Why Dental Exams are Important

Group of friendsYour dental exam may seem skippable simply because it doesn’t happen very often. By this reasoning, if seeing the dentist were essential, more than one or two per year would be required. But this regularity is just right for keeping up with your dental status, and not making your appointment could be a setback.

Your dentist establishes a baseline of care at the start of your treatment, one that extends throughout your time as a patient. To maintain this baseline, the doctor needs you to stay relatively on course—by brushing and flossing, and watching your diet. The exam performs an important function simply by confirming the status quo.

The dentist wants to be aware of any changes in lifestyle—like quitting smoking, for example, or going vegan. A lot of your exam will happen in conversation.

Of course, our San Fernando Valley dentist also performs a full head and neck exam, in addition to looking at your mouth. Checking your head and neck can alert the doctor of any irregularity, like a cyst or swollen lymph node.

The oral exam itself is not just a cavity check—the doctor is always on the lookout for signs of oral cancer or other pathology.

Call today to schedule your next dental exam in San Fernando Valley.

Benefits in Getting a Smile Makeover

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Regular dentistry is essential for keeping your smile healthy, but cosmetic dentistry can give you an attractive smile. If you are self-conscious about your smile, we can help. Our smile makeover before and after images can show you the many ways a smile can be renewed, improved and transformed. We can help you find the right treatments for your smile.

The benefits of a healthy smile are clear, but there are benefits associated with a smile makeover, too, including:

• Improved self-confidence because you feel good about your smile and your appearance
• Better social well-being as you are more willing to engage in new environments and with new people
• Stronger work performance as you become more confident in your professional life

Many people who undergo smile makeovers even discover that they enjoy better dental health after their treatments. Once their smiles look better, they find they are more motivated to take good care of their smiles. Taking proper care of your teeth can keep them looking as good as they did immediately after your makeover and is essential for maintaining your new smile. It can also help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Call our dental office today to learn more about what a smile makeover can do for you or to schedule your appointment.

Your First Orthodontic Appointment

Happy weekendExperts recommend that everyone see an orthodontist by the age of seven. This is for several reasons. First, because some of the permanent teeth are starting to grow in, meaning our orthodontist can start to evaluate their structure. Secondly, the jaw is still developing, so it can still be guided if needed.

At this first appointment, our Rocklin orthodontist will begin by inspecting each tooth, whether baby or permanent. They may also do some light cleaning to get rid of some food debris in the food area. They will also evaluate how the teeth in the lower and upper arches fit together. From this quick inspection, they will gain a good idea regarding whether or not you would benefit from braces or a form of braces.

If the patient is seven or near this age, chances are they will not be recommended braces right away, if needed. Orthodontic work is most effective when all of the permanent teeth have fully grown in. In the time being, a retainer may be recommended to prep the teeth for braces.

Treatment often begins during the early teenage years. Learning whether or not you will need orthodontic treatment later on can help you prepare for this process. Learn more about early orthodontics on our site.

Endodontic Treatments

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Are you experiencing a tooth ache? If so, you are likely in a lot of pain right now, and wishing for something that can magically take it away quickly. Fortunately, there’s a special dentist specifically for this purpose. Endodontists can perform root canal and other types of treatments in order to save your tooth and eliminate all pain.

Root canal treatments involve using a drill to create a hole in the tooth. This gives our expert in endodontics access to the pulp, which has become infected. All of the infected tissue is removed and replaced with a special dental packing material. The tooth is then restored with a crown or filling.

Endodontic retreatment is sometimes necessary after root canal therapy. This is needed when some infected tissue has been missed and not removed, typically from deep in the bottom of the canals. Our endodontist can go back into the tooth and ensure any infected tissue is gone. Endodontic treatment is also sometimes necessary after a physical accident in which a tooth has been broken, or the pulp otherwise affected.

If you are suffering from a tooth ache, do not ignore the pain – it will not go away on its own. You will need the help of our experienced dentist in San Francisco as soon as possible.

How to Know if You Have Sleep Apnea

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Sleep apnea is a very tricky condition to diagnose. This is because most of the symptoms can look like signs of other health issues. Furthermore, the most telling symptoms occur at night during sleep. Identifying sleep apnea is vital to get quality night’s sleep, and prevent serious health conditions. Here is what you should look for if you are concerned you have sleep apnea.

Symptoms during sleep:

• Snoring
• Holding the breath
• Gasping for air
• Waking up to go to the bathroom frequently
• Insomnia
• Bruxism, or habitually clenching and grinding of the teeth
• Nightmares
• Breathing through the mouth
• Loud breathing

Symptoms during the day:

• Morning headaches
• Dry mouth
• Moodiness and irritability
• Cravings for sugary and/or fatty foods
• Weight gain
• Obesity
• Depression
• Constant fatigue
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems, such as heart conditions, diabetes, and stroke. Furthermore, the lack of quality sleep can cause the patient to fall asleep at inopportune times or in dangerous situations.

Our sleep apnea doctors will work with you to determine the best treatment for you. This may include certain lifestyle changes, an oral appliance, or CPAP machine. In certain cases, surgery might be necessary. Schedule your appointment today.

Different Teeth Whitening Systems

Group of friendsIs your smile looking less than brilliant lately? The natural color of teeth can vary quite a bit, but they can also develop stains over time as a result of exposure to food, drinks and other substances, such as tobacco. If you are not happy with the color of your teeth, our tooth whitening dentist can help you find a solution to brighten your smile.

Several teeth whitening systems are available, including:

1. Professional in-office whitening
If time is an issue and you want your results fast, in-office whitening is the way to go. We do all the work while you sit back and relax, and when you leave our office, your smile can be up to eight to 10 shades brighter than when you entered. Professional in-office treatments usually take about an hour, so you can even squeeze them in on your lunch break.

2. Take-home whitening
Take-home whitening treatments are professional-strength whitening treatments, which means that you get fast, effective results. However, they are designed for you to do in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

3. DIY whitening
Over-the-counter whitening treatments use lower concentrations of the active bleaching ingredient for safety reasons, so results can take longer and are not as dramatic.

Call our dental office today to schedule your consultation.

How Your Memory is Affected by Losing Teeth

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A recent study published in the “European Journal of Oral Sciences” found that memory and tooth loss were closely associated. According to animal studies, rats without teeth suffered neuronal loss and damage to the part of the brain associated with memory formation. They were also more likely to have memory and learning problems.

In the study, the participants were missing about a third of their teeth, which could have narrowed their dietary options and led to nutritional deficiencies. According to researchers, teeth may send sensory signals to the brain, so losing natural teeth reduces the sensory input that the brain receives and can affect its overall function. Gum infections, which are the leading cause of tooth loss, may also affect memory loss. Gum disease causes inflammation, which leads to neuronal death.

While a dental implant cannot provide the same sensory input as natural teeth, they can restore your ability to eat nutrient-dense whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, which nourish your body and your brain. They also help maintain bone structure and stimulate blood supply to the brain. Call our office today to learn more about the effect of tooth loss on memory or to schedule an appointment with our team.