Frequently Asked Questions

We welcome any questions about our office or dental services.  Below we have provided answers to some frequently asked questions. If we have not answered your questions, please feel free to email us at or call us at 530-243-8806.

What is Dr. Malotky's Background? ​
Dr. Malotky grew up in Southern California and her passion for dentistry came from her Dad's career as a dentist.  Dr. Malotky graduated from St. Olaf College and attended the University of Minnesota Dental School
How many staff members in the office?
There are 9 team members in the office.
Does Dr. Malotky have a specialty?
Dr. Malotky does not have a specialty, however, she does have special training in cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry.
Why do I need my teeth cleaning and how often?
"The primary aspect of the visit is to remove tarter and calculus (hardened prolonged buildup) from around the teeth and under the gum where floss and a tooth brush do not reach. The hygienist will measure the depth of the "pocket," or space, between the tooth and gum. These measurements should be taken at least once a year. Up to three millimeters is considered healthy, as this is the barrier between the exposed part of your tooth and the inner workings of your body. Three millimeters is also the maximum depth that floss will reach. When people don't floss as often as necessary, dental cleaning visits are even more important. A visit every six months is recommended for people in good oral health who floss and take good care of their teeth and gums. For some people, more frequent visits may be necessary to maintain your oral health, as recommended by the hygienist.
Are X-Rays really necessary?
X-rays are necessary to detect decay between teeth and areas not visible to the naked eye. Since gum and bone problems happen slowly over time, they are often not felt or detected. X-rays are also necessary for detecting bone loss and infections at root surfaces. Many people are understandably concerned about excessive radiation. Our office takes digital radiographs, which use 80% less radiation than conventional techniques.
Do you accept payment plans for what is not covered by insurance?
We ask that patient's pay for their visit, or their estimated patient portion (if patient's has insurance coverage) at the time of treatment unless prior arrangements have been made.  However, we try not to have financial concerns a reason that a patients puts off needed treatment.  We do offer several financing options for those who qualify and work individually with patient's on payment plans.
What is an all-porclain veneer or crown?
Many crowns are designed with a metal lining covered with porcelain (porcelain fused to metal or PFM). They appear opaque because the metal does not let light pass through like a natural tooth does. One can often spot a "PFM" by the ugly black line at the gum. More than 40% of the population is allergic to this metal.  Which often a causes localized gingivitus. Always inquire!  Dr. Malotky only uses with all-porcelain restorations. When properly bonded, they are as strong as or stronger than PFMs.  Porcelain restorations have an appearance strikingly similar to a natural tooth.
What causes TMJ pain?
The TMJ or Temperomandibular Joint is the “hinge” that functions when the jaw opens and closes. There are many theories and practices to treating TMJ pain. People will often report neck and upper back pain, headaches, sore muscles and even migraines. Neuromuscular dentistry practices under the premise that when the teeth are shortened (either by wear, grinding, old age, clenching or even the cumulative effects of large amounts of dentistry) then the jaw over-closes causing stress and pressure in the TMJ. By restoring the correct vertical dimension to the teeth or by positioning the jaw with a carefully fitted orthotic, optimal health and function can be restored to the TMJ. Many people suffering from TMJ pain have found relief using the techniques and theories of neuromuscular dentistry.
What is Neuromuscular Dentistry?
The goal of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment with neuromuscular dentistry is to alleviate tension and pain in the joint by restoring ideal occlusion or bite. Dr. Malotky uses a computerized diagnosis called Myotronics to both relax and determine ideal occlusion. Treatment options include an orthotic that temporarily repositions the bite the same way as bite guard therapy. Orthotic therapy always precedes Full Mouth Restoration. Myotronics is a computerized process that helps determine the proper relationship between the upper and lower teeth for each individual. During this phase of treatment, the jaw muscles are relaxed by ""tensing,"" a technique often used by physical therapists to relax muscle spasms. Muscle tension is monitored on a computer via special sensors that read muscle impulses to determine when full relaxation has occurred. This two-to-three hour process helps to determine where the individual teeth should be restored so that they are comfortable. When the teeth are functioning in the correct bite position, the muscles and soft tissue around the head and neck remain relaxed.
What is an orthotic?
Patients wear an orthotic appliance made to the neuromuscular bite position. Unlike a “nightguard,” which is usually a flat device, the orthotic has a fully shaped biting surface with a clearly defined biting position. It is worn all the time because it functions to allow the muscles of the jaw to relax into the measured neuromuscular position. The orthotic is adjusted over several weeks by starting with 45 minutes of TENS therapy and then measuring changes in the bite position as the muscles continue to relax. Each visit creates a better muscular balance in the neuromuscular position. Most patients find their symptoms continue to improve as their muscular relaxation increases  
What is full mouth reconstruction?
Full Mouth Reconstruction, sometimes called neuromuscular dentistry, is the individual restructuring of each and every tooth. The goal of Full Mouth Reconstruction is to restore ideal occlusion (bite), therefore alleviating tension or pain from TMJ (temporomandibular joint or jaw joint) problems. Neuromuscular dentistry is a practice founded on the belief that a healthy smile begins with healthy function. This method of TMJ treatment determines the optimal physiological position of the jaw by measuring the relaxed position of head and neck muscles and then repositions the jaw to achieve those exact measurements.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a procedure designed to replace a missing tooth.  It is usually made of titanium and, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or a group of teeth to replace missing teeth.  They can be used to support crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures.  
Why is having straight teeth important?
A nice smile is not only beautiful but, it promotes good health. "Teeth that are straight and evenly spaced are easier to keep clean, leading to better oral health. Better oral health can reduce the incidence of heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, and other health conditions. Teeth that are properly aligned chew more efficiently, and that aids in proper digestion. Teeth that are straight and properly aligned create a more perfect bite, and that avoids excessive stress, headaches, and strain on your supporting bone and tissue. The social benefits of a straight, healthy smile are also important.  This helps to build self confidence, which helps to foster both public and personal relationships.
What is Invisalign?
Invisalign is the advanced way to straighten teeth and improve smiles. Using the latest medical imaging technologies, Invisalign manufactures precision polymer aligners that rapidly straighten teeth. Using a precise 3-dimensional analysis of your teeth and adjacent tissue, Invisalign crafts personalized aligners for our guests. Each aligner is worn for approximately two weeks, and can be removed to eat, brush, floss, and on special occasions. During wear, the teeth are gently moved to their ideal position. The length of the process depends on the specific situation and the results each person wants to achieve.
Invisalign aligners are:
  • Clear - most people won't even know you're wearing them.
  • Comfortable - Invisalign aligners are gentle to your mouth.
  • Removable - take them out to eat or brush, then put them back in again.
  • Hygienic - surfaces are easy to keep clean.
  • Affordable - in most cases, the cost is comparable to metal braces.