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Category: Porcelain Veneers

How to Stop Grinding Teeth

Man Putting In Mouth GuardDoes your jaw ever feel sore when you wake up in the morning? If so, you could have bruxism. People with bruxism frequently grind or clench their teeth together. Since this can significantly damage the teeth, here are some tips to help you stop grinding your teeth. If bruxism has already led to notable tooth damage, dental bonding or porcelain veneers can restore your smile.

Why Grinding Teeth Is So Bad

Your jaw and mouth muscles help you chew and speak, so it isn’t surprising that they are some of the strongest muscles in your body. Factors such as stress, anxiety, or anger can cause you to clench your jaw from time to time, which means that these incredibly strong muscles are putting excessive force on your teeth. On occasion, this doesn’t cause serious damage, but for people with bruxism, the regular clenching or grinding of teeth can affect not only your dental health but also your overall well-being. Consistent wear can lead to cracks, chips, tooth loss, headaches, earaches, receding gums, inflammation in the jaw, and lockjaw.

Tips to Help You Quit

1. Get a Mouth Guard

Grinding teeth is particularly common at night. Since you can’t control your movements while you’re sleeping, a mouth guard can protect your teeth at night. While this will not prevent teeth grinding, the mouth guard will take the brunt of the force so that your teeth do not have to. A mouth guard can be purchased at a local drug store, but it is better to have one custom made to fit your mouth. Dr. Sands can devise a custom mouth guard for bruxism if you need it.

2. Reduce Stress

Bruxism is often triggered by stress or anxiety. Find ways to reduce stress in your life so that your muscles are less likely to take it out on your teeth. Many people find that practices such as meditation, yoga, or even taking a hot bath can alleviate stress and provide relaxation.

3. Don’t Overwork Your Jaw

Overworking the jaw can increase tension in it, leading to jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Avoid foods that are difficult to chew, such as tough meat or chewy candy, as well as chewing gum.

4. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol can increase the urge to clench your teeth, while caffeine can increase tension and jittery movements such as tooth grinding. Both alcohol and caffeine can increase symptoms of bruxism and should be avoided, especially in the afternoon and evening hours.

5. Get Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Though the two are not guaranteed to coincide, many people with bruxism also have sleep apnea. Getting treatment for sleep apnea (such as with a CPAP machine or mouth guard) can also be effective for preventing teeth grinding.

6. Relax and Massage Your Jaw

Jaw exercises and muscle relaxants can help relax the jaw. Gently massage the jaw, neck, and face to relieve tension, and consider asking a chiropractor or physical therapist for help with some jaw exercises. It can even help to apply a hot, wet washcloth to the sides of your jaw for several minutes at night before bed to relax the muscles.

Dental Treatments for Damaged Teeth

If any tooth damage has occurred due to bruxism, Dr. Sands can use dental bonding or porcelain veneers to restore your teeth. Dental bonding uses a cosmetic resin that is bonded to the tooth, sculpted and molded, then hardened until it matches your enamel. Porcelain veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that are cemented to your teeth to improve their form, appearance, and function. Both treatments can improve the appearance and function of teeth that have been worn down by teeth grinding.

 
Dr. Kevin Sands can offer additional recommendations for bruxism treatment and prevention of teeth grinding during your personal consultation. To schedule your appointment, please call 310.273.0111 or complete our online contact form today.

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.

The Top 3 Oral Health Problems and How To Prevent Them

A recent survey by The Health Policy Institute, a research division of the American Dental Association, found that the top three oral health problems facing Americans today are dry mouth, difficulty biting and chewing, and pain.

girl-holding-cheek-expressing-tooth-painDry Mouth

Of the 15,000 survey respondents across all states, the top issue was dry mouth (also called xerostomia), with 33 percent experiencing it either occasionally or very often. Dry mouth can be a side effect of certain medications and some diseases. On occasion, dry mouth is not a concern, but chronic dry mouth can lead to tooth decay.

Drinking more water is the first simple solution to the problem, but if that does not help, talk to your doctor about alternatives for your medications or a possible explanation for your chronic dry mouth.

Difficulty Biting and Chewing

The next most common oral health problem was difficulty biting and chewing, experienced by 31 percent of those surveyed. Interestingly, this problem was more common among younger people and those with lower incomes. It can be caused by any number of dental issues, including crooked, cracked, loose, or decayed teeth.

Prevention involves regular dental hygiene practices, such as brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and keeping your bi-annual dental cleaning appointments. Some people still experience these issues even when they take preventative measures. Dr. Sands can correct the damage with a number of treatments, including Invisalign®, porcelain veneers, and dental bonding.

Pain

The third biggest oral-health problem was pain in general, experienced by 29 percent of respondents. Since any pain in the mouth can have many causes and solutions, it is best to always consult your dentist for prevention advice and treatment. Ignoring the pain or masking it with pain medication will not solve the underlying problem and could make it worse. It is always best to visit your dentist as soon as possible if you are experience tooth pain.

Dr. Sands can help prevent and correct any of the above problems. Don’t delay your treatment; schedule your appointment today by calling (310) 273-0111, or fill out our online contact form for more information.

How to Take Care of Porcelain Veneers

shutterstock_29787466Porcelain veneers are one of the most versatile applications to restore your smile. They correct cracked, chipped, crooked, stained, and even gapped front teeth. As such, they are one of the most expensive options for smile restoration, which leaves many patients concerned with how to make their investment last.

The good news is, porcelain veneers closely resemble natural teeth. You don’t have to avoid certain foods or implement any special hygiene routines to maintain their beauty and function. In fact, some might say they are even superior to natural teeth because they are resistant to staining. Although veneers are extremely durable, proper hygiene and a little common sense will go a long way to help them last for several years. Here are a few tips you should follow:

1. Do Not Chew on Hard, Non-Food Items

Like with regular teeth, chewing on hard items like pens or using your teeth as tools can potentially damage your veneers. Cracking or chipping them is rare, but it is possible. Habitually chewing in the same spot or using certain teeth to open packages consistently can also wear them out over time. Ice and hard candy should also be eaten in moderation and infrequently to avoid potential damage. This is true for natural teeth as well.

2. Maintain Regular Dental Hygiene

Veneers can collect plaque and tartar buildup exactly the same way natural teeth do, which is why it is so important to keep up with your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth twice per day, floss daily, and be sure to keep your bi-annual dental cleaning appointment. Only a dental hygienist can remove tartar from your teeth, which is almost guaranteed to build up over time. Keeping your cleaning appointment will prevent worse problems, such as gingivitis and cavities, from occurring.

3. Enjoy Any Type of Food

With your veneers, you can enjoy virtually any food. Wine, coffee, blueberries, and other food and beverage items that can stain your teeth will have no effect on porcelain veneers. This cannot be said for dental bonding, which is usually used to repair chips in the teeth. Although it is cheaper, bonding will often become discolored over time and will not match the rest of the tooth. Porcelain veneers will not stain and always cover the entire front of the tooth to prevent
any inconsistent coloring.

To schedule your consultation for porcelain veneers, call 310.273.0111. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.

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.

​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.

How Porcelain Veneers Can Dress Up Your Smile

How Porcelain Veneers Can Improve Your Teeth

Your smile speaks volumes about you. A wide, full smile usually How Porcelain Veneers Can Restore Your Teethtells others that you are open and friendly. A pursed, straight-line smile typically indicates that you are shy and closed off. Healthy, clean teeth are the mark of someone put together and organized. Have you stopped and taken a second to consider what your smile is saying about you? If it’s not very positive, chances are that your teeth are to blame.

Common Causes of Unsightly Teeth  

  • Discolorations
  • Stains
  • Chips
  • Gaps
  • Crookedness

Discolorations/Stains

Your morning coffee and that glass of wine at dinner, while making you extremely happy, are staining your teeth. Discolored teeth can age you and make you appear unattractive. It is important to maintain a regular cleaning routine to keep your pearly whites, well, white.

Chips/Broken Teeth

Only pro hockey players can pull off chipped or broken teeth, and that’s because they have the amazing story to explain it away. For the everyday person, chipped and broken teeth create an unbalanced smile. Tooth decay can cause your teeth to become weak and break easily. So, even if your tooth loss is due to an accident, people may take it as a sign that you don’t have the best oral hygiene. Talk about embarrassing.

Gapped/Crooked Teeth

Gapped and crooked teeth throw off the uniformity of a smile. In regards to beauty, balance and symmetry are very important for creating an appearance that is attractive to the eye. Gaps and crookedness that create an asymmetrical look can affect how appealing your smile is.

When Brushing Just Isn’t Cutting It

It can’t be stressed enough that a daily, thorough oral regimen will help by leaps and bounds in providing you with an attractive smile. Healthy teeth are the most important part of a smile. But even if your teeth are healthy, they may not be aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes it’s impossible to fight discoloration and the fact that you are sporting a huge front gap. Brushing certainly isn’t going to bring back a chipped tooth, and it can be embarrassing living with unattractive teeth. Luckily, you don’t have to. You can reclaim your beautiful smile with the help of porcelain veneers.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin, shell-like sheets that cover the outside of damaged teeth. They require little alteration of the existing tooth structure and become very strong once bonded. Veneers can last over 15 years with good detail care.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

  • Make teeth appear whiter
  • Obscure crooked and gapped teeth
  • Are customized to match existing tooth color and shape
  • Are non-porous and resistant to staining
  • Have minimal pain associated with the application procedure

 

If your teeth could use a little improvement to give you a gorgeous smile, see how porcelain veneers can help you. Set up your consultation with Dr. Kevin Sands to discuss your options today! Call 310.273.011 or fill out our online contact form here.

 

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.

Is It Bad to Grit Your Teeth?

Mean looking man in business office gritting teethThe muscles we use for chewing and speaking are some of the strongest muscles in our body. Four muscles in particular make it possible to speak, close our mouth, chew, and move our mandible (lower jaw) from side to side. When our mouth isn’t practicing any of these normal functions, the upper and lower teeth should rest comfortably together for the majority of the time.

Sometimes, anxiety, anger, or sheer determination might cause us to clench our jaw or grit our teeth. While this is fine on occasion, habitual teeth clenching can lead to problems with the teeth, jaw, or overall health in the future.

What happens when I grit my teeth?

Most people who clench their teeth also grind their teeth. The term “bruxism” refers to both actions. While consistently clenching the jaw can cause some stress to the teeth, grinding the teeth together can lead to worse problems like cracks, chips, and loose teeth.

It is very common for people to experience bruxism while they are asleep, having no idea that they are damaging their smile. Dr. Sands can easily tell if bruxism has been occurring when he examines your mouth at a routine dental visit. If any damage has occurred, he may recommend dental bonding or a much stronger alternative like porcelain veneers to keep up with the consistent damage. He can also customize a mouthguard to be worn at night to help protect your teeth.

What other damage can teeth clenching cause?

Since one of the muscles responsible for bruxism, the temporal fossa, extends all the way into the skull, its overuse can be a cause of recurrent headaches and earaches. “Lockjaw” is also a side effect of bruxism because of the muscle spasms and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) inflammation it can cause.

How do I cure bruxism?

Reducing stress and avoiding food that can be hard to chew, such as toffee, caramel, or steak, will help to relax the overworked jaw muscles. You should also avoid chewing gum and opening your mouth very wide on a consistent basis. Dr. Sands can provide further recommendations for treatment for bruxism during your consultation.

If you are experiencing bruxism or its side effects, Dr. Kevin B. Sands can assess your mouth and provide his recommendation for treatment. To schedule an appointment, please call us today at (310) 27-0111 or fill out our online contact form.

The Beauty of Porcelain Veneers

woman with beautiful smileThere are many different dental procedures to whiten, straighten, and otherwise improve a person’s smile, but there is only one procedure that will treat almost all aesthetic problems: porcelain veneers. Whether your teeth are discolored, stained, chipped, broken, gapped, or crooked, porcelain veneers will correct your concern.

Discolored and Stained Teeth

Although porcelain veneers are not often solely used for superficial concerns, such as discoloration and stains, they can whiten the smile if desired. Patients usually have a more prominent issue to correct and choose to have the veneers customized for teeth whitening in addition to closing their gaps or camouflaging a broken tooth. Since veneers are often placed on the front six or eight “smiling” teeth, they can make the smile look naturally whiter without the need to whiten the surrounding teeth. If the patient is only getting a few veneers placed and they would also like a brighter smile overall, Dr. Sands will recommend teeth whitening prior to placing the veneers.

Chipped and Broken Teeth

Since veneers are thin sheets of porcelain that fit over the front of the tooth, they can disguise virtually any imperfection. A single veneer is a great option to disguise a chip or crack in the tooth. Dental bonding is an alternative to fixing chipped teeth, but bonding can stain over time and will likely need to be replaced after several years. Porcelain veneers are very strong, durable, and resistant to staining. They can last up to two decades without the need for repair or replacement.

Crooked and Gapped Teeth

Invisalign and braces may straighten crooked teeth, but they cannot change the shape or length of the teeth like porcelain veneers can. Patients with “gummy” smiles can have their teeth instantly lengthened to provide a more balanced appearance to the smile. Teeth that are sharp and pointed are also instantly corrected for an even more beautiful result. The shape of each veneer is customized so that they can fit the natural tooth, closing any gaps and camouflaging any other imperfections.

Porcelain veneers are truly an all-encompassing solution for those who desire a complete smile makeover or for those who have more than one concern about the appearance of their smile. If you are interested in this procedure, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin B. Sands by calling (310) 273-0111. You may also conveniently fill out our online contact form for more information.

How to Make Your Kiss Count this Valentine’s Day

cold weather kissWhether you’ve been on just a few dates or you’ve been married to your sweetheart for years, Valentine’s Day has granted us all the moral obligation to step up our romantic game. Come February 14th, men everywhere are frantically buying flowers, chocolates, jewelry, or booking last-minute dinner reservations – all to impress that special lady in their life.

Unfortunately, even with all the elaborate plans and gifts, a lot of people forget the most important part of the night: the kiss. Even if everything goes right on a Valentine’s date, a poorly planned kiss can put quite a damper on the romantic mood. To ensure the most memorable evening possible, we’ve gathered some of the top things to do to make your kiss count this Valentine’s Day.

1. Warm up

A great way to prepare your lips for a good kiss is to warm them up by smiling often. Smiling throughout the date will not only help alleviate any nervous tension for you, but it will put your significant other at ease as well. Plus, studies have shown that those who smile often are more successful in many areas of life compared to those who don’t. Why not put the odds in your favor?

2. Practice makes perfect

If you’ve ever heard of the 90/10 rule, you know that at the end of the date, in order to get that perfect kiss, the man should lean in 90 percent, and his date should meet his lips with the remaining 10. This tactic is not overtly forward, yet forward enough to let the lady know exactly what he’s after. It works like a charm. That is… unless he has terrible breath.

A mint will surely help disguise that garlic broccoli dish you just enjoyed, but taking care of your oral hygiene on a regular basis will set you up for success in the long-term. Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily (and once more before the date for good measure). Floss regularly, and visit your dentist every six months to lower your chances for chronic bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and causing your damsel to faint when she’s in close proximity to your mouth.

3. Don’t be shy

If you’re embarrassed about the way your smile looks, you shouldn’t cover it up with a napkin or clench your lips together. Kiss or no kiss – if you begin a relationship with something to hide, it’s a recipe for disaster. There are so many procedures available that can give you the most confident, charming smile that no doubt will lead to the perfect kiss – as well as many subsequent perfect kisses! Here are a few of the most popular treatments at my practice:

Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve the appearance of your smile overall. Zoom!™ is offered in-office for same-day results that can make your teeth appear up to eight shades whiter. We also offer customized bleaching trays for patients to take home. Results can be seen within a couple of weeks of continued use.

Bonding: Dental bonding can repair any cracks or chips in the teeth. The procedure is quick and painless, and many patients are surprised at how much their smile and overall confidence improve when even a small area is corrected.

Porcelain Veneers: Porcelain veneers can do what teeth whitening and bonding can, plus much more. Thin sheets of porcelain are applied over the teeth to mask discoloration, chips, cracks, gaps, and crooked teeth. They are usually applied to the front upper teeth that show when you smile. When it comes to impressing your one-and-only, these are the teeth that count the most!

If you are interested in one or more of the many dental services offered at our Beverly Hills practice, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Kevin B. Sands. Call (310) 273-0111 today, or 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.

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.

Should I Get Veneers or Caps?

Comparison of porcelain veneers and caps Although porcelain veneers and caps (also called crowns) are somewhat similar dental treatments, they serve different purposes. The best choice between the two will depend on the needs and desires of the patient.

Veneers and crowns both require part of the natural tooth to be altered in order to be bonded to it. Because of this, both are considered permanent treatment options.

Typically, veneers are used for aesthetic reasons only on the front, “smiling” teeth. When a patient would like to correct the shape or color of their teeth, veneers make an excellent choice. Usually made of porcelain, veneers are formed into the thickness of a contact lens and are bonded to the natural tooth to disguise teeth that are crooked, cracked, broken, or discolored. The porcelain material looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth. For veneers, about 0.1 to 0.5 millimeter of the tooth’s enamel is etched away. Although this is a small amount, it will permanently alter the appearance of the tooth, and it will not look the same without the veneer attached to it.

Crowns are most often used in cases where much of the tooth structure is missing, which can be caused by tooth decay, root canal therapy, or accidental breakage. Since crowns are usually applied to posterior teeth, they are available in both natural-looking porcelain as well as less expensive materials that do not match surrounding teeth, such as gold, nickel, or chromium. Unlike veneers, crowns cover the tooth on all sides and require more of the natural tooth to be etched away. Although crowns can achieve all the aesthetic purposes that veneers can, they should only be used if absolutely necessary.

If you are considering porcelain veneers or caps in the Beverly Hills area, celebrity cosmetic dentist Dr. Sands can help determine which treatment is right for you. Please schedule a consultation today by calling (310) 273-0111 or filling out our online contact form.

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.