How to Ensure Teenagers Use Invisalign Correctly

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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.

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How to Ensure Teenagers Use Invisalign Correctly

Recovering After Root Canal

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In some cases, our patients dislike particular treatments much more than others. While this is normal, as we all have likes and dislikes, the one remedy which is nearly universally feared and disliked is the root canal. We even have patients who have never experienced a root canal tell us that they do not like the therapy.

Unfortunately, modern root canals still carry the stigma and fearsome reputation of root canals of years past. While some aspects are still the same; we have advances which vastly improve the procedure as well as your recovery. The primary cause of excessive pain often associated with a root canal is the inability to adequately numb the area of a patient’s mouth which needed treatment. The numbing was difficult because in most cases the nerves and blood vessels surrounding the tooth were decaying or dead. By improving the precision with anesthetics, our root canal dentist in Huntington Beach can deliver proper pain relief where it is needed. This makes the entire process much more comfortable for our patients.

After your root canal is over, there are some things you can do to make your recovery better such as:

• Plan to rest after your root canal. If it is at all possible, schedule your root canal for a time when you are able to clear your schedule for at least a day, although a few days is even better.

• Stock your pantry with soft, easy to eat foods that require little preparation. Yogurt, eggs, mashed potatoes, pudding, and macaroni and cheese are a few examples of these. You can make your own list of favorites, but be sure to avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods after a root canal.

• Use an ice pack to help relieve pain and swelling from the area near your root canal.

• Take your pain medication as directed. Many dentists hear that their patient had terrible pain, but then later find out that the patient did not take their medication as prescribed.

As you can see, it is possible to recover from a root canal. If you would like to hear more tips about root canal recovery, please contact our office, and we would happily get information for you.

Recovering After Root Canal

Is TMJ Treatable?

side profile sick female having ear pain touching painful head

Our office sees numerous patients who struggle with temporomandibular joint pain. Many have suffered for years and hold little hope that our dentists can help treat this disorder. We would like to offer encouragement to those who endure that pain; temporomandibular joint pain is treatable.

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located on either side of your head, just below each ear, and connects your jawbone to your skull. To work, the TMJ merges a hinge motion with gliding movements. This action allows you to open and close your jaws. There are many reasons patients experience temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) some are genetically predisposed to problems, others suffer because of arthritis in the joint, and some people develop problems after an accident involving the face. Occasionally, our TMJ dentist sees patients with no apparent cause for their pain.

There is hope for patients who have TMJ disorder. Our dental office in Huntington Beach offers helpful treatments to relieve pain and swelling. There are three treatment categories: medications, non-drug therapies, and surgical (or other) procedures.

MEDICATIONS:
Often, our TMJ patients get little or no relief from over the counter pain relievers. This is when our dentist prescribes stronger medications such as prescription strength non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Occasionally, our dentist prescribes muscle relaxing medications. These are generally for short-term use.

NON-DRUG THERAPIES:
These treatments often include a regimen which alternates moist heat and ice as well as jaw exercises to strengthen the muscles. Sometimes, patients benefit from mouth guards which they wear at night. The belief is that these prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep.

SURGICAL OR OTHER PROCEDURES:
Surgical intervention is the last course of action for our TMJ patients. Prior to open-joint surgery, our dentist will use other options such as corticosteroid injections. Additionally, our dentist may use arthrocentesis, a treatment where a small needle injects fluid into the joint clearing away debris. Arthroscopic surgery and open-joint surgery are used to correct structural problems with the temporomandibular joint.

If you struggle with TMJ disorder, do not despair, contact our office to learn specific ways we can help you.

Is TMJ Treatable?

Steps in Getting a Dental Implant

Our office sees numerous patients who want to know more about dental implants. Implants are easily one of the most important dental advancements of our time. From a health standpoint as well as from an aesthetic one, implants improve our patients lives every day.

Often patients ask what steps occur while getting a dental implant. Here is a summary of the events necessary for a dental implant.

The initial steps in your dental implant begin with an examination and a consultation with our dental implant dentist in Torrance. After clearing you for surgery from a medical standpoint as well as assuring you are in good dental health, our dentist will work with you to create a care plan and an approximate timeline for the procedure. Occasionally, patients are unaware that dental implants require months before they are complete and having a timeline to follow is helpful.

The first part of your implant involves the placing of a small titanium screw in the empty socket of your jaw. The screw will function as if it were a root for a tooth. After a period of time, a process called osseointegration takes place. This term means that your body accepts the tiny screw and it fuses with the jaw. This process and the healing of the implant site, take between three and six months. During this time our dentist in Torrance will conduct periodic checks to be sure you are healing well.
Once osseointegration is complete, and the area around your implant heals, you will receive the final two pieces of your implant. Our dentist will place an abutment on the screw to work as a foundation for the visible implant. The implant fits on top of the screw and the abutment, and together they form your complete dental implant.

Going forward, you should care for the implant just as you would care for one of your natural teeth. Regular brushing at least twice a day and flossing along with timely dental checkups will all help you to keep your implant and your natural teeth healthy and beautiful.

Steps in Getting a Dental Implant

Is Invisalign an Option for Me?

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When it comes to orthodontics, there are several treatment methods and Invisalign is one of them. Here are some of the reasons Invisalign can be your best bet.

Invisibility

Invisalign is the most popular clear aligner. It is transparent so when you put it on, nobody will notice it at all. This is why most of our patients prefer it over metal braces. They say metal braces attract attention when they smile, laugh or speak in public. But with a clear aligner that is invisible, they are more comfortable.
Ease of removal

It is very easy to remove Invisalign aligners and put them back in. You can easily take the aligners out for eating, brushing and flossing, and during sports activities.

Effectiveness

This option is very effective in straightening your teeth and correcting other dental anomalies. It is custom-designed so it fits snugly to your teeth. It gradually moves each tooth vertically, horizontally, or rotationally until every tooth gets to their right position.

Consult with our Invisalign dentist in Agoura Hills to find out if this option is right for you.

Is Invisalign an Option for Me?

Preparing for Dental Emergencies

side profile sick female having ear pain touching painful head

We all have our own personal little doomsday scenarios that play out in our heads as we go through the motions of our lives. Some fear slicing off a finger in the kitchen, while others dread the possibility of a house fire, or being electrocuted. How many among us, however, are adequately prepared for a dental emergency? Most people will agree that it’s not something that comes to mind often. Following these guidelines from our emergency dentist in Van Nuys will help you be prepared for the worst.

 

Most people hear the phrase dental emergency and think about tooth decay, gum disease, root canals, and a whole host of other maladies which tend to develop slowly over time and that are usually caught by our dentist while you’re in our office for your semi-yearly appointment. To be clear, this is not what we refer to as an actual dental emergency. A dental emergency is defined by the suddenness and severity of the sustained injury and is characterized by the fact that it usually does not take place in a situation where a trained professional is readily available to address the damage. A tooth that gets knocked out while participating in sports, for example, is a classic example of a common dental emergency. Chipped and fractured teeth also qualify, as do accidents where the flesh of the mouth, cheeks, gums, or tongue become injured by the teeth, such as in the case of an individual biting through the delicate tissue while eating or talking.

 

In the same way that we must always be vigilant enough to toss a severed digit into a cooler full of ice when disaster strikes, we also must we be prepared to handle any emergency regarding our teeth. Many families have an emergency kit in their homes, both for medical emergencies and natural disasters. In this same way, it is highly recommended that an emergency dental kit be included in those precautions. It should include more than just a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and a container of floss – like any ordinary medical emergency, some types of oral injury will involve an excessive amount of bleeding, so gauze and wound disinfectant should certainly be at the top of the list. In the case of an adult tooth lost through injury, some water and a vessel to carry it in is a good idea to have on hand as this will keep the root alive until you can get to a medical professional. Having your dentist’s contact information included in the emergency kit is also a good idea.

 

Prevention is, of course, the best cure. If you have any more questions, give our office a call. Our Van Nuys dentist will be happy to give you all of the information you need.

 

Preparing for Dental Emergencies

How Teeth Can be Replaced with Dental Bridges

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For many people missing one or more of their permanent adult teeth, the possibility of improving the look of their smile may feel entirely hopeless. Those same people may also be pleased to learn about the possibility of having a dental bridge placed where the missing tooth once was. Bridges are safe, non-invasive, virtually painless, and mimic the look of natural teeth almost imperceptibly and will also prevent the remaining teeth from shifting toward the open gap.

There are many different types of bridges, but all of them do the same thing – using the support of surrounding structures already existing in the mouth, they suspend one or more false teeth in place, right where the original one or row used to be. The new tooth, called a pontic, can be supported by any of a number of different things, all termed abutments in this context. The most common kind of bridge traditionally administered is affixed to two sturdy, healthy teeth on either side; the pontic is surrounded by two crowns, which, after sculpting down the two real teeth on either side to accommodate the size of the fixture, will be placed over top; this means of tooth replacement is strong enough even to hold fully-functioning molars into place. Cantilever bridges are exactly the same as regular ones, the sole difference being the face that there is only an abutment on one side. The preparation and placement process is identical, but it not a reliable enough option to take the place of load-bearing teeth. Maryland bridges are braced on either side from behind the two abutments, meaning no enamel will need to be removed to make room for two crowns. Again, this method isn’t as reliable as a traditional bridge, but may be suited to some cases. Implant-supported bridges are the final and most drastic measure to be taken when it comes to replacing multiple teeth at once through these means. In cases where there are several consecutive teeth missing in a row, our dentist may elect to only place implants at either extreme, saving your gums and mouth the damage and disruption so many implants at once may cause. Between these two implants is one or more pontics, the same as any other bridge. This option is quite time-consuming and may take months or more the finally achieve your final desired result. It is, however, a strong enough restorative fixture to hold up under the duress that molars endure.

There is no reason not to seek a replacement for any teeth you happen to be missing – from an uninformed perspective, the task may seem daunting and too expensive to consider, but recent breakthroughs in dental and orthodontic technology have made the procedure less dangerous and more affordable than ever before.

How Teeth Can be Replaced with Dental Bridges