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.

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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?

Doctors Showing Aligners - 3

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

young woman in front of family

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

When Should Dental Implants Not be Used?

young woman in front of family

The loss of a tooth completely can be traumatic, and the condition comes with many negative consequences, both cosmetic and medical. To avoid any undesired changes in the geography of the mouth as a result of the gap or gaps left behind, it is imperative that anybody who is missing a tooth seeks some means of replacing it professionally. Dental implants are one viable option, allowing your implant dentist in Beverly Hills to restore your full smile without the need for secondary supporting fixtures. While most patients who have one or more adult teeth missing will qualify, there are more than a few eligibility factors that one should be aware of.

Good health, not only in the mouth, but also in the entire body, is an absolute must. An implant is a fully surgical procedure, requiring your dentist to embed the supporting base directly into the bone, which eventually will be covered by a dental crown bearing a false tooth. If there is any  sort of hygienic or medical dysfunction present in the patient’s mouth, especially in the area where the procedure would be taking place, it is highly advised that those issues be contended with first before more work is done; any inflammation present in the gums will hinder the healing process significantly, and the same can be said for poor health elsewhere in the body, as well. The best way to ensure the success of your new implant is to give it the most opportune environment possible to thrive in right off the bat.

Good habits are an absolute must; this includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash daily. A patient who is either unwilling or unable to properly maintain their oral health and cleanliness is generally not seen as a good candidate for dental implants; a commitment to not only your regular schedule of dental appointments and exams but also to any additional office visits your new implant may require is also vital; this will allow your dentist to diagnose and rectify any potential complications which may arise down the road. Patients who struggle with jaw-clenching or teeth-grinding are advised to seek alternative options, as these tendencies put undue amounts of pressure on implants and may cause them to fail.

The last qualifier would be whether or not the patient has adequately dense bones to support something as intrusive as an implant. For those whose bones are not suitable to support an embedded implant, a better option may be to have the implant placed onto the surface of the bone instead.

When Should Dental Implants Not be Used?

Dental Implant Options

Are you missing one, two or all of your teeth? There are multiple teeth replacement options available to you. Talk to our dental implant dentist in Northridge about your smile. We can recommend the appropriate restoration treatment for you so you can smile with confidence. Here are the types of dental implants available.

 

 

A single tooth implant is a traditional replacement option where a single tooth can be replaced, which is often done over multiple visits. The implant acts as a substitute to a natural tooth root. This is done with or without a built-in connector placed on or built into the top of the implant. The implant will attach to the replacement tooth. A temporary tooth can be used in its place while the implant integrates with your natural bone to form a strong foundation, much like a natural tooth root.

 

 

When it comes to replacing multiple teeth, dental implants with individual crowns or an implant-supported fixed bridge can help. It gives your teeth a level of fit, feel and functionality that is not possible with other restoration options. This option is done over multiple visits. Much like a single tooth implant, the multiple teeth dental implants will be used to support your replacement teeth. Temporary teeth can be used while the implant forms to the natural bone and builds a strong foundation.

 

 

Full mouth implants, or a full arch is also an option if you are missing all of your teeth. Dental implants will be used to support your replacement teeth on both the upper and lower jaws. The connectors are placed on or built into the top of the implant, which will help connect the replacement teeth. The placement of the implants is custom-made individual replacements, or implant-supported fixed bridges, or implant-supported overdenture.

 

 

There is also a low-cost alternative to dental implants called a removable denture. This is an appliance that sits on top of the gums where the missing teeth were. But this option does come with its downfalls. It can be uncomfortable and affect the ability to experience the full taste of food. It can also cause sore gums among other issues.

 

 

Make sure to talk to our dentist if you need to replace one or more teeth. We can match you with the appropriate treatment to improve your smile. With each replacement option, most people return to work the next day, and any discomfort can be treated with pain medication. Schedule a consultation with us today.

Dental Implant Options