Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Do I Need Dental Sedation?

While anxious patients don’t associate the word tranquility with a trip to the dentist, the use of sedation dentistry can create a positive and calming experience for those with apprehension about dental care. There are a variety of sedative options to help with dental phobia, whether your fear is of an upcoming major oral surgery, or you get nervous at the thought of basic teeth cleaning.

Sedation dentistry helps anxious patients relax when receiving dental treatment. With nearly one-third of the population avoiding the dentist out of fear, finding a way to lessen anxiousness has helped make good oral hygiene practices obtainable.

We have created this guide to help you understand what sedation treatment is available and how it can help you feel confident at the dental office:

Types of Sedation Methods

What type of sedative you take to overcome your dental fear can depend on the purpose of your visit. For shorter, simpler visits, nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, works effectively in providing you a well-being as well as a quick recovery time. By breathing in the vapor administered through a small mask over your nose, a euphoric feeling is created, leaving you relaxed and worry-free for the duration treatment. When our dentist removes the mask and applies pure oxygen, you will start to feel the effects wear off only after a few minutes.

Oral sedation provides an additional calming effect in the form of a pill. This mode of sedation is best for those with dental anxiety that begins prior to arriving at the office. When this happens, patients take the prescribed medication an hour before the appointment and take the second dosage when in the office, if necessary. This medication lessens the patient’s awareness of their surroundings, creating a soothing and calming sense of relaxation or even sleepiness, but does not actually put a patient to sleep. It’s important to secure safe transportation home, as the effects take longer to dissipate than the nitrous gas.

For those scheduled for complex procedures, intravenous sedation provides relaxation deep enough to place patients into a kind of deep sleep, where they won’t remember their appointment. IV sedation is not general anesthesia and does not carry the same risks. Intravenous sedation is generally reserved for patients undergoing oral surgery and requires that the patient secure safe transportation home after the procedure.

Questions about Sedation? Contact our Office!

At South Bay Dentistry & Orthodontics, Dr. Joseph Azizi and his well-trained staff are here to answer questions you may have about making your visit to the dentist office a less stressful time. Give us a call to set up an appointment today!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How Implants Improve Dentures

For decades, dentures have been the classic, proven way to replace missing teeth. However, many patients dislike dentures because they frequently slip and are difficult to use when trying to maintain a strong bite. Dental implants address the issues related to dentures by providing comprehensive support. Here are a few ways dental implants improve upon the classic design of removable dental prosthetics:

Dental Implants Replace Total Tooth Structure

The dental implant is a complete restoration for a missing tooth. While dentures alone are able to restore the visible portion of the teeth used to speak and eat, as well as some soft tissue, dental implants address the missing space left by the tooth’s root, providing complete support to the jaw and prosthesis. The alteration of facial shape is just one of the effects of missing tooth roots.

Prevent Accelerated Bone and Soft Tissue Loss, as Well as Signs of Premature Aging

When missing even a single tooth, the jaw bone deteriorates through the body’s natural resorption process. Providing an adequate replacement for the tooth’s root directly prevents this from occurring. Furthermore, the titanium material used to craft the tooth’s root contains special properties that fuse with existing bone and bolster its supporting strength. The implant post provides necessary support for the jaw bone.

While dentures rub and slip on soft tissue, creating gum recession, implants prevent depletion of natural oral structures.

Dental Implants Supply Greater Performance

Dental implants stabilize the bite and provide enhanced performance. Alone, dentures can restore minor dental function. However, eventual loose fit caused by tissue changes makes it difficult to bite into dense foods, such as apples or pears, and prevents patients from digesting food normally. Dental implants provide the support to bite through an apple with no problem. This restores greater dental function for patients, making it easier to maintain confidence on a daily basis.

Dental Implants are Convenient

Restorations with dental implants are easily maintained. Maintaining hygiene is as easy as brushing and flossing regularly. Additionally, patients have the option of choosing between implant-supported fixed dentures or removable overdentures to fit better their lifestyles.

Learn More

Find out more about dental implants by calling or visiting our practice. Our dentists and specialists can assist you in determining the best course of action to replace missing teeth and improve your restorations.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Can Invisalign and Metal Braces do the Same Things?

With the option of using Invisalign clear trays for straightening teeth, you might ask why anyone would choose traditional metal braces?

While Invisalign is an excellent choice for many people, there are some situations that warrant traditional braces.

Cases that Require Braces

Traditional braces typically close gaps and align the teeth faster than Invisalign braces. Metal are also flexible, in that attachments and bands can be added to brackets to dynamically change teeth and jaw alignment. Metal braces are generally the appropriate treatment for the following conditions:

• Teeth rotated more than 20 degrees
• Severely tipped teeth, angled over 45 degrees more than healthy alignment
• Significant gaps between teeth
• Severe Overbites
• Craniofacial Anomalies

A convenient benefit of dental braces is that they do not have to be removed for brushing, so there is no chance that you’ll lose or misplace your important dental appliances. As younger patients have a tendency to remove aligner trays for extended periods of time (against the advice of their dentist), delayed results and lost dental trays are often a byproduct of removable braces. Bonded brackets used in traditional braces take this out of the equation.

Am I Qualified for Invisalign?

Invisalign alignment trays offer a simple solution for less complex problems. For general straightening without severe overbites and tooth crowding, Invisalign is a popular treatment choice. If you are willing to wear your clear aligners for the full amount of time required, you can see great results. This makes Invisalign ideal for slightly older teen or adult patients.

While Invisalign can be used in some cases of moderate alignment problems, metal braces are still the most dependable way to provide a healthy bite and beautiful smile when multiple issues are present in a patient’s dental alignment.

The Bottom Line

Invisalign treatment has been proven to work well for common cases of misalignment, while providing an aesthetically pleasing option to traditional braces. However, many people, especially those who have complicated dental problems, still prefer or require dental braces. Though braces may be more noticeable, the time spent wearing them pays off well in both your appearance and overall oral health.

If you are in the Gardena, California area and would like to know more about your teeth straightening options, call South Bay Dentistry and Orthodontics.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Invisalign: Are you considering Clear Brace Aligners?

Searching for teeth-straightening solutions as a teen or an adult can mean choosing between traditional metal braces, and a revolutionary clear solution called Invisalign®, a cosmetic solution to gradually adjust the alignment of the teeth. The clear aligners, or trays, are swapped out for a new set every couple of weeks, and can be removed for eating and cleaning.

Similar to traditional braces, Invisalign addresses a number of orthodontic-related issues, leaving patients with straighter smiles. When choosing your orthodontia, consider the following benefits associated with Invisalign®:

Clear Trays: Traditional braces are known for their unsightly and uncomfortable metal wires and braces. However, Invisalign® trays can hardly be detected by others, making your orthodontic experience discreet. Unlike the rather bulky hardware associated with traditional braces, Invisalign® uses clear plastic trays are custom fit to your teeth, providing a greater level of comfort and no chance of damaging the gum or the inside of the mouth.
Less Dental Office Time:  On average, traditional orthodontia treatment can take a several years to complete. With Invisalign ®, patients can correct bite misalignment in as a few months to a year. As the aligners are created ahead of time, Invisalign® patients visit their orthodontist fewer times, typically to ensure treatment is going according to schedule and to receive their next set of aligners
Convenience: One of the great benefits of Invisalign® is that the clear plastic trays can be removed. This allows the wearer to eat without limitations, thoroughly clean their teeth, and clean the appliance itself. Keeping teeth clean and free of bacteria is important at all times, but doing so is challenging when teeth are fitted with metal braces and brackets.

Dedication: Invisalign® is available for teens and adults who are dedicated to their treatment plan. While the success of the Invisalign® relies on the patient’s dedication to their unique treatment plan, patients who to voluntarily wear their clear aligners for 22 hours a day often enjoy long-lasting results.

Responsibility: Invisalign® aligners are transparent and if misplaced can be difficult to locate. One challenge is the possibility of losing an aligner when it is removed for meals and cleanings. When aligners are lost, patients have to cope with added costs to have them replaced, which may also delay the completion of their treatment.

While all these points can impact your experience, the best course of action is to talk to your dentist about which teeth straightening solution is right for you. At South Bay Dentistry and Orthodontics, our dental team is dedicated to helping patients discover the best treatment for correcting their smile. Contact our Gardena dental office today for more information about the benefits of clear orthodontia and Invisalign®.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dental Implants: The best solution for missing teeth

Losing something as permanent as a tooth can impact your everyday life. Missing teeth make a difference in your smile, the way you eat and for some, how you speak. Finding a solution to missing teeth is important as gaps in your bite can impact your self-esteem and confidence in both personal and professional interactions. It’s important to understand the negative impact a single missing tooth can have on your everyday life and then determine the best replacement solution.

If you have one or more missing teeth, dental implants offer anaffordable option for missing teeth when investing in your long-term oral health. If you simply want to replace a tooth, your dentist has multiple options to do just that. If you want to restore function and improve oral health all in one, you will want to find out more about implant dentistry.

When deciding if dental implants are the right solution for your tooth loss, here are a few things you should consider:

The benefits are numerous.  Using a dental implant to take the place of a missing tooth or teeth can improve the aesthetics of your smile, restore function to your bite, and strengthen the underlying bone to prevent early facial aging.
Dental implants are implanted.  The term implant refers to non-removable, surgically placed posts become permanent fixtures in your dentition through the process of osseointegration. During this process, the implant post fuses with the bone in your jaw, stabilize your prosthetic tooth or teeth. 
Versatile Application.  Crowns, bridges and dentures are used to cover dental implant posts and complete a patient’s smile.  Bridges are used to replace one or more teeth by using neighboring teeth for support, while a crown is a fixed placement over one implant. Dentures could be full or partial depending on how many teeth need replacing and your desired outcome. Your dentist will help you decide the best option for your smile upon examination.
Dental Implants Use Cutting-Edge Technology: For improved patient recovery, oral surgery utilizes the latest in computer-assisted medical technology to ensure your dental implants are bright, look natural, and fit seamlessly with your natural teeth.
Results that Last a Lifetime: Dental implants are specifically designed to be a long lasting solution to tooth loss. When maintained correctly through effective oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist, dental implants can last much longer than other tooth repair solutions.
Great Medical and Dental Insurance Coverage Means More Accessibility:  Thanks to the the number benefits and longevity offered by dental implants, some insurance providers are expanding their coverage to include these procedures. Look for patient specials that help make dental procedures more affordable.
Patients Must Be Eligible for Dental Implants:  To place dental implants, patients must have strong gum health and strength in their jaws to support and sustain the replacement. Talk to your dentist to learn more about the qualifications to receive dental implants.

Thanks to the continued advancement in both dental technique and equipment, rejuvenating long-term oral health is only a dental visit away. If you would like to know about dental implants and how this tooth restoration can improve your smile and dental function, contact South Bay Dentistry & Orthodontics of Gardena to schedule your consultation today. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Osseointegration: How it Works

Of the options that exist for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are known for their durability and the benefits they provide for oral health. Dental implants are a great option for tooth replacement due to a process called osseointegration.

What is Osseointegration?

For dental implants to support new teeth properly, they must mimic the way natural roots of teeth are secured within the jawbone. The process by which implants integrate into the bone is called osseointegration.  An implant is integrated when it bonds directly to the bone, and is held securely.
Bone is a living tissue that's constantly being reworked and remodeled by cells. It's this process of remodeling that allows broken bones to knit together, and it's a key process in the integration of dental implants too. Implants are made from titanium, a biocompatible metal that bonds with bone tissue over a period of several weeks or months.

Osseointegration and Oral Health

Dental implants’ ability to integrate into bone tissue means that implants provide many advantages over other options for tooth replacement.

One of the most important long-term benefits of implant dentistry is that the process of integration helps improve and maintain density of the jawbone. This is particularly important because the constant pressure that the act of chewing puts on the jawbone is vital to maintaining density of bone. When teeth are missing, the required pressure isn't there, which causes a loss of bone density over time. This is why missing teeth will eventually lead to alterations in facial structure and signs of early aging. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that stimulates jawbone in the same way as natural teeth do.

Osseointegration also gives rise to a second major benefit. Other kinds of tooth replacement options—such as bridges and dentures—affect adjacent teeth, which can weaken them over time and can promote damage and decay, and may lead to further tooth loss. Implants mimic natural tooth stimulation and function and as a result, people who get dental implants are far less likely to experience bone loss and changes in facial structure.

Thanks to the process of osseointegration, dental implants are the best option for replacing natural teeth, and constitute a dental treatment that provides long-lasting benefits to oral health.

Please contact South Bay Dental for more information on cosmetic solutions. Schedule an appointment today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why You Should Change Your Mercury Fillings to Biocompatible Resin?

Dental amalgams have been in use for centuries, and the specific amalgam comprised of mercury, silver, tin, and copper was first used in the Western world in the nineteenth century. Concerns over the toxicity of mercury have led to amalgam falling out of favor, and many dentists now recommend that people with amalgam fillings have them replaced with safer biocompatible material.

The Problem with Mercury Amalgam Fillings

Mercury amalgam fillings are popular with many dentists, largely because the material is strong, durable, and inexpensive. The problem is, this type of amalgam is approximately 50% mercury, a substance that has well-documented toxic effects on the brain and other organs. For this reason alone, the use of mercury in amalgam fillings is an increasingly controversial issue, with many dentists opting to use other materials instead.

Mercury’s toxicity to humans isn't the only problem; however—there are also concerns over environmental toxicity caused by the disposal of amalgam waste. In the US, mercury amalgam disposal is largely unregulated, and it’s estimated that it may contribute up to a third of mercury waste in this country.

In purely aesthetic terms, mercury amalgam is less desirable these days because its dully silvery color doesn't match natural tooth shades, and over time amalgam fillings can cause discoloration in the surrounding tooth.

Biocompatible Fillings are the Solution

South Bay Dentistry uses biocompatible over amalgam fillings
Biocompatible composite fillings create a natural smile

All of the problems that relate to the use of mercury amalgam fillings are solved by using biocompatible resins instead. Resins are made from a mixture of ceramic, glass, and plastic, and they are highly versatile, particularly in comparison to mercury amalgam. Resins can be used to repair teeth that are broken, worn, and chipped, as well as those that need filling, and damage to resin fillings is easily repaired. Biocompatible resins can also be colored to match the natural shade of your teeth, so once resin fillings are fitted they blend into a natural looking smile.

Due to the health concerns associated with mercury, we recommend that if you currently have mercury amalgam fillings, you have those fillings removed and replaced with biocompatible resin. Doing this means you won’t have to worry about the potentially toxic effects of mercury, and you’ll also benefit aesthetically with natural-looking tooth-colored fillings.

South Bay Dentistry & Orthodontics works to educate their patients to the best dental practices including preventative measures to best support oral health and limit effects on physical health conditions. Call the office today to find out more about how Biocompatible Resin improves overall health and aesthetics.