What To Expect / FAQ

What should I expect to experience during my first appointment?

Welcome! Our team wants to make sure your first experience is as smooth as possible here at Bernal Heights Smiles. If you do not have any recent full-mouth X-rays from a previous dental office, then X-rays will be taken to provide an accurate and current picture of your teeth and jaw. Our advanced digital X-ray machines give off much lower radiation than traditional film X-rays. A Panoramic X-ray is taken, which provides much more information to the doctor and reduces the number of x-rays we have to take (great for those with a gag-reflex!). A comprehensive exam will then be provided by the doctor followed by a cleaning if appropriate. Most new patient appointments take one visit. However, if you have a complex treatment plan then sometimes it may take two visits in order to provide adequate time for your questions or concerns. We want to provide the best possible care for you and your family.

What should I bring to my first appointment?

  • Completed new patient forms
  • If available, your dental insurance card
  • If available, prior recent full mouth X-rays from your previous dentist 
  • Medication list if you take any medications
  • Please come 10-15 minutes early to resolve any concerns/issues with our front desk team prior to your scheduled appointment time

I am a new patient and I only want a teeth cleaning. What is the cost?

We look forward to meeting you! A teeth cleaning (or dental prophylaxis) is a specific dental treatment. Each person's mouth and body is different. It is inappropriate to provide any treatment without a proper diagnosis. In order to provide appropriate treatment for you, especially as a new patient, a thorough exam with appropriate X-rays are needed to properly assess the condition of your mouth. It is the standard of care. Right after your first exam, you may have your teeth cleaned during your first appointment. 

Do you offer emergency dental services?

Yes, we provide emergency dental care to existing and new patients. Please give us a call at 415-641-8900 immediately and we will do our best to relieve your dental pain or address any pressing concerns. If you have a life-threatening condition, please call 911 or seek a hospital emergency room.

I am extremely fearful of dental offices. How do you deal with fearful patients?

We understand that a visit to the dentist can be intimidating and scary! Our compassionate dentist, Dr. Julian Alivia, and each team member always place patient comfort as our number one priority! Modern dental techniques, along with the skills of our team, aim to make your experience comfortable. You, as the patient, are always in control. We have various entertainment and music options so you can sit back and relax during your treatment. 

Do you take my insurance?

Bernal Heights Smiles accepts several insurance plans. Do keep in mind that most dental insurance plans differ vastly than medical plans. They are often very limited in coverage. We will do our best to maximize your current dental insurance benefits while providing high-quality, comprehensive dental care. Please give us a call at 415-641-8900 to inquire about your specific plan. 

I do not have dental insurance. Can I still become a patient?

Of course! As mentioned above, dental insurance only acts as a supplemental payment option and often is limited in coverage and scope. We understand that extensive dental care can be costly. Therefore, we have partnered with several companies to provide manageable monthly payment options so that you can receive the dental care you deserve. Your mouth is an extension of your body in which we use to eat, drink, talk, etc. Dental care is an investment in yourself to maintain and enhance the quality of your life!