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


Giving Your Smile a Makeover
Giving Your Smile a Makeover

A Beautiful Smile Makes You Look Younger

Did you know that a skilled cosmetic dentist can take a decade off of your looks? It is true – whiter, straighter teeth make you appear much younger and more vibrant. At one time, there was not much a dentist could really do to improve your smile. Aside from dentures, there was no real way to replace lost or missing teeth or simply make the teeth look new again.  Fortunately, a lot has changed in the last few decades in the field of modern dentistry. New procedures, advanced dental technologies, and sophisticated dental cosmetic smile makeovers can change even the dingiest smile into a dazzling grin.

Common Dental Problems a Smile Makeover Can Correct

Yellowed teeth - darker teeth are a common problem. Teeth tend to become more discolored with age because they absorb stains from foods and beverages like coffee or wine. They can also become darker over time, even if you avoid stain causing foods and take excellent care of your teeth.  Advanced tooth whitening solutions can strip away the yellow, leaving you looking years younger.

Mesial Drift - Over time, many people notice that their teeth have begun to drift slightly due to a common condition known as mesial drift. This can cause unsightly crowding of your teeth, a sure sign of aging. New procedures such as ClearCorrect can rebalance your smile for a fresher, younger look. Orthodontics are not just for kids anymore, either. You can get a perfect smile at any age with “invisible” braces at any age.

Missing teeth - missing teeth can make your face sag inward, adding years to your look. Missing teeth may also make it harder to speak clearly, and eat properly. Besides being less attractive, missing, decayed, broken, or badly damaged teeth are often painful. Without strong teeth, it can be difficult to eat a balanced diet, which has a direct effect on your health and well-being. Dental implants and innovative dentures that lock into place can give you a beautiful smile you will be happy to flash.

Old fillings and worn down teeth - A mouth full of old silver dental work makes your smile instantly dated. Nothing gives away your age like silver fillings when you laugh or smile. Much like an ill-fitting suit, worn down teeth make you look old and tired. The solution is simple: newer fillings are not only safer, but practically invisible. Worn down teeth can be repaired and corrected with advanced dental options.

Don’t be embarrassed by your smile for one more day. A skilled cosmetic dentist is much like an artist, using a specialized palette of cosmetic dental tools such as porcelain veneers, specially tinted white fillings, bridges, dental caps, dental implants and sophisticated tooth whitening systems to create a true work of art.  Call today to find out how you can trade a less than perfect grin for a smile that truly lights up a room.

If you are looking for expert cosmetic dentistry, call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online. No problem is too big or too small for us. Our caring dentists are always happy to help you get the outstanding cosmetic smile makeover you have always wanted.


Relieving the Pain After Your Root Canal Procedure
Relieving the Pain After Your Root Canal Procedure

Getting a Root Canal

If your dentist has advised you that you need a root canal, you probably have some form of infection or serious decay that must be removed in order to save the tooth. A root canal, also called endodontic therapy, involves removing the damaged, inflamed or infected pulp material inside the tooth. Sometimes it also means removing the nerve as well. Once removed, the tooth is sealed with a crown and allowed to heal. Sometimes patients report that their tooth pain has actually increased after the procedure. Below are some helpful tips to help relieve the pain following a root canal procedure.

Why it Hurts

If the tooth was especially inflamed or painful, the root canal may actually temporarily aggravate the area, causing you more discomfort that normal. Additionally, the healing process can take a little time to calm things down. This is frequently caused by stretching on the periodontal fibers and ligaments that hold the tooth in place. They are likely to be inflamed by the infection, or the root canal procedure itself. Your jaws may also be sore from having them opened so wide for the time it takes your dentist to complete the work.

Even if the nerve has been removed, some patients report a kind of “ghost” nerve pain because of the sudden severing of the nerve from the major nerves that run along the pathways of your jaws and gums. Over time, this pain normally recedes by itself. However, you should tell your dentist about any continuing pain or discomfort.

Patients should avoid chewing on hard or crunchy foods following a root canal. Chewing on the opposite side or eating only soft foods is a good way to allow the tooth to rest and heal. It can also reduce your pain. If the pain continues or gets worse after a root canal, you may need additional treatment and should notify your dentist as soon as possible.

Relieving Pain After a Root Canal

  • First and foremost, follow all of your dentist’s instructions
  • Make sure to take any prescribed medications or antibiotics, as directed
  • Make sure to allow the tooth to heal and chew on the other side when possible for a few days
  • Report all bleeding, signs of infection such as pus or redness, fever or swelling to your dentist
  • Ask the dentist if you can take over the counter medications or if they can prescribe something for pain

If you need treatment for an abscessed tooth or want more information about dental care such as a root canal, call El Portal Dental Group at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online. Our compassionate and gentle dentists are always happy to help you with the superior dental care you and your loved ones deserve.