Wisdom teeth dentist

Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Wisdom teeth, your third set of molars, are named that because they are the final teeth to erupt. They usually come in between ages 17 to 25, and are located in the very back of your mouth on the top and bottom. Your dentist will examine you to find out if your wisdom teeth are properly positioned and healthy. If they aren’t, your dentist will recommend removal.

How do you know wisdom teeth should be removed?
Some of the signs there is a problem with your wisdom teeth include pain, infection, cysts, gum disease, damage to nearby teeth, and tooth decay. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist for an examination.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?
Sometimes your teeth just don’t have room to grow in properly. They can erupt at angles within your jaw, sometimes even horizontally. If wisdom teeth aren’t able to erupt normally they can become trapped, or impacted, inside your jaw. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are pain, infection, and swelling. When teeth are impacted, they can lead to serious problems. Many dentists want to avoid impacted teeth and therefore remove your wisdom teeth before they erupt or grow too big.

Are there less obvious reasons to remove wisdom teeth?
It’s not always clear when these teeth way in the back of your mouth are causing problems, or might in the future. Many dentists remove them in teens or young adults so they don’t cause problems later, or become too firmly planted in the jaw. Also, sometimes wisdom teeth are removed as part of orthodontic, periodontal, or restorative treatment plans.

What happens if I don’t have them removed?
Some dentists prefer to wait and see what happens with time to your wisdom teeth. Make sure you continue to have these teeth monitored, because the risk of problems doesn’t go away with age. Removing wisdom teeth isn’t always necessary, because if there’s room in your mouth and they come in properly, they work just like any other teeth. The key is to watch them to make sure problems don’t arise in the future.

Dental office for wisdom teeth removal

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

If you live in the Fresno area contact us today

cosmetic dentistry

Types of “No-Prep” Veneers

Porcelain veneers have become a popular option in the past few years for dental patients who wish to brighten and repair their smile. While traditional porcelain veneers offer a lifelike quality and excellent durability, their placement usually requires the removal of some of the tooth surface enamel, which is an irreversible procedure.

A promising solution for patients who wish to avoid altering the tooth structure are no-prep or minimally invasive veneers. No-prep veneers offer the same advantages of traditional veneers but eliminate or reduce the need to grind, cut, or file down the teeth.

Lumineers are one of the most popular of the “no-prep” variety of veneers. Lumineers use an extremely thin veneer that is placed on the front side of your teeth. The placement of Lumineers does not require the modification of the natural tooth structure or the use of temporary veneers. Lumineers produce beautiful smiles for patients who prefer to not physically alter their teeth.

DURAthin veneers are similar to Lumineers in that they require no modification of the tooth structure or filing of the enamel. DURAthin veneers utilize very thin customized porcelain shells that match the shape and color of your teeth. These shells are roughly the width of a contact lens and are bonded to the front of your teeth. Because of their size and shape, DURAthin veneers are an ideal choice for correcting minor cosmetic dental issues.

Vivaneers are among the thinnest veneers available, making them easy to apply in as little as one office visit. Because they require no preparation to your natural tooth, there is no need for shots, drilling or anesthesia. If you are unhappy with the results, Vivaneers are easily reversible.

To find out if these or other “no-prep” veneer options would be a solution for improving your smile, schedule a consultation with a Fresno cosmetic dentist Dr. Smith .

Root canal treatment

Should an Endodontist Perform Your Root Canal Treatment?

An endodontist is a dentist who has undergone additional training specializing in saving teeth through treatments that involve the pulp and root of teeth. If you have been diagnosed by your family dentist with an infected tooth that requires root canal therapy, it would be logical to seek treatment by a dental professional who is specifically trained in root canal procedures. To find a qualified endodontist for your root canal treatment, consider the following:

  • Ask for a referral from your family dentist to an accredited diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. You may also consider asking friends and family members who have undergone root canal therapy for recommendations of endodontists.
  • Inquire about the extent of the endodontist’s education and training as well as the number of root canal procedures they have performed. You will want to look for a doctor with an established practice and extensive track record of root canal experience.
  • Find out what type of equipment the doctor utilizes to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent advances in endodontic therapy and dental technology.
  • Ask about the sedation and pain-relief options the endodontist provides for root canal patients.
  • Evaluate the endodontist and staff to determine if they make you feel comfortable, welcome, and are able and available to answer your questions.

Root canal treatment can be a stress-free and painless experience when performed by the right dental professional. Taking the time and effort to identify a qualified endodontist will help to ensure the ease and success of your procedure, and soon have you back on the road to a healthy smile.

 

Root canal dentist in Fresno

Dental health and pregnancy

Caring for Your Dental Health during Pregnancy

When you are having a baby, you have a lot of your mind. Most expectant moms have to worry about doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, morning sickness, and picking out names. It’s important to take good care of yourself during this special time. One area that may fall by the wayside is oral health.

Though you may not think it’s a priority, your dental health can impact your pregnancy. Because hormone levels are so high during pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to problems with gum disease. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can contribute to pre-term births and low-birth weight babies.

Protect your wellbeing and your unborn child by:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Include foods that are rich in calcium, which will keep your dentition strong and help with your baby’s developing teeth.
  • Take time to brush and floss teeth daily. This kind of home routine may help prevent bleeding gums, which often flare up during pregnancy.
  • Watch the snacks. You may need to eat more frequently, but try to choose healthy options like fruits, veggies, and whole grains so that you are less likely to develop cavities.
  • See your dentist for a checkup. After the first trimester, make an appointment for a cleaning and exam. Though you won’t want to schedule X-rays or repairs during pregnancy, routine dental care is important and shouldn’t be avoided.
  • If an emergency situation does occur, contact your dentist right away. Remind the office that you are pregnant so that they can take precautions to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

General dentist in Fresno

What is Preventative Dentistry, and why is it Important?

Preventative dental care simply means scheduling regular checkups and professional cleanings with your dentist, and making sure you spend adequate time brushing and flossing each day. It is the easiest and cheapest way to help keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy, and it helps decrease the likelihood of needing any costly restorative dental work, or emergency dental care.

The Importance of Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups are the best way for your dentist to detect any small signs of disease, usually before they have caused any unpleasant symptoms. Small cavities are easily and cheaply filled, and the early signs of gums disease can soon be treated before there is any lasting damage to your gums. This type of regular maintenance can also provide peace of mind, as you are less likely suffer from toothache.

Your dentist will want to take dental x-rays at regular intervals, usually every two years, but this can vary according to your dental health. These x-rays show hidden areas of your mouth, such as the contact points between teeth that can often develop cavities.

Professional Dental Cleanings

Professional dental cleanings are carried out by a hygienist, and remove all the hardened plaque from your teeth. Hardened plaque is called tartar or calculus and contains bacteria that produce toxins.  If tartar is not regularly removed then it will infect the gums, and will cause inflammation and gum disease. Regular cleanings help prevent this from happening, and keep your breath fresh. Your hygienist is also the best person to give advice on how to improve your brushing and flossing techniques, and can point out any areas of your mouth you might be missing during cleaning.

Once your teeth and gums are in reasonable condition, then regular preventative dental care can help keep them that way. This prolongs the life of your teeth, and will ensure your smile always looks its best.

If you live in the Fresno, contact us today

Some Fast Options for Smile Makeovers in Fresno

Are you looking to improve your smile but you don’t have a lot of time? Have you heard that smile makeovers are invasive and time-consuming? There are many options available to you for your smile makeover that are relatively short and sweet. If you are in good health but want to make improvements to your smile, these fast and easy options may be right for you.

Teeth bleaching (also known as whitening) is an extremely popular and very simple therapy for quickly brightening your smile. Many common foods and drinks we consume daily can slowly dim your smile by discoloring or staining your tooth enamel. Having your teeth whitened by your dentist can lighten your teeth by as many as ten levels in a single office visit, saving you time and effort.

Composite bonding can repair small problems like cracks, chips or irregular shapes in one visit. Bonding is done by hand by your dentist and requires excellent technique and materials, as well as the skill needed to match your natural tooth color.

Perhaps you need a little more extensive work done to achieve your dream smile, but you don’t have the time. Your dentist may be able to offer you a “snap-on” smile. This is a thin appliance that is placed on top of your natural teeth using nothing but your teeth as an anchor – no adhesives are necessary. These snap-on teeth can be made to mimic a celebrity’s teeth, or just better, straighter, whiter versions of your own. They can stay in all day during your regular activities, allowing you to get the benefits of a beautiful smile without the time of a more invasive treatment.

Talk to your dentist today about the treatments you can have done in a single office visit. Your friends, family and coworkers might not be able to immediately identify what “work” you had done, but you can rest assured everyone will notice your change in attitude and your gorgeous smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Fresno dental office

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments Offered by Your Family Dentist in Fresno

Thanks to advanced techniques and technology, your family dentist can now offer you and your family a wide variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments to help you achieve the smiles you desire. There is often no need to search for a specialized cosmetic dentist, as your family dentist can provide many of the cosmetic dental procedures right in their office.

Some of the cosmetic treatments you can expect to find at many family dentists include:

  • Professional teeth whitening is used to improve the appearance of stained or discolored teeth, can be completed in as little as one visit, and can lighten teeth up to ten shades.
  • Dental bonding with tooth-colored resin can be applied to repair discolored or chipped teeth.
  • Crowns and bridges can be placed to fix damaged or missing teeth and can be matched to the color, height, texture and overall appearance of your natural teeth.
  • Tooth-colored composite fillings come in multiple shades to match your natural tooth and are used as an attractive alternative to traditional silver or gold fillings.
  • Porcelain veneers are placed to conceal cracks, chips, and gaps and create a whiter, more perfect smile.
  • Inlays or onlays, also called indirect fillings, can be made of composite, tooth-colored material, are long-term, and are used on teeth with tooth decay or other damage needing larger coverage than a traditional filling.
  • Complete and partial dentures are used to replace missing teeth and create a more natural-looking smile.
  • Invisalign is an orthodontic solution used to straighten misaligned or crooked teeth.

Many of these procedures can be combined to create the beautiful and healthy smile you desire. Schedule a consultation with your family dentist to find out more about the cosmetic procedures they offer to help you achieve a winning smile.

We look forward to seeing you in our Fresno dental office

Did You Know Your Dental and Cardiovascular Health Are Connected?

Regular brushing and flossing helps maintain a healthy and attractive smile, but could save your life. Clinical studies have shown possible links between oral health and cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular or heart disease is one of the main causes of death in the US. Many people with heart disease are completely unaware they have this condition. It might be hard to believe, but a simple oral care routine could help lower your risk of developing heart disease.

How Can Good Dental Hygiene Help?

The correct brushing techniques help get rid of plaque buildup and reduce the numbers of bacteria in your mouth. Daily flossing removes plaque from in between your teeth in areas that can’t be reached by your toothbrush. These oral hygiene tasks decrease your risk of gum disease, a condition linked to heart disease. It’s been found people with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease compared to those with healthy gums. These patients are at higher risk of having a heart attack, and heart disease has also been linked to missing teeth. If you’re not sure how to brush and floss properly, ask your dentist in Fresno for advice and practical help.

The Connection between Your Heart and Mouth

Gum disease causes bleeding gums, enabling bacteria from your mouth to get into your bloodstream. Experts think these bacteria can contribute towards blockages in the arteries, while another theory centers on inflammation. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition, and once bacteria enter the bloodstream they can cause new sites of inflammation, increasing the risk of blood clots. This restricts blood flow and the transport of vital nutrients and oxygen to your heart.

Visit Your Dentist

The early stages of heart disease can cause very few, if any symptoms. As a result many people with this condition do not see a heart specialist until the latter stages of the disease. Regular visits to your dentist in Fresno will help detect any early signs of gum disease so it can be treated before affecting your general health.

If you live in the Fresno, contact us today

What Are the Differences between General and Pediatric Dentists?

Some people mistakenly believe there is no real difference between a general dentist and a pediatric dentist. In fact, choosing a good pediatric dentist who has been specifically trained to treat children’s teeth can be very beneficial. A pediatric dentist will know how to put anxious or nervous children at ease. This can help ensure they have a positive experience which can shape their attitude towards lifelong dental care.

Education

Pediatric dentists have first qualified as general dentists but have been chosen to undergo an additional two or three years training in treating infants, children, teenagers and children with special needs. This specialized training will have included a residency program. During this time a pediatric dentist in Fresno will have learned how to correctly diagnose issues and provide preventative dental care, how to teach oral hygiene to young children, and how to manage children’s behavior during their dental visits. In addition they will have been taught about the growth and development of children’s teeth, jaws and facial structures, and will have studied sedation techniques.

Treatments

Children have unique oral health issues, and pediatric dentists have been trained to identify any possible risks. Some of these can be due to oral habits such as thumbsucking or pacifier use, while others can be down to parental influence, particularly diet. A typical visit to a pediatric dentist in Fresno is likely to include an examination and teeth cleaning, as well as fluoride treatments if required. Your dentist can diagnose any problems such as cavities or broken teeth. They are also trained to help identify issues with tooth alignment and bite problems and can monitor and treat dental health issues due to gum disease, or to other general health problems such as diabetes.

Special Needs

Most general dentists are not trained to provide the level of care required by children with special needs. These children may have mental or physical challenges. A pediatric dentist can ensure they receive the best level of oral health care, as their issues often require a dentist with specialized knowledge.

We look forward to seeing you in our Fresno dental office

The Connection between Gum Disease and Breast Cancer

Approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. Many women have yearly mammograms and carry out regular self-examinations from approximately aged 40 onwards. However recent studies suggest taking care of your teeth and gums could decrease your risk of developing breast cancer.

A study conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found women with missing teeth or gum disease could be up to 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer. Researchers followed more than 3,000 patients, 41 of whom developed breast cancer. This study is one of the first to link breast cancer with gum disease and tooth loss.

It’s not possible to eliminate all risk factors, but any dentist in Fresno will tell you tooth loss and gum disease is usually preventable. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults worldwide. It is caused when plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth, infecting and inflaming the gums. The infection and inflammation causes the gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets that are difficult to keep clean and free from bacteria. Patients suffer from receding gums, and from bone loss around their teeth. Eventually the teeth will become loose and will either fall out on their own or will have to be extracted by your dentist in Fresno.

If you’d prefer to prevent gum disease and tooth loss, follow the tips below:

  • Brush at least twice a day and floss once a day
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and finish up with an antimicrobial mouth rinse
  • Eat a balanced diet containing plenty of nutrients to help gums heal
  • Visit your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings every six months, or more frequently if recommended
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco products

If you live in the Fresno, contact us today

A Look at No-Prep Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are very thin, tooth-colored wafers that can be made from porcelain or dental composite resin material. They are permanently bonded to your natural tooth’s surface in order to give your smile an even, uniform look and a beautiful smile. Dental veneers can correct problems such as crooked, gapped, misshapen, stained, discolored teeth, or teeth that are cracked, chipped or too short.

Standard dental veneers are applied after the cosmetic dentist removes a millimeter or more of the enamel of your natural tooth. This makes room for the bulk of the veneer wafer so that it won’t look artificial on top of the tooth. This step is where many patients are dissatisfied with the procedure; they don’t want to remove any of their enamel, because it can’t re-grow and removing it is permanent.

Because of this concern, a new type of dental veneer has been created known as a “no-prep” or “minimal preparation” veneer. This type of veneer is extremely thin, so thin that your cosmetic dentist doesn’t need to grind away any of your enamel, or at least a smaller amount than with standard veneers.

In many cases, if a patient’s natural teeth are spaced well and have a good shape, an extremely small amount of the teeth will need to be ground down to accommodate the minimal preparation veneer. Your cosmetic dentist will be able to determine the right amount to remove based on your particular teeth and on your smile goals.

If you’re wondering if your teeth make you a candidate for no-prep veneers, contact your cosmetic dentist today. Your specific smile needs will be addressed so you can move forward with the smile you’ve always wanted.

Schedule your appointment at our Fresno dental office

Is a Pediatric Dentist Better for your Kids?

General dentists are trained and experienced in providing quality oral care to patients of all ages, but pediatric dentists focus on enhancing the oral health of children. If you are deciding which dentist your child should see, consider the benefits of pediatric dentistry.

Training

Pediatric dentists have advanced training catering to the unique needs and personalities of children. They learn to treat kids from infancy through adolescence. Part of their training involves undergoing a residency program that concentrates on all aspects of children’s oral care.

Preventive care

Teaching both parents and children about the importance of good dental hygiene and regular dental checkups is a key part of a pediatric dentist’s role. Preventive care is very important in training kids to make their oral health a lifelong priority. Pediatric dentists also provide instruction on good nutritional habits with your oral health in mind.

Comfort level

Children who start seeing the dentist from infancy have the best chances of being comfortable in a dentist’s chair and maintaining checkups. There is also a decreased risk of serious oral health problems, because issues can be caught early. Pediatric dentists focus on creating positive relationships with their patients and making the dental experience a positive one. In fact, many pediatric dental offices are designed and decorated with kids in mind.

Technology

Most pediatric dentists are up-to-date on the newest technologies and advancements in children’s dental care. There is a higher likelihood of a pediatric dentist knowing the cutting edge treatment for kids than a general dentist. A good example of this is sedation dentistry, which helps anxious children become more relaxed and comfortable in a dental environment if needed.

Transitions

As your child transitions though each stage of oral health, a pediatric dentist can see kids through those changes. This includes having no teeth as infants, baby teeth as young children, and then permanent teeth as adolescents. If complications occur, the pediatric dentist is there to help guide the child’s oral health to the next stage as safely and painlessly as possible.

Our dental office is located in Fresno

Teeth whitening Fresno

Dealing with Tetracycline Stains on Teeth

Tetracycline is a popular antibiotic used to treat infections, but it can negatively impact the appearance of teeth. The medicine may cause dark stains if prescribed to pregnant women or to young children whose teeth are still forming. The resulting stains can be brown or grey and may partially or completely cover the tooth.

People with tetracycline stained teeth can often feel self-conscious about smiling. If you are affected there’s no need to put up with this, as your dentist in Fresno can recommend options for treating or hiding the stains. Sometimes teeth whitening will be effective, but otherwise porcelain veneers can successfully hide stains and can be a great choice for restoring your smile.

In the past, teeth whitening treatments were often ineffective against tetracycline stains as they are intrinsic, which means the stains are inside the tooth. Nowadays repeated laser whitening sessions at your dentist, and the use of stronger bleaching gels can sometimes work if the stains are not particularly bad.

However it’s far more common to cover-up tetracycline stains with porcelain veneers. These are thin shells of porcelain that cover the front surfaces of your teeth, providing a gorgeous white smile. The veneers are durable and stain resistant and will blend in beautifully with your natural teeth.

Your dentist in Fresno will need to prepare the teeth for veneers, through removing a tiny amount of tooth surface. Next, they will take dental impressions to send to the laboratory so your veneers can be custom-made. In the meantime your prepared teeth may be covered up with temporary veneers, and this is a great chance to get a preview of your new smile. Your next appointment will be for fitting the veneers, and it’s possible your dentist will need to make minor adjustments before they look absolutely perfect and can be permanently bonded in position.

Schedule your appointment at our Fresno dental office

Cosmetic dentistry Fresno

Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry

Dentistry is no longer just about pain control and oral hygiene. It doesn’t only include traditional dental care, but also many treatments that achieve the goal of cosmetic improvements. There are lots of reasons that cosmetic dentistry is appealing to patients. Some of these are decay, tooth loss, enamel loss, weak gums, teeth grinding, crooked teeth, improper bite, and oral trauma.

To deal with these problems, let’s learn about some treatments that help.

Implants

Tooth loss is more common than most people think. From accidents to tooth decay to other issues, once missing teeth occur it’s time to think about restoration options. Dental implants provide permanent, comfortable, and natural results. Typically made of titanium, implants are attached directly to the jaw during surgery. The implants fuse with the jaw and when healing is complete, an artificial tooth is attached on top to complete the restoration.

Bonding

Damaged teeth can be corrected with dental bonding, in which a putty-like material is applied to the tooth’s surface and bonded with a special light. Bonding restores chipped or fractured areas so that they look as good as new.

Contouring

For patients who aren’t interested in braces or more extensive dental work, contouring is a painless way to correct crooked, damaged, or unevenly spaced teeth. In just one visit, the dentist can alter teeth by removing small amounts of tooth structure to change the length, position, or shape of teeth. Significant results can be achieved with minimal reduction. Chips and fractures can be smoothed, and angles can be rounded to improve smiles.

Veneers and whitening

Dental veneers can be attached to the fronts of teeth to hide various flaws, providing long-lasting smile improvements. There are a variety of teeth whitening methods available through cosmetic dentists, which can dramatically change tooth color and brighten smiles.

Schedule your appointment at our Fresno dental office

Cosmetic dentist in Fresno

Natural Smiles Transformed with Veneers

Teeth that are discolored, chipped, gapped, or otherwise damaged are no longer reasons to hide your smile. Dental veneers offer a way to improve the appearance of teeth that are healthy, but in need of cosmetic improvement. There are lots of ways to improve teeth like whitening or bonding, but veneers have grown in popularity as one of the best ways to renew smiles.

One of the best things about veneers is that it is considered a minimally invasive tooth restoration. There are no complicated surgical procedures involved, and can be completed in just a few dental appointments. The process begins with having impressions made of the teeth so that the veneers can be created, often in a dental lab. This can take up to a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the dentist will remove a very thin portion of tooth enamel so that the veneer can be attached later. While the veneer is in production, the dentist may provide temporary veneers to cover the prepared teeth. When the final veneers are ready, they will be securely attached to the teeth.

The most popular material used to make veneers is porcelain. It is preferred because it is very durable, has a natural appearance, can be shaded in a chosen color, and resists stains. Another option for creating veneers is composite resin, which may be a less expensive alternative but can stain more easily and does not have the same natural glow as porcelain offers.

If all maintenance instructions such as proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are followed, veneers are known to last up to ten years or longer. They can provide a beautiful new look for a smile that was otherwise damaged.

If you need a dentist in Fresno, contact us today

White fillins

Replacing Metal Fillings

Cavities were once typically filled with a silver compound called amalgam, which was used because it was strong and could repair areas weakened by tooth decay. In recent years, composite resin has become more popular as the material used for dental fillings. It serves the same purpose, but provides other benefits that amalgam does not. Some people not only choose composite resin when getting new fillings, but also have metal (or amalgam) fillings replaced with composite resin.

Why replace metal fillings?

The main reasons that patients consider replacing their metal fillings include:

  • Tooth sensitivity – some patients complain that they feel discomfort near their metal fillings when eating cold foods.
  • Concerns about mercury – there is a common but untrue belief that the mercury levels in metal fillings might be poisonous. Researchers have proven this to be false, reporting that metal fillings are safe.
  • Inadequate bonding – due to the makeup of metal fillings, sometimes they do not fully bond to the tooth and need replacing to treat the cavity most effectively.
  • Additional decay – if old fillings develop more decay or break, it is necessary to have the filling replaced. Patients may choose whether to replace the metal filling with composite resin, or to have a metal filling placed in the tooth again.

Are there benefits to using composite resin?

The main benefit of composite resin is that it can be colored to match the surrounding teeth perfectly. Many patients choose this option because it is aesthetically pleasing, with fillings often being unseen. Also, composite resin fillings require less tooth area to be removed. This allows dentists to keep as much of the original tooth as possible. Another benefit is that composite resin fillings do not change shape or crack.

If you live in the Fresno, contact us today

Teeth Whitening

Potential Side Effects and Risks of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening, which is generally considered very safe and mild, carries a risk of primarily temporary side effects, including tooth sensitivity, gum irritation or aesthetic problems with uneven whitening.

A portion of the people who use whitening products, either over-the-counter or in your dentist’s office, experience some small degree of tooth sensitivity or gum irritation during the course of their treatments. In severe cases, a dentist may recommend that a particular patient skip any whitening procedure to prevent a problem.

The concentration of the peroxide used and the length of time the whitening product is applied appears to be directly related to the risk of sensitivity after use. In general, these sideeffects are temporary and will abate after one or two days.

If you are using an at-home product, be sure to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. Overuse of a whitening product is not healthy for your teeth or gum tissues, and can lead to greater sensitivity over time.

Tooth sensitivity can lead to discomfort or pain in the teeth when exposed to hot or cold liquids and food, or sweet or sour foods or drinks. Even air or the touch of your tongue can lead to discomfort. Mild discomfort is normal and should disappear within a day or two of treatment.

Gum irritation may be caused by chemicals in the whitening process or by physical problems with the whitening trays. The latter is most likely the result of over-the-counter whitening kits; custom-fitted trays that come from your dentist are more likely to fit properly and to minimize gum irritation.

Gum irritation and tooth sensitivity caused by whitening can be stopped by discontinuing the use of the whitening products for several days. You may want to decrease the time you spend using the product, or you may want to use less of the product in the trays.

Your teeth may not whiten evenly, leading to discoloration or splotches on your teeth. Whitening products do not work on teeth covered in plaque or debris. Having your teeth professionally cleaned prior to a whitening procedure can ensure a more even result.

We look forward to seeing you in our Fresno dental office

Common Oral Surgery Procedures

A specialization area of dentistry is oral surgery, which involves diagnosing and treating functional or aesthetic issues of the teeth, gums, jaws, neck, and head. Some dentists are able to perform oral surgeries, but often it is advised to seek treatment from an oral surgeon who is well-trained and experienced in the sometimes tricky aspects of intricate surgeries. Here are some of the most common types of oral surgery.

Jaw surgery

Often surgery is the best way to correct various problems associated with the jaw. There are a number of issues surgery can address, or reasons behind the need for this type of intervention. Some typical cases are incorrect bite (malocclusion), trauma, teeth grinding or clenching that causes tooth wear, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, incorrect jaw position, misproportioned facial appearance, or problems using the jaw for eating or speaking.

Dental implants

A very popular type of oral surgery is replacing missing teeth with dental implants. This procedure involves surgically inserting a titanium rod in the site of the missing tooth root. The jaw bone will fuse together with the implant, and then later the procedure can be completed by placing a crown on top of the post.

Tooth extractions

Another very common reason for oral surgery is extracting teeth that are causing some type of problem in your mouth. This may include impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth, severely damaged teeth from decay or trauma, primary teeth that haven’t fallen out appropriately, or orthodontic treatment that requires tooth removal to achieve the desired results.

Our dental office is located in Fresno

What to Tell Your Family Dentist in Fresno

Your oral health is an important component of your overall health and can impact your entire body. Because of this impact, it is of vital importance that your family dentist has comprehensive knowledge of your medical history, as well as any other concerns or issues you may have that could affect your dental treatment.

The following are some items you should discuss with your family dentist:

  • Tell your dentist if you have been diagnosed with any diseases or illnesses.
  • Provide a list of all medications you take, including both prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Tell your family dentist if you have any known allergies, or if you are pregnant.
  • Report any sleep issues you may be having, or if you have been snoring.
  • Discuss any changes you have become aware of in your teeth or gums. Examples of the type of changes to share would be bleeding, bumps in your mouth, possible new cavities, and sensitivity to hot or cold.
  • Disclose if you smoke or chew tobacco.
  • Tell your dentist if you have bad breath.
  • Discuss if you have noticed you are grinding or clenching your teeth, or are having tension in your jaw or neck muscles.
  • Express any fears or anxiety you may have of dental treatment.
  • Share details of any previous dental issues you have experienced, or treatments you have undergone.
  • Discuss your expectations. Maybe you are hoping for a brighter smile or straighter teeth. With this information, your family dentist can determine the best course of action to achieve your goals.

The relationship you form with your family dentist is important. Entrusting your oral health to your dental professional requires an honest dialogue regarding all aspects of both your dental and overall health history. With the proper information, your family dentist can provide you with the excellent care you deserve.

We look forward to seeing you in our Fresno dental office

How Medications Can Affect Your Oral Health

It is not unusual for some medications to impact your oral health. Prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and even vitamins and herbal supplements can have side effects related to your teeth and gums. It is important to know the types of reactions that medications may have, and how to deal with them if they occur.

Dry mouth

One of the most common oral side effects of medication is dry mouth. If your mouth does not produce enough saliva, you are at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Some of the drugs that can cause dry mouth include decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, pain medications, antacids, and high blood pressure drugs. If your doctor doesn’t recommend changing medicine, try sipping water often, using an artificial saliva product, or sucking on sugarless candy.

Increased cavity risk

Sugar is found in many medications, like cough drops, antacids, and chewable tablets. To limit sugar and associated cavities, ask for the medication in tablet form, take medication with meals and not at bedtime, and brush with a fluoride toothpaste afterwards.

Discoloration

Some drugs alter the color of your teeth or gums. If you experience discoloration, ask your dentist about teeth whitening options.

Altered taste

Certain drugs cause a bitter or rusty taste in your mouth, or just change how foods taste to you. If you can’t handle this side effect, ask your doctor about switching medications.

Abnormal bleeding

If you have oral surgery or another procedure planned, tell your dentist if you are taking any drugs like aspirin and anticoagulants that thin the blood. These put you at higher risk for bleeding.

Bone loss

Corticosteroids and antiepileptic drugs have shown to cause loss of bone that supports your teeth. Osteoporosis medications may damage your jawbone. If you are taking these drugs, tell your dentist so that precautions might be taken to slow bone loss.

Thrush

Taking antibiotics, chemotherapy, or steroids can lead to thrush. This is an oral yeast infections that causes white lesions in your mouth. Antifungal treatments may be prescribed by your dentist to treat thrush.

If you live in the Fresno, contact us today

Combining Procedures for a Smile Makeover

There are many procedures within the arena of cosmetic dentistry that can transform your smile into one you’ve always wanted. Sometimes only one procedure is needed, and other times multiple treatments provide a better solution. Scheduling a consultation with a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist is the best way to begin your smile makeover process.

When you meet your cosmetic dentist for the first time, be prepared to list the things you dislike about your smile and the outcome that you’d like to see. The dentist will perform an examination and possibly X-rays to get the best views, and then address the concerns you have about your smile. The dentist will recommend the procedures that will best help you achieve your goals.

You may be advised to undergo more than one procedure with your smile makeover. Here are some of the most common treatments:

  • Teeth whitening is the most popular treatment through cosmetic dentists. Stained, discolored, dingy teeth can be renewed in a variety of ways such as laser treatments or bleaching trays. Your dentist will suggest the best method to give you the results you’d like in the timeframe you desire.
  • Porcelain veneers involve bonding thin shells to the fronts of your teeth to hide chips, stains, gaps, cracks and more. Veneers instantly transform your smile with durable results.
  • Dental implants are an increasingly popular alternative to dentures or bridges. They provide a secure and permanent replacement for missing teeth, blending perfectly with your smile.
  • Filling replacement is possible when you are dissatisfied with your old unsightly metal fillings. Instead of silver showing in your smile, tooth-colored composite resin is used to replace the existing filling.
  • Invisalign clear aligners provide a different approach to straightening your teeth than traditional metal braces. Your teeth will gently move into better positions without the embarrassment of highly visible wires and brackets, as well as avoiding the hassles of cleaning and altering your diet.

Combining cosmetic dental procedures for your smile makeover can help you address all of your concerns and allow you to end up with the happiest results.

If you need a dentist in Fresno, contact us today

Cosmetic dentist Fresno

Seeing the Future of Your Smile Makeover Utilizing Technology

If you’re looking into a smile makeover, you may have difficulty imagining what your smile will look like at the end, especially if you need extensive dental work. If you’ve looked in the mirror and seen nothing but an unattractive mouth for years, picturing yourself with a mouth full of healthy teeth can be a challenge. Fortunately, with the advancements of dental technology, there are ways to help you see the future of your smile makeover.

Digital dentistry pairs advancements in materials and technology to allow dental patients to be the recipients of beautiful and natural smile makeovers. Computers can take digital models of the entirety of your mouth, including the soft tissues of the cheeks, gums and tongue. These models are created utilizing special lights that allow the computer to optically scan the mouth and send that information to a computer.

Advanced computer software can then stitch the images together to create one whole model of your mouth. This model can then be printed with a 3D printer to provide an accurate and vivid reproduction of your mouth. Your cosmetic dentist can use this same software to virtually correct your dental problems and to provide additional physical models to represent each stage of treatment and to show what will be the end result.

Some software can take photos of you smiling broadly and insert the virtual end result smile, allowing you to see what your own future smile could be. Seeing these images can help you with the encouragement to move forward with your smile makeover, and to fully anticipate and enjoy the results to come.

Schedule your appointment at our Fresno dental office

IV Sedation

Intravenous or Oral Dental Sedation: Which Is Right For You?

Sedation dentistry is an option for anxious dental patients that allows them to undergo dental procedures and treatment in a relaxing and calm environment. While there are several types of sedation dentistry, oral sedation and intravenous (IV) sedation are two of the most common forms of “conscious” sedation.

Oral sedation is administered in a pill or liquid form and is an attractive option for patients who have a needle phobia. However, with oral sedation the effectiveness can vary, affecting each patient differently dependent on their height, weight, genetics and other factors. Most patients respond well to oral sedation, and it can be used for a wide variety of treatments and procedures. Oral sedation takes time to take effect, and does not allow your dentist any control to adjust the level of sedation once it has been administered.

IV sedation is the strongest type of conscious sedation. With IV sedation you will begin to feel the effects immediately upon injection. IV sedation is most often used for oral surgery procedures, and it produces the strongest amnesic effect. IV sedation is common during oral surgery procedures when even the calmest of patients would benefit from the effects of conscious sedation. IV sedation requires your dentist or oral surgeon to be specially trained and certified, and it allows them greater flexibility in adjusting your level of sedation during the procedure.

To determine which option for sedation would best meet your needs, consult with a qualified sedation dentist. Be sure to make them aware of your level of dental phobia, pain tolerance, and of any other medications you are taking. With either oral or IV sedation there is no need to dread necessary dental care.

 

Sedation dentist in Fresno

Cerec dentist in Fresno

Reasons to Consider Using CEREC Technology

 

Traditional crowns have been around for many years in dentistry, but CEREC technology is newer to the field. CEREC, or ceramic reconstruction, provides a perfectly fitting and attractive crown in only one visit to the dentist. In just a few hours, you can get your crown from start to finish and be able to enjoy your fully restored smile right away.

If you aren’t convinced yet, here are some reasons to consider using CEREC for your next dental crown:

  • Time – Crowns made the traditional way take at least two appointments, and usually require wearing a temporary crown while the final one is made in a lab. CEREC crowns are made in a single appointment and the final restoration is placed the same day, so patients save time making only one trip to the dentist.
  • No temporary crowns – CEREC completely eliminates the requirement for temporary crowns.
  • Materials – CEREC crowns are made of ceramic, so there are no metals used that might bother patients with allergies.
  • Anesthesia – fewer office visits means fewer shots or other types of anesthesia requirements.
  • Less tooth impacts – CEREC and its high quality camera images calls for less drilling on your natural tooth than other types of crowns.
  • Fewer gaps – CEREC crowns have smaller gaps between the teeth than other crowns. This allows the CEREC crown to fit more closely to the gums and result in fewer crown failures.
  • Dentist control – your dentist has full control over the process and shapes your crown right in the office instead of sending the work out to a lab.
  • Cost savings – CEREC crowns usually cost about the same as traditional crowns, but cost savings are incurred by spending less gas driving to multiple appointments, not missing as much work, and fewer expenses like child care.

If you need to correct a damaged tooth with a crown, Fresno CA dentist Dr. Smith is qualified to use CEREC technology and can make your smile look great in a shorter amount of time and with less hassles.