Encino Dentist Answers Your Questions
How does a dentist keep up-to-date on all of the current techniques and materials?
Dr. Melnick subscribes to the latest journals to keep up to date on research and development in dentistry. He also takes time on a regular basis for continuing education, and ensures that his staff does the same. We make it our personal responsibility to be familiar with the latest techniques and materials available. Cosmetic dentistry including teeth whitening is often found in dental seminars.
How do I know when it is time to come in for a visit?
An average adult typically benefits from a professional cleaning and check up every six months. While routine of twice daily brushing and flossing helps to maintain a healthy mouth, only a professional can check for plaque and remove any that has hardened into tartar. Remember, the bacteria that can cause gum disease reside and multiply underneath the gums. People with crowns, bridges, veneers, and gum disease usually need to come in more often.
Do you accept my insurance plan?
Our office accepts nearly all of the major insurance plans. We are well versed in the latest coverage and are happy to discuss the particulars of your plan with you prior to any treatments. To save you time, we can call ahead to make sure we have all of your specific insurance information. We have observed that our office accepts more different dental insurance plans than any other dental office in Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys or other area of the San Fernando Valley.
What do I do if I have an emergency when he office is closed?
In case of a true dental emergency, please contact our office voice mail and follow instructions. Dr. Melnick will be paged and return your call as soon as possible, give you helpful information over the phone, and then determine if you need to be seen immediately. Dr. Melnick lives close to Encino and can see you if needed. This is especially valuable to residents of Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills ,Reseda and Northridge.
I have a temporary crown. What happens if it comes off or breaks?
If your temporary crown comes off or breaks, save the piece(s), place it into a protective container, and call our office to schedule an appointment. If the crown is in one piece you can try to fit it back over your tooth. If it doesn'’t slip easily into place, don’t force it. If you can get it to sit back onto (or into) the tooth, you can apply a tiny drop of Fixodent to the inside of the crown, then gently put the crown back onto the tooth, apply slight pressure until it feels secure, gently close your teeth together and then clean off the excess Fixodent with a wet finger. Try to chew on the other side of your mouth when you are eating since the temporary can dislodge again.
What different payment options do you provide?
We work with you. Generally we accept cash, personal checks, and most major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard. Your insurance plan co-pay is due at the time of your visit due to the slow processing of claims by the insurance companies. We can also provide you with information about various dental financing plans such as Care Credit with 0% interest available. This payment method is frequently used in implant cases. We have no rigidly set plan and want to work with you.
My gums bleed after I brush. Is this something to be worried about?
If you have bleeding gums following brushing, the condition requires immediate attention. Bleeding gums can be caused by any of the following: hard brushing motions; using a hard-bristled tooth brush instead of a soft one; plaque and/or tartar build-up below the gum line; or due to gum disease. If this problem persists despite correct brushing and flossing techniques, or occurs every time you brush, contact our office to set up an evaluation. Gum disease is a serious health threat and needs to be treated as soon as possible. It is bacterial and it is contagious.
I really do not like visiting the dentist, is there anything you can do to help me relax?
We understand may people feel nervous about having their teeth worked on . We do everything we can to create a relaxing atmosphere. For entertainment and distraction, we have special headphones, in every room. For more complex procedures, we offer local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and relaxed. We also offer oral sedation dentistry using the most safe and effective sedation medications available in dentistry. From simple dental cleanings to complex cosmetic dentistry we can make you at ease.
Do I have to floss every day? Is it that important?
A little regular flossing does help greatly and is critical to your overall oral health. It loosens food particles in tight spaces your toothbrush cannot reach; it gets rid of plaque build-up toothbrushes alone cannot remove. It is an unavoidable fact that regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups are necessary to avoid gum disease. After age 48, more teeth are lost to gum disease than any other cause and in advanced stages requires surgery to control. Based on many years as a dentist in Encino, you can be sure that it is much easier to prevent gum disease than to treat it.
I want my front teeth to look better, but I do not want to wear braces. What would you recommend?
Dr. Melnick as a cosmetic dentist has a number of ways to improve the look of your front teeth without the use of unsightly braces. For slightly crooked or unevenly worn teeth, a bit of reshaping or the addition of porcelain veneers my be able to give them a bright, uniform look. We would be happy to talk with you further about the options that best suit your situation. We also have a variety of whitening systems available. We also reccommend tooth whitening(teeth whitening) as a way to improve appearence.
Do women have different dental health needs than men?
Women's bodies change over their lives, and their teeth are part of their lives. Please see our page all about women's dental care for detailed information.
Are dental x-rays safe?
Any kind of x-ray exposes you to radiation. However, there are many things that expose you to far more radiation than a dental x-ray. It would take hundreds of dental x-rays to begin to get even a little bit dangerous. Please see our page all about dental x-rays for detailed information.
Are Silver-Mercury fillings safe?
No. These fillings are made of copper, silver, tin and zinc, bound by elemental mercury. The controversy is due to claims that the exposure to the vapor and minute particles from the mercury can cause a variety of health problems. For health reasons and cosmetic reasons we do not use them.
Although studies indicate that there are no measurable health risks to patients who have silver fillings, yet we do know that mercury is a toxic material when we are exposed at all levels. For instance, we have been warned to limit the consumption of certain types of fish that carry high levels of mercury in them. I do not place mercury fillings, mercury is toxic at all levels in my opinion. The FDA and the ADA lack credibility for me because both make decisions that are often influence by various outside entities.
There are numerous options to silver fillings, including white resin (tooth strengthing), porcelain, and gold fillings to name a few. We encourage you to discuss these options with Dr. Melnick so your can determine which is the best option for you. Mercury containing fillings are now banned in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan and Germany. As a cosmetic, general, implant and restorative dentist with superb training and many years of experience he is especially well versed to advise you at his Encino offices.
"The technology is amazing, and there is always something new. It's great to see all of the newest science involved. My teeth whiting we easy and it looks just great."
Bill G., Cal Tech/JPL, Aerospace Engineer - West Chester