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

It’s (Sort Of) That Time of Year Again

For the past 9 years, Dr. George Chen has been nominated and won the Reader’s Choice title of “Best Dentist” in the Folsom and El Dorado Hills area of Style Magazine. We’ve been so honored that you have helped us win that award, as we know that it’s really you that deserves the title of “Best Patient.”

This year, voting takes place a bit earlier than normal. We are currently in the running for “Best Dentist” AND “Best Dental Office” (Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry). We would love it if you wouldn’t mind taking a few moments to vote for us. The link to voting is here:

NOTE: For votes to count this year, you must cast at least 10 votes across the site. So please explore all of the different voting options and vote for your favorite restaurants, doctors, and much more. You can find all of the different contests to vote for by visiting this link:

We know that you are busy, and we thank you in advance for taking time out of your day to help us with this contest. Let us know that you voted, and the next time you visit we will be sure to give you a huge hug, an extra cookie, and/or the same outstanding quality dental care that you have come to expect.

Voting ends soon, so we would appreciate your vote any time you have a moment. Thank you again so much for being what makes Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry great. You have our vote for “Best Patients and Friends” in the Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and all of Northern California area.


School is Over: Schedule Your Child’s Dental Care

It happens to most parents. You want to care for your child’s teeth, but you also do not want to take them out of school to get to their dental appointment, and the older your child gets the more missing a day becomes problematic for their ability to keep up with school work.

But it is the end of May. Some schools have ended, while other schools are in the final days. If you’ve been putting off your child’s dentist visit, now is the absolute best time to schedule your appointment – and for more reasons than you may think!

Why You Should Schedule Your Child’s Dental Care for Summer

That is always a good time to schedule a child’s dental care. But summer is a great time – and not only because there is more time available. Some of the benefits of scheduling in summer include:

  • Easier Scheduling – Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm. You and your child can schedule a time that works not only for their schedule, but also for yours. No longer will you have to worry about when you can get off work, as you’ll be able to find an appointment around your schedule.
  • Time for Follow Ups – It’s not just the initial appointment either. If your child has need for any follow up visits you may need. For example, if your child is a candidate for braces or a root canal, there is plenty of time to make sure that your child is finished with the treatment before school starts again.
  • Summer Sweets – Your child will be eating a lot of popsicles and sugars and other foods this summer when they’re home feeding themselves. Cleaning their teeth beforehand ensures less risk for cavities.
  • 6 Month Appointments – It is recommended that you receive your dental care every 6 months. Six months from summer falls almost directly in line with the November/December holiday season, when many find it easier to find days off.

As a family dentist, Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry would love to see your children – and you! – over the next warm summer months. Once your child has finished the educational year, schedule an appointment for them to come see our wonderful dental team.

Are There Any Summer Dental Tips? You Bet There Are

As we approach the warmer months, it’s time for some seasonal tips for issues that directly relate to the hotter weather and exciting activities that we enjoy all summer. Dental hygiene may be year-round, but there are specific tips that are important for this time of year.

Tips for Summer Dental Hygiene and Care

  • Drink Water – Hydration helps keep up your saliva content, it nourishes the teeth and gums, and it is overall important for oral health. During hotter days, drinking extra water may help you avoid any dental complications.
  • Bring Your Kids and Teens – All kids need dental care, but it can be hard to schedule that care during the school year without taking some time off. Summer is thus a great time for a dental exam and cleaning, and if there are any treatments it allows your child to get them done before the school year begins.
  • Cool Down With Water – On hot days, it can be nice to grab a cold soda or beer and use it to cool down. But in addition to the sugar and chemical content in many of these drinks (both of which could damage enamel and has a negative effect on health), the carbonation can damage teeth as well. Try to refresh with cold water instead.
  • Keep Dr. Chen’s Emergency Number on Hand – Families in the Folsom and Sacramento areas tend to be very physically active during summer, swimming, playing sports, and more. Unfortunately, more activity does mean more risk for injury, including dental injury. It is a good idea to keep our number in your wallet or on hand so that you can call right away if an emergency occurs.
  • Be a Little Careful About the Barbecue – Summer is a great time to barbecue and eat some really filling foods. But if you suffer from acid reflux, those foods can lead to acid that pushes back up into the teeth, especially when sleeping. Acid can damage and soften enamel. If you are someone that may struggle from acid reflux, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about medications or avoid some of the more filling summer foods.

Call Esthetic Reflections in Folsom Today

Esthetic Reflections, the office of Dr. George Chen, is ready and able to help you with your oral hygiene needs. Give us a call today at 916-983-6051 to learn more about our services, or to make sure your teeth are in the best possible health this summer.

What Are Those Numbers My Dentist Keeps Talking About?

If you’ve had a dental exam recently, you may remember your dentist placing what feels like a mental object in your gums, and calling out a number that the hygienist places on a computer. It may go something like this:

Dentist: “2. 3. 5… 3. 3. 3…. 3. 4. 3…”

Hygienist: “What number was that again?”

Dentist: “That was number 18.”

Hygienist: “Got it.”

Dentist: “4. 4. 4… 3. 5. 4….”

No, your dentist isn’t reading you lottery numbers or horse race trifectas. What your dentist is doing is reading the depth of each pocket around your teeth.

Why Pocket Depth?

In between your teeth and gum are some very small pockets. These pockets start at about 1 to 2 millimeters. When bacteria (plaque) develop, it eats away at the inside of the pockets, including both bone and tissue, causing the pockets to get even deeper.

Deeper pockets not only mean that your gums and teeth have been damaged. It also means that there is more room for even more bacteria to grow. So dentists, like Dr. Chen, Dr. Skelton, and Dr. Torabian of Esthetic Reflections, measure each pocket from multiple angles.

The numbers that you’re hearing refer to the millimeter depth of the tooth. A total of 6 measurements are taken for each tooth – the outward facing side and the tongue facing side, measured 3 per side (hence the three numbers).

When the hygienist is keeping track of these numbers, they will occasionally ask the dentist which tooth they are on to make sure they’re entering it correctly. Teeth are also given their own numbers, from 1 to 32, where 1 to 16 refer to a specific tooth on the upper jaw and 17 to 32 refer to a specific tooth on the lower jaw.

If you’re curious what the pocket depth numbers mean:

  • Healthy Teeth/Gums – Healthy teeth have a pocket depth from 1 to 3.
  • Unhealthy Teeth/Gums – Unhealthy teeth and gums have pocket depths from 4 and up.

If your dentist finds that you have only a few 4s and 5s, they may recommend simply brushing and flossing more often, or they may recommend cleaning a bit more often to see if the pocket reduces naturally.

If you have too many 4s and 5s, or you have numbers of 6 or more, additional treatment is often necessary. Pocket depth of 7 or above usually means there are some serious gum disease issues that require a more aggressive treatment.

Every mouth is different, so these guidelines may not be relevant to your specific mouth. Nevertheless, at least you now know why your dentist is reading off those numbers. Hopefully, you’re hearing a lot of 1s, 2s, and 3s, but if you do need any additional treatment, Folsom dentists Dr. Chen, Dr. Skelton, and Dr. Torabian are here to help.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Dental Sealants

“I am recommending dental sealants to help prevent cavities on these teeth.”

This is one of the most common phrases in any dental office, especially for children and teens. But what is a dental sealant, why should you get one, and what is the difference between a sealant and a filling?

We know you have questions, so we have answers. The following are some of the most common questions we receive about dental sealants and answers that hopefully help explain why they are such a valuable tool in the fight for your dental health.

Q: What is a Dental Sealant?

A: You and your dentist try to protect your teeth from cavities and decay. But even if you brush, floss, and visit Dr. Chen once or twice a year, there are still a few areas of your teeth that are prone to problems – particularly in children and teens that may not have established the best dental hygiene habits. Many adults get sealants as well just to offer extra protection on the common areas prone to cavities.

These areas are the grooves, fissures, and depressions in the molars and premolars. Germs, bacteria, and food can easily get stuck in the grooves of the teeth and may not respond as well to brushing. Sealants cover these grooves with a durable material that prevents these harmful agents from getting stuck and damaging the teeth.

Q: What is the Dental Sealant Material?

A: There is more than one type of dental sealant material that dentists may choose from. These include:

  • Composite Resin Sealants
  • Polyacid Modified Resin Sealants
  • Resin Modified Glass Ionomer Sealants
  • Glass Ionomer Sealants

Dr. Chen prefers composite resin sealants, as these tend to be more reliable for long-term use.

Q: How Long Do Sealants Last?

A: Dental sealants can provide protection for many years. Routine dental visits can ensure that your sealants are still in good condition. When there is wear and tear, adding more sealant material can extend the lifespan of the sealant.

Q: What is the Difference Between a Filling and a Sealant?

A: One is for treatment, the other is for prevention. If you already have a cavity, the role of a dental filling is to refill the lost tooth enamel and restore the shape and function of the tooth. Dental sealants, on the other hand, are used to prevent these dental caries from occurring in the first place by sealing and protecting the place they most commonly occur.

Q: Will My Dental Insurance Help Me With Dental Sealants?

A: Sealants are optional, but often recommended. The ADA supports the use of dental sealants and they are a commonly covered benefit of insurance companies for children. Research into dental science has found that sealants are extremely effective at preventing cavities, and thus preferred by insurance companies when compared to, say, the cost of a cavity, root canal, or lost tooth.  Check with your insurance policy for age limitations since they vary.

Q: Can Dental Sealants Fall Out?

A: Dental sealants will wear away over time or even become damaged. Although Sealant material is extremely strong, it can become damaged by certain foods you chew and bite on or tooth “clenching and grinding” habits. Hard items like chewing on ice cubes or hard foods like corn nuts and hard candies can all damage sealants. If they do fall out, not to worry – they can be refreshed with a re-application of sealant.

Q: Why Are Dental Sealants Only Used in the Molars and Premolars?

A: The molars are where the most fissures and deepest grooves are found in the teeth.  Premolars can also have deep fissures. That makes them the most likely place for cavities to form because of the way food and bacteria collect into those areas. Because the fissures can be smaller than the bristles of your tooth brush it also becomes harder for you to remove the bacteria that causes cavities.

Q: How Safe Are Sealants?

A: Very. There are no known adverse reactions of using sealants and the American Dental Association has taken a strong “pro” stand on the usage of this material for cavity prevention.

Q: How Painful is the Procedure?

A: Not at all.  Remember, sealants are placed on healthy teeth and sometimes stained grooves BEFORE a painful cavity forms. They require no drilling, cutting, or filling of sensitive decay. It’s uncommon to feel any pain during a sealant procedure. But if you’re nervous, we do have sedation dentistry options for select patients.

Any Other Questions? Ask Dr. Chen

We know that any time you or your child needs a dental procedure completed you are likely to have questions. Let us know by contacting us at any time via phone, form, or Facebook. We’ll always do our best to answer them as quickly as possible. And who knows! If you ask a question we have not already answered, maybe we’ll even turn it into a blog post.

COMPARE: Dental Implants or Dentures – Which is Better?

Losing a tooth can be stressful. But it is also not that uncommon. Indeed, only 34% of adults between the ages of 40 to 64 have all of their teeth, and that number drops sharply for seniors over 65.

These days, you don’t have to live with missing teeth if you do not want to. There are many different procedures and tools that can be used to help replace your teeth and give you back your smile. Most of the time, you and your dentist will be choosing from one of two options:

  • Dentures
  • Dental Implants

Both of these are outstanding tools for the right patients. But which one to choose depends on the health of your teeth and gums, your age, the amount of teeth you’ve lost, and more.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are false teeth made of strong, durable materials that are essentially “installed” into your gums. Many modern dental implants are designed to look like normal, healthy teeth, but use material like zirconia or ceramic that is known to last for decades without decay. The teeth stay in place almost as though they are screwed in firmly into the location of the missing tooth.

What are Dentures?

Dentures are also false teeth. They are not installed into your gums. Rather, an impression is made of your teeth and gums, and a framework is created to create an acrylic resin that looks like gums. That frame then holds in the false teeth, which are often made of porcelain or similar material. Patients use a non-toxic adhesive to place the dentures in the mouth, creating a realistic smile that looks like you have all your teeth. The dentures can be removed at any time.

Which is Better?

Both dental implants and dentures have their advantages. Overall, dental implants are more popular. These implants essentially create new permanent teeth that will not shift or move, and do not need to be re-applied every morning. However, dental implants do require healthy gums and a healthy jaw bone, because the implants need to have the support necessary to keep them in place.

Many people find that dentures look more like real teeth, and do a better job improving the smile. They are also often preferred when the patient has lost more than one or two teeth. They’re less popular because of the adhesive, and because they do not always stay in place. But for many patients, dentures offer an easy solution to their tooth loss challenges.

Tooth Loss and Senior Dental Care from Esthetic Reflections in Folsom, CA

Whether you have lost teeth as a result of trauma, decay, or age, Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry in Folsom, CA is here to help. Dr. Chen and the rest of our team are happy to determine which options make the most sense for both your comfort level and the health of your teeth. Contact us today to learn more.

Dentures in Folsom at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry

We all hope to take perfect care of our teeth. But mistakes happen. Teeth can fall out as a result of trauma, disease/decay, improper dentistry, and more.

Losing teeth doesn’t have to mean losing confidence in your smile. There are dental options out there that can assist you. One of the more common examples is dentures – removable devices that replace missing teeth.

Here in Folsom at Esthetic Reflections, where we specialize in senior care and complex dental needs, we provide comfortable and aesthetically pleasing dentures that are certain to fit your mouth comfortably.

Why Dentures?

We strongly encourage you to come in for a visit to let Dr. Chen, Dr. Skelton, and Dr. Torabian determine which solutions make the most sense for your tooth loss. You may be a candidate for a different type of procedure, such as a dental implant or overdenture.

Dentures are a type of custom-fit replacement for individuals of all ages that struggle with missing teeth. Dentures are usually made with a type of acrylic that looks like gums. It is molded to be an exact impression of your teeth and gums. Every day, you place the dentures in your mouth and adhere them to your gums using a special type of non-toxic paste.

Dentures provide many benefits for those that have struggled with tooth loss:

  • They improve the look of your smile.
  • They help you chew and talk more easily.
  • They fill out your face and prevent facial sagging.

They are considered more than a cosmetic tool, because the muscles in your face and tongue are also strengthened when using dentures, and you are able to improved your oral and physical health by making it easier to chew and swallow your food.

Types of Dentures

There are also several different types of dentures. Traditional “Conventional” dentures are fully removable, and only designed to replace the missing teeth in your mouth comfortably. Before you can be fitted for these types of dentures, your gums will have to have healed from any tooth extractions.

Immediate dentures tend to be used during that healing period. These dentures are considered a temporary tool to give you the appearance and functionality of all of your teeth, but may not be as comfortable as conventional dentures are.

Overdentures are preferred for those with severe tooth loss – all of most of your teeth. These dentures are fitted over your remaining healthy teeth (or dental implants) which makes them sturdier and more comfortable than conventional dentures and allow you to eat more foods (because conventional dentures can dislodge when you chew sticky foods). Overdentures actually have a much higher satisfaction rate than conventional dentures, but may be more expensive and are not right for all types of mouths.

Come See if Dentures Are Right for You

For those looking for quality dentures in Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Fair Oaks, Rancho Cordova, Granite Bay and other areas of Sacramento County, it is important to find a dentist that genuinely understands your mouth. Not all dental care is created equal.

At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we specialize in creating the right dentures that meet your dental needs. Dr. Chen and his team are also experts in what are known as “complex cases,” which have more advanced dental needs. If you’d like to learn more about our dentures, or any of our dental care options, schedule an appointment today.


It is Absolutely Time to Clean Your Teeth

Here at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, we know that not everyone is excited to see the dentist. We do our best to bribe you here with laughter and cookies, but we know that not everyone is excited to book their 6-month cleaning appointments to take care of your teeth.

We would like to strongly recommend though that you book your next cleaning today. That’s because the best way to avoid uncomfortable dental visits is to come for a regular cleaning.

Dental Problems Are Why People Fear the Dentist

One of the primary reasons that patients fear their dental visits is because of the pain or discomfort of a deep cleaning. But often that pain is the result of a delay in cleaning. The longer your dental issues are unresolved, the more you will have abscesses, gum infections, or difficult to clear tartar buildup – all of which make the cleaning more uncomfortable.

By attending all of your dental appointments on time, your teeth will be much easier to clean and much less likely to be infected. Your dental visit will be easier, and you will be less likely to have anxiety for your next visit.

What to Do if You Already Have Severe Dental Anxiety

If the idea of coming to the office for a cleaning already causes too much anxiety, our team is here to help. Dr. Chen can talk to you about options like sedation dentistry, which allows you to take some relaxation medications so that you feel far less stressed coming in for your cleaning.

We are also happy to have you visit the office and get used to your surroundings, and will even walk you through the procedures so that you know what we are doing and why it will help.

Request Your Appointment Today

You can book your cleaning appointment right now on this site at a time that is convenient to you, and we are always available to answer any questions you may have. Don’t wait to take care of your teeth. Book today and let us make sure your upcoming appointments are as pleasant as possible.


Best Dentist for Seniors in Folsom, Sacramento, and El Dorado Hills

Best Dentist for Seniors

Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are a great way to enjoy a lifetime of healthy teeth. But as we age, there are issues that are both in and out of our control that may lead to minor to serious dental problems. By the time we are seniors, there may be complex dental issues that require expert care.

At Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry, Folsom dentist Dr. George Chen and his team are knowledgeable and experienced in what’s known as “complex cases” – a phrase for services that require more than a simple treatment, and need a combination of both general and cosmetic dentistry to refresh the person’s teeth and smile.

Our team is happy to serve seniors looking for the best dentist in Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Orangevale, Rancho Cordova, Granite Bay, and the surrounding areas of Sacramento County. We are able to provide complex case treatments in addition to our general dentistry, and we do our best to offer a comfortable, supportive environment for experienced men and women that want to continue to take great care of their teeth.

If you are a senior looking for a treatment, feel free and request an appointment or contact us at 916-983-6051.

Why Esthetic Reflections – What Are Complex Cases?

Complex cases are dental issues that require a combination of treatments in order to retain functionality and aesthetics. They usually require several distinctive treatments that you and Dr. Chen use to address underlying pathologies. For example, if a patient suffers from an uneven bite, broken and chipped teeth, tooth decay and discoloration, we may treat the patient with:

  • Dental Fillings
  • Orthodontic Treatments (Braces)
  • Endodontic Therapy
  • Tooth Implants
  • Veneers

The result of such a treatment would address both functional and cosmetic dental issues, and allows you and Dr. Chen to restore your smile’s function and look. Dr. Chen and his team also specialize in creating a relaxing atmosphere with options available for those that have a fear of the dentist.

While we provide complex cases for men and women of all ages, Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry is a popular choice for seniors, many of whom have had a difficult time finding dentists that understand the unique needs of complex cases within their age group.

Contact Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry for Dental Treatments

Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry is also one of the few senior dental providers in Folsom that also has an endodontist and oral surgeon on staff, which means that if you enjoy our office, we will be able to provide you with nearly all of your dental care needs.

Let us be your new dentist. Give us a call today, or click on the button to schedule an appointment. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have, and you’re welcome to visit us at any time and see what our office offers.

Dry Mouth Dentist in Folsom, CA | Esthetic Reflections and Dr. George Chen

Dry Mouth Dentist in Folsom, CA

Across Folsom, Sacramento, Granite Bay, and the surrounding areas, there are men and women of all ages struggling with dry mouth. Known medically as Xerostamia, dry mouth occurs when your mouth does not make enough saliva, leading to a dry sensation.

Dry mouth causes two distinct dental issues:

  • Discomfort – Dry mouth is uncomfortable. Whether you notice it or not, you are used to your mouth feeling moistened. Dry mouth leaves an irritating dry sensation that is distracting.
  • Oral Health Problems – Dry mouth can also lead to the development of oral health issues. Saliva is critical for acid control and digestion. It has antibacterial properties. It improves the health of your gums and teeth, and it provides minerals your teeth need.

Those that suffer with dry mouth often need immediate intervention. Here in Folsom, Dr. Chen and the rest of our team provide dry mouth treatments to those that are struggling with the condition, using medically validated approaches to address your teeth. If you would like to learn more about our dry mouth dental treatments, call us today at 916-983-6051.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

There are many different issues that can lead to the development of dry mouth. One of the most common is simply the use of medications that lead to decreased salivary production. Other causes include:

  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Salivary Gland Dysfunction
  • Rare Illnesses

The exact cause may require a diagnosis. Dry mouth is seen as a common issue with seniors, but it is usually a side effect of medication, not a typical issue with aging itself. Several common medicines associated with aging lead to the development of dry mouth.

What Are The Symptoms of Dry Mouth?

The primary symptom of dry mouth is a dry feeling in your mouth and less saliva production. However, untreated dry mouth may lead to other issues that cause their own symptoms as a result of the lack of saliva, such as:

  • Infection
  • Burning Sensations
  • Sore Throat
  • Tooth Decay

Dr. Chen, or your Folsom dentist here at Esthetic Reflections, will have to examine whether or not your dry mouth has led to other oral health issues in order to make sure you receive the best possible care. Treating dry mouth may only be one step in the process, but Esthetic Reflections will do our best to make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed with your treatment.

How is Dry Mouth Treated?

There are several different ways to treat dry mouth, and Dr. Chen or Dr. Skelton will review the strategies that are available with you before beginning treatment. One of the treatments we support here is NeutraSal. NeutraSal is a simple, easy to use rinse that:

  • Adds moisture to the mouth.
  • Eliminates oral bacteria.
  • Repairs tissues.
  • Nourishes teeth.

NeutraSal is one of several treatments available, but it is one of the ones we like most here in our office, as it makes it easier to talk, chew, eat, drink, and more with greater comfort and fewer oral health risks. If possible, we’ll also have to look at the cause of your dry mouth and see if there is anything we can change.

Your Dry Mouth Dentist in Folsom at Esthetic Reflections

If you are struggling with dry mouth, let our team here at Esthetic Reflections in Dentistry help. Give us a call today at 916-983-6051 or fill out our form below to request an appointment.

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