DentalDate Soft Launch!

Hello Everyone,

 

We will be doing the soft launch of DentalDate in October 2018!  As stated before, we do free patient reminders for dentists in the Los Angeles area using Dentrix, OpenDental, Practice Web & EagleSoft, and .  Just contact us anytime and we will get you set up!

What toothpaste/mouthwash should I use?

As  dentist, I am commonly asked this question.  The truth is, as long as you have fluoride in the toothpaste, they should be good.  Fluoride is important as it can actually cure and remineralize small cavities.  Therefore, it is best to use toothpastes that do contain fluoride.

 

As to mouthwashes, they do help kill and eliminate some bacteria in the mouth.  However, it is important to know that brushing and flossing are more effective.  This is because bacteria form many layers on your teeth, and using mouthwash may kill the outer layer of bacteria, but does not affect the other 50 layers.  That is why mechanical removal of bacteria with either floss or brushing is necessary.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatments are needed when bacteria that cause cavities reach the dental pulp. One telltale sign usually is that the tooth with hurt spontaneously without any stimulation.  The dental pulp contains the nerve and blood supply to the tooth.  During root canal treatment, the dentist will use small files to remove the nerve and blood supply to clean out the infection.  Afterwards, a filling material will be used to seal off the area before a build up and crown will be used to seal off the tooth.  

 

Bacteria in your nerve – sounds painful, and it is!  So how does a dentist get you out of pain?  They take out the nerve from inside the tooth with the root canal treatment!  Small files are used to remove it, and afterwards a filling material is used to seal off the area.  There isn’t much tooth left after the root canal treatment, but your tooth will still be treated like royalty as a crown is usually placed on top for your tooth to be happy and restored.  

Tell Me About Dental Implants!

Dental Implant –

A dental implant is a small titanium alloy screw that is placed into the jaw bone. The implant usually takes about 3 months before fully integrating and healing with the surrounding bone. After the implant is placed, an abutment is placed onto the implant. A crown is then placed on the abutment, giving the patient the complete tooth.

Yes, its a little titanium screw thats placed into your jaw bone. Sounds painful, but really it isn’t. The implant part itself takes 3 months for it to fuse with the surrounding bone, and like a tooth will get a crown at the end to give you a new shiny tooth. Pretty sweet, wouldn’t you say?

Common questions about implants –

How much pain will I be in?

In most cases, there should not be much pain during or after the implant placement. Bone generally does not have nerves, and only has nerves if they are using bone as a pathway to other structures, like teeth. Since there is no tooth in the area, discomfort is usually minimal. Your surgeon may take extra radiographic images like CT-scans to help visual critical anatomical structures to prepare for the implant surgery.

Pros – Implants do not need to involve the neighboring teeth, so they function just like the original tooth. Because they are also made of titanium alloy, it is impossible to have cavities on a dental implant.

Cons – Healing time for dental implants can be lengthy, as it takes 3 months for the bone to fuse with the implant. Not all patients will also be candidates for implants as it requires the patient to have enough bone to support the implant.

Bridge –

Like a dental implant, a bridge is another option to replace missing teeth. Bridges are done by preparing the neighboring teeth around the empty tooth space for crowns. Then, a 3rd crown is soldered to the surrounding crowns, and the whole thing is cemented to give you the tooth back.

Got missing teeth, with a tooth in front and back of it? Then you might be able to get a bridge! Obviously called because it spans the gap, it is done by preparing the front and back tooth as if it needed crowns, and gluing another one in between. Pretty clever, right?

Pros – Non surgical way to get a missing tooth back. Bridges can often be done within 2 weeks, so the final treatment and replacement tooth can be finished sooner than a dental implant.

Cons – Neighboring teeth often have to sacrifice tooth structure in order to make the crowns that will support the bridge. Bridges may also be more difficult to keep clean because patients are unable to floss through them as they are one piece.

Your Braces Questions – Answered!

Q: How long is typical orthodontic treatment?

A: Most orthodontic (braces) treatment can be completed within 2 years. However, this varies significantly depending on the doctor, the type of braces treatment, and the complexity of the patient’s individual case.

Q: Do I need to get teeth removed for braces?

A: This is again another case by case question that will be answered best by your orthodontist. Usually teeth will be removed when there is not enough space in the patient’s mouth. However, most people will not have to have teeth removed. This also depends on your orthodontist, what your goals of treatment are, and your individual case.

Q: Do braces hurt?

A: There is commonly a bit of soreness for a couple days after the wires are tightened, but in general there should be no pain. The soreness is comparable to how your muscles would feel after going to the gym.

Q: Is there an age limit for braces?

A: No, absolutely not! You can be 70 years old (and still very young!) and braces will work for you. Just make sure that you get all decay, and gum problems dealt with prior to starting orthodontic treatment.

Q: I hate the look of braces, but want straighter teeth. What can I do?

A: There are now a lot of treatments that can be done with clear trays that hide the fact that you are having your teeth straightened. Please consult your dentist for more details.

Invisalign –

Invisalign is great for patients who wish to straighten their teeth and improve the function of their teeth without wearing braces. Patients instead will be given clear trays that will be worn to get the teeth straightened out. Make sure to consult your dentist on whether you are a candidate for Invisalign since it cannot be used for every person.

Dentures FAQ

Q:  Why does my denture no longer fit as well as they used to?

 

A:  The denture is made of acrylic.  It will not change.  However, your body does change.  Imagine if you stopped walking for a year.  Now, a year later, when you get up you won’t be able to.  Your leg muscles will have shrunk due to the lack of stimulation (atrophy).  Similarly, the bone that surrounds your teeth will shrink and atrophy without the presence of teeth.  Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent this process unless dental implants are placed.  Dental implants can mimic teeth, providing the stimulation necessary for the bone to remain.  

 

Q:  Will I be able to chew steaks or corn with dentures?

 

A:  A denture is a prosthesis.  Imagine if you lost your arm, and now you have a prosthetic arm.  You certainly will not be able to function the same. Neuromuscular control is a very important factor as to whether or not you will be able to function well with the denture.  There are some people who have no problems, and are able to chew nuts, corn and steak with it.  But for the vast majority of people, your chewing force is about 20 times less powerful with a denture than with natural teeth.  

 

Q: How can I make my experience with dentures better?

 

A: Some patients may be candidates to have dental implants.  The dental implants help you keep the bone around the implant, and they can also be used to keep dentures locked in and stable.  There is often a significant benefit of having dental implants especially for the lower denture, since this one tends to be looser and more mobile.  

 

Dental Implant Costs in Los Angeles

How much should dental implants cost in Los Angeles?

 

Dental implant prices vary significantly in LA County, anywhere from $1500-$5000 per tooth.  The large range depends on numerous factors.  

 

  1. Difficulty of Case

 

Just like any profession, you would charge more for services that require more planning and time.  Implants are significantly more difficult to perform when the patient does not have an adequate amount of bone.  

 

  1. Location

 

Los Angeles has one of the highest concentrations of dentists to the general population in the nation.  The benefit of this is that patients have a wide selection of qualified doctors and with the competition fees are low compared to most other cities.  Expect to pay more for dental treatment in Beverly Hills than other places due to the higher overhead.    

 

  1. Different implant systems

 

Implants themselves range from $100-$500+ depending on the system.  The larger more established implant companies typically charge more because they have years of research documenting their survival rates.  Cheaper implants may have little to no research backing them, but typically most implant systems are effective.  

 

  1. Education of the doctor

 

There are two specialities that have additional training after dental school who do dental implants:  periodontists and oral surgeons.  Because of their additional surgical training, they typically charge more for implant procedures.  There are also many qualified general dentists who take additional courses in placing implants to learn the skills.   

 

  1.  Questionable advertising

 

There are often ads for implants $399!  But you must know that what you want is the whole tooth, not just the implant.  The final restored implant is composed of 3 parts: the implant which is placed in the jawbone, the abutment to connect the implant to the final crown (tooth part).  This kind of advertising often is only for the implant, and the dentist is up charging you for the implant by charging additional for the bone graft, abutment, crown, etc.   

What Are Cavities?

Cavities are defects in teeth caused by bacteria.  When you foods such as sugars, bacteria take those sugars to feed on themselves and create acid as a byproduct.  These acids are what allow bacteria to melt through your tooth’s enamel layer and invade the tooth.

 

Cavities are caused by bacteria.  But you already knew that!  When you eat sugars, bacteria take those sugars to feed themselves and create acids as their version of poop.  The acids allow the bacteria to penetrate into your teeth and destroy them.  

 

Symptoms of cavities –

 

Teeth with cavities may be sensitive to hot, cold, or when biting on the tooth. Pain is another symptom when the cavity becomes larger and approaches the nerves inside the tooth.  Because these symptoms can also be associated with other dental issues, a consultation with a dentist is necessary to determine the underlying issue.

 

Diagnosis of cavities –

Cavities will appear on x-rays as a black line or darker lesion, most commonly found right where neighboring teeth contact.  Upon oral examination, cavities are often black lesions on teeth.  When they become more severe, pieces of the tooth may fall off due to the underlying decay, leaving a noticeable hole in the tooth.    

 

Treatment of cavities –

 

Cavities are treated by removing the bacteria from the teeth.  Afterwards, a filling material or crown may be used to protect the tooth.