Best Preventive Dentistry Treatments

Woman at the dentistry

In the past, dentists and patients would simply address dental problems as they arise. Today, we are better at preventing issues before they start. This is called preventive dentistry. There are a few different treatments our Torrance cosmetic dentist offers to patients looking to lower the risk of dental problems.

Fluoride treatments are very useful for many patients. Aggressive brushing and acidic foods or drinks can scrub away at our dental enamel. This leaves the teeth unprotected, meaning the nerves can be affected through small tubes in the dentin. Many patients experience severe tooth sensitivity due to this issue. Fluoride helps to remineralize the teeth, and build the enamel back up.

Dental sealants are also a helpful preventive dental treatment. This uses a material similar to plastic, which is placed on the cusps of the molars. These cusps are very textured, and difficult to clean of plaque. Applying a dental sealant protects these areas and keeps the teeth clean for as long as seven years.

There is one preventive measure that you can do at home. If you know or have been told that you clench or grind your teeth while sleeping, our preventive dentist recommends wearing a mouth guard at night. This keeps the teeth from damaging one another, preventing chips, cracks, and wear.

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Options in Dental Fillings

Happy patient

Cavities in teeth must be filled. Fillings can restore the tooth’s size and shape and protect the damaged part of the tooth from further decay. Several options for dental fillings are available, and our Torrance cosmetic dentist can help you decide on the best one for your smile.

The most common dental filling options include:

1. Composite resin fillings
Composite resin is a tooth-colored material that is made of glass or quartz mixed with other materials. These fillings bond chemically with the tooth’s structure and are capable of withstanding significant bite forces.

2. Amalgam fillings
Amalgam fillings, which are sometimes called silver fillings, have been used for many years to restore teeth. Amalgam is a blend of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. It is strong and durable, though not necessarily aesthetic.

3. Gold fillings
Gold fillings have been used for hundreds of years and are known for their durability, but they are also quite noticeable, much like amalgam fillings.

Fillings are usually placed in a single visit, and require no special care beyond good dental hygiene. Call our expert in dental fillings in Torrance today to find out more about dental fillings or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Advantages of Digital Dental X-Rays

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Dental X-rays are often used to monitor changes in your smile, identify dental diseases below the gumline and between teeth, or plan treatment. Our Torrance dentist uses digital dental X-rays, which offer many advantages over conventional dental X-rays.

Digital X-rays are processed quickly and are immediately sent to a computer screen where you can easily see the image. There is no need for the film to be processed with special chemicals, and the images are bright, crisp, and clear. We can adjust the colors and contrast so that you can see specific features more clearly. We can even enlarge the images.

Unlike conventional X-rays, digital images are easy to print, copy, and send electronically to insurance companies or dental specialists as needed. This can speed up your treatment or simplify claims processing. Because they eliminate the need for film and the chemicals associated with the film, they are even more environmentally friendly.

With digital X-rays, you will spend less time in the dental chair and more time understanding your treatment options. There is even less radiation involved in administering the X-rays. Call us today to learn more or to schedule your next appointment with our expert in digital dental X-rays in Torrance.

Choosing Your Kids’ Orthodontist

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Basic qualifications for an orthodontist include completion of dental school and an orthodontic residency program. For the best orthodontic experience, however, you may want to take other considerations into account as well as you choose the orthodontist who gives your child straight teeth. Here is a look at factors to consider.

Availability of Different Treatments

Many modern patients prefer braces other than the traditional metal ones. Unfortunately, not all orthodontists offer alternatives, such as ceramic braces and lingual braces. Ask orthodontists whether they provide these treatments if you are considering them for your child.

Flexible Scheduling

Orthodontic treatment requires regular appointments for adjustments and progress checking. To avoid having to delay treatment progress due to scheduling conflicts, choose an orthodontist who offers care during the hours convenient for you and your child.

Friendly Treatment

An orthodontist, staff, and office that make your child feel comfortable will provide the best treatment experience. If your child does not dread orthodontic appointments, he or she may feel more motivated to comply with treatment requirements.

The American Association of Orthodontists provides a website directory for reputable braces providers. Our kids orthodontist in Torrance, a member of the AAO, offers consultations for parents who want to learn more about our treatment options and standards.

Invisalign Consultations

If you are planning on using Invisalign for your orthodontic treatment, the first thing you will want to do is to find an Invisalign provider. Providers are conveniently listed by zip code on the Invisalign website. Once you have found an Invisalign provider, the next step is to set up a consultation with them. It is recommended that you set up a consultation with at least a few different Invisalign providers, as you will want to make sure they are a good fit.

The consultation is primarily an information gathering session for you and the provider. You will get to ask the provider any questions you may have about the Invisalign treatment process. You may want to ask about the total cost of the treatment or about the length of treatment time. The provider will use the consultation to determine whether or not Invisalign is the right choice for you. While Invisalign is able to treat a wide range of orthodontic issues, it may not be suitable for particularly severe cases of malocclusion. In those cases, our Torrance orthodontist may recommend metal braces.

If you are interested in setting up an Invisalign consultation to see if it is right for your orthodontic needs, contact our expert in Invisalign in Torrance.

Invisalign and Its Advantages

Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that serves as an alternative to traditional metal braces. The Invisalign system uses a series of clear plastic aligners in order to straighten the teeth. There are some distinct advantages when it comes to this type of orthodontic treatment.

One of the unique features about Invisalign aligners is that they are made from a clear plastic, which renders them invisible while they are being worn. Patients tell our orthodontist in Torrance that they appreciate the level of discretion that is maintained while undergoing orthodontic treatment with Invisalign. Another perk concerning the aligners is that they are removable. Because you remove them before you eat or drink anything other than water, patients are able to continue eating the foods they have always enjoyed. This stands in stark contrast to the restrictive diet that is imposed on patients by metal braces. The removable nature of the aligners also promotes better oral hygiene for the patient, as the patient is able to brush and floss their teeth like normal, without the need to brush around metal brackets and wires.

If you are interested in learning if Invisalign is the right orthodontic treatment for you, contact our expert in Invisalign in Torrance to schedule a consultation.

Lingual Braces Compared to Traditional Braces

Dentist office

Lingual braces do have brackets and wires similar to traditional braces. Yet, unlike traditional braces, lingual braces are placed behind teeth rather than in front. This difference in position makes lingual braces invisible to onlookers and is aesthetically pleasing for the patient. Meanwhile, the conventional bracket-based structure ensures a wide-open candidacy for this treatment.

What Can Lingual Braces Correct?

Like traditional braces, lingual braces can straighten most issues involving overbite, underbite, crossbite and improper rotation. Some bite irregularities, such as narrow palate, do make other appliances necessary with either type of braces. Because of their placement, lingual braces are not always an option for patients whose overbite is severe.

Are Lingual Braces Totally Invisible?

Since lingual braces are placed behind the top teeth, they cannot be seen by others at all. However, the shorter bottom teeth may allow slight visibility from some angles. This is unlikely to be an issue for most patients, though.

Both lingual braces and traditional braces can trap food particles and bacteria around the brackets, so taking extra care is necessary during brushing and flossing. Generally, recipients of lingual or traditional braces can expect to complete treatment within two years. At a consultation with our expert in lingual braces in Torrance, patients can learn more about the differences between these treatments and find out which best meets their goals.