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Category: Dental Implants

Dental Implants vs. Dentures

Image demonstrating a dental implantWhen teeth are permanently lost or pulled, they must be replaced. Not only is this important so that you can continue to chew and speak normally, but it is critical for oral health, facial appearance, and overall well-being. While dental implants and dentures are both considered acceptable methods of tooth restoration, dental implants have many advantages over dentures.

What They Are

Below is a quick explanation of both dental implants and dentures as tooth restoration devices:

  • Dental Implants: A titanium or zirconium implant is fused to the jawbone and serves as the tooth’s root. The implant is capped with a bridge or crown and provides natural-looking tooth replacement.
  • Dentures: A removable piece designed to look like both the teeth and gums is used to replace the teeth and surrounding tissues. A complete set of dentures can be used when all teeth are missing, and partial dentures can be used where there are still some natural teeth remaining.

Why Dental Implants Are Better Than Dentures

Both dental implants and dentures are commonly used in dentistry today. However, dental implants are better than dentures in the following ways.

A Permanent, Durable Solution

Dental implants are a permanent solution. The implant is fused to the jawbone so that it is permanently there like a natural tooth. Dentures are removable devices (not permanent), and they can warp under hot water or break. Dentures may need to be adjusted, repaired, or replaced within just seven years. Dental implants are secure, durable, and built to last a lifetime. Statistics show that dental implants have a 98 percent success rate.

Optimal Function and Performance

Both dental implants and dentures function just like normal teeth. However, dentures may slip or affect speech, which can be embarrassing or uncomfortable. Dental implants are associated with better chewing and speaking ability than dentures because they are embedded in the jaw like normal teeth.

Better Hygiene

Dental implants can be brushed and flossed normally. Dentures, however, must be removed for special cleaning. Not only is this inconvenient, but it leaves more margin for error in cleaning. Since dental implants require no special cleaning routine, they are a better option for dental hygiene.

Prevent Bone Loss and Gum Erosion

Dentures can cause the gums to erode and become flabby. They also offer no protection against jawbone loss. This can ultimately lead to your jawbone warping in shape, which will distort and prematurely age your facial appearance. Dental implants are fused to the jawbone, which prevents bone loss and deterioration of both the jawbone and the gums. You can retain your natural jaw shape and protect your smile with dental implants.

A More Comfortable Experience

Dental implants feel like natural teeth. Most people don’t even notice them once they are inserted. Dentures, on the other hand, can irritate the gums and cause mouth sores from the friction. Dental implants provide a more comfortable experience.

A Natural Smile

Dentures may look fake or unnatural. Conversely, dental implants look completely natural and blend with the surrounding teeth. With a dental implant for your tooth restoration, your smile will be completely restored and aesthetically pleasing.
Due to these advantages, Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands prefers dental implants over dentures for tooth restoration. To learn more about this treatment and to schedule your appointment, call 310.273.0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

Dental Problems: Why It’s Important to Address Them Immediately

Dental ProblemsA chipped tooth, sore gums, sensitivity, or other types of oral pain and discomfort are no doubt an inconvenience to manage. In hopes of avoiding an extra trip to the dentist, you may think it’s just fine to wait until your next cleaning to get such problems assessed. However, procrastination often makes matters worse, costing you more time, money, pain, and stress in the future.

Here are some common complaints and the treatments that typically correspond. Many of these ailments will not get better on their own.

Common Dental Complaints and Treatments

When these issues are left undiagnosed and untreated, they can lead to worse problems, which can then lead to expensive dental repairs. For example, some people may have “room” for their wisdom teeth, but the area is difficult to clean and can lead to painful gums, irritation, and swelling. If you have any of those symptoms, it is important to have your dentist re-evaluate any advantages of keeping your wisdom teeth. Compared to the chronic or long-lasting infection, discomfort, cavities, gingivitis, and other problems it could cause, wisdom tooth removal will save you both time and money on repeated treatments.

A loose tooth is another important issue to immediately address. A loose tooth is often caused by gingivitis that has eaten away at the underlying bone. The surrounding gums can easily trap bacteria near the gumline, further encouraging bacterial growth and infection. Without treatment, the cycle will continue to repeat itself, further weakening the tooth and causing discomfort and deterioration to the jaw.

While it is important to practice regular dental hygiene and keep all your dental cleaning appointments to prevent problems, some of them are unavoidable. Only a dental professional will be able to pinpoint the seriousness of your pain and alleviate it while preventing future damage and treatment costs. Seeking an evaluation as soon as possible will give you peace of mind, pain relief, and an overall better quality of life with the knowledge that you are doing what is best for your long-term oral health.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands, please call 310.273.0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

How Does Emergency Dentistry Work?

shutterstock_37233616Picture this: It’s the first day of your summer vacation. The fresh ocean breeze and the sound of the waves find you completely relaxed in a hammock beneath a palm tree. Without a care in the world, you take a sip of the ice-cold beverage in your hand and suck in a piece of ice to munch on. You crunch away until suddenly you hear a loud CRUNCH and instantly experience excruciating pain. You are almost certain you’ve broken your tooth. What do you do?

When you have extreme pain, bleeding, a knocked-out tooth, or a tooth that has been displaced but is still in the gums, it is important to contact your dentist right away.

Most dentists keep time slots in their day open specifically for emergency patients. Just call your dentist, explain the situation, and you should be able to be seen. If your accident occurs at night, visit the emergency room.

What Is a Dental Emergency?

A chipped tooth may be an emergency to some people simply for aesthetic reasons, but if it is not causing you pain, there is no need to rush to the dentist. Your dentist will, of course, understand the urgency of getting your tooth fixed and should be able to schedule an appointment with you as soon as possible. When you call your dentist, the receptionist will ask you a series of questions that will help determine if the situation is truly an emergency and how quickly you need care.

Displaced Teeth

If your teeth are knocked in or are suddenly displaced within the gums, they must be put back into place as soon as possible. If the roots are exposed, the delicate cells on the tooth roots will dry out and die after a certain period of time, resulting in tooth death. To avoid this, push the tooth back into place by holding the crown — never the roots. Once the tooth is pushed back into place, gently bite onto a washcloth until you can see the dentist, which should be as soon as possible.

Knocked-Out Teeth

If you completely knock out a tooth, the solution is similar. If the tooth is clean, put the tooth back into place as soon as you can, being careful to handle only the crown. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it in some cold water or milk. Scrubbing or disinfecting the tooth will damage the delicate cells on the root that allow it to reattach.

Extreme Pain

If you experience sudden, extreme pain, it can be a sign that something needs immediate attention. You may have exposed tooth roots or a crack that can become infected and lead to worse problems if it is not taken care of right away. MOTRIN® or ibuprofen can help manage your pain in the moments before your emergency dental appointment.

Bleeding

Bleeding of the gums or teeth may be cause for emergency care, especially if the bleeding is severe. If you have been cut on your gums or inside your mouth and no teeth are harmed, a visit to the emergency room is suitable. If your teeth have been affected, a dentist can help. If you are not sure, call your doctor or dentist and explain your condition. Gums that consistently bleed may be a sign of gingivitis and should be addressed as soon as possible by a dentist.

What if the Damage Has Been Done?

If your tooth dies and it is still in place, it can still function properly, but it will always appear a darker shade than the other teeth. However, you should not keep a dead tooth in your mouth because the lack of circulation can be a breeding ground for bacteria and infection. Dr. Kevin Sands has options for tooth replacement (such as porcelain veneers and dental implants) that will restore your smile and significantly boost your confidence.

For more information or to schedule a consultation for a smile makeover, call 310.273.0111. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.

The Kevin Sands Dentistry Difference

Dr. Kevin Sands A bright, beautiful, and healthy smile is often the goal when a person makes a trip to the dentist. It is no surprise that the teeth, as the center of the face, can affect the overall facial profile.

An attractive smile is what everyone wants to achieve, so why not get it done in style? At the office of Dr. Kevin Sands, every patient can expect VIP treatment. We offer cutting-edge dental equipment in a relaxing and comfortable environment. You can have all of your dental needs addressed with Dr. Sands’ one-of-a-kind service.

The “Rolls Royce” of Dentistry

Known as the “premier dentist to the stars,” Dr. Sands is a groundbreaking dental artist; he creates beautiful smiles on famous faces in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. For more than 15 years, he has provided patients with picture-perfect smiles. As one of the most sought-after dentists in the world, Kevin Sands has had patients travel from all over the globe to experience the Kevin Sands dentistry difference.

State-of-the-Art Equipment and Waiting Rooms

At the dental office of Dr. Sands, patients can expect comfort and style, making their experience like no other. With state-of-the-art massaging dental chairs, digital imaging equipment, and flat screen televisions in every room, patients can receive overall dental care in a professional and relaxing environment.

Our waiting rooms were made to provide patients with a relaxing experience. The walls, decor, and custom-made couches are designed to create a calming atmosphere for patients.

If you’re ready to walk down our red carpet, you can have all of your dental needs addressed at what we like to call “The Spa of Dentistry.”

Patients can take advantage of all of the services Dr. Sands offers, including:

Dr. Sands and his highly skilled staff can create a custom dental plan that will make you want to smile. He offers overall dental care, including cosmetic dentistry, and employs a number of techniques to help patients receive results that are not only beautiful but also reflect who they are.

Have all of your dentistry needs met in style! If you are ready to experience the Kevin Sands difference, contact our office to schedule an appointment. You can schedule a consultation by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form.

Oral Health for Overall Health

If you’re like most people, you probably think that brushing and flossing are just for keeping those pearly whites healthy and beautiful. However, did you know that your oral health can affect the health of the rest of your body? Your mouth is an entryway into your body, so problems in your mouth can easily allow bacteria and other harmful germs to travel into your body and cause problems. So, while good oral hygiene can help keep your body healthy, not taking care of your teeth can have negative effects on your body.

Oral problems commonly lead to problems associated with the following body systems:

  • Heart​Oral Health for Overall Health
  • Brain
  • Bones
  • Blood pressure

Gum Disease and Body Diseases

Bacterial growth in your mouth as a result of poor oral hygiene usually leads to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which often leads to gum disease as the bacteria in plaque builds up. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease (periodontitis), is a chronic inflammatory condition that can have detrimental effects on the body. Gingivitis and gum disease allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream and lead to inflammation and diseases in the body. Gum disease is associated with multiple body issues and diseases, including heart disease, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, premature birth, and diabetes. Diabetes also has a reciprocal relationship with gum disease; treatment of diabetes improves the condition of the mouth, and treatment of gum disease reduces the need for insulin.

Good Oral Hygiene Practices

To prevent poor oral health and the negative effects it can have on the body, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. You should brush twice daily and floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime, in addition to visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. There are also many benefits of chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking.

If you’re having an issue with your teeth, Dr. Kevin Sands offers a variety of services to help you maintain or improve your oral health, including porcelain veneers, Invisalign®, Zoom!® teeth whitening, dental implants, sedation dentistry, and dental bonding.

If you would like to improve the appearance and health of your teeth, Dr. Kevin Sands can help. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sands, please call (310) 273-0111 today. You may also fill out our online contact form for more information.

Turn Back Time With a Total Smile Makeover

Happy young woman holding a large clock over her headA good smile is one of the most important aspects of projecting an attractive appearance. While some are satisfied with the current condition of their teeth, others are not. With cosmetic dentistry, problems like discolored, crooked, or even missing teeth can be corrected. At his Beverly Hills practice, Dr. Kevin Sands offers patients of all ages a wide variety of treatments and procedures to help them achieve a natural-looking smile that is unique to them.

Veneers

What if we told you that you could have perfect teeth and a fantastic smile in less than two weeks? Porcelain veneers can achieve this. Through a simple process of bonding perfectly shaped porcelain directly to your teeth, a perfect smile is just a consultation away.

Implants

For patients who are looking for an alternative to dentures, dental implants are extremely effective. Made of strong titanium, these implants are fused with the jawbone and capped off to provide permanent teeth replacement.

Whitening

Teeth whitening has become all the rage over the last few years, and with the dramatic improvement that noticeably whiter teeth can provide to a person’s appearance, it’s easy to see why. At his state-of-the-art office, Dr. Kevin Sands offers the most powerful whitening treatment, Zoom!®. In a one-hour office visit, patients can obtain a smile that is up to eight shades whiter than before.

Invisalign®

While braces remain a popular option for many people, Invisalign® offers patients a more desirable alternative for straightening their teeth. By wearing molded clear trays that are barely detectable to the human eye, Invisalign® permanently straightens the teeth over time.

As a highly experienced cosmetic dentist to the stars, Dr. Sands knows the beauty of a genuine smile. He can help restore lost teeth, straighten crooked teeth, whiten teeth, and correct any other aesthetic or oral health concerns you may have. In case you need one more reason to smile, please schedule an appointment by calling (310) 273-0111 or filling out our online contact form today.

What Dental Work Can Be Undone?

hopeful smiling woman crossing fingersWhile permanent dental treatments can definitely be a positive thing, many people are intimidated by the idea that their procedure cannot be reversed if they are unhappy with the result. Especially when the treatment is for cosmetic purposes only, the patient should do their homework and understand what they can expect with the procedure. Choosing a dentist that has plenty of successful experience can also put your mind at ease.

Reversible Procedures

Here are a couple of procedures that can be reversed:

Tooth Extraction

As we mentioned in a previous post, if you lose a tooth or get one extracted, there is a window of time that your tooth can be reinserted into the gums to function as if it had never been missing. However odds are, if you visit the dentist to have a tooth removed, there was a good reason to do so. A crown with a dental implant can replace the missing tooth to function and look just like its natural predecessor.

Bonding

Bonding is used to repair chips in the teeth. Since dental bonding can slightly become discolored over time, many wish to get it replaced or removed. This can easily be done with a drill. A very small amount of surrounding enamel may be removed as a result, but high magnification of the area helps to avoid this. Any enamel that is removed can be easily replaced with the new bonding.

Non-Reversible Procedures

Many dental procedures cannot be reversed because they are meant to have long-lasting or permanent results. However, these treatments may be improved or modified if anything goes wrong or if regular wear and tear has compromised the prior results.

Crowns

Because a significant amount of the tooth must be removed in order to place a crown or “cap” over its basic structure, crowns should not be removed without being replaced. If the patient gets a chip in their crown, many times the dentist can “smooth out” the chipped area rather than replacing the entire crown. Crowns are long-lasting, but sometimes, usually after a period of many years, the cement that holds the crown in place can deteriorate from constant exposure to saliva. This will weaken the bond and may require a replacement if the prior crown cannot be used for any reason.

Implants

Dental implants are titanium rods that are inserted into the gums and are capped with a crown. The implants literally fuse with the jaw bone, creating a bond that can be even stronger than a natural tooth root. The need to remove an implant is very rare, but possible if necessary. Most often if a problem occurs with an implant, the problem really exists with the crown that is secured on top of it, which can be easily corrected. Implants, on the other hand, are more difficult to remove. Older techniques involve cutting the jawbone, and therefore removing a small amount (about 1 mm) of surrounding bone. Implants can also be removed with the use of a special implant removing device. The implant itself should last a lifetime and is a more sturdy alternative to a crown restoration secured to the natural tooth root.

Veneers

Since the application of porcelain veneers involves smoothing down the tooth’s surface about 1.5 mm, veneers are considered an irreversible procedure. Patients can get their veneers removed without being replaced, but the teeth will not look aesthetically pleasing, and they will not likely function as well as natural teeth. If a chip or crack occurs in a veneer, the entire veneer must be replaced.

With years of experience as a celebrity cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin Sands holds a strong reputation as one of best dentists in Beverly Hills. If you are considering a cosmetic dental procedure but are a little apprehensive, a consultation with Dr. Sands will help alleviate your concerns. Please call (310) 273-0111 today, or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

Facts About Missing Teeth

Close up of a man's lower face and shoulders, smiling with a missing lower incisor on a white background Tooth loss can occur as a result of decay, gum disease, cancer, injury, or wear. Missing teeth can detract from the aesthetics of the face, cause bone loss in the jaw, and affect speech and chewing abilities. You may be surprised by the following facts about missing teeth and the importance of replacing them.

Statistics

According to the American College of Prosthodontists, over 35 million people in the United States do not have any teeth, and 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth.

How to Correct Them

Missing teeth can be replaced with a dental bridge, dentures, or dental implants, depending on how much of the tooth is missing or how many teeth are missing.

Implants Get to the Root of the Problem

When an entire tooth is missing, the jawbone that once supported the tooth and its roots will begin to deteriorate from disuse. Dental implants replace the root of a missing tooth to prevent atrophy of the jawbone. For more information on this, check out my blog about how dental implants prevent bone loss.

If you would like to correct missing teeth or are interested in any other cosmetic dentistry procedure, Kevin B. Sands, DDS is here to help. He offers a wide range of dental treatments to help each and every one of his patients achieve the smile they desire. We encourage you to contact our practice by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form today.

Would You Rather Have a Perfect Body or a Perfect Smile?

Woman smiling while doing a push upAccording to new research from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), consumers are more likely to spend money on a younger looking smile than on weight loss help.

These findings make perfect sense for a few reasons:

1. Since the smile is one of the first things people notice about another person, making a small improvement, such as teeth whitening or bonding a chipped tooth, can significantly make someone appear more youthful. Friends may notice that something about you has improved, but they may not be able to determine just what it is.

2. Replacing missing teeth with dental implants literally makes the face appear more youthful. When missing teeth are not replaced, the patient is very likely to experience facial bone loss as time progresses. This can alter the shape of the face, making the jaw appear smaller. Not only do they fill in missing teeth, but dental implants actually prevent bone loss because of the way they are installed.

3. Although we would not discourage healthy weight loss, losing weight can actually make one appear older. When volume is lost, those who have poor skin elasticity will develop more wrinkles, especially on the face. A recent study comparing twins of different weights showed that the thinner twin almost always appeared older than the heavier twin. Spending money on weight loss tools or programs may help you become physically healthier, but they should not be your first choice if looking younger is your goal.

At Dr. Sands’ practice, we agree that maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile is a worthwhile investment. Invisalign® is a particularly great treatment to correct crooked teeth since the straightening trays are virtually undetectable. Porcelain veneers can also correct crooked teeth, as well as broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.

Dr. Sands offers many cosmetic dental procedures that can improve the overall appearance of your smile. If you would like more information about how to take years off your appearance with cosmetic dentistry, please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

Cosmetic Dentist to the Stars

Kevin B. Sands, DDS - Hollywood's Cosmetic DentistKevin B. Sands, D.D.S. grew up in Beverly Hills and became accustomed to seeing movie and TV stars driving, walking, and just enjoying life around town.

When Sands became a dentist, the trend continued – at his office. He now sees so many celebrities and notables in his practice for various dental treatments that he has become known as the dentist to the stars. Recently, Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey, Jr., Denise Richards, Halle Berry, Britney Spears, and a visiting potentate from the Middle East brought their smiles to Dr. Sands for tune-ups and other treatments.

Of course, his patient load is also filled with we ordinary mortals of all ages who come seeking a better, whiter smile. Common repairs include teeth whitening, dental bonding, and porcelain veneers, his specialty. Those veneers are handled quickly – usually within two weeks — because Dr. Sands has a lab at his practice.

“A new smile brings tremendous confidence to a person,” states Dr. Sands., “Some guys come in with teeth that need work, get a new smile and then the next thing you know, they are married,” states Dr. Sands, who offers a warranty with each procedure.

Plus, there’s a lot more to do than leaf through old issues of Time and Newsweek while you wait. Instead, Dr. Sands’ office offers in-office foot massages and DVDs on flat-screen television to help pass the time.

“Smiles are important in more ways than one,” says Dr. Sands. “Three out of four U.S. adults believe an unattractive smile can hurt your chances at success in business. That’s because your smile is the first thing people notice about you.”

While Dr. Sands routinely handles cosmetic dental procedures like teeth whitening, dental bonding and tooth bleaching, his specialty is porcelain veneers. The procedure starts when a patient notices he or she has uneven, misshaped, chipped, or discolored teeth, or a smile that has a gap in the front teeth. A porcelain veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that fits over the existing tooth. Porcelain offers several advantages – it is extremely durable and has color, translucence and texture that are similar to natural tooth enamel. Moreover, porcelain won’t decay or stain, nor does the procedure require braces. Installing porcelain veneers starts when the dentist examines the patient’s teeth and gums, takes a medical history, and perhaps a few photos to compare to the final results.

Next, the dentist takes a full mouth impression after roughening and shaping the enamel on the existing teeth, which have been numbed via a local anesthetic. The patient leaves the office with temporary veneers covering his prepared teeth while the customized veneers are being completed in the lab. The procedure is relatively pain free.

“The first visit requires about two hours,” says Dr. Sands. “And then in about two weeks, your veneers are ready to be cemented onto your old teeth.”

During the final appointment, the dentist checks the fit, size, and color and makes any necessary corrections. Before cementing the veneers permanently, teeth and gums are thoroughly cleaned because clean teeth and healthy gums are necessary for the appliance to bond. Applied veneers feel just like natural teeth but are not indestructible. The dentist will ask you to avoid biting down on hard substances and to slice apples before consuming them. Costs depend on general economic conditions in your area but usually range from $700 to $2,000.

A quick look at other dental procedures done in Dr. Sands’ office includes:

Teeth Whitening

Whitening agents can brighten a smile dimmed by stains brought on by coffee, dark sodas, cigarettes, medication, or aging. The procedure produces instant results and is done by placing a special gel on the teeth and then using a laser to activate the substance. The procedure takes one to two hours and, while the results often last for years, the treatment does not work for fillings, crowns and past bonding.

Dental Bonding

Some stains can’t be removed by bleaching. This procedure also restores chipped or broken teeth, fills in gaps and brightens the smile. To start, the dentist uses a special acid to roughen the surface of the tooth. Dental resin is then applied and shaped; a high-intensity light hardens the compound and seals the tooth enamel. The dentist then contours the bonding material to the shape of your tooth and polishes it. The procedure does not require anesthesia and usually lasts five to ten years.

Dental Implants

Implants feel like natural teeth because implants are substitute teeth permanently anchored to your jaw. Implants are most often used to replace ill-fitting dentures or missing teeth. 

If you are interested in any cosmetic dental procedure, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin B. Sands by calling (310) 273-0111. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.

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