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Category: Dental Treatment

3 Ways to Fix A Chipped Tooth

drawing of a chipped toothThe majority of people will chip a tooth at some point in their lifetime. Constant wear in a particular spot can weaken enamel until it breaks off. You might also bite down on hard food or be involved in an accident that chips and breaks your teeth. Whatever the cause, there are a few options Dr. Sands offers to repair chipped teeth so you can show off your smile with confidence.

Dental Bonding

Treatment for a chipped tooth will depend on the extent of the damage and whether the chip is visible when you smile. If only a small amount of the enamel is missing or if the chip is on the front teeth, dental bonding can repair the damage in just one office visit.

Also called a “filling,” since it fills the missing enamel with tooth-like composite resin, dental bonding is a quick and painless procedure that does not require numbing medication. The chipped area is etched so that the bonding material will adhere securely. An adhesive material is applied, then the composite resin is shaped on top of it to blend with the natural tooth and restore its shape. Once an ultraviolet light hardens the material, the procedure is complete.

Crowns

Larger chips, chipped teeth that have significant decay, or chips on the molar teeth may require a crown, which is a tooth-shaped cap that covers the tooth root. Crowns are made to be long lasting and are composed of metal, porcelain fused to metal, resin, or ceramic. Dr. Sands can help you determine the choice that best meets your needs with regard to cost, durability, and appearance.

Usually it takes two office visits to install a crown. If needed, a root canal will be performed at the first office visit to build up the structure of the root so it can support the crown. X-rays will be taken, and any excess tooth will be removed. Your dentist will take impressions of the tooth receiving the crown as well as the opposing tooth so that the crown will line up correctly. You will go home with a temporary crown while your permanent one is made. At the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent one is cemented into place. Your teeth should line up seamlessly and look and function just as well as they did before.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are another option for repairing chips on the front teeth. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that cover the front of the teeth with a thick section that fills the chipped portion of the tooth. A single veneer can be used to repair a chip on one tooth, or the patient may choose to get veneers on all of their front teeth for a total smile restoration. In just two office visits, veneers will not only repair chipped teeth, but they can also disguise gaps, perfect crooked or stained teeth, and improve your bite.

During the first visit, the surface layer of your teeth is removed to make room for the veneer. Your teeth will be color-matched, and molds will be taken so the veneers can be made. Temporary veneers will be placed. At the second visit, the temporary veneers are removed, and the permanent ones are adhered with cement that is made permanent with ultraviolet light.

If you have broken or chipped teeth, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin Sands as soon as possible. He can quickly restore the function and beauty of your smile in as little as one office visit. Call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today for more information.

Am I Prone to Cavities?

cavatiesIt is common knowledge that brushing your teeth, flossing daily, and maintaining your dental hygiene appointments will help keep cavities at bay. However, many people, despite their best efforts, may actually be more prone to cavities than those who slack on their oral hygiene. Why all the unfairness?

The True Cause of Cavities

There is no scientific proof to support the claim that regular brushing and flossing will prevent cavities. Tooth decay can be attributed to two things: the consumption of sugar and genetics.

Sugar

Cavities cannot exist without sugar. Bacteria in our mouths feast on sucrose (the chief component of sugar). The bacteria multiply and thrive between our teeth, causing decay in the process, which is more likely to occur if you have existing holes, small cracks, or deep crevices in your teeth. This fact brings us to our second cavity culprit and the answer to our main question: Am I prone to cavities?

Genetics

Some people naturally have deeper crevices in their teeth than others, which creates a more comfortable place for bacteria to burrow into the tooth and cause a cavity. This can be helped with the use of sealant, which Dr. Sands can apply to the grooves of your teeth to provide a protective layer.

You might also be more prone to cavities if you do not produce much saliva. Your saliva contains bicarbonate, calcium, and phosphate, which help repair early tooth decay and neutralize acid that causes plaque. Certain medications can cause your saliva production to dwindle. Smoking, stress, aging, chemotherapy, and autoimmune disorders can also lead to dry mouth, or “cotton mouth.” Your doctor can help you find ways to increase your production of saliva if drinking more water throughout the day does not help.

How Can I Prevent Cavities?

Although brushing and flossing daily is not proven to completely prevent cavities, it can decrease them by up to 20 percent if you use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Reducing your intake of sugar and carbohydrates (which convert into sugar in the mouth) will also significantly reduce your chances of getting a cavity. If the damage is already done, Dr. Sands can repair your cavities with dental bonding.

If you would like Dr. Kevin Sands to help maintain the health and beauty of your smile, please schedule your appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111. You can also fill out our online contact form at your convenience.

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.

The DOs and DON’Ts for a Hollywood Smile

Kevin Sands, DDS - Cosmetic Dentist to Hollywood StarsMaintaining a healthy, beautiful smile is mostly about how you care for your teeth. If you want to protect your teeth and maintain a Hollywood-worthy smile, it’s important to do what your dentist tells you. Proper dental care is critical for your teeth’s health, for your body’s health, and even for your social status. Hollywood’s stars typically have the straightest, whitest, and most beautiful teeth you’ve ever seen, and there are two reasons for that. First, they take care of their teeth. Second, when they need extra help, they know to take advantage of cosmetic dentistry. Whether you’re on the red carpet in Hollywood or the red carpet of your personal life, here’s how to make your pearly whites shine so that you can look your absolute best.

Here’s a list of DOs and DON’Ts to keep your teeth healthy:

  • DO brush at least twice daily. Spend two full minutes twice a day brushing for optimal tooth cleanliness. Brushing is especially important after eating sugary foods because the sugar sits on your teeth and eats away at the enamel, eventually causing cavities.
  • DON’T brush too hard. Using abrasive toothbrushes or brushing too hard can scratch the enamel on your teeth, which can wear down over time. Brushing too hard can also damage your gums, and weak gums lead to weaker teeth and a weaker smile.
  • DO floss once a day. Twice a day is even better. Brushing your teeth is not enough because food particles can remain stuck between the teeth. You may choose to floss right after brushing or right before, but definitely be sure to do it.
  • DO go to the dentist regularly. Regular teeth cleanings and checkups are essential to maintaining proper dental health.
  • DON’T put objects like pens or pencils in your mouth. Not only is it a bad habit, but it’s also hard on your teeth and can damage them.
  • DON’T clench your jaw or grind your teeth. Forcing your teeth to scrape against each other like that is really bad for them. Doing this enough will eventually cause your teeth to chip and crack. A custom-made mouthguard can protect your teeth from grinding at night.
  • DON’T chew ice or bite your nails. Both can crack, chip, or otherwise damage your teeth.
  • DON’T drink coffee, tea, or soda. Avoiding these beverages may be difficult, but these drinks hurt your teeth! Not only can they discolor your teeth, but they also wear down the enamel. If you choose to drink one of these teeth-staining drinks, drink it through a straw to minimize your teeth’s exposure.
  • DON’T use your teeth as a tool. Opening packages with your teeth, holding items with your teeth, or ripping anything with your teeth can cause all kinds of damage and ruin your smile.

If you’re doing everything you can to protect your teeth and you still need extra correction, you may wish to consider cosmetic dentistry. Invisalign® can straighten your teeth the modern way and porcelain veneers can protect and cover damaged teeth. Call us today at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your complimentary consultation with Cosmetic Dentist to the Stars, Dr. Kevin Sands.

​What Is Dental Bonding?

Everyone wants to have a dazzling, bright smile, but damaged or deformed teeth can prevent your smile from displaying its full potential. Even worse is that these teeth issues may keep you from smiling so as not to reveal the unpleasant appearance of your teeth to the world. For patients who would like to improve or restore a brighter, more attractive smile, Dr. Sands offers dental bonding. In just one visit with Dr. Sands, he can restore beautiful, healthy teeth with a natural appearance. With such a quick and easy procedure, who wouldn’t want their dentist to bond with their teeth?

Dental bonding can correct the following issues:  Tooth & Dentist Hug

  • Gaps
  • Spots
  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Discolorations
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Decayed teeth

Step 1: Preparation

Before starting the bonding process, a composite resin color is chosen that closely matches the color of your teeth. To prepare the tooth, Dr. Sands roughens the area that needs to be repaired by etching the surface. If tooth decay is the issue, Dr. Sands fills the cavity with a tooth-colored composite resin.

Step 2: Primers, Bonding, and Shaping

Once the tooth is prepared, Dr. Sands applies a treatment of primers and gel that adheres the bonding material to the tooth. Then he applies the tooth-colored composite resin bonding and molds it into the desired shape.

Step 3: Setting, Shaping, and Polishing

Once the bonding resin is molded and smoothed, Dr. Sands uses an ultraviolet light or laser to harden and set the material. He then performs any additional shaping if necessary, and applies a polish that matches the shine of the rest of your teeth.

Although dental bonding is a great restorative procedure for correcting damaged, discolored, or misarranged teeth, the plastic bonding is not as strong as tooth enamel and is more susceptible to future damage. For a long-lasting solution to chips and gaps in the teeth, consider porcelain veneers.

If you would like to restore confidence in your smile, schedule your consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands. Call our Beverly Hills practice at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

Our Most Popular Cosmetic Treatments

Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures in Beverly Hills, CA

Popular Cosmetic Dental Treatments in Beverly Hills, CAA great smile is one of the best ways to show off physical attractiveness to others. However, a variety factors such as crooked or missing teeth or tooth discoloration could be preventing you from putting your best smile forward. Fortunately, our Beverly Hills practice offers a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures that will noticeably improve your smile and your self-confidence.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most desired dental treatment around, and for good reason. With our state-of-the-art Zoom!® whitening system, your teeth can get up to eight shades whiter in just one visit. The procedure generally takes less than an hour to perform and involves applying a bleaching solution and a specialized light to your teeth.

Dental Bonding

Even if you already have a decent smile, you may have one or more teeth that are slightly crooked or chipped. Dental bonding effectively treats these problems by applying a clay-like material to the tooth and hardening it with a specialized light to provide permanent results.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are very popular among people with heavy tooth discoloration or staining. Using a porcelain composite that looks identical to the size and shape of your real tooth, veneers produce beautiful, natural-looking results.

Invisalign®

Hailed as the modern alternative to braces, you no longer need to wear metal wires and rubber bands on your teeth. Invisalign® improves your smile through a series of nearly invisible plastic trays that are customized to fit the contours of your teeth.

As a highly respected cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kevin B. Sands D. D. S. strives to provide each and every one of his patients with the best results possible. As a dentist for some of Hollywood’s most elite celebrities, Dr. Sands looks forward to seeing you soon!

To schedule your consultation with Dr. Sands, call our Beverly Hills practice at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

Zoom! (Look Ten Years Younger in One Hour)

How to Look Younger with Zoom! Whitening

shutterstock_135709073Want to look years younger in just an hour? An influential factor in projecting an attractive and youthful appearance is a nice smile. Yellow or stained teeth can greatly age your smile and your overall appearance. While you may already use toothpaste and strips that contain whitening boosters, the effects tend to be only temporary. This is why Dr. Kevin Sands offers Zoom!® whitening at his Beverly Hills practice.

Zoom!® Teeth Whitening

 

The Zoom!® system is designed to make your teeth noticeably (up to eight shades) whiter! Unlike many other whitening treatments that can irritate the gums and take multiple treatments to complete, Zoom!® whitening causes minimal irritation and takes only ONE, hour-long treatment. Each procedure is simply performed by applying a bleaching solution to the teeth, which are then exposed to a specialized Zoom!® light.

How Long Do the Results Last?

Your newly brightened smile will typically last anywhere between 12 and 18 months. However, to ensure the longest-lasting results, you should maintain proper oral hygiene and refrain from activities that can stain the teeth, such as drinking red wine and smoking.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands at his state-of-the-art practice, feel free to call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today. As a highly experienced and respected cosmetic dentist, Dr. Sands looks forward to meeting you soon and helping you achieve a noticeably whiter smile.

Feel Like a VIP

VIPDuring many office visits, it is common to feel like you are just ANOTHER patient to your doctor. Dr. Kevin Sands wants to change that. He believes that every patient walking through his door should receive the most personalized and attentive care possible. He hopes every patient he sees feels like they matter because they do. For this reason, Dr. Sands offers services and treatments that will leave you feeling like a VIP.

High-Speed Curing Lights

No one wants to waste the day away waiting for fillings to set. Dr. Sands uses high-speed curing lights that cut your in-chair time down by speeding up the process of curing your dental fillings.

Nitrous Oxide

Dr. Sands understands that for many people, dental visits can be extremely stressful and filled with anxiety. In order to make your visits as relaxing as possible, he offers nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide calms the body down, helping people feel less anxious without needing sedation to put them to sleep.

Digital Imaging

Digital imaging is used to better detect and diagnose diseases of the mouth. It can detect cavities, tooth development, and bone health. Early detection of oral irregularities can save time and money. Digital imaging is also quicker, making your visits shorter and more efficient.

Laser Care for Gum Disease

Your teeth are only as healthy as the gums supporting them. Laser care can painlessly treat gum disease and restore a healthy mouth.

Entertainment

Office visits can be tedious and often boring. We have flat screen TVs and DVDs for your enjoyment. This should help the time fly and make your dental visits less of a chore and more of a positive experience.

Schedule your consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands and feel like a VIP. Your teeth aren’t the only thing that deserve priority treatment – you do as well! Call us today at 310.273.0111 or fill out our online contact form here.

Invisalign®: The Clear Choice

An attractive business man and woman team at office buildingSince metal braces are distinctly more popular among teenagers, many adults view Invisalign® as the clear choice for correcting their crooked or crowded teeth. Invisalign® patients can go about their regular activities as they speak, smile, and laugh without anyone noticing they are straightening their teeth at the same time.

How does Invisalign work?

Gradually, over several months, a series of clear trays customized to fit your teeth will gently shift them into the proper alignment. You must wear the trays 22 hours per day, removing them only to clean them or to eat. The length of treatment with Invisalign® varies among patients, but most adults will see final results after one year, and teenagers see results within one to two years. Throughout the process, Invisalign® patients will not have to deal with the extra maintenance, diet restrictions, or uncomfortable mouthful of metal associated with braces.

Cost

The cost of Invisalign® is usually comparable to the cost of metal braces unless significant correction is needed. Significant correction could include improving a severe overbite, rotating a tooth, or moving the teeth vertically. In some cases, metal braces are a better option. After assessing your teeth, Dr. Sands will determine the treatment that will best meet your needs and inform you of the estimated cost.

Comfort

The thin Invisalign® trays fit smoothly and comfortably over the teeth. There is no risk of gum irritation or mouth sores that can often result from metal wires or brackets.

Convenience

Since Invisalign® is completely removable and not worn while you eat, there are no diet restrictions. With braces, you should be prepared to avoid eating popcorn, chips, apples, corn on the cob, chewy candy, and many other favorite foods and snacks.

If you are interested in Invisalign®, please schedule a consultation to see if this treatment is right for you. Please call Dr. Kevin Sands’ Beverly Hills practice at (310) 27-0111 or fill out our online contact form to learn more.

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Your Gums

If you’re like most people, you trudge through the motions of your morning routine while your mind is busy reeling about the day’s agenda. Out of habit, you quickly brush your teeth, floss (maybe), and look forward to moving on to your next task. You many not even notice if you have puffy or bleeding gums, which are tell-tale signs of a trouble-causing disease: gingivitis.

man looking in mirror at gumsWhile gingivitis (also called gum disease) is extremely common, affecting over 64.7 million Americans annually, its repercussions should not be taken lightly. Aside from leading to decay or total tooth loss, several studies have linked gum disease to more serious health concerns, such as heart disease, diabetes, anemia, and osteoporosis. In fact, when these diseases are already present in the body, gingivitis can make them worse.

Between routine visits to the dentist, it is important to pay attention to certain changes in your gums that can indicate a serious infection like gingivitis. Here are a few signs to watch for as you brush your teeth each day:

Receding Gums

Gum disease, when it has progressed to its more serious state of periodontitis, can lead to receding gums. If your gums pull away from your teeth and make them appear longer than they once did, you likely have this condition. Pain or discomfort from receding gums may not be noticeable, but with daily attentiveness, you should be able to tell if your gums are receding or separating from your teeth.

Bleeding Gums

If your gums bleed while you brush, floss, or eat hard food, you could have gingivitis. Your gums may also appear puffy and red and feel soft to the touch. If you experience these symptoms, be sure to see your dentist right away. Your dentist may advise you to visit more often than the recommended twice a year for a cleaning if your teeth are particularly susceptible to infection.

Dark Gums

Dark or discolored gums can occur from smoking, drugs, inflammation, or hyperpigmentation, but they can also result from gum disease. Hardened plaque (called calculus or tartar) can collect beneath the gums and cause a blackened appearance. Laser gum disease treatment can effectively remove the build-up and, therefore, the unsightly dark color. When infection is not the cause of darkened gums, laser depigmentation is the best treatment to restore the gums to a more natural-looking color.

If you have symptoms of gingivitis, or if you would like to schedule a consultation for a cosmetic procedure by Dr. Kevin Sands, please call our dental office in Beverly Hills today at (310) 273-0111. You may also conveniently fill out our online contact form for more information.

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.

What Is Laser Gum Contouring?

shutterstock_117021118Cosmetic dentistry does not just involve a straight and white appearance to the teeth. In fact, the length of the teeth is often what makes or breaks a beautiful “Hollywood” smile. The teeth can appear too short due to genetics, a particular health problem, taking certain prescription drugs, or bruxism, and is typically corrected with either porcelain veneers or laser gum contouring.

You may know that porcelain veneers are thin, tooth-like shells that cover the front of the natural tooth. They can make the teeth appear straighter, whiter, longer, and more symmetrical with the rest of the smile. Some patients do not need to straighten or even whiten their teeth; their main concern is a “gummy” appearance. Laser gum contouring, also called gum reshaping or tissue sculpting, is a simple procedure that can lengthen the teeth to provide a fuller, brighter, and more aesthetically balanced smile. Dr. Sands performs this procedure at his Beverly Hills practice.

Laser gum contouring is typically considered a cosmetic procedure and is not covered by insurance. However, some undergo this procedure as part of other necessary procedures, such as pocket reduction, crown lengthening, or other regenerative procedures.

Dr. Sands will often begin treatment by marking the area of the gums that will be altered and by applying local anesthesia to numb the area. He then removes the excess gum tissue by carefully applying the laser to the marked areas. The gums are sealed instantly with heat from the laser, so no bleeding is involved and no sutures are necessary. The laser also kills bacteria in the process, resulting in healthy, natural looking gums and an overall more balanced smile.

To achieve the best long-term results, sometimes bone at the front of the tooth’s root will need to be removed. The gums will heal within several days to a couple of weeks. Dr. Sands will provide specific recovery instructions to ensure the best results with this procedure.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of an uneven gum line, consult with Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands. During your consultation, he can assess your smile and determine whether laser gum contouring is the right procedure for you. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Sands, please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.

Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, come in between the ages of 17 and 25, a time of life that has been called the “Age of Wisdom.” They are the last teeth to develop and erupt in the mouth. In most cases, dentists recommend that these teeth should be removed. Here are the main reasons why:

1. Impacted wisdom teeth may damage other teeth.

When a tooth is unable to fully enter the mouth, it is said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can remain completely sideways beneath the gumline, or they simply are unable to break through the gums because there is no room. Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. If impacted wisdom teeth are not removed, they may cause infection or damage to the other teeth.

2. Wisdom teeth are difficult to clean.

A wisdom tooth that is only partially erupted often has portions of the tooth covered by flaps of gum tissue. This, along with the location so far back in the mouth, can make wisdom teeth difficult to clean. Bacteria and plaque can collect in the gums, which can cause cavities that are difficult to treat. Infections can also develop that can lead to gum disease. Teeth that are next to the wisdom teeth are also more prone to developing gum problems because the wisdom teeth can get in the way of cleaning them. In rare cases, cysts can develop, which can cause permanent damage to bone, teeth, and nerves.

When should I keep my wisdom teeth?

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends that third molars be evaluated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon by the time a patient is a young adult. The surgeon can assess the presence of third molars and their disease status and can suggest removal or management options. Regular dental visits that involve x-rays are especially important in the later teen years as the teeth finish developing within the gums.

Wisdom teeth may not need to be removed if they are:

Healthy

Fully erupted (grown in completely)

Positioned correctly and bite properly with the opposite tooth

Able to be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices

If wisdom teeth are not removed, they will require regular professional cleaning, annual check-ups, and periodic radiographs to monitor any changes.

At a dental checkup with Dr. Kevin B. Sands, the health of your gums and teeth will be evaluated and x-rays may be taken. If necessary, Dr. Sands will refer you to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for further assessment for your wisdom teeth. Please schedule your dental appointment with Dr. Sands by calling (310) 273-0111 or filling out our online contact form today.

Natural Teeth Whitening

White Teeth Smile

Whiter teeth complete a beautiful smile and help renew confidence.

Dull or yellow teeth are caused by a variety of elements in our daily lives. As the enamel of your teeth wears down from consuming sugary, starchy, and acidic foods and drinks, the yellow dentin beneath it becomes more apparent. Consistently drinking liquids such as tea, wine, coffee, and soda, as well as using tobacco products, contribute to a negative color change in our teeth.

In today’s culture, a magnificent smile is not complete without a set of bright, white teeth. Although there are countless whitening kits available to make even the most yellow teeth noticeably whiter, many people use natural teeth whitening methods to improve and maintain the color of their teeth. In some cases, people have found natural remedies with even better results than whitening kits, at a fraction of the cost!

 

Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda

This is one of the oldest methods for teeth whitening that is still used today. In fact, peroxide is the main ingredient in just about every professional whitening kit. After mixing these two products together to form a consistency similar to toothpaste, gently brush the mixture onto your teeth. Be careful to avoid your gums though, as the mixture could irritate them. Let the mixture sit on the teeth for about two minutes and then rinse. Follow this routine once a week for whiter teeth.

Strawberries

This one may seem a bit odd, but some people have seen an improvement in the whiteness of their teeth after a few weeks of simply rubbing strawberries on them. This is because strawberries contain malic acid, which is a natural whitening agent. However, it should be noted that rubbing fruits containing acids and sugars will eventually eat away at the enamel of your teeth, so it is very important to brush your teeth after whitening with strawberries.

Oil Pulling

This is another uncommon method, but according to many reviews it has a positive effect on oral health in general as well as the appearance of teeth. Swish one tablespoon of sesame oil or olive oil throughout your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes. The oil will turn white because it naturally pulls toxins from your teeth and mouth. After the time is up, spit the oil out and rinse your mouth with water.

Although natural whitening methods have shown results for some people, the most effective approach to teeth whitening is whitening dentistry, which involves a variety of options such as in-house bleaching or laser whitening. To brighten your teeth and enhance your smile, please feel free to call our Beverly Hills practice at (310) 273-0111 today. Dr. Sands looks forward to helping you attain the brilliant smile you desire.

 

Do You Have Gingivitis?

Many people have gingivitis and don’t even know it. This means they aren’t taking the necessary precautions and actions to reduce or get rid of the inflammation, which can cause problems later, such as gum disease and tooth decay. So it is important to notice the signs now, so you can fix the problem immediately.

There are many tell-tale signs and symptoms of gingivitis that should motivate you to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Paying attention to the appearance and feeling of your gums is vital. Swollen, soft, puffy, or tender gums may indicate gingivitis. Signs that your gums are not healthy also include recession or darkening in color. Your gums should be a healthy, baby pink. If they are red or if they bleed when you brush or floss, it is important that you see your dentist. Bad breath is also a strong indicator of gingivitis.

Poor oral hygiene that causes plaque and tarter to form on teeth can result in gingivitis, which is why it is crucial to brush and floss daily. Other factors that increase your risk of developing gingivitis include aging, diabetes, smoking, hormonal changes, dry mouth, immune diseases, and medications. Because some factors are unavoidable, it is especially important to visit see your professional dentist regularly.

Treating gingivitis is a combination of at-home and in-office care. As a Beverly Hills dentist, I can evaluate your teeth and gums, remove built-up plaque and tarter, and fix dental fixtures that may prevent good oral hygiene. I can also provide you with the best at-home advice to take care of your teeth and gums daily, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Consistent cleaning and dental check-ups is key in achieving a healthy mouth and effectively treating gingivitis.

For those who feel like they may have gingivitis, or for those who want to prevent it, please schedule a consultation at my Beverly Hills office today.  My staff and I welcome your visit.

Using Dental Crowns to Protect Weakened Teeth

Sometimes covering up a problem isn’t going to solve it. With dental crowns, however, this isn’t the case. Crowns are used to protect, restore, and support broken or weakened teeth. For those who have severely discolored or sharp, malformed teeth, crowns can also be used to cover the teeth. They may be used to cover a bridge or large filling as well. Crowns are like protective hats that, in addition, help prevent further damage to the tooth. At my Beverly Hills practice, I offer state-of-the-art crown fixtures to help protect your teeth and get you back to looking and feeling your best.

Permanent crowns may be made of metal, porcelain, all-resin, or ceramic. Metals used in crowns include gold, palladium, or base-metals. With metal crowns, less tooth structure has to be removed when fitting. Also, in comparison to other crowns, metals usually last longer with normal wear and tear such as biting and chewing. However because they are metallic in color, many patients prefer porcelain for greater discretion; porcelain crowns are color-matched to the patient’s surrounding teeth, so it appears like a real tooth. The porcelain and ceramic fixtures are best for front teeth, due to appearing authentic, usually suiting patients who have metal allergies best. All-resin crowns are less expensive, but also more prone to chipping and fractures.

Placing a crown on the tooth is a delicate procedure. The tooth is first numbed to reduce any pain, and then filed down on top and the sides of the tooth in order to fit the crown. If the tooth is cracked or broken, I may build the broken areas with filling material. Once the tooth is reshaped, an impression paste will be placed on the tooth where the crown will be set. I will ensure that the crown fits well and doesn’t affect your bite. The impressions are then sent to a dental lab for the crown to be made. A temporary crown will generally be placed until your permanent is made.

It generally takes about two to three weeks for a crown to be manufactured. On your second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and your permanent crown will be fitted into place. If it fits right, I will numb your tooth with an anesthetic and permanently cement the crown into place.

If you are interested in learning more about dental crowns, which are commonly performed in conjunction with dental implants, please visit my Beverly Hills office. I will help you get the most dazzling, healthy-looking smile possible!

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.

414 N. CAMDEN DRIVE, SUITE 940
BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90210
Tel: (310) 273-0111

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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.