Question: Where are you guys located?

Answer: Sweet Home Dental Care is located at 10116 San Pablo Avenue in El Cerrito, CA, 94530. You view a Google map of our location at this link.

Question: What are your office hours?

Answer: We are open Monday through Thursday from 10 AM to 7 PM. On Friday we open to assist you by appointment. We are open every other Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. We are closed on Sundays.

Question: Who are your contract providers?

Answer: Our contract providers are:

  • Delta Dental Premier
  • Delta Dental DPO/PPO
  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • UniCare
  • Humana

Question: Which insurances do you accept?

Answer: We accept all insurances except for Medi-Cal, Medi-Care, and HMO plans. We also accept all Delta Dental except PMI/Care/HMO. Here is a list of all the insurances we accept. If you do not see your insurance provider listed, please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to inform you whether or not we accept them.

  • AIG
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Metlife
  • Guardian
  • Aflac
  • Great West Health Care
  • Heath Net Dental
  • PacifiCare
  • United Concordia
  • United Health Care
  • Genworth Dental Benefit
  • Premier Access
  • Principal
  • Managed Benefit Administrators
  • Dutcher Insurance
  • Assurance Employee Benefits
  • Phillips Administrative Services, Inc.
  • State of Illinois Dental
  • Blue Cross of California
  • and more… Please call to find out if we accept your insurance plan

Question: How much does it cost for a filling?

Answer: Fillings vary in sizes, shape and material. In dental offices, fillings are categorized according to the number of surfaces the filling covers. The cost goes up as the number of surfaces increase. Traditional amalgam fillings (silver fillings) cost less than the newer composite material (tooth colored fillings). Furthermore different insurance companies pay at different fees which also make the patient responsibility different. Insurance companies of course will make things complicated for everyone so we don’t expect you to understand everything. We will be happy to check your insurance and calculate your patient portion since each case is different.

Questions: Why do I need X-rays when I feel fine? Nothing is bothering me.

Answer: X-rays help us see cavities and other problems that we can’t normally see during clinical exams. There are times when a cavity or an infection is in a location that the naked eye cannot see. In the dental field, we try to prevent cavities before it becomes too big. Unfortunately the nerves in our teeth are unable to detect cavities and give us sensation when a cavity forms. If you are concerned about radiation exposure, modern technology has made it possible to give us x-rays at superior resolution with a fraction of the traditional x-ray dosage. Exposure can be compared to being out in the sun or even a flight on an airplane. It is recommended that everyone has a set of full mouth x-rays taken every 5 years and checkup x-rays taken at least once every year. Your dentist can examine your teeth and read your x-rays to tell you if there is a cavity in your tooth or not. It is always a good idea to treat cavities before they start to hurt.

Question: What happens when a cavity becomes big?

Answer: When a cavity becomes big, it means the cavity has become so big that it reached the nerve of the tooth. At this point, most people experience the classic toothache. When a cavity is not treated in the earlier stages, it progresses to the nerve and at this point it is too late for a filling to be done. The treatment in this case would require a root canal. Root canals are needed to remove the infected nerve caused by the cavity. Root canals are actually a good thing because they allow you to preserve your teeth even after significant damage to the tooth from a cavity. Thanks to modern technology, you no longer need to extract your teeth like the old days. However it is still a good idea to detect cavity at its early stages when a filling can still be done.

Question: Why do I need a crown after a root canal?

Answer: A root canal procedure removed the infected nerve. During this procedure, blood vessels are also removed with the nerve. Over time this causes the tooth to be dehydrated and brittle. A root canal treated tooth without a crown on it can fracture easily. There are times when a patient has invested time and money to having a root canal treatment but since a crown was not made for the tooth, it fractured and the patient still lost the tooth. A crown covers the entire tooth and act to protect a tooth. A crown also helps save a tooth and gives it many more years of service when a tooth has lost a good amount of structure from decay or trauma.

Question: Why do we need to remove our wisdom teeth if they don’t hurt?

Answer: In many cases, our jaws do not have enough space to accommodate the number of teeth that grows in our mouth. The extra teeth we have are 3rd molars or more commonly known as wisdom teeth. When our jaws are too small to fit the number of teeth, they start to grow in unusual directions such as sideways. Most of us have no use for wisdom teeth. They are not functional when we chew. In many cases, they only cause problems such as infections and trap food against adjacent teeth which is a high risk for periodontal disease. Since they are so far back in our mouth, wisdom teeth are very difficult to clean which makes them a high risk for cavities. It is recommended that wisdom teeth be removed at an earlier age. They become harder to remove later on in life as our bone increases in density. In the earlier years, the roots of the wisdom teeth are not completely formed making removal easier which means less surgery and smoother recovery. Roughly 85% of wisdom teeth will require removal sometimes in our lifetime so there is a high possibility that you will eventually need your wisdom teeth removed anyways.

Question: Why do my gums bleed?

Answer: The most common reason for gums to bleed is poor oral hygiene. Our gums are filled with thousands of blood vessels. When we don’t clean out the food we eat, the body sees it as a foreign body and the gums become inflamed as a natural response of the human body. Since our gum is rich in blood vessels, we experience more bleeding there than other parts of our body. Bleeding is the first step towards a more destructive disease called periodontal disease or periodontitis. If oral hygiene is neglected chronically, teeth can become loose and even fall out in severe cases of periodontitis. The best way maintain your periodontal health and keeps your gums healthy, is to make a habit of flossing every day. Proper flossing will clean in areas that your toothbrush cannot reach. Seeing your dentist every 6 months for a routine checkup and cleaning will help you keep your teeth longer so you can enjoy the foods you love.

Question: Why do I need deep cleaning? I don’t feel any pain at all?

Answer: Not everyone requires deep cleaning. If you maintain your oral hygiene well, you may never need a deep cleaning but when oral hygiene has been poor or neglected for a period of time, the foods we eat become plaque and calculus (calcified plaque) get stuck to our teeth. When calculus gets stuck to your teeth, they cannot be removed by brushing with your toothbrush. They can only be removed by manual cleaning. Having debris collect on your teeth for a long time, is the most common cause of periodontal disease. Unfortunately periodontal disease is a painless process so in many cases, patients don’t seek treatment for their periodontal health until it’s too late. Since calculus is stuck to the roots of your teeth below the gums, cleaning it out can cause some discomfort. Therefore a deep cleaning is done under anesthesia for your comfort. Deep cleaning is usually done in 2 parts, first the right side then the left side, so you are not overwhelmed with too much treatment per visit.