What Is Pinhole Surgery?

Happy patient

Many patients come to our office complaining that their teeth look longer, or that they are experiencing tooth sensitivity in their daily lives. This is often due to gum recession, when the gum tissue has pulled down and/or away from the teeth. Gum recession can be caused by gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), or brushing too aggressively. When receding gums leave the tooth roots exposed, these areas become more susceptible to decay and other serious issues. Our dentist uses pinhole surgery to move the gum tissue back into a healthier position and protect the roots of the teeth.

Pinhole surgery is a relatively simple procedure that does not involve scalpels, sutures, grafting. Our cosmetic dentist in Orange County simply makes a small hole in the gums. Special tools are then used to loosen and expand the tissue, which is then guided to cover the tooth roots and any other unprotected areas.

This procedure is done under local anesthesia, and demands less recovery time than other conventional treatment methods. Most patients see an immediate improvement in their gums and overall smile. If you believe you could benefit from this procedure, schedule an appointment with our pinhole surgery expert today.

Best Candidates for Invisalign

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Invisalign can straighten teeth and upgrade smiles in a variety of cases—probably in yours, too. Above a certain age, almost anyone qualifies for Invisalign. However, there are some prerequisites you should master if you want to be considered.

First, our Invisalign dentist in Beverly Hills does not recommend the product for children or adolescents. Younger patients possess jaws still in flux, and it is impossible to prescribe aligner trays for teeth that unpredictable. In addition, even though a healthy percentage of braces-wearing patients are adults, the very elderly may not benefit from Invisalign. The older you are, the higher your likelihood of diabetes or osteoporosis.

Teen and adult patients who profile correctly should still maintain a positive work ethic, or treatment could go wrong. Invisalign is based on a linear system of replacement and referral, as each stage of aligners corresponds to a mapped-out module of tooth movement. If you cannot commit to wearing your aligners for as many as 22 hours a day, you should not consider yourself a good candidate for Invisalign.

Another reason Invisalign may not be for you: if you have a severe case of malocclusion. Invisalign can straighten even very crooked teeth, but may not help to correct severe cases of overbite or jaw malformation.

For more about your candidacy, contact someone from our group.

What Makes Veneers Effective

Happy timePorcelain veneers are a cosmetic restoration that effectively transforms the look of teeth. Our expert in veneer in Beverly Hills can brighten, whiten, straighten and perfect your teeth using veneers, which can be applied in just a few dental visits. You might be a candidate for veneers if you have healthy teeth and gums and are interested in a permanent cosmetic solution.

Why are porcelain veneers so effective? They are different from the other types of cosmetic treatments currently available and make it easy for patients to address their biggest concerns. Some examples include:

1. Porcelain veneers can give you permanently white teeth.
Teeth whitening procedures must be maintained and periodically repeated. Porcelain does not stain, and once the veneers have been applied to your teeth, your teeth will remain white and bright.

2. Veneers require minimal preparation.
Porcelain crowns cover the entire crown of the tooth and require extensive preparation, but veneers only cover the front of the tooth and require just a small reduction of the enamel.

3. Porcelain veneers can fix many problems at once.
Veneers are placed over your teeth, so any problem that you have can be easily covered and concealed with just one treatment.

Call our office today to learn more about how veneers can fix your smile or to schedule your appointment with our team.

When to Opt for Inlays and Onlays

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A decayed tooth can quickly become a tooth with a cavity. Once healthy tooth structure is destroyed by decay, the disease can quickly progress, allowing the decay to reach the inner tissues of the tooth. This will continue until the decayed tissue is removed and the tooth is treated and restored. Although direct fillings are often used to treat teeth with cavities, our dentist may recommend an inlay or onlay in some cases.

Inlays and onlays are special restorations that provide dentists and patients with alternatives to traditional fillings and crowns. They cover more of the tooth’s structure than fillings, but require less preparation than dental crowns. Both are similar in nature, but an inlay restores the inner part of the tooth, while an onlay is made used when one or more of the cusps is involved in the damage.

The process can take two dental appointments, much like a dental crown. The tooth is first prepared, and because the restoration is made in a dental lab, an impression is taken. Once the inlay or onlay is finished, our dentist can bond it to the tooth. It will work like any other restoration and keep your tooth strong and healthy. Call our office to learn more about your restoration options or to schedule your appointment with our dentist in Santa Clara.

How Often Do You Need Dental X-Rays Taken?

Examining radiography

Regularity of dental x-rays has been a trending topic over the last few years. It wasn’t too long ago that dentists recommended all patients receive annual bitewing x-rays. This was largely due to something that might be called the “whole mouth” theory, by which bitewing x-rays expand views of the mouth and allow dentists to better view and speculate on every spot and fissure.

 

However, concerns about radiation exposure have led many experts to start advising against annual x-rays—despite the incredibly low dosage found in bitewing x-rays. Some dentists advise their patients that since the cost of the annual x-ray is typically picked up by insurance, they have nothing to lose by getting it. The anti-radiation movement argues against this, obviously.

 

The best advice by our Northridge dentists is that new patients should submit to a bitewing x-ray. This establishes a baseline for your file, and enables the dentist to compare the results to your overall dental history.

 

For repeat patients and those with stellar dental records, annual x-rays are probably not necessary.

 

For more about dental x-rays and problems they can expose, talk to our expert in dental x-rays in Northridge.

Oral Health Issues You Should Discuss with Your Invisalign Dentist

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When you are undergoing treatment with Invisalign, good dental health is essential. Invisalign makes it easy to take care of your teeth because you can take the aligners out. However, some oral health issues can occur and should be discussed with our Los Angeles orthodontics team as soon as possible to prevent more serious complications.

1. Gum irritation
Gums can become more sensitive during treatment, and this can leave them prone to redness, irritation, bleeding and other symptoms of gingivitis. These need to be treated as soon as possible to prevent more advanced forms of gum disease and keep your smile healthy.

2. Tooth decay
Your saliva has a big job when it comes to protecting your teeth from tooth decay, but when you wear aligners, your teeth may be slightly drier than usual. You will need to be especially careful when it comes to brushing and flossing after each meal so that you can remove all plaque and bacteria from your teeth to reduce the risk of decay.

3. Relapse
Wearing your aligners 20 to 22 hours a day is not optional. Leaving them out too long, skipping them for a day or losing them entirely can lead to relapse, which means that your teeth will begin to shift back towards their original positions.

Call our Invisalign dentist in Los Angeles to learn more about Invisalign treatment or to schedule your appointment.

Dealing with Sensitive Teeth

Terrible tooth ache.

Your teeth may become sensitive to certain stimuli if the dentin, or inner portion of the teeth, becomes exposed. This can occur from receding gums or loss of part of the protective enamel covering your teeth. Many people suffer from sensitivity, but it can affect each individual differently. Temperatures, such as heat or cold, can lead to pain. Additionally, food and drinks that are sweet or sour may also affect those with sensitive teeth. You do not have to suffer with sensitivity or avoid the foods you love.

Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily. Use of a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse may strengthen enamel. Toothpastes designed specifically for sensitive teeth may also help. You may want to reduce your intake of acidic beverages and foods, which can weaken enamel.

An expert in sensitive teeth in Los Angeles can help determine the cause of your sensitivity to deal with the problem at its source. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants can help to strengthen enamel. Exposed roots can be covered with dental bonding. Other issues can be addressed to keep your teeth healthy and strong while reducing potential sensitivity from occurring again.

What are the Benefits of Porcelain Crowns?

happy beautiful couple on nature

Dental crowns are used to cover and protect teeth that have suffered damage, to typically to physical accident or decay, and are no longer strong enough to function on their own. Our Agoura Hills dentist will likely recommend a dental crown for you if you have a tooth that:

  • Has a large filling
  • Has just undergone a root canal treatment
  • Is cracked, or has cracked tooth syndrome
  • Has broken cusps
  • Suffers from excessive wear

Many experts recommend porcelain restorations, especially when it comes to crowns. This is due to the several advantages the material offers. Patients benefit from its strength and durability, making it able to endure the everyday bite forces required of chewing and similar actions. It also reflects light in the same way that our natural dental enamel does, so it looks no different than the rest of our teeth. This means that this restoration is rarely noticeable.

Porcelain crowns can last as long as fifteen years with good care before needing to be replaced. The process may be able to be performed in just two appointments. It requires taking a physical impression or digital scan, which is used to design and create your restoration. You can return for another appointment to have a temporary crown replaced with your custom permanent one.

Cavity Preventing Tips

teeth brushing

The only way to prevent the need for a root canal treatment is to avoid decay and cavities. There are several steps to take and incorporate into your daily life to ensure your teeth are healthy and free of infection.

Patients must always be sure to brush their teeth every day. Our Los Angeles endodontist can recommend which tools and materials are right for you and your oral care needs. Soft bristled toothbrushes are often best, but you may benefit from toothpaste made specifically for fluoride or teeth whitening. Everyday oral care habits must also include flossing, which will eliminate left over debris from food, a considerable contributor in tooth infections.

While some foods are bad for the teeth, others are beneficial. Be sure to include cheese, almonds, and leafy greens in your diet. These will help brush debris and plaque from the surfaces of the teeth and clean the dental enamel.

Many dentists recommend dental sealants, especially for younger patients. This is a thin plastic layer that protects the teeth from cavity-causing substances. The benefits of dental sealants can last for years, eliminating the chances of tooth infections and root canal therapy. Ask your dentist about this possibility and other cavity prevention advice today.

When are Braces a Better Option Compared to Invisalign?

Young black woman with bracesThe popularity of Invisalign is clear, but some patients do better with traditional metal braces from our Rocklin orthodontist. This can be because of patient needs or preferences. Below is a look at some situations where this may be the case.

Corrections and Bite Irregularities

Invisalign cannot correct all types of orthodontic flaws. Moving teeth vertically or correcting severe tooth rotation, for example, requires brackets and wires. Invisalign can correct minor bite irregularities, such as crossbites or over bites, but cannot address severe cases. Furthermore, some patients may need additional appliances that can be used at the same time as metal braces, but not Invisalign.

Total Costs

Any orthodontic treatment will vary in cost depending on the patient, but Invisalign is often more expensive than metal braces. Some patients prefer metal braces because they costs less money for the same results.

Age Restrictions

Invisalign Full and Teen are made for adults and teenagers, respectively. The system cannot be used for kids, but metal braces can. Some younger patients get lingual braces as a discreet alternative to Invisalign.

A final reason why some patients do better with braces than with Invisalign is that they are fixed in place, which eliminates the need to keep track of aligners and remember to wear them enough. At a consultation with our expert in braces in Rocklin, patients can learn more about how these treatments compare to each other.