Invisalign Teen® the Alternative to Braces for Teens

If your teen is tired of living with crooked teeth, now is an excellent time to consider orthodontics. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we are regularly asked about Invisalign Teen® as an alternative to braces for teens. This product is growing in popularity as more and more teens are transforming their smile without the use of bulky and noticeable braces. If you live in La Jolla, CA or the 92037 area, we encourage you to call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an examination. We can let you know whether or not Invisalign® is the right solution for your child and how to get started.

What is Invisalign Teen®?
Invisalign® straightens teeth using a series of clear, plastic aligners. For teeth to move from their current crooked position to where they are supposed to be, pressure must be applied. With braces, this is done using metal brackets with wires threaded between them. With Invisalign®, pressure is applied using a series of clear aligners that have been created to put pressure on specific teeth. When worn in a series, they put the right amount of pressure on the teeth that need to be moved, so that they migrate to the correct position.

 

Here are seven things you should know about Invisalign® prior to visiting our office.

  1. Teens love Invisalign®. Why does this matter? Simple. If your teen enjoys their orthodontics treatment, they will be more committed to following through with it. Orthodontics is not a one visit and done type of procedure. It is up to your teen to remember to wear their aligners, keep up with appointments, care for their teeth, etc. This requires a level of commitment. The same is true for wearing traditional braces but the difference is in how satisfied they will be during the process. If you are unsure, don’t take our word for it. Studies have shown that teens wear their Invisalign® aligners for an average of 21 hours per day. Since they are fully removable, that demonstrates the level of commitment patients have when using a solution they actually like.
  2. Easier to use. One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign Teen® as an alternative to braces for teens, is that the clear aligners are incredibly easy to use. They function like a removable retainer. Your teen puts them in and takes them out as needed because there is nothing fixed in place like there is with braces. This means that they can eat all of their favorite foods and not have to adjust their diet. This is important since many teens are particular about what they eat and would not want to avoid grabbing a burger with friends or eating pizza at the end-of-season soccer party. All they need to do is take the aligners out and put them in a secure case while eating. The same is true when it comes to brushing their teeth. The routine of brushing and flossing is the same because the aligners come out while doing so. This is a far cry from braces, where the brushing and flossing routine requires additional tools and can take up to twenty minutes at a time.
  3. Teeth stay cleaner. Since teeth are easier to keep clean when wearing Invisalign®, there is less of a chance of developing stains or even cavities. Consider this, when a person wears braces, food can become stuck all along the brackets and underneath the wires. These areas can be hotbeds for bacteria and plaque that can eat away at the teeth and lead to decay. In order to prevent this, special brushes need to be used on a daily basis so that the brackets themselves can stay relatively clean. This can be difficult for adults, let alone children or teens. This is one reason that Our dentist recommends Invisalign Teen®. By removing the aligners while eating, there is nothing additional for food to get stuck on or for plaque to grow on. Since they come out to brush and floss, the process of oral hygiene is as convenient as it has always been. This makes it a win-win for oral hygiene and for the aesthetics of the smile.
  4. Better for self-esteem. The stigma associated with wearing braces has largely worn off but many teens are still insecure about looking different, worried about standing out, and do not like the idea of going to school with a metal mouth. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we get it. No matter how good of a job braces can do, some teens will not consider them due to feelings of insecurity or being self-conscious. As a parent, we encourage you not to force the issue because braces are a long-term commitment and if they are not happy on day one, it is unlikely that they will be happy on day 500. Instead, we recommend using Invisalign Teen®. Our La Jolla patients love this solution because it is almost invisible. Most of the time, people will not even notice that your teen is wearing anything. This allows them to smile for their yearbook photo, or every day, without hiding their teeth. In fact, their smile will actually improve during the process and those improvements will be noticeable, instead of the device they are using to accomplish the changes.
  5. Treatment time. Our dentist can let you know how long the treatment will last when you visit our 92037 dental office. Generally speaking, most teens need to wear their aligners for around eighteen months. The overall treatment time with Invisalign Teen is comparable to what it would be when wearing traditional braces as long as the aligners are worn for 20 to 22 hours per day. That leaves plenty of time to eat, brush teeth, and attend band or sports practice. If they start to wear them less than 20 hours per day, their treatment time could be lengthened.
  6. Teens say they’re more comfortable. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we have heard many of our La Jolla, CA patients rave about how comfortable their treatment is. Any time you are moving teeth, there is bound to be some level of soreness. It is inevitable. Whether your teen wears metal braces or aligners, when an adjustment is made or a new aligner is put in, their teeth will be slightly sore for a day or two. That is perfectly natural. The difference in comfort comes in when considering how everything feels on a regular basis. Since traditional braces involve metal brackets and wires, that metal can rub up against the cheeks and inside of the mouth, causing irritation. It is not uncommon for people to get sores or cuts in their mouth as a result. Naturally, this is inconvenient and entirely avoidable when wearing Invisalign Teen®. Since the aligners are clear plastic, they are entirely smooth and your teen should remain cut and irritation free during their treatment

Dental Anxiety La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we specialize in treating patients that are suffering from dental anxiety. If you have been avoiding the dentist due to fear of what a procedure could be like or simply do not enjoy having dental work done, give us a call. In our La Jolla, California dental office, we can ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed regardless of what procedure is being performed. When you visit our office, our dentist will meet with you to discuss what treatments you need and create a plan for how to keep your mouth healthy while easing any fears that you have about dentistry or procedures in general. This way you will be informed and empowered to make decisions regarding dental care without experiencing any anxiety.

How can I ease my fears about dental anxiety without medication?

When you visit our dental office, we can discuss ways that you can prevent experiencing anxiety while receiving dental care. In addition to the medication that we can provide, you can try relaxing by drinking a glass of tea. There are several natural varieties that you can purchase at the health foods store that will relax and calm you. At times, this can be enough to put you into a naturally relaxed state. Some patients also find that they benefit from meditation and acupuncture.

How can I prepare for my dentist appointment?

Another easy way to calm your fears is to visit our La Jolla dental office and meet with Our dentist without having actual dental work performed. Taking the time to tour our office, where you can sit in the dentist chair and have a conversation, will allow you to become familiar with our staff and office environment. This way when you do have your teeth cleaned, and dental work performed; you are doing so in an atmosphere that you feel comfortable in with procedures being completed by friendly and familiar faces. During your consultation, we can also discuss what you can expect from a teeth cleaning or a specific procedure. This will help you to prepare mentally for how long it will take, what dental tools will be used, what you could feel during the process and what the recovery period will be, if any. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we have found that the more informed our patients are the more comfortable and relaxed they feel. This one appointment can help to alleviate the fear of dentists that you are experiencing.

Sedation Dentistry Can Reduce Your Dental Anxiety

In our La Jolla dental office, we practice sedation dentistry that can be used to reduce and prevent dental anxiety. Here are some of the questions we are regularly asked about sedation.

Will I be asleep when sedated?
Typically not. Sleep dentistry is usually reserved for oral surgery and lengthy procedures. Sedation dentistry will help you relax and can make you drowsy, so some patients do nod off, but you are technically not put to sleep.

Can everyone use sedation dentistry?
To determine if you are healthy enough for sedation (most people are) we recommend that you schedule an appointment with our California dental office. Our dentist will meet with you to discuss the type of sedation that would be best suited for your procedure and the level of dental anxiety that you are experiencing.

How is sedation dentistry administered?
The most common form of sedation is taking a pill an hour before the procedure begins. One pill can help you to feel entirely relaxed so that your fear of dentists is eliminated. Most procedures like teeth cleaning or fixing a simple cavity do not necessarily hurt so with sedation many people do not require additional medication. However, if you would like pain medication as well, we can give it to you after the sedation has taken effect.

Will I be able to move around like normal?
Yes, with sedation dentistry you can continue to engage in conversation and respond to commands but your response times may be slightly delayed and your mind not as clear as normal. This is why we recommend that you either have someone drive you home or wait until it has worn off completely before driving.

Are there any side effects of sedation dentistry?
Most of the time the sedation goes away within an hour of your procedure being complete. If you are more heavily sedated or put to sleep for oral surgery, it can take a couple of hours to feel normal but this is rare. In our La Jolla dental office, we use the least amount of sedation to help you to feel completely relaxed and comfortable so that it is effective without staying in your system for too long.

Can children benefit from sedation dentistry?
Yes, typically children need sedation when having a lot of dental work completed so that they can hold still long enough for the work to be performed. This is a unique specialty and not offered at every dentist office.

Are there other ways to make dental work more comfortable?
Yes, laser dentistry is transforming how dental procedures are being completed. When you visit our 92037 dental office, you can be confident that we will use the latest technology available to make your procedure more comfortable. Lasers allow us to do so because the laser energy is fine and can target small spaces without irritating the surrounding tissue. This reduces discomfort and the recovery time. Lasers are also less invasive than traditional dental tools which means that there is less bleeding and swelling than there would be otherwise. They can be used in treating tooth decay, gum disease, and in restorative procedures. If you want a more comfortable experience and to reduce your dental anxiety, we highly recommend visiting a laser dentistry office. To learn about the procedures that we perform using lasers, call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment to speak with Our dentist. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we have found that when lasers are used many of our patients no longer need sedation or pain medication because the common factors that create fear of dentists are eliminated. For example, the noise, heat, and vibration that is traditionally associated with the dental drill is not present when using lasers.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, new dental technology or how to reduce your dental anxiety, call and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla dentist office today.

Do I Have Sleep Apnea? La Jolla, CA

If you feel as though you have no energy and are too tired to keep up with your friends and family, you should visit a La Jolla, CA dental office to talk about sleep apnea. This may be what is causing your issues, and a simple non-invasive treatment may be just what you need to feel like yourself again. To schedule an appointment with our 92037 dental office, call (858) 455-7200. We will be happy to discuss your treatment and then make a recommendation for how you should proceed.

What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a condition that makes it difficult for your body to receive the oxygen you need to properly function. Without enough oxygen, you will feel drained and sluggish, but since the condition manifests itself at night, most people have no idea that they have it.

How does sleep apnea impact a person’s health?
There are many health problems that can arise from untreated sleep apnea. They can include a stroke, high blood pressure, headaches, diabetes, depression, mood swings, heart failure, ADHD that becomes worse, and an overall lack of wellbeing.

How does sleep apnea negatively impact a person’s life?
With enough oxygen, your body will have a difficult time functioning. Beyond the health effects, this can translate to not having enough energy to stay awake past dinner, enjoy your kid’s birthday parties, go for a bike ride, or even drive your car. In fact, when you are tired, the basic and often mundane activities of life can put you to sleep. This can make it dangerous to get behind the wheel and could compromise your work performance. Essentially, your quality of life can be greatly diminished, making it critical that you visit a La Jolla dentist to have your sleep apnea treated.

What is the difference between sleep apnea and a sleep disorder?
Sleep apnea is a physical condition that makes it impossible to breathe clearly while you are sleeping. As a result, your body will not get enough oxygen to function at an optimal level. A sleep disorder can be one of the following:

  • Insomnia. When it comes to sleep disorders, insomnia can be long-term or temporary. Often brought on by external factors like stress, insomnia can be treated with an oral medication.
  • Narcolepsy. As a sleep disorder, narcolepsy is by far the worst. It can impact you throughout your entire life, making you feel so exhausted that you are forced to suddenly fall asleep, regardless of where you are or what you are doing. Narcolepsy is a true life disrupter.
  • Restless leg syndrome. Commonly impacting pregnant women, restless leg syndrome can force your legs to move all throughout the night. Giving you a feeling of constant tingles or a burning and itching sensation, RLS can be highly distracting and impact anyone at any time. It helps to go for a walk or exercise during the day, since those who are sedentary tend to experience RLS more frequently.
  • Jet lag. While most people view jet lag as a part of long-distance travel, it is a real sleep disorder, and if your body does not adjust well to the changes in time zones, jet lag could impact you for days or even weeks if you continue to travel from place to place. This disruption in your sleep patterns can make it difficult to get caught up on the rest you need, and may leave you feeling worn down to the point of potentially getting sick. Fortunately, this condition will eventually rectify itself when you get back home and stop traveling.
  • Snoring. If you snore too loudly, you could wake up your La Jolla neighbors, your spouse, or just yourself. Many people cannot get a good night’s sleep because they snore too loudly, and this condition is often brought on by sleep apnea.

What are the two main types of sleep apnea?

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). When you have obstructive sleep apnea, your lower jawbone muscles will be too weak to hold your jaw in place as you sleep. As a result, it can fall backward and your tongue with it. Your tongue will then block your airway, making it impossible to breathe clearly while sleeping. This is why people with OSA will typically snore or sound like they are choking in their sleep. This is one of the signs that the body is trying to move the tongue in order to breathe. Another cause of OSA is having too much fatty tissue in the back of your throat. This is one reason obesity is a risk factor for OSA.
  • Central Sleep Apnea. In this condition, the brain is responsible for the sleep apnea. By not sending signals to the muscles in charge of breathing, your body fails to respond as it should. This is not something that can be treated by a dentist, but instead, you will need to see a specialist.

How is sleep apnea treated?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we recommend that patients explore all non-invasive treatment options first. This is why we will often suggest that our La Jolla, CA patients wear a removable oral appliance. An oral appliance is a convenient treatment option because it does not make any noise and is incredibly discrete. Some patients also require the use of a CPAP machine to provide them with additional oxygen. The challenge with a CPAP is that it can be loud and uncomfortable to wear. The third treatment option for OSA is to have surgery to remove the extra fatty tissue blocking your airway.

How does an oral appliance work?
Wearing an oral appliance is incredibly easy. It is customized for your mouth specifically so it fits snugly and securely. As a result, you can simply slip it into place when you go to sleep. It remains in place inside of your mouth and does an excellent job of holding your lower jaw in the forward position. This prevents your tongue from falling backward and keeps your airway clear. Some people receive all of the benefit they need by wearing an oral appliance, while those with severe sleep apnea may also require the use of a CPAP machine at the same time. In this case, most 92037 patients report that their CPAP is far more comfortable than when they were using it as a standalone treatment option.

To learn more about sleep apnea or discuss your oral health in general, call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla dental office. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we are happy to discuss your health challenges and make recommendations, even if we have to refer you to a specialist for treatment.

Do I Need a Root Canal?  La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla is regularly asked, “my tooth hurts, do I have to have a root canal?” Toothaches can be terribly inconvenient. They make it difficult to eat, speak, or even function. As a family dentist in La Jolla, CA, we realize that a common toothache is something most people can live with until it suddenly turns a corner and becomes unbearable. The key is to visit our dental office at that initial stage before you reach the point of severe discomfort. This will give you the largest amount of options for how to treat the problem. To schedule an appointment with our family dental office, call (858) 455-7200.

If you are wondering, “my tooth hurts, do I have to have a root canal?” the answer is – not necessarily. We know that your tooth could hurt for several reasons, including:

·         Food is stuck in between your teeth or in between the ridges on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

·         You could have a cavity.

·         Your tooth could have been chipped or cracked.

·         You may be suffering from enamel erosion.

In these scenarios, we can treat the problem without needing to perform a root canal. For example, we can clean your teeth and remove any food particles causing discomfort. If you have a cavity, we can remove the decay and place a filling in our family dentist office. This is done quickly and is far less invasive than a root canal. Simultaneously, if your tooth is chipped or cracked, we can restore it using dental bonding or dental veneers. If you are dealing with erosion, you may need dental crowns to protect your teeth. As a cosmetic dentist, we restore teeth on a daily basis and have several ways of doing so.

However, there are many times where a root canal is the right treatment option, so to answer the question, “my tooth hurts, do I have to have a root canal?” we must also look at the surrounding circumstances.

How long has your tooth been hurting?
When you visit our dental office in La Jolla, CA, we need to know how long you have been dealing with this issue and whether the pain came on suddenly or if it has built up over time. This will help us in determining what the source of the discomfort is and what our treatment plan should be.

What level of pain are you in?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we regularly ask patients about their pain and whether or not it is manageable. If it is only slight discomfort, you may be able to visit our La Jolla dentist practice and have tooth decay removed. In many cases, a toothache is caused by a cavity that can be treated without the need for a root canal. However, as a La Jolla, CA dentist, we have found that intense pain is often due to an infection severe enough to warrant a root canal.

When to Call Our Emergency Dentist Office
If you have any of these symptoms, you should call our emergency dentist office at (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment to be seen right away.

  • Your face is swollen. In this scenario, you could have a severe infection and require an immediate root canal. As a La Jolla dentist near you, we can quickly examine and treat you.
  • You are having difficulty swallowing. In this case, you need to be treated by our emergency dentist office immediately. Do not delay or take any chances with this particular symptom. It is possible to develop a dental abscess, an infection that can spread from your root canal to the floor of your mouth and even into your neck. This requires urgent care.
  • You cannot bite down without pain. In this case, your tooth could be infected and require a standard root canal. If so, we can perform the procedure quickly.
  • Your tooth is changing color. Another sign of an infection is if the tooth begins to change color. In this case, it may appear gray or dull, and performing a root canal could be necessary for restoring the health of your tooth.

THE PROCESS OF PERFORMING A ROOT CANAL

When patients call us asking, “my tooth hurts, do I have to have a root canal?” the second question they normally ask is what the process is like. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla is happy to answer any questions you may have during your examination and consultation. As a cosmetic dentist in La Jolla, CA, we can complete a root canal in a way that is as comfortable as possible. This is the first thing you should know – a root canal does not have to hurt. In fact, by using sedation, we can help you feel calm and relaxed to the point that most of our patients say they feel much better after the treatment than they did before it was completed. This is because the root canal removes the infection, which is the cause of the initial discomfort. When looking for a “dentist near me” to perform a root canal, be sure to visit one who offers sedation.

When performing a root canal in our family dentist office, we do the following:

  • Clean the tooth.
  • Numb the area.
  • Create a small hole in the tooth.
  • Remove the infected portion.
  • Clean the interior of the tooth.
  • Seal it with a rubbery substance.
  • Restore the tooth using a filling or crown.

When completed by a skilled cosmetic dentistry office, a root canal can be finished quickly and easily.

As a cosmetic dentist in La Jolla California, we can treat your damaged or infected tooth, along with improving the appearance of your smile. We do so by offering additional solutions like teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental implants, dental crowns, and bridges. To schedule an appointment to have your teeth examined or to learn more about a root canal, call (858) 455-7200.

I Think My Gums Are Receding La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we are focused on the health of our patients’ gums just as much as we are focused on their teeth. This is because we understand the critical nature of the gums and the role they play in keeping teeth healthy, strong, and intact. Through regular dental care, we can work to prevent gum disease, and very often, this is the solution. However, if you do notice that your gums have begun to recede, you should call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla, CA dental office. Since gum recession can lead to further health challenges, it is important to address the issue right away.

Why are gums receding from my teeth?
There could be several reasons for this, and some of them may have to do with your lifestyle. For example, it is important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. However, if you use a hard toothbrush or brush too aggressively, you could actually be irritating your gums and causing them to recede. This is why we recommend that you use a soft or electronic toothbrush whenever possible. You want to make sure you are gentle when brushing near your gums, regardless of what you are using.

Your gums can also recede due to gum disease. This is actually the most common reason for the condition. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we have found that gum disease can impact patients of all ages, and when it does, it is critical that you come in for a dental cleaning and treatment. Otherwise, you can begin to see the gums recede or pull away from the teeth. The cause is plaque that has become trapped in between teeth and the gums. Since you cannot clean this area, it remains in place, turns into tartar, and irritates your gums to the point that they swell, bleed, become irritated, and eventually recede.

Genetics can also give you receding gums, so if your parents had this problem, you may as well.
If your teeth are crooked and your bite is out of alignment, additional strain could be placed on some of your teeth. As a result of abnormal wear patterns, your gums could begin to suffer and eventually recede.

Why are my gums receding only on one side?
If your gums are only receding on one side, it could be simply because plaque just happens to have built up in this area of the mouth. Plaque does not discriminate, but there is a chance that you could have brushed or flossed better on one side of your mouth, or it could be a simple fluke that plaque became trapped in one area but not the other. Another plausible solution is that this mirrors general wear patterns, and if your teeth are crooked and your bite is off, your gum health is also being impacted disproportionally.

Why are my gums receding on one tooth only?
While this could be related to the other causes listed above, it is most likely to do some type of dental trauma. Perhaps this particular area of the mouth was cut or suffered a severe abrasion. Whether the injury was caused by eating something sharp, your nail scratched it, or an outside force cut you, gums can sometimes have difficultly healing and may recede as a result of that injury.

Should I worry about receding gums? Are they really a sign of trouble?
Yes, you should. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we encourage all our La Jolla, CA patients to pay attention to their gum health and call us right away if they see their gums bleeding, swelling, or receding. We want to examine you immediately in order to determine if you have gum disease and then to treat it. You are best served by receiving immediate care because this gives us the opportunity to treat the problem using less invasive methods. For example, you may only need a deep cleaning if you come in right away or perhaps you will need an antibiotic treatment as well, but by coming in early, you give your gums the best chance for restoration without the need for a gum graft. Otherwise, if you delay, they could recede to the point that the health of your teeth, your jawbone, and your entire smile are at risk. After all, the majority of people who lose an adult tooth also had gum disease at the time. Preventing and treating it is truly one of the best things you can do for your oral health.

How do you prevent gum recession?
The best way to prevent gum recession is to visit our 92037 dental office for a teeth cleaning twice per year. We can remove the plaque and tartar that has built up over time in order to give your teeth a fresh clean feel while also reducing the likelihood that plaque or tartar will build up. Additionally, you can begin to use a soft toothbrush and monitor how aggressively you brush your teeth.

Is there a way to treat the condition?
Yes, if you are suffering gum recession due to gum disease, we must remove the disease. Generally, this requires us to perform a deep cleaning procedure in order to remove the plaque and tartar from the area in between the teeth and the gums. Once done, your gums can begin to heal and rejuvenate. There are also some laser procedures used by our dentist in the 92037 area that help stimulate the gum tissue so it can begin to grow again. Otherwise, if the recession is really bad, you will need a gum graft to restore the tissue around the teeth as a protective measure.

What are the risks of not treating it?
Very simply, you could lose your teeth. Gum recession is typically caused by gum disease. The idea of not treating it is an incredibly risky option because it means that in addition to experiencing uncomfortable teeth and gums, you are also likely to suffer from bone and tooth loss.

To learn more about gum recession and how to treat it, call our dental office at (858) 455-7200.

Improve Your Smile for Senior Pictures La Jolla, CA

If you are in your junior year of high school, it is time to think ahead to your senior pictures. These are the pictures that will remain in infamy in your school yearbook and looked at by all your friends for decades. This is not your casual selfie, but something you want to really look amazing in. Your smile is the first thing people will notice in your senior pictures, so visiting the dentist is the best way to improve how you look.

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can examine you in our cosmetic dentistry office and discuss what you don’t like about your smile. If you have gaps between your teeth or they are crooked, stained, or misshapen, we can fix them in our La Jolla, CA dental office. There are several ways we can address most aesthetic issues, so we will conduct an examination, take x-rays, discuss the timeframe we are working with, and then present you and your parents a variety of options to choose from. Since some have set time constraints, it is best to schedule your appointment with our 92037 office as soon as possible. You can do so by calling (858) 455-7200.

Invisalign® to Straighten Your Teeth
If your biggest concern is that your teeth are crooked, we can straighten them using Invisalign®. This is the best way for you to straighten your teeth if you are worried about the appearance of traditional metal braces. The Invisalign® aligners look like a full plastic retainer, and they surround your teeth completely. By placing pressure on specific teeth, they gradually move them into the right position. Each aligner is worn for around two weeks before being switched out for the next one in the series, and since you can do that at home, you will spend less time at our 92037 dental office. The reason that our teenage patients love this option is because the aligners are removable. You can take them out to eat, brush your teeth, play sports, go to a school dance, etc. This means you are in complete control of your treatment and can still enjoy being a teenager without constantly worrying about your teeth. As long as you wear the aligners for at least 20 hours a day, your treatment will progress on schedule.

When you visit our La Jolla dental office, we can examine you and let you know how long your Invisalign® treatment will take. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we find the average treatment time to be around a year and a half. The good news is that if your teeth are not perfectly straight before your senior pictures, they will at least be straighter and your smile more beautiful. Since the aligners are removable, simply take them out for your photos.

Dental Veneers to Give You a Flawless Smile
When you want a smile that rivals any Hollywood star, dental veneers are your best option. Dental veneers are thin porcelain shells bonded to the surface of your prepared teeth. They essentially replace the outer layer of your teeth, the enamel. Once bonded in place, all you see is the veneers and not the teeth beneath them. As a result, they can be used to change the shape and size of your teeth so your smile is symmetrical. They can also close gaps in between your teeth, cover dark stains, and make your teeth appear straight, even though their actual position has not changed. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we place dental veneers on a regular basis and with excellent results. During your first appointment with our La Jolla office, we will make an impression of your teeth and take measurements in addition to preparing your teeth. This requires us to remove a portion of your enamel so when the veneers are placed, they lay flat and do not make your teeth appear overly large. We will then provide you with a set of temporary veneers to wear while the lab completes the permanent ones. In a week or two, you will need to return to our office so your final set of veneers can be bonded to your teeth. Since several appointments are required and your teeth will be sore for a few weeks, you should schedule an appointment for around two months before your senior pictures. This way, your smile will be beautiful, and you will be used to your veneers long before stepping in front of the camera. To schedule your appointment, call (858) 455-7200.

Dental Bonding to Improve the Appearance of Your Teeth
If your senior pictures are just around the corner, the fastest way to improve the appearance of your smile is with dental bonding. Unlike dental veneers, which can take a month, or Invisalign®, which can take a year, dental bonding can be completed in one appointment. This is a non-invasive procedure that is completed chairside, meaning without help from the dental lab. When you come in for your initial consultation, we will discuss the concerns you have about your teeth and then strategize as to the best way to correct them. For example, if one tooth is longer than the rest, we could shave off a portion of it and use dental bonding to contour it. If your teeth are yellow and severely stained, we can place dental bonding material on top of them to cover these deep stains. We can even use bonding to close small gaps in between your teeth, to restore teeth that have been cracked or chipped, and to change their overall shape and size. Dental bonding material is incredibly diverse because once applied to prepared teeth, we can shape it right then and there. Once it looks exactly right, we will harden it with a special dental light and you will be on your way. You can have your senior pictures taken that week, and your smile will look amazing.

Schedule a Consultation Today
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can improve your smile in time for your senior pictures. Since time is of the essence, call (858) 455-7200 to schedule an appointment with our La Jolla, CA dental office right away.

Options for Replacing Missing Teeth La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we have several options for replacing missing teeth. If you have a tooth that has been knocked out in an accident or was removed due to decay, we can perform a procedure to replace it so you can regain the full functionality and appearance of your smile. If you live in La Jolla, CA or the 92037 area, we invite you to call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. After examining you, Our dentist will make a recommendation as to which procedure is likely to provide the best results for your appearance and lifestyle goals.

HOW CAN I TELL WHICH MISSING TOOTH REPLACEMENT OPTIONS ARE RIGHT FOR ME?

In our La Jolla dental office, we understand the importance of choice. We know that when we see 10 people with tooth loss, each of them will have a slightly different goal and their lifestyles will be different. Things like the type of food you like to eat, whether or not you play sports, if you are outgoing and gregarious or prefer to keep to yourself can impact which tooth replacement option is right for you. This is why when you come in for a consultation, we will take time to ask questions and get to know you. Asking about your hobbies and whether or not you work out may seem out of place for a dentist, but everything works together. For example, if your hobbies involve singing in the choir, dentures may not be a good solution for you because they could pop out of place. Simultaneously, if you like to run marathons, you will need a tooth replacement solution that will not become loose with aggressive impact. After asking you questions and conducting a physical examination, we will make a recommendation as to which option we feel will work best for your lifestyle. If you are a good candidate for all of them, we will let you know that as well, so you can ask more specific questions regarding the procedures and cost involved.

Out of all of the missing tooth replacement options, which one is the most durable?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can give you a well-made and durable replacement tooth, regardless of which option you select. However, if you are looking for a replacement option that looks, feels, and behaves like a natural tooth, a dental implant is the most effective. When completing this procedure, we implant a titanium post underneath the gums and secure it to the jawbone. This serves as a replacement root system. Over the course of one to several months, the titanium and bone will fuse together to create a new root system that is as strong as the original. The process of osseointegration makes it possible for us to give you a sturdy and durable tooth replacement you can count on. In our California dental office, we will then attach a new tooth that has been specifically created to blend in with your surrounding teeth. An implant is the next best thing to a natural tooth. It is important to note that this is a surgical procedure, and in order to qualify, your jawbone will need to have sufficient density. As such, not everyone qualifies for the procedure. There are, however, other durable replacement solutions, such as a dental bridge.

A bridge is created by securing a dental crown to the two teeth surrounding the missing one. These crowns serve as anchors to hold a gum-colored bridge in place that a new tooth is secured to. This is the most durable, non-surgical solution you can get to replace a missing tooth, because it is firmly attached. Many of our patients prefer this as an alternative to dentures, while being less invasive than implants. During a consultation, Our dentist can explain the benefit of both options so you can determine which solution will work best for you. Additionally, if you have any restrictions, such as your remaining teeth not being healthy enough to support a bridge, we will let you know and suggest a different solution.

In some cases, dentures are an ideal way to replace missing teeth. While not as durable or sturdy as an implant or bridge, they do have their place. Dentures are an ideal immediate solution while waiting for another cosmetic procedure. Also, if you have suffered from resorption and do not have any strong, remaining teeth, they may be necessary. In this situation, modern dentistry has made it possible to wear a set of dentures that looks natural and is less likely to fall out of place.

LA JOLLA OPTIONS FOR REPLACING MISSING TEETH

Will my missing tooth replacement options be influenced by my age?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, our goal is to provide you with a tooth replacement solution that is beautiful, natural-looking, and will work for your lifestyle. Age, while a factor in healthcare, has less to do with your ideal tooth replacement solution than what your lifestyle is like. For example, you could be a senior and not want to wear dentures, even though they are common. Regardless of your age, if you lead an active lifestyle, dental implants could be the best solution simply because they are the sturdiest and will allow you to maintain all of your activities. One thing to be aware of, and this does not have to be age-related, is that when you lose a tooth, the process of resorption starts. This is when the body starts to leach calcium from your jawbone and distribute it to the rest of the body. The longer you wait to visit our La Jolla dental office and have the tooth replaced, the less bone density you will have. When you then go to replace the tooth, your options could be more limited. This makes losing a tooth an urgent matter to attend to.

We recommend that you call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our 92037 dental office as soon as your tooth has either fallen or been knocked out. During your appointment, we will examine your gums, take x-rays, and make a recommendation as to which tooth replacement option will be best suited for your needs. Acting on this quickly will help in restoring your appearance and oral health.

To learn more about dental options for replacing missing teeth, call and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla dentist office today.

Oral Cancer Screening La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we encourage you to schedule an oral cancer screening today. If you have not yet taken this life-saving measure, you should. Oral cancer is a disease not frequently discussed. There are few, if any, advertising campaigns, walks, or fundraisers supporting its treatment. Still, oral cancer claims one life every day in the United States. The reason for the high mortality rate is that most people do not seek medical help until the cancer has advanced. As with all forms of cancer, early detection and treatment are critical to the ability to be cured. Therefore, the sooner you know that you are at risk for cancer or are developing signs of it, the better your chances are of beating it.

Is it common to have an oral cancer screening?
Unfortunately, no. Most people never have an oral cancer screening, and this is why the cancer is not detected at an early stage. At our La Jolla, CA dental practice, we suggest that you visit us for a screening right away if you have never received one. Otherwise, you can generally have this done bi-annually. If you live in or near the 92037 area, call (858) 455-7200 to schedule an appointment with our office.

What does an oral cancer screening entail?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we will look for signs of abnormal tissue. Typically, we will see visible symptoms like red and white bumps, hard lumps, rough patches, or changes in the position of your teeth. Much of the screening is done visually. However, Our dentist will also feel your cheeks and the inside of your mouth while wearing gloves. This is to identify whether or not you have any strange or hard lumps within this tissue. Remember, oral cancer can impact all areas of the mouth, so the examination must be thorough. Since technology is constantly improving, we may use other testing resources when you come in and will be happy to discuss the process with you when you visit our 92037 dental office. We guarantee that the test is gentle and that you should feel comfortable during it.

How frequently should I have an oral cancer screening?
We recommend that you visit our La Jolla, CA dentist office for your first exam. Based on your risk factors and what we see, we will let you know how frequently you need to be examined. If you are a high-risk patient, we may suggest being screened annually.

Who is susceptible to getting oral cancer?
The common misconception is that only older men get oral cancer. It used to be that men got oral cancer at a 10:1 ratio to women. Over time, the statistics have changed, most likely because the habits of men and women are now more similar. With more women drinking alcohol and smoking, the published ratios are now 2:1. Recently, medical research has proven that some strains of the HPV virus also cause oral cancer. This has changed the way we look at this cancer and who we need to screen for it. The HPV virus can be contracted as early as the teenage years, meaning that both men and women, seniors and teens, could come down with this terrible disease. Our dentist recommends that all adults be screened for oral cancer. However, if you smoke, drink alcohol, or know you have the HPV virus, you should be particularly diligent about doing so.

Do you treat oral cancer?
No, at Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we do not treat oral cancer. We help to catch it. When it comes to cancer, early detection is of critical importance. It can literally save your life. Since we are the most familiar with how your mouth looks normally, we are the best prepared to identify any abnormalities. If we see anything that looks like pre-cancer or cancer, we will may perform a biopsy. This is where a portion of the tissue is taken from your mouth for further testing. In some cases, we may refer you directly to an oncologist in the 92037 area so they can perform further tests and then discuss treatment options with you.

When to call us:
You can be the first line of defense when it comes to catching oral cancer. Our dentist recommends that you spend a few seconds examining your mouth after brushing your teeth. All you need to do is run your tongue along your cheeks, gums, and the roof of your mouth. If you notice any rough patches, lumps or bumps, make note of it. Do the same thing a few days later. If what you felt was the result of being sick or eating food that was too abrasive, it should go away after a few days. When it doesn’t, you need to call our office for an oral cancer screening and examination. The other thing to watch for is teeth that move for no particular reason. If they are pushed out of place, something must have been pushing them. Occasionally, that something is cancer.

How can I prevent oral cancer?
The most important thing you can do for decreasing your risk is to stop chewing smokeless tobacco products. This is the biggest historical risk for developing oral cancer. While it is better for your lungs than smoking cigarettes, it can increase your risk for oral cancer by 60 times! You should also stop smoking all tobacco products and limit how much alcohol you drink. It does not appear that alcohol in limited quantities is dangerous, but if you drink regularly or binge drink, you are at a greater risk. You also need to limit your sun exposure and prevent sunburns whenever possible. As for the HPV virus, you should speak with your general physician to find out if you are a candidate for the vaccine. You may also want to be tested to find out if you already have the virus.

Call Us Today
Regular oral cancer screenings can save your life. If you live in La Jolla, CA, we encourage you to call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our dental office today.

TMJ Dentist

tmj-dentist-header.jpg

TMJ Dentistry, La Jolla

8861 Villa La Jolla Dr., La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 455-7200

Are you looking for a TMJ dentist in La Jolla? If so, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our dental office by calling (858) 455-7200. We are conveniently located in La Jolla and treat patients throughout the 92037 area. During your first appointment, we will conduct a gentle examination and ask questions in order to understand the full extent of your symptoms and how they are impacting you on a daily basis. It is critical that you see a dentist that appreciates the nature of TMJ and the need for caution during dental care. Otherwise, you could further irritate your jaw and muscles, leading to further discomfort.

Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ disorders) are fairly common and can manifest in various ways. There are two temporomandibular joints in your body – one on each side of your head, located in front of your ears. TMJ, as a condition, develops when there is a problem with these joints as they connect the jawbone to the skull, or there are problems with the muscles responsible for chewing. As a TMJ dentist, we find that many people suffer from the condition without knowing that they have it and are, therefore, unable to seek treatment. As a result, we recommend that if you notice any of the symptoms, you call our office at (858) 455-7200 to schedule an examination to ascertain whether you do indeed have TMJ.

Symptoms of TMJ
TMJ disorder will often manifest itself in ways that appear to be unconnected to the jaw. This may include severe headaches or ear, neck, and face pain. While many people attribute these symptoms to stress or issues with their spine, they are often a result of this condition and can be easily rectified. Other more obvious symptoms include difficulty chewing or biting down, a popping or clicking sound when opening and closing the jaw, and jaw pain. In some cases, TMJ becomes so bad that a person can’t even open their mouth. This is the extreme, and there are almost always signs along the way. By the time people reach this point they have typically been experiencing discomfort in the mornings or throughout the day, difficulty chewing and a lack of mobility with their jaw in general. As a TMJ dentist, we treat patients throughout La Jolla, CA that have this condition and recommend coming in at the first sign of irritation so that you can begin treatment before it becomes severe.

Causes of TMJ
There are several causes of TMJ with many theories yet to be proven. Some claim that posture can be responsible for TMJ as can poor diet, a lack of sleep, and the cartilage disk found at the joint itself. As a TMJ dentist, we find that one of the most common causes of TMJ is clenching or grinding teeth at night. During times of high-stress, many people fail to have a restful nights sleep and take out their frustration by inadvertently clenching their jaw closed or grinding down their teeth while sleeping. This can manifest very early in life, with children even being impacted by teeth grinding. When this takes place, the muscles and joints are forced to remain in a tense position, leading to pain in the joints and muscles the following morning. If this happens only occasionally, you may have a minor headache and feel better the next day. If, however, this is occurring on a nightly basis, TMJ symptoms can begin to manifest and you will begin to feel less and less comfortable. You may want to pay particular attention to whether or not you have a headache or jaw pain after having a stressful day at work or being upset about something. If there is no correlation and the pain is consistent, you should seek treatment immediately by calling (858) 455-7200. Alternatively, if your discomfort it only now and then, you can bring up your concerns at your next dental examination in our La Jolla office – as long as it is within the next several months.

Treatment Options
As a TMJ dentist, we always recommend starting with the least invasive treatment method. It is important to avoid placing any additional stress on your joints so while it may seem tempting to rush into surgical procedures – wait. Start with gently massaging your jaw muscles a couple of times per day. We can show you how to do so without irritating the area or causing a flair up. You may also want to analyze your diet to determine if any particular foods may be too difficult to chew, thereby making the problem worse. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we often find that patients are increasing their jaw problems by regularly eating foods like tough meat and nuts that require more forceful chewing, placing stress on the muscles and jaw. By switching to soft foods or ones that are easily pulled apart, you may start to feel better immediately.

In our TMJ dentist office, we provide a non-invasive solution for helping patients to feel better. Since TMJ is often caused by teeth grinding or clenching, preventing the upper and lower teeth from touching is a fast way to experience relief. In our La Jolla office, we can make an impression of your teeth and use it to create a custom night guard for you to wear while sleeping. The night guard is made of a clear and comfortable plastic that surrounds your upper and lower teeth, similar to how a full retainer would function. The main difference is that the upper and lower portion attach and by doing so, prevent your teeth from touching and your jaw from clenching. Very often, our patients report feeling better immediately and every night that you sleep without grinding your teeth, you have the opportunity to increase the quality of your rest and wake up feeling energized – a win/win scenario. Since the night guard is small, easily removed and stored, there are no clunky devices to worry about and you can take it with you when traveling.

As a TMJ dentist, we speak with patients throughout the 92037 area that have visited medical providers in California that have recommended solving the problem surgically. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we invite you to schedule an appointment to have your night guard created so that you can exhaust all options before considering escalating your treatment. Surgery is not something to be taken lightly and should only be performed as a last result. To further discuss our non-invasive solution, call (858) 455-7200 to speak with one of our team members today.

 

Oral Hygiene Basics La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we help patients throughout La Jolla, CA to stay in excellent oral health. With a focus on preventative care, our dentist takes the time to get to know each of our patients, creating a plan for lifelong oral health. With only one set of permanent adult teeth, it is important to care for them and be proactive in taking the steps to prevent cavities, infections, and gum disease. We recommend that you visit our 92037 dental office for a teeth cleaning twice a year so that we can remove plaque buildup and tartar, keeping your mouth healthy and clean. To schedule an appointment, call (858) 455-7200. In the meantime, here are steps that you can take at home to keep your mouth healthy.

How to brush your teeth properly
As a La Jolla dentist, we know that how you brush your teeth is just as important as how often you brush them. It is important that you use a soft toothbrush that will not irritate your gums or cause the enamel on your teeth to erode. Many people make the mistake of thinking that a hard toothbrush is necessary for keeping teeth clean, but this is not the case. As long as you brush correctly a soft toothbrush will work equally well without damaging your teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth in a circular pattern, starting at the gum line and working your way towards the center of your mouth. This will move food particles, bacteria, and plaque away from your gum line. Brush your teeth in quadrants and be sure to brush each section for at least thirty seconds. While brushing you should apply even pressure but not be too aggressive. You should also use fluoride toothpaste since this will provide additional protection from cavities. We recommend that you brush three times a day – morning, after lunch, and before bed. This will keep your mouth clean without causing irritation from over-brushing. Additionally, be sure to buy a new toothbrush every three months or sooner if your bristles are frayed or your toothbrush is stained or smelling.

Flossing is essential for your teeth and gums
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we remind our patients that it is critical to floss on a daily basis. If you live in the 92037 area and have not been to the dentist lately, we invite you to schedule an appointment so that we can clean your teeth and remove the plaque and bacteria from hard to reach places. Afterwards, it is up to you to floss on a daily basis to remove food particles and plaque from in between your teeth. If they remain in place, you can develop gum disease which is both uncomfortable and dangerous to your oral and overall health. Gum disease occurs when plaque forms underneath the gum line and not flossing can lead to this. If you do not particularly enjoy flossing, buy a plastic flossing tool that you can hold and throw away once done. This makes it easier to get the job done.

Selecting the right mouthwash
When you use mouthwash, it is important to be sure that it is sugar-free. We also recommend using mouthwash that contains fluoride since this will help to kill any lingering bacteria while strengthening your teeth. Carry a bottle of mouthwash with you and rinse your mouth with it after meals, drinking a soda, coffee, etc. As a La Jolla, CA dentist office, we understand that it is difficult to brush more than a couple of times per day. Rinsing your mouth, however, is relatively easy, and everyone has time for it. Taking this simple step can help to reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.

How to prevent tooth decay
Our dentist prevents tooth decay every day by helping our patients to have clean and healthy teeth. Tooth decay starts when plaque is left on the teeth, and the acid inside of it starts to eat away at the enamel. Keeping teeth clean by removing plaque, therefore, prevents tooth decay. Simultaneously, at home you can continue to brush your teeth and floss after meals. If you do not have anything with you, rinse your mouth with water. This will help to remove some of the loose food particles that may be in your mouth or to remove some of the sugar from your teeth. You should also eat a healthy diet since everything that you eat is directly placed onto your teeth.

What you should know about getting a fluoride treatment
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we are a family dentist office that uses fluoride on a regular basis. We recommend that all of our youth patients under the age of eighteen have a fluoride treatment, at least once a year. Statistically, these treatments reduce the risk of getting cavities by 30%. This is significant considering that tooth decay is one of the primary reasons children miss days from school. Adults can also benefit from receiving a fluoride treatment and if you would like to find out if it is right for you, call 858-455-7200 to schedule an appointment. The treatment itself only takes a couple of minutes. The fluoride is applied directly to the teeth. It has no odor or smell and after a few minutes, patients are free to leave. It is one of the easiest ways to prevent cavities.

How to select the right toothbrush
Patients of our California general dentist office are given a toothbrush at each visit. We recommend that you use it for three months and then replace it. When purchasing a toothbrush, look for a soft one that will not irritate your gums or erode your enamel. Otherwise, we suggest a battery operated or electric toothbrush since they can give you the best clean. The toothbrush head rotates while you are moving the brush around, helping you to break up more plaque for the cleanest possible teeth.

Food and drinks that you should avoid
As a family dentist office, we recommend that you avoid drinking too much soda, juice, coffee or anything that contains a lot of sugar. You should also stay away from candy, desserts, and particularly sour candy. Additionally, acidic fruit is bad for your teeth. Any time that you have a diet that is high in sugar and starch it is bad for your teeth because the bacteria on your teeth will thrive in this environment. Simultaneously, when you eat foods that are highly acidic, it can lead to enamel erosion. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we recommend that you eat a diet high in green leafy vegetables, lean protein, dairy, and nuts since they can help to remineralize and strengthen your teeth. For more tips on how to eat a mouth-healthy diet, call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment to speak with Our dentist.

Post-Op Care for Dental Implants La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can provide you with information regarding post-op care for dental implants. This is the most durable and natural-looking way to replace your missing teeth, but it requires oral surgery, meaning there is a recovery process that must be taken into consideration. When you visit our La Jolla, CA dental office, we can conduct an examination, take x-rays, and let you know what to expect from the implants procedure. This also includes what to expect during your recovery process. For more information, we encourage you to call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment with Our dentist. In the meantime, here is what you should know.

What happens before the implant procedure?
Prior to getting started, our dentist will conduct an examination to determine if you have cavities or infections in any of your other teeth or if you have gum disease. If so, these things will need to be treated prior to placing implants. It is critical that you start the process in good oral health. This initial exam and x-rays will also determine if you have sufficient bone density to support dental implants. If you do not, you may need a bone grafting procedure prior to getting started.

Is there anything that can slow down the recovery process?
Yes, if you are a diabetic and have been unable to control your blood sugar, it can make it more difficult to recover from the procedure. This makes it important to let us know if you have had a diabetic episode recently, so we can coordinate the timing of your implant surgery for the best possible results.

How should I prepare for the surgery?
In our 92037 dental office, we encourage patients to place some soft ice packs in the freezer. Using them, along with taking ibuprofen, can help to reduce swelling. You should also buy soft foods to eat and plan on taking a couple of days off work. Your gums will be swollen and sore for a few days, so while you will be able to work, you will not be feeling 100 percent and may have difficulty communicating like normal. If you need to work, ask if you can have light duty for a few days or if you can work from home.

What can I eat afterward?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we recommend you eat soft foods that are not too hot or too cold. For example, you should buy yogurt, soft cheese, ice cream, soup to eat at a warm temperature, and fruit to make smoothies. This way, you can receive the nutrition you need without irritating your gums. You can slowly begin to add normal food back into your diet, but should avoid eating anything hard, sharp, or difficult to chew for several days. For example, eat a hamburger without the bacon or an omelet instead of waffles. During your recovery, you need to make these simple adjustments that allow you to eat what you need without exposing your gums to anything harmful.

Do I need to do anything to treat the site of the surgery or my gums in general?
We will provide you with gauze before you leave our La Jolla, CA dental office. It is natural to experience some bleeding. Before you leave, our dentist will ensure that any bleeding is at a manageable level, and by using gauze for the remainder of the day, it should stop. You also need to take steps to keep your gums clean, so we may provide you with a medicated rinse. Otherwise, you can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater throughout the day. You should also brush your remaining teeth, but be careful not to irritate your gums while doing so.

When will it be safe to go back to work?
You can expect to be sore and have swelling for three to five days. This is why we recommend having the procedure toward the end of the week so you can take a couple of days off work and use the weekend to recover. Generally, if you have the procedure on a Thursday, you should feel normal by Tuesday. If you go back to work sooner, be advised that you may not want to schedule any important meetings or client appointments, but stick with light work and email communication.

Will it be obvious that I had implant surgery?
Yes, for the first couple of days, your face will be swollen. While no one will be able to tell what type of oral surgery you had, it will be clear that you had a procedure. Do not worry, this is perfectly normal. While it can be inconvenient for a few days, the end result is worth it because you will have a natural-looking and durable replacement tooth. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we also provide our La Jolla patients with a temporary denture to wear. This will restore the appearance of your smile while you are waiting for the crown to be attached. If you live in the 92037 area and want a discreet solution, wearing a temporary denture is a must.

What is the recovery process like when the tooth is attached?
Once the titanium implant and your jawbone have fused together, your jaw will provide a base of sturdy support for your replacement tooth. Essentially, it will be as strong as a natural tooth would be. Since the invasive portion of the procedure takes place when we surgically implant the post, attaching the crown is not an issue. You may feel some slight sensitivity in your gums, but this will be minor and easy to control with ibuprofen. There will be no swelling or extensive recovery associated with this aspect of the process. This means you will only need to go through the recovery stage once.

To learn more about post-op care for dental implants, call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla, CA dental office. Our dentist will be happy to answer any questions you have, so you can be confident in your decision to get started.

Preventative Dental Care La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we provide preventative dental care for patients throughout the La Jolla area and invite you to schedule a dental exam today. We know that if you have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis, you can decrease your risk of getting cavities or experiencing gum disease. Overall, taking the time to have your teeth cleaned can prevent general discomfort and even tooth loss. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, now is the time to schedule an exam so that you can prevent many common oral health issues that can negative impact your quality of life. We are experts at preventative dental care and will ensure that your appointment is a positive one and that you remain comfortable during your dental exam and treatments.

The Facts
We practice preventative dental care and are regularly asked why it is so important. Virtually everyone is at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay is so common that it is the number one infectious disease among children in the United States. Additionally, according to the NIH, 92 percent of adults ages 20 to 64, have had a cavity. With odds like these, the reason for having your teeth cleaned become fairly clear. Simultaneously, we know that there is a direct link between visiting the dentist regularly and maintaining your adult teeth as you age. A Gallup study found that in states like Connecticut, where 74 percent of the adult population visits the dentist regularly, complete adult tooth loss is very low – 10 percent. However, in states where people don’t visit the dentist regularly, like West Virginia, complete tooth loss is incredibly high (up to 37 percent). The facts paint a bleak picture for those that don’t visit the dentist on a regular basis. However, the good news is that you can prevent cavities and tooth loss by simply scheduling preventative dental care appointments. To get started call our office at (858) 455-7200. Our friendly team will be happy to schedule an appointment for a time that works with your job and family schedule so that you can receive the care that you need.

It’s Your Time
According to the Center for Disease Control, around 164 million work hours are missed every single year due to dental issues. If you don’t have time for the dentist, this should be cause for concern. Not taking an hour to have your teeth cleaned can cause you to become part of that statistic. If you have a demanding job or a busy life with the kids, you don’t have time to be preoccupied with a dental emergency or severe toothache. The only way to prevent one, however, is to brush and floss at home and to visit our office for preventative dental care. A regular dental exam and teeth cleaning takes an hour or less so you can complete it on your lunch break. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we will work within your schedule, making it easy for people throughout the 92037 area to schedule a dental appointment. We encourage you to take the time now so that you don’t have to spend more time dealing with an emergency later on.

Preventative Dental Care Can Save You Money
In addition to helping you avoid a nasty toothache and saving you time, preventative dental care can also save you money. At True Dental of La Jolla, we can treat your tooth decay or infected tooth, regardless of how minor or severe the problem is. We prefer, however, to identify the problem quickly and before it has the chance to spread and cause you a great deal of discomfort. It is also important to note that if you have a small cavity, all that you will likely need is for the decayed portion to be removed. A filling can then restore the missing tooth structure. While the cost of every procedure depends on the extent of the work being done, a good rule of thumb is that a filling will cost around a third of what a crown will cost. If you are looking to save money, catching a cavity early, when all that’s needed is a filling, will provide a significant savings. Unfortunately, those that don’t receive regular dental care often wait until the discomfort is so severe that they can’t stand it any longer. By this point, the decay or infection is likely to be so severe that a crown will be necessary. Given the higher cost, you could have three fillings for the price of one crown. Therefore, preventative dental care makes financial sense.

The Dental Implant Procedure La Jolla, CA

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we specialize in treating patients that are suffering from The Dental Implant Procedure. If you have been avoiding the dentist due to fear of what a procedure could be like or simply do not enjoy having dental work done, give us a call. In our La Jolla, California dental office, we can ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed regardless of what procedure is being performed. When you visit our office, Our dentist will meet with you to discuss what treatments you need and create a plan for how to keep your mouth healthy while easing any fears that you have about dentistry or procedures in general. This way you will be informed and empowered to make decisions regarding dental care without experiencing any anxiety.

How can I ease my dental fears without medication?

When you visit our dental office, we can discuss ways that you can prevent experiencing anxiety while receiving dental care. In addition to the medication that we can provide, you can try relaxing by drinking a glass of tea. There are several natural varieties that you can purchase at the health foods store that will relax and calm you. At times, this can be enough to put you into a naturally relaxed state. Some patients also find that they benefit from meditation and acupuncture.

How can I prepare for my dentist appointment?
Another easy way to calm your fears is to visit our La Jolla dental office and meet with our dentist without having actual dental work performed. Taking the time to tour our office, where you can sit in the dentist chair and have a conversation, will allow you to become familiar with our staff and office environment. This way when you do have your teeth cleaned, and dental work performed; you are doing so in an atmosphere that you feel comfortable in with procedures being completed by friendly and familiar faces. During your consultation, we can also discuss what you can expect from a teeth cleaning or a specific procedure. This will help you to prepare mentally for how long it will take, what dental tools will be used, what you could feel during the process and what the recovery period will be, if any. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we have found that the more informed our patients are the more comfortable and relaxed they feel. This one appointment can help to alleviate the dental anxiety that you are experiencing.

Sedation Dentistry Can Reduce Your Dental Anxiety
In our La Jolla dental office, we practice sedation dentistry that can be used to reduce and prevent dental anxiety. Here are some of the questions we are regularly asked about sedation.

Will I be asleep when sedated?
Typically not. Sleep dentistry is usually reserved for oral surgery and lengthy procedures. Sedation dentistry will help you relax and can make you drowsy, so some patients do nod off, but you are technically not put to sleep.

LA JOLLA THE DENTAL IMPLANT PROCEDURE

Can everyone use sedation dentistry?
To determine if you are healthy enough for sedation (most people are) we recommend that you schedule an appointment with our California dental office. Our dentist will meet with you to discuss the type of sedation that would be best suited for your procedure and the level of dental anxiety that you are experiencing.

How is sedation dentistry administered?
The most common form of sedation is taking a pill an hour before the procedure begins. One pill can help you to feel entirely relaxed so that your dental anxiety is eliminated. Most procedures like teeth cleaning or fixing a simple cavity do not necessarily hurt so with sedation many people do not require additional medication. However, if you would like pain medication as well, we can give it to you after the sedation has taken effect.

Will I be able to move around like normal?
Yes, with sedation dentistry you can continue to engage in conversation and respond to commands but your response times may be slightly delayed and your mind not as clear as normal. This is why we recommend that you either have someone drive you home or wait until it has worn off completely before driving.

Are there any side effects of sedation dentistry?
Most of the time the sedation goes away within an hour of your procedure being complete. If you are more heavily sedated or put to sleep for oral surgery, it can take a couple of hours to feel normal but this is rare. In our La Jolla dental office, we use the least amount of sedation to help you to feel completely relaxed and comfortable so that it is effective without staying in your system for too long.

Can children benefit from sedation dentistry?
Yes, typically children need sedation when having a lot of dental work completed so that they can hold still long enough for the work to be performed. This is a unique specialty and not offered at every dentist office.

Are there other ways to make dental work more comfortable?
Yes, laser dentistry is transforming how dental procedures are being completed. When you visit our 92037 dental office, you can be confident that we will use the latest technology available to make your procedure more comfortable. Lasers allow us to do so because the laser energy is fine and can target small spaces without irritating the surrounding tissue. This reduces discomfort and the recovery time. Lasers are also less invasive than traditional dental tools which means that there is less bleeding and swelling than there would be otherwise. They can be used in treating tooth decay, gum disease, and in restorative procedures. If you want a more comfortable experience and to reduce your dental anxiety, we highly recommend visiting a laser dentistry office. To learn about the procedures that we perform using lasers, call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment to speak with Our dentist. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we have found that when lasers are used many of our patients no longer need sedation or pain medication because the common factors that create dental anxiety are eliminated. For example, the noise, heat, and vibration that is traditionally associated with the dental drill is not present when using lasers.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, new dental technology or how to reduce your dental anxiety, call and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla dentist office today.

What Can I Do to Improve My Smile? La Jolla, CA

My Formal Is Soon, What Can I Do to Improve My Smile?
Your formal is coming up, and you are embarrassed by your smile. What do you do? Call the dentist. Whether you are getting ready for the homecoming dance, prom, or any formal event, you want to be confident enough to show off your smile. Your formal is something that only happens in high school, and it is an event to really look forward to. These pictures will last a lifetime and so will your memories, but making sure you love your pictures takes work and planning. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can help you love your smile, even if your formal is only a week or two away. Here are a few of the steps we recommend.

Have Your Teeth Cleaned
Call (858) 455-7200 and schedule a teeth cleaning with our 92037 dental office. We can get you scheduled right away, and you will be amazed by how much better your teeth look when they are clean and the plaque and tartar have been removed. Plaque can make your teeth appear yellow and stained, even when they aren’t actually dirty. The good news is that a teeth cleaning can be completed in under an hour, and we guarantee that your parents will agree to the appointment. After all, a cleaning is even more important for your health than it is for your appearance.

Teeth Whitening Options
If your teeth have become stained, it may not be your fault. Even taking antibiotics on a regular basis can make your white teeth turn yellow. Drinking soda, eating a great deal of pasta with red sauce, or soy sauce on your sushi can stain your teeth. Unfortunately, these stains can make you look far older and even make you look unhealthy. This is not how you want to remember looking during your high school years. You should be fresh-faced and beautiful with bright white teeth. We can give you that beautiful smile during one appointment. By comparison, the whitening strips you buy in the store can take weeks to produce real results.

When you visit our La Jolla dental office for a teeth whitening, you will be using a professional-grade whitening solution that works far better than anything you can buy in the store. The kits sold in the store are typically designed to remove the surface stains on your teeth. That means they will work well to remove the stains from your recent soda-drinking, but they may do nothing for the discoloration caused by taking antibiotics. Our solution will address all of this, because it penetrates your enamel to target the molecules inside your teeth. Causing them to reflect less light and appear colorless, our teeth whitening solution can whiten your teeth by eight shades or more. This can dramatically change the appearance of your smile in time for homecoming or prom, and the appointment is incredibly fast. With less than a week to go, you can visit our 92037 office and see amazing improvements to your smile.

Facial Exercises
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we mainly focus on the health and appearance of your teeth and gums. However, there are other things you can do to improve your smile, and that includes doing facial exercises. Many of our La Jolla, CA patients simply don’t smile enough. You should practice by looking in the mirror and flashing your biggest possible grin. Hold it for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat throughout the day. You can also work your facial muscles by singing loudly and passionately. Pull out your smartphone, download a karaoke app, and get carried away. This is a fun way to work your muscles, and your friends can join in. If you are worried about the skin around your chin, you can tighten it by pointing your chin toward the ceiling and kissing the air. Kiss the air 20 times and repeat twice. This is a simple exercise, and just like how you exercise the rest of your body, you can improve your facial muscles and your smile.

Moisturize
The texture of your skin and lips will also impact your smile. Use an all-natural moisturizer to make your skin look luminescent and healthy. Using a natural lip balm will also keep your lips nice and moist so you can flash a healthy, supple, and beautiful smile. When you are at the drugstore, remember to read the labels. Anything full of ingredients you cannot read is likely to be full of chemicals. They can dry out your skin and lips, making it more difficult to smile freely.

Drink Water
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we encourage our La Jolla patients to drink plenty of water. Doing so is important for the health of your body, for the appearance of your skin, and for your teeth. Dry mouth can give you terrible breath, so even if you want to smile, you will be less inclined to do so. Drinking water helps your body produce enough saliva to wash away food particles, bacteria, and even plaque, so instead of grabbing a soda during your formal, drink from a water bottle instead. Your smile, breath, and health will thank you.

Get Ready for Your Formal by Visiting Our La Jolla Dentist Office
When you are out shopping for the perfect dress and shoes or renting your tux, don’t forget to think about your smile. Statistically, both guys and girls find a nice smile to be the most attractive quality anyone can have. Your smile is a reflection of your personality; it can be welcoming, encouraging, playful and exciting — all the things you are and want to be. The key is for you to be confident enough in how your smile looks to be willing to show it off. The good news is that by visiting our 92037 dental office, your smile can be drastically improved, even if you only have a week or two before the big event. To get started, call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla.

 

What Do I Do If I Damage My Dentures La Jolla, CA?

If you have dentures, it is important to handle them with care so they can remain in as good a condition as possible. Still, it is wise to ask, “What do I do if I damage my dentures?” This way, you can have the information and tools necessary to address a problem should you have one. Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla can answer any questions you have regarding denture care. To schedule an appointment with our dental office, call (858) 455-7200. In the meantime, here is what you should know.

“What do I do if I damage my dentures?”
If your dentures are damaged, you should visit our dental office in La Jolla, CA so we can examine them and determine the best way to fix them. One thing you should keep in mind is that your dentures will need to be adjusted one or several times when you first receive them. As a La Jolla dentist, patients regularly call our family dentist office worried that they did something to cause their dentures to fit incorrectly, when in actuality, they only need to be adjusted so they can fit perfectly.

We are an emergency dentist, so if you did indeed damage them, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our dental practice right away. You can do so by calling 858-455-7200.

Home Care Tips
You should never try to fix your dentures on your own since this can cause the damage to spread. However, there are certain things you can do at home, including:

  • Gather anything that has broken off. We encourage you to gather any piece of your dentures that has broken off, including any of the wiring.
  • Use dental wax. If the clasps have become slightly loose, they could be rubbing against your gums and irritating them. In this case, you may want to buy dental wax to place on the wire as a temporary barrier. Be sure to see a “dentist near me” who can treat you quickly.
  • Take them out. Soak your dentures or place them in a case for transportation to our office. Do not continue wearing damaged dentures.

Warning: Do Not Do This If You Damage Your Dentures
Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla warns patients to avoid doing the following, since this can permanently damage dentures and reduce the likelihood that they can be repaired.

  • Do not buy a home repair kit. These can cause your dentures to break even further, and we have treated patients who have had to spend more money because of it.
  • Do not use over-the-counter glues. Some of them are full of chemicals that can harm you. It is not worth the risk when you can visit our dentist office for help.

ALTERNATIVES TO DENTURES FROM A COSMETIC DENTIST IN LA JOLLA, CA

As a cosmetic dentistry office, we can provide you with alternatives to dentures if you are interested in a more permanent and convenient solution. This includes:

Dental crowns and dental bridges.
We can address partial tooth loss with dental crowns and dental bridges. In this case, the remaining teeth are prepared to create space for the dental crowns. Simultaneously, the crowns, gum base, and new teeth (bridge) are created in the dental lab. You will then come in for the crowns to be secured to the teeth adjacent to the missing ones. These crowns will serve as anchors to hold the bridge in place. In this way, your new teeth will be secure enough to enjoy your favorite foods, speak with confidence, and smile without being concerned about how your teeth may appear. You can care for your dental crowns and dental bridges like you would your natural teeth, and they should remain in place for years.

Dental implants.
If you want a solution that replaces your teeth without requiring support from your remaining ones, dental implants are a better solution. In this procedure, a titanium post will be implanted under the gums and secured to the jawbone. Over the course of several months, the post and bone will fuse together through the process of osseointegration. This creates a durable root system for your new tooth to be attached to. Dental implants look, behave, feel, and function exactly like natural teeth. You can eat what you like, be active, and enjoy life without ever worrying about your replacement tooth or teeth. As a general dentist, we regularly hear rave reviews from our patients who have switched from dentures to implants.

Life with dental bridges and dental implants can be far more convenient than it is when wearing dentures. Dentures need to be removed every night for cleaning and soaking. This can be inconvenient and even embarrassing. Simultaneously, dentures can become loose when eating or speaking, which can be worrisome when going out to eat or attending a public event. None of these problems exist when you replace teeth with a fixed solution.

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we are happy to discuss all your options for teeth replacement and also improve the appearance of any remaining teeth. By offering solutions like teeth whitening and dental veneers, our family dentist office can enhance your smile while restoring your missing teeth.

Solving Problems With Dentures
If your dentures need to be repaired, call (858) 455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our dental center right away. We can adjust them so the fit is improved, have damage corrected at the dental lab, and make sure your dentures fit as well as they possibly can. Since we are an emergency dentist office, we can schedule your appointment for the same day in many cases. If, however, you are tired of life with dentures, we are a cosmetic dentistry office and can provide you with alternatives that make it easier to enjoy life without thinking about your teeth.

What Should I Do If I Chip My Tooth La Jolla, CA?

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we are regularly asked, “What should I do if I chip my tooth?” This is actually a fairly common problem. If you live in the La Jolla, CA area, we encourage you to call (858) 455-7200 as soon as your tooth becomes chipped. As a general dentist, we can examine and treat you right away.

As an emergency dentist, the first thing we want to do is determine how serious the damage is. In order to do so, we will ask you several questions when you call to schedule an appointment.

Do you feel any pain?
After chipping a tooth, you may not be in pain or uncomfortable. It really depends on the extent of the chip, where your tooth was chipped, and which tooth was damaged. Some people, for example, lightly chip a tooth when eating something overly hard or crunchy. If it is small, the chip may go unnoticed until you brush and floss your teeth. If you are in pain, you need to call our dental office in La Jolla, CA 92037 immediately. Pain is your body’s way of alerting you to a problem, and by restoring your tooth, we can prevent further damage and infections.

Are you bleeding?
We encourage you to visit our dentist practice immediately if you notice that your tooth has become chipped and you are also bleeding. This could be an indication that you have suffered more dental damage than you are currently aware of. Rinse your mouth out with warm salt water, and if the bleeding persists, come on in.

Was it your tooth or your child’s?
As a family dentist serving the La Jolla, CA area, we treat generations of families. We need to know the age of the person who suffered damage because this will directly influence our treatment recommendations. Children tend to be more sensitive to discomfort, so it is wise to have any damage restored on the same day as the accident.

STEPS TO TAKE AFTER CHIPPING A TOOTH

If you have ever wondered, “What should I do if I chip my tooth?” this information is good to keep in your back pocket. We always welcome your calls, questions, and visits to our dental office in La Jolla. This guide should be a reference point, but ultimately, you should still visit the dentist.

Step #1
Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater. This will help remove debris, any surface blood, and reduce the chance of developing an infection.

Step #2
Place a piece of gauze or a cool rag in your mouth and press on the area that is bleeding. Applying light pressure may also help ease any discomfort being caused by the tooth being chipped and the dentin being exposed. As a family dentist that serves residents of the 92037 zip code and surrounding areas, we have found this to be particularly useful for helping our young patients take their mind off their discomfort.

Step #3
You can purchase dental cement at many drugstores and use it to temporarily cover the damaged tooth. As a cosmetic dentist in La Jolla California, we would prefer to simply treat your tooth and restore it immediately. However, if you are traveling, have a busy day at work, or simply cannot find the time to come in, this is a useful temporary solution. Just be sure to visit True Dental of La Jolla the next day.

Step #4
Call our cosmetic dental services office at 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment to be seen right away. We will do our best to work around your schedule so you can have your tooth restored immediately. We provide emergency dental services, so we leave room in our schedule for last-minute appointments.

WAYS WE RESTORE CHIPPED TEETH

When looking for a “dentist near me” to treat a chipped tooth, be sure to visit a cosmetic dentist. We are an emergency dentist and a cosmetic dentist, which means we can treat you right away while also restoring your tooth in a manner that is natural-looking and beautiful.

AS A COSMETIC DENTIST IN LA JOLLA, CA, WE HAVE SEVERAL WAYS TO RESTORE A CHIPPED TOOTH, INCLUDING:

Dental bonding.
We regularly use dental bonding to restore chipped teeth in children. This is the fastest way to do so because we can complete the process in one visit. As a cosmetic dentist, we apply tooth-colored bonding material to the damaged tooth, shape, and harden it for a natural-looking restoration. At True Dental of La Jolla can also use dental bonding when treating adults. However, the bonding material is generally not as long-lasting as a veneer or dental crown.

Dental veneers.
Many of the adults who visit our general dentist office prefer to repair their teeth using dental veneers. A veneer can be used to restore a chipped tooth, cover dark stains, close gaps in between teeth, and more. This makes veneers an incredibly popular option among our patients.

If you have lost a tooth in addition to damaging one, we can use the solutions above to restore the damage and then work on replacing your missing tooth. We can do so using dental crowns and bridges or dental implants. Both solutions will restore the appearance and functionality of your smile.

When visiting us for a chipped tooth, let us know if you would also like to improve your smile. As a family dentist in La Jolla, we can offer you a quick teeth whitening treatment that will brighten your smile and improve your self-confidence. When combined with dental restorations, this is an excellent way to enhance your appearance.

If you are wondering, “What should I do if I chip my tooth?” the best thing to remember is to call our our practice. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we always try to treat you right away so you do not experience unnecessary discomfort. Simultaneously, you can count on us to restore your tooth in a way that is both beautiful and natural-looking. To schedule an appointment, call (858) 455-7200.

When Is a Tooth Extraction Necessary La Jolla, CA

As a family dentist in La Jolla, CA, we are regularly asked, “When is a tooth extraction necessary?” This is an understandable question because no one wants to have a tooth pulled unless it is absolutely beneficial. As a general dentist, we are not interested in extracting teeth unnecessarily, either. In fact, if you damage a tooth, our preferred method of treatment would be to restore it using dental veneers or dental crowns. There are times, however, where we do recommend visiting our dental office located at 8861 Villa La Jolla Dr La Jolla, CA 92037 for an extraction. Here is why:

You were in an accident.
As an emergency dentist, we treat many patients who have gotten into an accident and need to have immediate dental work completed. In some cases, dental damage is only part of the problem and immediate solutions are necessary. If possible, we will restore the tooth using dental bonding, dental veneers, or dental crowns, but if the problem is urgent, a tooth extraction may be necessary. If you do need an emergency dentist, call (858) 455-7200 to schedule an appointment.

An infection has spread.
If you have a bad dental infection, you should visit a dental office in La Jolla California right way. You should be able to tell because you will experience intense discomfort that will make it difficult to bite down, chew, or even carry on with daily activities. As a family dentist, we recommend coming in at the first sign of a toothache so we can treat the infection before it reaches the point of being severe. However, if you have delayed and are now at the point of no return, you may need a tooth extraction just to get rid of the infection quickly. While not ideal, we can eliminate the source of the problem, prescribe you antibiotics, and then replace the tooth or teeth in the future with dental crowns and bridges or dental implants.

The cost to restore the tooth is too great.
We accept most insurance plans and can also discuss various payment options with you. However, we also realize that sometimes restorative dental work can be cost prohibitive. This is not an inexpensive teeth whitening procedure. Instead, removing an infection can require a full root canal and restoration afterward. If you are in a situation where you cannot afford a root canal, you may want to consider a tooth extraction and then replace the tooth later on when you have the funds to do so. This will address the immediate problem, which is to remove the infection.

Your wisdom teeth are impacted.
One of the most common reasons parents ask, “When is a tooth extraction necessary?” is because their child is developing wisdom teeth. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we do not always extract wisdom teeth. If there is enough room in the mouth for this third set of molars and they are growing in straight, they may be able to remain in the mouth. However, it does not work this way for most people. In fact, it is more common for our patients to visit our dental practice complaining that their wisdom teeth hurt. This can happen when they grow in impacted. The actual growth of them can cause discomfort and push other teeth forward (inconvenient if you or your child has had braces). As they grow in impacted or sideways, space will be created for food to become trapped, and this area often becomes infected. In this way, wisdom teeth can pose a health risk. As a cosmetic dentistry office, we can remove them.

The Extraction Process
While the first question we hear is, “When is a tooth extraction necessary?”, the second is always about the process. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we understand that our patients are often intimidated by the prospect of needing to have a tooth extracted. This is a process that most people grow up fearing, in part because of popular movies and television conveying an extraction as something truly horrible. The good news is that we can complete the extraction gently, quickly, and while keeping you comfortable. When looking for a “dentist near me” to complete an extraction, be sure to visit one who offers sedation. We do and we will use it to help you relax. Before we get started, you will be sedated and you will receive medication to numb the area.

If your tooth has grown in straight…
We can typically grasp the tooth, wiggle it, and gently but quickly pull it out. This process happens quickly, and afterward, we will clean the area and place gauze there to stop the bleeding.

If your tooth is impacted…
As a cosmetic dentist in La Jolla, CA, we remove impacted teeth as a matter of course. This process, however, is far more complicated because an impacted tooth cannot be pulled. Instead, we have to cut open the gum tissue that surrounds the tooth so we can fully access it. In some cases, other bone or tissue has to be cut away so we have full access to the tooth and can pull it out. If necessary, we may need to pull it out one piece at a time. Afterward, we will clean the area, replace the gum flap, place sutures if necessary, and treat it with gauze.

The Recovery Process After a Tooth Extraction
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we warn patients that they will be sore for several days and that they will experience some swelling. This is perfectly natural and can be controlled by taking ibuprofen and placing a cold compress or icepack on your face in the area where the tooth was extracted. We encourage our patients to do so for 15 minutes at a time. In preparation for your tooth extraction, you should buy plenty of JELL-O, yogurt, applesauce, and anything else you can eat without actually needing to chew. Within a couple of days, you should be able to add solids back into your diet but will need to be cautious until the area has healed completely.

Schedule an Appointment
To find out if you need a tooth extraction, call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla. As a family dentist in La Jolla, we will be happy to answer any questions you have, schedule your procedure, and replace your teeth with dental implants or dental crowns and bridges once the extraction has been completed.

Why Are My Gums Bleeding? La Jolla, CA

If your gums are bleeding, visit our La Jolla dentist office to have your teeth examined. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we can examine you and determine whether they are bleeding due to simple irritation or if there is a greater health concern. You can schedule an appointment with our 92037 office by calling (858) 455-7200. In the meantime, here is what you need to know about your gums.

Symptoms of Gum Disease that You Should Watch For
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we encourage you to keep an eye on your gum health and call us if any of these signs persist for longer than a week –

  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Red or irritated gums
  • Your teeth appear longer

If you notice any of these symptoms, the best thing to do is call a La Jolla dentist for an official diagnosis. Self-treating can lead to additional problems because you may not be addressing the actual cause of the problem. You can schedule an appointment with our office by calling 858-455-7200.

Causes of Gum Disease

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Plaque and tartar buildup underneath the gum tissue
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Some medications

Check out what others are saying about our oral health support services on Yelp: Why Are My Gums Bleeding? La Jolla.

How to Manage and Treat Gum Disease
There are several ways to prevent gum disease and the symptoms that arise from it. If you have already experienced symptoms of bleeding or swollen gums, following these steps will still help you, but it is wise to visit our La Jolla for an examination so that we can make customized treatment recommendations. In the meantime, you can manage your symptoms by doing the following –

  • Brush and floss regularly. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day and when you do, use a soft or electric toothbrush. Make sure that you are brushing food away from your gums and towards the center of your mouth. This is important to prevent plaque buildup at your gum line. Flossing should be at least once per day and you must make sure to go all the way down along the sides of your teeth.
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash. Another way to kill bacteria is to use an antiseptic mouthwash. This is an easy way to kill some of the bacteria that you have not been able to brush away and you may notice that your gums feel instantly better after using it.
  • Have your teeth cleaned twice a year. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we encourage you to visit our dental office twice per year so that we can clean your teeth, removing plaque and tartar that was left behind from your daily brushing. This is your best defense against gum disease or even some of the subtle symptoms like bleeding and swelling.
  • Stop smoking. More than bad for your lungs, using tobacco products is also bad for your oral health. Not only can it lead to oral cancer but it also increases your risk for gum disease.
  • Schedule a deep cleaning. If you already have gum disease we may recommend that you have a deep cleaning or root planning and scaling procedure. This allows the dentist to remove tartar and plaque that has built up underneath the gum tissue. The procedure is typically completed in two to four appointments but it works incredibly well for removing the cause of the problem.

Q&A

Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?
When you brush your teeth, the bristles will often go immediately over or next to your gums. Gum tissue is sensitive and if you are using a hard toothbrush or brushing too aggressively you can scratch and irritate them. Our suggestion is to switch to an electric or battery operated toothbrush because you can get an excellent clean without having to apply a lot of pressure. This should provide your gums with needed relief.

Why do my gums bleed when I floss?
Very often, this is because you have not flossed in a long time. If it has been awhile, your gums may be sensitive, irritated or even bleed when you begin your flossing routine. This is perfectly acceptable. Once you begin flossing daily, your gums should no longer bleed. In the process you will be removing the plaque from in between your gums and your teeth, helping them to be in better health. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we can show you how to floss your teeth properly to ensure that you are getting a really good clean. Call (858) 455-7200 and let us know if your gums continue to bleed after a week of flossing daily.

Why are my gums swollen?
If your gums have started to swell, there are two main causes for it. The first is that you have irritated your gums or accidentally scratched them by eating something that is particularly sharp or abrasive. The second, and most likely, is that you are suffering from an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis typically makes your gums swell, become red and irritated. This is a warning sign that should lead you to schedule an appointment with our La Jolla, CA dental office. If you notice this early warning sign and seek treatment, a dental cleaning may be all that is necessary to treat the condition so that your gums can return to good health. Otherwise, the symptoms could become progressively worse.

Why are my gums sensitive when I eat or brush my teeth?
You could have gum disease. Even in the early stages, this condition can make your gums sensitive and irritated. Otherwise, you could have eaten something acidic or abrasive that is making them temporarily sensitive but this should pass within a day or so.

If you have further questions about your gums, call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our dental office. We will be happy to answer your questions, examine you and provide you with treatment recommendations.

Which is Better Invisalign or Braces?

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we understand the important role that orthodontics can play in creating a healthy and beautiful smile. If you or your teen has crooked teeth, overly crowded teeth, an underbite or an overbite, correcting these challenges can prolong the lifespan of natural teeth by helping them to remain in good condition. Both Invisalign® and braces can do so by applying pressure to the teeth or by working in combination with other orthodontic measures like spacers. When determining which is better, Invisalign® or braces, you must really evaluate your lifestyle and determine which solution will work within it. From a day-to-day perspective, we find that many of our La Jolla, CA patients prefer Invisalign® due to the flexibility that it provides. If you live in the 92037 area, we encourage you to schedule an examination so that we can determine the best way to proceed with straightening your teeth. You can do so by calling (858) 455-7200.

Prior to coming in, it helps to understand how the process of straightening teeth with aligners works. Here are some of the questions that we are asked on a regular basis.

Can Invisalign® work as well as braces?
Yes, it can. The process is designed for mild to severe cases which includes crooked teeth, overly crowded teeth, etc. Most people associate wearing aligners for quick or small fixes and braces for major issues. This is not the case. When you visit our La Jolla Invisalign® dentist office, we can create a treatment plan that will address whatever challenges you are facing. The key is to follow that plan closely and to keep all of your scheduled appointments.

Check out what others are saying about our Invisalign® services on Yelp: Invisalign® La Jolla.

How does Invisalign® treat an underbite or an overbite?
When straightening teeth we do more than move physical teeth into the right position. We also align the bite. Otherwise, you will continue to have problems and discomfort. When wearing braces, the bite is often aligned using a series of rubber bands that hold the jaw in a particular position by stringing a band from one bracket on the top palate to one on the lower jaw. When straightening teeth with Invisalign®, pressure is applied to the teeth to move them into the right position. This means that if your underbite or overbite is caused by your teeth, it can be corrected using aligners. However, if you have a physical problem with your jaw, you may need to have jaw surgery in addition to wearing your aligners. Another option for misaligned jaws, that cannot be fixed using aligners, is to wear traditional braces. When you visit our 92037 dental office, Our dentist will let you know if your bite problems can be solved with Invisalign® and very often they can be.

How does Invisalign® treat crowded teeth?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can solve the challenge you are having with overcrowding using several methods. The most common orthodontic option is wearing an expander. This can be done when straightening teeth with braces or Invisalign®. An expander pushes the arch outward so that there is naturally more room for your teeth. This is the least invasive method and often preferred by our 92037 patients. The other option is to remove one or several teeth prior to straightening them or to shave off small portions of the enamel to make enough room. When you visit our La Jolla, CA dentist office, Our dentist can explain all of these options in detail so that you can make an educated decision regarding which solution is right for you.

What are attachments and how are they used?
Attachments are the small bumps that you may see on the teeth of someone wearing Invisalign®. They are round, small and made of tooth-colored resin so that they are barely noticeable. Not everyone needs them as part of their treatment. However, if Our dentist recommends them you should seriously consider it because they make it far easier for your teeth to move during the treatment process. They make it easier for the aligners to grip and, therefore, apply more pressure so that your teeth can move more effectively. Since they are removable, they will come off at the end of your treatment plan. Buttons may also be used in combination with or in lieu of attachments. They work differently because while they are bonded to the teeth, an elastic is often secured to them.

Which is better for me, Invisalign® or braces?
This is the ultimate question because it considers you as an individual. Orthodontics (including Invisalign®) can take a year or two to work. Even mild cases can require the use of orthodontics for a year, with eighteen months being the average treatment time. This means that you have to be comfortable with the treatment plan and certain that you can live with orthodontics long enough to see the procedure through. If you cannot, you will be doing yourself a disservice. Fortunately, you have options. By asking a lot of questions and having a consultation with our La Jolla, California dental office so that you can decide which road to take. While you are doing so, keep in mind that Invisalign® is the easiest solution when it comes to allowing you to continue eating whatever you like. It is also the easiest solution when it comes to oral hygiene since you can remove the aligners to brush and floss like you always have, instead of spending valuable time using special dental tools to brush your braces. You should also remember that wearing clear aligners means that your appearance will not be negatively impacted by aligners. Instead, you will enjoy the benefit of seeing your teeth improve as they go. You do not have to wait until the end like you do when wearing braces. As your teeth begin to shift, your smile will appear more beautiful, giving you or your teen plenty to smile about.

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla we are confident in our ability to transform smiles from crooked to beautiful using Invisalign® aligners. If you are uncertain of what the end results will look like, we can provide you with a projected rendering so that you can get an idea of how dramatic the transformation will be. We can then help you to determine what is better, Invisalign® or braces. Our portion of the discussing will revolve around the physical changes that will take place with your teeth and bite. You will need to give feedback on your lifestyle and expectations so that together, we can create a treatment plan that will work today and a year from now. To learn more, call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla, CA dental office.

Will I Need a Bone Graft for Dental Implants? La Jolla, CA

If you are considering getting dental implants you are already on the road to restoring your smile. Since dental implants are surgically placed and inserted into the jawbone, one of the questions our La Jolla patients ask is whether or not they will need a bone graft prior to the procedure. If you live in the 92037 area we encourage you to visit our dental office for an examination and x-rays so that we can answer this question based on your health. You can schedule an appointment by calling (858) 455-7200. In the meantime, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the bone graft procedure.

What is bone augmentation?
Bone augmentation can be performed multiple ways but the purpose of the procedure is to augment or build bone so that your jawbone becomes denser and stronger.

Why does the jawbone lose density in the first place?
This is typically due to resorption. Within the first year of tooth loss you can lose up to 25 percent of your bone density in that particular area. It only continues from there. That is because teeth and roots provide stimulation to the jawbone and that stimulation is a signal to the brain that your jaw is serving its primary purpose. When teeth fall out, that stimulation is reduced or eliminated completely. As a result, the body begins to leach calcium from the jaw for use elsewhere. If you know that you are going to lose a tooth visit a La Jolla dentist immediately afterwards, there are certain procedures that can be performed in order to prevent or limit the amount of resorption.

Other reasons for a loss of bone density is periodontal (gum) disease, developmental defect, injury or decay and infections. Visiting the dentist on a regular basis for preventative care can help to reduce these risks.

When is bone grafting necessary for dental implants?
If you have lost bone density, your jawbone may no longer be thick enough for an implant. When replacing your teeth with dental implants, a 92037 dentist will be surgically placing a small titanium post under your gums and securing it to your jawbone. As such, your jawbone must be dense enough to support the post. Think of it in the same way as if you were building a piece of furniture. The wood you were using would need to be thick enough for the screw. Otherwise, it would not be able to screw in all the way. A bone grafting procedure can increase the density of your jawbone so that the titanium post is a perfect fit.

Whose bone is used for the actual graft?
Your own bone can be used or processed bone may be used. Additionally, there are some newer technologies that may not require bone at all but can work to actually transform cells into bone. However, this is new technology and may not work for everyone.

What happens before the procedure?
Images will need to be taken of your bone so that the dentist and surgeon can create a plan for how to augment it. This is typically done using a CT scan. Additionally, you will need to decide whether you want to use processed bone or have bone taken from somewhere else in your body.

What is the bone grafting procedure like?
Most likely you will be put to sleep for this procedure. No matter what, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. This applies to your gums and to any area from which bone is being removed. Next, an incision will be made in your gum tissue and a flap created so that your bone is visible. This allows the surgeon to identify exactly how much bone needs to be placed there. If bone is being taken from somewhere else, an incision will be made so that the bone can be extracted at this time. Grafting material will be placed where the bone once was and that area will be stitched up. Next, the new bone will be anchored to your jawbone using a titanium screw. Other grafting material may be used to surround that new block of bone. Some La Jolla surgeons may also place membrane material around the bone graft. Afterwards, the area will be closed and sutured.

 

What is the recovery time and how will I feel afterwards?
Immediately following your bone grafting procedure you will be very sore. To combat this, you will want to take ibuprofen and use ice packs for fifteen minutes at a time. You will also be given antibiotics to take and want to use an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent an infection. It is essential that you keep pressure off of the area and are careful with what you eat for several weeks.

For the process to be complete it takes several months, usually six to nine. This is because your body will either be building new bone around the grafting material or fusing your jawbone with the bone that was added from somewhere else in your body. Naturally this is a slower process but once complete, your dental implants can be placed and they should be far more secure as a result.

Is this a common dental procedure?
This is a highly specialized procedure that is only performed by certain dentists in La Jolla, CA. This is why you may visit one dentist for a bone grafting procedure and another for dental implants.

Are there alternative options?
Yes. Some 92037 dentists offer mini dental implants. These implants are not for everyone, however, they can work well if you have limited density in your jawbone but are not interested in having a bone grafting procedure. These implants are shorter and wider, making them an alternative for those suffering from resorption.

Schedule an Appointment
The best way to find out if you need a bone grafting procedure is to call 858-455-7200 and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla dental office. At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can take x-rays and let you know if your bone is lacking in density. We can then make a recommendation for treatment and let you know whether we are the best provider to do so or if you should see a specialist.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction La Jolla, CA

You may need a wisdom teeth extraction at some point. It is rare for a person to have enough room for all of their wisdom teeth, and as a result, they tend to grow in impacted. This can be uncomfortable, push your other teeth forward, and create a space for food to become trapped, increasing your risk of infection and decay. This is why we often recommend that our La Jolla, CA patients have their wisdom teeth removed. When you schedule an appointment with Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we can examine you, take x-rays, and let you know if and when you should schedule an extraction procedure. You can reach us by calling (858) 455-7200.

What is an extraction?
This is a dental procedure where your wisdom teeth are removed. How they are removed will be based on their current location and whether or not they are impacted.

What is the procedure like?
First, you will receive anesthesia in order to numb the area being worked on. Some dentists and oral surgeons may also offer nitrous oxide to help you relax or put you to sleep so you do not remember anything about the actual procedure.

If your wisdom teeth have grown in straight, removing them is fairly easy. In this case, you would visit a 92037 dentist to have them pulled out using dental tools. Most likely, no surgery would be required. However, if your teeth are impacted, the procedure requires oral surgery. In order to access the actual tooth, the gum tissue covering it will need to be cut open. After numbing the area, a flap will be created in the gum tissue. This allows the dentist or oral surgeon to view the tooth. If muscle or bone is covering it, that will also need to be cut away to provide clear access to the actual tooth. At this point, your La Jolla dentist may be able to grab the tooth and simply lift it out of the socket. If, however, it does not budge when being wiggled; the actual tooth will need to be broken into several pieces that can be extracted individually.

Once the tooth has been entirely removed, the area will need to be carefully cleaned. Afterward, the flap of gum tissue can lay flat and be sutured back in place. In order to stop the bleeding, the dentist will place gauze on the area.

Check out what others are saying about our wisdom teeth extraction services on Yelp: Wisdom Teeth Extraction La Jolla.

What are the aftercare steps following wisdom teeth extraction?
Immediately following a wisdom teeth extraction, you will remain at the dentist office until the effects of the anesthesia have worn off. During this time, you will be monitored to ensure that any bleeding has slowed and that the gauze is working sufficiently. So long as it is, you will be sent home to finish your recovery. Just make sure you have someone pick you up so you do not need to drive home on your own.

At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we tell patients who are planning for an extraction to prepare ahead of time. You will need to rest when you get home, so have your bed ready with plenty of pillows to prop up your head. Fill your nightstand with water bottles, additional gauze, ibuprofen, and some good books or movies. Plan on taking it easy for the next 48 hours. During that time, you may want to eat a lot of popsicles, ice cream, yogurt, warm soup, Jell-O, and other foods that are soft and do not require chewing. You will be too sore to try and eat anything else.

To help control the swelling, you should ice your face for 15 minutes at a time and take ibuprofen around the clock. This should be done for 24 to 48 hours. Afterward, you may still need some ibuprofen, but icing may no longer be necessary.

Gradually, you will be able to add in solid foods and begin to eat like normal. The key is to take it easy and not rush the process. Slowly add soft foods that are easy to chew and work your way up to dining at your favorite La Jolla restaurant. It may take up to two weeks to be 100 percent back to normal, so during this time, be sure to avoid any nuts, chips, or foods that could crunch and scratch your gum tissue.

You will need to schedule a follow-up visit with the 92037 dentist who performed the procedure to ensure that you are healing properly. During this visit, you will get the sign off to return to normal eating habits.

How long is wisdom teeth extraction recovery time?
The first 48 hours are critical since this is when you may experience bleeding, pressure, and swelling. After this, it can take a week or two to recover fully. Your actual recovery time will be based on the procedure and whether or not your wisdom teeth extraction was completed with surgery.

How to prevent an infection after removal?
As a 92037 dentist, we are always concerned about infections post-surgery. Whether you have a wisdom teeth extraction or need to have another tooth removed, there is always the risk that the area will become exposed to bacteria. To prevent this, you should rinse your mouth periodically with warm saltwater. Brushing your teeth is also important, even though you need to carefully avoid the surgical site. In some cases, an antibiotic mouth rinse may also be prescribed.

Is a wisdom teeth extraction really necessary?
At Austin Dental Arts of La Jolla, we understand that each of our patients is unique and so are their teeth. Whether or not you need to have your wisdom teeth removed by a 92037 dentist, we really depend on the size of your palate. If you have plenty of room for all of your teeth and your third molars, they can stay in place. There is no point in removing something that grows in straight and is healthy. However, any tooth that grows in impacted needs to be removed because it is posing a direct threat to your other teeth and roots in addition to being a target for infections. The best way to find out if your wisdom teeth should be removed is to call and schedule an appointment with our La Jolla dentist office. We can make a recommendation and answer any other questions you have about the procedure itself.