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.

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.


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.