Why Choose Veneers for Your Smile Makeover?

A smile can be more powerful than most people think, and it can be taken for granted. If there’s a flaw in your smile, whether it’s stained teeth, a gap, or chips, chances are, it’ll almost always be on your mind when you’re interacting with others. An effective solution for improving the appearance of teeth is with dental veneers. This cosmetic treatment offered by Great Smiles of La Mesa can treat issues such as chipping, discoloration, size discrepancies, fractures, and spacing between teeth. Veneers also offer other benefits when you choose this treatment in La Mesa, CA to enhance your smile.

Veneers are customized for your smile.

A veneer is a thin shell made of porcelain that is bonded to the front of a tooth. It is custom-made for each patient and each tooth. This ensures that it will fit seamlessly over the tooth so that it’s impossible to tell that any cosmetic dentistry work was done at all. This method can be used to change the appearance as well as the shade of the teeth, resulting in a smile you’ll love.

Veneers are stain-resistant.

Once you have certain teeth treated with dental veneers, you won’t have to worry about those teeth getting stained or discolored as natural teeth do. Whitening will never be necessary for veneers.

Veneers are low maintenance.

The only care that veneers require is the same as the natural teeth, meaning regular brushing and flossing. They require no extra maintenance. Because they are bonded directly to the teeth, they are very durable. By continuing your normal oral hygiene habits as usual, including regular dental checkups, you can enjoy your veneers for many years.

To have veneers placed on the teeth, a small amount of the tooth enamel will have to be removed to make room for them. Impressions will then be taken of the prepared teeth. A dental laboratory will use the impressions to create the veneers, which will be bonded to the teeth once they are completed.

To learn more about dental veneers in La Mesa, CA, contact Great Smiles of La Mesa today to book an appointment for a consultation. Dr. Johnson will be able to take your specific situation and goals into consideration and tell you whether or not dental veneers are the right treatment for you.

Should I Get Dental Implants?

Many individuals have come to us at Great Smiles with missing teeth, wanting to improve their smile. Due to developments in the field of dentistry within the last few decades, we have been able to help many of these ones. One of the most prevalent ways to solve such an issue is through dental implants.

What Is a “Dental Implant?”

Dental implants (also known as endosseous implants or fixtures) are typically made up of a titanium rod and a prosthetic tooth. The rod is inserted directly into the jawbone. After being left to heal for several months, the titanium rod fuses to the bone in a process called osseointegration. After the rod as thoroughly infused to the jaw bone, the prosthetic tooth may be added.

Can Anyone Receive a Dental Implant?

No. Not everyone can be considered a candidate to receive a dental implant. What considerations are there? The procedure may succeed or fail depending on the health of the patient. The jaw bone is examined to see whether or not there is enough bone mass to properly anchor the rod. Also, the structural integrity of the individual’s jaw must be taken into account, as the jaw needs to be able to withstand strong pressures without breaking. After the jaw, the health of a patient’s gingiva is considered so as to avoid future complications. Then, with the complexities of chewing mechanics, simulations are run to ensure that an implant will not have negative effects one’s health. These considerations will be looked at during an initial consultation with the surgeon. However, if you do qualify to receive dental implants, there are numerous benefits to doing so.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

First, it should be noted that the modern titanium dental implant is over 98% effective in creating a long-term solution to missing teeth. The implants improve the ability to eat compared with some dentures due to the fact that they function just like natural teeth. Unlike dentures, implants do not move, loosen or risk falling out of the mouth. Since you don’t have to worry about loose fitting dentures, implants do not negatively affect your speech. Often, a dental implant may even eliminate gum irritation. Essentially, implants are convenient, attractive and last a lifetime.

Come on into our La Mesa, CA office for a consultation to see if you qualify for dental implants.

Dental Crowns: A Royal Repair for Your Smile

If you are currently suffering from one or more broken, decayed, weak, cracked, or just unattractive teeth, it is very probable that your local dentist can fix the problems with dental crowns. Crowns, in essence are caps that cover teeth that need a little bit of help. This kind of cap looks and functions just like a healthy and natural tooth. In today’s article we will discuss more about dental crowns, whether or not insurance will help you pay the dentist bill, and how these crowns are made to look just like your natural teeth.

Know Your Crowns

Reasons for getting a dental crown include:

  • You have a cavity that is too large for a standard dental filling
  • You need a dental bridge to replace a lost tooth or teeth
  • You’re getting a dental implant – the crown fits over the implant post.
  • You have a badly cracked or broken tooth
  • You have had a root canal, and the restored tooth needs reinforcement and protection
  • You have permanently stained or discolored teeth
  • You are not happy with the shape of your teeth

Crowns are typically made of porcelain, ceramic, gold, and metal alloys. Acrylic and composite resins are also very popular options in today’s dental crown market. Depending on where you plan to get your crown placed, and the functionality required for the crowned tooth, your dentist will then work with you to recommend the best material for your circumstances.

Getting A Dental Crown

To begin, your dentist will prepare the tooth that is to be crowned by removing any remaining decay. The tooth will then be shaped so that it can accept the crown, and your gums will likely be numbed during this process for your comfort. An impression of your teeth is then made, and this mold and the instructions for fabricating the crown is then sent to a dental laboratory. The permanent crown is made, and during the window of time in which the impression is being made and the permanent crown is placed, your dentist may recommend a temporary crown in the meantime.

We know cosmetic dentistry can be a big decision to make, so we want to help you by making it easier! If you have lingering questions concerning dental crowns, or other treatments, all of us here at Great Smile in La Mesa in La Mesa, CA, would love the opportunity to help! Give us a call or send us an email to schedule your very first appointment. We can’t wait to meet you!

Endodontics (Root Canal Therapy) and Canker Sores

Endodontics is a crucial part of dentistry which pinpoints the areas of the soft tissues of the tooth. With that being said, it is also very closely related to canker sores. Here are some things you should know when dealing with the latter.

Why would I need root canal therapy?

Firstly, let’s cover the main purpose of endodontics, root canal therapy. If the soft tissue of a tooth becomes infected, it is almost always required to undergo root canal surgery to prevent further infection of the bloodstream.

Symptoms that you may have an infection

  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Sensitivity
  • Discoloration
  • Tenderness
  • Abnormality of teeth

The Cost of Root Canal Therapy

The overall cost for procedures such as a root canal therapy will most definitely always depend on the condition of the tooth. However, generally, treatments on molars tend to be a bit more expensive when considered individually. If the tooth being treated is a natural tooth, however, you can expect to spend less money.

Why Do I Have A Canker Sore After My Procedure?

Well, the good news is that you’re not alone when it comes to sores. Believe it or not, 25% of patients report having some form of sore or oral discomfort after a root canal procedure. It is believed that the frequent rubbing of the gums in the procedure is the primary cause of irritation, but sores in the dental industry have yet to be fully explored. If you are experiencing sores after your procedure, try rinsing with a saltwater mix three times a day. Or similarly, you can use hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria that may be further irritating the sore. There have also been very positive reports of using vitamin E oils for relief and faster treatment times. However, if all else fails, keep taking proper care of your teeth and gums, because most canker sores heal within 7-10 days.

What to do after a Root Canal Procedure?

Like most other dental procedures all that is needed is the basics of a healthy dental routine, brushing and flossing.

What You Need to Know About Immediate Dentures

If you’re about to undergo multiple tooth extractions, your dentist may recommend immediate dentures which can be fixed the same day of the extractions.

Here’s all you need to know about immediate dentures.

How Are Immediate Dentures Done?

Before your tooth extraction, your dental professional takes dental images and impression and passes them on to a lab to create your immediate dentures. So instead of waiting for months for your gums to heal and permanent dentures fitted, your immediate dentures will be ready to be fixed in your mouth the same day.

Advantages of Immediate Dentures

When your dentist takes your dental impressions and prepares an immediate denture before tooth extraction, your tooth color, shape, and size will more accurately match that of the denture.

With immediate dentures, you won’t have to go without teeth for a long time before getting your permanent dentures fitted. This means you can remain confident and pleased with your smile immediately after your tooth extractions.

You also won’t suffer the inconvenience of having to adjust your oral habits and speech patterns when without teeth and readjusting again when you get fitted with a permanent denture.

Immediate dentures help you get right back to indulging in your favorite meals after your extraction rather than being restricted to a liquid diet.

Proper Care for Immediate Dentures

After six months of wearing your immediate dentures, your dentist will have to extensively review them to see how well and comfortably they sit in your mouth. If necessary, he will adjust their shape and size. Frequently, after all the modifications and adjustment, the immediate denture ends up becoming permanent.

Other times, the dentist will use the immediate dentures as a stop-gap measure after tooth extraction and will proceed to fit the permanent denture after your gums and bones must have completely healed.

If you have any questions regarding the creation, maintenance, or feel of immediate dentures, please give us a call or set up an appointment online today! Alternatively, if you would like more information about traditional dentures, you can ask us for information for that as well!

Uncovering the benefits of white fillings in La Mesa

Fillings are commonly used to restore teeth by dentists all across the country, yet some dental filling options are more noticeable than others. Our team at Great Smile of La Mesa offers composite white fillings that blend in with the rest of your smile for an invisible restoration option. Continue reading to learn the many benefits of white fillings for your smile.

What are dental fillings?

Dental fillings are used to restore a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma. It fills in the affected area to provide strength and avoid the risk of infection in the tooth. There are many options in choosing a material for your filling including composite resin, gold, and silver. Below are a few benefits of white fillings and why our dental team always chooses this option:

  • Less tooth preparation. Metal fillings require more preparation to the individual tooth prior to applying the filling. This leads to a weakened tooth that will ultimately need replacing. If you choose to go with white composite fillings, then only the decayed area of the tooth needs to be removed.
  • Stronger teeth. Our dental team constructs the filling directly on the tooth by building up the composite filling layer by layer. Metal fillings negatively affect the bite pressure due to their uncomfortable placement inside the tooth.
  • Natural appearance. White composite fillings have a natural look and feel to them and closely resemble a natural tooth while metal fillings are noticeable from a glance.

Call our dental office to set up an appointment with a member of our staff and protect your teeth with white fillings. Call us today to learn more about the different preventative, restorative, and cosmetic services.

Why Replace Metal Fillings With Tooth-colored Composite Fillings?

Dental fillings are very commonly used to help protect teeth and fill areas that are affected by damage or decay from cavities. Our dental team at Great Smiles of La Mesa is eager to provide custom care to every patient that walks through our front doors. An ongoing debate is whether tooth-colored composite fillings are better than regular metal fillings. Continue reading on to see why you should replace your old metal fillings with tooth-colored composite fillings.

Tooth-Colored Dental Fillings are made up of white composite material that closely matches the look of a tooth’s natural enamel. They are a ceramic material that is individually layered on to a tooth in order to further strengthen and protect it.

Is replacing metal fillings common?

Replacing metal fillings has been more common in recent years. This is an easy procedure that simply involves removing the metal filling and in turn adding the composite material. If you are interested in replacing your fillings, then contact our office for a consultation to see if it would be beneficial to your oral health. The two major reasons for replacing metal fillings are below:

  • Cosmetic Reasons for Replacing Metal Fillings. Metal fillings are more of a color contrast in comparison to the natural and almost invisible look for composite materials.
  • Health Reasons for Replacing Metal Fillings. In previous years, metal fillings contained toxic mercury. They also change size and shape depending on the temperature, which can lead to openings that welcome bacteria.

There are many compelling reasons in general for using tooth-colored fillings. Therefore we encourage you to contact our dental office to set up a consultation with our dentist. They can help to answer any further questions you might have regarding treatment.

Bite Problems and Dental Implants

Bite problems can lead to some serious aches and pain. If you grind or clench your teeth over a long period of time you may end up with a chipped or cracked tooth. Even worse, you could experience headaches, ear ringing, severe jaw pain, or dental implant failure! The good news is, there’s preventative exercises that can relieve muscle stress and stop the onset of grinding and clenching. If it cannot be prevented, a bite guard or dental surgery can reset your bite and heal the problem.

What Causes Grinding and Clenching?

The mouth is surrounded by bones that hold our teeth in place. If these bones shift, your teeth may shift with them, which cause our bite to strain. This straining creates tension in our face muscles which leads us to involuntarily grind or clench our jaws. Grinding is when tension forces your jaw to move in a horizontal or circular motion. Clenching is when tension forces the jaw to apply vertical pressure. If grinding or clenching persists, you may develop a continuous spasm, or “Charlie Horse”, in your face muscles.

How Can I be Sure I have a Bite Problem?

Dentists can measure your bite to see if it is off balance. They use a very thin micron paper which records bite measurements. From this quick test, they’ll be able to diagnose you.

How Can I Prevent This?

There are some simple jaw stretch exercises that can help to relieve face muscle stress. First, you’ll need to ice your face for 5-10 minutes on each side. Once cooled, there are four exercises to ease your muscles.

  1. Place your thumb under your chin and slowly open your mouth. Apply resistance by pushing up against your chin. Repeat 10 times.
  2. Place your index and thumb fingers on your chin and squeeze together. As you apply pressure gently close your mouth. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Place a small object (1⁄4 inch) in between your front teeth and move your jaw from side to side. Repeat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and slowly open and close your mouth. Repeat 10 times.

We’re all susceptible to bite problems. If we engage in preventative ice and stretching exercises, we have a good chance of keeping our face muscles stress-free.

Guide To Caring For Your Invisalign Aligners

Have you finally decided to achieve a more perfect smile with Invisalign treatment in La Mesa, CA? You are probably wondering how exactly you should care for your new dental appliances, well today Great Smiles is providing some tips on caring for your Invisalign aligners, follow along!

Make sure you brush properly.

Did you know properly brushing your teeth is even more important during Invisalign treatment? Debris, bacteria and plaque can actually damage your aligners, leaving them stained, damaged and even discolored. We recommend brushing your aligners each time you brush your teeth as well. You should only use cold water as warm/hot water can actually warp your plastic aligners.

Store your aligners properly.

You should be wearing your Invisalign aligners for at least 22 hours each day (we recommend wearing them as much as possible for quicker and more effective treatment), however when they are removed it is important to store them properly. Due to the fact that Invisalign treatment is designed to be “invisible”, lost aligners can often be extremely hard to find and may become damaged. You can even add mouthwash to your case to give your mouth a freshen up after you put them back in.

Only drink water while wearing your aligners.

When we told you nothing but water while wearing your aligners, we meant it! Foods and beverages can actually stain and damage your aligners, making them no longer invisible and possibly less effective. Ultimately this could lengthen your treatment.

Contact your La Mesa orthodontist if an aligner is damaged.

Notice one of your aligners seems damaged? You should contact your orthodontist immediately as this damage to the aligners can actually have an impact on how successful treatment is.

Causes of Periodontitis

By now, most people have heard of gingivitis and periodontitis. Unfortunately, what they may not fully understand is just how damaging this disease can be if left untreated. Periodontal disease is correlated with many different bad health effects and conditions including the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. This is why it is very important for you to take gum disease seriously.

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an infection that includes severe inflammation of the supportive tissue around the tooth, or gums. most cases of periodontitis simply include swollen, painful gums. However, very severe cases of periodontitis can actually lead to gum loss and heart attack.

Periodontitis is caused by General poor oral hygiene. This includes not flossing daily and having a likewise poor oral routine. Over time, plaque buildup on your teeth and the pockets between your teeth and gums. This bacteria and plaque eventually will cause infection if not removed.

Common Types of Periodontitis

Aggressive periodontitis: this type of periodontitis is characterized by a sudden loss of gum attachment and leads to chronic bone destruction. It can be rooted simply in genetics and contracted by people with good oral hygiene.

Chronic periodontitis: this is the most common type of periodontal disease. It is characterized by receding gums, Deep Pockets between the gums and teeth, swelling, and pain.

Necrotizing periodontitis: this form of the disease is essentially tissue death or necrosis. It is located within the alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, and gingival tissues.This form of periodontitis is most common in people who have immune system diseases such as HIV.

Periodontitis and other gum diseases are very serious and should be well understood. The more you know, the more likely you are to be able to avoid contracting periodontitis. Improve your oral hygiene routine, and keep a careful watch of your gums. If you have any more questions regarding periodontitis, please give us a call today.