Cleaning Specialist

Dr. Potesta-Knoll helps patients from throughout the San Francisco, CA, area take proactive steps to keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible. At her practice, routine cleaning exams remove plaque and tartar to ward off decay and gum disease while also preventing teeth from appearing yellowed and dingy.

Cleaning Q & A

What happens during a routine dental cleaning?

During your visit, you'll be asked to provide or update your medical history to look for risk factors for gum disease, including habits like smoking and chronic diseases like diabetes. Special instruments and mild abrasives will be used to remove plaque, tartar, and stains from tooth surfaces, including the spaces between teeth and at the gumline. During the cleaning, the hygienist will be looking for areas missed by your brushing and flossing routines, providing you with tips to help you improve these habits. You may also have X-rays taken, and an oral cancer exam will be performed.

How often do I need to have my teeth cleaned?

You should have your teeth cleaned every six months to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can harbor the bacteria associated with gum disease. These bacteria thrive at and below the gum line, producing toxins that cause the gums to pull away from the tooth surface and allowing bacteria to continue to move down the surface to the root pocket. Having your teeth cleaned twice a year lets us assess your teeth and gums and recommend the best treatment to prevent tooth loss.

How can I tell if I have gum disease?

In its early stages, gum disease typically causes no symptoms or very mild symptoms that can be difficult to detect on your own. As it progresses, gum disease can cause gums bleeding, swollen or tender gums, sore teeth, and even loose teeth. Without treatment, advanced gum disease can cause teeth to fall out. The best way to determine if you have gum disease in any of its stages is to have routine cleanings. We can assess your gums and teeth during your cleaning, and provide you with the most appropriate care if a gum disease is discovered.


At our San Francisco dental office, we are committed to helping our patients afford high-quality dental care. We are in network with Delta Dental Premier dental insurance and CIGNA PPO; we welcome you to contact us to learn more about dental insurance benefits. We also accept the following forms of payment:

Credit cards

CareCredit, a third-party financing company, provides no- and low-interest payment plans. For more information on our financial options, we invite you to contact our dental office today. Our friendly dental team is happy to answer your questions!

Cigna PPO
Delta Dental Premier

Words from our patients

  • "I've been a patient here for well over 20 years & I can't imagine having my dental care performed anywhere else. You could not be in better hands."

    Peter B.
  • "Outstanding service. Very professional operation & they treat patients very well. The office is beautiful and the dentists and staff are extremely competent and caring."

    Robert O.
  • "I had my teeth cleaned by Stephanie, as usual. She does an excellent job, both thorough as well as comfortable. She's a really nice person too!"

    Stephen P.
  • "As always, Dr. Potesta-Knoll's office was friendly, efficient and one of the best dentist offices in San Francisco."

    Marty C.
  • "Stephanie & Dr. Podesta were great as usual as were Erika & Ada. Always a professional & pleasant experience as going to the dentist can be."

    Norman C.
  • "Dr. Potesta, Karen, Sue, Bella, and the rest of the staff are excellent, thorough, and friendly. Great atmosphere, and they always treat me like a VIP!"

    Katherine M.
  • "Had my 3 wisdom teeth removed and let me tell you my experience was great as a first timer here. Very friendly staff with such great service with an amazing view..."

    Arvin M.
  • "Well versed in major treatments. Very good in her diagnosis and follow through. Excellent background in various dental procedures."

    Michael J.
  • "Amazing expertise and service! I needed help with a chipped tooth and felt like a new person after leaving. So happy with my experience."

    Amy L.
  • "Dr Potesta-Knoll knows what she is doing. I did not feel anything more than a pinch. Her staff is wonderful and helpful."

    Mark R.
  • Friendly reception, Thorough yet relaxing cleaning, and efficient dealing with dental issues!

    Jan V.
  • Dr. Potesta-Knoll was wonderfully responsive to my dental problem during a long holiday weekend. Outstanding service as usual!

  • She always welcomes me by name and has a friendly comment or two about life, so that the visit has a personal touch, not just professional services.

    Suzanne D.
Fiorella Potesta-Knoll, DDS, MS
2001 Union Street, Suite #680

San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-776-4040
Office Hours

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