Should You Be Worrying About Your Wisdom Teeth?

 

It may appear that you have all of your permanent teeth before you hit high school, but not quite. The wisdom teeth, which are the final four back molars to grow into your mouth, don’t appear until you’re nearly an adult!  You can expect them to grow in between your 17th and 21st birthday. 

These back molars are a bit different than your normal adult teeth. Why? Because wisdom teeth have the high potential to cause serious pain and damage inside your mouth. They must be regularly monitored and evaluated. If your doctor believes wisdom teeth pose a threat to the health or alignment of your other teeth, removal becomes necessary. 

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to grow, usually in your late teens or early twenties. They emerge in the four back corners of your mouth, with two on top and two on the bottom. 

It’s believed that early humans relied on their wisdom teeth to grind raw plant tissue and other tough foods. So why could they utilize wisdom teeth without any pain or dental problems? Early humans probably had larger jaws that allowed more room for the third molars to grow in comfortably. 

Today, the removal of wisdom teeth is so common because most adults experience discomfort, crowding, and difficulties as their final back molars erupt. In fact, five million people have their wisdom teeth removed every year. 

 

Signs Wisdom Teeth Are Causing Trouble

Wisdom teeth are known to cause many different problems in your mouth. If there isn’t enough space in the back of your mouth for wisdom teeth to come to the surface, they erupt in the wrong position. Signs of wisdom teeth complications include these symptoms:

  • Misaligned wisdom teeth trap food and cavity-causing bacteria
  • Pain, swelling, and stiffness in the jaw
  • Changes to surrounding teeth, including shifting and crowding
  • Damage to roots of nearby teeth or bone
  • Unpleasant taste or odor in your mouth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Tender or bleeding gums

This is one reason it’s so important to visit your Vista dentist every six months. Periodic dental x-rays reveal the condition of wisdom teeth and surrounding tissue. Most dentists suggest wisdom teeth removal before a problem even forms in order to eliminate the potential of a more painful and complex procedure down the road.

 

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Your dentist may refer to your wisdom teeth as “impacted” if they don’t have enough room to emerge through the gums normally. Imagine a tree trying to grow through soil that’s already covered in plants. The only way the tree can break through the ground is to push aside and damage everything around it. 

This is exactly what happens when impacted wisdom teeth try to break through the gums. They may get stuck in any of the following situations:

  • Grow at an angle toward other teeth
  • Emerge “lying down” within the jawbone
  • Stay trapped within the jawbone 

All of these situations cause pain, discomfort, and serious risks to your oral health. If your dentist finds any signs that your wisdom teeth may be impacted, it’s best to have your wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible. 

 

About Removal and Recovery

The wisdom teeth extraction process is a safe, standard procedure performed across the country every day. Here are the steps you can expect:

  • Local anesthesia or conscious sedation prevent pain, discomfort, and anxiety
  • Your dental specialist removes the tissue and bone surrounding all four wisdom teeth
  • Wisdom teeth are extracted from their sockets
  • Stitches close each extraction site

If you opt to use oral conscious sedation like laughing gas, you won’t remember your wisdom teeth removal surgery or feel any pain. 

Recovery lasts about three to five days. You can expect slight bleeding and swelling during the first 24 hours, and your jaw may feel stiff after the anesthesia wears off. Fortunately, standard over-the-counter pain medications can reduce your symptoms and provide relief. 

Use these other tips to optimize your healing process after wisdom teeth removal:

  • If antibiotics are prescribed, use as recommended
  • Eat soft foods
  • Avoid spicy foods, tobacco, and alcohol
  • Rest and give the area time to heal

Gum tissue heals after three to four weeks. You’ll feel as good as new! 

 

What Are Dry Sockets?

Dry sockets are the most common complication of wisdom teeth removal. A dry socket develops when a blood clot in the surgical site becomes dislodged and leaves portions of nerves and bones exposed. This is a painful throbbing sensation that quickly leads to inflammation and infection. 

Most dry sockets occur between 3-5 days after surgery and can last up to a week before healing. The good news, at least, is that dry sockets are easy to treat. Your dentist will clean the socket, pack it with gauze and medicated gel, and advise you to clean it at home with saltwater. 

You can reduce your risk of dry sockets by avoiding tobacco, carefully caring for your mouth after surgery, and following all of your dentist’s recommendations. 

 

Learn More From Your Dentist

Only your dentist can evaluate wisdom teeth and help you determine whether they need to be removed. You can trust your wisdom teeth care and removal to Dr. Miller at Vista Dental Care and Specialty Center in Vista, California. Dr. Miller specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery and has more than 20 years of experience providing superior and reliable dental care. 

Call (760) 630-5000 to schedule your appointment at Vista Dental Care today. Don’t give your wisdom teeth the extra time they need to cause trouble in your mouth!

 

 

5 Most Common Invisalign FAQs

 

Crooked, misaligned teeth aren’t just unattractive. They also pose a real threat to the overall health of your mouth! And although wearing metal braces to straighten teeth has become a right of passage for children, adults with crooked teeth need a more subtle treatment option.

Invisalign is one of the best and most trusted tooth alignment alternatives for adults who want a straighter, more attractive smile. If you’re curious about Invisalign and wondering if it’s the right option for you, the answers to these five frequently asked questions will help. 

 

1. Why Are Crooked Teeth a Threat to Dental Health?

Most people want to straighten their teeth for the aesthetic benefits, but there are many important dental health benefits to fixing crooked teeth. 

Common misalignment issues like crowding, spacing, and poor bite make it difficult to remove plaque from certain areas. If that plaque isn’t properly brushed and flossed away, it has the chance to spread and trigger gum inflammation and tooth decay. This eventually turns into gingivitis, the early stages of gum disease.

In other words, crooked teeth put your smile at a higher risk of disease and decay. 

 

2. How Does Invisalign Fix Crooked Teeth?

Invisalign is an innovative teeth alignment system that uses a series of flexible plastic aligners to shift your teeth into their proper positions. The FDA-approved aligners are thin and clear. They fit snugly over your teeth without causing any obvious changes to your appearance. 

In order to begin the Invisalign treatment process, you’ll work with an experienced dentist like Mr. Miller to create a digital treatment plan. This plan demonstrates the exact path and movement of your teeth as they adjust into straighter positions. You’ll soon receive a customized set of clear aligners designed with advanced SmartTrack® thermoplastic material. The aligners work in a specific order to gently shift and push your teeth into an attractive and straight arrangement.

Dr. Miller will help you implement a specific Invisalign schedule. You must wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day to achieve timely results. You can expect to swap each aligner for the next in the set every 1 to 2 weeks. It’s okay to take out your Invisalign aligners when you brush, floss, eat, and drink. Just be sure to wear them at all other times. With just a bit of effort, you’ll experience a strategic step-by-step transformation until you reach your beautiful new smile. 

 

3. How Quickly Does Invisalign Work?

This is just one of the many benefits of choosing Invisalign as your teeth-straightening system! The average treatment time is only 12 to 18 months. Some patients start to notice results after just a few weeks. Of course, every case is different. Only your dentist can determine your exact treatment protocol based upon your mouth’s specific condition and needs. 

Overall, Invisalign tends to work faster than standard braces. Some patients achieve their new, straight smile in just six months!

 

4. Why Is Invisalign the Best Choice For Straighter Teeth?

Invisalign is a comfortable, versatile, and effective treatment that helps adults straighten their teeth without any of the embarrassment or pain common with standard metal braces. You can expect to enjoy the following benefits when you select an Invisalign plan. 

Removable and Invisible

Some of the best perks of using Invisalign are the benefits that metal braces can’t offer. Your Invisalign aligners are so thin and clear that nobody will notice you’re even wearing them. You definitely can’t say that about traditional braces! 

You can also remove your aligners whenever you eat, drink, brush, and floss. This versatility helps make basic yet essential tasks easier and more enjoyable. It’s even possible to remove your Invisalign trays for special events like weddings, job interviews, and playing sports. As long as you wear them for a total of 20-22 hours a day, you’ll enjoy maximum results. 

Faster Results with Less Pain

No teeth straightening procedure is completely painless, since shifting your teeth within your gums is bound to cause an uncomfortable sensation. However, Invisalign creates such a gentle shifting motion that you should only experience slight, subtle discomfort. It’s nothing compared to the intense pain often caused by harsh metal braces!

The slight discomfort you feel during the first few weeks is a good sign that your aligners are doing their job! You’ll quickly adjust to this pressure and enjoy the remainder of the Invisalign process virtually pain-free. 

Even better, Invisalign’s gentle treatment process can deliver results faster than normal braces. You may notice changes to your mouth’s alignment in a matter of weeks. The full treatment process typically lasts anywhere from 6 to 18 months. 

Safe and Reliable

Invisalign aligners are designed to be 100% free of BPA, BPA, latex, and gluten. They’re also FDA-approved, so you can trust their safety and quality. 

The plastic material used to create your Invisalign trays are made of medical-grade, high molecular weight, thermoplastic polymers. In other words, they’re formed with a material that has a long history of safe use inside the human body. It’s been FDA-approved for use in Invisalign aligners since 1998. You have more than two decades of proof that this is a reliable treatment option. 

 

5. How Can I Start Using Invisalign?

An experienced San Diego Invisalign expert like Dr.Yaron Miller is the best person to guide you through the Invisalign process. Dr. Miller and his team at Vista Dental Care and Specialty Center have transformed countless smiles using Invisalign. Call (760) 630-5000 today to schedule your first appointment and put yourself on the fast track to a straighter smile.

7 Tips for a Brighter, Whiter Smile in the New Year

New Year, New You!… or that’s how it’s supposed to go, anyway. But how can you feel like the best version of yourself when your teeth are just as dull and discolored as they were last year? A new year is the ultimate time to take advantage of one of the many dental treatments meant to give you a whiter, brighter smile. 

Why Are Your Teeth Dull and Discolored?

It’s easy– too easy!– to expose your teeth to substances that take away their white luster. Everything from your food and medication to your brushing habits may be responsible for the condition of your teeth.  

What You Eat and Drink

Food and drinks are the most common culprits of staining to the outer layer of your teeth. Coffee, wine, soda, and other dark-colored favorites contain potent pigments that bond to and stain tooth enamel, leaving your smile looking dull and unattractive. 

 

Here are a few of the worst offenders:

  • Black coffee and tea
  • Soda and dark juices
  • Dark condiments like soy sauce
  • Red wine
  • Dark berries

 

Other unhealthy foods are also to blame. Is most of your diet consists of processed foods loaded with sugar and acid? If so, your teeth are more vulnerable to plaque, cavities, and decay. 

Poor Oral Care

Your teeth and gums are exposed to everything you eat and drink- the good, the bad, and the ugly. So if you fail to brush and floss regularly, it’s all too easy for bacteria, acid, and plaque to accumulate and harden into tartar. Plaque and tartar both create an unsightly yellow coating around your teeth that leads to other issues like bad breath, decay, and tooth loss. 

Age and Health

Age-related discoloration is almost impossible to avoid because enamel thins with age and reveals more of each tooth’s underlying yellow dentin. When you combine this effect with the culmination of 60 or 70 years of food and beverage stains, the results can’t be ignored. 

 

Unfortunately, many medications can also cause tooth discoloration as a side effect. Antibiotics like tetracycline and amoxicillin, as well as drugs used for allergies and high blood pressure, are a few of the worst culprits. 

Poor Habits

Before smoking or diabetes will kill you, they’ll turn your smile an unpleasant shade of yellow-ish brown. Other poor habits may also play a role in diminishing the brilliance of your smile, like biting on hard objects.

 

Luckily for all of us, there are many professional dental treatments and DIY hacks known to create brighter smiles and whiter teeth. 

 

Tip 1: Try Professional Teeth Whitening

Though you can walk into any drug store and purchase a whitening kit, it is a much better idea to see your dentist for a professional whitening system. Only your dentist can offer the tools and techniques that will give you a truly bright smile. 

 

Your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and recommend the best treatment for your smile. Any procedure he recommends will use professional-grade whitening products that quickly breakdown stains into smaller, less concentrated pieces. This restores the white color to your teeth and helps you smile with confidence. Laser teeth whitening is now also possible as an innovative way to enhance the effects of the bleaching gel for quick and dramatic results. 

 

Tip 2: Consider a Smile Makeover with Porcelain Veneers

If your smile needs more than basic whitening, veneers offer an easy way to achieve a healthier, whiter smile. Each individual porcelain veneer is a very thin, custom-made shell that’s carefully crafted to cover the front side of your tooth. 

 

Porcelain veneers create a natural appearance across your entire smile using durable porcelain material. Since porcelain has a translucent quality, it closely mimics the look and feel of your real teeth. Thanks to the durability of porcelain, these veneers are resistant to staining and most chipping. They have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years with proper care, so you can enjoy your new and improved appearance without any second thoughts. 

 

You should expect to receive multiple veneers at once. Some patients only need one veneer to cover a broken or jagged tooth. Other patients prefer to six to eight veneers in order to create an attractive and symmetrical smile along the top row of teeth. 

 

Tip 3: Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings

Composite (tooth-colored) fillings are used to repair teeth affected by decay, cracks, fractures and other types of damage, while preserving a more natural tooth appearance.  If you need to repair significant damage to one of your back teeth, but don’t want your fillings to be obvious when you smile, ask your dentist about composite fillings. 

 

Tip 4: Brush With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common ingredient in natural toothpaste because it provides extra scrubbing power. In addition to use with normal brushing, you can also use plain baking soda once a week to scrub away surface stains on your teeth. Just make sure you only use this natural hack periodically; baking soda is an abrasive material that can hurt your teeth if used regularly. 

 

Tip 5: Try an Activated Charcoal Toothbrush

Activated charcoal is a natural substance that’s become very popular in holistic oral care. When it comes in contact with your teeth, activated charcoal’s adsorptive properties immediately bond to the molecules creating stains, yellowing, and brown marks on your teeth. Toxins and discoloration-causing molecules are pulled gently out of your teeth and spit right into the sink. 

 

The easiest way to enjoy the benefits of activated charcoal is to brush with a charcoal toothbrush. Consider these impressive benefits compared to your conventional toothbrush:

  • Removes plaque without weakening teeth or causing sensitivity
  • Adds whitening power to your brushing by pulling stains out of enamel
  • Eliminates bad breath by removing toxins from teeth, gums, and tongue
  • Cleanses gum tissues drawing pathogens out of their tiny hiding spots

 

By protecting your gums from the accumulation of bacteria and acids, your activated charcoal toothbrush can prevent gingivitis and help you maintain a white, confident smile. 

 

Tip 6: Make DIY Mouthwash

Most conventional mouthwash products contain harsh alcohol and other ingredients that might dry out your mouth or cause your teeth to feel sensitive. You can save money and nurture a whiter smile by making your own natural mouthwash with essential oils. 

 

Essential oils are highly concentrated botanical oils used since ancient times for their therapeutic properties. Tea tree and peppermint oils are two of the most popular essential oils used in DIY mouthwash because they’re versatile and backed by time-tested research

 

Blend the following ingredients to make your own remineralizing mouthwash:

  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 2 drops peppermint essential oil
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 2 tsp baking soda

 

Just swish and spit twice a day to combat unwanted plaque and keep your smile looking its best. 

 

Tip 7: Begin Daily Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy that recently entered the spotlight as a modern day natural oral health trick. Using nothing more than coconut oil, this simple technique improves oral hygiene, removes toxins from the mouth, and helps your teeth look a few shades whiter. 

 

Oil pulling is simple– place a spoonful of oil into your mouth and swish for 20 minutes. Then spit the oil into the trash and rinse your mouth. The bacteria and debris in your mouth are pulled out by the oil, leaving you with a healthier, whiter smile. 

 

By oil pulling once a day, you can achieve impressive benefits:

  • Use antioxidants to damage and kill microorganisms
  • Purify gum tissue of toxins
  • Slow or stop the bacteria responsible for cavities, gingivitis, periodontitis, and bad breath

 

Creating a brighter, whiter smile in the New Year doesn’t have to be complicated. With an experienced San Diego dentist by your side, you can improve the health of your teeth and let your smile shine. Call Dr. Yaron Miller today to learn more about Vista Dentistry and schedule your first appointment. 

The Painful Truth About Nighttime Teeth Grinding

We all crave the sanctuary of sleep after a long day, but what if your mouth doesn’t sleep as soundly as your body? 

 

Millions of Americans suffer from the condition of nighttime teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. If you’re among the 8% of adults with this sleep disorder, you may not even know it. 

 

In fact, you may be coping with side effects like tooth sensitivity, headaches, and jaw pain without understanding the root cause at all. Here’s what you need to know about this dangerous habit of nighttime teeth grinding and how you can stop it. 

Why Do I Grind My Teeth?

If you have bruxism, you clench and grind your teeth while you sleep. This nighttime gashing may be triggered by a few different causes.

Medical Conditions

Antidepressants, antipsychotics, and amphetamines are all known to cause nighttime teeth grinding. If you’re using any medications that fall under those categories, they have the potential to cause this issue while you sleep. There are also neurological conditions like Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease that may cause uncontrollable gnashing behaviors. 

Anxiety and Stress

Research suggests that daytime stress and anxiety play a huge role in nighttime grinding. You’re more likely to clench your jaw and move it back and forth while you sleep if you’re consumed by worry and stress over issues relating to your finances, career, or relationships. Even though you’re meant to rest during sleep, your mind and body continue to react to the stressors of the day. 

Teeth Problems

Existing dental problems can also exacerbate grinding behavior. Misaligned teeth, known as occlusion, prevent your teeth from meeting correctly when the jaw opens and closes. This makes it easier for clenching and gnashing to occur, especially if your facial muscles start to spasm. 

Signs and Symptoms of Nighttime Teeth Grinding

Nighttime teeth grinding is tricky to identify because it occurs when you’re completely unaware of the behavior. Since chronic clenching and grinding put so much pressure on the muscles, tissues, teeth, and other structures around the jaw, symptoms can be felt long after the grinding stops and the sun rises. 

 

A few of the most common bruxism symptoms include the following:

  • Jaw pain and stiffness
  • Sore gums
  • Sensitive or broken teeth
  • Clicking jaw joints
  • Chronic dull headaches
  • Earaches
  • Flat, short, or blunt teeth surfaces

 

If you sleep in the same bed or room as another person, you can ask that person to listen for sounds of grinding overnight. The scraping sound of teeth grinding over each other is usually disruptive, unpleasant, and easy to hear. 

How Does Nighttime Teeth Grinding Hurt My Mouth?

Chewing food, talking, smiling, and feeling confident are all made possible by a full and healthy set of teeth. Bruxism threatens the health of your teeth by wearing them down, sometimes to stumps. When your teeth become fractured, loose, or damaged, you may find yourself needing bridges, crowns, implants, or even dentures in order to save your mouth and reduce your pain. 

 

In addition to the direct damage to your teeth, bruxism also can lead to tension headaches, facial pain, and a condition called TMJ disorder that is defined by problems with the jaw and facial muscles. All of these problems cause enough pain to interrupt your daily activities and create unbearable suffering. 

Preventing and Treating Bruxism

Though the consequences of bruxism are painful and frightening, there are many ways your dentist can help you prevent and treat your nighttime teeth grinding. 

 

Try these tips to reduce your grinding triggers overnight:

  • Use stress-reduction techniques
  • Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet room
  • Remove all sources of blue light (TVs, computers, phones) from your room
  • Sleep on your side or stomach

 

Treatment for nighttime bruxism requires some creativity since it’s out of your conscious control. 

 

One popular, painless, and non-invasive solution involves the use of a mouthguard. High-quality, custom-made mouthguards provided by your dentist use a soft polyurethane inner layer that rests comfortably along the teeth and gums, and a hard, durable copolyester outer layer to alleviate grinding and clenching. This type of careful mouthguard design can resolve the pain and damage caused by bruxism, especially severe tooth, jaw, and facial pain. 

 

Certain lifestyle changes can also minimize the intensity of bruxism. Consider making these adjustments to reduce your risk of bruxism:

  • Cut back on foods and beverages with caffeine and alcohol since they are known to cause the tension, anxiety, and aggression that commonly lead to grinding and clenching. 
  • Avoid chewing gum or biting on objects like pencils, pens, and nails. 
  • Decrease anxiety with essential oils, a relaxing bath, better time management, or other strategies

Get Your Dentist’s Help to Save Your Teeth

Left untreated, nighttime teeth grinding can wear down your teeth and leave you in chronic pain. If you have been experiencing frequent jaw discomfort, daytime fatigue, or dull headaches, ask your dentist to examine your mouth for signs of bruxism.

 

Your dentist will use a clinical examination to identify the extent of your bruxism and suggest potential causes. Whether you need to realign your bite, treat an underlying health condition, or use a mouth guard, your dentist is the best person to guide you through the treatment process.

 

Dr. Yaron Miller and his team at Vista Dental Care are proud to provide specialized dental services to patients throughout San Diego County, including bruxism treatment. As a member of ADA, CDA, and SDCDC, Dr. Miller has the experience and expertise to help you overcome your painful nighttime teeth grinding symptoms and sleep peacefully once again!

How to Pick the Best Veneers For Your Smile

Have you ever looked at your discolored, cracked, or misaligned teeth and wished you could swap for an entirely new set of teeth? That dream is actually very easy to turn into a reality! 

 

Just like you can improve the appearance of your skin with makeup, you can transform the appearance of your teeth with dental veneers. These ultra-thin shells are made of durable tooth-colored material and designed to hide all of the imperfections you don’t want others to see. 

 

Of course, veneers are far more permanent than makeup, so it’s a decision you need to make with as much information and planning as you can. Thanks to recent advances in dental technology, there are now several different types of veneers available. Make sure you explore your options to find the best veneers for your smile!

What Are Veneers?

In simplest terms, veneers offer an easy way to enhance the appearance of your smile. Each individual veneer is a very thin, custom-made shell that’s carefully crafted to cover the front side of your tooth. Once applied to your teeth, your veneers create a new and improved appearance that hides all signs of stains, cracks, chips, and crooked teeth. 

 

You can choose exactly how many veneers you get and where they are placed. Some patients only need one veneer to cover a broken or jagged tooth. Other patients prefer to six to eight veneers in order to create an attractive and symmetrical smile along the top row of teeth. 

Signs You Might Need Veneers

Dental veneers improve the overall aesthetic appearance of your teeth. If your mouth is generally healthy, but you are unhappy with the look and feel of your teeth, veneers may offer the perfect solution. 

 

Dental veneers can solve any of the following cosmetic issues when whitening, crowns, and braces aren’t enough: 

  • Uneven teeth caused by grinding or general wear and tear
  • Discoloration that teeth whitening cannot repair
  • Unwanted spaces between the teeth
  • Dull or worn enamel
  • Small chips or cracks

 

However, if your issues are more complex, you may not be ready for veneers. Severe misalignment, gum disease, and untreated decay are all issues that need to be resolved before the application of veneers becomes a realistic solution for you. 

 

Once you decide to use veneers to improve your smile, it’s time to choose which material is the best fit. 

Option #1: Composite Veneers

Composite veneers are usually selected as an affordable way to enhance your smile in just one office visit. These veneers are sculpted onto your teeth using a tooth-colored resin to create a natural appearance. 

 

Composite veneers offer a few distinct benefits and drawbacks. Most importantly, they don’t permanently alter the underlying teeth since they’re created by shaping resin. This means that composite veneers can actually be removed or replaced in the future, so they’re a great choice if you’re indecisive or scared to commit to a lifetime with your new veneers. 

 

On the flip side, this less invasive form of veneers doesn’t offer the durability of porcelain veneers. Composite veneers have a shorter lifespan and stain easier when exposed to soda, wine, and berries. 

 

If you’re eager and willing to commit to a longer procedure that offers more reliable results, porcelain veneers could be your best choice. 

Option #2: Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers create a natural appearance across your entire smile using durable porcelain material. Since porcelain has a translucent quality, it closely mimics the look and feel of your real teeth. 

 

Thanks to the durability of porcelain, these veneers are resistant to staining and chipping. They have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years with proper care, so you can enjoy your new and improved appearance without any second thoughts. 

 

The most common porcelain veneer procedure takes place over two visits. During the first visit, your dentist takes an impression of your teeth to use as a guide when customizing your veneers. You’ll then work with your dentist to identify the best natural color shade for your teeth. 

 

Once you’re certain that porcelain veneers are the best choice, your dentist will gently shave away a small amount of enamel from your teeth. This makes space for the veneers to be placed and provides a rough surface for the adhesive application. 

 

Your second visit will take place after your porcelain veneers are created. They’re etched, rinsed, and placed onto each individual tooth with a strong, permanent adhesive. Since each veneer is designed to achieve an exact fit with your tooth, porcelain veneers are always comfortable and attractive. 

Option #3: Lumineers

Lumineers combine the best features of composite and porcelain veneers to give you a third option. If you want veneers that are durable and attractive like porcelain, but quick and easy like composite resin, you should consider Lumineers. 

 

Lumineers set themselves apart from other veneers because they’re so thin- as thin as a contact lens! Proprietary technology makes it possible to digitally design Lumineers and place them over your teeth without any lengthy preparation. 

 

Most “no-prep” veneers like Lumineers last about five to seven years but can be easily replaced if needed. 

How to Take Care of Your Veneers

The same rules of oral hygiene apply to real teeth and veneers, although you may need to exercise a little bit more caution to protect your veneers. 

 

In order to extend the lifespan of your veneers as long as possible, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t chew mindlessly on pens, fingernails, ice, or other hard objects
  • Never open packages with your teeth
  • Chew harder foods with your back teeth only; protect your front teeth from the stress and pressure of chewing
  • Use a mouthguard or splint to protect your veneers from nighttime grinding and clenching

 

As long as you maintain a diligent oral care routine and shield your veneers from hard impacts, they will last for many years to come. 

Change Your Smile With Veneers

Veneers provide a simple, efficient, and long-lasting way to improve the aesthetics of your smile and feel more confident in your smile. 

 

Make sure you choose a dentist with the experience necessary to give you the best results possible! Dr. Yaron Miller has been transforming his patients’ smiles through cosmetic procedures for decades, and his passion for dentistry drives him to incorporate the latest technologies into his practice.

 

Call Vista Dentistry today to make an appointment with Dr. Miller and give your smile the gift of dazzling new veneers. 

A Quick Guide to Sedation Dentistry

If the idea of visiting your dentist for a six-month check-up fills you with an intense sense of stress and worry, you may be among the 15% of people suffering from ongoing dental anxiety.

Fear of the dentist is common, but it’s also highly manageable. Sedation dentistry is now a popular practice that helps patients relax and complete their entire appointments in comfort. If you’ve been stubbornly avoiding the dentist, sedation dentistry can help you get the care you need without any of the anxiety.

What Is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety creates fear and uneasiness about upcoming dental appointments. Some people can push through their anxiety, while others find it too difficult to even walk in the door. Intense dental anxiety is considered a dental phobia triggered by irrational but uncontrollable fears about dental procedures.

There are a few main reasons that patients unintentionally develop dental anxiety:
Fear of pain: The mouth is a highly sensitive area, so it’s extremely common for patients to feel terrified of the pain they might experience during a cavity filling or root canal. Even if the procedures themselves don’t hurt, the fear and anticipation of potential pain can be even worse.
Fear of side effects: Patients with dental anxiety also consider the side effects, however unlikely or rare, of dental procedures.

Loss of control: Nobody likes to lose control, but those with dental anxiety feel especially helpless when laying in the dentist’s chair, mouth wide open. It’s difficult to observe surroundings or talk during dental procedures, leading to a sense of helplessness that quickly triggers anxiety.

Embarrassment: Other patients may fear the potential embarrassment of a dental appointment more than the work being done. This is especially true for people who don’t like other people entering their personal space. Dental work requires close contact that leads to self-conscious worries about appearance and odor of the mouth or face.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry aims to alleviate the effects of dental phobia by relaxing patients who feel too scared or overwhelmed to sit calmly during an exam or procedure. There are three different types of sedation dentists can utilize based on patient needs and requests.

Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a colorless and odorless gas used in the lightest form of sedation dentistry. Laughing case is very popular because it’s safe and easy to control, even for children!

Unlike other forms of sedation that require IVs or injections, laughing gas is easily administered through a face mask. As you inhale nitrous oxide, it gradually slows your body’s reaction time. Without immediate responses to pain and fear, anxiety decreases, giving you the opportunity to coast through your dental appointment feeling calm and relaxed.

Laughing gas is also the first choice in dental sedation because it doesn’t knock you out or cause a long recovery period. You remain awake and alert while using laughing gas, but with the added benefit of feeling relaxed and unaware of pain. Nitrous oxide also wears off quickly, so you feel normal as you walk out of your procedure.

Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is also a simple way to combat dental anxiety and bring more comfort to each dental appointment. It involves taking a small sedative pill at a predetermined time before your appointment, so a trusted family member or friend must drive you to and from your appointment to ensure safety.

You’ll take another sedative about an hour before your procedure to initiate the full conscious sedation process. The sedative allows you to remain conscious throughout your appointment, but you will feel entirely relaxed and at ease.

With the use of oral conscious sedation, you’ll know what’s happening without enduring any feelings of worry or anxiety. By the time your medication wears off, your appointment- and your reasons for anxiety- will be over!

Keep in mind that oral conscious sedation can’t be used if you’re pregnant or have preexisting health conditions like imparied kidney or liver function, congestive heart failure, or glaucoma.

Intravenous Sedation
IV sedation is the most powerful form of sedation dentistry. It’s reserved only for specific situations and procedures when laughing gas or oral conscious sedation can’t offer the level of sedation necessary. IV sedation works instantaneously to make patients less aware of their surroundings and prevent any fear or anxiety.

Make sure that your dentist is qualified to perform intravenous sedation and following your preparation instructions carefully. It’s best not to eat or drink anything for at least eight hours before your procedure. You can expect to feel groggy when you wake up, so it’s important to have a friend or family member drive you to and from the dentist’s office.

Signs You Need Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a valuable tool for anybody with dental anxiety that makes it harder than usual to visit the dentist and receive essential oral care. If you can relate to any of the following problems, talk to your dentist about the availability of sedation dentistry:

  • Trouble sleeping the night before your dental appointment
  • Nervousness, rapid heartbeat, and the temptation to cry in the dentist’s waiting room
  • Becoming nauseous at the idea of going to the dentist
  • Difficulty breathing when you think about visiting the dentist
  • Skipping appointments and treatments to avoid the dentist’s chair
  • Accepting pain, discomfort, and decay instead of making an appointment for treatment with the dentist

There’s a big difference between feeling inconvenienced by a dentist appointment and feeling too stressed or frightened to attend. Keep the lines of communication open with your dentist so that you can find the right solutions for your situation.

How to Choose a Sedation Dentist

Many dentists offer sedation dentistry, but which dentist is the best fit for you? It’s important to choose a sedation dentist who understands the overwhelming power of dental anxiety and offers a compassionate approach to help you receive the dental treatments you need.

At Vista Dental Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Yaron Miller and his team appreciate the importance of addressing dental anxiety. Dr. Miller promises the highest standards of care and uncompromising safety as uses sedation dentistry to help you feel comfortable and relaxed during every appointment.

You can trust Dr. Yaron Miller to make your comfort and well-being his top priority. Call 760-630-5000 today to schedule your appointment and discuss your best sedation options.

4 Signs You Need a Root Canal

Don’t let the term “root canal” make you shudder. The root canal procedure has earned an unfair reputation for being painful and unpleasant, but the truth is that it’s a relatively simple and standard procedure with the power to save your natural tooth!

It’s important to identify the signs of dental problems that might require a root canal. The earlier you catch an issue, the easier it is to resolve.

What Is a Root Canal?

We commonly call root canal therapy “a root canal”, but a root canal is actually a part of the tooth itself. It’s the hollow section of each tooth that holds nerves, blood vessels, and pulp cells.

The nerve tissues are responsible for creating hot and cold sensations, blood vessels transport oxygen and nutrients, and the pulp nourishes and moisturizes its surroundings. If the soft pulp tissue becomes inflamed or infected as a result of decay or trauma, it can threaten the integrity of the entire tooth. Root canal therapy is designed to remove the infected pulp in order to stop the spread of infection and give the impacted tooth a higher chance of survival.

Most people assume it’s painful due to the invasive nature of the root canal process, but in reality a root canal is one of the most effective ways to relieve chronic tooth pain! Since a root canal generally costs less than a tooth extraction or replacement, it’s one of the first strategies dentists use to save a traumatized or decaying tooth.

What is the Root Canal Procedure?

When you undergo a root canal, your dentist performs three steps to save your tooth from additional damage.

1. Clean the Root Canal Space
After your dentist has taken x-rays of your tooth and administered a local anesthetic to numb the pain, he will isolate the tooth in need of a root canal to keep in clean and protected from saliva. You won’t feel anything as your dentist makes a small opening in the crown of your tooth to clean and remove the dead or diseased pulp tissue inside.

Growing teeth rely on the pulp tissue, but fully developed teeth can survive without any pulp since they’re nourished by other surrounding tissues.

2. Fill the Root Canal With Gutta Percha
Once all signs of infected pulp are gone, your dentist will replace the pulp tissue with a biocompatible material like gutta percha. This rubber-like material safely fills the empty space in the root canal area.

3. Strengthen the Tooth With a Crown or Filling
Adhesive cement firmly seals the root canal closed after the gutta percha is situated. At this point, your tooth is actually dead. The infection has been removed, any painful nerve tissue has been eliminated, and your tooth can no longer sense pain.

Since a dead tooth doesn’t have pulp to provide nourishment and moisture, it relies on surrounding tissues and ligaments instead. This system isn’t as effective as the original pulp itself, which is why any tooth that undergoes a root canal becomes more brittle over time.

Your dentist will use a filling or crown to bolster the strength of the tooth and prevent future damage.

4 Signs You Need a Root Canal

Now you know all about a root canal, but how can you determine if it’s the best procedure to address your dental issues? If you experience any of the following four signs, you probably need a root canal!

1. Excessive Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Temperatures
It’s not unusual to feel a tinge of discomfort when you bite into an ice cream cone, but excessive sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures may indicate a more serious problem. If you experience those painful “zings” of sensitivity on a regular basis, and some last more than 30 seconds, it’s likely that your tooth has nerve damage. If other minor treatments can’t effectively reduce your sensitivity, a root canal may become necessary.

2. Significant Discoloration of the Tooth
Healthy teeth are protected by white enamel. If your white tooth starts showing significant discoloration compared to surrounding teeth, it may be entering the final stages of decay. A grey or black tooth has to be saved quickly using a root canal to preserve what remains and prevent full extraction.

3. Severe Tooth and Jaw Pain, Especially When Chewing
A damaged tooth doesn’t just impact your smile. It also triggers serious pain when you apply pressure to your jaw and gums. If you are suffering from ongoing headaches, ear pain, jaw discomfort, and tooth pain, a severe dental issue like an infection is most likely the root cause. A root canal is the only procedure that can fully remove the infected tissue to eliminate the source of pain and prevent future tooth death.

4. Swelling and Tenderness in Surrounding Gums
Inflammation is one of the most common indicators of dental problems, including an infection within the tooth that may require a root canal. You can identify inflammation of the gums by common symptoms like pain, swelling, and a raised bump in the painful area.

Root Canal FAQs

You may have other questions about the root canal procedure. The answers to these frequently asked questions will help you understand exactly what to expect.

Will My Root Canal Hurt?
Thanks to local anesthesia, you won’t feel any pain at all during your root canal! In fact, it won’t feel any different than getting a basic filling. Though you may feel some soreness or discomfort after the procedure, your dentist will recommend a simple over-the-counter pain reliever to help you feel better. More than anything, you’ll notice how much better you feel without the intense pain your infected, damaged tooth was causing!

How Long Does Root Canal Recovery Take?
The local numbness created by the anesthesia will fade away over two to four hours. If you feel up to it, you can return to work or school shortly after your procedure! Just be sure you don’t eat until the numbness is completely gone. All signs of minor discomfort or swelling should disappear in a few short days.

Are There Other Benefits of a Root Canal?
Endodontic treatment can save a tooth that would otherwise die! Inflammation, infection, and decay are difficult problems to heal, especially when the trauma to your tooth runs deep into the pulp and nerves. A root canal removes dangerous inflammation, prevents the development of abscesses, and keeps your tooth firmly in place. With proper care, any tooth that undergoes a root canal treatment can last the rest of your life!

A root canal is always best performed by a dentist you trust. Mr. Yaron Miller, DDS, BDS, has been practicing dentistry in Vista for more than 20 years. He offers root canal therapy and many other essential dental treatments to all of his patients at Vista Dental Care and Specialty Center in the greater San Diego area. Call (760) 630-5000 today to schedule your appointment and let Dr. Miller save your smile.

Let Us Give You a Dazzling Smile!

Vista Dental Care & Specialty Center

760-630-5000
"Dr. Miller and his whole staff are absolutely amazing & make you feel comfortable."

I was the last of my family to switch over to him, and I don't know why I never did it sooner. He makes going to the dentist not scary at all!

Please note: because every patient is unique, your results may vary.

“Dr. Miller and his staff were warm, friendly and professional.”

The care I got was efficient, and all the work was administered swiftly and painlessly - a big preference of mine. I strongly recommend Vista Dental Care!

Please note: because every patient is unique, your results may vary.

“Dr. Miller does beautiful work. He is gentle and trustworthy”

I referred two of my friends, and their smile is absolutely stunning.

Please note: because every patient is unique, your results may vary.