Prosthodontists and What They Do

Dental assistant smiling at cameraProsthodontists are often the chief architects of dental makeovers. Their training includes four years of dental school as usual, plus three graduate years during which they study extensively in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Prosthodontics is one of nine dental specialties spelled out by the American Dental Association (ADA).

Practices of our prosthodontist in LA include:

• Crowning or “capping” teeth that have structural insufficiency

• Placing veneers to camouflage chips, stains, or other surface flaws in teeth

• Dental implants, bonding, and placement of full and partial dentures

• Advanced maxillofacial prosthetics, like oral cancer reconstruction

An important role for the prosthodontist is supervisory. Patients requesting full mouth reconstructions often need the input and expertise of several practitioners across a range of dentistry. It’s the prosthodontist who reviews proposals, makes referrals, and organizes care management.

If you entertain the idea of the dental mastermind, you could do worse than choose a prosthodontist. The expanse of their training, plus their certification by the American Board of Prosthodontists, make them imminently more qualified than a general dentist who just took a weekend course. Prosthodontists are also the preferred dentist of third parties, who may be overseeing the dental care of an older parent or of a child with special needs.

Contact our expert in periodontics in LA today.

How Can Veneers be Custom Designed?

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Dental veneers are a great way to create a smile you love. They are placed over the teeth in order to mask cosmetic flaws, such as chips, stains, and crooked teeth. At a consultation appointment, you can work with our veneer dentist in Los Angeles to design the look of each individual tooth.

When you come to visit our dentist, you can bring some pictures of example smiles that you want yours to look like. We will also have some example models that you can put on front of your mouth to see potential results. This is the time to express any specific desires you may want. Is there a tooth you would like to be a bit longer? An area you would like to be more even? Let us know so we can create your veneers according to your preferences.

We will even be able to create an image of your potential future smile, so you can see exactly what it would look like. These possibilities mean that you know exactly what you will be getting, and so there will be no surprises.

If you are interested in getting dental veneers to perfect your smile, schedule an appointment with us today.

When is a Dental Extraction Necessary?

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Once a dreaded necessity—so common and inconvenient we still use the phrase “like pulling teeth” to describe an annoying or difficult task—tooth extractions have been minimized by education and technology. They’re still used, but no longer as a one-size-fits-all solution to any kind of tooth pain or infection.

Often a dental extraction is preemptive. Some patients have genetically narrow arches, meaning not all their teeth will fit properly. If the patient can’t use arch expansion tools, some teeth have to go.

Other times extraction is necessary when a tooth breaks off below the gum line. If you suffered an injury, microscopic fractures may have occurred below the gum line, making the tooth impossible to repair. This may also result from rampant infection, especially one that doesn’t respond to antibiotics.

Our expert in dental extractions in Los Angeles extracts a lot of wisdom teeth, sometimes preemptively. These late molars can have trouble erupting into the mouth, or can cause crowding or impacting. Considered non-essential teeth, these are routinely taken out to avoid any trouble.

Most extractions are simple, and are done with traditional tools like elevators and forceps. If a tooth is compromised or structurally damaged, it may require surgical removal.

Contact our Los Angeles dentists for more about extractions.

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.

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.

Can I Afford Snap On Smile?

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It’s hard to shop for dentistry when you’re on a budget. If your teeth look less than their best and you have a photo opportunity coming up, or a life event like a wedding, you should consider Snap On Smile as a cost-effective alternative to major dental work.

Merely whitening your teeth won’t make up for teeth that are broken, crooked, or missing. Snap On Smile is a patented product designed to disguise teeth that are not up to code—either temporarily or for as long as you like. Since Snap On Smile is a prosthetic, you can remove it and wear it every day or not at all.

Snap On Smile cost in Los Angeles depends on your zip code, and in some cases on the design of your tray. Not all arches are created equal, and some patients need more coverage than others.

There is an even more temporary version of Snap On Smile in which you fit the teeth yourself. These devices have to be treated, usually with hot water, and essentially serve as more cosmetic mouth guards. However, with Snap On Smile, you can relax knowing your plate was designed exclusively for you.

Contact our Snap On Smile dentist in LA today.

When is Surgery Required for Gum Disease?

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Gum disease is a common problem, and while it can be reversed in its earliest stages, it can also be quite aggressive. Without treatment, it can destroy the structures that surround and protect the teeth, leading to tooth and bone loss. For this reason, our periodontists in LA may recommend surgery to treat gum disease for some patients.

Bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm that consists of bacteria and food debris, is the primary cause of gum disease. Plaque is constantly forming in your mouth, and good dental hygiene is required to remove it. If it builds up, the toxins released by the bacteria irritate the gums, which respond by becoming inflamed. The inflammatory response is defensive and helps destroy the bacteria, but it also destroys the gum and bone tissue.

You may benefit from surgery for gum disease if you have:

• Deep periodontal pockets that cannot be easily cleaned
• Exposed tooth roots due to gum recession
• Lost bone tissue around the teeth

A variety of restorative and regenerative procedures can be used to tighten periodontal pockets and regrow lost tissues. They will typically be performed in conjunction with more conservative therapies. Call our gum surgeon in Los Angeles to learn more or to schedule your consultation.