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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Fear of the Dentist Passed On From Parents

You know the saying: “Children learn what they live.” Therefore, as a parent, it is imperative that you are cautious with certain behaviors that you do not want your young (or older) ones mimicking. For example, if a child sees that you throw away your trash or pet the dog when they are being good, he or she will see these behaviors and most likely copy them. So when it comes to a child mimicking his or her parent’s behavior regarding the dentist, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.

A lot of people avoid the dentist at all costs – even parents – due to the potential pain experienced during a dental procedure or the simple fear of undergoing a treatment. Even though many dentists, including myself, offer sedation dentistry, many individuals avoid this important visit. Unfortunately, studies show that adult fears of the dentist are passed onto their children, identifying a clear association between the fear among parents and fear among their children.

If you are a parent, the best way to reduce dental visit anxieties in your children is by reducing your own fears. Showing that going to the dentist is a positive thing will encourage your children to become upbeat about it too. Perhaps explain to your child about the importance of taking care of your teeth and getting them regularly checked out by the dentist. Reduce your fears by speaking to your dentist about the available treatment options, including anesthetic options, in order to have an enjoyable visit.

If you would like to learn how you can get an A-list smile, please call my Beverly Hills cosmetic dentistry at (310) 273-0111. You may schedule a consultation at this time.

What Factors Might Prevent Me From Receiving Dental Implants?

Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular solution for replacing missing teeth. Although many individuals are ideal candidates for this procedure, there are some underlying factors that may prevent its effectiveness among some patients.

A main concern is when bone recovery or growth is inhibited. Without strong bones, the implant cannot fuse together correctly with the jaw and the procedure will render unsuccessful. This can occur in those who have uncontrollable diabetes because those with hemoglobin AC1 levels above nine percent are more prone to infection as well as limited bone recovery and growth. While it isn’t impossible for a patient with uncontrollable diabetes to successfully receive dental implants, findings have shown that the implant failure rate is usually higher in such patients. Those with hemoglobin levels stabilized below nine percent are usually not at risk for implant failure.

Some chemotherapy drugs can also affect dental implants as well as the bone-healing process. If you have ever had chemotherapy, it is best to consult with a practitioner for an assessment. If you have had a parathyroid disorder, you may have also suffered bone loss. Based on your health history, a dentist can help you determine if dental implants will work for you.

Complications with dental implants are typically rare, but if you do have problems with the implants or surrounding jaw and gum area it is best to contact your dentist as soon as possible for an accurate diagnosis.

As I mentioned in my previous post, “Myths About Dental Implants,” weak bone structures can actually be reinforced prior to treatment in order to ensure proper integration. If you can relate to one or more of the above factors, dental implants may still be a good option for you.

Please contact my Beverly Hills office today to schedule an appointment: (310) 273-0111.

How to Get a Million-Dollar Smile

When you think of a famous, show-stopping smile, Kim Kardashian may be one of the first celebrities that comes to mind. Her teeth are brilliantly white and straight!

Even if you have cracked, crooked, or stained teeth, that celebrity smile may be easier to get than you think. At my Beverly Hills practice I offer a variety of solutions to these cosmetic woes:

Stained Teeth

There are quite a few options available today to brighten stained teeth, such as whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, whitening trays, and porcelain veneers.

Whitening toothpaste and strips work to break up stains using peroxide. Results usually appear in two to four weeks, and the cost is usually low compared to other methods of teeth whitening. Over-the-counter versions of whitening trays lighten teeth one or two shades; however, whitening trays that are custom-fit by your dentist provide better results at a higher cost. Zoom!® teeth whitening is one of the most popular whitening methods at my Beverly Hills practice, because it lightens teeth up to eight shades and takes just about an hour.

Cracked or Worn Teeth

Cracked teeth can be very painful when chewing or when exposed to extreme temperatures. If left untreated, the pulp (inner tissue of the tooth) can become damaged and is more susceptible to infection. This is considered to be a complex crack. When this is the case, the tooth may require root canal therapy before a crown is placed. Simple cracks that do not affect the pulp can be treated with a crown (cap) or inlay/onlay on the tooth. Dental crowns can also restore a tooth that is broken or severely worn down. Like other cosmetic dental treatments, crowns may not be covered by insurance.

Crooked Teeth

Many people have overlapping, twisted, or crooked teeth. This can be caused by the upper jaw not falling in line with the lower jaw or when the mouth is too small for the teeth. Depending on how crooked your teeth are, porcelain veneers may be a good option. Your natural teeth will be shaved down and molds will be taken to produce veneers that will cover your teeth. The thin shells of porcelain are then fastened on the front of the teeth to mask crookedness. If your teeth are extremely crooked, Dr. Sands may recommend orthodontics before or instead of porcelain veneers.

Chipped Teeth

Direct composite dental bonding is used to fill chips in teeth with a substance that is similar in color and texture to your natural teeth. It is one of the most common and least expensive cosmetic dental procedures. Porcelain veneers can also be used to cover a chipped tooth.

Missing Teeth

Titanium dental implants look just like natural teeth and can be placed into the tooth’s pocket, acting as artificial tooth roots. If you are tired of wearing dentures, dental implants may be a better option if you are missing a few or all of your teeth.

No matter your cosmetic need, Hollywood cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands can help you decide which dental procedure is right for you. Feel free to call his office today at (310) 273-0111.

Don't Skip Your Dental Checkup Because You are Pregnant

Many women avoid the dentist when they are pregnant, even though maintaining good oral health during this time is very important. Pregnant women experience hormonal changes that can increase gum sensitivity and gum bleeding, which affect the way the gums respond to the irritants in plaque. When this inflammation of the gum occurs, it is commonly called “pregnancy gingivitis.” Although this is a non-destructive type of gum disease, it can lead to the more serious “periodontitis” if left untreated.

Symptoms of “Pregnancy Gingivitis”

The symptoms of gingivitis are usually undetected until they have reached the periodontitis stage. Symptoms for periodontitis include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender gums
  • Gums that are receding or separating from the teeth
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Sores or pus in your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Painful chewing

Along with the myriad of problems caused by gum disease, it has also been linked to causing premature births and low birth weights. However, these problems can easily be prevented with regular visits to your dentist. Remember, you may be able to remove plaque from your teeth at home, but only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove the hard tartar buildup that can lead to gingivitis or gum disease.

The Importance of Maintaining Oral Health During Pregnancy

Studies have shown that brushing and flossing your teeth regularly during pregnancy can prevent poor oral health from being passed down to your child. If you already have “pregnancy gingivitis,” your daily oral hygiene regimen will be a key factor in determining whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or worsened before you visit your dentist for treatment.

If the pregnancy “gag reflex” is affecting your regular brushing schedule, here are a few solutions to help prevent this from happening:

– Try a different flavor of toothpaste
– Use a toothbrush with a smaller head
– Brush your teeth more slowly
– Concentrate on your breathing while brushing

You can also help prevent gingivitis and tooth decay by eating a balanced diet and by cutting back on extra sugary and fatty foods. A balanced diet is great for your teeth and gums, and will definitely help your body as it nurtures your growing baby.

Preventing Decay Caused by Morning Sickness

A routine dental checkup is also important for pregnant women who experience morning sickness. Vomiting on a regular basis increases the presence of acids in your mouth, which can erode tooth enamel. It is a good idea to rinse your mouth with plain water and then wait 20 to 30 minutes after vomiting before brushing. Since the stomach acid may soften your tooth enamel, the vigorous action of the toothbrush immediately after vomiting can further damage your teeth.

When to Schedule Your Dentist Appointment

When you schedule your appointment you should tell your dentist if you are pregnant, and discuss information about your stress levels, past miscarriages, and medications you are taking. It is best to schedule your appointment during your second trimester, when any necessary treatment won’t harm the baby in the most critical stages of development.

Precautions During Pregnancy

If you are concerned that dental treatments, X-rays, or other procedures can potentially be harmful to your baby, again, I recommend avoiding dental treatments during the first and third trimesters when the baby’s growth and development are in their peak stages. Women in their reproductive years should not have any cosmetic dental procedures such as dental implants or porcelain veneers if they are, or plan on, becoming pregnant.

At my Beverly Hills dental practice I take care to avoid using X-rays on a pregnant patient unless there is an emergency. However, X-rays are much safer today than in past decades, and we will take extra precautions when performing them if it becomes necessary. Dental anesthetics, pain medications, and antibiotics are usually not prescribed for patients who are in their first trimester.

It is my goal to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile in the safest possible way. If you would like more information about the procedures performed at my dental practice, please visit my website or schedule an appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111.

Tel: (310) 273-0111

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Contact Dr. Sands

Request an appointment for a complimentary consultation with cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands, or feel free to call our Los Angeles (north of Orange County) office at (310) 273-0111 for more information.