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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 to Expect After Teeth Whitening
What to Expect After Teeth Whitening

Over time, our teeth can become discolored and stained. Tooth discoloration can be caused by a combination of factors, such as food, medication, smoking, and age.  Professional teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to remove stains from your teeth and to brighten your smile.  In fact, teeth whitening when performed by a dental professional carries very few risks and side effects. If you are considering teeth whitening, here’s some more things you can expect in addition to a great smile.

What can I expect after treatment?

You may experience increased sensitivity for 1-2 days following your whitening procedure.  This discomfort is due to the active ingredient in teeth whitening, hydrogen peroxide; and is mild and temporary. For most patients, this sensitivity is easily managed by avoiding hot or cold food and drinks, or by taking over-the-counter pain medication. If you have sensitive teeth prior to treatment, you are more likely to experience discomfort after the procedure. If you’re concerned about discomfort, you may consider your dentist’s take-home whitening treatment, as it contains less hydrogen peroxide. 

Additionally, your gums may appear slightly discolored or may sting for a few hours after treatment, but there is no need for alarm. This discomfort will dissipate shortly and you should be fully healed in 1-2 days following treatment.

Too much bleaching.

As you can see, teeth whitening is safe and poses few, if any, risks, as long as it is performed or prescribed by a board-certified dentist.  However, it may be possible to have too much of a good thing.  People who have too many consecutive whitening treatments are at risk of over-bleaching. Over-bleaching is when a person overexposes their teeth to the hydrogen peroxide in whitening gel.  Over-bleaching can cause the outer layers of your enamel to wear away, which can leave the dentin and soft inner tissues exposed and vulnerable. This over-exposure can lead to lasting sensitivity.  It can actually lead to permanent discoloration, as dentin is naturally darker than tooth enamel. Because the dentin and soft tissues are exposed, you are left vulnerable to injury or disease.  Over-exposure may eventually require you to get permanent protection for your teeth using porcelain veneers or crowns. If you’ve done teeth whitening in the recent past, speak to your dentist to determine if enough time has passed before doing another treatment.

Is teeth whitening right for me?

Teeth whitening is most effective on surface stains, which are normally the result of food, drinks, or tobacco.  Deeper stains, caused by medication usage or injury, can be more difficult to remove. Your dentist will evaluate you to see if teeth whitening is a good treatment option.  If not, alternative options such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers are available. If you already have restorations, such as crowns or veneers, be aware that they may not be as responsive to whitening treatment as your natural teeth. If that is the case, your dentist can replace them to make them whiter and to blend in more with your natural teeth.

Professional treatment by an experienced dentist can greatly minimize the risk of accidental gum exposure to the whitening gel, which could cause burning.  Your dentist will have aptly fitted dental trays, which helps to prevent the whitening gel from leaking onto the gums. 

You are just one office visit from whiter teeth and a gorgeous smile.  Dr. Khang Nguyen and the dentists at El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California welcome the opportunity to make your teeth beautifully white and healthy by offering both in-office and take-home teeth whitening options. The friendly and knowledgeable staff makes it their priority to provide you with the personalized care you deserve.  To schedule an appointment, please call our office at (209) 385-1479 or request an appointment online.

 


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 Five Things to Ask Your Dentist About Veneers
Top Five Things to Ask Your Dentist About Veneers

Cosmetic dentistry has never been more affordable, allowing more and more people to achieve the ideal smile they have always wanted. Even if you have worn down, cracked, chipped, unevenly spaced, or otherwise unappealing teeth, you may be able to achieve stunning results with porcelain veneers. They may not be right for everyone, though. If you are considering getting porcelain veneers, be sure to ask your dentist these five things before making your decision.

At El Portal Dental, our dedicated dentists are experts in all areas of their craft, including restorative and cosmetic dentistry. They understand that an informed patient is an empowered patient. That’s why our dentists take the time to sit down with you, answer all of your questions and create a plan fits your specific needs. (And one that fits within your budget, too!)

Top Five Questions About Porcelain Veneers

1. The first thing you need to know is how veneers fit onto your teeth. In order to permanently bond the veneers to your teeth, a very small amount of dental material will need to be removed. If your teeth are overly sensitive, this procedure may not be right for you. Our dental experts will evaluate your teeth and determine if veneers are a suitable option for you.

2. The next concern you may need to discuss is that porcelain veneers are permanent. The procedure cannot be reversed. Each veneer must be carefully placed an evaluated before bonding. The good news is that veneers are lovely and natural looking because of the way they capture the light. They are durable, customizable, and hide unsightly cracks, blemishes, and gaps in your teeth.

3. Before using veneers, you should ask about any ongoing care. How long do they last? What kind of special care, if any, do they require? Many people, for example, wonder if veneers are stain resistant. They are. Porcelain veneers can stand up to most everyday stain makers like coffee, tea and wine.

4. How long does the process take? Most veneers can be placed in as little as two visits. Your dentist will discuss any potential issues, as well as explain the exact steps required for placement of your new veneers. Some patients do require more preparation than others, such as trimming the teeth down in order fit them perfectly.

5. Lastly, you should ask about any other procedures that might be a better fit than, or could be used in conjunction with, porcelain veneers. The truth is that your needs and smile goals are unique. What works for one patient, may not be right for another. Our skilled and caring dentists can explain the exact reasons they do, or do not, recommend porcelain veneers for you. As caring and highly skilled cosmetic dentists, we work to create positive dental experiences that truly meet your specific needs.

If you, or a loved are interested in porcelain veneers, or to learn more about any other advanced dental procedures, or to make a personalized appointment, please call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online


Does Teeth Whitening Actually Work?
Does Teeth Whitening Actually Work?

You may not know it, but as hard as our teeth are, they are still porous to some degree, which means that they can naturally pick up stains from food and beverages like wine, coffee, soy sauce and berries. Besides which, teeth, like anything else, can and do often begin to show signs of wear with age. This can easily lead to staining, with the teeth becoming darker or yellowing over time. Smoking, which deposits tars and other chemical smoking related residues, can also discolor and stain teeth.  On top of that, enamel thins as we age, which allows the underlying more yellowish-tinged dentin to dominate the tooth color. Which bring us to the question…does teeth whitening actually work? The answer is a very happy yes.

Do Teeth Whitening Systems Work?

There are actually professional grade tooth whitening gels that are very effective in restoring the lovely white smile you may have started to miss. Professional teeth whitening systems are designed to safely clear away stains, removing layers of dull or yellowed stains, creating dramatically whiter smiles.

Budget conscious consumers sometimes choose less effective, over-the-counter teeth whitening systems (such as whitening strips or paint on applicators) in an effort to save a few coins. The only problem is that not only are those systems less effective, they can actually increase your teeth sensitivity, making you wince when you drink a cold beverage on a hot day. Even when they do not cause tooth sensitivity, over-the-counter teeth whitening systems tend to deliver inconsistent results.

Teeth whitening treatments provided by your dentist are stronger than what you can buy over the counter. Your dentist can provide you with specific instructions alongside a safe and effective take home professional whitening gel treatment. Or you can have your dentist apply a professional dental product such as the Sapphire In-office Teeth Whitening System, which whitens your teeth in less than an hour.

Advantages of a Professional Teeth Whitening Systems

·      Safer and professionally administered

·      More consistent results

·      Stronger and more effective products

·      Reduced risk of teeth damage or increased sensitivity

When it comes to the health of your smile, spending a little more is worth it. We offer both in-office and professionally made dental gel trays to safely and effectively whiten and brighten your smile. Don’t risk your teeth with anything less than professional grade, dentist dispensed or applied teeth whitening systems that actually work.

If you, or a loved one needs teeth whitening, or to learn more about our advanced dental whitening systems, please call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online. Today. 


How Veneers Can Change Your Life for the Better
How Veneers Can Change Your Life for the Better

Over the years, techniques and technology focusing on cosmetic dentistry have advanced quite a bit, revolutionizing the lives of millions of people. Porcelain veneers, for instance, can dramatically improve your face value by correcting issues such as spacing, stains, worn-down teeth, chips or cracks, or otherwise unsightly or misshapen teeth.

Newer veneers are not only incredibly thin and highly durable, but can also strengthen your natural teeth by providing stability and resilience to the structure of your teeth. This is especially important for patients who have weakened enamel (Enamel is the hard protective layer on the exterior of your teeth). With dental veneers, your increased confidence with how you feel about your smile and how you look can make you feel tremendously happier and more comfortable. 

What are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are thin wafer-like shells that are permanently bonded to the front of your teeth, in order to give you an even, aesthetically pleasing smile. Made of high quality, durable materials, they are both stain and chip resistant. Worn or discolored teeth make your smile dull and less appealing, and stained or misaligned teeth can also make you appear older and more weathered. Getting new porcelain veneers are a simple way to roll back the years without having invasive cosmetic procedures, such as a face lift.

How the Process of Getting Veneers Works

After an initial consultation and any necessary oral exams and X-rays, Dr. Nguyen will discuss all of your options and specific dental needs. Together, you can determine if dental veneers are right for you. Once you decide to move forward and improve your smile, Dr. Nguyen will prepare your teeth by removing a tiny fraction of the surface in order to bond the veneers properly.

He will take an impression of your teeth so that the veneers can be perfectly matched to the size and shape of your teeth. Once your veneers are ready, he will meticulously match the fit and shade of the veneers. He will then roughen the outside of your teeth slightly in order to ensure a firm placement.

Afterwards, he will carefully place the veneers using a special cement which is hardened with an ultraviolet light. Once bonded, he will advise you as to any follow up visits and ongoing care. In just a few minutes your smile can literally go from dull to dazzling. You will be amazed at how good you look and how much better it makes you feel to flash that stunning grin to the word. You may not be able to stop smiling!

If you are not happy with the shape, structure or shade of your teeth, porcelain veneers may be the ideal cosmetic dental solution for you. Call Dr. Nguyen to create the most visually pleasing, natural looking and vibrant smile you have always wanted. Call El Portal Dental at (209) 385-1479 today or schedule an appointment online. No problem is too big or too small. We are always happy to help you get the outstanding dental care you and your loved ones deserve.


Top 3 Dental Recommendations to Get the Smile You’ve Always Wanted
Top 3 Dental Recommendations to Get the Smile You’ve Always Wanted

Are you doing everything you ought to, and find that you’re still dissatisfied with your smile? You brush twice a day, you floss, you gargle with mouthwash, and yet your pearly whites just don’t seem to shine like they should.

So what should you do? Take it from our dental hygienists and cosmetic dentists in Merced that these top three recommendations will have you grinning from ear to ear, proudly showing off your gorgeous smile.

  1. Teeth whitening is a safe and super easy way to literally brighten your smile – several shades whiter. We offer both in-office procedures with our experienced and highly educated dentists, Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Regalado, as well as simple and convenient take home kits. Our in-office Sapphire teeth whitening system uses a bleaching technique with professional-grade teeth whitening gel along with a very powerful light to bleach stained teeth for a whiter smile in minutes. Our at-home Contrast PM teeth whitening gel kit conveniently comes with custom-fit trays that perfectly fit around your teeth to hold a mild whitening gel in place. This process takes just 7 to 10 days for a noticeably whiter smile.
  2. Porcelain veneers are a great option for improving the look and strength of damaged, chipped, or misaligned teeth. Veneers are thin artificial coverings that are applied to the outside of your teeth. They look and feel natural and can also greatly improve the resistance of your natural teeth to further damage and decay. During a simple office procedure, the veneers are adhered to your teeth using a light beam to harden the bonding agent. When you leave our dental office, you can immediately feel confident in your improved smile.
  3. ClearCorrect is a great alternative to adult braces for crooked teeth. ClearCorrect aligners apply pressure to misaligned teeth to push them into their appropriate positions. Since you must wear your aligners for at least 22 hours every day until the treatment is completed, they are made to be very comfortable to wear. Our Merced orthodontist, conveniently located within the same building as our family dentists, will take impressions of your teeth. Once they are sent off to ClearCorrect labs, they will be used as the model for the construction of your new invisible aligners. Due to inevitable and welcomed changes to the positioning of your teeth after wear, they will need to be changed out every two or so weeks with new ones using your latest impressions.

Our expert in the field of orthodontics and ClearCorrect treatment, Dr. Khang Nguyen, actively researches the latest technology on the market in progressive orthodontics to continue providing you with the best techniques available. Even if you are not comfortable smiling in public right now, see how you feel after watching the transformation of your teeth into beautiful pearly whites with these three recommended procedures.

It’s time for you to get the smile you’ve always wanted. Contact the El Portal Dental Group office by calling (209) 385-1479, or request an appointment online today.