Category Archives: General Care

Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment From Your General Dentist

Santa Cruz General Dentist

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Gingivitis, also called gum disease, is suffered by millions of people all over the United States. This early form of gum disease can be relatively mild – but it represents harmful bacteria beginning to colonize the gums through hard, sticky deposits of plaque on the teeth.

People can go months or even years with this stealthy disease without even noticing it. The longer there are undisturbed pockets of plaque on the teeth, the more likely it is bacteria will successfully attack and begin to colonize the soft tissue that holds the teeth in place.

The signs include:

  • Mild redness in the gums – sometimes noticeable only on one “set” of gums;
  • Occasional bleeding of the gums, typically at the same time you brush or floss your teeth.

How does gingivitis creep up on people?

Simply, it can be hard to tell if symptoms are directly related to gum disease. Bleeding of the gums can be caused accidentally by brushing too hard with a rough, older toothbrush even if your gums are healthy. The same can be true of mild, temporary gum irritation.

If you notice these symptoms for more than a day or two, it’s time to see a dentist!

Over time, gingivitis develops into periodontal disease – the form of the disease a general dentist usually means when talking about “gum disease.” During the advanced stage, the gums are eroded by the infection. If it goes untreated, it can permanently destroy bone. This leads to the loss of many teeth, and could result in a life-threatening systemic infection.

Your General Dentist Advises You on Gum Disease Prevention

Although many people do have gingivitis, it’s possible to halt the progress of the disease and even stop it for good through regular dental care. Some steps you should take to protect your gums include:

Brush Regularly

You should brush your teeth each morning, at night, and within about 30 minutes of every meal. Brushing disrupts the formation of biofilm, which ultimately hardens into plaque. Without plaque, gingivitis cannot spread and damage gums.

Floss as Much as You Can

Flossing is tough for many people. However, even doing it once in a while is better than not at all. If you’re not flossing yet, start by doing it once a week. Using a hand-held “floss wand” or a water flosser can make the process faster, easier, and more effective.

Massage the Gums

Your gums provide a constant supply of blood to your teeth. Even if you don’t have time to sit down and brush, spending two minutes gently massaging the gums with a soft, manual brush can help keep gums strong and resistant to infection.

Maintain the Mouth’s pH Balance

Your mouth naturally fights off infection through its production of saliva. If you suffer from dry mouth, be sure to see a general dentist as soon as you can to get to the root of the problem. Sugar-free gum can help promote saliva production.

For help from a trusted general dentist, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Celebrate National Smile Month With Your Santa Cruz Dentist

national smile month Santa Cruz

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There’s a new reason to see your Santa Cruz dentist: National Smile Month!

National Smile Month runs from May 15th to June 15th every year. You might wonder, “Why would a month-long event start in the middle?” Well, it’s just that much easier to remember!

The whole idea of National Smile Month burst onto the international stage back in 1977. It started as a fun and exciting way for dentists in the United Kingdom to connect with their patients – especially those they didn’t get to see very often.

This year, National Smile Month celebrates its 40th anniversary. It has not only made the jump from the UK all the way to the United States, but is sponsored by Oral-B and a number of other top brands in the dental health field. Even your Santa Cruz dentist gets in on the act!

What Should You Do to Celebrate National Smile Month?

National Smile Month has had a number of great public events all through its lifetime, including a huge bash at the London Transport Museum. If you don’t have plans to visit London any time soon, however, you can still get in on the action with your Santa Cruz dentist.

Set a Dental Appointment

Many people avoid going to the dentist for one reason or another. The honest truth is, though, that it won’t be as bad as you think. Dental technology is now so advanced that even serious problems can usually be resolved without losing a single tooth. The introduction of lasers means that some procedures you might think of as uncomfortable are quicker and easier than ever.

Try a Dental Challenge

Millions of people around the United States forget to floss on a regular basis. Even if you only floss once a week, it can still make a huge difference in the health of your gums and teeth. Other things you could try are using anti-bacterial mouthwash, chewing sugarless gum (which helps with saliva production and mouth pH) or remembering to brush one extra time per day.

Share a Smiley

In 2012, National Smile Month introduced its mascot: Smiley. The Smiley is a fantastic way to share the uplifting message of National Smile Month with your friends and family on social media. No matter whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn, you can join in and remind others that maintaining good dental health is an easy, powerful way to care for themselves.

Landmark Dental Group is Here to Share a Smile in Santa Cruz

Landmark Dental Group is the Santa Cruz dentist that wants to help people get the brilliant smile they’ve always wanted. We’re an insurance-friendly office who works with you to make sure you can get the care you need. One of the best things you can do for yourself this National Smile Month is find a Santa Cruz dentist you can trust – one that truly puts you at ease.

This month or anytime, Landmark Dental Group is waiting to help. Contact us today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Geriatric Dentists Help Improve Quality Of Life

Santa Cruz geriatric dentist

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Geriatric dentists agree: As people age, they are more likely to experience tooth problems.

Why? The soft tissue of the gums recedes over time, so it is even more important to take care of dental health. With the right practices and help from your local geriatric dentists, however, you can prevent tooth loss at all stages of life.

Geriatric Dentistry Helps Solve Common Tooth Care Problems

Elderly people can face all the same tooth care issues others do: Things like sensitivity to hot and cold, risk of decay or cavities, and more. However, there are also some things they should be especially alert about to increase quality of life.

Elders and Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may seem like an inconvenience, but it actually has a significant effect on dental health. Saliva is necessary to maintain the mouth’s pH balance – which, in turn, helps prevent bacteria from colonizing teeth and stops acidic food from damaging enamel.

Sometimes, the issue can be resolved with medication. For most sufferers, however, special treatment may not be necessary. Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva production. Chewing between meals can curb dry mouth and might protect against the accumulation of plaque.

Elders and Decay Between Teeth

With age, it may become more difficult to practice some dental hygiene tasks. Particularly, many older people report problems flossing between teeth. While there is no replacement for flossing, there is one thing that can complement it: Anti-bacterial mouthwash.

Like sugarless gum, mouthwash is a useful tool that can be easily overlooked. Since it can penetrate between teeth, it helps maintain dental health when one cannot floss often. A water-based flosser or interdental pick should still be used to clean debris from teeth.

Elders and Gingivitis

Millions of people suffer from gingivitis, the early form of gum disease. In many cases, the signs of this problem are so subtle, it might go unnoticed until you visit your dentist. However, it can lead to severe infection and tooth loss.

In recent years, geriatric dentists and other experts have concluded that promoting blood circulation in the gums is one of the most important things brushing does. To get these benefits, you don’t even need to use toothpaste, which many elders find irritating.

Gently massaging the gums with a wet toothbrush twice a day may be effective in helping prevent gingivitis, but you should still use toothpaste as frequently as you feel comfortable with.

Landmark Dental Group Provides Geriatric Dentists You Can Trust

At any age, seeing a dentist is essential to maintaining the health of your teeth. Everyone should plan to see a dentist at least once every year. If you’ve suffered chronic dental issues or worry they might develop, visit a dentist at least twice a year.

Landmark Dental Group is happy to help Santa Cruz patients of all ages with their dental health. We offer a comfortable, professional environment where you can get your questions answered and address to your dental needs under one roof.

To learn more, contact us.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

When You Have A Tooth Sensitivity Don’t Delay In Calling A General Dentist

Tooth Sensitivity Santa Cruz

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Ouch! When you find yourself suffering from tooth sensitivity, even your favorite meal can turn into a chore. There are many reasons why tooth sensitivity can take place, but all of them point to one thing: The need to see a general dentist as soon as you can to evaluate the problem.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

From the outside, it might seem like teeth are nothing but hard minerals – almost like rocks. But, in fact, they are living things just like all the other major systems in your body. Your teeth are nourished by the blood flow supplied by your gums and are each served by their own nerve.

With all that in mind, it’s not surprising that they can experience sensitivity.

About 40 million Americans experience some tooth sensitivity on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it can mean there’s an underlying problem with your teeth or their nerves that needs to be treated!

Some of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity include:

Worn-Out Tooth Enamel

If your toothbrush is too hard, you could actually contribute to tooth sensitivity when you brush. It’s important to replace your toothbrush at least every six months to ensure the bristles remain their softest. You should also avoid brushing too vigorously.

Tooth Erosion Due to Acid

Some acidic foods and drinks are so powerful, they can temporarily soften tooth enamel. In fact, you should avoid brushing your teeth for 15-30 minutes after eating to prevent this from causing damage. Sugar-free gum can also help restore the mouth’s pH balance.

Tooth Decay and Bad Fillings

Of course, tooth decay can lead to sensitivity. However, that’s really only half the story. Many people who have fillings might believe they’re safe from decay – but, as fillings age, they start to break down. If you have old-fashioned amalgam fillings, they may need to be replaced.

Gum Recession

Everybody experiences some recession of gum tissue with age. This gradual process is the origin of the saying “long in the tooth.” If gum recession is accelerated by decay or other issues, gums might retreat far enough that sensitivity to cold and heat will result.


Some people experience tooth sensitivity because they grind their teeth at night. This condition, called bruxism, can cause microscopic damage to teeth. People often don’t know they are doing it until a sleeping partner lets them know.

How Does a General Dentist Treat Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth sensitivity can usually be treated by addressing the underlying problem. This usually means cleaning the teeth, treating any active decay, and replacing damaged fillings. If the discomfort is caused by bruxism, a special dental appliance can often curb symptoms.

A good general dentist will always strive to save a tooth, even if it is damaged. In extreme cases, root canal therapy can be performed to eliminate the tooth nerve. This prevents the tooth from detecting hot and cold sensations, while still leaving it structurally sound.

For help from a general dentist you can trust, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Is It Time For A Cleaning And Check Up With Your Dentist In Santa Cruz?

Checkup Local Dentist

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You already know that you should brush your teeth every day and floss as often as you can. But, even if you do everything right, you should still visit a dentist Santa Cruz trusts – at least once every year. If you can’t remember the last time you got a professional teeth cleaning, it’s probably time!

How Often Do You Need to Get Your Teeth Cleaned Professionally?

With all the hectic things that happen in life, it’s easy to forget about your dental appointment – or put it off until later. Still, you shouldn’t delay too long: Dental problems can develop between cleanings that you might not be able to spot yourself.

The average adult should plan for a cleaning at least once a year. It’s often a good idea to get two cleanings each year, though. And some people should consider visiting the dentist even more frequently under special circumstances. Additionally, some people may benefit from scaling and root planing, also known as “deep cleaning,” if it has been many years since their last cleaning and there is significant buildup on teeth.

Pencil in an appointment with your dentist if any of these apply to you:

You Have a Known Dental Health Complaint

If you’ve recently had severe tooth decay, gum disease, or another dental problem, you should schedule regular follow-ups with your dentist until the problem has completely disappeared. That may mean quarterly cleanings for a year to make sure everything is as it should be.

Your Child is Getting His or Her Permanent Teeth

Young children who are in the process of getting their permanent teeth should see the dentist more regularly, too – especially if they’ve experienced decay in their “baby teeth.” It’s important to monitor the development of permanent teeth closely to ensure they erupt on time.

If teeth are late to grow in or become crooked or crowded, the best way to reduce complications is to get treatment as soon as possible. That usually means visiting the dentist every few months as more teeth emerge. A cleaning can be performed once they’ve all arrived.

You Are an Elder Concerned About Your Teeth

Getting a regular dental cleaning can help you protect your teeth well into the golden years. While it is not uncommon for people to lose a tooth with age and normal wear and tear, this can often be prevented.

People over the age of 50 should be especially careful about seeing the dentist whenever they experience a tooth complaint. Soreness or bleeding in the gums, or sensitivity in any of the teeth, can mean that you need a new filling or tooth extraction.

In many cases, a cleaning is performed before any of these procedures to reduce complications.

Landmark Dental Group: The Dentists Santa Cruz Patients Can Rely On

Maintaining your dental health requires a daily commitment. It can be hard work, but you don’t have to do it alone! If you want professional service from the dentist Santa Cruz patients turn to, visit Landmark Dental Group. We’re always glad to help you.

To find out more or to schedule your dental cleaning, contact us soon.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Your Local Santa Cruz Dentist Offers Tooth Colored Fillings

tooth colored fillings

Photo Credit: Jasmin Merdan

Thinking about visiting a Santa Cruz dentist? Even if you’re very careful about the health of your teeth, you might find that you need a filling or two. Cavities can develop slowly over the course of months or even years – every now and then, they might go unnoticed between dental checkups.

Getting a filling is fast and easy, but what about their appearance?

It wasn’t that long ago when getting a filling meant eventual discoloration that would stand out against the regular color of the tooth. Today’s most sought-after fillings blend into the surface of your teeth – that’s why they’re called tooth-colored fillings!

What’s the Big Difference Between Old-Fashioned Fillings and Tooth-Colored Ones?

When you go to the dentist, you want your teeth to look and feel their best.

A big part of that is getting cavities filled so they won’t get worse in the future. Many of today’s adults probably got at least one amalgam filling as a child. These fillings are made of several different metals, including silver and tin, which can turn dark when exposed to oxygen.

By contrast, the tooth-colored fillings at your Santa Cruz dentist won’t change shades in the future – at least, not any more than your teeth do!

A special resin that mimics the properties of tooth enamel is used to create these long-lasting fillings. Not only can they effectively match the color of a tooth being worked on, but they also age in a way that allows them to blend in with tooth enamel over time.

No matter how long you have them, they don’t get more obvious with age.

Tooth-Colored Fillings are Convenient and Easy to Care For

Tooth-colored fillings have a number of other great advantages, too:

  • They can be used in the front or back of the mouth since they’re highly resistant to wear;
  • They can be bonded to the tooth with very little removal of healthy tooth enamel;
  • They adhere well to both enamel and dentin, making chipping and other damage unlikely.

While tooth-colored resin fillings are growing popular, Landmark Dental Group also offers a variety of other fillings, like gold and porcelain. These filling materials may be helpful in situations where there has already been significant loss of enamel due to decay or trauma.

Using the right fillings, even seriously damaged teeth can often be preserved.

If there’s major structural damage to the tooth, another type of restoration might be needed. Landmark Dental Group offers inlay, onlay, crowns, and much more. No matter the situation, we can meet your needs. Our team will review your options with you so you can make an informed decision.

At Landmark Dental Group, your trusted Santa Cruz dentist, you can get your tooth-colored fillings in a single, quick visit. To find out more or set an appointment, just contact us today. We look forward to helping you get the beautiful smile you want.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Family Dental Practice Explains Why It’s Important To Floss

Flossing Santa Cruz

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Next to brushing, flossing is the most important thing you can do to protect your teeth. While brushing works to remove biofilm from the teeth – keeping it from hardening into dental plaque – flossing protects the spaces between your teeth. They’re just as important!

As a family dental practice, the team at Landmark Dental Group hears a lot of questions about flossing. It’s easy to get confused about flossing, because there’s a lot of incorrect information out there. Not to worry … let’s get the facts about flossing!

When It Comes to Great Dental Health, Flossing is Worth the Effort

Ideally, you should floss at least once a day – in the evening, after dinner. Of course, many people floss only occasionally. Researchers estimate that about 27% of adults lie about flossing. Of course, the number may be even higher. Up to 33% of Americans never floss at all.

So, what’s the big deal about flossing? It’s more important than you might think!

Flossing protects you from invading bacteria that feed on food particles between teeth. Just like the front and top surfaces of teeth, these hidden surfaces can be subject to decay or cavities. If you don’t floss, bacteria can fester in hard-to-reach areas for days or even weeks at a time.

Flossing has a number of other important benefits:

  • It helps safeguard against inflammation that can damage gums and cause them to recede;
  • It works to promote better blood flow in the gums, which promotes overall dental health;
  • It keeps you more engaged in dental health, so you’ll remember to brush more frequently.

Want to Enjoy the Benefits of Flossing? Try Making it Easier

At our family dental practice, we’ve heard everything you can imagine about why flossing can be difficult, annoying, or boring. Guess what? We understand completely! Flossing can sometimes be inconvenient, and might even cause little aggravations like temporary bleeding of the gums.

Still, flossing even two or three times a week is better than skipping it!

To make flossing into a habit you can stick with, consider these methods:

  • Try dental picks to dislodge larger food particles from between teeth before brushing;
  • Use floss attached to a convenient handle to more easily access difficult-to-reach areas;
  • Try using a water flosser, which uses a gentle jet of water to clean between the teeth;
  • Commit to one minute of uninterrupted flossing each time you finish brushing teeth.

Your Family Dental Practice Can Advise You on Flossing

If you feel uncomfortable with flossing, you’re not alone. Still, the best way to protect your mouth now and in the future is to find the approach to flossing that works for you. At Landmark Dental Group, we can help you reduce discomfort and achieve great results with flossing.

At Landmark Dental Group of Santa Cruz, we work with patients of all ages and needs as a true family dental practice. Don’t wait: Contact us today for more information or to set your appointment. We look forward to seeing you!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Ask Your General Dentist For Help With Dry Mouth


dry mouth

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To protect your dental health, it’s essential to have a general dentist you trust. A general dentist isn’t just for cavities and cleanings – you can get help with all sorts of problems. One of the most common concerns we hear about at Landmark Dental Group is a simple, but important one: dry mouth.

Stop Dry Mouth and Protect Your Teeth

Dry mouth might seem like just an inconvenience at fist, but you shouldn’t ignore it. In fact, saliva is a very important part of your overall dental health. Between brushing, saliva inhibits the bacteria that tries to colonize your teeth, eventually forming cavities.

When dry mouth strikes, it means your teeth are much more vulnerable to decay.

Saliva is also essential for maintaining balanced pH in your mouth. For most people, saliva is strongly basic – it neutralizes acid from foods like citrus fruit. This is important, since acid that coats the teeth weakens surface enamel and can cause lasting damage.

What Are The Causes of Dry Mouth?

Many things contribute to dry mouth, but the condition is caused by one main problem: Dysfunction of the saliva glands inside the mouth. There are several different issues that can cause noticeable problems with salivation, including:

  • Nervousness or stress
  • Certain medical conditions and medications
  • Smoking
  • Chemotherapy

A persistent dry, burning sensation in the mouth or back of the throat is often the first sign of dry mouth. Left untreated, it significantly increases the likelihood of getting painful sores in the mouth. Split skin in the corners of the mouth and cracked lips are also common.

As people age, they are more likely to develop dry mouth even if they are otherwise healthy. For this reason, it’s crucial to visit your dentist if you notice your mouth has been consistently dry for a week or more.

Treatment is Essential for Dry Mouth Sufferers

When dry mouth is left untreated, it can cause severe dental problems. Through the help of a general dentist, however, many patients have an opportunity to reverse the condition. Specialized oral rinses and some other medications may help.

Much of the time, dry mouth can be eliminated with the right approach. The first step is to set up an appointment with your dentist! At Landmark Dental Group, we’ve helped people from all over the Santa Cruz area overcome dry mouth.

For expert help in a caring, comfortable environment, contact us today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Get Your Kids’ Teeth Started Off on a Healthy Track in 2017

Photo Credit:  Kalinovskiy | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Kalinovskiy | Adobe Stock

The beginning of the new year is a perfect time to start making changes for the better. If you have children, one great way to start the new year is by helping your kids learn the importance of good dental care. Check out these four things you can do to help your kids.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

As a parent, it’s important for you to take initiative for your child’s teeth by ensuring they visit the dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. It’s recommended that your child sees the dentist by the time their first tooth erupts or by the first year. Even if your child doesn’t have any pain or problems, early and routine visits to the dentist can help your family dentist spot any potential future problems. They may even be able to stop them from happening. Help your child understand the importance of going to the dentist by setting a good example and making an appointment for yourself, as well.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home

Going to the dentist for regular cleanings is important, but they are not as important as daily, at-home hygiene. Ensure your children are brushing and flossing on a regular basis. If they are still young, you should be brushing their teeth for them, and once they start brushing on their own, continue to monitor them until you are positive they can brush correctly. Again, start by setting a good example. Brush and floss your own teeth on a regular basis. You can even make it a family event by brushing and flossing with your kids, so they see you do it and know it’s an important necessity.

Reduce Sugar Intake

It’s common to become addicted to sugary foods and drinks, especially soda. If you enjoy partaking in these types of treats, pay attention to your children because they may develop this same habit. It’s not fair to tell your child that they can’t eat sugar while you continue eating it. They do what you do, not what you say, and they’ll still learn the bad habit. Instead, work together as a family to reduce sugar intake. Healthy tips would be to cut out soda and cut back on the sweets. This will set a good example for your child that will stick into adulthood. It’s much harder to break a habit before it starts or just begins, than waiting until your child is an adult and used to these bad habits.

Consider Dental Sealants

Even if your child keeps their teeth clean and avoids lots of sugar, tooth decay can still happen. The back teeth are particularly a problem because they have narrow groves where plaque can hide. It may be difficult for the toothbrush to completely clean this area, leading to decay. Dental sealants are a temporary way to protect your teeth. Like sunscreen blocks dangerous UV rays from hitting your skin, dental sealants work as a barrier to protect your child’s teeth from sugar, plaque and bacteria.

It’s so important to help your child learn good dental habits now. If you fail to do so, you are putting them at a disadvantage. When they enter adulthood, they’ll have a harder time breaking these bad habits and may have to spend a lot of money having major work done to correct their teeth. Start now to give your child the best chance they have, and remember that it’s up to you to set a good example. For more information on how you can get your kid’s teeth started right, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Reputable General Dentists in Santa Cruz

Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Andrey Popov | Adobe Stock

4 Tips for Picking a Reputable General Dentist in Santa Cruz

Finding a good dentist can be hard. Instead of just picking one out of a hat, it’s a good idea to do some research. When looking for reputable general dentists in Santa Cruz, make sure you follow these four simple steps.

1. Choose an Office With a Caring Staff

Another important sign that you’ve found a great dentist is that the staff is caring. A caring staff will make you and your entire family feel more comfortable about going to the dentist, which is incredibly important since so many people have stress about dentist visits. A good way to see if a staff is caring is to watch how they treat other patients. Another good sign is that the office and waiting room is clean and welcoming. If it’s not, it may be a sign the staff doesn’t care enough to make you feel welcome. For example, at Landmark Dental Group, the waiting room is clean and relaxing so that you can feel calm before your appointment.

2. Ensure They Have the Skills Required

It’s important to make sure that the dentist has the skills necessary to perform the specialized services. If a dentist offers root canal therapy but has no special training in this process, they may do it wrong. At Landmark Dental Group, the doctors only provide services for which they are trained. They offer dental implants, and you know you can trust these implants because Dr. Weston, DDS has taken advanced training in implant dentistry. Similarly, Dr. Tran, DDS has taken courses in root canal therapy, so you can trust these services.

3. Find Someone Who Sees Patients of All Ages

If you have a family, it’s important to find a general dentist who sees patients at any age. Whether you have a one-year-old with their first tooth, or an elderly parent who is suffering from dry mouth and root carries, a family dentist can treat everyone. These dentists encourage parents to bring their kids in as soon as possible to begin down the road to good oral health. An added benefit of having a dentist who’ll treat your entire family is grouped appointments. When everyone has a different dentist, it’s difficult to get all the appointments on the same day — let alone around the same time. However, if your dentist treats your whole family, you can clump your appointments to save time.

4. Pick Someone With Diversity

General dentist don’t just clean your teeth. A reputable general dentist has a wide selection of services to meet just about every need. Of course, they’ll be able to provide important preventative care and minor restoration. However, great dentists go above and beyond to offer their patients more complex procedures, such as root canal therapy, so you don’t have to go to a specialist you don’t know, and who may be much more expensive. Last, choose a dentist who offers cosmetic services too, so they can beautify your smile if need be.

There are many general dentists in the Santa Cruz area. Be sure to shop around to ensure that you find one that is reputable and offers everything you need. For more information about general dentists and what they can do for you, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz