What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

side profile sick female having ear pain touching painful head

While no one ever wants to be in an emergency situation, these problems are an unfortunate part of life. This is why our dentists and our staff want our patients to know in the event of a dental emergency; we are here to help. You can contact our office for an emergency appointment at all times.

We understand that not everyone views emergencies the same way. However, we want to stress the importance of seeking care right away if you are in a situation that feels like an emergency. Our office feels it is always a good idea to be safe rather than to be sorry. So, remember, the emergency dentist in San Francisco is just a phone call away.

To help you determine if your situation is a dental emergency, here are some common conditions that need treatment right away.

• PAIN- Excessive tooth or mouth pain causing problems with eating, drinking, concentrating, or sleeping this could be an emergency. You should seek treatment.

• MOUTH SORES- Often sores develop over time, but abscesses can have a sudden onset. Because an abscess can infect many areas of your body via a release of toxins into your bloodstream, you need to see this as an emergency.

• TRAUMA TO THE FACE OR MOUTH- If you are struck in the head while playing a sport or injured in an accident, you should seek dental care right away. It is possible your mouth or teeth suffered damage only visible through an x-ray.

• BLEEDING- While blood often seems like an emergency to most people, you should seek treatment if you can soak a paper towel with the blood you lose.

• LOST TOOTH- A missing tooth is definitely a dental emergency. If you are able to, please place the tooth in a cup of milk or a damp paper towel. Then bring it along to your visit.

We hope you never need to make a visit to our office for an emergency. However, if you need us, our dentists and our staff will be ready to help you.

What Constitutes a Dental Emergency?

Teeth Whitening Tips

young woman in front of family

Our patients understand the value of a smile with beautiful white teeth. It boosts self-confidence and is proven to lead to more smiling. There is an increase in patients requesting appointments with our Torrance cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening.

When you come to the office for a whitening consultation, our teeth whitening dentist in Torrance will evaluate your smile and recommend a care plan for you based on the level of staining and the condition of your teeth. If your teeth are not healthy, the dentist will likely advise you on how to restore your teeth to their optimal condition before any whitening treatments. If you have veneers or dental bonding, you should note that a conventional whitening treatment will not increase your teeth’s’ whiteness. Likewise, if your staining is a result of a reaction to medication, a typical whitening treatment will not remove the stains.

Our dentist uses two kinds of whitening for our patients. The first is the in-office whitening and the second is an at-home kit of trays and whitening gel that goes into the trays then placed on your teeth. Both types of professional whitening work well. Usually, our patients choose between the options based on personal preference or time constraints.

When our dentist whitens your teeth in our office, the procedure is painless, and you need no anesthetic. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your whitening appointment.
• Plan on your appointment lasting at least an hour
• Let our dentist know if you experience sensitivity during the whitening process
• The majority of your visit will be spent in our dental chair while the whitening gel removes stains, so you may want an audiobook or some relaxing music to listen to while you wait.

If you purchase a whitening kit to use at home, there are a few things you should know.

• Follow our dentist’s instructions carefully to avoid bleaching your gums or over-whitening your teeth
• Be aware that at home whitening also may lead to tooth sensitivity
• You will need to repeat the treatment to maintain your results

If you are ready to show the world a brilliant smile, contact our office to schedule an appointment for your no-obligation consultation to learn more about your teeth whitening options.

Teeth Whitening Tips

Teeth Whitening Methods You Should Consider

young woman in front of family

There is simply no way to deny the impact of a dazzling white smile. It exudes youth and confidence plus it helps patients feel better about themselves. We see patients each day showing off their gleaming smiles after visiting our teeth whitening dentist.

There are several different options for our patients who are thinking about whitening their teeth. We do not recommend the type of whitening products you can purchase at your local drug store. While they are generally not harmful, the ingredients are much weaker than those we can provide. You may see results, but they will not last as long.

Our East LA cosmetic dentist usually recommends our standard in-office whitening. This treatment uses a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide to break up surface stains. To begin the procedure, we paint the peroxide solution on your teeth. An even application is essential to give all your teeth an equal whiteness. Then a specially designed light helps to activate the peroxide solution. In about an hour your whitening treatment is complete, and you have a stunning smile.

Another popular in-office whitening procedure our dentist uses goes by the trademarked name Zoom. It is similar to the traditional whitening, but in addition to hydrogen peroxide, Zoom contains carbamide peroxide. According to the manufacturer, the carbamide peroxide enhances the whitening power of Zoom, and it decreases the sensitivity some whitening patients feel with traditional whitening processes.

The process differs slightly from regular whitening. With Zoom whitening, the solution goes on your teeth, we activate it, and then we clean the whitener off of your teeth several times. You can make your teeth up to nine shades whiter in a single visit if you choose. Additionally, Zoom offers patients the option to receive a fluoride treatment after the whitening process is complete.

If you are not sure which whitening process is best for you, do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment for a consultation. Our dentist can evaluate your teeth and answer your questions about the whitening process.

Teeth Whitening Methods You Should Consider

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Oral Health

Snoring man and young woman. Couple sleeping in bed.

Many patients are surprised to hear that a dental professional can see the early signs of sleep apnea sooner than a medical doctor. A large percentage of the ten-million people suffering from sleep apnea first learn that they have symptoms of the disorder from their dentist.

Our dentist is a highly trained sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco who has spent many years helping patients who are robbed of their sleep and oral health by the disorder. A well-trained dentist such as our dentist is able to spot even subtle signs of dental damage that comes from sleep apnea.

Here are the most common dental problems caused by sleep apnea.

• Dry Mouth- While dry mouth seems like an uncomfortable inconvenience than a serious issue, it often leads to other, more severe dental problems. Dry mouth occurs along with sleep apnea because patients with the disorder are typically mouth breathers while they are sleeping. When there is not enough saliva present in your mouth, bacteria grow and multiply, unchecked. Excessive bacteria are a cause of many dental problems including gum disease.

• Teeth Grinding- Formally known as bruxism, repeated grinding of your teeth while you are asleep is symptomatic of sleep apnea and can wreak havoc on your oral health. Sleep apnea patients often experience bruxism because it is the brain’s way of attempting to wake the patient so that they breathe normally. We see patients with sleep apnea experience cracked teeth, tooth enamel that is worn away, waking up with headaches, stiff necks, and jaw pain because of bruxism.

• Temporomandibular Joint Disorder- This painful ailment is often a result of ongoing sleep apnea. The joint experiences excessive wear because of the long-term teeth grinding associated with sleep apnea. After exposure to extreme pressure from bruxism over a period of time, a patient’s temporomandibular joint suffers from inflammation and dislocation. The pain is severe and successful treatment takes time.

If you believe that you experience sleep apnea, talk with our dentist for helpful suggestions along with a thorough examination.

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Oral Health

How Dental Sedation Can Help Patients

We know some of our patients have an intense fear of dentists, some have near phobic reactions and try to avoid the dentist entirely. Unfortunately, skipping regular dental visits puts oral health at risk.

Our Huntington Beach dentist wants all of our patients to have good dental experiences. Several positive encounters can ease your fears; this is why we offer optional dental sedation. This is a safe way to help make our patients’ visit as pleasant as possible. Our staff will gladly help you to understand dental sedation and answer any questions.

We use two types of sedation in our office; these are inhaled sedation and conscious sedation.

Typically called nitrous oxide or laughing gas, this is the gentlest and least disruptive kind of dental sedation available. Our dentist dispenses the colorless and odorless gas via a small mask that covers your nose. Your dentist will regulate how much gas you get as well and your level of sedation.
Benefits of an inhaled sedation treatment include:
• Quick results
• Easy to adjust
• No unpleasant effects

Another kind of sedation we offer is called conscious sedation. You are very relaxed and may doze during your dental visit. It is common for patients to have no recollection of your procedure. Oral anti-anxiety medications help you to become calm and relaxed before your treatment.

These medications will take an hour or so before you feel their effects. Often, we will give you a prescription for the drug, and instruct you to take one tablet before coming to our office. Please remember that driving after taking any sedative is dangerous and you should have someone drive you to and from your appointment.

Some benefits of conscious sedation are:
• No side effects
• Physically and psychologically relaxing
• Relieves pain

If you are someone who has an overwhelming sense of anxiety or fear when thinking about dental appointments, please contact our office so that our staff can help you plan your dental sedation and help ease your concerns.

How Dental Sedation Can Help Patients

How Does CAD/CAM Technology Work?

Young business woman smiling

CAD/CAM stands for “computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing.” CAD/CAM technology has been used in the automotive, aerospace, industrial and building industries, and it has even been used to design and create prosthetics. It was introduced in dental laboratories in the 1980s, but the use of dental CAD/CAM has become more widespread as the technology has improved. Our dentist can use CAD/CAM technology to create porcelain crowns and other restorations in the office while patients wait. This eliminates the often long wait between preparation and restoration that is required by conventional crowns.

The CAD/CAM Process

Our dentist begins by examining the damaged tooth to ensure that a crown is the best treatment option. Next, he will use an anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. Once the area is numb, the decayed tissue will be removed and the tooth will be shaped. At this point in the process, an impression needs to be made. With traditional restorations, an impression is made with a rubbery material that patients had to hold in place for a period. With CAD/CAM, an optical impression is used. A handheld scanner takes a digital image of the tooth and transfers it to a computer, where it can be used to create a digital 3D model. The entire process takes just a few minutes.

Once the CEREC software creates the virtual model, our dentist will use special software to design a restoration to fit the prepared tooth. Once the design is complete, a single click will send the data to the milling unit. The milling unit crafts the new restoration using a block of cement matched to the patient’s tooth. Just 10 to 20 minutes later, the crown is ready to be bonded to the prepared tooth.

The Benefits

Because the entire process is completed in our office, it is less time-consuming, and patients can have their new restorations in a single appointment. There is no need for temporaries or lengthy waits while the dental lab creates the crown. Our dentist can bond the CAD/CAM crown into place as soon as it is milled and has been checked for size and fit. In just one appointment, patients can have their damaged teeth restored.

Contact us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our San Francisco dentist.

How Does CAD/CAM Technology Work?

How to Ensure Teenagers Use Invisalign Correctly

Aligners Focus - 6

So many of our orthodontics patients are teenagers who are delighted that the Invisalign Teen system can correct their smiles without painful wires and a mouthful of metal.

Two decades ago the Invisalign alignment tray system gave adult patients the option to correct smile imperfections using thin and transparent trays which fit on top of teeth and gently push the teeth into their proper position. Instead of a year and a half or longer, patients could shed their Invisalign trays after 12-18 months.

The concept of the Invisalign system is straightforward, however, the success depends on how well a patient complies with the Invisalign directives. These include wearing the alignment trays for 20-22 hours every day. Taking the aligners out before eating or drinking and cleaning the aligners thoroughly before putting the tray on the teeth.

This dental regimen is one reason, which for many years Invisalign was an orthodontic option just for adults. Another reason the system was only for adults is that the alignment trays could not adapt to growing mouths and erupting molars.

The company created Invisalign Teen as a way to answer the requests for an Invisalign system suitable for teenagers. The system conquers the most significant obstacles to Invisalign for younger patients, growth, and compliance.

The most significant design differences between the traditional Invisalign system and Invisalign Teen is that the teen system can adjust to meet the challenges of erupting molars and growing jaws. Invisalign Teen has a tab that is designed to allow room for jaw growth and the eruption of molars.

Because lack of compliance makes the Invisalign system ineffective, creators of Invisalign Teen added a small compliance indicator as a part of the alignment trays. If your teen is wearing the aligner as directed, a blue dot on the tray will gradually fade. Parents who notice the slowly vanishing dot, know their teen is wearing their aligners correctly and do not need to be concerned about alignment trays which stay in the case and not on the teeth.

If you would like to learn more about ways to know if your teen is complying with their Invisalign directions, feel free to contact our office we are happy to help.

How to Ensure Teenagers Use Invisalign Correctly