Frequently Asked Dental Questions – Tustin, CA

What Would You Like to Know?

There's a lot that goes along with maintaining a healthy smile, and we will provide you with all the information you need to make confident oral health care decisions. We know that our patients have many questions but may feel hesitant to ask. Fortunately, we are here to help, and answering questions is part of what we do every day.

If you have a question or concern, please take a look at the list we've provided below. You can also find many answers browsing through the different services here on our website, but please don't hesitate to call us if you need more information!

Are you accepting new patients?

Are you looking for a comfortable, friendly dental office to meet your dental needs either on a long-term basis or as they arise? Our office in Tustin, CA, might be the right place for you! We pride ourselves in our commitment to our patients’ oral health and seek to establish long-term relationships that nurture their smiles. Our door is open to those looking to improve their dental health, and we’d love to meet you.

Personalized Dental Care

To suit the needs of every unique smile, we create and tailor personalized treatment plans for our patients. This way, we can determine their needs and listen to any desires or even concerns that come up along our journey in maintaining optimal oral health.

Services Offered in Tustin

We offer a variety of services to our new and existing patients, some of which include:

  • Dental Exams and Cleanings
  • General Dentistry
  • Emergency Dentistry
  • Crowns and Bridges
  • Dental Implants
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Dentures
  • Root Canals
  • Fillings
  • Children’s Dentistry

No matter the procedure, our office is designed for your comfort and relaxation. The last thing we want is to pressure or rush you in any way. For more information on services as well as specific procedures, please get in touch with our office at (714) 836-5600.

Financial Information

We prioritize your dental needs as well as your ability to access affordable dental care. For that reason, we’ve provided several resources on our financial information page to help answer any questions when joining our practice as a new or existing patient.

Are You Ready to Join Us?

If you are ready to take the next step in achieving optimal oral health, we are more than happy to get to know you! Contact our office for more information on getting started as a patient with our practice.

Do you accept my insurance?

We accept all PPO dental plans to make it easier for our patients, and we’re also happy to answer questions about your particular dental insurance plan.

The team at Michael Zhang, DMD, is always happy to talk to you about your insurance and help you make the most of your yearly benefits. We can explain the language of your policy and provide treatment cost estimates based on the information provided. We then follow up with billing as needed.

For patients who do not have dental insurance, we offer an exclusive Dental Savings Plan. You can receive the dental care you need to keep your smile healthy for a small monthly or yearly fee, including preventive appointments. Our plans also offer substantial savings on recommended treatments. And we have options to fit most budgets and oral health needs, including periodontal plans!

Aside from PPO insurance and our Dental Savings Plan, we also accept:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Debit cards
  • Most major credit cards

Contact a Helpful Team Member for Affordable Dentistry in Tustin, CA

We encourage you to call Zhang Dental Group of Tustin today if you would like to discuss your insurance or learn more about our Savings Plan, including limits and exclusions. Our friendly staff is always happy to help!

How much will my dental treatment cost?

It’s difficult to say with any certainty exactly how much your dental treatment will cost until Dr. Zhang performs an examination and identifies your needs. There’s also the question of whether or not you are insured, which also impacts what your out-of-pocket costs will be.

Accurate Pre-Treatment Estimates

If you’re insured, Dr. Zhang will send your treatment plan to your provider to receive a pre-treatment estimate. We do everything we can to provide you with the most accurate pre-treatment estimates so that you have a good idea of what your benefits are.

Dental Savings Plans in Tustin

Aside from dental insurance, we offer other ways to manage the cost of dental treatment. We offer several yearly dental savings plans for patients in Tustin who do not have insurance.

If you are a senior who’s paying out of pocket, we are also pleased to offer a 10 percent discount. We will also be happy to make payment arrangements on a case-by-case basis.

Please Call Us with Your Questions

Please call Zhang Dental Group of Tustin if you have questions about your insurance coverage or covering the cost of treatment. A member of our team will be happy to assist you!

Where is your dental office located?

Zhang Dental Group of Tustin is located at 18102 Irvine Boulevard in Tustin, CA behind the Kohl's and Sprout's shopping center. You’ll find us in the Vista Grande Medical Dental building in the center of town, located between Holt and Fashion Lane, off of Irvine Boulevard.

We are also near Columbus Tustin Park and CT Middle School fields, Sports Park of Tustin, and just a short drive from Disneyland. Dr. Zhang welcomes patients from Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange, Irvine, and all surrounding communities.

Convenient Family Dentistry in Tustin, CA

Dr. Zhang is pleased to offer comprehensive general and family dentistry for patients of all ages. We help patients with a wide range of dental needs by offering services like routine cleanings and exams, tooth fillings, crowns and bridges, dental implant restoration, root canals, and TMJ treatment.

If you would like to improve and enhance your smile, we also offer cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening, Invisalign, and porcelain veneers.

Is Your Building Wheelchair Accessible?

Zhang Dental Group of Tustin is located on the second floor in close proximity to the elevator and two staircases with handrails. If necessary, our office is also equipped so that patients can remain in their wheelchairs during treatment.

Do You Have Free Parking?

Yes, the Vista Grande building provides free parking with multiple handicap spaces available.

Call Us to Schedule an Appointment

Please call Zhang Dental Group of Tustin at (714) 836-5600 to schedule your next exam and teeth cleaning.

How often do I need dental exams and cleanings?

The American Dental Association states that dental exams and teeth cleanings are necessary every six months to stay a step ahead of dental disease. This schedule applies at Zhang Dental Group of Tustin even if your teeth feel fine and you don’t currently notice any problems.

Cavities and gum disease don’t appear overnight. By seeing you periodically, our dentist can catch these issues early and provide treatment to avoid long-term damage to your teeth and gums.

Exams and Teeth Cleanings in Tustin, CA

At Zhang Dental Group of Tustin, we offer comprehensive dental exams and teeth cleanings tailored for your specific needs. Teeth cleanings are particularly crucial because the sooner we find and treat gum disease, the less of a toll it takes on your oral health.

Everyone is unique, so what’s ideal for someone else may not be appropriate for you. If you have a history of gum disease, for example, we might recommend three or more cleanings a year to keep it under control.

Schedule Your Next Appointment with Us

We love welcoming new patients and would be happy to schedule a dental exam and teeth cleaning to get you started. Please call Zhang Dental Group of Tustin at (714) 836-5600 to schedule a convenient appointment.

Do I have to be numb for my dental treatment?

Whether or not you need to be numb depends greatly on your own comfort level and also on the type of procedure we need to perform. Some patients want to be numb for a simple teeth cleaning, while others can have a tooth filled without needing any anesthetic.

Benefits of Getting Numb for Dental Treatment

Dr. Zhang and his experienced hygienist Rachel are trained to use certain techniques to maximize our patients’ comfort. While we understand that many people dislike the sensation of being numb, it’s good to consider the benefits.

Most obviously, you won’t feel any pain during the procedure, regardless of which procedure we provide. And since your dental team knows that you are comfortable, they can work much more efficiently to get you out of the dental chair faster.

It’s also a good idea to consider what your perception of dental care will be after you’ve white-knuckled your way through an appointment. We would much rather provide you with a comfortable, pain-free appointment so you can leave us with a positive feeling about your experience.

Remember, the effects of nitrous linger for only 90 minutes or so, while pain memories linger for years.

Please Call Us with Your Questions.

We want to help you, so if you have concerns about what to expect during your procedure, please don’t hesitate to call Zhang Dental Group of Tustin.

How long will my treatment take?

Your time is valuable, and we do our best to make appointments as efficient as possible while still maintaining the highest standard of dental care. In general, we allow time for appointments at Zhang Dental Group of Tustin as follows:

  • Dental cleaning with exam and x-rays: 45 minutes
  • Dental crowns with prep time: 1.5 hours
  • Dental crown placement: 30 minutes
  • Basic tooth fillings: 1 hour

Please keep in mind that these times are meant as a general guideline only, and your appointment for a similar service may take longer depending on your needs. After seeing you for your initial appointment, we will give you a more precise idea of the time you should allow.

We also allow extra time in our daily schedule to accommodate dental emergencies for Tustin patients who are in pain and can’t wait for treatment. If you have a toothache or infected tooth, we will see you the same day, so please call us right away so we can get you on our schedule.

Your First Dental Visit with Us

If you are a new patient with us and this is your first visit, plan on spending about an hour with us. It’s important that we take the time to talk to you about your concerns, determine what your dental needs are, and get you established in our records.

Call Us to Schedule a Dental Appointment

Please call us if you have questions or you would like to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning at Zhang Dental Group of Tustin.

Is it safe to have an MRI if I have dental crowns?

Dental crowns are a crucial part of dentistry because they are used in so many capacities. And at Zhang Dental Group of Tustin, we use only the finest materials to craft custom tooth crowns in Tustin, CA. For you, this means modern options like porcelain, considered safe during MRI type scanning.

Let's learn more about how we use tooth crowns and whether they exclude you from getting an MRI.

What Are Tooth Crowns, and How Do They Work?

A dental crown is a custom tooth cap cemented over a treated or prepared tooth. It is colored and shaped to look like adjacent teeth.

We use dental crowns in multiple capacities, taking accurate impressions when creating these restorations. And we always work with trusted labs, ensuring the fit, function, and aesthetics of your restoration. 

Tooth Crowns for Decayed, Damaged, or Treated Teeth

If you have significant tooth decay, your dentist will typically recommend a dental crown to save the tooth from breakage or loss. Similarly, we use dental crowns to save damaged or broken teeth from extraction. And your dentist often caps a tooth after it has had root canal treatment. This restores stability if infection renders the tooth weak.

Tooth Crowns to Conceal Tooth Imperfections

A dental crown is one option to conceal tooth flaws, including:

  • Chips
  • Discoloration
  • Small gaps
  • Shape issues
  • Short teeth

Tooth Crowns Work in Tooth Replacement

If you're considering a dental bridge to restore missing teeth, the dental crowns secure the bridge to healthy teeth. Likewise, if you've decided on a dental implant, it is the dental crown that caps your dental implant post for single implants.

Dental Implants and the MRI

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a diagnostic tool that captures images inside your body. Unfortunately, certain metals can make the MRI unsafe or impractical, such as blurred images.

These metals include but are not limited to:

  • Cobalt
  • Nickel
  • Stainless steel
  • Iron

Some dental restoration, including certain types of dental crowns, contain these metals. If you think your crowns contain these metals, it's essential to talk to your doctor before undergoing diagnostic testing through MRI.

Tooth crown materials that are safe and practical for MRI imaging include:

  • Gold
  • Composite resin
  • Porcelain

If you're unsure about the material used for your dental crowns, talk to your dentist. And if you're having your first crown or dental restoration, ask for porcelain or composite for peace of mind and safe future imaging via MRI.

A Note on Dental Crown Care

Dental crowns require brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups, just like natural teeth. However, if you have a loose or ill-fitting crown or want to upgrade a metal-based crown for a more modern porcelain or composite option, we can help!

Talk to Your Tustin, CA Dentist about Dental Crowns Today

Most modern tooth crowns and restorations are made of porcelain or composite resin. However, it's essential to talk to your dentist if you're unsure. And always let your health care provider know that you have dental restorations or prosthetics before MRIs or other types of imaging.

What are my tooth replacement options?

Are you considering dental bridges, dentures, or dental implants in Tustin, CA?

Having missing teeth hurts your self-esteem. It leaves you feeling unsure about smiling and laughing with friends. It can even influence your personal and professional relationships when you don’t feel self-assured.

Missing teeth also impact your oral health, promoting everything from tooth migration, future tooth fractures, and influencing dietary choices.

Deciding to replace missing teeth is a good one, but what are your options?

Our top Tustin dentist offers all the options and will have you in for a consultation so that you can make an informed decision for your tooth replacement.

It could be dentures, partial dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge. In some cases, one option will work better for you than another, and your dentist will explain why.

For example, jawbone integrity is considered for dental implants, and remaining healthy teeth (in specific locations) are necessary for a partial denture or dental bridge. In some cases, your dentist may recommend a prosthetic option, but with implant support for stabilization.

Tooth Replacement, Including Dental Implants in Tustin, CA

To arrange your consultation or ask questions, give us a call. We are always happy to help.

What are my tooth replacement options?

Are you considering dental bridges, dentures, or dental implants in Tustin, CA?

Having missing teeth hurts your self-esteem. It leaves you feeling unsure about smiling and laughing with friends. It can even influence your personal and professional relationships when you don’t feel self-assured.

Missing teeth also impact your oral health, promoting everything from tooth migration, future tooth fractures, and influencing dietary choices.

Deciding to replace missing teeth is a good one, but what are your options?

Our top Tustin dentist offers all the options and will have you in for a consultation so that you can make an informed decision for your tooth replacement.

It could be dentures, partial dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge. In some cases, one option will work better for you than another, and your dentist will explain why.

For example, jawbone integrity is considered for dental implants, and remaining healthy teeth (in specific locations) are necessary for a partial denture or dental bridge. In some cases, your dentist may recommend a prosthetic option, but with implant support for stabilization.

Tooth Replacement, Including Dental Implants in Tustin, CA

To arrange your consultation or ask questions, give us a call. We are always happy to help.

What is the process for dental implants?

Dental implants are the option most recommended by dentists to replace missing teeth. They are considered the gold standard for many reasons:

  • Natural function
  • Longevity
  • Aesthetics
  • Easy maintenance
  • Improved oral health

If you decide to go with dental implants to restore your missing teeth, our dentist has you in for a consultation. We want to learn more about your health history and smile goals. The dentist also checks your jawbone health to ensure it is in shape for implant placement.

After the dentist clears you for implants, we schedule your implant placement. We anesthetize the treatment area at this visit and implant an artificial tooth root, also called a dental implant.

Over the next several months, this tooth root integrates with the bone, and then you’re ready for a tooth crown to complete the process.

We can also implant a denture or other prosthetic using up to six tooth root replacements.

Dental implants are lasting tooth replacements that require only brushing, flossing, and dental checkups for upkeep—just like natural teeth!

For Dental Implants in Tustin, CA, Give Us a Call

Our implant dentist, Dr. Michael Zhang, is happy to help you restore your smile with dental implants. If you are ready to arrange your consultation or ask questions about our tooth replacement options, a team member is standing by to chat today.

Are veneers permanent?

Dental veneers in Tustin, CA conceal most tooth flaws and are permanent cosmetic restoration. Permanent means that if you damage a veneer, it must be replaced. However, with excellent oral hygiene and dental care, coupled with good habits, a veneer can last for a very long time.

A dental veneer is a tooth shell that is custom-colored and shaped to look like your teeth. It covers the front of a flawed tooth to restore aesthetics.

It can conceal gummy smiles, a short tooth, discoloration, a slightly crooked tooth, and a worn tooth.

To place your veneer, your Tustin, CA dentist removes a bit of enamel from the tooth to be treated. This helps the veneer sit naturally against the gum and in line with untreated teeth. Because of the enamel removal, the veneer must be considered permanent.

Patients considering dental veneers can treat one tooth or several. Veneers can also be a stand-alone treatment or part of a full smile makeover, including dental implants and other popular options.

For Quality Cosmetic Dentistry in Tustin, CA, Give Us a Call

Please tell us how we can help you reach your smile goals. Arrange a consultation with our cosmetic dentist today.

How do I find a good cosmetic dentist?

An excellent cosmetic dentist in Tustin, CA, listens to your concerns and offers the solutions you need to reach your smile goals.

When looking for an excellent cosmetic dentist, we recommend starting with testimonials. What are other patients saying? Were they happy with their results?

Next, you want a dentist who offers the latest cosmetic dentistry, including the treatments that will help you achieve your dream smile.

Then it’s essential to find a dentist who starts you with a consultation and explains how a specific option will bring you to your smile goals.

At Michael Zhang, DMD, we tick all these boxes and more, offering everything you need for a beautiful smile, including:

  • Quality dental veneers
  • Affordable dental bonding
  • Tooth-colored restorations
  • Tooth replacements like dental implants
  • Invisalign for a straight smile
  • Professional teeth whitening

You can choose a single treatment or multiple options based on your goals. And we can create a treatment timeframe that works with your schedule.

Are You Looking for Cosmetic Dentistry in Tustin, CA?

We’re always delighted to help new and existing patients achieve their dream smiles. So if you would like to get started with your consultation or if you have questions for our cosmetic dentist, give us a call today.

Is teeth whitening safe?

Teeth whitening under the directions of your Tustin, CA dentist is always safe because we provide a consultation before treatment.

This consultation—especially if you’re a new patient—allows us to check your teeth and gums, as well as your restorations. Our dentist will only approve your teeth whitening treatment if it is deemed safe for you.

However, we cannot vouch for the integrity of over the counter or website-purchased whiteners and bleaching gels. In some cases, the ingredients will be too harsh for your teeth and gums, causing damage.

There are also drugstore kits with trays available. If the trays don’t fit correctly, the gel can spill onto gum tissues, causing ongoing discomfort.

We offer in-office teeth whitening for the fastest results and a custom take-home kit for a more leisurely treatment on your own time. No matter your option, professional teeth whitening can lift stubborn tooth stains and give you a dazzling smile for your next life event.

Looking for Professional Teeth Whitening in Tustin, CA?

A brighter smile can boost your confidence. If you would like to arrange a teeth whitening consultation with our dentist or have questions for our team, a helpful staff member is standing by to chat with you today.

What are the benefits of cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry in Tustin, CA is a real confidence booster that positively impacts your interpersonal relationships. When you love your smile, it shows!

Besides loving your smile, there are other benefits to cosmetic dentistry that you may not have considered. For example, some cosmetic dentistry options can improve your oral health.

Our cosmetic dentistry options include:

  • Professional teeth whitening—Dramatically brighten your smile
  • Porcelain veneers—A Hollywood-ready smile can be yours
  • Tooth-colored restorations—Support a damaged tooth aesthetically
  • Tooth bonding—Hide tooth flaws affordably
  • Invisalign—Straighten your smile without traditional braces
  • Dental implants—Complete your smile from root to crown

Options like tooth-colored restorations improve your smile appearance while supporting a damaged tooth. Dental implants support jawbone health and promote a healthier, more diverse diet. And Invisalign makes teeth easier to clean effectively.

Your dentist can employ one option to fix a single tooth flaw or multiple treatments to makeover your entire smile. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, it’s all about you and your goals.

Talk to Your Cosmetic Dentist in Tustin, CA

Let us know what you’re looking for in a new smile.

Reach out today to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation. And give us a call if you have any questions about our treatments and procedures.

What are my tooth replacement options?

Are you considering dental bridges, dentures, or dental implants in Tustin, CA?

Having missing teeth hurts your self-esteem. It leaves you feeling unsure about smiling and laughing with friends. It can even influence your personal and professional relationships when you don’t feel self-assured.

Missing teeth also impact your oral health, promoting everything from tooth migration, future tooth fractures, and influencing dietary choices.

Deciding to replace missing teeth is a good one, but what are your options?

Our top Tustin dentist offers all the options and will have you in for a consultation so that you can make an informed decision for your tooth replacement.

It could be dentures, partial dentures, dental implants, or a dental bridge. In some cases, one option will work better for you than another, and your dentist will explain why.

For example, jawbone integrity is considered for dental implants, and remaining healthy teeth (in specific locations) are necessary for a partial denture or dental bridge. In some cases, your dentist may recommend a prosthetic option, but with implant support for stabilization.

Tooth Replacement, Including Dental Implants in Tustin, CA

To arrange your consultation or ask questions, give us a call. We are always happy to help.

How long do dental fillings last?

If you need a dental filling, it is because you have an area of decay on your tooth. At Zhang Dental Group of Tustin, we use tooth-colored fillings because they are aesthetically pleasing and long-lasting.

On average, a tooth-colored filling in Tustin, CA can last up to a dozen years and sometimes longer. If you practice healthy habits—never using your filled (or natural!) tooth to twist open a cap, for example—you can expect a longer-lasting tooth filling.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is sometimes called a tooth cavity. It means you have a hole in your tooth that will continue to grow without treatment. In addition, large fillings can compromise your tooth’s structure and require a dental crown for restored stability. You may even lose the tooth to a fracture or extraction in severe cases.

To lower your risks for tooth decay, follow these guidelines:

  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups
  • Never skip your six-month teeth cleanings
  • Always brush your teeth at least twice each day
  • Floss at least once daily, but twice is even better
  • Never go to sleep for the night with debris on your teeth

Is It Time for Your Next Dental Checkup in Tustin, CA?

If you suspect a tooth cavity, have a broken filling, or if it’s time for your next checkup, contact Zhang Dental Group of Tustin today to arrange a visit with our dentist, Dr. Michael Zhang.

Why do I need dental x-rays?

We require dental x-rays or radiographs so that Dr. Zhang can provide you with the safest, most appropriate treatment. While a visual examination tells us a lot about your oral health, it doesn’t provide the full picture. For example, we can’t see inside or between teeth where cavities commonly start, and we can’t see what’s happening under your gums.

Why We Recommend Dental X-Rays

Dr. Zhang understands his patients’ concerns about having x-rays taken and has invested in digital x-rays that expose you to about 80 percent less radiation than film x-rays. If your teeth and gums are healthy, we can limit them to a full set of bitewing x-rays every two years and as needed to diagnose conditions when you have a problem.

Does Dental Insurance Cover X-Rays?

A full set of dental x-rays every year is considered part of preventive dentistry and is covered in full by most insurance companies. However, dental coverage varies so much from plan to plan that it is always best to check with your provider first.

Schedule Your Next Dental Exam in Tustin, CA

At the office of Michael Zhang, DMD, we focus on preventive dentistry and patient education so you can make the healthiest decisions for yourself and your family.

We are always happy to answer your questions, so please call us if you need more information about x-rays or want to schedule your next dental exam.

At what age should my child first see the dentist?

Dr. Zhang, your child’s dentist in Tustin, CA, likes to see children around the time of their first tooth or by their first birthday.

It’s essential to check on the development of a child’s teeth early to ensure there are no issues and that they are erupting correctly.

Early visits are designed to be fun. We get to know your child and make checking up on their teeth feel like a game or an adventure. What child doesn’t want a ride in the dental chair?

By making early dental appointments positive, we hope to build a trusting relationship with your child and instill healthy habits that can last for life.

If your child’s dentist spots any issues or has any concerns during the exam, we share those with you. We also want to answer all your questions and help out with at-home care, providing tips and guidance for cleaning baby teeth. We can even discuss nutritional practices.

Between our efforts and your at-home diligence, your child should enjoy a healthy smile from the start.

Is It Time for Your Child’s First Dental Appointment?

We are always happy to meet children and start them on their journey to lifelong oral health. So give us a call today to get your child started!