When is a Full Mouth Reconstruction Needed?

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Modern dentistry gives our patients advanced ways to get the smile that they have always wanted. One method for our patients to achieve their perfect smile is through a procedure called Full Mouth Reconstruction. While the name sounds imposing, the treatments involved in reconstruction are safe and gentle.

Our Northridge cosmetic dentist will recommend a full reconstruction to our patients for various reasons. The most frequently cited reason for a complete mouth reconstruction is often a combination of reasons. A patient who comes to our office with extreme dental problems such as cracked or broken teeth, teeth with fillings that are failing, a large number of missing teeth, or teeth that show wear from tooth grinding they are a good candidate for a full reconstruction. A combination of multiple problems can compromise our patients’ health and their appearance.

Not all mouth reconstructions are due to poor oral hygiene. Our dentists see patients in need of restorations which were born with various dental disorders including Amelogenesis, Dentinogenesis Imperfecta, or Ectodermal Dysplasia.

Our dentists have several treatment options to offer patients and a full reconstruction almost always involves a combination of treatments. These may include:

• Bridges- These work well as a way to permanently replace missing teeth as long as there are teeth present strong enough to help support the bridge.

• Dental Bonding- Bonding improves the appearance of teeth with cracks, chips, or stains. A dental composite covers the teeth and permanently fuses in place.

• Dental Crowns- Crowns help improve teeth with many different problems. They cover, protect, and strengthen the teeth.

• Dental Implants- If teeth are missing, dental implants can fill the missing tooth’s spot. The implants improve appearance and help prevent bone loss by stimulating jaw growth.

• Veneers- Adding veneers is a way to disguise tooth imperfections found in otherwise healthy teeth. A specially made cover, typically porcelain, sits on top of the tooth hiding chips, cracks, or discolorations.

Although no two cases are exactly alike, the dentists at our practice have decades of experience performing full mouth reconstructions. Call our office for a consultation; your perfect smile is closer than you think.


Different Uses of Dental Crowns

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When many people think about dental crowns, they’ll usually think about them in the context of covering up a damaged tooth. While this is certainly one application for this type of procedure, the truth is that there is a wide range of issues our cosmetic dentist in Northridge can address through the use of one or more dental crowns.


What is a dental crown? A dental crown is an artificial tooth designed to cover up the original tooth. A decayed or fractured tooth may require a dental crown. All crowns by definition perform this one simple task, but there are also many additional benefits that result from having one placed.


Most commonly, dental crowns are used to restore a tooth’s appearance. The tooth in question is usually damaged in some prominent, visible way, such as in the case of a fractured tooth, a deeply decayed tooth, or a severely discolored tooth. In order to get a dental crown, there must be enough of the tooth firmly lodged in the jawbone to support the implement. Encasing the original tooth in this way not only improves the appearance of your face and smile and makes eating, speaking, and swallowing much easier, it also protects any sensitive, exposed tissue or nerve endings from getting more damaged and saves you the pain that this damage would bring. The tooth receiving the crown is usually deadened just before the crown is cemented into place, allowing you to use your teeth as you did before without agony.


Another common thing dental crowns are used for is physically holding a badly fractured but otherwise firmly-rooted tooth together without needing to extract it. In a similar way, they can also be used to stabilize an existing cosmetic fixture already present in the mouth, almost like a lone abutment.


Crowns have many uses in the realm of pediatric dentistry as well. Because children have baby teeth and may be a bit less capable of taking care of them than an adult would, there are several special cases where a crown is appropriate. One such example would be a badly decayed tooth that is either too small or too damaged to accommodate a proper filling. This not only saves the child pain, but also helps them avoid endless trips to the dentist and unnecessary, excessive anesthesia exposure.


Interested? Give us a call. Our expert in dental crowns in Northridge has all the answers you’re looking for.

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.

What is the Purpose of Scaling and Root Planing?

Woman at the dentistryWhen gum disease reaches a chronic stage, it can alter the fit of your gums. Your teeth may look elongated, which can be alarming. But they haven’t stretched—the gums around them have loosened. This creates a baggy effect known as periodontal pockets. When you have pockets, you make it even easier for bacteria to form at the gum line and destroy your teeth.

Once you’re at this point, it’s essential that you have scaling and root planing before something more dire is needed, like pocket reduction surgery. Also known as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing happens in two phases. First, the existing pockets are cleaned using either ultrasonics or hand instruments. Since it’s so important that all the plaque deposits at the gum line be eradicated, our dentists in Northridge often likes to combine both the ultrasonic scanner and hand instruments for a more precise touch. The two can be used to check each other’s work, so to speak. We may also use lasers.

In the second phase, the dentist smooths the tooth roots to make it more difficult for bacteria to adhere. This is also done with a combination of digital and analog equipment.
Contact our office for more information.

Is Tooth Bleaching Right for Me?

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Just about everyone these days seems to be getting their teeth whitened. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge, you might be wondering, is tooth bleaching right for me? Teeth get darker naturally over time, but they also accumulate stains as a result of what we eat and drink, as well as due to habits such as smoking. If your teeth are darker than they used to be, you might be a candidate for teeth whitening.

Professional whitening is the most common and effective way to bleach your teeth. At your consultation, we will assess your teeth to determine if bleaching is the best way to brighten your smile. Peroxide-based bleaching solutions are most effective for people with extrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains refer to those that are on the surface of the teeth, such as those caused by coffee, wine, soft drinks, berries, tobacco, and other substances.

Intrinsic stains, or discolorations that have occurred in the developing tooth, are often associated with antibiotic use and dental trauma. These stains do not typically lighten with conventional teeth whitening solutions. Restorations will also not respond to bleaching. If you have intrinsic stains or visible restorations, you might not be a candidate for teeth whitening. You also might not be a candidate for whitening if you have any untreated dental problems, such as cavities or gum disease.

Call our office today to find out if you are a candidate for bleaching or to schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist in Northridge.

How Veneers are Used in Cosmetic Dentistry

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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?

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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.