FAQ for San Francisco Dental Patients

Get answers to common questions about Skoulas DDS, dental health, and aesthetic procedures.

Routine Dental Care

Dental Anxiety, Discomfort, and Anesthesia

Treatment for Professionals in the Embarcadero, San Francisco

Cost, Insurance, and Financing

Veneers

Dental Implants

Teeth Whitening

Crowns & Bridges

Smile Makeover

Routine Dental Care

Skoulas DDS is a general and cosmetic dental practice. We offer regular exams and cleanings for our patients. In cases in which Dr. Skoulas identifies a concern, such as a cavity, she will create a treatment plan to resolve the issue. She can also make recommendations to patients about any aesthetic concerns they have with their smile.

Children and adults should visit the dentist two times a year for checkup appointments, during which they will have exams and cleanings. Depending on the health of your teeth and gums, Dr. Skoulas may advise you to visit more frequently.

Cavities occur before you start to feel sensitivity or pain. By the time you experience symptoms, the cavity likely has expanded to affect the tooth nerve, possibly requiring a root canal. Regular checkups can catch these concerns before they develop.

Dr. Skoulas can perform routine tooth extractions after a clinical evaluation determines that the tooth is not restorable. She will refer complex cases to an oral surgeon. Dr. Skoulas always diagnoses and plans wisdom teeth extractions in consultation with an oral surgery specialist.

Dental Anxiety, Discomfort, And Anesthesia

Dr. Skoulas prioritizes patient comfort and talks with them about options for improving their experience, from specialized anesthesia protocols to distraction with music and our personal entertainment system. Even in more extensive procedures, there are usually options for reducing anxiety during treatment.

We use every resource we can to minimize discomfort:

  • Dr. Skoulas takes the time to educate you about the procedure so that you understand what is happening at every step.
  • Before beginning treatment, we offer dental patients the ability to listen to Spotify music or to watch Netflix on video goggles. Each can help you ignore the sound and sight of dental work.
  • Dr. Skoulas employs special anesthesia protocols and can use nitrous to reduce anxiety.
  • Many patients prefer to have the numbing effects of anesthesia removed after treatment. Dr. Skoulas can reverse the anesthetic agent so that you only experience about a half-hour of numbness following a procedure. Patients love that they do not have to stay numb for the typical 3-4 hours using this reversal agent.

Treatment For San Francisco Professionals

Skoulas DDS designed its practice around the needs of working professionals. We are centrally located in the financial district and easy to visit before, during, and after the work day.

Just as important to our dental patients is Skoulas DDS’ approach to scheduling. Typically, we book patients for longer appointments and work efficiently to complete treatment sooner. This way, everyone under our care has the time they require for treatment, and each patient can be seen on time.

We offer flexible appointment times to meet the needs of our patients, many of whom are professionals who require early and late appointments.

Yes, we accept San Francisco and Embarcadero dental patients with emergencies for walk-in visits. Also, our cloud-based scheduling system allows you to schedule an appointment—emergency or otherwise—outside of typical office hours.

Cost, Insurance, And Financing

Dr. Skoulas designs each treatment plan to the individual patient’s needs, and patients may use different resources, such as insurance or payment plans, to cover their cost. We are happy to discuss the cost of procedures during your visit.

It is likely that we do, as our practice takes many different forms of insurance. Contact us and we can offer you a quick answer.

Yes, we are accepting new patients. If you are a current patient and know someone who could benefit from our services, please let us know that you have made a referral so we can thank you.

Veneers

Porcelain veneers have been likened to “fake” fingernails. These are laminates of porcelain that are custom made to fit over prepared teeth. They are used by an aesthetic dentist or a cosmetic dentist to enhance smiles and function in situations where teeth are worn, chipped, misaligned, too small or where shape and color can be improved.

My first recommendation would have been clear braces. However, you have indicated that you have already explored that option and that you are not a good candidate for orthodontics.

Yours appears to be a narrow upper and lower jaw situation. From your photos, it looks as though your back teeth are properly aligned, ie, straight up and down, not pointing inward, and that your bite fits well. In which case, you can rule out clear braces as an option.

Porcelain veneers is your best solution for a broader smile. I would recommend that the dentist you select do a “chair-side mock-up”. This is a “test” to see how far back you need veneers to get the smile you want. With this technique, you can also determine how far out you can build your smile with porcelain veneers. Having done this literally with hundreds of my patients, patient goals are not only realistic, but we provide information to my master ceramist so that he knows how to form the final porcelain veneers.

What sets porcelain veneers apart from other dental restorations is their life-like translucent nature that mimics natural tooth enamel. It is truly amazing how art and science and of course, and a set of skilled hands, come together to create dental restorations that are absolutely indiscernible from real teeth, even to a dental professional.

Advantages – stain resistant
Another major advantage of porcelain veneers is that they retain their original color; they do not stain like bonded fillings that stain over time.

The life expectancy of porcelain veneers depends mostly on the individual wearing them and on how well they are taken care of. (It is very much like wearing and caring for shoes.) With good oral hygiene and care to not put excessive forces on the veneers, they should last over ten years. However, severe “grinders” should be treated with porcelain crowns instead of porcelain veneers because the veneers can fracture with the forces of grinding and clenching.

Some of the most common applications for porcelain veneers are to conceal imperfections defects on teeth, such as chips or wear, or to replace old bonded restorations.

Porcelain veneers also conceal dis-colored teeth and can sometimes be used as an alternative to orthodontic treatment.

Porcelain veneers are also used to alter the shape and size of teeth. The result is a beautifully enhanced smile.

Dental Implants

Depending on the specific circumstances, this bridge can last a few years, (for example, if you are not careful with oral hygiene, the supporting teeth can decay and cause the bridge to fail) or the bridge can last you over thirty years (if your hygiene is good and you are careful not to bite into extremely hard objects, such as a fork).

Different manufacturers make very different implants for various clinical conditions. Some are short and fat to go in the bone near a sinus. Some are narrow to fit between front teeth. Some integrate very quickly. Some can be loaded immediately. All implants sold in the US are good. Some better than others in certain situations.

If there is no infection, then the implant is often placed at the time of the extraction. However, if there is infection around the extracted tooth, then several months are required for the infection to clear up and for the bone to fill in properly before the implant can be placed.

Teeth Whitening

It is common for gum tissue to get irritated following a bleaching procedure. The tissue of the affected area will typically turn white before changing to a red appearance the next day. The tissue is usually back to normal with 48-72 hours. There are two ways to keep this tissue irritation to a minimum. First, make sure that your bleaching trays are custom made at a dental office to ensure a tight fit. Also, be sure after inserting the trays you take your finger and wipe any excess bleach that may initially come out of the tray when it is being seated. These two things should keep gingival irritation to a minimum while bleaching.

Crowns & Bridges

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Smile Makeover

Showing upper and lower teeth is very common in young people. If you are 18, then chances are you look fine and absolutely normal. However, if you also show some gum beyond the upper and lower teeth, then you may have a discrepancy in the size of your face (the soft tissues including the muscles and skin) and the underlying boney support (the facial bones). This would have to be corrected with surgery to shorten the facial bones. You can visit an orthodontist to get a professional opinion. Hopefully you get some reassurance that you look perfectly normal!

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450 Sutter Street, Suite #1616
San Francisco, CA 94108

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office hours

  • Mon - Fri

We accept emergency walk-ins and we are willing to work around your schedule.

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Proudly serving: The Embarcadero, North Beach, The Financial District, Jackson Square, South Beach, Nob Hill and Pacific Heights