Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Are you tired of your smile appearing chipped, worn, discolored, or just plain old? At Santa Rosa Dental Care, your friendly team of expert dentists—Dr. Jeffrey Elliott, Dr. Luke Landeros, and Dr. Robert Lund—love keeping smiles healthy and looking great, two goals easily made possible by porcelain veneers! Read below to learn how veneer treatment from their Santa Rosa office can remake your smile to be just the way you've always wanted it!
For your best smile...
To achieve the cosmetic results you desire, you'll first consult with your dentist, undergoing a complete oral examination, X-rays, and other imaging as he deems necessary. For your part, tell your dentist how you want your smile to improve in terms of:
- Tooth color and shape
- Correction of any flaws such as hairline cracks, chips, gaps, mild overlapping, surface pitting and more
- Normalization of uneven tooth length
Dr. Elliott, Dr. Landeros, or Dr. Lund, will tell you which treatment or treatments will produce the effects you desire. Porcelain veneers are a popular option because these translucent shells of premier ceramic cover dental defects, beautify color and texture, and strengthen tooth enamel.
The veneer process
Obtaining veneers takes two to three visits to Santa Rosa Dental Care. The whole process involves:
- Enamel resurfacing so veneers to fit properly within your mouth. This gentle removal of about 1/2 millimeter of tooth enamel makes the procedure permanent so you will always wear veneers on the selected teeth. Once this is done, you will wear temporary veneers while your permanent ones are made.
- Oral impressions and creation of a model of your mouth, along with a treatment plan. This information goes to a dental lab for individual sculpting of each veneer.
- A "try-on" of the new veneers before final placement.
- Permanent bonding of veneers. This involves application and hardening of a tooth-colored cement.
You'll adjust to your new veneers quickly—within a week or so. Going forward, be sure to brush twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist at Santa Rosa Dental Care twice a year for cleanings and examinations.
You can consume your usual diet, too. However, limit dark drinks, such as coffee, or foods such as soy sauce and berries. Drink plenty of water, and do not bite down on super-hard foods such as peanut brittle or candy apples. These items may dislodge or chip your new veneers.
Change your smile and your self-confidence
A cosmetic dentistry consultation at Santa Rosa Dental Care will help you do both. For more information, please contact the office at (707) 921-1970.
Although usually an orderly process, some permanent teeth don't come in as they should. In fact, they may not come in at all and remain hidden in the gum — a situation called impaction. This creates multiple problems for function, health and, in the case of front canines, appearance.
Canines are the longer and more pointed teeth on each side of the front-most incisors. They help tear and cut food during chewing, a function impaction eliminates. Besides a higher risk for developing abscesses (isolated areas of infection) and cysts, they can also put pressure on neighboring teeth and damage their roots or cause them to erupt abnormally.
Dentists often remove impacted wisdom and other back teeth to lessen these potential problems. Removing canines, though, has additional considerations: besides compromising ideal chewing function, missing canines often create an unattractive smile.
But before considering removal, there's another technique we might be able to use to save the canines and actually draw them down through the gums to their correct position. It's usually part of an overall orthodontic plan to correct a poor bite (malocclusion).
After pinpointing their exact position with x-rays or CT scanning, a surgeon surgically exposes the impacted canines' crowns through the gums. They then bond small brackets to the crowns and attach a small gold chain to each bracket. They fasten the other end of the chains to orthodontic hardware that exerts downward pressure on the impacted teeth. Over several months this pressure can help move the teeth into their normal positions.
Unfortunately, this technique isn't always advisable: one or more of the impacted teeth may be in a difficult position to attempt it. It's usually best in these situations to remove the teeth, usually sooner rather than later for the sake of neighboring teeth.
Fortunately, with today's advanced restorative techniques, we can eventually replace the canines with dental implants, although that's best undertaken after the patient enters adulthood. In the meantime, we can utilize orthodontic means to preserve the open space and provide a temporary restorative solution.
Whatever route taken, these teeth don't have to become a source of problems, especially for your appearance. Whether through orthodontics or restorative dentistry, impacted canines don't have to ruin your smile.
If you would like more information on various orthodontic procedures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Exposing Impacted Canines.”
The movie Bohemian Rhapsody celebrates the iconic rock band Queen and its legendary lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury. But when we see pictures of the flamboyant singer, many fans both old and new may wonder—what made Freddie’s toothy smile look the way it did? Here’s the answer: The singer was born with four extra teeth at the back of his mouth, which caused his front teeth to be pushed forward, giving him a noticeable overbite.
The presence of extra teeth—more than 20 primary (baby) teeth or 32 adult teeth—is a relatively rare condition called hyperdontia. Sometimes this condition causes no trouble, and an extra tooth (or two) isn’t even recognized until the person has an oral examination. In other situations, hyperdontia can create problems in the mouth such as crowding, malocclusion (bad bite) and periodontal disease. That’s when treatment may be recommended.
Exactly what kind of treatment is needed? There’s a different answer for each individual, but in many cases the problem can be successfully resolved with tooth extraction (removal) and orthodontic treatment (such as braces). Some people may be concerned about having teeth removed, whether it’s for this problem or another issue. But in skilled hands, this procedure is routine and relatively painless.
Teeth aren’t set rigidly in the jawbone like posts in cement—they are actually held in place dynamically by a fibrous membrane called the periodontal ligament. With careful manipulation of the tooth, these fibers can be dislodged and the tooth can be easily extracted. Of course, you won’t feel this happening because extraction is done under anesthesia (often via a numbing shot). In addition, you may be given a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help you relax during the procedure.
After extraction, some bone grafting material may be placed in the tooth socket and gauze may be applied to control bleeding; sutures (stitches) are sometimes used as well. You’ll receive instructions on medication and post-extraction care before you go home. While you will probably feel discomfort in the area right after the procedure, in a week or so the healing process will be well underway.
Sometimes, dental problems like hyperdontia need immediate treatment because they can negatively affect your overall health; at other times, the issue may be mainly cosmetic. Freddie Mercury declined treatment because he was afraid dental work might interfere with his vocal range. But the decision to change the way your smile looks is up to you; after an examination, we can help you determine what treatment options are appropriate for your own situation.
If you have questions about tooth extraction or orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Simple Tooth Extraction” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Most people worry about their appearances when they lose teeth, but a gap-toothed smile isn't the only drawback of tooth loss. Without a full set of teeth, it's difficult to speak clearly or eat a varied diet. Luckily, the dentures offered by Santa Rosa, CA, dentists Dr. Jeffrey Elliott or Dr. Luke Landeros can help restore your smile and ability to chew easily.
What types of dentures are available?
Your denture choices will depend on the number of teeth you've lost, your oral health, your preferences, and your budget. Options include:
- Partial Dentures: These dentures replace a few missing teeth. Removable partial dentures are held in place with tiny hooks that loop over teeth on either side of the gap in your mouth. Partial dentures can be removed for easy cleaning. If you prefer a more permanent option, you may want to consider an implant-supported partial denture. The denture attaches to dental implants that fuse to your jawbone.
- Full Dentures: Full dentures replace the teeth in your upper or lower arch or in both arches. You'll receive these dentures after your mouth has healed fully from your extractions. Full dentures can help improve your self-confidence and restore your ability to chew.
- Immediate Dentures: Immediate dentures are placed in your mouth immediately after your last tooth is extracted. A few weeks before your extraction, your Santa Rosa dentist will make an impression of your mouth which be used to make your new dentures. Immediate dentures reduce bleeding, ensure that you're never toothless during your treatment and make it easier to adjust to your restoration. Immediate dentures must eventually be relined, rebased, or replaced with full dentures.
- Overdentures: Preserving remnants of teeth may not seem crucial, but as long as the roots of the teeth are strong, they're serving an important purpose. Tooth roots help prevent jawbone resorption, a problem that occurs when the bone shrinks after tooth loss. Fabricating dentures to fit over tooth remnants helps you continue to take advantage of your healthy roots.
- Implant-Supported Dentures: Because implant-supported dentures are secured to dental implants firmly attached to your jawbone, they don't slip or slide when you eat and offer better biting power than full or immediate dentures. Your existing dentures can even be modified to work with dental implants.
Restore your smile with dentures! Call Santa Rosa, CA, dentists Dr. Jeffrey Elliott or Dr. Luke Landeros at (707) 921-1970 to schedule an appointment.
Are you interested in dental implants but a little hesitant about the surgery? Don’t be—this procedure to imbed an implant’s titanium post in the jawbone is relatively minor with little to no discomfort for most patients.
Some time before, however, we’ll need to pre-plan the surgery to pinpoint the best location for the implant, critical to achieving a solid hold and a life-like appearance. During these first visits we often create a surgical guide, a device inserted in the mouth during surgery that identifies the exact location for the hole (or channel) in the bone we’ll drill to insert the implant.
On surgery day, we’ll prepare you for a pain-free and relaxing experience. If you’re normally anxious about dental work, we may prescribe a sedative for you to take ahead of time. As we begin we’ll thoroughly numb the area with local anesthesia to ensure you won’t feel any pain.
The surgery begins with an incision through the gum tissue to access the underlying bone. Once it’s exposed, we’ll insert the surgical guide and begin a drilling sequence to gradually increase the size of the channel. This takes time because we want to avoid damaging the bone from overheating caused by friction.
Once we’ve created a channel that matches precisely the implant’s size and shape, we’ll remove the implant from its sterile packaging and immediately fit and secure it in the channel. We’ll then take x-rays to ensure it’s in the best position possible.
Satisfied we’ve properly situated and secured the implant, we’ll suture the gum tissue back in place to protect the implant with or without attaching a healing abutment to it as it fully integrates with the jawbone over the next few months (after which you’ll come back to receive your permanent crown). After a short recovery, you’ll return to full activity. Most patients only experience mild to moderate discomfort usually manageable with over-the-counter pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen.
While implantation is a long process, you’ll be obtaining what’s considered by most dentists and their patients as the most durable and life-like tooth replacement available. Your new attractive smile will be well worth it.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect Before, During and After.”