Smiles can take a beating over a lifetime. Even if you take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing, teeth can still be lost to any combination of things, like illness or trauma. Everyday attrition can create decay or gumline erosion, and conditions like bruxism can severely wear down the teeth. In extreme cases, it may take full mouth restoration to get your smile back to its old status.
Our dentist in Northridge can recommend a treatment plan that combines two or more strategies. The right combination will depend on the severity of your case, and your commitment to invasive and sometimes prolonged dental work. Here are three main factors in full mouth reconstruction:
Dental implants—This is becoming a sort of go-to for restorative dentists, as implants are the best way to mimic the natural look and function of lost teeth. Implants are a major surgery, done in stages, and require weeks of healing between the stages.
Dental bridges—Using bridges, the dentist literally closes the gap created by lost teeth, using a replacement tooth or pontic and the adjacent, existing teeth for support.
Dental crowns and veneers—These tooth-colored composites act as shields for existing teeth that are in disrepair. Certain kinds of veneers require no alteration of existing tooth structure.
Ask our expert in full mouth reconstruction in Northridge what she can do to restore your mouth.
If you are like most people, you have probably had a cavity at some point in your life. Maybe you have even had enough decay to need a crown. Inlays and onlays are two useful tools our dentist in San Fernando Valley uses in treating cavities and tooth decay.
Like a filling, an inlay is used to fill a cavity. However, unlike a traditional filling that is placed inside a cavity while still a soft consistency and then hardened, an inlay is made by a lab and placed inside the cavity when it is already hard. Materials tend to expand when they are hardened. Though this expansion is almost imperceptible, the strain from a traditional filling being hardened inside the tooth can cause a weak tooth to break. For this reason, inlays are desirable over traditional fillings when a tooth is fragile, such as when the cavity is large.
Onlays are made in the same manner as an inlay. The primary difference between them is that an onlay covers the top of the tooth and extends over at least one of its sides. An onlay can actually extend over all sides of a tooth, covering the entire tooth. A crown is an example of such an onlay. An onlay is used on a tooth that has more extensive damage.
If you have a large cavity or a cracked, broken or decayed tooth, contact our office to find out how an inlay or onlay can help.
Your Northridge cosmetic dentist may recommend dental veneers if your smile is suffering from discoloration, gaps, fractures, or poor shaping. Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are applied to the teeth in order to recreate their natural look, while providing strength similar to their strong enamel layer.
When discussing the treatment with a porcelain veneers dentist in Northridge, they will use cosmetic imaging to allow you to see what your smile will look like with the addition. If you decide to proceed with the treatment, you will return for your next visit to have a small amount (less than one millimeter) of enamel removed. A light-sensitive resin will then be applied before the veneers themselves, and the resin hardened using a special curing light.
Veneers are sculpted custom to you and your dental needs. As they are made to be tooth-colored, they are a very discrete choice in dental care. They resist coffee, tea, and cigarette stains, as well as provide long-term protection for your teeth. Veneer treatment is not reversible, and may cause a temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.
Be sure to talk to our Northridge dentist about whether veneers are a good choice for you and your dental health.
If you are missing teeth, or require teeth to be removed, it is likely you will need a multiple tooth implant. Because more than one tooth needs replacing, you may be wondering about how long the process takes. Fortunately, it is unlikely an implant procedure will require more overall time when dealing with several replacements versus just one. While you may spend a bit more time in the dentist’s chair, the healing times, which make up the bulk of the process period, will not extend.
That being said, the implant process does usually take several months from start to finish. Here is an idea of the steps involved and how long they take.
1) Your damaged teeth are removed, if not already missing by an expert in tooth implants in Beverly Hills.
2) Your jawbone is prepared for surgery, which may involve bone grafting, depending on your volume of bone density. These first two steps typically occur in one session.
3) A short healing period is required for the jawbone to heal. This can take a few weeks.
4) During your next visit, an oral surgeon will place metal posts into the jaw bone tissue.
5) More healing time is required for the posts to integrate with the bone. This can require as little as two, and as long as nine months.
6) During your last visit in the process, an abutment is placed, as well as your new artificial teeth, or crowns.
As you can see, the process is a lengthy one. However, more than one implant can be placed and heal at the same time, making the process much shorter than if placed separately.
If you have recently learned that you need a root canal, questions are likely swirling around in your head about the procedure. Will it hurt? What will it be like? How much will it cost? These are common questions that someone who has never had root canal treatment will likely be wondering.
Before undergoing any unfamiliar procedure, you should ask your dentist any questions you have about the treatment. Even if you have previously had root canal therapy, you will still want to ask for an estimate of the cost, since the price of one root canal treatment may be different than another. Here are a few factors that can influence root canal cost in Los Angeles.
• A root canal on a molar is more expensive than on a front tooth.
• Re-treatment of a tooth that has previously had a root canal will be more expensive than the original treatment.
• An endodontist will usually charge more for a root canal than a general dentist.
In addition, if you have concerns about the cost, discuss your concerns with your dentist. It is important to remember that the objective of root canal therapy is to save the tooth. The treatment to save the tooth will normally be less expensive than treatments to replace a tooth that is lost. Our Endodontist in Los Angeles would be happy to go over all of your options. Call our office to schedule a consultation.
Inlays and onlays are used for dental restorations, and are a common alternative to full-coverage dental crowns. They are often also referred to as direct fillings. A direct filling is called an “inlay” if it is being applied to the center of a tooth, and an “onlay” if it is for the outside, or the surface, of a tooth. You may need an inlay or onlay if you have a tooth that has suffered damage from decay caused by a cavity. They not only restore your dental health, but relieve any pain and fix the look of the tooth.
There are several differences between a direct filling and a full coverage dental crown, which may explain why dentists prefer them. The first difference is while crowns are created in the mouth, inlays and onlays are created in a lab. This means that the procedure for applying them is much easier and less time consuming. Inlays and onlays are also known to be stronger and longer lasting, meaning less time making and attending dental appointments for the same problem. Patients also remark that direct fillings fit better than crowns, as well.
If you are curious about inlays and onlays, and would like to consider them instead of a crown, talk to your cosmetic dentist for their opinion.
Diabetes is hard enough to handle on its own, but recent studies show that those suffering from both types one and two diabetes are more susceptible to tooth loss. According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, the 8.3% of Americans suffering from diabetes are at a greater risk of tooth loss than the rest of the population, especially those over fifty years of age.
A study of 2,500 individuals over fifty found that diabetics were missing an average of nearly ten teeth at the time of the study’s examination, compared to those without diabetes, who showed an average of less than seven. The study also concluded that diabetics are twice as likely to suffer from edentulism, or a complete lack of teeth, and twenty-eight percent of sufferers were completely toothless, compared to the fourteen percent without the condition.
One theory for this connection between tooth loss and diabetes concerns hyperglycemia, which disrupts the delivery of nutrients and the removal of waste products from the tissue in gums. This leads to severe gum disease, or periodontitis, and tooth loss.
If you are suffering from a severely loosened or missing tooth for whatever reason, be sure to contact a Los Angeles dental implants dentist.