgams do contain mercury, when they are mixed with other metals, such as silver, copper, tin, and zinc, they form a stable alloy that dentists have used for more than 100 years to fill and preserve hundreds of millions of decayed teeth. The National Institutes of Health conducted several large-scale studies that concluded in 2006 that amalgam fillings were safe. In addition, there has been concern over the release of a small amount of mercury vapor from these fillings, but according to the ADA, there is no scientific evidence that this small amount results in adverse health effects. Having said this Dr. Halabo does not use any amalgam fillings in the office and has not since he took over the office. He feels that there are better materials that do not contain any metals that are healthier and have better track records. Using amalgam in the office may cause safety concerns not only to the patients but to the staff as well. Learn more about tooth-colored dental fillings.

Changing Teeth Shape

  • Options For Changing Teeth Shape

    Can I change the shape of my teeth?

    Several different options are available to change the shape of teeth, make teeth look longer, close spaces between teeth or repair chipped or cracked teeth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and re-contouring.

    • Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately "bonds" the material to the tooth.
    • Dental crowns are tooth-shaped "caps" that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
    • Porcelain veneers (also sometimes called dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth.
    • Recontouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping, or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth's length, shape or surface.

    Each of these options differ with regard to cost, durability, "chair time" necessary to complete the procedure, stain resistant qualities, and best cosmetic approach to resolving a specific problem. Together, we can determine if one is right for you.

Cracked or Broken Tooth

  • Fractured or Broken Tooth?

    I Have a Fractured or Broken Tooth. What Do I Do?

    Photo of broke toothWhen a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However, your tongue usually finds the sharp area quite quickly. Minor tooth fractures may not cause pain, but if you break off a large piece of the tooth, it can hurt. If it gets exposed to air, or hot or cold foods or drinks, it can be extremely uncomfortable. Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be constant or it may come and go. Most people only feel pain when they chew because chewing puts pressure on the tooth.

    Cracked (Fractured) Teeth 
It’s impossible to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to make an appointment so Dr. Halabo can check your tooth. The tooth may look fine, but it can hurt only when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes, due to hot or cold food or drinks. If your tooth hurts all the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning sign, and you need to make an appointment to have us check the area.

    Broken Teeth
 If you have a broken tooth, see us as soon as possible. Dr. Halabo can figure out if the break was caused by cavities, and if the tooth’s nerve is damaged. A damaged nerve may require root canal therapy.

    You should call our office immediately! - (619) 427-0810

    If you call (619) 427-0810 when the office is closed you will be given an afterhours phone # for direct contact with our dentist. On weekends we are not at the office, but we will do all we can.

  • Broken Tooth Relief

    Broken Tooth Relief ... Until You Are Able To Come To Our Office.

    If you fracture or break a tooth, you need to see the dentist as soon as possible. However, until you are able to visit our office the following suggestions may provide temporary relief for a fractured or broken tooth:

    • Rinse out your mouth with warm water.

    • Apply pressure with a piece of gauze on any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes. If this doesn’t work, use a tea bag with pressure on the area to stop the bleeding.

    • Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth, to help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

    • If you are unable to get to our office right away, cover the broken tooth with temporary dental cement. You can find the cement at a local drugstore.

    • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.

  • Treating A Fractured or Broken Tooth

    How Does Dr. Halabo Treat a Fractured or Broken Tooth?

    photo before & after_broken toothBefore treating a fractured or broken tooth, Dr. Halabo will examine the damaged tooth. There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each of which requires different treatments. These include:

    Minor cracks also known as craze lines, are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks don’t always require treatment. However, we might need to lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.

    Chips don’t always need treatment. We might recommend repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse. A filling could also make the tooth look and feel better.

    Broken cusp These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of the teeth. They are not always deep enough to affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. We recommend repairing the damage to restore the tooth’s natural shape. This often requires a porclain onlay or crown, because you need a strong material to withstand biting pressure.

    Cracked tooth This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces may remain in place, but the crack will gradually spread. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with some type of filling material. The tooth will usually need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If you have damaged the pulp, which includes nerve and other live tissues, you may need a root canal as well.

    Serious breaks These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause pain with the tooth and become very sensitive. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal therapy to remove the exposed nerve and probably have a crown placed to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly.

    Decay-induced break In this case, the tooth has broken because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. We will need to evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In rare cases, the decay may be too extensive and go down to the bone and the tooth may have to be removed.

    Split tooth This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your molars, have more than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be covered with a crown. First, you will need root canal treatment. Second, we will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third, you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. Sometimes if the root cannot be saved, the tooth will need to be extracted.

    Vertical breaks or split root These cracks start in the root of the tooth and extend upward toward the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area around the root may be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth will have to be removed.

Dental Emergency

  • Toothache Relief

    How can I relieve a toothache?

    Immediately schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can to find out what is causing your toothache. Many people, unfortunately, experience a toothache in the late evening or early morning when the dentist's office is not open. If you contact our office after hours, Dr. Halabo will advise some temporary solutions to help reduce your discomfort until you are able to visit our office. He will also make every attempt to fit you into his busy schedule on the next day the practice is open.

  • Emergency Treatments

    What Emergency Treatments Are Available?

    At Sam Halabo DMD we are committed to providing all treatments, especially emergencies, in a timely manner. We offer immediate appointment availability to anyone seeking emergency treatment for dental complications. Contact us if you are experiencing pain or a dental emergency. Oral Surgery Care We care about our patients who need dental implants, wisdom tooth removal, or other oral surgeries. We will answer any of your concerns and make you feel at ease when this important decision arises. Endodontic Care/ Root Canal Therapy If the nerve within one of your teeth becomes injured or infected, the tooth can often be saved through root canal treatment. However, if the injured or diseased pulp is not removed through a root canal, the tissue surrounding the tooth’s root can become infected and cause a painful abscess. Furthermore, neglected bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth to the jaw. Dr. Halabo provides root canal therapy for patients of all ages. Other emergency treatments include: • Same Day Emergency Care • Oral Surgery / Extractions • Endodontic Treatment • Root Canal Therapy • Sedative Filling
  • What is a root canal?

    What is a root canal?

    This procedure involves the removal of the nerve inside a tooth. When a root dies it needs to be removed from inside the tooth to treat infection and as preventative maintenance. Read more about Root Canals under topic Emergency Treatments.

  • Fractured or Broken Tooth?

    I Have a Fractured or Broken Tooth. What Do I Do?

    Photo of broke toothWhen a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However, your tongue usually finds the sharp area quite quickly. Minor tooth fractures may not cause pain, but if you break off a large piece of the tooth, it can hurt. If it gets exposed to air, or hot or cold foods or drinks, it can be extremely uncomfortable. Pain from a broken or cracked tooth may be constant or it may come and go. Most people only feel pain when they chew because chewing puts pressure on the tooth.

    Cracked (Fractured) Teeth 
It’s impossible to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to make an appointment so Dr. Halabo can check your tooth. The tooth may look fine, but it can hurt only when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes, due to hot or cold food or drinks. If your tooth hurts all the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning sign, and you need to make an appointment to have us check the area.

    Broken Teeth
 If you have a broken tooth, see us as soon as possible. Dr. Halabo can figure out if the break was caused by cavities, and if the tooth’s nerve is damaged. A damaged nerve may require root canal therapy.

    You should call our office immediately! - (619) 427-0810

    If you call (619) 427-0810 when the office is closed you will be given an afterhours phone # for direct contact with our dentist. On weekends we are not at the office, but we will do all we can.

  • Broken Tooth Relief

    Broken Tooth Relief ... Until You Are Able To Come To Our Office.

    If you fracture or break a tooth, you need to see the dentist as soon as possible. However, until you are able to visit our office the following suggestions may provide temporary relief for a fractured or broken tooth:

    • Rinse out your mouth with warm water.

    • Apply pressure with a piece of gauze on any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes. If this doesn’t work, use a tea bag with pressure on the area to stop the bleeding.

    • Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth, to help reduce swelling and relieve pain.

    • If you are unable to get to our office right away, cover the broken tooth with temporary dental cement. You can find the cement at a local drugstore.

    • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.

  • Dental Emergency

    What Should I Do In A Dental Emergency?

    If you are having a dental emergency, you need to see a dentist, not a doctor if you have:

    A toothache
    A swollen face
    A broken tooth
    Lost a filling or a crown
    Bleeding after having a tooth pulled

    If you feel that you need to see a dentist immediately, call our office. We specialize in dental emergency treatment and pain relief. If you’re in pain and can’t wait for relief, we’ll try to schedule an appointment immediately.

    During normal business hours, call (619) 427-0810 for a same day appointment. For fastest response outside normal business hours follow the instructions on the dental office voicemail system.

    Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss any aspect of your dental health – we don’t charge for giving advice!

  • Treating A Fractured or Broken Tooth

    How Does Dr. Halabo Treat a Fractured or Broken Tooth?

    photo before & after_broken toothBefore treating a fractured or broken tooth, Dr. Halabo will examine the damaged tooth. There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each of which requires different treatments. These include:

    Minor cracks also known as craze lines, are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks don’t always require treatment. However, we might need to lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.

    Chips don’t always need treatment. We might recommend repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse. A filling could also make the tooth look and feel better.

    Broken cusp These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of the teeth. They are not always deep enough to affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. We recommend repairing the damage to restore the tooth’s natural shape. This often requires a porclain onlay or crown, because you need a strong material to withstand biting pressure.

    Cracked tooth This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces may remain in place, but the crack will gradually spread. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with some type of filling material. The tooth will usually need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If you have damaged the pulp, which includes nerve and other live tissues, you may need a root canal as well.

    Serious breaks These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause pain with the tooth and become very sensitive. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal therapy to remove the exposed nerve and probably have a crown placed to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly.

    Decay-induced break In this case, the tooth has broken because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. We will need to evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In rare cases, the decay may be too extensive and go down to the bone and the tooth may have to be removed.

    Split tooth This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your molars, have more than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be covered with a crown. First, you will need root canal treatment. Second, we will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third, you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. Sometimes if the root cannot be saved, the tooth will need to be extracted.

    Vertical breaks or split root These cracks start in the root of the tooth and extend upward toward the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area around the root may be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth will have to be removed.

Emergency Treatments

  • Emergency Treatments

    What Emergency Treatments Are Available?

    At Sam Halabo DMD we are committed to providing all treatments, especially emergencies, in a timely manner. We offer immediate appointment availability to anyone seeking emergency treatment for dental complications. Contact us if you are experiencing pain or a dental emergency. Oral Surgery Care We care about our patients who need dental implants, wisdom tooth removal, or other oral surgeries. We will answer any of your concerns and make you feel at ease when this important decision arises. Endodontic Care/ Root Canal Therapy If the nerve within one of your teeth becomes injured or infected, the tooth can often be saved through root canal treatment. However, if the injured or diseased pulp is not removed through a root canal, the tissue surrounding the tooth’s root can become infected and cause a painful abscess. Furthermore, neglected bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth to the jaw. Dr. Halabo provides root canal therapy for patients of all ages. Other emergency treatments include: • Same Day Emergency Care • Oral Surgery / Extractions • Endodontic Treatment • Root Canal Therapy • Sedative Filling

General Dental Questions

  • Long Time Since Last Dental Visit?

    It's been a long time since I've visited the dentist. What should I do?

    You’re not alone! Whether it’s been 6 months or 6 years, it’s never too late to get back into the routine.

    At our office, we can arrange for you to have a thorough and educational exam appointment. We have been taking care of people just like you for over 20 years - take advantage of our experience! We’re here to help!

  • Have Teeth Cleaned Twice A Year?

    Why should I have my teeth cleaned twice a year?

    teeth cleaning photo

    In a perfect world everyone would brush and floss twice a day. Plaque builds up over time and this sticky bacterial film can solidify and turn into calculus or tartar. This cement-like substance is removed by the hygienist at your regular cleaning visits. A six-month interval not only serves to keep your mouth healthy and clean, it allows potential problems to be found and diagnosed earlier.

    In some instances a six-month schedule in not enough. Based on your dental history, rate of calculus buildup, and pattern of decay a 3 or 4 month interval may be needed. We will work with you to determine what will be best for you.

  • What Is Plaque?

    What is plaque and why is it bad?

    Plaque is a clear sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. As plaque collects it forms a hard layer of tartar (or calculus) particularly in hard to reach areas between teeth and near the gum line. Bacteria found in plaque create toxic chemicals that irritate the gums. Eventually these bacteria cause the underlying bone around the teeth to be destroyed, a condition known as gum disease. Recent research suggests that gum disease is linked to other health problems including heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and some pregnancy complications. We recommend brushing and flossing twice daily to remove plaque and visiting our dental hygienist at twice annually to remove any tartar buildup. This is your best defense against gum disease. By the time gum disease begins to hurt, it may be too late. Seeing a dentist regularly can help prevent this and many other problems.

Green Dentistry

  • Amalgam Fillings

    What's the latest word on the safety of amalgam-type fillings?

    Over the past several years, concerns have been raised about silver-colored fillings, otherwise called amalgams. Because amalgams contain the toxic substance mercury, some people think that they are responsible for causing a number of diseases, including autism, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis. The American Dental Association (ADA), the FDA, and numerous public health agencies say amalgams are safe, and that any link between mercury-based fillings and disease is unfounded. The cause of autism, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis remains unknown. Additionally, there is no solid, scientific evidence to back up the claim that if a person has amalgam fillings removed, he or she will be cured of these or any other diseases. In March of 2002, the FDA reconfirmed the safety of amalgams. Although amalgams do contain mercury, when they are mixed with other metals, such as silver, copper, tin, and zinc, they form a stable alloy that dentists have used for more than 100 years to fill and preserve hundreds of millions of decayed teeth. The National Institutes of Health conducted several large-scale studies that concluded in 2006 that amalgam fillings were safe. In addition, there has been concern over the release of a small amount of mercury vapor from these fillings, but according to the ADA, there is no scientific evidence that this small amount results in adverse health effects. Having said this Dr. Halabo does not use any amalgam fillings in the office and has not since he took over the office. He feels that there are better materials that do not contain any metals that are healthier and have better track records. Using amalgam in the office may cause safety concerns not only to the patients but to the staff as well. Learn more about tooth-colored dental fillings.
  • About Green Dentistry

    What is Green Dentistry?

    Whenever you are choosing a dentist, it is imperative that he or she has the necessary dental training and education to provide the treatments you need. With many qualified dentists to choose from in San Diego, you might want to also consider a practice that seeks to minimize its environmental impact while delivering the highest quality of dental care.

    Environmentally friendly or green dentistry refers to the delivery of oral health care using technologies, procedures and materials that promote environmental and planetary health. Dental treatments incorporate high-tech innovations that enhance efficiency and effectiveness while reducing the amount of waste and pollution in the environment.

    At Sam Halabo DMD we think about all our decisions for office products, supplies and equipment; and tend to choose environmentally sound options. We also strive to decrease the impact of our practice on the environment by using energy-efficient LED lights, as well as low-flow faucets and toilets. When redecorating or painting the office, the paint selection will be one that contains no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and will decrease the amount of toxins in the air.

  • Why Choose A Green Dentist?

    What Are The Benefits Of Green Dentistry?

    As a green dentist, we continue incorporating new technologies that help improve our practices and procedures, and make them more eco-friendly. Some notable patient benefits include:

    No Film Chemicals - One of the most significant innovations for our green dental practice was our early adoption of digital X-rays. This technology eliminated the need for traditional film X-rays. With digital X-rays, we dramatically reduce the harmful chemicals such as lead and silver that are released into the environment.

    Less Radiation, Better Images - Our patients are exposed to about 90 percent less radiation compared to traditional film. Additionally, digital X-ray systems produce superior quality images that can be easily enlarged for greater diagnostic detail and accuracy.

    Better Patient Communication - Another great advantage of digital X-rays is having the images available immediately at chair side. We enjoy communicating with our patients and this new digital technology helps us explain both diagnostic findings and treatment options.

    Natural-looking Restorations, Less Heavy Metal Waste - Green dentistry embraces today's adhesives and metal-free dental restoratives using direct composite bonding, porcelain veneers and crowns to deliver natural-looking restorations. We provide natural-looking metal-free, esthetic smile treatments. Because patients often prefer adhesion dentistry, our tooth-colored restorations benefit the environment as well as the health of the patient by getting rid of the heavy metal waste from the main water supply.

    Dr. Halabo is an expert in modern composites and bonding techniques. He travels nationally to teach dentists how to achieve superb dental bonding results using these advanced metal-free materials.

    Same Day Restorations – As a leading green dental practice in San Diego, Dr. Halabo utilizes CEREC technology to deliver most restorations in one visit. Some of the significant patient benefits include:

    • Eliminates the return trip to the dentist for permanent crown
    • Removes the need to use metal, which also improves aesthetics
    • Preserves a patients’ natural tooth in crown applications
    • No temporary crown that may be prone to falling out
    • Natural-looking results that match the shade of patients’ teeth

    Reduced Chemical Contamination, Fewer Disposables - Green dentistry also incorporates high-quality, biodegradable disinfectants and steam sterilization methods that don't require ventilation for chemical vapors, or a hazardous waste permit for disposal of toxic chemicals into a water supply. We also have energy-star washers and dryers on site to facilitate the use of cloth bibs, gowns, head rest covers and other supplies that are washable and can be reused. This eliminates the use of disposable paper products.

Improving Your Smile

  • Options For Changing Teeth Shape

    Can I change the shape of my teeth?

    Several different options are available to change the shape of teeth, make teeth look longer, close spaces between teeth or repair chipped or cracked teeth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and re-contouring.

    • Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately "bonds" the material to the tooth.
    • Dental crowns are tooth-shaped "caps" that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
    • Porcelain veneers (also sometimes called dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth.
    • Recontouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping, or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth's length, shape or surface.

    Each of these options differ with regard to cost, durability, "chair time" necessary to complete the procedure, stain resistant qualities, and best cosmetic approach to resolving a specific problem. Together, we can determine if one is right for you.

Insurance

  • Missing Tooth Clause?

    What Is A “Missing Tooth Clause”?

    A majority of dental insurance plans have a missing tooth clause that stipulates that they will not pay for a procedure that replaces a missing tooth prior to the effective date of when the insurance coverage came into effect.
  • Understanding Dental Plans

    How Does Dental Insurance Work?

    Dental benefit plans are typically made available to employees or members through their companies, unions and/or associations. Your company decides how much it wishes to pay for benefits and tries to choose a plan that meets as many of its employees’ needs as possible. Since there are literally hundreds of benefit combinations available in the market today, our patients’ dental plans vary considerably from one plan to the next.

    Today’s dental plans are designed only to assist with the cost of dental care. Plans may cover as little as 30% or as much as 80% of dental services, with most falling in the 50% to 80% range. Some plans exclude certain types of services, such as periodontics, implants, or orthodontics and some may not even cover white fillings.

    Some plans base their payment amount on a chart or fee schedule of fees arbitrarily developed by insurance companies to fit the employer’s budget. For example, if your plan states it will pay 80% of the cost of dental treatment, it means 80% of the fee decided upon by your insurance company and/or employer and not the actual cost of services.

    The type of treatment you need and receive from our office is based upon my professional judgment and not the coverage you receive from a dental benefit plan. I do not believe it is in your best interest for me to compromise my recommended treatment in order to accommodate an insurance company program. I always discuss a treatment plans’ advantages and disadvantages with you the patient, not your insurance company, since you are ultimately the one responsible for your oral health.

    It is very important to understand that dental plans are not in the business to make sure you receive the care you need. Their only responsibility is to pay for the services your employer has purchased.

    If you have any insurance questions about your dental insurance plan, please call our office. We are happy to answer any of your dental or insurance questions.

    Sincerely,
    Sam Halabo DMD

Oral Hygiene

  • What Is Plaque?

    What is plaque and why is it bad?

    Plaque is a clear sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. As plaque collects it forms a hard layer of tartar (or calculus) particularly in hard to reach areas between teeth and near the gum line. Bacteria found in plaque create toxic chemicals that irritate the gums. Eventually these bacteria cause the underlying bone around the teeth to be destroyed, a condition known as gum disease. Recent research suggests that gum disease is linked to other health problems including heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and some pregnancy complications. We recommend brushing and flossing twice daily to remove plaque and visiting our dental hygienist at twice annually to remove any tartar buildup. This is your best defense against gum disease. By the time gum disease begins to hurt, it may be too late. Seeing a dentist regularly can help prevent this and many other problems.

Root Canal

  • What is a root canal?

    What is a root canal?

    This procedure involves the removal of the nerve inside a tooth. When a root dies it needs to be removed from inside the tooth to treat infection and as preventative maintenance. Read more about Root Canals under topic Emergency Treatments.

Whitening

  • Improving The Whiteness Of Your Teeth?

    How can I improve the whiteness of my teeth?

    Female whiter teeth photo While at the drugstore you will find an array of teeth whitening products, you should first know that purchasing a whitening product may not the best or quickest solution. You should be aware of the foods you eat and the medications you take that can affect the color of your teeth. There are risks and benefits to using over the counter products on your teeth so schedule an appointment with our office for an examination, cleaning and review of the best available procedures and options for you.
  • Are Whitening Toothpastes Effective?

    How do whitening toothpastes work and how effective are they?

    All toothpastes help remove surface stains through the action of mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach. Over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide (a bleaching substance) that helps remove stains on the tooth surface as well as stains deep in the tooth.

    None of the home use whitening toothpastes can come even close to producing the bleaching effect you get from your dentist's office through chair-side bleaching or power bleaching. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth's color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated Whitening conducted in your dentist's office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

    Learn more about teeth whitening.

  • In-Office Teeth Whitening

    Zoom Whitening

    Zoom Whitening photo

    Professional tooth whitening in a dental office is the preferred whitening method because even though stronger agents are applied, the rest of the mouth, including the gums, is protected from these materials. The best whitening systems feature a buffer in the gel that protects the tooth enamel from damage, are extremely effective, and can transform teeth in a single office visit. Your teeth can literally brighten up to 10 shades in about an hour.

    In-office whitening affects only the front eight teeth and is a great jump start for take-home whitening, which is always part of an effective whitening program.

    Your dentist is best qualified to handle any issues that may arise from whitening treatments, such as tooth sensitivity. Today most tooth sensitivity cases are easily managed.

    Tooth whitening can last for one or more years, depending on how well you take care of your teeth, and if you’re following up regularly with a home whitening product for regular maintenance.

    Learn more about Zoom Whitening.