For many young people, tooth loss is a scary and distant thought. But for some, it is an unfortunate reality. If you are under the age of forty and have experienced tooth loss, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Tooth loss can happen to anyone at any age. With this sediment in mind, there are a variety of reconstructive options for patients of all ages to improve the appearance of their teeth and jawline.
For patients who are only missing a few teeth, dental implants are an excellent option. Serving as artificial tooth roots, dental implants are inserted into the jawbone to prevent shifting and bone loss. A major perk to implants is they are firmly in place and offer a permanent solution to tooth loss.
If you are missing most of your teeth due to severe decay or an abnormality, you may consider dentures. Younger patients are often not interested in getting dentures, as they feel too young. Though they may, the dental implants now used to hold dentures in place could change their overall perception. The fact is today’s dentures form a strong seal with the jaw that creates a completely natural looking smile. Unlike your grandma’s dentures, your new smile will not move out of place or feel loose.
For more information about dental implants and dentures, contact our San Fernando Valley dentist.
Despite the fact that half of adults in America have it, periodontal disease is not on most people’s radar. High numbers of adults practice little to no oral hygiene. Unfortunately, periodontal disease always gets worse if left untreated, and can irreversibly affect the bones and soft tissues in the mouth.
Seeing your San Fernando Valley dentist for regular exams is still the best way to keep track of your dental health. Your periodontal specialist will work to reverse your gum disease, and make a treatment plan to ensure it stays minimal.
There are DIY remedies you can try as well. Two secret agents against periodontal disease are turmeric and coconut oil. You can leave a turmeric paste on the gums overnight, and this kills bacteria and relieves inflammation. Or you can brush with turmeric powder instead of toothpaste for a few weeks. Rinsing orally with coconut oil can reduce bacteria and even strengthen gums.
Your doctor may decide you need scaling and root planing. This is a conservative, non-surgical treatment that superficially improves the tooth roots to make them less conducive to bacteria. There’s also pocket reduction, which involves peeling back the gum and removing infectious bacteria and affected bone.
Ask our doctor for more about periodontal treatments.
There are certain situations which necessitate the removal of a tooth. Such situations could include irreversible deep decay, or severe physical damage to the tooth or root. Our dentist in San Fernando Valley is an expert at dental extraction, and ensures that patients will feel more comfortable during the procedure if they are familiar with the extraction process and the steps involved.
The process will begin by numbing the area with a local anesthetic. They will then begin to remove the tooth by expanding the root socket. The bone surrounding the tooth and keeping it in place is relatively spongy, so your dentist will be able to manipulate it until it compresses while separating the tooth from its ligament. Special tools called “elevators” are wedged between the tooth and the tissue and moved back and forth to rock the tooth free. After some time and effort, the tooth will be loose enough to remove with dental forceps.
After the tooth is removed from its socket, the area will then need to be closed. This may include removing any debris by scraping the walls of the socket and irrigating, compressing the hole using pressure, rounding off any sharp bone edges, and enacting measures to reduce possible prolonged bleeding.
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.
The standard recommendation is that you visit the dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning. There are good reasons why a professional dental cleaning is necessary in order to maintain optimal oral health.
Our dentists in San Fernando Valley recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day as part of your at-home oral hygiene regimen. The reason for doing this is to remove plaque from your mouth. The reason you want to remove plaque is because it is directly responsible for tooth decay. When the bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars in the foods that we eat, they create a harmful acid byproduct that causes tooth decay. When plaque is allowed to accumulate, it turns into tartar. Tartar not only provides a safe haven for these harmful bacteria, but it also can lead to issues such as gum disease if it gathers around the gumline. While we can remove plaque with proper oral hygiene at home, only a dental professional is able to remove tartar. And truth be told, it is simply not possible to effectively remove all of the plaque from spaces between the teeth and below the gumline. That is why a dental cleaning is so important, as the dentist is able to remove the plaque and tartar that we undoubtedly have missed during our home cleaning routine.
If it has been a while since your last dental cleaning, contact our dental cleaning dentist in San Fernando Valley to schedule an appointment.
When confronted with a lost tooth, there are two main options for restoring it. Dental bridges and dental implants are the two most common procedures. In the case of losing all of your teeth, dentures or implant-supported dentures are the main options.
For a single tooth, a dental bridge literally bridges the gap that is created by the missing tooth. In order to place a bridge, the two teeth that surround the missing tooth need to be filed down so that they can act as abutments and be fit with crowns. In between the crowns is the pontic, which is the prosthetic tooth that will replace the missing tooth. Dental implants do not require any collateral damage to surrounding teeth. An implant is a titanium post that is placed directly into the bone below where the missing tooth was located. Once the implant has fused with your jawbone, it is fit with a crown.
Dentures are a common option for replacing all of your teeth. Many patients find dentures to be uncomfortable for eating and speaking. They also do not like how easy it can be for them to fall out. That is why there are also dentures that can be supported by dental implants. Dentures that are supported by dental implants can either take the form of a fixed bridge or a removable overdenture. Either way, the implants provide the dentures with stability and support.
Contact our restorative dentist in San Fernando Valley if you are looking to restore any teeth that you may have lost.
Prevention is the single most important aspect to maintaining proper oral hygiene. Not only does prevention help eliminate plaque and tartar; it helps to ensure that you will not suffer from more serious complications like tooth abscesses and gum disease in the future.
Prevention includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day. You want to make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to brush most effectively. You also want to make sure that you are using the proper technique. Holding your brush at a forty-five degree angle and using gentle back and forth motions on each surface of the tooth is the best technique. Flossing is also very important for catching food particles that have fallen in between your teeth.
No matter how good you are at brushing and flossing, though, you will also want to make sure to see the dentist every six months for a routine exam and cleaning. Our preventive dentist in San Fernando Valley is able to remove any of the plaque you may have missed from brushing and flossing. Another important element to prevention is eating a proper diet. Avoiding foods that contain high levels of sugar is highly recommended.
Proper oral hygiene through the use of prevention should keep your teeth healthy for a long time to come.