How is Gum Disease Treated?

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Many of our patients have gum disease and do not know it. This is because the disease has nearly no symptoms in its earliest stages. The indicators of very early gum disease are subtle and are easy to overlook.

Gum disease (also called gingivitis in early stages and periodontitis in advanced stages) has several symptoms during the early phases that our dentist looks for during routine exams. The most common are swelling and redness of the gums as well as bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. These symptoms occur because plaque builds up along the gum line without careful dental hygiene.

If gum disease progresses, bacteria in the plaque will harden to form tartar which further irritates the gums. Bacteria will also form pockets if infection at the gum line, which leads to receding gums, exposed roots, significant infection, tooth loss, and bone loss.

The sooner our periodontist in Torrance treats your gum disease, the easier the treatment. There are two types of treatment for gum disease non-surgical and surgical intervention.

NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS- These will help if you are in the earliest stages of gum disease.

• Dental Cleaning- A professional deep cleaning of your teeth and gums is sometimes enough to stop gum disease before it forms a stronghold. This is also one of the best preventatives to keep you safe from gum disease.

• Scaling and root planning- Our dentist uses this treatment to scrape away hardened tartar and plaque at and below the gum line. Once the bacteria is gone, your gum will reattach and cover any exposed roots.

SURGICAL TREATMENTS- Our dentist uses surgical techniques for advanced cases of gum disease.

• Flap surgery- You receive a local anesthetic to numb the area before our periodontist loosens your gum, clears all of the infection, and re-attaches your gum over the root of your tooth.

• Bone grafts- Some patients require a more significant form of anesthesia for this procedure. Our dentist removes pieces of bone from your jaw and uses them to begin regrowth of bone lost to gum disease.

• Bone surgery- If necessary, this procedure happens after flap surgery. Before reattaching your gum over the root of your tooth, the dentist reshapes the bone to remove any pitting from bacteria.

Remember that prevention is always easier than a cure when it comes to gum disease. Brush and floss carefully and call our office to schedule your regular cleaning and exams.

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Steps in Getting Same Day Crowns

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At our office, we understand that you are busy, and your time is valuable. We do everything we can to make sure the care you receive is thorough and efficient. We are pleased to let you know that you are able to get same day crowns in our office.

Our dentist invested in one of the latest technological advances to make same day crowns possible. The system is known as CEREC. (This stands for Ceramic Reconstructions.) It takes advantage of state-of-the-art computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to create crowns in just one visit.

What sets the CEREC system apart from other dental instruments is the computer assists in a large portion of the process. Using scanning technology eliminates the need for our dentist to make impressions of your tooth and send them to a dental lab. Because you do not need to wait on your new crown to arrive from an offsite dental lab, you can skip the temporary crown which you typically wore for two weeks. The CEREC unit uses a single block of durable ceramic material and crafts your crown in our office.

The process condenses what was once a two or three visit procedure into a few steps.

• The process for same day crowns starts with our dentist clearing away the problematic filling or any dead or decaying tissue from your tooth. Patients usually get a local anesthetic, so they are numb during this removal of the filling or the decaying material.

• Our CEREC device’s camera scans your tooth and makes a three-dimensional image of your tooth.

• CEREC uses the image to design plans for your new crown.

• Once the plans for your restoration are complete, the CEREC milling unit crafts your new crown from an individual ceramic block.

• Our dentist double checks the crown and its fit, and then the crown is affixed to the tooth with a permanent bonding agent. Your new crown is complete.

Our patients are extremely happy with crowns in a single visit. If you would like to get more information about the procedure or the technology, contact our office and our staff will gladly assist you.

Are Veneers a Good Choice for Me

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When it comes to options for improving how your smile looks, we offer our patients a wide variety of treatment options. Our cosmetic dentist in Torrance firmly believes we have an option to provide any patient who comes to our office seeking help with cosmetic dental issues.

One of these options that makes an excellent choice for many patients is dental veneers. The veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or a resin composite material. Our dentist shapes these and matches the color of your teeth so that the veneers blend in seamlessly. They are a practical option for a great many of our patients because they are an efficient, painless, and non-invasive way to make a noticeable improvement to nearly any smile. Our veneers dentist in Torrance recommends this procedure to patients for several reasons, these include:

• Changing the shape of teeth that are too big or too small
• Concealing gaps of various sizes between teeth
• Leveling teeth to correct a bite problem
• Masking teeth with set in stains from medication
• Mending teeth that are worn
• Restoring chipped teeth
• Straightening uneven teeth

If you experience any of these issues, getting veneers could likely be the perfect treatment option to revamp your smile.

Getting veneers is a procedure that takes two office visits. During your first visit, our dentist examines your teeth, and you explain what you believe should change. Our dentist shows you options for the color of your veneers and then prepares your teeth for fitting veneers. Prepping your teeth includes gently shaping your teeth with a special instrument to remove a tiny portion of your enamel. This is necessary to create a good surface for bonding and to give the veneers the right amount of space in relation to your gum line. Our dentist takes impressions of your newly contoured teeth to guide the dental technicians at the lab who will fashion your veneers.

In approximately two weeks, your veneers are ready for placement during your second visit. Our dentist cleans your teeth then applies a bonding material to hold the veneers in place. Once the veneers are on your teeth, a specialized light shines on your teeth to make sure the bond between the veneers and your teeth is secure.

If you think veneers could be a good choice for you, contact us to learn more about the process of getting veneers or to schedule an appointment.

History of Same Day Dental Treatments

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In our dental practice, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of new techniques and advances in dentistry. Our patients are always pleased to learn about the latest and fastest dental treatments available. One advancement, in particular, is extremely popular with our patients, same day dentistry.

Our dentist in Huntington Beach understands that our patients lead hectic lives. For some, just carving out the time for a single dental appointment is a significant achievement. To help our patients receive the care, they need in a relatively short amount of time; our office is happy to offer various same day dental treatments.

While dentistry began around 7000 B.C. in the modern-day Middle East, the same day dental treatment has a much shorter timeline. We only need to look back about 25 years to see the advent of the technology necessary to make procedures like same day crowns possible.

In the mid-1980s, the first chairside ceramic inlays debuted. The premise was to replicate the dental treatments that generally took an off-site dental lab two weeks to manufacture. Rather than several weeks with a temporary protective covering, the patient would leave with their permanent dental work in place. The results were encouraging. However, computer limitations reduced the efficiency needed to make inlays in a reasonable amount of time.

The many advances in technology continued to advance the ideas of same day dental treatments. The adaptation of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to a dental office was the breakthrough necessary to make the same day process a viable option for dentists and their patients. A process of consistent fine-tuning and upgrading over the past two and a half decades brings us quick and comfortable porcelain dental work and eliminates the need to spend two weeks waiting for another appointment to complete the task.

Our office offers many same day options; eligibility for same day care varies as we look at numerous factors including your overall health. If you would like to know more, please contact our office. We are happy to arrange a no-obligation consultation with our dentist so that you can learn more.

How Veneers Cover Dental Flaws

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Our dental practice is well versed in dental veneers. They are an increasingly popular procedure, and many of our patients request information about dental veneers and how they cover imperfections.

When you visit our veneers dentist in Encino for a consultation, our dentist will also evaluate your teeth and create a care plan for you. Additionally, you will learn more about dental veneers and how they work. They are useful for treating many different kinds of dental problems, such as:
• Broken or cracked teeth- Veneers are a valuable shield for a cracked or broken tooth. If your injured tooth is untreated, bacteria can enter the tooth at the site of the cracks or breaks and cause an infection.

• Crooked teeth- Often placing veneers is the most efficient way to treat tooth misalignment, especially if the issue needs only a slight adjustment. Depending on the circumstances, many of our professionals are beginning to prefer this option over traditional orthodontics.

• Severe instances of tooth decay- If tooth decay is a problem, our dentist may suggest a root canal and follow the procedure with veneers.

• Stained teeth- While a whitening treatment is what you need to eliminate stains on your teeth in most cases; there are times when the stains are so severe that applying veneers is the best way to disguise them.

Dental veneers are opaque, thin, and lightweight portions of tooth-colored porcelain or resin. After custom creation from imprints or digital imaging of your teeth, we bond the veneers directly to your teeth.

The porcelain and resin compound used by our Encino cosmetic dentist is durable and resists staining. Our dentist blends the color of the veneers to match with your natural teeth seamlessly. Once our dentist places and bonds your veneers you will find they are comfortable and inconspicuous in your mouth. Dental veneers can last up to 15 years or more with proper care.

Many of our patients are overjoyed with the results they get from veneers. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office to make an appointment for a no-obligation consultation.

Steps in Getting Invisalign

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In 1998, our San Francisco dentist began sharing the advanced technology of Invisalign with our patients. As one of the first in the area to become a certified by Invisalign’s creator, our dentist is an expert in Invisalign treatment. Since that time, countless patients trusted our dentist to guide them through the Invisalign process.

Getting Invisalign is straightforward, but it does involve a few steps.

• Consultation-
During your no-obligation consultation with our dentist, you can ask questions and find out more about the Invisalign treatment system. At the same time, our Invisalign dentist in San Francisco will evaluate you to be sure that this is the best orthodontic treatment for your teeth. You will also discuss what you can expect going forward with Invisalign.

• Impressions and Registrations-
To create your care plan, our dentist will take optical impressions of your teeth. These go to the Invisalign lab, where they are the basis for your alignment trays. At this time our dentist also takes what is called a bite registration. This is an image of how your teeth fit together. It is valuable information which will help guide your care plan. Your information then goes to Invisalign where they create your custom aligners.

• Getting Your Invisalign Alignment Trays-
In approximately 4-6 weeks your aligners are complete and ready for you to wear. While the exact number of trays depends on individual circumstances, most patients receive between 20-30 sets of upper and lower aligners, although 25 is the average number of aligner trays for most patients.

• Fitting and Instructions-
Our dentist will give you the first alignment tray while you are in the office. This helps him be sure that the fit is correct and that you are comfortable with the trays. You will also get written instructions regarding the care and use of your Invisalign aligners. Our dentist will also attach tiny tooth colored buttons to several of your teeth. These align with small holes in the alignment trays and help to keep aligners securely attached.

You will visit our office periodically for quick check-ups and your newest alignment trays. If you have any questions about any aspect of your Invisalign treatment, do not hesitate to contact our office.

What Causes Gum Recession

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Receding gums are a common dental problem. We see many patients who have issues with varying degrees of gum recession, and even though it is not rare, it is still a serious condition that you should not ignore.

Gum recession happens when the gums that are usually snug against your teeth start to pull back or wear away. Eventually, pockets between teeth and gums form, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque. Some of the dangers of untreated receding gums are an infection, potential tooth loss and bone loss in the area where your gums are pulling away from your teeth.

There are several reasons for gum recession, some of these include:

• INADEQUATE BRUSHING AND FLOSSING- Most of our patients know the suggested oral health routine our dentist recommends. We advise patients to brush at least twice a day (although brushing after each meal is preferable) and thoroughly floss at bedtime. These ordinary activities are the first line of defense against numerous dental problems, including receding gums.

• PERIODONTAL DISEASE- Bacteria causes these infections, which are the leading source of gum recession. These infections are preventable, as proper brushing and flossing remove bacteria.

• TOBACCO PRODUCTS- Those patients who use tobacco have a higher amount of sticky plaque on their teeth. The plaque eventually leads to receding gums as well as gum disease and tooth loss.

• CLENCHING AND GRINDING YOUR TEETH- When you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you are exerting a considerable amount of pressure on your teeth. Often, this persistent pressure leads to gum recession.

• BODY PIERCING OF THE TONGUE AND LIPS- The metal studs cause friction along the gum line. The consistent friction wears away the surface of your gums and causing them to retract away from the metal.

Often, our patients do not notice their gums are receding because it is a slow process with nearly imperceivably small changes. There are a few signs that indicate you have gum recession including tender or swollen gums, teeth that appear longer, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Any of these conditions are a good reason to make an appointment with our dentist.

Teeth Whitening Options

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When it comes to teeth whitening today, there are options for just about every smile. Whether teeth have mild, superficial stains or deeper stains inside the structure of the tooth, the right teeth whitening method can eliminate the stains and transform the smile. Our cosmetic dentists offer a variety of teeth whitening options to help our patients get the smiles they want.

The Causes of Discolored Teeth

Most discoloration develops in one of two ways. First, enamel can thin over time due to acid erosion, aggressive brushing or age. As the enamel becomes thinner, it allows more of the darker underlying dentin layer to show through, and this makes teeth look dark and dingy. Second, foods and drinks can also stain teeth. Microscopic cracks in the enamel allow color-depositing substances to pass through, and the stains can penetrate deep into the enamel where brushing cannot reach. Common staining substances include coffee, wine, tea and nicotine.

Teeth can also become discolored due to internal factors. Called intrinsic stains, these factors can include medicine, excess fluoride consumption and dental trauma.

Whitening Options

Whitening Toothpaste

A whitening toothpaste typically contains abrasive substances designed to scrub away superficial stains. Used consistently, whitening toothpaste can help keep teeth brighter, but it cannot penetrate the enamel to break up the stains inside.

Whitening Strips

Over-the-counter whitening strips are a popular choice. The thin plastic sheets are coated with peroxide at attached to teeth daily for up to two weeks. They are convenient and easy to use, but they can only lighten teeth one or two shades.

Tray-Based Whitening Systems

These systems are professionally supervised, which means that patients can enjoy more customized results. The tray is typically fit to the patient’s teeth, and it is used with a prescription-strength whitening gel. Patients will wear the trays daily for one to three weeks. The process takes longer, but patients can enjoy a gradual lightening of five or more shades.

Laser Teeth Whitening

This in-office procedure offers the fastest, most effective results and is professionally administered. Our dentist applies the whitening gel directly to teeth and uses a special laser to activate the gel. This type of whitening can penetrate far into the enamel and break up even long-standing stains. After a single one-hour treatment, teeth can be up to eight to 10 shades lighter.

Contact our teeth whitening dentist in San Francisco today to schedule a teeth whitening consultation.

Care After Root Canal

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Our patients often tell us that the phrase root canal causes feelings of fear. While it is true that no one enjoys dental procedures, the root canal has a reputation for being a painful and painful treatment.

In the past, much of the fear surrounding a root canal had merit. At this time numbing the area around the root canal was difficult. If a root canal is necessary, it is because the tooth and surrounding space contain dead nerves and blood vessels. The lack of nerves and blood vessels leaves nothing to transport the medication beyond the immediate site. Fortunately, dental advancements make preparing the root canal site more straightforward and the pain relief more efficient.

The root canal procedure is not complicated. We begin with anesthetic injections and once your mouth is numb, our dentist drills into the afflicted tooth and removes decaying pulp and any infected tissues. After cleaning your tooth, the empty area inside of your tooth receives a spongy substance called gutta–percha. The dentist permanently seals your tooth and may opt to put a crown on the tooth for protection.

Once your root canal is complete, you can focus on your recovery. Our Northridge dentist recommends that root canal patients plan to have some downtime following the procedure. The bare minimum our office suggests is to schedule the whole day off from work and other responsibilities. If you are able to have more time to rest and recuperate, it would be to your advantage.

In addition to resting, we suggest that our root canal patients use ice packs to help minimize facial swelling and to help relieve any pain. You will likely want to have over-the-counter pain medication on hand, but you may receive a prescription for stronger pain relief medication. Often, this is not necessary because many patients report a great deal of pain relief because the decaying and infected tissues and abscesses are gone. We also suggest that you have a supply of soft foods to eat for a day or two after your root canal. Additionally, avoid anything sticky or chewy while recovering from your root canal procedure.

While complications are infrequent after a root canal, please contact our office right away if you have excessive bleeding, fever, or extreme pain.

Treatment Options for Gum Recession

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We often speak with patients who notice changes in the appearance of their teeth. The teeth may be noticeably longer with less gum showing. This is a sign of gum recession, a treatable condition where your gums pull back exposing more of your tooth including the root. Gum recession is not only unsightly; it exposes your teeth and gums to decay and disease.

We treat a mild case of gum recession with a deep cleaning called scaling and planing. Our dentist or hygienist scrapes away built-up plaque and tartar on your teeth and below the gumline. Your gums go back into place, and you may receive an antibiotic to prevent bacteria growth.

Years ago, a gum graft was the solution to gum recession. Our dentist would suture donor tissue to your gums with the hope that the new tissue would attach, or graft, to your existing gum tissue and cover the exposed parts of your teeth. As you can imagine, this involved a recovery time which could be lengthy.

Fortunately, modern dentistry allows our dentist to offer you an alternative to the gum graft. A treatment which is known as Pinhole surgical technique or PST makes treating gum recession simpler with faster recovery time.

The PST procedure begins with local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding your receding gums. Then our dentist makes a tiny hole in your gum and inserts special dental instruments between your teeth and gums. Your gums are gently expanded and slid into their correct position, covering your teeth and roots.

Our patients give us positive feedback about the PST treatment especially regarding the fast recovery time and minimally invasive nature of the procedure. We also hear from patients who appreciate the fact that there are no grafts or donor tissue with the Pinhole surgical technique.

If you believe you may have gum recession, contact our office as soon as possible. Treating the condition at the earliest possible point in time will help to prevent damage to your teeth, roots, and gums. If you would like more information about PST, please reach out to one of our staff, we are always happy to help you.