Vision Dental Montana
A Great Dentist

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

When choosing a family dentist, Santa Monica offers many choices. We want you to feel confident in the choice to trust your family's smiles to the Vision Dental team.

Asking questions is a natural part of the process of choosing your dentist, and we are here to help in any way we can. If your question is not listed here, the fastest way to get an answer is to pick up the phone and call. One of our friendly team members will be happy to help.


Welcome to Vision Dental, located in beautiful Northern Santa Monica, California. You can find our office at 1502 Montana Avenue, Suite 205, between 15th and 16th Streets. 
You’ll see our building across from Citibank and Beauty Park Medical Spa. Our office is adjacent to Pilates Place. And we’re also right down the street from Whole Foods, a great place to stock up on healthy snacks to boost your oral health!

Our Full Address and Phone Number:

Vision Dental
1502 Montana Ave., Suite 205
Santa Monica, CA, 90403 

(310) 260-2326

Our Office Hours:  

Monday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Wednesday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

All Are Welcome at Our Santa Monica Practice

At Vision Dental, we welcome patients of all ages and provide services for individuals and families across Santa Monica, Palisades, Brentwood, and the greater Los Angeles area. 

The truth is, we welcome patients from anywhere, and we love to add new members to our Vision Dental family.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Santa Monica, make an appointment and come to check out our state-of-the-art (but cozy) dental office today! Afterward, check out the beautiful Santa Monica scenery and enjoy the views in nearby Palisades.

At Vision Dental, we look forward to exceeding your expectations!

Ceramic Veneers

Many celebrities have a secret weapon to achieve their camera-ready smiles. Their memorable smiles are the result of veneers. Although you may not be a famous celebrity, you can still achieve a smile like one.

Dental veneer Dental veneers are thin, tooth-colored shells bonded to the front surfaces of teeth. They are used to improve the appearance of teeth that are:

  • Discolored
  • Stained
  • Cracked
  • Chipped
  • Broken
  • Worn down
  • Misaligned
  • Irregularly shaped
  • Uneven
  • Gapped or spaced

Veneers may also be ideal when you're unhappy with your smile!

Veneers can be made from porcelain or composite resin material. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than composite veneers and more closely match the natural color of teeth. However, they are also more expensive and involve more tooth structure removal than composite veneers.

Composite veneers are less expensive than porcelain veneers and can usually be completed in one office visit. However, they may not resist stains as well as porcelain veneers and may need to be replaced sooner. 

Dental veneers are considered cosmetic dentistry. If properly cared for with regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental visits, they can last for many years.

Dental Veneers in Santa Monica

Want to know if you are a candidate for ceramic veneers? Getting an appointment is fast and easy at our Santa Monica office—get in touch with us today.

Dental Emergencies

You're Not Alone

You might be surprised to learn that many of our patients express concerns about dental anxiety. Sometimes, anxiety has kept them from getting the dental care they need to stay healthy. This can lead to dental emergencies and serious conditions that may require tooth loss. Not to mention, without regular care, your smile can age prematurely and become uncomfortable.woman fearful of dentist | Sedation dentistry santa monica

We want to make dentistry easy for all of our patients – especially our fearful ones. We offer sedation dentistry to ease your fears and make your appointment both comfortable and stress-free.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation in 90403

Nitrous oxide is a great option for patients who need a little assistance taking the edge off. It is a mild form of sedation that we administer through a small nose mask while you are having treatment. It enters and leaves your system quickly, so this is a great option for patients who do not want to take the rest of the day to recover or arrange a ride home.

Oral Sedation Dentistry

Anxiety can make it harder for patients to become fully numb, making dentistry a stressful experience and perpetuating the cycle of dental anxiety. Not only does oral sedation relax you, but it makes it easier for you to become fully numb. Sedation can even subdue a strong gag reflex.

Contact Our Santa Monica Clinic to Conquer Your Fear

If you have a fear of the dentist and live in the Santa Monica area, we welcome you to visit Vision Dental and discover how comfortable and stress-free dentistry can be.

Toothaches Can Be Stressful

woman holding jaw | dental emergency santa monicaA toothache or emergency can be a stressful experience that disrupts all of your normal routines, including work, school, and family vacations.

When dental pain occurs, it is a sign that something is wrong. Since toothaches rarely resolve on their own, a trip to Vision Dental may be in order. Finding a dentist with emergency time available in busy Santa Monica can be a challenge, but we are here for you when you need us most! 

We Make Time For Your Dental Emergencies in Santa Monica

Our dentists save time in their daily schedules to treat dental emergencies quickly – often on the same day. They are gentle and compassionate, focusing on solutions to restore patient health and comfort.

If you are in doubt about whether you are experiencing a dental emergency, contact our office right away. We will ask you a few questions to determine if an immediate visit is necessary.

Our Focus is Your Health and Comfort

When you arrive for your dental emergency appointment, we will focus on the immediate issue-resolving pain and protecting your tooth. In many cases, we can complete the treatment immediately. If your procedure is more complex, we may schedule a follow-up appointment to finish treatment. Either way, by the time you leave our Santa Monica dental office, you will have answers about your oral health and a path to feeling like yourself again.

General Dentistry

Yes! We welcome patients of all ages and strive to provide a comfortable and modern experience for everyone who visits our practice. We are a family dental practice that focuses on helping patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles. 

Services For All Ages:family of four | family dentistry santa monica ca

Cosmetic Dentistry

We also offer cosmetic dentistry for patients who wish to improve the appearance of their smiles. Great cosmetic dentistry is truly an art, and we offer a wide variety of services to help you achieve a smile that makes you feel great about the way you look. If your smile needs some extra help, come talk to us about:

Comprehensive Orthodontics for the Whole Family

It’s never too late for a properly aligned smile. We offer both traditional braces and Invisalign as well as early childhood orthodontics.

If you are looking for a family dental office that can take care of all of your oral health needs, the team at Vision Dental is here to help. We welcome patients from Santa Monica, West L.A., and all the communities in between.

Contact Our Santa Monica Dental Clinic

Contact us to get started. We have convenient business hours and always prioritize patient comfort. 

An Essential Part of Your Carewoman flossing teeth | dentist santa monica ca

Dental cleanings are an essential part of your preventive dental care.

Brushing, flossing, and eating a healthy diet are the best ways to protect your oral health at home. Unfortunately, even if you are diligent about home hygiene, plaque eventually will begin to build up in areas between your teeth and just below your gumline. Once the plaque in these areas hardens into tartar, you cannot remove it with a toothbrush and floss alone.

We Recommend a Plan That Works for You

We customize hygiene care in our office and will recommend a cleaning frequency for you that is designed to keep your gums and teeth healthy.

Our hygienists will expertly and gently remove tartar from these areas so that you can enjoy a fresh, smooth smile again. When tartar remains on teeth for too long, it creates a harbor for bacteria, which will irritate the gums and lead to early-stage gum disease, called gingivitis. Gum disease can progress over time, putting your teeth and your overall health at risk.

Contact Our 90403 Clinic To Schedule Your Judgement-Free Appointment

Has it been a while? We understand that many people feel bad about missing a few dental appointments. At our Santa Monica dental office, however, we never judge our patients. Instead, we will work with you to achieve and maintain a healthy smile.

Contact Vision Dental today to schedule your next dental cleaning.

Invisalign & Invisalign Teen

Invisalign® clear aligners are the premier brand of invisible braces, which are an orthodontic treatment for straightening teeth and improving smiles. This system uses accurate digital teeth scans to assess your smile and determine if you’re a good Invisalign candidate.

teen using invisalignThen, a precision dental lab creates a series of aligner trays from a proprietary polymer blend, and you wear each set for about two weeks before moving on to the next trays. The aligners are practically invisible and work without the hassle of metal brackets and wires. By the end of treatment, your smile will be transformed and aligned.

How to Choose an Invisalign Dentist in Santa Monica, CA

You should pick an orthodontist carefully if you’re considering Invisalign or Invisalign Teen for your family. A few things to look for are:

  • A Platinum Invisalign provider — This distinction is only given to the most trained and experienced dental teams.
  • The best digital scanner — We are proud to use the iTero® Element to obtain high-quality teeth impressions instantaneously.
  • Expertise with Invisalign Teen — Experience in how this variation helps adolescents stick to their treatment plan.

If you’re ready for orthodontic care without the discomfort and obtrusiveness of conventional braces, then Invisalign may be the right choice. We recommend a consultation with our Invisalign dentist without delay to learn more. Then, a new smile could be just steps away.

Invisalign in Santa Monica is a transparent aligner system like traditional braces but without brackets and guidewires. We have found that some patients prefer it for its discretion and comfort.

Invisalign is a series of steps leading you to straight teeth and an aligned smile.

Step #1: Schedule Your Invisalign Consultation

This initial visit answers all your questions, including whether Invisalign can adequately address your orthodontic needs. In most cases, it is an excellent system for crooked and misaligned teeth.

Step #2: Taking Impressions of Your Teeth

Your Santa Monica dentist takes impressions of your teeth and forwards the specifications to Invisalign for aligner fabrication. Then, when your aligners arrive at our dental office, you come in to pick them up.

Step #3: Wear Your Aligners According to the Schedule

Your dentist lets you know how often to change your aligners, usually every few weeks. Follow these instructions, and always call us if you have questions.

Step #4: Don’t Forget to Wear Your Retainer

After completing the Invisalign treatment, wear your retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their old positions.

Invisalign and Invisalign Teen in Santa Monica

If you want to learn more about Invisalign or arrange a consultation, give us a call today.

We serve all areas, including Wilshire Montana and your neighborhood.

Life with Braces

Whether you just gotten your braces, or you've had them for a while, you might be wondering how to best take care of them. While it's important to follow your orthodontist's instructions, there are some general tips that everyone should follow.

Brushing and Flossing

One of the most important things you can do to take care of your braces is to brush and floss regularly. This will help remove food particles and plaque from around your brackets and wires and help keep your teeth and gums nice and healthy. In order to maintain good oral health, please be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste recommended by our Santa Monica dental practice. Additionally, you may want to invest in orthodontic flossers and a Waterpik® that will make it easier to floss around your braces.

Eating Right

What you eat affects your braces as well as your overall health, so it's important to eat a balanced diet. Cut down on sugary snacks and drinks, as they can cause cavities, and avoid hard foods that can damage your brackets and wires.

Protecting Your Smile

Wearing a mouthguard while playing sports is a must to prevent damage to your braces and your teeth. If you need help choosing a mouthguard, we can give you a few suggestions for guards that can be worn over braces comfortably.

Visiting Our Santa Monica Office Regularly

It’s important to keep your appointments so we check the progress of your treatment and make any necessary adjustments. During your visits, be sure to ask any questions you may have about caring for your braces or anything else we can help with.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that you’re doing everything you can to take care of your braces and achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted!

Night Guards

Your dentist may recommend a custom night guard if you grind and clench your teeth or have jaw joint (TMJ) dysfunction and pain. Teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, is a habit many people have. Over time, bruxism can wear down your teeth, damage your enamel, and even hurt your TMJ.

A night guard looks like teeth whitening trays, and they’re slender and comfortable but highly durable. The trays sit over the teeth and provide a barrier, protecting your teeth from grinding or clenching.

woman holding a night guard for bruxismCommon Bruxism Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms associated with bruxism and TMJ problems are:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaws, face, neck, or shoulders 
  • Migraines or headaches 
  • Dental wear 
  • Disrupted sleep 
  • Pain or ringing in the ears 
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing or opening and closing your mouth
  • Lockjaw 
  • Popping and clicking in the jaw joints 

Bruxism and TMJ can go hand-in-hand, but your dentist can provide you with the exceptional dentistry you need to reduce symptoms and enhance comfort. 

Untreated bruxism and TMJ issues can diminish one’s quality of life because they can affect daily activities, such as eating, speaking, yawning, and sleeping. 

Do You Need a Custom Night Guard in Santa Monica?

Vision Dental Montana offers custom night guards to help with bruxism and TMJ pain. If you have a bruxism habit or TMD, please get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation with our team. 


A Proactive Approach to Your Child's Healthlittle girl running | Santa Monica CA Dentist

At Vision Dental, we like to take a proactive approach to all types of dentistry, orthodontic care included. We recommend that your child has his or her first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven years. While this may seem early, it actually affords us the opportunity to intervene while your child is still growing, which may eliminate the need for teeth extractions or other additional work to straighten teeth. Your child’s jaws, bones, and teeth are more resilient before they completely develop.

A Treatment Plan for Every Child

Not every child will need early intervention orthodontics, but if your child could benefit from space maintainers, two-phase treatment, or any other type of treatment that can assist in their oral development, we will discuss the options with you so that you can make an informed choice regarding the health of your child’s smile. We are always happy to answer questions and go over your child’s treatment so you feel confident in your decision. Our dentists are supportive and knowledgeable about orthodontics at all life stages.

Contact Our 90403 Dental Clinic

We love treating children and have dedicated a significant portion of our practice to providing the type of care that allows them to have a healthy foundation for a lifelong beautiful smile. Contact us with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Retainers Are An Essential Part of Treatmentretainer | santa monica ca orthodontic

Whether you are considering orthodontics or just completed your treatment, it is important to know that wearing a retainer is an essential part of your treatment. We will recommend retainer use based on your personal orthodontic situation and go over how to best use your retainer toward the end of your treatment. We have a choice of retainers for you to choose from and feel confident that you will find one that works for you.

Protect Your Smile

Since you made an investment in your smile, protecting it is important. Failure to wear a retainer can result in orthodontic relapse. This means that after orthodontic treatment, your teeth begin to drift back out of alignment. If they drift too far, your retainer will no longer fit.

You might be surprised to discover how quickly your teeth begin to move. Even forgetting your retainer for a day or so can negatively impact your smile. That is why it is so important that you reach out to our Santa Monica dental office if you lose or break your retainer. We can arrange a replacement so that your beautiful new smile stays that way.

Contact Our 90403 Dental Clinic

Contact Vision Dental today with all of your questions regarding orthodontics and retainer use. We are always here to help.

Board Certified Orthodontist | Nicole Cheng | Santa Monica, CANo. An orthodontist can practice if they have a license.

Currently, only about one-third of all orthodontists (including Dr. Nicole Cheng) have undergone the additional rigors necessary to achieve board certification.

Being Certified

This means that achieving board certification with the American Board of Orthodontics represents a significant achievement beyond the usual two or three years required to specialize in orthodontics.

A board-certified orthodontist has demonstrated actual patient care accomplishments, providing detailed case reports on the treatment they have proposed and provided for a wide range of orthodontic issues.

The Credentials Received

Since board-certification is a voluntary achievement, most orthodontists do not choose to pursue it. The certification process includes a thorough interview and examination by a highly respected panel in which the applicant’s orthodontic knowledge, clinical skill, and judgment are tested.

Call Our Santa Monica Dental Clinic

Do you want to learn more about the orthodontics we offer at our Santa Monica dental clinic? Please contact Vision Dental Montana for more information. We look forward to hearing from you. 


Our first goal for a child's initial visit is to do our very best to make the child feel comfortable and introduce him or her to the dental setting. Our hope is to provide a fun and positive experience for the child while at the same time ensure that the parents feel confident about their child’s dental health.Child's First Appointment in Santa Monica, CA

Starting the Conversation About Your Child's Health

A large portion of the first dental visit is spent discussing common dental topics and leaving plenty of time for questions and answers. Some common topics of discussion are:

  • How to brush a young child’s teeth
  • What types of foods/beverages are better for dental health
  • When to expect new teeth
  • How to manage teething, pacifier and thumb-sucking habits, bottle and sippy cup use
  • What to do in case of a dental emergency

A Thorough Dental Exam

The next step is often to complete a dental exam, which typically includes a gentle but thorough examination of the teeth, jaws, gums, bite, and oral structures. This is a great time to demonstrate good brushing and flossing techniques. A thorough cleaning and topical fluoride application may be completed. If the child is under age 3 or unable to sit in the dental chair alone, we may recommend completing the exam/cleaning with the parent holding the child in their lap.

From the beginning to the end of your visit, we do our best to ensure you and your child are comfortable and that all your questions or concerns are addressed.

Contact Our 90403 Dental Clinic

If it's time for your child's first appointment, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. 

Keeping a baby comfortable is a priority for every parent, and pacifier or thumb sucking can sometimes help to soothe a baby.effect of pacifier on children's teeth | santa monica, ca

When It Becomes A Concern

Most young children go through this phase, and it only becomes an area of concern if it goes on past the ages of 2 to 4 years old. Most kids will end these habits on their own by this time without any intervention.

What You Can Do If It Continues

Prolonged sucking habits can contribute to crooked teeth or bite problems. If the habit becomes an ongoing issue, a pediatric dentist can work with the parent and child to discuss ways to address this.

Contact Our Santa Monica, CA Dental Clinic

If you have more concerns about your child sucking their thumb or pacifier, we welcome you to contact our Santa Monica, CA dental clinic. We look forward to hearing from you.

My child's first dental visit | Santa Monica, CA

In most cases, we recommend that children visit our practice for their first visit before they celebrate their first visit (or within six months of their first tooth erupting. This recommendation is in line with that of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

All Ages Are Welcome at Our Santa Monica Clinic

While this may seem early, this visit actually serves an important purpose, allowing you to establish your child's new dental home and begin developing a relationship with a dental practice built on trust and comfort. 

When a child has their first wiggly tooth, it’s an exciting time both for the child and the parent!

What They Can DoLose your first tooth | Santa Monica, CA

Though kids may complain of mild discomfort associated with a loose tooth or avoid biting into hard things, there is no need to worry! You can encourage your child to gently wiggle the loose baby tooth with their clean fingers when they are at home, and eventually, the tooth should fall out on its own!

Things to Consider

Recommendations may change if a child has certain medical conditions. If a permanent tooth is coming in and the baby tooth is not showing any signs of being loose, you should let the pediatric dentist know at their regular dental visit. We see this commonly, and it is typically an early sign of dental crowding.

Call Our Santa Monica Dental Clinic

If you have more questions about your child's oral health, please contact our Santa Monica, CA dental clinic. We look forward to hearing from you at Vision Dental Montana.

Little boy smiling | Dentist santa Monica caWe recommend brushing your child’s teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once at night! At the dental visit, we can give you some tips on best ways to brush, even if the child is a bit wiggly!

Contact Our 90403 Dental Clinic

Please contact our Santa Monica dental clinic if you have more questions on your child's oral health or to schedule a pediatric appointment. We look forward to hearing from you at Vision Dental Montana.

It is very normal for children to be nervous about coming to the dentist! We understand that, and it is our priority to provide a child-friendly environment where both the child and parents feel comfortable.

Your Child's Comfort is Our PriorityTwo young girls at edge of swimming pool | Dentist Santa Monica CA

Just like adults, children like to know what is happening so there are no surprises during the visit! A common technique we utilize is “Tell-Show-Do,” where we explain what we are going to do, demonstrate it with models and fun puppets, then let the child watch in a mirror while we work on their teeth.

Things become a lot less scary when a child can understand what we are doing in their own way. That scary “sharp pokey tool” is no longer scary once it’s merely the “tooth counter.” That loud noisy suction is a lot less intimidating once it’s known as “Mr. Thirsty.” Even in the case of fixing cavities, that infamous “dental drill” becomes a lot friendlier when it’s just the “tooth tickler” that washes away the “sugar bugs.”

Forming a Positive Relationship with the Dentist

The best part of being a pediatric dentist is that we have the wonderful opportunity to create a positive first impression about dental health when a child comes in for the first time. We have the chance to show them what a fun and positive experience going to the dentist can be and get them excited about their own dental care at home!

With that said, there are times when dental treatment is necessary and a young child is unable to cooperate. There are methods to address this, which depend on the child’s age, health, and dental needs. In this case, we will work closely with the parent to develop an appropriate prevention-focused treatment plan customized to the child's individual needs. 

Contact Our 90403 Dental Clinic

If your child is ready for their dental appointment, contact our office to schedule with a pediatric dentist. 

Little boy brushing teeth | Dentist santa Monica caThere are definitely certain types of dental issues that can run in the family. For example, if a parent has a history of significant crowding, an underbite, or congenitally missing teeth, it is very possible that the child may develop similar issues. However, this is not always the case, and it will be up to the pediatric dentist to monitor your child’s dental growth and consider orthodontic intervention when indicated.

Call Our Santa Monica Dental Clinic

If you have more questions about your child's dental crowding, please contact our Santa Monica dental clinic. We look forward to hearing from you at Vision Dental Montana. 

Teething Starts YoungBaby smiling | dentist santa monica ca

The first baby tooth typically comes in around six months and the last baby tooth (not counting molars) by the time your child is 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. If you notice your child is extra fussy, drooling, or just an unhappy camper, he or she may be teething! Some youngsters aren’t bothered at all by teething, but for the ones that are, there are definitely remedies to help ease the discomfort.

Our Recommendations in Santa Monica

We generally recommend that you take a more conservative, non-medicinal approach at first. This can include providing your child with a clean, safe item to chew on such as a cold teething ring/toy or a clean cold cloth. The chill from chewing on it will help relieve the irritation. Be careful that the baby is chewing on something age-appropriate without small parts that could be choking hazards. Parents can also try gently rubbing their baby’s gums with a clean finger, but be careful of those new chompers in there!

Medicinal Options

If you would like to try a medicinal pain reliever, you can choose an over-the-counter option such as Children's Tylenol, particularly if your child is irritable or has a slight fever. There are topical gels that can be applied to the gums to soothe them, but the American Academy of Pediatrics states that these medications are usually not necessary or particularly helpful. Your child's saliva will quickly wash away the applied medication, and if too much is swallowed, it can actually be dangerous.

Check with your pediatrician for correct dosages for pain relievers or if your child has significant fever spikes and irritability.

mom helping daughter brush teeth Scientific research has shown that the use of fluoride toothpaste can significantly reduce the risk of dental cavities by strengthening tooth enamel.

Recommended Toothpaste Amount

The AAPD supports using no more than a smear of toothpaste for children under age 3 and a pea size of toothpaste for children ages 3 to 6. Parents should be careful to control the amount of toothpaste used to ensure the child does not swallow too much of it.

Our Santa Monica Clinic is Here To Help

For young children who are unable to rinse or spit, there are non-fluoride toothpaste options available. Each child has unique needs, and your pediatric dentist can make recommendations for you after a visit with your child.

Teeth Whitening

Are you living with teeth that are stained or discolored? Do you hold back your smile in photos or when you meet new people? You're not alone, and you should also know that there are excellent solutions to boost your smile and confidence.

Brightening your teeth through teeth whitening in Santa Monica is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to enhance your smile. It can take years off your appearance and add confidence to your smile!

woman getting her teeth whitened in Santa monicaTeeth Whitening in Santa Monica 

At Vision Dental Montana, we offer several options for brightening your smile, such as:

  • Professional teeth whitening - Either in-office treatment for immediate results or with take-home products you can use at your convenience
  • Internal bleaching - For teeth that have been injured or traumatized and don't respond to external whitening treatments
  • Microabrasion - Removes stained layers of tooth enamel with a mechanical hand tool rather than bleaching agents or chemicals

If you're interested in whitening and brightening your smile, our dentists can evaluate your teeth to determine the teeth bleaching procedure to help you reach your goals and stay within your budget.

Contact Vision Dental Montana Today

Contact your trusted Santa Monica dentists today at (310) 260-2326 to learn more about our teeth whitening options.

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