Dr. Ken Schweifler is a general dentist in Los Altos, CA. He has over 15 years of experience helping patients enjoy optimal oral health. Our family dentist office is your local resource for the long-term maintenance or repair of your natural smile. Dr. Schweifler offers personalized dental care with a holistic approach focusing on healthy teeth, gums, and overall physical health.
Routine dental care is the foundation of lifelong dental health and supports maintaining your physical health. A healthy and stable smile is important in disease prevention and can decrease your risk of cardiovascular and systemic diseases. Visit us twice yearly for dental exams, teeth cleanings, and screenings for oral health concerns such as tooth decay and gum disease. We believe in minimally invasive dental work and a patient-centered approach.
Dr. Schweifler uses a comprehensive diagnostic approach to your dental care using the Dawson Academy principles of complete dentistry. A more thorough evaluation considers the condition of your teeth and gums, the function of your jaw joints, and the fit of your bite. These latter aspects of your smile can play a key role in long-term dental health and the comfort of your bite.
Dental Fitness Program
When Dr. Schweifler asks his patients what they want for their dental future, their responses tend to center on the same goals. They want NO DENTISTRY. Patients want to prevent dental problems, avoid tooth loss, avoid pain, and preserve what they have. They want to avoid the unnecessary expenditure of time and money on dentistry and avail that time and energy for other life pursuits.
We believe that helping patients achieve this “NO DENTISTRY” goal requires a complete exam and a dental health master plan. Patients tend to make reactive, short-term decisions inconsistent with their long-term desires without a plan.
Holistic Dental Care: Health is a function of participation
Most dental disease (gum disease, tooth decay) is caused by bacterial plaque and our immune reactions to that plaque. The dental hygiene experience in a typical dental process. It emphasizes teeth “cleaning,” spending all or most of a visit removing the bacterial plaque from a patient’s teeth. Very little or no time is spent on preventive education and coaching about effective home care techniques. A patient can better control their own oral condition daily with this knowledge.
The problem with this model is that bacterial plaque can return within 24 hours once removed, especially if a patient’s oral home care practices are inadequate. So, the rationale for two covered “cleanings” per year from the typical insurance company isn’t centered on achieving health and preventing future disease.
It’s an arbitrary frequency that’s purely a business decision. In essence, it’s NOT designed to give patients what they want- NO DENTISTRY. In Dr. Schweifler’s experience, many patients with only two yearly hygiene appointments are far from healthy and unaware of it.
Our dental philosophy coincides strongly with the old English proverb: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” The focus of our hygiene program is to help you achieve your desired dental future that’s free of disease. This occurs through raising your awareness of your own condition. We give you more effective strategies to control plaque and coach you to a higher level of oral health.
The Dental Fitness Program is a computerized tool that will do just that. Much like a tangible cholesterol score, we can score three specific markers in the gum tissue:
Patients who can control plaque and inflammation at 90% or greater on their own have far less disease and far less dental intervention over the course of their lives. From visit to visit, our hygienists can coach you to help raise these scores as you become healthier from your own improved self-management. This program works ideally for those patients who want to be active participants and want to take their healthcare into their own hands.
Early Detection and Prevention
Our smiles are always growing and changing. Visiting the dentist regularly is the best way to avoid further oral healthcare problems. Many teens need orthodontic intervention, and seniors have many specific dental care problems. It’s our goal to clock these ahead of time and work on conservative treatment and prevention options. This follows our philosophy of “NO DENTISTRY.” Conservative treatments are less invasive and less expensive. They help you avoid more intensive treatment options in the future.
When doing a dental exam, we’re looking for early warning signs of conditions you may overlook. The early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and gum disease are mild and painless. It may not come off as a warning sign if you don’t know what you should be looking for. We’re trained to know these early signs, which we look for during a thorough oral exam.
General Dentistry FAQs
General dentistry is the foundation of your oral health. Learn more by reading the answers to these commonly asked questions.
Is a manual or electric toothbrush better?
Both types are effective as long as you’re using them properly. However, there are facets of people that may benefit more from an electric toothbrush. Patients with movement disorders or other health conditions may have trouble working the toothbrush in the most effective way to thoroughly clean all areas.
Why do I need regular dental appointments?
Regular dental appointments allow us to practice preventative dentistry instead of reactive dentistry. Many dental conditions have early warning signs that aren’t painful. It can be easy to miss them on your own. Dental visits allow us to ensure your teeth are healthy and take care of problems early.
Why do I need to floss?
Brushing your teeth removes debris and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth, but they can’t reach all parts of the mouth. Plaque and food remnants can get caught in the small spaces between your teeth. This is where dental floss comes in. It cleans those little nooks and crannies that your toothbrush can’t reach.
Do I need dental x-rays?
While x-rays aren’t the most fun portion of your dental visit, they’re important. Physical examinations can diagnose various problems, but even experts can’t see certain conditions. X-rays can see in between the teeth and into the jawbone and other areas that are impossible to see with the naked eye.
How do I get rid of bad breath?
The main cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Odor-causing bacteria build up in the mouth, giving your breath that unpleasant smell. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and be sure you’re brushing your tongue properly as well. Frequently drinking water helps as well. If you’re doing all of these things and still having problems, it may be a further issue for our office or your doctor to investigate.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth?
At minimum, you need to brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily. We recommend you brush and floss after every meal if possible. There’s no such thing as too much brushing and flossing. The more you ensure your mouth is rid of food particles, the lower your chance of conditions like tooth decay and gum disease.
General Dental Treatments
Dr. Ken Schweifler offers the following general dental services at his Los Altos dental office:
To learn more about these dental services and to discuss your personal goals, please schedule a visit with Dr. Schweifler. We welcome new patients and can help you to achieve your goals. Contact our office at (650) 489-4620 or request an appointment online.