Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Am I a candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

A. If you can answer "yes" to any of these, you are a candidate for sedation dentistry:

High fear
Traumatic dental experiences
Difficulty getting numb
A bad gag reflex
Very sensitive teeth
Complex dental problems
Limited time to complete dental care
Hate needles and shots!
Hate the noises, smells and tastes associated with dental care
Are afraid or embarrassed about your teeth
Just want to get it done and "forget" the whole experience

Q. Are digital X-rays safe?

A. We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.

Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

Q. Are sealants visible?

A. Sealants are only visible up close. Dental sealants may be clear, white or slightly tinted but they are not usually visible when a child speaks or smiles.

Q. Do dental veneers require special care?

A. No. Dental veneers should be taken care of as if they were your natural teeth. You should continue good oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing as normal.

Q. Do you offer teeth whitening?

A. Yes, we offer a variety of cosmetic tooth whitening procedures. We utilize a fast, easy, in-office tooth whitening procedure that takes just one hour to complete. A hydrogen-peroxide gel is carefully applied to teeth and then activated by a special light. Our whitening system is neat and comfortable, and results are immediate. It will not harm your teeth, gums, or dental work. For more information, please contact our office today.

Q. How do I know if I'm a candidate for Dental Implants?

A. To determine if implants are right for you, a consultation with your dentist is necessary to evaluate your teeth, gums and bone density. Based on the conditions of your oral tissues and oral and personal hygiene, your dentist will help you choose if implant treatment is right for you.

Q. How do I pay for my dental care?

A. Insurance

Our practice accepts most dental insurance programs used by major employers in our area. Our goal is to maximize your insurance benefits and make any remaining balance easily affordable. If you have any questions regarding your insurance benefits, please don't hesitate to call our office at 949-857-1270 to review your concerns.

Financial Assistance

Our fees are based on the quality of the materials we use and our experience in performing your needed treatment. Our goal is not to let expense prevent you from benefiting from the quality of care you desire and need. To facilitate this goal, we have developed the following financial options:

We accept Visa and MasterCard. We also accept financing from American General Financing, and Care Credit. If you would like to review these financial arrangement options with one of our team members in advance of treatment, please call us.

Q. How long do dental veneers last?

A. Dental veneers can last anywhere from 5-10 years, after which they will need to be replaced.

Q. How long does bleaching last?

A. Bleaching results are very stable. However, depending on the patient's nutrition and lifestyle habits, bleaching may need to be redone periodically. Due to the safety of the bleaching agents, this should not cause concerns to the dentist or patient.

Q. How long will I be sedated?

A. Depending on your needs, from two to six hours. With dental sedation, years of neglect can be fixed in a single visit.

Q. How long will sealants last?

A. A sealant can last anywhere from 5-10 years. However, sealants should be checked regularly by your dentist to ensure that they are in still in place.

Q. How many years have you been in business?

A. Dr. Tozzer graduated from Emory University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then attended University of North Carolina School of Dentistry where he received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 1979. He holds dental licenses in North Carolina and California. He is a member of the American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, California Dental Association, Orange County Dental Society, Irvine Medical-Dental Society, Irvine Chamber of Commerce and the Orange County Implant Study Club.

Dr. Tozzer has conducted lectures both nationally and internationally on Cosmetic Dentistry as well as consulted on the development of educational materials. He's also advised the American Dental Association on the creation of dental software programs.

Dr. Tozzer is the founder of Dental Care for Children (DCFC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation dedicated to providing free dental care for children. He donates his time, money and dental services to children who would never in receive proper and basic dental care. His foundation has participated in over 160 clinics in the United States, Mexico, and Haiti.

Dr. Tozzer has received numerous honors and awards for his selfless service to others. He's received community service awards and an honorary Paul Harris Award from the Irvine Rotary Club as well as recognition awards from the cities of Huntington Beach and Irvine, California.

Q. How often should digital X-Rays be taken?

A. The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

Q. I'm afraid of pain. I had a bad experience.

A. Try Sedation Dentistry

You'll be sedated just enough to be unaware of the treatment, as if you were snoozing. You'll wake up refreshed, with little or no memory of what was accomplished. Because you are completely comfortable, we can do years of dental treatment in one or two visits.

We can replace crowns or dentures, restore sore gums to good health, whiten yellow or stained teeth, fix a chipped tooth, and more. People with very busy schedules can get the dental care they need, easily and quickly. Imagine being able to smile more confidently. No wonder so many patients say: "Sedation dentistry changed my life."

Q. Is a root canal procedure painful?

A. Generally, no. With the use of modern technology and local anesthetics, the procedure is much quicker and more painless than ever before and in many cases, it can be a pain free procedure. Painkillers are sometimes recommended for a few days following your treatment in order to control normal post treatment discomfort.

Q. Is Dental Sedation safe?

A. Yes, sedation dentistry is both safe an effective. You will be monitored closely and cautiously throughout the entire procedure.

Dr. Tozzer has been performing sedation dentistry for over 30 years. In addition, Dr. Tozzer has been selected by the State of California to ensure that other dental professionals are complying with safety regulations and conducts training at the USC Dental School on sedation safety.

Q. Is the VELscope safe?

A. Yes, the VELscope system is completely safe. The hand piece does not emit any radiation. The only thing being shone into the oral cavity is green light, generated by light emitting diodes.

Q. Is there any down time associated with dental implant procedures?

A. In most cases there is minimal down time associated with dental implant procedures and patients can return to work the following day. Following your procedure, you may experience slight swelling of the gums and minor bleeding around the implant site but all symptoms should subside shortly after.

Q. What are Crowns and Bridges?

A. Crowns

Crowns are prescribed when a tooth or teeth are too badly decayed, broken or cracked to be easily restored with a filling. Crowns are normally needed for teeth that have had root canals. Crowns are also placed on dental implants to replace missing teeth. Crowns can be made entirely of gold or porcelain fused to a gold substrate for strength and beauty. However, with new technology, crowns can be made entirely from high-strength ceramic and porcelain for beautiful cosmetic results.

With proper care, your new crown will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.

Bridges

We will prescribe a bridge when one or more teeth are missing and there are healthy teeth on both sides of the open space. Bridges can be made from three types of material, solid gold for reliable long wear, porcelain fused to a gold base for strength and beauty, and high-strength metal-free porcelain for optimum cosmetic results. With proper care, your new bridge will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.

Q. What are Dental Implants?

A. When it comes to replacing one or more teeth in your mouth, a dental implant is often the treatment of choice and is also one of the most conservative treatments for tooth replacement. Implants are biocompatible posts that replace the roots of your missing teeth. They are physically and biologically designed to attach to your jaw bone and become the foundation for a natural looking restoration.

Your new tooth or teeth will have excellent stability and strength, and will look and feel like your natural teeth.

Q. What are Dental Veneers?

A. An excellent alternative to porcelain crowns, dental veneers can perfect your smile by masking stains, hiding chips, correcting misalignment, and creating uniformity. Dental veneers, which are made of thin, customized material designed to slide over the teeth, look incredibly natural, are long lasting, and are relatively easy to apply. Please contact our office today to find out more about dental veneers.

Q. What are Digital X-Rays?

A. Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.

Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Q. What are Root Canals?

A. Endodontic treatment, more commonly known as root canal therapy, is necessary when the pulp of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes such as deep decay, repeated dental procedures on your tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. With proper care, an endodontically treated tooth will function normally for years to come.

Q. What are signs that a root canal is needed?

A. Sometimes no symptoms are present, however some signs that you may be a root canal candidate include:
- Severe pain upon chewing are application of pressure
- Swelling or tenderness in the nearby gums
- Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold temperature, even after hot or coldness has been removed
- Discoloration or darkening of the tooth
- X-ray evidence of infection

Q. What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

A. There are countless benefits associated with dental implant procedures, including the following:
- Replacement teeth look, feel and function with the same stability and strength as natural teeth
- Improved cosmetic appearance
- Ability to chew without pain or gum irritation
- Stop or prevent bone loss damage of surrounding teeth
- Improved confidence and quality of life

Q. What can I expect during a VELscope examination?

A. After conducting a thorough oral cancer examination, we’ll use a handheld device that will shine a green light into your mouth. We’ll then examine the tissues through a special eyepiece. This technology takes advantage of your mouth’s natural fluorescence, which is normally invisible. Using the green light, however, we can look for specific changes in the color or structure of your oral tissues that might be indicative of abnormal cells. It takes about five potentially life-saving minutes.

Q. Will bleaching cause problems by weakening the tooth's enamel?

A. In our office we use Opalescence PF whitening products which actually minimize tooth sensitivity, increase enamel microhardness, and improve overall enamel health.

Q. Will bleaching cause tooth sensitivity?

A. Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of bleaching. This sensitivity is transient and disappears after the completion of bleaching.

Q. Will dentures affect the way I eat?

A. adjustment period during which, you will need to get used to the feel of the dentures in your mouth. At first, you may experience increased salvation or a sensation of fullness in the mouth but this will subside after you become more comfortable with your dentures.

While adjusting to your dentures you should eat foods that are naturally soft or liquid, such as soups. After the initial adjustment period, you can resume normal eating, however there are still some precautions that should be taken to ensure comfort and prevent damage to your dentures. These precautions include, chewing equally on both sides of your mouth and being cautious of sticky or very hot foods, ie. candy apples.

As long as you follow the direction of your doctor and take the proper precautions, once you get used to your new dentures, you should be able to eat anything you like.

Q. Will dentures affect they way I look?

A. Dentures can be made to closely resemble the appearance of your natural teeth. Each set of dentures is personalized to your individual gums, lips, tongue and mouth and in some cases dentures can actually improve the appearance of your smile.

Q. Will my dentures need to be replaced?

A. Over time, dentures may need to be relined, rebased or remade due to normal wear and tear. Although your teeth are gone, your mouth and gums continue to change shape for the rest of your life. Because your dentures will not change with the shape of your mouth, they may need to be adjusted or remade in the future.

Q. Will sealants replace fluoride in cavity protection?

A. No. Sealants prevent germs and food particles from getting in between the groves in your teeth by covering them with safe plastic coating but they still need the fluorides, such as those used in toothpaste, mouth rinse and community water supplies to prevent tooth decay. Fluorides and sealants work together to prevent cavities and tooth decay.