Dealing with a damaged smile? Our restorative dentists can help with that!
There are certainly a lot of dental options out there when it comes to repairing damaged or even missing teeth. Our Costa Mesa, CA, dentists Dr. Sanacore, Dr. Kunert and Dr. DeBourg-Shilaimon are happy to offer amazing and reliable options like dental crowns and bridges. Yes, we know these restorations aren’t new and that they’ve actually been around for a while but why change a good thing?
When do I need a dental crown?
A dental crown is a pretty versatile dental restoration. While it’s mainly used to cover over a damaged or broken tooth it can also be used to,
- Replace a large filling
- Cover a dental implant
- Improve the appearance of a misshapen or malformed tooth
- Protect a tooth that is worn and prone to damage
- Strengthen a weak tooth
- Support a dental bridge
Both crowns and bridges are uniquely made based on impressions that our Costa Mesa, CA, general dentists will take of your mouth. Crowns are even matched to the rest of your smile so that your new restoration’s shade is as close as possible to your natural teeth.
When do I need a dental bridge?
If you are missing a tooth then a dental bridge could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Just like a dental crown, a bridge is custom-made to fit your smile. Then two dental crowns are crafted and placed over natural teeth that surround the gap. Attached between the two crowns is a false tooth, which will be your replacement tooth.
The crowns are used to support the bridge and stabilize your new tooth. Of course, in order for a dental bridge to be right for you, you will need to have healthy natural teeth that will be able to support this kind of dental restoration.
As you can see, crowns and bridges can help to strengthen and restore your smile both in function and appearance. If you are dealing with a damaged or missing tooth, then turn to the Costa Mesa, CA, dental team at Harbor Mesa Dental Care to find out if crowns and bridges are right for you. To schedule an appointment, simply call us at (714) 825-0025.
If you're considering Invisalign, you might be pleased to learn of its unique benefits. Your dentist Dr. Jeffrey Sanacore, Dr. Randall Kunert, and Dr. Hannalael DeBourg-Shilaimon of Harbor Mesa Dental Care, make getting Invisalign in Costa Mesa, CA, easily accessible.
Wearing your Invisalign clear aligners for the first time might feel a little weird but this goes away as you get more comfortable. There's usually little discomfort or pain. Invisalign doesn't have any sharp or rough edges that can injure or irritate your mouth, so, it's pretty comfortable to use. With traditional metal braces, you might experience discomfort each time you get it tightened. The rough metal parts can also irritate your soft oral tissues.
Metal braces are super visible. Each time you speak or smile, the contrast of the metal braces against your teeth is in view. If you'd like less attention on your orthodontic appliance during treatment, you might be better off with Invisalign in Costa Mesa, CA. The clear trays are hardly visible, allowing you to correct your dental defects discretely.
You Can Eat What You Like
Hard, sticky, and chewy foods are still on the menu when you get Invisalign. All you need to do is take off your clear aligners just before your meal and put them back on right after. That way you can still ensure that you're meeting up with at least 20 hours of wear daily.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
Keeping your mouth clean with traditional braces can be a hassle. The wires and brackets can make reaching specific corners of your mouth difficult. On the other hand, your clear aligners don't get in the way. You can simply take them off to brush your teeth. This lets you reach various corners of your mouth and reduce your chances of oral hygiene problems.
Fewer Dental Visits
Your dentist will only need to monitor your progress routinely so you won't have to go in to see your dentist too often. This benefit makes Invisalign a fitting choice for your tight schedule.
Call (714) 825-0025 to schedule your Invisalign consultation with your dentist, Dr. Sanacore, Dr. Kunert, and Dr. DeBourg-Shilaimon of Harbor Mesa Dental Care in Costa Mesa, CA.
The big day finally arrives when your braces come off. And there it is—your new, beautiful, straight smile! But on closer inspection you notice something else: tiny white spots on your teeth.
Those pale, chalky spots are called white spot lesions (WSLs). They occur when acid has contacted the tooth enamel for too long, dissolving essential minerals like calcium in those particular areas. The occurrences of WSLs during and after braces highlights a major challenge during orthodontic treatment—keeping your teeth clean.
Braces' wires and brackets tend to get in the way of brushing and flossing, making it easier to miss plaque—the bacterial film that produces acid—on tooth areas around the hardware. Those missed areas could in time lead to WSLs.
The main objective with WSLs is prevent them from occurring during braces wear as much as possible. To do this, you'll need to increase your time and effort brushing and flossing, especially around orthodontic hardware. You can make it easier, though, by using a few tools that often work better than regular toothbrushes and floss like interproximal toothbrushes, power brushes, floss threaders or water flossers.
You can also help lower your mouth's acidity by avoiding or limiting acidic foods and beverages, including juices, sodas, sports and energy drinks. And, by all means, keep up your regular dental cleaning schedule with your general dentist.
Should WSLs develop while you're wearing braces, don't panic. It's possible they'll diminish on their own, or at least not worsen. We can also foster re-mineralization of the enamel with applied fluoride, short bursts of laser light or a procedure called microabrasion that restores damaged areas below the enamel surface.
For more resistant WSLs, we can also inject a liquid tooth-colored resin into them that when hardened by a curing light can make those areas look translucent like normal enamel. We can also use other cosmetic solutions like bonding or veneers to improve your teeth's appearance.
Like other dental problems, dealing with a WSL is usually more successful if caught and treated early. So, check your teeth often while wearing braces, and if you notice anything unusual don't hesitate to call your dentist.
If you would like more information on oral care while wearing braces, 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 “White Spots on Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”
The few teeth your one or two year old has will eventually fall out in a few years—so, why be concerned about tooth decay this early? Actually, you should: Fighting tooth decay should always be a priority, even at this early age.
Even though primary teeth are short-lived, they make a huge impact on future dental health. These early teeth help guide the eruption of permanent teeth—if lost prematurely to decay, the later teeth may come in misaligned and create a poor bite. Preserving them could help you avoid later orthodontic treatment.
Fortunately, you can help prevent decay in your child's primary teeth. Here's how.
Practice oral hygiene even before teeth. You should begin daily oral hygiene, the principal defense against tooth decay, even before their first teeth emerge. You can reduce harmful bacteria in their mouths by wiping their gums with a clean cloth after nursing. When teeth appear, begin brushing with just a smear of toothpaste.
Limit sugar consumption. Because decay-causing bacteria thrive on sugar, reduce your child's intake in snacks and beverages. For example, don't put them down for bed with a bottle filled with a sugary liquid like juice, sweetened drinks or even formula or breast milk. If you do give them a night-time bottle, fill it only with water.
Avoid bacterial transfer. Your child's immature immune system can't handle the same level of bacteria as in your mouth. So, reduce the chances of bacterial transfer that may cause tooth decay by avoiding kissing on the mouth or sharing eating or drinking utensils with your infant.
Begin dental visits early. Even though they may have few teeth by their first birthday, it's still a good time to begin your child's regular dental visits. Your dentist may be able to diagnose decay early (and treat for maximum effectiveness), as well as provide sealants, topical fluoride and other measures for preventing decay.
Tooth decay at an early age could impact your child's future dental health. Taking steps now to reduce it could help ensure they have healthy teeth and gums later in life.
If you would like more information on dental care for children, 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 “Do Babies Get Tooth Decay?”
Along with tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease is a primary enemy of oral health. If not caught and treated, a gum infection could spread and eventually cause tooth loss.
But although prevalent among the general population, one demographic in particular is highly susceptible to gum disease—smokers and tobacco users in general. It's estimated over 60 percent of all smokers will contend with a gum infection at some point during their lifetimes. Smokers are also twice as likely as non-smokers to develop advanced gum disease that could lead to serious dental damage.
The high rate of gum disease among smokers (and to some extent, all tobacco users) is connected to the effect that tobacco has on oral health in general. Studies show that nicotine constricts blood vessels in the mouth, which in turn reduces their delivery of antibodies to fight disease-causing bacteria. As a result, smokers have more harmful bacteria in their mouths than non-smokers, which increases their risk of dental disease.
Smokers are also less likely than non-smokers to display inflammation or redness, the initial signs of a burgeoning gum infection. This too has to do with the constricted blood vessels in the gums that can't deliver adequate oxygen and nutrients to these tissues. As a result, the gums can appear pink and healthy, yet still be infected. This could delay diagnosis of gum disease, allowing the infection to become more advanced.
Finally, smoking can interfere with the treatment of gum disease. Because of nicotine, a tobacco users' infections and wounds are often slower to heal. Combined with late diagnoses of gum disease, this slower healing creates an environment where smokers are three times more likely than non-smokers to lose teeth from gum disease.
If you do smoke, it's important to let your dentist know how much and for how long you've smoked, which could be relevant to any dental care or treatment. Better yet, quitting the habit could improve your oral health and lower your risk for teeth-destroying gum disease.
If you would like more information on the effects of smoking on oral health, 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 “Smoking and Gum Disease.”
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