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


Different Types of Teeth Covering
Different Types of Teeth Covering

A lot of people are uncomfortable with the way their smiles look, and it can be a huge confidence killer. Genetics, poor dental care habits, living an unhealthy lifestyle, and other factors impact the way your teeth look. If you have discolored, chipped, or damaged teeth that make you feel embarrassed, it’s time to find a solution.

One of the most popular dental procedures for dental imperfections is the application of veneers. Using veneers, dentists can restore your smile to look healthy and beautiful. 

What Are Veneers?

Dental veneers are thin shells made to cover the front surface of damaged, discolored, or chipped teeth. They are customized to match your natural teeth in color, size, shape, and length. Veneers allow you to enjoy beautiful and healthy looking smiles without the need of full tooth replacements, dentures, or implants. Veneers are made to look as similar to your natural teeth as possible. The goal is to make all your teeth look uniform so that your smile appears natural as well as aesthetically pleasing.

There are different types of veneers, but the two most widely used ones are made of composite or porcelain materials. The type of teeth covering or veneer your dentist will recommend will depend on your unique situation, preference, and budget.

Composite Veneers

Veneers are custom-made to address your unique cosmetic needs. One of the benefits of composite veneers is that they are polished to look very similar to natural teeth. Once installed, it will be difficult to tell them apart from your teeth, giving you a natural and beautiful smile. Composite veneers are also cheaper and can last you many years. However, composite veneers are more prone to chipping and staining, which means they require more care and attention. Fortunately, composite veneers are bonded which makes them easier to replace after wear and tear.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are also known as traditional veneers and have been improving smiles since the 1930s. Porcelain veneers are thin ceramic shells that are bonded with your teeth. They can last more than a decade with proper care. Porcelain veneers require a couple of appointments, however, because the dentist needs to get an impression of your teeth and order the porcelain veneers to be custom made. Porcelain veneers are tougher than composite veneers and are more resistant to staining and chips.

Veneers in Merced, California

At El Portal Dental Group, we offer the latest in cosmetic dental treatments, including veneers. Our other specialties include general dentistry, dental implants, and orthodontics. What sets us apart from other dental clinics is the personalized treatment we give each of our patients. We are a family clinic and look forward to serving your entire family’s dental care needs.

When walking out of our hygienic, relaxing, and comfortable dental clinic, you will leave with a bright, beautiful, and healthy smile. 

To make an appointment with one of the experienced and caring dentists at El Portal Dental Group, please call (209) 385-1479 or request an appointment now. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you!


Fun Facts About Saliva
Fun Facts About Saliva

When we talk about spit or drool, gross things come to mind. However, the saliva in our mouths is a healthy bodily fluid which promotes good oral health – and, therefore, good overall health as well. 

Here are some fun facts about saliva that you may not have known before:

Saliva Promotes Natural Oral Hygiene

Saliva is key to oral health and hygiene because of its antibacterial and lubricating properties. It serves as the first line of defense against tooth decay, washing away remnants of food and cavity-causing bacteria. 

It also helps balance the acid levels in the mouth. Some dentists promote gum-chewing because it stimulates the flow of saliva and keeps your teeth and mouth healthy.

Saliva and Food Go Together 

Without saliva, people would not enjoy the delicious food they eat. It acts as a solvent, bringing out the flavor of food to the taste receptors. Saliva also keeps these taste receptors healthy by preventing them from drying out and protecting them from bacteria.

Saliva Is Mostly Water 

Saliva is made up of about 99% water. The rest is composed of electrolytes, digestive enzymes, mucus, and other beneficial properties.

We Require a Lot of Saliva Every Day 

An average person’s saliva production is the equivalent of up to six cups each day, and this statistic excludes stimulated activities such as eating. One person can therefore produce enough saliva to fill two bathtubs every year!

Only Babies Use Bibs

Babies do not yet know how to control the muscles in their mouths, so saliva comes in a continuous flow. Only at around the age of two do they learn how to manage these mouth muscles fully.

Salivary Glands Have a Circadian Rhythm

The body usually produces the most saliva in the late afternoon. Saliva production is an unconscious process controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

Saliva Can Identify Conditions in the Body

Testing saliva can be used to identify a person’s susceptibility to certain diseases, such as heart failure, cancer, and diabetes. It can also indicate cavities and periodontal disease. Researchers are continually studying the various ways in which saliva can be used to test a person for various conditions rather than a blood test, which is invasive.

Saliva Exchanges Bacteria

This next tidbit might give you second thoughts about kissing anybody. While saliva can help protect your mouth from bacteria, it can also transfer millions of bacteria when kissing.

Saliva Tells Secrets 

Saliva production decreases when we feel stressed or nervous. Indeed, when people suddenly feel nervous, their mouth gets dry. This also happens when people feel guilty.

Trusted Dentist in Merced, California 

Saliva plays a vital role in our everyday functions. If our body’s ability to produce saliva fails, there would be major consequences to our health.

To keep your oral hygiene in check, book an appointment with El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California. Our dentists and dental professionals are here to help you maintain optimum oral health.

Call us today at (209) 385-1479, or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you here and helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile for a lifetime.


Why does your tongue change when something is wrong?
Why does your tongue change when something is wrong?

One part of the body that often goes overlooked when it comes to your health is the tongue. Did you know your tongue could give you clues on health issues you may be having? Symptoms associated with your tongue can provide important insight that can help you address health issues elsewhere in your body. Let’s look at what various tongue changes can mean.

Color

Bright pink – If your tongue is bright pink in color, it could be a sign of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. The most common ones responsible for turning the tongue bright pink are iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12 deficiencies. Another possible cause is an allergic reaction to gluten.

White – A white tongue can be caused by a variety of lifestyle choices, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or poor oral hygiene.

Texture

Furry – A furry or hairy tongue can be caused by a variety of things, including lifestyle choices (smoking, drinking coffee, etc.) or treatments and medications you are taking (antibiotics and radiation treatment).

Other Symptoms

Swelling – A swollen tongue can be caused by a variety of health issues, including Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, strep throat, hyperthyroidism, and anemia. 

Sores – If you have sores on the tongue, it could be caused by nutritional deficiencies, food allergies, or irritating ingredients in your toothpaste or mouthwash.

Burning – A burning sensation in the tongue is more common among women who are postmenopausal and individuals who smoke.

Pain – There are a variety of reasons why you may feel pain in the tongue. Some are harmless issues, such as irritation from toothpaste, mouthwash, or a canker sore. Other causes may be more serious, such as diabetes, cancer, oral herpes, and neuralgia. 

Why is There a Connection?

A lot of issues that affect your health are connected to the tongue. For example, if you have a vitamin deficiency, it can affect your gastroenterological track, respiratory system, and dental health. The tongue is connected to all these systems. Some tongue changes such as furriness, pain, and sores are connected to the foods you eat and how well you clean the mouth. These directly impact the tongue because of its location in your mouth. Finally, the tongue is directly exposed when you drink alcohol, smoke, eat unhealthily, and have poor hygiene. Because of this, you are likely to see changes in the tongue.

Oral Care in Merced, California 

At El Portal Dental Group, our team of dental professionals provides a wide range of dental services that range from general dentistry to emergency dentistry. We even have a dentist on-call 24 hour a day, just in case you need dental care immediately. 

We regularly assess and diagnose conditions based on changes to the tongue. Our goal is to rule out serious health conditions and put you on the right track to better oral and overall health.

We welcome you to our relaxing and comfortable clinic in Merced, California. Our caring and compassionate staff speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Hmong. For your convenience, we accept same-day appointments and are open on weekends. To schedule an appointment, please call (209) 385-1479 or use our secure online form.


The Best Kind of Toothbrush
The Best Kind of Toothbrush

Every day your mouth is at war, fighting off harmful bacteria and dangerous invaders like plaque. Believe it or not, your best line of defense in this war against decay is your toothbrush. Weaponized with a fluoridated toothpaste, your toothbrush can ensure victory every time you visit your dentist. But what’s the best kind of toothbrush? Next time you arm yourself with a plaque-busting toothbrush, be sure it meets these criteria.  

Softer is better

The harder the bristle the better the brush, right? That may be true if you are scrubbing your charcoal grill but the opposite is true when it comes to toothbrushes. In fact, dentists recommend extra soft bristles to gently slough away plaque and other foreign objects stuck in the nooks and crannies of your teeth. Soft brushes will not wear the enamel on your teeth, nor will they harm gums; on the contrary, a soft brush actually massages the gums to both clean and strengthen them. A soft brush also feels pleasant when brushing the tongue.

Choose a small head

Even as an adult, opt for a smaller, more compact head on your toothbrush – they are easy to maneuver into hard-to-reach places of your mouth where plaque can build up quickly. They also allow for better navigation in the mouth.

Find your fit

Brushing your teeth should be a pleasant experience; that said be sure to choose a toothbrush that feels good in your hand and fits nicely in your mouth. The angle of the brush should work for you and it should not leave your inner cheeks or gums feeling scraped up or compromised.

Electronic toothbrushes

If you do not feel disposable toothbrushes are doing their job, it may be time to consider an electric or battery-powered toothbrush. Some have settings to help brushing along; others may be combined with a hydroflossers for an enhanced and total brushing experience.

Make your own

Brushing your teeth should not feel like a chore. Get the toothbrush that you actually will enjoy using. Choose your favorite color; encourage your child to select his favorite super hero or cartoon character. Experiment to find the one that works best for you and your family. Whatever you choose, you should look forward to brushing every day.

El Portal Dental Group in Merced, California

In the war on dental disease, it’s good to have an ally.  In Merced, California, look no further than El Portal Dental Group, where our expert staff of dentists and hygienists look forward to working with you to achieve life-long dental health for you and your family. Call us today at (209) 385-1479 or schedule an appointment online now. We look forward to working with you!

 

 


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.

 


The Surprising Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health
The Surprising Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health

The Surprising Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Health

Want to know if you’re at risk for heart disease? Check out your oral hygiene.

Research shows that people with periodontal disease (serious gum infection) are almost twice as likely to have heart disease – and their risk could be greater than those with high cholesterol.

What’s the connection? In a word, bacteria.

In periodontal disease, the bacteria festering in infected gum tissue around your teeth break down the barrier between your gums and the underlying connective tissue, causing inflammation or swelling.  When you chew your food or brush your teeth, bacteria can enter your bloodstream, where it moves to other parts of your circulatory system. Ultimately, they attach to fatty deposits in the heart’s blood vessels, leading to the formation of arterial plaque and the onset of atherosclerosis. These deposits can narrow your arteries or break loose and clog them entirely, causing blood clots that can lead to heart attack or stroke.

Clearly, there is a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. To help protect your gums – and potentially your heart – look out for these warning signs of periodontal disease:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums or other painful conditions in your mouth.
  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, or when you eat hard or tough food.
  • Gums that are receding from your teeth, causing them to look longer than before.
  • Loose or separating teeth.
  • Pus deposits between your gums and teeth.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Persistent bad breath.
  • A change in the way your teeth meet when you bite down.
  • A change in the fit of your partial dentures.

Getting to the heart of the matter

It’s easy to ignore these indicators of periodontal disease, which is why it’s important to maintain your oral health – especially if you already have or have a family history of heart disease. Here’s what doctors and dentists recommend:

·       Brush and floss your teeth daily and consider rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash to rid your mouth of bacteria.

·       If you have an existing heart problem, make sure your dentist is aware of it.

·       Conscientiously follow your doctor’s and dentist’s instructions, and use prescribed medications, such as antibiotics, as directed.

·       Keep clear of sugary or acidic foods that encourage bacteria to thrive.

Most importantly, maintain regular check-ups with your dentist.  Depending on the severity of your periodontal disease, your dentist will decide the best way to treat your condition. It may merely require a professional cleaning. However, if your condition is more serious and has already progressed to periodontitis, more aggressive treatment may be required. The most effective will probably involve scaling and planning, a procedure that cleans between the teeth and gums to remove the infection. Your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic to help eliminate the infection.

If you suspect you may or a loved one may have gum disease – even if you are a conscientious brusher and flosser – don’t hesitate to contact your dentist for an assessment as promptly as possible. Both your oral health and heart health may be at stake.

If you live in the greater Merced area, contact El Portal Dental Group 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.

 


Food Choices and Their Effect on Your Oral Health
Food Choices and Their Effect on Your Oral Health

Food and drink fuels your day. Basic health aside, what and how you eat are also vital factors in your oral health. A healthy diet packed with nutrients can go a long way in helping you maintain good oral health.

 

On the other hand, a bad diet can hurt the health of your teeth and gums. Your smile may be the first to suffer! Unhealthy diets can stain or dim tooth enamel, which can be clearly visible on your front teeth where you eat and drink.

 

An unhealthy diet can also promote tooth decay and cause gum disease, so taking the time to be mindful of what you eat and drink can go a long way towards healthy teeth and gums.

 

Here are a few common things that can hurt your oral health.

 

 

·       Sugar loading

We all have a “sweet tooth” every now and then, but sugary foods and drink can create an unhealthy oral environment. The bacteria present in your mouth loves the sweet stuff and it reacts by releasing acids that promote tooth decay and other problems. The average American consumes up to 15 pounds of sugar a year! We love the stuff, but it doesn’t love us back.

 

 

·       Drinking too much of certain beverages:

Drinking too many soft drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks can impact your oral health. And you probably know that daily coffee and tea drinking can stain your tooth enamel. Regular cleanings can help if you can’t do without your morning coffee and evening tea. Finally, limit the amount of alcohol you drink; moderation is the key!

 

·       Snacking:

With our hectic, work-centered schedules, we may rely on snacks between meals to keep us going. But, chewy or sticky snacks, and even chewing gum may promote dental decay.

 

There’s another hazard with snacking: We are also unlikely to brush our teeth after an on-the-run snack. This further adds to potential problems down the road when we allow bacteria to collect between our teeth. A good piece of advice is to avoid sugary snacks and try to at least rinse out your mouth with water after snacking.

 

 

Are you more at risk?

 

Certain conditions and medications make keeping oral health more of a challenge:

 

·       Conditions such as diabetes and acid reflux may make keeping your oral health top-notch more of a challenge. Consult your dentist or physician to find out if any of your chronic conditions may also affect your oral health.

 

·       Medications

Ingredients in some prescription and over-the-counter medicines can make you more vulnerable to oral health problems. For example, antihistamines may dry your mouth, which can make you more likely to have oral health problems.

 

Remember, your meds are important! Just keep your dentist up to date about what you take.

 

What you can do:

 

·       Maintain a balanced, healthy diet and eat regular meals. Keep added sugars to a minimum, and avoid processed foods. Instead, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Replace soft drinks with water.

 

·       Brush and clean often! Don’t let hours elapse between a meal and brushing your teeth.

 

·       Keep your dentist up to date with any changes in your health or meds, and most important, go in for your regular dental check-ups.

 

 

Sticking to good dental habits that include regular brushing and flossing, and regular check-ups, can help prepare you for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. 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 you’re your smile healthy and bright all year long.

 


Keeping Your Teeth Clean in the New Year
Keeping Your Teeth Clean in the New Year

You may have welcomed 2018 with a bright, shiny and fresh smile, but keeping up with it is going to take some work. Keeping your teeth clean in the new year means you will have to ditch some bad habits and form some new maintenance habits. Remember, though, keeping your teeth clean is about your overall dental health, and not just keeping them white.

Regular brushing

Most of us brush first thing in the morning and at night. It’s the extra daytime brushing that can help prevent the plaque and bacteria buildup in between meals. Did you have breakfast after brushing your teeth this morning? A quick rinse makes a huge difference. Did you have berries as a snack or corn for lunch? Again, regular brushing will prevent build up of the bad stuff. 

Routine hygiene

Another trick to keeping your teeth clean is keeping up with the routine hygiene – yes, even flossing. Flossing and mouthwash might be irritating and time-consuming, but they make a huge difference in killing bacteria. When bacteria build up, it causes cavities – which can be far more irritating and time-consuming later on down the road. 

Buy a new toothbrush

Starting 2018 might also mean that it’s time for a new toothbrush or brush head. After a few months of use, your brush bristles wear down, making them weaker and basically, not as good at their job or scrubbing away plaque. Dentists recommend you get a new toothbrush every 3-4 months, so if its been longer than that: it’s time to trade in.

Avoid bad habits

If you are a smoker or a heavy wine drinker, 2018 is the year to cut it out, or at least cut back! Smoking tobacco not only stains your teeth, but the chemicals in cigarettes open your mouth up to a whole host of other issues - like sores or mouth cancer.

Ditch the dark drinks

This means you, caffeine lovers! Unfortunately, two of your biggest vehicles for caffeine intake – coffee and soda – are dark drinks that stain your teeth. Let’s not forget that both are (or can be) loaded with sugar - the nemesis of healthy teeth. In this new year, look to cut back on these drinks to salvage your pearly whites. 

If you would like to brighten your smile in 2018 and get more tips for overall 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 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.

 


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