When is Smile Makeover a Good Option?

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Our practice sees numerous patients who have a variety of issues with their smiles. It is very rare for someone to have a single cosmetic dental problem. In order to help our patients, achieve their best smiles, we often suggest a smile makeover.

Often, patients are familiar with the term smile makeover but are not entirely sure what it really means. A smile makeover is a grouping of elective cosmetic dental procedures. It is performed to give a patient the smile of their dreams.

A smile makeover is a good option when a patient has several dental issues that they would like us to correct. Our Tarzana cosmetic dentist develops an individual care plan for each patient’s makeover. The individualized plan is necessary because no two patients will need precisely the same procedures to create their perfect smile.

It is essential for our patients to understand that a smile makeover can be a lengthy process and it will not be complete in one or two visits. It is not uncommon for a makeover to take several weeks. If dental implants are a part of the makeover, the process may take months because of the healing time involved in the process.

For smile makeovers, all of the cosmetic dentistry treatments are available. Our dentist will talk with you about available treatments and expected results during your consultation. The options you can choose from include:
• Bridges
• Crowns
• Dental Bonding
• Dental Implants
• Porcelain or Resin Veneers
• Teeth Whitening
• Tooth Colored Fillings

After your initial consultation, our dentist will schedule the stages of your smile makeover. Remember that this is an estimated time frame which is affected by things such as healing time and longer than expected waits for components made in the dental lab. As you get closer to the complete makeover, you will be amazed at the changes you see. Once our dentist completes your makeover, you can share your beautiful smile with the world.

If you are interested in learning more about smile makeovers and what our dental staff can do to make you proud of your smile, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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Teeth Whitening Options

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We know there is great value in a gleaming white smile. Our patients tell us how confident they feel after teeth whitening and how much more they smile too. Unfortunately, not everyone has a smile they are proud to show to the world. Our dentist has options for teeth whitening which could help create your perfect smile.

There are two categories of teeth whitening, at-home whitening, and professional whitening. While our Torrance cosmetic dentist does not oppose an attempt at whitening your teeth at home, you should note that the results from a professional whitening are faster, more uniform, and longer lasting than results from an over the counter kit.

Our office offers two options for tooth whitening, by a dentist or with a professional whitening kit in your home while supervised by a dentist.

• TEETH WHITENING BY A DENTIST- When you choose in-office whitening, a single visit is typically all that is necessary to get the results you want. Occasionally, a patient needs more treatments if their teeth are severely stained or if they want a specific shade of white.

Whitening in our office needs no anesthetics because it is painless. We will protect your gums with a gel or a plastic shield to prevent any gum sensitivity if the whitening solution touches your gums.
Next, our dentist spreads a solution of hydrogen peroxide onto your teeth. We then shine a light or use heat on your teeth to speed the whitening process. The length of time for the treatment depends on the health of your teeth and the level of whiteness you desire.

• WHITENING THAT IS SUPERVISED BY A DENTIST- Supervised whitening is carried out in your home. It is a good option those who do not want to devote much time to whitening at our office.

For at home supervised whitening, our dentist takes impressions of your teeth and makes a customized mouth tray to hold whitening gel. To use the system put the gel in the tray, place it on your teeth, and leave it in place for a few hours each day. The results are slower than an in-office whitening, but our patients are pleased with their results.

Both options for teeth whitening give you a beautiful smile, contact our office if you would like more information.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Health

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Patients at our office are often surprised to hear that dentists tend to be the first medical practitioners who find signs of sleep apnea. While it is true that only a medical doctor can formally diagnose sleep apnea, our San Francisco dentist frequently spots indications of sleep apnea and then refers patients to medical doctors for sleep apnea tests.

Our dentists and staff want to correct the misconception that sleep apnea is just loud snoring. This disorder has potentially dangerous effects because sleep apnea sufferers have a temporary pause in their breathing, which can bring about oxygen deprivation in some cases.

Sleep Apnea affects more than ten-million people every year, and it has negative impacts on your oral health.

• Bruxism, typically called teeth grinding, often occurs when your brain uses it as a signal to wake up and breath. Teeth grinding impacts your dental health in some negative ways. When grinding and clenching your teeth, you put added strain on the temporomandibular joint. After a time, this could lead to a full-blown TMJ disorder. Additionally, you can injure your teeth by cracking the enamel or wearing down your tooth so much that the root is exposed.

• Dry mouth is an effect of sleep apnea. We know this because patients who see our sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco are typically mouth breathers because of the sleep apnea. While dry mouth is uncomfortable, it can lead to several oral health problems. Having little or no saliva increases your odds for gum disease, mouth infections, and tooth decay. This happens because saliva continually rinses away bacteria which cause these diseases.

In addition to these dental issues, sleep apnea links to other disorders such as headaches, depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Our sleep apnea patients also report excessive sleepiness which can be dangerous when paired with driving or operating machinery.

There are successful treatments for sleep apnea that our office can provide for you. Be sure to talk to one of our dentists if you believe you may have sleep apnea.

When is Oral Surgery Necessary?

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No patient enjoys the idea of surgery, and our staff certainly does not want our patients to undergo invasive treatments. Unfortunately, there are times when, despite our best efforts, oral surgery is necessary.

There are several reasons why our Van Nuys dentist recommends surgery for patients. The most common causes include:

• Impacted Wisdom Teeth-
The third molars, often called wisdom teeth because they erupt around the age of 18, are a prevalent reason for oral surgery. Occasionally, there will be room for the third molars in a patient’s jaw. Frequently, there is no room for these teeth, and they become trapped or impacted and require surgical removal. If a dentist does not remove the impacted teeth, then the patient experiences extreme pain and swelling. If left untreated long enough, the third molars will push the other molars out of place or possibly become infected.

• Tooth Loss-
When one or more teeth are missing, regardless of the reason, the patient is at risk for bone loss. Bone loss happens because the body senses the empty tooth socket and believes there is no reason to maintain that section of the jaw bone. With the advent of dental implant surgery, bone loss is reversible. The oral surgeon inserts a small titanium screw into the empty tooth socket. After several months, the body accepts the screw, and there is a permanent fusion. Once the implant is secure, you receive a specially designed crown to fit on the screw and replace the missing tooth.

• Temporomandibular Joint Disorders-
Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) cause patients extreme pain and misery in the form of a headache, facial pain, ear pain, difficulty chewing, and sleep disturbance. Often these symptoms are managed with pain medication and physical therapy. Occasionally, extreme symptoms warrant oral surgery to repair the joint.

• Other conditions- There are many more reasons our oral surgeon in Van Nuys recommends oral surgery to a patient. Problems such as facial injuries, cleft-palate, biopsy, abnormal jaw growth, and facial infections all may require oral surgery.

If you believe you are experiencing any of the problems seen above, please contact our office for an appointment right away.

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.

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.