Answers to Dental Questions We Commonly Receive

Here you will find a compiled list of the more common dental questions and answers that we receive here at Gateway Dental Care.  Click on the questions below to view the answers, or watch our Frequently Asked Questions video on the right. If you have any questions not addressed here, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to call us anytime at (925) 598-9825 for any questions regarding your visit to Gateway Dental Care.

Yes, we are currently accepting new patients and in most cases can see you for a complete exam within a couple days. Emergency visits are usually accommodated on the same day you call, even over the weekends. 

We accept most major insurance providers. Dr. Kitagawa is a “Preferred Provider” with: Delta Dental, Principle, Metlife, 1st Dental Health, Guardian, Blue Shield of California and more. We also accept Aetna, Cigna and most union dental insurances. If you don’t see your insurance provider listed here, please call the office and we will check for you. As a service to all our patients, we will find out your dental insurance benefits, explain them to you and submit the dental claims for you.

No, but would be highly recommended to have exams and x-rays on a regular basis. Having clean teeth is important, but it does not address the possibility of cavities and serious gum disease. Teeth cleanings are intended to help people maintain healthy gums and teeth, but if moderate to severe gum disease is already present, a simple cleaning is not enough.

During the comprehensive exam we will review and discuss your medical history and take your blood pressure. We will then review any specific concerns you may have regarding your teeth and general oral health, including any cosmetic concerns.

Dr. Kitagawa will then examine the head and neck region including the TMJ (jaw joint). This screening exam is done to help identify any possible abnormalities. Then an oral cancer screening is completed. If there are any suspicious lesions or growths, it will be biopsied with a painless brush technique. Finally, the teeth and gums are thoroughly examined by looking in the mouth, looking at x-rays and measuring the gums. All the findings are then discussed with you.

There is an extensive range of services that we offer, so it is difficult to cover all of the fees that could be involved with your treatment, prior to an exam. Following the initial comprehensive exam, however, we will present a treatment plan covering a general overview of the health of your teeth and the cost of treatment. If you have dental insurance, an estimation on your co-pay will be provided.

Again, it is difficult to provide an advance quote because of the wide range of services we offer. In many cases, the insurance companies set the fee schedules. In other cases, our fees are set at UCR which is the ‘usual and customary rate’ of the local area. Meaning our fees are competitive with other neighboring dentist.

Dr. Kitagawa is available for emergencies 24/7. Just call the office (925) 598-9825 and the call will be forwarded to her cell phone.

Our focus is to make every patient as comfortable as possible. Every patient receives shades so the light does not glare into their eyes, constant moisturizing of the lips, so your lips do not chap or split, private music to help pass the time.

We offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for those that are anxious or claustrophobic. We also offer conscious oral sedation dentistry which is safe and effective for those who are highly anxious.

Children should start seeing the dentist by age 2. The purpose of these early visits are not only to check for cavities, but to start developing a positive dental experience for the child. We talk to children about ‘sugar bugs’ and brushing, we educate the parents on their role in helping children maintain healthy teeth, we place fluoride varnish to keep teeth strong and we check for any abnormalities. When dental visits are delayed until the child complains of a toothache or the parents notice something suspicious, then their first memory of the dentist may become a negative one.

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