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Frequently Asked Questions

It is not uncommon for Sarkis Aznavour, D.D.S. to speak with patients who have questions about their oral health and wellness. Whether patients are curious as to caring for their restorations to help them last longer or just want more information about better oral health care habits, our team can assist. Contact Healthy Smiles Dental today or review the frequently asked questions available below.

What types of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, All major Credit cards (Visa/MC, AMEX, Discover) and Care Credit

Which insurance plans do you take?

We take All PPO Insurances, NO HMO and NO Medi-Cal

What if I don't have insurance?

We do have financing such as care credit and in some cases we will allow you to make payments to us

Do you have emergency services?

Yes, we try to see emergency patient the same day or following business day

Which information is necessary for an appointment?

Name, DOB, if you have insurance then the name of your insurance company and either ID # or social security number of the primary insurance holder

Do you have senior discount?

Yes we give 10 % off of our regular prices

Do you have financing options?

We offer care credit and sometimes we will split up treatment costs so that you dont have to use care credit.

Do you offer free consultations?

Yes, We do offer free consultatons.

What method do you use for nervous patients?

We offer oral sedation and breathing techniques

Do you receive infants?

We do see patients as young as 1 year old.

How often should I visit a dentist?

You should visit the dentist at a minimum of every 6 months

What causes bad breath and what should I do if I have it?

Bad breath can be caused by cavities, periodontal /gum disease, poor Oral hygiene, diet, and gastrointestinal problems

How often should I brush and floss?

Brushing and flossing should be done at least twice a day

How often should I have a dental cleaning?

Depending on your oral hygiene and home care in addition to the status of your periodontal condition, this can vary from 3 months to every 6 months

Which whitening treatment is the most effective?

In my opinion, take home whitening trays are most effective because its a gradual whitening which tends to last longer and there is less chance of dehydrating your teeth which can happen with in office whitening systems.

I have big gaps on my teeth, what are my options?

Options of closing gaps/spaces can vary from orthodontics to veneers, depending on the spacing.

Do teeth whitening toothpastes really work?


Which toothbrush is better, electric o manual?

Both can clean very effectively, its all based on how the person using the brush uses it.

What is decay?

Decay is when the enamel has weakened and has a hole/cavitation in it which reaches the dentin or pulp, depending on the severity of the decay.

What causes decay?

Decay is caused by the production of acids from your diet formed by bacteria that is present in your mouth. This acid weakens the enamel over time and thus, causes cavities.

Are silver fillings safe?

According to the CDA and ADA, amalgam fillings are safe to use for restorations.

My teeth are crooked! what are my options?

Your options can vary from orthodontics (braces/invisalign) to veneers /crowns

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

A good candidate for dental implants is a person who is healthy, non-smoker, no diabetes and has good bone with no periodontal disease

Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?

Healthy adults are better candidates for sedation

Should I replace my silver fillings for white ones?

Unless there is a failing silver filling, meaning its either cracked or there is a cavity around the fillings, then we dont recommend replacement

How do I get whiter teeth?

Whiter teeth can be obtained with over the counter whitening toothpastes/mouthwashes, custom trays that can be made for your teeth to whiten, or by doing in office whitening treatments. Also changing your diet by limiting red wine, tea and coffee or changing lifestyle habits such as smoking can help your teeth stay whiter.

Can I get rid of coffee/wine stains and does it permanently stain my teeth?

In most cases you can get rid of coffee or wine stains

How do I get rid of temperature sensitivity?

Depends on why you have sensitivity. Senstivity can be caused by cleanching/grinding your teeth, cavities, periodontal disease, brushing too hard, new fillings or large fillings. All these have different ways of treating the sensitivity. You will need a consultation to see as to why your teeth are sensitive.

How much will a visit cost?

Currently we have a $25 special

What toothpaste is the best?

We usually recommend any toothpaste with fluoride in it.

Can I have a tooth colored filling? What are the risks involved?

Yes you can have a tooth colored filling. If you want to replace silver fillings with tooth colored fillings, then the risk are that the new filling may be larger than your current filling, tooth sensitivity can occur and also the tooth can fracture due to the new filling being larger

How can I get straighter teeth? How long will this take?

The best way to have straighter teeth is through orthodontics, being either traditional braces or invisalign. This can take anywhere from 6 months up to 3 years depending on the severity of crowding/spacing and patient compliance

How do I slowdown breakdown of teeth/fillings?

Get regular check ups, wear an occlusal guard/nightguard when sleeping or during the day, floss and brush to remove bacteria

Is fluoride toothpaste dangerous for my child?

We usually recommend non-fluoride toothpaste up to 2 years old. This is to prevent fluorosis of permanent teeth. Fluoride toothpaste is not dangerous if used as directed.

Is whitening my teeth safe?

Tooth whitening is safe if done with approved products and under professional guidance

Can I whiten my teeth myself? Are there any risks? Does over the counter bleaching work?

You can whiten your teeth yourself with over the counter products as long as its used as directed and its safe and effective in some cases.

Is there a family discount?

Yes we offer a 15% family discount off of our regular prices

Can I only have work done that is covered by my insurance?

You choose what treatment you want to have treated. We will explain to you the consequences of not getting certain treatment done if its or its not covered by insurance. As long as you understand that if certain treatments are not done there can be negative outcomes. If you want to have the work done thats only covered by isnuracen, thats fine with us.

What should I do if I have bad breath?

The first thing you should do if you have bad breath is to see your dentist! This is because you want to know the culprit of the bad breath. Is it from gum disease, cavities, or from your stomach. Gum disease, cavities, bacteria on your tongue, dry mouth, or even digestive problems can all cause bad breath because of bacteria or dead tissue. Dry mouth is also a problem that is often not diagnosed. Dry mouth is usually caused by medications or systemic disease. Having dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) causes the loss the protective effect of saliva and because of this the bacteria flourish, causing bad breath and cavities. Make sure that you are always hydrated, flossing, and brushing your tongue and teeth.

How often should I brush and floss?

You should brush and floss everyday. Flossing at least once a day and brushing with a soft toothbrush twice a day.

Are amalgam (silver) fillings safe?

According to the ADA and clinical studies, amalgam is a safe and acceptable restoration. In terms of which is better is an important issue that all patients should be aware of. Composite restorations are generally more technique sensitive (higher chance of tooth sensitivity), more conservative (less removal of tooth structure vs amalgam), and more cosmetically pleasing. Amalgam requires removal of more tooth structure resulting in a weaker tooth in the long term but it is also less expensive and less technique sensitive.

How often should I have a dental exam and cleaning?

It is recommended that a dental exam and cleaning should be done at least every 6 months. Some patients require cleaning more often. This all depends on the patients oral hygiene, risks to cavities and gum disease.

What are the different types of crowns available?

There are numerous options for crowns, not just one! For back teeth, you have the option of all gold, porcelain fused to gold, porcelain fused to metal, and Zirconia crowns. Which one is better? That is up to what you want! All gold crowns are usually the most advantageous in terms of treatment. They wear the same as natural tooth, are conservative( less tooth reduction), biocompatible, but cost the most (due to price of gold) and are not to some people esthetically pleasing. Procealin fused to gold (PFG) is porcelain with a gold substructure. This makes it esthetically pleasing, is biocompatible, less expnsive than all gold, but requires more tooth reduction and can wear opposing tooth strucutre over time becasuse porcelain is more abrasive than enamel. The cheapest way to go is the porcelain fused to metal. The advantage of this is cost (no gold in the metal), esthetics, looks like a regular tooth because of the porcelain over it. The disadvanage is you dont know exactly what type of metal is being used (silver, tin etc..), the porcealin can fracture more readily and sometimes it can have more distortion which can result in the crown not ftting which would require a remake. The other option is a Zirconia crown. This is relatively new to the dental practice (5 years). The main advantage is esthetics. There is no dark metal underneath (the substructure in this case is a white metal made of Zirconium rather than a metallic color)which gives it good etethics and strength. The only issue with these crowns is higher chance of fracture and cost. ITs not as good for back teeth vs an all gold or porcelain fused to gold. Usually this is recommend for bicuspids or front teeth. But always remember that even the best restorations can fail because of hygiene, trauma, or lack of care.

Are you taking new patients?


What is involved in an implant?

We would need xrays and in some case CT scans of the upper/lower jaw, study models/casts. Implants take anywhere from 4mo to over a year depending on how complicated the case may be.

I brush my teeth like crazy, why do I still have bad breath?

Please see answer to question 2 above.

How old should my child be before they start going to the dentists?

Usually children should be seen by a dentist as soon as their first teeth start coming in to make sure the enamel is healthy, eruption pattern are normal and oral hygiene is addressed.

Does my child have to go to a child specialist or can they go to a general dentist? <br /> What's the difference?

Your child can be seen by a general dentist. A Pedodontist is a child dentist and we refer children to pedodontist if the patient is very afraid and needs a lot of dental treatment

Do you offer late hours for those of us that have to come after work?

Yes we do offer appt after 5 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays

How soon can I get this taken care of? Do you have a long wait before you are seeing new patients?

Depends on the season. Sometimes we have last minute cancellations and we try to get in emergency patients within 24 hours. Otherwise we can schedule you within a few days. Sometimes we are booked for 2 weeks depending on the day you want to come in (Saturdays are booked for 2-3 weeks in advance)

What are your office hours?

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00am-6:00pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays: 9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday By appointment only & Sunday: Closed.