How Dental Implants Work

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You may have heard of dental implants or you have been recommended for their benefits. Yet, a lot of people don’t know how they work. Dental implants are just like natural teeth in the way they feel, work and look, putting them several steps ahead of other currently available tooth restoration options.

An implant is a screw-like device that is made with titanium or other biocompatible materials. It is inserted surgically into the jawbone, where it will act as a new tooth root. Once the implant has been placed in the bone, the gums will be sutured, or stitched, so that you will be allowed to heal. During the healing process, your implant will be osseointegrated into the bone. This means that the bone tissue will fuse with the implant. In most cases, healing takes place over a few weeks to several months.

Once the osseointegration process is complete, the implant will be uncovered, and an abutment, or a connector, will be attached to the implant. This allows the implant to be fused with the restoration of your choice, which could be a porcelain crown, a bridge or a denture.

The implant can last as long as you do, just as long as you take care of it. You will not need any special routines or maintenance, but you will need to brush and floss the restoration regularly to keep up with good dental hygiene. While the implant will not decay as natural teeth do, keeping it clean is vital because it helps prevent inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissues. Call us to schedule your consultation with our expert in dental implants in Los Angeles.

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How Teeth Whitening Affects Tooth Enamel

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Teeth whitening is a smart way to keep a smile bright, but some patients worry about how this treatment can affect the enamel of their teeth. While certain teeth whitening options may harm enamel, properly performed professional whitening will not damage teeth. Understanding the differences between effects of the two options can help patients choose the best treatment for them.

Store-bought whitening products contain weaker bleaching compounds compared to professional whitening gels, but they are far more likely to damage tooth enamel. During in-office whitening sessions, our dentist carefully times the process and thoroughly removes the gel after it has had time to work. At-home options offered by our dentist include personalized instructions that ensure safety. In contrast, store-bought whitening gels can easily result in enamel loss, particularly if they include acids or abrasives. Furthermore, some whitening products offered online have not even been approved by the American Dental Association yet.

Our dentist has personally selected tooth whitening options that give patients the best possible results without harming their enamel. For patients who suffer from sensitive teeth, fluoride can also be used before and after whitening sessions to prevent more sensitivity. Patients can schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about how their teeth are safer with professional teeth whitening.

Diagnosis of TMJ Disorder

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TMJ disorder affects the joints that connect the jaw to the skull as well as the muscles involved in chewing and speaking. Some people develop TMJ because of physical trauma or strain, but others have systemic joint problems that affect the jaw joints. Here is more about TMJ disorder and how it may be diagnosed so that appropriate treatment can begin.

Signs of TMJ Disorder

TMJ symptoms vary between patients, but patients commonly report pain in the jaw joints that may travel to nearby areas, such as the neck and face. In some cases, TMJ sufferers have chronic headaches due to their condition. Patients may also experience stiff jaw muscles and hear clicking or grinding noises when they open or close their mouth.

How TMJ Is Diagnosed

Diagnostic tests for TMJ can vary depending on suspected causes. Our dentist in West Hollywood examines the jaws and records symptoms before beginning physical testing. Imaging, including X-rays, may be used to determine how the jaw joint is malfunctioning.

If allowed to progress, TMJ can lead to jaw immobility and severe pain when patients try to use their mouth. A consultation with our expert in TMJ in West Hollywood can be scheduled by patients who want to learn more about how this disorder is diagnosed.

What is Cardio-dontics?

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Although the link between gum disease and heart disease isn’t correlated 100%, physicians have found through research that poor oral health is tied to an increased risk of heart attacks. This may be because people with better oral health are more concerned with overall health, by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, but it may be more complex than that.

Gum disease affects as much as three-fourths of the population. It is often called a silent disease, but in the later stages, it becomes a putrid, festering infection that can eventually cause tooth decay and then become so loose that they fall out. Bacteria and inflammatory particles can enter the bloodstream through ulcerated and bleeding gums and travel to the heart and other organs. In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of health problems. Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, diabetes and premature births.

Periodontal experts such as our Los Angeles dental implants Dentist agree that keeping up with routine dental checkups and cleanings are imperative for good oral health. Our dentist tells his patients with advanced tooth decay and progressed gum disease that they are at an increased risk for heart and blood vessel conditions, as it is a known risk factor for cardiovascular problems. Together with your physician, our dentist can help you focus on reducing your risk factors, by ensuring you have good periodontal health.

Are There Any Side Effects to Zoom Whitening?

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Zoom is one of the most popular in-office whitening treatments. It works quickly so you can be on your way with a smile that is up to eight shades whiter in about an hour. Our cosmetic dentist may suggest Zoom if you have teeth that are stained by tobacco, coffee, tea, soda, wine, berries and other substances.

As with any treatment, side effects are possible but usually mild and self-limiting. The most common side effects include:

1. Sensitivity
The pores of the teeth are opened to allow the peroxide to penetrate deeply. These may not close immediately after treatment, which can lead to some sensitivity for a few days.

2. Gum irritation
This is not a common side effect, but it can occur if the gums have not been properly protected. Gum irritation is more common with over-the-counter whitening.

3. Thermal sensitivity
Your teeth may be more sensitive to temperature changes, such as when you drink hot coffee or ice cold tea.

If you experience sensitivity after whitening, desensitizing toothpaste can alleviate the discomfort. You may also benefit from a topical fluoride application. In most cases, sensitivity declines over the course of a few days, so you will be back to normal before you know it. Call us today to learn more or to schedule a whitening appointment with our expert in Zoom whitening in North Hollywood.

Lumineers or Veneers?

Is Tooth Bleaching Effective?

Patients who want to conceal the flawed fronts of their teeth have multiple options today. In addition to conventional veneers, patients can choose a newer, thinner type of veneers designed with aesthetics and durability in mind. Here is a deeper look at each of these choices.

Traditional Veneers

Veneers are basically thin shells that are bonded over the fronts of teeth. They require some removal of enamel for placement, and they are effective at covering not only cracks, chips, gaps and improper rotation but also most discoloration. Because veneers call for enamel removal, they are irreversible.

A Newer Option

Lumineers are a newer type of veneer that is thinner than conventional veneers but still tough enough to last for up to two decades with proper care. With less thickness, this treatment may not be as effective at covering the darkest tooth discoloration. However, this same property also means that enamel removal is minimal and that the treatment remains reversible for many patients.

Both of these options are tinted to match surrounding teeth so that the smile remains natural looking. To learn more about each of these treatments and determine the best one for certain goals, patients can schedule a consultation with our cosmetic dentist in West Hollywood.

Surgery for Improving the Appearance of Gummy Smiles

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Some smiles are overshadowed by gum tissue. If your smile is one of them, you should know that you have options. One of these is gum lift surgery. A gum lift is a surgical procedure offered by our Los Angeles periodontist that removes the excess tissue around the teeth to expose more of the natural crown of the teeth.

During a gum lift, the tissues will be numbed to ensure comfort. The extra tissues will be gently lifted away from the teeth and trimmed. In some patients, bone tissue will also need to be addressed and trimmed or shaped for a more contoured look. Sutures may be placed to protect the incisions and help them heal.

After your treatment, your smile will be visibly different. More of your teeth will show, and you will see less unsightly gum tissue covering them. You may need to eat soft foods for a few days, and good dental hygiene will help reduce the risk of complications. Most people heal quickly and without any problems. Continued good dental hygiene and a balanced diet will ensure your gums stay healthy throughout and after the healing process. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our expert in gum lift surgery in Los Angeles.