Teeth Whitening Expectations 

Group of friendsTeeth whitening is one of our most requested procedures, but a brilliantly white, sparkling smile is not achievable for all of our patients. Having realistic teeth whitening expectations can ensure you are completely happy with your results. Our Northridge cosmetic dentist can help you find the right procedure based on your dental health and habits so that you can achieve your results. 
 
Stains occur for many reasons and often appear as a result of what you eat and drink. Exposure to cola, tea, coffee, wine berries, tomato sauce, curry and other strongly colored foods and drinks will leave teeth discolored. Tobacco use and excessive fluoride exposure can also discolor teeth. Less commonly, trauma and certain medications can discolor teeth. 
 
Most extrinsic stains, or stains caused by external factors like foods and drinks, respond well to conventional teeth whitening treatments. These treatments use peroxide to oxidize the stains in the enamel and dentin and lighten the color of teeth. Intrinsic discolorations, or stains located inside the tooth’s structure, will not usually respond to conventional teeth whitening treatments. We may recommend dental veneers to cover discolored teeth.  
 
Pregnant women, children under 16, people with active gum disease, people with untreated cavities and those with extremely sensitive teeth might not be candidates for teeth whitening. Additionally, teeth whitening treatments will not leave your teeth unnaturally white. Call our dentist today to schedule an appointment for teeth whitening in Northridge.

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When is Crown Lengthening an Option?

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Crown lengthening began as a useful way to add bone to the gumline, when a tooth needed a crown. Recently, it has come into vogue as a cosmetic procedure as well. This is because people with gummy smiles want to show more teeth. Gummy smiles can be genetic, but they can also develop because of a hyperactive muscle, or due to abnormal tooth eruption.

If you have a gummy smile, crown lengthening either adds bone or subtracts gingival tissue, for a contouring effect. Not only will your smile be toothier, you can also count on your gum health improving, and your risk of periodontal disease decreasing.

But crown lengthening is still a valuable restorative service. If a tooth has decayed significantly, or if a tooth broke off at or near the gum line, a crown can rebuild structure and function. But a crown needs volume, and crown lengthening provides that. The procedure is similar to filling a tooth, and our expert in crown lengthening in Northridge will most likely divide it into two sessions: first the rebuild (addition or subtraction of bone or tissue), and then the install (placing of the crown).

For more, contact our cosmetic dentist in Northridge.

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.

How Severe Sleep Apnea Can Affect You

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Many individuals suffer from sleep apnea without even knowing it. They may not sleep in the same room with another person, so there is no way to know that they snore excessively. Furthermore, sleep apnea causes patients to wake up sometimes hundreds of times a night, but only slightly, meaning patients do not usually realize it. So it is normal for sleep apnea sufferers to be completely unaware of the problem.

There are two types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs due to the muscles in the throat relaxing during sleep, blocking air from entering into the system. Central sleep apnea has the same effect, but is caused by the brain not prompting the breathing process during sleep.

The symptoms of severe sleep apnea, both obstructive and central, are multiple and dangerous. Most are due to the lack of restorative REM sleep. Patients often complain about fatigue, moodiness, increased appetite, and irritability. If left untreated, symptoms can worsen, and cause serious health issues, such as diabetes and depression.

Our expert in sleep apnea in Northridge can diagnose patients with a sleep study. Possible treatments include weight loss, adjusted sleeping positions, and oral devices. If these tactics are unsuccessful, a CPAP machine may be recommended.

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.

Health Conditions You Should Discuss with Your Dentist

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Certain health conditions raise risks of dental problems and may affect treatment recommendations. In some cases where these conditions are known, extra preventive care can help keep complications at bay. Here are some of the main health issues that you should talk about with our expert in dental exam in Northridge.

Heart Disease

If you have heart disease, your heart health could be further compromised by gum disease or other oral infections. Our dentist may recommend supportive treatments for your gum health and may prescribe antibiotics before and after certain procedures.

Uncontrolled Diabetes

When diabetes is not controlled, high blood glucose and immunosuppression can result. Both of these place the teeth and gums at higher risks of problems, making preventive care extra important.

Dry Mouth

Whether it results from aging, medication side effects or another cause, dry mouth deprives the teeth and gums of saliva. Without the antibacterial action and mineral content of saliva, gum disease and cavities are more likely to develop. Special treatments may be given to help offset this risk.

Our dentist personalizes oral care plans to help patients have healthy, great-looking teeth and gums. During a consultation at our dental office in Northridge, you can tell our dentist about any conditions you have and find out what preventive measures are available.

When are Braces Most Effective?

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Braces are still the best, most effective orthodontic treatment available for patients, which is why our Northridge dentist provides it as an option. But one of the most common lines of questions all dentists get is about when the best time to get braces is.
The reality is that no one is ever too old to receive braces, so long as their bones are strong enough to support their movement. In fact, the fastest-growing sector of the industry are adult patients seeking treatment that they were not able to get when they were younger. Indeed, some estimates show that adults of all ages now make up around half of all patients with braces today, which is profoundly different from just ten years ago.

However, the best time to undergo orthodontic treatment is when you are a teenager and still growing, but only for one specific reason. This is because the treatment is able to take advantage of the still-growing body and mouth of the patient. Doing so can sometimes significantly reduce treatment times. But with that single advantage of getting them when you are younger, there is no time when braces are more effective.

To attain the benefits of the treatment as soon as possible, contact our expert in braces in Northridge to schedule a consultation.