How is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?

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Our patients here at our dental office are often concerned about Periodontal disease also called gum disease. They are curious about prevention and how we diagnose it in our practice. Because it is usually painless, it is easy to develop gum disease and not know you have the disorder. This is especially true for patients who have gone for long periods of time with no dental care.

Our dentist finds most cases of periodontitis during routine dental exams. The earliest symptoms are easy for our periodontist in San Francisco to spot.
These signs include:
• RED AND SWOLLEN GUMS- These are one of the earliest signs of a problem with your gums. The gums react this way because they are fighting off the attacking infection.

• LOOSE TEETH- Unless you still have baby teeth, loose teeth are always a sign of a problem. Your tooth should stay anchored in place and never move. Even if your teeth that wiggle just a few millimeters, it could indicate gum disease.

• BLEEDING GUMS- Healthy gums do not bleed when gently brushed or flossed. The bleeding could mean you are overly aggressive when caring for your teeth, but it is quite likely that it is a signal of a periodontal problem.

If our dentist suspects gum disease, he will examine your teeth with a dental probe. The probe is a small and thin dental tool that measures, in millimeters, the size of gaps between your teeth and gums. Any pockets more than three millimeters deep indicate gum disease additionally, bleeding when our dentist inserts the dental probe is also a sign of periodontitis.

Another way to diagnose periodontal disease is with x-ray technology. A panoramic x-ray will show the level of bone around your teeth. If our dentist sees a variance of bone levels, it denotes gum disease.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can create problems like tooth infection, tooth loss, and bone loss. Fortunately, there are treatments which are highly successful in eliminating gum disease. These vary according to the severity of your condition.

The best option is to prevent periodontal disease by:
• Brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush at least twice a day
• Flossing your teeth at bedtime
• Regular dental check-ups

If you suspect you have gum disease, or would like more information, please contact us. We are always happy to help.

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How Teeth Whitening Can Affect Your Teeth

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Patients who visit our office often want our help getting a brilliant white smile. There are two basic options for tooth whitening available through our office, intrinsic whitening, and extrinsic whitening. The two treatments work in different ways, so it is necessary to know how each treatment will affect your teeth.

INTRINSIC WHITENING- The intrinsic whitening treatment is very popular in the field of cosmetic dentistry. When you receive an intrinsic whitening, our dentist is essentially whitening your teeth from the inside out. To do this, we apply a hydrogen peroxide gel to your teeth. The gel soaks into your teeth and whitens the inner layer, called the dentin. The dentin in your teeth naturally yellows as a part of the aging process and shows through the enamel. As the gel penetrates the enamel, dentin whitens. This color change reflects through the enamel of your teeth giving you a whiter smile. This process is sometimes erroneously called bleaching. We do not apply bleach to your teeth during this treatment. Your tooth enamel is not affected by the whitening gel. The color change takes place inside of your teeth.

EXTRINSIC WHITENING- When we talk about extrinsic whitening we mean changes to the outside of your teeth that occur when we professionally clean and polish your teeth. External whitening is a good option if your discoloration is because of exposure to things like coffee, tea, or red wine. This type of procedure does not affect the inner layers of your teeth.

Which treatment you choose depends on the type of discoloration is affecting your teeth. Our staff will be happy to help you achieve the smile you dream of and will guide you through the whitening process. When you consult with our teeth whitening dentist in Torrance, you can discuss which treatment will give you the results you want.

What Tooth Pain Means

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Do you suffer from tooth pain, but you are not quite sure what it could mean? Here you can read about the most common types of tooth pain to best guide you with your future appointment with our Huntington Beach office.
If you frequently feel intermittent sharp jabbing sensations each time you eat or drink something, or each time you open and close your mouth, then this is usually a big indicator to a possible crack, cavity, or an abscess.
If every time your mouth and teeth are exposed to an extreme change in temperature, such as eating ice cream or drinking a hot cup of coffee, you feel a sharp tooth pain, this can also be another indicator to a crack in the tooth or multiple teeth as well as possible cavities.

 

Dull nagging tooth pain is the most common type of toothache. Though usually this type of pain is mild, it is deep and persistent. This is a general indicator of nerve damage or a rotting tooth. This is commonly seen in individuals who grind their teeth.

 

The main indicator for tooth abscesses is feeling extreme throbbing pains. Abscesses are pockets of infection below or to the side of the tooth. Essentially, it is like a cyst in your mouth. Abscesses require antibiotic treatments and a surgical treatment to be removed. Therefore, if you suspect you have a tooth abscess please contact our dentist as soon as possible.
If you only feel pain while eating, then that is a big indicator of tooth decay or a tooth fracture. The pain can usually be controlled with over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
Regardless of what kind of tooth pain you are suffering from, it is never a good thing to have. Your mouth should never hurt, so when it does make an appointment with our dentist in Huntington Beach as soon as possible.

 

Uses of CAD/CAM Technology

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Anybody who has been the recipient of one or more cosmetic dental implements over the course of their life is probably more than aware of how long and drawn-out the process can be. While the final result is always pristine, there is usually more than a bit of back and forth to and from the dental office. The most significant waiting period is probably the time between being measured for the new addition and the time spent waiting for it to be physically produced in a dental lab. Technological breakthroughs in recent years, however, have made this inconvenience completely obsolete. With the advent of CAD/CAM technology, our dentists are now able to outfit your smile with the appropriate enhancements in less time than ever before.

 

In the past, an initial consultation appointment with out dentist was required to both go over the goals of the patient and also to prepare the mouth for the fixture and take the impressions an off-site dental lab would use to manufacture your new crown, bridge, or onlay. Once the fixture was ready, you had to go back to the office to have it placed. The CAD/CAM workflow streamlines the process, allowing our dentists to restore your teeth with much less unnecessary waiting.

 

CAD/CAM technique involves special equipment that enables our dentists to complete the process entirely in our own office and in one visit. After the tooth or teeth in question have been cleaned, sculpted, and prepared in anticipation of the coming procedure, a highly-accurate scanner is used to gather as much data as possible about them, and a digital 3D model of the patient’s mouth will be generated. From this model the appropriate measurements will be taken. This data is then used to instruct a built-in, extremely precise milling chamber on what to build and how to build it. Using this information, your new fixture will be hewn from either composite resin or porcelain. When the machine has finished producing the implement, the rest of the process is as simple as having it placed, set with cement, and adjusted within the context of your bite.

Types of Invisible Braces

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Are you interested in getting invisible braces? There are a few different types to choose from and we’re here to help you figure out which one is the best option for you. The most popular types of invisible braces are ceramic braces, clear aligners, and inside braces. Here’s a little bit of information about each type.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces, also known as “clear” braces, are similar to traditional braces, but differ in that they use white or clear brackets in place of the metal ones. They’re made with a porcelain-like material that is a little bit weaker and more brittle than the metal brackets are. Ceramic braces are also larger than metal ones and use small ligatures (rubber bands) to fasten them. These ligatures are changed at each appointment (usually monthly). Ceramic braces remain on your teeth until your treatment is complete.

Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are removable aligners that are almost completely invisible, minimally invasive, and do not have wires or brackets. Our dentist will take a three-dimensional impression of your teeth in order to custom make them and give you the best possible fit during treatment. Clear aligners are removable, which makes the wearer more comfortable when they are eating, drinking, and attending special events. Another plus? Clear aligners are resistant to clouding, even if you’ve had them for years. They are worn in sets, and you’ll wear each set for a specific amount of time during each stage of treatment. Common brands of clear aligners include Invisalign and ClearCorrect.

Inside Braces

Also known as “iBraces” or lingual braces, inside braces are attached to the back of your teeth, hiding them from view. iBraces are custom brackets that are created using scans of the back of your teeth. They are attached to the insides of your upper and lower teeth. Like ceramic braces, iBraces are not removable and make use of elastics during treatment. iBraces are also called incognito or Harmony braces.

If you’d like more information about invisible braces, talk to our dental office today. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and help you determine what type of invisible braces work best for you.

Types of Dental Veneers

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When considering the possibility of having a set of dental veneers placed on your teeth, the sheer amount of information can feel more than a bit overwhelming at first. For every patient, however, there is in fact a viable path to a more youthful, radiant smile, and your dental veneers dentist has all of the answers to any questions you may have about which option is correct for your particular case.

Dental veneers generically are wafer-thin tiles designed to mimic the look of natural teeth; after removing a portion of the existing enamel, the teeth in question will be cleaned and scored, and the veneers will be set with a special type of light-sensitive adhesive. Veneers function exactly as the original teeth did before, while also improving the size, shape, hue, and overall appearance of the patient’s smile. They are safe and virtually painless.

One of the big decisions to consider when deciding how best to revitalize your smile through the use of dental veneers is choosing which type is right for your particular set of complaints and lifestyle – the different varieties offered nation-wide run the gamut, and each offers a unique profile of pros, cons, and potential long-term considerations to keep in mind when choosing which one is right for you.

Veneers made of composite resin are among the most commonly administered, both because they come with the added benefit of being able to be fully placed in as little as one appointment, and also due to the fact that they are quite a bit less expensive than other materials available. They are ideal for filling in chips and cracks, and can also be used to close gaps existing between teeth, as well.

Porcelain veneers are the best option for those seeking a final product that most closely resembles that of a real set of teeth; they are customized for each patient and as such will require multiple appointments with your dentist to complete the process of installation front to back.

Instant veneers are veneers which come in several pre-manufactured shapes, sizes, and colors; your dentist will present all of the different options at your disposal, and the one which most closely resembles the type of change you wish to make will be chosen. After that, it’s as simple as having them placed and sculpting them to fit as beautifully in your mouth as possible.

Adults and Orthodontic Treatments

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More and more adults are seeking orthodontic treatments to improve their smile. Fortunately, there are advances in orthodontics that allow individuals to get braces that are more convenient than traditional methods. We understand that getting braces as an adult can be inconvenient, as adults (unlike children), are busy and may not want braces on for a lengthy period of time.

 

Getting adult braces does not have to be a daunting process. Now there are many options available to older individuals who want to speed up this process and make it more suitable to their lifestyles. If you choose to go the inexpensive route, you can opt for traditional braces, which include metal brackets and wiring. While they don’t look very glamorous, they are now lighter than ever before and very effective in correcting most orthodontic issues that plague adults.

 

There are also options that look less visible on the teeth such as lingual and ceramic braces. Lingual braces are worn on the back of the teeth so they are not seen from the front. However, this option isn’t the best for everyone. Often lingual braces are for people with more minor corrections. Ceramic braces are much like the traditional option except they are lighter in weight and the color of enamel. This is great because they are less visible than traditional methods.

 

There is also another orthodontic treatment options called Invisalign. This method is very popular for improving the smile because they are not braces at all. Instead, our experts can fit you with clear plastic aligners that can be removed at any time. They are virtually invisible so you can smile with confidence. This is also very convenient because they can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing and sleeping. As your teeth move and shift into place, the aligners are switched out (usually every week). Often, the length of time these are worn is much shorter than the other methods listed above.

 

The length of time for any orthodontic treatment will depend on your case. It could be as little as six months up to a couple years before treatment is complete. If you have crooked teeth, crowding, overbite, underbite, or misaligned teeth, talk to our dentist in North Hollywood. We can discuss the best orthodontic options available to you so that you can improve your smile. Schedule a consultation with us to get started.