Garden Grove Dental Arts : Marianna Ibrahim DDS

714-537-5700

How Veneers Have Changed and Gotten Better

preventing-gum-disease

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.  

Can I Replace One Tooth With a Veneer?

Chipped teeth are a very common thing for dentists across the country to see in all kinds of dental practices. So common in fact, that there are quite a few ways to treat a chipped tooth.

Depending on your teeth and the severity of the chip – the options available to you might be slightly different than what’s available to a friend, family member, or coworker. But if you’re fixing just a single tooth – know this, if you’re hoping for a veneer – with today’s advanced ceramic technology, veneers are an eminently feasible option. This will depend on a few factors….

The Color of Your Teeth

Based on the color and translucency of your teeth, your dentist will likely make a decision on the type of material that will be best for your repair. This is to ensure that the artificial substrate (the veneer) matches the natural substrate – your teeth. This is a very important aspect of getting any sort of cosmetic dental work done and a reason you want to make sure you choose an experienced, professional dentist.

The Location of the Tooth

Doing a single middle tooth all by itself is often regarded as one of the tougher tasks for a cosmetic dentist . This is because the two middle teeth have to be matched as perfectly as possible, 0r the smile will look just a bit “off”.  Achieving this result is NOT impossible, however. Especially if your teeth tend to be of a relatively uniform color.

Teeth Whitening

If you’ve chipped a tooth and you’d like a dental veneer to hide the imperfection and make it virtually impossible to know your tooth is damaged, one option we frequently recommend is bleaching first. This ensures that the coloring of the teeth is a little more uniform – which can make repairing a single tooth with veneers a little more manageable.

Have questions about your teeth? Our dentists here in Garden Grove thrive on helping patients live life with a confident smile. To learn more, contact us today about appointments and new patient specials in Southern California. 

 

So You Just Knocked Out a Bunch of Teeth….

dental-emergency-garden-grove

Imagine the scenario. You’re at home, dealing with a tub that’s long since overflowed after a busy, busy bathtime, when you finally turn to grab the last bit of clutter left…a wet towel. But instead, you only hear the YOWWWWWWWWL of an angry, towel colored cat.

The result? A fast pivot on wet tile. and a scurry of claws. Followed by gravity and momentum working together to send you quickly tumbling, face first into porcelain.

In slow motion now….the rim of the toilet misses its prime targets – helping you avoid the messy business of a broken nose, or the dull concussion of forehead to porcelain (which is what you were really expecting).  So you’re a bit surprised there’s an absence of tears, blood, boogers, or headache. No, there’s just a quick *crack*, maybe even a *thud*. That’s all it takes. You cradle your face in your hands, and gingerly touch where you think your teeth would be. ‘

Your cat just took out 3  of your teeth. And now panic sets in.

So what do you do? 

 If you’re reading this for advice… 

You’re going to look into the mirror. It’s too tempting. But do your best to try and not freak out. It’s hard not to. But don’t worry, everything is fixable – and dentists are flexible. You’ll get through this.

Take a deep breath, and collect the pieces of your teeth that are either on the floor or in the toilet. Cross your fingers the toilet was flushed prior to this unfortunate incident.

To preserve the teeth, you can either put them back in your mouth (preserving them in your saliva) or in a small container of milk. Since your teeth were on, in, or around the toilet – we recommend having someone check the fridge.

For now, rinse them off and preserve them in a small container of milk. Be careful not to wash away any root material on the underside of the tooth. Hold it by the upper crown and rinse with milk (or water) and store it in a container with a little more milk. Do not wipe it.

Next, take an ibuprofen or other OTC pain medication and immediately call your dentist. If you live near Garden Grove, California – our same day emergency dental services can help.

Finally, flush the toilet if it wasn’t already.

What’s going to happen next

Sometimes, putting a tooth back in can be simple. Especially if it was forced out without breakage. When the tooth is broken it’s a bit of a different story.

If the tooth isn’t cracked or broken, your dentist will gently clear the socket of debris. Don’t worry – it won’t hurt (we’ll make sure of that with anesthesia if necessary). Next, she’ll gently slide the tooth back into place.

Sometimes, a root canal procedure is recommended right away  due to the fact that debris and bacteria likely entered the root canal. Other times, if the tooth wasn’t out of the mouth for very long, you might not need it. Next your dentist will splint your tooth to other healthy teeth, which – over time – allows the root to reattach. This usually takes about four weeks. If the tooth was chipped, broken, or completely ruined – a wide variety of cosmetic dentistry options are available (which would take up far too much space for one blog post).

 

So, Do You Really Need Braces?

Whether you’re someone who didn’t get braces when you were younger or you’re a parent considering braces for a child – the thought’s probably crossed your mind: “Are they even necessary?”

Our dentists in Garden Grove aim to be the trusted resource all of our patients need when they have questions about their dental health. With that in mind, whether you’re a dental patient near Garden Grove or you live thousands of miles away – the first and most important step is to find a family dentist that you trust. Because the best judge of whether you or your children need braces is always your family dentist.

If you haven’t seen the dentist yet or are simply doing some research before going (especially for your children) – here are a few signs to be aware of that indicate it might be time to start considering braces, or at the very least – an appointment with our orthodontist here in Garden Grove (if you’re local).

  • Baby teeth that fall out early or irregularly
  • Trouble breathing through their mouth
  • A history or finger or thumb-sucking
  • Crowded or misplaced teeth
  • A shifting jaw that clicks or makes sounds
  • Teeth that meet incorrectly or not at all

Medically Necessary or Cosmetically Necessary?

The thing about your teeth is this – just because you or your child may have a small amount of misalignment or malocclusion doesn’t mean your teeth are unhealthy, or that braces are medically required. However, in these cases some patients might want braces for cosmetic reasons (or their parents will know they’ll want them in the future).

Do braces “work” for adults?

Sometimes, patients in our Garden Grove dental practice wonder if braces work as well on adults. What they’re often surprised to learn is that almost 1/5th of the braces patients in North America are adults. The fact is: if your teeth are healthy, it’s actually never too late to consider getting braces.

Have questions about braces? We have answers! If you’re less than happy with your smile or you think your children might need braces and you live in the Garden Grove area – we can help. 

 

 

“Are dental bridges permanent?” and Questions Answered About Tooth Replacement

The first thing many people see when they meet you is your smile. So of course, missing any number of teeth can affect your confidence — not to mention your ability to eat the foods you love. But there are a few different options when it comes to actually replacing your teeth, which might lead you to wonder – “which is right for me?”

Here at Garden Grove Primary Dental Care, our dentists are some of Orange County’s best when it comes to identifying the best treatment plans available for your teeth, your budget, and your lifestyle.

“What are my options for replacing a tooth?”

Bridges: a dental bridge is a common and time-proven solution for replacing teeth by filling the gap with a prosthetic. As time has passed, dental bridges have gotten better and better, making them incredibly functional, strong, and completely natural looking. Bridges are supported by healthy adjacent teeth that are crowned for added support. However, if the surrounding teeth won’t support the bridge – a dental implant can be used.

Dental implants: Implants are rapidly replacing bridges as a more effective and long lasting solution for replacing teeth, they don’t require any changes to be made to the surrounding teeth  and effectively replace the tooth’s roots. Ultimately, they feel and function just like one of your natural teeth (and last as long too).

Partial dentures: a partial denture is different from bridges and implants because it is removable. They look natural, feel natural, and are often less expensive than other options. They are frequently used when multiple teeth in different sections of the top or bottom row of teeth need to be replaced.

“Are dental bridges permanent?”

Unlike dental implants, dental bridges are not permanent. However, they do last quite a while. While the average dental bridge is expected to last between 7 and 10 years. However, with good oral hygiene and careful care – a dental bridge can last longer than 15 years.

How much will it cost?

The cost of your treatment ultimately depends on how many teeth are being replaced. However, many patients are happy to know that tooth replacement is often at least partially covered by insurance.

At our dental practice in Orange County, our experienced dentists have replaced countless teeth for patients of all ages. If your goal is a confident smile that allows you to live your life without worrying about your teeth or their functionality – we can help!

Prolonging the Life of Your Dental Bridge

Missing a tooth here or there is far from uncommon. After all, there’s a reason so many dental patients around the world have come to rely on dental bridges and dental implants to replace a lost tooth here or there.

While the problem of missing teeth can be influenced by both genetics and your oral hygiene, it’s no secret that patients generally want to find the best (and sometimes fastest) way to fill the gap when – no matter what the reason is.

In many cases, patients will choose a dental bridge. Sometimes, it’s because a dental bridge is a easier investment when compared to a dental implant. Other times, a patient chooses a dental bridge “for now” with the plans to maybe replace the bridge with an implant in the future.

Of course, there are some cases where a dental bridge actually isn’t recommended. This usually occurs when the teeth adjacent to the gap can’t sufficiently support the bridge. But for many patients this isn’t a problem – and in just a couple short dentist appointments a dental bridge can be prepared and installed. Once this is the case, most patients wonder: “How do I maintain my dental bridge?” 

When most people ask how long a dental bridge “lasts” the most common answer falls somewhere between 7 and 10, or even 12 years. However, some people have been known to keep their dental bridge for decades. It all comes down to how you treat it. If you’re careful to brush and floss every available surface, and keep the dental bridge’s supporting teeth healthy,there’s no reason why your dental bridge should need replacing, and it surely won’t suddenly begin to crumble after it’s “average lifespan” runs out.

  1. Brush Regularly: Brushing regularly (at least twice a day), cleans the plaque off your teeth to prevent decay and keep them free from damage that could potentially undermine the entire bridge.
  2. Use a bridge-flossing tool on every tooth, with careful attention paid to your bridge and each supporting tooth: Gently thread the floss between your gum and the dental bridge with an easy, back and forth movement.  Once this is complete, wrap the floss around either tooth supporting the bridge and carefully clean both sides. This ensures that the teeth supporting the dental bridge remain free of plaque and decay.
  3. Avoid troublesome foods:  Stay away from hard foods that might put unnecessary pressure on your bridge, and avoid habits like chewing ice or biting your nails.

Questions about your dental bridge? Our dentists in Garden Grove are the local experts when it comes to replacing teeth with unbeatable cosmetic dentistry. Schedule a consultation to learn mroe today. 

Can You Stay Young Longer With Better Teeth? Of course not, but….

For centuries, the fountain of youth was written of as a mythical spring that would magically restore the youth of anyone who bathed or drank its waters. Written of by Herodotus, hunted for by Ponce De Leon, and memorialized – in stories and legends cherished by communities around the world, the story of the fountain of youth is a relatively common one. It resonates for a specific reason. That reason?

Getting old sucks.

There’s no reason to sugar-coat it. As the years go by, things start to go. First it’s the muscle tone, then it’s the muscle function, and then – before long – your teeth are starting to go too!? But there’s an upside.

We live in a world where modern healthcare and dental care have allowed people to live longer, healthier, and more active lives. In turn, seniors everywhere are more youthful than ever. Despite the fact that the Fountain of Youth didn’t quite pain out as a quick fix, keeping our bodies – and particularly our teeth – youthful is one great way to slow the hands of time.

So, what can you do?  A large part of keeping your teeth young actually starts with preventative maintenance.

Trying to stay looking young? Start with your teeth!

Trying to stay looking young? Start with your teeth!

Preventative Maintenance: The One True Way To Keep Your Teeth Young 

Just like with the other systems in your body, treating your teeth well will keep your teeth young and full of vitality. That means good oral hygiene, flossing, regular cleaning, fluoride, and a good diet. If you haven’t been to the dentist lately or don’t have a dentist – find a dentist and get updated x-rays, a cleaning, and a consultation with the dentist. Does it cost a little money? Sure. Can it prevent much more painful and expensive treatments in the future? You bet! As the sayings goes: an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure..

 

Invisalign and Braces

If your teeth aren’t perfectly straight, or you suffer from a significant over-bite or under-bite, you might be a good candidate for some sort of orthodontic treatment. With a wide variety of options ranging from the clear, almost invisible plastic retainers of Invisalign to the power and consistency of traditional braces — major improvements to your facial structure and smile can be made.

Dentures

If you haven’t kept all of your teeth, and have instead had to consider replacing your teeth with a denture – it could be a decision that successfully restores shape to your face and function to your mouth. As an experienced provider of affordable dentures in Garden Grove, our advice is to weight your options carefully and be patient. With dentures, sometimes a perfect fit and feel can take time.

Implants

Have you ever considered fully replacing your tooth with a perfect prosthetic that’s cavity proof, as strong as a natural tooth, and as white as you want it? For some patients, it’s a one way ticket to a more youthful smile and greater confidence. However, this can be a long, expensive, and uncomfortable process for some patients.

Whitening

 

Did you know that the act of smiling naturally releases endorphins in your body that make you feel better?  Looking for a reason to smile? Whiter teeth sound like a good enough reason. Whenever you feel more confident about your smile, you’re going to smile more. And all it takes is a short session in the dentist’s chair.

Don’t Sweat it

When it comes to getting older, there’s one thing you can’t do – and that’s worry too much about it. While you can try all of the above to improve your smile, keep your teeth white, and maybe even feel a little more youthful – we’re all getting older every day. While it’s nice to look youthful, it’s best to feel healthy.

 

Can Better Teeth Help You in the Post-Graduation Job Hunt? Maybe

There are plenty of sayings and platitudes when it comes to getting ahead in the professional world. Unfortunately, none of them typically call attention to the importance of your teeth. Should the job hunt be a signal that you need to find a dentist? Maybe. Because you can build a good resume, wear the perfect outfit to the interview, and ace every question – but in the end, could your teeth give you the final edge you need when it comes  to getting that new job you’ve had your eyes on?

In an NBC news article Bad Teeth, Broken Dreams: Lack of Dental Care Keeps Many Out of Jobsthe notion that your teeth can have a very real impact on your professional prospects is made even more clear. For example, one subject interviewed,  said “I really don’t smile a lot. I know that when you have a job, you want to have a pleasant attitude and you’ve got to smile and be friendly.” Unfortunately, when your teeth need work sometimes it’s hard to summon the confidence to do something as simple as smile – a basic job requirement.

When employers are hiring, especially for roles that will put the employee in front of the public, it’s nearly impossible for someone with missing or bad teeth to get the job.

A first impression can speak volumes, but unfortunately – that’s not always a good thing, especially when the inclination is to judge a person first by their appearance and then by their merits.  But there is a silver lining. That is, that research shows that when a person is offered dental care, their “employability” has been proven to rise.

Whether you’re just beginning the search for new employment or have been looking for years, have you considered making an investment in your teeth?

In-Office Teeth Whitening

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, in-office teeth whitening is one of the fastest, most economical, and most noticeable upgrades you can make to your teeth. Take Alisha’s experience, for example:

“All I did was search for a dentist near me, schedule the appointment, and sat in the chair for what seemed like 30 or 45 minutes. After that,  the difference for my teeth was like night and day.”

Invisalign

While not as immediate as teeth whitening, Invisalign takes about a year and has been proven to effectively treat an impressive range of misalignment. Explore any number of our posts about Invisalign to learn more…

Can Invisalign Treat Overbite and Underbite?

Is Invisalign Right for Me?

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

More Extensive Cosmetic Repairs

As a family dentist that’s treated countless patients of all ages, we know well that no two mouths are the same. Sometimes, patients require a combination of different treatments to give them the confidence they’ve been lacking.  From dental implants and tooth replacement, to maxillofacial surgery to adjust jaw and bite problems – there’s almost always a treatment option.

Better Teeth = Better Job Prospects? You bet

Even if the studies weren’t true and it wasn’t proven that better teeth lead to better job prospects, there’s no denying that confidence sells. With the confidence of better teeth, selling yourself in a job interview only gets easier.

Next time you’re looking for a job, if you’re a patient in Southern California, why not see what our dentists in Garden Grove can do for you? With extensive experience with cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, veneers, and more – we have something for every budget when it comes to improving your smile (and your confidence).

Why So Many Dentists are Choosing Dental Implants over Bridges

dental-bridge-vs-dental-implant

Losing a tooth is never easy.

Similarly, replacing a tooth isn’t always an easy process. But the two most popular options your dentist chooses to accomplish the task tend to be either a dental bridge or dental implants.

While the two have both been proven in the trenches of cosmetic dentistry time and time again, what works for you might not work for your best friend, and what works for your best friend, might not work for your best friend’s grandmother. Even further, what works for your best friend’s grandmother might not work for your best friend’s grandmother’s best friend – Ethel. Need we go on? Suffice it to say: every patient is different.

Fortunately, dental bridgework and dental implants are a popular solution for replacing teeth due to their astounding ability to flexibly work with a wide variety of dental conditions.

Dental Bridge

Let’s start with the dental bridge, for example. The beauty of a dental bridge is that it can be installed in just two sessions in your dentist’s chair. Bridgework is fast, effective, and incredibly natural-looking. With all of the advancements that have been made to dental bridgework over the year, the appliance has become an increasingly better solution for replacing teeth just about everywhere. The downsides of dental bridgework tend to come down to the fact that your fixed dental bridge relies on the “healthy” teeth that support it.

In order to install your dental bridge , your dentist needs to shave away the surface of the supporting teeth. If those teeth are perfectly healthy and don’t require crowns – this option might not be the best for you. On top of this, the fact that the dental bridge requires healthy teeth for support is a downside in itself, due to the extra forces exerted on your remaining teeth.  In addition, because dental bridges are harder to clean around, the potential for decay and infection is considerably higher when compared to a dental implant.  Finally, since a dental implant leaves the bone under the missing tooth un-stimulated, they can also contribute to bone defects like atrophy.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are unique as a tooth replacement solution because they effectively replace the tooth’s root system with a new one ( a titanium one). After your teeth are extracted, your dentist installs small titanium posts through your gums and into your jaw. Because these posts are bio-compatible, they will naturally fuse with the underlying bone to completely replace your natural tooth’s root system. A dental prosthetic is then installed on top of these posts.

The beauty of a dental implant is in its strength and resilience. Not only does a dental implant stand on its own (without needing to “lean” on an existing healthy tooth for support) but it is virtually “decay-proof,” making long-term care just as simple as brushing, flossing, and rinsing. While dental implants tend to cost more than a dental bridge, this is generally only in the beginning. Since a dental implant can last almost indefinitely, a bridge will eventually need to be replaced (generally after about 7 years). This makes an implant a better investment in the long-term.

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.