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15595 Los Gatos Blvd Suite A, Los Gatos, CA 95032

patient education

Adult Tooth Decay

Sadly, cavities aren’t just for kids. They are areas of decay on the teeth, and they must be removed and replaced with manmade filler. They are caused by plaque, a bacterium that wears away tooth enamel down to the nerves, which causes pain. If a cavity wears the tooth all the way down, the patient may have to have a root canal or extraction.

Bonding

Sometimes a little chip, jagged edge, or a gap between front teeth can compromise an otherwise attractive smile. In these cases, we may recommend a very simple procedure, cosmetic bonding or contouring. This involves applying natural-looking tooth-colored resin to the area that needs more structure. We cure the resin with a special light, then sculpt and polish the material to blend with existing structure. Bonding is less expensive than veneers, but must be re-done more often.

Brushing

You should use toothpaste approved by the ADA and spend three to four minutes brushing with a soft-bristled brush. Brush in small circles, covering two to three teeth at a time, and apply gentle pressure. Brush twice a day, and floss between teeth once. Don’t forget to brush or scrape your tongue to remove germs and bacteria that harm teeth and cause halitosis (bad breath). Finally, rinse your entire mouth with water. Replace your brush every three to four months so that the bristles stay properly positioned and don’t wear down.

Bruxism

Some patients react to stress by grinding their teeth unconsciously during the day or, more commonly, while sleeping. The constant pressure and motion can harm teeth, as well as muscles and tissues in and around the jaw. This condition, known as bruxism, can be remedied with a customized night guard.

Dental sealants

Many people have deep pits and grooves in their teeth where bacteria and food particles can hide and cause decay. Children with poor brushing habits may also develop decay on hard-to-reach molars. To seal these pits and grooves and protect against decay, we identify and fill any spots of decay, then prepare your teeth with a cleaning and etching solution. After about 15 seconds, we thoroughly rinse the solution, dry the surface, coat your teeth with the sealant, and harden it with a curing light. The entire procedure is fast, easy, and comfortable and can be done in one visit.

Flossing

You may not realize that even when your mouth is clean, bacteria lurk between your teeth, and these bacteria can grow into tooth-damaging plaque. You can eliminate plaque by flossing once a day. An extra two or three minutes spent flossing each day can give you a huge advantage in the war against those bad bacteria. It doesn’t matter which style of floss you use (waxed, unwaxed, or flavored) – just use the one that appeals to you. The ADA offers an instructional video to teach patients how to floss properly.

Dental implants

Now patients who are missing teeth have a strong, beautiful alternative to bridges, partials, or full dentures. Dental implants will improve your smile and your lifestyle. They look, feel, and function like natural teeth because of a titanium anchor attached to the jawbone. Implants can also anchor bridges, partials, or full dentures to eliminate slipping.

Oral cancer

Oral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. One American dies every hour from oral cancer. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures.

Oral health

Poor oral health is linked to poor physical health. If the mouth has a chronic infection or disease, then your entire body may be exposed to those bacteria.

Research shows connections between periodontal disease and poor cardiovascular health, increased risk of stroke, diabetes, problem pregnancies, respiratory diseases, and osteoporosis in women. Further, there is evidence to indicate that people who lose all of their natural teeth may have a much shorter life span that those who hold onto their teeth as their age advances.

If you want to up your odds of a happy, healthy life, try starting with the basics: learn the latest tips, techniques, and tools for top-notch oral hygiene. We can offer you oral cancer screenings, regular check ups and professional cleanings, periodontal assessments for gum disease, snore guards for peaceful, rewarding sleep, restorative dentistry to eliminate bacteria and maintain tooth structure, dental sealants to deter tooth decay, and fluoride supplements for healthier teeth. Your oral health is important to us – let us take care of you!

Porcelain veneers

Veneers semi-transparent shells that are permanently attached to your front teeth. They can close gaps, fix misshapen teeth, and brighten your smile, and they require less tooth reduction (filing down your original teeth) than crowns. Because they are thin (about .3 – .5 millimeters) and allow natural light to filter through, they have a completely natural appearance.

Application requires two appointments. In the first, your dentist will measure your face, discuss your idea of your perfect smile, and then record data to send to the lab where your veneers will be customized. In the second visit, your dentist will secure the veneers to your teeth, which may require filing down your existing tooth enamel. Anesthesia will be applied during this process.

Sensitive teeth

Tooth enamel protects the porous underlying layer called dentin, and the tooth pulp, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues. Damaged or worn tooth enamel can cause sensitivity to pressure and temperature, which means pain for you. We can help relieve the pain of tooth sensitivity. Bonding procedures can create a barrier similar to natural enamel. Sometimes treating the symptoms is the best and simplest solution. We may suggest using a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your gums from further irritation or special toothpaste formulated with potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to block or insulate nerves. A fluoride rinse or gel, or an oxalate compound applied to an exposed tooth root may reduce your tooth sensitivity.

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