Dental Veneers FAQ | West Covina CA

dental veneers

Is teeth whitening necessary before placing dental veneers?

Dental veneers are color-matched to the current shade of your other teeth to create a uniform look. But unlike natural teeth, porcelain veneers cannot be stained, discolored, or bleached to change their color. So over time, your natural teeth will discolor, making the white veneers more dominant. To prevent this, your dentist may recommend whitening before the veneer process so your porcelain veneers are matched to your whitened teeth. Afterward, you will need a regular whitening schedule to maintain a uniform smile. Composite veneers tend to stain over time, so bleaching is optional before their placement. 

How long do veneers last?

Composite veneers, which are installed in one appointment, have a shorter life span compared to porcelain veneers. They tend to chip and stain if not looked after. Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, are stain-free and tend to last longer. Although durability depends on how well you care for your veneers, both types should last 10 to 20 years. 

When would I be considered an unsuitable candidate for porcelain veneers?

There are several instances when your cosmetic dentist in West Covina, CA may determine that veneers are not the best treatment for you, including:

  • If you have untreated tooth decay. It is not advisable to simply cover up the infection with veneers, as the situation will keep getting worse, increasing the risk of tooth loss. 
  • If you have been diagnosed with bruxism. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaws at night, then you might damage your veneers reducing their durability. If you proceed with the treatment, your dentist may offer custom night guards to reduce the stress on your teeth and veneers. 
  • If you have a case of malocclusion or bad bite. Poorly aligned teeth may cause uneven stress on your teeth, such as those fitted with veneers, ruining the restoration. 

Can veneers be repaired?

Though the veneers are non-living, the tooth underneath and the surrounding gum tissues are living, and prone to change over time. For instance, shrinkage of the gum line may expose the root surfaces, affecting the position of the veneer relative to the rest of the tooth. Porcelain veneers are very tough and durable, and cannot be repaired. However, they can be replaced if they crack, break, or sustain any other kind of damage or require some kind of change. 

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What to Expect From Orthodontics in West Covina CA

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Orthodontics in West Covina, CA is a specialized field of dentistry where the specialist (orthodontist) aims to correct the misalignment of teeth and jaw structure in order to improve your smile and overall oral health. 

Orthodontic treatment plans vary considerably from case to case, though they typically involve substantial time and financial investment. Here’s what to expect from your appointments:

 

First Appointment

During your first appointment, your orthodontist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, and take X-rays and a mold of your teeth, which will be used to create your personalized orthodontic appliances. These may be braces, aligners, retainers, or trays. In some cases, this information can be obtained during your initial consultation if you choose to start your treatment immediately. 

 

Second Appointment 

During your second appointment, the appliances used in your treatment plan (braces or aligners) will be fitted in your mouth. For metal braces, the brackets will be attached to your teeth, and a wire passed through them. The wires or bands are used to pull the teeth to the desired position. If you’re using removable aligners, they will be fitted in your mouth and the necessary adjustments made. Your orthodontist in West Covina, CA will also give you instructions on how to clean and care for your teeth and orthodontic appliances. 

 

Follow up Appointments 

All types of orthodontic treatments involve a number of follow up visits, usually at 4-8 week intervals depending on your needs. For braces, the appointments are necessary to adjust the tightness of the wires and receive new rubber bands. With removable aligners, you can pick 3-4 sets of trays between follow-up appointments. Each set of trays is worn for 2 weeks. 

 

Final Appointment 

When the orthodontics in West Covina, CA is complete, you will schedule your final appointment to remove the wires and brackets. You may need to follow up treatments such as retainers to hold your teeth in their new position. 

 

Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliances 

Your orthodontist will instruct you on how to brush and floss your teeth and recommend special tools to help you clean underneath the wires if you’re wearing braces. If you’re using aligners, you should also clean them properly to prevent plaque buildup and subsequent damage to your teeth. 

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Orthodontics FAQ | West Covina CA

orthodontics

How will orthodontics affect my lifestyle?

A few adjustments are necessary, but you should be able to do almost anything during your orthodontics treatment, including dining out, playing musical instruments, singing, and kissing. Your orthodontist will advise you on the necessary changes to your lifestyle, such as diet choices, but most adults are able to adjust perfectly. Keep in mind that modern orthodontic materials and techniques have made treatment more comfortable than ever so you can continue to live as normal as possible. 

 

How often should I visit the orthodontist?

During active treatment, you will need to visit your orthodontist every 4 to 8 weeks. After treatment, when you start wearing retainers, you will need to schedule appointments every 3 to 6 months. The appointments are usually flexible to ensure convenience while checking the smooth progress of your treatment for optimal results. 

 

Can orthodontic treatment improve my smile when I have missing teeth?

One of the problems of having gaps in your smile is that your teeth begin to shift towards the space, creating problems with your bite and general oral hygiene. Orthodontic treatment can hold or create space to replace missing teeth, preventing adjacent teeth from shifting. Your orthodontist will also work with your general dentist or specialist to install dentures, implants, or bridgework to give you the best result. 

 

Can my teeth be straightened if I have gum disease?

Your orthodontist in West Covina, CA will work with your periodontist or general dentist to improve the health of your gums and prepare you for orthodontic treatment. If you have already been treated for periodontal disease, and are eligible for orthodontic treatment, then you can proceed with regular supervision from your periodontist. In many cases, proper tooth alignment can help improve oral hygiene, which in turn promotes gum health. 

 

What is the cost of orthodontics?

The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of your problem; its complexity; and duration of treatment. During your initial consultation, your orthodontist will discuss the cost of your custom treatment plan with you before it begins. With better materials and techniques, orthodontic treatment is more affordable today than ever. Moreover, most orthodontists offer a range of convenient payment plans, and your dental insurance plan may also cover orthodontic benefits.

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What to Expect From a Dental Implant in West Covina CA

dental implant

Your dentist may recommend a dental implant to replace one or more missing teeth. The implant is surgically placed in the position of a tooth root so it connects to the jawbone. It takes a few months for the implant to bond to the bone tissue, after which the crown can be attached to it to give you a new artificial tooth. 

The implant process comprises several stages that take place over 5 to 9 months. If a dental implant is right for you, then the dentist will take X-rays of the site and prepare models of the teeth. These will be used to formulate a treatment plan detailing the steps of your treatment, time frames, and associated costs. 

The standard treatment involves two procedures:

  • During the first procedure, the oral surgeon makes a small cut in the gum where the tooth will be placed. Next, a hole will be drilled in the bone tissue and the implant placed, after which the incision will be stitched closed. You may wear temporary dentures or bridgework as the site heals. 
  • After three to six months, within which time the dental implant will have bonded with the bone tissue, the second procedure will take place. This involves making another cut in the gum tissue to expose the top part of the titanium implant. A collar (healing cap) is screwed onto the top of the implant to facilitate healing of the surrounding tissue. The cap is removed after several weeks and the abutment screwed in its place. The crown can then be attached to finish the tooth replacement process. 

Please keep in mind that there’s a faster way to get implants, where the mini-implants and crown are placed simultaneously in one appointment.  

Maintenance 

After the completion of your treatment, it’s important that you continue to clean all your teeth regularly and thoroughly as instructed by your dentist and to visit the dentist regularly to assess the health of your gums and stability of the restoration. Also make sure to follow the care and maintenance tips for your new teeth, which may include a change in diet, to ensure the continued integrity of your new teeth. 

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Dental Implants Treatment FAQ | West Covina CA

dental implants treatment

How long does the dental implants treatment take?

From the time of surgical implant placement to the time of placing the replacement tooth (crown, denture, or bridgework), treatment time can vary between four months and nine months, depending on the availability of good quality bone tissue. Patients with low bone density may require additional procedures like bone augmentation that increase the dental implants treatment time to six months or even more. Similarly, patients who require more implants to support dentures may need to have 3-4 implants placed at a time, which will increase treatment time to about nine months. 

 

How do you fill the gap while undergoing implant treatment?

If the teeth you want to replace are in a visible part of your smile, then it’s important that you have a temporary tooth to fill the gap during treatment. The common options are simple plastic dentures and removable bridges. These temporary restorations should not be put under heavy pressure (biting or chewing) as this could interfere with the healing of the underlying implants. Temporary restorations are not as comfortable or aesthetically pleasing as your final restoration, but they should allow you to function better until your treatment is completed. 

 

How long do implants last?

Once dental implants have been successfully placed and the surrounding soft tissues show signs of good health and the new replacement teeth are comfortable and well adjusted, then the diligence of your personal attention to oral hygiene and willingness to attend regular checkups and professional cleaning will have the greatest effect on their durability. Plaque and calculus can also form on replacement teeth, increasing the risk of gum infection, soreness, discomfort, and even tooth loosening. Otherwise, with good care and maintenance and quality underlying bone tissue, implants will last as long as natural teeth. 

 

How many new teeth can be supported by an implant?

Dental implants treatment is typically used to replace one tooth, or multiple teeth when combined with dentures or bridgework. If you’re missing one natural tooth, then a single implant will be sufficient. For larger spaces with two or more missing teeth, you don’t need one implant per tooth. Instead, the implants will be appropriately spaced depending on the volume and quality of bone tissue at each potential implant support, to support the replacement teeth. 

 

How do you determine if you have enough bone tissue for implants?

Dental X-rays allow the oral surgeon to determine the height of the bone available to assess whether it’s sufficient to support an implant. In addition, dental CBCT scans (cone beam computed tomography scans) can be used to provide a 3D view of the jawbone to assess both its height and width, which are important to establish the quality and quantity of bone. CBCT scans also help to identify the position of anatomical structures (maxillary sinuses in the upper jaw and the inferior dental nerve in the lower jaw) that must be avoided.

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What to Expect From Invisalign in West Covina CA

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Invisalign is the clear, comfortable, and discrete alternative to traditional metal braces for orthodontic treatment. It is also more hygienic as the system uses a series of custom-made removable aligners to gradually move your teeth to the ideal position. Most people you interact with won’t even notice you wearing the nearly invisible aligners, which means that you can maintain your lifestyle during treatment.

So, how does Invisalign treatment work?

The first step is a consultation with your Invisalign specialist or other orthodontist to determine whether Invisalign treatment is right for your case. Generally, the treatment is recommended for most mild to moderate orthodontic issues, including closing spaces between teeth, straightening crooked or crowded teeth, fixing malocclusion, and addressing overbites/underbites/crossbites.

If you’re a good candidate for Invisalign, the treatment process will involve the following:

  • Your Invisalign specialist will take photos, digital scans, and X-rays, or dental impression to assist in formulating a treatment plan that can address your teeth straightening problem with precision.
  • The specialist will come up with a personalized treatment prescription that will be used together with the records – in the above step to create a customized 3D treatment plan for your specific problem. Using Align Technology, you and your specialist can view the expected final position of your teeth at the completion of the treatment. This custom-treatment plan will then be used to develop your series of personalized aligners, and will determine the duration of your treatment.
  • Your customized aligners will be fabricated and sent to your orthodontist’s office to initiate the treatment
  • You will be provided with a series of your custom-made aligners (either 3 or 4 sets) that you can change yourself every 2 weeks.
  • Every 6-8 weeks, you will have to return to the orthodontist for the next sets of aligners in the series. These visits are also important to monitor the progress of your treatment
  • After completing your Invisalign treatment, your orthodontist may recommend that you wear retainers to help maintain the new position of your teeth

Living with Invisalign

The Invisalign system requires that you wear your clear aligners every day for 20 to 22 hours, removing them only during meals and brushing/flossing. This allows you to maintain your quality of life while receiving orthodontic treatment that will improve your smile and transform your life. Visit your orthodontist in West Covina, CA today to discuss ways to improve your smile.

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Invisalign FAQ | West Covina CA

dental exam

When would my West Covina orthodontist recommend Invisalign?

If you are looking to straighten your teeth or improve your smile by correcting mild to moderate orthodontic issues such as overcrowded or protruding teeth, malocclusion or bad bite, or under/cross/overbites, then your orthodontist may recommend Invisalign.

While traditional braces can also be used to address the same problems, you may prefer Invisalign because:

  • The clear aligners are less noticeable
  • The aligners are removable, which makes it easier to maintain your normal diet and oral care routine.
  • It’s more comfortable  – there’s no metal to irritate your gums, tongue, or lips

What are Invisalign aligners made of?

The aligners are made from medical grade, thermoplastic polymer that has high elasticity to allow for a more precise aligner fit and superior tooth movement, as well as to facilitate the delivery of a gentle and constant force during treatment with great comfort. Each set of aligners is custom-made to deliver a perfect fit over your teeth.

Does Invisalign have an age limit?

Generally, Invisalign treatment is recommended for adults of all ages because their teeth and jaws have finished growing and developing. Adults are also motivated and responsible enough to wear their aligners as directed by the Invisalign specialist.

Unlike braces that are fixed to your teeth, which means that the treatment will continue without requiring your input, Invisalign aligners require active participation from the patient. You’re required to wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours a day, removing them only when eating and brushing/flossing your teeth. You need to follow the direction strictly to ensure that your treatment proceeds as required, and doesn’t take longer than intended as this will increase the cost of treatment as well.

That said, there is an on option for teens known as Invisalign Teen that allows teenagers to enjoy the benefits of Invisalign when straightening their teeth. Some unique features of this option include:

  • Power ridges that facilitate the growth of tooth roots into the right places
  • Extra features to accommodate the developing teeth in teens
  • Tools to help ensure teens wear each set of aligners for the recommended time
  • Complimentary replacements in case the aligners are lost or damaged

Please consult your Invisalign specialist in West Covina, CA to learn more about the Invisalign system.

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Traditional Dental X-rays vs. Digital 3D Dental Imaging

Research shows that the health of your mouth is connected to your overall health and wellbeing. In fact, multiple studies show a link between oral disease and diabetes, heart disease, and other life-threatening systemic conditions. Early detection of dental problems before they worsen can help save your teeth and prevent expensive restorations.

Thorough Oral Exams  

Dentists typically use digital x-rays and intra-oral cameras to carefully examine your mouth and provide a complete treatment plan that treats the root of the problem and prevents the symptoms from reoccurring.

The 3D imaging system comprises a digital x-ray scanner that is mounted on a rotating arm. To capture images, you simply sit in a chair while the scanner projects x-rays in a controlled, cone-shaped beam as it moves in one complete circle round your head. No special preparation is necessary with this digital technology.

After the procedure, the dentist calls up the views needed on a computer display, with 2D, 3D, and even panoramic views of your mouth. We can view the images from any angle or magnification in order to evaluate the relationships between teeth, tissues, nerves, airways, and bones, to plan or assess your treatment.

Benefits of digital dental x-rays

With traditional x-rays, many elements are not clearly visible because of the low resolution, and dentists are often forced to infer, surmise, project, calculate, and interpret, resulting in an educated guess of what we is deduced from the image. Another challenge of traditional x-rays is that they do not sensitive enough to show tiny issues, such as those in their early stages. For complete analysis, patients may exposures to compare to a single 3D scan, since one exposure produces one x-ray picture.

This has all changed considerably with the advent of 3D digital x-ray technology. With its incredibly high resolution and amazingly low radiation, it has literally changed how dentists see things. Compared to conventional X-rays, 3D digital x-rays deliver less radiation and provide clearer, more precise images. Additionally, the image is instantaneously displayed on a TV display so that treatment can be planned and explained to the patients. The result is precise implant placement without any guesswork.

Final Note

Dentist recommend dental checkups every six months, and yearly oral cancer screenings. Through 3D digital imaging, your dentist is better placed to detect most problems in their earliest stage for optimal preventive and restorative care.

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What is a digital x-ray?

Recent technological breakthroughs have given us the chance to make considerable advances in our ability to provide our clients with the most accurate and thorough dental diagnosis possible.

Compared to conventional X-rays, 3D digital x-rays deliver less radiation and provide clearer, more precise images. Additionally, the image is instantaneously displayed on a TV display so that treatment can be planned and explained to the patients. The result is precise implant placement without any guesswork.

How digital X-rays work

The 3D imaging system comprises a digital x-ray scanner that is mounted on a rotating arm. To capture images, you simply sit in a chair while the scanner projects x-rays in a controlled, cone-shaped beam as it moves in one complete circle round your head. No special preparation is necessary with this digital technology.

After the procedure, Dr. Gregory Robins calls up the views needed on a computer display, with 2D, 3D, and even panoramic views of your mouth. We can view the images from any angle or magnification in order to evaluate the relationships between teeth, tissues, nerves, airways, and bones, to plan or assess your treatment.

Benefits of digital dental x-rays

The use of 3D x-ray in dental imaging offers a myriad of advantages. Digital image capture is not only faster and more economical, but also eco-friendly. 3D imaging offers a huge amount of information and subtle details that cannot be obtained by any 2D X-ray, whether panoramic or intraoral.

With a single, 18-second 3D scan, we’ll be able to examine the area of interest at a high resolution from multiple perspectives. Here are some other benefits of digital imaging compared to film imaging:

  • There is no film to be processed, so the images are ready in an instant
  • Provides an efficient way to electronically store, retrieve, and share the images
  • Allows for image analysis and processing after exposure
  • Highly sensitive sensors, reducing your exposure to x-rays compared to CT scans
  • Lower cost – no chemicals or film
  • No pre-scan preparation necessary

We are extremely proud of 3D dental x-ray technology, and believe that this state-of-the-art technology will give us the chance to provide our patients with the highest level of dental care available today.

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Dental Care for your Entire Family

The dental needs of children are very different from those of adults. So, many parents opt to have their children visiting a pediatric dentist who is aware of their unique needs and have experience working with children. Unlike a pediatric dentist, who specializes in children, a family dentist cares for oral health at all stages of life. This means that you and your children can go to the same dentist for all your oral care concerns.

Choosing a family dentist in West Covina means that your dentist will care for all your dental and oral needs, as well as those of your children as they grow into adulthood. This means they won’t have to switch dentists once they reach the age limit for receiving pediatric dental care.

Adults

Dental problems can affect anyone at any age. In fact, some adults are at greater risk of some problems due to their lifestyle choices. Professional cleaning and routine check ups can help to prevent and fix most problems in their early stages, such as cavities, gum disease, stained teeth, and even oral cancer.

Teens

It is important to cultivate good dental care practices as early as possible to reduce the risk of cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other dental problems. However, there are some problems that cannot be avoided by simple brushing and flossing, such as crowding and malocclusion, or bad bite. A bad bite can contribute to other problems such as excessive enamel wear, weakening of dental fillings, jaw pain, etc. Early detection and treatment of these dental problems is recommended because the teeth and jaws are not fully formed. Active teens may also benefit from wearing protective headgear and custom mouth guards to protect their teeth while playing contact sports.

Infants and children

You should take your baby to the dentist by the first birthday, or as soon as the first tooth erupts. Baby’s first teeth are usually partially formed at birth, but remain under the gums for about one year. During this period, and until your child is two years old, you shouldn’t use toothpaste when cleaning the teeth and mouth. In the first visit, your dentist will inspect your child’s mouth to ensure that there are no problems, such as baby-bottle tooth decay, and give you a few tips to clean and care for your baby’s new set of teeth.

Healthy smiles for you and your loved ones

You don’t have to wait until your tooth or mouth is in pain to see a dentist. Visit us today for a free consultation and to plan your family’s dental care visits.

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