How Dental Implants Prevent Facial Sagging

Dental implant

When one of our patients loses a tooth, they typically visit our dentist if the missing tooth left a noticeable empty space in their smile. Otherwise, many patients incorrectly believe there is no harm if an unseen tooth falls out.

Numerous unseen things are happening under your gum line that makes losing a tooth more than a cosmetic problem. The roots of your teeth stimulate nerves in the sockets which send signals to your brain. Once the brain gets the signal, it supplies the area with necessary nutrients. However, when you lose a tooth, the lack of nerve stimulation makes your brain believe the area is dead and no nutrients arrive. After a period of time, you start to lose bone in your jaw. Once enough time passes, your face begins to sag because there are no bone structures to support the skin. Eventually, you develop a sunken face and the tooth loss that seemed insignificant matters a great deal.

When our dental implants dentist in Huntington Beach places a dental implant, a small titanium rod fills the space that held the root of the tooth. The rod’s presence stimulates the nerves in the socket, and the brain believes the area needs nutrients again. As time goes on, the titanium rod fuses to the jaw through a process called osseointegration. The body continues to supply necessary nutrients to the area with the dental implant, and this prevents bone loss.

As the area around the missing tooth is no longer at risk for bone loss because of the placement of the dental implant, you are not going to experience any facial sagging or sinking because the skin has supportive structure to hold it in its place. An added benefit to the dental implant is that you will be able to efficiently chew your food and eat nutritious fruits and vegetables that were difficult to eat while missing a tooth.

If you are missing one or more teeth and would like to know more about dental implants, feel free to contact our office. Our staff will arrange a no-obligation consultation so you can explore your implant options.

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How Are Crowns Made?

Cheerful couple embracing and posing on the beach on a sunny day

Dental crowns are a common treatment many of our patients need at one time or another. Crowns are an excellent way to improve the structure and the look of a tooth while protecting the delicate root beneath.

Aside from necessitating multiple visits for treatment, the thing our patients say is the biggest drawback about getting crowns is the time spent waiting on the new crown to arrive from the dental lab so the temporary crown can go.

This is why our cosmetic dentist is pleased to offer one visit crowns. These crowns are every bit as well made and aesthetically pleasing as the crowns made in the offsite dental lab. However, because of advances in Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD/CAM), you only need a single office visit.

The same day crowns made in our office, allow our dentist to cultivate perfection in one visit. A machine designs the crown based on schematics received from the scans our dentist takes of the tooth that needs repair. After completing the design, a milling machine uses the information to carve your crown from a single piece of porcelain.

The procedure for getting a crown made on the same day is not much different than the traditional method of getting a crown.
You start out with an examination and general health questions. The process for one visit crowns is quite straightforward.

• Anesthetize the area around the tooth
• Carefully clear away any decaying tissue
• Re-shape the remainder of the healthy tooth, so the crown fits
• Use a special device to create a digital impression of your tooth. This will be the basis for the crown design
• Send the information to our in-house lab technician who creates your crown from a single block of porcelain
• Test the fit of the crown and make any necessary adjustments
• Secure your new crown in place
• Smooth and polish your crown

Patients love having their crown complete in a single office visit. If you would like more information about our same day dentistry, please call our office.

Is a Dental Implant Right for Me?

Dental implant

Our dental office encourages patients who are missing teeth to consider dental implants. While not each and every patient is a good candidate, a large number of our patients receive implants.

Dental implants are extremely helpful to patients; the American Dental Association (ADA) believes implants are one of the most helpful newer products available. Our expert in dental implants in Van Nuys agrees with that assessment.

Prior to the arrival of dental implants, a patient missing a tooth, or several teeth, had few options. A dental bridge could fill in empty spots left after losing a few adjacent teeth. Our Van Nuys dentist frequently would place an individual false tooth to fill in the space for a single missing tooth.

While these efforts improved the appearance of patients’ smiles and their ability to eat, bridges and false teeth were unable to impact patients’ overall dental health in the same way dental implants can.

Part of what makes dental implants so revolutionary is the fact that the small titanium screw responsible for holding the visible part of the implant sits directly in the empty tooth socket. Filling the empty socket is important because, when a tooth falls out, the brain gets no stimulation from the tooth root and therefore does not send nourishment to the empty socket. Eventually, the lack of nutrients causes bone loss, and a caved in look to the face.

Placing a dental implant means that the titanium screw will act as the tooth root and send signals to the brain that the socket needs care. Over time, any bone loss reverses as a process known as osseointegration fuses the implant into the socket as though it were a natural part of the body. The fusion of the screw into the tooth socket greatly impacts the strength and stability of the new tooth. The majority of patients tell us they can eat foods they enjoy without concern of dentures or bridges loosening.

To learn more about dental implants, please contact our office. We have abundant information and can also set up a free consultation where you can learn if dental implants are an option for you.

Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Health?

Our patients are often surprised to learn that the sleep apnea patient’s dentist initially discovers the majority of sleep apnea cases. So many of the early signs of the disorder show up in the mouth; it is difficult for a trained professional not to notice something is not right. Our dentist in Huntington Beach is well aquatinted with the sleep apnea indicators and is certain to check for any tell-tale signs of sleep apnea.

An important fact that many people do not realize is sleep apnea is a significant health problem. Over 10-million people experience some form of sleep apnea. Many of those who have the disorder experience a mild case, but there are tens of thousands of sleep apnea patients who struggle with other significant health problems linked to sleep apnea.

Our sleep apnea dentist is quick to point out that sleep apnea is much more than an inconvenient series of nights filled with loud snoring. Sleep Apnea has links to major health problems. Some of these health problems include:

• Heart Disease- The cycle of frequent waking after you stop breathing, puts tremendous stress on the cardiovascular system. The body has a difficult time trying to adjust to continual drops in blood oxygen levels. As a result, patients with sleep apnea are likely to experience irregular heartbeats or heart attacks.

• High Blood Pressure- When the body senses the brain, and other organs are not getting enough oxygen (because of the poorly oxygenated blood) hormones secrete to raise the blood pressure, with the hope of getting more oxygen.

• Obesity- Lack of deep sleep that accompanies sleep apnea leads the body to release a hormone called ghrelin. It is also known as the hunger hormone. When the hormone pairs with the constant fatigue seen in sleep apnea patients, the patient is prone to overeating and eventually obesity.

• Mood and Cognition Disturbances- Lack of sleep disrupts the natural patterns of sleep the human body needs to think clearly. Additionally, depressed mood is a frequent problem seen in sleep apnea patients.

If you believe that you may have sleep apnea, please tell our dentist right away. We have various options to help end your sleep apnea problems for good.

Common Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Snoring man, frustrated woman

We frequently see patients with various kinds of jaw problems as well as worn or cracked teeth. While our patients may not be aware of it, our dentist in North Hollywood knows immediately that sleep apnea is the most likely culprit behind these symptoms.

Dentists are nearly always the first members of the medical community to notice sleep apnea symptoms and refer patients to doctors for a formal diagnosis. The referral is necessary because only a doctor specializing in sleep disorders can “officially” diagnose the problem.

For many years, sleep apnea was believed to be a mere inconvenience, loud snoring disrupting sleep. Our sleep apnea dentist in North Hollywood will tell you that the disorder is more than an annoyance. Over ten million people suffer from sleep apnea; many do not know they have the problem. Not every sufferer experiences life-threatening complications because of sleep apnea, but the disorder ties to serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Additionally, those with sleep apnea must endure multiple medical problems such as oxygen deprivation and significant sleep deprivation.

The oral problems frequently caused by sleep apnea are not widely publicized. Although through patient education, more people are learning about the link between sleep apnea and dental issues.

Here are some symptoms of sleep apnea we frequently see.

• Tooth grinding (also called bruxism)-We see many patients who show signs of tooth grinding such as worn teeth. Patients with bruxism often also have chipped or cracked teeth because of the tremendous pressure the jaw exerts. Researchers tell us that the link between bruxism and sleep apnea is that a patient begins grinding their teeth as a way to wake the body and breathe.

• Temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ)- Sleep apnea and TMJ relate to each other through tooth grinding and jaw clenching. It is very common for a patient with sleep apnea to wake with extreme headaches radiating from their jaws.

• Dry mouth- Patients who complain of dry mouth, especially upon waking, tend to be apnea patients who mouth- breathe during the night.

If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact our office. There are many types of treatments our dentist can suggest that can make a huge difference in your sleep and your life.

Dental Care after Root Canal

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Our root canal patients are generally feeling much better soon after the procedure. Removing the dead and decaying material inside the tooth gives patients great relief. It is important for patients to remember that even if they feel much better, the tooth experienced a trauma, so proper care is necessary.

After your root canal procedure is complete, one of our dentists in North Hollywood will provide instructions for you to follow once you are home. It is important for you to follow these directions as this will bring you the quickest and least complicated recovery possible.

In addition to specific instructions from our dentist, here are several helpful tips to make recovering from your root canal comfortable.

• Plan to rest as much as you can on the day of your root canal; a day or two is preferable if you have that option. If possible, prepare a comfortable spot to recuperate after you are home and stock up on soft foods to eat after the root canal.

• Do not eat until the numbness wears off and you can feel the inside of your mouth and tongue. You run a risk of a painful bite if you try to eat too soon.

• Follow medication instructions carefully, especially if our dentist prescribed painkillers. Take your medication as directed to stay ahead of the pain.

• Eat soft foods until the dentist puts a crown on your tooth. This is important for patients who have temporary crowns as well as those who have no cover on the tooth.

• Brush and floss your teeth and make sure to keep the area around the root canal clean so you will not get an infection.

While a root canal is not on any lists of fun ways to spend a day, with proper attention and a little time you will be happy you took care of your tooth. Should you have any post-op concerns, feel free to call our office. We can give you the information you need and, if necessary, put you in touch with our dentist.

How Invisalign Corrects Teeth

dispositivo ortodontico bite

Throughout our many years in dentistry, new procedures and ideas have come and gone. The most sought-after treatment, by far, is the Invisalign system. Our patients are pleased with their results as well as with the way Invisalign works.

To begin your Invisalign treatment, our cosmetic dentist in North Hollywood takes a digital scan of your teeth. The image goes to the Invisalign dental lab. At the lab technicians use the information to plan the movement of your teeth during your treatment. After planning the future tooth adjustments, a technician makes a series of 20 to 25 clear plastic alignment trays. These clear trays are thin, lightweight, and slide over your top and bottom teeth.

Invisalign works by using the alignment trays to guide your teeth into the optimal position in your mouth. This process happens gradually, and your Invisalign treatment usually is finished in 18 months. The process is faster than regular wire braces. Occasionally, wired braces can take three years to straighten teeth completely. Because there are no wires to tighten, our Invisalign dentist in North Hollywood provides new aligners about every two weeks. Each alignment tray is slightly different than the other aligners and will guide your teeth a little more towards the correct position.

While taking part in your Invisalign treatment, it is essential to wear the alignment trays 22 hours a day. However, you should not wear the trays while eating or drinking. Be sure to clean the aligners before you put them back into your mouth after eating and brushing your teeth. As your Invisalign treatment moves forward, our dentist will see you periodically to check your progress.

Our patients love the discreet and comfortable alignment trays as well as the fact that the removable trays mean they have no food restrictions. The thing patients enjoy the most is the brilliant smile courtesy of Invisalign.

If you are interested in learning more about Invisalign, please contact our office to schedule an appointment.