Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which is nearly 100 percent preventable. A healthy diet, regular dental visits and good dental hygiene are among the most basic steps to keeping your teeth healthy and strong. However, preventive treatments such as dental sealants can also help you in the fight against cavities. One study showed that kids with dental sealants are nearly 80 percent less likely to have cavities than those without fillings. Sealants are even more effective when combined with dental fluoride treatments. Our Northridge dentist can help you decide if sealants are right for you.
Sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. They are clear and bond securely to the teeth where they can stay in place for 5 to 7 years. We can apply sealants in a single dental appointment. First, the teeth to be sealed will be cleaned and slightly roughened to enhance the bond between the tooth and the sealant. Next, the liquid sealant will be painted onto the tooth, and a UV light is directed onto the treated tooth to cure the sealant. There is no drilling or discomfort, and the entire process takes less time than a dental filling.
When combined with a healthy diet, brushing, flossing, professional care and fluoride treatments, sealants can significantly reduce the risk of cavities by preventing bacteria from accessing the fissures and pits on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Call our expert in dental sealants in Northridge to schedule your appointment.
Tooth bleaching—or whitening as it’s called interchangeably—can introduce up to ten shades of brightness to your teeth. It’s a fundamentally safe and sound procedure that can even be done at home under the right conditions. In fact, cosmetic dentistry recognizes the right of at-home/over-the-counter whitening practices to exist, with the knowledge that the in-office/chairside treatments bring much faster, more dramatic results.
You can choose to whiten at home with any number of DIY products, starting with whitening toothpaste and continuing through bleaching kits that contain 3 to 10 percent hydrogen peroxide. This percentage contrasts with the 15 to 38 percent found in professional products.
Twenty years of data do not suggest any long-term or systemic health risks for tooth bleaching in a professional setting. Obviously, this does not account for at-home cases where the client takes the procedure literally into their own hands. You should always take care when working with chemicals, understanding that your tooth structure and soft tissues could be at risk if you mix too high.
Otherwise, our expert in tooth bleaching in Northridge promises instant brightening of most extrinsic and intrinsic stains. Whether you opt just for chairside whitening or combine it with take-home strips, you can work together with your specialist to keep your smile bright for months.
Contact our Northridge cosmetic dentist today.
Porcelain veneers are the sturdiest, longest-lasting type of veneers. To keep them looking their best, however, the right care is required. Here is how to keep porcelain veneers in good shape.
Rinse After Eating or Drinking
If you eat or drink anything rich in pigments, such as coffee or tea, be sure to rinse your mouth out with water afterwards. The longer pigments are allowed to settle on your veneers, the more likely they will cause lasting discoloration. Tobacco, another common cause of stains, should be avoided entirely.
Brush Every Day
Just like other teeth, teeth capped with porcelain veneers must be brushed every day to minimize risks of staining. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoid teeth-whitening toothpastes, which often contain abrasive substances that can damage porcelain veneers.
Never Whiten Veneers
Teeth whitening products and procedures are not designed to work on veneers. If you use them anyway, only the teeth surrounding your veneers will be bleached. This could create a noticeably two-tone smile. Instead, our cosmetic dentist in Northridge may recommend polishing or replacement.
Porcelain veneers can look great for decades if you take care of them. To learn more about caring for porcelain veneers, you can schedule a consultation with our porcelain veneers dentist in Northridge.
Since root canals are therapeutic, most of the aftercare is minimal. You’re sent home with guaze and a low-grade painkiller, and told to rest the tooth for a couple of days. Nine times out of ten, that’s all that happens. As the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some pain but it shouldn’t be too much to handle.
For most patients, recovery is only a matter of hours. Avoid anything too hot or cold, or live on ice cream and fluids for the day if you want. A root canal procedure is so routine now, some people have one in the morning and go back to work in the afternoon.
Our expert in root canal in Northridge wants you to know about the occasional anomaly. While performing the pulpectomy part of the procedure, it’s not unheard of for a tool to nick a nearby ligament. This can cause soreness for several days—more than the norm. Even less often, a patient will need to go back in for what amounts to a touch-up. Not every root canal is straightforward, and a root can have complexly-branching canals that the doctor will need another session to access.
Of course, if any pain during your recovery feels excessive or abnormal, contact your Northridge dentists immediately.
Reports vary, but most whitening dentists trust you to whiten once a year chairside, with touchups on your own in between. If you are using exclusively at-home products, it is generally accepted that you can use them safely once a day—but only for two weeks at a time.
Our expert in teeth whitening in Northridge always recommends chairside service, since the chemicals are stronger and you can get many shades of brightness in one session. However, if you are on a budget or just prefer the DIY aspect of over-the-counter products, you may see some positive results on your own. Just remember, hydrogen peroxide can be extremely detrimental to your enamel if used incorrectly.
If you drink lots of coffee, you may need to whiten more often than someone who exclusively drinks water or clears. If you have problems with discoloring, you should schedule a dental exam and cleaning before making your next whitening appointment. Clean teeth always whiten better.
You can tell you are overwhitening if you start to have symptoms like increased tooth sensitivity or burning in your gums. If these occur, cease whitening treatments immediately and contact your Northridge cosmetic dentist.
Many patients are unaware that there are two different types of sleep apnea. The type that most are familiar with is obstructive sleep apnea, where muscles block air from coming through the airway passage, causing complications during sleep. The other type is central sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea is very different than obstructive. The muscles in the mouth and the throat are actually not factors at all in this case – it is actually much more complicated. Central sleep apnea concerns the brain, which stops the breathing function of the system while the patient sleeps.
Many of the symptoms, however, are the same. Patients will wake up dozens of times a night in order to prompt breathing again. Fatigue, listlessness, moodiness, and other behavioral changes are common due to the lack of REM sleep. If left untreated for too long, serious health issues and depression could arise.
Treatment for central sleep apnea usually employs CPAP machines. These are medium-sized devices that work to provide a constant stream of air into the nose and/or mouth, triggering the breathing process externally. This treatment is usually successful in eliminating the symptoms of central sleep apnea.
Dental implants are the patient and expert preferred way to replace missing teeth. While dentures and dental bridges are placed on top of the gums, implants are inserted into the jaw bone, and become as close to a natural tooth as possible. This reverses several of the effects of missing teeth.
About bone grafting
One of the effects of missing teeth is jaw bone tissue loss. When our teeth are used, such as to eat, the nerves stimulate the bone tissue below. When a tooth is missing, the bone directly underneath no longer becomes stimulated, which causes it to resorb. This not only affects the jaw, but can change the shape of the entire face. Dental implants stops and even reverses this effect.
However, implants cannot be placed if the jaw bone in the area has become too thin. In this case, a bone grafting is necessary. This is a highly successful procedure that involves adding bone taken from another area. Some patients even receive bone from a donor or use synthetic bone-like material. This addition to the jaw creates a dense enough area for an implant to be placed.
If you are missing a tooth or several teeth, this is not the time to wait for treatment. Contact our dentist in Northridge and ask about dental implants before the negative effects begin.