What You Should Talk about with Your Invisalign Dentist

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Many people know of the details involved with traditional metal braces because they have been the norm for so long. Invisalign is a newer orthodontic treatment, so some potential patients are not aware of the specifics of this treatment. Take a look at what you should discuss with your Invisalign dentist at your first appointment.

After a consultation, your Invisalign dentist in West Hollywood will be able to answer many important questions for you. They will first exam your teeth and bite, and inform you if you are a candidate for Invisalign. If so, they can likely give you an estimate on how long your treatment will take.

It is important that you understand exactly what will be required of you during your treatment process. Invisalign aligners are removable, allowing patients to eat and clean their teeth easier. However, this means that you are responsible for wearing them for the right amount of time per day – between twenty and twenty-two hours. It is also important to not lose or break your aligners, as this can stall your treatment. Talk with our West Hollywood cosmetic dentist about the best ways to ensure your aligners are being worn enough and stay safe.

Options in Dental Fillings

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Cavities in teeth must be filled. Fillings can restore the tooth’s size and shape and protect the damaged part of the tooth from further decay. Several options for dental fillings are available, and our Torrance cosmetic dentist can help you decide on the best one for your smile.

The most common dental filling options include:

1. Composite resin fillings
Composite resin is a tooth-colored material that is made of glass or quartz mixed with other materials. These fillings bond chemically with the tooth’s structure and are capable of withstanding significant bite forces.

2. Amalgam fillings
Amalgam fillings, which are sometimes called silver fillings, have been used for many years to restore teeth. Amalgam is a blend of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. It is strong and durable, though not necessarily aesthetic.

3. Gold fillings
Gold fillings have been used for hundreds of years and are known for their durability, but they are also quite noticeable, much like amalgam fillings.

Fillings are usually placed in a single visit, and require no special care beyond good dental hygiene. Call our expert in dental fillings in Torrance today to find out more about dental fillings or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Tips about Invisalign

Invisalign is a fascinating product. But you should treat the program with some attention to detail. Our expert in Invisalign in Northridge has the following tips on how to maximize your Invisalign experience:

• Wear your aligners as instructed. This means as many as 22 hours per day, taking them out only for meals and cleaning. It is essential that you wear the aligners in the proper order. Invisalign is designed to work in stages, with each stage building on the progress of the one before it.

• Keep your aligners clean. Use warm water and antibacterial soap, not toothpaste. The acidity of the average toothpaste is meant for tooth enamel, not plastic.

• Keep your mouth clean. Brush and floss with due diligence. Otherwise, bacteria ends up trapped in the aligners.

• Watch your diet. Do not overdo it on sticky foods, or high-stain drinks like coffee and wine. And always brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in.

• Wear your retainer. After treatment ends, your retainer helps prevent resorption and relapse. Your teeth will gradually resume their old crooked ways if you let them.

For more, contact our Northridge cosmetic dentist.

Is Root Canal Really Necessary?

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Root canal treatments are necessary when the pulp or the nerve of the tooth has been damaged. In many cases, this damage is accompanied by pain ranging from mild to severe. However, there can be no pain or other symptoms if the nerve of the tooth has already died. One of the more important treatments in modern dentistry, root canal therapy can save teeth that would have otherwise been extracted.

When deep decay, abscess, or damage affects the pulp of the tooth, the soft inner tissues become inflamed. This can be quite painful. Bacteria can grow in the compromised root canals of the tooth and create an infection that cannot be treated by antibiotics. The pulp of the tooth must be removed to save it.

Root canal treatments are typically preferred over extractions when possible because the root canal treatment preserves the tooth. Once a tooth has been extracted, it will then need to be replaced using an implant or bridge. This can lead to more dental issues. Saving the tooth allows it to continue to work in your mouth just as it always has.

Call us today to learn more about root canal treatments or to schedule your consultation with our root canal dentist.

Steps in Periodontal Surgery

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Periodontal disease is a serious chronic condition that strikes the gums and other surrounding tissues that support the teeth. Treatment can include periodontal surgery, which is used to restore lost tissue, tighten the soft tissues around the teeth, or to address similar issues. If our dentist determines that you need periodontal surgery, here is what you can expect.

1. Non-surgical scaling and root planing
This is the first treatment for most stages of gum disease and can also be called deep cleaning. During an SRP, the deep pockets between the tooth and gum tissue are cleaned, and the root surfaces are smoothed.

2. Surgery
Although patients with mild periodontal disease often show dramatic improvement with SRP, those with more serious forms of the disease will typically need surgery. During periodontal surgery, the tissues are numbed and treated to remove periodontal pockets for teeth that are easier to keep clean and healthy.

3. Periodontal maintenance
Regular maintenance can help ensure the condition does not progress further. During a maintenance procedure, your teeth will be carefully cleaned to remove any plaque or tartar while preserving the integrity of the periodontal tissues.

Call us today to schedule your appointment with our expert in periodontal surgery in Santa Clara.

Do Veneers Last a Lifetime?

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Porcelain veneers can be a big investment in your smile. These versatile porcelain shells are able to cover chipped, cracked, stained, gapped, crooked, and uneven teeth to create a beautiful new smile. When you take good care of veneers, they can last fifteen years or longer, but just like natural teeth, veneers are affected by everyday wear and tear.

Some things that can affect the lifespan of your veneers include:

1. Your dietary habits
A diet high in extremely hard, crunchy, or sticky foods such as caramel can damage your veneers more quickly, as can biting or chewing on nonfood items, such as ice or pencils.

2. Tooth decay
Decay on the border between the tooth and the veneer can cause the veneer to fail prematurely.

3. Your dental hygiene
Poor dental hygiene increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, as well as plaque and tartar buildup, all of which can increase the risk of veneer failure. Brush and floss as recommended to protect your natural teeth and your veneers.

4. Accidents
An accident can chip or break one of your veneers. Use a mouthguard when engaging in high-risk activities to reduce the risk of damage.

5. Regular dental checkups
Regular checkups can keep your natural teeth and your veneers in good shape and ensure a longer lifespan.

Call us today to learn more or to schedule your office visit with our porcelain veneer dentist.

When is Having Gum Surgery Necessary?

Autumn womanWhen most people think of surgery, they think of the brain or the heart, not the gums. But unfortunately, gum surgery is both common and necessary. Gum disease has two stages – mild, or gingivitis, and severe, also known as periodontitis. Gum surgery is performed to cure the latter.

Gum disease has many visible symptoms. Those with gingivitis may notice that their gums are red, puffy, and swollen, and that they bleed when brushing and flossing. As the condition progresses, the teeth may appear longer, as the gums will begin to recede. Periodontal pockets, created by plaque accumulating between the gum tissue and the teeth, will also form.

There are several type of surgeries performed to eliminate the symptoms of severe gum disease. The first usually attempted is a scaling and root planing. This is where our Orange County dentist will use special sharp tools to scrape away the plaque and other harmful substances away from the gum line, and below the gums against the tooth roots.

If this tactic is not successful, gum flap surgery is usually the next step. Our gum surgeon in Orange County will make an incision in the gums in order to pull the apart to better access and remove the plaque on roots of the teeth.

Do Self-Ligating Braces Work for Anyone?

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Patients of our San Francisco orthodontists are always excited to learn that there are several appliances available to them. Self-litigating braces are one of these options. Though they work much like traditional braces, they feature a unique design that offers several benefits.

Self-litigating braces are made of brackets and wires, just like their more traditional alternatives. The main difference is that the brackets are able to contain the wires without additional material. The wires are therefore able to move as the teeth align. This means that the brackets are smaller than the bulky ones many are used to, as is much appreciated by out appearance-focused patients. The brackets can also be made out of a different material, so they are more tooth-colored and less visible.

Candidates for self-litigating braces are typically the same ones as traditional braces. This means they can address crooked, gapped, and crowded teeth, as well as a variety of bite issues. Some patients and former patients may argue that they are not able to fix certain issues, but as always, every set of teeth are different, and the results of one may not be the same as for another. It is best to listen to our expert in self-litigating braces in San Francisco and their advice about which appliance will be best for you.

Heart Rhythm and Sleep Apnea

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Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal heart rhythm that affects 2.7 million Americans. Of those, as many as 49 percent also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Connections between snoring a lot and having a heart flutter may seem tenuous. Of course, sleep apnea is more than snoring a lot, and atrial fibrillation is more than a heart flutter.

Heart disease is the no.1 killer of Americans, and its risk factors—high body mass, history of hypertension, smoking—are also risk factors for OSA. Simply put, sleep apnea is a sleep abnormality that causes the sleeper to wake up multiple times due to interrupted breathing. The stress forced on the immune system by this pattern can lead to other disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis, itself closely tied to poor cardiologic health.

When you wake up unable to breathe, or with feelings of anxiety spurred by involuntary reflexes, the heart can speed up to compensate. Co-sufferers from OSA and atrial fib often have their restive heart rate double or even triple. Both OSA and atrial fib are notorious causes of stroke.

Since most physicians do not typically screen for sleep apnea, you should stay alert to its symptoms. If you feel fatigued even after a full night of rest, or if you sleep restlessly or wake multiple times to urinate, you may have OSA.

Contact our Los Angeles sleep apnea specialists for more.

Choosing Your Invisalign Dentist

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Invisalign is one of the most popular orthodontic treatments today. It straightens teeth without any wires or metal, and combines comfort with aesthetics for a solution that works for teens and adults alike. Our expert in orthodontics in Los Angeles offers Invisalign, and can help you decide if it is right for you.

All dentists must complete training in general dentistry for a DMD or a DDS. After that, orthodontists complete an additional two to three years of training in orthodontics. Orthodontic training focuses on treating jaw and tooth irregularities. Although general dentists can complete Invisalign training, orthodontists have additional skills and experience that enable them to tackle even the toughest problems.

When choosing an Invisalign dentist, you are choosing a dentist to work with for at least twelve to eighteen months. This dentist will be designing your new smile. This should be a dentist with whom you feel comfortable and relaxed. You should feel confident that this dentist listens to you, understands your goals, and shares your vision for your smile. Ask to see before-and-after pictures so that you can have an idea of what you can expect.