Steps in Getting Invisalign

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In 1998, our San Francisco dentist began sharing the advanced technology of Invisalign with our patients. As one of the first in the area to become a certified by Invisalign’s creator, our dentist is an expert in Invisalign treatment. Since that time, countless patients trusted our dentist to guide them through the Invisalign process.

Getting Invisalign is straightforward, but it does involve a few steps.

• Consultation-
During your no-obligation consultation with our dentist, you can ask questions and find out more about the Invisalign treatment system. At the same time, our Invisalign dentist in San Francisco will evaluate you to be sure that this is the best orthodontic treatment for your teeth. You will also discuss what you can expect going forward with Invisalign.

• Impressions and Registrations-
To create your care plan, our dentist will take optical impressions of your teeth. These go to the Invisalign lab, where they are the basis for your alignment trays. At this time our dentist also takes what is called a bite registration. This is an image of how your teeth fit together. It is valuable information which will help guide your care plan. Your information then goes to Invisalign where they create your custom aligners.

• Getting Your Invisalign Alignment Trays-
In approximately 4-6 weeks your aligners are complete and ready for you to wear. While the exact number of trays depends on individual circumstances, most patients receive between 20-30 sets of upper and lower aligners, although 25 is the average number of aligner trays for most patients.

• Fitting and Instructions-
Our dentist will give you the first alignment tray while you are in the office. This helps him be sure that the fit is correct and that you are comfortable with the trays. You will also get written instructions regarding the care and use of your Invisalign aligners. Our dentist will also attach tiny tooth colored buttons to several of your teeth. These align with small holes in the alignment trays and help to keep aligners securely attached.

You will visit our office periodically for quick check-ups and your newest alignment trays. If you have any questions about any aspect of your Invisalign treatment, do not hesitate to contact our office.

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What Causes Gum Recession

Beautiful woman with a whiten perfect smile

Receding gums are a common dental problem. We see many patients who have issues with varying degrees of gum recession, and even though it is not rare, it is still a serious condition that you should not ignore.

Gum recession happens when the gums that are usually snug against your teeth start to pull back or wear away. Eventually, pockets between teeth and gums form, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque. Some of the dangers of untreated receding gums are an infection, potential tooth loss and bone loss in the area where your gums are pulling away from your teeth.

There are several reasons for gum recession, some of these include:

• INADEQUATE BRUSHING AND FLOSSING- Most of our patients know the suggested oral health routine our dentist recommends. We advise patients to brush at least twice a day (although brushing after each meal is preferable) and thoroughly floss at bedtime. These ordinary activities are the first line of defense against numerous dental problems, including receding gums.

• PERIODONTAL DISEASE- Bacteria causes these infections, which are the leading source of gum recession. These infections are preventable, as proper brushing and flossing remove bacteria.

• TOBACCO PRODUCTS- Those patients who use tobacco have a higher amount of sticky plaque on their teeth. The plaque eventually leads to receding gums as well as gum disease and tooth loss.

• CLENCHING AND GRINDING YOUR TEETH- When you grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you are exerting a considerable amount of pressure on your teeth. Often, this persistent pressure leads to gum recession.

• BODY PIERCING OF THE TONGUE AND LIPS- The metal studs cause friction along the gum line. The consistent friction wears away the surface of your gums and causing them to retract away from the metal.

Often, our patients do not notice their gums are receding because it is a slow process with nearly imperceivably small changes. There are a few signs that indicate you have gum recession including tender or swollen gums, teeth that appear longer, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. Any of these conditions are a good reason to make an appointment with our dentist.

Teeth Whitening Options

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When it comes to teeth whitening today, there are options for just about every smile. Whether teeth have mild, superficial stains or deeper stains inside the structure of the tooth, the right teeth whitening method can eliminate the stains and transform the smile. Our cosmetic dentists offer a variety of teeth whitening options to help our patients get the smiles they want.

The Causes of Discolored Teeth

Most discoloration develops in one of two ways. First, enamel can thin over time due to acid erosion, aggressive brushing or age. As the enamel becomes thinner, it allows more of the darker underlying dentin layer to show through, and this makes teeth look dark and dingy. Second, foods and drinks can also stain teeth. Microscopic cracks in the enamel allow color-depositing substances to pass through, and the stains can penetrate deep into the enamel where brushing cannot reach. Common staining substances include coffee, wine, tea and nicotine.

Teeth can also become discolored due to internal factors. Called intrinsic stains, these factors can include medicine, excess fluoride consumption and dental trauma.

Whitening Options

Whitening Toothpaste

A whitening toothpaste typically contains abrasive substances designed to scrub away superficial stains. Used consistently, whitening toothpaste can help keep teeth brighter, but it cannot penetrate the enamel to break up the stains inside.

Whitening Strips

Over-the-counter whitening strips are a popular choice. The thin plastic sheets are coated with peroxide at attached to teeth daily for up to two weeks. They are convenient and easy to use, but they can only lighten teeth one or two shades.

Tray-Based Whitening Systems

These systems are professionally supervised, which means that patients can enjoy more customized results. The tray is typically fit to the patient’s teeth, and it is used with a prescription-strength whitening gel. Patients will wear the trays daily for one to three weeks. The process takes longer, but patients can enjoy a gradual lightening of five or more shades.

Laser Teeth Whitening

This in-office procedure offers the fastest, most effective results and is professionally administered. Our dentist applies the whitening gel directly to teeth and uses a special laser to activate the gel. This type of whitening can penetrate far into the enamel and break up even long-standing stains. After a single one-hour treatment, teeth can be up to eight to 10 shades lighter.

Contact our teeth whitening dentist in San Francisco today to schedule a teeth whitening consultation.

Care After Root Canal

Woman at the dentistry

Our patients often tell us that the phrase root canal causes feelings of fear. While it is true that no one enjoys dental procedures, the root canal has a reputation for being a painful and painful treatment.

In the past, much of the fear surrounding a root canal had merit. At this time numbing the area around the root canal was difficult. If a root canal is necessary, it is because the tooth and surrounding space contain dead nerves and blood vessels. The lack of nerves and blood vessels leaves nothing to transport the medication beyond the immediate site. Fortunately, dental advancements make preparing the root canal site more straightforward and the pain relief more efficient.

The root canal procedure is not complicated. We begin with anesthetic injections and once your mouth is numb, our dentist drills into the afflicted tooth and removes decaying pulp and any infected tissues. After cleaning your tooth, the empty area inside of your tooth receives a spongy substance called gutta–percha. The dentist permanently seals your tooth and may opt to put a crown on the tooth for protection.

Once your root canal is complete, you can focus on your recovery. Our Northridge dentist recommends that root canal patients plan to have some downtime following the procedure. The bare minimum our office suggests is to schedule the whole day off from work and other responsibilities. If you are able to have more time to rest and recuperate, it would be to your advantage.

In addition to resting, we suggest that our root canal patients use ice packs to help minimize facial swelling and to help relieve any pain. You will likely want to have over-the-counter pain medication on hand, but you may receive a prescription for stronger pain relief medication. Often, this is not necessary because many patients report a great deal of pain relief because the decaying and infected tissues and abscesses are gone. We also suggest that you have a supply of soft foods to eat for a day or two after your root canal. Additionally, avoid anything sticky or chewy while recovering from your root canal procedure.

While complications are infrequent after a root canal, please contact our office right away if you have excessive bleeding, fever, or extreme pain.

Treatment Options for Gum Recession

Beautiful woman with a whiten perfect smile

We often speak with patients who notice changes in the appearance of their teeth. The teeth may be noticeably longer with less gum showing. This is a sign of gum recession, a treatable condition where your gums pull back exposing more of your tooth including the root. Gum recession is not only unsightly; it exposes your teeth and gums to decay and disease.

We treat a mild case of gum recession with a deep cleaning called scaling and planing. Our dentist or hygienist scrapes away built-up plaque and tartar on your teeth and below the gumline. Your gums go back into place, and you may receive an antibiotic to prevent bacteria growth.

Years ago, a gum graft was the solution to gum recession. Our dentist would suture donor tissue to your gums with the hope that the new tissue would attach, or graft, to your existing gum tissue and cover the exposed parts of your teeth. As you can imagine, this involved a recovery time which could be lengthy.

Fortunately, modern dentistry allows our dentist to offer you an alternative to the gum graft. A treatment which is known as Pinhole surgical technique or PST makes treating gum recession simpler with faster recovery time.

The PST procedure begins with local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding your receding gums. Then our dentist makes a tiny hole in your gum and inserts special dental instruments between your teeth and gums. Your gums are gently expanded and slid into their correct position, covering your teeth and roots.

Our patients give us positive feedback about the PST treatment especially regarding the fast recovery time and minimally invasive nature of the procedure. We also hear from patients who appreciate the fact that there are no grafts or donor tissue with the Pinhole surgical technique.

If you believe you may have gum recession, contact our office as soon as possible. Treating the condition at the earliest possible point in time will help to prevent damage to your teeth, roots, and gums. If you would like more information about PST, please reach out to one of our staff, we are always happy to help you.

What are One Visit Crowns?

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Our staff is pleased that advances in dentistry allow us to meet your needs efficiently while giving you the same high caliber of service you have come to expect from us. One of the best improvements that we frequently offer to our patients is the option for one visit crowns.

Until recently, when a patient needed a crown, we would create a mold and send it along with the specifications to a dental lab. Then we would fit a temporary plastic or resin crown for our patient to wear until the crown arrived. This meant two visits to solve one problem, and our patient wore an uncomfortable interim crown for a week or longer.

Our dentist in Huntington Beach has cutting edge technology which allows us to craft your permanent crown in the office while you wait. For you, this means, no unpleasant plastic crowns and no need to return for a second visit. Our one visit crowns are durable natural looking porcelain, which we will customize to blend in with your teeth. Additionally, these crowns are a type of porcelain which has similar characteristics and a finish which mimic your natural teeth.

The process for one visit crowns is simple and straightforward. Our dentist numbs the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic. To prep your tooth for the crown, our dentist clears away diseased and decaying tissue, then shapes your tooth and carefully cleans it.

Once your tooth is clean and shaped, our dentist uses a small portable tool to create a digital impression of your tooth. The digital image goes to the milling section of our office where we make your new crown from a small individual block of porcelain. Once complete, the crown will match the size, color, and shape of your existing teeth. Our dentist then tests the crown’s fit to be sure you need no modifications and the bonds the crown to your tooth.

The one visit crown is a prime example of dentistry and technology working together. If you believe you need a crown, contact our office and make an appointment soon.

What You Should Know about Smile Makeovers

Attraction

The term “makeover” brings images of clothing stylists weeding out a closet or make-up artists demonstrating colors and technique. A smile makeover from a cosmetic dentist is not altogether different from other makeovers.

When a patient comes to our office for information about a smile makeover, they are often burdened with several dental problems and genuinely do not know what to expect from a smile makeover. Here are a few key facts that our patients should find helpful when they are anticipating a smile makeover:

• Your smile makeover is as individual as you.

• Some smile makeovers may have multiple procedures involved. These makeovers will require numerous visits to our smile makeover dentist in Torrance.

• We will have an extensive consultation and find out what you do and do not like about your smile as well as your vision for your new smile.

• Our dentists will be realistic and honest with you. They will never promise what they cannot deliver.

Your smile makeover consultation is the most important part of your smile makeover. We understand that you may not know specifics about every aspect of your smile. Because of that, our dentist comes to the consultation with a list of questions to help clarify your wishes.

Here are some topics our dentist will ask you about during your consultation.

• Spacing and alignment- If you have gaps between your teeth or misaligned teeth, we can correct these problems through bonding, veneers, and orthodontics.

• Balance- We can contour a gummy smile, so you have an even appearance above and below the gum line. Chipped or cracked teeth can be evened out with bonding elements or veneers.

• Missing teeth- Missing teeth are both unsightly and unhealthy. We have numerous ways to replace missing teeth. Bridges, dentures, and implants are all options which are available to you.

• Tooth color- Often our patients are unhappy with their tooth color. If you have no existing dental work, teeth whitening treatments are an excellent way to brighten your smile. If you do have dental work in place, we can work with you by replacing older metal fillings. Additionally, we can change older dental work to refresh its appearance, place veneers, add crowns, and composite bonding.

Whatever work your smile makeover requires, we are ready to assist you in getting your perfect smile.

How Effective are Dental Implants?

Dental implants in the gum - Isolated on white

For some of our patients, tooth loss is an unfortunate reality. Whether tooth loss is because of injury or periodontal disease, the patient should address the lost tooth as soon as possible. While false teeth and other dental devices can help cosmetically, the missing root has detrimental effects. After some time with a tooth missing, the body senses no need to supply the area with sustaining nutrients and bone loss begins. With enough bone loss, patients with missing teeth will encounter changes to their facial structure as their jaw gradually erodes.

 

The good news is that bone loss, and the adverse changes it brings, are avoidable. Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants. The American Dental Association calls dental implants dentistry’s most significant advancement in forty years and calls implants a superb long-term solution to replace lost teeth.

 

Critics questioned the effectiveness of dental implants almost immediately, believing that implant material could not convince the body to sustain the jaw. However, when patients with dental implants had checkups, the dental implants were accepted by the body in place of the root of the missing tooth.

 

There are several reasons implants are chosen over permanent crowns, bridges, or false teeth.

 

  • Dental implants are stable, and once they attach to the jaw, implants can support other dental work.
  • Patients with dental implants are highly satisfied with the look and feel of their new teeth. Most of our patients say they feel just like their natural teeth and once our dentist in Agoura Hills restores the dental implant with a crown or bridge, it looks just like a natural tooth.
  • Dentists like the fact that implants do not need any hardware or wires because these are places prone to plaque build-up.
  • You can care for your dental implants the same way you care for your natural teeth. There are no special procedures or tools needed.

 

Remember, replacing a missing tooth is not a cosmetic pursuit; it is a medical necessity. Choosing dental implants gives you the best opportunity for a perfect outcome. If you have concerns or questions regarding the procedure, our dentist is happy to talk with you and address your concerns.

Taking Care of Your Teeth after Teeth Whitening

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Cosmetic dentistry has been a blessing to many people. Before the invention of such treatments, it was difficult to correct or treat tooth diseases and bacteria that affected the appearance of the smile. Different teeth whitening options are available, and aftercare is important to protect your teeth and ensure the results last for as long as possible.

You should take time to review your previous oral health routine. If you are not sure of a better way of doing it, it is good to work closely with our dentist in order to have an oral routine which will help your teeth to remain in better shape than before. Some of the basic things you might require to do are proper brushing, flossing and anything else that your dentist might recommend.

If you want to prevent future discoloration and staining you should as well reconsider the level of coffee, sugar and tobacco intake. If anything, you can decide to do away with them all together because they are the top contributors to staining and discoloration of your teeth. They are also some of the hardest stains to get rid of. It is therefore important to choose a healthy lifestyle which will not affect the health of your teeth or any other part of your body.

In general, everyone wants a beautiful smile. Nonetheless, not everybody is blessed with natural white teeth. The good news is that there are treatments which can help everyone achieve the whitest teeth ever. Consult with our teeth whitening dentist in Agoura Hills to learn more.

Benefits of Same Day Dentistry

Beautiful woman with a whiten perfect smile

For individuals suffering from advanced cosmetic degeneration in one or more teeth beyond the help of a simple cleaning or whitening, more drastic measures of improvement may be required. This prognosis can certainly be an unwelcome one, as many of the cosmetic procedures in this category require a significant time commitment on the part of the recipient to give your dental lab an adequate window of time in which to manufacture your crown, bridge, implant, or set of veneers. Same day dentistry is a revolutionary new way of working that allows your dental care provider to evaluate your mouth, collect the relevant data using special equipment, and actually have the restorative implement made in-office that day, allowing them to perform the procedure with no waiting period required.

 

During the appointment, our dentist will clean out any debris. Measurements will be taken and instead of an x-ray you will be put through a much more accurate CT scan, capable of gathering much more data about your mouth and teeth than technology of the past. This information will be fed into a 3D printer, and once the machine is done making your new implant or crown a reality, the rest of the process is a simple as having it placed and cemented to your teeth.

 

Those with active adult lives probably stand to benefit the most from a same day workflow when it comes to enhancing their smiles. A same day procedure eliminates the hassle of endless trips to and from the office and less time wasted in the chair. It also makes the need for temporary measures of protecting exposed, sculpted teeth with non-permanent crowns and retainers obsolete, minimizing the risk of bacteria complicating any part of the process. A same day procedure also requires less long-term planning, which makes it ideal for individuals whose teeth have become lost or damaged unexpectedly, such as in the case of a car accident. A same day restoration will allow you to walk out of the office with teeth just as radiant as they were before.