Teeth Whitening and Cavities

It is not uncommon for patients to have more than one issue with their teeth. Our dentist will be sure to address and correct each issue, whether it takes just one appointment, or several over a longer amount of time. However, sometimes the order of what is treatment is important. We will typically address dental and oral health issues before cosmetic ones. This is the case for those who have cavities, but are also looking to whiten their teeth.

This is especially true if there are any cavities or areas of decay on the biting surfaces of the teeth. This is because the material used in the whitening process is abrasive in order to remove stains. The abrasiveness will likely make the decayed areas worse. It can also cause the material to enter the inside of the tooth, which can cause irritation and weakness. Filling a cavity will also ensure that a whitening tray will fit over the teeth perfectly.

This situation is also the case for other dental and oral health issues, such as gum disease or diminished enamel. After the issue or issues are addressed, our Los Angeles whitening dentist will discuss what treatment will be best for you and your smile.

How Sedation Dentistry Can Help

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Dental fears are common even in the age of lasers, ultrasound, and pain-free procedures. Most of these fears do not occur in a vacuum, but date to a traumatic experience in childhood or are related to mental illness. For these patients who would rather die than see a dentist for anything short of incapacitating pain, sedation dentistry can mean the difference between that avoidable result, and getting the regular care you need.

Sedation dentistry involves either ingestion of nitrous oxide or a mild sedative, or receiving medicine intravenously. Which one is used can depend on your level of anxiety, physical characteristics, or type of procedure. In extreme cases, the patient may request sedation for something as simple as a cleaning, which our Los Angeles dentists can accommodate at their discretion.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas as it’s been known for decades, merely takes the edge off the patient and allows them to feel safer in the chair. Taking a pill, typically from the Valium family, will relieve even more layers of anxiety and induce extreme drowsiness depending on the dosage. Intravenous medication, the flow of which is carefully controlled by the doctor, may be used for the most serious cases, or for a patient with special needs.

Ask our expert in sedation dentistry in Los Angeles if these practices are right for you.

Invisalign as a Part of Smile Makeovers

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Our dentist offers smile makeovers for patients who wish to address multiple dental flaws. Smile makeovers are comprised of treatments and procedures specific to each patient. Together you will work with our dentist to design your perfect smile, and determine the best methods to achieve it.

There can be many treatments and procedures involved in your smile makeover. Issues such as physical damage, staining, and too much gum tissue can be addressed with crowns and fillings, teeth whitening, and gum grafting.

Many patients also wish to perfect smiles that are suffering from orthodontic issues. This may include gaps between the teeth, overlapping teeth, and crooked teeth. Misaligned bites, such as over, under, cross, and open bites may also be an issue. Invisalign is often used in smile makeovers for these cases.

Invisalign offers a comfortable, discreet treatment that corrects orthodontic issues faster than braces. Patients can easily remove their Invisalign aligners to eat their favorite foods and brush their teeth without obstruction. Correcting even small issues, such as minor gaps or only slightly crooked teeth, can make a significant improvement in the smile.

Patients interested in getting a smile makeover or this orthodontic option can talk with our Invisalign doctor today.

Pros and Cons of Dental Veneers

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Are you unhappy with cosmetic flaws in your smile? If so, you might be considering dental veneers. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the teeth surfaces to mask aesthetically displeasing aspects. Our Los Angeles dental veneers dentist can inform you of everything you need to know about this option, but in the meantime, here are some pros and cons of the treatment.

Pros

Dental veneers can effectively mask a wide variety of cosmetic issues, including stains, chips, cracks, gaps, and crookedness. They are made specifically for each patient, using impressions to ensure they fit over the teeth perfectly and mask what they need to. Furthermore, they are made using porcelain, which offers many benefits. It is durable, stain resistant, and looks very similar to dental enamel.

Cons

Possibly the only con regarding veneers is that they are permanent. A thin layer of enamel must be removed in order to place them, so that the teeth do not look too big afterwards. The teeth will therefore not be strong enough on their own, making the veneers necessary from that point forward.

If you are looking for more information about porcelain dental veneers, schedule a consultation appointment with our dentist today.

Common Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease

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If you have periodontal disease, you’re in the majority. Most adults start having gum health issues after they turn 30. Gum disease is reversible in its early stages, but without care taken you can pass easily to chronic status, risking bone and tooth loss.

At-home care is your first periodontal disease treatment. Regular brushing and flossing are the bare minimum, and there are other DIY therapies. Oil pulling is a favorite among natural-health practitioners. Homemade toothpastes made from turmeric powder or baking soda are also effective in boosting gum health.

At the professional level, a deep cleaning may be necessary. The doctor will remove all tartar deposits from the teeth, and infection from between them. In a common practice called scaling and root planing, the dentist smooths both tooth surfaces and root surfaces to create bacteria-free zones.

Many patients develop periodontal pockets, which hold infection close to the bone. Gums fit looser around the teeth, allowing even more bacteria to enter. In a pocket reduction procedure, the dentist folds back the gum to thoroughly clean under it. The tissue is then resecured, but at its regular snugness.

In extreme cases, when tissue or bone has been lost, you may need grafting or regeneration. Ask our Los Angeles periodontist for more about these.

Why Use Porcelain?

Dental veneers are a popular cosmetic choice in cosmetic dentistry today. They are used to perfect the smile by masking flaws in the teeth. Many patients opt for veneers instead of several different treatments, and many types of patients can benefit from them. Veneers are typically made of porcelain, a material used often in dentistry for many reasons.

Porcelain offers multiple benefits. It is durable and very strong, meaning it can support the bite forces our teeth sustain when we eat every day. It can be altered and formed to fit your teeth perfectly, and create the appearance of natural teeth. Part of the reason this is possible is because porcelain is able to reflect light in the same way our natural dental enamel does. Furthermore, porcelain veneers resist stains, meaning your new smile will stay bright and white for years with the right care.

Friends and even family members won’t even know anything has been added to the smile. They will think you have undergone several lengthy and costly treatments and procedures, when in actuality you chose the smart option with porcelain dental veneers. If you believe you could benefit from veneers, schedule an appointment with our porcelain veneers dentist in Los Angeles.

Common Dental Emergencies

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Part of the panic involved in dental emergencies is that they can happen at any time. So not only can they be painful, but you might also be panicking trying to think of what to do. Knowing more about some common dental emergencies can help you remain calm and get the help you need.

Losing a tooth is one emergency that will be both painful and hectic. If one of your teeth has been knocked-out and you can locate it, be careful not to pick it up by the roots. Holding it by the cusps, try to place it back in its socket, if possible. If not, you can put it in a cup of milk or a tooth preservation kit, but not tap water.

A chipped tooth can benefit from rinsing out the mouth with warm water to get rid of any debris that can harm the inside of the tooth. You can apply a cold compress to the area and take an over the counter pain reliever to ease the situation.

Other common dental emergencies include loose teeth, fractures, and lost restorations. In any of these cases, be sure to contact our dental emergency dentist as soon as possible, so they can assess the situation and begin repairs.