Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

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What’s the Best Way to Get Nice, White Teeth?

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Just about everyone could use a confidence boost from time to time. But where do you start? You could get in better shape by hitting the gym or starting a diet – both very worthwhile goals. Or, you could hit the mall and find some great new clothes to make you feel great – but that could get a little expensive.

Naturally, our dentists in the Anaheim area have an even better suggestion. Why not start with your teeth? They’re always with you, it’s been proven that smiling more can make you happier, and it’s both a fast and affordable procedure that lasts for quite a while (especially with good oral hygiene).

But what’s the best way to get whiter teeth? That depends.

If you like how your teeth are shaped and positioned in your mouth – or if your dentist has never really identified any major problems with your teeth, in-office teeth whitening has become a safe and effective method used by patients around the world with great results.

You might wonder if at-home whitening is an option, and it is, but it does tend to take a little longer to achieve the same results as in-office dental whitening – which takes about an hour and can whiten your teeth by multiple shades.

If you have sensitive teeth, however, the whitening compound used for in-office whitening can sometimes be a bit too much for patients with sensitive teeth – resulting in increased dental sensitivity for a short time. Even though this doesn’t generally last, it can sometimes steer patients with sensitive teeth towards at-home whitening that uses a less-intense whitening gel inside of a special mouth-guard you wear.

What about over-the-counter whitening products?

The thing about OTC whitening products is that they aren’t very consistent. From whitening toothpastes to whitening strips and the horribly inconsistent whitening goop you “brush” on with an applicator  – it’s all a bit of a mixed bag. On top of this,  the concentrations of hydrogen peroxide aren’t as effective as the concentration your dentist can offer.

What if my teeth are also misshapen, too? 

If you’re unhappy with the color and shape of your teeth – that’s where something like dental veneers or crowns are an option. Solutions like crowns or veneers can help completely transform your smile by covering up imperfections and color matching the “artificial” tooth to match your other teeth (after they’ve been whitened).

But do remember, veneers and crowns don’t always whiten like your natural teeth. So if you do get a veneer or crown, you either need to be extra careful about avoiding food and drink that stains your teeth (covered in our blog post: Teeth Whitening 101: How and Why Your Teeth Get Stained)  or you need periodically get your teeth re-whitened to match.

Have questions about getting nicer teeth? Our dentists in the Anaheim area have answers. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help boost your confidence. 

How Veneers Have Changed and Gotten Better

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Have you ever wanted more perfect teeth? Porcelain veneers have become one of the best available ways to do it. But veneers have changed quite a bit over the years after entering the scene around the 1920’s.

The funny thing is, veneers were “born” not much far from our dentists in Garden Grove, California. Another California dentist known as Dr. Charles Puncus came up with the first “veneer” – which was an acrylic cap that fit over the entirety of the patient’s existing teeth. This is, of course, why veneers quickly received the nickname “movie star” teeth for the way they used these appliances during scenes, and then removed them afterward.

While these early “veneers” were the first formulation used to perfect a patient’s smile – they are a far cry to what’s available today. After the 20’s and into the 1950’s and 1960’s, patients began to get veneers in order to better shape their smiles – especially after events like disease or tooth loss. But then, it was difficult to get the veneers to actually adhere with some reliability.

This lead to the birth of new materials, adhesives, and methods that would eventually make veneers much more secure, attractive and permanent. Ultimately however, the veneers we think of today didn’t enter the spotlight until the early 1980’s, after the technology had had a few decades worth of trial, error, and innovation. At this point, they became easier to place, better designed, and much more viable for patients hoping to cover up a wide variety of cosmetic issues.

One issue that modern dental veneers have overcome is a more negative nickname they earned over the years: chiclet teeth. Coined after the popular pieces of gum, early veneers had a tendency to look too straight or too perfect. So much so that they looked, rather unnaturally, like chiclets. As time moved on – dentists realized that looking perfect shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Instead, perfecting the teeth within the context of the rest of the mouth was more important so that teeth look remarkable better, while not standing out as “fake”.

To accomplish this, modern dentists like ours spend much more time setting the groundwork for “perfect” teeth by designing them carefully, with the whole mouth considered and applying them just as carefully.  Dentists take numerous photos and work with special laboratories that expertly design veneers to look as natural as possible – taking extra care to include details like subtle translucency near the edges of the teeth, the right shape, and a perfect natural color that matches the rest of your teeth.

This is how veneers of today make truly healthy and perfectly natural teeth a reality.

Are you looking for a permanent boost to your smile? Veneers might be right for you and can correct a wide variety of cosmetic imperfections ranging from discoloration and chips to minor alignment problems. Have questions? Get in touch with our advanced dentists in Garden Grove.  

Never Be Ashamed to Get Quality Dental Care

You shouldn't be afraid to smile. If you've been living with severe dental issues that affect your confidence, talk to your local family dentist today.

You shouldn’t be afraid to smile. If you’ve been living with severe dental issues that affect your confidence, talk to your local family dentist today.

There’s something to be said about getting your teeth taken care of, and being “nervous” about going to the dentist.

Do you think your teeth are really bad? Or maybe you know that your teeth are in pretty rough shape.

If you have rotten teeth, abscesses, discoloration, and decay – you might feel ashamed or embarrassed about your teeth. What you need to know is that you shouldn’t be.  Because dentists have always seen worse, and the fact that a patient who hasn’t been to the dentist in years decided to finally schedule an appointment is something to be commended.

Have you been putting off dental care because you’re embarrassed about your teeth or worried about how much work needs to be done? Don’t. The longer you wait, the worse the damage gets – only increasing your reluctance to show your teeth to the dentist. On top of this, waiting longer can also increase the extensiveness of the treatment you need.

Are you putting off dental care?

What you truly need to understand is that your dentists are here to help you. our dentists in Garden Grove have helped countless patients in southern California bounce back from histories plagued by poor dental health to rediscover health, happiness, and self-confidence that they didn’t think they could have.

But what about the money? Won’t treatment cost a lot?

It’s true that dental treatment costs money, especially when you’ve been putting it off for a long time. But quality of life isn’t something you should put on hold. In addition to new-patient specials, treatment from dental schools, and financing offers – it’s never been easier to improve your teeth without going broke. All it takes is a comfortable conversation with your friendly family dentist. If you’ve been putting off dental care – the time is now. The longer you wait, the harder it will be – both for your pride and your wallet.

Talking to your dentist will yielf you with a plan for the future on how you can economically resolve all of your dental problems in a way that works for you.

Are you a patient in Southern California with questions? Our dentists on Brookhurst Street in Garden Grove can help. 

What are Onlays and How do they Work?

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When it comes to your teeth – there are numerous ways to fix problems that need to be fixed (such as to prevent issues like infection and tooth loss). There are similarly many ways to cover up cosmetic problems that you simply want fixed.

Every day, our dentists in Garden Grove help patients from all walks of life correct an incredibly wide variety of issues ranging from “medically necessary” to cosmetic. For us, both are equally important – because a confident smile can often be just as influential as a healthy smile. The healthiest teeth don’t have to be perfect, but if minor imperfections prevent you from living your life to the fullest – that’s where cosmetic dentistry comes in.

Onlays are a type of dental restoration that dentists use to repair teeth when they don’t have enough damage to need a crown – but they do have enough damage to need a filling. So for the most part, a dental onlay is used when a tooth needs support and repair to stay healthy.

Onlays play an important role in a dentist’s arsenal, because capping a tooth with a crown actually requires removing some of the tooth’s structure first, and removing healthy material isn’t always the best option.But it doesn’t stop there. At the same time, a large dental filling can also weaken some of the structure of the surrounding tooth – which can lead to a crack or break further down the road.

So, if your tooth is a bit too damaged to support a filling on its own – but it’s not quite bad enough to require a dental crown, your particular situation might land you somewhere closer to the middle.  This is where an onlay comes into the picture.

When you decide to get an onlay, your dentist will first prepare your tooth by getting rid of any decay and plaque. Once ready, an impression will be made of the tooth so that the onlay can be designed and manufactured in a dental laboratory. This can sometimes take a few weeks, which will usually require a temporary filling in the mean-time.

Once the wait is over, your dentist will remove the temporary filling and cement the dental onlay into place – altogether, pretty simple!

 

 

The Easiest Way to Get Whiter Teeth

When it comes to drastically improving your self-esteem and the way you feel about yourself, “easy” isn’t always a common word.  Everything worthwhile takes effort and dedication. From getting a great job to losing weight, every positive change takes effort.

Unfortunately, there are very few shortcuts. BUT (and this is a big but) sometimes there are shortcuts. One of those few occasions is when it comes to whitening your teeth.

But first, a couple things worth mentioning.

Naturally, getting whiter teeth for the rest of your life does take a bit more time and dedication. But for most people, it doesn’t take hours in the gym and an entirely new approach to life. It just takes changing some habits, adopting some new ones, and really thinking about the types of substances your teeth are coming into contact with.

But the shortcut we’ve talked about is and has always been in-office teeth whitening. The best part? It’s only getting better and better with technology.

Your teeth get discolored for a number of reasons, sometimes this happens with age – other times it’s affected by lifestyle decisions like smoking, drinking, or enjoying a little too much black coffee throughout your day. The nice thing about in-office whitening as a short-cut is that it’s fast, effective, and pretty much anyone can do it (yes, even people with somewhat sensitive teeth).

While many dentists offer in-office whitening, the process at Primary Dental Care in Garden Grove works something like this.

First: Have your teeth checked. In order for the bleaching to work properly, your teeth need to be free of plaque. This prevents uneven results. After a cleaning, the dentist will apply a protective cream to keep your lips moist and another protective barrier for your gums.

Next: Your dentist will apply the whitening compound, which is usually a gel that’s mostly hydrogen peroxide. Once this is complete, an intense light or laser is used to focus on your teeth and speed up the whitening process.

Finally: After as little as an hour, you can see drastic results in the whiteness of your teeth. This is perhaps the part that patients find most exciting. Especially for patients without severe staining, whitening can instantly make a very noticeable difference. For more severe staining, it can sometimes take a little longer – or even a couple treatments.  No matter how stained your teeth are initially, the facts remain – teeth whitening is one of the few quick fixes that can instantly make your smile look better.

Have questions? Our dentists have answers! Get in touch today to learn more about teeth whitening in Garden Grove.  

 

 

 

 

 

Are Veneers Right For You? Our Garden Grove Dentists Have the Answer

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If you have any minor dental imperfections that might not require immediate dental treatment but you wouldn’t mind being rid of, porcelain veneers might be right for you. Porcelain veneers are basically a thin layer of porcelain material designed to lay over the surface of your teeth and be shaped to blend with the rest of your smile to give it a flawless, more perfect appearance.

Most frequently, porcelain veneers are used to cover:

  • Teeth that have been discolored or stained
  • Teeth that are uneven or crooked
  • Small chips and cracks

When you get a veneer, our cosmetic dentists will typically remove a small layer of enamel on your tooth to make room for the future porcelain veneer. This happens in one appointment. On a follow-up appointment, the veneer will actually be placed on the tooth. After this, you will take care of your teeth as your normally would, with your veneer lasting for

Traditional porcelain veneers require a thin layer of enamel to be removed from the front of your tooth to make room for the veneer. The veneer fits snugly in place to create the look of a perfect tooth. Your dentist will prepare your teeth in one visit, then you will return to have your veneers placed. Once securely placed you will keep your veneers forever, maintaining your teeth as you normally would with your veneer lasting for as many as twenty years.

The type of veneer that your dentist recommends for your will rely on a number of factors – many of them having to do with the health and coloration of your teeth and enamel. The important thing to remember is that dental veneers won’t stain like your natural teeth will – which can lead to some discoloration problems in some patients. Fortunately, this is easily handled in the dentist’s chair with bleaching.

Have questions about porcelain veneers in Garden Grove? We have answers! If you’re a dental patient in Southern California, get in touch with our knowledgeable dental team today for any questions about perfecting your teeth with veneers. 

What to do about a chipped tooth: Cosmetic Dentistry Explained

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You’d be incredibly surprised to know how often patients of all ages experience the most common boo boo that teeth often see- a chip. The American Dental Association reports that chipped teeth usually account for a vast majority of dental injuries – and our dentists in Garden Grove aren’t surprised. Because the sheer number of ways a tooth can become chipped is incredibly vast – ranging from sudden impact and temperature stress – to sheer bad luck.

No matter how it happens, the thing about a chipped tooth is that it always seems impossible to not rub it with your tongue. Which can become hard to ignore. And if the chip is particularly bad, it could be noticeable to the naked eye. Fortunately, a chipped tooth is almost always able to be treated successfully.

Treating Small Chips

Many times, when dental chips are at the very edge of your teeth, they can be fixed with a single sitting in the dentist’s chair. With a little polishing, the rough edges can be carefully shaped and polished with a special bonding material to restore the surface. This is both fast, effective, and economical for most fixes.

Are there any downsides? 

Over time, the bonding material used to correct a chipped tooth can become stained (or chipped) over time. This might sometimes require that the bonding material be replaced. Another option that isn’t as prone to this problem is porcelain veneers. While more expensive, a porcelain veneer covers the problem and reinforces the tooth in a much more permanent capacity.

Dealing With Larger Chips

If the chip is considerably large (big enough to find the piece that chipped off), you should do your best to collect the pieces and preserve them if possible. There’s a chance that your dentist might be able to re-attach the piece with the same bonding material that would otherwise be used for polishing a small chip.

If the chewing surface of your tooth (The cusp) is broken, but the roots are still intact our cosmetic dentists in Southern California can often use an onlay to replace part of your tooth’s surface. On the other hand, if the damage to your tooth goes as far as the root – there’s a good chance your tooth needs even more attention. In order to prevent discomfort, pain, or infection further down the road, a root canal could be the smart option. If this is the case, your tooth will be cleaned out filled with a special material, and covered with a dental crown to completely restore the tooth to its original appearance.

 

 

 

Why Do Dental Implants Cost More Than Dentures?

With all of the solutions available for replacing lost, broken, or damaged teeth – many times options that are truly available come down to one simple factor: cost.

Typically, when patients are replacing a tooth – two of the most common options available tend to be either a dental implant or a denture (as well as a”fixed” denture, which is also often referred to as a dental bridge).

For patients replacing all of their teeth – dental implants are often considerably more expensive than dentures, with the benefit that they will likely never have to be replaced, while offering nearly identical performance and durability when compared to natural teeth.  For patients replacing single teeth, the cost difference can seem a little less drastic. But despite the fact that dental implants often represent one of the best, most long-lasting solutions for replacement teeth, it’s not uncommon to experience a little shock at the price-tag.

What many patients wonder about the cost of dental implants is “what exactly am I paying for?” This includes:

The cost of the implant itself: Dental implants rely on special titanium posts that screw into your jaw bone. The special thing about these posts is that they are designed to mimic the function and form of your tooth’s root system, and are responsible for making the implant as strong and functional as your natural teeth are (or were).

Next, you have to consider the porcelain crown: Just like a dental crown over an existing, natural tooth requires careful preparation, installation, and customization to look and feel like a natural tooth – so too does the crown that completes the look of a dental implant. From color to shape, custom fitting the crown to your very unique mouth takes time and expertise.

Finally, consider the surgery: What many patients forget to consider as part of the total cost of a dental implant is the actual procedure that relies on years of training, specialized equipment, and medical expertise.

All of the factors above come together to give you the teeth you always wanted – teeth that are ready to serve you just like natural teeth for years to come. At Garden Grove’s Primary Dental Care, our dentists are committed to the best possible end-result. For questions about dental implants and more, contact our experienced team today.

Dental Dangers You Might Not Know About

Every day, our dentists in Garden Grove encounter patients living their lives, day in and day out with an incredibly diverse range of experiences, lifestyles, and habits.

While the common threats to your teeth like poor hygiene and excessive sugar intake are fairly obvious (and beaten into the ground) – there are quite a few dental dangers that you might not be aware of.

The first of these, is Lemonade.

Otherwise a delicious, cirtus beverage enjoyed by people (in various forms) around the world – lemonade does have a bit of a dark side. That is, it can sometimes be the culprit behind serious dental damage – especially if you enjoy it frequently.

Compared to other, safer beverages – there is a lot of acid content in lemonade. If left unchecked this acid can lead to the gradual erosion of your dental enamel, which protects your teeth from invading bacteria and decay. In some cases (depending on how much lemonade you enjoy) it might not even be gradual at all – especially if you’re not good about brushing.

Our tip: Don’t stop enjoying lemonade. But do be careful. If you drink lemonade – the best idea is to drink it through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.

 

Birth Control Pills

Many, many, many women around the world are prescribed birth control pills  to both prevent pregnancy and to assist with hormone balance. But if your dentist asks you about birth control – don’t think it’s a strange question. Did you know that many forms of birth control can contribute to an increase in bacteria in your mouth? Naturally, this can lead lead to more decay and cavities. So women on birth control should be especially dutiful about brushing – or, if you’re experiencing problems with decay or cavities, consider talking to your family doctor about additional contraception options.

Extended Time in the Pool

Whether you’re a competitive swimmer or you just love to be outside in the pool (note: this is just pools, not the ocean), you should keep an eye on your teeth. Despite the fact that swimming is incredible for your body – the chlorine and other chemicals in the pool can contribute to erosion and the development of stains on your teeth. To minimize this, opt for fresh whatever whenever possible – and always try to at least rinse your mouth out after swimming.

Are your teeth not looking like you want them? One of the above factors could be the case. To be sure, trust the expertise of our dedicated cosmetic dentists and family dentists in Garden Grove, California. For more information or to inquire about new patient specials, reach out today.

 

When a bridge goes too far (Avoiding the most common dental bridge problems)

Not the kind of bridge you were thinking about, a dental bridge can make your smile look like new.

Not the kind of bridge you were thinking about, a dental bridge can make your smile look like new.

Yesterday, we blogged about an unfortunate incident in a bathroom (anywhere) in America that ended with a missing tooth. In that case, if the tooth had to be completely replaced – a dental bridge would likely be a viable solution.

You’ll find tons of blog posts about dental bridges, their history, and various components all over our blog, here’s a few just to get you started (if you’re interested):

But if you already have dental bridges -you might be wondering how to avoid some of the more common problems with dental bridges. So without further preamble, let’s get to it.

Bridges that fit poorly: poorly fitting bridgework means you change your dentist. Because bridges that don’t fit well are the result of poor craftsmanship that leads to pain, discomfort, and inconvenience. Bridges that don’t fit right can lead to infection, gum irritation, and more.

Poor Oral Hygiene: the most common problem patients experience with dental bridges tends to revolve around decay. Because the dental bridge uses the adjacent teeth as “supports” – the space beneath the bridge, the bridge itself, and the teeth supporting it are at an increased risk for decay and need to be carefully taken care of.

Failure to take care of a dental bridge and the surrounding teeth could lead to the need for root canal therapy – or the loss of additional teeth.

Think about it this way – a dental bridge is a good looking tooth replacement that takes a little bit of work. If you don’t want to have to do that work for more teeth – be sure to take care of all of your teeth.

Have a question? Our dentists in Garden Grove are here to help!  Get in touch today to learn about new patient specials.