2655 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 • (707) 542-1026

Dental Services

Your smile reflects your personality. You express this when you talk, when you laugh. When you protect your teeth from childhood into old age, you protect this gift.
Dr. Phillips and his team are dedicated to preserving - and improving - your smile.
We will work with you to provide complete dental care, and show you how to maintain your smile at home with the right dental products for you and your family.
Regular dental checkups are an important part of maintaining your oral health. During your regular checkup, your hygienist will:
  • Take digital x-rays of teeth, gums and oral structures
  • Monitor changes in gums and teeth
  • Provide a thorough teeth cleaning, rinse, and polish
  • Educate on correct brushing and flossing techniques to prevent gum disease
Because we are devoted to providing you with the safest and most convenient treatment options available, we utilize advanced digital X-ray technology in our office. Digital X-rays provide several advanced imaging options designed to save time, provide clearer dental photos, and expose patients to less radiation than with traditional X-ray technology.
Visiting the dentist every six months gives you the chance to receive answers for any questions you may have about your oral health. Checkups are also a great way for you to find out about new treatments that may benefit your smile.
Dr. Phillips and his team have the professional experience to provide the best preventive and treatment advice for both children's and adult's dental health. You and your family are welcome at Phillips Family Dental Care.

Getting your teeth cleaned every six months and examined once yearly by Dr. Phillips is the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums. This can also prevent serious complications such as gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and oral cancer. If you have periodontal disease, you will need to get a cleaning more frequently -- every three or four months. Those treatments are called periodontal maintenance rather than a 'cleaning.' Our dental hygienists are experts in providing thorough cleanings to remove plaque from your teeth so they look great.
When problems are detected, we can recommend treatment and schedule an appointment to take care of the problem promptly. Dr. Phillips and his team have extensive experience with all forms of general dentistry, including fillings, root canals, crowns, veneers, bonding, bridges and implants.

Toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain fluoride help keep your teeth healthy and strong between dentist visits. Fluoride is effective in preventing both tooth decay and plaque buildup on the tooth's surface.
You can take another step to protect adult and children's teeth with professional fluoride treatments. Fluoride used in our dental office is a much stronger concentration than in toothpaste or mouthwash. When applied to coat the teeth, fluoride is even more effective in preventing plaque buildup -- preventing decay and gum disease.
If you are concerned about your children's teeth, talk to Dr. Phillips about fluoride treatments. He can help you decide if your children require this step, or if fluoride dental products are sufficient in protecting their teeth.

Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. If you have questions about sealants, talk to Dr. Phillips. He believes that preventive resin treatments can give teeth the extra protection against decay and helps prevent cavities.
Dr. Phillips explains that dental sealant is a plastic resin that bonds and hardens in the deep grooves on your tooth's surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are typically applied to children's teeth as a preventive measure after the permanent teeth have erupted to prevent tooth decay. However, adults can also receive sealants on healthy teeth. It is more common to seal "permanent" teeth rather than "baby" teeth, but every patient has unique needs, and Dr. Phillips will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis.

Gum disease occurs when hardened plaque, or tartar, builds up around teeth, causing the gums to detach from the teeth. This allows more bacteria and plaque to accumulate. In its early stage, gum disease is called gingivitis.
Advanced gum disease is called periodontal disease, a serious concern that Dr. Phillips will discuss with patients, as it requires special care.
To prevent gum disease, the key is regular professional cleanings with our skilled and gentle hygienists.Good personal oral hygiene home care habits are also necessary to prevent gum disease. This means brushing twice daily and flossing once daily. In addition, rinsing with mouthwash daily can be helpful.
Gum disease must be taken seriously because the inflammation caused by the bacteria leads to the destruction of the surrounding bone and ligaments, and eventual tooth loss. Also, the bacteria from gum disease can travel through the bloodstream, and has been linked with heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath that won't go away
  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
Gum disease can quickly become very serious, so Dr. Phillips and his team are dedicated to monitoring it closely to keep the problem under control. With cleanings every six months (or more), plus good oral hygiene at home, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.
If you do need advanced gum disease treatments, our team is experienced in providing the highest quality treatments, called Scaling and Root Planing and Periodontal Maintenance. Please take time to read the information on those pages to learn more about advanced gum disease treatment.

When gum disease is advanced, Dr. Phillips will advise patients that they have periodontal disease, which is a chronic disease similar to heart disease and diabetes. At this point, advanced non-surgical treatments are necessary.
Scaling and Root Planing is recommended when a normal cleaning procedure isn't sufficient to remove deposits on teeth. During this procedure, the hygienist removes the source of the infection and bacterial toxins from the tooth and surrounding tissues.
Using special instruments, they carefully and meticulously remove the plaque and hard deposits above and below the gumline and along the root surfaces. If there are just a few pockets of infection, they may treat just those teeth. However, if the infection is more widespread, they may treat one or two sections of your mouth during several appointments.
Periodontal Maintenance is necessary for every patient with periodontal disease. Therefore, every patient who has had a Scaling and Root Planing procedure must also undergo Periodontal Maintenance. This is necessary because without proper continuous therapy, the periodontal disease will return and your oral health will deteriorate -- leading to tooth loss.
Research shows that bacteria causing periodontal disease repopulate a recently scaled pocket within six to 12 weeks after the scaling procedure.
The periodontal maintenance procedure is designed to monitor jaw bone and the healing of periodontal pockets, and to remove any destructive bacteria to prevent the return of periodontal disease.
Periodontal Maintenance is scheduled every three to four months, and has a three-point approach:
  • Removal of bacterial plaque and hard deposits from above and below the gumline
  • Site-specific scaling and root planing where indicated
  • Polishing the teeth
Important Note: Research shows that patients with this disease who do not receive the three-month professional periodontal maintenance lose two to three times more teeth and require Scale and Planing treatment twice as often. Effective daily homecare is also essential to help reduce the bacterial level in the mouth.
Dr. Phillips and his team advise these steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and to prevent need for more expensive treatments to restore lost teeth. If budget is an issue, talk to them about your concerns. It's important that you get the dental treatment you need.

Traditional dental fillings were made using gold, porcelain, and composite. The strength and durability of these traditional dental materials continue to make them useful as they can withstand the forces of chewing.
Dr. Phillips typically uses newer dental fillings including ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important, as well as on the back teeth depending on the location and extent of the tooth decay.
Before your treatment begins, Dr. Phillips will discuss with you all of your options, and help you choose the best filling for your particular case.
You may choose to have a filling placed immediately in a single visit. Or, if your need is more complex, you may need two or three visits -- as occurs with inlays, onlays, veneers, crowns, and bridges fabricated with gold, base metal alloys, ceramics, or composites.
Dr. Phillips will discuss the options with you, and explain the process involved. In every case, he will take great care to ensure that the filling meets your desires and leaves you smiling.

A crown is often called a "cap" for your tooth, and it serves to protect and strengthen the tooth. Crowns are most often necessary for teeth that are broken, worn, or are partially damaged by tooth decay. Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when the tooth strength is insufficient to hold a filling.
Dr. Phillips explains that crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
In most cases, we use an outside laboratory to create crowns.. Our crowns use high-grade ceramic material instead of metal, which works much better with the natural tissue found in your mouth.
When Dr. Phillips discusses your need for a crown, he will help you determine which type of crown will benefit you most and give you his best advice.

Let us help you get the smile of your dreams! With today's advanced techniques and resources, Dr. Phillips offers an extensive array of cosmetic dental treatments, like:
Teeth Whitening With Opalescence: Brighten your teeth several shades as professional teeth whitening is much more effective than over-the-counter toothpastes and strips.
Veneers: Easily correct your teeth's imperfections to enjoy a more confident, beautiful smile with ultra-thin porcelain veneers.
Bonding: Repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth with less expensive material that matches your natural teeth, giving you a beautiful smile that boosts your confidence.
Crowns: Protects and strengthens a tooth that has been broken, worn, or partially damaged by tooth decay.
Bridges: Replace missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth are missing.

What is cosmetic dentistry and how is it different from general dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry combines both art and science to give you a healthy, aestheticly flawless smile. While general dentistry is aimed at maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry provides comprehensive treatment options that improve and preserve the way your smile looks and feels
Why should I see a cosmetic dentist?
A cosmetic dentist is trained to safely and effectively provide a variety of treatments that are designed to enhance your smile. If you have teeth with flaws like chips or cracks, a cosmetic dentist can help you achieve the beautiful smile you've always wanted. Veneers and bonding are two procedures that improve the look of flawed teeth, and a quick way to create a beautiful smile.
How long will each cosmetic treatment take?
Just as every smile we treat is unique, so are the treatments we provide. While cosmetic treatment times may vary, some treatments are completed within one office visit.
Will my insurance cover cosmetic dental care?
Insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses will vary for cosmetic treatments. We will work with you to provide several different treatment options, as well as coordinate with your dental plan, if coverage is available. You will know all of your treatment costs up-front so that you can choose the best payment plan for your needs and your budget.

Drinking coffee, tea, soda, and red wine, and certain medications will affect the whiteness of your smile. Tooth whitening is an affordable and effective way to combat common causes of tooth discoloration while boosting your self-confidence and improving your appearance.
We make custom trays and then use Opalescence's at home tooth whitening products. Prescription-strength Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems are stronger and more effective than over-the-counter teeth whitening products, proven to be safe, and are only available through your dentist.
The best way to begin any teeth whitening regimen is to schedule an appointment and talk to Dr. Phillips about the professional at-home whitening system we advise our patients to use.

You no longer need to hide your smile because of gaps, chips, stains, or misshapen teeth. With veneers, you can easily correct your teeth's imperfections to help you have a more confident, beautiful smile.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain) designed to cover the front side of your teeth. When placed, you'll be pleased to see that veneers look like your natural teeth. Beautiful!
Dr. Phillips can advise you whether veneers or another cosmetic procedure is best for your situation. He takes great care to provide the best professional advice.

A process called 'bonding' allows a dentist to repair flawed teeth -- slightly chipped, discolored, misshapen, or crooked teeth. A resin material is applied to your tooth to improve its appearance. The material 'bonds' with your tooth, and because it is tooth-colored, it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Bonding is less expensive than veneers and typically can be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell Dr. Phillips. In most cases, the bonding can be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
If you want to change the appearance of a tooth or teeth, talk with Dr. Phillips about your options. He will guide you to the solution that is best for your situation and your pocketbook.

A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress on your bite.
A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been, explains Dr. Phillips. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
The success of any bridge depends on its foundation -- the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it's very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.
If you have missing teeth, talk to Dr. Phillips about your options. A bridge might be the right solution to keep you smiling.

Since children should receive proper dental care beginning when their teeth start to erupt (age six to 12 months of age), Dr. Phillips advises that they should see a pedodontist during this time. This is a dentist that specializes in children's dentistry. You can then move the child to our practice at age seven.
We believe this first visit (all visits!) should be as enjoyable as possible. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel.
Also, we require at least one adult be a patient in the practice, building trust with Dr. Phillips before bringing in the child. This sets the child up for success. This has been our 'best practice' since our founder, Dr. Lloyd Phillips, was principal dentist.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!
Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
As your child's adult teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes their teeth after feeding or eating.
We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.
Preventing Tooth Decay with Regular Checkups Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason - many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. If new adult teeth have very deep grooves on the chewing surface, Dr. Phillips will recommend a preventive resin restoration to prevent decay in the hard-to-reach areas.
When Is Thumb-sucking A Problem?
Along with favorite blankets, teddy bears, and nap time, thumb-sucking can be one of the most comforting aspects of childhood. According to one report, between 75% and 95% of infants suck their thumbs, so chances are there's a thumb-sucker (or a former thumb-sucker) in your family.
According to the American Dental Association, most children stop thumb-sucking on their own between the ages of two and four. They simply grow out of a habit that is no longer useful to them.
However, some children continue sucking beyond the preschool years. If your child is still sucking when his permanent teeth start to erupt, it may be time to take action to break the habit. Aggressive thumb-sucking can damage a child's permanent teeth and shape of face, and may require orthodontic treatment in the future..
If you suspect your child's thumb-sucking may be affecting his oral health, please give us a call or bring him in for a visit. We can help you assess the situation.

Learn the best way to care for children's teeth with Dr. Phillips' advice.
What happens during my child's first visit to the dentist?
We recommend your child's first visit be with a pedodontist which is a dentist that specializes in children's dentistry. The visit is usually short and simple. In most cases, the focus is on getting to know your child and giving you some basic information about dental care. This first visit should be in the first year of age, but can wait until a little later - age two or three. You don't want to risk any dental or developmental problems going unnoticed!
At age seven, you can transfer your child to our practice. Dr. Phillips will check your child's teeth for placement and health, and look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw. He will answer your questions about how to care for your child's teeth as they develop. If necessary, the hygienist may do a bit of a cleaning or polishing.
How can I prepare my child for his first dental appointment?
The best preparation for your child's first visit is maintaining a positive attitude. Children pick up on adults' apprehensions and if you make negative comments about trips to the dentist, you can be sure that your child will fear an unpleasant experience and act accordingly.
Show your child the pictures of the dentist's office and staff on the website. Let your child know that it's important to keep his teeth and gums healthy, and that the doctor will help him do that.
Remember that Dr. Phillips is experienced in handling fears and anxiety, and the staff excels at putting children at ease during treatment.
How often should my child visit the dentist?
We generally recommend scheduling checkups every six months. Depending on the circumstances of your child's oral health, we may recommend more frequent visits.
What causes cavities?
Certain types of bacteria live in our mouths. When these bacteria come into contact with sugary foods left behind on our teeth after eating, acids are produced. These acids attack the enamel on the exterior of the teeth, eventually eating through the enamel and creating holes in the teeth, which we call cavities.
How can I help my child avoid cavities?
You should brush your child's teeth for him until he is ready to take on that responsibility himself, which usually happens by age six or seven.
Be sure that your child brushes his teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily is also important, as flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can't.
Check with Dr. Phillips about a fluoride supplement which helps tooth enamel be harder and more resistant to decay. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, limit snacking, and maintain a healthy diet. Finally, make regular appointments so that we can check the health of your child's teeth and provide professional cleanings.
What should I do if my child sucks his thumb?
The large majority of children suck their thumbs or fingers as infants, and most grow out of it by the age of four, without causing any permanent damage to their teeth. If you child continues sucking after permanent teeth erupt, or sucks aggressively, let us know and we can check to see if any problems may arise from the habit. Talk to Dr. Phillips about this to get the best information on breaking the habit.
When should my child have dental X-rays taken?
Permanent teeth start coming in around age six, and X-rays help us make sure your child's teeth and jaw are healthy and properly aligned. If your child is at a high risk of dental problems, we may suggest having X-rays taken at an earlier age.

“I always get good care in this clinic and the staff treats me like family. I've been a patient here for 20 years. Thank you to the staff and especially to Dr. Phillips!”

— Dinah Brink October 8th, 2018