How to Take Care of Porcelain Veneers

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Porcelain veneers are a versatile cosmetic restoration that can correct chipped, crooked, stained, cracked or gapped teeth. The porcelain imitates the look of natural dental enamel and gives you an aesthetically pleasing smile. Our cosmetic dentist in San Francisco can determine your candidacy for veneers and help you design the smile of your dreams.

Once veneers have been applied, they do need to be maintained to maximize their lifespan. While you don’t need to implement any special routines to keep them looking beautiful, you do need to take care of them. Chewing on nonfood items such as pencils, fingernails or ice can damage them just like it can damage your natural teeth. Inconsistent brushing and flossing can lead to plaque and tartar buildup, which can decay the teeth underneath them and weaken the bond, leading to premature failure of the veneer. Schedule regular dental cleanings to remove the buildup in the areas that are harder to reach.

“Dental veneers have a highly glazed and polished outer surface. You need to choose a toothpaste that in non abrasive and stay away from tartar control toothpastes as they can create micro scratches on the surface of the veneers, which can lead to future staining of the veneers” says our dentist.

Porcelain veneers are highly stain-resistant, so you can keep eating and drinking your favorite foods. Skip alcohol-based mouthwashes, which can damage the bonding securing the veneers to your teeth, and use a fluoride mouthwash or other recommended mouthwash. Call our office today to schedule a consultation with our porcelain veneers dentist in San Francisco.

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Common Dental Emergencies and How to Prepare for Them

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Accidents tend to happen when you least expect them, so being prepared for the most common dental emergencies can ensure that you have the best chance of preserving your smile. Your first step is to assemble a dental first aid kit with over-the-counter pain medication, salt for salt water, clean gauze to stop bleeding, and a tooth preservation kit. You should also make sure that you have the phone number for our office so that you can call our San Francisco dentist in both your kit and your phone. Here are the steps you should take in these common emergency situations.

1.    Chipped or broken teeth
Teeth are strong, but they can be damaged when you bite down on something hard, experience a hit in the mouth, or fall. You cannot repair a chipped tooth at home, but you can rinse your mouth with salt water to relieve discomfort. Take over-the-counter pain medication if the tooth is painful. Call us right away to schedule an appointment. The tooth will need a filling or crown.

2.    Soft tissue injury
Biting your tongue, lip, or another part of your mouth hurts, but this is rarely a serious dental emergency. Use a cold compress to reduce swelling, and rinse your mouth if necessary. The bleeding should stop on its own, but if it does not, call us.

3.    A knocked-out tooth
This is an uncommon, but very serious dental injury. Pick the tooth up by the crown and carefully rinse it. If you can put it back in its socket, do so. Otherwise, put it in milk or a tooth preservation kit, and then get to our office as soon as possible. The tooth may be able to be saved, but if it cannot, we can restore your smile with a dental implant or similar option.

If you have a dental emergency in San Francisco, call our office right away to see our dentist and save your smile.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

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Sleep is essential for good health. When we sleep, our brains consolidate information and transfer short-term memories into long-term memories. Our bodies need sleep to synthesize hormones, repair tissues, and grow muscles. When we wake up, we should feel restored, refreshed, and rejuvenated. Unfortunately, about twelve million Americans suffer from a condition called sleep apnea, which interferes with their ability to breathe while unconscious and affects their quality of sleep. Our dentist in San Francisco offers treatments for sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder. Untreated sleep apnea can cause your breathing to stop dozens or even hundreds of times a night. Each time your breathing stops, your sleep patterns are disrupted. Your brain has to wake your body, and you are prevented from getting the sleep you need. Your body also fails to get the oxygen it needs, which puts extreme strain on your cardiovascular system.

The condition can be easy to miss since the apnea episodes occur while you are asleep, but common daytime symptoms can include:

•    Loud snoring
•    Waking up feeling like you are choking or gasping
•    Daytime sleepiness
•    Morning headaches
•    Waking with a sore or dry throat
•    Falling asleep at inappropriate times during the day
•    Forgetfulness
•    Insomnia
•    Frequently waking to urinate

Do you have one or more of these common sleep apnea symptoms? Treatment can help you get the sleep you need. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with our sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco.

Common Options for Replacing Lost Teeth

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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.

How Many Appointments Does it Take to Get Crowns?

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Dental crowns are commonly utilized in adult patients today. They can be needed in many different cases, such as when a tooth has suffered damage from wear, after root canal treatment, or to support a dental bridge. In the not-so-distant past, patients would have to attend three or more appointments in order to fully restore their tooth with a crown. Fortunately, our dentist can now apply a restoration such as this in just one day.

Our San Francisco dentist is able to provide patients with same day crowns thanks to CAD/CAM technology. The method begins with our dentist taking pictures and impressions of the damaged tooth. These will be combined to create a 3D image that is sent to the CAD/CAM milling machine located in our office. This machine uses whatever material agreed upon by the patient and our dentist to create the restoration. The crown can then be placed, molded, and polished later that day.

Patients can enjoy keeping their normal schedule without the inconvenience of attending multiple appointments to receive and complete their dental crown. If you require a crown and your dentist does not offer same day dentistry, schedule an appointment with us today.

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.

Damon Braces and What You Need to Know

Young black woman with braces

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.