Good Candidates for Veneers

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If you feel you are holding back in your social interactions because of the way your teeth look, it may be time to consider making a change. Braces can fix serious alignment and bite issues, but when it comes to topical stains and discolorations, as well as cracks and chips in the teeth, porcelain veneers may be the better option. Porcelain veneers can provide you with a naturally neat, straight smile so there will no longer be a need to feel self-conscious about meeting someone new.

Veneers can correct the following cosmetic dental issues:

•    Discolored or stained teeth
•    Minor misalignment issues involving the smile line
•    Misshapen or twisted teeth
•    Unsightly gaps between the teeth
•    Teeth that are worn down or sport visible cracks and chips

If your teeth suffer from any of these issues, you may benefit from porcelain veneers. To qualify for veneers, be sure you fit the following requirements:

•    Your teeth have a healthy amount of enamel to provide support for your new veneers
•    Your teeth are free from gum disease and decay
•    You do not frequently grind or clench your teeth
•    Your bite is in proper alignment

Porcelain veneers can lend new life to healthy teeth in need of a little tender love and care. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to determine if you qualify for porcelain veneers.

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When is Root Canal Therapy Required?

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Root canal is often performed when our endodontist finds signs of pulp infection in teeth. With fast treatment, these teeth can often be saved, allowing for a variety of benefits, including natural looks and retention of jaw health. Here is a look at what may indicate that root canal therapy is necessary.

When Root Canal Is Necessary

Generally, root canal becomes necessary when an infection reaches the inside of a tooth. This may happen due to untreated tooth decay or physical trauma. With endodontic treatment, it is often possible to save the tooth and avoid the need for extraction and tooth replacement.

Signs to Look For

Patients may experience a number of symptoms when their teeth are infected depending on severity. In most cases, pain ranging from mild to severe may be felt. Abscess, a collection of pus inside the gums around the tooth, can indicate severe infection. Fever, swelling and tenderness are other symptoms that may indicate the need for an examination and possibly root canal therapy in Los Angeles.

Infected teeth can cause a variety of problems immediately and in the long term. For the best chances of successful treatment, patients should visit our endodontist in Los Angeles for an exam as soon as they notice symptoms.

Why Some Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted

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Wisdom teeth are the final molars that usually appear when a person enters his or her teens or early 20s. Most people have from one to four wisdom teeth. In some cases, wisdom teeth erupt properly and are healthy. In other cases, our dentist in Northridge may recommend a dental extraction.

You may benefit from an extraction if:

•    Your teeth will be crowded by your wisdom teeth.
This often occurs if you have large teeth or a small jaw. Crowded or misaligned teeth can be difficult to clean and may be at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease or other problems.

•    Your wisdom teeth are misaligned.
Wisdom teeth can erupt sideways, angled inward or outward or otherwise misaligned. This can damage adjacent teeth, nerves and bones.

•    Your wisdom teeth are impacted.
Wisdom teeth are said to be impacted when they do not erupt properly or fully. Impacted teeth are associated with pain, swelling, infection, decay and gum disease.

If you are a candidate for wisdom tooth extraction, we may recommend that you have the teeth extracted as soon as possible after the problem has been identified. Waiting too long to have the problem teeth extracted can result in increased pain, a longer recovery period and a higher risk of complications. Contact our expert in wisdom teeth extraction in Northridge to learn more or to schedule your appointment.

Sleep Apnea and Risk of Other Health Problems

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Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that interferes with normal breathing patterns during sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when the tissues in the throat collapse into the airway and obstruct it. When the blood oxygen levels drop, the brain rouses briefly to open the airways again. This can happen hundreds of times a night, significantly interrupt your sleep and increase your risk of other health problems. If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, our expert in sleep apnea in Los Angeles can help.

When left untreated, sleep apnea can sharply increase your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. It can also trigger arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, which can lead to sudden death. In some cases, it can worsen heart failure. Because you are chronically sleep-deprived, you may be at an increased risk of car crashes or work-related accidents.

If you have sleep apnea, the right treatment plan can help you manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of serious health problems. We may recommend lifestyle changes, oral appliances or breathing devices to help you get better sleep at night. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation with our expert in sleep apnea dental appliances in Los Angeles.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

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Diabetes is strongly associated with a higher risk of gum disease. For this reason, doctors often look at gum disease as a complication of diabetes. Although all diabetic patients are at higher risk of gum disease, those with poorly controlled blood sugar are the most likely to suffer this particular type of infection.

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Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the blood vessels, resulting in poorer blood flow and a reduced response to infections. Not only can this upset control of oral bacterial growth, but it can also boost glucose levels in the saliva, further enhancing growth of the bacteria that cause gum disease. At the same time, periodontal disease can contribute to problems involving blood glucose levels.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease may result in a variety of symptoms depending on how advanced it is. In the first stages of gingivitis, the gums are likely to be swollen and tender and may bleed when patients brush or floss their teeth. As the infection progresses to periodontitis, symptoms may include halitosis, gum recession and loose teeth.

Diabetic individuals should visit our expert in periodontal surgery in Los Angeles regularly to have their gums checked for signs of infection. If problems are found, patients may receive recommendations from our periodontist in Los Angeles for non-surgical or surgical treatments.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

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Many people hold off replacing missing teeth because of money. They assume tooth restoration to be an expensive endeavor. In many cases, these folks might be correct. Although, the longer you put off replacing a missing tooth, the more bone loss occurs. This affects your overall facial structure and can leave your cheeks hollow, causing them to sag. If you are curious about factors surrounding the cost of dental implants, read on to find out more.

•    No two dental implant procedures cost the same amount.
Every mouth has different needs. The number of dental implants plays into the cost, as well as any additional procedures that must be performed.

•    In the long run, dental implants are less expensive than a bridge.
Though a dental implant may cost more up front, because of its longevity, it is often a more cost-effective tooth replacement than a dental bridge.

•    Ask your insurance company about dental implant coverage.
More and more insurance companies are offering partial coverage for dental implants. Consult your insurance provider to find out if they cover dental implants surgery. In an effort to ease financial stress, many dentists now offer payment plans for costly procedures like dental implants.

Schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles dental implant doctor to find out more about your individual cost for dental implants.

Types of Sedation in Dentistry

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For those who experience issues when going to the dentist that range from mild anxiety to outright fear, there are various techniques that can be used to lessen this anxiety. Receiving good oral health care can help reduce the risk of pain and stress often associated with certain dental procedures.

Sedation dentistry involves the use of anesthetics to help patients relax during dental procedures. The level of sedation varies, depending on the needs of the patient.

Nitrous oxide is a gas that offers slight relaxation for those with mild anxiety. This can be combined with a local anesthetic to alleviate pain.

Oral medications can provide mild to moderate sedation and are taken about a half an hour or an hour before the dental care appointment.

Intravenous sedation offers moderate relaxation for the patient. The patient is still responsive. This sedation can be adjusted as necessary.

For the extremely fearful patient, general anesthesia puts him or her into a sleep-like state of unconsciousness.

Our dentist in West Hollywood can use sedation techniques to help you relax during your appointments. If you experience anxiety or fear, let the dentist know so the best methods can be used for you.