Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When you choose Oak Tree Dentistry for your family’s dental care, we want you to feel confident in your choice. We welcome questions and are here to help you enjoy a comfortable, beautiful smile!

Some of our most commonly heard questions are listed below. If your specific inquiry is not listed here, we will be happy to take your call. Our friendly team is here to help.

Are root canals painful?

Root canal treatment is not painful; it relieves pain.

The pain that patients often associate with root canal treatment actually comes from the severe symptoms of infection that can develop quickly and worsen over time.

  • Pain and sensitivity
  • Swelling of the gums, jaw, or face
  • Tooth discoloration
  • A bitter taste in the mouth
  • Small gum lesion, like a pimple
  • Throbbing and pressure

You may find that pain is worse when you lie down. Though you can take anti-inflammatory medication to help, it does not eliminate the infection, and a root canal with your Elk Grove dentist may become necessary.

If you are experiencing a dental emergency in Elk Grove, Lodi, Galt, or the Sacramento area, give us a call. We will make your comfort a priority.

Advanced techniques and extensive training make root canal treatment similar to a routine filling. You may feel some residual sensitivity for a few days following treatment, but it should gradually improve until you feel normal again.

Root canal treatment is a tooth-saving procedure that you shouldn’t put off. The only way to determine if this is the appropriate treatment for you is with a dental exam. Our gentle team is here to help you regain your oral health and smile again.

Is an extraction a good alternative to root canal treatment?

When other alternatives exist, Dr. Pritpal Gill will encourage you to avoid extracting a tooth. Root canals save your natural teeth, which is usually the best way to protect your oral health.

Extracting a tooth may lead to a number of related oral conditions.

Shifting teeth – When you have a gap in your smile, your teeth can shift and cause a bad bite.

Bone loss – When the tooth no longer stimulates blood flow to the underlying bone, it can begin to resorb, or diminish.

Increased expense – Replacing a missing tooth is almost always more costly and complex than saving the teeth you already have!

If you are fearful of root canal therapy because you are concerned about pain, we are here to alleviate those fears. Dr. Gill uses the latest rotary instruments to provide more successful and efficient root canals without pain. A root canal in our Elk Grove dental office will feel no different than a filling.

We will follow up your root canal treatment with a restoration to protect the tooth – either a filling or crown depending on the location of the tooth. Root canals can prolong the life of your tooth for years – even decades.

Are root canals expensive?

All high-quality dentistry is an investment in you and your smile. Dr. Pritpal Gill is sensitive to family budgets, and since he is the private owner of our Elk Grove dental office, he can keep his fees more affordable than many corporate dental offices where you are just a face in the crowd.

The cost of extraction plus a denture, bridge or implant often is higher than the cost of root canal procedure that can save the tooth for years to come. It can also save you the expense of many conditions that missing teeth cause, such as bone loss and misaligned teeth.

Since families need to stay on a budget, we offer many payment options to help you get the care you need immediately, rather than putting it off for the condition to worsen.

We work with many insurance companies and will file your claims for you. We also take credit cards and offer patient financing options for patients who need to spread their payments out over time.

We never want finances to stand between you and a healthy smile. If you have questions about your benefits, the cost of your treatment, or the benefits available through your insurance plan, give us a call, and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.

Why chose implants over other options like dentures or a bridge?

Dental implants are the most natural-looking and natural-functioning replacement for a missing tooth. Unlike dentures, implants don’t slip or click on daily activities like laughing, talking, or eating.

When compared to the cost of dentures or bridges, you might not see the big difference you expect. Dr. Gill performs the entire dental implant procedure here in our Elk Grove dental office, including any additional necessary treatments such as bone grafting or sinus lifts that make dental implants possible for patients with bone loss.

Implants help in maintaining healthy jawbone, hence keeping the facial structure intact. They also hold your healthy teeth in place by preventing the shifting and tilting that are common when you leave a gap in your smile.

Many more insurance companies are recognizing the long-term benefits of dental implants, and while it is unlikely they will completely cover the dental implant procedure, you may receive some benefits when choosing this tooth-replacement option.

We also offer patient financing to help spread the costs of dental implant treatment over time. We will help you find a solution to achieve the healthy, attractive smile you want – even when facing tooth loss.

Call our Elk Grove dental office to learn more about dental implants or to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Pritpal Gill at Oak Tree Dentistry.

What is the recovery time for dental implants?

You may experience some swelling and mild soreness for a few days, but it shouldn’t affect your daily activities. Because the bone where Dr. Gill places the dental implant does not have the same nerve structure as teeth and gums, most patients report that dental implant surgery was much easier than they anticipated.

Once the dental implant is in place, Dr. Gill will cover it with a healing cap during the time it takes for your implant to integrate (fuse) with the bone. He will monitor your healing closely to make sure your treatment is on track.

Implants usually take about 12 to 14 weeks to integrate with your jawbone. After your implants have healed, you are ready for the final phase of dental implant treatment, and your crown can be placed.

Unlike dental crowns on natural teeth, we will not need to prep the dental implant. Instead, we will place it on a tiny attachment, called an abutment, which secures it to the dental implant post.

You can care for single dental implants in much the same way that you care for your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing, dental exams, and professional dental cleanings will improve the longevity of your dental implant and your natural teeth.

To learn more about dental implants in Elk Grove, CA, contact Oak Tree Dentistry today!

Is Zoom! teeth whitening bad for your teeth?

If your mouth and teeth are generally healthy, teeth whitening will likely be completely safe for you. Professional teeth whitening is an affordable and simple way to spruce up your smile and eliminate the stains that have collected for years.

We will evaluate your gums and look for any signs of recession that might make your teeth sensitive during whitening. Recession does not mean that you cannot whiten your teeth, just that we may recommend desensitizers or a fluoride application to protect exposed roots.

Zoom! whitening is done using 10% carbamide peroxide, and studies showed no effect on the mineral content of teeth. Professionally done teeth whitening does not cause any permanent damage to your teeth.

Over-the-counter whitening products can actually damage teeth because they often contain abrasive materials that scratch away at enamel with permanent repercussions. They also provide unpredictable results that look uneven or blotchy.

Our custom teeth whitening system will give you brilliant results in just a couple of weeks. For faster results, we offer in-office teeth whitening to jump-start the process.

To learn more about teeth whitening options in Elk Grove, CA, give us a call! We are here to help you find the teeth whitening options that give you a bright, stunning smile for any special occasion.