Dental Problems Treated by Oral Surgery

Your family, general, or pediatric dentist or orthodontist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for some dental treatments that require oral surgery. An oral surgeon is a specialist who has graduated from an accredited dental school and also completed additional education and residency related to surgical procedures needed to treat various oral diseases and conditions. An oral surgeon is trained in treating the following conditions:

  • Removal of diseased or impacted teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Treatment of facial trauma involving gums, jaws, nasal cavities, cheekbones, eye sockets, and forehead
  • Evaluation of pathologic conditions such as cysts and tumors of the mouth and face or acute infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, neck, and jaws
  • Treatment of facial pain including those caused by temporomandibular (TMJ) problems
  • Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery to correct jaw, facial bone, and facial soft tissue problems
  • Corrective jaw surgery
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair
  • Surgical treatment for sleep apnea

There are many different techniques that oral surgeons use to accomplish your treatment goals. The choice of techniques may vary between surgeons and should be discussed between you and your surgeon prior to the procedure.

Many oral surgery procedures can be completed in an outpatient setting. Often you are only in the office for a few hours and can return to your regular routine in a matter of days. A good oral surgeon will be able to perform these procedures with little chance of complications, and will be able to provide you with the information you need to understand the recovery process. Your oral surgeon will often collaborate with other specialists, such as an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist, to achieve your ultimate treatment goals.


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dentures

Options for Complete Dentures

Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.

Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.

Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.

For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.

Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Fresno dental office

Dental Implants: Why They Are Better

Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.

Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.

There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?

Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.

If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.

Our dental office is located in Fresno

An Overview of Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes a tooth is so severely damaged that the only way to save it is with root canal treatment. There is no reason to turn and run if your dentist advises this procedure. The treatment has advanced to the point that it’s often compared to getting a filling. There are certain steps that will be performed as part of nearly every root canal procedure.

Preparation

X-rays may be taken as part of the diagnosis process or to determine the extent of damage. Once the dentist is ready to begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area throughout the procedure.

Pulp removal

A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to separate the area from the rest of the mouth, and to keep it dry from saliva. The tooth will be opened, often using a small dental drill, to gain access to the pulp inside the tooth. The damaged pulp will be removed, and if there is an abscess it will be drained.

Cleaning and filling

After the pulp is eliminated, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area. The root canal will be widened if needed to create an adequate space for the filling. Depending on the extent of the damage, this step of the process can take up to several hours to complete or it can be spread over more than one visit. A temporary filling is sometimes used to seal the area between visits. If infection is present, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics.

Sealing

The temporary filling will be removed and the permanent filling placed to fully seal the tooth and prevent future infection. If the tooth has been filled at the root, the risk of breaking is higher so a crown may be recommended for protection.

Crown placement

Crowns help prevent further damage or fracturing. If needed, the tooth will be reduced somewhat to allow space for the crown. It will be held in place securely with dental cement.

Recovery

After root canal treatment, the tooth should survive for many years. The procedure may be repeated if re-infection occurs.


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Crowns and Bridges When Problems Arise

Crowns and Bridges: When Problems Arise

When you have a tooth or multiple teeth with extensive damage, your dentist may recommend a crown or bridge to restore your smile. Most of the time these restorations provide complete and successful results, but occasionally problems arise.

Tooth decay:
Good hygiene is imperative after a crown or bridge because plaque can build up in the area where the tooth and crown meet. Your crown can’t decay, but your tooth still can. Follow your dentist’s instructions for proper brushing, flossing, and fluoride use.

Gum disease:
Plaque buildup around a crown can cause gum disease called gingivitis, and if untreated advance to periodontitis.

Chipping or breaking:
Crowns and bridges are susceptible to damage like fracturing or chipping. Many crowns are made of porcelain, which can chip or completely fail. Heavy wear or stress such as teeth grinding can cause this type of damage, as well as an accident like hitting your restoration. Small chips may be repaired with composite filling, but larger damage can mean total replacement.

Incorrect color:
When having your crown or bridge made, you can choose from a selection of colors. However, the whitest shade is not advised because it likely won’t match the rest of your smile or it can look fake. Make sure you consider the color carefully or else you’ll be faced with redoing the restoration if you dislike it.

Falling out:
Several problems can cause your crown to fall out. The core may fail so that the interior portion of your crown is unable to provide a strong base for the restoration. Less likely, the cement can fail so that the crown simply needs stronger adhesion. Or, the post crown can dislodge so that you’ll see a large post sticking out of your crown. If your crown falls out, be sure to save it for your dentist in case it can be reinserted.

In most circumstances, these problems with your crown or bridge do not occur and you can enjoy a long lifespan with your restoration. If you do notice any of these issues, schedule an appointment with your dentist to ensure optimum oral health.

If you need a dentist in Fresno contact us today

Root Canal Therapy Myths

Have you been told that you may need a root canal treatment? Are you worried because of things you’ve heard in the media about how “awful” a root canal is? Don’t worry about what you’ve heard; endodontic therapy isn’t at all what you’d think. Let’s debunk some myths!

  • Myth #1: Root canal treatment is very painful. This isn’t true! In fact, a root canal treatment is performed specifically to relieve a patient’s pain, not to cause more. After a root canal treatment, you might feel some tenderness, but the pain you felt when the damaged tissue and infection was still inside the tooth will be completely gone. Once the swelling from the procedure has gone down, you will be able to use your new tooth exactly the way you could use your natural tooth when it was completely healthy.
  • Myth #2: Root canal therapy or other endodontic work can lead to disease elsewhere in the body. Another falsehood! Root canal treatments don’t spread disease to the rest of the body, rather, they remove infected tissue and bacteria from the body, preventing the affected tooth from becoming re-infected.
  • Myth #3: Extraction is better than root canal treatment. Extraction is not preferred to root canal treatment! Whenever possible, it’s preferred to keep your natural tooth. Your natural tooth’s roots stimulate and preserve the bone of your jaw, as well as providing adequate support to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants or dental bridges can be problematic, both in function and in dietary restrictions. In fact, an extraction can lead to several prolonged appointments to perform replacement procedures, treatments that are far more involved than a root canal treatment.

Endodontic treatment is an extremely common dental procedure that can provide durable, long-lasting restorations that will function as your natural tooth did. If you believe you may need a root canal treatment, talk to your endodontist or dentist today to see how this successfully proven treatment can help you and your smile needs.


We treat patients from Fresno and the surrounding area

Improving Your Quality of Life with Dental Implants

By all accounts, missing teeth negatively impacts a person’s quality of life. Smiling, laughing, eating and speaking just aren’t the same when there are holes left by teeth that used to be there. Instead of going through life with missing teeth or uncomfortable dentures, consider the cutting-edge option of dental implants.

An increasingly popular restoration, dental implants are one of the most requested procedures in dentistry. They involve surgically inserting a titanium post directly into the jaw so that it fuses with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium post to provide a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing new tooth.

One of the reasons for the success of dental implants is that they have the edge over the other options because of the benefits. They provide a very long-lasting, durable solution because they literally will last your entire life with proper hygiene and checkups. Implants are a one-time investment in your smile.

Implants do not negatively affect other teeth since placement doesn’t tamper with adjacent teeth. Implants are good for your jawbone because bones require stimulation to maintain strength and density. Your facial structure also benefits when you have a complete set of teeth, instead of ending up with a saggy, unsupported looking face.

Dental implants are both convenient and comfortable. No special care is required, such as with dentures, because normal brushing and flossing is all that’s needed. Implants are securely in place in your mouth and become part of your body; you won’t even realize you have them. You’ll also be able to continue eating the foods you love since no diet restrictions are necessary with implants.

Another great thing about dental implants is they help boost your self-esteem. You’ll enjoy a whole new level of confidence when you can smile, laugh, talk and eat without worrying about missing teeth. If you choose to get dental implants, you can expect your quality of life to improve.

If you need a dentist in Fresno contact us today

Treating Receding Gums With Oral Surgery

While minor gum recession can be treated by your dentist with deep cleaning and antibiotics, serious gum recession can only be treated with oral surgery. A loss of bone and gum pockets that are very deep require gum surgery to address the pain and damage left by acute gum recession.

Three treatments are used primarily in the treatment of serious gum recession, in order of invasiveness: pocket depth reduction, regeneration, and soft tissue graft. Pocket depth reduction involves a deep cleaning of the affected area. The periodontist folds the gum tissue back and utilizes tooth scaling and root planing to remove any tartar and plaque built up around the tooth. Once the gum pockets are clean, the surgeon pulls the gum tissue gently around the tooth, eliminating the deep pockets altogether or significantly reducing their depth.

Regeneration utilizes a similar treatment to pocket depth reduction, but it also addresses any bone loss that occurred due to acute gum recession. In this process, a regenerative agent such as graft tissue, membranes or tissue stimulating proteins is added to the affected area. The gum tissue is then tucked into place and stitched down. Over time, the regenerative agent will work to rebuild lost bone and tissue, leaving healthy and thriving tissue behind.

The most common soft tissue graft is taken from the patient’s own mouth, either by removing tissue from the roof of the mouth or from the gum tissue near the affected tooth. The healthy gum tissue is placed in the affected area, over the exposed tooth root, protecting it from infection and damage.

To prevent the need for oral surgery to address your receding gums, have good oral hygiene habits. Brush, floss and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleanings. Talk to your dentist if you have any other questions about how to reverse or prevent gum recession.


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Boost Your Teeth Whitening Results

There is no quicker or easier way to dramatically improve the look of your smile than professional teeth whitening. Your dentist probably offers several whitening options and can advise you about the most appropriate type of whitening treatment to ensure your brightest, whitest smile. No matter which whitening treatment you and your dentist decide will be best, there are several tips you can follow to help you achieve the ideal result:

  • Have any existing dental problems treated prior to whitening to avoid side effects or complications.
  • Schedule a professional teeth cleaning prior to your whitening appointment to remove buildup of plaque or tartar you cannot remove with home cleaning, and provide the best surface for the whitening treatment.
  • Begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste several weeks before whitening to limit the sensitivity that can sometimes result from whitening agents.
  • If you are extremely prone to dental sensitivity, check with your dentist about taking a painkilling medication before your whitening appointment.
  • Consult with your dental office to determine how much time you should allow for your whitening appointment.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least one hour after the completion of your whitening treatment, and avoid ingesting foods and beverages that contain stain-causing agents for no less than 24 hours.
  • Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist.
  • Maintain excellent home oral care habits to extend the life of your whitening procedure.

By following these tips, you can boost the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment and face the world with beautiful, bright smile!

Schedule your appointment at our Fresno dental office

Transforming Your Smile with Dental Veneers

When your appearance gets you down because you are embarrassed about flaws in your smile, dental veneers can turn your life around. The process is simple and in only a couple of visits to your dentist, you’ll have a brand new beautiful smile.

Getting dental veneers is painless. Your dentist just takes impressions of your natural teeth and then the mold is used to create veneers just for you in a dental lab. The thin shells, usually made of porcelain or composite resin, are bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to hide all kinds of imperfections.

There are many reasons that patients consider veneers to transform their smile. Here are some common ones:

  • Stains – severely discolored and stained teeth sometimes do not respond to teeth whitening treatment, or the results just aren’t dramatic enough to make you happy with your smile. The shade of dental veneers is chosen by you and your dentist, so you can achieve the exact color you’d like.
  • Chips – teeth that are chipped or cracked are easily hidden under veneers. The damaged portion of the tooth is supplemented so that it looks brand new, and the hard coating supplied by the veneers protects the weakened tooth from further damage.
  • Misalignment – if braces or other orthodontia didn’t work for you or if you want to avoid the sometimes lengthy and embarrassing process, veneers make your smile appear straight and perfect. Uneven or crooked teeth can cause low self-esteem, but veneers will make you proud to smile.
  • Gaps – extra spaces between your teeth can also be upsetting, especially large gaps that might even call for invasive procedures like dental implants. Your dentist may be able to cover awkward gaps with veneers to give you an even smile without any pain or prolonged recovery time.

Veneers aren’t for every dental problem, but many of them can be addressed with this easy and quick solution. Ask your dentist if they are right for you.


We treat patients from Fresno and the surrounding area

What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Your body is a little bit like a puzzle. It gives you clues to help you figure out what’s going on within your body. Did you know your mouth can give you hints about things that may be happening elsewhere in your body? Here’s a list of some of the signs your mouth can give you to pay attention to certain other aspects of your health.

Worn teeth and headache

If your teeth are showing extensive wear, you may be grinding your teeth. This would be even a stronger possibility if you’re also experiencing regular headaches, which can be caused by the muscle tension related to teeth grinding. This condition also indicates that you are likely under too much stress, and that you are unconsciously coping with it by grinding your teeth.

Gums covering teeth

If your gums begin to grow over your teeth and you are on medication, it may mean that your medication is at fault. Some medicines can cause your gums to overgrow, and the dosage needs to be adjusted.

Mouth sores

An open sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks can be an indicator of oral cancer. Numbness and unexplained bleeding in your mouth are other signs. Smokers and people over age 60 are at the most risk, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect others too. See your dentist to make sure all is okay.

Cracked teeth

If your teeth begin to crack or wear extensively, you may have gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). It’s a digestive disease that allows stomach acid to flow back into your food pipe and mouth. This acid can cause your teeth to deteriorate. Additional signs of GERD are acid reflux, heartburn, and dry mouth.

Unclean dentures

If you wear dentures, make sure you remove and clean them regularly. Inhaling food debris from your dentures that makes its way to your lungs can lead to pneumonia.

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Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes

Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste

Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss

If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards

Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

We look forward to seeing you in our Fresno dental office

sedation dentist

Sedation Dentistry: Is it Safe?

Sedation dentistry allows patients with dental anxiety to undergo procedures painlessly and without fear. While dental sedation is considered extremely safe, any time a patient is undergoing anesthesia there are risks associated with the procedure. The first and most important step in ensuring the safety of dental sedation is to find a qualified and appropriately trained sedation dentist. It’s important to ask how many sedation procedures your dentist has performed, as well as they type of training they have received.

Once you have identified an experienced sedation dentist, they will determine if you are a suitable candidate for sedation. Patients who are obese or have other conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea are more prone to complications from anesthesia and may not be viable candidates for sedation. Your sedation dentist should review your general health and medical history to determine if you are at a higher risk for complications while under sedation.

Discuss with your dental professional the type and amount of sedation you will be receiving. Your sedation dentist should provide you with information about the risks of the procedure, and be available to answer any questions or concerns you have about the planned sedation. Finally, your vital signs should be monitored during sedation, and your dentist should have oxygen and drugs that reverse the sedation effects available during the procedure.

When properly administered by an experienced sedation dentist, dental sedation can be a safe and effective tool for managing your dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry allows you to receive the oral healthcare you need without pain or undue stress.

If you are considering sedation dentistry in Fresno, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Dental Implants: An Alternative to Dentures and Bridges

In the past, replacing lost teeth meant getting dentures or bridges. Even though these offered the best way at the time to restore your mouth’s appearance and function, technology has improved through the development of dental implants. The main drawbacks of bridges and dentures is that they do not feel or look just like real teeth, and it is difficult to chew tough foods. The advantage of implants is that they look and perform so well that you can’t even tell they are not your natural teeth.

Made from titanium, dental implants are screws that are surgically placed directly into your jawbone. They are light and malleable, but durable and strong. The titanium screws are implanted into your jawbone and given time to heal. Once healing is complete, one or multiple crowns are placed on top of the implant to recreate your missing teeth. One implant can hold more than one screw, so it is possible to attach as many crowns as needed to replace your missing teeth.

Dental implants look so much like real teeth that others won’t even be able to tell that you have any artificial teeth. You might even forget about it yourself, as they feel real as well. Since the implants are securely placed in your jaw, they are as strong as real teeth and you are able to chew and bite anything that you would normally eat. Another great thing about implants is that they don’t impact any of your adjacent healthy teeth. While bridges and dentures can sometimes damage neighboring teeth because those teeth are necessary for support, implants avoid this problem. You are left with a fully restored and comfortable smile.

We treat patients from Fresno and the surrounding area

What Does General Dentistry Include

What Does General Dentistry Include?

You might think that the point of going to your general dentist is for cleanings and maybe an occasional filling. But you are wrong if you believe that’s all your dentist can offer you! A wide variety of treatments is available at a typical general dentist’s office.

Most visits to your general dentist include an initial consultation, thorough examination, and diagnostic tests if needed like dental x-rays. You’ll have the opportunity to express any problems or concerns you have, and your dentist will identify any issues that you might not be aware you have. You can also expect a meticulous professional cleaning to eliminate tartar buildup and stains that you may not have been able to get rid of at home.

You can expect these common procedures at many general dentistry practices:

  • Fillings – to repair damage caused by tooth decay, often using composite resin material to provide a strong yet cosmetically appealing solution.
  • Bonding – using composite resin to repair issues like cracks, chips, gaps or stains.
  • Crowns – also called caps, these restorations are fitted over damaged or broken teeth to restore tooth structure and function, and to protect them from future damage.
  • Bridges – to replace missing teeth, a bridge structure anchors an artificial tooth or teeth. Crowns fit over natural teeth on both sides of a gap, in which the artificial tooth replaces a missing tooth to provide a natural appearance and functional replacement.
  • Dentures – if a number of teeth are missing, dentures are removable false teeth with the goal of functioning and looking like real teeth.
  • Root canal treatment – when the interior pulp of a tooth is badly damaged or infected, this procedure removes the faulty portion and completely restores the tooth to avoid tooth loss.
  • Teeth whitening – when teeth have become discolored with age, tobacco use, diet, or more, it can be very difficult to restore their white shade without the aid of professional whitening. General dentists may offer at-home kits or in-office whitening treatments.
  • Maxillofacial treatments – mouth, jaw, or facial procedures are sometimes offered, including options like TMJ treatment or dental implants.

We look forward to seeing you in our Fresno dental office

Don’t Fear Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Many people are afraid of getting their wisdom teeth out based on horror stories from the internet or scary tales exaggerated by others. The best way to fight these fears is to learn more about the procedure and what you can truly expect.

The first thing to know is that wisdom teeth extractions are the most common oral surgeries. Most oral surgeons perform an average of one a day, so that experience has provided skill and expertise in the procedure. Also, you will be under some degree of anesthesia. Whether it’s general anesthesia or even just laughing gas (laughing gas), you won’t feel anything during the surgery and won’t remember what happened afterwards.

One common fear is the bleeding associated with wisdom teeth extractions. While there is some bleeding from the site after surgery, it is usually easily controlled by following the after-care instructions. You will be told to gently bite on gauze in that area of your mouth, and change it frequently. Propping your head up will help limit the bleeding also.

Swelling is another reason some fear this surgery, but it should be gone in just a few days. You can hold ice packs to the outside of your cheek off and on for the first 24 hours to decrease the swelling.

The recovery process should go smoothly if you follow your oral surgeon’s advice. Have someone drive you to and from the appointment, and eat soft foods at first. Do not use a straw for the first few days, and avoid touching the area with your fingers or tongue. Also, do not smoke for at least the first 24 hours following surgery.

While there are risks associated with any surgery, most wisdom teeth extractions are without complications and recovery is complete in just a few days to a week. The benefits of having the surgery outweigh the risk of ignoring your dentist’s advice to have your wisdom teeth removed.


If you need a dentist in Fresno contact us today

The Great Outcomes of Root Canal Treatment

An aching tooth can make your life miserable. Pain, difficulty eating, inability to sleep, headaches and earaches are some of the problems that often accompany a toothache. If you have any of these symptoms and suspect a damaged tooth, a trip to the dentist is in order to see if root canal treatment might be needed.

What is root canal therapy? Although it has gotten a bad reputation over the years, it is the best way to save your tooth once infection has set in. The cause for the problem can vary, including deep tooth decay, a faulty crown, trauma, or repeated dental procedures. Once the inside of the tooth called the pulp becomes damaged, root canal treatment is the ideal solution. If you don’t seek treatment, severe pain and possible tooth loss may be in your future.

During root canal therapy, the damaged tooth pulp is carefully removed so that the interior of the tooth can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Then the tooth is filled and sealed using a special material. Finally, the tooth is fully restored with a crown or filling to offer protection from future damage.

What are the positive outcomes of root canal treatment? First, it gives you back the complete function and natural appearance of your real tooth. You avoid getting a hole in your smile or needing a procedure like a dental implant. Root canal treatment restores your normal sensation and biting force, providing for efficient and painless chewing. This treatment also protects other teeth from receiving excessive wear, since your real tooth remains in place and able to take its fair share of tooth wear. Of course, treatment will also relieve the pain and other symptoms associated with your damaged tooth.

Root canal treatment is usually quite simple when performed by a qualified dental professional. Modern techniques allow the process to be as comfortable as just getting a normal filling. The procedure may be completed in only a couple of appointments and the end result will be a long-lasting, healthy tooth.


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General dentistry Fresno

Flossing: A Tool for Better Health

Cleaning between your teeth and along your gums with dental floss is just as important as using your toothbrush. Although many people complain about flossing or completely avoid doing it, there should be no excuse for neglecting this part of your dental hygiene routine.

Flossing your teeth allows you to get rid of food particles and plaque that is caught between your teeth. It is able to reach areas that your toothbrush can’t. Therefore, flossing plays a key role in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

You should floss your teeth at least once every day, using a gentle touch so you don’t damage your gums. You can use waxed or unwaxed dental floss, depending upon your preference and which one works best for you. Interdental cleaning aids like picks and sticks may also be carefully used, as well as floss holders. These tools are especially helpful for those with arthritis and vision problems.

Another item that may help remove trapped food debris is a water spray tool called an oral irrigator, although it shouldn’t replace flossing. The same is true for mouthwash, which may be used to help rinse away germs and temporarily freshen breath. You can add these items to your hygiene routine, but giving up flossing should not be an option. Using dental floss is the very best way to attack food particles and plaque so that you have the greatest chance for a healthy mouth.

Dr. Smith is a family and cosmetic dentist in Fresno

Implant dentist in Fresno

Making a Decision about Dental Implants

For many years, your only choice for replacing missing teeth was dentures or bridges. Now dental implants offer an impressive alternative. Don’t rule them out just because you don’t know what they are, what the process is, who makes a good candidate, or what the benefits include. Learn more about implants so you can make an educated decision whether they’re right for you.

Teeth can be lost or severely damaged for many reasons such as gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Dental implants provide a solution by surgically placing a titanium root directly into your jawbone. A post connects the implant to an artificial tooth that is placed on top during a second surgery. Usually there is a delay between the first and second surgeries to allow for proper healing so that the implant is successful.

Implants offer lots of benefits. They look and feel like your real teeth, and there’s no slipping or speech problems as with other restorations. They have a very high success rate and can last a lifetime with good care. Your oral hygiene tasks are the same as with real teeth. Your self-esteem will increase with your fully restored and functional smile.

Although many people are good candidates for implants, your dentist will let you know if there are risks for you. Healthy gums are very important, so those with periodontal disease may not be suitable. There also must be sufficient jaw bone support for implants to attach successfully, or you might be able to have bone grafting done to achieve more jaw strength before implants.

Dental implants are often the ideal solution for people who are missing teeth. Even though you might be nervous about the procedure, implants provide a great way to restore your smile comfortably and naturally.

Dental Implants Fresno

Oral surgeon in Fresno

Common Reasons for Oral Surgery

Many oral surgeries go beyond simply removing a tooth, and the cause is not always related to poor dental hygiene. Some reasons for oral surgery just can’t be predicted or avoided, such as injuries, birth defects, or cancer. Great strides have been made in oral surgery, especially for restoration and reconstruction techniques. These are some common reasons that oral surgery is advised.

Tooth loss

Replacing missing teeth with dental implants requires oral surgery so that the titanium implant can be inserted into the jaw. Providing an alternative to dentures and bridges, implants offer a secure and permanent solution that looks very natural. Candidates with adequate bone density, good overall health, and who practice proper oral hygiene are considered for implant surgery. After the implant heals, a crown will be placed on top to complete the restoration.

Impacted teeth

One of the most common oral surgeries is to remove impacted wisdom teeth. Often occurring during the late teen to early adult years, wisdom teeth are unable to erupt properly and must be extracted to prevent future problems.

TMJ

Temporomandibular joint disorders involve the joint where the skull and lower jaw come together in front of the ear. Facial pain, headaches, popping, and jaw problems can result, and dentists try to treat the disorder with solutions like splints, physical therapy, and medications. Severe cases can require surgery to fully correct the TMJ problems.

Injuries

Car accidents, sports injuries, and other trauma can cause broken facial bones or jaws. Surgery may be necessary to realign the jaws, wire bones together, and otherwise repair the injury so that normal function and comfort can be restored.

Cleft repairs

Birth defects like a cleft lip or palate are corrected through oral surgery. Usually a series of surgeries over a span of years is needed to improve the appearance and proper function of the areas affected by the birth defect.

Biopsy

Surgery is performed to remove cancerous tumors or lesions in the jaws or facial bones. This is especially true when the joints or connecting muscles and tendons are involved.

 

 

Do You Need Oral Surgery to Remove Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Evolution has rendered wisdom teeth useless, and a high percentage of these unnecessary molars eventually require removal. When a wisdom tooth, otherwise known as a third molar, cannot erupt into proper alignment, it is called impacted. Oral surgery to extract impacted wisdom teeth may be considered if you have the following problems:

  • Mouth pain and bite problems caused by damage to surrounding teeth created from crowding caused by the extra molars.
  • Jaw and nerve damage caused by cysts that form around the impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Sinus pain, pressure and congestion resulting from problems with wisdom teeth.
  • Inflamed and infected gum tissue created because the area around impacted wisdom teeth is difficult to clean properly.
  • Cavities which develop due to infected gums that allow pockets to form between gums, allowing bacteria to grow.
  • Alignment issues that alter the effects of braces, bridges, crowns and partial dentures due the crowding created by impacted wisdom teeth.

To diagnose impacted wisdom teeth, your dental professional will look for signs of infection or swollen gums. Your dentist will also inquire about your regular oral hygiene habits. The diagnosis of impacted wisdom teeth can be confirmed with dental x-rays, which may also reveal damage to the other teeth or jawbone.

When making a decision with your dentist about wisdom tooth extraction, it’s important to consider your age. Typically third molars erupt between the ages of 16 and 25 years. Younger patients experience considerably fewer complications with oral surgery for wisdom tooth extraction than older adults.

If your dental professional recommends removal due to the diagnosis of an impacted wisdom tooth, ask for a referral to a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ensure a successful and complication-free oral surgery.


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Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes:
Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste:
Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss:
If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards:
Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

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widsom teeth dentist in Fresno

Wisdom Teeth Symptoms

Your “third molars”, which are the molars in the very back that are the last to erupt, usually start to appear during the late teen years. They may not emerge for everyone, but when they do show up they are often problematic. Most people’s jaws don’t have room for them, and sometimes they are impacted and unable to erupt at all. Here are some common symptoms that you can watch for so you’ll know when your wisdom teeth might be the culprit.

The main thing many people notice is pain as their wisdom teeth develop. These teeth in the far back of your mouth, often two upper and two lower teeth, are very unpredictable. Sometimes they erupt sideways or crooked, causing your other teeth to become misaligned or overcrowded. If your wisdom teeth erupt, you might see them poking through your gums and creating an area of tenderness, inflammation, and redness. It can be painful to eat and brush your teeth. When wisdom teeth pain is very bothersome, dentists usually recommend removing them.

You may be one of the lucky people who don’t experience wisdom tooth pain. However, there are a host of other symptoms associated with these teeth. Some of these include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Facial swelling
  • Nausea
  • Pus
  • Lymph gland swelling
  • Inflamed gums
  • Bad breath
  • Problems chewing and brushing
  • Cysts around impacted wisdom teeth

Any of the above symptoms warrant a visit to your dentist. Even if wisdom teeth aren’t the cause, you should find out what’s behind these problems. If your dentist determines that your wisdom teeth are impacted, you will be advised to have them surgically removed usually by an experienced oral surgeon. Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure, so you shouldn’t hesitate to follow your dentist’s recommendation to take care of any problems with these teeth. Once you have recovered from this surgery, you will be glad the symptoms are gone and you no longer have to worry about your wisdom teeth.


Our dental office is located in Fresno

Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.

How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.

When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.

Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.


Our dental office is located in Fresno

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Enhance Your Smile: Five Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures

When you look your best, you exude confidence and grace. A vibrant, white smile can add to the image you convey. Cosmetic dentistry has risen in popularity because it allows people to transform their appearances. Make an appointment with your cosmetic dentist in Fresno for a consultation to discuss your smile enhancement options. While some patients choose a complete smile makeover, any of the following procedures can take your smile from dull to dynamite.

Teeth Whitening
The aging process as well as lifestyle choices can dull your smile. With teeth whitening, you can remove stains and look years younger. Most dentists recommend professional teeth whitening, which you can accomplish through in-office sessions or take-home kits.

Bonding
If you have small chips, gaps, or cracks in your smile, your dentist may suggest dental bonding. To repair the damaged area, your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin, which is hardened with a special light. Dental bonding blends in with your natural teeth and restores the look of your smile.

Porcelain Veneers
Created from fine dental porcelain, veneers can totally change your appearance. With porcelain veneers, your dentist can alter the size, shape, and color of your teeth. Depending on your situation, the doctor may suggest custom veneers designed just for your smile, or no-prep veneers, which can be bonded to your teeth but removed at a later time.

Composite Fillings
Over time, metal fillings can crack and seep, causing oral health problems, as well as impacting your smile’s appearance. Tooth-colored fillings are constructed to match your original teeth so they blend in seamlessly. Because they bond to the tooth, composite fillings won’t change shape or leak.

Accelerated Orthodontics
For straighter teeth in three to nine months, consider accelerated orthodontics. Usually, accelerated orthodontics works best for people with mild issues to correct or for those who want to straighten front teeth for an important event like a wedding.