Purpose of Root Canal Treatment

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A root canal treatment is a procedure in which the inner chambers of a tooth are cleaned and shaped. It is typically needed when a tooth has been infected, abscessed, or badly damaged to the point that the nerve of the tooth is affected. Our dentist in West Hollywood can help you decide if a root canal treatment is right for you.

The purpose of a root canal is to preserve the function of a tooth. Teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted to save your dental health can instead be treated, which maintains the structural integrity of the tooth. After an extraction, the tooth is lost, which can lead to malocclusion, lost bone tissue, and a gap in the smile. After a root canal, the tooth remains in the mouth and can be used just like any other.

Root canal treatments are usually completed in a single appointment, and the permanent restoration can be completed at a later date. Once the diseased soft tissues have been removed from the inner chambers of the tooth, any pain you were experiencing should be significantly reduced or even eliminated. Call our office today to schedule your appointment with our root canal dentist in West Hollywood.

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TMJ Treatment and Your Options

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Patients who are already in TMJ therapy can tell you it’s a tough road. TMJ has many diffuse causes and symptoms, and the map toward relief is a complicated one. Consulting our expert in TMJ treatment in Thousand Oaks can get you started on a list of treatments, with a goal of becoming pain-free without surgery or intervention.

Your first move might be to simply self-analyze. Doctors tell their patients who suspect they have TMJ to look at their recent history and decide if any undue stress exists. Often, a patient leads herself to TMJ pain simply by sitting incorrectly at her desk. Ergonomic exercises and attention to posture can be a big step.

Once carelessness is ruled out, the doctor may find depression or anxiety is to blame. Tricyclic antidepressants have a clear track record with relevant TMJ patients.

Besides pharmaceuticals, there are scads of at-home remedies you can try. These range from hot and cold compresses to self-massage and acupuncture. Ask your Thousand Oaks TMJ doctor before trying anything too unusual.

Severe cases of TMJ, in which the patient has no luck with a range of treatment, may require surgery or intervention. The latter may include oral splints or mouth guards, especially if the source is believed to be genetic jaw malformation. Surgery is almost never recommended except as a last resort.

Does Teeth Whitening Really Work?

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Teeth whitening can be a fine way to improve the look of your smile. Do teeth whiteners really work? The answer depends on the type of teeth whitener you choose. Many teeth whitening products are available, but not all of them are equally effective.

Whitening toothpaste

These toothpastes use abrasives to scrub stains from the surface of your teeth. This can be effective for superficial stains but is not effective for deeper stains. Additionally, it can be hard on your dental enamel and can contribute to enamel wear.

Whitening strips

Strips are popular because they are affordable and easy to use. However, they contain low concentrations of the bleaching ingredient: peroxide. This means that you might have to use them more frequently and for longer periods to get the results you want, and your teeth might only lighten a few shades.

Professional whitening

Professional whitening uses prescription-strength peroxide formulas under the supervision of a dental professional. These whiteners can lighten your teeth eight or 10 shades or more with a single treatment, and the results last.

Call our tooth whitening dentist in Los Angeles to learn more about the best whitening products for your needs or to schedule an appointment with our team.

Do All Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted?

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Many patients benefit from having their wisdom teeth removed, but not all patients require it. With that said, wisdom teeth can cause serious problems and should be removed when warning signs arise. Below is more about this issue and what problematic wisdom teeth can cause.

When Wisdom Teeth Do Not Cause Problems

Some patients have plenty of room in their mouth for wisdom teeth, so overcrowding is unlikely to occur. Even some impacted wisdom teeth cause no problems, especially when they have only just emerged. In any case, the potential for problems from specific wisdom teeth should be determined through an exam by our Northridge dentist.

What Problems Can Happen from Wisdom Teeth?

Besides overcrowding, which can cause orthodontic problems, wisdom teeth can be highly prone to decay and can cause gum disease if they are impacted. This is mainly because crannies tend to develop around these teeth, allowing food and bacteria to settle there. Pericoronitis, an infection of gum tissue overhanging wisdom teeth, can also develop.

Wisdom teeth do not necessarily need to be removed unless they cause problems or are deemed risky after an exam. By scheduling a consultation with our expert in wisdom teeth extraction in Northridge, patients can learn more about the issues that wisdom teeth can cause.

Damon Braces and What You Need to Know

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Patients who have has or currently have traditional metal braces are very familiar with their structure. They are comprised of metal brackets and wires that work together to push the teeth into position. Every few weeks, patients must return to their orthodontist or cosmetic dentist in San Francisco to have their wires tightened, which adds pressure and helps the teeth move further into place. Damon braces uses a revolutionary new model to eliminate this inconvenient step.

Damon braces are self-ligating, which means the wires are able to move on their own as the teeth align. The brackets are built with a simple slide mechanism that eliminates the need for tightening appointments. This also means that the brackets are smaller, and therefore much less noticeable than the brackets of traditional braces. Our Damon braces dentist in San Francisco can even use clear or tooth-colored material so the appliance is even less conspicuous.

Other than these features, Damon braces work very similarly to traditional braces. They are able to address a wide variety of orthodontic issues, ranging from mild to severe. These issues include:

• Crooked teeth
• Protruding teeth
• Rotated teeth
• Gaps
• Crowding
• Open bites and crossbites
• Overbites and underbites

Contact us for more information.

Steps in Dental Extraction

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A dental extraction is a procedure in which a tooth is removed from the jaw. Extractions are typically performed when a tooth is damaged or decayed beyond repair, or when it threatens the health of other teeth. In some cases, teeth may also need to be extracted when a patient is suffering from advanced periodontitis. Our dentist can help you decide if a dental extraction is right for you.

Several steps are involved in a typical extraction. We will begin by taking X-rays and other images to identify the precise location of the tooth and its roots and determine the best way to extract it. If the tooth has erupted above the gum line, a simple extraction can be used to remove it. If the tooth is impacted or has not yet erupted, you may need a surgical extraction.

Next, the tooth will be numbed. A local anesthesia is used to keep you comfortable, but you may also benefit from sedation if you are feeling anxious or nervous. Once the tooth has been removed, you will be instructed to bite down on gauze. This controls the bleeding. Our expert in dental extraction in West Hollywood may then prescribe medications for your safety and comfort, and will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions. Call our office today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our team.

Benefits of Laser Periodontal Therapy

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Laser periodontal therapy is a brand-new therapy for periodontal disease and offers promising results for many patients. If you have periodontal disease, our expert in periodontics in Los Angeles may recommend laser periodontal therapy.

Conventional gum disease treatment involves cleaning the plaque and tartar buildup responsible for the gum inflammation and smoothing the surface of the exposed root. Periodontal surgery can be used in later stages. With laser therapy, a special dental laser is used to remove tartar, plaque, and bacteria and help the gum tissue heal and regenerate. The laser can also be used to smooth the root of the tooth. Lasers reduce bleeding, speed healing, and minimize swelling and pain. They also allow for more precise and accurate targeting of diseased tissue for easier, faster recovery and healing.

After undergoing laser therapy, proper post-therapy dental care is critical. You may need to adjust your at-home dental hygiene routine and the products you use. You may also need more frequent professional cleanings to reduce the risk of dental infections. Call our expert in laser periodontal therapy in Los Angeles today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Is Teeth Whitening Painful?

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Professional teeth whitening is safe and effective. However, it can cause sensitivity for some patients. Sensitivity can occur when the bleaching agents penetrate the enamel, increasing the blood flow in the pulp of the tooth and irritating the nerve. Bleaching can also cause the pores of the tooth to open, exposing the nerve to more sensations. Both of these situations are temporary, but they can be uncomfortable. You can reduce the risk of post-whitening sensitivity and relieve your discomfort with a few changes to your routine.

1. Use a desensitizing toothpaste.
This will help block the channels in the dentin and prevent sensitivity. You can start using it before you whiten and continue using it after you whiten. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after whitening, however. Your teeth need to rest and recover from the treatment.

2. Consider a fluoride treatment.
Fluoride keeps dental enamel strong. You can use professional fluoride treatments before or after whitening treatments to reduce sensitivity and protect your teeth. You can also try a calcium-based paste to re-mineralize your teeth immediately after whitening.

3. Follow all whitening instructions.
Regardless of whether you use OTC or professional whitening treatments, follow all recommendations. Do not leave the solutions on your teeth longer than recommended, do not use them more often than recommended and avoid acidic foods and drinks during treatment periods.

Call our tooth whitening dentist today to schedule your whitening appointment.

Can Anyone Get Veneers?

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Dental veneers are a great way to achieve the smile you desire without having to endure multiple treatments and procedures. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth to mask cosmetic flaws. Patients can opt to get veneers on all of their teeth, or only the ones that feature flaws they want covered.

Many patients are candidates for dental veneers. You are likely a candidate if:

  • Your teeth only suffer from cosmetic flaws, and are otherwise healthy and free of decay
  • You are free of gingivitis and periodontitis
  • You do not suffer from bruxism, or habitual teeth grinding or clenching
  • Your bite is properly aligned
  • Your teeth have enough enamel for some to be removed in order for veneers to be placed

Our veneers specialist may decide that veneers are a good option for you if your smile suffers from:

  • Stained and discolored teeth
  • Chipped teeth
  • Spacing issues, such as gaps or crowding
  • Crooked teeth
  • Small or misshaped teeth

Patients who do not have enough dental enamel for veneers may find another option in Lumineers. While veneers require some enamel be removed so the teeth do not look too big once they are placed, Lumineers are much thinner, and can be placed without any alteration at all.

Surgery for Treating Gum Disease

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Gum disease can often be managed with noninvasive therapies, but in some cases, the damage is extensive enough that surgery is necessary. If our periodontists in Los Angeles recommend surgery for treating your gum disease, there may be several options available depending on your needs.

1. Periodontal pocket reduction
When gums become irritated, they begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. These pockets gradually fill with plaque and tartar, which can push the gums even further from the teeth. Periodontal pockets can be virtually impossible to keep clean, but pocket reduction surgery can help tighten the tissue around the teeth again.

2. Lost gum tissue or exposed roots
Over time, gums will pull away from teeth so much that roots can be exposed, which can lead to root decay and sensitivity. Gum grafts can restore the lost tissue and protect your teeth.

3. Lost bone tissue
If the bacteria and inflammation reach the bone that supports the tooth, the bone can become damaged. Restoring lost bone tissue is critical to protecting your long-term dental and general health. Bone tissue can be taken from other areas and fused to the area.

Call our gum surgeon in Los Angeles today to learn more about gum disease surgery or to schedule your appointment with our team.