Prosthodontists and What They Do

Dental assistant smiling at cameraProsthodontists are often the chief architects of dental makeovers. Their training includes four years of dental school as usual, plus three graduate years during which they study extensively in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Prosthodontics is one of nine dental specialties spelled out by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Practices of our prosthodontist in LA include:

• Crowning or “capping” teeth that have structural insufficiency

• Placing veneers to camouflage chips, stains, or other surface flaws in teeth

• Dental implants, bonding, and placement of full and partial dentures

• Advanced maxillofacial prosthetics, like oral cancer reconstruction

An important role for the prosthodontist is supervisory. Patients requesting full mouth reconstructions often need the input and expertise of several practitioners across a range of dentistry. It’s the prosthodontist who reviews proposals, makes referrals, and organizes care management.

If you entertain the idea of the dental mastermind, you could do worse than choose a prosthodontist. The expanse of their training, plus their certification by the American Board of Prosthodontists, make them imminently more qualified than a general dentist who just took a weekend course. Prosthodontists are also the preferred dentist of third parties, who may be overseeing the dental care of an older parent or of a child with special needs.

Contact our expert in periodontics in LA today.

Underlying Causes of Bruxism

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Bruxism is the habitual clenching and/or grinding of the teeth. It most often occurs at night during sleep, when the jaw muscles are not being actively controlled by the brain. Our dentist in Agoura Hills is the person to go to if you notice you are suffering from this issue.

No expert in bruxism is quite sure why this problem develops in patients. However, we do know that it can occur due to high levels of stress, anxiety, and/or depression. It has also been associated with poor posture, bad sleeping habits, acid reflux, and misaligned teeth. Bruxism tends to have many of the same underlying issues as TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder.

Bruxism should be treated as soon as possible, as it can lead to serious dental issues. The pressure and friction caused by clenching and grinding the teeth together can quickly lead to enamel wear, chips and cracks, and damaged restorations. You should be able to identify this issue through the pain and discomfort it causes in the teeth and jaw. Some patients even wake up and find they are clenching their teeth.

Our dentist will likely prescribe a night guard to keep the teeth from meeting and becoming damaged.

How Can Veneers be Custom Designed?

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Dental veneers are a great way to create a smile you love. They are placed over the teeth in order to mask cosmetic flaws, such as chips, stains, and crooked teeth. At a consultation appointment, you can work with our veneer dentist in Los Angeles to design the look of each individual tooth.

When you come to visit our dentist, you can bring some pictures of example smiles that you want yours to look like. We will also have some example models that you can put on front of your mouth to see potential results. This is the time to express any specific desires you may want. Is there a tooth you would like to be a bit longer? An area you would like to be more even? Let us know so we can create your veneers according to your preferences.

We will even be able to create an image of your potential future smile, so you can see exactly what it would look like. These possibilities mean that you know exactly what you will be getting, and so there will be no surprises.

If you are interested in getting dental veneers to perfect your smile, schedule an appointment with us today.

Traditional Braces Alternatives

dental bracesIn the not-so-distant past, the only orthodontic option for all patients was braces. Still used today, traditional braces are comprised of metal brackets and wires. This appliance is known for being very noticeable and bulky. Fortunately, there are several different options now for patients who are looking for a more discreet and comfortable experience. One of these options is ceramic braces.

Ceramic braces work exactly like traditional ones. The brackets are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth, and the wires are threaded through them. These wires are tightened periodically throughout the treatment in order to apply pressure and pull the teeth into healthier positions. Our Rocklin orthodontics team can provide brackets made of ceramic, which are much less noticeable than metal ones.

Some patients might be candidates for self-ligating braces. These utilize wires that are integrated into the brackets, as opposed to using bands to hold them in place. The brackets can therefore be much smaller and less bulky. The combination of self-ligation and ceramics provides patients with a much more comfortable and simple experience.

Most patients are candidates for ceramic braces. Schedule a consultation appointment and ask our orthodontist about this option today.

When is a Dental Extraction Necessary?

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Once a dreaded necessity—so common and inconvenient we still use the phrase “like pulling teeth” to describe an annoying or difficult task—tooth extractions have been minimized by education and technology. They’re still used, but no longer as a one-size-fits-all solution to any kind of tooth pain or infection.

Often a dental extraction is preemptive. Some patients have genetically narrow arches, meaning not all their teeth will fit properly. If the patient can’t use arch expansion tools, some teeth have to go.

Other times extraction is necessary when a tooth breaks off below the gum line. If you suffered an injury, microscopic fractures may have occurred below the gum line, making the tooth impossible to repair. This may also result from rampant infection, especially one that doesn’t respond to antibiotics.

Our expert in dental extractions in Los Angeles extracts a lot of wisdom teeth, sometimes preemptively. These late molars can have trouble erupting into the mouth, or can cause crowding or impacting. Considered non-essential teeth, these are routinely taken out to avoid any trouble.

Most extractions are simple, and are done with traditional tools like elevators and forceps. If a tooth is compromised or structurally damaged, it may require surgical removal.

Contact our Los Angeles dentists for more about extractions.

Candidates for Full Mouth Reconstruction

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If your teeth are too badly damaged to function properly, you might need a full mouth reconstruction. During a full mouth reconstruction, our Santa Clara dentist will evaluate your teeth, gums, jaw, and other oral structures to determine the best way to restore full function and health to your smile. We then create a personalized treatment plan just for you.

You might be a candidate for a full mouth reconstruction if you have more than one of the following issues:

  • Lost one or more teeth
  • Gum disease, including gingivitis or periodontitis
  • Suffer from tooth decay or cavities
  • Misaligned teeth or a maloccluded bite
  • Have jaw problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Have suffered dental trauma

Once your candidacy has been determined, our dentist will begin implementing your treatment plan. A variety of treatments and procedures may be included in your treatment plan, including orthodontic treatment, tooth-colored fillings, porcelain crowns, dental implants, bridges, and dental veneers.

How long it takes to get your new smile can depend on several factors, including the type and number of procedures that you need. Call our full mouth reconstruction dentist in Santa Clara to find out more and to get started on your journey to a healthy new smile.

Why Dental Exams are Important

Group of friendsYour dental exam may seem skippable simply because it doesn’t happen very often. By this reasoning, if seeing the dentist were essential, more than one or two per year would be required. But this regularity is just right for keeping up with your dental status, and not making your appointment could be a setback.

Your dentist establishes a baseline of care at the start of your treatment, one that extends throughout your time as a patient. To maintain this baseline, the doctor needs you to stay relatively on course—by brushing and flossing, and watching your diet. The exam performs an important function simply by confirming the status quo.

The dentist wants to be aware of any changes in lifestyle—like quitting smoking, for example, or going vegan. A lot of your exam will happen in conversation.

Of course, our San Fernando Valley dentist also performs a full head and neck exam, in addition to looking at your mouth. Checking your head and neck can alert the doctor of any irregularity, like a cyst or swollen lymph node.

The oral exam itself is not just a cavity check—the doctor is always on the lookout for signs of oral cancer or other pathology.

Call today to schedule your next dental exam in San Fernando Valley.