Options for Treatment of Sleep Apnea

Woman annoyed by the snoring of her partner in her bedThe first line of defense against sleep apnea is usually CPAP, short for continuous positive airway pressure. This is obtained via a pressurizer that regulates airflow when the patient is hooked up to it with a mask. Mask technology changes rapidly, which means there are always several options to choose from. This is good, since the first mask isn’t always the best fit. Depending on what kind of breather or sleeper you are, you may have difficulty getting a CPAP mask that supplies accurate data.

Sleep apnea sufferers who don’t respond to CPAP treatment may qualify for oral appliance therapy, or OAT. This is just a mouthguard worn while sleeping to hold the jaw forward and keep the airway clear. It must be prescription and custom-fit, as just buying an over-the-counter sports mouthguard may not provide the treatment you need.

Before OAT or even CPAP treatments for sleep apnea, you can try to change up your lifestyle. Obesity is the leading contributor to sleep apnea, due to the high concentration of fat cells in the neck. Watching what you eat and getting regular exercise can take a lot of the pressure off your airway.

Ask our sleep apnea dentist in Northridge about other treatments, such as automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP).

Questions to Ask Yourself if You Think You Suffer from Gum Disease

Young happy caucasian woman nakedGum disease is an infection that attacks the tissues that surround the teeth. Also called periodontal disease, the infection typically starts at the gum line where the teeth meet the gums. In the earliest stage, which is known as gingivitis, gums can look swollen and inflamed, but in more advanced cases of periodontitis, gums and the other supporting tissues can be damaged and destroyed, leading to tooth and bone loss.

If you suspect that you might have gingivitis or periodontitis, ask yourself a few questions, including:

1. Do my gums bleed for no reason or when I am brushing or flossing my teeth?
2. Do my teeth look longer, or are the roots becoming visible?
3. Is my breath always bad no matter what I do? Do I have a bad taste in my mouth?
4. Are my gums red or puffy, or do they look swollen or shiny?
5. Do my gums feel tender or sore?
6. Do I have new gaps between my teeth, or are any of my teeth loose?
7. Does my bite feel different?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might have periodontal disease. Call our Los Angeles periodontics expert today to learn more or to schedule your complete periodontal evaluation.

How Do Veneers Work?

beauty womanVeneers are a popular cosmetic restoration that combines beauty, versatility, and comfort. With veneers, you can cover virtually any cosmetic flaw without compromising the health of your teeth. Our Los Angeles dental veneer expert can help you decide if veneers are right for you.

How veneers work is one of the top questions we hear from our patients. Veneers are similar to an artificial nail. They fit over the natural tooth and create a new visible surface for the tooth. They are typically made of porcelain, which reflects light much like dental enamel and can be made in shades matching your teeth or in lighter shades for a new, brighter look. Because veneers cover the visible part of the tooth, they can hide flaws such as chips, worn enamel, discolorations, fractures, gaps, small misalignments, and similar issues.

Dental veneers are often as thin as a contact lens, but they do usually require some preparation. This means that some enamel will need to be trimmed, making veneers a permanent restoration. With good care, veneers can last fifteen years or more. Call our office today to find out if you are a candidate for veneers and to schedule your consultation.

Is Invisalign Retainer Necessary?

smiling girl with tooth tray

After any orthodontic treatment, you will need to wear a retainer. Orthodontic treatment works by using pressure to move teeth through the bone. During the process, the connective tissues and bones adjust and remodel around the tooth roots. After active treatment, the retainer prevents the teeth from shifting back towards their previous positions.

The Invisalign retainer looks much like the Invisalign aligners. The retainer will fit close to the way the final aligner in the series did. You will wear it between 12 and 22 hours a day initially. This recommendation may vary based on your age, the complexity of your case and specifics of your treatment plan. As with the aligners, you can remove your retainer for meals, snacks and dental hygiene purposes. After a certain number of months, you will typically be able to reduce the amount of time you wear your retainer to nighttime-only.

At a certain point, you will be able to further decrease your retainer wear. However, most people will need to continue wearing their retainers at least once or a few times a week for the rest of their lives. This is because the natural biting, chewing and other oral functions of the teeth apply force to the teeth, and these forces could cause teeth to shift even long after orthodontic treatment has ended. Call our orthodontists today to find out more about orthodontic treatment or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Benefits of Teeth Whitening

Pure beauty

Teeth whitening has many benefits, which is why it is quickly becoming one of the most asked for cosmetic treatments in dentistry today. Several bleaching options are available, including in-office and at-home procedures, and patients can choose the type that best meets their needs.

Some of the benefits of teeth bleaching include:

  1. Speed

An in-office whitening procedure can be completed in just about an hour. Professional at-home kits can take longer, but because they use higher concentrations of active ingredients, they are still faster than OTC options.

  1. Effectiveness

The results from professional bleaching treatments are impressive, and many patients experience lightening of up to eight shades or more.

  1. Great results

With a whiter smile, many patients feel more confident. Removing stains from teeth can leave them looking brighter, more youthful, and more attractive.

  1. Safety

Each step of the process is performed under the supervision of a skilled dental professional, so you can be confident that your dental health is guarded throughout the whitening procedure.

  1. Dental health

Not only are whitening treatments safe for your smile, but many patients find they are more committed to good dental habits after a whitening treatment because they want to keep their teeth looking great.

Call our cosmetic dentist in Huntington Beach today to learn more or to schedule your appointment with our team.

Invisalign vs. Braces

happy friendsMany patients discover upon their consultation appointment that they are a candidate for more than one orthodontic appliance. Invisalign and braces are most commonly available for patients with basic and uncomplicated orthodontic issues. You might be a candidate for both braces and Invisalign if your smile features mild to moderate cases of spacing issues and crooked teeth. There are some important factors of each option to consider before choosing.

Invisalign
Potential patients should be aware that there are several steps for Invisalign. You will receive a few aligners at a time to wear in order. They will apply pressure to the teeth and push them into position. Aligners can be removed in order to eat, drink liquid other than water, and clean the teeth and the appliance itself. They typically need to be worn for about two weeks at a time. Patients must return to our dentist every four to six weeks in order to check progress.

Braces

Unlike Invisalign aligners, braces cannot be removed for the patient, and are bonded to the teeth until treatment is over. Where Invisalign pushes the teeth together, braces use wires to pull them into place. Patients return to our dentist about once every four weeks for the wires to be tightened.

If you are debating Invisalign vs. braces, our dentist can help you determine which is best for you and your orthodontic needs.

How to Know if Lumineers are Right for You?

Togetherness

Potential users of Lumineers sometimes announce their candidacy without bothering to verify the product. They just want better teeth. Lumineers can provide that, but this is a subtle product not meant for radical repairs. Clients who want it instead of braces may need more dental help than Lumineers wants to give.

Lumineers may be right for you if you have teeth that are chipped, cracked, or discolored, or teeth that have been worn down due to bruxism or everyday use. Lumineers shield these problem teeth from view by covering them in a super-thin laminate. Other kinds of dental veneers do this, but Lumineers do it with unprecedented thinness. This maintains the naturalism of your smile while not subjecting you to drills or other instruments. Because of the Lumineer thinness, your teeth do not require modification before placement. Only some mild surface etching is needed for your teeth to accept the laminates.

If you have a history of dental problems that extend into deep orthodontics—like bite issues or jaw malformation—our Lumineers dentist may recommend other products for you. Lumineers are cosmetic, not orthodontic.

Otherwise, if your teeth are relatively healthy, you may be a candidate for Lumineers. Ask your provider for more information.

What is Having Braces Like?

Young black woman with braces

Getting orthodontic treatment is a big life moment for many. While some more modern appliances are available, some patients have complications that will be best treated with braces. This is both because they are a very direct way of straightening teeth, and because they have been used for so long that dentists know how to use them best.

After an initial consultation appointment wherein braces are determined as the best choice, the patient will return to have them placed. This process typically takes about one to two hours. The teeth will be cleaned first, and then a dental bonding material is applied before the brackets are placed. The arch wire is threaded through each bracket, and held in place by small rubber bands on the brackets.

Having the braces may be difficult and uncomfortable at first. The teeth will be affected by the pressure, and the brackets may rub against the inside of your mouth. Our San Francisco cosmetic dentist will supply you with wax you can place to minimize this pain. Be sure to avoid the foods our dentist has warned you about in order to keep your teeth and braces safe and clean.

Patients must return every two to three weeks to have their wires tightened. This is to add pressure to the teeth in order to get them into healthier spaces. Once they are removed, you will be given a retainer to wear to keep the teeth from moving back to their original spots.

Effects of Dental Health on the Heart

Senior Couple Relaxing On Sofa At Home

Research has shown that dental health is linked to health in the rest of the body, particularly in the heart. If you have dental problems, you may be more likely to suffer from heart problems at some point as a direct result. Below, you can learn more about this connection, which highlights the importance of good oral habits and general dentistry.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Diseased gums are the oral factor most clearly linked to heart problems. According to researchers, periodontal bacteria can enter the blood stream from inside the mouth and raise inflammation in the blood vessels. In fact, stroke and atherosclerosis have both been linked to oral bacteria.

More Connections Between Oral Health and Heart Health

Periodontitis may also harm the heart through its links with diabetes and endocarditis. Diabetes is strongly associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Endocarditis, an infection of the heart lining, can result from oral bacteria traveling to the heart through the blood stream.

Brushing, flossing, and visiting our dentist regularly holds benefits for your heart as well as your teeth and gums. By scheduling a consultation with our cosmetic dentist in Houston you can learn more about the importance of dental wellness for overall health.

Is Invisalign Expensive?

smiling girl with tooth tray

Dental costs can be steep, especially orthodontics. To determine Invisalign cost in LA, you’ll need to research a number of topics. Invisalign compares favorably to traditional braces, but it is also considered more of a “boutique” product and some dentists charge more for it on that basis.

You should know that an Invisalign provider in Los Angeles will probably charge more than one in a mid-size city like Louisville, KY. This is due to the status of Los Angeles as a beauty capital, and the sheer number of both dentists and patients in such a large metro area.

A piece of good news is that many insurance providers cover Invisalign as necessary orthodontics. You may be able to further reduce your out-of-pocket expense by inquiring about payment plans or financing options. Some restrictions will apply, obviously.

Whatever the expense, the decision to go with Invisalign should be based on need and opportunity. If your teeth need straightening for a stronger smile and better dental health, Invisalign can give you everything traditional braces can and more—there’s no unpleasant visual effect, or dietary restrictions. Any extra dollars you pay are for these perks, and for the rigorous Invisalign schedule that if followed produces a satisfying outcome.