Advanced Smile Design Santa Maria

Interesting Facts About Orthodontics

OrthodonticsIf your teeth need straightening, you should visit a certified orthodontics office for treatment. Orthodontics is a field of dentistry specifically concerned with straightening crooked or crowded teeth, treating malocclusions, correcting abnormalities in the mouth cavity, and fixing bite and jaw alignment. Having your teeth corrected can give you a more attractive appearance and a healthier mouth. If you are considering receiving straightening treatment in Santa Maria, you may be intrigued by these interesting facts about orthodontics.

  • Only 5 percent of dentists practice orthodontics.
  • Orthodontists receive years of specialized education in which they correctly learn how to straighten teeth. This additional education is required for all forms of orthodontics. If your general dentist suggests they can effectively straighten your teeth, visit our orthodontics office instead. Most orthodontists receive seven years of education following high school.
  • Our orthodontics office in Santa Maria is up-to-date with the latest technology regarding the best methods for teeth straightening. We are constantly acquiring more knowledge regarding the best orthodontic practices.
  • The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children see an orthodontist by age seven at the latest. The earlier your child receives treatment, the sooner their growth development can be successfully and permanently corrected.
  • Some adhesives used for attaching the brackets of braces actually release fluoride that can help strengthen and remineralize your teeth.
  • If you do not go through a retention phase after having your braces removed, you are more likely to need braces again, as your teeth were not correctly and permanently repositioned without this phase.
  • Some braces include the material nickel-titanium, which was actually developed by NASA scientists for its shape memory abilities.
  • Lingual braces, a form of braces placed so they are invisible to others, were actually first called couture braces. Lingual braces work the same way as traditional braces, but the brackets and wiring adhere to the backside of your teeth.
  • “Clear braces” are very similar to metal braces, but they blend in better with your teeth due to the ceramic components. Clear braces are translucent, so your natural tooth color shows through, eliminating most of the distracting metal that some patients dislike.
  • There are actual floss picks created for braces wearers to make cleaning easier. You can also use a water pick to squirt out lodged food particles from in between teeth without having to navigate around your braces wires and brackets.

There are many factors that go into the potential success of orthodontics treatment. Age and health, genetics, bad habits like nail biting and teeth grinding, diet, missing teeth, stress, and responsibility of the patient can all affect the progress of orthodontics and the final result of a permanent straightening. These are reasons why it is so important to follow the instructions of your orthodontist faithfully and to make your investment count by following a treatment plan fully.

These are only a few of the interesting things you can learn about orthodontics. For more information about the services we provide in Santa Maria and the history of braces, visit our office for an appointment. You will soon have the beautifully straightened teeth you want!


Learn How a Veneers Dentist in Santa Maria Can Transform Your Smile

Veneers DentistAs a veneers dentist in Santa Maria, many patients ask us questions about how veneers can help them.  Dental veneers are what we use to repair a number of minor problems and challenges with your teeth. Sometimes teeth get cracked, chipped, or discolored to the point where they require repair. We complete the repair by using a tiny, ultra-thin piece of porcelain specially formulated for this purpose. Known as dental veneers, or porcelain veneers, these devices literally take on some of the qualities of the enamel they are replacing. Enamel is one of the body’s hardest substances, making it extremely durable. As such the porcelain veneers are also extremely hard and can last a very long time. The best feature of these dental veneers is how closely they resemble enamel, which means that the teeth we repair with will look exactly like the teeth surrounding it. Naturally we can also use the veneers to make all of your teeth look a lot better esthetically.

What can dental veneers be used to fix?

There are very few tools that we have in our tool belt that is as versatile as dental veneers. These are so handy that they have actually managed to bridge the age-old gap in the two schools of thought between the importance of appearance and functional dentistry. As a veneers dentist in Santa Maria, we can fix problems on both sides of the equation at the same time. Their malleability makes dental veneers ideal for fixing problems without having to remove large amounts of enamel or having to remove the entire tooth. This has led to them being used to repair minor cracks, breaks, and chips in teeth. The challenge with damaged teeth, usually caused by some kind of trauma, is that the damage typically spreads. The tooth will get more broken or even worse will become infected. To avoid such an eventuality, a dental veneer can be used. The veneer would not only repair the damaged tooth but would also make it look great. On the purely cosmetic side, dental veneers are used when traditional methods of whitening have not worked. Since porcelain veneers do not stain, this is a semi-permanent solution for obtaining white teeth. Veneers are also used to help a patient achieve a better bite, to straighten some degrees of malocclusion (also known as crooked teeth), and to ensure that you have the right amount of space between your teeth.

Can everyone get veneers?

In a word, yes. Most people make excellent candidates for dental veneers. There are a few minor conditions, in a very small segment of the population, which could exclude someone from getting them. The vast majority of people can while a small percentage of people do require that we correct minor issues before proceeding with placing the dental veneer. To make sure that you are an excellent candidate for dental veneers we will have you come in for a complete evaluation and examination. As a veneers dentist in Santa Maria, we will discuss your options, the process, and what results you can expect when you visit our office.


Things You Should Know About Teeth Whitening Products Before You Use Them

Teeth WhiteningShould you discuss teeth whitening in Delaware with your dentist prior to starting the process? The answer, as many of you probably expected, is a resounding yes. While we do believe that the best teeth whitening happens right here in our offices under the supervision of your caring medical professionals, we are also aware that many people are tempted to try a store-bought solution. If you are going to go with an over the counter product to get your teeth whitened, you should still take the time to meet with us and discuss what you are using, get a recommendation, and ensure that your mouth is healthy and ready for this kind of treatment.

Teeth whitening products have been around since as long as anyone can remember. There are stories of people rubbing coal on their teeth to whiten them that go back centuries. People have always been interested in getting that perfect white smile, knowing the confidence it offers and the trust it inspires. Not all products are made the same, however, and knowing what to look for is always a good idea. Scheduling an exam is a good place to start. While you’re discussing your ideas on teeth whitening in Delaware with us, we can check your mouth to ensure that it is healthy enough for the treatment.

Way too many people, one in every twenty-five, find themselves in a level of discomfort after using a teeth whitening product. This can range from a mild where you need to take an aspirin to severe where you must see a dentist. The cause of this discomfort varies and, quite frankly, no one has fully figured out why some patients react badly to the bleach. Here is what we do know. If your mouth is unhealthy, it will increase your chances of experiencing irritation, so we will check your mouth for any current infections and any cavities. Cavities or untreated infections, will interact with the bleach and other chemicals in the whitening and cause extreme pain. Even worse they could cause the infection to spread, with some patients needing a root canal to fix this infection. Save yourself the trouble and let us inspect your mouth instead.

Whatever you do, please do not overuse a whitening product. Teeth whitening in Delaware puts a level of trauma on the teeth and gums through the introduction of chemicals. In short doses and for a limited period of time this will have zero adverse effects. However, some people are not satisfied with their teeth color or realize that soon after whitening the teeth start to stain again and begin to use the whitening products as a monthly ritual. They are not a monthly ritual. In fact, like most dentists, we advise only whitening your teeth once every four to six months in order to prevent irritation to the gums. If your store-bought teeth whitening solution is not getting you the effects you desire, it is probably because it is an inferior product and by simply having it done at our office, you will see better results.


Types of Teeth Cleaning: Quadrant versus Standard

Teeth CleaningWe offer multiple types of teeth cleaning for those throughout the local area. In our office, we will start by examining our patients’ teeth before determining which types of teeth cleaning: quadrant versus standard, is necessary. The majority of the time, our patients will only need a standard teeth cleaning. This can be completed during the same, initial office visit and is relatively comfortable. Most people don’t require any sedation in order to remain relaxed as this is the most standard of dental procedures. In fact, a standard teeth cleaning is what children start to receive at a very young age. Dental tools are used to remove the plaque and tartar that have built up on the teeth and around the gums, and as long as too much time hasn’t passed between dental exams, this is typically all that is required.

On a regular basis, patients ask us about the types of teeth cleaning: quadrant versus standard, and which one may be right for them. In most cases, a standard teeth cleaning will suffice. However, we find that our patients who haven’t been receiving ongoing dental care are more likely to experience significant plaque and tartar buildup that requires a more intensive teeth cleaning. The purpose of a quad teeth cleaning is to save the gum tissue by removing buildup that has developed at or under the gum line. This procedure can be incredibly effective and important for treating gum disease without the need for surgery. Gum disease is typically caused by plaque and tartar building up in between the gum tissue and the tooth itself. It is impossible to brush this area since the gums are covering it. With this in mind, a quad cleaning can be performed so that we can reach underneath the gums to remove plaque and tartar so that the gum tissue can start to rejuvenate. When considering the types of teeth cleaning: quad versus standard, this is the most important thing to note – if you have early signs of gum disease a quad cleaning may prevent further gum recession and the need for oral surgery. This is by far the least invasive treatment for gum disease and will very often, solve the problem by restoring the gums to good health.

If you need a quadrant cleaning, we invite you to call to schedule an appointment. Not everyone offers this service, making it important to work with an experienced dental office. Since this type of cleaning is intensive, we will typically only complete one quadrant at a time (upper right, upper left, lower right, lower left). This will require several appointments, each one will take around an hour and once done, your gums will start to feel healthy again.


You Can Overcome Dental Anxiety Using Sedation Dentistry

Dental AnxietyWe offer sedation dentistry so that all of our patients can feel comfortable and relax during their dental treatments. It is extremely common for adults to have fears about visiting the dentist. In fact, according to research conducted by the University of Washington’s Dental Fears Clinic, five to eight percent of adults won’t visit the dentist due to dental phobia. Another twenty percent avoid it unless absolutely necessary. If you fall into this category, know that modern dentistry has improved to the point that you can receive the treatment you need without fear or concern.

When visiting our dental office, let us know if you have mild to severe dental phobia so that we can create a treatment plan to address the issue. It is first important to understand why you are concerned about visiting the dentist.

Here are some common issues that we see:

Fear of dental work. This is extremely common, but it is important to know that most dental procedures do not hurt. Unfortunately, the myth of dental pain has been spread to such a degree that even people that have never experienced it are afraid of it. We understand that sometimes the fear of something is significantly more powerful than the reality. With this in mind, we offer sedation dentistry to help patients relax ahead of the procedure. For example, valium may be prescribed, and it can be taken in advance to help calm fears and dental anxiety.
Concern that pain medication won’t work. We provide a variety of solutions, and they all work extremely well. We can ensure that patients do not feel any discomfort during their treatment and give additional medication as necessary.
Fear of the unknown. Many people become worried because they don’t know what to expect. During your dental exam, we will discuss any suggested procedures in detail and let you ask as many questions as you need to. This way you can become comfortable with what is going to happen and start to feel more relaxed.

Once we understand what is causing your dental phobia, we can make a plan to address it. For many people, they don’t need actual pain medication because the procedures aren’t painful. Instead, they simply need to relax with a valium or nitrous oxide. Typically, this can eliminate any dental anxiety and therefore prevent feelings of pain.

If a more major procedure is being completed like getting dental veneers or dental implants, we can use a stronger form of sedation dentistry. This may require an IV so that we can give you continuous medication and increase the dosage as needed. Other times we can administer the medication with a shot to the area that is being worked on (this is more common with cavities). If your dental anxiety is severe or if you are getting oral surgery for dental implants, we will typically put you to sleep with deep sedation. This way we can do our work while you sleep and don’t remember a thing. This may be used with children as well so that they can hold still while work is being performed.

Regardless of why you don’t like visiting the dentist, we can help so call and schedule your consultation today.


Ouch! If You Have Tooth Pain Call an Emergency Dentist

Emergency DentistYou never know when you will need an emergency dentist. A dental emergency, as with any health emergency can strike at any time and without warning. For some people, they will feel a moderate level of pain that all of a sudden escalates into unbearable tooth pain. For others, they need an emergency dentist after being in an accident. Regardless of when or why you need a dentist, we are available to help.

Two common reasons for needing an emergency dentist are injuring a tooth while playing sports or getting into an accident. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of adult tooth injuries are due to playing sports. Most adults don’t have the time to play in an organized league so the likelihood of your tooth getting injured during a neighborhood game of basketball is actually fairly high. You can reduce your risk by keeping your teeth healthy in the first place or wearing a mouth guard while you play.

If your tooth was injured in a car accident or on the job, there typically isn’t much you can do to prevent it. Scheduling regular dental exams and teeth cleanings will help your teeth to be healthy enough to withstand damage but there is no guarantee that your tooth won’t become cracked, chipped, or even fall out during an accident. If this happens to you after business hours or on the weekend, you need to call a 24-hour dentist.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the emergency room staff can treat tooth injuries. They can’t and don’t because they are trained in how to treat the rest of your body, but not in how to treat your teeth. This is why you need to visit a doctor of dentistry, not just a medical doctor. In fact, if you go to the ER, they will direct you to an emergency dentist instead.As a 24-hour dentist, you can call us at any time day or night.

We can provide the immediate relief you need when the pain becomes unbearable or restore your tooth after an accident. If your tooth has fallen out it is extremely important to see a dentist right away because we may be able to save it. Waiting until the morning is not an option when you are trying to do so. Instead, find your tooth, rinse it off and put it into a glass of milk. Once you get to our office, we will see if the tooth can be saved. If not, we will make other recommendations for replacing it such as installing a dental bridge or dental implants.

Likewise, if your tooth is in major pain, you can call our dentist office. We will examine your mouth and determine the reason you are experiencing pain before making treatment recommendations. By restoring your damaged tooth or treating an infection, we can correct your dental problems and help you to feel better in no time.


Visit Our Cosmetic Dentist Office For These Procedures

Cosmetic DentistOur cosmetic dentist office can transform your smile from dull to brilliant. No matter what your particular needs are, we know how to help. Some of the most common treatments we employ are listed below to provide you with insight regarding our viable methods.

Fillings: If you need a filling to remedy a cavity, we can provide you with a tooth-colored filling that will look natural against the color of your tooth. Our fillings are durable and will protect your vulnerable teeth from more damage for years to come.

Bonding: In our cosmetic dentist office, our dental bonding is made of a similar material as our composite resin fillings, but it is used to fill in chips and cracks in your teeth to improve esthetic value. If you have a minor imperfection that you would like covered, dental bonding is an attractive and long-lasting solution that requires minimal chair time. Our bonding solution is also tooth-colored, so it blends in with your natural tooth color.

Crowns: We use crowns to cover damaged teeth that are too impaired to be fixed by a filling or bonding. They cover your entire tooth for the most protection against decay and further damage. We can offer you attractive, natural-looking crowns that match your other teeth. While natural looking, they are so durable that can withstand immense pressure and are stain resistant.

Teeth Whitening: To brighten a dull smile, our cosmetic dentist office can give you a thorough teeth whitening strategy that can be implemented as needed to achieve the white shade you desire. A whitening can transform your smile in a simple, but effective way.

Dental Veneers: Our veneers are very thin, tooth-colored shells that can be applied to the fronts of your teeth as attractive coverage for crooked or discolored teeth. Veneers are long-lasting and are a minimally invasive way to cover up dental flaws and to restore teeth that have been damaged in an accident.

Dental Bridges: A dental bridge is a semi-permanent replacement for missing teeth. If you have one missing tooth or several missing teeth, our dental bridge provides fabricated teeth that match your other ones. The bridge will fit into the gap created by your former teeth. The false teeth will be secured in place by two crown anchors attached to your strong existing teeth.

Dental Implant: A dental implant will be your most attractive and permanent replacement option. Our cosmetic dentist office will secure a titanium rod into the root opening that was left by your former tooth. This rod will be attached to the replacement tooth to hold it in place. With time, the titanium rod will graft with your jawbone to create the most permanent solution to a missing tooth.

For all your esthetic dentistry needs, our cosmetic dentist office can help. We can provide you with comprehensive care so that no imperfection is left unrefined. You will be pleased with the timely, durable, and attractive solutions we can provide for your dental needs.


Dental Veneers Fast Facts That You Should Know

Dental VeneersBefore you get dental veneers, you may be interested in learning more about this great dental service. When it comes to covering flaws, veneers are a wonderful product that creates amazing results. You will be impressed with how much better your teeth will look once you have your veneers placed. Veneers can cover many dental flaws with minimal effort. For a few more important and quick facts about them, continue reading.

  • A veneer is a very thin, normally porcelain shell that is adhered to the fronts of your teeth to cover flaws. 
  • Dental veneers can cover and improve shaping and contouring issues, discoloration or spotting, chips or gaps, misaligned or crooked teeth, awkward lengths, and a variety of other imperfections.
  • Veneers are normally made of porcelain or composite materials depending on your specific needs. 
  • Before your veneers are placed, we will gently etch the surface enamel of your teeth to create a better base for the adhesive. Once your enamel is prepared, we will adhere temporary veneers while your new ones are created in the lab.  Once ready,  the dental veneers will be bonded to your teeth with a long-lasting dental glue.
  • Veneers normally last 15-20 years, sometimes longer. This length will range depending how well you care for your veneers and your surrounding gums and teeth. 
  • They can be easily replaced if they become damaged or worn. 
  • Dental veneers can be placed in as little as one dental visit or as many as three visits depending on what type of veneers you choose. 
  • Before we can place your veneers, you will need to have a dental check up and allow us to fix any cavities and remove any dangerous infections. 
  • The veneers placement is a minimally invasive and highly effective cosmetic solution. 
  • You should not get veneers if your teeth are still developing or if you are suffering from ongoing periodontal disease. 
  • Dental veneers are customized to fit only your teeth and improve the exact flaws you discuss with us. 
  • Veneers are very natural looking and not easily scratched, stained, or damaged.
  • The veneers procedure is not reversible unless you plan to have another cosmetic or restorative procedure completed to cover your vulnerable teeth due to the removal of enamel before veneers are placed. 
  • Regular flossing and brushing can be done once your veneers are placed. No extra care outside of the avoidance of biting your fingernails or grinding your teeth is required. 
  • Normally local anesthetic application is all the pain relief that is needed for a veneers placement. You will not experience discomfort during the procedure.
  • The cost range of veneers varies depending on the location of treatment and severity of dental imperfections. 
  • Dental veneers from our office should blend in perfectly with your other teeth. 

Now that you have learned some fast facts about how convenient, efficient, and affordable veneers are, we hope you consider visiting our office to learn more. The benefits of dental veneers are endless, and the results are attractive and natural looking. For all your dental veneer needs, we can help.


More About Orthodontics and Oral Surgery for the Jaw

OrthodonticsAs a provider of orthodontics, we have the expertise to diagnose symptoms that may seem unconnected to the mouth, and connect them back to the jaw bone. A misaligned jaw may or may not manifest itself with traditional symptoms. The jawbone, being in the face, has been known to cause problems to the overall health of a person. For example, the jawbone being misaligned can be diagnosed from symptoms that may include migraine headaches, bouts of dizziness, and even severe pain in the neck and shoulders. There have even been cases of people with tinnitus, an extreme ringing in the ears, finding relief after getting their jaw realigned properly.

Even among orthodontists there are specialists who focus on different areas of the teeth and jaws. Most of the work an orthodontist does is concentrated on the teeth themselves and helping to move the jaw based on the alignment of the teeth, also known as the bite. There are, however, a school of orthodontics that is specifically focused on aligning the jaw and is known as Dentofacial orthodontics. Dentofacial orthodontics attempts to correct the misalignment of the jawbone itself. More often than not these practices are more effective in children, but there are also ways to correct misalignment in the jawbone of adults using these methods and oral surgical procedures.

Children are by far the best candidates for having their jaw alignment changed before it grows into a misaligned problem. Orthodontists can work with a child’s jaw, using a variety of tools, so that it never grows in the wrong position. If we suspect that a child’s jaw is growing into a bad alignment, usually as determined by misaligned teeth and adult teeth coming in badly positioned, we can immediately take Dentofacial corrective measures. A child’s jawbone is still soft and can be manipulated to affect both the development of the jaw and the incoming growth of the teeth.   In our orthodontics office, one of they ways that we accomplish this is by using an expander to create enough room for all of the teeth or using rubber bands to manipulate the position of the jaw itself.

For adults, whose jaw has already developed and hardened it is a little bit more complicated to realign the jaw. Typically braces and addressing the bite itself can be used to straighten teeth. However, if we determine that your jaw bone itself is the cause of the misalignment and if you have other problems arising from the misaligned jaw, then we may recommend using Dentofacial corrective measures as well. Often, adult oral surgery is the only way to correct a jaw misalignment.  In this case, an oral surgeon will make the corrective adjustments to the jaw and then we will put on braces for you to complete the alignment and correction of the teeth. As with children, aligning the jaw before beginning the alignment of the teeth makes it much easier to give you that brilliant smile.

Age is not the only determining factor for correcting a jaw that may be misaligned. While the initial orthodontics treatments may be influenced by the patients age, ultimately once the jaw bone has been properly aligned you will start feeling more comfortable and the appearance of your teeth and smile may improve as well.


Why Dental Bonding Is More Convenient for Younger Patients

Dental BondingIn our office, we provide dental bonding as a solution or a variety of problems that can occur with the teeth.  As a local family dentist office, we are committed to helping your family to remain in the best possible oral health.  In order to achieve this goal, we would prefer to clean and examine your teeth at least twice a year.  This way we can remove plaque and tartar, treat oral health problems, and help your teeth to remain healthy.  This is critical because healthy teeth are strong teeth, and if your teeth are infected, it will be that much easier for them to become chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged.

If, however, you do damage a tooth, we have several ways to restore it including bonding.  It is incredibly common for both children and adults to damage their teeth.  Many adults do so while playing sports or even in a car wreck.  Children can also damage their teeth while playing sports or, most commonly, when playing with their friends on the playground.  Their simple and innocent behavior often leads to damage due to how aggressively they tend to move around.

When a child’s tooth becomes damaged, we must determine whether or not it should be saved.  If it is a baby tooth and likely to fall out in short order, we may not want to do a major restorative procedure.  However, if we anticipate them keeping their tooth for a while or if it is a permanent tooth (as is the case with adult damage), then it is important to save it.  We have several methods of doing so including dental veneers and dental crowns.  In young patients, however, dental bonding is often the easiest and least invasive method of doing so.

Whether your child damages a tooth or you do, it is important to know your options for restoring it.  The reason that dental bonding is so popular is that it doesn’t require any preparation and the process can be completed a single sitting.  If, for example, your tooth becomes chipped, a tooth colored material can be shaped around your tooth to restore the chipped area.  It is pliable enough to be moved and shaped until your tooth looks perfect.  Once done, it is hardened with a special light in order to form a hard chewing surface. Your once damaged tooth will then be restored and look natural since the material will be matched in shade to your existing tooth.

The process of dental bonding is more convenient than dental veneers simply because the enamel on your tooth can remain intact.  Therefore, no preparation is required.  Simultaneously, a veneer is created in the dental lab after an impression is taken of your teeth. This makes it a two-step process for restoring a tooth. While the results are beautiful and natural looking, getting a veneer requires more commitment on behalf of the patient than it does to undergo a bonding procedure.  For this reason, we find that bonding is a viable solution for busy adults and younger patients.