Dr. Chan

How long have you been in practice?

Dr. Chan has been practicing dentistry in Gaithersburg, Kentlands and Montgomery Village since 1984. Dr. Chan emphasizes preventive dentistry, to enable you to maintain the best dental health. He also offers a comprehensive selection of other dental services, should you require them.

What makes Gaithersburg Dental Care stand out?

We know that going to the dentist isn’t on most people’s “favorite-things-to-do” list, so we go out of our way to ensure that your time here is as enjoyable and pleasant as possible.  We treat you as an individual, with your own preferences and needs that are unique to you.

If you are looking for a new dental home because you find yourself dreading visits to your current dentist, contact us now to schedule your next appointment. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited a dentist, understand that we are a judgment-free practice–you will be welcomed. For high-quality dental care that caters you, give us a call or schedule your appointment online!

Results

Do you have before and after photos of your patients that I can see?
We have a variety of before and after photos covering many procedures that you may view online in our Smile Gallery.

First Appointment

Can I make payments for my treatment?

We never want financial concerns to dictate your decisions on needed dental treatments, but we also understand that your budget might be tight.

Our Smile Club is designed to reduce the financial strain of dental health for patients who don’t have dental insurance.  For a yearly fee, Smile Club members receive two dental cleanings and exams, one set of seven bitewing x-rays and two fluoride treatments each year.  In addition, a 12% discount is offered to Smile Club members for all dental treatments.

One way to keep even complicated dental procedures within your budget is through CareCredit. You can apply for CareCredit online.  CareCredit offers plans that are low- and no-interest for patients who qualify. Payments can fit almost any budget.

Putting off treatment can lead to more problems and more expensive procedures later on.  Our treatment coordinator can help you fit dental costs into your budget. Call Gaithersburg Dental Care today to learn more.

Do you have appointments outside business hours?
When it comes to appointment availability, we’re proud that we offer a 7:00 a.m. opening time on most days, so that if necessary, you can get your dental appointment out of the way at the start of your day.  You can schedule your own appointment right here, on our Web site.
How safe are dental x-rays?
There is little risk in dental X-rays.  Digital X-rays use less radiation than traditional film, and we use lead aprons to ensure your safety.  Digital x-rays also save time, because as soon as the x-ray is taken the image appears on a computer monitor, so that both you and Dr. Chan can see and understand the diagnosis.
What happens at my first visit?

We begin with a complete assessment of your current oral health.  We perform an oral cancer screening; we look at muscles and joints that open and close the mouth. We will look at your teeth, and your gums and bone that hold the teeth (the periodontium).  We’ll take photos and x-rays when necessary.  We then use all this information to determine the type of treatment that is right for you.

Will I get a cleaning at the first appointment?

Yes, typically your first visit will include a complete cleaning and oral examination.  However, if you are seeking dental treatment because of pain or discomfort, then we will schedule a follow-up visit for your cleaning.

Preventive

Electric or manual toothbrush?

After testing numerous brushes, we have concluded that an electric toothbrush is the best. There are numerous models on the market that work well. If you have a question about a specific brand, please ask us.

How can I care for my teeth between visits to the dentist?

You can care for your teeth by brushing them twice daily for two minutes each time and by flossing between your teeth once a day. Cutting back on sugary foods and drinks as well as quitting or avoiding tobacco use and cutting alcohol down intake can also aid in keeping your teeth and gums healthy between check-ups.

How often should I get my teeth cleaned?

The frequency of cleaning depends on the health of your periodontium, or gum tissue.  Every individual’s mouth and oral health is different. A patient with no periodontal issues should have two cleanings and two exams each year to maintain optimum oral health. Patients with periodontal issues should have four cleanings each year with examinations to monitor bone and gum levels.

How often should I replace my toothbrush?

Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 or 4 months, or sooner if the bristles begin to wear down or fray to avoid ineffective brushing and damage to the gums.

I brush my teeth regularly. Do I need to floss as well?

Flossing reduces plaque buildup between teeth that a toothbrush often cannot reach. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that covers the teeth. These bacteria thrive on food particles that get stuck between your teeth and are hard to reach with a toothbrush. Using an interdental cleaner such as floss can help remove those hard to reach areas. For optimal cleaning, you should floss at least once a day.

Is it really possible to keep my teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime?

The answer is definitely, yes! With routine preventive dental care in combination with excellent oral hygiene, your teeth can be with you for life. Be sure you to visit Dr. Chan as necessary and that you care for your teeth and gums as recommended.

My teeth feel fine. Do I still need to see a dentist? How often?
It’s important for you to visit a dentist at least twice a year, even if you don’t notice any problems. Many oral health risks begin without any outward or noticeable signs or symptoms and can only be detected by a dentist, who is trained to detect signs of problems in the oral cavity that you might not notice.
What kind of toothpaste is best?
The most important part of brushing your teeth is the technique used. Toothpaste is important for what it supplies: fluoride and tartar control. Be careful of the whitening brands because some are abrasive and they can remove enamel from teeth.

Pediatric

At what age should my child first visit the dentist?

At Gaithersburg Dental Care, we recommend that you bring your children to the dentist when they start teething, which is usually about one year old. These early visits are primarily to get your child comfortable at the dentist so they do not feel anxious during subsequent visits.

Dr. Chan will conduct a brief examination of your child’s mouth and go over their oral development in that first visit. He will also talk to you about proper home care and answer any questions you might have.

It’s important to start seeing children at a young age to begin getting them acclimated to the sights and sounds of the dentist’s office. We want to establish a positive relationship between the dentist and your children so they continue to take good care of their oral health for a lifetime.

When your child is a bit older and has more teeth, we might recommend fluoride treatments or dental sealants, both of which can offer protection against tooth decay. As they being to participate in sports, we’ll also talk about mouth guard options.

Do you see children?

Absolutely!  Dr. Chan has a talent for helping even the youngest patients feel right at home here at Gaithersburg Dental Care.  Our comprehensive menu of services has several options that are ideal for supporting growing smiles, including fluoride treatments, dental sealants, tooth-colored fillings, and more.

Anxiety

I’m afraid of the dentist. Can you help?
You’re not alone – it’s estimated that up to 20% of Americans actively avoid the dentist’s office because of negative emotions. That’s why our entire team at Gaithersburg Dental Care works so hard to create a pleasant environment where genuine relaxation is the norm. Additionally, we offer anti-anxiety techniques from nitrous oxide to medication that you take before your treatment to help you relax. Simply put, we are capable of providing whatever you need to receive important care safely and comfortably.

Whitening

How can I make my discolored teeth whiter?

Tooth whitening, the process for lightening discolored teeth, can be accomplished by Dr. Chan in the office or you can use a supervised, at-home system. Teeth can be whitened to the desired shade over several office visits.

Is teeth whitening safe?
Yes. The active ingredient in the GLO Whitening System is carbamide peroxide gel solution, which has been safely used by the dental community to whiten teeth for many years. Brite Smile does not change the underlying structure of the teeth, nor does it damage fillings or tooth enamel.

Cosmetic

Can I afford cosmetic dentistry?
The added expense of cosmetic dentistry could prevent you from making an investment in the health of your teeth or improving your smile.   But cost doesn’t have to be a prohibitive factor. We can work with you to create a plan that addresses your immediate, short-term and longer-term goals and also fits your budget.
Can you help me improve the way my smile looks?

Yes. Dr. Chan has years of cosmetic dentistry expertise and always enjoys helping patients create smile makeover plans that match their unique goals for appearance and self-confidence. Porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, aesthetic gum recontouring, and other options are available!  See our page on cosmetic dentistry.

How do you get rid of spaces between teeth?

Porcelain veneers or bonding are most commonly used.  Crowns may be used for more severe cases.

How long do veneers and crowns last?

Crowns and veneers can last a long time when done well.  Most of Dr. Chan’s have a lifespan of over 20 years when properly maintained. He even has patients whose crowns and bridges have lasted over 30 years.

There’s a big gap between my two front teeth. Can that be changed?
Yes!  Bonded veneers can close gaps and help create the smile you desire. Bonded resins generally require just one office visit, while porcelain veneering takes two. Bonded veneers, along with good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle, are effective ways to enhance a smile. Dr. Chan can explain the various techniques and help determine which is best suited to your specific needs.
What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is the art and science of designing wonderful smiles. It involves all aspects of general dentistry with a special emphasis on enhancing the esthetics of your smile with the artistry of the dentist and specialized dental materials and techniques.

What is dental bonding?
Dental bonding uses tooth-colored material to correct minor or even major irregularities such as chips, gaps, exposed root surfaces or broken or decayed teeth. It quickly improves the appearance of your teeth and offers long-lasting results. The material fuses to the tooth and can be custom colored and shaped to exactly match your own natural teeth.

Implants

Are dental implants expensive?

Investing in a dental implant may seem like a slightly larger expense in the beginning, but given their long lifespan, dental implants wind up being a very smart investment.

How long will dental implants last?
Dental implants last longer than any other type of dental treatment. In most cases, implants will last for the rest of your life.
What’s the best way to replace missing teeth?
While every patient’s needs are different, for missing teeth Dr. Chan is likely to recommend dental implants, which are the premier tooth replacement solution today.  Implants are superior because they actually rebuild every part of your natural tooth, including the sturdy root within the jawbone.  This comprehensive approach preserves oral health, encourages unparalleled longevity, and creates a finished “tooth” that’s virtually seamless in look and feel from what was originally present.
Will I need to go to another office to have my dental implants placed?

Not at all!  Dr. Chan has been placing dental implants and restoring them for the past 13 years.  You can regain a mouthful of strong, attractive teeth in one convenient location.

Invisalign

Am I a candidate for Invisalign braces?

Adults make excellent candidates for clear braces like Invisalign orthodontics.  The comfortable Invisalign aligners are easy to care for, making it easy for mature to follow their treatment recommendations. Interestingly enough, many adults who have gone through previous orthodontic treatment are the most eager to have Invisalign.

Are there restrictions on what I can eat while in Invisalign treatment?
No.  Unlike traditional wires and brackets, you can eat whatever you desire while in treatment because you remove your aligners to eat and drink.
Can I chew gum while wearing aligners?

No, gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.

Do doctors need special training in order to use Invisalign?

While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, specific training is needed. All doctors interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training before cases will be accepted from their office. How does Invisalign effectively move teeth?

How often must I see the dentist during Invisalign treatment?

Usually about once every 4-6 weeks. This is the only way the doctor can be sure that the treatment is progressing as planned.

Is Invisalign treatment painful?

Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that Invisalign® is working—sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.

What are Invisalign aligners made of?

Invisalign aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.

What are the primary benefits of Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are clear, so you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.

Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you can eat and drink what you want during treatment. You can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene.

Invisalign is comfortable. There are no metal brackets or wires as with braces to cause mouth irritation, and no metal or wires means you spend less time in the doctor’s chair getting adjustments.
Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you start—so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.

What do Invisalign aligners look like?

Aligners are clear and look similar to tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as “contact lenses for teeth.”

What happens after Invisalign treatment to prevent my teeth from moving again?

This depends on the outcome of the treatment. Some patients might need a positioner or conventional retainer. Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to an Invisalign aligner.   Discuss these possibilities with Dr. Chan; every patient is different, and outcomes vary.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made, clear “aligners” are produced. Each “aligner” moves teeth incrementally and is worn for one to two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.

Emergency

What should I do if a tooth is knocked out?

Call Gaithersburg Dental Care immediately. Place your knocked out tooth in a cup of milk or water, but do not attempt to clean it off. Bring it with you to our office as quickly as possible.