Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


Are Dental Bridges Permanent?

Dental bridges are one of the most common dental implants. The easiest way to describe them is as a literal bridge, used to close the gap between healthy, natural teeth and missing teeth — or teeth that need to be replaced. They accomplish a great many improvements for your teeth.

  • Dental bridges will help maintain proper facial structure and aesthetics
  • Dental bridges restore your smile to its former glory
  • Dental bridges help restore proper bite
  • Dental bridges restore your ability to chew  properly, and speak naturally

What Makes a Dental Bridge?

One of the reasons patients have become so comfortable with dental bridges is because they are quite simple. In fact, a bridge is made up of two or more crowns (one for each side of the gap) and a prosthetic tooth to make up the space in between. The false teeth used are known as “pontics” and are made from porcelain, gold, allows, or a combination of materials.

Did You Know?: There are Different Kinds of Dental Bridges

A few different kinds of dental bridges exist to solve a variety of dental problems. These include traditional dental bridges, resin-bonded bridges, and cantilever bridges.

Traditional dental bridges

A traditional bridge (explained above) includes a crown for each tooth on either side of the gap and a prosthetic “pontic” in between. These are, naturally, the most common type of dental bridge.

Cantilever dental bridges

A cantilever dental bridge is frequently used when there is only one healthy tooth adjacent to the missing tooth. This procedure is becoming increasingly rare, and is not frequently used for the back teeth (which are often exposed to greater pressure than the front teeth).

Resin-Bonded Bridges

A resin bonded dental bridge can be made of either porcelain fused to metal, porcelain, or even plastic teeth and gums that are supported by a porcelain or metal base. On top of this, porcelain or metal “wings” are attached on either side to your existing teeth.

Resin-retained bridges are often used when a patient has more than one missing tooth.  They are also preferred for their affordability and success rate when it comes to replacing more than one tooth. Their installation requires a very small amount of damage to surrounding teeth, and potential failure is as simple as de-bonding — rather than a fracturing of healthy adjacent teeth.


Do you have a question about dental implants or dental bridges in Garden Grove? You’re in luck! We have answers. Contact our friendly dental team today for a consultation or to learn more about your options.

Signs You Need a “Root Canal” (and what to expect!)

When it comes to root canal treatment, first things first.

One of the most common misconceptions is that the term “root canal” is a name for the treatment your dentist will use to solve problems with your teeth. In reality, a “root canal” is actually the name for the space in your dental structure beneath your teeth. It is wear your “dental pulp” is located and provides vital nutrients to the rest of your dental structure.  When you get a cavity or experience a fracture, bacteria can enter the root canal — which can cause dangerous infection. For this reason, your dentist will often recommend a root canal.  Which leads us to the next misconception: that the root canal procedure is painful.

Here in Garden Grove, our endodontic specialists have perfected the art of the root canal procedure. Combined with their skill and modern anesthetic, you can rest-assured that the rumors of painful root canals are just a holdover from the “olden days” when anesthetic wasn’t quite as good as it is today.

Signs You Need Root Canal Treatment

There are a few telltale signs that you require root canal treatment, and most of them begin with pain. While tooth pain isn’t always an indication that you need root canal therapy, they’re always a good indicator that you need to speak to your dentist immediately.

Pain and symptoms that likely require a root canal include:

  • Your gums have become tender or swollen, accompanies by tooth pain in the same general area.
  • One or more teeth is becoming darker.
  • A pimple-like bump that suddenly appears along with pain in the given area.
  • Pain and sensitivity to hot or cold that sticks around after the hot or cold dissipates.
  • Serious pain when you eat, or when you apply pressure to the area.

How Root Canal Treatment Eliminates Dental Pain

Before your dentist does anything with your teeth, he or she will first take a good long look at what there is to work with. To accomplish that, the process begins with x-rays to assess the extent your tooth is infected.

The first real step of the procedure is anesthesia. For most procedures, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area and prevent pain. This is just the first thing your dentist will do to keep you calm. Many times, your dentist will also recommend headphones and music to help drown out the sounds of the procedure.

Next, when you’re fully relaxed and ready for the procedure, the dentist will make an opening in your tooth using special tools. She will then clean out the dental pulp, ensuring no infection or bacteria remains.

Finally, after the tooth is allowed to drain, she will add a temporary filling that protects the affected area while the root canal slowly drains. Once it’s been completely drained and your dentist is sure the procedure will be effective, your tooth is sealed permanently for good. Say goodbye to pain!





6 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Dentures

How long until I get used to my dentures??

You might be surprised to learn that it doesn’t take that long to get used to your dentures. In fact, many people will adjust to their dentures in little more than a week. The most noticeable change you will experience in the beginning is a slight alteration to your speech. 

 What are partial dentures?

Unlike the full-set of replacement teeth that many patients think of when they picture dentures. Partial dentures are designed for patients who only need to replace missing teeth in a few places. In order to install partial dentures, your dentist will create an arch that includes the replacement teeth you’ll need. These are then attached to clasps, with your natural teeth as support.

How long will my dentures last?

Dentures are made to last at least 5-7 years. After about 7 years, the American Dental Association recommends that a patient should have their dentures replaced. This is due to the way the acrylic material will wear down over time. On top of this, the inside of your mouth will likely change over time and as you age. This can lead to dentures with a fit that changes slightly over time. Go too long wearing the same dentures and you might notice that they don’t fit as well.

How long can dentures influence my speech? 

Your speech is impacted in many ways by your teeth, lips, cheeks, tongue, and the roof of your mouth. Naturally, a denture will have a slight impact on all of these things at first. However, when your dentures are properly fitted all of these aspects of your mouth will work as nature intended. If your dentures are reaching 6 or 7 years old however, there is a chance that their fit will have suffered over time and your voice could be affected  until they are properly fitted.

Do Dentures Make it Hard to Eat? 

When you get dentures, it’s typically because one, some, or all of your teeth need replacing. This means that you’re already having a hard time chewing. With that in mind, dentures don’t make chewing harder — they make it much easier. With practice, you can eat almost as if you had a full set of natural teeth. Say goodbye to avoiding some of the foods you love because your teeth couldn’t handle them.

How Noticeable are dentures?

Dentures are designed in order to not be noticed. Your dentures will help improve your appearance by giving your lips the support that will improve your facial appearance and your confidence. In fact, they improve your natural appearance so much that one of the primary signs you need new dentures is noticeable sagging of the muscles in your face, a protruding lower jaw, or extensive wrinkling around your mouth . 

Have questions about dentures? In Garden Grove, we are a local authority on dentures and have all the answers you need. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

How We Treat Gum Disease

At Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove, we constantly remind our patients that the gums are as important as the teeth. If you think about your teeth as “the house” think about your gums as the wires, pipes, and foundation that keep it sturdy, powered, and comfortable.

That’s why we take gum disease (and its treatment very carefully). If you think you might have gum disease. Your first course of action should be to contact your dentist immediately and schedule an appointment. If you’re curious about the symptoms, read our previous post on gum disease “An Introduction to Gum Disease“.

On the other hand, if you already know you have gum disease, have been officially diagnosed, or are expecting treatment for gum disease, there’s a good chance you’d simply like to know what to expect from gum disease surgery.

For most patients, when we catch gum disease early on — the most treatment they need is a good, dental deep cleaning.  When left untreated for extensive periods gum disease progresses further, and can require more extensive treatment – like skin graft procedures. Fortunately, for most patients dental deep cleaning is all that’s required to reverse the damage of gum disease and get your gums back on track to being the healthy support system your teeth need.

The Dental Deep Cleaning: Stop Gum Disease in its Tracks

There’s quite a big difference between a normal dental cleaning,  and a dental deep cleaning. In addition to dental deep cleaning, you might also need scaling and root planing to help ensure your gums return to normal.

Deep cleaning

While more intensive than a regular cleaning, dental deep cleaning is still fairly simple. When you have gum disease, your gums eventually separate away from your teeth and can form pockets. These pockets allow bacteria to collect, contributing to progress of the disease. Deep cleaning simply cleans them out, so that the gums can return to their natural position and properly seal your teeth against bacteria.

Dental scaling

Dental scaling removes plaque and tartar from your teeth with a special ultrasonic tool. If you’re at risk for gum disease (bleeding, puffy gums), it’s important to remove as much plaque and tartar as possible — because they contribute to the bacteria attacking your gums. Dental scaling accomplishes that removal

Root planing

If gum disease has progressed even further than scaling can reach, dental root planing is used to scale the root surface using a special tool that removes rough spots and helps get rid of any remaining tarter. While you might wonder why we’re worrying about your roots when it comes to gum-disease, the answer is simple: rough surfaces don’t just provide a place for plaque and bacteria to cling to, they make it harder for your gums to re-attach to the root of your tooth. Root planing helps close those gaps and minimize the area for bacteria to accumulate and thrive.


Are your gums bleeding when you brush or floss? Do they look puffy or irritated? It might be time to see your dentist about a dental deep cleaning or even more serious preventative treatment. 


Are there Alternatives to Invisalign?

As one of the leading dentists providing Invisalign in Garden Grove, CA our dental team combines years of experience to become one of the most knowledgeable teams in the area on Invisalign. H

It’s not uncommon for treatments like Invisalign to take on the reputation of a solution that works for everyone. While Invisalign surely can treat a wide variety of problems (learn more about it on our previous post:  Frequently Asked Questions about Invisalign at Garden Grove Dental Arts ) they’re not right for everyone.

For many patients, the suitability of Invisalign treatment comes down the the conditions that simply can’t be treated with the nearly invisible plastic aligners (more about that in ““Should I get Braces or Invisalign?”) but many times the decision comes down to cost. While Invisalign can often be paid for with no-interest healthcare credit accounts and flexible payment systems available at many dental offices, it isn’t always cheap. With that in mind, many patients search for a more inexpensive alternative to Invisalign.

Some of the less expensive Invisalign options include Clear Correct, Clear Align, and Simpli5. For many patients, Clear Correct is a much similar system that tends to be slightly less expensive with a similar level of quality when compared to Invisalign.

And then we have the more “traditional” alternatives. But wait, we know what you’re thinking: “If I wanted metal braces, I never would have searched for Invisalign alternatives in the first place.” But it’s not quite that simple. If Invisalign is too expensive, you can also consider the following options:

Clear braces: like traditional metal braces, clear braces – while a little more noticeable than Invisalign – provide a more natural looking appearance while offering the same power and versatility as traditional braces. The bonus: nobody will call you metal mouth, and your orthodontist can correct a number of conditions that Invisalign simply can’t (like more drastic rotation and turning of teeth).  Treatment will also take much less time than Invisalign, with fewer trips to the dentist. If you want a solution that allows you more freedom to “set it and forget it” with a smaller treatment window, clear braces might be the choice for you. If you’re a patient who isn’t particularly self-conscious, happy to “deal with” slightly more noticeable braces for a little over a year. While clear braces are slightly more expensive than traditional metal braces, they are still less expensive than Invisalign.

Lingual braces: 

Like metal braces, lingual braces can accomplish a wide variety of powerful transformations in your mouth. Like Invisalign, they are completely invisible. Their major advantage is the way they combine the best of both worlds. The big difference? Lingual braces are installed behind your teeth. Like clear braces, they are more expensive than traditional braces (but usually less expensive than Invisalign) and can be used to correct few or many of your teeth.  They do have a few downsides, however. Lingual braces can be difficult to clean, and a little uncomfortable at first. Your voice may also be affected for the first couple weeks. On top of this, adjustments take slightly longer than traditional braces. But if you want perfect teeth without anyone knowing you “got work done” they could be the perfect Invisalign alternative for you.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe for Sensitive Teeth?


At Primary Dental Care ‘s Dental office in Garden Grove, teeth whitening is something we encounter a lot. It’s not surprising that tooth whitening is a procedure sought after by patients of nearly every age and demographic (except for children, why whiten your teeth when they’re just going to be replaced?)

If you want to get your teeth whitened, it’s best if you don’t have sensitive teeth. But if you do, don’t lose hope.

For whitening sensitive teeth, talk to your dentist first

If you have sensitive teeth, want whiter teeth, and don’t have any serious dental problems. You still have options. Many times, your sensitive teeth can be caused by receding gums. This often occurs if you brush too hard in a particular part of your mouth. However, it’s also one of the most common hurdles dentists face when it comes to in-office whitening, and can easily be overcome.  However, if you suffer from dental problems like gum disease (gingivitis) or a cracked tooth, it’s usually best to address those problems first.

Another reason to consult your dentist first is because he or she knows your dental history, and will be able to put together a plan of action that gets you the results you need without any unnecessary discomfort.

There are a few situations where your dentist might advise against whitening your teeth.  Primary among these is gum disease. If you have gum disease, your dentist will almost always recommend treating it first. Because — when left unchecked — it can do serious damage to your mouth. On top of this, it goes without saying that if you have a cavity (or similar problem) any dentist would recommend repairing it first before moving forward with any sort of whitening plan, whether you choose to whiten in the office or at home.

….which leads us to the next question many patients ask.

“Should I do in-office whitening or at-home whitening?”

Most patients are surprised to know that in-office teeth whitening and at-home teeth whitening produce a similar result. However, in-office whitening can be done in as little as a couple hours while the same results can be achieved with at-home whitening in 7 to 14 days. Naturally, the longer treatment time is often experienced by patients with sensitive teeth, who find it more comfortable to avoid more aggressive whitening regimens.

Do you have questions about teeth whitening in Garden Grove? We’re here to help! Get in touch with our friendly dental team today and learn how you can get the whiter teeth you’ve been yearning for. 

How We Use Dental Crowns and Bridges to Fix Your Smile

Learn how we use dental crowns and bridges to perfect your smile

Learn how we use dental crowns and bridges to perfect your smile





When your teeth become damaged from decay, it’s very important to make sure that you seal the opening. Once your tooth is decayed, the damage doesn’t stop there. Your teeth are now opened up to further damage, decay, and rot. Think of decay as an unlocked door, swinging in the breeze to allow any burglar to walk in to clean house. Except the burglar is bacteria, and instead of losing money…well, you’ll lose your teeth instead. That’s where crowns and bridges come in.

When your tooth is too damaged for a filling (meaning the affected space is too large), we typically use a dental crown. If you receive a dental crown soon enough, it can seal your tooth from further damage, protect it for the future, and restore its appearance. However, if you wait too long and the damage progresses — there’s a good chance you can lose one or more teeth. This is when a dental bridge comes into play.

When you’ve lost a tooth and healthy teeth remain on either side, your dentist will use a bridge to literally bridge the gap between the missing teeth and healthy teeth.

When you need a dental crown


  • Protect a weaker tooth from additional damage, chipping, or breakage.
  • Replace a large filling that’s fallen out
  • As part of a bridge procedure
  • When you need to restore a cracked or fractured tooth
  • To conceal, protect, and cover a discolored or misshapen tooth
  • To cover a fresh dental implant
  • To cover a tooth that’s received root canal treatment

When you need a dental bridge

As we already learned, a dental bridge is typically the “next step” beyond a dental crown. Dental bridges are typically used for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Improving the ability to chew
  • Redistributing your bite in order to prevent damage to other teeth
  • Preventing remaining healthy teeth from shifting out of alignment due to a missing tooth
  • Improving the shape of your face after an accident or severe decay

Think you might need a crown or bridge? Stop wondering! If you take anything away from this post, let it be this one thing: Don’t Wait. Waiting to receive treatment for any dental issue is like waiting to get your car fixed. The longer it takes, the worse (and more expensive) the damage becomes. If you have questions about dental crowns and dental bridges and are looking for a dentist in Garden Grove, we can help!

To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, read one of our previous posts on the topic:

Cosmetic Dentistry Options Available to You

Cosmetic Dentistry and You: Three Popular Choices for a Better Smile

the Most Common Questions about Cosmetic Dentistry


Should I get Dentures or Dental Implants?


It’s not uncommon to lose a tooth. In fact, a large majority of adults have at least one missing tooth. Whether it’s from gum disease, a fracture, decay, or an accident, it’s important to remember that you aren’t without options — there’s no reason you should be walking around with missing teeth.

But for some people, the presence of options can make things even more difficult. The two most popular options for replacing missing teeth are dentures and dental implants.

To learn more about dentures, read out most recent post about them: the Many Kinds of Dentures

For more on implants, check out Cosmetic Dentistry Options Available to You

Even still, you might wonder — “Which one is right for me? Dentures or implants?” Hopefully we can help.

If you’re short on time, we’ll make it simple: dentures are false teeth, and they’re not perfect for everyone. They can fall out of place, and can sometimes cause infection in other healthy teeth if they aren’t fitted or cared for properly. However, if your jaw or gums have been exposed to as much damage as your teeth — they might be the most successful (and cost effective) option.

On the other hand, when you’re missing teeth but the underlying structures (your jaw and gums) are healthy, an implant is often preferred. Implants are surgically implanted into your jawbone, which is — naturally — why they’re called implants. Unlike dentures, they stay in your mouth permanently and can last a very long time. In fact, with proper care and good oral hygiene, your dental implants could last longer than 20 years before you need a replacement.

When Most Patients Choose Implants vs. Dentures

Many patients choose implants over dentures when only one or a few teeth are missing. But they can be used if you need to replace several teeth. For example, in the case of a full mouth reconstruction, two or more implants are often used to provide support for any number of fresh new replacement teeth. (To learn more about full mouth reconstruction, read out post “Full Mouth Reconstruction? What on Earth is that?!”

Make the Right Decision: Talk to Your Dentist


Do you have questions about your teeth? The best answer you’ll get will only come from a dentist that’s seen your teeth. If you’re located in the Garden Grove or Fountain Valley area, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

3 Simple Rules for Choosing a Great Dentist in Fountain Valley

Choosing a dentist is no easy task. Sure, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to a dentist before where you scheduled an appointment, walked past countless, booths and dentist chairs, and felt just a little bit like a number.

If this experience seems at all familiar to you, you might be looking for a new dentist. And when you’re looking for a new dentist, it can help to start with a few guidelines to look for. Why? Because you only get one set of teeth, and don’t you want them to get the best care available?

As an experienced dentist in Fountain Valley, we know a thing or two about patients. We understand the important questions. We also understand which important questions rarely get asked.

1. Get a Consultation

You wouldn’t start a romantic relationship without going on a date first, would you? You also wouldn’t buy a car before a test drive, or a house — before doing your due diligence. For the very same reasons, you should schedule a consultation with your prospective dentist!

2. Make sure the dental practice has the right specialty

You might not realize it, but there are number of different specialties when it comes to being a dentist. From general dentistry and pediatric dentistry, to periodontics (your gums), orthodontics (alignment and braces), and cosmetic dentistry. If you anticipate requiring any of these specialties, or your dentist mentions the need for any specific work during your consultation (another great reason to get a consultation), it could very well influence who you choose as a dentist.

For example, at Primary Dental Care our our dental team includes experiences dentists specialized in Cosmetic dentistry, Maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, dental deep cleaning, and root canal treatment.

For more about these specialties, read our post about all of them: Finding the Right Family Dentist: the 9 Dental Specialties

3. Choose an ADA member dentist

It’s important to choose an ADA member dentist for one key reason, you’ll always know your dentist is up-to-date on the latest treatments and technologies. 7 of 10 dentists are ADA members, and membership provides a number of benefits. On top of the most current tech. and knowledge, ADA membership also gives dentists added ability to fight for patients when it comes to insurance.


If you live in Fountain Valley and need a dentist who won’t make you feel like a number – you’re in luck. Give us a call today to learn more.

When to Choose Clear Braces over Invisalign

For many years, we’ve offered Invisalign for patients in Orange County, and consistently heard rave reviews about how worthwhile the process was. Most of all the patients were, naturally, excited about how “stealthily” they went about perfecting their smile. Needless to say, we think Invisalign is great.

But…Yes, there’s a but.

Invisalign isn’t always perfect, and sometimes it’s not the best solution for your teeth. The best part is that this doesn’t mean you have to resort to getting called “brace face” or “metal mouth”.

In fact, there are a couple great solutions that are virtually as (and sometimes more) incognito than Invisalign. Two popular choices include clear braces and braces that go on the back of your teeth.  While clear braces are fairly easy to explain, braces that go on the back of your teeth, otherwise known as lingual braces are more of a foreign concept.

(For more on lingual braces, check out our blog post “the Invisible Alternative to Traditional Braces”.)

When Invisalign Isn’t Right for Your Smile

 If Invisalign works so well, you might wonder why many dentists and orthodontics still use clear braces. While the difference in cost isn’t too drastic, that’s not the reason. The reason is simple: Invisalign can’t do everything! Like we said, it all comes down to  you and your dentist. That’s why the very first step is to determine what your teeth need.

There are a number of reasons why your teeth might do better with clear, traditional braces. Lets look at three of the most common ones.


Metal Can Work Harder and More Flexibly

The clear aligners used as part of the Invisalign program can accomplish a great deal, that’s for sure. However, they are still slightly inferior when compared to the power and force that can be consistently exerted by brackets and wires when it comes to vertical teeth movement, rotating the canines, or solving complicated issues with your back teeth.

Are You Afraid of Commitment and Prone to Losing Your Possessions? 

When you have braces, you should be seeing your dentist roughly every month. With Invisalign, you need to see your dentist every two weeks to swap out your plastic aligners.  If that isn’t enough commitment for you, it’s important to remember that the Invisalign program requires the aligners to be in for a majority of the day (and all night). The consequence? A much longer treatment time.  On top of this, replacing a lost retainer can get costly.   So, if you’re forgetful or a “commitment-phobe”, the semi-permanent alternative might be best for you.

Will Food and Drink Post a Problem?

When you have Invisalign, it’s very important to remove your retainers while eating or drinking. While this might sound easy at first, to some people the reality is very different. For instance, an athlete who frequently must drink water, or a professional brass-musician, who uses a mouthpiece, might find it impossible to “stay honest” with their Invisalign Retainers.

Have a question? We’re here to help. Contact the friendly team at Primary Care Dental for the answers to your orthodontic questions.