Loading
Testimonials Survey Blog Patient Forms
Dropdown button
Welcome to our blog

El Portal Dental Blog

rss

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


Five Causes of Tooth Pain
Five Causes of Tooth Pain

What could be more uncomfortable than a persistent tooth pain, which can range from a mild, throbbing sensation to a sharp, unbearable pain that simply won’t go away? Besides being painful, a toothache is a cause for concern regarding its source and what treatment is needed.

Regardless of its severity, pain in your teeth is a symptom that requires prompt dental attention. Here are five common causes of tooth pain and how they are typically taken care of:

Tooth Decay

Poor dental hygiene and/or eating sugary foods causes bacteria and plaque to slowly dissolve protective tooth enamel. Eventually, holes in the enamel (cavities) develop, exposing the dentin inside the tooth to feel sore. To relieve the pain and prevent further tooth erosion, your dentist must clean out the cavity with a drill and fill it with a composite resin.

An abscess

This is an infection – confirmed by a dental x-ray – that occurs when bacteria build up inside a tooth’s pulp chamber. The abscess drains out the tip of your tooth’s root and causes pressure to build up, leading to pain and swelling; also, a pocket of pus can develop around the tooth. An abscess most often is treated with antibiotics, but your dentist may have to cut and drain it as well, depending on the severity of the condition.

A cracked tooth

Even though tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, teeth can crack. If a tooth does crack, it can cause intense pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages. The crack may not even be easily visible if it’s on the root of the tooth. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, treatment by your dentist may be as simple as a filling or a crown. More severe cases, however, may require a root canal.

Tooth sensitivity

Over time, your teeth can develop a sensitivity to hot and cold substances. There are several ways to treat tooth sensitivity, including brushing with a special toothpaste like Sensodyne, which contain numbing agents; or applying more fluoride to your teeth. In any case, you should consult your dentist as tooth sensitivity may be a symptom of an underlying dental problem.

Gum disease

Bacteria due to improper dental hygiene can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis, two types of gum disease that make your gums swollen, tender and bleed easily. Left untreated, your gums may detach themselves from your teeth and form loose pockets that not only fill with bacteria but also expose the roots. Gum disease can be treated with more conscientious brushing, flossing, and/or antibiotics, but only if addressed in the early stages. In more severe cases, periodontitis may require surgery to clean the infected pockets and suturing to make your teeth fit more snugly.

If you have any form of tooth pain or sensitivity, tell your dentist. Since 2006, patients in the Las Vegas area have trusted the team at Dedicated Dental to care for their oral health. We treat patients from age four and up at our office in Henderson, Nevada. Take this important step for your dental health. To speak with one of our friendly staff and to make an appointment, call (702) 566-5509 today.

 


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.


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


Veneers: The Pros and Cons
Veneers: The Pros and Cons

Like anything else in life, not all options are a good fit for everyone. Porcelain veneers, for instance, are an ideal cosmetic solution for some, but may not be the best options for others. Dental veneers, also called porcelain veneers, are extremely thin, custom crafted ceramic dental shells that are bonded onto the front surface of teeth to improve their shape, size, length and coloring. Below is a handy guide to the pros and cons of porcelain dental veneers.

Pros of Porcelain Veneers

·       Long Lasting - Porcelain veneers are extremely durable, and can easily withstand daily wear and tear for decades, provided they are well-cared for.

·       Natural appearance - Like naturally occurring tooth enamel, porcelain veneers have a lovely, translucent quality that makes them softly reflect the light, making them appear both healthy and brilliantly white.

·       Instant smile makeovers - Veneers are instantly beautiful. They do not require multiple visits or staging. You can literally walk in with a worn down smile and walk out with a dazzling new one in the same day.

·       Repel Stains - Porcelain veneers are stain resistant, even if you tend to consume stain causing foods and drink such as coffee, berries, and wine. Since they are crafted from durable ceramic, stains tend to wipe off, just as they do with a glass surface.

·        Hide Dental Signs of Aging - As we age, teeth can begin to appear longer, duller, more crowded, or worn down. Dental veneers can correct and hide the signs of aging, giving you a more youthful, fresh appearance.

Cons of Porcelain Veneers

·       Permanent Application - Once applied, dental veneers are permanent. You cannot suddenly change your mind because a tiny amount of enamel has to be removed in order to affix the ceramic shells to your teeth.

·       Tooth Sensitivity - If you have an existing sensitivity to hot or cold beverages or food, caused by lost enamel, adding dental veneers may increase the likelihood of it continuing or becoming worse. Some patients do report a temporary increase in sensitivity, while others experience it long term.

·       Possible Damage to the Veneers - While porcelain veneers are extremely durable, they can be accidently damaged, or even pop off. In most cases your dentist can simply reattach them, but they can be cracked or chipped and may have to be replaced again.

In most cases the pros definitely outweigh the cons, but you should always be aware of all the facts before you make any kind of dental or health decision. If you are interested in porcelain veneers, talk to Dr. Nguyen, an experienced and highly qualified cosmetic dental expert about what procedures may be right for you.

Call Dr. Nguyen to create the most visually pleasing, natural looking and vibrant smile you have always wanted. Call El Portal Dental Group 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.


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.


What are Veneers and How Do They Work?
What are Veneers and How Do They Work?

What if my teeth were not so discolored?

What if that gap in between my front teeth was gone?

What if my chipped tooth could be restored?

Would I feel more confident? Would it lead to better first impressions? Could it help me land a better job?

If your teeth aren’t perfectly straight, chances are these internal thoughts often arise about your outward appearance. If so, you may be a good candidate for veneers, or artificial tooth coverings for the front of your teeth. Veneers are very thin and custom-made coverings to correct the appearance of gapped or chipped teeth and tooth discoloration.

There are three main types of veneers: composite, porcelain, and lumineer porcelain. While they all achieve the same basic goal, they vary in material and permanency. Composite veneers typically last 3 to 5 years, while lumineer porcelain and porcelain will typically last 5 to 10 years. We use porcelain veneers for a longer-lasting and more natural looking smile.


Getting Porcelain Veneers in Merced

First, you will visit your dentist here at El Portal Dental Group for a consultation and assessment. During this time, we will discuss what your goals are and which material may be best to suit your individual needs. At this time, we may also take impressions or X-rays.

In a subsequent visit, your teeth will be prepared. A local anesthetic may be used. We will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from your tooth’s surface, then we can make an impression of your affected teeth. The model is then used to create your custom veneer, which we will have back in about a week.

Once your teeth are prepped and your veneer is ready, your veneer can then be bonded to your teeth. After many adjustments to make sure the color and shape of the veneer is precisely how it should be, your teeth will be cleaned, polished, and etched.

Special cement is then applied to the veneer and placed on your teeth. Once the veneer is in the correct position, your dentist will use a light to quickly cure and harden the cement. We will then check your bite and gums to make sure that the position is comfortable.

Many people who are unhappy with their teeth may think that braces or crowns are the only way to get the smile they’ve always wanted. While veneers cannot correct alignment, they offer the appearance of a brighter and straighter smile without the time commitment of traditional braces and crowns.

Questions about how veneers can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted but thought you couldn’t afford? El Portal Dental Group is available to answer any questions you may have about getting veneers in Merced. Offering extended and weekend hours, we make your trips to the dentist as convenient as possible. To schedule your appointment today, call our dental office in Merced at (209) 385-1479, or request an appointment online.




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.