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Our Services

YouRDental Group
Yang Li and Rong Zhang DDS

West LA Office
12340 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste: 204
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel:      1-310-826-5888
Text/Wechat:   1-310-985-4975

SF/Northridge Office
Please call: 1-310-985-1875
or visit
www.thenorthridgedentist.com
for more info.

Email: info@yourdental.net

Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dentistry is the modern way of reducing the amount of dental treatment necessary to maintain a healthy mouth.
It helps you to keep your teeth. The two major causes of tooth loss are decay and gum disease. The better we prevent or deal with these two problems, the more chance people have of keeping their teeth for life.
The joint efforts of the dentist, the hygienist and the patient, can help to prevent the need for treatment, and so avoid the traditional pattern of fillings and extractions.
A course of treatment may be recommended to get your mouth into good condition, and a maintenance plan will be worked out to help you keep it that way.

Is prevention possible?
Yes. With modern dentistry and constant new developments, it is possible to prevent or considerably reduce dental disease.

Can everybody benefit from preventive dentistry?
Yes. Preventive dentistry will benefit anyone with some of their own teeth. People who don’t have any teeth can also benefit because conditions such as mouth cancer and denture stomatitis can be identified and treated during regular visits to the dentist. It is excellent for children and young people, but it is never too late to start.

What is involved?
Your dentist will first assess your teeth and gums, and discuss with you any treatment that is necessary. The main aim is to help you get your mouth really healthy, to try and prevent any dental problems returning. In a healthy mouth it is unlikely that decay or gum disease will continue to be a problem.

  • The hygienist or dentist will thoroughly ‘scale and polish’ your teeth.
  • The dentist or hygienist will show you the best methods of brushing and flossing to remove the bacterial ‘plaque’ which forms constantly on your teeth and gums. Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums. When you eat or drink something sugary, the plaque turns the sugar into acid, which will cause tooth decay. Plaque will also cause gum inflammation if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed. The hard tartar (calculus) which builds up on the teeth also starts off as plaque.
  • You will be advised which oral care products are the best ones for you to use.
  • The hygienist will probably discuss diet and any habits such as smoking and drinking with you.
  • Your dentist will also make sure that all your fillings are in good repair and there are no rough edges to make cleaning difficult.

Will my dentist recommend treatment?
A ‘preventive dentist’ will often recommend treatment to reinforce a tooth to make sure that it does not break. For example, if the dentist sees that a tooth is cracked, or is weak and in danger of breaking, they may advise a new filling or perhaps a crown or ‘onlay’ to protect it. This is always better than waiting till the breakage happens, and then working out how best to deal with it, perhaps as an emergency.

What else can the dentist and hygienist do to help prevent tooth decay?
Fluoride helps teeth resist decay. If your dentist thinks added fluoride would be useful, they may recommend the application of topical fluoride. They may also suggest the use of fluoride rinses, tablets or drops as an extra help against decay for use at home. Only use these if you have been advised to do so, and follow the instructions carefully.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids - formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth - attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

In What Forms Is Fluoride Available? As mentioned, fluoride is found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor's prescription.
A dentist in his or her office can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Varnishes are painted on the teeth; foams are put into a mouth guard, which is applied to the teeth for 1 to 4 minutes; gels can be painted on or applied via a mouth guard.
Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids and tablets and must be prescribed by your dentist, pediatrician or family doctor.

Is There an Age at which Fluoride Intake Is Most Critical? It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. These are the timeframes during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. However, adults benefit from fluoride too. New research indicates that topical fluoride - from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments - are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth.
In addition, people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay and would therefore benefit from additional fluoride treatment. They include people with:

  • Dry mouth conditions : Dry mouth caused by diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome, certain medications (such as allergy medications, antihistamines, anti-anxiety drugs, and antihypertensives) and head and neck radiation treatment makes an individual more prone to tooth decay. The lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized.
  • Gum disease : Also called gingivitis, gum disease can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay.
  • History of frequent cavities: If you have one cavity every year or every other year, you might benefit from additional fluoride.
  • Presence of crowns and/or bridges or braces: These treatments can put teeth at risk for decay at the point where the crown meets the underlying tooth structure or around the brackets of orthodontic appliances.
Ask your dentist if you could benefit from additional fluoride.

Are There Risks Associated With Fluoride Use? Fluoride is safe and effective when used as directed but can be hazardous at high doses (the "toxic" dosage level varies based on an individual's weight). For this reason, it's important for parents to carefully supervise their children's use of fluoride-containing products and to keep fluoride products out of reach of children, especially children under the age of 6.
In addition, excess fluoride can cause defects in the tooth's enamel that range from barely noticeable white specks or streaks to cosmetically objectionable brown discoloration. These defects are known as fluorosis and occur when the teeth are forming -- usually in children under 6 years. Fluorosis, when it occurs, is usually associated with naturally occurring fluoride, such as that found in well water. If you use well water and are uncertain about the mineral (especially fluoride) content, a water sample should be tested. Although tooth staining from fluorosis cannot be removed with normal hygiene, your dentist may be able to lighten or remove these stains with professional-strength abrasives or bleaches.
Keep in mind, however, that it's very difficult to reach hazardous levels given the low levels of fluoride in home-based fluoride-containing products. Nonetheless, if you do have concerns or questions about the amount of fluoride you or your child may be receiving, talk to your child's dentist, pediatrician or family doctor.
A few useful reminders include:

  • Store fluoride supplements away from young children.
  • Avoid flavored toothpastes because these tend to encourage toothpaste to be swallowed.
  • Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste on a child's toothbrush.
  • Be cautious about using fluoridated toothpaste in children under age 6. Children under 6 years of age are more likely to swallow toothpaste instead of spitting it out.

I Drink Bottled Water, Am I Missing Out on the Benefits of Fluoride?
Even though there's no scientific studies to suggest that people who drink bottled water are at increased risk of tooth decay, the American Dental Association (ADA) says that such people could be missing out on the decay-preventing effects of optimally fluoridated water available from their community water source. The ADA adds that most bottled waters do not contain optimal levels of fluoride, which is 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million (this is the amount that is in public water supplies, in the communities that have fluoridated water). To find out if your brand of bottled water contains any fluoride, check the label on the bottle or contact the bottle water manufacturer.

Does a Home Water Treatment System Affect the Level of Fluoride in My Drinking Water?
The amount of fluoride you receive depends on the type of home water treatment system used. Steam distillation systems remove 100% of fluoride content. Reverse osmosis systems remove between 65% and 95% of the fluoride. On the other hand, water softeners and charcoal/carbon filters generally do not remove fluoride. One exception: some activated carbon filters contain activated alumina that may remove over 80% of the fluoride.
If you use a home water treatment system, have your water tested at least annually to establish the fluoride level your family is receiving in the treated water. Testing is available through local and state public health departments as well as private laboratories. Also, check with the manufacturer of the product you purchased or read the information that came with the water treatment system to determine the product's effects on fluoride in your home water.

Where Can I Find Out How Much Fluoride Is in My Tap Water?
Ask your local dentist, contact your local or state health department or contact your local water supplier. Information for contacting your local water supplier should be on your water bill or see the "local government" section of your phone book.
Approximately 62% of the U.S. population served by public water supplies has access to adequate levels of fluoride in their water, and 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities have water fluoridation systems.

Sealant

Dental sealants are a dental treatment consisting of applying a plastic material to one or more teeth, for the intended purpose of preventing dental caries (cavities) or other forms of tooth decay. Since the 1970s, in the United States, the incidence of tooth decay on the smooth surfaces of teeth has declined, in part because of fluoridation becoming widespread in public water supplies as well as improved dental hygiene among the public. However, because the teeth in the back of the mouth (molars and premolars) have numerous pits and fissures on their biting surfaces, certain areas of these teeth are often difficult to clean even with vigorous tooth-brushing. To remedy this, research into dental sealants began in the 1960s and by the early 1970s, the first generation of sealants became available and were approved by the FDA.

How to apply Sealant?
Dental sealants are usually applied in a dentist's office. The dentist or assistant first cleans and dries the tooth to be treated, then paints a thin layer of liquid plastic material on the pits and fissures of the tooth. After application of the plastic liquid, blue spectrum natural light is shined on the applied material for a few seconds to cure the plastic. Alternatively, some brands of sealants self-cure via a chemical process.
After curing, the plastic becomes a hard, thin layer covering the treated portions of the tooth. Despite the incredible pressures effected on teeth during chewing each day, dental sealants may remain effective for five years or longer, although sealants do wear naturally and may become damaged over time. Bacteria and food particles may eventually become entrapped under the dental sealants, and can thus cause decay in the very teeth over which they aim to protect.

Periodontics

The word periodontal literally means "around the tooth." Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums around the teeth and the bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal (gum) diseases are serious infections that, if left untreated will deteriorate the bone and ligaments that support the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. Dentists sort Periodontal Disease into different stages called Gingivitis, Mild Periodontitis, Moderate Periodontitis, and Severe Periodontitis.

Remember, there is NO CURE for periodontal disease; however it can be managed and/or controlled. The condition will only worsen without proper treatment and home care. Fortunately there are many treatment options available, including both surgical and non-surgical procedures. The MyToothPlan offers gum treatment to patients who need this care. Gum Disease strikes over 80% of Americans over the age of 35. Diabetics have a higher incidence.

How do I know that having "gum diseases"? An early sign is bleeding gums and if your gums bleed it is important that you see a dentist for evaluation to prevent further problems such as a periodontal abscess.

At first the gums swell, inflame, and bleed. When the inflammation is limited to the gums it is called gingivitis. The swollen gum is due to bacteria that grow on your teeth. Sticky foods that attach to your teeth make things worse. If left untreated, this constant inflammation will eventually attack the bone surrounding your teeth. This is the beginning of periodontal disease and is called Early Periodontitis. It can progress to Moderate and Severe Periodontitis as more and more bone is destroyed surrounding the teeth and can cause a gum abscess or gum ball. Eventually you develop loose teeth and needless to say bad breath (halitosis) can be associated with any stage. Some patients have a metallic taste due to bleeding. A special type of periodontal problem is acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.

What do we do if you have "gum diseases"?
It is very important to treat periodontal disease when it first appears. Like all other diseases, the best prognosis for treatment is when its treated early. Initially a patient receives scaling and root planing. This eliminates the source of the dental infection and the inflamation. Then the patient is again evaluated to decide if more treatment is needed to correct the shape and form of the gum and bone tissues. If there is extra gum tissue, gum removal may be needed.

Some patients with periodontal disease need periodontal surgery to correct the damage. Fortunately, many surgical procedures can replace bone and gums. However, it's not always possible but every case of tooth and gum disease must be evaluated individually. In addition to the treatment of gum disease, more and more patients today are choosing to have cosmetic gum surgery to improve the appearance of their gums rather than just having gum surgery to treat periodontal disease.

Arestin

ARESTIN® is an effective antibiotic treatment that comes in powder form. This powder is easily placed inside infected periodontal pockets just after the dental professional finishes the scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure.

How does it work?
ARESTIN® contains "Microspheres"-tiny, bead-like particles that are smaller than grains of sand and are not visible to the eye. The Microspheres are filled with the antibiotic minocycline, and they release the drug over time into the infected periodontal pocket, killing bacteria that live there for up to 21 days.

Proven Results
ARESTIN® Microspheres continue to fight the infection for up to 21 days after SRP. In clinical studies, ARESTIN® has been proven to be more effective than using SRP alone. ARESTIN® also significantly reduced the size of periodontal pockets compared to SRP alone, killed the bacteria most commonly associated with periodontal disease, and reduced bleeding on probing of the gums.

Implant Dentistry

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root replacement and is used in prosthetic dentistry. There are several types of dental implants; the most widely accepted and successful is the osseointegrated implant, based on the discovery by Swedish Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark that titanium can be successfully fused into bone when osteoblasts grow on and into the rough surface of the implanted titanium. This forms a structural and functional connection between the living bone and the implant. A variation on the implant procedure is the implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported denture.

For more basic knowledge, please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_implant

Sedation and Nitrous Oxide

Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia. Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized, including conscious sedation with sedatives, inhalation nitrous oxide sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation. These sedation dentistry techniques enable patients - who might otherwise avoid the dentist - to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile.

Types of Dental Sedation
There are 4 types of dental sedation methods used by sedation dentists today:

1/ Oral Sedatives
Oral sedative medications such as diazepam can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour before the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.

2/ Intravenous (IV) Sedation
Like oral sedatives, intravenous (IV) sedation does not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered in conjunction with this method of dental sedation.

3/ Nitrous Oxide Sedation
In one form of conscious inhalation sedation, nitrous oxide gas (also known as laughing gas) is used to induce a state of relaxation. A local anesthetic will be administered in combination with nitrous oxide sedation to eliminate pain.

4/ General Anesthesia
This method of dental sedation refers to the use of anesthetic to render the patient unconscious. Unlike other sedation methods, the patient will be completely unaware of his or her surroundings, making the use of local anesthetic unnecessary.

Degrees of Dental Sedation
The four dental sedation methods listed above can provide varying degrees of sedation. These include:

1/ Anxiolysis
This refers to methods of inducing "light sedation." There are several forms of sedatives that result in anxiolysis; however, nitrous oxide, a form of inhalation sedation, is the most commonly used method to bring on this type of relaxation.

2/ Conscious Sedation
Moderate dental sedation can refer to either nitrous oxide or IV sedation. These sedatives can induce conscious sedation, where the patient will be awake and able to respond to commands, but will be in a state of extreme relaxation.

3/ Deep Sedation
Deep sedation refers to a state between unconscious and conscious dental sedation. Patients will not be able to respond to commands in a consistent manner and may need some assistance with breathing in the event that they are unable to keep their airway open.

4/ Unconsciousness
General anesthesia causes the airway to close. As a result, patients will need assistance with breathing and will not respond to commands. This method of dental sedation is reserved for oral surgery.

Surgical Treatments

1/ Tooth extraction
Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth from its socket in the bone. If a tooth has been damaged by decay or a fracture, our dentist will try to repair it and restore it with a filling, crown or other treatment. Sometimes, though, the damage is too extensive for the tooth to be repaired.

2/ Crown lift
This common procedure involves the removal of gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of a tooth's structure. Crown lift is done when a tooth needs to be restored, but there is not enough tooth structure above the gum line to support a filling or a crown.

3/ Root Resection
A root resection involves removing one of the roots of a multi-rooted tooth (tooth with more than one root). In some cases, it is also necessary to remove the part of the tooth's crown that is supported by the root being removed. The crown is the part of the tooth you can see in your mouth.

4/ Periodontal Regenerative Surgery
A bone graft (regenerative surgery) is a procedure that is used to recreate hard and soft supporting tissues lost due to gum disease.

5/ Sinus Lift
A sinus lift, sometimes called a sinus augmentation, is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars to make it taller. The bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or "lifted."

Restorative Dentistry

In dentistry, crown and bridge (Restorative Dentistry) refers to the restoration of natural teeth that have been damaged, decayed or lost. Once your dentist has examined your teeth and has evaluated your dental and medical history, he/she will be ready to provide a diagnosis, and treatment options.

A crown may be constructed to restore an individual damaged tooth back to it's original form and function, while a bridge may be utilized to replace one or more teeth. These restorations are cemented onto the teeth and are referred to as "fixed" dentistry as opposed to a restoration of missing teeth with a removable appliance or partial denture.

A crown is fabricated using an indirect procedure. The tooth is modified and prepared by using special instruments and a copy of the tooth preparation which is made by taking an impression. The crown is then "permanently" cemented onto your tooth preparation. A fixed bridge refers to a prosthesis that will span the area of a missing tooth, known as a pontic. The procedure involves a local anesthetic and the preparation of two or more abutment teeth. Once this has been accomplished, an impression is made and sent to the dental laboratory for fabrication of your new tooth. This procedure will take five to ten days and will encompass two to four appointments. (A crown procedure takes two to three office visits.)

The following is a brief description of how a crown will be made:
1. Upon arriving to the laboratory, your impression is cleaned (sterilized).

2. Powdered stone is mixed with water and poured into your impression, which once set hardens into a stone cast of your upper/lower teeth. The casts are connected on an apparatus called an articulator that mimics your jaw motion.

3. Using a bunsen burner, the dental technician melts wax and applies it to the prepped tooth stump. This process is called fabricating a coping or framework (if a bridge) which supports the tooth colored material called porcelain. The wax coping is invested in high heat stone, burned out in an oven and cast into metal. This is a similar procedure that a jeweler might use when making a ring.

4. After the metal has been cast, the technician will use a variety of high and slow speed drills to contour the metal.

5. The metal is then ready to be prepared to receive porcelain. Since porcelain is very clear, the silver gray colored metal needs to be masked out. This procedure is referred to as opaquing, or masking out the metal.

6. Porcelain powder is mixed with water and applied by brush to the opaqued metal understucture. By using the casts that have been joined, the dental technician will be able to reproduce a lifelike copy of the original tooth.

7. The porcelain build-up is fired in a ceramic oven at 1800 degrees. Using various diamond and carbide drills, the final contours are established.

8. The porcelain-fused-to-metal restoration is then colored to the patients specific shade and glazed to render an enamel-like finish.

After the final fabrication phases have been completed, the finished crown is returned to your dentist to be checked for correct fit. Once all final adjustments have been made, your restoration is permanently cemented.

Cosmetic Dentistry

The About Cosmetic Dentistry dental procedures area is where you learn about each cosmetic dentistry procedure in detail. In many cases, a cosmetic dentist will implement a combination of several of the following procedures to give you that perfect smile.

Procedures:
  • Teeth Whitening - Learn about the procedures, who it's best for, the costs and options available when having all of your teeth whitened.
  • Tooth Whitening - Discover the tooth bleaching procedures, who it's best for, the costs and options available when having a tooth whitened.
  • Composite and Porcelain Tooth Veneers - Learn how veneers correct a great many dental problems, the procedures, costs and when they are best used.
  • Dental Implants - Learn how dental implants correct missing teeth, the procedures involved, costs and when they are best used.
  • Dental Bonding - Is the bonding of a tooth right for you? Learn about the procedures involved, costs and when dental bonding is the way to a perfect smile.
  • Dental Bridges - Bridges replace missing teeth. Learn about the procedures involved, costs and when dental bridges will give you a perfect smile.
  • Tooth Contouring and Reshaping - A great deal for your smile can be accomplished through small changes. Learn about the procedures involved, costs and when contouring is the way to a perfect smile.
  • Dentures - Dentures often solve a host of dental problems. Learn about the procedures involved, costs and when dentures are your way to a fantastic smile.
  • Dental Fillings - Today's dental fillings are more than the typical metal fillings of our youth. Dental fillings are now color matched to the rest of your teeth for a great smile.
  • Dental Crowns - A great deal for your smile can be accomplished through crowns. Learn about the procedures involved, costs and when crowns are your way to a perfect smile.
  • Dental Caps - A great deal for your smile can be accomplished through caps. Learn about the procedures involved, costs and when caps may be your way to a perfect smile.
  • Root Canals - Learn about the procedure, costs and when you might be a candidate for a root canal.
  • Accelerated Orthodontics - Learn about wearing braces for only a few months compared to a few years with traditional braces.
  • Cosmetic Gum Surgery - A "Gummy Smile" or a "Long Tooth Smile" are corrected through gum surgery. Learn about the procedures involved, costs and when gum surgery is the way to a perfect smile.

Inlay / Onlay

When over 1/2 of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay.

What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These custom fabricated restorations are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth; an onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay, but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.

How are they applied?
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the tooth is prepared for the inlay/onlay by removing the filling or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is taken and sent to a lab for fabrication. Your Doctor will then fabricate a temporary restoration on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.
At the second appointment, the temporary restoration is removed. The Doctor will first make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. When the fit is perfected, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin adhesive and polished to a smooth finish.

Considerations
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, being bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, but is too great for a filling to safely provide support, Onlays can provide an excellent alternative.

Tooth Colored Restorations

What Are They?
Tooth colored restorations or fillings are also referred to as composites, because they are composed of a complex molecular structure of a resin matrix and fillers.
Composites or resins were introduced in the 1960’s, and have undergone continual improvements in durability, color stability, material handling qualities, and esthetic properties.
Tooth colored restorations are actually bonded to remaining tooth structure compared to silver/amalgam restorations, which are "locked" into tooth structure. This property of resin restorations makes them a very conservative approach to tooth restoration after caries removal.

How Do They Look?
Tooth colored filling material comes in a great number of colors (shades), and are matched to your individual tooth color. The materials used for front teeth have a high shine; whereas, the materials for back teeth are designed for strength — both look great! It’s nice that if you have a filling it can be virtually undetectable.

How Long Do They Last?
Tooth colored fillings now are harder and more comparable to silver/amalgam restorations. A small filling could conceivably last a lifetime, and larger fillings can be expected to last many years. The factors that determine the lifespan of a particular filling include: the tooth (molars take more force than bicuspids), the size of the filling relative to the tooth (smaller fillings will usually be more durable than larger fillings), and how teeth are cleaned and maintained daily.

How Should They Feel?
A new filling should feel natural, like your own teeth. After the anesthesia has worn away and you can feel your teeth and bite again, you should not notice anything particularly different. It should be smooth and comfortable. There is a period that you might feel some sensitivity to temperature after the restoration is placed. It is temporarily as with any other restorations when they are placed on teeth. You can eat on tooth colored fillings right away (as soon as anesthesia is gone) compared to silver/ amalgam fillings, which there is a waiting period

Lumineers

When can a dentist place Lumineers ® porcelain veneers using a "no drilling, no shots" technique?
Most people who have a familiarity with Lumineers ® porcelain veneers probably do so because of the advertisements they have seen. Advertisements can, however, produce an effect that allows a consumer to form unrealistic expectations about the product being advertised.

Since prospective dental patients typically see Lumineers ® veneers advertised as "no drilling, no shots" porcelain veneers, they understandably draw the conclusion that the use of this technique should be possible with them too. This may be true but any dentist can tell you there is quite a difference between what is technically possible as opposed to what is in the dental patient's best interest. But of course that's precisely the purpose of a consultation dental appointment.

Consulting with your dentist about placing Lumineers ® porcelain veneers.
When a dentist places porcelain veneers for their patient they have a number of goals in mind. They want to create an end result that provides a great cosmetic appearance. They want to create restorations that are in their patient's best interest, both in terms of function and being able to maintain proper oral health. They also want to provide their services in a manner that is as comfortable for their patient (physically and psychologically) as is possible.

The dentist must weigh each of these considerations, formulate possible treatment plans, and then convey to the patient the expected outcome of each possible approach, both strengths and weaknesses. Then the dentist and patient, together, must make a determination regarding which treatment approach seems to fit the patient's needs the best.

During the consultation appointment you will need to express your primary concerns to your dentist. If the "no drilling, no shots" aspect of Lumineers ® veneers is the only reason you are considering having porcelain veneers placed then you need to express this fact to your dentist. If they find that you are the perfect candidate for this Lumineers ® technique then great. If they find your situation is not so ideal, they will need to convey to you what compromises and potential problems might be associated with your case if this technique is utilized.

Initial conditions that a dentist looks for that favor the placement of Lumineers ® veneers using a "no drilling" technique.
The most ideal candidates for Lumineers ® veneers placed using a "no drilling" technique are typically those people whose teeth are already relatively straight in alignment and simply require a slight color or other cosmetic change. Additional factors that favor the use of a "no drilling" approach are teeth that are relatively small, lingually inclined (tip inward somewhat as opposed to being bucked), or have spaces between them. When these conditions are present even though the Lumineers ® veneers will add additional bulk to the teeth when they are placed the end result will be less likely to be grossly oversized or over contoured.

The Lumineers ® "no drilling" approach is not always the best choice.
Much of the criticism you'll see aimed at Lumineers ® porcelain veneers by dentists is directed at veneering results where a "no drilling" technique has been utilized in an inappropriate situation. As we mentioned previously, since Lumineers ® veneers can be placed using traditional porcelain veneer protocol, the criticisms we mention here aren't really aimed at Lumineer ® porcelain veneers themselves but at the technique that the dentist has chosen to use when placing them.

One concern that a dentist will have when Lumineers ® veneers are placed using a "no drilling" technique is that the veneered teeth will be over contoured and bulky. This type of scenario can occur when "no drill" Lumineer ® technique is used when the ideal initial conditions did not exist. Think about this example. When an artificial fingernail is cemented into place it can provide a changed appearance for the nail on which it is cemented, but will it look precisely natural? If you took two adjacent fingers and placed an artificial nail on one of them could you tell which one had the artificial nail on it? Of course you could. Even if the outline shape of the nail on both fingers was the same the nail with the artificial covering would look comparatively thicker.

It's not terribly dissimilar with teeth. If you take a normal sized tooth and bond a Lumineers ® veneer onto it (without trimming the tooth first) the tooth will be larger in size, period. Now will this increase in size be noticeable or objectionable? Possibly, but not necessarily.

Different than with our before mentioned fingernail comparison, few people ever get a chance to scrutinize our teeth closely. Interpersonal distances are typically measured in feet, not inches. Additionally, when we look at a person's smile we typically expect to see uniformity. If all of the teeth that are readily visible when the person smiles have been veneered in the same fashion then absolutely the cosmetics of a "no drilling, no shots" Lumineers ® porcelain veneers case can be quite presentable.

Still, some dentists will always be critical of the results of "no drilling, no shots" Lumineers ® technique because to them, someone who inspects teeth on a daily basis, the (even minimal) over bulking that this type of protocol can produce seldom looks as natural to them as if a more traditional veneering methodology had been used.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are a beautiful way to correct stained, chipped, or crooked teeth. By placing glass-like ceramic porcelain on the surface of teeth, dentists can provide patients with bright, straight, and natural looking smiles. If you are considering veneers but would like more information about the process of placing porcelain veneers and the cost of treatment, please read the information below and contact a dentist in your area.

Placing Dental Veneers
Your first step toward cosmetic enhancement with porcelain dental veneers is to meet with a dentist and discuss your goals for treatment. At this time, the dentist you choose will provide you with a full consultation about the porcelain veneers procedure and determine what you can expect from treatment.

During your second office visit, your teeth will be prepared for your porcelain dental veneers. By lightly buffing the front surface of your teeth, a skilled cosmetic dentist will remove an approximately one-half-millimeter layer of enamel from the front of your teeth. The wafer-thin porcelain veneers will eventually be set in place of this enamel. A mold is then taken of your teeth. From this mold, your porcelain veneers will be custom made to fit your teeth and complement your smile. Porcelain dental veneers can even be specially fitted to reshape crooked teeth that may otherwise require orthodontics.

The porcelain veneers are then placed on your teeth in your third, and final, office visit. At this time, your dentist will be able to precisely match the color of your dental veneers to your surrounding teeth. If you are having porcelain veneers placed on all of your teeth, your dentist will be able to provide you with an appropriate color that has both a beautiful luster and a realistic appearance. After the fit and color of your dental veneers are ensured to be to your liking, the adhesive is hardened using a special light. You then have a bright, long-lasing smile with your new porcelain veneers.

What Will My Porcelain Veneers Look Like?
The glass-like ceramic that forms porcelain veneers closely resembles natural tooth enamel. This is because, much like real tooth enamel, porcelain veneers are translucent. When light strikes a natural tooth’s surface, it is not immediately reflected off. Instead, it penetrates the tooth enamel and reflects off the opaque tooth dentin that lies just beneath. This translucent effect is what gives teeth their luster. By replicating this, porcelain dental veneers provide patients with bright, natural looking smiles.

Porcelain dental veneers can also cover and repair cracked and chipped teeth. Because porcelain veneers are custom made and fitted to your teeth by a skilled cosmetic dentist, you can customize and improve much more than just the color of your teeth. Crooked and chipped teeth can have their appearances improved to give you a beautiful new smile. Any broken teeth can be repaired using dental crowns, or caps, that can be color matched to your dental veneers.

Cosmetic Digital Imaging
Cosmetic digital imaging is provided by many dentists to aid patients considering porcelain veneers in their decision making process. Cosmetic digital imaging is meant to supplement the porcelain veneers consultation that you will have with your cosmetic dentist. This allows the dentist to give patients an idea what the end result of the porcelain veneers procedure will be without performing any medical treatment. Cosmetic digital imaging, however, is meant to serve only as a guide and it is important to remember that the end result is likely to differ slightly.

How Much Do Porcelain Veneers Cost?
The cost of porcelain veneers depends on the number of teeth being treated. Porcelain veneers generally cost from $700 to $2,000 per tooth. When considering the cost of porcelain veneers, you must take into account their longevity and attractiveness. Porcelain veneers are long lasting alternatives to other treatments that cost less but must be repaired more often and lose their cosmetic appeal more quickly.

Dentures / Valplast Partial

Missing teeth is a common problem for many people who have had teeth removed because of extensive cavities, gum disease, injuries, and those who may not have developed some of their teeth due to an inherited trait. The three most common ways a dentist can replace one or more missing teeth are a bridge (a series of joined caps), an implant(s), or a removable partial denture. Although a bridge or dental implant(s) has certain advantages when compared to a removable partial denture, in some cases, the removable partial denture may be the best or only choice available.

There are three basic types of partial dentures. The first is a cast removable partial denture, or “cast partial”, and consists of a metal base that has acrylic teeth attached to it. Metal clasps are the hook- like structures that help hold the removable partial denture in place. Although the cast partial can be a bit cumbersome, it has been used successfully for decades in the dental profession. The second type of removable partial denture is the all-acrylic variety, sometimes referred to as an interim (temporary) removable partial denture or a “flipper”. The third type is the Valplast partial denture, which is a nylon thermoplastic material that has several advantages over the other two types of partial dentures.

Valplast partial dentures have no metal clasps and are very light weight. The material is translucent, so the patient’s own gums show through, giving a very natural appearance. Valplast partial dentures can be used to replace many or few missing teeth, and can even be modified to replace a missing tooth on only one side of the mouth, greatly enhancing its comfort. Valplast can be used for full dentures on people who have irregularities in their jaw bone that would preclude the use of the standard rigid acrylic material. Valplast is an option for cosmetic improvement of teeth that appear elongated due to recession of the gums, and for people who are allergic to the acrylic found in other types of partial dentures. Another great advantage of Valplast is its resistance to breakage, as it is surprisingly strong relative its size and weight.

Valplast partial dentures are an excellent option for the replacement of missing teeth. The cost of treatment is usually much less than either a permanent bridge or dental implants and can be completed in just two or three short visits. Durable, lightweight, and esthetic, Valplast should be considered for anyone who needs replacement of missing teeth

Dentures / Valplast Partial

Missing teeth is a common problem for many people who have had teeth removed because of extensive cavities, gum disease, injuries, and those who may not have developed some of their teeth due to an inherited trait. The three most common ways a dentist can replace one or more missing teeth are a bridge (a series of joined caps), an implant(s), or a removable partial denture. Although a bridge or dental implant(s) has certain advantages when compared to a removable partial denture, in some cases, the removable partial denture may be the best or only choice available.

There are three basic types of partial dentures. The first is a cast removable partial denture, or “cast partial”, and consists of a metal base that has acrylic teeth attached to it. Metal clasps are the hook- like structures that help hold the removable partial denture in place. Although the cast partial can be a bit cumbersome, it has been used successfully for decades in the dental profession. The second type of removable partial denture is the all-acrylic variety, sometimes referred to as an interim (temporary) removable partial denture or a “flipper”. The third type is the Valplast partial denture, which is a nylon thermoplastic material that has several advantages over the other two types of partial dentures.

Valplast partial dentures have no metal clasps and are very light weight. The material is translucent, so the patient’s own gums show through, giving a very natural appearance. Valplast partial dentures can be used to replace many or few missing teeth, and can even be modified to replace a missing tooth on only one side of the mouth, greatly enhancing its comfort. Valplast can be used for full dentures on people who have irregularities in their jaw bone that would preclude the use of the standard rigid acrylic material. Valplast is an option for cosmetic improvement of teeth that appear elongated due to recession of the gums, and for people who are allergic to the acrylic found in other types of partial dentures. Another great advantage of Valplast is its resistance to breakage, as it is surprisingly strong relative its size and weight.

Valplast partial dentures are an excellent option for the replacement of missing teeth. The cost of treatment is usually much less than either a permanent bridge or dental implants and can be completed in just two or three short visits. Durable, lightweight, and esthetic, Valplast should be considered for anyone who needs replacement of missing teeth

Full Mouth Reconstruction

When severe dental problems require a full mouth reconstruction, a general dentist can create a restorative dentistry treatment plan that will simultaneously address the health, function, and appearance of the teeth and gums. Learn more about reconstructive dentistry, repairing worn teeth, and TMJ syndrome by reading the sections below.

What is Reconstructive Dentistry?
Reconstructive dentistry refers to any restorative dentistry procedure that involves replacing or repairing broken or missing teeth, bones, or tissue. Procedures and types of dentistry that are classified as reconstructive dentistry include full mouth reconstruction, dental implant restorations, TMJ treatment, dental bridge placement, dental crown placement, inlays and onlays, and replacing old metal fillings. A general dentist can perform many of these procedures, but you should speak with the dentist prior to treatment to view samples of the doctor's restorative dentistry results and previous full mouth reconstructions.

Full Mouth Reconstruction
If severe dental problems are causing you discomfort, you may be a good candidate for a full mouth reconstruction. A well-qualified general dentist can combine the aesthetics of cosmetic dentistry with the science of neuromuscular dentistry to perform a full mouth reconstruction. Orthodontic appliances can be used to help properly position your jaw. Once the jaw is properly aligned, relieving some of the pain caused by the TMJ syndrome, cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures (porcelain veneers, dental crowns, bridgework, dental implants, and onlays) are completed. The result is an attractive, pain-free new smile.

Severe Dental Problems – Repairing Worn Teeth
Dental problems such as damaged and worn teeth not only detract from your mouth visually, but they also can affect the alignment of your teeth. The procedures used by a general dentist when repairing worn teeth will depend on the extent of your teeth's damage. Generally a crown can be placed over your damaged tooth to strengthen and reinforce the tooth. If there is a gap between your natural teeth, a dental bridge may be used to cover the gap. If you no longer have a natural tooth to which your dentist can secure a crown, a dental implant may be placed in your jaw to create the crown's foundation.

TMJ Syndrome
TMJ syndrome is a disorder that affects your jaw's temporomandibular joint, causing pain in your head and neck and a possible popping of your jaw when you chew. Most cases of TMJ syndrome are temporary and can be treated at home with over-the-counter pain medicines, compresses, and jaw exercises. If your dental problems persist, a general dentist will give you a treatment regime similar to the home-care treatment. They may then give you a bite plate or splint to ease the muscle tension. If these therapies do not work, your general dentist may have to perform more comprehensive procedures to relieve the discomfort.

Orthodontics / Invisalign

Invisalign clear braces for straighter teeth
The idea of wearing the old metal braces makes most people hesitate, even if it means having perfectly-straight teeth. These traditional braces are quite unflattering and could even be the source of dental hygiene issues. With children and teens, these metal braces are acceptable - a part of their growing up. But with adults, braces can be embarrassing.

The good news is there is a new orthodontic treatment called Invisalign. Based on an invisible braces treatment system, this method has been very popular since its introduction in the market because of its discreteness. Invisalign involves the use of transparent aligners that are very effective in correcting crooked teeth as well. In the UK, Clearstep introduced a similar clear aligner system and simply referred to it as "Invisible Braces". In the same way that the Invisalign process works, these aligners gradually re-position teeth into the desired position.

Why Invisible Braces?
Compared to the traditional metal-wire-rubber band system, these invisible braces offer the following features:

  • Discretely Flattering
    Made especially to fit the patient's teeth perfectly, these clear-colored aligners will provide them with a discrete way to straighten their crooked teeth. And because they are unnoticeable, adult patients will never have to feel embarrassed or self-conscious.
  • Surprisingly Comfortable
    Wearing the traditional braces come with some level of discomfort because the metal-wire and rubber brand contraption is known to cause sores and gum problems. On the other hand, Invisalign braces do not react with tissues in the gum or cause abrasion. Patients will generally have a comfortable time wearing these brace system.
  • Greatly Convenient

In most cases, traditional metal braces can lead to dental hygiene problems like gum disease or bad breath, arising from not being able to clean teeth properly. This happens when the build up in the teeth are not removed by proper cleaning, leading to plaques and tooth decay. Choosing Invisalign braces allow patients to properly clean their teeth because the aligners are removable. They can easily floss and brush teeth like ordinary people; thus, keeping a healthy dental hygiene program. Comparing the old metal braces with Invisalign, patients will only have to go through each aligner set that is manufactured according to the treatment plan and will be worn for two weeks each time. The plan involves moving teeth gradually into a position that will result to straight teeth. The Invisalign treatment usually takes about 6 months to complete, although there are severe cases where the treatment could last up to 15 months. Patients will generally lead normal lives since these invisible braces do not cause any uncomfortable teeth or gum irritations or even simple disruption in day to day activities. They will have straight teeth without the hassles and pain.

Teeth Conditions Treated by Invisalign Since its introduction in the market, Invisalign braces have been proven to treat many teeth conditions related to the alignment including the following:

Overly-crowded teeth - if teeth teeth are set too closely to each other, resulting to misaligned and crooked teeth, you have a condition that is known as over-crowding. With Invisalign, this can easily be corrected by opening up spaces between the patient's teeth and re-positioning the teeth so they line up perfectly.

Widely-spaced Teeth - another condition that is easily remedied with invisible braces is teeth that are set too wide apart. The usual treatment method for this condition is via veneers but with the creation of Invisalign aligners, this condition can be treated properly. The aligners will slowly yet effectively push the teeth together, removing all gaps without the removal of any tissues.

Overbites - some people possess upper teeth that are protruding and results to the condition called overbites. The use of the Invisalign treatment will easily push back teeth into the ideal position.

Underbites - on the other hand, when the lower teeth is the one protruding, the person has a condition called underbite and can also be corrected with the custom-made aligners from Invisalign.

Crossbites - smiles that appear twisted because of crossbites can easily be corrected with these aligners.

Does Invisalign remedy all orthodontic conditions?
Although the Invisalign treatment has been proven to be effective in correcting crooked teeth, there are still cases where the traditional braces work better. There are also teeth conditions where lingual braces, fixed at the teeth's back surface, are used to correct complicated cases.

What is the Invisalign procedure?

1. Not all dentists/orthodontists are qualified to perform the Invisalign procedure. Only the Invisalign- certified orthodontists can assess teeth conditions, take dental impressions and also photographs.

2. In order to create an accurate 3D model of the teeth, a CT or Computerized Tomography Scan of the models will be performed.

3. With the 3D model as basis, a simulation of the teeth will be created using patented Invisalign software. The simulation will depict the movement of the teeth from its original to the desired position.

4. After completing the simulation, an Invisalign orthodontist will assess the results and come up with the design for the aligners.

5. These aligners will be manufactured using advanced SLA or stereolithography technology. The design was, of course, based on information obtained from the computer simulation. The final products are custom-moulded transparent aligner sets, each designed to be worn for two weeks. Depending on the complexity or severity of the teeth condition, aligner sets vary in number.

6. Once all the aligner sets are completed, they will be sent to the orthodontist who requested them.

7. The patient will be informed of the aligner's arrival. The orthodontist, upon giving the aligners, will provide clear and strict instructions on how to wear them. The standard number of hours that these aligners should be worn is 20 and patients are only allowed to remove them when eating and cleaning teeth. Progress checks will be done regularly to ensure that the treatment plan is being followed.

The Cost of the Invisalign Treatment
Prices of the Invisalign treatment vary and greatly depend on the complexity of the teeth condition. Another factor to consider is the expertise and experience of the orthodontist who will design and oversee the treatment. Patients can expect the "platinum Invisalign orthodontist" to charge a higher professional fee. Cost of treatment ranges from a minimum of $6000 to as much as $12000. If patients find it too expensive, they can always discuss finance options and payment plans with the dentist. Many practices now offer 0% finance on Invisalign treatments.

Root Canal Treatments

Root canal treatment, also known as endodontic therapy, is probably the most maligned of all dental procedures, but the reputation of pain typically associated with "having a root canal" is really not deserved. For the majority of people who will undergo root canal treatment the process itself will be no more involved than having a filling placed.

As you read on our pages will explain for you the overall goals of root canal treatment, the treatment's individual steps, and also what other dental work might be necessary for a tooth which has had its root canal treatment completed. Our pages also discuss the costs associated with root canal treatment, what role endodontists play in providing this type of therapy, and why root canal treatment can fail.

What is root canal treatment?
Root canal therapy refers to the process by which a dentist treats the inner aspects of a tooth, specifically that area inside a tooth that is occupied by its "pulp tissue." Most people would probably refer to a tooth's pulp tissue as its "nerve." While a tooth's pulp tissue does contain nerve fibers it is also composed of arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and connective tissue.

For the purposes of this discussion, so to use terminology that people seem to be most familiar with, we will use the terms "nerve" and "nerve tissue" to refer to a tooth's pulp tissue.

Where precisely in a tooth is its nerve?
Teeth are hard calcified objects but their inner aspects are not completely solid. Inside every tooth there lies a hollow space which, when a tooth is healthy, contains the tooth's nerve tissue. Dentists use the following terms to refer to various portions of this nerve area:

The pulp chamber.
This is a hollow space that lies more or less in the center of the tooth.

The root canals
Each tooth's nerve enters the tooth, in general, at the very tip of its root(s). From this entry point the nerve then runs through the center of the root in small "root canals" which subsequently join up with the tooth's pulp chamber.

What is the function of a tooth's nerve tissue?
Initially a tooth's nerve tissue plays an important role in the formation and development of the tooth. Then, once the tooth has formed, the function of this tissue becomes one of helping to preserve the tooth's health and vitality. The nerve tissue keeps the organic components of the tooth's mineralized tissues (dentin and enamel) supplied with nutrients and moisture. The nerve tissue also produces new tooth structure (reparative dentin) as is needed so to help to wall off and protect the nerve from insult or injury (such as advancing tooth decay).

A tooth's nerve tissue does provide a sensory function but this role is probably different from what you expect. Under normal circumstances the nerves inside our teeth provide us with very little information. Yes, when activated by extremes in pressure, temperature, or severe insult (such as a cracked tooth or advancing tooth decay) teeth do respond with a painful sensation. But under normal circumstances the nerves inside our teeth remain relatively "quiet."

At this point you might be thinking that if you push on your tooth with a finger or close your teeth together you will feel a pressure sensation. Because of this you might assume that that sensation must come from the nerve inside the tooth. Well, in reality, that sensation comes from the nerves found in the ligament that binds the tooth to the jawbone, not from inside the tooth itself. This implies then, from a standpoint of the normal functions we perform with our teeth, that the presence of a live nerve inside a tooth is somewhat academic. If a tooth's nerve tissue is present and healthy, wonderful. But if a tooth has had its nerve tissue removed as a part of root canal treatment then that's fine too. You will never miss it.