Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


What to Do about a Cracked Dental Crown

Up until now, you’d hoped you’d never have to contend with this feeling. The CRUNCH. Followed by the stinging pain and the sinking feeling that you get when you run your tongue (compulsively) over your teeth, just a few times too many. You’ve just cracked a dental crown, and your first thought is that it’s going to be expensive, inconvenient, and even a little painful and decide to call your dentist immediately.

While our hats go off to you for quickly contacting your dentist when confronted with a potential emergency, you’re in luck! Fortunately, cracking a dental crown isn’t typically an emergency, and in many cases — the repair is a fast (and virtually painless) fix that will restore your tooth and eliminate any pain that may be caused by the crack itself.

“Not an emergency? I just cracked my tooth!” 

While you do need to get your tooth repaired soon, a cracked crown is only really an emergency if there is a jagged edge irritating your tongue or if the underlying pulp is exposed — making eating (and breathing cold air) difficult. Even when there’s no pain, if you notice a cracked crown it’s still important to contact your local experts when it comes to dental crowns and bridges in Garden Grove — Primary Dental Care.

On the other hand, if you are experiencing a great deal of pain — there might be another cause for it, and you should contact an emergency dentist the Anaheim and Fountain Valley area as soon as possible.

“What Should I Do in the Meantime?”

Whether you’re a patient at Primary Dental Care, or simple searching for the best available advice on the pesky problem of a cracked dental crown, there are a few steps you can take when it comes to minimizing the damage and maximizing the chance of a smooth and quick recovery.

First: Take a look at the area. Do pieces of your crown appear to be missing or out of place? If the dental crown appears loose, removing it can prevent you from swallowing it before you have a chance to make it to the dentist.

Second: Once the crown is out (or safely lost in your stomach — don’t worry, this is harmless and fairly common) take a look at the tooth remaining. Is it sharp? many patients simply can’t stand this jagged feeling and schedule an emergency appointment. We don’t blame them. However, as long as you schedule an appointment to replace the crown, your tooth will be fine.

Third: To control minor pain, over the counter pain reliever (like Tylenol or Aspirin) can help.

“What if there’s blood?”

If there’s any blood coming from a cracked crown, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

“How long can I wait before getting a cracked dental crown fixed?”

Many patients wonder how long they can put off the appointment to replace a cracked crown that isn’t particularly painful or annoying. To them, we say this: remember why you got the crown in the first place. In many cases, a crown is placed to protect the inside of your tooth — which could have been exposed due to a cavity. For this reason alone, it’s important to replace the crown and minimize the damage to the inside of your tooth. Every day unnecessary bacteria makes its way inside your tooth is one day too many.

How to Afford Dentures


Did you know that more than 35 million Americans don’t have any teeth? On top of this, over 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. While these numbers are expected to grow in the coming years, they make one point very clear: tooth loss is common, and it happens for a number of reasons.

According to the CDC, “Older Americans with the poorest oral health are those who are economically disadvantaged, lack insurance, and are members of racial and ethnic minorities. Being disabled, homebound, or institutionalized also increases the risk of poor oral health.” For this reason, dental offices like Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove find it incredibly important to be affordable dentures dentist that patients can turn to.

While it might be tempting to just “live with it” when it comes to missing teeth, it’s important to remember that missing teeth can often lead to more serious (and expensive) problems.

While patients typically would jump at the opportunity to have their “normal” smile back, many of them hold off because they’re not aware of how affordable dentures can really be.  Here in the Garden Grove and Fountain Valley area, the reality is no different, bu there’s hope! While affordable dentures dentists like Primary Dental Care offer dentures staring at $1200, there are also a variety of solutions that can help you afford dentures. These include:

Payment Plans

If you can’t afford the one-time price of dentures, nearly every dentist will agree to installing dentures with a payment plan to help make the procedure more affordable. More often than not, many times — all you need to do is ask.

A Health Insurance Credit Card

You might be saying, “No, No, No” not another credit card. However, there are a few different health-related credit cards out there with long, introductory 0% APR periods, that enable to you gradually pay off your procedure without paying any interest. The only trick here is to make sure you pay off your procedure before the introductory period ends (this is usually between 1 and 2 years).

Dental Insurance

You might be saying, “The whole reason I searched for ‘how to afford dentures'” is because I DON’T HAVE DENTAL INSURANCE. But remember: it might still be an option. Even if you don’t have dental insurance right now, many dental insurance plans can help you manage the cost of getting dentures. Just because you don’t have the money up-front, you shouldn’t be worried about restoring your smile and your confidence. With low monthly premiums available, dental insurance doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

Do you have questions about affording dentures? Our expert team of dentists have the experience and knowledge that ensure the answers are never far off.  Feel free to contact us anytime.

Finding the Right Family Dentist: the 9 Dental Specialties

When it comes to finding a great family dentist in  Garden Grove CA, we like to think we’re the experts! Why? Because we consider ourselves a great family dental practice for families of every kind. But even if you aren’t from the Anaheim area, one of the most things to remember know when you’re considering a new family dentist is that particular dentist’s specialty.

Naturally, the first thing you want to look for when you’re looking for a good family dentist is a wealth of training and experience. However, graduating dental school isn’t the end.

The American Dental Association recognized 9 Dental Specialties that span the entirety of dentistry. These specialties are focused on a wide variety of different disciplines to ensure that every patient with virtually any problem can be treated. Again, it’s important to remember that not every dentist specializes in all 9 area (otherwise, why call it a specialty?) However, the best family dental practices will either have relationships with dental specialists or employ a team of dentists with a variety of specialties (this is how it works at Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove)

Additional Training and Specializations

Some areas of dentistry you might want your dentist to be trained in (beyond regular dental school) include:

  • Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics: This was the first specialty to be introduced to the dentistry field. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in correcting teeth that are not positions properly. Most patients typically think of orthodontists as dentists who specialize in braces, and in most cases, they’re correct!
  • Periodontics: the treatment of gums and the supporting structures of your teeth
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology: The study, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and conditions that occur in the maxillofacial region. Maxillofacial, in general terms, means “around the face” — and can pertain to the head, face, neck, jaws, and — especially for dentists — the hard and soft tissues of your mouth.
  • Oral and maxillofacial radiology: Maxillofacial radiologists work in tandem with other oral and maxillofacial specialists (or often specialize in all three maxillofacial disciplines) to study and interpret oral and maxillofacial conditions using radiology.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery: Oral and maxillofacial dentists are primarily concerned with procedures that involve surgery of of the mouth and jaw. For example, if a patient requires removal of bone or an implant, the jaw often comes into play and requires the attention of a maxillofacial surgeon.
  • Endodontics: the treatment of the inside of your teeth,  and the diseases and conditions that can arise due to the dental pulp inside your teeth. Endodontic specialists take the lead when it comes to root canal therapy.
  • Pediatric Dentistry: the treatment of adolescent teeth
  • Prosthodontics:  Prosthodontic specialists are responsible for restoring your smile to its former glory and preventing future teeth loss by installing and maintaining dental prostheses like crowns, bridges, dentures, implants, and more.
  • Dental Public Health: the general study of cause and effect as it pertains to oral health, and the variety of conditions that can manifest in the mouth and because of your oral health.


Wisdom Tooth Removal: Your Survival Checklist

1. Don’t panic.

The first rule of wisdom tooth extraction is simple: don’t panic. Not only does your oral surgeon offer sedation and anesthetic for your wisdom tooth extraction, it’s also important to remember that your dentist removes plenty of wisdom teeth every year.  But “don’t panic” doesn’t just apply to the actual procedure, it also applies to your recovery. A little bit of blood is normal, and when it mixes with your saliva it can seem like a lot more than is really there. Shall we remind you again? Don’t panic.

2. Bring Music

When it comes to virtually any oral surgery, there won’t be any pain because your doctor will have used either a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic (which would make the following suggestion redundant, since you’ll be asleep.) However, if you’re only using local anesthetic, you might want to follow this advice: bring music.

For many patients, the sound of the procedure can be quite unnerving. If your oral surgeon is okay with it, music can help eliminate the anxiety that comes about from simply hearing the sounds of drilling and scraping that take place in your mouth during wisdom tooth extraction. Combined with Nitrous Oxide — which helps to relax you and put you in a semi-dreamy state – you’ll be more than ready for your wisdom tooth extraction.

3. Bring a friend

Whenever you’ve been sedated, it’s incredibly important to bring a responsible friend with you to take you home, and ensure that you’re okay. Not only is it important to bring a responsible friend that will get you home safely, but it’s also helpful to bring a friend that has a good sense of humor!  Why? Because sedation from your surgery will make you just a bit loopy.

Consider Shelby’s experience for example…

…which goes to show that having a close friend or family member is important — because sometimes the after-effects of your sedation can make things a bit embarrassing, and it’s important that you’re with something you’re comfortable with. Who knows? Maybe it will result in a hilarious memory to look back on and laugh about.

4. Ice Cream and Smoothies Are the Way to Go

After you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed, it’s not always easy to eat the foods that you’re used to. For this reason, it’s important to eat soft foods that feel good for your mouth. Most patients report that ice cream, mashed potatoes, and smoothies are the easiest food to get down. But don’t overdo it on the ice-cream! You know what your dentist says about sugar…

5. “Hello My Name is Chipmunk!”

After just about any oral surgery, swelling is going to be natural. But it’s also important to remember that it should only last for a day or two. Don’t stress out about your face looking a bit (or quite a bit) puffy.

Bottom line: It’s going to be okay

Not only has your oral surgeon done this plenty of times, but wisdom tooth extraction is also incredibly common. Over 95% of the population has to get wisdom teeth removed, and the process is 100% bearable for a majority of the population. The biggest piece of advice our oral surgery team in Fountain Springs can give you is simple: stay calm. It’s all going to be okay.



Everyone’s done it.

How Dental Implants can Impact Your Sinuses

A popular phenomenon when it comes to your teeth is their close relationship with the rest of your body.  Many dentists refer to this as the “Mouth body connection”. Why? Because your teeth can truly have an impact on the rest of your body. For instance, many years ago — if a patient suffered from heart disease — it would be unlikely for their doctor to consider the possibility that their condition stemmed from a gum disease. However, this sort of relationship isn’t just a rare possibility, it’s far more common than you think. In fact, WebMD even claims that research has proven that serious gum disease indicated a 40% greater likelihood that the patient would have a chronic condition elsewhere in their body on top of it.  Which brings us to your sinuses.

Many patients who have lost any number of upper, rear teeth complain about sinus trouble. When it comes to the source of this irritation, the sinuses in your jaw, known as the maxillary sinuses, can often be the culprit. If you’ve ever heard of a dentist or oral surgeon that also specializes in maxillofacial surgery, this won’t be a mystery to you. Due to that fact that “maxillary” refers to bodyparts (like teeth) and systems associated with the upper jaw,  it’s not surprising that the two can often be related.

When any sort of change happens on your jaw, such as with your teeth — it can also have an impact on other aspects of your jaw.  If you’ve lost upper back teeth, and seem to suffer from chronic sinus irritation on the particular side that you’ve lost teeth — it’s likely that the loss of teeth is the underlying cause.  While many patients don’t replace these teeth because they can’t always be seen, dental implants can help relieve this irritation.

Why Does This Irritation Happen?

If you’re experiencing sinus irritation due to the loss of a tooth, it could be due to the irregular downward growth of your maxillary sinuses. Normally, these sinuses are incredibly small, but they grow as your skull gets larger. Given additional space (due to the loss of space) these sinuses can grow even larger than normal, which can produce irritation.

By replacing missing teeth in the upper, rear portion of your mouth it is often necessary to elevate the sinuses  — which creates room for the new teeth. As is the case with any dental implant, this adds bone (or bone substitute) where there was none before. While the goal of this procedure is to typically make room and lay the groundwork for new back teeth, a welcome side affect is that it often can reduce size the size of your sinuses and help them drain much more easily.

Have you lost upper rear teeth and do you experience sinus pressure that didn’t exist before? You might be a candidate for maxillofacial surgery and possibly dental implants. In Garden Grove and Fountain Valley, our team of dentists and oral surgeons frequently provide the level of care that give patients better smiles and greater overall health. Contact us today if you have any questions about how problems in your mouth could be affecting the rest of your body.

Invisalign: Reactions and Side Effects, As Told by Patients Across the Country

When it comes to any sort of medical procedure, one of the first questions patients always ask is, “What are the side effects?”. This is natural! Whenever we get involved with something, whether it’s committing to a new business venture or to  dental braces , you want to be able to know if the “juice is worth the squeeze.” You want to know that the procedure is worth the time and possible inconvenience.


While there are a small number of inconveniences that accompany invisalign, hundreds of thousands of patients around the world have found them minor enough to resoundingly agree that the treatment was “well worth it”. Read what other patients had to say about some of the most common questions dentists and orthodontists get about Invisalign’s side effects.


“What does Invisalign feel like? Is it painful or annoying?”


Most patients agree that Invisalign retainers, while noticeable for a a short time, while gradually become harder to notice. While it gets easier and easier to wear invisalign retainers, some patients recommend avoiding the temptation to “Feel them out” with your tongue.


Take it from one patient, who said: “I notice it less every day. The first few days I had an oral fixation on it and examined the edges of the retainer constantly with my tongue — DO NOT DO THIS — just leave it alone. The tip of my tongue has become very scratched and sore. from patient Droo


“Will people notice I have invisalign?”


We are often our own worst critics when it comes to our appearances. But potential invisalign patients will be happy to know that most patients report friends and loved ones hardly notice their invisalign retainers.


“I cannot overstate the aesthetic value of having “clear braces” over a year. No one, and I mean
no one, could tell I had them on unless I mentioned it. It may be the right solution for you depending on your occupation or personal preference. [by KoolAidSm)]


“Is Invisalign Painful or Uncomfortable?”
When it comes to the intersection of beauty and pain, sometimes some patients are willing to go further than others. However, you can rest easy knowing that the pain involved with Invisalign is very minor and very temporary. While some patients report the initial pain being more uncomfortable than others, it is rare for Invisalign retainers to cause pain for more than a couple weeks. Take it from Polotab — a poster on one popular internet messageboard — who said that the pain generally goes away in a couple of days “I was regretting my decision at first.. But the pain subsides with a day or 2 and ibuprofen really helps. When I switch aligner trays after 2 weeks, I always do so in the evening with an ibuprofen, and I am fine. from patient polotab


Or consider for example the experience of Reddit  Ender66.

, who explained that while the Invisalign retainers can “definitely [be] distracting at first, every two weeks you put a new set of trays in and you slowly get more used to them as time goes on. Now, if they’ve been out of my mouth for more than an hour or so, it definitely feels like something is missing. They feel like a part of me now.”


Will Invisalign impact my voice?


Many patients worry about the impact of Invisalign on their voice, and it’s a valid concern. While some patients notice a more pronounced affect than others — a small lisp can sometimes last for a day or so when the first set of retainers is used.


“I was only affected with a lisp with my first set and only for a day or so. In my opinion, they are well worth it. by jackster212



There’s even some positive side effects! 


I can lose weight with Invisalign?

Sometimes, we even hear about Invisalign side effects that patients end up enjoying. While it’s true that Invisalign can sometimes make constant eating a bit of a hassle due to the need to remove your retainers, this has enabled some patients to kick the habit of  “unconscious eating”. Instead of grabbing for the bag of chips simply because they were “there”, many Invisalign patients think twice due to the need to remove the retainers and put them back in again. This has led to some patients who not only got straighter teeth, but a smaller waistline!


I didn’t realize how often I would eat and drink just because it was there. Now having to deal with my tray and brushing my teeth… I feel like I’ve been forced to do the Invisalign Diet! In only four months I’ve lost 8lbs! When this all over I’ll have good teeth & be super skinny. by M McEachran 


…and improve their brushing habits!


Because eating and drinking helps bacteria cling to your teeth, this makes it necessary to brush often when using Invisalign retainers, due to the potential for bad breath. As some patients report, this encourages them to  “stay honest” when it comes to their oral health, and leads to more dedicated brushing and flossing.

Oral Surgeons in Garden Grove Agree: Do What’s Comfortable for You

“Should I Opt for local or general anesthesia when it comes to my wisdom teeth?”

When it comes to getting wisdom teeth removed, patients are often provided with the option of having either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. While these two might sound similar, they’re actually quite different. Our team of oral surgeons in Garden Grove walks every patient through their anesthetic options (and the associated pros and cons) it’s understandable that many patients either still have questions or have simply forgotten what their oral surgeons briefed them on. This is understandable! Any surgery can be stressful, and sometimes the small details (like the difference between local and general anesthetic) fall by the wayside.
There are a number of available options when it comes to anesthesia during surgery — particularly during wisdom tooth surgery.  But when it comes to the solutions available, while some of the medications available are intended to control pain, sometimes simple relaxation or even complete sleep are necessary to create a comfortable experience for the patient during treatment.
When it comes to choosing the right anesthesia for you, your choice will ultimately rely on the actual procedure at hand, your allergy history, your health, and even the degree of your anxiety when it comes to the actual procedure.
Local Anesthesia vs General Anesthesia
When it comes to general anesthesia, most patients simply refer to it as “going under”. But it doesn’t have to sound so daunting. General anesthesia typically uses a combination of drugs (administered by an anesthesiologist) to produce a sleep-state where you are unconscious and feel no pain. Typically, general anesthesia comes in the form of either an intravenous drug, or one that you  breath — typically known as “sleeping gas”. Regardless of the type of general anesthetic that’s used,  the anesthesiologist (and usually a nurse) will monitor your vital signs, control your breathing, and ensure a safe procedure at all times.  The opposite of general anesthesia is local anesthesia, which is used (as the name suggests) to prevent and suppress pain in a very specific area of your mouth. This is done by blocking the nerves that transmit pain, and is applied by your dentist to prevent pain for the duration of the procedure. However, sometimes it can last a little longer, which encourages some patients to remain away from work for the day of their surgery.
Patients choose general anesthesia for a number of reasons. For some, it’s a fear of needles (used to apply anesthetic) and the anxiety of having “work” done in your mouth. From blood and saliva to the sound of the drill and everything that comes with it, general anesthesia makes all of the typical discomforts of surgery melt away. Other times, when the procedure is relatively minor and your dentist is confident the procedure will be comfortable enough, local anesthesia is often all that’s needed — leaving only a gentle tingling or tugging feeling instead of pain.
Do you have questions about anesthesia for your next dental procedure? Our team of oral surgeons are here in Garden Grove and Fountain Valley to help. Contact us to learn more. 

Will my Child’s Teeth Straighten Out?


It’s only natural for a parent to be concerned about their child’s smile. Growing up isn’t always easy! When kids grow up with noticeably crooked or gapped teeth, there’s always the chance for a little bit of teasing. Sure, we might often think back to when we were kids and say, “Nah! It builds character!” But if noticeable imperfections appear to be showing up now, it might be a good idea to determine if they need the attention of your pediatric dentist now.

The Transitioning Period

Many parents of young er children often come to us with questions about a common feature of being young: the ugly duckling period. You know what it looks like (it might even describe your child perfectly), upper front teeth that are flared out, with a gap in-between that’s all-to-often used as a straw holder or french fry delivery port.

The important thing to know about this “look” is that it’s perfectly normal. During the transitioning period after baby teeth fall out, it is common for the new adult teeth to look a little “wayward”. As more teeth erupt (like the canines) and your child’s jaw develops, the front teeth will straighten out and the gaps in your child’s teeth will close.

Another common “issue” parents inquire about is when newly emerged permanent teeth do not seem aligned properly with the “baby” teeth. Many times, they wonder if the baby teeth can be removed to allow for more room for the incoming adult teeth. This is generally an unnecessary procedure, because permanent teeth are bigger than baby teeth and your child’s jaw is still growing. While new teeth might not have enough space and may even look awfully crowded right now, give it a little time before worrying. Until your child’s first premolar has emerged, and their jaw development has slowed, and moved past the rapid growth spurts of early childhood.

“When should I consider braces for my child?”

If you’re wondering if your child might need braces. First, consult your dentist. As you’ve read above, many irregularities in your child’s smile can be attributed to and corrected by the fact that they’re still growing.

In most cases, it is hard to determine whether a child will need braces until their permanent teeth have completely replaced their baby teeth.



The Bridge to Better Teeth, The Dental Bridge



What is a bridge for, anyhow?

Some might say to cross a deep ravine, while others say to “get over a river” or “cross the bay!” or even simply to “Get over the 405 in Fountain Valley”. These things are all true. A bridge can be many things, but at its core it’s the most direct route over an obstacle, and in the direction that you want to go. For that reason, the dental bridge is one of the most important and widely used procedures in modern dentistry.

Here in our Garden Grove dental clinic, we regularly provide patients with the dental bridges. Dental bridges are called this because they are actually just like a bridge and are typically recommended when you’re missing one or more of your teeth. Because of the gaps that remain in their place, the lack of support can cause other adjacent teeth to shift and move, which can cause an improper bite. A bridge uses these teeth to serve as “supports” for the bridge. Between these two anchors, a replacement tooth is inserted and attached to crowns that will be places over the supporting teeth.

So, a bridge requires a crown?

In most cases yes. After all, who makes the bridge possible but the government? (A little trick to remember the relationship by). A crown is used to “cap” the teeth used to anchor your bridge. They’re also used to strengthen damaged teeth, improve appearance, and correct alignment or shape.  Crowns are often ceramic or porcelain, with modern science adding the ability to match the color of your natural teeth. In addition to porcelain and ceramic, crowns are also available in gold, acrylic, and metal alloys. Every material has its own advantages and disadvantages ranging from cost and longevity to aesthetics and compatibility with the patient.

Do dental bridges last forever?

With the proper care, yes! Dental crowns and bridges can indeed last a lifetime. However, accidents do happen and they can sometimes fall out. The best thing to do to protect your investment (and your newly improved smile) is to follow your dentist’s suggestions and practice good oral hygiene. By keeping your teeth and gums healthy (by flossing and brushing with fluoride toothpaste), you drastically improve the chance of never having to worry about these particular teeth again.



Invisalign: One patient’s experience

When it comes to virtually any medical procedure, it’s only natural that patients want to hear a first hand account of another patient’s experience. Read on for a step-by-step of the invisalign process, with commentary by reddit user Ender66 in his “Ask me Anything” in 2015 titled, “IamA guy that just finished Invisalign. May not be the most exciting topic ever, but many people are super curious about the procedure. AMA!“. Ender66 is a 31 year old male who elected to get invisalign to straighten some misaligned teeth. .

When patients who need dental braces choose the invisalign process, it all begins with your dentist sending a set of Xrays to ensure you’re a good candidate (learn more about candidacy for Invisalign). If you’re a good candidate, multiple sets of retainers are made to gradually adjust the positioning of your teeth. Each set is used for about two weeks.

Yes, it pretty much straightens out your teeth, but there are some other steps involved, too. Of course, everyone’s teeth are different, but here is an overview of what I went through:

For Ender66, his results came back affirmative and he was able to begin his treatment in just one week.  First, the dentists take a precise mold of the teeth using a gum-gel. Throughout this process, the dentist will spread the gum-gel into the teeth to ensure that there are no gaps in the molds. This is done for the top and the bottom.

About two weeks later, you will go back to your dentist’s office to collect your first set of Invisalign trays. For some patients, this is also a time for the dentist to perform any additional preparations on the teeth. This can sometimes involve “filing” teeth to gradually reshape the tooth to make room for your future smile.  As Ender66 explains, this was “definitely the worst part.” However it’s important to remember that it’s only done a couple times, and is ultimately the only real discomfort that you’ll experience.

After this point, you will visit the dentist every two or three weeks to get new Invisalign trays, for two years. At the very end of the process, some patients also receive new harder retainers than the regular Invisalign trays. These are to be worn for as long as your dentist tells you, mainly at night, just to help ensure the process is as successful as possible.