12131 Magnolia Blvd | Valley Village, CA 91607 | (818) 763-8999

photo of smiling mother and daughter What is Dentistry?
Dentistry is a field of medicine that cares for and treats dental disease and other orofacial conditions.

Examples of treatment include filling cavities, providing oral hygiene instruction, screening and treatment of gum disease, replacement of teeth, therapies for grinding or TMJ disorders, preventative sports dentistry. General dentists treat patients of all ages and are trained to perform all procedures, while specialists (example: orthodontists, oral surgeons) specialize in a certain area of dentistry and provide services only related to that aspect.
Our dental office treats families with members of all ages. If you are looking for a new family dentist we invite you to give our office a call to schedule an appointment.

What Does It Take to be a Dentist?
A dentist is a licensed professional who has completed 4 years of postgraduate dental education in general dentistry procedures. Some dentists go on to complete 2-3 years of additional training in specific areas of dentistry if they seek to specialize in a certain procedure.

All dentists must pass both clinical and written national board exams prior to receiving their state licensure. Each year dentists must also complete several hours of continuing education through technical or scientific lectures. Dentists may prescribe medication related to dental and orofacial disease conditions, as well as detect pathologies such as oral cancer that may need to be followed up with other types of treatment from a medical specialist.

Why is it Important to Visit the Dentist?
Routine visits with your dentist can detect early signs of tooth decay or other oral problems before they advance into something more significant like tooth loss, toothache and abscesses. In some cases dental decay can even lead to hospitalization when left untreated. By screening for gum disease and tooth decay on a regular basis, if treatment is ever needed it is usually something small and routine…and not as expensive. Early intervention is important.

Even early guidance of tooth eruption can prevent more advanced orthodontic treatments as a child grows. We know not everyone is good about visiting the dentist every 6 months. If it’s been longer than that, it’s time to catch up. Call our office to schedule a new patient exam at your earliest convenience. We’ll work with you to address any needs you have and help you get your oral health back on track.

Why Do I Need to See a Dentist, my Teeth Are Fine?
Yes. Many people don’t visit the dentist until there is a toothache and they are in severe pain. By this point the tooth usually needs a root canal, crown or to be extracted.

By having regular preventative care appointments we can monitor your oral health as well as any suspicious areas that could possibly cause problems later on. Regular cleanings help to remove the build up of tartar deep under the gums - an environment that leads to severe gum disease and tooth loss.

Our goal is to help patients keep their teeth feeling fine, so that they don’t have to see us for emergency appointments or invasive treatment procedures. But if you do need us for an emergency, we will be here. If your teeth do feel fine, please go ahead and schedule a check-up so that we can ensure there are no conditions that are invisible to the naked eye.

What is the Best Way to Care for My Teeth Between Dental Visits?
Oral hygiene and nutrition are the 2 key factors when it comes to taking care of our teeth and preventing dental disease. When it comes no nutrition it is important to drink lots of tap water (some bottled water may not contain fluoride) between meals. Limit drinks like milk, sports drinks, juices and soda to mealtime only, or if drinking them between meals drink it all at once without sipping on it for a long period of time.

This reduces the acid exposure to teeth, which is known to cause tooth decay. Oral hygiene should consist of brushing twice a day for at least 2 minutes, with the bristles of the brush aimed toward the gums. Brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush (hard bristles can contribute to gum recession and enamel abrasion).

Flossing is important because brushing does not clean between the teeth. Wrap floss snuggly against the tooth and slide down up and under the gumline 3-4 times to remove plaque below the gumlines. Bleeding during brushing or flossing is a sign of gingivitis. Flossing once a day for two weeks is usually enough to relieve most symptoms of bleeding or gingivitis.

How Old Should My Child Be Before I Take Him or Her to See a Dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents bring their child to see the dentist when the first tooth erupts or no later than 1 year of age. This appointment will mostly consist of parent counseling concerning nutrition and oral hygiene, screening for any abnormal conditions and helping the child feel comfortable in the dental office. The child is then seen every 6 months until they are comfortable enough to begin having x-rays taken and their teeth cleaned by the hygienist. Parent involvement is key in the beginning, as they are the sole person responsible for their child’s oral health.

Children involved in sports may need to have protective gear made to guard their teeth from trauma during sporting activities. Preventative treatments like fluoride and sealants also help reduce your child’s risk of decay, and are conducted as needed on a routine basis.

How Often Do I Need To Have Dental Appointments?
Most patients usually require preventative cleaning appointments every six months. By this time most people have a mild to moderate amount of tartar buildup that needs to be removed. Brushing and flossing alone cannot remove tartar, so it is important to clean the teeth in order to prevent advancement in gum disease.

Patients with active gum disease may require visits as often as every 3 to 4 months in order to proactively provide treatment for their condition. Waiting a few years between preventative care appointments may allow for the onset of gum disease and require more advanced treatments such as deep cleanings. By seeing the dentist regularly, you can prevent multiple treatment appointments later on, as decay or other conditions can be intercepted at an early stage in development.

What is Decay?
Decay or a cavity is when acid has eroded through the tooth structure. Small cavities begin in the dense enamel as decalcification. Decalcified areas appear as white spots on the tooth. When the enamel has become eroded even further, a hole appears in the tooth surface. In areas between the teeth, or in deep grooves of the back teeth, these holes may not be visible without the use of dental x-rays.

Once decay has made it’s way through the tooth enamel, it then begins to spread throughout the next layer of the tooth called dentin. Dentin is not as strong or dense as tooth enamel, and decays at a much faster rate. Once decay has spread into the dentin it is extremely important to remove it and place a filling before the decay reaches into the nerve of the tooth. If the nerve has become infected with the decay, then a root canal is necessary in order to save the tooth.

What is a Filling?
A filling is a restorative material (usually made of a tooth-colored composite or silver alloy) that is placed in a tooth after decay has been removed. Fillings help prevent the advancement of the decay and add to the structural stability of the tooth so that it can function. Without putting a filling material into a decayed tooth, the tooth would become compromised and fracture apart when chewing or biting. Most fillings last several years, but they do not last forever. It is important to still brush, floss properly, and see your dentist for routine visits to monitor the condition of the filling.

Fillings cannot be placed in teeth that have such large decay where there is not enough enamel to support the filling material. In these cases a crown would be necessary to restore the tooth.

How Often Do I Need to Brush My Teeth?
Teeth should be brushed for at least two minutes twice each day, preferably after breakfast and before bed. Plaque can calcify into tartar on the teeth in as little as 24 hours, so it is important to remove it thoroughly. Even brushing well one a day may miss some areas of buildup on the teeth. Using an electric toothbrush can aid in even more thorough plaque removal, but it is still important to brush at least twice each day to prevent existing plaque from calcifying onto the tooth.

When possible, it is even beneficial to brush mid-day if you happen to be at home or keep a toothbrush with you at the office. When brushing, angle the toothbrush toward the gums at about 45 degrees. This helps to target and remove plaque biofilm that builds up just under the edge of the gumlines. Brushing the tongue can also aide in controlling bad breath.

When Do I Need To Change My Toothbrush?
Toothbrushes should be changed out every 3-4 months or when you have been sick. Using the same toothbrush following an illness may cause you to become sick again. If the toothbrush appears worn, with the bristles splayed in different directions the brush needs to be replaced. When purchasing a toothbrush be sure to select a soft-bristled brush that will be gentle on your teeth and gums. Using a medium or stiff bristled brush is known to contribute to gum recession and enamel abrasion over a long period of time. Electric toothbrush heads should also be replaced regularly.

What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a condition that affects the gum and bone support around the teeth. It is also called periodontitis or periodontal disease. Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, which is estimated to affect nearly 9 out of 10 adults. Gingivitis is the swelling, bleeding and redness of gums that have plaque biofilm under the margins. When this plaque biofilm is not removed efficiently on a regular basis it calcifies into tartar on the tooth.

The body’s immune system then attempts to destroy the bacteria in this area of the mouth, but as a result the gums become detached from the teeth, and the surrounding bone structure may be lost. This results in large pocket areas under the gums that may be impossible to clean at home. When left untreated, gum disease causes tooth loss. Preventative cleanings and deep cleanings can help patients reverse and control their gum disease.

I Have Braces. How Often Do I Need To Have Checkups?
Braces or not, all patients should have routine dental checkups every 6 months. Orthodontic patients are especially prone to decalcification and tooth decay, so maintenance appointments are a key role in protecting their teeth. Early detection of tooth demineralization or tooth decay can be corrected and the patient may need to be placed on a prescription strength fluoride for daily use should the conditions persist.

Because braces are so difficult to clean around, professional cleanings remove the additional buildup that you may develop around your teeth. Our hygienists will work alongside of you to develop a home care routine that targets your specific problem areas, and give you a variety of options to use when it comes to keeping your teeth clean and healthy.

How Can I Schedule My Next Checkup?
We prefer for our patients to schedule their next preventative care appointment while they are being seen in our office. This ensures that patients are able to retain a time slot for preferred days of the week, or time of the day that works best for them.

We know that 6 months ahead is a long time to look forward, but the appointment can always be changed if necessary. You may also call our office and speak to the receptionist who will be happy to help schedule an appointment. Please let us know when you schedule the appointment if you are experiencing any dental related problems.

How Do Drs. Michelle and James Grosleib Stay Up to Date on Current Techniques?
Drs. Michelle and James Grosleib regularly attend continuing education sessions on current trends in dentistry as well as newer procedures that may have proven to be effective. These courses keep our dentists up to date as well as provide an opportunity to participate in forums with other dentists on techniques that have worked well throughout the field of dentistry.

Drs. Michelle and James Grosleib seek to only provide the most advanced and effective care for their patients; they will seek out additional training on procedures they offer such as adjunctive services related to TMJ disorder, sedation dentistry and others in order to truly provide patients with the best dental care that they can receive.

Does Your Office Accept Referrals?
One of the greatest complements that our office can receive is a referral from one of our existing patients. By our patients telling their family and friends about our office, it shows just how much commitment we put into our patient care. Yes, we accept referrals of all ages and dental needs. Thank you!

What Will Happen at My First Appointment?
During your first appointment our front desk will work with you to complete your health history forms and gather any dental insurance or financial information that is needed. You may also be able to fill this paperwork out in advance and send it in or drop it off before your appointment to save you time when you come in for your visit. Once we escort you back, we will take your blood pressure, pulse and any necessary dental x-rays that will aid in a thorough dental examination.

We will also review your health history with you as it may relate to your dental care, so be sure to provide a list of any medications that you are taking, allergies, and surgeries that you’ve had. Drs. Michelle or James Grosleib will meet with you to discuss your overall oral health concerns. Your examination will include an oral cancer screening, TMJ evaluation and an intraoral exam to determine if there are any dental related needs. You may also choose to have your teeth cleaned at this appointment as long as your gums are generally healthy.

Any treatment needs will be reviewed with you, so that you can be a part of the treatment planning process. Treatment will be prioritized based on need and reviewed with you, for you to schedule at your earliest convenience.

My Gums Bleed When I Brush and Floss. Do I Need to be Concerned?
Healthy gums do not bleed. Even mild gingivitis can cause gums to bleed when you floss or brush toward the gumlines. This is caused by bacterial plaque forming under the gumline that has not been removed effectively. Some conditions such as crowded teeth or anemia may make your gums more prone to bleeding.

With proper oral hygiene, bleeding should go away within about 2 weeks. Brush gently toward your gums twice a day for 2 minutes, and floss gently under the gumlines while keeping the floss hugged tightly against each tooth. Antiseptic mouthwash can help relieve some of these symptoms, but it will not correct the problem of plaque deep below the surface of the gums. If bleeding persists, visit our office for a cleaning to remove any tartar so that the disease process can be reversed.

What Makes Your Office Unique?
We are an energetic family dental office that works as a team to treat all of our patients.

Our staff trains together regularly so that we can focus patient care in specific areas as a team. Because we see patients of all ages, we can provide comprehensive care to your entire family for all of your dental care needs. Our staff puts patients first, and will make every effort possible so that you can feel at ease throughout your entire visit.

Can I Ask One of the Dentists a Question Directly?
Every patient at our office will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one one either Drs. Michelle or James Grosleib at the time of their appointment. Patients of record may also call and leave their question with the receptionist so that one of the Drs., our hygienist or assistant can call them back between treating patients.

Our goal is to provide comprehensive dental care, and part of that is being available for our patients to communicate their concerns with us.

What Do I Do if I Have an Emergency After Office Hours?
Please call our office number immediately if you experience a dental emergency. If it is after hours we will have an emergency number available on our recording. Call this number and let us know what has happened and we will get back with you as quickly as possible. If necessary we will meet you up at the office to provide treatment.

What Whitening Methods are Safe?
Whitening is safe for adults and adolescents who do not have active dental disease. Whitening teeth while there is open tooth decay may cause side effects including severe sensitivity and possible damage to the nerve.

Selecting your whitening product is also an important part of whitening, as some products available may not be appropriate for your individual dental needs. If using a tray or strip whitening system that you purchased in a store, use caution to ensure that the product does not come into contact with the gums. This may cause discoloration and burning. One of the safest (and most effective) ways to whiten teeth is with a professionally made whitening tray.

These trays fit your teeth snuggly and only allow the whitening gel to sit on the teeth, without flowing into other areas of the mouth. Professional strength gel available through our office is also more effective than over the counter products. Zoom in-office teeth whitening is also a quick method to achieve a beautiful, white smile, and in just one visit you can leave our office with whiter teeth.

What Measures Do You Take To Ensure Patient Safety?
All of our staff is trained on a regular basis for CPR and emergency first-aid. We keep an emergency kit on hand for the treatment of any patient that experiences a medical emergency when they visit our office.

Our office also has an emergency team plan so that all team members know what their role is should a patient experience an emergency. We follow CDC, ADA, HIPAA and OSHA guidance so that all people will be protected in our office, be it from an environmental factor, or personal private information. Universal precautions are used to prevent any cross-contamination, and all instruments and equipment are properly sterilized and disinfected between patients.

I Don’t Enjoy Visiting the Dentist. How Can You Help?
We will never force our patients into completing dental treatment that they are not comfortable with. Every procedure will be explained step by step so that you will always know what to expect. If you have any questions or concerns about a specific procedure, please let us know.

We will do everything we can to insure that you are a part of your treatment plan process, and our dentists team up with you decide on what procedures are best for your individual needs. We offer nitrous oxide sedation during all appointments when a patient has dental anxiety.

Nitrous oxide helps dental patients relax while also being aware of what is going on around them. If a deeper level of sedation is what you need so that you are not aware of the procedure while it is being completed we can accommodate this as well.

What Payment Options Are Available?
We accept all major credit cards so that patients can easily finance their own dental treatment when needed.

If you are paying cash, we also offer a cash discount to patients that pay in full on the day of their treatment.

We also offer 3rd party financing through CareCredit that allows patients to make monthly payments for necessary dental treatment. Our goal is to help every patient afford the dental treatment that is necessary before it progresses into more advanced treatment needs.

Please contact us if you have more questions.

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