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For the latest news about Dr. Nguyen and El Portal Dental Group, read our newsletter below. You’ll learn about:


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.


Transforming Your Smile for the Summer
Transforming Your Smile for the Summer

With summer here, lots of us will be working on our tans and getting in shape. Why not add your smile to your transformation wish list?  Whether straightening your teeth or brightening those pearly whites, there are several options you should definitely consider. Here are some ways to transform your smile this summer.

A Clear Alternative to Traditional Braces

As an adult, you want a straight and flawless smile, but wearing geeky traditional braces out of the question. No worries – you can straighten your teeth with ClearCorrect aligners that are plastic and virtually invisible, and no one will be the wiser for it. Plus, you can conveniently remove your clear braces when you eat, brush or floss, or for special events or posing for photographs. There are no wires or metal brackets, which means you won’t irritate your mouth, break your hardware or experience headaches.

At El Portal Dental Group, we’ll take impressions of your teeth and send them to the ClearCorrect lab, where they will be scanned and a computer model of your teeth will be constructed. From this model, your custom aligners will be created. Once the aligners are returned to our office, we will set up an appointment to bond/glue any small, clear buttons/attachments to your teeth. These clear attachments will act as your “braces” and will allow us to manipulate the teeth. Then, your first aligner will be inserted and instructions on wear and care will be given. ClearCorrect aligners are worn for 22-23 hours of the day and are usually changed every two weeks, or as prescribed by Dr. Nguyen.

Tooth Whitening for a dazzling smile

Over time, your teeth can become stained, darker, or discolored. Teeth whitening lighten their shade and transform a dull smile into a dazzling one that enhances your confidence and self-esteem.

Teeth whitening systems are safe, easy, and an effective way to remove or bleach external stains on your teeth to brighten the appearance of your smile. El Portal Dental Group offers both as an in-office or take-home option.

The Sapphire In-Office Teeth Whitening System uses a powerful light along with professional-grade teeth whitening gel to bleach your teeth. This is a one-visit office treatment that gently yet dramatically whitens and brightens dull, discolored teeth in less than an hour.

As an at-home solution, Contrast PM® Teeth Whitening Gel is a safe, effective, and easy-to-use whitening system. Custom-fit whitening trays surround the teeth so that the gel coats the surface of the teeth. The gel has a mild, minty flavor and noticeably whitens teeth in just seven to ten days, as opposed to the three weeks it takes other at-home teeth whitening solutions.

Restoring your teeth’s youthful appearance

If it’s a flawless, beautiful smile you’re looking for, porcelain veneers can achieve this by improving the color, shape, and spacing of your teeth. Veneers are thin artificial coverings that are bonded to the front of your natural teeth, providing a great solution for correcting the appearance of chipped, cracked, or gapped teeth or to whiten stained teeth. They can also correct misaligned or misshapen teeth while strengthening your natural teeth and preserving their natural structure.

What’s more, porcelain veneers are natural-looking and last a long time. Veneers are stain- and chip-resistant and won’t discolor over time, plus, they can restore your teeth’s youthful appearance and protect them from further damage. By bonding a thin porcelain shell to the front of your teeth, Dr. Nguyen can create the dazzling, natural-looking smile you’ve always wanted – not just for summer, but for all year long.

For more information about improving your smile, contact El Portal Dental Group in Merced, 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.


The Proper Way to Care for Your Dentures
The Proper Way to Care for Your Dentures

Dentures are a great option for those with badly damaged, worn down or missing teeth. Good dentures can dramatically improve your appearance, while enhancing your overall quality of life. With strong, lovely dentures you can smile broadly, enjoy eating all your favorite foods without worry, and speak clearly. Dentures can last a lifetime with the right care. That’s why we created this handy guide to help you understand the proper way to care for your dentures.

Proper Denture Care

Although caring for your dentures is simple, it is also very important. The first thing to know is that even though dentures are incredibly strong and can stand up to the immense pressure of chewing, they can still break if handled roughly. Make sure you always handle your dentures carefully.

Cleaning your dentures is simple. Carefully brush them to remove food particles which can easily stick to the surfaces of dentures. Food particles and plaque can irritate or cause infections in the soft tissues of your mouth. Besides discomfort, excess food particles can begin to become rancid in a matter of hours, causing unpleasant breath, as well as discomfort in your mouth. Be sure to clean dentures your thoroughly after meals. And don’t forget to rinse out and clean the inside of your mouth too.

Always be careful not let your dentures dry out, because this can cause them to warp, making them less comfortable, or even unwearable. When you have removed them, be sure to gently clean them and then place them into a wet solution of denture cleanser, or in water. You can also use a soaking tablet to help clean your dentures and kill harmful bacteria.

Dentures also have micro pores, which can be exploited by microscopic bacteria. Placing them in a cleaning solution can help prevent bacteria from building up on your dentures. Make sure to follow the label instructions carefully so that the solution is just the right balance to protect your dentures. Additionally, do not place dentures in boiling or hot water. This can damage the dentures. Remember to take your dentures out when you sleep, as this helps maintain a healthy mouth.  

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


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


Braces Survival Guide (For Adults and Kids)
Braces Survival Guide (For Adults and Kids)

Are you one of the lucky ones who has braces, or will you or your child be getting braces soon? It can lead to a bit of anxiety knowing that you will need to adjust what you eat and how you brush and floss your teeth, not to mention the mild discomfort you may feel from time to time.

There are many ways to limit your discomfort and make your experience with braces a bit easier. Here is how to survive the coming months of treatment for misaligned teeth.

Use your dental wax, which protects your gums and the linings of your cheeks and lips. This provides a comfortable barrier from the sharp ends of wires and limits the instances of canker sores.

Just say no to hard, chewy, and/or sticky candy. These can get stuck and cause damage to your braces.  It is also important to cut up your food like steak, chicken and roasts into smaller bites.

Stock up on soft foods like mashed potatoes, applesauce, soups and macaroni and cheese. After your initial application and routine adjustments, your teeth and gums may be extra sensitive, so eating soft foods is the best way to go. There are many braces-friendly recipes available online that can make meals easier to plan.

Be prepared on the go with a dental kit. Keep extra supplies of dental wax, floss threaders, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a spiral dental brush in a travel-sized container so you can take care of your braces and any discomfort while away from home.

Keep over-the-counter pain relievers on hand to help minimize discomfort. While the majority of the discomfort goes away about a month after you get your braces, you will still need to get adjustments about every 4 to 6 weeks. Your teeth and gums may be sore after adjustments, so Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or other pain relief is a big help.

Continue your regular semiannual dental checkups. Just because you have braces doesn’t mean that you get to skip your regular oral health routines. You still need to see your regular dentist twice a year to avoid or treat cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease.

Communicate with your orthodontist. If something doesn’t feel right or you are in a considerable amount of pain, alert your provider right away instead of waiting for your next appointment. 

Ask about ClearCorrect invisible aligners for straighter teeth without the look of metal braces. This is a beneficial option for professional adults desiring a more confident smile while maintaining a mature appearance.

For more information about adult braces, our friendly staff at El Portal Dental Group in Merced is available to answer any questions you may have. We offer evening and weekend hours, emergency dental care, and the convenience of a one-stop shop with general dentistry housed in the same location as orthodontics. Initial orthodontic consultations are provided free of charge.

Call our family dentistry and orthodontic office today at (209) 385-1479 or make an appointment online.


Choosing an Orthodontist in Merced
Choosing an Orthodontist in Merced

Does your child have perfectly straight teeth? Then there’s no need for an orthodontist, right? Well actually, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends everyone schedule an orthodontic appointment by the age of 7 to check for issues with the jaw such as overbites. Most people, however, will visit an orthodontist to correct the misalignment of teeth.

Whether braces are needed for a cosmetic or functional purpose, investing in braces for yourself or for your child is an important decision. The success of your orthodontic treatment is dependent upon your commitment to your orthodontic treatment plan. Finding an orthodontist who you can trust and with whom you are comfortable is important to keeping you committed and on track.

Over the course of orthodontic treatment, usually around 2 years, you will need to visit your orthodontist about every 6 weeks. For this reason, it is important to find a Merced orthodontist with a convenient location, as well as one that can work within your schedule. Orthodontists with early and late hours, as well as Saturday appointments offer the most flexibility for their patients. This allows for less missed visits and less time away from school or work.

Whether you’re considering adult braces or braces for your child, your investment into your beautiful new smile should be a wise one. Look for a board-certified orthodontist to ensure they are highly qualified for the best possible treatment outcome. Board certification by the American Board of Orthodontics means that your doctor has graduated from dental school, as well as completed an advanced orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic residency. After completing advanced educational training, the orthodontist must then demonstrate their skill and knowledge to obtain certification.

Orthodontic emergencies can and do happen, whether it’s loose brackets or protruding wires. Many such emergencies are due to sports-related traumas to the face or mouth. Be sure to find an orthodontist who offers an on-call service for emergencies, as it’s very important to see your orthodontist immediately after an emergency to prevent further injury and pain.

Just because you have braces does not mean that your normal dental check-ups stop. Regular 6-month exams should continue throughout your treatment. To save you time, find an orthodontist who is part of a dental group where general dentistry is offered at the same location. Being able to go directly from your dentist to your orthodontist in one visit can save you valuable time while ensuring you are taking care of all your oral health needs.

Our Merced dental office offers extended weeknight and Saturday hours, emergency dental care, and the convenience of a one-stop shop with general dentistry housed in the same location as orthodontics. Initial orthodontic consultations are provided free of charge. Call us for an orthodontic consultation today at (209) 385-1479 or make an appointment online.