What You Should Know About Bonding

July 17th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Dental bonding is a restoration process that is completely painless and effective. It can be used to make minor reparations to teeth that are affected by decay or damaged, cracked or chipped.

The procedure is done using a tooth-colored material and typically, your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist will be able to bond several teeth during the same dental visit.

The bonding agent is usually made from a composite or porcelain resin, which is applied to the damaged tooth, shaped and then hardened by being exposed to an ultraviolet light.

Let’s look at a few important things that you should know about bonding.

 

The Benefits of Bonding

Some of the benefits of using a composite resin are that the color can be matched to the existing color of your teeth. This means that the bond will be virtually unnoticeable to other people.

The resin can also be sculpted to look like a missing piece of a tooth or it can be used to “build up” teeth and fill gaps in between them.

Furthermore, the composite resin can be used on a broken tooth to restore it to its original size. Lastly, bonding can be used to “paint” over a stained tooth to match it the rest of your teeth.

 

How Bonding is Done

To begin with, your dentist will place a small guard between the affected tooth and its adjacent teeth. This protects neighboring teeth during the procedure and ensures that they are unaffected by the resin.

Before the bonding agent can be applied, your dentist will likely apply a mild chemical to the tooth in question. This is meant to “roughen” the surface of your tooth and will help the resin adhere, or bond, to it. At this point, your dentist will compare the color of your natural teeth and choose a composite resin that is similar in color.

Next, your dentist will begin applying the composite resin one layer at a time. He or she will use an ultraviolet light to harden the resin as they progress. Then, after applying the final layer of resin, your dentist will shape it and polish the bond until it looks identical and is indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

The finished product should look natural and be smooth like a regular tooth. If there are any jagged spots, just be sure to mention it to your dentist. He or she will be able to easily smooth out whatever irregularities are bothering you.

During your next visit, your dentist will check to make sure that the bonding has set properly and will polish it up if needed. While bonding is meant to last for years, over time, the bonding may break down and need to be touched up occasionally by your dentist.

If you’re interested in learning more about bonding, be sure to take a few minutes and discuss the procedure with your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist at your next visit. Call our office today at (925) 937-9017 to schedule your appointment or consultation.

How to Deal with Canker Sores

June 27th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Just about everyone has had one at some time or another: canker sores. They seem to appear for no reason in random places of the mouth and are extremely sensitive. These lesions, more properly known as “aphthous ulcers,” occur frequently in some patients but once in a blue moon for others. Regardless of their frequency, they are certainly not pleasant. What exactly are these sores and how can you deal with them? Learn more below from your dentist in Walnut Creek.

 

There are different triggers and causes for aphthous ulcers. Some people experience them during times of high stress. Others only get them if some sort of accidental trauma occurs, like biting the inside of the cheek. Sometimes people will report a burning or tingling feeling in the area just before an ulcer forms. This is a symptom similar to those who experience cold sores. Canker sores appear as a round, yellowish lesion with a stereotypical thin red border or “halo.” They most commonly occur on the inside surfaces of the cheeks and sometimes on the tongue as well.

 

There is no “cure” for a canker sore; unfortunately, it has to run its course and will heal with time. But there are things that can be done in the meantime to help reduce the pain and discomfort of aphthous ulcers.

 

A time-tested and easy method for reducing pain is swishing or gargling with warm salt water. This can help desiccate (dry out) the ulcer and make it less irritating. There are also a number of over the counter agents for treating the symptoms of canker sores, some of which can even numb the area for a brief time. It’s also wise to avoid hot and spicy foods during this time, as they can greatly irritate the sore and make it worse. The same goes for foods with tomato sauce and sour, citrus fruits.

 

If you canker sore is particularly bad, you may want to visit your dentist in Walnut Creek. There are some ways he or she can manage the discomfort, such as applying topical steroids or injecting the area with medication. Some dental offices may have the capability to remove the sore altogether with a laser.

 

Regardless, just remember that canker sores are temporary and are usually not a sign of a serious problem. By learning to manage the discomfort, you can make living with aphthous ulcers a little bit easier.

5 Signs That You Might Have TMD

May 21st, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

The temporomandibular joint is located directly in front of our ears and is the joint that is mainly responsible for allowing us to open and close our jaw. And, when this joint becomes out of place or dislocated, it can lead to severe pain and be an overall miserable issue to have to deal with.

The symptoms of TMJ will vary from person to person, however, we’ve narrowed down a list of the 5 most common signs that indicate you have TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Let’s dive in with the help of your dentist in Walnut Creek.

Bruxism

There are millions of people who grind their teeth throughout the day and don’t even notice that they are doing it. Many patients who suffer from TMD have reported that they often catch themselves grinding their teeth without even being aware of it.

On top of the problems that this can cause during the waking hours of our day, the problem is even worse when we grind our teeth in our sleep since we’re not even able to catch ourselves in the act and put an end to it. A common sign that you might be grinding your teeth at night is if you often wake up with a headache in the morning.

Frequent Headaches

A headache can be caused by many things and this, of course, includes TMJ disorder. These headaches will typically radiate from your head down into your jaw and can often feel very similar to a tension headache.

Many times, patients believed that they were suffering from migraines for years, before finding out that their headaches were being caused by TMD. However, frequent headaches are not to be taken lightly as there could be a more serious underlying condition causing it. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience chronic headaches without any noticeable cause.

Blurred Vision

Typically, this is something that you should have an optometrist look at rather than your dentist. However, if you’re experiencing blurry vision, along with other symptoms related to TMJ, it might be time to bring this up with your dentist to see what they say.

Since the disorder can cause headaches and in turn, headaches can cause blurred vision, it can be difficult to pinpoint an underlying causation for the problem. As you can see, TMJ is a complicated problem that can cause a domino effect of different symptoms. In turn, this makes it difficult to diagnose exactly what is causing your original symptoms.

Clicking or Popping Sounds When You Open Your Mouth

If you’re one of the millions of people who can hear a click or pop when you open your mouth, then you should know that this is not normal and that you should talk to your dentist about it before it leads to any further complications.

Trouble Swallowing or a Frequent Sore Throat

As you’ve learned by now, TMJ is a complex condition and its symptoms will vary from one person to the next. However, in addition to bruxism, blurred vision and headaches, a chronic sore throat is another common complaint from TMJ sufferers.

If you have any more questions about TMD/TMJ, please give your dentist in Walnut Creek a call at (925) 937-9017.

Alternatives to a Traditional Dental Implants

April 17th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Sometimes, accidents happen. After all, that’s why they’re called accidents and usually, they’re completely unavoidable. Still, they happen and when they do, replacing a lost or broken tooth becomes necessary and falls under the category of corrective dentistry. This can involve a multitude of procedures aimed specifically at replacing, repairing or restoring your smile.

Still, despite the numerous options available for replacing broken or missing teeth, dental implants are typically the most common and most recommended. However, there are other options for Walnut Creek dental implants available that might be more suitable to your needs.

Here, we’ve put together a list of some of the other options for when an implant just isn’t right for you.

  • Using Bonded Dentures

One alternative to a dental implant is a bonded denture. This involves your dentist creating a partial denture that they will then be bonded to a resin bridge that is fitted between two of your adjacent teeth. This type of denture is mostly used to replace missing teeth at the front of your mouth, however, they are not very well suited for chewing or biting into hard foods. If your dentist recommends a bonded denture, he or she will be sure to give you a full list of everything that you can and cannot do. Otherwise, you’ll risk breaking the denture and possibly causing damage to your surrounding teeth and gums.

  • Using Bridged Dentures

When looking for an alternative to having an implantation done, dental bridges are a great and affordable alternative. For those who are looking for either a removable or permanent denture, bridged dentures provide you with exactly that, and are the most common approach taken by dentists to replace missing teeth. Furthermore, when fitted properly and by a professional, a bridged denture will offer you excellent chewing performance and is a great alternative to traditional dental implants. Most dentists, as well as implant manufacturers, recommend a proper fitting bridge that will allow your dentition to be restored to exactly the way it was before you lost your tooth.

  • Traditional Dentures

In some circumstances, a patient may choose to undergo a traditional denture fitting for the entire upper or lower portions of their jaw. While this is a much more affordable procedure than other alternatives, it is much less common and may cause a lot of discomfort in the future. There was a time when most people would opt to have a complete denture, however, with advances in dental technology, this practice is used less and less by dental professionals.

 

Regardless of your choice of alternative, your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist will need to craft your denture or implant before any sort of procedure can be done, therefore, it’s wise to make sure that they are trained, qualified and experienced in this sort of work. Furthermore, in the end, talking with your dentist is the best way to find out what Walnut Creek dental implants are available and right for you. Call us today at (925) 937-9017 to learn more or schedule your consultation.

Sedation for Dentistry

March 20th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

In general terms, local anesthetics are used to help prevent pain during dental treatments. These are applied directly to the treatment site and will not induce unconsciousness. For more invasive and complicated procedures, sedation may be used in conjunction with a local anesthetic, which will relieve pain, as well as calm the patient prior to the procedure. Of course, there are several different levels of sedation that include:

  • Minimal sedation – This form of sedation does not put you to sleep and although you will feel much more relaxed, you will still be able to talk, walk and breathe normally.
  • Moderate sedation – With this, you will still be able to walk, talk and respond, but will feel very drowsy or sleepy. You will not be able to feel much and there will be no need for any local anesthetic. Also, depending on the type of sedation used, you may or may not have any recollection of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation – For this, you will be completely unconscious but will still be able to breathe on your own. However, your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist will also need to apply a local anesthetic since your pain reflexes will still be active.
  • General anesthesia – This is the deepest level of sedation available where you will be completely unconscious and will not be able to feel any pain. You will feel as if you are asleep and will need assistance breathing.

 

When is sedation used?

While local anesthetic is sufficient for most dental procedures, there are some cases where your Walnut Creel cosmetic dentist might recommend sedation or general anesthetic to help ensure a safe and efficient procedure. This is determined on a case-to-case basis and is not suitable for all patients. Typically, sedation is used for patients that:

  • Have a low pain tolerance or experience extreme anxiety
  • Have allergies to the local anesthetic
  • Require invasive or complicated procedures
  • Have trouble keeping their mouths open for long periods of time
  • Are unable to remain still

 

What is the most common form of sedation?

Minimal sedation is the most commonly used form of sedation and is typically administered by inhaling nitrous oxide or by taking a sedative such as Ativan before the procedure. When nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is administered, it is given in a mixture with oxygen which allows the patient to remain conscious while in a sedated state. This form of sedation may also be used as a combination with other medications to help increase its effectiveness.

If you have any other questions regarding sedation dentistry, don’t hesitate to call our office at (925) 937-9017 today to speak with your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist.

Strange Tongue Symptoms

February 21st, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

There is a lot that can be determined by looking at your tongue. It often gives a glimpse of your overall well-being and what is going on within the body. Your dentist in Walnut Creek shares common signs and symptoms and what they might mean.

White Patches

At the first sign of white patches on the tongue you might attempt to brush them off. If they don’t go away within a week of brushing, it could be yeast. People are more susceptible to thrush if they have diabetes, are taking antibiotics or suffer from a weakened immune system. This condition is treatable with a prescribed anti-fungal medication.

Webbed Look

This could be the indication of a chronic condition known as oral lichen planus. This happens as a result of the immune system attacking the cells in your mouth. Without pain, there is normally no reason to treat it, but your symptoms should be monitored as you have a higher risk of developing oral cancer.

Ridges

If your tongue has scalloped edges, it could be the result of your teeth pressing into the tongue during sleep. These will often disappear on their own without treatment.

Redness

If the red tongue is in conjunction with a sore throat, it is possible you have scarlet fever. It could also be caused by a vitamin deficiency which will also cause the tongue to be shiny. A third cause could be from a dry mouth. All three of these ailments are treatable.

Bumps

The taste buds in the back of your tongue are larger than the others. These could become even larger if irritated from something hot. Other bumps in the mouth could be a result of canker sores or cold sores.  All of these are treatable and nothing to be concerned about.

Black or Hairy-Looking

This is often related to antibiotic usage, diabetes, a yeast infection, poor oral hygiene or cancer therapy. The cells on your tongue are simply growing faster than the body can get rid of them. This often goes away on its own with time and proper care.

If you notice any unusual or weird symptoms on your tongue, it is important that you speak to your dentist in Walnut Creek about it. Catching ailments early sets you up for the best chance of success if treatment is needed. Please call Dental Care of Walnut Creek today at 925-937-9017 to schedule your next appointment.

Choosing the Right Mouthwash

January 24th, 2018 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Choosing the right mouthwash can seem like a daunting task with the endless possibilities open to you. Many people think that all mouthwashes are the same, but that’s not true. Let’s decode the mystery and help you find the best mouthwash for your needs with the help of your cosmetic dentist in Walnut Creek CA.

Varieties of Mouthwash

Mouthwash falls into two major categories: therapeutic or cosmetic. Cosmetic mouthwashes act as a breath freshener and don’t serve many other purposes. There is no ingredient that prevents plaque so you receive no protection from gingivitis or cavities.

Therapeutic mouthwashes do all the heavy lifting in the mouth. Generally, they are geared toward either preventing cavities or fighting gum disease.

Choosing the Right Therapeutic Mouthwash

If you are trying to avoid cavities, then you want a mouthwash that contains fluoride. This protects the teeth by adding strength to the enamel. When your enamel is strong, you are protected from the acids that try to destroy the teeth.

This is also a good choice if you tend to drink bottled water which doesn’t contain any fluoride.

If you are trying to avoid gum disease, then you want a mouthwash designed to control gum disease and tartar. Tartar build-up is one of the leading causes of gum-disease bacteria. An accumulation of tartar leads to inflamed and red gums.

You will have trouble finding a mouthwash that adequately addresses both the cavity protection and gum disease aspect of dental care. The most important thing to look for is the ADA’s Seal of Approval to ensure that all the claims made by the manufacturer are true.

The most important way to find the right mouthwash is to ask your cosmetic dentist in Walnut Creek CA for a recommendation. Your dentist is familiar with your specific needs and knows what is going to work best for you. At your next cleaning, speak to the hygienist or dentist for their ideas. Then, the next time you are standing in that overwhelming dental care aisle at the drugstore, you’ll know exactly what products to purchase.

Remember that using a mouthwash does not replace your need for brushing and flossing every day. Use mouthwash strictly as an addition to your healthy oral care routine. For more helpful oral hygiene tips, call Dental Care of Walnut Creek at (925) 937-9017.

Treating Dark Spots on Teeth

December 27th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

If you are suffering from dark spots on your teeth, you might feel apprehensive about speaking to the dentist about it. While it’s true that some of this could be a result of poor dental care, there is no reason to avoid having it checked out.

Walnut Creek Cosmetic Dentist Dicusesses Dental Spots

There are many reasons you could be experiencing dental spots. See if you can find the cause below to start dealing with the issue.

Cavities

Many dark discolorations of the teeth are actually cavities. This dark spot will indicate decay and need to be treated before it gets any worse. Contact your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist to find out the best treatment options available to you.

Stains on the Interior

Stains don’t just occur on your enamel, but can also appear inside of your tooth on the dentin. This can be caused by medical conditions, particular medications or even after you’ve been exposed to a large level of fluoride.

While you could undertake some whitening procedures, this will only mask the underlying issue for a short time. Your best bet would be to figure out what is causing the issue and changing it. For example, if there is a different medication you can take, try that instead. If all else fails, your dentist can also help with cosmetic solutions such as Walnut Creek veneers.

Stains on the Exterior

Certain drinks and foods will lead to staining of your tooth enamel. This can include tea, coffee, chocolate and alcohol as well. Tobacco is also another known culprit behind tooth stains. Maintain a high level of oral hygiene and attempt to reduce your intake of the culprit.

Dental Trauma

Trauma to the mouth can lead to many dental ailments. Some of these can include the dreaded dark spot. Sometimes, this is caused by blood that entered the tooth and got trapped. If this is the case, a simple root canal will easily fix it for you.

What to Do Next?

If you are noticing dark spots on your teeth, it is important to see your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist right away. They can help you to determine what the cause is and work with you to find the proper solution. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Give our office a call at 925-937-9017 to schedule your appointment today.

Chewing Sugarless Gum

November 13th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

There have been many studies which have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay. Your dentist in Walnut Creek can provide what you need to know below.

How Does Sugarless Gum Help Prevent Tooth Decay?

Sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in the mouth. This helps to wash away debris and other food particles. It also helps to neutralize the acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. Saliva provides disease-fighting substances inside the mouth to prevent disease. It also carries more calcium and phosphate with it to strengthen tooth enamel.

How to Pick a Sugarless Gum

Start by looking for a chewing gum that has the ADA seal of approval on it. All of these gum brands are sweetened by non-cavity causing sweeteners such as xylitol, aspartame, mannitol or sorbitol.

What’s Wrong with Gum that Contains Sugar?

Chewing gum with sugar will also increase the saliva flow, but it contains sugar which is damaging to the teeth. Sugar can cause a growth of plaque bacteria that will turn into decay-causing acids.

Chewing Gum as Part of Your Oral Care Routine

When you aren’t able to brush or floss after a meal, chewing sugarless gum is a great option, but don’t ever let it completely replace your oral care routine. It is still important to maintain good practices that will keep your teeth clean and healthy.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each
  • Floss your teeth once per day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleaning

Swallowing gum can cause health issues. That’s why it is important that you supervise your children while they chew gum. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be at least 4 years old before chewing gum.

If you are unsure which sugarless gum would be best for you, be sure to speak with your dentist in Walnut Creek. They will be able to offer recommendations as well as offer you a comprehensive checkup to look for any issues you aren’t aware of.

Harmful Effects of Soda on Teeth

October 17th, 2017 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

Soft drinks are one of the major sources of tooth decay. It affects people of all ages regardless of how well they perform oral hygiene. The acids and sugar found in the drinks soften the tooth enamel which allows for cavities to form. In extreme cases, the soft enamel is combined with other factors such as improper hygiene or grinding of teeth which lead to tooth loss.

Sugar-free drinks might seem like a good solution but they still offer a good amount of acidic properties that can cause problems

Statistics about Soft Drinks

  • At least one in two children drink a soft drink daily.
  • One in five children drink a minimum of four soft drinks a day.
  • Teenagers drink as many as 12 soft drinks a day.
  • In the 50s, a large soft drink was 6.5 ounces. Now the large is 20 ounces or more.

What Should We Do?

The first thing that we must do is lower the consumption of soft drinks we consume. Start by substituting other drinks. Pick beverages that contain less sugar and acid. Healthy choices would include water, 100-percent fruit juices and milk. To get your children to drink them, you need to drink them as well and set a good example.

When you do drink a soft drink, rinse your mouth with water to remove residual acids and sugars from the tooth enamel. You can also brush with your fluoride toothpaste and use a rinse. Fluoride has been shown to reduce cavities and strengthen the enamel.

While attending the bi-annual checkups with your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist, you can have the dental hygienist apply fluoride treatments in the form of a gel, rinse or foam. This will further strengthen the enamel.

If you can cut out soft drinks altogether, that is the best option. It is better for your health and your mouth.

Conclusion

There is no question that soft drinks are tough on your teeth. By cutting back on your consumption and practicing good oral hygiene, you significantly lower the chance of cavities. Be sure to visit your Walnut Creek cosmetic dentist twice a year and discuss other techniques to counteract any damage being done by soft drinks.