Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS


Why Your Dentures Don’t Fit (and a possible solution)

If you are one of the many individuals living with dentures, you understand that dentures are not quite a total replacement for teeth.

Instead, they are a substitute for not having any teeth. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that they will feel a bit different from your natural teeth.

In fact, if you’ve been living with dentures for 5-7 years, you might be noticing that they simply don’t fit as well as they did when you first got them. This is actually normal and occurs for a well known reason. When your teeth are extracted and your dentures are fitted, the underlying bone that formerly supported your teeth is used to support the dentures. But without your natural teeth in the jawbone, its structure is left to deteriorate. Like any muscle or system in your body, without any “activity” the bone simply begins to wither.

So what can you do? While many patients attempt to use more and more denture adhesive, it will never actually solve the problem. The only thing that will truly solve the problem is re-engaging the underlying bone that is now attempting to support your dentures.

Many times, the procedure of choice to remedy this problem is an implant supported denture.

Much like a traditional dental implant, an implant supported denture is a type of overdenture that attaches to dental implants and can be removed as-needed. An implant supported denture is recommended when there’s enough bone remaining in the jaw to support implants, as such, it is a great option for remedying the problem of Ill fitting dentures.

Implant supported dentures solve the problem of poorly fitting dentures in a few ways. First, the implants engage the jawbone and prevent further bone loss.

Second, implant supported dentures add a great deal of stability- eliminating a great deal of “float” and slippage that many denture patients complain about.

Finally, implant supported dentures also help you maintain your youthful facial appearance. By supporting your jawbone with dental implants and essentially “giving it something to do,” your face maintains its shape, instead of slowly sagging and changing appearance over time as the supporting bone disintegrates with inactivity.

Are your dentures fitting poorly? If you’re a patient in Garden Grove, we can help. For more great information on dentures and more, feel free to navigate our blog. Or, schedule a consultation to learn how we can help perfect your smile.

The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth

Nobody wants to lose an adult tooth. It’s a hassle, it’s expensive, and it can be embarrassing if the tooth is particularly noticeable.

If you’ve lost one of your adult teeth – whether from infrequent oral care, injury, or neglect, the most important course of action you can take is to replace the tooth as quickly as possible.

Why replacing missing teeth is about more than just cosmetics 

Many patients assume that losing a tooth, apart from being an inconvenience in terms of chewing, is simply a cosmetic problem, but the problem actually goes much deeper.

Your teeth, in addition to standing on their own to provide chewing power and a nice aesthetic, also serve as a support for their neighboring teeth.

When one tooth fails and either falls out or has to be removed, it’s absence can actively undermine the surrounding teeth, causing them to fall out of line, become crooked, or misaligned. This can also cause problems with the evenness of your bite. For this reason, replacement options like dental bridges and dental implants are imperative.

Dental implantsdental implants are one of the most secure and natural looking dental replacements available. Not only are implants strong, natural looking, and easy to care for (hint: just like a natural tooth) they are also the preferred choice for replacing teeth when a bridge might not be ideal – such as when the adjacent teeth are perfectly healthy and crowning them (for a bridge) is unnecessary.

Dental implants use a titanium post implanted into the gum and the underlying bone as a foundation for a prosthesis. The titanium post actually bonds to the jawbone, successfully replacing the tooth’s root system with a strong alternative that lasts virtually forever.

Dental Bridgesare distinctly different from dental implants in a few key ways. First of all, they are not installed into the your jawbone or gums. While they are permanent, they are not quite as permanent as a dental implant, and are instead anchored by attaching the bridge to the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth.  To do this, the teeth on either side are first prepared for a crown. This involves carefully filing away enamel to prepare the surface. On top of this surface, a crown is installed that will eventually anchor to the dental bridge and the new, replacement tooth (also known as a pontic).

While a dental implant is often recommended when the adjacent teeth are healthy, a dental bridge is often recommended as a suitable solution when the adjacent teeth would also benefit from crowns, or simply for a more cost effective option.

Do you have questions about replacing a missing tooth? If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area, we can help! Schedule a consultation today or contact us to learn more.

Can a Tooth be too Damaged for a Root Canal

By now, we’ve all grown accustomed to the procedure known as the “Root Canal”.

If you haven’t, let us give you a brief refresher. When serious infection or decay settles into your tooth, it inflames the delicate tissues and nerves inside your tooth known as the dental pulp.

If the dental pulp isn’t removed and cleaned of infection, the problem can continue to spread, undermining your tooth, the surrounding teeth, and snowballing into a much more serious problem.

Dental pulp can be removed? Does it grow back?”

When many patients learn about root canal treatment they wonder what happens to the dental pulp. Fortunately, it’s simple. When your teeth are growing, they rely on the dental pulp for nutrition and sustenance. But after your tooth has grown, the surrounding tissues can also sustain it, making it possible to safely remove infected dental pulp and fill the space to prevent further damage and inflammation.

But what happens when a root canal isn’t possible?

There are a few cases where a root canal isn’t exactly possible. Anatomically, root canals look a lot like the root systems you would expect from a tree or plant. They have many branches that extend deeply into your gums and bone structure. Sometimes, if the infection is located in a root canal branch that is inaccessible, it can be difficult or impossible to provide effective endodontic treatment. Other times, significant tooth damage can also make saving the tooth with root canal treatment difficult.

Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment 

Unfortunately, there are few alternatives to root canal treatment that don’t involve removing and replacing the affected tooth which is more expensive than saving the tooth. On top of this, dentists everywhere agree that replacing a tooth should always be a last resort, as a prosthetic will always be inferior to a natural tooth.

Outside of replacing the tooth, there are some additional endodontic surgery solutions available to make the tooth more suitable for root canal treatment. Primary among these is the apicoectomy, which attacks the infection from the root end of the tooth, through the gums, instead of through the tooth’s crown.

After applying a local anesthetic, a small incision is made in the guns through which the infected tissuebis removed and a small portion of the root is is cut off. Following this, a small filling is added to the root to prevent future infection.

Have questions about root canal treatment and how it might help your teeth? If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area, we can help! Schedule a consultation today to learn more.



Simple Tips for A Better Life With Dentures

Whenever any patient requires dentures, we always understand the fact that adjusting to life with a pair of dentures can be a big change for anybody. For that reason, our goal is to make the process as simple as possible.

However, while every ounce of diligence is spent to properly extract the teeth being replaced, design your future smile, and fit your dentures so they’re secure and functional – it can be all for nothing if proper home-care isn’t utilized to maintain your dentures and your oral health.

Following 6 simple guidelines can help you maintain your dentures so they remain attractive and functional

Protect Them

Protecting your dentures is the very first step in ensuring they serve you for years to come. First, it’s important to remember that your dentures are fragile when it comes to drops and sharp impacts. They can break very easily. With this in mind, it’s important to fill the sink or put a towel down to break their fall gently should they slip.

Remove and Rinse

This one’s easy: a major step of keeping your dentures healthy (while also serving to help improve your breath) is simply rinsing them carefully. Rinsing your dentures helps remove bacteria, while also eliminating stuck and stubborn food particles. Warm water will do! No need to make it scorching.

Don’t forget to Brush

Many patients mistakenly think that new dentures mean a new and permanent break from brushing. This couldn’t be further from the tooth. Just like your natural teeth, plaque and bacteria can still form on your dentures. Because of this, it’s very important to clean them every day by rinsing them, brushing them, and soaking them (more on that in step 4).

Using a moist toothbrush with soft bristles, simply remove your dentures and carefully clean every surface. Fortunately, with the ability to remove your dentures, they are much easier to clean than your natural teeth were. While you’re brushing, in order to ensure a proper fit next time you wear your dentures, be sure to brush away any excess denture adhesive (if you use adhesive) where the grooves fit against your gums.

Soak Them Well

One of the most important care instructions for any set of dentures it to keep them moist. You do not want your dentures to dry out. In order to prevent this, soak them whenever you’re not wearing them for extended periods (such as when you sleep). Most denture soaking products come in the form of tablets that you can simply add to warm water. This will create a fizzy solution that will help cleanse and protect your new teeth while you sleep.

Soaking precautions: If you have dentures with metal attachments, be sure to avoid soaking products that contain chlorine or bleach, which can damage the metal on your dentures.

Rinse Them Again Before Wearing

Now that your dentures have been rinsed, brushed, and soaked – it’s probably time to put them back in your mouth. Before you do so, rinse them again. Denture soaking products can sometimes be irritable, and can even contain chemicals that would be harmful if ingested. If you use a denture soaking product, be doubly certain that you rinse your dentures well, and never gargle or rinse with a denture cleaner as a “quick fix” cleaning solution.

Visit Your Dentist

The final step in ensuring your dentures offer you many years of comfortable and reliable service is regular visits to your dentist for professional cleaning and to double check the fit and function of your dentures. It’s at these visits where your dentist can make suggestions for better comfort while also making fine adjustments to improve fit and solve major problems before they develop.

See your dentist right away if your dentures become loose. Poor fitting denture can cause irritation and lead to sores and infections.

Looking for a great dentist that’s experienced when it comes to high quality, affordable dentures in Garden Grove? The experts at Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove can help.

Common Root Canal Concerns (and whether or not they should be concerns at all!)

Sometimes, it seems like we’re a broken record, but it can’t be said enough: it’s time everyone started looking at root canals like the good thing they are.

With that said, many patients continue to have concerns when it comes to root canal treatment, how it’s accomplished, what it accomplishes, and how the whole process works out.

So without further ado, we will attempt to answer those concerns.

The Concern: Root Canal Treatment is Painful

The Answer:

When it comes to your teeth, if you have a deep infection causing inflammation to the dental pulp and nerves, it is going to be painful. It is this pain that so many patients associate with root canal treatment, and while the underlying infection is painful, root canal treatment is not.

On top of this, sometimes patients are mistaken when thinking about root canal treatment as painful because their only frame of references, such as older family members, or the many sayings and anecdotes they hear from day to day, like the one that gets tossed around when someone would rather “get a root canal” than do <insert mildly trivial task here>. Needless to say, the treatment’s gotten a painful reputation, when in reality it should be known as the solution to pain.

The Concern: Root Canal Treatment Causes other Sicknesses

This is yet another myth that got passed around about the often maligned root canal treatment. Some patients have come across misleading information that claims that a tooth that received root canal treatment could contribute to other illnesses throughout your body. Fortunately, the information that caused this information was based on poor science from over a century ago. Root canals have, if anything, shone to be a helpful and healthful solution for repairing teeth that have seen better days.

Extracting the Tooth is a Suitable Alternative to Root Canal Treatment

Another common misconception about root canal treatment is that simply removing the offending tooth is a suitable alternative to repairing the tooth with root canal treatment. This is problematic for a couple reasons.

First of all, saving your natural teeth is always preferable. Because nothing can replace your tooth as perfectly as…well, not having to replace your tooth in the first place! Your teeth are perfect in their own way, and no composite materials will be quite as natural looking or naturally strong.  Secondly, keeping your natural tooth ensures you can continue to eat all of your favorite foods, without having to adapt your habits and your diets to help prolong the life of a dental prosthetic.

Do you have other concerns about root canal treatment? If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area, we’re here to help. Just Contact us today to schedule an appointment or consultation. If you’re not one of our patients, feel free to read our blog and learn more about your teeth, how to care for them, and what to expect at the dentist’s office.

Cosmetic Dentistry: 3 Affordable Treatments for More Perfect Teeth

If you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your smile, there’s a chance that you’ve felt the same emotion felt by thousands upon thousands of dental patients around the world. That is, a mixture of despair and the feeling that you might just have to “learn to live with it”.

That, my friend – is where you’re wrong (which is a GOOD thing)!

While cosmetic dentistry certainly can replace every single one of your existing teeth with life-like replacements that look absolultely perfect, the range of solutions that cosmetic dentistry provides is much much greater.

In fact, with all of the cosmetic dentistry procedures available to you – there are quick fixes and updates you can make to your teeth in with very little time or investment. Let’s look at a couple of them:

Teeth Whitening

In office teeth whitening is one of our favorite procedures to offer. Not because it’s highly technical or even difficult to do, but for the sheer value it provides patients of all ages. Teeth whitening very quickly and very easily can brightens your smile by around 10 shades. That means a noticable difference in your smile, with very little work, time, or money at all.

Dental Bonding

If your tooth has a minor cosmetic flaw that’s been bugging you, dental bonding is often the procedure of choice. It can affordably and reliably cover stains, conceal chips, and fill gaps in your teeth. Costing between 150 and  350 dollars per tooth, dental bonding is an affordable way to perfect minor flaws in your smile.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns are the next step up in cosmetic dentistry. Unlike dental bonding, which focuses on a specific flaw or discoloration, porcelain crowns totally encapsulate the tooth. This is generally used when the tooth is either severely flawed cosmetically or structurallyAlso known as a “cap” , dental crowns shield your tooth and protect it against harm that would otherwise damage it further, and lead to the need for more serious intervention (or replacement). While slightly more expensive than whitening and bondind, a porcelain crown is typically a one-time investment for the life of your tooth.

If you’re feeling self conscious about your teeth and are curious about the procedures available within your price range and you’re looking for a dentist nearby in Garden Grove, California – we can help!  Or, if you’re just doing some research before making an important decision about your dental health – feel free to browse the rest of our blog for all kinds of posts all about your family’s teeth.

A Look at Just How Far Dentures Have Come

Maintaining a healthy looking and natural smile is often thought of as more-important than actually having a healthy smile. Of course, this is only to be expected. Things bother us when we notice them, and more often than not, they’re too far gone when we notice that something is really wrong. Too often, this happens to your teeth.

If you’ve been putting off proper dental care, find a dentist nearby for affordable dentures might seem impossible, but this isn’t quite the case. By taking a quick look at how far denture technology has come,  you’ll be happy to know that they are far from the cumbersome last resort that they once were.

Even 20 years ago, dentures were far bulkier and more brittle than what they are today. Lighter, sleeker, more natural looking, and longer lasting – today’s modern dentures help minimize embarrassing slippage – a faux pas dentures are all too famous for.

In addition to helping solve one of the most troublesome issues with dentures, slippage, modern denture technology also enables them to appear more natural. Due to advances in the dental prosthetic field, it can even be hard to notice the difference between a natural tooth and a denture. This is partly due to the fact that the prostheses used with a dentures frequently use dental porcelain, which effectively copies the look, feel, and protective qualities of natural teeth.

To look even further into the past and consider the earliest dentures, the advances modern technology has provided are staggering. Consider George Washington’s famous dentures, for instance. While praised for their ingenuity, Washington’s dentures were likely made out of ivory (from a hippopotamus) and human teeth. Chances are, they were absolutely dreadful to wear, a testament to “beauty over comfort”. Fortunately, today’s dentures provide a stark contrast. Instead of severe pain and definite dis-figuration, modern dentures use modern imaging, design, and color matching to look natural, with massive improvements comfort and ergonomics.

In addition to traditional dentures benefiting from  the latest technology, dental implant supported dentures represent an even higher level of innovation. In fact, dental implants are often thought to represent the future of dentures as a whole, given the fact that they are a near-permanent solution. On top of this, implant supported dentures – unlike traditional dentures – are also often preferred because they do not atrophy the structure of the jaw like a denture can.

Do you have questions about dentures? For patients in the Garden Grove area, look no further! Our dental team has provided dentures in Garden Grove for patients from every dental background. From helping you decide on the best tooth replacement option to supporting you every step of the way, we’re here to help.

Not in the Garden Grove area? Feel free to browse our blog and learn more about dentures with the following posts:

Are dentures as bad as you think? Nope!

Frequently Asked Questions about Dentures

Dentures or Implants? That is the Question

Simple Denture Tips for Greater Confidence

Root Canal Alternatives

Alternatives to root canal treatment for a healthy, natural looking smile

Alternatives to root canal treatment for a healthy, natural looking smile

Endodontic treatment, otherwise known as “root canal treatment” otherwise known simply as a “root canal” is a unique treatment in that it is one of the few dental procedures that we can use that directly contributes to the salvaging of a tooth.

This is special for  a couple reasons. As one of the few treatments that, by design, eliminates infection and bacteria to clean, seal, and save your natural teeth, if you choose not to elect for root canal treatment, the most immediate course of action is to remove your natural tooth and replace it with some sort of prosthetic. It is important to note, however, that there are alternatives to a root canal treatment.

These options should only be chosen if the tooth isn’t a good candidate for root canal therapy. More or less, the only time this should be an issue is if the tooth has become damaged beyond repair. This doesn’t mean you need to remain toothless. Without a root canal, a variety of prosthetic solutions exist to make sure you regain your full smile and as much functionality as is possible.

Option 1: Extract the Tooth

It’s tempting to list “wait” as an option. Because too many patients wait too long to get tooth pain handled. Because of this, there is often the opportunity for infection or inflammation to go untreated, which ultimately leads to the kind of damage that’s simply irreversible. This makes extraction of the tooth a likely solution. While it might seem the most prudent to simply remove the tooth and “be done with it,” in the long term, tooth extraction is generally viewed as a more expensive option, due to the need for a dental prosthetic. On top of this, waiting too long to fill the gap with a prosthetic can inevitably lead to changes to your mouth’s structure, which can make sure smile perfection much more difficult and involved.

Option 2: Extraction and Replacement

If you’re going to lose the tooth anyway, extracting and replacing it is often the most direct course of action. There are a few different ways to do this, including a dental implant, a dental bridge, or a partial denture (which is removable). Your dentist’s recommendation will largely revolve around the health of the surrounding teeth. If the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are healthy, there’s a good chance your dentist will recommend an implant – since a bridge would necessarily strain the two healthy teeth. If multiple teeth are being replaced, a partial denture might suit you best. Or, if the teeth near the gap could serve with reinforcement in the future, the dental crowns used for a bridge might be the most helpful option.
As you can gather, the options available when replacing a tooth are many. The most important advice to follow is this, however: Have an honest conversation with your dentist. Your dentist and her expertise can help you prevent pain and unnecessary financial burden in the future. Chances are, her recommendation is the one that’s best suited to your individual situation.

A bridge too far? When a Dental Bridge Won’t Work

Learn how a dental bridge OR a dental implant can save your smile

Learn how a dental bridge OR a dental implant can save your smile

If you’ve ever lost a tooth or even come close to losing a tooth, there’ s a good chance you’ve given some thought about what it might take to fill the gap. For that, the dental world has developed a variety of solutions. One of the most popular options for replacing a tooth remains a dental bridge. But what happens when the bridge doesn’t quite reach far enough? That might be when a dental implant is selected as a superior option.

The major limitation with dental bridges (both traditional bridges and cantilever bridges) is that they rely on neighboring teeth that can be capped with crowns. However, this raises some concern if the neighboring teeth that would normally be crowned are perfectly healthy. If this is the case, a dental bridge normally wouldn’t be recommended for one simple reason: it’s a shame to purposfully damage healthy teeth in order to save an unhealthy tooth. The more naturally healthy and unaltered teeth you can retain – the better.

This is most frequently an issue with younger patients, who have only lost a single tooth and have a number of healthy teeth remaining, with good oral hygiene habits. When this is the case, a dental implant is often recommended as a good replacement for life.

This is but one reason why bridges tend to fall behind dental implants. As a story in the New York Times, A Dental Shift: Implants Instead of Bridges explains, most people who lose teeth are better suited for dental implants. As Dr. Lawrence J. Kessler of the University of Miami School of Medicine explains, “Bridges are not the standard of care anymore.”

This sentiment has become popular for a couple reasons. First, Implants don’t decay. On top of this, when the missing tooth is located next to healthy teeth, the healthy teeth don’t need to get crowned. And finally, implants tend to be slightly easier to maintain. Cleaning and flossing a dental implant is just like flossing or brushing your natural teeth. Better yet, the implant naturally protects the underlying bone of your jaw. Because of this, dental implants often help patients maintain healthy gums.

On the other hand, with a bridge, instead of involving a single tooth, the success of the bridge rests on the adjacent teeth as well. If one of the crowned teeth becomes undermined, the bridge and every tooth involved must be repaired, removed, or replaced.  With an implant, merely the prosthetic would be replaced.

Looking to learn more about dental bridges in Garden Grove? Our cosmetic dentists have the answers.

Denture Questions: Asked and Answered

Getting a new set of dentures is never a small decision. For many, making the decision alone can be one of the hardest parts of getting dentures. Our dental team has been a provider of high quality, affordable dentures in Garden Grove for many years and we’ve heard all of the questions.

For answers to some of the most common denture questions, read on!

“How will my voice be impacted by dentures?”

When you get dentures, it tends to change the position of your tongue from where it’s used to sitting with natural teeth. Because of this, it’s normal to experience some changes to your voice, including a slight whistling or hissing sound when you’re speaking. But don’t worry! Adapting to your new dentures happens fast, and most patients find that their voices return to normal within a few weeks. To help get used to your new teeth, try reading out loud in the comfort of your own home. Listen to the way your voice sounds, and your brain will re-train your tongue to make the proper adjustments.

“Why does my lower denture seem loose compared to the upper denture?”

At Primary Dental Care of Garden Grove, our denture specialists work hard to ensure a proper fit. This goes double for your lower denture. In most cases, with traditional dentures, t he lower denture will never be as secure as the upper denture. This can be alleviated with dental adhesives and a little practice.

“How do I make eating easier with dentures?”

With dentures, it can often take a bit of practice to get used to eating. Many times, patients discover it takes a bit longer for them to finish meals. However, as is the case with many other tips having to do with dentures, patience and practice make perfect. At first, choosing foods that are easier to chew can be helpful. However, over-time, it will be easier to eat harder and chewier foods. For some patients, it can take weeks or even months to get fully used to eating with new dentures. Sometimes, other patients can take up to 6 months to fully grasp the techniques needed to eat more challenging foods.

“How difficult is it to get used to dentures?”

The primary reason patients have a hard time with dentures is the simple fact that they feel different. At first, it might seem like you have a marbles in your mouth, or that your lips are oddly positioned. As you wear your dentures for a few weeks, you’ll slowly get used to this feeling and your dentures will begin to feel much more natural. You may also experience an increase in saliva. As your mouth becomes used to your dentures, this will also gradually return to normal.

How to get used to dentures faster

Sometimes, the best way to acclimate to your dentures is to wear them as much as possible for the first few weeks. During this period, it’s important to communicate with your dentist to ensure that you’re not only getting used to your new teeth, but giving your gums rest as well.

Do you have more questions about dentures? We’re always here to help. If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area, schedule an appointment to learn more, or read our blog to get more insights into what it’s like to live with dentures.