When Should Dentures be Used?

Happy senior couple

Dentures are commonly thought of as being only for the toothless. But both full and partial dentures are used regularly to fill out and revitalize patient smiles. Whether you’ve lost teeth to illness or neglect, or are having the remaining teeth extracted, dentures have been modernized enough to ensure you still have a full life.

Dentures rest naturally on the alveolar bone, the thick ridge that forms the teeth sockets. This is true of both the upper and lower arches.

To begin your denture process, exhaustive molds and measurements are taken. This requires a few appointments over several weeks. Your expert in dentures in Van Nuys then takes several “try-in” sessions to guarantee perfect fit. Dentures that don’t fit exactly can cause slippage, breakage, and discomfort. Even with the correct fit, they take getting used to, and the human jawbone shrinks over time as well—almost guaranteeing you’ll need follow-up fittings or “relining”.

Upper dentures can be especially tricky. The plate can touch parts of the tongue or teeth and cause gagging, especially if you have a high reflex. But the period of adjustment should be minimal.

If you’ve suffered catastrophic tooth loss or are experiencing a steady drip of tooth loss, ask our dentists in Van Nuys if dentures are right for you.

Tooth Colored Fillings and When They Should be Used

group of students at schoolDental fillings are only controversial when it comes to material. Both dentists and patients have argued for decades about mercury exposure due to metal fillings. This topic receded in recent years as metal fillings, while still in use, slowly took a backseat to white fillings—tooth-colored composites. Obviously, patients want their fillings to be inconspicuous and fillings that blend seamlessly with tooth color fit this bill entirely.

White fillings are preferred especially for back teeth, and are available in both direct and indirect modes. A direct filling rebuilds a cavity layer by layer using resins that are hardened by a light. An indirect filling is used when at least one corner of a molar is missing, and combines the resin composite with elements of porcelain. Our expert in dental fillings in West Hollywood uses advanced techniques to ensure the filling fits tightly against the neighboring tooth, so bacteria are kept out.

The only scenario in which tooth-colored fillings might not be advisable is a budget-conscious one. The quality and sensitivity of the materials make white fillings more expensive than amalgam fillings. Otherwise, most patients prefer the better visibility of tooth-colored composites.

For more about tooth-colored fillings, contact your West Hollywood cosmetic dentist.

How to Know if You Have Gum Disease

Closeup portrait of a successful business team laughing togetherThere are several warning signs that may point to gum disease. For many patients, bleeding gums trigger a wave of concern. Our dentists in North Hollywood are experts in detecting signs of gum disease and combating symptoms before they progress.

There are numerous factors that can contribute to the development of gum disease. For example, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and menstruation are known to increase gum sensitivity, allowing for gingivitis to develop. Patients with illnesses such as cancer, HPV, and diabetes are at higher risk of developing gum disease. Any of these factors paired with poor oral hygiene, smoking, or a family history of gum disease are cause for concern. If gingivitis occurs and is left untreated, it can develop into gum disease. Several periodontal treatments are available to those suffering from gingivitis, and should be sought out promptly at the sign of infection. In order to prevent and reverse gingivitis, one should practice plaque control through daily brushing and flossing. However, this is not enough. Patients must receive a professional cleaning every six months to ensure their gums are healthy. Another step would be to maintain a well-balanced diet to promote a strong immune system. Vitamins E and C are incredibly effective in repairing damaged body tissue.

Can kids get TMJ?

 

family having funWisdom isn’t the only thing to come with age. As we grow older, we become more susceptible to joint tenderness and conditions such as TMJ. However, it is possible for children to experience symptoms of temporomandibular disorder. Our Los Angeles TMJ dentist is dedicated to relieving patients of TMJ related pain, and giving them the tools they need to live active, high quality lives.

TMJ is pain centralized in the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull. Those most likely affected by TMJ are people with Arthritis, high levels of stress, a misaligned jaw, or who have experienced physical trauma of the mouth.  It can be tricky to diagnose children with TMJ because they are not typically affected. If your child experiences frequent facial pain, migraine headaches, earaches without a present infection, locked jaw, or ringing in the ears, you should talk to our TMJ dentist. Children and teens experiencing high levels of stress may grind their teeth, which can irritate the temporomandibular joint. Our dentist may prescribe a mouth guard and splints to protect your child’s teeth and jawbone. However, there are a variety of other options available. Talk to our dentist about any questions or concerns you may have regarding TMJ treatment.

Teeth Whitening Process

Friends having funOur teeth are supposed to be bright and white. Unfortunately, they can quickly become darkened and yellowed over time. This is often due to certain diet staples, such as berries, red sauce, tea, and coffee. It can also be caused by some lifestyle habits, such as smoking. Our dentist in San Francisco can perform a teeth whitening treatment in order to remove these extrinsic stains.

There are many different types of teeth whitening treatments, however most of them work very similarly. It will begin with a teeth cleaning, in order to remove any plaque, tartar, and food debris. Then they will apply a rubber block in order to protect the gums and other soft tissue of the mouth.

A whitening liquid or gel is then applied directly on to the teeth. It will be activated with a special dental light or laser. For most types of treatments, the liquid and light will stay in place between a few minutes and fifteen minutes. It will then be removed and reapplied one to two more times.

If an in-office treatment is not what you are looking for, we can also offer take-home kits. These provide you with the tools, materials, and instructions you need to brighten your teeth at home.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implant

There are several ways to replace missing teeth. Those who are looking for a non-invasive option may benefit from dental bridges, whereas older patients often opt for dentures. However, our dentist recommends dental implants for most patients, for several reasons. Here are some of the benefits that dental implants offer.

Dental implants are the one type of tooth replacement that is inserted into the jaw bone, just like teeth are. This means that they work very similar to how our permanent teeth do. They will work to stimulate the underlying jaw bone when biting and chewing. Without a tooth or tooth replacement in this place, the jaw bone will not be stimulated and therefore begin to diminish. This can lead to a change in the facial shape. Dental implants can prevent this from occurring.

Dental implants also have cosmetic benefits. Not only will they fill in a gap, but also prevent orthodontic issues. When a tooth is missing, the adjacent teeth can shift into this space, followed by the other teeth in the arch. Implants will keep the teeth in their correct spaces and eliminate the need for braces or similar appliance.

Our expert in implant in Beverly Hills can explain the benefits of the tooth replacement option further.

What To Know about Emergency Root Canals

0424

All root canals were once considered emergencies, at least by patients. Education and technology have quieted those fears, and there aren’t many occurrences where root canal therapy is truly an emergency. It’s better to use the word urgent, as a root canal procedure can end the spread of infection and save a tooth from extraction. You’re always better off with a tooth than without it, making root canal practices some of the most important in endodontics and elsewhere.

The need for a root canal often announces itself with surprise pain or swelling, even if the infection was present for a while. Decay causes a lot of interior damage once it reaches the dental nerve, and this can be the key prompt for a root canal.

Root canals have a high success rate, but it’s also not uncommon for a patient to need endodontic retreatment. This can happen when the root has multiple or branching canals that weren’t properly irrigated, when debris is left at the dental site, or when the filling material extends past the root tip. The recurrence of inflammation or infection in a tooth already treated means you should immediately contact your expert in emergency root canal in LA.

For more questions, contact our endodontists in LA.