Patient Profiles

Gayle Rebish

Gayle Rebish is a patient at UCSF Dental Center’s Adult General Dentistry Faculty Clinic.

When I first met Dr. Brear, she took me under her wing, because I had chronic dry mouth. Up to that point — I was 52 years old — I had relatively good oral health, but I had started to get more cavities.

After doing a test for the percentage of bacteria in my mouth, Dr. Brear identified me as high risk and I took the necessary steps to maintain my dental health. She put a fluoride varnish on my teeth. I use the 5,000 parts per million fluoride toothpaste, medications and XyliMELTS that alleviate dry mouth and the chlorhexidine oral rinse for one week every month.

Using the toothpaste is no effort at all. Instead of going to the grocery store, I just order it and have it delivered by mail. The rinse, for me, if it helps prevent cavities, it’s worth it and I think it definitely has helped me.

I'm also more aware that not having enough saliva helps promote tooth decay and I've become much more educated about proper dental care. I was lucky enough to meet someone like Dr. Brear who sat down with me and explained the whole situation and what I needed to do to minimize my risk. It absolutely makes me a more loyal patient.

Jackie Thresh

Jackie Thresh is a patient of Dr. Anthony Fernandez, DDS, in Santa Rosa, Calif.

I'm a Brit, and had British dentistry until my 40s. My dental care was very basic, very traditional, amalgam fillings only and no preventive dentistry at all — no cleaning, no polishing. Then my husband and I moved to Holland and it still was not preventive, just a little more attention to cosmetics. Through all of those years, I always had a checkup that required treatment; virtually every tooth I have is filled.

Ultimately, we came to California and started with one dentist who retired after a few years — and I was recommended to Dr. Fernandez. With him I had my first dental cleaning, and he also did a lot of work to deal with my dental discomfort and sensitivity. He stabilized the situation and then, about 2010, he put me on CAMBRA: a [chlorhexidine] rinse system, an intense fluoride toothpaste and a bicarbonate alkaline rinse for my dry mouth, which I use in in place of water.

Although at first this routine was a little unfamiliar, my concern about keeping my teeth persuaded me to spend the time, which soon became part of my daily dental care. I was rewarded by Dr. Fernandez’s encouragement and a completely clear examination. Now I am in my late 60s and do not need fillings. This has been so for more than two years.

Now the routine is less intense. I’ve tapered off from daily to twice and now once a week. I'm so grateful that Dr. Fernandez put me on CAMBRA. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results and though it can be a challenge, I would do it again.