Mini Dental Implants and Their Candidates

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Dental implants are the preferred restoration for replacing extracted or knocked-out teeth. They effectively halt and reverse the effects of tooth loss, such as jaw bone reduction and altered facial structure. Some patients are candidates mini dental implants. Mini implants range from two to three millimeters in diameter, and do not require as invasive of a procedure as full size implants do.

Candidates for mini dental implants include those who:

• Need a replacement tooth in a certain area
• Do not have sufficient jaw bone tissue to support a full-sized implant
• Need an incisor replaced
• Do not have severe gum disease
• Need/want all on four dentures
• Have been wearing dentures, but need a new restoration due to change or erosion of the jaw

Our expert in mini dental implants in Beverly Hills will require patients with oral health issues, such as periodontitis or severely diminished bone tissue, correct these problems before getting these implants. Children whose jaw and oral structure have not stopped growing are not considered candidates. Furthermore, some lifestyle habits should be avoided at this time, such as smoking and chewing tobacco. A consultation with our Beverly Hills dental implant doctor will inform you whether you are a candidate for this restorative option.

How are Dental Fillings Placed?

Happy mother and daughterBefore fillings, people still had to deal with tooth decay. In extreme cases, infected teeth would be pulled or just fall out. The body is resilient, but it cannot fix holes in teeth. Obviously that extremity has an answer now—several answers in fact, but dental fillings are still the most common. Fillings take the place of decay, and fortify tooth structure and function.

Your filling procedure will begin with a simple anesthetic, after which our expert in dental fillings in Northridge will remove all the decayed area of the tooth. This may take some probing to make sure, which is why the dentist anesthetizes the affected area. The primary hardware in dental fillings is a good old-fashioned dental drill, the distinct sound of which is often cited as a source of dental phobia. If you have drill issues, ask your dentist about sedation options.

Depending on where the filling is, the dentist may use a bite block to hold your mouth open, or a rubber dam to make sure the area stays dry.

Fillings were once either gold or silver. Most patients now prefer either amalgam fillings or tooth-colored composite, which are better aesthetically.

For more about the process of dental fillings, talk to your Northridge dentists.

Common Treatment Options for Gum Disease

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Gum disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissue and structures that support the teeth. It does not heal on its own and requires treatment. Our periodontist will create a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs and symptoms.

Common treatment options for gum disease include:

• A professional cleaning to remove all plaque and tartar
• A deep cleaning, called a scaling and root planing, to remove all plaque and tartar above and below the gum line and smooth the roots’ surfaces
• Periodontal maintenance to maintain the health of the gingival tissues and remove any new buildup
• Dental implants to replace lost teeth
• Pocket reduction surgery to eliminate extensive plaque buildup on the root surfaces
• Gingival grafts to cover exposed roots and replace lost gum tissue
• Bone grafts or regeneration procedures to stimulate new bone growth and replace lost bone tissue

Any treatment plan must be accompanied by improved at-home care. This means that you may need to address dietary, dental hygiene, or lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your gum disease. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule your consultation with our expert in gum disease treatment in Los Angeles.

Tips for Using Mouth Guards

0265.jpgAccording to the American Dental Association, approximately ninety-five percent of Americans deal with bruxism at one point in their lives. Bruxism is the habitual clenching and grinding of the teeth, typically occurring during sleep. Mouth guards are the first line of defense against bruxism, but can be distracting and cumbersome. The following are some tips from our dentists in Houston about how to make wearing mouth guards at night easier.

• Talk to our expert in mouth guards in Houston about using a thin material for your guard, such as Invisalign. This will mean less space is taken up in the mouth and there won’t be as much foreign material to get used to. After some time, you will get more accustomed to the device, and can move on to a thicker material.

• See if you can have both an upper and lower mouth guard made. This way you can try both and see which one is more comfortable for you, or switch off between the two as desired.

• Many individuals fall asleep in five minutes. Keeping this in mind, be sure to put on your guard just before you go to sleep so you won’t have as much time to think about it.

• Try it every night for thirty nights. After this amount of time, wearing it will likely become a habit. It is impossible to get used to anything when only doing it every once an while, so aim for consistency.

Contact us for more information.

When are Dental Bridges Recommended?

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A dental bridge is a type of restoration used to replace one or a few lost teeth. The bridge is supported by natural teeth or dental implants, and consists of dental crowns and false teeth, also referred to as pontics. Our dentist in Huntington Beach can usually place a dental bridge in just a few dental visits, and bridges can last seven to ten years or more.

You may be a candidate for a dental bridge if you have:

  • Lost one tooth
  • Lost two or a more teeth in a row
  • Have healthy teeth on both sides of the gap to support the bridge, or
  • are a candidate for dental implants to support the bridge

Once your candidacy has been determined, you can begin the process of getting your new bridge. Your abutment teeth will need to be prepared, or implants will need to be placed. After your impressions are taken, a dental lab will design and create your new bridge. At your next appointment, we will place and bond it to your prepared teeth or your dental implants.

Taking care of a bridge is not much different than taking care of your natural teeth. You need to brush twice a day and floss daily. However, flossing can be a little different with a bridge, and you may need special tools to floss above and around the restoration. Call our expert in dental bridges in Huntington Beach today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our team.

Aftercare Instructions for Root Canal

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Proper root canal aftercare tasks can ensure that your treated tooth heals properly and reduces the risk of complications. We will give you detailed instructions based on your individual needs.

After your procedure, you will need someone to drive you home if you were sedated during the procedure. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, take them exactly as directed. Antibiotics combat bacterial infections, and even if your symptoms subside, you still need to continue taking them to kill all remaining bacteria. If you are prescribed pain medication, make sure that you are taking it as recommended. You may need to take it at a certain time of day, or with or without foods. Pain medication can affect the way you feel, so you might need to avoid driving while you take it. Pain should decrease in the days following your procedure, but this can take a while depending on the amount of inflammation before the procedure.

If your tooth was given a temporary filling, schedule an appointment to have the permanent restoration placed. Finally, keep your teeth clean during and after your recovery. Regular brushing and flossing will keep plaque and bacteria under control. Call our endodontists in LA to schedule your consultation.

How to Prepare for Emergency Dental Cases

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Accidents often happen when you least expect them, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be prepared for them in advance. In fact, preparing for emergency dental cases can help you better protect your smile. Immediate care can prevent infection and more serious damage. It can make the difference between saving and losing your tooth.

One of the best ways to be prepared for a dental emergency is by having a dental first aid kit. Necessary materials include:

• Gauze to stop bleeding
• Salt packets for salt water rinses
• Dental floss to clean around teeth
• Temporary crown and filling material
• Tooth preservation kits
• Over-the-counter pain relievers

Not all accidents require an emergency dentist. Small chips that do not cause pain, loose fillings, and minor tooth pain can usually wait for normal business hours. However, they should still be attended to as soon as possible since they can lead to more serious dental problems. Other dental emergencies require immediate attention, including knocked-out or dislodged teeth.

Although you can treat the symptoms of dental emergencies at home, the dental problem must be addressed as soon as possible by a dental professional. Call our emergency dental office in LA today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Is Investment in Braces Worth It?

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Many people see what undergoing orthodontic treatment looks like, and take note of the cost of braces, and decide that it isn’t worth it. This means that they will go their whole lives with issues like crooked teeth, gaps, crowding, and an incorrect bite. It may seem like this issues are simply cosmetic problems that you can live with, but the truth is that a smile with these flaws can severely affect overall health.

You may brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, but if your teeth are crooked and overlapping, they probably aren’t being cleaned like they should be. This can lead to bacteria building up and causing decay. Teeth that are not perfectly adjacent suffer from more cavities than those that are. Cavities may seem like no big deal, but enough of them could cause a tooth infection, as well as severe gum disease. Not only do a large number of cavities lead to more dental work, but also more appointment and treatment fees that could have gone to orthodontic treatment in the first place.

How our jaw lets the teeth align is important, as well. Incorrect jaw placement can lead to painful complications, such as TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disease. If the placement is significant enough, it can also have a large effect on a patient’s facial structure. Solving this issue early on will not only affect the health of the teeth, but the patient’s overall look. Talk to an orthodontist in Rocklin about how braces can be an investment for you.

Common Causes of Tooth Pain

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We usually have a good idea about what to do if we are experiencing pain in most areas. For example, simply taking a pain reliever can cure a headache, and pain in the limbs is likely due to a pulled muscle, which will heal within a few days. Tooth pain, however, can be scary, as it can have many different causes. Here are the most common causes of tooth pain and how they are treated by our Los Angeles dentist.

Infection

Tooth infections cause acute and consistent pain that may be difficult to pin point. They occur when decay has been left untreated and reaches the center of a tooth, infecting its pulp. The pain is caused by the decay affecting the tooth’s nerves.

Sensitivity

If you are experiencing a sharp, zinging pain when eating and drinking hot or cold substances, or even when simply being exposed to extreme temperatures, you are suffering from sensitive teeth. This is due to a lack of enamel on the teeth, which may have diminished due to eating too many acidic foods, lack of dental hygiene, or conversely, brushing the teeth too hard.

Old restorations

Pain coming from a specific tooth or area may be due to a crown or filling. Sometimes these come loose because they have sustained damage, other times simply because they are too old. This is particularly true of restorations containing mercury, which is no longer used in dentistry for this very reason.

If you are experiencing any level of tooth pain, make an appointment with our expert in treatment of tooth pain in Los Angeles as soon as possible.

Why Does TMJ Cause Pain?

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The most common and well-known symptom of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is pain. Patients often report pain in the jaw joint itself, as well as the head, neck, face, shoulders, ears, and teeth. Because of the reach TMJ has, it can be hard for both patients and experts to identify the cause, but the disorder also typically comes with other symptoms, including jaw lock, and grinding or clicking when moving the mouth. However, these symptoms can also cause pain.

The cause of TMJ-related pain can be complicated to source, and experts are still unsure of what underlying factor causes the disorder in the first place. It is typically because the displacement of a damaged disk in the jaw joint puts pressure on the muscle on the side of the face that covers it, as well as the nerves in the area. When the nerves are affected, pain is always the result.

Fortunately, our TMJ dentist employs many different treatments to get rid of the pain, any other symptoms you may have, and possibly even eliminate the disorder all together. First-line treatments include lifestyle changes, such as reducing sources of stress and lightly stretching the jaw muscles. Many patients see results when using a splint or mouth guard. We will work with you to find the best treatment for your TMJ pain as soon as possible.