Do All Teenagers Qualify for Invisalign?

Aligners Focus - 7

Most of us are already familiar with the Invisalign system – it’s a series of alignment trays designed to gradually straighten one’s smile without all the hassle and discomfort of ordinary metal braces. Something not everybody may be familiar with, however is Invisalign Teen, a treatment plan designed specifically with kids in mind. It is a safe, subtle alternative to traditional braces that will have your teen’s smile dazzling brighter than ever.

You may be wondering if your child is an eligible candidate for treatment with Invisalign. With braces, after all, come a litany of rules and restrictions set in place to both protect the braces themselves and also keep your progress on track. The good news about Invisalign is that the trays are fully removable and will not force the patient to choose between the life they previously enjoyed and the smile of their dreams. Participation in contact sports is allowed as the patient is able to simply remove the retainers while on the field, and little to no varieties of food or drink are off limits for the same reason. With that being said, however, the aligner trays do in fact need to be worn at least 22 hours a day to keep the patient moving toward their end goal at an appropriate pace.

Putting lifestyle and habitual factors aside, there are certain responsibilities your teen must be willing and capable of taking on in order to ensure their success with the program. Proper maintenance is an absolute must: the retainers must be removed for all eating, drinking, and activities where they may become damaged. They must be cleaned thoroughly, preferably as often as the patient brushes his or her teeth; you will be given a full run-down on proper aligner care in the home. One unique aspect of the teen program is that each aligner comes outfitted with a blue indicator strip that tracks usage physically and allows our orthodontist to make sure the retainers are being used properly. Ideally, your teen must be responsible enough to both make a commitment to making time for all the appointments and evaluations necessary for success and also to keep track of their aligners and take care not to lose them, as any lapses in treatment can potentially set them back.


Methods of Dental Reconstruction

Portrait Of Adult Daughter With Mother At Home

When the relationship between the upper and lower teeth becomes compromised, and the components no longer work well together in balance, oral health becomes compromised. When this happens, a patient may consider dental reconstruction. This refers to the set of procedures designed to replace missing teeth, repair damaged teeth, correct improperly seated jaw joints and fault bites, jawbone and gum damage, replace worn-out dental work and treat diseases in the mouth.


Full mouth reconstruction can include one or more of the following: dental crowns, bridges, implants, dental bonding, fillings, inlays and onlays, gum re-contouring and more. Patients who have multiple oral health problems affecting most or all of the teeth and supporting tissues, could be great candidates for mouth reconstruction. Talk to our cosmetic dentist in Huntington Beach about your oral health, and we can discuss if reconstruction is right for you.


In many cases, dental implants may be the only choice to restore all necessary functions in the mouth. An implant can replace a single tooth or multiple missing teeth. Implants can also be used to increase the retention of dentures, which helps minimize gum irritation. Unlike a dental bridge, implants do not require adjacent teeth to be fixed in the mouth. The implant acts as the tooth root which fuses to the jaw bone before a tooth is placed.


Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that could be a part of the reconstruction process. This is a conservative alternative to full coverage dental crowns. They can be used in place of dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. There’s also a new treatment plan that has patients in and out of our office in the same day. CAD/CAM technology allows patients to receive milled metal-free crowns, veneers, onlays and inlays in one office visit while they wait.


If you think your dental health has been compromised due to tooth decay and other dental issues, talk to our dentists. With today’s dental technology, there are many reconstruction options available to you. We understand that oral reconstruction is a big deal. We are here to discuss all the different methods and examine your mouth to determine the best treatment plan for you.

Care After Dental Implant Placement

Portrait Of Adult Daughter With Mother At Home

If you have dental implants, it’s important to maintain proper oral hygiene. It is very similar to caring for your natural teeth. Dental implants should be kept clean and plaque free by brushing twice a day and flossing once. It’s especially important to brush after meals. Avoid sticky foods, candies and sugary drinks as they can still cause plaque and damage to the gums.


Our dentist in Torrance can talk to you about proper oral hygiene and maintenance after you receive your dental implants. Oral hygiene tools include a small, soft, manual toothbrush or an electric brush, a low-abrasive, tartar-control toothpaste and dental floss for cleaning around the implants. It’s important to gently brush, giving special attention to each side of your implants.


There are other supplies that can be useful for patients with implants such as antimicrobial mouth rinses and inter-dental brushes or other aids for removing plaque between the teeth. It’s important to be committed to daily performance and regular visits to our dental implant dentist in Torrance. It is recommended that you visit our office every three to six months for a professional exam and cleaning. These implants will also need to be examined every year with an x-ray to make sure they are in tip-top shape.


If proper oral care is not maintained, your implants can develop problems. The first problem that can develop is called mucositis. The symptoms of this are bleeding. If caught early, it can be treated and reversed. If it progresses to bone loss (peri-implantitis), the bone loss is not reversible. Further progression of this issue can lead to bone loss and removal of the implant.


Our dentists can give you an accurate assessment of your dental implants by measuring the gums around the implant, comparing x-rays, looking for looseness, checking the bite and all around oral care. You can avoid complications by maintaining proper oral hygiene. Remember, the post that was implanted into your gums acts as the tooth root and should be treated as such. These implants act as your teeth and thus your brushing and flossing is imperative.


Talk to our dentist about your oral hygiene if you have implants. We can make sure you are maintaining proper daily care. We will also recommend routine cleanings much like we do for natural teeth. It’s important to remove all the plaque from your teeth and implants in order to maintain the longevity of your smile.

Uses of Braces

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If you have crooked teeth, gapped teeth or misaligned teeth, you may decide on braces. Braces are used to correct these issues and improve the smile over a length of time. There are many types of braces to choose from depending on your needs. It’s important to talk to our braces dentist in Northridge about the options available to you.


Traditional braces are made of metal brackets and wires linked together from tooth to tooth. Modern braces are much smaller and less noticeable than the brackets that were first introduced in orthodontics. There’s new heat-activated archwires that actually use your body heat to help move teeth into place more quickly and less painfully. This is the least expensive type of braces.


Another type of braces is made of ceramic. While they are the same size and shape as metal braces, they are tooth colored or clear brackets. This helps blend them with your smile so they are less noticeable. Some might come with tooth colored wires for even less noticeability. While they cost more than metal braces, they move teeth much faster. Patients using ceramic braces must practice good oral hygiene because they can stain if they are not cared for.


A third type of braces is called lingual braces. They are very similar to traditional metal braces except that they are placed on the inside of the teeth. They are not noticeable at all unless the patient shows someone the inside of their mouth. They move the teeth into place just like traditional brackets to create a nice smile. Good oral hygiene is essential with these types of braces because they can be difficult to clean. These are also not recommended for severe cases of crooked teeth.


The last type of braces is Invisalign. This type of braces is not made of braces at all. These are actually custom-made mouth guards that are clear plastic. They fit right over the teeth and can be taken out for drinking and eating. These mouthpieces are replaced every two weeks as the teeth shift into place. This is not recommended for severe types of dental problems. Additionally, they are only available for adults and teens.


Talk to our Northridge dentist about these different types of braces to decide which one is right for you. No matter which type you choose, your smile will be improved and made to look beautiful.

Smile Makeovers: Making the Right Decision

Woman at the dentistry

If you’ve ever considered the possibility of going through the process of a smile makeover, we know you have a lot of options. Making the right decision about the best way to improve the appearance of your teeth isn’t easy, but our specially-trained dentists and aestheticians will help you choose the best way to achieve the smile of your dreams.


The course of action your dentist recommends will depend on the imperfection or combination of imperfections your smile suffers from. If your teeth are discolored through either neglect or lifestyle, you can bleach them or have dental veneers affixed to the front of them. Your teeth can be re-contoured with a tapered drill, or replaced entirely with a set of dental implants. No matter the problems you struggle with, our dentists will be able to find the right treatment plan to suit your particular needs. There is no limit to what can be achieved with today’s technological resources.


How much does a smile makeover cost? To put it bluntly, it depends on what needs to be done. Some types of treatment are quite affordable, and will only require a very minimal amount of time commitment on the part of the recipient. Others are quite a bit more involved, both financially and in terms of how many office visits they will require to complete. On the pricier end of things are enhancements like full-on dental implants, which will require surgery to have put in. At the end of the day, it really comes down to what the right decision is for your teeth and your lifestyle.


If you’re still unsure about what the right choice is for you, please do not hesitate to give our office a call. We help hundreds of patients just like you every day find the confidence they desire. Come in for an appointment and become yet another success story.

Do I Need a Sleep Study?

Snoring man, frustrated woman

Americans are among the most overworked people on earth, and some of the least rested. Insufficient sleep, while a drag on productivity, can also become a health concern. Glucose levels can rise if sleep is frequently interrupted or if stress levels during sleep remain high. And bad glucose readings can result in a diabetes diagnosis you don’t want.


In as many as 18 million Americans, the cause of insufficient sleep is an actual disorder. It’s called obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. This disorder interrupts sleep with little breathing accidents, called apneas. For many of them, you stop breathing entirely, causing the brain to startle you awake. This can be terrifying, or as commonly as the need to get up to urinate. While getting up to urinate can be a marker of sleep apnea, know that you’re getting up for the wrong reason (urination) and not simply because your airflow was deprived.


Despite an array of risk pools—obesity, being male, being middle-aged, being alcoholic—sleep apnea can be hard to diagnose. The symptoms, at least, are clear and may include any or all of the following: multiple wakeups per night, morning headaches or sore throat, drowsiness or fatigue during the day, reduced concentration, irritability, and lowered libido.


Many physicians prefer to observe sleep patterns up close before their determination. To do this, they may commission a sleep study—either in a clinic, or at home. This process is called polysomnography and is used to diagnose sleep disorders across the board—REM sleep behavior disorder, sleepwalking, insomnia, restless legs syndrome. It’s also very reliable in picking a treatment course for sleep apnea patients.


With the help of your at-home or clinical test, we can put you on the road to recovery, with better sleep and better health. Even if it’s only a lifestyle fix—eating better and/or losing weight—getting a diagnosis is the first step toward managing a subtle and disruptive health issue.

Can I Get Minimal Prep Veneers?


It’s hard when gaps or discoloration of teeth get in the way of socializing. Even worse is when these cosmetic issues make a person too embarrassed to smile or even go outside. It may seem extreme, but our San Francisco cosmetic dentist has heard it all. Many patients cringe at the thought of having to fix their cracked or stained teeth. It brings up horrible images of drills and painful bleaching. Thankfully, minimal prep veneers are available.

Minimal prep veneers are a great alternative to whitening, oral surgery, and even the traditional placement of veneers. Much like the traditional type, the minimal prep is adhesively bound to the front surface of teeth. What’s nice is this doesn’t involve any reduction of the original teeth. There are even situations when local anesthetic doesn’t have to be used, which makes the procedure more comfortable and quicker.

This is a great way for adolescents and adults to effectively cover up innumerable cosmetic dental conditions. These might include:

Chipped or cracked teeth
Slightly discolored or stained teeth
Gaps or spaces
Misshapen, fanged, or slightly misaligned teeth
Slightly crowded, worn, or even smaller teeth.

Patients now can easily access fast, long-lasting, and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. This treatment can also be less costly, depending on the condition of the patient. There are plenty of advantages to getting minimal prep veneers in San Francisco. The most important thing is changing that unbecoming smile to something you can be proud of. This has to be taken on a case by case basis. Even then, you have every right to seek out a whiter and brighter smile.

Of course, your best bet is consulting with a dentist. They’ll let you know if you qualify for minimal prep veneers, or if you need more extensive cosmetic work.