When is Fluoride Treatment Beneficial?

Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in some foods and is added to many municipal water supplies. Fluoride is a necessary part of dental enamel and is added to the tooth every day. Acids from the sugars in the foods you eat and oral bacteria cause minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride to be lost each day, and if your teeth are not re-mineralized at the same rate they are demineralized, your teeth begin to decay.

Our dentist may recommend additional fluoride treatment to prevent decay. Fluoride strengthens the enamel on your teeth. In younger children, fluoride becomes a part of the tooth’s structure. In those older than six, fluoride is deposited into the tooth and speeds the remineralization process while disrupting bacterial processes. Treatments can include supplements in younger children and topical applications in older kids and adults.

You may benefit from additional fluoride applications if you have dry mouth, gum disease, a history of frequent cavities, or many restorations. You may also need treatment if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, which can leave you susceptible to decay.

Fluoride alone cannot stop decay, but it can be an invaluable part of your preventive plan. Call our office today to learn more about protecting your smile or to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Santa Clara.

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How Often a Dental Exam is Necessary

Dental exams are an essential part of any dental health routine. How often you go to the dentist depends on several things. Our Santa Clara dentist can help you decide on how frequently you need to schedule cleanings and checkups.

Some things that can affect your exam schedule include:

1. Your dental history
Do you have a history of good dental health? Or have you had many cavities, root canal treatments, and restorations? This will play a significant role in our recommendations.

2. Your current dental health and habits
If you have good dental hygiene and a generally healthy smile, you may only need to visit us about every six months. Patients who struggle with dental hygiene or who have frequent cavities might need to visit more frequently. Those with active periodontal disease will also need more frequent cleanings and checkups.

3. Your overall health
Diabetes and other systemic health problems can affect your dental health, so frequent dental checkups can monitor your mouth for signs of problems.

4. Your lifestyle habits
Smoking, alcohol abuse, or a poor diet can put your smile at risk and necessitate frequent checkups. An intense workout schedule like those of elite athletes can also affect your smile and require more exams.

Call our office today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our dental exam dentist.

Advantages of Veneers

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A great smile is on many people’s to-do list, but sometimes an attractive smile takes more than good dental hygiene and healthy habits. If you want an even, pearly white smile but your teeth are not cooperating, you might be a candidate for dental veneers. Our Santa Clara cosmetic dentist can help you decide if ceramic veneers are right for your smile.

You may be a candidate for veneers if you want to:

 

  • Close unwanted spaces between your teeth
  • Change the shape or size of your teeth
  • Opt for an alternative to braces
  • Change the color of your teeth
  • Improve the overall look of your smile

 

Ceramic veneers are thin layers of ceramic that are customized to fit over your teeth. They can be bonded over stained, discolored, chipped, cracked, worn, gapped, crooked, or uneven teeth. They can be tinted to your desired shade, and the veneer creates a new, even surface for a more attractive smile.

 

Veneers can completely change the look of your smile, and can last fifteen years or longer. They can be placed in three dental visits, and usually require only a minimal amount of preparation. Once a veneer has been placed, you can take care of the restored tooth just as you would take care of any other tooth.

 

Call our office to schedule your appointment with our veneers dentist in Santa Clara.

Why Some Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed

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Wisdom teeth extraction might sound scary, but it can help keep your smile healthy. Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and usually appear by the time you are in your teens or twenties. These teeth can erupt without any pain or problems, but there are some instances in which our Santa Clara dentist may recommend having your wisdom teeth removed.

You may need to have your wisdom teeth extracted if:

  1. Your teeth are crowded

If your teeth are crowded and overlapping, your wisdom teeth might not fit comfortably or easily in your jaw. This can lead to them becoming impacted, meaning they will be unable to fully erupt or erupt properly and could cause pain, disease, and misalignment.

 

  1. You have pain or infection due to your wisdom teeth.

If your erupting wisdom teeth cause chronic problems, they may be infected. Wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean and prone to trapping food particles and bacteria, and this can lead to an infection called pericoronitis. Extracting the teeth can allow your mouth to heal and prevent further infection.

 

  1. You have poorly aligned wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth do not always erupt properly. Some come in sideways or at other abnormal angles, which can cause serious damage to your other teeth.

 

Call our expert in wisdom tooth removal in Santa Clara today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.

Are Inlays and Onlays Cosmetically Appealing?

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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.

Process of Getting a Dental Implant

Dental implantDental implants are one of the most reliable procedures in dentistry. Our dentist can use an implant to replace a single lost tooth or to help restore your entire smile. Regardless of the type of implant, the process is fairly similar.

1. Evaluation
Although most people with good dental and general health will be candidates for implants, an evaluation is needed to ensure your candidacy and develop a treatment plan.

2. Preparation
The implant site might need to be prepared with bone or gum grafts to improve the quality of the tissues in the area.

3. Placement
The implant is placed in a minor surgical procedure once the tissues have been numbed.

4. Healing
Once the implant is in the jaw, the gums will be sutured so that the bone can heal. This process is crucially important as during the healing process, the implant will become fused with the bone.

5. Abutment and restoration
The final step of the implant process involves the placement of the abutment, which connects the implant to the restoration, and finally the bonding of the crown.

Good dental hygiene will keep your implant and natural tissues as healthy as possible. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist.

What Can Cause Bumps on Tongue?

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Bumps on your tongue can be uncomfortable or painful. Most of the time, these bumps are not a sign of a more serious problem, but they can be bothersome. Finding out what is causing those bumps on tongue is necessary to achieve relief. Our dentists can help.

At your appointment, our dentist will examine your tongue and oral cavity for sores, swelling, changes in color, abnormal texture, and other symptoms. He will ask about changes in taste or pain and about how long you have had your symptoms. He may also check for any other oral issues.

Common causes of tongue bumps include canker sores, oral thrush, allergic reactions, mouth injuries, or enlarged papillae. The treatments for these issues can vary. Canker sores respond well to laser treatments while thrush will generally need to be treated with an antifungal treatment. Less commonly, bumps can be associated with HPV infections or syphilis. In rare cases, they can be symptomatic of oral cancer. Early diagnosis of oral cancer is associated with more treatment options and more positive outcomes.