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Playa Vista Dentist

Digital Smile Design

Digital Smile Design

Ever wanted to see what it would look like if you were able to design your smile? If architects can draw up designs for the final outcome, us cosmetic dentists can do the same with a few technological aids. 


For a flat rate of $80 per tooth desired to have changed, working from a 2D photo and 3D scans of your teeth, we can create together a highly esthetic yet conservative restorative treatment plan for teeth based on your desired smile.


The total amount of time needed for this appointment is as little as one hour and we are able to get the first initial proposal in as little as 24 hours. 


From the final agreed upon digital proposal, we can fabricate the desired outcome with desktop stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer and do an intra oral mock up.  Digital smile design is perfect for patients to visualize and understand your comprehensive treatment options.  


From the following is an example of the process. Images except those watermarked are taken from Form Labs, a 3D Printing company.

https://formlabs.com/blog/digital-smile-design-with-3d-printing/

Example of a 3D scan of the patients teeth and the digital smile design mockup super imposed on the digital model.

Example of a 3D scan of the patients teeth and the digital smile design mockup super imposed on the digital model.

A putty impression of the 3D printed digital smile design.

A putty impression of the 3D printed digital smile design.

Here the putty copy of the digital smile design is being applied directly into the mouth.

Here the putty copy of the digital smile design is being applied directly into the mouth.

Example of a mock up try in, see instantly the proposed changes.

Example of a mock up try in, see instantly the proposed changes.

Composite Veneers - Alternatives to Porcelain

Composite Veneers - Alternatives to Porcelain

In this most recent case, Dr Lawrence was able to restore the patients worn teeth without the need to shave teeth down.  In this case, due to the nature of the wear, we were able to do an additive process-- adding composite bondings to the face side of the patient's teeth.  Porcelain veneers are also a great option for these cases but they do require some slight reduction of the teeth.  The patient at this time was not ready to have her teeth prepped down for veneers and so composite veneers in this situation was the most ideal treatment option.  The cost per compsosite veneer ranges from $400-650 per tooth.  

Before

wornteeth.jpg

After

composite_veneers_lawrence_fung.jpg

Special thanks to Dr. Rana Shahi for performing the gorgeous esthetic crown lengthening gum surgery before we had restored the teeth with composites provided by Ivoclar Vivadent USA.

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

Are You Afraid of the Dentist?

Well fear not, there are many things you can do to help alleviate that fear.  In this article that was recently published in the NY Post, I touched upon a few things that can help you take back control of your oral health!

While going to the dentist can be scary, some of the ways you can help alleviate those feelings is by seeking a dentist who truly places a high emphasis on creating a welcoming environment to make you feel comfortable. When seeking a dentist, be sure to take a look at their bios and have an office tour to see if the place is welcoming.

Foods We Dentists Love But Avoid

Foods We Dentists Love But Avoid

Recently Dr. Lawrence Fung was quoted in Readers Digest again.  In this article he amongst other dentists from around the country talk about foods they love but do avoid.  Hopefully the article linked here sheds some light on foods to avoid!

“15 Foods Dentists Never Eat—and You Shouldn’t Either”

https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/foods-dentists-never-eat/
“It's not just gummy bears, but all gummy-style candies should be avoided like the plague because they ruin teeth says Lawrence Fung, DDS, a cosmetic dentist at Silicon Beach Dental and spokesperson for Hello "Naturally Friendly" Oral Care. "They are terrible for your teeth since they stick to all areas of the tooth and the longer the contact the sweets have with the teeth, the more acid gets produced by cavity-causing bacteria."

Blending Art and Science

Blending Art and Science

In this photo, a preparation was scanned and a 3D model was printed. The STereoLithography (STL) file was sent to two separate labs with two different price points. Both labs were given the same amount of time to work on the restoration and each unit was tried on the same model to check for the accuracy of fit. The results are clear as shown by the restorations on the right side--a high quality lab technician is irreplaceable, irrespective of the costs.

In this photo, a preparation was scanned and a 3D model was printed. The STereoLithography (STL) file was sent to two separate labs with two different price points. Both labs were given the same amount of time to work on the restoration and each unit was tried on the same model to check for the accuracy of fit. The results are clear as shown by the restorations on the right side--a high quality lab technician is irreplaceable, irrespective of the costs.

At SiliconBeach.Dental, we are very proud and honored to work with such an amazing team of staff and network of specialists.  There is one team member that rarely gets the credit they deserve, our lab technicians.  In dentistry, crowns, veneers, dentures, and partials are made in a laboratory by a technician.  

A highly skilled lab technician is able to blend the eye of an artist with the precision of a scientist.  With the use of CAD/CAM technology, 3D Printing, digital scanning, 3D facial analysis, cloud computing and digital photography,  these artists can create restorations that truly mimic what nature had given us.

Thank you Makomic, Beverly Hills Dental Lab, and Ultimate Styles for helping me provide the best for our patients from Playa Vista, Culver City, Fox Hills, Ladera Heights, and many other neighborhoods within Silicon Beach.  

http://www.makomic.com/

http://www.beverlyhillsdentallab.com/

http://ultimate-dl.com/

Sincerely, 

Dr. Lawrence Fung, DDS

 

Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Options

Minimally Invasive Cosmetic Options

No longer is it necessary to remove more tooth structure than necessary to get an aesthetic result. In the earlier days of dentistry, due to limitations of materials and techniques, it was common for dentists to recommend multiple porcelain veneers or crowns in the front to fix simple shade and shape issues.  With better materials and a clearer understanding of how to use these new materials, no longer are such invasive solutions necessary.  While porcelain is a great material for crowns and veneers, teeth whitening and direct composite bonding can be a very aesthetic yet cost effective way to address your various cosmetic needs.  In this video, the steps to do a direct composite veneer are demonstrated.   Contact our office to make an appointment for a consultation to see if you are an ideal candidate for this minimally invasive procedure!  #smilesbd #hellobetter

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Does drinking wine through a straw really help prevent wine staining? Do those at-home whitening strips work? 


Before we dive into some stain treatment tips, lets go into what it is, how does it occur? After I go into the various types of stains can we then find out what are some options for treatment, when do we know we need to bring a professional in? And most important of all, how do we prevent it?  

What is it? 
There are three ways teeth can get staining- either internally or on the outer surface, or by natural aging.  For internal staining, that can be developmental (born with it) in origin, or in some cases where a young infant ingests too much fluoridated water (which is rare but happens more often in parts of the country where there is a higher unregulated natural occurring concentration of fluoride in the water), too high of fluoride intake during development can lead to staining of the permanent teeth even if the baby teeth were unaffected. For external stains, those are usually caused by our office favorites; wine and coffee. The last kind, which is less talked about, is how the dentin (the inner portion of the tooth) is naturally yellow and our teeth naturally appear more yellow as we age since the enamel that covers the teeth get thinner.  

How to treat? 
So what can we do about these stains?  Depending the cause of the staining treatment options vary.  The easiest stains to deal with are the surface stains.  Most common, especially on social media is teeth bleaching.  For teeth whitening bleaching, they can be purchased from the store or from your dentist.  Whitening toothpaste is a great option, however they aren’t very effective in many cases. Whitening toothpaste also has a higher abrasive content and so if you have gum recession, it may not be the best choice.  In a future post, we’ll go over whitening; at-home versus in-office, to the stuff you see all over on social media.  

When should I call my dentist? 
It is highly recommended that you consult with your dentist before attempting to address any staining concerns. In our practice, our job is to help our patients find out the root cause of the staining problem and present the most conservative treatment option to address that. Like most things in life, there isn’t a one-size solution that fits all.  You dentist should be able to recommend the appropriate treatment options- whether an at-home remedy or in-office option.   

Most importantly
Ok, now to the most important part of this post.  As always, we like to save the best for last.  Prevention, prevention, prevention.  No matter what type of procedure you decide to go with to whiten teeth, there are relapses that occur.  So unless you want to keep purchasing whitening in perpetuity, here are a few tips that I recommend.  


Keep up with your brushing!  Brush at least twice a day.  Rinse with water after having wine, coffee, or other drinks and foods that can stain your teeth.  Also, keep up with your regular cleanings.  The cleanings will help reduce the amount of plaque and calculus (tartar) buildup, which will allow your teeth to stay stain free as well.  And yes, drinking things through a straw can help but not as much as you would think.  The fluid will still make contact with your teeth.   Glass Dharma makes a great reusable glass straw so you can keep enjoying you glass of yummy merlot from Malibu Wines or that cup of joe from Blue Bottle!  


For more tips, follow us on our instagram which can be found on our office website-- http://siliconbeach.dental 

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.