Are Inlays and Onlays Cosmetically Appealing?


Inlays and onlays are special restorations that can be used as conservative alternatives to dental crowns. They cover more of the tooth than dental fillings and are often used in teeth that have need amalgam fillings replaced. Our dentist might recommend an inlay or an onlay if you have a tooth that has a large cavity, filling, or area of damage but does not yet need a crown.

These restorations are typically made of dental porcelain. The porcelain is translucent like the enamel on your teeth is, and it reflects light similarly to your teeth. When we make an inlay or onlay, we make it in a shade to match your tooth for the most natural-looking restoration possible. Because it is made to fit the tooth precisely, there are no telltale borders or unsightly lines. These restorations are among the most cosmetically appealing restorations available.

An inlay or onlay is typically placed in two dental visits, much like a crown, and they last about as long as a dental crown when they are maintained as recommended. Contact our office today to find out more about your options for treating damaged or decayed teeth or to schedule your appointment with our dentist.


Are There any Side Effects to Dental Veneers?

Cute smile

Patients with more than one cosmetic dental flaw typically make great candidates for dental veneers. Such flaws are ones that do not affect the health of the teeth, and include stains, gaps, crooked teeth, and cracks. However, not all patients make good candidates, and even ones that do ca run into certain side effects or unforeseen problems.

Color irregularities

Patients should be sure they work with a dentist that will take proper consideration of the color of the teeth, bonding material, and veneer. If the shades of these three materials do not match, it can leave the smile looking strange and discolored.

Placement Problems

Poor placement of the porcelain veneers can not only look bad, but also cause speech issues. Some patients find they have trouble making the “S” sound properly after receiving their restorations. If this is an issue that you are currently dealing with, consider returning to your dentist to see if the porcelain can be trimmed shorter.


Those with certain habits or lifestyle practices may not make good veneer patients. Habitual grinding of the teeth, or bruxism, can damage the veneers over a period of time. Patients who smoke might find the color of the bonding material affected, which can change the look of the whole smile.

When are Dentures Recommended?

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Dentures are one of three options available to those missing teeth. Implants and bridges are also popular options, but many choose dentures for several viable reasons. Our dentist in Orange County may recommend dentures for you depending on factors such as your oral health, age, and personal preferences.

Partial dentures

When even just one tooth in the smile is missing, a patient’s dental and oral health can be seriously compromised. The gap left from the missing tooth means it is possible for the remaining teeth to shift into that space, which causes severe orthodontic issues. Filling the gap with a partial denture can prevent this affect, as well as restore the look of the smile.

Full Dentures

Dentures may be the most effective option when all of the teeth in the mouth have been knocked-out or removed. Implants can take months to heal and dental bridges need stable teeth for support. Patients who do not have the time or dental health for these options can get a solution all at once with full dentures.

Our expert in dentures in Orange County can discuss your options at a consultation appointment. Call to schedule one today and start on the road to a renewed smile.

Benefits of Using Night Guards

0421.jpgYou may surprise you to learn that night guards fall within the realm of our dentist. These mouth pieces may look like something a football player would wear in order to tackle and not damage their teeth, but they are also very beneficial to wear when sleeping. Our mouths have a tendency to do things on their own while we are unconscious, so it can help to wear a guard to protect our teeth at night.

There are three main benefits of night guards:

1) TMJ (Temporomandibular disorder) – this complication with the jaw joints can create a lot of problems, including tenderness in the jaws and headaches in the morning. A night guard can prevent the teeth front grinding together and clenching while you sleep, which is a major cause of pain and tension. It can also help align the teeth, which also helps to alleviate jaw pain.

2) Grinding and clenching the teeth can still be a problem even if you do not suffer from TMJ. These unconscious actions can damage the teeth by scratching away at the enamel, damaging fillings, and causing chips. A night guard can block contact and prevent damage.

3) You may find that your sleeping patterns improve, as well, when wearing a night guard. They will position your jaw in such a way that will help your muscles relax.

What is the Purpose of Crown Lengthening

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A crown lengthening is a special procedure that is used to extend the length of the crown, the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. This procedure has both restorative and cosmetic purposes. We might recommend it for a tooth that has decay at or near the gum line, if the tooth has broken near the gumline, or if you have a gummy smile.

During the procedure, the affected tissues are numbed. The gums are separated from the tooth or teeth to be treated. The excess tissue is removed, and if necessary, the bone around the tooth can also be contoured. Once more of the crown has been exposed, any needed procedures can be completed. This includes dental fillings and temporary dental crowns. The treated gum tissue will be protected with sutures or special bandages, and once the tissues have healed, the final restoration can be completed.

As with any dental surgery, some discomfort is normal, but most patients heal well. We will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions to promote healing. If the procedure was performed for cosmetic reasons, you can continue with other procedures once the tissues have fully healed. Call us to find out more or to schedule your appointment with our dentist.

Best Age to Start Orthodontic Treatments

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It is important to remember that orthodontic treatment can happen at any age. Older patients who wish for their teeth to be straighter come into our office every day. This being said, there is an optimal time for patients to begin visiting our orthodontist.

Patients can benefit the most from visiting an orthodontist around the age of seven. At this age, our expert can examine the baby teeth and any permanent teeth that have come in to see how they are progressing, and predict whether or not they may need orthodontic help. At this time, it is unlikely that they will undergo treatment right away, as it is imperative for all of the adult teeth to grow in first.

If necessary, they will receive an appliance, such as metal or clear braces, during the early teenage years. This is when they are old enough for all of their teeth to have come in, but young enough that the jawbone is still malleable, and able to be manipulated. This will allow the teeth to be moved easier.

If your child is around the age of seven, schedule an appointment with our Agoura Hills dentists to see if they will need any orthodontic treatments in the upcoming years.

What You Should Consider about Teeth Whitening

Happy together

There are risks and rewards to teeth whitening. Cosmetic dentistry is always about reasonable expectations. Do not declare yourself a candidate without knowing what set of teeth whitens best, and which whitening service you should choose.

First of all, you can whiten your teeth yourself. But our teeth whitening dentist in Northridge advises you to do so under supervision. Over-the-counter whitening results are a mixed bag of results, and you can harm your teeth with improper dosages.

In-office whitening with products like Zoom is perhaps the best way to whiten. The average session only lasts about 45 minutes, and sometimes you can add up to nine shades of brightness.

This kind of whitening is successful in about 90 percent of patients. The 10 percent fail rate is largely due to patients whose teeth were stained gray or brown, or who previously got veneers or bonding. Gray or brown stains typically do not respond to whitening, and veneers and bonding are essentially whitening procedures already.

As far as side effects, the most common is increased sensitivity—informally known as “zingers”. This effect is short-term, and the specialist can halt the session until it subsides.

For more about teeth whitening, contact our cosmetic dentist in Northridge.