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Dental OfficeHow Long Do Dental Bridges Last?
November 16, 2017

Dental bridges function as a replacement for missing teeth and assist in the prevention of dental issues when the surrounding teeth alter their positions to fill the gap of the missing tooth/teeth. While dental bridges can seem like the cure-all solution, people may wonder how long this treatment lasts. Fortunately, dental bridges can provide an incredible amount of durability and stability for much longer than some people realize.

DENTAL BRIDGE LIFESPAN

Dental bridges typically last upwards of a full decade. In some instances, dental bridges can last longer than a decade. The lifespan of dental bridges partially hinges on whether the patient takes good care of this oral healthcare solution. One’s oral care routine and even his diet matter a great deal. Yet there is no concrete timeline for the functionality and effectiveness of dental bridges.

DISAGREEMENT OVER DENTAL BRIDGE EXPECTATIONS

Dental authorities have unique opinions about the anticipated lifespan of dental bridges. In general, one can expect a minimum of at least five years. Some dentists are adamant dental bridges will last between seven and ten years. Others report this oral healthcare device can last more than a decade without a problem. Those who perform proper oral hygiene really can enjoy more than 10 years of service from their dental bridges.

IS THERE POTENTIAL FOR DENTAL BRIDGES TO FAIL?

It is possible for dental bridges to fail. The fitting of a dental bridge typically involves filing down teeth adjacent to the missing tooth’s space. This allows for crowns that support the false tooth. However, if the supporting tooth eventually fails, it is possible for the dental bridge to fail sooner than the anticipated lifespan. The odds of dental bridge failure can be greatly reduced by consuming healthy foods and avoiding foods that stress the dental bridges. Ideally, patients will eat vegetables, fruit and food with fiber for proper oral health. Try to avoid starchy and sugary foods as they lead to dental decay. Hard and/or sticky foods like popcorn, nuts and caramel can also increase the pressure on dental bridges as an individual chews food.

EXTEND THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR DENTAL BRIDGES

If one properly cares for his or her dental bridges, they will last much longer than if neglected. Proper care means regular oral care along with periodic professional cleaning. Brush the teeth on a regular basis. Regular flossing cares for the outside portion of dental bridges. Such particles will also lead to the decay of adjacent teeth unless removed by brushing/flossing. A floss threader will help to move the floss below the bridge to reach the trapped food.

HOW ABOUT DENTAL BRIDGES FOR YOUNG PATIENTS?

If dental bridges are placed in the mouth of a young patient, it is possible that a new bridge will be required sooner than would be necessary for an adult. This is due to the fact that a young person’s bones and gums change during the aging process. Such growth can lead to complications including an unsightly appearance that requires an alteration or replacement.


DenturesHow A Full Set Of Dentures is Created
November 2, 2017

If you have a missing tooth or missing teeth, dentures are a viable and attractive option to consider. Some even need to contemplate getting a full set of dentures, also known as a complete denture. When this time comes, you may want to learn more about how dentures are created and customized for your specific needs.

HOW DENTURES ARE CREATED

EXAMINATION PERIOD

The creation of all dentures begins with a simple exam. We will thoroughly inspect the teeth and gums to determine if there are any areas that need treatment outside of the need for dentures. We will make sure the patient’s gums heal and if the patient went through a recent tooth extraction.

If everything looks healthy and intact, we will make an impression, commonly referred to as a mold, of the gums and teeth if any remain. We will also take the necessary measurements of the dental structure that will help a lab to customize the dentures. We will help the patient determine what color shade he or she wants the dentures to be, as well.

MOCK-UP PERIOD

In some situations, we will have a dentures mock-up for the patient to try on before the final product is ready. When the patient comes in, he or she will try on this mockup and bite into a wax base so we will know what adjustments we need to make. We will also determine how the top and bottom dentures fit together, or how the dentures fit together with the teeth.

This stage is necessary, so we can create the best possible fit for the dentures. We do not want the patient to have to be constantly readjusting the dentures or for the dentures to fall out of place or slide around.

FINAL STAGES

Once the personalized dentures are complete, the patient will come back to our office for a final fitting. The patient will try the dentures on, bite and speak with them in the mouth in different positions to make sure they stay in place. If the fit is secure and the patient is happy with the final product, then the patient can leave our office with brand new dentures.

COMMON SIDE EFFECTS

Many times people will complain about the speech problems dentures can cause at first. The patient will eventually get used to speaking with the dentures in place, but at first, it may take some time to talk without a lisp. The more a patient practices, the easier it will become. Some people experience irritation if they are not used to dentures. In some cases, this can be caused by dentures that do not fit properly. We hope to avoid this problem by performing fittings, but sometimes it happens anyway. Let us know if the patient is experiencing any irritation.

Once you receive your full set of dentures, we know you will love how you look. You will be able to eat and speak with your dentures successfully. We hope that we have helped fully explain the dentures process so that you can look forward to having your dentures created from Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S..


Dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures That Can Improve Your Smile
October 16, 2017

Flipping through the pages of magazines or watching videos online, it is obvious that a majority of celebrities receive some form of cosmetic dental work to their smile. People can have bright and shiny teeth, a straight smile, perfectly-shaped teeth or a smile with no gaps. These are all possible through the technology of cosmetic dentistry and available to you. If you have any feature of your smile that you wish to change, we can help.

A VARIETY OF POSSIBILITIES

With cosmetic dentistry, we can help alter the appearance of a patient’s teeth and gums. Since there are a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures, there are several categories to divide cosmetic procedures into.

Prosthodontics

Prosthodontics is also widely known as prosthetic dentistry and involves the design, manufacture and fitting of artificial replacements for the teeth. Prosthodontics will help patients repair damaged teeth, replace missing teeth or change the appearance of existing teeth.

Endodontics

Endodontics is another part of cosmetic dentistry which studies and deals with the diseases that affect dental pulp. The dental pulp is the inside the outer shell of the tooth and is incredibly sensitive. If an infection is not treated soon enough, the patient may need to remove the tooth and receive a dental implant.

Periodontics

Periodontics involves the improvement and treatment of the structure surrounding the teeth and jaw. Periodontics can include a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatments depending on the needs of the patient. Since each patient is unique, we will need to customize the treatment.

Teeth Whitening or Bleaching

Teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures that we perform. There are multiple methods and forms of teeth whitening. However, patients may attempt to whiten their own teeth through the use of over-the-counter products that are a waste of money and not nearly as effective.

We recommend scheduling an appointment and visiting our office for teeth-whitening treatments. We will examine the patient’s teeth and decide on the most effective option. Our teeth whitening treatment can help patients achieve the bright and shining smile they have always wanted.

Teeth Contouring

Teeth contouring involves changing the shape of the tooth. Some people may not like how one tooth seems larger than the surrounding teeth. Straightening teeth does not help as the tooth will not change size by simply moving in the mouth. Thus, teeth contouring is a useful procedure to help effectively alter the size of the tooth.

Patients can reshape their tooth to the appearance they feel comfortable with. Moreso, patients will be able to smile without feeling self-conscious about their appearance.

CALL US TODAY

If you are interested in making the smile of your dreams a reality, give us a call at (626) 414-5995. During the initial appointment, we will go over the options for obtaining the smile you want and details on the procedure. We will answer any questions and address all concerns you have before the procedure as well. Stop flipping through magazines and give us a call to begin the path toward your ideal smile today.


DentalWhat To Do If You Have A Chipped or Broken Tooth
October 2, 2017

It is not a particularly nice feeling when you are having a good time, and, out of nowhere, you hit your mouth or something smacks you in the face really hard. It is something you would notice immediately even without the chalky taste in your mouth to let you know you just damaged your tooth. Relax. There is no need to worry. Millions of people have gone through similar situations and we can help.

WE HAVE THE SOLUTION

A broken or chipped tooth is not the end of the world. Sure, it can be a serious medical issue depending on how bad the damage is, but there are a handful of different solutions we can implement to address the damage and restore a smile.

Here are a few steps an individual needs to take after damaging or chipping a tooth before seeing us for an appointment and professional treatment:

  1. Rinse the mouth out with salt water and use over-the-counter pain medication if the tooth hurts
  2. Cover any sharp or jagged edges on the teeth with sugarless gum, wax paper or anything else that can help prevent the sharp edge of the tooth from cutting the mouth
  3. Do not chew with the damaged tooth when eating
These three steps will help prevent further damage to the tooth and reduce the odds of getting an infection. Scheduling an appointment as soon as possible is crucial to saving the tooth. During the appointment, we will discuss options and provide a professional opinion on how to proceed.

1. Dental BONDING OR FILLING
A dental bonding or filling is a simple procedure that does not even require anesthetics. We prepare the tooth by roughening it and then lathering it with an adhesive before adding a tooth-colored resin. We mold the resin to match the rest of the teeth, then harden it with an ultraviolet light. We typically use this procedure for minor chips in teeth.

2. VENEERS
We will typically use veneers in more severe cases. The procedure involves covering the front-facing part of the chipped tooth with porcelain covers that closely resemble natural teeth. These veneers can last up to 20 years with proper maintenance.

3. CROWNS
Unlike veneers, which only cover the front-facing part of the teeth, dental crowns offer complete protection for the tooth. A dental crown makes is a good option for severe cases of exposed nerves and possible infection. Dental crowns can give the appearance of a complete tooth while also being fully functional.

4. DENTAL IMPLANTS
We do not use dental implants unless we need to remove the entire tooth. A complete removal is only necessary when the tooth is beyond saving. If the crack in the tooth goes below the gum line, we will likely suggest removing the tooth to install a metal post that acts as the new tooth. We can then place a natural-looking implant on the post, restoring the smile and eliminating the need for a root canal in the future.

If you find yourself in need of these treatment options to repair a broken or chipped tooth, call us today.

Wisdom TeethThe 48 Hours After Your Wisdom Teeth Have Been Removed
September 16, 2017

If you need your wisdom teeth removed, you are in good company. The majority of people do not have room in their mouth for this third set of molars and must have them either pulled or surgically removed, as a result. It is fairly common for people to have this done in their late teens while many adults that do not find themselves uncomfortable and needing to have them taken out until they are older. Ironically, these teeth can continue to grow with time so even if you made it through your twenties without irritation something like pregnancy can create the need for their removal.

BEING READY FOR WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTION

If an individual’s wisdom teeth break through the surface of the gums and are growing in straight, then the individual can simply have a dentist remove them through traditional dental methods. It is fairly easy, especially with sedation. Thanks to sedation, patients can remain comfortable during the entire procedure. Unfortunately, people have wisdom teeth that grow in sideways or impacted. These teeth may never break through the surface, or only a portion of them may show through. This can put additional pressure on the back molars as the teeth push them. For those that have had braces to straighten their teeth, this can create damage and undo some of the previous work that was done to perfect the spacing of teeth.

If a patient requires oral surgery to remove the wisdom teeth, it is important to understand what to expect in the 48 hours after the surgery. As a dentist, we will work to ensure we accurately complete the procedure while the patient is under sedation and can remain entirely comfortable. With that in mind, the patient will not have to worry about the procedure itself and can focus on the recovery afterward. Since the patient will still feel some effects of the sedation following the procedure, the patient will feel sleepy and generally out of it. As such, we recommend that the patient asks someone else to drive him or her home, to remain safe and avoid an accident. The most effective way to spend the recovery time is getting rest and relaxing at home.

PREPARE FOR THE RECOVERY PROCESS

It helps to prepare one’s home the night before by placing extra pillows onto the bed to recline on. We also suggest buying water bottles, ibuprofen and soft snacks like Jello cups that one can place on the nightstand. This way, the patient can continue to relax in bed and will not need to walk back and forth from the kitchen. It is also beneficial to have a friend or family member stay and help for the first 24 hours, that is preferable. Patients can also ice their face for 15 minutes at a time to keep the swelling down. Just be sure to rest the face for a full 15 minutes between icing. The discomfort should be greatly reduced by keeping the swelling under control.

Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. will also give you gauze when you leave so that you can use it control any bleeding. We may provide you with antibiotics to take as well so that you can prevent an infection from setting in. Otherwise, rinse with salt water after the first 24 hours to reduce the infection risk and keep your mouth clean.


DentalA Dental Office Debunks Popular Oral Health Myths
September 2, 2017

As a dental office, we treat patients who are in need of emergency care, routine dental treatments, and preventative care. Regardless of why you come to our office, if you are experiencing discomfort, we will identify what the issue is, treat it, and discuss ways that you can prevent it from occurring again. Very often, this involves refuting common oral health care myths. Things like “milk is good for the teeth” has led parents to send their babies and children to bed with a bottle or cup of milk.

Since there is a lot of sugar in milk, this leads to baby bottle tooth decay in countless toddlers. Common myths, while seemingly harmless, can significantly impact your oral health. For this reason, we have compiled a list of oral health myths and our responses to them.

ORAL HEALTH MYTHS

MYTH – DIET SODA IS OKAY FOR THE TEETH.
While we recommend drinking things low in sugar, diet soda has not solved the entire problem. Soda is full of acid, and when one places acid on his or her teeth, it can lead to erosion. A person only has a set amount of enamel, and once it erodes, it will not grow back. This makes it important to watch what a person exposes to his or her teeth, including diet soda.

We recommend that people limit how much diet soda they drink and rinsing the mouth with water after. If one drinks a lot of soda, then he or she also needs to brush three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste to strengthen the teeth. People will also benefit from visiting our dental office for regular teeth cleanings.

MYTH – MEN ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO GET ORAL CANCER.
The largest group of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer are men over the age of 50. For this reason, many people assume that oral cancer is a male-exclusive disease. In reality, both men and women can get oral cancer, and age is not a determining factor. In fact, one of the leading causes of oral cancer is the HPV virus. Regardless of a patient’s age or overall health, we can conduct a simple oral cancer screening during a dental checkup that takes only two minutes to search for any abnormalities in the mouth. We can go over more information during the appointment.

MYTH – IF YOU DID NOT GET CAVITIES AS A CHILD, YOU WILL NOT GET THEM AS AN ADULT.
A child’s oral health can indicate how healthy the teeth will be as an adult. However, it is up to the parent to keep the child brushing and flossing regularly, receiving ongoing dental care, and eating a healthy diet. Eventually, the child will be able to take care of his or her own teeth. However, the oral health and the condition of the mouth will change with age. Thus, people cannot take health for granted. Additionally, things like medications can increase the risk of developing cavities if it gives an individual dry mouth.

Oral health, like all aspects of your health, is complicated, and it is best to receive your advice from an expert. To have your questions answered, call us at (626) 414-5995 and schedule an examination with our dental office.


DentalShould We Visit A Pediatric or Family Dentist?
August 15, 2017

Many parents wish to know, "Should we visit a pediatric or family dentist?" This is an understandable question because there are a variety of dental offices to choose from. Selecting the right one for your family is the first step in helping everyone to maintain good oral health. Here are some things to consider.

HOW OLD ARE THE CHILDREN IN THE FAMILY?
Some family dentists will not treat children that are younger than elementary-age. If a child is one to six or seven-years-old, the only option may be to take them to a pediatric dentist. It is important to ask a dentist what ages they treat prior to scheduling an appointment.
For parents who have a wide age range of children, visiting a pediatric dentist may be the best way to ensure all children in the family can receive their care from one location. However, if all children are over the age of eight, a family dentist office may be the better choice.

ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THEM SITTING STILL?

If there are concerns about a child being able to sit still during their dental treatment, it may be best for them to visit a pediatric dentist office. Most will have solutions to help keep children entertained such as television screens above their head, toys in the office, books and other activities.

This can help a child to be entertained in the waiting room and also to be distracted while the exam or treatment is taking place. Some family dentist offices offer this as well, though it is rarer since they treat all ages, including adults.

DOES ANYONE SUFFER FROM ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS?

If any of the children in the family suffer from oral health problems, it is wise to look for a dentist who specializes in treating them. For example, there may be a dentist in town who has more experience in performing surgery on children. Generally, this would be a pediatric dentist. Other local dentists may have more experience with cosmetic restorations. In this case, a family dentist who focuses on cosmetic dentistry may be the best solution.

DOES ANYONE HAVE DENTAL ANXIETY OR ARE THEY SCARED OF VISITING THE DENTIST?

If a child has dental anxiety or is fearful of having their teeth cleaned or cavities filled, a dentist who offers sedation is going to be the best option. Most pediatric dentist offices will use nitrous oxide to help young patients relax. Some family dentist offices do as well but it is not as common for them to use sedation on young children. Ask a dentist if they offer sedation prior to scheduling an appointment.

BOTH PROVIDE QUALITY CARE

A pediatric and family dentist will both provide a high level of care and help patients’ teeth to remain healthy. Which one you select will ultimately be up to the age of your family, scheduling concerns and any oral health problems that family members are facing. To find out what our office can do for your family or to learn more about our services, call and schedule an appointment.


DentalVisit Our Kids Dentist Office To Keep Your Child in Good Health
August 1, 2017

As a kids dentist in West Covina, we treat many of the same issues in children as we do in adults. While the diseases and many of the treatments are the same, this is where the similarities end. Children are generally inquisitive in nature and want to know everything that is going on. When you place a child in a dental office, even though we are a kid’s dentist, they are going to have a level of apprehension.

WE ARE PATIENT WITH CHILDREN’S DENTAL CARE

Surrounded by equipment, white coats everywhere, and a fear of the unknown can lead many children to become nervous. This fear then exacerbates their inability to help with a diagnosis. When we are working with adults, we simply have to ask them questions about their problems. This includes things like the location of the discomfort and when it started.

Children are much less literal, so when parents ask about a pain in their mouth, they are more likely to be vague. Trying to find out when something began can often mean relying on the parent for information since children typically do not have a concept of time.

As a kids dentist, we always feel concern when a parent calls in asking about sensitivity in a child’s teeth. Sensitivity often has a deeper root cause that is making the child unable to bite into something cold, hot, or often times sweet. We always want to know about sensitivity, and more than likely we will ask the parent to bring the child in for an examination. Toothaches and sensitivity are among the number one reason many children will miss school and typically they are caused by cavities.

PROPER ORAL HYGIENE IS CRUCIAL

The problem we treat most frequently in children is cavities. A cavity is a small hole in the enamel of the tooth that is due to decay. Most parents know that bacteria exist in the human mouth. This bacteria will attempt to colonize the child’s teeth. In the process, a thin film, known as plaque, will form on the teeth.

If one does not clean the plaque regularly, it will build up and cause severe damage to the teeth. The bacteria in the plaque feed on sweet and starchy foods. When the bacteria have access to these elements, the bacteria secrete acid, which in turn works to wear down the enamel of the tooth. Eventually, a cavity forms. There is, however, good news for parents. As a kids dentist, we know that cavities are among the easiest things to avoid. Avoiding a cavity involves two things.

First, parents have to be willing to restrict their children’s access to foods that are high in starch and/or sugar. Second, parents need to teach their children excellent oral hygiene habits since we all know how much children love sugar. Good habits include twice daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals and snacks. We also suggest using a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to strengthen teeth and to help reduce their risk of getting cavities. They should also visit our kids dentist office at least two times every year for an examination and teeth cleaning.


DentalWays To Keep Your Dental Restoration in Good Condition
July 15, 2017

We can provide you with a dental restoration that is strong and durable. Whether you crack, chip or lose an adult tooth, dental restoration is the solution. We have a variety of cosmetic dentistry solutions we can use to do so, including dental bonding, dental veneers, dental crowns, a dental bridge, and dental implants. Regardless of which solution the patient selects, we will ensure it looks beautiful and natural.

It will function as well as a natural tooth, giving one the ability to smile with confidence, eat favorite foods, and speak clearly. What one needs to remember, however, is that the restorations can sustain damage just like natural teeth. Thus, it is important to take steps to keep the mouth healthy and restorations in good condition.

TIPS TO HELP YOUR DENTAL RESTORATIONS LAST

There are certain things we recommend doing, and others we recommend avoiding, to keep restorations lasting for as long as possible. While there are no set expiration dates on solutions like crowns or veneers, they do have a general lifespan. Things one do can influence how long restorations last, making them last longer than average or less than average. If one wants to expand the usefulness of restorations, follow this advice:

Wear a mouthguard
If one plays sports, there is a good chance that a runaway ball may collide with the face. Even if one only plays the occasional pickup game of basketball, an accidental elbow jab can lead to tooth damage. If an individual pays money for a dental restoration, the risk of damaging it is simply not worth it. A mouthguard is a simple, affordable, and comfortable way to protect the teeth.

Keep them clean
Oral hygiene is always important, even if one has restorations. Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they have dental crowns, they do not need to worry about brushing as much since the crowns surround natural teeth. While a crown may prevent anything from touching the tooth, the crown still surrounds a natural tooth with a root structure.

If plaque builds up around the gums of any teeth, it can cause them to inflame and then recede. As they do, it can expose more of the tooth structure and roots, likely causing an infection, bone loss, and even tooth loss. Having a restoration will not prevent this. Good oral hygiene will, though, along with regular visits to our dental office for a teeth cleaning. We recommend you brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and have your teeth cleaned twice a year.

Use a night guard
If there is a chance that a patient is grinding his or her teeth at night, then the patient needs to wear a night guard. Grinding teeth can lead to jaw and face pain, but it can also cause damage to the teeth or a dental restoration to pop off. To protect oneself, wear a guard while sleeping.

For more tips on how to prolong the life of your dental restoration, call us at (626) 414-5995 and schedule an appointment with our dental office.


KidsPopular Preventive Dentistry Treatments for Kids
July 1, 2017

Has it been a while since you had your cavities treated and fillings placed? If so, you may be wondering, "When do I replace my dental fillings?" This is a good and important question to ask because if a filling starts to have problems, it can lead to additional oral health consequences.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIGNS

For example, if a filling becomes loose and a patient is unaware of it, food and plaque can stick in the areas between the filling and the actual tooth. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the condition of fillings and replace dental fillings, as appropriate. There are several factors that work together to answer this question.

WHAT TYPE OF FILLING DO YOU HAVE?

The filling type will significantly impact when one will need to replace dental fillings. For example, tooth-colored resin fillings are highly popular for their appearance but require frequent replacement. A patient with resin fillings may need to replace the fillings every seven to 10 years. Silver or amalgam fillings are also popular due to their durability and affordability, lasting an average of 15 years. Gold fillings are less popular because they are more expensive.

However, gold fillings can last the longest. Patients with gold fillings may find that they last for 30 years and never need replacement. These time frames are not the same for each individual. Someone with a resin filling could have it for 15 years, while another person needs to replace it after seven. Other factors like oral health, daily habits and even diet can contribute to the longevity of a filling.

HAVE YOU SUFFERED OTHER ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS?

Patients who have suffered other oral health problems like dental damage, additional decay or infections may find that they need to replace dental fillings more frequently. If oral health problems have impacted the tooth where a filling has been placed, that filling may come loose faster.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SIGNS THAT THE FILLING COULD BE IN TROUBLE


There are several signs that a filling may need replacement, including:

  • Sensitive teeth can be a sign that the filling has cracked professional treatment
  • If a tooth hurts at the location of the filling, that means that the filling could have worn down and needed replacement
  • If the filling falls out, schedule an emergency dental appointment

VISIT OUR CLINIC

The best way to find out, "When do I replace my dental fillings" is to call our clinic and schedule a dental examination. Upon inspecting your fillings, we can make a determination regarding how much longer they can last and when you need to plan on replacing them. It is always wise to replace them prior to a filling becoming loose, leaking or falling out, so this is an important appointment to make for your oral health.


ShutterstockPartial Vs. Full Dentures: What's The Difference?
June 15, 2017

Dentures are custom-made removable replacements for missing teeth and the surrounding tissues.

If you live near West Covina and have lost one or more of your adult teeth, there is absolutely no reason missing teeth should cause you to feel self-conscious every time you smile, thus casting a shadow on your social or professional life. As a dentist in West Covina I can replace your missing teeth with either partial or full dentures that will not only improve your appearance and smile, but will help you eat and speak more comfortably.

PROBLEMS CAUSED BY MISSING TEETH

For anyone who loses one or several adult permanent teeth, there is more to worry about than just appearance. Because our teeth form a vital part of the structure of our faces, missing teeth will eventually cause your facial muscles to sag, making one have an older appearance. Difficulty pronouncing certain words is often a problem.

Additionally, missing a tooth can negatively affect chewing certain foods, and thus lead to major changes in one’s diet. This can severely affect one’s overall health, since foods that are the most difficult to chew, offer the greatest nutritional value. These foods include apples, nuts, and whole grain bread. Softer and foods that are easier to chew tend to offer little nutritional value.

Finally, because our teeth are not quite as securely fixed in our jawbone as we imagine, the teeth on both sides of a gap will, over time, lean in toward the empty space. These crooked teeth are not only harder to keep clean, but can and will affect one’s bite, which is how the upper and lower sets of teeth come together. Missing several teeth in a row is a compelling reason to consider getting dentures.

FULL VS. PARTIAL DENTURES

Dentures are custom-made in a laboratory from impressions taken of the patient’s mouth. However, depending on how many teeth the patient has lost, I will determine what type of denture is most suited to the situation. An ideal candidate is someone who is missing several teeth in a row, but whose oral health is otherwise good. For someone who is missing most or all of their teeth along the dental arch, full dentures may be the right solution. However, if the patient is missing only a few teeth, then a partial denture may be the ideal solution.

The base of a full set of dentures consists of a flesh-colored plastic or acrylic that rests on the gums and is perfectly molded to fit snugly and comfortably. The upper set covers the palate or roof of the mouth. There is a thin layer of saliva between the denture and the gums that form a seal to help anchor the denture, which is why a dry mouth can cause dentures to become loose. Because there has to be sufficient space for the tongue, the lower set is horseshoe-shaped and stays in place by the muscles in the cheek and the tongue.

A partial denture is a plate that has one or more prosthetic teeth. However, if a patient has sufficient and strong natural teeth, a dental bridge can be a useful solution. Bridges connect the gap between two teeth. We can anchor a false tooth to crowns on either side of the gap. However, if the natural teeth are not in sufficiently good condition, we can attach the prosthetic tooth to an implant in the jaw itself. While it is certainly true that dentures take some time to get used to and will never feel the same as your natural teeth, the dentures made today look far more natural-looking and are much more comfortable than those made even a decade ago.

As a dentist in West Covina I will not only help you understand the procedure of being fitted for dentures, the breaking in period, and how to take care of your new dentures, but I will also ensure they fit comfortably and snugly.


DentalHere Are Commonly Asked Questions Answered by an Orthodontist in West Covina
June 1, 2017

Often when people come in to see an orthodontist, they have a lot of questions. Many of these come from some myths and legends that are present in society and have very little basis in reality. With the advances in medical science, orthodontists now have the ability to make major changes and give a person the smile they desire. As the process advances, the technology advances with it to provide a more comfortable experience.

HERE ARE ANSWERS TO SOME QUESTIONS THAT WE ARE COMMONLY ASKED IN OUR WEST COVINA DENTAL OFFICE:

Is orthodontics only for children?

No, but it is potentially more difficult to straighten or align an adult’s teeth than a child’s. In a sense, braces are not just for kids anymore. Adults have the option and opportunity to get straighten their teeth without needing to wear braces. Patients may need to wear them slightly longer or maintain using a retainer afterward, but the results are still effective.

Are braces painful and do they take a long time to fix a person’s teeth?

No, when it comes to pain, most people quickly adjust to the braces and report only minimal levels of discomfort. Technological advances make braces far less cumbersome and more comfortable to wear than in the past. Orthodontics is a science, and also a bit of an art. It is a science because everything that is done is very precise and carried on by a highly trained and skilled orthodontist. It is an art because the straightening process and the length of time it takes for the treatment to be effective depends on the individual patient. Hence, it is impossible to say just how long a treatment could last. We have had clients that only require braces for a few months and others that have had to wear them for years.

Is it embarrassing to wear braces?

Orthodontics has improved significantly over the last several decades. Today, orthodontists have a number of options to hide the braces. In some cases, the braces can be installed behind the teeth, making them virtually impossible to see. There are also clear ceramic braces available which are almost completely invisible when they are in the mouth. Clear aligners are another option since they look like a clear retainer and are virtually invisible.

Can’t my dentist just straighten my teeth?

An orthodontist is a dentist first and foremost. However, after completing dental school an orthodontist has to go on and take an additional two or three years of school with a specific focus on orthodontics. They learn about jaw alignment, teeth straightening, retainers, braces, and aligners just to name a few. Orthodontists also spend a lot of time studying, throughout their career, the latest techniques and getting to understand the newest technology so that they can provide patients with the best treatment possible.
If you are interested in straightening your teeth, schedule an appointment to speak with an orthodontist and have all of your remaining questions answered.


ExtractionsWhy We Perform Tooth Extractions
May 15, 2017

Tooth extractions are sometimes necessary and a tooth sustains damage that hinders the functionality of the tooth. While it is true that adult teeth are designed to be permanent, there are a number of conditions that can lead to the need for tooth extractions. These include:

  • Severe damage
  • An intense infection
  • Overcrowding
  • Disease
  • Not enough room for wisdom teeth

REASONS THAT MAY CAUSE THE NEED FOR A DENTAL TOOTH EXTRACTION

Patients often wonder what can cause the need for a dental tooth extraction. There are numerous answers to this question. As mentioned earlier, the most common reason for having to remove a tooth by extraction is damage. The next most common reason why people have to have their teeth removed stems from infection.

Tooth extractions are sometimes necessary when a root canal therapy fails to stop an infection or if the infection is exceedingly severe. Sometimes, an infection can penetrate the tooth, getting into the root and pulp of the tooth. The pulp is the inner, soft portion of the tooth. In order to clear up this kind of an infection, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics and then perform a root canal. The root canal typically removes the infection by removing the root and the pulp. In some cases, the infection is so severe that the root canal treatment is not effective and tooth extractions become necessary. Removing the tooth is a sure way to stop the infection and more importantly, stop the infection from spreading to other teeth.

TOOTH EXTRACTIONS CAN PREVENT INFECTIONS FROM MOVING TO OTHER AREAS

Preventing an infection from spreading is another reason why we may have to do tooth extractions. If you have a compromised immune system, we want to make sure you are not at risk for a severe spread of any infection. Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy, for example, have a severely compromised immune system, which makes it critical that they do not have an infection. When a tooth is showing signs of becoming infected under these circumstances, Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. will recommend extractions so as to prevent the infection from occurring.

Extractions commonly treat overcrowding in the mouth. With advanced orthodontics, we are often able to maneuver the teeth in a way that reduces the need for extractions. However, there are times when the mouth is just too crowded and tooth extractions are the only way to make sufficient space. If a tooth cannot come through the gums, also known as erupting, because there is not enough room for it, we may consider tooth extraction as a way to relieve the pressure. Similarly, if your teeth are too big and there is simply not enough room for all the teeth, we may recommend extractions so the teeth that are left are properly aligned.



VeneersA West Covina Dental Office Discusses Dental Veneers and What They Can Do For You
May 1, 2017

As a dental office in West Covina, we regularly place dental veneers. When you are considering getting veneers, you will want to know what they can do for you. Veneers are a versatile cosmetic improvement because they cover so many different types of dental imperfections. Many patients have even recently opted to use dental veneers rather than going through a straightening process such as braces treatment. When you are considering your cosmetic improvement options, think about the benefits of dental veneers.

DENTAL VENEERS

Dental veneers are a cosmetic dentistry improvement in which a thin shell or hard layer of tooth-colored dental material, normally porcelain, is placed over the front surfaces of your teeth. The purpose of veneers is to improve a smile by covering up dental imperfections. Veneers serve to correct crookedness, discoloration, shaping or length problems, worn tooth enamel and spacing in teeth.

DENTAL VENEERS PLACEMENT

When we place a patient’s veneers, we will first prepare the teeth, which involves numbing the area to be worked on and permanently shaping the surface of the teeth by etching small bits of enamel. The preparation will allow for the customized veneers to fit the tooth properly and to stay secured. After the tooth is adequately prepared, we will cement the veneers to the teeth with a long-lasting dental glue.

WHY VENEERS ARE PREFERRED OVER OTHER COSMETIC TREATMENTS

Many of our patients prefer dental veneers to other cosmetic treatments since they provide an aesthetic improvement without extensive dental work. When used for straightening, many people choose veneers over braces because they do not require an extended treatment period with multiple appointment times. Veneers also provide a naturally looking improvement instantly.

VENEERS CAN NIX THE NEED FOR A SMILE MAKEOVER

When patients consider getting a smile makeover, the time that it takes will be a factor the effects the decision. Dental veneers remove the need for additional procedures because they easily cover so many dental flaws. Having your teeth prepared and your veneers placed will normally only take two appointments in our dental office.

VENEERS ARE DURABLE

Veneers consist of a hard, durable material that will remain intact with consistent use. Our dental veneers are also resilient to staining. Patients can enjoy your coffee, tea, and wine without having to worry about immediately developing stains.

IT IS EASY TO CARE FOR DENTAL VENEERS

Caring for one’s veneers is simple, just brush and floss the teeth twice daily as with caring for normal teeth. We do advise patients to avoid using veneers to chew very hard foods, bite fingernails, or open packages as this can cause damage.

As you can see, dental veneers provide excellent coverage of damage and imperfections without all of the hassles of visiting a dentist several times for many different cosmetic procedures. Combine all of your cosmetic dental needs into this one simple process. Our dental veneers are long-lasting, natural-looking, and extremely durable. To learn more, visit our office today.


VeneersWhy Choose Dental Veneers in West Covina?
April 17, 2017

When you get dental veneers, you are getting the most common and one of the most frequently-used tools of cosmetic dentist treatments. As a cosmetic dentist in West Covina, we have any number of tools, techniques and treatment options available. We will mix and match the options as necessary to ensure the most effective treatment. We find that dental veneers often meet all the criteria of patients. One reason why we like dental veneers is their versatility and the fact they do not require removal of a great deal of the natural enamel. Anytime one is using a device that is changing the fundamental makeup of teeth, the patient will have to lose a certain amount of natural enamel.

Losing some enamel can also be a result of getting a dental crown. A dental crown requires that a cosmetic dentist removes virtually all the enamel except for a tiny nub. The same is also true for dental implants, during which the entire tooth and the root will be removed to make room for the new implant. On the other hand, when you chose to use dental veneers, we only need to remove enough of the enamel to achieve two goals.

DENTAL VENEERS PROCEDURE

First, we want to remove any and all damaged or discolored enamel. Second, we want to remove just enough of the natural enamel so the dental veneers fit perfectly. Often, this is not more than a few millimeters of enamel, meaning the bulk of the tooth is your natural tooth. For patients who prefer a more holistic form of cosmetic dentistry, this is an ideal opportunity to enhance the teeth while still maintaining their original form. This is just one of the many benefits people have come to expect when getting their dental veneers. Another inherent benefit to porcelain veneers is that they require far less treatment time and have a very short recovery period.

DENTAL VENEERS AND CROOKED TEETH

Using dental veneers, for example, Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. can resolve minor issues with crooked teeth. As a cosmetic dentist, this is an important health risk that we need to fix. The first option is dental veneers, which we customize and fit the patient’s teeth during the second visit The visit may be a slightly longer visit than a standard examination, but at the end, the patient will leave with newly straightened teeth alignments, thanks to the dental veneers. On the other hand, patients have the option of choosing braces, Invisalign®, or other orthodontics treatments. What we know is that straightening teeth this way typically takes a minimum of a year, with plenty of appointments to come in and make adjustments.

After the treatment is complete, patients will need to come in again for teeth whitening to make sure those beautifully straight teeth are also perfectly white. With dental veneers, your cosmetic dentist can accomplish both of these with a single product.


MakeoverWhy is a Smile Important and How a Smile Makeover Can Help
April 3, 2017

A smile makeover can bring out the best qualities of your smile and unlock an inner beauty. With a smile makeover, patients feel more confident in the condition of their teeth and their overall appearance. Most people do not realize a smile is one of the most used and loved facial expressions. A smile can be one of the most attractive features of the human body. From the cover of a magazine to a family photo album, everyone usually does the same thing: "Smile." In fact, the first impression a person makes involves smiling upon greeting someone. In that case, you already know that first impressions, yours and the other person’s included, are made within the first 15 seconds of meeting someone new. Sometimes, this first rush to judgment can happen within the first seven seconds or even less.

YOUR SMILE’S IMPACT

There are a variety of treatments that we can include in a smile makeover. We customize the smile makeover to the patient’s oral health condition, past dental work currently in the mouth and desires. Different methods can include brightening the shade of the teeth, correcting alignment issues, replacing missing teeth and more. The important factor is to ensure that the patient finds the perfect fit for a better and healthier smile. Upon scheduling a consultation, we will walk the patient through the different techniques and all of the possible treatment methods. While a smile makeover is not always a large series of changes to the individual’s teeth, the smile makeover can help the individual light up the room with just a smile.

SMILE MAKEOVER TREATMENT OPTIONS

A smile makeover is not a hard thing to achieve these days with the right professional help. For example, one of the first and easiest steps to take is getting a professional teeth whitening procedure. We can complete teeth whitening in one of two ways. First, we can do it in our West Covina dental office, where the patient sits back and relaxes while we do all the work. In our perfectly comfortable and medically controlled environment, we will give you a whiter smile. The other option is to get a consultation and use kits to complete the teeth whitening in the comfort of one’s own home. In this case, we are able to provide guidance and limited assistance long distance. Other options for a smile makeover include using the latest technology, like Invisalign®, for straightening your teeth if you have malocclusion or getting dental veneers, which can replace damaged, defective, and discolored enamel.


SedationA Sedation Dentist Can Help You Overcome Anxiety
March 15, 2017

For many, a sedation dentist allows people to overcome their fears of visiting the dentist and get the dental help they need. We know that dental anxiety, which is what an unnatural fear of dentists and everything to do with dentists is called, is very common. Some people will not even go in if they are in an emergency dental situation. Dental anxiety increases the risk of serious oral infections or diseases. In cases like this, a sedation dentist is an answer to the patient’s prayers. One thing to remember is that dentistry has used sedation for a very long time. In the past, we typically used sedation dentistry for more complicated procedures. Today, patients are availing of its services so that they can do even basic and simple treatments without the massive anxiety and panic that they normally feel.

Today, patients can have a level of sedation dentistry for regular teeth cleanings to tooth extractions. As a sedation dentist, we pay close attention to the procedure and give the patient advice on the level of sedation the patient needs to get through the procedure. Since we do not want the patient to go to sleep unnecessarily, we will ensure we only give the necessary to calm the patient for the procedure. In some cases, complete unconsciousness may be necessary. In most regular maintenance cases, we simply need to help the patient relax. Since the patient can also choose what level of sedation he or she is comfortable with, below are the four levels that we typically use as a sedation dentist.

GENERAL ANESTHESIA

General anesthesia is the most impactful of the sedation methods in which the patient is completely unconscious. We do not prefer this method unless it is a serious procedure. With the more intensive procedures, we will require someone to take the patient home since the patient will need more time for the anesthesia to wear off.

DEEP SEDATION

Unlike with general anesthesia, deep sedation has the individual fall asleep. Typically this is a very light sleep, which holds patients on the edge of consciousness. If need be, the sedation dentist can easily wake the patient up from this kind of sleep.

MODERATE SEDATION

Moderate sedation is the first level of sedation where we truly sedate the patient but have the patient stay awake. The patient will feel the effects of the sedation and may not remember much of the procedure despite being awake.

MINIMAL SEDATION

This is used for many minor procedures because you are completely awake and aware, but the sedation makes you completely relaxed and able to let go of all your anxiety.


ToothbrushWhat to Expect When You Get a Filling and Your Dental Checkup
March 1, 2017

We often place fillings after a dental check-up multiple times in one day. While people understand the reason for having a dental filling, it is also one of the least liked procedures that we perform. A dental filling is the most common form of treatment for cavities, which form from the acid secretions of bacteria gradually eating away at the enamel of one’s teeth. Eventually, the bacteria leads to forming a hole or a cavity. Bacteria, which naturally occur in the mouth, tend to colonize the teeth where they are visible as a thin film that is also known as plaque. After exposure to sugar and starch-rich foods, bacteria secrete an acid which forms the cavities in teeth.

Few people are aware that the teeth actually make an effort to fight decay and cavities. Using the minerals that occur in saliva, calcium, and phosphate, along with water, and fluoride, the teeth attempt to slowly rebuild the damaged or destroyed enamel. Unfortunately, in most cases this is not enough to prevent the decay and need for a dental filling.

While dental fillings are often part of a dental check-up, here at the clinic, there is nothing stale about the technology. We are constantly working to improve the dental fillings we offer, and in tandem with dental scientists around the world are able to make strides in that direction. Few patients remember, but not that long ago patients did not have as many options when it came to dental fillings. While gold and silver fillings were more common in the past, they were obvious and did not appear normal. Knowing that naturally colored fillings make our patients far more comfortable, we offer composite dental fillings in our West Covina office. These can also be whatever shade you want.

Aesthetics aside, dental scientists are working diligently to make sure that we have the best tools at our disposal. One of the major challenges with dental fillings is the need to remove contaminated enamel, along with the regular decay that has set into the tooth. This involves shaving away some enamel with the drill. Scientists who are working with the University of Maryland Dental School, are trying to solve this with a unique approach. Using silver nanoparticles and ammonia, the scientists hope to kill the bacteria at the site. The silver and ammonia, both of which are a natural antibacterial, are included in the filling, and the adhesive used to place the filling.

The idea is that if the filling can kill all the bacteria, the body can start to respond normally and the tooth can start to repair all the damage done to the tooth by the bacteria in the first place. Allowing a tooth to heal naturally is the next iteration in dental fillings. We can discuss all of your options during your next dental checkup in our West Covina dental office.


Dental OfficeHow To Select a Dentist For Your Family: Tips From Our West Covina Dental Office
February 15, 2017

People often ask us how to select a dentist for a family. When an individual is selecting a dentist for his or her family, the individual wants to make the right decisions. This is the person who will be by the family’s side, for all kinds of important dental occurrences. From the first tooth the children get to the dental prosthetics they may need at some point, the family dentist is the person working to help parents make those important decisions. Additionally, the family dentist is the one who will help set the tone of oral hygiene habits, advise the family on the best practices and work diligently with to ensure prevention methods are taken.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KEEP IN MIND WHEN SELECTING A FAMILY DENTIST

INSURANCE

Begin to select a dentist for your family by looking at your insurance. We accept a variety of insurance plans in our dental office. Ensuring you select a dentist within your dental insurance network will save you a great deal of hassle and paperwork in the long run. When you do not know where to start the search for a family dentist, often knowing which providers your insurance will cover is a great place to start.

REVIEWS

Next, you can ask friends and family. Everybody is always willing to talk about a bad experience with the dentist and tell you who the great providers are. When it comes to a family dentist, you want a great provider, so getting advice from your family and friends is not a bad idea. Naturally, you want to make sure your family has the opportunity to hear more about the dentist, and in this case, reading reviews and recommendations online is always a good idea before making a final decision. If you want to hear what our patients have to say, let us know. We will be happy to share their reviews with you in our West Covina dental office.

DISTANCE

When deciding how to select a family dentist, we recommend you factor in the distance you need to drive to visit them. Some families keep the same dentist even when they move, ultimately finding they are driving for a long time. This is great if you love your dentist, but if you are searching for a new family dentist, it behooves you to have someone who is close and easy to get to rather than having to drive out of your way. People who have a dentist closer, rather than farther, tend to be more diligent about bi-annual visits.

FIT

You should also meet with the dentists you are thinking about having as your family dentist for an initial consultation. Ask them important questions about the kind of procedures they offer at the office and ask about scheduling. Then make a determination if this is a good fit for your family. For example, if you have children, you will want to know if the dentist you are calling on will treat children and what kind of abilities they have to treat your young ones. In our dental office, we can treat your entire family.


Wisdom TeethShould I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
February 1, 2017

If you find yourself asking the question, "Should I have my Wisdom Teeth removed?" Then you need to know that the answer depends on a few key factors. An ongoing debate in the medical community for a long time, keeping or removing wisdom teeth has some arguing that there are far too many unnecessary extractions. Other people believe that those wisdom teeth should be extracted only if they develop problems.

On the other hand, quite a few dentists believe that because wisdom teeth can, and often do, cause many complications, it is easier to remove them as a preemptive measure when the patient is young and before the roots are fully formed. Also, younger people tend to bounce back from the surgery more easily than older patients and have fewer complications. Before we endeavor to answer your question, "Should I have my Wisdom Teeth removed?" Our West Covina dental office should tackle the question of whether these four molars are necessary.

WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH, AND WHY DO WE NEED THEM?

Most adults have 32 teeth in their mouth, 12 of which are molars. The four located in the very back of the mouth are the so-called "wisdom" teeth. The wisdom teeth are named so because they erupt a few years later than your other permanent teeth when one attains adulthood and supposedly, more wisdom. If this is true, then in this day and age, our methods of cooking render the wisdom teeth redundant. The fact is that extracting these third molars makes little to no difference in certain cases.

SHOULD I HAVE MY WISDOM TEETH REMOVED?

Wisdom tooth extraction is always appropriate if:

  • The patient has gum disease
  • The patient has an infection
  • The patient has a carious lesion that cannot be restored
  • The wisdom tooth is causing damage to the adjacent tooth

A common problem that people may experience with wisdom teeth is that the jaw is too small to accommodate the third molar. In which case, the wisdom tooth is likely to be wedged between the neighboring tooth and the jaw bone, it cannot erupt as it should, in which case, it is said to be impacted. When the jaw is too small to accommodate the wisdom tooth, the tooth remains under the gums and causes more issues. In some cases, the wisdom tooth will become impacted, only partially erupt or erupt sideways into the other teeth.
It is difficult for an individual to manipulate a toothbrush around the wisdom tooth that is impacted or semi-erupted. Depending on the individual’s mouth, a wisdom tooth can damage the adjacent tooth or even the bone itself. If the tooth only emerges slightly above the gum, a flap of skin can grow over it and provide an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

A CASE BY CASE BASIS

On the other hand, the third molar may not need an extraction if it has completely erupted, is free of any pain or discomfort, has no sign of dental caries, is not adversely affecting any other teeth, and is not causing any other complications.

Unfortunately, it is not at all uncommon for an impacted wisdom tooth to become symptomatic later in life. The main issue with surgery is that it increases in difficulty and complications as one gets older. For example, when the tooth has a fully-formed root, there is some danger of injuring the nerve during treatment, which can cause numbness in the lower lip.

All of this means that if you have been asking yourself, "Should I have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?" And you have some symptoms of possible complications, you should not put off getting it extracted. Call our office today at (626) 414-5995.


All On FourAll On Four Procedure - What You Need To Know About Teeth Replacement
December 2016

The All on Four method of dental implants is an outstanding option for anyone who needs their dentition restored. While other replacement options like dental bridges or dentures are also potential successes, the All on Four method, once completed, requires the least hassle and provides permanent results.

For the most functional prosthetic teeth, a quality dentist or oral surgeon will complete the All on Four procedure. The All on Four procedure, including the added restoration, can be completed in one day, unlike traditional dental implant treatments. Healing should occur following the procedure before any intense chewing can be performed on the new prosthetic teeth, but once healing is accomplished, your implant teeth will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.

ALL ON FOUR

The All on Four technique uses four implants per arch to anchor sets of prosthetic teeth. Due to the angled placement of the implants, typically no bone graft will be needed for this procedure, unlike traditional dental implants. Your All on Four replacement teeth will look and feel like natural teeth, be permanent, and they should be brushed and flossed regularly. Your new teeth will not be removable, and they do not require adhesives to hold them in place. All on Four prosthetic teeth are more comfortable than other tooth replacement options. They won’t put pressure on your gums or slide out of place constantly like dentures do. You will also be able to experience sensory responses in your teeth. All on Four is a fast, efficient, and attractive solution for missing teeth.

CRITERIA FOR ALL ON FOUR

If you are a candidate for traditional dental implants, you will be a candidate for All on Four typically. Total edentulism (missing teeth) will be necessary for a successful All on Four procedure. If you are currently missing most of your teeth but not all, the remaining teeth will more than likely be removed. Fortunately, your new prosthetics will be more attractive and functional than what remaining teeth you have. If the majority of your teeth are remaining and healthy, you should consider a traditional implant instead. All on Four is an excellent option for people who currently wear full dentures.

ADDED BENEFITS OF ALL ON FOUR

With All on Four, your facial structure and muscle tone will be completely restored. You will look decades younger, feel more confident, and be able to eat the food you once loved. You may even become healthier since you will be able to consume much-needed nutrients without a problem. You won’t have to worry about continued jawbone deterioration or an unattractive appearance, and your new teeth will be straight, white, and perfect.

To learn more about whether or not you are a candidate for the All on Four procedure, make an appointment with our West Covina office. We can provide you with a needed solution for multiple missing teeth that will better your quality of life permanently.


Dental OfficeReasons A Dentist Office Visit Should Be In Your Future
December 15, 2016

There are many reasons you need to go to a dentist office. Good oral hygiene is the main one, and we recommend that you visit our office biannually to receive proper care for your oral health.

HERE ARE A FEW QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE ASK US AND THE ANSWERS MAY ENCOURAGE YOU TO VISIT OUR WEST COVINA OFFICE MORE FREQUENTLY.

Q: WHY AM I HAVING TOOTH SENSITIVITY TO EXTREME TEMPERATURES?

A: You might have a cavity if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity. It is wise to see a dentist as soon as possible. If you have a cavity, you need to get it filled as quickly as possible to prevent further decay or the possibility of needing a root canal.

Q: MY TEETH HURT WHEN I EAT SWEET OR SOUR THINGS, WHY?

A: Sensitivity to sweet or sour foods can also mean you have a cavity or a loose filling. We can fill your cavity or replace your filling with a longer lasting material. In our dentist office, we will also look for any signs of enamel erosion.

Q: WHY ARE MY GUMS ARE SWOLLEN?

A: Gum swelling can be due to overly vigorous brushing and flossing. Lighten up on the pressure a little and see if it helps or ask us to show you how to properly brush and floss. If you are also experiencing bleeding and discoloration, you may have gingivitis and/or periodontal disease. These are serious conditions that require immediate care.

Q: MY TONGUE IS HURTING, AND I HAVEN’T BURNED IT LATELY. WHY?

A: Your tongue can hurt if you accidentally bite it in your sleep or you have eaten an acidic food. If you are positive it is neither of these or you have tongue pain for an extended period of time, you should have your mouth checked for oral cancer. Taking precautions with discomfort in an area like this is important. Visit our dentist office soon so we can be sure you don’t have any signs of cancer. You should also be keeping track of other symptoms like lumps or sore spots.

Q: I CHIPPED MY TOOTH, AND IT ISN’T HURTING THAT BAD. SHOULD I BOTHER COMING IN?

A: If you chip your tooth, you need to visit a dentist office even if it is not hurting. A chipped tooth is more vulnerable to decay, further chipping, and discomfort in the future. Not having pain is unusual, and discomfort will probably develop soon. You will probably regret not having it cosmetically repaired if you wait.

Q: WHY HAVE I HAD A FEW LOOSE TEETH RECENTLY?

A: Loose teeth can be due to periodontal disease or other problems with your gums. It is a necessity to go to a dentist office as soon as you can. Preventing tooth loss is one of your best defenses against future oral health problems.

All of these symptoms can have serious consequences. Don’t put your health on the line by waiting to see a dentist. Visiting our West Covina dentist office can help you to remain in good oral health, restore teeth that have been damaged, and watch for signs of oral cancer.


Root Canals and CrownsVisit Us For Root Canals and Crowns After An Accident
December 2, 2016

In our West Covina dental office, we use root canals and crowns to save teeth that have become infected or injured. While root canals are typically associated with a tooth that has become severely infected and is sore, they are also performed when a root has become damaged due to dental trauma. Understandably, when a tooth is damaged in a car wreck, sporting accident, or workplace injury, the exterior of the tooth will show the damage but the interior (roots) may be irritated as well. This is one reason that we take x-rays when a dental trauma has occurred. We need to see what is happening inside of the tooth so that we can take it into consideration and address it during the course of the treatment.

THE PROCESS OF GETTING ROOT CANALS AND CROWNS AFTER AN ACCIDENT

After examining your tooth and determining the best course of treatment, we will numb the area. Next, a small hole will be created in the tooth so that we can remove the infected portion of it. If your root canal is not to remove an infection, but to smooth out the root, we can do that as well. The key is to visit an experienced dentist that knows how to access the interior of the tooth with minimal disruption to it. Once done, we will seal up the hole with a rubber-like substance. This will prevent anything from entering the tooth and at times we will recommend a course of antibiotics as a precautionary measure. Next, we will begin the process of restoring the tooth.

Before a crown can be placed, the tooth must be prepared. This is done by removing a portion of the enamel from around the tooth so that when the cap (crown) is placed, it does not disturb the surrounding teeth. To prevent any unnecessary discomfort, our West Covina dentist office will provide you with medication and numb the area first. Afterwards, you can expect to feel some discomfort and sensitivity. This can typically be controlled with ibuprofen. Since it takes time for the dental lab to create a crown, we will place a temporary crown around the tooth to prevent anything from touching it. This is secured in place using a removable, water-based glue, so it is important to be careful with what you eat and how you eat to prevent it from slipping out of place. Once the permanent crown is ready, you will come back in for it to be bonded in place. You will then be able to eat like normal.

RECOVERING FROM ROOT CANALS AND CROWNS

The process of root canals and crowns is easier and more comfortable than ever before. Still, this is a major procedure that changes the tooth. Keeping that in mind, you should prepare to experience some level of irritation and take ibuprofen to feel better. You can also use a cold compress to reduce any swelling. You will want to be careful with what you eat for a few days while your teeth are getting used to the crown. For example, you may not want to eat something that requires biting down with excessive force. This, however, is only temporary, and you will be back to normal in short order.


TMJTMJ Treatment in West Covina: A Non-Invasive Solution
December 1, 2016

When you visit us for a TMJ treatment in West Covina, we can help you feel better right away. While few people are aware of what TMJ is, they are impacted by its symptoms. TMJ disorder is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to the rest of your head, allowing your jaw to open and close. There is a great deal of debate surrounding what causes TMJ disorder, but from a dentist’s perspective, we have found that many people suffer due to grinding or clenching their teeth at night. As with any muscle or joint, when you put constant pressure on it, you will experience pain or soreness the next day. Some people grind their teeth every night while others only do so during times of high stress.

HERE ARE A FEW SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE TMJ:

  • Constant headaches. If you tend to wake up with a headache, you could have TMJ. The occasional one is not a cause for concern, but persistent, constant headaches are.
  • Jaw pain. This is the most telling symptom. If your jaw is sore or in pain, it is likely because of TMJ. Some people start out experiencing subtle jaw pain that intensifies when they eat or speak. If the condition goes on untreated, it can become worse, making it difficult to even open your mouth all the way. In its advanced stages, TMJ can lead to lockjaw, which can be entirely alarming. We encourage you to come in for a TMJ treatment long before you reach this point.
  • Facial pain. Even if your jaw is not feeling particularly bad, your face could feel sore or painful. This too can be caused by putting stress on your temporomandibular joint.
  • Popping noises. If you hear a persistent popping noise when you open your jaw to speak or eat, pay attention to see if it continues and visit us if it does.

TMJ TREATMENT IN WEST COVINA

We are focused on providing you with a non-invasive solution for treating this condition. While some doctors advocate for surgery, there are conflicting reports whether surgery actually helps or makes things worse. The problem is, you cannot reverse a surgery, so this is a risk that may not be worth taking, especially if you have not tried all non-invasive solutions first. One thing you can do is change your diet to eliminate foods that are difficult to chew or hard to bite down on. Since soft foods require minimal force, the chance of your joint becoming irritated is decreased. You can also try our treatment method: a night guard. This is a device that looks similar to a full retainer. It is created using an impression of your mouth and measurements. This way, it fits snugly and securely while you sleep at night. It will not interfere with your ability to sleep, but will prevent your upper and lower teeth from touching while you do. This way, you cannot grind or clench your teeth while you sleep, and you will feel better in the morning as a result.


InvisalignSmile More With Invisalign
November 15, 2016

People who have imperfect teeth may hesitate to smile, but with Invisalign®, they will be able to smile more often and not feel embarrassment. People become happier, more successful, and more attractive when they smile. If you feel like you are in a smile rut due to the placement of your teeth, we can provide assistance through the Invisalign® solution.

Invisalign® is a straightening system that uses a series of aligners to gradually move your teeth into a better alignment. Invisalign® aligners are nearly invisible, so that other people will not notice them. This feature allows you to look professional throughout your entire straightening treatment. Invisalign® aligners are also removable, so you can take them out for special occasions and while cleaning your teeth. In addition to providing an excellent alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign® makes you want to smile.

SMILING DURING SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND BUSINESS SITUATIONS

Whether you spend your day interacting with others socially or you work in a professional business atmosphere, you can most likely benefit from Invisalign® as an alternative to traditional braces. Studies show that having a pleasant smile can lead to a promotion and that people who smile are more naturally attractive. One of the first things most people notice about another person is their smile. Have more favorable dates and move up in your career by smiling more with Invisalign®.

OTHER ADVANTAGES OF SMILING

While there are many advantages to straightening your teeth with Invisalign®, from health reasons to successful social endeavors, simply smiling more has a long list of benefits in itself. If you are hesitant to smile because you are self-conscious about your teeth, you will most likely be insecure about wearing traditional braces, too. Invisalign® looks more natural, and you will be able to see the progression of your teeth straightening through the clear aligners. Each stage of the process will boost your confidence, and you will feel yourself wanting to smile more openly.

INVISALIGN WEST COVINA

SMILING MORE HAS ITS OWN ADVANTAGES, INCLUDING:

  • Smiling keeps your face young. Not only do you get an immediate “facelift” when you smile, but you also use up to 53 muscles per smile, which will keep your face shapely and toned.
  • Smiles can be recognized from afar, so you’ll look more pleasant by smiling more often since others can tell you are smiling from 300 feet away.
  • According to psychology, the more you smile, the happier you become. If you are feeling down, it is probably because you haven’t smiled much today. If you feel depressed because you dislike your smile, Invisalign® can help in more ways than one. It will give you something to smile about and empower you to smile more often, resulting in a better mood.
  • Because constant stress can impair your immune system, smiling more can improve your health. Smiling releases endorphins that reduce stress. Your body will be more relaxed and able to fight off germs when you are able to smile without restraint.
  • You can boost someone else’s mood by smiling more. Smiles are contagious, and when you are having your teeth straightened with Invisalign®, you will want to smile more often and the people around you will, too.

Visit our office for an examination to determine if Invisalign® is right for you. If you are ready to live a happier and more confident life, schedule your appointment today.

Live in West Covina, CA and have questions about Invisalign®? Give us a call at (626) 414-5995.


ImplantsDental Implants Are The Modern Way To Replace Teeth
November 1, 2016

When considering dental implants, you need to know that they are one of the most modern and revolutionary ways to replace missing teeth. The sad part is that tooth loss is ageless and can occur for anyone at any stage in life. Young people are just as likely to lose a tooth if they are active in sports or other activities where there may be physical contact. For older folks, there is definitely a chance that they will lose some or all their teeth due to disease or age. Tooth loss creates a very drastic change in lifestyle, especially if an individual loses more than one tooth.

Teeth play an essential role in the formation and enunciation of words. When a person loses his or her teeth, speaking becomes more difficult. Along with speech issues, people who lose teeth also struggle with a sense of self-consciousness, causing them to smile less. Finally, and most obviously, you have to change your lifestyle because you are no longer able to eat the food you love. Chewing becomes more challenging as you lose teeth. The answer to all of these problems is dental implants, the modern alternative to living with tooth loss. Here is how they work.

Dental implants consist of two parts. The first is the dental implant itself that sits inside the jawbone and under the gum tissue, completely hidden from sight. This dental implant is fundamentally a tiny screw. The cone shape of the screw allows for it to be drilled into the jawbone for maximum strength and stability, and the flat head allows the second part of the tooth to be connected to it. This upper portion of the implant is also called a dental crown. Dental crowns are made of porcelain and look and feel exactly like a perfectly natural tooth. They are placed on an abutment to connect to the dental implant permanently. When you get a dental implant, you leave with a tooth that is as secure and stable as your natural teeth. There are no extra steps you need to take to care for it, and there is no hassle of removing it at night.

DENTAL IMPLANTS WEST COVINA

There are many benefits to getting dental implants. What we hear the most from our patients are the convenience and permanence factors. Once dental implants have been placed into your mouth, there is no need to ever remove them. Unlike dentures, these are solutions that closely resemble the form and function of your natural teeth, which means you do not have to remove, especially clean, or take any extra effort with them whatsoever. Cleaning them involves your regular oral health routines. If you are the kind of person who brushes your teeth at least twice per day, rinses your mouth after meals, visits your dentist at least twice per year, and uses floss on a regular basis, your dental implants will get all that same care. Dental implants are literally changing the way we think about tooth loss.
Live in West Covina, CA and have questions about dental implants? Give us a call at (626) 414-5995.


Teeth WhiteningLearn About Professional Teeth Whitening Brands
October 17, 2016

If you want information on professional teeth whitening brands, we encourage you to call and schedule an appointment with our West Covina dentist office. Things are changing all the time with companies releasing new and improved products. Visiting our office allows us to provide you with the latest updates. Still, there are a few things you should know about whitening your teeth before you do so.

The Process

When you whiten your teeth, you can do so using an at-home whitening kit or with laser whitening. We recommend using our in-office treatment since the results can last for up to three years. Regardless of how you whiten your teeth, the solution will typically contain some level of peroxide. The type of peroxide in the solution and its chemical makeup, in general, will influence how effective it is for whitening teeth. Some of the products you buy in the store will only remove the surface stains on your teeth. However, there are certain brands, like Crest White Strips, that deliver positive results and remove deeper stains.

At the same time, when you visit our West Covina office for a professional-grade whitening solution, you can be confident that we will be using the strongest possible solution that will penetrate the enamel and begin the process of oxidization. This is where the molecules inside your teeth begin to reflect less light and appear colorless. Your smile will look bright white as a result, and your teeth will no longer be yellow. Keep in mind that while you can get positive results using both over-the-counter and in-office treatments, your results are more certain when visiting a dentist.

The Application

When comparing professional teeth whitening brands, you should also consider how the solution is applied to the teeth. Some whitening kits have you brush on the solution using a pen, but the results from this are not significant because the solution will not remain on your teeth long enough. Whitening strips are a better option and the results from them can last for around six months. The challenge is that they can still slip out of place and many people find them to be inconvenient. We recommend that you use a kit that uses whitening trays. This way, a solution is placed in the trays for you to then secure around your teeth and wear for thirty minutes or so.

The only challenge with this option is that if you buy a kit from the store, the trays will not be designed for your teeth, but for anyone who buys the products. This creates a risk of leakage or the trays slipping out of place. For this reason, we suggest you use professional teeth whitening brands sold by our office. We will begin by having you come in for an appointment, where we make an impression of your teeth. Using that impression, we will then create customized trays designed to fit you perfectly. As a result, the whitening solution will remain in place, not leak out, and the process will be entirely comfortable. Simultaneously, since the solution is professional-grade, you will see the best possible results.


Woman SmilingLaser Dentistry in our West Covina Dentist Office Can Make a Laser Root Canal Far More Comfortable
October 3, 2016

One of the most powerful advancements in laser dentistry is the fact that we can now use lasers to perform the standard root canal operation. While most people prefer to refer to a root canal procedure such as root canal therapy, we know that many of our patients are terrified at the prospect of needing to have one. This fear typically comes from the pain associated with it. However, most patients do not realize that it is not the root canal itself that causes pain but the infection that causes the pain.

Most patients, even those who are terrified of the root canal procedure, will tell you that upon removing the infected portion of the tooth, they no longer suffer from the debilitating pain. This is possible due to our laser root canal procedure. Additionally, we now have the option to offer you a more comfortable root canal procedure that can take away many of the fears you have in the first place.
Before we start talking about the laser root canals, it is important to understand what a root canal procedure is and what root canal therapy involves. The first thing the patient notices when they are going to need root canal therapy is the immense amount of pain that starts to radiate from the infected tooth. The pain is typically due to an infection that has gone deep into the root of the tooth and has infected the pulp; which is the soft area or the internal part of the tooth cavity. The pain from an infected tooth root can be excruciating. Not only does it affect the tooth itself but radiates into the gum and the surrounding teeth, making it impossible to chew, speak or sleep. As a result, most patients will instantly come in to see the dentist and to fix it.

We know that as soon as a patient hears they need root canal therapy they become afraid of the idea of having a dentist use the drill to perform the procedure. However, in order to remove the root and therefore remove the infection, it is essential to access the interior of the tooth. The great news is that with laser dentistry it is no longer necessary to have to use the drill and other old-fashioned technology. Instead, we use technological advancements such as high-powered lasers and then water to remove debris, the infected tissue, the root and the other causes of your pain.

There are distinct advantages to using laser dentistry and advanced technology. For one, we no longer need to use a drill and some of the other implements that have caused many people to have anxiety about being in the dentist chair. And speaking of the dentist chair, when you visit us for laser dentistry and have a laser root canal completed you will not spend as long in the dentist chair. In fact, the procedure is a whole lot faster using laser dental technology. This allows you to be in and out as quickly as possible and on the way to recovery. In fact, the recovery is also a lot quicker, because there’s no trauma caused to the tissue surrounding the tooth or other teeth that may be in the surrounding area.

Laser dentistry has greatly improved how we perform many common dental procedures. Root canals are only one of them. If you suffer from dental anxiety or are simply looking for a modern dental office, call and schedule a consultation with our West Covina office. We will be happy to assist you.


Woman SmilingWhen To Call The Dentist In An Emergency
September 15, 2016

As a dentist in West Covina, we regularly get calls from patients wondering if they need to come in for an immediate appointment or if they can address the problem in a day or two. This is a good question, and while the answer changes based on the circumstances, there are certain signs you can watch for that are clear indicators it is time to visit our office right away. For example, if you have a tooth knocked out, you need to call us.

Whether it happened while wrestling with your kids or while playing basketball on your lunch break, we can possibly save a knocked out tooth if you come in right away. Another clear example is if you chip or crack your tooth. In these situations, call us and we will schedule you for the first available appointment. Otherwise, here are a few things to try when making this determination.

FOR A TOOTHACHE…

Getting a toothache is incredibly common. Typically, this is a sign that you are suffering from tooth decay or an infection that requires treatment. We encourage you to call our office to schedule an appointment to do so. However, before you visit the dentist, there are certain things you can do to help yourself feel better.

#1 – BRUSH AND FLOSS YOUR TEETH

You may have a piece of food stuck between your teeth that may cause irritation. Teeth become more sensitive as you age because the enamel wears off. As it does, drinking a soda or eating a piece of candy could set your teeth on edge and even give you a toothache. Gently brushing your teeth and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash will help you feel better if that is the culprit. Otherwise, it is likely that you have a health problem and will benefit from calling us for the first available appointment.

#2 – RINSE YOUR MOUTH

If your gums start to bleed, we recommend that you rinse your mouth with warm water and spit. Pay attention to whether or not anything comes out in your spit. For example, if a full tooth or part of one comes out, you know that you have a problem and need to visit our office immediately. However, if you rinse your mouth out and still cannot tell what is wrong, look inside your mouth with a flashlight or better yet, call our office for an appointment.

#3 – LOOSE CROWN OR FILLING

If you had a dental restoration of any kind and that restoration becomes damaged or loose, you need to call for an urgent appointment. Before placing a veneer or dental crown, the tooth has to be permanently altered by having a portion of the enamel removed. As a result, you will always need a properly secured restoration on that tooth.

VISIT OUR WEST COVINA DENTIST OFFICE IN AN EMERGENCY

Regardless of what your dental emergency is, you are always welcome here. Call us and let us know what your question is, so we can answer it and make a recommendation as to what you should do next.


Clear BracesProblems We Can Correct Using Clear Braces in West Covina
September 1, 2016

As a provider of clear braces in West Covina, we regularly answer questions by patients on what types of problems we can correct. Many people are under the misconception that since they are clear, they cannot accomplish as much as bulky braces. While it is true that certain bite issues will respond best to a traditional treatment, most aesthetic and placement issues can be corrected using clear braces. To find out if you qualify for this treatment and if it will accomplish your smile goals, call to schedule a consultation and examination. We will conduct a physical exam, see how your bite comes together and take X-rays. We will then discuss what you are trying to accomplish, your lifestyle and any concerns that you may have. This will allow us to create a customized treatment plan for your needs. More often than not, clear braces will provide the results that you are looking for.

WE USE CLEAR BRACES TO DO THE FOLLOWING:

CLOSE THE GAPS BETWEEN TEETH

You do not need to live with unsightly gaps between your teeth when clear braces will do the trick to close them. Many people feel self-conscious about the gaps between their teeth but feel insecure about braces. You do not need to have this concern when treating your teeth using clear braces. Clear braces are incredibly discreet and can move teeth into proper alignment without anyone noticing.

ADDRESS OVERCROWDING

If you have overcrowding issues, we can help. We will typically combine clear braces with a secondary solution like wearing an expander or spacers. In rare cases, we may need to pull one or two teeth in order to make enough room for the other teeth.

STRAIGHTEN TEETH

Clear braces can move the position of your teeth so that they become perfectly straight. This is done by applying pressure to your teeth in specific spots. As they gradually move into position, your smile will start to look better through the clear braces.

CORRECT BITE ISSUES
When straightening teeth we must consider how your bite comes together in addition to the location of your teeth. We can correct any bite issues that you have using aligners as long as the position of your teeth causes the bite problem. For example, if your lower teeth are pushed outwards at an angle, then straightening them will also improve your bite. If, however, your jawbone is in the wrong position and needs to be adjusted, you may require oral surgery as part of your orthodontic treatment. Surgery may be necessary, regardless of whether you are wearing clear braces or traditional ones.

There are very few orthodontic issues that cannot be solved using clear braces. We can efficiently move your teeth into the correct position and help you to love your smile. To learn more about clear braces in West Covina or to begin your treatment process, call and schedule a consultation with our dental office.


ImplantsDental Implants: The Future of Tooth Replacement
August 15, 2016

Solutions like dental implants take years, even decades to fully develop. Today, we can proudly say that after centuries in the making, dental implants are at the very pinnacle of their development which makes them the future of dental prosthetics. We fully anticipate them to continue getting better, which is good news for you if you have lost or will lose a tooth in the future.

Other solutions have also advanced, making strides of their own, which helps to explain why there are some folks who still believe in the traditional methods of tooth replacement. The challenge, even with all of the advancements in products like bridges, is that they still rely on being attached to the teeth and gums using dental cement. Dentures are even less durable because they are a removable solution, which requires adhesive to be held in place. When you have dental implants installed, an expert dentist or oral surgeon will insert the implant into the jaw which makes the implant extremely secure while simultaneously preserving the integrity of the jawbone. What our West Covina dental office has found is when a person has a lot of concerns about dental implants, usually it is because they have not had a chance to sit down with a professional to understand how the prosthetic works, how it can be installed, and the instant improvement it will bring to their quality of life.

Before getting dental implants, many of our patients have questions and concerns. This is very typical when you are making a change that is permanent and influences something as important as your teeth. For those patients who already have a dental prosthesis, and are making the decision to switch, it is even more important to understand everything about dental implants. Typically people want to know how long the dental implants will last, what is the success rate with putting them in, and what is the recovery period after having the surgery. There is no definitive way to predict how long dental implants will last in your particular case. This is because there are too many variables to factor in, like will you take good care of your mouth or will you have gum disease? Outside of these factors, we know that implants can last anywhere from seven to thirty years or a lifetime, which is increased by good habits and taking care of your teeth. We also know that the success rate of dental implants is extremely impressive. Depending on which study you read, the success rate is above 93 percent, with our own success rate at around 98 percent.

When installing dental implants our West Covina dental office usually take it in stages. During each stage, we have the opportunity to make sure that everything is done perfectly, and make modifications as necessary. Between each of the stages, you will have ten to fourteen days to heal and recover. After completing the procedure, you will have to take another ten to fourteen days to allow the site to heal. We recommend that you take the entire two weeks, being extra careful with your diet, and allow the dental implant to set. While we know that dental implants take longer to recover from than procedures like a dental bridge, they are well worth it. This is, after all, the only permanent way to replace missing teeth.


Children's DentistryVisit a Dentist for Kids in West Covina
August 1, 2016

If you have ever wondered about the importance of visiting a dentist for kids in West Covina, we would like you to know that your child’s oral health depends on how early and how often you have their teeth and gums examined by a qualified professional.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) both recommend that a child’s first dental visit should take place between the time their first tooth has made its appearance and their first birthday. This is why visiting a dentist for kids is so imperative. Early detection is crucial in not only maintaining good oral health, but also includes identifying and modifying bad habits, establishing a healthy daily routine to keep the teeth clean, and treating any problems that may arise before they get out of hand.

Without proper and regular dental care, children’s teeth can decay very quickly and, as anyone who has ever had a cavity knows, this can be an extremely painful condition. In addition, a child’s general health and well-being can be negatively impacted by tooth and gum decay and disease.

Sadly, dental caries in children is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. It is a great deal easier and less painful to treat dental disease in the earliest stages before decay sets in. If the diagnosis is delayed, it could very well result in exacerbated problems and more extensive and expensive treatments. Additionally, an early diagnosis of malocclusions, or the imperfect positioning of the teeth, may allow for a timely and successful intervention.

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A PEDIATRIC DENTAL EXAM?

During a pediatric dental exam, we will clean your child’s teeth and evaluate their risk of tooth decay. As a dentist for kids in West Covina, we may take X-rays to reveal any early signs of hidden problems between the teeth or under the gum-line when they are much more easily treatable.

For example, gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness, and inflammation of the gums is exceedingly common in children and adolescents. It, however, responds well to a thorough removal of plaque and improved oral hygiene. However, if gingivitis is not detected in time, it can lead to periodontitis. This is a far more serious gum disease that can cause eventual tooth loss.
Also, and again only if necessary, we may use a protective measure such as a sealant or fluoride treatment to reduce the risk of decay.
Note: A dental sealant is a protective, plastic coating applied in liquid form to the molars, which are the most susceptible to decay. The sealant forms a hard protective shield over the enamel of each tooth which keeps food out of tiny grooves and prevents the buildup of bacteria. If a sealant is applied to your child’s permanent teeth just as soon as they come in, it protects their teeth during the cavity-prone years. Although dental sealants do eventually wear down, they can last anywhere from five to ten years.

During a pediatric dental exam, parents will be given advice on preventative home care. For example, we will discuss your child’s oral hygiene habits and demonstrate the right way to brush their teeth and help you understand the impact of pacifier use and thumb-sucking. Also, since diet plays such an important part in everyone’s oral health, to say nothing of a child’s overall health and development, we will also discuss what foods they should and should not eat on a regular basis.

Older children and teenagers may be counseled on the health risks and of tobacco and piercings.

HOW SHOULD I CLEAN AND STORE MY TOOTHBRUSH?


Your toothbrush can help take care of your teeth and remove plaque, but you need to return the favor and take care of your toothbrush. Proper cleaning and storage of a toothbrush can include washing it after use and keeping it dry throughout the day. A healthy toothbrush will help to ensure clean and healthy teeth.

The video on toothbrush care from the American Dental Association is for educational and entertainment purposes only. If you have any questions or are interested in more information about proper toothbrush care, then give us a call. No video is a substitute for a professional dentist.


Smiling TeethVisiting a Periodontist in West Covina Can Improve Your Gum Health
July 27, 2016

If you are experiencing concerning dental symptoms, you may need to visit our West Covina dental office for a periodontist. Many times our patients develop a periodontal disease because they were not aware of the symptoms and took no action to prevent the condition. If you become more aware of why and how periodontal disease and other gum diseases and dental infections occur, a periodontist could save you from a future of negative dental health and potential gum and tooth damage.

Due to many factors, plaque and bacteria develop in your mouth as a normal occurrence. When bacteria growth gets out of hand and plaque hardens into tartar, you should pay attention because you are in the beginning stages of serious and detrimental gum disease. When gum disease originally develops, it is in a minor form called Gingivitis. If you have Gingivitis, you will notice that your gums are swollen and that they tend to bleed when you brush, floss and eat certain foods. At this point, you should visit our office to receive a deep dental clean and to obtain information on how you can prevent the condition from further developing into periodontitis. When you have periodontitis, you will experience worse symptoms including constant gum swelling, bleeding, pus discharge, loose or receding gums, and loose teeth.

With time and a lack of treatment plaque or tartar can spread under your gum line. The toxins and infection created by the present bacteria in the plaque will begin to irritate and inflame your gums. Without treatment, this will turn into a chronic inflammatory response. If your gums remain in a stage of constant inflammation, they will begin to deteriorate, causing gum recession and tooth loss. Periodontitis can be stopped by our dental office. It needs to be before it causes your gums to recede and your teeth to fall out. If you visit our office after this stage, there is still hope for restoration, but it can be prevented by taking action now.

You are at risk for gum disease if you have diabetes, are pregnant, or are aging or going through puberty. During these times, your hormones are imbalanced, and it can be hard for certain aspects of your body to work properly. It is important that you keep up with regular dental appointments if you are in any of these categories. Preventing periodontal disease is incredibly important for your health. You are also at risk for periodontitis if you have poor oral hygiene, eat unhealthy foods, use tobacco, or drink alcohol consistently. Visiting our office can help you remain aware of your dental structure’s state and help you learn how to care for your teeth and gums properly.

As a periodontist in West Covina, our main concern is the health of your gums and teeth. If you would like any information about how to care for your dental health or if you have any concerns regarding unusual dental symptoms, please feel free to contact our office for more information. Don’t take your dental health lightly. If you already have periodontitis, we can offer you treatment, and if you have experienced dental damage because of periodontitis, we can repair your gums and teeth.


DentistryWe Are an Attentive Dentist in West Covina That Will Answer Your Questions
July 27, 2016

In our West Covina dentist office, we put you first, and that means providing the highest quality dental care and taking the time to educate you about your oral health. We will answer your questions, show you how to brush and floss properly, and even talk about what foods are healthy for your teeth. These conversations can get interesting when patients ask questions that are slightly beyond the ordinary. Here are some that we hear on a regular basis.

Do I really need to see a dentist while pregnant?

Yes, you do. If you are pregnant, it is of critical importance that you visit our dentist office and have your teeth cleaned twice a year. Pregnancy is hard on the body, even if you are in excellent health. During this time, your unborn child will need a lot of nutrients and as such, blood flow to the rest of your body can become slightly restricted. This can lead to red and swollen gums along with gum disease. If you weren’t pregnant, gum disease would be uncomfortable and could lead to future complications like gum recession. The problem is that in pregnancy, gum disease has been linked to preterm labor. That makes visiting our dentist office an important step for ensuring that your pregnancy goes smoothly and without complication. Just be sure to tell us that you are pregnant, we can take that into consideration when we are treating you and discuss any potential procedures.

Can a dentist fix a loose filling or does it need to be replaced?

If your filling is loose, it may be because your tooth has experienced additional decay. In this situation, the filling will no longer be sufficient for covering the area in question. We will need to remove the filling and any additional decay before placing a new one. If the decayed area is too large, we may need to use a dental crown to restore the tooth instead of just a standard filling. A crown is a cap that surrounds the tooth so it can provide an additional level of protection.

Can I leave my wisdom teeth in place?

That really depends on your mouth and how your wisdom teeth grow in. If they come in straight, there may be no need to pull them. In most cases, however, wisdom teeth grow in impacted or sideways. This can be uncomfortable and create a risk of infection. Additionally, if you have had braces to straighten your teeth, wisdom teeth can push them out of place and undo some of the efforts that you have put into your smile. In order to determine the best course of action, we recommend that you schedule a dental exam so that we can X-Ray your wisdom teeth and make specific suggestions for your situation.

Can your dentist office help if I crack a tooth?

Yes, we can. A large part of what we do is centered around restorative dentistry. If you crack our chip a tooth, we can restore it to full function and a natural appearance.


Wisdom Teeth RemovalDietary Restrictions After Your Wisdom Teeth Removal
June 24, 2016

If you are scheduled for a wisdom teeth removal from Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S., you are about to join the millions of teens and adults who have already done so. This is a common procedure, typically completed because there is no room in the mouth for a third set of molars. While these teeth used to be necessary due to how common tooth loss was, now most patients maintain their first and second set of molars until old age or longer. This means that when the wisdom teeth start to grow in, there is nowhere for them to go. As a result, they are often impacted or grow in sideways, which can lead to discomfort. They can also create a place for food particles and plaque to gather, increasing your risk of cavities or gum disease. Removing them is often the best solution.

If your wisdom teeth have grown in straight, we can typically pull them right out. If they are impacted, we may need to perform oral surgery. This is done by creating a flap in the gum tissue to access the tooth below. Sometimes, we can lift it straight out, while, in other cases, it needs to be broken up into smaller pieces before the area is cleaned and the flap secured in place with sutures. The extent of the procedure is different for everybody, and we will explain in detail during a preoperative consultation what you can expect.

A common factor for most people is the discomfort felt during the recovery process. It is common for your face and jaw to be slightly swollen and uncomfortable. You can use ice and ibuprofen to reduce the swelling, and after a few days, you will start to look and feel like normal. In the meantime, however, you must be careful with what you eat after having the Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. wisdom teeth removal procedure. It is also important for you to continue eating a healthy and nutritious diet since your body needs the energy to focus on recovery. With that in mind, here are a few different foods that you can try:

  • Oatmeal. You can eat oatmeal or cream of wheat for breakfast after mixing it with whole milk. This will give you a nutritious meal without irritating your gums.
  • Eggs. Scrambled and hard-boiled eggs are good to eat since they provide you with the protein you need. Hardboiled eggs can be made in the morning and eaten throughout the day, making them an easy snack.
  • Yogurt. Buy a variety of yogurt flavors prior to your wisdom teeth removal. This is a simple snack and an excellent addition to any meal.
  • Sweet potato. This superfood can be baked and eaten plain or with olive oil drizzled on top. It is easy to make even when pressed for time.
  • Soup. You can add a variety of vegetables and tofu to soup and eat it without irritating your gums.
  • Smoothies. Add your favorite fruits and vegetables, along with yogurt and protein powder, for a nutritious snack or meal substitute.

After your Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. wisdom teeth removal, you will have dietary restrictions, but this is only temporary. After a few days, you should feel well enough to eat normally.


BracesImprove Your Health by Wearing Braces to Straighten Teeth in West Covina
June 1, 2016

If you are considering braces in West Covina, there are a few things that you should know about the advantages of having straighter teeth. We will be sure to discuss with you, in some depth, why having straighter teeth matters to your health, but for those patients who prefer to read here are a number of reasons that having your teeth straightened is a good idea. We usually like to start with the obvious and that is your appearance. People with misaligned or crooked teeth tend to be more conscious about their smile, which can lead to a loss in your level of confidence. Straighter teeth, like whiter teeth, enhance your smile and give you back your confidence. There is a lot we could say about the importance of a brilliant smile, but we have discovered that some of our West Covina patients prefer to discuss the overall health benefits, above and beyond the aesthetics, of using braces.

Braces have one task, to straighten and align your teeth properly. When you start to consider what a vital role your teeth play in your overall health, it becomes obvious why having straighter teeth is important. Few people consciously realize that their mouth, and hence their teeth, are the first step in the entire digestive process. Everything that passes through your mouth and is chewed by your teeth eventually ends up as part of your diet. This gatekeeper role and the first step in digestion is a very important health function performed by the mouth and a critical reason as to why your teeth should be straight.

Using braces to straighten your teeth is important to your digestion. Keeping your mouth clean is the best way to avoid unnecessary bacteria from forming and making its way into your digestive track. It is also the only way to prevent plaque buildup and cavities, or worse infections, from taking root in the mouth. Left unchecked, having these kinds of infections and swallowing bacteria can lead you to have other health problems. Braces can actually improve your oral hygiene. When you have misaligned teeth, crooked teeth, or teeth that are overlapping it becomes extremely hard to brush and floss properly. Floss tends to get stuck between the teeth while your brush may not be able to reach those harder spots at all. These spots have a tendency to accumulate plaque, which eventually leads to a buildup of bacteria and ends with cavities. Once your braces have been removed, the teeth themselves will be very well aligned. The spaces between them will be even, making it far easier to floss and giving your brush much broader access to clean your teeth.

Additionally people with misaligned teeth, regardless of if they are too far apart or too close together, tend to be at increased risk of gum disease. There are some serious gum disease and periodontal diseases that occur because of misaligned teeth not fitting perfectly into their gum socket. The gum is not able to create a tight seal around the tooth, which can allow bacteria and infections to develop. Aligning your teeth properly with braces helps to solve this problem and causes the gums to mold properly to the teeth creating a natural barrier to such issues. To learn more about this and other health concerns that can be corrected with braces, call and schedule a consultation in West Covina.


Couple SmilingLearn About the Stages in Orthodontics You Will Go Through While Your Teeth are Being Straightened
May 18, 2016

While performing orthodontics treatments, we can straighten our patient’s teeth and turn their smile into something healthy and beautiful. Before getting started, we will examine your teeth to make sure that they are healthy. It is important to remove any infection and treat any cavities so that your teeth and gums are in good shape prior to wearing braces. It is far easier to treat the infection before starting the process than after.

Once your teeth are in good health, we will discuss your options for straightening them and the various things that you don’t like about your smile. By listening to your needs and concerns, we can make recommendations that are tailored to your specific needs and health. Whether you straighten your teeth with braces, aligners or cosmetic dentistry, we can help you to improve your appearance and oral health at the same time.

When using orthodontics to straighten teeth, there are several stages that you must go through before the braces can come off. The first stage is to make sure that there is enough room for all of your adult teeth. Many people have a pallet that is simply too small for all of their teeth and some need to be pulled or removed as a result. We offer an alternative solution where a metal expander is placed on the roof of your mouth and secured to your teeth. Every day for several weeks, you turn the device, and it slowly expands and pushes your teeth outwards. As a result, more room is made for your teeth. Many children will wear an expander prior to getting braces as it can solve their overcrowding issues.

Once there is room for your teeth, they can be moved into place using metal braces or clear aligners. If metal braces are used, a bracket will be placed on each of your teeth, and a wire threaded between them. The wires are held in place using rubber bands and over the course of the treatment; the wires will be adjusted in order to move teeth into position. Typically, teeth are targeted so that they are not all moving at the same time. This makes the process more comfortable, and a similar technique is used with aligners except that the aligners can be switched out at home.

As your teeth are moving into place, your bite will also be adjusted. It is important to have a bite that is perfectly aligned so that the upper teeth can fit securely over the lower teeth. When we adjust your bite, we will make sure that your teeth are fitting front to back, side to side, and top to bottom. By aligning your bite, your jaw won’t hurt as much; headaches can be reduced, and it becomes easier to eat. This can be done by using rubber bands, headgear, and other orthodontics treatments.

To learn more and to get a recommendation for how to straighten your teeth, give us a call.


Laser Dentistry

Laser Dentistry During Pregnancy
May 2, 2016

We offer patients laser dentistry as an alternative to traditional dental procedures. This is ideal for pregnant women that have sensitive gums and teeth. Hormonal changes can make your gums more sensitive, even while brushing your teeth. Tooth sensitivity is one of the reasons many pregnant women don’t visit the dentist while pregnant. This, however, is a mistake as it is important to stay in good oral health and laser technology makes these visits pain free.

Pregnancy hormones can not only make your teeth and gums more sensitive, but they also put you at greater risk for gum disease and cavities. Visiting the dentist is an important step in avoiding these oral health issues. We can use laser technology during teeth cleanings to remove the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that forms along your gum line and teeth. This won’t cause pain or swelling and is ideal for patients that are concerned about staying comfortable during and after their dentist visit.

Laser Dentistry treatments are completely safe during pregnancy. We don’t use any tools or treatments that would cause harm to you or your baby. In fact, we can help the two of you to stay in better health. Medical professionals believe that pregnant women in good oral health, produce children that have better oral health.

During the third to sixth month of your pregnancy, your baby’s teeth will start to form. During this time, it is very important for you to take additional calcium supplements. Your baby needs a lot of calcium to develop strong teeth and bones. If you don’t consume enough calcium your body will take it from your teeth and gums and give it to your baby. This can cause them to become brittle. A calcium supplement can help to prevent this complication.

As a dentist, we watch for signs of weakening teeth so that we can help to strengthen them before you become susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Things like fluoride treatments can help to strengthen your teeth, and you can use a fluoride toothpaste at home to augment any in-office procedures. You can also eat nuts and crunchy vegetables instead of sugary snacks. This will help to remineralize and strengthen your teeth even further.

If you develop any cavities during your pregnancy, we will discuss treatment options and create a plan that you are comfortable with, while keeping you as healthy as possible. Laser Dentistry makes any treatments faster and more comfortable. Pain is reduced because the lasers are fast, accurate, and precise. By discussing your options and potential treatment plans, we can create a health care strategy both during and after your pregnancy.

When your baby is born, we can treat them too. We offer family dentistry services and can start treating your child when they are one year old. Keeping their teeth and gums healthy is just as important as keeping yours healthy. Baby teeth are essential for their development, and they need to stay in for as long as possible. Visit us today so that you and your children can stay in good oral health.


Woman SmilingWhy an All-on-Four Implants Are an Easy Way to Improve Your Smile
April 15, 2016

We can improve your smile with an All-on-Four dental procedure. This is a fast and easy way to get the smile you want after losing teeth or needing to have them replaced. This is a type of dental implant procedure that is faster than traditional ones because instead of every tooth being implanted individually, only four implants are placed per arch. Patients can elect to have both their upper and lower teeth done together or only have one at a time, based on their current needs.

The procedure is ideal for people that are currently wearing dentures but want a more permanent solution that doesn’t require additional maintenance or taking them in and out. Once the implants are installed you can care for them like natural teeth by brushing with a regular toothbrush. There are no adhesives or additional components to worry about. This makes it possible for people to wake up in the morning and start their day, without worrying about their teeth. People with active lifestyles will appreciate the convenience. Additionally, they are incredibly strong so you can bite down with normal force and not worry about them breaking or cracking.

All-on-Four dental implants are an easier, faster, and a cheaper procedure than traditional implants which have to be installed one at a time. The procedure is less invasive since only four implants are used per arch. It generally takes around two and a half hours per arch to have them installed so they may be able to be implanted in one visit then the temporary or permanent teeth will be connected. Once completed, they have a 98 percent success rate which makes them a good option for most patients.

Tooth loss can impact people of all ages. Even young adults suffer from this condition with 30 percent of people over thirty having lost at least one adult tooth. Dentures can be uncomfortable and be inconvenient for those with a busy lifestyle that simply want to get up and go in the morning. All-on-Four implants are an ideal solution for people of all ages that either have dentures or need to get them. They are created in a dental lab using a mold of your mouth. This way they will fit perfectly, feel great, and look natural. Once they are implanted, no one will be able to tell that they are not natural teeth.

Patients that are considering getting dental implants should schedule an appointment to discuss the various options that are available. There are several cosmetic dentistry options that can improve a persons’ smile and provide a fully functioning set of teeth. The correct procedure is determined after you are examined by the dentist and discuss the goals that you have for your smile. Creating a custom treatment plan is important for producing real results that look and feel amazing. To learn more and to schedule your consultation call today.


Man Smiling

Ways that a Tooth Bonding Procedure Can Help You
April 1, 2016

In our dental office, we complete a tooth bonding procedure on a regular basis. This is a fairly common dental treatment, and we can use it on both children and adults. In fact, this is a solution that is often preferred by children that are in need of a dental restoration after cracking or chipping their teeth because it is less invasive than other restorative methods. In fact, it is not invasive at all.

Here is how it works

When you have a tooth bonding procedure, we will need to prepare your teeth slightly by using an abrasive solution to roughen up your tooth. We will not need to remove any of the actual enamel. This is an important distinction because it is one of the main reasons that people select this procedure. When using a dental veneer or dental crown to restore a tooth, enamel must be removed either from the surface of the tooth or all around the tooth. This can be irritating and makes the procedure permanent because once the enamel is gone it cannot grow back. Since the enamel remains intact with a bonding procedure, the process itself is fully reversible and more comfortable for patients of all ages.

Once the tooth is ready, we will create the bonding material in a shade that matches your surrounding teeth. This is critical for ensuring that it blends in completely. Once ready, we will mold the material to your tooth and shape it until it looks completely natural. Whether the bonding material covers your entire tooth or is used to correct a minor chip, it will look like it belongs in place and the appearance will be seamless. One we are satisfied with the appearance of it, we will complete your tooth bonding procedure by using a special dental light to harden the material in place. Afterwards, you will have a durable and sturdy tooth that looks natural and gives you the ability to bite down with full force and enjoy all of your favorite foods without restriction.

The process of dental bonding is incredibly easy as long as you visit a skilled cosmetic dentist. From a patient’s perspective, the procedure is non-invasive, comfortable, and can be completed in one visit. From our perspective, great skill is required to shape the material into a position that looks flawless. Our depth of experience is what makes many of our patients visit us for their restorations and we are confident that you will be satisfied with the results if you choose to do so.

What else can dental bonding be used for?

In our dental office, we will sometimes use this procedure to cover dark stains. If you have tried teeth whitening and have some stains that are stubborn, the best way to deal with them is to cover them up. This can be done using bonding material or a dental veneer. We can also use bonding to fix some minor aesthetic issues like changing the length of your teeth. To learn more, call and schedule an examination.


InvisalignAn Invisalign® Dentist Takes These Steps to Create the Aligners
March 28, 2016

We believe that patients should know all about a treatment option before they pursue it, which is why we have compiled this helpful list of facts and statistics.

A consultation with an Invisalign dentist is the first step to having straighter teeth using this revolutionary product. For decades people have used the same methods to straighten and realign their teeth, now with the invention of Invisalign® there is something new and better available. The first time you meet with our dentist it is to get an evaluation, which will tell us if you are eligible for the treatment. Typically most people are. However, since there are a few cases where the procedure may not be as effective, or the treatment may be hampered by some other underlying condition, we use the first visit to explore that potential. One important thing to note is that we do not use Invisalign with children, since the product is designed for adults and teenagers who have a full set of mature teeth. It also gives you the chance to have a conversation with the team and the dentist to ask any questions that you may have while getting a better understanding of the process used to give you better-aligned teeth. Once it is determined, through an exam and conversation, that you are a good candidate, we will proceed to the record gathering stage.

As an Invisalign dentist, we takes a lot of measurements, photographs, and x-rays to make sure that we provide the laboratory with exact details about your mouth. We will also take a dental impression, upon which the lab will base their modeling. For us, the objective is to give the laboratory a perfect picture of your teeth so that their fabrication and modeling can be extremely precise, fitting perfectly in your mouth and working to give you straighter teeth. Essentially the dental impression, taken by your Invisalign dentist, serves as a replica of the teeth that the technicians use to work with.

The technicians will scan the dental impression of your teeth, creating a three-dimensional model of your teeth on their computer. They will then use a simulation to formulate a plan for how to get your teeth from where they are today, to where we, as your Invisalign® dentist, want them to be at the end of the treatment. The simulation mimics the actual movement curve that your teeth will take once the aligners are placed on them. All of this is on a computer, which gives us access to it so that we can make changes and tweaks along the way. Once we have perfected the plan, the technicians will fabricate the aligners.

Invisalign works by gradually moving the teeth from their current position, into a new position, using pressure from these aligners. The aligners work in increments of 1/10th mm, which means that each time you place a new aligner into your mouth, it will be 1/10th of a millimeter straighter than your teeth. As you continue to wear the aligner, we recommend no less than 20 hours per day, your teeth will start to move so that they can fit tray perfectly. Once your teeth are in exact alignment with the Invisalign® tray, it will be time to move to the next tray and continue the process. As an Invisalign® dentist, we will supervice the process to ensure optimal results.


ImplantsHow Dental Implants are Placed in the Jawbone
March 1, 2016

Most people know dental implants are tiny prosthetics that are used to create a new fake tooth. Few people, outside of patients who have received one, are aware of just how great a dental implant can be. For starters, dental implants are based on a simple grounding philosophy. Since the root of the tooth is the grounding for the tooth, the dental implants we use provide the same level of strength and security to the new dental crown that we place over them. Additionally, the root has a very important and symbiotic relationship with your jawbone, which works to help in stabilizing the tooth itself. Our tiny titanium implants mimic this relationship perfectly. What this does for you is it creates a circumstance where your new fake tooth is strongly grounded in an implant that is literally a perfect non-biological imitation of your root. As such you can eat anything that you would normally eat, without fear of causing unnecessary damage to your new implant or crown. This also means that you do not have to engage in special cleaning activities. Simply brush your teeth, and floss, like you would normally do and the new tooth will also get clean.

Did you know that dental implants come in two different types? Most people, even those who have dental implants, are usually not aware of this fact. There are two types of dental implants because in order for a traditional dental implant to be successful there is a prerequisite for the jawbone to be healthy. The jawbone and the dental implant have a symbiotic relationship, which means the jawbone has to have sufficient density, or bone mass, to sustain and support the implant. We will typically find this out during our initial consultations and examinations, where we will take x-rays. If your jawbone can sustain an implant, we will use the traditional implant. Also known as an Endosteal implant, this implant is a cylindrical shaped device, often a screw, made of titanium. It is inserted directly into the jawbone for maximum stability and to ensure the relationship between the two.

For other patients, however, they may not have the jaw bone density that is required to place an Endosteal implant. In cases like this the patient, you, have one of the two choices. You can have reconstructive surgery on the jaw to make it stronger and able to withstand and support the implant. The other option, for those that do not want to or cannot undergo reconstructive surgery, is to use an implant known as a Subperiosteal implant. A Subperiosteal implant functions much the same way as an Endosteal implant, with one notable exception. A Subperiosteal implant is placed into the gum but not into the jawbone. It is placed on top of, or slightly above the jawbone itself. This provides the security and stability that the dental crown needs, without putting added pressure on the already weakened jawbone. The initial examination will tell us what kind of implant you need, and we can make sure you have all the information you need to make a decision.


Woman SmilingQuestions You Should Ask Yourself Before a Cosmetic Dentistry Appointment
February 26, 2016

Cosmetic dentistry is an excellent way to improve your smile, transforming imperfections into beautiful teeth. With so many treatment options and a world of possibilities it is important to narrow down what your goals and objectives are before meeting with the dentist. This will ensure that you can clearly articulate what you want to accomplish.

When scheduling an appointment with our office, we recommend that you have your teeth cleaned and examined at the same time. This way we can help to keep your teeth healthy and be sure that there are no lingering health issues that need to be addressed prior to starting any cosmetic work. Once the examination is complete, pull out your list of notes and let us know what you don’t like about your smile.

Before your appointment consider the following:

How much time do you have available? Any type of dental work comes with a time commitment. Whether it is one appointment or five, we need to know how much time you have available along with if you are on a deadline. For example, if you are getting married in six months we will want to know about it so that all of your treatments can be scheduled accordingly. This may influence which treatments we recommend. Simultaneously, if it is hard for you to take time off of work we will want to know so that we can look for appointment times that would work for you and allow for recovery over the weekend. There is no right or wrong answer; we just need the information to plan accordingly.

How white do you want your teeth? It is important for you to feel comfortable with your teeth. In our cosmetic dentistry office, we need to know how white you want your teeth to get. Whether completing a teeth whitening procedure or applying dental veneers or crowns, we need to know the shade you are comfortable with so that they can be created accordingly.

What don’t you like about your smile? Come with a list of the things that you would improve if you could. This should be as specific as possible so that we can be sure to address each issue. For example, “I don’t like my smile” makes it difficult to provide treatment recommendations. On the other hand, “I don’t like the gaps in between my teeth or their color” is easy to understand and to identify treatment solutions. We can easily see what issues are preventing your smile from looking perfect, but it is unnecessary to treat something that isn’t bothering you.

Do you like the appearance of your gums? Many people suffer from a gummy smile where too much of their gum tissue shows for comfort. Others struggle with a receding gum line. We can help you with both problems and need to know how you feel about your gums.

Our cosmetic dentistry office has a plethora of options for treating your teeth and correcting any imperfections in your smile. By coming prepared to discuss what you want, we can make more thorough treatment recommendations.


Gum Disease TreatmentPeriodontics: Gum Disease and Treatment
February 18, 2016

If you have not had your teeth cleaned recently or you feel as though your gums look unhealthy, call (626) 414-5995 and schedule an appointment to see Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. right away. Gum disease is a serious health problem that often leads to discomfort and tooth loss. Our periodontics procedures can prevent gum disease and restore your gums to good health if you do develop it. Keep in mind that gum disease typically develops because plaque and tartar build up underneath the gums. If teeth are kept clean, your gums have a better chance of remaining healthy.

Our laser dentistry office is conveniently located in West Covina, CA, and we would be happy to examine your gums and make a recommendation for which treatment solution would work best for your situation.

Periodontics: Gum Disease and Treatment Solutions

We are a laser dentistry office, which means we can treat your gum disease in ways that are far more comfortable and convenient than the traditional methods. Typically, if a 91790 patient were to get gum disease, they would need to visit a general dentist office to have a deep cleaning. This is a procedure where the gums are pulled away from the teeth so plaque and tartar can be scraped off from underneath them. Naturally, this can be uncomfortable. However, we offer a better way. Our gum disease laser therapy is fast, easy, and it will not cause you any discomfort. This is because lasers can reach areas that metal dental tools cannot. Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. can use laser dentistry to break up plaque and tartar, essentially zapping it without needing to pull away your gum tissue and without needing to use metal dental tools.

The Benefits of Gum Disease Laser Therapy

As a laser dentistry office, we highly recommend periodontics treatments that use lasers because the benefits are so great. Laser are thin rays of light that will not irritate your surrounding gum tissue or your teeth. In this way, you will not be uncomfortable during your procedure. Simultaneously, your gums should not well or bleed like they would with a traditional gum disease treatment. This means your gums can heal faster, you will feel better, and the recovery time will be significantly reduced.

If you live in West Covina, CA or the 91790 area, we encourage you to call (626) 414-5995 and schedule an appointment with our periodontics office so you can benefit from the comfort of gum disease laser therapy.


Couple SmilingLearn About Gum Reshaping From a Cosmetic Dentist
February 18, 2016

If you do not like the appearance of your smile because of the shape of your gums, call (626) 414-5995 and schedule an appointment with our West Covina cosmetic dentist office. You can learn more about gum reshaping from a cosmetic dentist firsthand. In the meantime, here are answers to a few of the questions we are regularly asked about this procedure.

Who needs gum reshaping?

Typically, Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. performs this procedure on patients who have a gummy smile. This is where the gums cover too much of the teeth, causing the gums to be featured prominently when you smile. The impact can be devastating on a person's appearance, creating the immediate need for a cosmetic solution. Other patients require gum reshaping from our laser dentistry office because they have suffered gum disease. When gum disease advances, it causes the gums to recede. As they do, pockets can be created in the gum tissue and more of the tooth exposed. Laser dentistry can be used to close the pockets and restore gums to good health.

Can any dentist complete this procedure?

This is not a traditional general dentistry procedure, so most dentists do not offer it. This is why you should visit our 91790 laser dentistry and cosmetic dentist office for gum reshaping.

What is the difference between laser dentistry and traditional gum reshaping?

Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. can shape your gums in a way that is comfortable. Traditional gum reshaping involves the use of a scalpel and sutures. Naturally, this type of surgical procedure can cause bleeding, swelling, general discomfort, and a longer recovery period. By eliminating the need to cut into your gums, laser dentistry makes it possible to receive the results you desire without the complications or irritation. You should also know that this reduces your risk of developing an infection. If you have the option of using laser dentistry on your gums, you should take it every time.

How long will it take to recover from the procedure?

Most of our West Covina, CA patients recover very quickly because we do not cut into the gums with a scalpel and no sutures are required. During your recovery time, your gums may be slightly sore or swollen, but the degree will be so minor that it will not interfere with your daily life. We recommend eating soft foods so you do not accidentally scratch or irritate your gums, but other than that, the occasional ibuprofen should be all you need to feel better. You should be fully recovered within a week and able to enjoy the new appearance of your smile.

Is this part of a smile makeover?

It can be. If you live in West Covina, CA or the 91790 area, we encourage you to call (626) 414-5995 and schedule an appointment to speak with Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. about what you do and do not like about your smile. As a cosmetic dentist office, there are virtually no issues we cannot correct. If your teeth need to be whitened, straightened, gaps closed, or their shape changed, we can do that. If your gums also need to be shaped, our laser dentistry services can do so without causing you discomfort. In this way, your entire smile can be improved, instead of just your teeth.

To learn more about gum reshaping from a cosmetic dentist firsthand, call (626) 414-5995 and schedule an appointment today.


Kids SmilingOrthodontic Problems and Treatments
February 18, 2016

If you want to improve your smile, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S.. In our West Covina, CA orthodontics office, we can provide solutions to address your aesthetic challenges. While improving your smile, we will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. To find out which solutions would work best for you and how we can improve your smile, call (626) 414-5995.

Orthodontic Problems and Treatments

Some of the common problems people have with their smile are:

  • Crooked teeth
  • Gaps in between teeth
  • Misaligned bite

We can solve these problems in our West Covina, CA dental office by using orthodontics. Our solutions work to address crowding and spacing of teeth, overbite, crooked teeth, and any other problems preventing you from having a truly beautiful smile.

Treatments From a Cosmetic Dentist

As a 91790 cosmetic dentist, Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. can address aesthetic challenges using both orthodontics and cosmetic solutions, and sometimes a combination of both. For example, if you only have a small gap in between your teeth, dental veneers can close them faster than wearing clear braces or Invisalign®. Additionally, if you are struggling from crowding and spacing of teeth, you may require tooth extractions before Invisalign® can be used. We offer numerous ways to correct crooked teeth and an overbite because we understand that each patient is unique and so is their smile. The best way to find out which solutions may be part of your treatment plan is to call (626) 414-5995 and schedule an appointment with our West Covina dental office.

If you have crooked teeth, we may recommend …

  • Clear Braces
  • Invisalign®

If you have problems with crowding and spacing of teeth, we may recommend …

  • Tooth extractions
  • Clear braces
  • Invisalign®

If you have spaces in between your teeth, we may recommend …

  • Veneers
  • Clear braces
  • Invisalign®

If you have an overbite, we may recommend ….

  • Clear braces

How Our Orthodontics Treatments Work

Clear braces are an alternative to traditional metal braces. In this treatment, ceramic brackets are bonded to the teeth with a tooth-colored wire run in between them. If you want to straighten your teeth without it being noticeable, clear braces are an excellent way to do so. Since the same basic methods are used with clear braces and traditional ones, this is the best solution for addressing an overbite. You just need to remember to be diligent about keeping them clean so they do not become stained.

Invisalign® is a convenient way to straighten teeth when a patient needs to have more control over their orthodontics treatment. Invisalign® moves teeth using a series of pre-fabricated aligners. The aligners are clear and virtually invisible, surrounding the teeth and placing pressure on them so they begin to move. Each aligner is worn for around two weeks and then switched out for the next one in the series. Each time this is done, crooked teeth move that much closer to being straight. The benefit of using Invisalign® is that the aligners come out when you eat and brush teeth, so many people find them to be more convenient.

Dental veneers are a cosmetic solution that can be used to change the shape and appearance of your teeth. They are a thin shell made of porcelain bonded to the surface of your teeth. They essentially replace your enamel, but since they are customized in their size and shape, they can be used to close gaps in between teeth and even make them appear straighter. For minor shaping issues, veneers are a fast and convenient solution that works much faster than traditional orthodontics. It typically only takes two appointments to place them, so this can even be ideal when someone wants to get clear braces or Invisalign® in the future but needs to close a gap today.

Whether you have challenges with crowding and spacing of teeth, an overbite, or crooked teeth, Ricardo A. Suarez, D.D.S. can help. With multiple treatment options to choose from, we can provide you with a customized plan for how to improve your smile. To discuss your options in further detail, call (626) 414-5995 and schedule a consultation with our 91790 orthodontics office.


Teeth WhiteningLearn About Teeth Whitening Products Before Buying Them
February 1, 2016

Here is an interesting fact about teeth whitening. Did you know that out of the millions of Americans who use an over the counter teeth whitening solution this year, one in every twenty-five (1:25) will have to be seen by a dentist for a level of pain or discomfort? This pain varies from the mild and bearable to the “I’m in so much pain, a root canal sounds good”. It is important to note that this isn’t because teeth whitening is bad, in fact, when we perform the procedure it is pain-free. The discomfort is typically caused by ill-fitting trays or overuse.

Solutions for teeth whitening have been around forever. The earliest tooth brushing was invented to try and keep teeth white and healthy while ancient cultures are known to have rubbed charcoal on their teeth to make them whiter. Needless to say men, and women, have been obsessed with having white teeth for a very long time. Enter the modern world where consumerism drives everything, and there are now a million solutions available easily, and over the counter, at your local pharmaceutical store. While convenience is wonderful, it also carries its own set of risks as many people whiten without the help of a professional.

The massive influx of products has created the only known problem with teeth whitening. Overuse is a common and sometimes painful problem for people who whiten their teeth. But why do people overuse the products? We believe that the answer is simple and starts with the quest for the perfect white teeth and brilliant smile. Over-the-counter products do a great job of getting the smile back the first time. However, what most will not tell you is that after a while, a smile starts to fade, and the brilliance of the teeth’s whiteness starts to diminish. Naturally the teeth will once again start to stain and return to a less than optimal color that is more natural. This is upsetting to some people, and the tendency is to then use the product again, and again, and keep using it every time the smile fades even slightly.

As dentists, we recommend not using a whitening product more than once every 4 to 6 months. This avoids overuse and protects your gums from getting irritated from over exposure to the bleach and other chemicals that are found in the whitening agents. Teeth whitening is designed to help whiten your teeth, but not on a monthly basis. Frequent users, sometimes whitening their teeth more than once a month, are at greater risk for irritation or applying the product to a cavity or infected gum. Any of these scenarios can lead to discomfort.

Our advice is simple. Don’t overuse over the counter teeth whitening products. If you want your teeth to get whiter, have the procedure done at our office instead. Our solutions are more effective than anything you can buy at the store and we will ensure your comfort during the process.


DentistryIf You’re Getting Sick A Lot – Visit Your Family Dentist to Determine if You Have an Infection
January 28, 2016

Oral infections can go undiagnosed, making a trip to the family dentist extremely important. If you feel as though you are sick all of the time, the best place to start is with a trip to the doctor. If they can’t figure out what is wrong or you keep feeling sick, come see the dentist.

An oral infection can make you sick just like any other type of infection. You can run a fever, start to feel achy, get the chills and more. This typically leads to a trip to the doctor’s office as very few people associate these symptoms with an oral health issue. If the doctor gives you antibiotics for your sickness and the symptoms keep returning, it could be because you have an oral infection that isn’t going away. Antibiotics alone can’t solve the problem so this won’t be enough.

As a family dentist, we will look for signs of an infection during every dental exam. After your teeth have been cleaned, and the bacteria and plaque removed, it is easy to see if the tooth is infected or if you are showing signs of gum disease. Both can become painful and lead to other feelings of being sick. Our goal is to identify and treat infections right away so that you don’t have to experience pain or discomfort.

If we identify any signs of gum disease, we will start by removing the bacteria that has built up underneath your gums. This is the most likely cause of gum disease and once removed; your gums will start to heal themselves naturally. If the disease has grown and spread, you may have pockets in your gum tissue. This is particularly dangerous because it exposes your tooth structure and root system, making them more likely to become infected. Once this point has been reached, a gum graft is necessary for closing the pockets and protecting your tooth.

When your tooth becomes infected, it can also lead to pain and create problems with your overall health. A simple cavity creates minor discomfort but when the center of your tooth becomes infected, it can be painful and infect your roots. If this happens, we will likely perform a root canal in order to remove the infected portion of your tooth and roots. Afterwards, we will clean the area to remove any remaining infection, complete a filling, and place a temporary crown around the tooth. Your permanent crown will protect the tooth and make it possible to bite down without pain. Once the infection is removed, you will start to feel better.

The goal is to catch and treat any oral infections before they turn into a dental abscess. This level of infection is painful, and surgery may be required in order to remove it. As a family dentist, we want you to stay in excellent health so if your tooth hurts, or you are constantly sick, call us for a dental exam.



Man SmilingTeeth Whitening and Keeping Your Teeth Sparkling White
January 1, 2016

Teeth whitening is an age old custom, that has been carried out since man first learned that whitening his teeth makes him more attractive to the opposite sex. While we have more sophisticated ways of whitening teeth these days, the basic premise is still the same. People with whiter, brighter smiles tend to get an advantage in life. Be it in the dating scene or in a professional environment, recent studies have proven that if you have beautiful white teeth, and a confident smile you will probably do better than if you didn’t. This idea, together with a craze to have a Hollywood smile, has driven the industry to record performance as more and more people are looking for a way to have their teeth whitening done and be part of that winning culture.

There are two distinct routes you can take when whitening your teeth. The first is to get a do it yourself kit and do the work at home, and the second is to come in and see us where you can get your teeth whitening done by a skilled professional without any of the fuss and bother of a home kit. When done in our office, the procedure will produce more dramatic results.

Teeth whitening, regardless of how you chose to get it done, does not last forever. After awhile, the natural coloring in many foods, and the unnaturally added coloring in some can start to stain the teeth again. There are those who believe in teeth whitening every few months, which we do not recommend. Rather we suggest that you take active steps to prevent your teeth from starting to lose their pearly whiteness. As with most things, keeping your teeth white starts with the basics. Maintaining great oral hygiene habits, and ensuring that you minimize, avoid, or mitigate the risks to your teeth when eating foods known to have high coloring agents.

Believe it or not the biggest culprit for you losing that perfect white smile after getting your teeth whitening done, is your diet. For those who eat healthy, it is important to note that there are a lot of naturally occurring colors in foods like soy sauce and berries which can stain your teeth just as effectively as all the chemicals that are found in non-organic foods. For others, tea, coffee, cola, and energy drinks are some examples of the kinds of things we find in diets that can ruin your teeth after you have had them whitened. Coffee and tea both have natural color which, when consumed in significant quantities, will have a devastating effect on the color of your teeth. Cola and virtually any energy drink has chemical coloring added to it and the addition of large amounts of sugar which can contribute to decay. When you consider how bad candy is for you, think of cola and most energy drinks as a liquid form of that same product which, in essence, bathes your teeth in sugar. If you do eat or drink any of these products, we strongly advise rinsing your mouth immediately afterward to remove the staining agent immediately.

HOW TEETH WHITENING WORKS


Professional teeth whitening will allow patients to have a whiter and brighter smile, regardless of the severity of past stains. Professional teeth whitening involves using a bleaching agent that can safely alter the appearance of one’s teeth. Store-bought solutions will not be as effective as our professional whitening services and overusing these products can lead to damaging the enamel.

The video on teeth whitening from the American Dental Association is for educational and entertainment purposes only. If you have any questions or are interested in teeth whitening, then give us a call. No video is a substitute for a professional dentist.

Office Hours

Our General Schedule

Monday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

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100 S Vincent Ave #404 | West Covina, CA 91790

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