Orthodontic Treatments for Kids

Five young friends standing outdoors smiling

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends taking your child to see an orthodontist by the time they reach the age of seven. At this point, enough permanent teeth will have erupted and their jaw will have grown enough for the orthodontist to be able to tell if they will experience any orthodontic issues. If the orthodontist does notice any issues, early orthodontic treatment will likely be recommended.

The idea behind early orthodontic treatment is that by addressing certain issues while they are young, less treatment will be necessary when they are older. A good example of an issue that may be noticed by the orthodontist is an upper arch that is too small to allow for their teeth to properly erupt. In this instance, a device called a palatal expander can be used to increase the size in their upper arch as their jaw continues to grow. In some cases, dental extraction may also be done in order to provide the mouth with more room.

While it is still possible that orthodontic treatment may be necessary as the child gets older, they will be better positioned for it due to the early intervention. Many times this results in less time that they will ultimately have to be in braces when they get older.

Even if your child is not in need of early intervention, it is better to have the peace of mind of knowing there is nothing to worry about. If you want to have your child evaluated, contact our childrens orthodontists San Pedro to schedule a consultation.

Infection from Root Canal

Terrible tooth ache.

When it comes to oral health, our endodontist in Los Angeles likens it to a battle, where our teeth are constantly being attacked by bacteria. Our mouths, for their part, have a series of defenses, including saliva, exceptionally hard enamel, and the defensive system of the body. Most importantly, however, daily dental hygiene like brushing and flossing is how we can help our teeth stay ahead in this fight.

However, there are times when we lose that fight and the bacteria works its way all the way through the enamel. Once it does, it quickly passes through the next layer of the tooth, dentin. On the other side of that, in the very center of our teeth, is the nerve center of the tooth, called pulp. Pulp is comprised of a variety of soft tissues, including connective tissue, blood vessels, pain receptors, and more.

Once the bacteria reaches, the pulp, the body begins to attack it as a foreign invader. However, bacteria simply multiplies too fast and eventually kills all of the pulp, which reside from the center of the crown and run down canals through the roots. But the infection keeps going, eventually exiting the root into the gums, creating a redness, swelling and pain. At this point, root canal therapy is needed to remove it.

Learn more about how to avoid and treat this common problem by scheduling an appointment with our expert in root canal infection in Los Angeles.

Veneers and Smile Makeovers

Pure beauty

The goal of the smile makeover is to take the smile that you are ashamed of showing to others, and to transform it into the smile you have always wanted. Veneers are so great at achieving this because of their versatility. Our Los Angeles smile makeover expert can use dental veneers to conceal stains, chips, cracks, and gaps. In some instances, veneers can even be used to correct teeth that are crooked.

The placement of veneers requires the removal of a thin layer of enamel from your teeth. The amount of enamel removed is roughly the size of the veneer itself, which is usually around 0.5 mm. Once the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken. These impressions are sent off to the lab where your veneers are designed. On your next visit, the veneers are bonded into place.

When porcelain veneers are used, it is hard for any outside observers to know that you have had them placed. The reason for this is because they so closely match the appearance of natural teeth. Part of the reason for this is because porcelain absorbs and reflects light much like our natural tooth enamel. And with proper maintenance, veneers are capable of lasting up to 20 years.

Contact our expert in dental veneers in Los Angeles to see if veneers are the right solution for your smile makeover.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Its Symptoms and Treatments

Upset couple lying side by side in bed

The most well-known and best understood type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. This is caused when the airway is being physically blocked, either partially or fully, during sleep. Here is some basic information about its symptoms and treatments, which our Thousand Oaks sleep apnea dentist can help sort out for you.

Symptoms

The symptoms of this common sleep problem can be easily identified by two main things: regular and consistent snoring, and pauses in breathing. While these things are easy for another person that is awake to observe, it can be very difficult to catch these things by oneself or by a bed-mate that is a sound sleeper. Additional symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, mood swings, high blood pressure, insomnia, dry mouth, and more.

Treatments

Treatment options begin with lifestyle. Changes include losing weight, exercising regularly, drinking alcohol moderately and not before bedtime, quitting smoking, and not sleeping on your back. After those suggestions, an oral sleep apnea appliance is the next conservative solution, which can be done by our expert in obstructive sleep apnea in Thousand Oaks. These devices help reposition the jaw and tongue to keep the airway open and are ideal for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea.

More aggressive and invasive treatment options are also available, including a CPAP machine, medication, and surgery.

Common Cosmetic Dental Treatments

Pure beauty

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the way your smile looks. Getting your smile healthy is generally one of the best ways to achieve an attractive smile, but some minor flaws can affect the aesthetics of your smile without affecting its health. Our cosmetic dentist in Westlake Village can help you get a smile that is both healthy and beautiful.

Some of the most common cosmetic dental treatments include:
• Teeth whitening
We use the advanced Zoom 2 Whitening system to get your teeth their whitest. The Zoom 2 system uses powerful light-activated Zoom gel and can lighten teeth eight or more shades in a single hour.

• Dental bonding
Bonding is a fast, easy way to fix those little problems like chips or worn enamel. It can be applied in a single visit in about an hour, and it can keep your teeth looking great for years.

• Porcelain veneers
Porcelain veneers are an excellent choice for teeth with more serious cosmetic issues such as abnormal spacing, alignment problems, discolorations, fractures and worn enamel.

• Lumineers
Lumineers are a special type of veneer that requires minimal preparation and can often be applied right over your natural teeth.

• Orthodontics
Straightening your teeth can improve not only the way your smile looks but also how it functions, and it can boost your dental health by making your teeth easier to maintain.

Call us to learn more or to schedule your cosmetic consultation with our team.

Why Dental X-Rays are Taken

Examining radiography

In the process of determining the oral health of a patient, our dentists in Beverly Hills will often and regularly take dental x-rays. Here is a look at some of their regular uses.

Routine Exams

While the visual inspection of teeth is critical in ensuring good oral health and in finding cavities, x-rays provide an invaluable service. For new patients, they show clearly what dental work has previously been done, helping inform future treatment. It also is vitally important in identifying small and developing cavities that might be harder or impossible for the dentist to see visually.

Treatments

X-rays are vital in performing a variety of common dental treatments, including orthodontics, root canal therapy, and dealing with impacted or incoming wisdom teeth. In root canal therapy, an x-ray helps the dentist see and find canals that would otherwise be hard to find. Moreover, they can also see what is going on below the surface of the gums, which helps a dentist devise a wide array of dental treatment options depending on the situation.

Needless to say, our expert in dental x-rays in Beverly Hills offers this service because it provides a host of benefits otherwise impossible or only possible through invasive means.

When are Dental Crowns Used?

Smart businesswoman

Dental crowns are used in a variety of scenarios. A crown has the same shape as a tooth and is hollow in the center, so that it can fit over teeth. Crowns can be made of metal, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.

When a tooth has become weakened, it runs the risk of breaking. If a crown is placed on top of the weakened tooth, it saves the tooth by giving it the strength and support necessary to survive. In some instances when a patient has a rather large cavity, a dental filling is not going to provide the tooth with enough strength to survive. In this instance, a dental crown is used instead. In fact, dental crowns are used to restore teeth that have undergone a root canal. Sometimes crowns are used for cosmetic reasons. For instance, a crown can be used by our West Hollywood cosmetic dentist to cover a misshapen or discolored tooth.

Crowns are also used to hold dental bridges in place. They go over the abutment teeth so that the prosthetic tooth in the middle has enough strength to withstand biting forces. Dental crowns are also placed on top of dental implants in order to replace teeth.

If you are looking to restore one or more of your teeth using a crown, contact our expert in porcelain crowns in West Hollywood to schedule a consultation.

Misconceptions about Root Canal Treatment

Smart businesswoman

Root canal treatment or therapy, commonly referred to as simply a root canal, is perhaps the most-maligned of all dental procedures. Its reputation of being an excruciating procedure is known far and wide, even to those having never experienced one. Indeed, people not wanting to do something will often express, “I would rather have a root canal.”

However, our Orange County dentists believe this reputation, though perhaps well-deserved decades ago, is no longer an accurate assessment of the process and remains an enduring misconception. In fact, root canal therapy is done routinely and the pain experienced is generally nothing more than receiving a standard filling.

Another misconception about root canals are that it is a process that eliminates or kills the tooth. This belief is usually because a crown is placed over the remaining tooth and it looks like the original one is gone. In reality, root canal therapy is a way to save the natural tooth so that it is not extracted or lost. The process is merely the cleaning out of the nerve endings that extend into the tooth from the roots, thereby removing the infection and preventing further pain. By saving the natural tooth, future problems are significantly less likely for the rest of the patient’s life.

Get the truth about them by contacting our expert in root canal in Orange County.

How is TMJ Pain Treated?

 

Terrible tooth ache.

Since TMJ disorders are relatively poorly understood because of their inconsistency, and because aggressive treatment options have no guarantee of relief, sometimes pain relief is the best way to handle the problem. This is particularly the case in instances were mild pain is being caused but the jaw does not actually lock open or closed ever.

The first step is to try hot and cold compresses at home a few times a day. This natural way to decrease inflammation could potentially go a long way. Barring that, however, most pain caused by TMD can be handled by over-the-counter nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen. These drugs not only mask the pain, but they reduce inflammation, which may be contributing to the problem.

If these medications do not relieve the problem, our TMJ dentist in Thousand Oaks is able to prescribe stronger anti-inflammatory drugs. But since the problem might be caused by other underlying issues such as stress, anxiety, or depression, the possibility exists for them to also suggest muscle relaxers, anti-anxiety or anti-depression drugs.

Contact our expert in treatment of TMJ pain in Thousand Oaks to get the treatment you need by scheduling a consultation.

Same Day Crowns and Their Advantages

Happy patient

The traditional process for getting a dental crown involves at least two appointments. One was for shaping the tooth receiving the crown as well as getting a mold of the mouth, the second for placing the manufactured crown onto the tooth.

Our expert in same day crowns in Orange County has embraced a better option that saves patients the hassle of taking a second day off work. At our offices, crowns are created on the spot using 3-D imaging of the mouth and precision milling. That means the dental assistant has no more need to press the gag reflex-inducing molding trays into the mouth to create an impression. No more debates with the front office to figure out when the doctor’s schedule lines up with your own to place the new crown.

Same day dentistry is the latest development in dental technology. They provide crowns, inlays, onlays, and veneers while the patient sits in the next room and can be applied immediately. The quality is well-established such that insurance companies are happy to pay the same rates as traditionally manufactured tooth restoration options.

To learn more about same day crowns, contact our dentists in Orange County.