Posts for category: Dental Procedures
You dream about a Hollywood smile. Can you achieve it? At Hillside Dentistry & Orthodontics, many adults rejuvenate their smiles with porcelain veneers. Custom-designed by our Torrance, CA, dentists, these ultra-thin ceramic shells disguise defects, improve color and correct mild alignment problems. This cosmetic dentistry service could be your solution.
Made just for you
After our Torrance, CA dentist examines your teeth and gums and discusses your smile goals, your veneer treatment can begin. Oral impressions, a negative imprint of your teeth and gums, help your dentist formulate your care plan.
Then, the doctor removes a thin section of enamel to bond the veneers to the front side of your teeth. The American College of Prosthodontists states that most patients benefit from an even number of veneers--two, four or six, for example--to create a balanced look.
Veneers are thin, translucent and shaped to blend with the rest of your smile. They correct numerous flaws such as:
- Stubborn enamel stains from cigarettes, prescription medications and more
- Bumps, pits and craze lines
- Short tooth length or irregular shape
- Spaces, gaps, overlapping and crowding
Additionally, because our expert and highly skilled dentist places your veneers, you'll experience little to no gum irritation. In just two visits to Hillside Dentistry & Orthodontics, you'll leave with a beautiful smile that lasts for years.
Caring for porcelain veneers
Don't worry. Adding veneers to your smile won't wreck your oral hygiene routines. Brush twice a day for two minutes as the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends and floss around each tooth to remove plaque and prevent tartar. See your dentist semi-annually for a cleaning and examination.
In addition, watch what you eat and drink. Porcelain veneers are both stain-resistant and durable. However, deeply-colored beverages and foods can darken the bright finish. Also, while veneers easily withstand normal biting and chewing, don't nibble on your pencil or tear packages open with your teeth. If you do, you could damage your new smile.
Find out more
Explore how cosmetic dentistry can rejuvenate your appearance. Porcelain veneers could be the best way to achieve that Hollywood smile. Please phone our office team for a consultation: (310) 530-4300.
Although adults are more prone to dental disease, children aren't immune from one particular infection, tooth decay. Some children, in fact, are at higher risk for an aggressive form called early childhood caries (ECC).
There are a number of things you can do to help your child avoid this destructive disease, especially daily brushing and flossing to remove bacterial dental plaque, the underlying cause for tooth decay. It's also important for your child to see a dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings and checkups.
But some of their teeth, particularly the back molars, may need some extra attention to fully protect them against decay. This is because larger teeth like molars have numerous pits and crevices along their biting surfaces that can accumulate dental plaque difficult to remove by brushing alone. The added plaque increases the presence of bacteria around the tooth, which increases the risk of decay.
To minimize this possibility, dentists can apply a dental sealant to "smooth out" those pits and crevices in the molars and make it more difficult for plaque to accumulate. This is a quick and painless procedure in which a dentist brushes a liquid plastic resin or similar material onto the teeth's biting surfaces. They then apply a curing light to harden it into a durable coating.
About one-third of children—mostly those considered at higher risk for tooth decay—have undergone sealant treatment. But the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend this preventive measure for all children between ages 5 and 7, and then later between 11 and 14 when additional molars come in. Although there is a moderate cost per tooth for sealant application, it's much less than the potential expense of treating an infected tooth.
Combined with daily oral hygiene and other preventive measures, sealants can reduce the chances of damaging tooth decay. Keeping your child's teeth healthy is an important part in maintaining their dental health today—and tomorrow.
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”
Millions of microorganisms call your mouth home—and while most are friendly, some are not. An invasive procedure like implant surgery can disrupt the mouth's soft tissues and allow disease-causing bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
This isn't necessarily a major concern if your immune system is sound—your body will move quickly to quash any developing infection. But if your body's defense is weak or compromised by other health conditions, an ensuing infection could cause you problems. In the case of a dental implant, a localized infection around it could lead to its failure.
The bone normally grows and adheres to the surface of an implant soon after it's placed, giving it the added strength and durability for which implants are best known. A bacterial infection, though, could impede bone integration and weaken the implant's hold within the jaw.
One way to avoid this is by treating patients at high risk for infection with an antibiotic before the procedure. In one recent study, researchers concluded that patients receiving a 2-gram dose of amoxicillin an hour before implant surgery helped reduce the risk of future implant failure.
But before taking this route, the dentist must first decide whether antibiotic pre-treatment might be more detrimental than beneficial to an individual patient. Antibiotics can cause side effects in certain people ranging from diarrhea to allergic reactions. Healthcare providers must also be prudent with administering antibiotics for the good of society in general—overuse can potentially give rise to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A number of healthcare associations highly recommend antibiotic pre-treatment for any dental patient with prosthetic heart valves, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant and similar heart conditions. They also recognize patients with conditions like prosthetic joints, weakened immune systems, diabetics or other serious health problems could also benefit from antibiotic pre-treatment, but leave it to the physician's discretion on whether or not it's appropriate for an individual patient.
If you're planning to undergo implant surgery or a similar procedure and are concerned about infection, speak with your dentist about whether you would qualify and benefit from antibiotic pre-treatment. If appropriate, taking an antibiotic beforehand could minimize your infection risk.
If you would like more information on pre-surgical antibiotic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implants & Antibiotics: Lowering Risk of Implant Failure.”
Unfortunately, your mouth won’t always warn you when there is something going on; however, when it does it’s important that you are listening. Our Torrance, CA, dentists are here to provide you with the dental care you need. By coming in twice a year for cleanings and checkups we can catch and treat issues early on before they cause more serious problems. One common procedure we perform is root canal therapy.
What is root canal treatment?
This endodontic procedure treats infections and problems that occur within the tooth. Under the enamel and dentin layers of a tooth you’ll find soft tissue known as the dental pulp. The pulp is made up of nerves, connective tissue and blood vessels. The pulp starts at the crown of the tooth and runs to the tips of the tooth’s roots, and it’s an important part of the tooth’s development. But once a tooth has fully developed the pulp is no longer necessary for the tooth’s survival.
Why is a root canal performed?
If the pulp becomes inflamed or infected the only way to treat the problem is to remove the pulp. This is the purpose of root canal therapy. Everything from severe decay to repeated dental procedures to a crack can lead to an infected or inflamed pulp. A root canal is a required procedure and if you don’t get the treatment you need this could lead to an abscess or even tooth loss.
Will it hurt?
This is a question our Torrance, CA, dentist hears a lot. Unfortunately, root canals get a pretty negative rap even though this procedure really isn’t painful or invasive. In fact, getting a root canal is no more invasive than treating a cavity. Most people who need root canal treatment are also dealing with severe dental pain. By performing this procedure we actually remove the source of the pain.
Another benefit is that we will thoroughly numb the area with local anesthesia prior to treating the tooth so you won’t feel a thing. After all, the outside of the tooth does not contain nerves so you won’t experience discomfort. Once the procedure is over you’ll notice that your toothache is finally gone, which we know can be quite a relief.
Don’t let dental problems sneak up on you. Stay up-to-date on your routine dental cleanings to protect your smile from cavities, infection and injuries. If it’s time for your six-month cleaning call Hillside Dentistry & Orthodontics in Torrance, CA, today.