Dental bonding generally refers to the application of white filling material (composite) that is used to bond onto damaged or missing parts of the teeth to replace tooth structure. It can be a great option when the damage isn't too extensive or severe.
Imagine braces without the metal brackets. It may be possible to have orthodontic treatment with a more modern technology. Instead of traditional metal brackets and wires placed, Invisalign provides clear trays (like a thin mouthguard) that can be used to move the teeth. Once every 2-3 weeks, a new tray is used which continues to move the teeth appropriately to whiten your smile.
Root Canal Therapy
Commonly just referred to as a root canal, this procedure is only done when absolutely necessary. Essentially there is a problem in the canal of your tooth which extends down the root. The canal needs to be cleaned of the infection and then filled to prevent reinfection of the area.
Somtimes referred to as a "cap". There are various reasons for needing a crown but generally it is used to restore the entire tooth due to compromised tooth structure. A crown can be made out of different materials such as metal, porcelain, zirocnia and each has their strengths/weaknessses.
Same Day Crowns
With CAD/CAM (Cerec) technology, we are able to digitally scan your mouth. So instead of putting in an impression material to take a mold, we can take this digital scan which is much easier and more accurate, make it into a 3D computer model and design the crown in the computer. Then we can tell the milling units we have at our office to fabricate the crown and have it checked and cemented the same visit. Note that if you need multiple crowns done at once, it may be a better use of your time to come back at a later date (even the next day) to get them placed.
We understand sometimes its difficult to fully comprehend why certain treatments are necessary and spend our time to explain the necessity and process of the treatment.
A dental bridge is used to replace 1-2 missing teeth normally. If you can imagine the space as a river, the dental bridge will attach the two teeth on either side, in this case, the land on either side of the river, to replace the missing area. A dental bridge may be a good option if there's a need to "crown" or "cap" the adjacent teeth to the area that's missing a tooth.
A filling is a restoration we use to replace a damaged part of the tooth, whether due to trauma or a cavity. We remove the infection or damaged part of the tooth, shape it so that it'll have the best retention (staying on) and durability (strength for chewing), and then fill the area we worked on to restore the tooth back to its original condition. There are different types of filling materials, most common are metals (amalgam, gold), composite (plastic) or porcelain (glass).
Mouth guards are used to protect the teeth and gums from traumatic injuries during sport activities. I would always recommend anyone playing sports to wear a mouthguard, especially if its a physical sport. Traumatic injuries can happen anytime and it can cause tooth loss in the most extreme cases.
Digital Dental X-rays
More and more dental offices are using digital x-rays to examine the teeth and jawbones of the mouth. Digital x-rays are faster to develop (as they instantly appear on the computer screen), can be more easily adjusted on the computer to highlight the images and because the sensors are more sensitive to the radiation than traditional x-ray films, less radiation is needed.
Cosmetic dentistry isn't an officially recognized dental speciality but I view it as the opportunity to enhance a patient's smile. The most important aspects of cosmetic dentistry is using the proper materials for durability while communicating with the patient in regards to exactly what would make him/her completely happy with their smile. Its also important to discuss any potential complications and anything may not just be possible with their teeth. For instance, sometimes teeth can be so misaligned that it would be difficult to correct the teeth with veneers or crowns. The patient may need braces/Invisalign to correct the bite/misalign first prior to reshaping and changing the colors of the teeth.
This is probably the most important and yet sometimes the most overlooked aspect of dentistry. Its important to prevent cavities and gum disease. While seeing your dentist every 6 months for a check and cleaning, brushing, flossing and general home care and diet play a major role in the formation of cavities or gum disease. Its valuable to find a dentist who will spend the time to thoroughly evaluate your oral health and not just focus on the needed treatment to get you back to health but also discuss the risk factors that may reduce your chances of future oral health problems.
Gingivitis is a form of gum disease. Its the mild form and its completely reversible with proper dental treatment and improved home care. As gum disease progresses, it can become what we call periodontal disease which is broken into stages. Essentially the bacteria has formed a hardened dental plaque (tartar) which can't be removed by brushing alone. This triggers the immune system of the body to fight tartar underneath the gums and results in damage to the surrounding gums and bone. This can result in further bone loss, gum recession and possibly loose teeth which may need to be removed. Moderate to severe forms of periodontal disease are not reversible but may be slowed down or stopped.
Tooth Extractions/Socket Preservation
If a tooth is beyond repair or the gum tissue around the tooth doesn't support the tooth anymore, it may need to be removed. After the extraction, it may be ideal to place a bone graft into the socket immediately. Once the tooth is out, the bone around the tooth will begin to degenerate. If its in a cosmetic area or there is bone needed to place a dental implant, then having as much bone as possible is important. Also, make sure to follow the home care instructions given, take antibiotics and pain medications as prescribed.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition in which a person sleeping will stop breathing or have low breathing periodically. This can cause alot of stress to the body and can result in a multitude of health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. If you have snoring and thought about getting treated with a night time mouth appliance, I highly recommend actually going to see a physician to get checked for sleep apnea. Snoring is just a symptom but by hiding the snoring, you could still be having sleep apnea episodes. A night time appliance may be appropriate for you but you should check with your sleep specialist first.
Dental Inlays & Onlays
Fillings/crowns are usually referred to as direct and indirect restorations. A direct restoration is made directly in the mouth. For instance, what most people imagine as a filling is when there's a cavity that needs to be filled, we fill the hole in your mouth directly. With an indirect restoration, we make the filling material outside your mouth and then its bonded or cemented into the cavity. Inlays/onlays fall into the indirect category. Because a porcelain filling can't be made directly in your mouth, it needs to be made outside and then bonded/cemented in. Porcelain has the advantage of being a much more cosmetic and durable material than your traditional white composite (plastic) fillings. Also moisture control is easier as the process is much faster in your mouth.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) is the treatment needed for periodontal disease. Essentially the hardened plaque (tartar) has grown deeper below the gum tissue in harder to reach places. We need to remove this but cleaning the area below the gums. Since we are working to remove the tartar that's deep, being numb may be necessary.
Bleaching is a great way to whiten teeth. I would recommend bleaching over using a whitening toothpaste. There are two types of bleaching essentially. One is a take home kit which you wear a bleaching tray at home and bleach as directed by your dentist. In office bleaching takes place in a dental office, takes about an hour or so of your time and you get your results right away. Both manage about the same whiteness. Unfortunately there is no way to predictably say how much whitening you will get or how much, if any, sensitivity you may experience.
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain, almost like a contact lense, which goes over the fronts of your teeth. Most of the time there will need to be some reduction of the tooth to place these veneers so they don't appear too bulky. These can be used to change the shape and color of your teeth. It's an alternative to bleaching as you have more control over the color and shape of the teeth. Consulting with your dentist about veneers as a possibility is recommended.
Laser dentistry can be used in a variety of ways to provide dental treatment. I personally use a laser for management of the gum tissue during dental procedures, treatment of some causes of sensitivity and treatment for cold sore/canker sores.
Irvine Dentist, Jerome Tsang, DDS offers modern dentistry for the entire family.
Located in Irvine, California, our state of the art dental office also serves patients in surrounding cities like Tustin, Newport Beach, Lake Forest, Costa Mesa, and throughout Orange County.
Office hours: Tuesday - Friday 8:30AM - 5:30PM, Closed Saturday and Sunday
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