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8 Causes of Sensitive Teeth
8 Causes of Sensitive Teeth

After a long, hard workout you decide to take a sip of cold water from your jug. But suddenly you feel a sharp flash of pain in your teeth. You start to wonder if there is anything wrong with you. Do not fret; chances are you experiencing tooth sensitivity. 

So, what is responsible for the pain associated with sensitive teeth? The enamel surface of healthy teeth protects the layer of dentin underneath it. Pain arises when the enamel is worn down, allowing the dentin and microscopic canals that run through the dentin to become exposed. Tooth enamel may become worn away for a number of reasons. Here is a list of things you may be doing that has led to enamel wear and contributed to tooth sensitivity:

Aggressive brushing

Brushing your teeth is necessary. However, brushing your teeth too vigorously tooth sensitivity can cause tooth sensitivity. When you brush, the protective coating on your teeth wears down over time, exposing the microscopic canals that lead to your nerves. Paying attention to how hard you are brushing is important, as is using a toothbrush with soft rather than firm bristles.

Acidic foods

Acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus could also wear down your enamel and expose the dentin underneath it. In addition to this, eating this type of food when the microscopic canals are exposed can cause extreme pain or discomfort. Simply avoiding acidic foods may provide some relief if you have sensitive teeth.

Teeth grinding

Some people who grind their teeth at night unconsciously also put their teeth at high risk of enamel erosion. To combat this, your dentist can prescribe you a custom-fitted mouth guard that prevents you from grinding your teeth while asleep.

Excessive plaque

After you eat, plaque can form and build up on your teeth. An excess of this can be harmful to your tooth’s enamel. Maintaining good oral hygiene such as flossing and brushing after eating can help to remove plaque before it can build up. You should also visit a dentist to have your teeth cleaned every six months or so.

Gum disease

Gums surround each and every one of your teeth. If your gums are damaged, they begin to recede, exposing more and more of your teeth – which can result in tooth sensitivity. Consult your dentist about the state of your gums and what you can do to improve your gum health and minimize your tooth sensitivity.

Cracked teeth

Your teeth may crack when you bite into hard foods. When this occurs, the nerves of your teeth become exposed and cause discomfort. Bacteria can also take up residence in the cracks, cause cavities and more pain.

Mouthwash overuse

Tooth sensitivity can also arise from the harsh chemicals present in some over-the-counter mouthwashes. By limiting how often you rinse your mouth with mouthwash (to once a day) can help reduce sensitivity – as can switching to a mouthwash your dentist recommends.

Tooth decay

Decay increases your risk of tooth sensitivity. Cavities can expose the dentin and nerves of your teeth, causing pain.

Feeling Good About Your Teeth 

Sensitivity to hot or cold beverages will be a thing of the past when you treat your sensitive teeth. Here at El Portal Dental Group, our dental specialists can help you achieve goal this in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Call (209) 385-1479 now or fill out our appointment request form to start feeling good about your teeth.


Five Foods that Rot Teeth
Five Foods that Rot Teeth

When it comes to preventing decay, the foods you eat play as much a role as do brushing and flossing. There are certain foods that are great for your teeth – foods like celery and apples that are loaded with natural abrasives and juices that gently slough away plaque and residue – and then there are foods that serve as catalysts for decay. For those wanting to have the perfect, healthy smile, you might want to reconsider eating certain foods. Here are five foods that are known to rot your teeth, and how even the best brushers should think twice before indulging in any foods that can do more harm than good.

Chewy/Sticky Candies and Sweets

Sweets like caramels, toffees, gummy bears have lots of sugar that serve as food for acid-producing bacteria in the mouth. Not only that, some candies are sticky enough to cling or get stuck between teeth, allowing plaque to build up. It is always a good practice to rinse first, then brush and floss your teeth after eating sweets.

Dried fruits/Canned fruits

Dried fruits like raisins, apricots, prunes, and dates have no liquid content; that means that the sugars that remain after the fruit is dried are concentrated. Even though dried fruits are full of fiber and quite filling, this excessive amount of sugar can cause plaque and decay. On the other hand, fruits that are canned in heavy syrup contain sugars and sweeteners that feed the bacteria-producing acid that can erode the enamel. Fresh fruits are still your best option for a cavity-free mouth.

Bread, Crackers, Chips, Pasta

Starchy foods like breads and pastas convert into simple sugars in the body. Aside from being sugar producers, these foods easily attach and linger for a longer time in the mouth for non-stop acid production. Plus, many breads and pastas are made from refined flour, meaning their nutritional value is minimal. If you want to incorporate breads and pasta in your diet, opt for a whole grain or vegetable-based noodle alternative.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes supply the body with much-needed Vitamin C and other nutrients that help fight infection, but the notable amount of acids they contain may harm your teeth. Best to rinse with water after eating them, then brush as normal.

Sweetened Drinks

Energy drinks, fruit juices, frappes and carbonated soft drinks are loaded with sugars and syrups that can harm your teeth. Even sugar-free diet sodas and non-carbonated sports drinks that may seem like healthy options are still acidic and sweet. Minimize or reduce the effects by rinsing with water right after consuming sweet drinks; better yet, opt for water or seltzer water with a splash of cucumber or mint for a refreshing, healthy treat for your bones and teeth.

Achieving Your Best Smile in Merced

Dental plaque is a clear, sticky films that coats your teeth and traps food debris. When acid-producing bacteria act on these films, the result can be damaging to your teeth. The good news is that maintaining a healthy mouth can be as easy as eating the right foods, brushing and flossing, and seeing a dentist who cares about you and your family. In Merced, that dentist is El Portal Dental Group, where our expert team of dentists and hygienists make it their mission to keep a healthy smile on your face. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the dentist, why not make it a healthy habit and call El Portal Dental Group today at (209) 385-1479 or fill out our online appointment request form.


Why am I Grinding My Teeth?
Why am I Grinding My Teeth?

Why am I Grinding My Teeth?

Bruxism – the medical term for grinding your teeth – is a damaging habit that not only is bad for your teeth, but can be detrimental to your health in general. Those who grind their teeth during sleep hours are most often unaware they’re doing it. If you awaken each morning or even occasionally with a slight, but constant, headache, or if your jaw is sore in the morning, then you may have been grinding your teeth in your sleep. If you aren’t sure, ask your partner – you will be sure to get an honest response! If you have been grinding your teeth while you sleep, there could be a number of reasons why. Here are some possible reasons why your doctor likely will diagnose you with bruxism.

Why we Grind

What is interesting about bruxism is that it is an effect, not a cause. Teeth grinding usually is the result of a number of different scenarios. Some of include problems sleeping or sleep deprivation, crooked or missing teeth or an over- or under-bite.  Stress has been known to cause bruxism; it can also result from sinus and/or infections, colds, allergies, or other medical conditions.

Who Grinds?

There is no singular type of person who grinds teeth – both male and female; old and young may go through bouts of teeth grinding. The one thing they all share are the similar outcomes, which include:

-       Pain and discomfort, which can include earaches, toothaches, and sore jaw and facial muscles; not to mention, the joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull can be damaged as a result of clenching and/or grinding.

-       Tooth damage, especially to the enamel of both natural and restored teeth. And the more you grind, the more your teeth (to include caps, fillings, and crowns) will be affected. Additionally, the pressure from grinding result in loose or cracked teeth.

-       Sleep deprivation and exhaustion. If you find yourself (or your loved ones) exhausted during the day, it could be the result of your bruxism. And that lack of sleep can make you less productive, put you at risk for disease and accidents, as well as weight gain.

-       TMJ is a pain disorder that is localized in the jaw joint. Persons with TMJ will experience jaw pain, clicking of the jaw and sometimes the jaw will lock. Difficulty chewing is also a symptom.

Put an End to Chronic Teeth Grinding

Depending on the reason for your bruxism, you may be advised any number of solutions. Because bruxism occurs while sleeping, a mouth guard to protect your teeth is a good idea. Your dentist will devise a guard to fit your mouth so that your teeth are protected during sleep. This is the first line of defense, however a more deliberate approach may be in order, if stress is the reason you grind your teeth. There are options that will help you to reduce stress. Ask your healthcare provider or counselor for advice and techniques that will help.  Remedies may include exercises, muscle relaxants, or relaxation exercises. If sleep apnea is behind the grinding, then making an appointment to see a sleep specialist should be a priority.

Cutting back on alcohol and caffeinated drinks may help grinding to subside. Avoid chewing on anything that is not food (e.g., pens, pencils, hair); continuing to do so trains your jaw to clench which in turn causes teeth to grind.

Diagnosis

You still might not be sure about the grinding, unless someone is present during the time that you sleep and can hear and observe the grinding action. Otherwise, the only way to be certain that the symptoms you experience are related to bruxism is to see a dentist, who can confirm your suspicions. During your appointment, your dentist will be able to spot signs of bruxism and make recommendations accordingly.

If you suspect (or are being told) that you’re grinding your teeth at night, El Portal Dental Group can help relieve you deal with the problem. Call us to request an appointment to be examined. We will determine for sure whether you’re suffering from bruxism and will provide a solution to any of your dental needs. Call El Portal Dental Group today by calling 209-385-1479.


What Dental Procedures will Leave My Teeth Sensitive?
What Dental Procedures will Leave My Teeth Sensitive?

Some people have tooth sensitivity when they eat or drink cold, hot, sweet, or acidic foods or drinks. Sensitivity most often means that the root area is exposed somewhere in your mouth. However, tooth sensitivity can also happen after a dental procedure; usually, the symptoms go away on their own as the mouth heals after the procedure. Here are some dental procedures that may leave your teeth feeling sensitive.

Root canals

A root canal involves removal of infected pulp from inside the tooth to prevent further infection.  The area where the root is located contains nerve tissue, blood vessels, and other cells.  A root canal removes all of this, leaving the inside of the tooth hollow.  During the root canal, the dentist will clean out all contamination and then fill the void with a temporary, then permanent filling.  With root canals, the pain is temporary and over the counter, painkillers are generally good enough to deal with the pain. Your dentist can also prescribe medication to help deal with the pain.

Crowns

Dental crowns are needed if you have a cracked, decaying, or broken tooth. The crown is sort of a manmade tooth that covers an implant or is cemented to part of a broken tooth. When the crown is put in, it can irritate the nearby nerves and gums and cause some pain. It is common to feel pain after a crown is put in because of the inflammation. Fortunately, this pain is temporary and will go away on its own. You can control the pain symptoms through over the counter painkillers. If there is rubbing or sharp pains, see your dentist immediately; an improperly placed or jagged crown can irritate the gums and cause infection.

Tooth Extraction

You may need to get a tooth removed for any number of reasons – from tooth decay, crowded teeth, gum disease, and painful wisdom teeth to a baby tooth that refused to come out on its own.  Pain after an extraction is expected as it leaves nerves and the pulp under the tooth exposed. Dentists generally prescribe pain medication to control the pain and to prevent infection.

Gum tissue grafts

Gum tissue grafts are used to fix roots that have been exposed due to receding gums. You are more likely to feel pain and sensitivity while the wound heals. Your dentist or periodontist may prescribe pain medication as well as antibiotics to prevent infection.

If you recently have undergone one of these procedures will be getting one done soon, you should expect pain and sensitivity. However, if your symptoms last longer than a few days or get worse over time, it’s important to seek medical attention. Finally, there are many other dental procedures that can cause tooth sensitivity. If you are about to get any dental procedure done, make sure to talk to your doctor about what symptoms to expect and what you can do to reduce them.

Braces

Getting braces can result in sensitivity. After all, you are applying hardware to reform the placement of your teeth. Pain and sensitivity are to be expected as your teeth shift; if the pain comes from sharp wires or rough edges, see your dentist or orthodontist immediately to repair the wire or bracket.

At El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California, Dr. Khang Nguyen and his staff provide state-of-the-art dental care for you and your family. Dr. Nguyen offers general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, and emergency dentistry services to adults and children in Merced, California in a comfortable and caring environment. In addition, we speak English, Spanish, Hmong, and Vietnamese. Dr. Nguyen can create beautiful, confident smiles that are as healthy as they are functional. Come and discover dental excellence at El Portal Dental Group. Request an appointment with Dr. Nguyen, cosmetic and family dentist in Merced, California. Call (209) 385-1479 today. Same-day emergency and weekend dental appointments are available.


Do Veneers Ruin Your Teeth?
Do Veneers Ruin Your Teeth?

Cutting Your Teeth: Why Veneers Can Be a Valuable Option

 

Hollywood is synonymous with glittering gowns, perfectly coifed hair, and shining smiles – so it’s no surprise that it was a California dentist, Charles Pincus, who was the first to develop a solution to less-than-perfect teeth. First introduced to the cosmetic dentistry field in the 1930s, this innovative procedure certainly made an impression. Veneers were considered a groundbreaking development for those on the hunt for an A-list smile.

 

Today, the popularity of veneers is still very much on the rise. A 2011 study conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that dental veneers have experienced a growth of over 250 percent in recent years. And with most Americans holding the belief that a smile is an important social asset, chances are this technique isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

 

While this procedure is considered cosmetic, it isn’t to be taken lightly.

 

Speak with a reputable cosmetic dentist who will discuss the pros and cons involved, as well as your other options. Dental veneers (also known as porcelain veneers, or dental porcelain laminates), are medical-grade shells of tooth-like material that are placed over the surface of your current teeth to enhance their appearance. Whether you have chipped, misaligned, discolored, uneven, or irregularly shaped teeth, veneers can certainly transform your smile.

 

Enamel is strong, but not impervious to damage; which is why we hear so often from dentists about protecting our enamel with fluoride and proper brushing techniques. Once it has degraded, our tooth enamel can’t be regenerated because it doesn’t contain living tissue or organisms. When you undergo a veneer procedure, your cosmetic dentist will have to remove a certain portion of the outer layer of enamel to make room for the covering. It is important to understand this before deciding to get veneers.

 

Unlike crowns, which can require grinding down the teeth into tiny nubs, no major structural changes are needed for veneer placement. According to one article, 99 percent of the time a dentist doesn’t have to shave away more than 0.5 mm of tooth enamel to achieve a patient’s desired results. Otherwise, veneers are relatively risk-free and won’t cause any other damage to your natural teeth. 

 

According to the AACD, temporary tooth sensitivity is expected following this procedure and there are a variety of products your dentist can recommend to mitigate this. Prior to choosing veneers, you’ll have a series of X-rays, photographs, and study models prepared to ensure that your teeth are healthy and that you’re an appropriate candidate for veneers. Keep in mind that veneers don’t treat any medical conditions, and are solely a cosmetic fix.

 

If you’re willing to pay the price for veneers – which can cost between $925 and $2,500 per tooth, you’ll reap a multitude of benefits. According to El Portal Dental Group, one dental office performing this highly requested procedure, porcelain veneers are long-lasting, natural-looking, chip-resistant, and won’t discolor over time. If chipped or discolored teeth are keeping you from smiling, consider the option of veneers.

 

While it’s a rare occurrence, veneers that are improperly placed may lead to long-term complications to the gums and underlying structures. In some cases, the procedure could damage the dentin, change the alignment of your bite, or cause jaw pain and difficulty chewing. This is why it’s important to choose the right provider for your veneers. Do your due diligence and select an experienced cosmetic dentist with plenty of training.

 

Dr. Khang Nguyen of El Portal Dental Group earned his DDS degree from New York University College of Dentistry – one of the most respected dental programs in the country. In order to offer patients the most cutting-edge dental treatments available, he regularly attends continuing education courses. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, call El Portal Dental Group at (209) 385-1479.


Top 5 Dental Myths Debunked
Top 5 Dental Myths Debunked

When it comes to maintaining good oral health and a gleaming smile, having the right information is important. Surprisingly, though, certain myths about dental hygiene still persist that could lead to unnecessary problems with your teeth if they are believed and followed.

Here are five common dental myths that should be put to rest:

Myth #1: Brushing and flossing twice a day isn’t as important as dentists have you believe.

In our busy modern world, it’s easy to become lax about dental hygiene. Nevertheless, there is a very good reason why brushing and flossing at least twice a day makes sense. 

Most people have three meals a day, not including snacks here and there. Every time we eat, small food particles get left behind in our gums and between our teeth. Those food particles breed bacteria and, if not removed, eventually become plaque and then tartar.  However, if you brush in the morning and again at night, it helps reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and keeps your tooth surfaces smooth so that bacteria can’t cling as easily. 

However, brushing only covers two sides of your teeth. It hardly affects the spaces between your teeth. That’s why flossing is also important. It removes food particles trapped between your teeth and should be done each time you brush. If flossing daily is a chore, however, at least floss every other day to keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

Myth #2: Brushing your teeth more than once a day can erode tooth enamel.

It’s not the frequency of brushing that can wear down tooth enamel; it’s mostly other factors such as the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth, acid reflux, grinding teeth, and nail-biting. However, a hard-bristled toothbrush can also affect the wear and tear of your tooth enamel. That’s why most dentists recommend that you use a soft toothbrush to avoid damage to your teeth and gums.

Also, it’s a matter of brushing your teeth properly. It should only take about two minutes. Brush gently, in short strokes at a 45-degree angle from the gum line, and use up-and-down strokes brushing the back of your teeth. Hold your toothbrush with your fingertips as opposed to in the palm of your hand to avoid brushing too hard. Rule of thumb, you’re brushing too hard if the bristles bend.

Myth #3: If you eat sugary foods, it’ll destroy your teeth.

Having a sweet tooth doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to have tooth decay. There’s a simple way to have your cake – and candy and other sweets – and beat tooth decay, too.

What happens is that the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and other carbohydrates and produces an acid that deteriorates the enamel of your teeth. And the longer the sugar lingers in your mouth, the more likely the bacteria will feed off it and produce the acid.

So, the problem isn’t how much sugar you’re eating, but how long the sugar remains on your teeth. The obvious solution is to brush your teeth and rinse out your mouth right after eating, especially if you also sip sugary drinks.

Myth #4: Teeth whitening will ruin your enamel.

Teeth whitening gel (or bleach) does not damage tooth enamel. The hydrogen peroxide is soaked up by the inner tissue of your teeth (dentin), which becomes lighter, and the whiter color is reflected out through the enamel. The process can cause temporary tooth sensitivity, but no erosion of the enamel.

New advances in dental technology have made teeth whitening safer and more effective – for both cosmetic dental procedure and in-office and over-the-counter products.

Myth #5: Dental visits are painful.

This is a common excuse for avoiding dental visits, no doubt fostered by scenes of dentists drilling cavities and prodding sensitive teeth in movies and television shows. Some patients might even have had a bad experience at a dental office that makes them dread seeing any dentist. 

However, dentistry has evolved over the years to the point where a patient’s physical and emotional comfort has become a top priority. One option that eliminates the pain and fear is sedation dentistry. Conscious sedation is administered in the form of a pill that allows you to be awake throughout your dental appointment, yet relaxed throughout a procedure.

Getting the facts straight is an important part of proper dental care. Before skipping a routine visit or trying an unproven treatment, visit a trusted dental practice. For more information about maintaining your dental health, contact El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California at (209) 385-1479. Our dental health experts are here to help you keep your mouth and your smile healthy and bright all year long.

 


What is the difference between Dental Crowns and Root Canals

What is the difference between Dental Crowns and Root Canals


So, you’ve made an appointment with your dentist because you have a tooth that’s been bothering you. It doesn’t hurt all the time, but every once in a while, it starts to throb. One of your friends even said, “I bet you need a root canal or a crown.” She seemed to know a lot about what she was saying, but she isn’t a dentist and you’ve never needed any dental work, so you have no idea what she’s talking about. The good news is, until you see the dentist, you don’t know what or if something actually needs to be fixed. The truth is, there are times when a crown is enough. A crown is used to cover a damaged, discolored, or disfigured tooth. Getting a dental crown can either be a necessary, or a cosmetic procedure. However, a root canal is only done when there is a problem, and it is always followed by the placement of a crown to protect the tooth. So, for peace of mind, here’s a little information on the difference between a dental crown and a root canal.

 

 

Tooth Anatomy

 

To understand a root canal, or a crown, it helps if you know a little about the anatomy of a tooth. There are several layers in every tooth. The outermost, and hardest, part of the tooth is the enamel. It is what you see when someone smiles. The next layer under the enamel is the dentin. It is softer and has millions of narrow tubes that lead directly to the center of the tooth, where the pulp is found. This is where all the nerves and blood vessels of the tooth are located. The pulp is very important as your teeth are growing and developing, because that is how nourishment gets in. However, after the tooth is fully developed, the pulp is not as important because other structures can provide nourishment to the adult tooth. What is important to note is that decay can affect all layers of the tooth, but the deeper inside the decay is, the more serious the problem.

 

What is a Root Canal?

 

A root canal is a procedure that is necessary when someone has inflammation or an infection in the pulp of the tooth. There are a number of ways that this can occur. If you have deep decay, bacteria can get into the pulp and cause an infection. It can also occur if you have a chip that provides an opening into the tooth. Repeated dental work, or injury from trauma can also cause the problems that will require a root canal. If any of these things are left untreated, you will not only experience severe pain, but may develop an abscess or even more serious infections.

 

To determine if you need a root canal, your dentist will examine you and take X-rays. Next, he or she will numb the area with local anesthetic injections. To get to the pulp, your dentist will have to make an opening in the crown (outside) of your tooth, through the enamel and dentin and into the pulp. This will be done with a small drill. Next, the dentist will use tiny instruments, or files, to clean out all of the damaged or infected pulp from inside of your tooth.  At this point, he or she might put an antibacterial solution inside the tooth to minimize the risk of further infection. Finally, your tooth will get a temporary filling and will then be sealed. The entire procedure may take one or two visits, and with modern dentistry, you should feel minimal or no discomfort. Your tooth may be a little sensitive for a few days but if you have any true pain, you should notify your dentist immediately. So, now that your tooth has been rid of any disease or infection, you will be ready to get a crown in a few weeks.

 

What is a Dental Crown?

 

A dental crown is a permanently attached structure that is cemented to your tooth, or to a dental implant. It is used to completely cover either a damaged tooth, or a tooth that is misshapen or discolored. The reason it is used after a root canal is to protect the tooth and give it strength and stability.

 

Before a crown can be cemented into your mouth, your existing tooth has to be reduced in size with a drill, by your dentist. Next, an impression of soft material will be taken, so that a mold can be made. The products of the impression will then be sent to a lab so that your crown can be made to your dentist’s specifications. A temporary crown will be placed on your tooth until the permanent crown can be put in. Once the final crown is received, and cemented into your mouth, it is permanent and can only be removed by a dentist. This is also true of crowns placed on dental implants, except of course; the implant will not need to be reduced in size before the crown is placed.

 

There are a number of different materials that a crown can be made of, depending on the location and the function of the crown. For instance, porcelain or ceramic crowns can be made to match the color of your teeth, are the most natural looking, and are best for your front teeth. However, gold and other metals are stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for teeth that are in the back and not in plain view.  It is important to discuss your options and the recommendations by your dentist before the crown is ordered from the lab.

 

So, while a root canal is only used to address a dental problem, crowns are not only indicated to cover the tooth that has had the root canal, but are also used for a number of other reasons. They can be used to cover a tooth that has been weakened from a fracture, or one that has a very large filling in it. It can also be used to cover a dental implant or to fix a fractured tooth. Sometimes a bridge (which is a complete replacement of a missing tooth) can be attached to a crown to fill a gap. And finally, crowns can be used for purely cosmetic reasons, to improve the look of a misshapen or a discolored tooth.

 

How Should I Care for My Teeth After Either Procedure?

 

Crowns should last a lifetime, although sometimes the cement loosens and it may come out. If this happens, you can try to reattach the crown using toothpaste or denture glue, but notify your dentist immediately so that it can be reattached with permanent cement as soon as possible.  Care for your crown should include good oral hygiene to prevent decay, and the avoidance of eating hard foods like ice or candy that might cause damage.

 

After a root canal, good oral hygiene is key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and strong. This includes brushing and flossing daily, as well as cleanings and dental check-ups at least every six-months. The root canal should fix the problem at hand, but that doesn’t mean you will never have an issue with that tooth again. In some cases, root canals may need to be repeated, even years later. So, see your dentist regularly and contact them if you experience any new pain.

 

If you have any more questions about root canals or crowns, or have any other dental concerns, please call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today, or schedule an appointment online. We are here to meet all of your dental needs.

 


The Health Benefits of Implants Versus Dentures
The Health Benefits of Implants Versus Dentures

The Benefits of Implants Versus Dentures

Trying to decide whether to go with dentures or implants can be a daunting task, and many times the decision comes down to both time and money. However, the often overlooked but perhaps most important factor on deciding between implants or dentures is health.  You see, when a tooth has been removed or lost, there is a gap between the remaining teeth.

If left untreated, missing teeth can lead to tooth shifting, gum deterioration and can even alter the shape of the face, over time. As the natural teeth shift in position, a person will likely develop bite alignment problems or noticeable gaps. What dental implants do for the health of the mouth:

·        Dental implants act as natural teeth – Dental implants actually take the place of missing teeth and function the same way. Since they are placed in the gap the natural tooth was in, this makes them more stable and the look is more natural as it feels, fits, and functions as if it were the tooth it was replacing.

·         Implants retain your natural smile and overall face shape – Missing teeth can be the start of the face changing shape. Teeth actually keep the shape of the jaw, when missing, the face can start to sag and appear sunken.

·         Healthy bone – Empty spaces in the mouth can also lead to other health issues such as bone loss and deterioration of the jaw. The jawbone can lose its strength and firmness if left untreated.

·         Protect your healthy teeth – Not only can bone deteriorate if the gap in teeth are left empty, but the gums deteriorate as well. This can have an adverse reaction on the health of the remaining teeth. Teeth simply cannot stay healthy if the gums are bad.

·         Strengthens the jaw bone – Over time, the jaw bone will eventually build up around the implant, making it stronger and reinforcing the area that was once weak.

·         Dental implants do not have the side effect that plague denture wearers – increased saliva and mild irritation or soreness.

The good news is that with advanced dental implant technology, more and more patients have the option of choosing dental implants over dentures. Now, more than ever, dental implants are more affordable. While not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, it is worth talking to your dentist about your options.

At El Portal Dental Group, we are experts in all areas of dentistry – including dental implants. If you, or a loved one is in need of exceptional dental care, or to learn if dental implants are for you, please call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today, or schedule an appointment online

 

 


All About Porcelain Veneers
All About Porcelain Veneers

Have you ever passed by your reflection and noticed a less than perfect smile? How did it make you feel? If the answer is not a happy or positive feeling, porcelain veneers may be the cosmetic dental option you have been looking for. Getting porcelain veneers is like getting a face-lift for your smile. Porcelain veneers, also called dental porcelain laminates, are extremely thin shells, about the thickness of a fingernail. The veneers are designed to be permanently bonded to your own natural teeth, and can instantly transform and improve your smile.

Because of the unique mineral makeup of porcelain and composite veneers, they reflect the light in much the same way that natural healthy tooth enamel does. Porcelain is also extremely strong and durable, comparable to the strength of your own naturally occurring teeth. Patients with porcelain veneers can smile, laugh, and chew without worry because they look, and function like natural teeth.

All About Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers act like a covering, hiding worn down and less than perfect teeth in the same way adding brand new siding can improve the outward appearance of an older home. However, this procedure may not be right for everyone. In order to create a solid bond, a tiny amount of enamel must be removed. This is usually slightly less than one millimeter, but for some patients, it is enough to create tooth sensitivity.

Patients who are free of gum disease, and have overall good oral health (with no ongoing dental decay) often make good candidates for porcelain veneers. If you have any of the following dental issues, porcelain veneers may be right for you:

·      Mild to moderate misalignment of your teeth

·      Worn down teeth

·      Yellowed, discolored or stained teeth

·      Chipped or cracked teeth

·      Misshapen teeth, or teeth with uneven surfaces caused by bulges or craters

·      Gaps between teeth

Only a qualified cosmetic dentist can evaluate your tooth structure to determine if porcelain veneers, or a more conservative approach, are right for you. Our highly trained dentists have the skills, training, and experience to advise you about all your cosmetic dental options.

Porcelain veneers offer a chip and stain resistant, natural looking, permanent solution for patients who want a luminous and lovely smile. If you, or a loved one needs a smile makeover in the Merced, California area, we are here to help. Our friendly staff are fluent in Spanish, English, and Vietnamese. call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online. Come and discover what makes us different at El Portal Dental Group.


Is Invisalign Right for Me?
Is Invisalign Right for Me?

How do you really feel about your teeth? Are you concerned that they are too crowded, have gaps or simply do not align? Have you considered braces or wondered if Invisalign is right for you? To help you make an informed decision, we have created this short, helpful guide for deciding if Invisalign is the ideal solution for your smile.

What is the Invisalign System?

Invisalign is a revolutionary system that gently and gradually straightens your teeth over time. Made from a strong molded thermoplastic material that precisely fit your teeth, Invisalign aligners are designed to comfortably correct your teeth with exactly the amount of force and direction required to safely move them to their correct position.

The process beings with a customized 3D scan that picks up the exact shape and size of your teeth. Working with a sophisticated dental computer program, aligners are generated in succession, so that roughly every two weeks you change to another set.

Basically, each set of aligners is created to change the alignment in a planned progression until the desired result is achieved. The length of time required to correct your smile varies, depending on the severity of each individual case. Typically, it takes between 8-12 months to align your smile. You may, for instance, require as few as 12 alignment trays or as many as 48. Each patient is different and the dentist will advise you about your particular needs during your consultation.

Aligners are made to be easily removed. In fact, you need to remove them before eating or drinking anything (except for clear water). You should also floss and brush after meals and snacks before replacing the aligners. We encourage our patients to avoid smoking with the aligners as it can discolor them. Besides that, smoking is harmful to teeth and your overall health.

Invisalign Braces Benefits:

·      Predictable, controlled, gentle tooth relocation

·      No discomfort from metal braces or wires

·      Easily removable for activities, eating and cleaning

·      Virtually invisible

·      Boost self esteem

·      Blue indicator dots can help teenagers comply

·      Covered by many orthodontic plans

Only a qualified dentist can determine if Invisalign braces are right for you. At El Portal Dental Group, we understand how valuable your smile really is. We offer the most advanced treatments at a price you can afford. Our caring staff is fully qualified to handle all of your orthodontic and dental needs.

If you, or a loved one is considering the Invisalign system, or to learn more about any of our sophisticated dental services, please call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online