George D. Chen, D.D.S. – Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry

DENTAL ANXIETY: Consider Sedation Dentistry

It’s not always clear why some people fear the dentist. Maybe it’s the chairs. Maybe it’s the lights. Maybe it’s the sounds. Maybe it’s the fear of needles…..

Whatever the reason may be, there are many men and women in Folsom that avoid the dentist out of fear. As dentists, that hurts us in two ways:

  • First, we’re not THAT scary.
  • Second, dental health is critical for physical health.

Oral care has a direct relationship with longevity, health, and quality of life. We want to help you care for your teeth so that you can enjoy each and every day. That’s why it’s so important you see a dentist regularly.

Sedation Dentistry for Dental Anxiety

If you have a hard time coming in for dental appointments, we have a solution. Dr. Chen and his team use what is known as sedation dentistry to make the process easier. With sedation dentistry, we provide you with some light, safe sedatives that calm and relax your mood, so that you feel less anxious and more comfortable in the dental chair.

It’s safe, simple, and makes it easier to handle dental appointments. Sedation dentistry is a great way to make sure that you get the dental care you need to keep your teeth their best. For more information about sedation dentistry in Folsom, call Esthetic Reflections today.

Let’s Play a Game – Where Was Dr. Chen?

For those of you that stopped by the office for a dental cleaning in October or to steal our cookies (looking at you, Jared), you may have noticed that Dr. Chen was not around. That’s because he was involved with a wonderful charity known as Reel Recovery. Dr. Chen takes patients that are fighting battles with cancer out on the water to catch fish and share good times with each other.

They’re always accepting more volunteers if this sounds like something you’d enjoy. Visit their website at to learn more.

To All of Our Patients: Thank You

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Chen and Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry were given the Reader’s Choice award for Best Dentist for the 9th year in a row by Style Magazine. It is genuinely one of our greatest honors to be nominated, and to win again is something very special.

But while we’re honored to win this type of award, what we are most thankful for is you. You, our patients, have always been our greatest reward. You come into the office every day with a smile, and you leave us with a bigger one. You recommend us to your friends and family, and you care enough to vote for us even though we know you have a busy schedule.

So thank you, from all of us at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry. You are why we are here, and we’ll continue to try to earn our spot – not only with Style Magazine, but also with you.

Let Us Know What You Need

It’s nearing the end of the year, and since dental benefits are “use it or lose it,” it’s a good time to give us a call and let us figure out the best way to make sure that you have your dental care covered. As a general dentist, you know that we do cleanings and fillings. But you may not know that we provide a variety of other services as well, including:

• Tooth Whitening
• Invisalign and Six Month Smiles
• Gum Disease Laser Therapy
• Porcelain Veneers
• Bridges, Crowns, and More

While not all of these are covered by insurance (especially the cosmetic treatments), they are often great to combine with your typical cleanings and fillings, making winter the perfect time to get your teeth examined and treated.

Spots do fill up fast, but we will do whatever we can to accommodate you if possible. We’re also happy to work with you and your insurance, and see if we can find a way to make the most of your dental benefits and flex spending.

2017 has been a great year for Esthetic Reflections, and we hope it has been a great year for you as well. Let’s make 2018 even better by giving you the best smile we can now, and maintaining it in the year(s) to come.

3 Months Left! Have You Used Your Insurance Benefits?

We are nearing the end of the year. The leaves are turning orange. The weather is starting to cool from 110 degrees to a frigid 95 degrees. Football season has started. 2018 is right around the corner.

Which brings us back to insurance benefits. Dental insurance and flex spending plans are some of the only types of insurance that expire. Dental insurance and flex spending are “use it or lose it,” where every year, usually on January 1st, all of the money set aside for your dental care resets. It doesn’t roll over, and you can never see or use those benefits again.

Holiday Season is Busy – Schedule Your Dental Care Now

With a limited amount to use every year, using up every last penny of your dental benefits can save you money in the future, both because it covers some of the costs of needed dental work, and it treats any issues sooner before they become out of hand and more expensive.

In addition, September/October is the best time to try to use up these benefits. That is because:

  • Late November and December is holiday season, and chances are you are going to be too busy to be thinking about the dentist. That is why now it is better to consider using up your dental benefits now, when there is more time for you to schedule your appointment and your dental care can be a priority.
  • If we find something that may need to be treated at a future date, you still have time to make that second appointment before the end of the year. At Esthetic Reflections, we can also make sure that all appointments are scheduled in time, in the event that there are any delays.

For most forms of insurance, you have until December 31st to use up your insurance benefits. Yet scheduling it sooner does have many advantages. If you’re looking to use up your dental insurance for this year, please call us today at 916-983-6051.

NOTE: Changing Insurance? Please Let Us Know

We also wanted to briefly note to our patients that we cannot check insurance eligibility on the day of your appointment to see if it has changed. We will gladly check later when we bill, but if you have made any insurance changes, it is important to call us as much as a week in advance so that we can verify them.

What Carivu Sees That X-rays D Not

X-Rays are a standard part of general dentistry. Every few years, or whenever we have a concern, we perform an X-ray of your teeth to look for cavities and signs of decay that may have changed since the last time you had your teeth checked. It’s a common practice that we use here at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry.

But we’ve also integrated a new technology into our repertoire – one that is very new to dentistry but could be exactly what you need for a happier, healthier smile. It’s known as CariVu, a type of “transillumination” technology. It is placed on each tooth, and is able to light up the tooth much like an X-ray, but with a brighter and more visible light.

CariVu Benefits Over X-Ray:

CariVu is an exciting new technology, and one that is improving our dentists’ ability to find and address tooth and gum related issues. CariVu can be performed with or without an X-Ray, and has many benefits that patients love, including:

• No Ionizing Radiation – Dental X-rays do require a type of gentle, comparably safe ionizing radiation in order to get an accurate reading, and while there is little risk of complications, CariVu offers an alternative that requires no radiation.
• Interproximal Caries Detection – CariVu does an excellent job identifying and illuminating interproximal caries, which can be a bit more difficult to see from an X-ray and almost impossible to view with the naked eye.
• Detailed Cavity Detection – CariVu provides a more detailed analysis than X-ray can provide. CariVu can show us the depth of the cavity or decay, the exact location, and even whether or not the cavity can be reversed without a filling.

These are benefits that can complement X-ray technology, and represent a safer alternative for children and pregnant women that may not be ideal patients for radiation related treatments.

CariVu is one of the many new and exciting technologies that we have here at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry. To learn more about our treatments, or to book an appointment, please feel free and call us today.

3 Fun Summer Dental Tips For Folsom’s Scorching Weather

It’s hot. It’s been hot for several weeks and it will be hot again throughout this month. The sun is shining, the days are longer, and the temperature is almost high enough to make a pancake on the hood of your car.

Hopefully, you have been able to stay cool and still enjoy the sun. But as dentists, we can’t help but care about how this summer’s heat may affect your teeth. So here are a few thoughts on ensuring your dental health this summer.

Tips for Dental Health in Summer Heat

Summer is a great time to see the dentist, as the kids are out of school, the days are longer, and nothing says “summer fun” like a filling or dental cleaning. But there are also some specific tips for this type of heat that should be mentioned, including:

  • Watch Your Lips – Your teeth can’t sunburn. But your lips can. Indeed, they may be the most easily sunburned part of your body. Dentists are more likely to diagnose lip cancer than nearly any other profession. So make sure you’re protecting your lips from the sun and using a lip balm with a good SPF.
  • Drink Water – You’re sweating a lot, even if you don’t realize it. On humid days it’s easy to feel yourself sweating, but on dry days, your sweat evaporates almost instantly. That means there is a good chance that you’re dehydrated. Hydration is important for oral health, so make sure you’re drinking your water.
  • Watch Your Sugars – Watching your sugar intake is always a good idea, but in summer it’s not uncommon to find yourself accidentally consuming more than you thought. For example, if you drink soda to hydrate yourself, you’re getting a lot of tooth damaging sugar. If you suck on a popsicle or treating your family to ice cream, you’re adding a lot of sugar into your diet.

Also, the heat usually means more time outside, and more time outside means more risk of injury. Watch out for your teeth. If you play any sports, or do a lot of running, consider mouth guards and other protection so your teeth are not damaged.

Let the Sun Reflect Off Your Brighter Smile This Summer

We hope you and your family are having a wonderful summer, even in this almost unbearable heat. If you have a little time available to come to visit, we are offering $75 off of our tooth whitening treatments, and an ADDITIONAL $25 off if you let us know you shared this important summer heat article with at least one of your friends.

Show off your smile all summer with pride with a tooth whitening at Esthetic Reflections in Folsom.

How to Integrate Better Oral Hygiene Into Your Life

At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we know that not all of our patients are taking the best possible care of their oral health, and that’s okay. But dental health is not only about your teeth. Proper dental care can reduce the amount of bacteria and pathogens you swallow, strengthening your immune system and improving your physical health as well. Oral healthcare really is so important.

So, maybe you need to improve how you care for your teeth. But how do you do that without it feeling like a tremendous inconvenience?

Tips to Make Oral Hygiene Easier

  • Have a 2 Minute Song or Video

It takes time to brush your teeth – an average of 2 minutes each time you brush, according to the ADA. Most people brush for 30 seconds or less. Consider watching a short YouTube video or listening to a short 2 minute song while you brush. That way, brushing your teeth won’t feel as long.

  • Have New Brushes at the Ready

The bristles of toothbrushes tend to break down over time, leading to a less efficient clean. You’re advised to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, but as many as 75% of patients continue using the same brush or brush head. Simply placing your “next” brush in a place that is easy to grab will increase your chances of switching the new brush when you need to.

  • Schedule Your Dental Appointments Early

Most people wait anywhere from 2 to 4 years in between dental appointments, despite an ADA recommendation of 3 to 6 months. Schedule your appointments early, at times that are convenient, and place them on your calendar so that you don’t find yourself forgetting to call for your cleaning.

  • Keep Your Floss Out/Use Sticks

Most patients say they floss once in a while. Very few do. But when we talk to patients, we know that they are willing to floss, they simply put it off. To increase your chances of flossing, keep it in a visible, easy to reach area and consider floss sticks if you’re uncomfortable with string floss. Also, you can combine flossing with the video watching or music that you use to make sure you brush for 2 minutes.

Oral Hygiene is Easier Than You Think

Taking care of your teeth is more about routine than anything else. If you’re able to take the time to build and grow that habit, and integrate these small changes into your schedule, eventually it will become a regular part of your day. If you’re ready to schedule your next dental appointment, call us today at 916-983-6051.

What Do You Need to Smile Brighter After Braces?

Braces are the most common way to straighten crooked teeth, and the main reason that both teens and adults get braces is because they want a straighter, healthier smile. But those that wear braces often develop a habit of hiding their teeth when they smile, because they are ashamed of smiling with their metal braces.

Your smile is always worth showing off, with or without braces. But it can become especially problematic when you find yourself continuing to hide your smile, even after your braces have been removed.

Cosmetic Dentistry After Braces

After your orthodontic treatment is over, see if you continue to hide your teeth and smile, especially in photos. If so, the first step is to practice smiling with your newly straightened teeth. The second step is to consider cosmetic dentistry.

Braces are an excellent treatment for misaligned teeth. Yet they may cause some problems, including:

  • Stained Teeth or White Spots on Teeth
  • “Gummy” Smiles
  • Uneven Teeth, and More

If you’re hiding your smile out of habit, then it is best to focus on breaking the habit. But if you are hiding your smile because do not feel confident in your teeth, then there are several cosmetic dental treatments available after braces that may be worthwhile. Call Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry today to schedule an appointment, and we’ll let you know what we think may be the best solution to your smile.

In Other News

  • In the UK, May is National Smile Month, designed to build awareness around oral hygiene. We may not be in the UK, but it’s still a good time to remind yourself and your family to care for your teeth.
  • May 15th is National Chocolate Chip day, May 17th is National Cherry Cobbler Day, May 19th is Devil’s Food Cake Day, and May 26th is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day. Please don’t forget to brush your teeth.
  • Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry is a candidate for best dentist in Folsom! Voting began on May 10th and continues until July. If you’ve enjoyed your time with us, please consider sending a vote our way. You can find a link to vote for us here :

As always, thanks for being our valued patients here at Esthetic Reflections in Folsom, and don’t forget to continue to take good care of your teeth.


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April is Oral Cancer Detection Month – Schedule Early Detection Today

Dental health is physical health. At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we want to make sure that we do anything we can to make sure that you are as healthy and happy as possible, and since this month is Oral Cancer Detection Month, we’d love to schedule an appointment and make sure that you are oral cancer free.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a cancer of the mouth, and a very common form of cancer. Although it is heavily linked to smoking and alcohol abuse, it can occur at any time in a person’s life, which is why it is recommended that all adults (especially those that smoke or have struggled with addiction), make sure to ask for oral cancer screenings at their appointment. Detection is simple, easy, and a great way to catch it early.

Surviving Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is considered to be a deadly cancer, with thousands of people losing their lives each year to the disease. But it also responds incredibly well to early detection, and treating early-stage oral cancer is much simpler than treating late stage cancer. That is why it is so important to be screened, especially if you have risk factors, as early detection may be the key to a long and healthy life.

This April, we recommend you schedule a cleaning and ask about our oral cancer screening program. We’re happy to provide you with a free oral cancer screening to ensure that you are safe and healthy, and we’ll let you know what you can do to prevent oral cancer in the future.

You can find out more about oral cancer at any time. If you or someone you love would benefit from a screening but has questions, they are welcome to call our office at any time at 916-983-6051. At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we use the latest technology, including Velscope, to detect oral cancer, and Dr. Chen and Dr. Skelton are both highly trained in cancer assessment.

Please contact us today to learn more, and always remember to get checked with your dental visits to ensure that you remain free of oral cancer, and other dental diseases.

Common Questions About Invisalign in Teens

Over the past several years, the number of parents and teens that have come into our office asking for Invisalign has increased dramatically. This unique, teeth straightening procedure is one of the only ways to straighten teeth without the look and feel of metal braces. It uses a series of clear, removable aligners, each one moving teeth slightly further until they are in their correct location.

Invisalign is a great procedure. But here at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we want to make sure you’re making the right decision – especially when it comes to your child’s smile. Here are the answers to several common questions we’re asked about Invisalign for Folsom teens.

Q: How Young Can You Be For Invisalign?

A: There’s no specific age minimum for Invisalign. Instead, we look at two factors. First, we look at whether your child’s smile has fully formed, including whether they have their adult teeth, the location of their teeth, etc. Then, we talk to you about your child’s maturity level. Invisalign needs to be in the mouth 23 hours a day, taken out only to eat. That does involve a lot of discipline, so we’ll talk to you about your teen’s strengths.

Q: What is the Difference Between Invisalign Teen and Invisalign for Adults?

A: We know that teens can be a tad on the energetic side, as they learn responsibility while managing friends and school. Invisalign Teen comes with free aligner replacements. The ridges on the sides are stronger to help move these new, healthy teeth. There is also a blue dot on each aligner that wears away only when it’s being worn, so you have a way to check to ensure your teen is following instructions.

Q: I Heard Teeth Like to Move Back Over Time. Will That Happen with My Teen?

A: After any orthodontic treatment, including adult braces, Invisalign, and more, there is a risk that teeth may move back to the original location. We’ll talk about retainers, and any other solutions that your teen may need to keep his or her smile.

Q: Is Invisalign a Good Choice for My Teen?

A: Invisalign is loved by teens. It straightens teeth without the self-consciousness caused by metal braces, it doesn’t scratch the inside of their mouths, and it won’t cause your teen to hide their smiles. But Invisalign is not right for all teens.

The best way to determine if Invisalign Teen is right for your child is to call us today at 916-983-6051. We’ll look at your teen’s mouth, talk to you about your teen’s readiness for Invisalign, and discuss whether it is the best option for your child.


February is National Children’s Dental Health Month!

Most of our dental hygiene habits we learn in our youth. From brushing to flossing to the willingness to receive dental care, these behaviors are taught at a young age and grow with your child as they get older. Get your child’s 2017 off to the right start by booking an appointment for a cleaning and checkup today.

The Benefits of Good Dental Hygiene – and Dangers of Bad Dental Hygiene

It’s easy to forget about your child’s teeth, especially since new ones seem to fall out every month. But caring for your child’s teeth is just as important for baby teeth as it is for adults, possibly more so. In addition to developing healthy habits, which will aid them in caring for their teeth in the future, childhood dental health has many benefits, including:

  • Baby Tooth Decay and Adult Teeth – If your child’s teeth suffer from tooth decay, that decay can spread to the adult teeth beneath (and growing within).
  • Swallowing Bacteria – Dental hygiene helps eliminate harmful bacteria. Poor dental care can cause your child to swallow some of this harmful bacteria, which may affect their health.
  • Catching Problems Early – Children’s teeth are at greater risk for decay, and when they decay they can decay quickly. Catching it early will help avoid any problematic tooth pain.

Yet perhaps more important is simply showing your child how important it is for him/her to care for their teeth and gums. The time you spend right now teaching them the importance of flossing, brushing, and good dental hygiene, the better they will care for their adult teeth in the future.

Let this National Children’s Dental Health Month be the month where you prioritize training your child on good dental hygiene, and don’t forget to book their appointment – and yours – with Dr. Chen or Dr. Skelton today.