Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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Non-Implant Methods for Replacing Frontal Teeth

Yesterday we talked about how you might go about replacing a tooth that’s missing or severely damaged.

If you didn’t catch that post, feel free to backtrack. But the bottom line is this: when it comes to the health of your teeth, the best solution is always the natural one. This is closely followed by a dental implant, which tends to be the most reliable and successful treatment (the only downside being it can get a bit expensive without insurance). But it is important to remember that other options do exist. 

Some of the most common non-implant frontal tooth replacement treatments include:

Removable partial dentures: a removable partial denture is similar to a temporary flipper denture, however – it’s designed to last and be used for the long-term, as long as its taken care of. Of course, it won’t actually replace the missing tooth, which can lead to some shifting of other teeth, but it will help improve the appearance of the missing tooth while remaining inexpensive.

A tooth supported fixed bridge: A fixed bridge will offer a more natural look and feel when compared to a denture – but will still pale in comparison to a dental implant. If the teeth adjacent to the gap are healthy, however, and you’re not ready to spend on a dental implant – a dental bridge can often be a good solution. You will want to stay on top of your teeth, though – since a bridge can potentially require more long-term treatment.

A Maryland bridge: A Maryland bridge (or resin bonded bridge)  isn’t one of the most common techniques used, because it often isn’t as durable.  This sort of bridge is often chosen in order to avoid needing to damage healthy adjacent teeth in order to a support the crowns needed for the bridge.  Instead of being attached to adjacent teeth, it uses “wings” to hold the artificial tooth in-place instead.

Are you concerned about replacing your missing front teeth? If you need a dentist in Garden Grove to help – we can! Please don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn about scheduling, consultations, and more. 

Can You Have a Dental Bridge for Your Front Teeth?

In our previous post, we talked about how you might repair the teeth in the front of your mouth if one or more of them becomes cracked or chipped.

Didn’t catch it? Click here to learn more about fixing your front teeth with various techniques like dental bonding, crowns, and more.  But what happens if you need to completely replace teeth that are in the front of your mouth?

Well, that’s when things get a little more complicated (and, unfortunately – expensive).

As always, the best way to repair a front tooth that’s been knocked out (assuming the truth is healthy) is to try and preserve the tooth and fit it carefully back into place. If you can do this and get emergency dental treatment fast enough – your dentist will likely give you instructions to avoid biting down so you can let the tissues around the tooth to reform and strengthen around the tooth. This will likely be followed up with a check-up with your dentist to ensure that everything cures properly.

 

However, if the original tooth can’t be saved – there are other options available, the most common being a dental implant. Many times, a dental implant is the best available option for replacing a missing tooth. This is because they are strong (nearly as strong as your natural teeth). In fact, they’re designed to last the rest of your life – as long as you take proper care of them. More often than not, when a patient gets  a frontal tooth replaced with a dental implant, nobody can even tell they had a tooth replaced.

It’s important to remember however that a dental implant often can’t be placed right away. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with a gap in your teeth for the entire 3 month healing period. Sometimes, to get around this your dentist might be able to provide an implant and a temporary crown in a single dental visit. Then again, this sometimes won’t work due to the pressures exerted on your front teeth.

In other cases, your dentist might recommend a temporary, removable denture. These are frequently referred to as a “flipper” and they can be a great stop-gap solution for filling a gap while you wait for the tooth to heal.

An immediate removable denture, also known as a flipper, is an excellent interim measure to address the appearance of a missing tooth, while you heal and wait for the permanent crown.  An immediate denture is not designed to last a long time like a regular denture, but it is designed to help get you through until your permanent tooth replacement option is available.

How To Fix or Repair Your Front Teeth

When it comes to your smile, there’s nothing more front-and-center than your two front teeth. So much so, that there’s even a song about how great it would be to just get “your two front teeth” for Christmas.

In our dental office in Garden Grove, this is a treatment we do see from time to time. Sometimes, the teeth need to be repaired because they’ve been subject to improper care and a sugary diet. Other times (more often than you would think), the teeth need to be repaired or restored after accidents of all kinds – from slips and falls to poorly timed dance moves.

If you’ve recently suffered an injury to your front teeth, or you’ve been aware of a problem that might lead to them needing to be repaired or replaced, you’re probably wondering what to expect.

Options your dentist might recommend for a chipped or broken front tooth:

Bonding: No, not that kind of bonding.

Composite bonding is frequently used for chips, cracks, discoloration, and other minor surface imperfections. Bonding is typically the most economical solution for fixing a chipped tooth. However, it also tends to be relied on more for small cracks and chips. Composite bonding will generally last about 10 years and is a pretty simple procedure. Your dentist will just roughen up your tooth, apply the putty, smooth it, polish it, and apply a special light to help it harden.

Composite bonding is a way to repair chipped, cracked, decayed, discolored, misshapen, and gapped teeth. Composite bonding can last up to 10 years. During the procedure, anesthesia won’t be required unless bonding is being used for cavities.

Veneers: Like a “veneer” on your floor, a veneer for your tooth is a thin covering that envelops the surface of the tooth. They tend to provide the most realistic and attractive end-result, and can last up to 30 years! However, they do tend to be a bit more expensive.

For many patients however, porcelain veneers are totally worth it for the way they completely transform  your smile. Have a problematic tooth? Maybe a veneer is the best option.

Crowns: We’ve talked a lot about crowns this week. But to put it simply, a crown is most frequently used when there’s been some significant damage done to the tooth. By completely encircling the tooth (unlike a veneer, which just covers the visible surface of the tooth), the crown enshrouds and protects the tooth while also improving it’s appearance. It is both structural and aesthetic.

If your tooth is chipped badly or you have pain when chewing or drinking, you may need a crown. Crowns are one of the most common restorative treatments. Many times, a crown is essential because the damaged tooth alone would not be able to withstand the forces of biting.

Have a question about fixing a tooth? We’ve got answers! If you’re a patient in the Garden Grove area, our dentists are always here to help (even for emergency dental services!)

 

When a Dental Crown Won’t Work

Recently, you might have read on our blog about when you might need to get a dental crown. In it, we talked about what sort of problems a dental crown solves and when you might get one.

Every day, our dentists in Garden Grove frequently recommend  dental crowns as a good way to repair, support, and protect teeth in a number of situations ranging from repairing large cavities to supporting a dental bridge or reinforcing teeth that have been weakened due to decay, root canal treatment, or repeated dental procedures.

But when will a dental crown not work? That’s a good question.

While we always prefer the handiwork of mother-nature when it comes to your teeth (meaning: a natural tooth is always preferred over something artificial, like a crown), dental crowns – fortunately – have few disadvantages other than the fact that receiving multiple crowns can get expensive, and they should only be seen as a last resort to save your natural tooth.

That said, the major disadvantage of a dental crown often manifests in the fact that it makes your teeth more prone to decay. You see, a crown will cover the entire surface of the tooth. Anywhere along the margin of the crown (where the outer edge of the crown meets the tooth) can be a ripe entry-way for decay. That means, if this area isn’t sealed perfectly or if you aren’t extra careful about keeping your teeth clean – you could risk getting a cavity under the dental crown.

While a cavity isn’t typically a major problem for the average patient, usually requiring a small filling – a cavity under a dental crown poses a problem because it complicates the treatment process, making it harder and more expensive to fix that cavity and prevent damage in the future.

Our advice: if you get a dental crown, do be sure to clean it very thoroughly to avoid the threat that decay poses.

When You Need a Dental Crown

Crown and Bridge

A dental crown is a very special tool in the dentist’s arsenal for a number of reasons. In fact, a dental crown is a versatile tool for three very specific abilities: its strength, its ability to protect, and its ability to repair.

More often than not, if your tooth finds itself in a position where it’s either weakened or damaged – your dentist will likely recommend a dental crown. For example, our dentists in Garden Grove, California frequently recommend dental crowns for patients that have had large cavities, or for those that have recently had root canal treatment – in order to reinforce the tooth from outside due to it being weakened from within.

But that’s not all. Dental crowns are also used if a tooth has a large filling and needs reinforcing. Or, if you’re getting a dental bridge – and the crown will serve as a valuable support system for your future tooth.

“But why? If I have a cavity, can’t I just get a filling?”

Many times, if you have a cavity – you’re used to just getting a filling. However, the larger the filling gets – the less actual tooth there is. Unfortunately, that makes it easier for the filling to come out – or for the tooth to crack. In cases such as these, our dentists typically recommend a dental crown – to strengthen the tooth and, ideally, to prevent the need for further intervention in the future.

The beauty of a dental crown is the rather simple way it protects your tooth.

While dental crowns are often referred to as “caps” it’s important to know that they actually completely cover your tooth. Your dental crown becomes the external covering of your tooth, and in most cases – the crown can be customized to perfectly fit your bite and match with your other teeth, which can especially be important for teeth that are highly visible.

Does Decay…..Go Away? Your Teeth and The Battle They Face Every Day

Every second of every day, there’s a never-ending battle being waged inside your mouth. While it might sound a bit dramatic – it’s essentially true. Then again, if your’e on-top of brushing, rinsing, and flossing – it’s usually something that you don’t have to worry about.

That battle, to be more specific, is the one between the enamel on our teeth – protecting the softer, inner layer (dentin) from bacteria, and the acids that slowly fight against your tooth’s enamel to accomplish their goal of thriving, multiplying, and spreading. This little process is known as decay, and while many people understand that decay is always up to no good – they don’t always understand some of the finer points about decay and its relationship with your mouth.

Outside of the fact that decay can lead to cavities and the long term need for treatments like dental bridges, crowns, and other restorative treatments – many patients don’t understand that decay can be reversed.

When your tooth is consistently exposed to acids that cause its enamel to wear away (demineralize), you may star to notice the appearance of small white spots. This is an indication that minerals are being lost – and it’s often one of the first signs of dental decay. At this point, the decay is still reverse-able.

In the quest to avoiding the need for dental restorations, it’s heartening for many patients to understand that your enamel can repair itself – which happens with help from minerals in fluoride, your saliva, your toothpaste, your diet, and many other sources.

On the other hand, if the de-mineralization process goes on for too long – more and more minerals get lost which accelerates the damage to your enamel. This ultimately leads to the formation of a cavity – which, unlike the white spots, are permanent damage. Time and time again, our dentists in Garden Grove repair cavities with a filling – which is typically all the treatment they require. Except for in more serious cases, where larger cavities depend on not just a filling, but a dental crown to encapsulate and protect the tooth from further damage.

Are you experiencing dental pain? Our dentists can help. Learn today whether or not you should visit your family dentist to handle decay and avoid cavities.  

Cold Air Has Been Bothering My Teeth, What Gives?

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Whether you just took a vacation to a colder climate, went on a ski-vacation, or happened to breath in just a little too deeply when you were reaching into the freezer to extract that pint of ice cream you’ve been trying to avoid all week, sudden sensitivity from your teeth is relatively common – but can point to a few different looking problems.

If you’ve recently experienced some new sensitivity,  our dentists in Orange County have the answers your looking for. Read on to learn more about tooth sensitivity and to get a general overview of why it happens in the first place, and what you can do to stop it (because yes, it can get better.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity 

  • Erosion of enamel from eating highly acidic food/beverages too frequently
  • Gum Recession, which can cause the gums to wear down and expose both the dentin and potentially delicate nerve endings near the root
  • Tooth damage that occurs due to bad fillings, tooth breakage, or even an infection
  • Tooth grinding at night
  • Dental treatment, such as when you get a dental crown, filling, or in-office teeth bleaching
  • Enamel wearing down over time, perhaps from using a hard toothbrush or from gripping too hard while brushing

What you can do to fight sensitivity

If you’re experiencing pesky tooth sensitivity, there’s a good chance that it’s not an emergency worth losing any sleep over. More often than not, tooth sensitivity can be treated and addressed with at-home care. If you are seeing your dentist regularly (every 6 months or so), simply mention it to him or her and they will be sure to look into the underlying cause during your regular checkup. This is how any concern should be addressed – with a conversation.

 

Once the underlying cause of your sensitivity is identified, your dentist will generally instruct you to take a specific course of action. In most cases, this will begin with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Then, it will be followed up by the appropriate reaction to whatever’s going on in your mouth. If you’re brushing with too hard of a brush, you’ll need to change your toothbrush. If you’re brushing too hard, it might be time to get a gentler, electric toothbrush. If you’re grinding at night, your dentist might recommend a nightguard to protect against damage.  In any case – it’s not usually hard to get to the bottom of the problem and work your way towards relief.

Have questions? 

Our dentists in Orange county have answers. Schedule an appointment today to learn more!

 

What It Means When Your Gums Bleed: A Step By Step Guide to Relief from Inflammation and Irritation

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Imagine a steak dinner (or vegetarian “steak”, of course). Perfectly cooked. The steak is seared to perfection, with the glisten of what might be a dab of butter, slowly melting it’s way past the char – that extra touch. There’s no chance that entire piece of steak isn’t promptly making its way promptly past your lateral incisors, through the canines with ease, and with a quick grind over the first, second, and maybe third molars- well, then that would be the end of the story for the steak. Or rather, most of it.

You see, some of that steak can end up in your teeth if you’re not careful. When that happens, it can weasel it’s way up between your teeth. It can even nestle in with your gums. Unfortunately, it’s not your body helping you save a snack for later.

Getting food stuck in your teeth is an incredibly common experience that people run into every day. More often than not, when you get food stuck in your teeth your immediate reaction is to pry at it with your tongue, or reach for a toothpick (which we actually don’t recommend). If you’re truly prepared – you’ll have a strand of floss handy. But if you don’t have anything and nothing seems to work, don’t worry – too much.

Getting food stuck in your teeth and gums can also become a problem that leads to inflammation and a variety of periodontal problems that might require gum treatment and deep dental cleaning. So if a problem persists and you find that your gums are inflamed, red, bleeding, or swollen – you should really call your nearest dentist (if you don’t already have one) and get the problem figured out.

Looking for some DIY Gum Care Tips for Food Stuck in Your Gums?

  1. Floss
  2. If flossing doesn’t work, rinse – then try flossing again.
  3. If the food still seems stuck, gargle and rinse with Saltwater. Saltwater rinses have shown that they may help problem areas heal. Just mix a teaspoon of salt with a warm cup of water.

Still having a problem with stuck food? You might need a dentist to get it out! Need a dentist in garden grove? We can help!

Ever Considered Whiter Teeth for Christmas?

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Generally, one of the first things our dentists in Garden Grove ask our newest patients goes something like this: “Is there anything you would change about your smile or your teeth?”

Why? Because your teeth can either be one of your greatest assets, or a source of self-consciousness. Fortunately, there are solutions.

For many years, our Orange County dental practice has helped make the new year a happier for patients of all ages and backgrounds by boosting patient confidence.

But when it comes to improving smiles, many patients often forget how easy it can really be. You don’t need braces, Invisalign, or in-depth and (potentially) expensive treatments done to get teeth that you feel better about. In fact, greater confidence from your teeth can often be as easy as a simple visit to your dentists’ office and a short sit in your dentist’s chair for in-office teeth whitening.

In our dental practice in Orange County, teeth whitening has long been a favorite method for quickly and effectively getting an almost instant boost to your confidence with teeth that are noticeably whiter.

In office teeth bleaching works by using a special type of bleach that responds to UV light and typically only requires one visit to the dentist. In most cases, in order to protect your gums and prevent sensitivity, your dentist will apply a protective gel or a rubber shield to your gums. Next, the special light or a laser – for laser whitening – will be used to activate the whitening formula.

What are the side effects of teeth bleaching?

Many patients often wonder what the side effects are for teeth bleaching. Fortunately for most, they are rather mild. Some people will experience enhanced tooth sensitivity due to the peroxide in the whitener sneaking past enamel and through the soft layer of dentin underneath. This can agitate the nerves in your teeth – but is temporary. The only other common side effect is damage to the tooth, but that only occurs if you whiten too much – something your dentist won’t allow to happen!

 

Have You Dedicated a New Year’s Resolution to Your Teeth?

Every year, the Holiday Season seems to inspire people from all walks of life with a  strong motivation to make some positive changes in life.  For the most part, however, those resolutions tend to be about the same thing year after year.

Consider what Time Magazine learned about 2016’s resolutions. While you might expect losing weight or saving more money to always be at the top of the list, last year’s most popular new years resolution was actually to do more to “Enjoy life to the fullest”.

Other runners up include:

  • Living a healthier lifestyle
  • Saving more and spending less
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • And paying down debt

Outside of spending more time with family and friends, most of these resolutions carry a common theme: living better, healthier, and more financially secure. Our dentists in Garden Grove have one New Year’s resolution you might not have thought of yet – how about starting with your teeth?

Resolving to pay more attention to your teeth means that you’re paying more attention to adopting a careful and comprehensive oral healthcare routine – what that means is that you’re already on your way towards achieving your resolution to save more money and live healthier.

By taking better care of your teeth, the greatest advantage you benefit from is reduced decay, fewer cavities, and better gums. By maintaining a better foundation for oral health, many of the problems that tend to start small and get worse don’t have an opportunity to do so. This means you don’t have to worry as much about dental procedures ranging from cavity fillings and gum repair to dental restoration and replacement procedures like dental bridges and dental crowns.

Have questions about your teeth? 

Why not make 2017 the year when you’ll get perfect teeth? Fortunately, if you’re a patient near Orange County, our dentists in Garden Grove can help!