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.

Different Types of Dental Bridges

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Dental bridges are a type of restoration that is usually used when a patient has lost one or a few teeth. Bridges are specifically designed to be suspended between the teeth on either side of the gap, which helps maintain proper spacing and preserve alignment. A bridge can restore the aesthetics and function of an entire smile.

Several types of bridges are available, including:

  • Traditional bridges
    These restorations consist of an artificial tooth and two crowns. The crowns are placed on the teeth next to the gap, while the artificial tooth fills the gap. The traditional bridge is the most common type of bridge and is generally made of porcelain for the most aesthetic results.
  • Maryland bridges
    A Maryland bridge consists of an artificial tooth attached to two wings, which are bonded to the teeth next to the gap.
  • Implant-supported bridges
    These bridges are similar in design to traditional bridges. Although, instead of being supported by natural teeth, an implant-supported bridge is supported by dental implants, which act as replacement tooth roots.

Bridges can be a good option for people who want a conservative tooth replacement. The right type of bridge can restore your smile, allow you to bite and eat easily again, and it can help keep your teeth healthy. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our Northridge dentist.