Teeth Whitening Options

Happy couple

We know there is great value in a gleaming white smile. Our patients tell us how confident they feel after teeth whitening and how much more they smile too. Unfortunately, not everyone has a smile they are proud to show to the world. Our dentist has options for teeth whitening which could help create your perfect smile.

There are two categories of teeth whitening, at-home whitening, and professional whitening. While our Torrance cosmetic dentist does not oppose an attempt at whitening your teeth at home, you should note that the results from a professional whitening are faster, more uniform, and longer lasting than results from an over the counter kit.

Our office offers two options for tooth whitening, by a dentist or with a professional whitening kit in your home while supervised by a dentist.

• TEETH WHITENING BY A DENTIST- When you choose in-office whitening, a single visit is typically all that is necessary to get the results you want. Occasionally, a patient needs more treatments if their teeth are severely stained or if they want a specific shade of white.

Whitening in our office needs no anesthetics because it is painless. We will protect your gums with a gel or a plastic shield to prevent any gum sensitivity if the whitening solution touches your gums.
Next, our dentist spreads a solution of hydrogen peroxide onto your teeth. We then shine a light or use heat on your teeth to speed the whitening process. The length of time for the treatment depends on the health of your teeth and the level of whiteness you desire.

• WHITENING THAT IS SUPERVISED BY A DENTIST- Supervised whitening is carried out in your home. It is a good option those who do not want to devote much time to whitening at our office.

For at home supervised whitening, our dentist takes impressions of your teeth and makes a customized mouth tray to hold whitening gel. To use the system put the gel in the tray, place it on your teeth, and leave it in place for a few hours each day. The results are slower than an in-office whitening, but our patients are pleased with their results.

Both options for teeth whitening give you a beautiful smile, contact our office if you would like more information.

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How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Health

The snoring

Patients at our office are often surprised to hear that dentists tend to be the first medical practitioners who find signs of sleep apnea. While it is true that only a medical doctor can formally diagnose sleep apnea, our San Francisco dentist frequently spots indications of sleep apnea and then refers patients to medical doctors for sleep apnea tests.

Our dentists and staff want to correct the misconception that sleep apnea is just loud snoring. This disorder has potentially dangerous effects because sleep apnea sufferers have a temporary pause in their breathing, which can bring about oxygen deprivation in some cases.

Sleep Apnea affects more than ten-million people every year, and it has negative impacts on your oral health.

• Bruxism, typically called teeth grinding, often occurs when your brain uses it as a signal to wake up and breath. Teeth grinding impacts your dental health in some negative ways. When grinding and clenching your teeth, you put added strain on the temporomandibular joint. After a time, this could lead to a full-blown TMJ disorder. Additionally, you can injure your teeth by cracking the enamel or wearing down your tooth so much that the root is exposed.

• Dry mouth is an effect of sleep apnea. We know this because patients who see our sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco are typically mouth breathers because of the sleep apnea. While dry mouth is uncomfortable, it can lead to several oral health problems. Having little or no saliva increases your odds for gum disease, mouth infections, and tooth decay. This happens because saliva continually rinses away bacteria which cause these diseases.

In addition to these dental issues, sleep apnea links to other disorders such as headaches, depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Our sleep apnea patients also report excessive sleepiness which can be dangerous when paired with driving or operating machinery.

There are successful treatments for sleep apnea that our office can provide for you. Be sure to talk to one of our dentists if you believe you may have sleep apnea.

When is Oral Surgery Necessary?

tmj2

No patient enjoys the idea of surgery, and our staff certainly does not want our patients to undergo invasive treatments. Unfortunately, there are times when, despite our best efforts, oral surgery is necessary.

There are several reasons why our Van Nuys dentist recommends surgery for patients. The most common causes include:

• Impacted Wisdom Teeth-
The third molars, often called wisdom teeth because they erupt around the age of 18, are a prevalent reason for oral surgery. Occasionally, there will be room for the third molars in a patient’s jaw. Frequently, there is no room for these teeth, and they become trapped or impacted and require surgical removal. If a dentist does not remove the impacted teeth, then the patient experiences extreme pain and swelling. If left untreated long enough, the third molars will push the other molars out of place or possibly become infected.

• Tooth Loss-
When one or more teeth are missing, regardless of the reason, the patient is at risk for bone loss. Bone loss happens because the body senses the empty tooth socket and believes there is no reason to maintain that section of the jaw bone. With the advent of dental implant surgery, bone loss is reversible. The oral surgeon inserts a small titanium screw into the empty tooth socket. After several months, the body accepts the screw, and there is a permanent fusion. Once the implant is secure, you receive a specially designed crown to fit on the screw and replace the missing tooth.

• Temporomandibular Joint Disorders-
Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) cause patients extreme pain and misery in the form of a headache, facial pain, ear pain, difficulty chewing, and sleep disturbance. Often these symptoms are managed with pain medication and physical therapy. Occasionally, extreme symptoms warrant oral surgery to repair the joint.

• Other conditions- There are many more reasons our oral surgeon in Van Nuys recommends oral surgery to a patient. Problems such as facial injuries, cleft-palate, biopsy, abnormal jaw growth, and facial infections all may require oral surgery.

If you believe you are experiencing any of the problems seen above, please contact our office for an appointment right away.