WE HAVE RE-OPENED

Our community has been through a lot over the last couple months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your health and safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority of our dental practice, and you may have seen that we take great pride in this. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep the patients, staff, and the ones we come in contact with in our daily lives safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

Here are some new changes we have made to ensure your safety:
  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office, and we will be taking your temperature. Based on your answers and if your temperature is 100.4°F or higher, we will need to reschedule your appointment.
  • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in other places in the office for you to use as needed.
  • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. Similarly, please limit the personal belongings that you bring inside to your appointment.
  • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients when possible. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment. Please respect the social distancing requirement of 6 feet where practical.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time. To that end, please consider calling from your car to check on the status of the reception area and be on time. Also, please come alone to your appointments. If needed, one guardian/caretaker is permitted, but they must remain in the reception area.
  • Please arrive with face masks/coverings for they will be required at all times for both patients and staff when appropriate.
  • An antiseptic mouth rinse will be used just prior to treatment for the health and safety of all. Where possible, expect changes in how we do certain procedures to eliminate or reduce the spread of aerosols and splatter during treatment. For example, for now we will be temporarily eliminating ultrasonic tools and teeth polishing during your teeth cleaning appointments until further notice.
  • Clear sneeze guard barriers between you and our front desk personnel will be used to aid in social distancing, and we ask that we all limit our conversations to what’s necessary to limit contact time. More regular and frequent sanitizing of high touch areas and items will be done for your health and safety. This includes door and other handles, light switches, countertops, etc.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 415-752-8311 .

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.

Sincerely,
Dr. Leo Arellano

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Tooth Decay: The Modern Model

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a bacterial infection of a tooth that causes a cavity. Before the widespread acceptance of oral hygiene and professional maintenance, the concept of how a cavity was formed was considered a “top-down” infection. In this traditional model, tooth decay started on the tooth’s surface within the pits and grooves where bacterial dental plaque became easily trapped. When exposed to sugars, the bacterial plaque produces acid that decalcifies and softens the tooth’s enamel surface, thereby causing a cavity.

Today’s modern model is based on a “bottom-up” progression. With the public’s acceptance of frequent regular tooth brushing, flossing, professional dental hygiene visits, and the use of fluorides for remineralizing teeth, the outer enamel surface of a tooth has become more resistant to tooth decay. Nonetheless, some pits and grooves extend so deeply down microscopic channels that it is impossible for a toothbrush bristle or fluoride to penetrate into these areas (see Figure 1). Tooth decay can then start below the surface of a tooth. By the time the decay becomes detectable at the tooth’s surface, it has already become a large cavity (see Figure 2). That is why most fillings end up being larger than the “tiny cavity” seen during a dental examination.

We are here to help Call us at 415-881-4343 or Schedule an Appointment
The practice of Minimally Invasive Dentistry is a preventive and optimally health oriented approach that is based on the early diagnosis and treatment of a cavity before it destroys and weakens a tooth so much that it needs a larger filling, onlay, or crown, or even a root canal if the nerve of the tooth becomes infected too. Our use of the DIAGNOdent® laser allows us to accurately diagnosis these sub-surface cavities.

Some studies also show that ozone can arrest the progression of tooth decay so that the overly aggressive drilling out of unaffected tooth structure to ensure removal of all of the tooth decay can be minimized. Ozone, an activated form of oxygen, is a potent antimicrobial. Call us to find out more about these alternative options.