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family dentistry

The Test Drive

The Test Drive

Excellence in function and aesthetic dentistry is never achieved by accident.  It is with heavy planning in the form of data collecting, diagnosis and communication that leaves to highly predictable outcomes that helps us meet and exceed our patient’s aesthetic expectations. 

Whenever someone comes to our office as a new patient, your first visit is for data collection.  The goal of data collection consists of acquiring medical and dental information.  We obtain prior dental history, photograph your existing dental condition, check for oral cancer, establish caries risk, evaluate how the teeth come together, and the health of the periodontium (the gum and bone, supporting structures of the teeth). 

Aside from gathering clinical details, the most important data we collect is the needs and desires of our patients.   From there, we establish whether our office is the best solution for your needs.   Existing and new patients that have cosmetic needs will get the opportunity using photography and digital smile design to get a preview of any requested or proposed changes. 

So what is digital smile design?  Digital smile design utilizes your photographs, from there we can alter the teeth shape and color in accordance to your desires.  From there we can preview the proposed changes digitally.  After the patient signs off, we will then send molds of your teeth and the appropriate photographs to a ceramist who will then create in wax (diagnostic) the proposed changes.  Once we receive the diagnostic wax-up back, we will then do a test drive in the mouth, using temporary material you will get to evaluate the proposed changes while staying in a reversible state. 

The following video highlights the process of evaluation to diagnostic wax-up to the test drive. 

Less Is More

Less Is More

“Wearing a veneer of perfection never did me any good.” -Liz Phair

I frequently get asked by friends and patients what I think about veneers. Before I go into my answer, let me define what a veneer is. A veneer is a thin shell of medical-grade ceramic (or resin) that is traditionally attached to the front surface of a tooth. Veneers are individually crafted by a skilled lab technician who uses man-made materials to mimic a natural tooth. Dentists use veneers for a variety of dental issues including  color correction and orthodontic adjustments.

Due to Hollywood, veneers are synonymous with cosmetic dentistry. (Literally, in the 1920’s, Hollywood actors and actresses were known to get false front teeth.) Generally, when a patient comes to my office inquiring on how to improve their smile, they always ask about veneers. But are veneers really the best choice for everyone in every situation?

Honestly, it depends on the situation. If it's a color modification you seek, a simple course of teeth whitening may be all that is needed. If the goal is to correct the alignment of your teeth, a visit to your orthodontist is a much more conservative option. Although veneers are a conservative alternative compared to crowns, in most cases you still need to give up some tooth structure for the veneer to properly bond.

In summary, more is not always better. Ask your dentist to explore less invasive options before you begin an irreversible procedure. Keep in mind that in some cases, ultimate results can be achieved with a blend of the veneer alternative treatments discussed above. There are instances where good intra-professional collaboration of teeth whitening, orthodontics, and good planning can yield optimal cosmetic results as conservatively as possible.

 

 

So Many Choices

playavistadentaltoothpaste

I am frequently asked "What toothpaste do you recommend?"  To be honest, there is no single toothpaste that serves everyone's needs. When deciding, there are a few things to keep in mind.


Cavity Protection
Does the product contain fluoride?  Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water sources, it’s really unavoidable unless you want to consume only deionized water for life. Fluoride has garnered a bad rep lately, kind of unfair if you ask me. Fluoride is actually pretty cool; if Fluoride were a person, we’d definitely hang out. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities, but it also helps repair and potentially reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Pretty cool, right? 


Whitening
Whitening toothpastes are formulated with a higher abrasive content, sometimes in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide. If you have sensitive teeth or have been told by your dentist that you have gum recession, you may want to use these with caution.


Desensitizing
For sensitive teeth, these operate on the opposite mechanism as your whitening toothpaste. They contain less abrasives and use ingredients which help locally sedate the tooth surface. An ingredient to look for would be potassium nitrate. Little known fact: sodium fluoride also has desensitizing properties.


Antibacterial
For those who are trying to keep the bugs that cause gingivitis and periodontitis at bay, some brands are incorporating antibacterial ingredients into their toothpastes. Triclosan and stannous fluoride (told you fluoride was amazing) are two ingredients with antibacterial properties.


At the end of the day, when in doubt, consult with your general dentist for any professional recommendations. You can clearly tell from my casual writing style that these are my own off-the-cuff opinions.

For more of my opinions, check us out on http://siliconbeach.dental or shoot me an email at hello@siliconbeach.dental.