Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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Cosmetic Dentistry Options Available to You

Dental Options for When “It’s Just Cosmetic” Won’t Cut it as an Excuse

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Needing a few repairs “under the ol’ hood” is never fun. But when we stop talking in car metaphors and begin talking about your teeth it’s even less fun. Most patients don’t even want to talk about cosmetic dentistry for the simple reason that they think it’s always expensive.

While cosmetic procedures are often “elective” and rarely “quick” it’s true that cosmetic dentistry costs a bit more than a standard cleaning. However, it’s incredibly important to remember that cosmetic dentistry is not unattainable or overly expensive. On top of that, if cosmetic dental treatment isn’t exactly in your budget, there are a number of available options for paying off or financing your treatment (including low interest and even no-interest credit cards designed with elective procedures in mind).

With that said, there are generally 5 areas of cosmetic dentistry. Let’s  learn a bit more about them.  Continue reading

“What is a Dental Deep Cleaning, and do I Need One?”

If you just learned about dental deep cleaning, you might have a couple questions. First among them being, “What on earth is it?” Deep dental cleaning is another (sometimes more common) word for dental scaling and root planing.

What is deep dental cleaning?

To put it as simply as possible, deep cleaning is required when gum disease is allowed to persist for too long. This can often happen without you even realizing it, but your dentist will often have to step in once gum disease has moved below your gum line. The most common side effect of this is the creation of small pockets, formed when the gum detaches from the tooth. By cleaning deep in the pocket, our dentists and dental hygienists ensure that no additional or invasive treatment is required to reverse the progress of periodontal disease.

Dental Scaling

When your dental hygienist or dentist scales your teeth, it means they are removing plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth with a high-tech ultrasonic tool. This creates gentle vibrations strong enough to remove the plaque and tartar without hurting the surface of your teeth.

Dental Root Planing

Root planing is slightly more involved than dental scaling, and is the more detailed scaling of the root surface using a tool we call “curettes”  Curettes are hand instruments used to smooth out rough spots and help remove residual tartar left-over on your teeth. You might be thinking, “But that’s my tooth not my gums. Isn’t the problem my gums?” And that’s a great question! It’s important to clean your tooth and create a smooth surface free of plaque for one major reason. In order to encourage your gum to re-attach to the root, which causes pockets formed around the teeth to close up, and eliminate space for nasty bacteria to grow and fester

When do I need deep cleaning?

Short answer: whenever. Any patient experiencing the early signs of gum disease is a good candidate for deep cleaning. If our dentists or hygienists think dental deep cleaning can help your mouth avoid the need for more serious gum treatment, we’ll surely recommend it!

Are Root Canals Bad? More of the Answers You’re Looking for about Root Canal Treatment

Whenever it comes time to search for information about a medical procedure, it’s not uncommon for people the world over to consult the internet first. Generally, the information you get about anything health related should be taken with a grain of salt. With that in mind, if you ever have a question about your teeth, please please please never hesitate to ask.

Here in our tightly knit dental practice in Garden Grove, we answer questions every day. While a lot of them tend to revolve around other questions we frequently answer on our blog, like “how to get my teeth whiter” or “What constitutes a dental emergency?” Another common question that can be a bit scarier for patients is this one:

“Are root canals bad?”

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We’ll start with the honesty. Root canal therapy isn’t something most people look forward to. And while root canal treatment might mean you’ve been slacking in terms of oral care, the treatment isn’t inherently bad and it isn’t even that painful.

There are a number of myths out there about “root canals” that need to be cleared up. First among those is the name. You do not “receive a root canal” at your dentist’s office. In fact, it would make out job much easier if you could! That’s because you already have a root canal, and if you’re experiencing a great deal of pain, there’s a good chance it needs treatment.

We’ve covered the topic in previous blog posts largely based on a similar question we hear (not infrequently). That is, “Why do I need a root canal?” So we’ll keep it short here: if you’re experiencing pain in your mouth or jaw and your dentist mentions root canal therapy, it’s likely because the inside of your tooth (the pulp) has been exposed to bacteria. Bacteria can’t be left inside  a tooth, without further damage, decay, and much more serious health problems that can follow.

The first big myth: Root canal therapy is painful

This is the biggest misnomer out there about root canal therapy. Even some of the toughest patients dread the “R word”  because of the outdated notion that it has to be painful. Good news. It doesn’t! The idea that a root canal is painful largely comes from the days when local anesthetic was not was it is today. In fact,  Root canal treatment relieves the pain caused by rot and decay in your teeth and most patients describe root canal treatment as painless.

The second big myth: Extraction of the tooth is a good alternative

Extracting natural teeth is never a preferred alternative. Saving your natural teeth instead is always the preferred option. Why? Because you only get one set of teeth and nothing can replace a natural tooth.  Here in Garden Grove, endodontic treatment outside of root canal therapy is one of our specialties and can often be a more suitable (and cost effective) than extraction.

Answered questions make happy patients

Do you have a question about your teeth? Fortunately, we have answers. For any questions about root canals, our team at Garden Grove Primary Dental Care can help.

California’s Drought and How it Can Affect Your Teeth

As a Dentist in Garden Grove, serving Fountain Valley and the greater Orange County area, we don’t often get the chance to comment on current events. However, the ongoing (and debilitating) drought in Southern California gives us an opportunity to touch on a very important topic: fluoride.

Fluoride is important for your teeth for one major reason: it helps prevent decay. Because of its properties, fluoride causes a remineralization effect on the teeth that helps turn-around the process of decay, while helping make your teeth more resistant to future decay.

However while the drought taking place in Southern California has an undeniable impact on our day-to-day lives in much more obvious ways, it’s also important to remember those that aren’t quite as obvious, like your teeth.

Water supplies across California regularly add fluoride to your water in order to improve dental health. Below a certain level (which is tested frequently, with reports available at Waterboards.ca.gov), fluoride is perfectly safe for the rest of your body and an absolute boon to your teeth. However, because of the draught communities like Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, and the surrounding areas are receiving water from a number of sources.

Consider Fountain Valley for example:

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With 26% of the water provided to the community “imported” and another 60% coming from the ground, there’s a good chance that the fluoride content that your teeth once received from your water is much different now.

With reservoirs in California well below the optimal level, communities receiving water from additional source are virtually the norm. (Image source: californiadrought.org)

With reservoirs in California well below the optimal level, communities receiving water from additional source are virtually the norm. (Image source: californiadrought.org)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Waterboards.CA.GOV communities like Garden Grove receive “fluoridated water from PWSID 1910087 and uses nonfluoridated water sources. Contact the water system for detailed fluoride level information.” (source: waterboards.ca.gov/). Meanwhile,  for Fountain Valley “Optimal fluoridation is normally provided.” Given the fact that a majority of state reservoirs are running “low”, it wouldn’t be surprising to continue receiving water from sources outside the state, meaning you might not know for certain how much fluoride your teeth or your child’s teeth are getting.

Should I or Shouldn’t I Brush with Fluoride

Ultimately, this decision is up to you and your dentist. With all of the changes to the water you’re drinking and how much of it you’re drinking, it’s very likely that your fluoride intake has changed. So what on earth are you to do?

Simple. Talk to your dentist! Our dentists in Garden Grove are experts when it comes to keeping teeth healthy, and fluoride has been a major part of that. Schedule an appointment today to get the answers you need about your teeth.

Can Invisalign Treat Overbite and Underbite?

As a leading provider of Invisalign in Garden Grove, the dentists of Primary Dental Care know a thing or two about how it works and what it works for. For many patients, Invisalign is a “not-to-secret” secret weapon for straighter, more confident smiles.

But are they too good to be true? Absolutely not. While it might be the case for so many other elective procedures, Invisalign really works. And it even works for some conditions that patients are surprised about. Invisalign treats mild crooked teeth and protruding teeth, as well as issues like overbite, underbite, and malocclusion (when the upper and lower rows of teeth don’t align).

If you have teeth that are too crowded, too spaced out, or simply not quite right. There’s a good chance that Invisalign can help.  Better yet, our dentists in Garden Grove and the Fountain Valley area are Invisalign specialists, with years of experience creating better smiles with affordable Invisalign treatments.

What Invisalign Won’t Treat

One of the few downsides of Invisalign is the simple fact that it takes a small amount of control out of your dentist or orthodontist’s hands. Because of this, Invisalign is often passed-over as a solution when it comes to a number of more serious conditions. These include:

Teeth that are severely rotated: If your tooth or teeth are rotated more than 20 degrees, it’s likely they will a straightening solution that’s a bit more robust than Invisalign.

Extraordinarily Large Spacing Between Teeth: If all of the gaps in your teeth combine to total more than ~6mm per aligner, chances are you may require traditional braces.

Your Teeth are severely angled: When teeth are crooked at an angle greater than 40 to 45 degrees, they become much more difficult to treat with Invisalign alone.

Other serious conditions: If you have a deep overbite, underbite, malocclusion, or open bite, these conditions — while manifested in your teeth — are deeply related to your actual skeletal structure. Sometimes, with more serious skeletally based bite conditions are not treated by braces alone, and can require a more serious procedure.

The Bottom Line

Many patients wonder if they’re a good candidate for Invisalign. If the particular imperfection that you’d like to remedy is rather mild, there’s a good chance you’ll be a great candidate. If you’re curious about another condition, such as a moderate overbite or malocclusion, don’t rule Invisalign out! We still may be able to help.

At Primary Dental of Garden Grove Invisalign is one of our specialties. From young adults to retirees, Invisalign can work for just about anyone. Have questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of friendly, family dentists are here to help.

 

3 Signs You May Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth

As a  Family Dentist in Garden Grove, we see families of every size. But when your dental practice works with a large number of young adults, some of the most common questions revolve around a single part of your oral anatomy: the wisdom teeth.

Your wisdom teeth are also known as your third molars, but we call them your wisdom teeth because they’re  the “last” of the adult teeth, and they come in at a point where you’re wiser (relatively) than you were when you were a child.

One of the most common questions we get about wisdom teeth is whether or not they’re going to be “impacted” or not.

Right around the time a patient is nearing “wisdom tooth” territory, it’s likely that their friends and peers are too. This creates what we call the “phantom of the impacted tooth”. Many patients learn from friends and family that impacted wisdom teeth make the process harder and more painful. But the good news is that isn’t entirely true.

How do Impacted Wisdom Teeth Affect the Procedure?

Impacted wisdom teeth are wisdom teeth that don’t fully break through the gums. This can happen for a few reasons, most common among them being simply space. If your jaw doesn’t have enough space for your wisdom teeth, there’s a chance that they can grow in the wrong direction. This can also occur when the wisdom tooth is angled improperly, or obstructed by another tooth.

If you have impacted wisdom teeth. The treatment is slightly different than with normally erupted teeth. First, your dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum and remove any bone obstructing the impacted tooth. Next, they’ll remove the tooth itself.

If the wisdom tooth is too large to remove in  a single piece, or it’s growing in at the wrong angle, the oral surgeon will instead cut the tooth into small pieces using a drill. While this sounds like a traumatic option, drilling actually makes faster more precise work of the tooth than simply pulling alone.

 

How do I Know if My Wisdom Teeth are Impacted?

If you’re nearing the age where your wisdom teeth should be erupting, you’ll naturally wonder if your wisdom teeth will be impacted. The good news is that the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are simple:

  • Pain in your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Tender and/or bleeding gums

Talk to Your Dentist

While it’s good to know the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, if you’re seeing your dentist every 6 months there’s a good chance you’ll know well in advance.

Are you experiencing the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove or Fountain Valley area, call Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove today.

 

 

Signs You Might Need Gum Surgery

Within your mouth, a constant battle wages. Where bacteria constantly fights to work its way onto your teeth — and your teeth (along with a healthy oral hygiene habit) work to push the bacteria back. Day after day. However, should the defense become lackluster and the oral hygiene routine wavers, the bacteria advances.

If allowed to linger, bacteria becomes plaque — which will inflame and undermine gum tissue and lead to the development of gingivitis. After the earliest stages of the disease, periodontal pockets will eventually form around the base of the teeth, where plaque has moved beneath the gumline and closer to the underlying support structure of your teeth. As this occurs, more and more of your tooth would begin to become exposed. These conditions point to the potential need for gum disease.

Other Signs You Might Need Gum Surgery

  • It’s painful to chew: pain is never a good sign. Persistent pain is an indication that bacteria has reached the roots of your teeth.  
  • You have noticed bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away: Bad breath that won’t go away is a common side effect caused by periodontal pockets harboring bacteria.
  • Your teeth appear loose and are sensitive: if your gums are inflamed and battling infection, they will naturally become less effective at their job, loosening their hold on your teeth. This can range in severity.
  • You have tender, swollen, and/or bleeding gums: Tender bleeding gums are a common side early symptom of periodontal disease. In the earliest stages, better home care (including flossing and rinsing with an antiseptic) can help reverse damage and revitalize gums. If bleeding and sensitivity persist, be sure to mention it to your dentist at your next visit.
  • Your gums are receding, and your teeth appear longer: One of the more advanced symptoms of periodontal disease is a gradual recession of the gums, where they will pull back on the teeth and protect. Not only does this result in them loosening hold on your teeth, but periodontal pockets become larger and your tooth is further exposed to bacteria and decay.

Prevent Periodontal Disease

You can prevent periodontal disease and the need for gum surgery by remaining diligent with an oral care routine that includes twice daily brushing, daily flossing, rinsing, and bi-annual dentist appointments for cleaning and inspection.

Are you a patient in the Garden Grove or Valley with questions about gum surgery and periodontal disease? Our team can help.

The Most Common Dental Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Dental emergencies are never a fun prospect. From the moment you feel the “snap” or the very instant the impact registers on your brain, when it comes to a dental emergency, you tend to know when it’s time to call the dentist.

But if you aren’t sure about the seriousness of the condition, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for a quick rundown of the most common dental emergencies and how you should handle them.

You’ve bitten you lip or tongue

This is one of the most common “emergencies” that patients run into. Fortunately, they aren’t very serious. While a bitten lip or tongue will often bleed quite a bit and eventually swell, a cold compress and and over-the-counter painkiller are all you’ll likely require. If a cut is particularly deep, you should see your doctor immediately (and don’t forget to mention it to your dentist).

You have a tooth ache: 

Toothaches can occur for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from stuck food to more serious damage. If you have a tooth ache, the first thing you should do is brush thoroughly. Follow this by careful flossing to remove any excess food and debris. If your toothache persists, it could be the sign of cavity or decay. See your dentist immediately if you experience sudden or immediate pain in connection with a toothache.

Your tooth is knocked out: 

 A scary prospect indeed, having a tooth knocked out is never fun. But if it’s happened to you, there are options. First, attempt to save the tooth. Keep the tooth moist at all times. If it can’t be placed back into the socket, you can hold the tooth in a jar of milk until you see your dentist. If that’s not possible, you can hold the tooth between your cheek and gum to help preserve its roots. You can also purchase an ADA approved tooth preservation kit.

 You cracked your tooth:

If you’ve cracked your tooth, it will often be painful and sensitive until it’s treated. To alleviate pain, clean out your mouth by rinsing with warm water. After rinsing, prepare a cold compress to minimize swelling. Contact your dentist as soon as possible. You might require a filling or crown to repair the structure of your tooth.

Get Emergency Dental Care in Garden Grove

Based on the above information, do you have a dental emergency in the Garden Grove Area? If you’ve lost a tooth or suffered a major impact to your teeth or jaw, contact us immediately for same day emergency care.

 

3 Common Restorative Procedures for Your Teeth

When it comes to your teeth, one major downside is that there’s more than a few ways for problems to arise with your teeth. While it’s not incredibly hard to avoid these problems by following a few simple oral health guidelines, prevention is always a more convenient (and inexpensive) option than treatment.

As dental treatments go, 3 of the most common tend to treat damage in different ways and in different contexts, whether teeth need to be shielded and corrected or completely replaced. These 3 options for treatment are dental crowns, dental bridges, and the “infamous” root-canal.

Dental Crowns: a Cover-Up for Your Mouth

Whenever anything appears less than perfect, it’s not uncommon that the first recourse is to cover it up. While this isn’t always the best solution for something like a mess in the kitchen or damage to your home, modern dental technology has made a great cover-up out of dental crowns.

In most cases, a dental crown is used to cover and protect a tooth that’s weakened from decay. If your teeth are cracking or broken from weakness, a dental crown could often be your dentist’s first choice. A crown might also be considered if a tooth requires a larger filling, or the amount of tooth left requires more support. But the utility of dental crowns isn’t just to cover up breaks and cracks, they’re also used as a cosmetic cover-up. When you have dental work done (such as a dental bridge, mentioned below) or want to cover up severely discolored teeth, a dental crown can help effectively “even things out”.

Dental Bridges: Filling the Gap in Smiles

Dental Bridges are sometimes used alongside dental crowns, but they’re very different. While a dental crown slides into place to perfect and cover-up a failing or cosmetically inferior tooth, a dental bridge literally bridges the gap between missing teeth.

If injury or decay lead to the loss of a tooth or teeth, the gap left behind is typically filled with a dental bridge. Not only does a dental bridge fill the gap for the patient’s cosmetic benefit, it also serves to minimize long-term damage from the empty spaces negatively affecting the positioning of adjacent teeth. Typically, dental crowns are used on the adjacent teeth, while a fake replacement tooth (a pontic) is attached to the crowns.

Root Canals: Preventative Treatment for Serious Damage

If you think about your tooth as a “house”, you can think about the visible part of your tooth as the actual exterior of your home, with a roof, a “body”, and the underlying pipes that make everything work. Your root canals are the “pipes” and veins that make your tooth work, by supplying it with vital nutrients and support. If your tooth is severely decayed, there’s a chance that bacteria and infection can creep into the root canal. When the pulp of your tooth inside the root canal is infected your tooth needs to be cleaned out. To accomplish this, root canal therapy requires your dentist to drill into the root canal and clean out infection and bacteria inside the pulp.

But most patients wonder, “when do I need root canal therapy?”. The most common symptoms that point to the need for root canal therapy include:

  • Pain ranging from minor to extreme?=
  • Throbbing in your tooth, as if it has its own heartbeat
  • Pain that gets worse when you bend over, stand up, or change position
  • Tooth pain that spontaneously intensifies when you eat or drink hot food or liquids
  • Toothaches that wake you up from a deep sleep

It’s most common for a root canal to be required when your tooth or teeth are affected by the long-term effects of decay. However, a root canal can also be necessary if your tooth is cracked or broken, exposing the inside of your tooth to bacteria and infection.

Do you have questions about your teeth? We can help. If you have questions about dental crowns, bridges, or root canals — we can help. Garden Grove Primary Dental Care provides patients with the treatment needed to save and beautify teeth every day. Think you might need one of the above procedures? Get in touch with our friendly staff today.

 

The Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

Has your dentist ever told you that you need to do a better job brushing your teeth? Don’t sweat it. While it might be surprising, there’s a lot at play when it comes to brushing your teeth. From the technique you use to how hard your brushing, and how hard the bristles are on your toothbrush. When done right, brushing every day will give you great teeth for life. When done wrong, brushing can contribute to receding gums (from brushing too hard) or tooth decay (from brushing incompletely). With that in mind, our family dental practice in Garden Grove, California often recommends electric toothbrushes.

3 Ways Electronic Toothbrushes Help You Brush Better

They make sure you brush long enough

While many people are good about brushing at least twice a day, or even after every meal, many of them also might not always be brushing for long enough. The most common advice for “how long do I need to brush my teeth” is typically 2 minutes. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. The truth is, that your teeth should be brushed for as long as it takes to get them clean! There’s no time-limit for effectively reaching every tooth, from the molars in the back of your mouth, to the canines in the front. Whether that takes 2 minutes or 5 minutes doesn’t matter! The most important part isn’t the length of time you brush, but thoroughness and technique. However, to help ensure you’re not skimping on the TLC your teeth get from a good brushing — most electronic toothbrushes include a built in timer to automatically shut off your toothbrush after a 2 minute minimum.

They ensure you’re not brushing too hard

Do you suffer from sensitive teeth? Your dentist might have told you that the condition was brought on by receding gums. While there are many causes of gum recession, one of the most common causes is over-brushing. That is, when you brush too hard in one spot (usually in the front, on the side of your dominant hand) to the point where your gum has been slightly worn down.

One of the greatest benefits of an electric toothbrush is the fact that you’re not really “brushing” at all. Instead, the toothbrush does all the work and applies all the necessary force. Many times, patients think that they need to use force to brush their teeth, when in reality all you really need to do is guide it to the proper places.

They are great for those who have mobility problems

If you suffer from mobility or dexterity problems due to problems like injury or arthritis, you might have a hard time effectively brushing your teeth. Problems with your hands and wrists can sometimes make it difficult to simultaneously position your toothbrush and actually brush. These issues can also make brushing a painful or tiring process. Electronic toothbrushes solve this problem by taking half the work out of the entire process.

Do you have questions? We Have Answers

At Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, we’ve been a family dental practice for years. If you need recommendations on which electric toothbrush is best for you or you have concerns about your teeth. We’re always here to help for patients in the Anaheim area.