Common Options for Replacing Lost Teeth

Beautiful woman with a whiten perfect smile

Missing teeth are linked to additional tooth loss and other oral health problems, so it is a good idea to replace them. Replacement can be done with dentures, bridges, or implants. Here is an overview of each of these options.

Dentures

Traditional dentures are removable and come in partial and full versions. Today, patients can also get dentures that snap onto dental implants, which keep them firmly in place. Dentures are often the fastest method of replacing teeth.

Bridges

Dental bridges can replace one or several teeth between adjacent remaining teeth or implants. Basically, bridges work by holding artificial teeth in place of the missing teeth. The results are stationary, but some external hardware makes extra cleaning necessary.

Implants

Dental implants are the preferred mode of tooth replacement. Inserted into the jaw bone, where they fuse with the bone tissue, implants are actually more stable than real teeth. They are topped with natural-looking crowns, and have no external hardware. However, treatment time is longer than with other options.

Regardless of which tooth replacement option you choose, you will regain the ability to eat and speak normally, and smile with confidence. You can schedule a consultation with our dental implants dentist in San Francisco to discuss your tooth replacement choices.

What is E4D Technology?

Dental assistant smiling at cameraE4D is a new system that lets our dentist scan teeth and make restorations at our office. By choosing E4D Technology instead of conventional restorations, patients enjoy more convenience and have less time to wait for results. Here is more about E4D in its scanning and milling phases.

Laser Scanning With E4D

Traditional bite impressions are time consuming and can be unpleasant for patients. E4D can create a 3-D model of the teeth with a laser scanning tool that is fast and accurate. Right after the images are made, our dentist can view them on an office computer and refine restoration designs as necessary.

On-Site Milling

The designs made from E4D laser images can be milled from raw materials while patients wait. Porcelain crowns, veneers, inlays, and onlays can be made accurately using this process, resulting in incredibly lifelike and comfortable results. With E4D, patients need only one appointment to get these restorations rather than the two or more visits that conventional restorations require.

E4D optimizes the preparation and production process associated with several restorations. Like conventional porcelain restorations, E4D restorations can last for many years with proper care. Patients can schedule a consultation with our dentist in Northridge to find out if they are candidates for E4D.

Does Invisalign Work for Everyone?

smiling girl with tooth tray

Invisalign is a sophisticated system of tooth movement, using plastic aligners to straighten teeth with remarkable discretion. The plastic is medical-grade, both light and durable. Despite this promise of straight teeth without the interference of braces, not every patient is guaranteed the best result. This is because the product relies greatly on user efficiency. Invisalign doesn’t work if you don’t work it.

This just means you get what you put into the product, not what you pay for. Invisalign is expensive, but not guaranteed. It requires a significant investment of time that is nearly equal to the money you spend. You also will be expected to make several changes in your lifestyle to accommodate your new look.

If you have a strong work ethic and have no problems committing to 22 hours of wear per day, every day until treatment ends, Invisalign is probably right for you. If your lifestyle doesn’t invite that much stability, you may need to seek other treatments.

Also, if you’re bothered by as many as six brushings per day, or by kissing your partner differently or even less frequently, Invisalign may not work.

Invisalign reviews can help you decide. If you need a strictly merit-based assessment of your candidacy, schedule a consult with our team.

Dental Veneers vs. Lumineers

Attractive girl

Not everyone is happy with their teeth. Flaws and complications can accrue over time, creating a less than perfect smile. Modern cosmetic dentistry offers several treatments to correct dental flaws, and some patients have multiple options available to them. They can choose to correct all of these flaws individually, or cover them with veneers or Lumineers.

Veneers are a one-stop shop for creating a brand new smile. They are created custom for every patient, who can even bring in examples of the smiles they wish to copy. Once the veneers are made, our dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel, and bond them to the front surfaces of the teeth. Veneers can effectively mask:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps and crowding
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic stains
  • Small and misshapen teeth
  • Chips and cracks
  • And more

Lumineers are a type of dental veneer. They can mask all of the same flaws that veneers do. They main difference between the two is that Lumineers are thin enough to not require any removal of enamel from the teeth. This means that unlike veneers, they can be removed if needed.

If you are debating between porcelain veneer and Lumineers, our Los Angeles dentist can assist in your decision.

When is Pocket Reduction Surgery Necessary?

Happy patient

Periodontal disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, which allows deep pockets to form. Plaque and tartar can develop in these pockets and are impossible to clean, allowing the infection to destroy the underlying tissues supporting the teeth. Our periodontist in LA may recommend pocket reduction surgery to reduce the size of these pockets and improve the health of the gums.

You may need pocket reduction surgery if you:

• Have developed deep pockets between your teeth and gums
• Are unable to keep your teeth clean due to the size of your periodontal pockets
• Are at risk of suffering bone or tooth loss due to periodontal disease

During this common procedure, the periodontal pockets will be thoroughly cleaned using special tools. Next, the roots will be smoothed to ensure the gums can reattach properly. Finally, the gum tissue will be tightened around the teeth and sutured so that they can heal in the proper position. This typically results in a significant reduction in pocket depth and improvement in overall oral health.

Call our expert in periodontal pocket reduction surgery in LA today to find out more or to schedule a complete periodontal evaluation.

Endodontists and What They Do

Dental assistant smiling at camera

An endodontist is a dental care specialist who handles problems with the soft tissues within the teeth, as well as the roots and surrounding structures outside the teeth. An endodontist first receives all of the education and training to become a dentist, and then has additional training to specialize in the field of endodontics.

Endodontists can help to save teeth that are too decayed or damaged to be fixed through basic dental treatments, such as with dental fillings. An endodontist will be the one who handles root canal treatments, or retreatments if additional damage occurs following a root canal procedure. An endodontist can perform surgery that repairs or removes part of the tooth root, or to repair cracks in the jaw bone that surrounds a root. Most commonly, an endodontist will deal with infections that occur within the tooth, or damage to the pulp inside.

This specialist may remove infected tissue, then seal and fill the tooth. A crown may also be used for increased function. An endodontist may also handle dental implants to replace missing teeth. The implant is secured into the bone and allowed to heal before a natural-looking crown is installed to provide realistic look and function.

Does Your Smile Look Natural with Invisalign?

smiling girl with tooth tray

Invisalign is a product renowned for its discretion. This is its entire point, as Invisalign aligners were intended as a modern alternative to the “metal-mouth” stigma of traditional braces. When you smile with Invisalign, you don’t have to feel self-conscious. Most people won’t even notice you have your aligners in.

Maybe the best part of Invisalign is the 2 hours of freedom you get per day. You take the aligners out when you eat or need a break. Obviously, you can’t do this with braces.

If your main concern is naturalism, remember Invisalign is not a product meant to do heavy orthodontic lifting. The ideal patient for Invisalign has either had an orthodontic experience already—maybe you’re suffering from dental relapse—or has a smile that lacks serious structural problems to begin with. Invisalign is the perfect complement to a smile that needs slight upgrades—for instance, your teeth are oddly spaced or slightly rotated. Invisalign also has an excellent track record with mild to moderate cases of overbite, underbite, and crossbite.

If you have concerns about naturalism during treatment, Invisalign before and after pictures can show you how easy the transition is.

For more, contact our Los Angeles Invisalign expert.

How Sinus Augmentation Helps with Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implantA sinus augmentation, which may also be called a sinus lift, is a special type of bone graft that can be used to augment the bone in the upper jaw to better support dental implants. This type of graft may be needed when the upper jaw has suffered damage from periodontal disease, or a previous extraction or other type of dental trauma has left the area too narrow to properly accommodate the length of a standard dental implant. Our periodontist can help you decide if a sinus augmentation is right for you.

During a sinus augmentation, part of the maxillary sinus is filled with grafting material to create a thicker, denser sinus floor. This material may include the patient’s own tissue from bone elsewhere in their body, donor tissue, or synthetic materials. As the grafting site heals, the material will be incorporated into the bone tissue, and over the next several months, the sinus floor will grow thicker and stronger.

Once the site has fully healed, the implants can be placed. The new, denser sinus floor should be thick and strong enough to support the full length of the implants, which in turn will keep the sinus floor stimulated, ensuring it stays strong. Call our expert in sinus augmentation in LA today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.

Teeth Whitening Products

Three young people smilingThere are many different treatment options for you to choose from when it comes to whitening your teeth. Some of your choices may be available over the counter, or you may decide to get treatment from your dental care provider, whether a whitening kit that you can use at home or an in-office method.

Toothpastes, mouthwashes, and rinses can be purchased at the store. These use ingredients that rub away surface stains or that apply agents to make your teeth look whiter. You may not get dramatic results with these options, but they are inexpensive and considered safe as long as you use them as directed.

Trays, gels, and strips can also be purchased at the store and used at home. These treatments typically use bleach to help whiten teeth and reduce stains at the surface and beneath. The bleach in these products is generally very mild, and users show varying results. Similar products can be purchased from your dentist with a higher strength.

Teeth whitening can be done in your dentist’s office in about an hour. You can achieve noticeable results in just one visit. Talk to your dentist if this is a good choice for you.

Dental Care After Teeth Whitening

Togetherness

After professional teeth whitening treatment, your teeth will likely be sparkling and bright. You might just find yourself looking for excuses to show off your shiny new smile! Our cosmetic dentist in Torrance will help you keep your smile looking newly whitened longer and protect your investment.

1. Avoid dark or deeply colored drinks for up to three days following your treatment
Following a whitening treatment, your teeth will be more porous than usual, which will make them easier to stain. Avoid coffee, tea, wine, energy drinks, cola, and similar beverages until your teeth are back to normal. You might also need to avoid some foods, including blackberries, raspberries, cherries, tomatoes, mustard, soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curries.

2. Do not smoke
Tobacco is a major cause of stains on teeth. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco after you have had your teeth whitened to protect the look and the health of your smile.

3. Follow aftercare recommendations
Practicing good dental hygiene and avoiding anything that could stain your teeth will help keep your teeth looking good, but you might also need to use touch-up kits occasionally for the best results. We will explain the best use of these products so that you can get the most out of your new smile.

Call our office today to schedule your appointment with our teeth whitening dentist in Torrance.