Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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Dental Implants: Your Questions Answered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you had a dental defect that’s been bothering you for years? Or maybe you’ve lost a tooth. No matter the problem, what most patients like you hope for is a solution that’s permanent and strong. Fortunately, that’s where dental implants enter the picture. But it’s only natural for you to have questions. So today, we’re here with answers.

What’s the dental implant procedure involve?

Before your dentist will do anything for your implant, the first step is usually to take a CT scan to get a fuller picture of your entire mouth, jaw, and dental structure. A primary goal here is to ensure that your jaw has enough strength to support an implant, while also making sure there won’t be any complications.  Next, the actual implants are installed. What many don’t realize however is that the implants are actually special titanium posts, or “fixtures”. These eventually fuse with your bone itself – making implants nearly as strong as your natural teeth.  The “teeth” themselves are essentially a crown that fits over the fixture and other parts of the implant.

When the procedure is done, our fountain valley dentists use advanced technology to pinpoint the positioning and ensure that the implant will be a success and nobody will know the difference. Once the fixtures are installed into your jaw – the “teeth” themselves are added. This often happens over the course of a couple dental visits, but same-day implants are becoming more and more common across the country.

How long does it take to heal?

For most patients, the average healing time for a dental implant is about three weeks. Though it’s important to remember that this isn’t a hard and fast rule. For some patients, an implant could take months to heal. Fortunately, if this is the case, it probably won’t be a surprise. Usually, when patients experience a longer healing time it’s because of an underlying condition our dentists will be well aware of. Common factors that influence healing time could include jaw health, medication, and tobacco use.

How much is a dental implant?

For most patients, this is the most important factor – and it needs to be weighed against a number of other considerations. Dental bridges might be cheaper – but they certainly won’t last as long. But the location of the tooth, your history as a patient, and your lifestyle will all play an important role in your decision. On average, dental implants can be as inexpensive as $1,000, but they can also be much more expensive. This all depends on your individual situation.

Fortunately, as technology advances – implants are only getting more affordable, while many dental insurance providers offer coverage for a portion of the procedure.

Have a question of your own? Our dentists are here to help. Contact us today to learn more. 

 

How to Approach the Most Common Dental Emergencies

Our dentists in Fountain Valley, CA frequently work with patients of all ages to address a wide variety of dental concerns. Sometimes, however – such as when your tooth is dangling out of your mouth, or when you’ve just cracked a molar on a nice, salty popcorn kernel….”concern” doesn’t quite cut it.

Dental emergencies are quite a bit different than your routine exams every six months or so. While you might be used to scraping, cleaning, polishing and x-raying, you can expect a different host of treatments when the problem is of the “oops” variety. But what do you do right now? Well, hopefully we can help.

How you should approach 3 of the Most Common Dental Emergencies

You’ve Knocked Out a Tooth

If you’ve knocked out one of your teeth, take a moment to breath easy. This is common and our dentists in Fountain Valley have seen it many times before.  The good news is that – when approached with the proper care – even a tooth that’s been completely knocked out can be put back into place

To make this a simpler process, be sure that when you touch the dislodged tooth that you handle it only by touching the crown. And when you rinse it off, be extra careful that you don’t mess with the roots too much when you’re rinsing away any dirt or debris. You can try to place the tooth back into its socket with your fingers – gently holding it in-place. If this isn’t possible, hold it inside your cheek or store it in a covered container of milk until you can see your dentist.

The important thing to remember with a knocked-out tooth is that you need to contact your dentist immediately and get your knocked out tooth treated quickly. The sooner you act, the better the chance of saving your natural tooth and not needing an implant.  Need an emergency dentist in fountain valley? Our team can help. Contact our emergency number at any time for assistance.

A Cracked Tooth

When your tooth is cracked or broken into multiple pieces, it’s also a reason to see your dentist as soon as possible. But first, rinse your mouth with warm water – as well as any pieces that might be large enough for you to locate.

Next, apply a cold compress to help reduce swelling. If there’s blood – place a piece of gauce on the area and – if necessary – gently bite down until the bleeding stops (only if there’s no pain).

You’ve Lost a Crown or a Filling

This might seem like a pretty drastic emergency at first, but in many cases – if you’ve lost a filling or a crown, you can rest assured knowing that while it’s important to get it addressed, this is an emergency you don’t need to run to the emergency dentist’s in the middle of the night. But remember this: the longer you wait, the more damage your tooth will take. In many cases, this is because a loose crown or filling could be the sign of decay underneath. Even if this isn’t the case, your crown or filling was placed for a reason: to prevent cavities. No matter what – if it’s fallen out, your teeth (and your wallet) are at risk. Get it handled soon!

 

What are the Lines on my Teeth and How Do I Get Rid of Them?

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Do you have lines on your front teeth that seemed to come out of nowhere?

If this sounds like you, there’s a great chance you have what our dentists in the Anaheim area (and dentists everywhere) call craze lines. They aren’t problematic cracks. They aren’t irreversible damage. They aren’t even that big of a problem.

So go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief (There you go, isn’t that nice?).

Craze lines are simply tiny hairline cracks in the enamel of your teeth. While they might not be what you hope for from your teeth cosmetically, the good thing is that they aren’t dangerous.

What Causes Craze Lines?

Craze lines can come from a number of sources. The first and most common is everyday wear and tear. The biting, gnawing and chomping that you do on everything from your dinner to your fingernails (stop that!) can definitely contribute to craze lines. On top of this, even some dental procedures that are used to protect your teeth can contribute to craze lines by weakening the enamel.  But this isn’t a reason to not get treatment for a more serious dental issue – because craze lines are harmless, and problems like cavities and decay are most definitely not harmless.

So, what should I do?

Interestingly, you might notice that fancy glazed pottery often has these vertical “lines” as well. Guess what? In pottery – those lines are called “craze lines” too. Keep this in mind. It’s to remind you that while these lines are present in the enamel, they do not impact that structural integrity of the pottery (or your teeth).

So just like these lines technically can’t be removed from the pottery – they can be hidden by repainting it. This is where our dentists often recommend teeth whitening services for our patients in the Anaheim area. These lines become visible because stains settle into the microscopic cracks. By bleaching the stains that settle into the tiny microscopic cracks – the lines will almost be completely invisible.

Have dental questions? We have dental answers?

Whether you have craze lines, stained teeth, or a problem that calls for an emergency dentist in the Anaheim area – our team can help. Having contended with just about every dental issue for patients ranging from newborns to the elderly, our team has seen it all. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to act. We’re here to help! While you’re at it – check out our new patient specials. They may make getting timely treatment easier if you don’t have dental insurance.

Soothing Baby’s Teething Pain Without Benzocaine

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When a newborn enters your life – and for the 9 months until that very fateful day – it always seems like every single person you meet has a piece of advice.

Whether your baby has a skin condition, a bad mood, a curly hair, or his first tooth – there’s always a wives tale or sage bit of advice that you absolutely need to hear.

Unfortunately, you’re always going to end up hearing it. But when it comes to the wives tales about teething – our dentists in Garden Grove really recommend taking any advice with a grain of salt. The best advice we can offer? Just ask your dentist.

The Problem With Benzocaine

Teething can be a miserable experience for babies, and it’s no surprise – pushing teeth through delicate soft-tissue doesn’t feel good! With this in mind, it’s understandable that some parents might turn to products like benzocaine, which can dull the pain from teething. Unfortunately, it’s not the best for your baby.

The problem with benzocaine – according to the Harvard Medical School is the fact that – in addition to numbing pain, it also effectively changes hemoglobin into methemoglobin – which can potentially cause a dangerous condition known as methemoglobinemia. 

What hemoglobin does is gather oxygen from the lungs so that it can help distribute oxygen to tissue throughout the body. However, when the iron in hemoglobin interacts with some chemicals (including benzocaine) it changes its structure so that it holds the oxygen instead of letting it go. Ultimately, this can prevent tissue from getting the oxygen it needs. And because babies are much smaller than adults and have less blood volume, it takes less benzocaine.

Symptoms of this problem often include pale skin, a blue-ish tint to skin, headaches, dizziness, seizures, coma, and – potentially – death. With this in mind, the FDA has been warning parents about the potential problem for years – and are finally beginning to enforce the rule that companies must stop making products that contain benzocaine for children under the age of 2.  

Alternatives to Benzocaine

Fortunately, there are remedies that work just as well as benzocaine (while often lasting longer). And they’re simple. These include small (pediatrician approved) doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen and a cool teething ring.