How Veneers are Used in Cosmetic Dentistry

Beautiful sisters smiling

Many people do not see a dentist for their cosmetic dental issues because they believe that the only option is complete restoration, which will be undoubtedly costly and time consuming. These patients are not aware that there is another option that can perfect their smile. Dental veneers are a simple and effective solution for most cosmetic dental problems.

Dental veneers are thin strips of porcelain that are bonded to the front surfaces of the teeth. They can effectively mask a wide variety of cosmetic issues. These include chips, cracks, and spacing issues, as well as crooked and misshapen teeth. Patients have the choice of whether to place dental veneers on all of their visible teeth, or just a select few.

Porcelain is a material often used in dentistry for several reasons. It is stain resistant, meaning patients do not need to worry about their favorite foods leaving their marks. It is also very strong and durable, just as our teeth. Furthermore, it naturally reflects light just as enamel does.

Our Northridge cosmetic dentist can use dental veneers as part of a larger smile makeover process. Talk to our porcelain veneers dentist in Northridge to learn how this option can benefit you and your smile.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Pure beauty

A number of professional teeth whitening options are used today. In all of these treatments, a similar basic process is used to eliminate or greatly reduce discoloration from the tooth surfaces. Here is how these procedures work.

Whitening Ingredients

Gels used for professional whitening are all have a peroxide base. Most of these gels contain hydrogen peroxide in concentrations higher than what is sold on store shelves. Some treatments from our cosmetic dentist in Northridge, such as Zoom whitening, also contain carbamide peroxide to boost the effects.

Stain Oxidation

Oxidation is the key to how bleaching gels are able to clear stains off of teeth. When the peroxides make contact with the pigments that have settled on the tooth enamel, the chemical reaction of oxidation occurs. After oxidation is finished, the pigment particles are smaller and lighter colored. Activation methods, such as lights, cause oxidation to happen more rapidly.

Because whitening gels must make contact with particles in order to oxidize them, the gels only work on discoloration on the outsides of teeth. These include most stains resulting from coffee, tea, wine, chocolate, and tobacco. Patients can schedule a consultation with our teeth whitening dentist in Northridge to learn more about our whitening treatments.

Steps in Getting Dental Implants

Dental implants are a favorite form of tooth replacement today for many reasons. With their permanence, ease of maintenance, and natural appearance, implants compare favorably with all alternatives. Here are the steps to getting this treatment.

Preparation

Before getting implants, you will visit our dentist for a consultation. X-rays will help determine if your jaw bone density can support implants. If necessary, you may have to receive bone grafting to bolster your jaw bone mass before surgery.

Surgical Placement

After making incisions in your gums and holes in your jaw bone, our dentist in Northridge will put your implants in place. Over several months, the implants will fuse with your jaw bone tissue. The length of this period varies with healing rate.

Artificial Teeth

Once healing is finished, you will return to have artificial teeth, or crowns, put on your implants. These crowns will look and feel just like real teeth. Thanks to the fusion of the implants with the jaw bone, the implants will also be more stable than even real teeth.

Treatment time for implants is longer than that of dentures and bridges, but the results can last for life. You can schedule a consultation with our dental implants dentist in Northridge to learn more about the implant process at our office.

How Braces Work

Happy teen with  braces

Braces are taken for granted as a rite of passage. They still fix smiles and correct orthodontic issues at the same old rate. But the process is much more inclusive since the advent of self-ligating braces and superior materials. The actual process of braces is fascinating science, but is still not really thought about by most people, with or without braces.

Teeth straightening is really about bone remodeling. This is the biomechanical phenomenon that strengthens bone when a weight is introduced, and weakens bone when that weight is taken away. The right mix between the two, of adding weight and taking it away, stimulates bone density and provides movement, in this case of teeth into better position.

How is this formula achieved? Our braces dentist in Northridge, who completed three extra years of training to become an orthodontist, installs your braces in just the right way. She puts a bracket, not always made of metal anymore, on each tooth. Archwire connects the brackets to each other. Ligature elastics, or O-rings, ensure the brackets stay on the archwire (self-ligating braces do not need O-rings, hence their name.)

Most of the work falls on the archwire, which is naturally bent on staying straight and also reacts favorably to temperature conditions in the mouth, which make it even stiffer.

Straightening occurs over 10 months, which is about the time it takes for bone remodeling to complete its back-and-forth weight distribution, and the results to be finalized.

For more about braces science, contact your Northridge dentists.

Success Rate of Invisalign Treatment

Invisalign is an excellent program for teens and adults who want to feel less self-conscious about their smile, or simply make an average smile better. Its success rate has been documented at 96 percent, with the percentage of flawed cases typically involving patients who do not follow directions.

One way in which people feel self-conscious about their smile is while maintenance is ongoing. When you wear braces, for example, you can worry about the old metal-mouth stigma. Invisalign changes all that by straightening your teeth without visible bracket or archwire. You wear clear plastic aligners and those do the work right in plain sight.

Our expert in Invisalign in Northridge recommends Invisalign for those who can keep to a schedule and do not mind following instructions. In most cases, a bad result is produced by deviating from the course. You are meant to wear the aligner trays in a certain order, for a certain length of time. Failing to do so, or failing to remove the aligners for meals, can affect your treatment.

Simply put, Invisalign works if you work it. For more on how Invisalign can help you, contact our Northridge cosmetic dentist.

Purpose of Oral Surgery

Dental assistant smiling at camera

Oral surgery can have many different applications, depending on the reason that the patient needs the surgery in the first place. Oral surgery can range in complexity from a simple tooth extraction to a full mouth reconstruction.

Many dental issues can be resolved without the need for surgery, but there are other issues where surgery is the only option. For instance, if a patient suffers from gum disease, there are more conservative options like a scaling and root planing procedure that should be tried first. In a particularly severe case of gum disease, though, scaling and root planing may not be enough. In an effort to restore this patient to a better level of oral health, a pocket reduction surgery may be needed. This surgery is designed to provide a deep cleaning that is only possible through surgery.

If you are missing a tooth or several teeth, dental implants provide you with the best replacement option. In order to place dental implants, one or more surgeries are required. The reason for this is that dental implants must be implanted deep into the jawbone. If a patient being fitted with implants does not have the necessary strength and density in their jawbone, then an additional bone graft surgery will need to take place beforehand.

Another common reason that our dentist in Northridge performs oral surgery is to extract a tooth. Teeth may be extracted because they are diseased, impacted, or need to be removed for orthodontic treatment.

If you have any questions about oral surgery, contact our oral surgeon in Northridge to schedule a consultation.

What You Should Know about Teeth Whitening

If you have been thinking about whitening your smile, then you are not alone. Millions of Americans have turned to teeth whitening to get rid of stains and brighten their smiles. Knowing your options before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, including teeth whitening, is the best way to ensure the beautiful results you want.

1. Whitening is a great choice for many patients, but it may not be the best choice for every smile.
Tooth-colored fillings, porcelain crowns and similar restorations do not respond to whitening treatments, so you may need to consider other options if you have restorations in the visible parts of your smile.

2. Many whitening treatments are available.
There are whitening treatments available for almost any whitening need, including treatments that you can do at home or light-assisted treatments we perform in our office for immediate results. We can help you find the right bleaching treatment for you.

3. Preparation is important.
For the best results, we may suggest having your teeth professionally cleaned before you whiten. Any buildup could prevent the whitening solution from penetrating the enamel, so we will have to remove it and polish your teeth to get rid of superficial teeth.

4. Professional advice is invaluable.
Even if you choose to use over-the-counter whiteners, scheduling a checkup before proceeding with treatment can help you avoid unwanted consequence. We will look for any signs of decay, gum disease or other problems that could interfere with your whitening experience.

Call us today to find out more about whitening your smile or to schedule your appointment with our cosmetic dentist.