What are the Different Types of Veneers?

Beautiful Girl Relaxing on the Beach

We regularly see patients who are interested in learning more about cosmetic dental treatments. Dental veneers are one topic for which we receive many questions.

Our Torrance cosmetic dentist can use veneers to remedy numerous smile imperfections. Whether you have gaps between teeth, chipped or broken teeth, stains from foods or medicines, or misaligned teeth, veneers can give you the smile of your dreams.

There are two types of veneers which are common in dental practices: porcelain veneers, and resin compound veneers. There are similarities between these kinds of veneers. Both hold up well, resist stains, and are not noticeable in your mouth. There are few differences between the two varieties of veneers.

PORCELAIN- An off-site dental lab makes our porcelain veneers from an impression of your teeth, which our veneers dentist in Torrance creates. These veneers come from an extremely stain resistant and durable porcelain material. The veneers are very thin and slightly resemble small shells. However, it may take as long as two weeks to get the veneers as each set is a custom crafted.

RESIN COMPOUND- While very similar to porcelain veneers, with resin veneers is that there is no need for a dental lab and technologists carve the veneers in the office. This option makes it possible for patients getting resin veneers to complete the procedure in a single visit.

Getting veneers is a simple and painless procedure which requires no anesthetic. After a consultation to discuss your smile goals, we clean your teeth and then our dentist will prepare your teeth for the veneers. This procedure involves shaping and buffing your teeth, so they are trimmed down enough for your veneers to fit correctly with no gaps at the gum line. After your teeth are ready, our dentist takes impressions of the teeth to use as a guide for the porcelain veneers.

In about two weeks, your veneers arrive from the lab, and our dentist will use a special liquid bonding agent to affix the veneers to your teeth. We will then use light to set the bonding material, and the work is complete.

If you believe that veneers could create your perfect smile, please contact our office for a consultation appointment. Your dream smile is waiting for you.

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When is Invisalign Express Recommended?

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In recent years, Invisalign has expanded their line of products to include Invisalign Teen and Invisalign Express. Now more of our patients can utilize this remarkable way to achieve straight teeth, a beautiful smile, and the self-confidence which comes with both.

While most of our patients get excellent results using the traditional Invisalign full treatment or the Invisalign Teen system, we see many patients that our dentist in San Francisco feels would benefit most from the Invisalign Express system.

We usually will suggest a patient use the Express treatment when they have minor imperfections or misalignments. Expecting these patients to spend a year and a half or more extended wearing alignment trays is not realistic. Especially when the patients with imperfections which are not significant, will see the same beautiful results with Invisalign Express as those patients who need the more prolonged course of treatments.

Invisalign Express is very similar to the full Invisalign treatment. Clear plastic alignment trays fit securely over your teeth and will gradually guide your teeth into their optimal position. As with Invisalign Full, you must have your alignment trays on your teeth for 20-22 hours every day. Our patients get regular progress checks to get new aligners, and the guidelines for Invisalign Express are the same as the instructions for regular Invisalign. Our patients must maintain excellent oral hygiene and carefully clean their alignment trays as well.

The most significant difference between the regular Invisalign system and Invisalign Express is that our average Express patient completes their treatment somewhere in between three to six months, as opposed to the average of 18 months that our patients spend wearing the traditional Invisalign full treatment system. Occasionally, our dental team must augment a patient’s Express treatment with a retainer or possibly increase the amount of time that you spend wearing your Invisalign Express alignment trays. Our Invisalign specialist decides these options on a case by case basis.

If you believe that you may be a good candidate for the Invisalign Express treatment, do not hesitate to call our office right away. Our staff is always happy to help meet your dental needs.

Gum Disease and Its Treatment

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Our office treats many patients who have gum disease. Often, these patients did not know that they had the condition. This is because, in the beginning, the symptoms are subtle and can be passed off as a different issue.

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, presents itself in patients first with red and swollen gums. Often, patients with red and puffy gums have bleeding of the gum tissue around the teeth. This usually happens during brushing or flossing and many times it is mistaken for a by-product of excessive tooth brushing. Other early symptoms include loose teeth, a change in your bite pattern, or persistent bad breath.

The causes of gum disease are bacteria and plaque. When plaque has a chance to accumulate on your tooth’s surface, it eventually forms tarter which causes your gums to become inflamed. If this disorder is untreated, bacteria in the plaque will collect in pockets under the gum line, and infections can occur. The infections cause tooth loss because the bone supporting the tooth becomes weak because of the disease.

There are two kinds of remedies for gum disease, non-surgical and surgical. The treatment our periodontist in Van Nuys suggests for you will hinge on the progression of your gum disease as well as your general health.

NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS- These treatments are most effective when used in the earliest stages of gum disease.

• Dental cleaning- While this is not a treatment for gum disease, it is the most effective way to prevent gum disease. A professional cleaning is a method to clear away plaque and tarter before you experience gum disease.

• Scaling and root planning- When you have scaling or root planning, you need a local anesthetic. During this treatment, our dentist will remove plaque and tartar above and below the gum line. Cleaning allows the root to reattach to a healthy surface.

SURGICAL TREATMENTS- These remedies vary in intricacy, but they are the best ways to eliminate more advanced cases of gum disease.

• Flap surgery- For this treatment, our dentist loosens and pulls back the gum, cleans all surfaces under it, and reattaches the gum.

• Bone grafts- Pieces of your healthy jaw bone are used to promote the regrowth of bone lost or damaged by gum disease.

• Bone surgery- This procedure frequently takes place after flap surgery. Our dentist redesigns the bone to remove any low points where bacteria propagate.

If you notice any indications of gum disease, call our office and make an appointment. When spotted in the initial stages, gum disease is treatable with minimal intervention.

What You Can Do about Yellowed Teeth

smiling

If your teeth make you want to hide your smile, you should schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist. You can discuss what you see as your perfect smile, and our dentist will map out a plan to get your smile where you want it. Our practice has several options to make your yellowing teeth white again.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR YELLOW TEETH

Our top three ways to help your yellow teeth are:
Bonding
Veneers
Whitening agents
Each of these methods has different strengths and weaknesses. Learning more about each choice and talking with our dentist will help you choose the best way for you to whiten.

BONDING-
The process of bonding is straightforward and relatively painless. You will not need much preparation before the procedure and recovery time is not usually necessary. Many patients appreciate the fact that it takes one day. Bonding involves permanently covering your teeth with a resin compound and using lights or lasers to bake the material to your teeth. After the baking, your teeth will be polished, and any rough edges removed. The average time frame is between 30-60 minutes per tooth. There is no special care needed for bonded teeth; adhere to basic oral hygiene like brushing, flossing and dental checkups.

VENEERS-
Dental veneers are useful for bringing back your gleaming smile. The procedure uses thin layers of porcelain to cover your teeth, correcting discoloration. The process is like bonding, but you usually need two dental visits. One for measuring your mouth and planning the size and shape of your veneers before sending the plans to a dental lab where technicians create your veneers. Your second visit is when you get the veneers. Our dentist cements them in place and checks for any problem spots. As with bonding, veneers need proper oral care, but no particular treatments.

WHITENING AGENTS-
While there are many over-the-counter treatments for yellowing teeth, we will discuss the bleaching method from our dental office. For this process, our dentist applies a gel with up to 40 percent hydrogen peroxide on your teeth then used light to increase the whitening effect of the gel. The whitening process usually takes a bit over an hour. With this method, regular touch-ups are needed to keep your smile at its best.

If your teeth trouble you, do not suffer silently. Contact our office to explore your whitening options.

Is Invisalign Express an Option for Me?

Aligners Focus - 2

Many of our patients receive Invisalign treatments. This orthodontic alternative to wire braces is popular for many reasons especially for being discreet, removable, and faster than traditional metal braces.

Recently we there is a rise in inquiries about Invisalign Express. This type of Invisalign is gaining in popularity because it only takes about half the time regular Invisalign takes to give you a beautiful smile. Most Invisalign Express patients complete their treatment in six months or less. The Invisalign Express system works just like traditional Invisalign works. Patients using the Express system have the same success that our regular Invisalign Full patients enjoy. Because of the positive buzz, many of our patients want to know if the Express option could work for them.

While it is true that not everyone is a good candidate for Invisalign Express, our orthodontist sees many patients who are pleased with their Express treatments. For patients who experience only minor alignment problems, spending a year or more in braces is pointless. If you have minimal issues with crowding and spacing or if your dental misalignment is slight, you could be able to get the results that you want with Invisalign Express. Here are a few specific criteria that our orthodontist uses to see if Invisalign Express may be the right treatment for you:

• 1.5 mm or less of expansion required per arch
• 2 mm or less of crowding or spacing per arch
• 2 mm or less of midline correction needed
• Nominal rotation of the front teeth

Our patients find that Invisalign Express mirrors the full Invisalign system in several ways. The clear plastic alignment trays fit and work the same as regular Invisalign. Just as with Invisalign Full, you must wear your aligners 20-22 hours a day. Our office would like you to schedule regular progress checks and get new aligners on schedule, and we suggest that you ascribe to the same high level of oral hygiene as our patients with Invisalign Full. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once or more every day. Additionally, you must clean and care for your aligner trays as directed to get optimal results.

If you think that Invisalign Express is the right treatment for you, stop by our office to learn more.

Different Dental Implant Options

Dental implant

The American Dental Association believes that dental implants are one of the most significant advances in modern dentistry. Our dental office sees many patients who are considering dental implants to improve their smiles and their overall health.

Not all patients who visit our North Hollywood dentist office realize that dental implants are not strictly for cosmetic purposes. Because the implants go into the empty socket where a tooth once was, they prevent bone loss and promote correct tooth alignment. Over time, the implant fuses with your jaw bone; and although it is an artificial tooth, you may have some limited sensation.

Our dental implants dentist in North Hollywood generally recommends one of three different types of dental implants, depending on a patients’ specific needs.

ENDOSTEAL IMPLANTS: This implant is inserted into the jawbone, taking the space that the missing tooth occupied. After the tissue surrounding the implant heals, our dentist does another surgery to attach a post to the implant and then connects the tooth to the post. The endosteal implant is our most common type of dental implant surgery, and our patients rave about their results.

SUBPERIOSTEAL IMPLANTS: These implants are different in that they do not attach to the jawbone. The dentist slides the subperiosteal implant frame under your gum but above your jaw. Four small posts extend out of your gums and will hold the implant in place. This type of implant is best for people with a shallow jawbone and cannot rebuild it.

TRANSOSTEAL IMPLANTS- This third kind of dental implant is the most complex of available implants. To implement this treatment, our dentist surgically implants a single piece into the submental skin. While this type of dental implant requires more surgical intervention than the other dental implants, the results are excellent, and the transosteal implants are the most durable of the dental implants.

If you are wondering which dental implants are right for you, contact our office. We would gladly consult with you and give you the necessary information to make the best decision for you.

What to Know about Dental X-Rays

Examining radiography

X-rays are a powerful diagnostic tool. However, due to potential radiation exposure, having x-rays taken is a subject many patients find concerning.

The amount of radiation received from an x ray with modern dental equipment is negligible. Radiation is measured in units called “Sieverts.” We are all exposed to radiation just living on Earth. In the course of a year every person on the plant will absorb roughly .001 Sieverts. The modern x-ray used in a dental office exposes patients to half that amount.

Purpose of X-Rays
While x-rays can reveal cavities between the teeth, there are many other things x-rays can reveal. These include positioning of teeth that are still below the gum line, identify growths in and around the jaw and can save lives by finding cancers that physical exams might not catch.

Two-Dimensional vs. Three-Dimensional X-Rays
Many dental practices still rely on two-dimensional radiographic x-rays, just like the ones hospitals use. However, two-dimensional x-rays have some drawbacks in dental work. Because the image is often fuzzy, it typically doesn’t show the needed detail to spot small problems areas, such as cavities of potential abscesses. Three-Dimensional x-rays use a cone beam CT scan to creates a three dimensional image of the teeth and the surrounding bone structure. This produces an incredible detailed image that can catch even the smallest problem, before it can become a big one.

Frequency of X-Rays
Some patients may benefit from a new set of x-rays every year, whereas others will only require x-rays as needed. Generally, there is no right answer as to how often x-rays should be taken, as there are typically many factors to consider. These factors can include:

• If the patient has a history of severe tooth decay
• If the patient has a history periodontal disease
• Whether or not the patient has received all of their adult teeth
• If the patient’s teeth haven’t yet moved into their permanent locations
• Whether or not there is enough room in the patient’s mouth for their wisdom teeth
• If the patient needs some type restorative solutions

If you want more information about dental x-rays or are looking for a dentist in Northridge, give us a call and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.