At Dental Arts of Westwood, we would be honored to treat the dental needs of your whole family. Drs. Dan and Shauna are General Dentists with extensive experience in a vast variety of dental procedures and technologies, including those listed below. In addition, we work with you to develop an accurate treatment plan - this is the first and most important component of any successful dental experience. The treatment plan allows you and the doctor to both play an integral role in both your dental and general health.
Veneers are thin coverings that are placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth. They look like natural teeth. Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:
Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resin material. Your dentist will help you choose the material that is best for you. Each type of veneer has its own benefits.
A porcelain veneer is a thin shell that is custom-made to fit on the tooth. Benefits of porcelain veneers:
A composite resin veneer is made from a tooth-colored filling material bonded to the tooth. Benefits of composite resin veneers:
A crown is a cover or "cap" your dentist can put on a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size and function. The purpose of a crown is to make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks. You may need a crown if you:
Crowns are made from several types of materials. Metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, composite resin, or combinations of these materials may be used. In the process of making a crown, the material often is colored to blend in with your natural teeth.
Your dentist wants to create a crown that looks natural and fits comfortably in your mouth. To decide on the material for your crown, your dentist will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the patient's preference, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, the color or shade of the tooth, and the function of the tooth.
Cosmetic bonding is a process where the dentist attaches or "bonds" materials directly to your tooth in order to change the color and shape. The natural tooth enamel is then fused together with bonding materials such as porcelain and resins to create a strong structure that still feels like your original tooth.
While it can be used for different purposes, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, tooth bonding is most useful for repairing chipped teeth. That's because the bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color, and allows for a finished product that closely matches your surrounding teeth.
When you visit the dentist, you get more than clean, shiny teeth. Regular dental visits are a way to prevent dental disease and to check for signs of other diseases. If your mouth or neck do show any signs of disease, your dentist can help you get early treatment. Here's how:
Even patients with dentures need an oral health checkup. Plus, over time, dentures can become loose because of changes in your gums and bones. Your dentist will make sure your gums are healthy, look for signs of cancer and check your dentures for proper fit.
At every exam, your dentist checks your mouth and neck for signs of disease. Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, so visit your dentist regularly.
Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth. When teeth are lost because of disease or an accident, dental implants may be a good option. You may want to choose dental implants if you:
Many people choose implants to replace a single tooth or several teeth, or to support a full set of dentures. Implants are posts surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone. They replace the root of one or more missing teeth. Dental implants are made of titanium (a strong, lightweight metal) and other materials that are well accepted by the body. More than 5 million implants are placed each year by dentists in the United States.
The single tooth implant replaces the missing tooth's roots. A single tooth implant is a stand-alone unit and does not involve treating the teeth next to it. If you are missing one or more teeth, there are many reasons why you should replace them:
Dental implants can be used to support a bridge when several teeth are missing. The implant-supported bridge replaces the lost natural teeth and some of the tooth roots. Unlike traditional bridges, an implant-supported bridge does not need support from the teeth next to it.
If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported denture can replace the missing teeth and some of the tooth roots. Because the dental implants integrate (or "fuse") with the jawbone, an implant-supported denture tends to be comfortable and stable, allowing you to bite and chew naturally.
If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported denture can replace the missing teeth and some of the tooth roots. Because the dental implants integrate (or "fuse") with the jawbone, an implant-supported denture tends to be comfortable and stable, allowing you to bite and chew naturally.
Many kinds of implants are available. Treatment can take one day, several months, or somewhere in between. You and your dentist can discuss which type of implant is best for you. Implant treatment usually involves three basic steps.
Your dentist will carefully locate where the implant should be placed, using x-rays or other pictures. Then the dentist surgically places the implant into the jawbone. You may have some swelling and/or tenderness after surgery. Your dentist may prescribe pain medicine to ease the discomfort. During the healing process, your dentist may tell you to eat soft foods.
What makes an implant so strong is that the jawbone grows around it and holds it in place. This process, called osseointegration (OSS-e-o-in-te-GRAY-shun), takes time. It may be several months before the implant is completely integrated into the bone. Then the patient can get the permanent replacement tooth or teeth. In many cases, the implant and temporary replacement teeth can be placed in one visit.
For a single tooth implant, the dentist custom-makes a new tooth for you, called a dental crown. It is designed to look just like your other teeth. Implant-supported bridges and dentures are also custom-made to look like natural teeth and to fit your mouth. The replacement teeth are attached to the implant posts. Replacement teeth usually take some time to make. In the meantime, your dentist may give you a temporary crown, bridge or denture. This will help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement teeth are ready.
Sometimes teeth need to be removed due to decay, disease or trauma. Having a tooth removed or "pulled" is called a tooth extraction. When you have an extraction, it's natural that changes will occur in your mouth afterward. Your dentist may give you instructions to follow after the extraction.
Before the extraction, you will be given an anesthetic to reduce your discomfort. Your mouth will remain numb for a few hours after the extraction. After a tooth is removed, some discomfort and swelling is normal. If you have sutures that require removal, we will tell you when to return to the office.
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth often were pulled. But today, even if the pulp inside one of your teeth is injured or infected, the tooth often can be saved through root canal (endodontic) treatment.
The pulp is soft tissue inside the tooth that contains blood vessels and nerves. When the pulp is diseased or injured and unable to repair itself, it dies. The most common causes of pulp death are a cracked tooth, a deep cavity, problems with large fillings, or serious injury to the tooth.
If the problem pulp is not removed, the tissues around the root of the tooth can become infected, often resulting in pain and swelling. Even if there is no pain, bacteria can damage the bone that anchors the tooth in the jaw. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be pulled.
When a tooth is pulled and not replaced, the teeth around it may shift from their normal position. Shifted teeth may make biting and chewing difficult and may make it harder to clean your teeth. They may also make it harder to clean your teeth. Areas that are not cleaned well are more likely to get gum disease. Root canal treatment can prevent these problems by saving your natural tooth. A natural tooth is almost always better than a replacement tooth. Nothing looks, feels or functions like the natural tooth--and being able to chew and enjoy your favorite foods will keep you healthy and confident. Also, a root canal is usually less expensive than a replacement tooth.
Root canal treatment involves one or more visits. There are several steps that we perform to save your tooth:
Crowns can be made from several materials. The type chosen depends on where the tooth is located in your mouth, the amount of natural tooth left, your preferences and your dentist's judgment about what is best for you.
A tooth with a root canal filling can last for years. Teeth with root canal fillings can, however, become decayed or fractured, or get gum disease, just like any other teeth. Daily cleaning and regular exams will help you keep your teeth healthy, whether they've had root canals or not.
Whenever you laugh, frown, concentrate or squint into the sun, your facial muscles contract and your skin creases. As you get older, your skin loses its elasticity and those creases deepen into lines that can become permanently etched on your face. Frown lines between your eyes can become particularly noticeable at a relatively young age, making you look angry or worried even when you’re not. By temporarily immobilizing the muscles you use to frown, Dysport® can smooth out those lines, restoring a more youthful, less stressed expression to your face.
We accomplish this by injecting small amounts of Dysport® directly into the facial muscles underlying the frown lines. It usually takes three to No local anesthetic is usually required but if you are concerned, your injector can numb the skin over the area before injecting. You can expect treatment to take around 10-30 minutes depending on the number of areas of concern.
Dysport® injections results can be seen within 2-3 days after treatment and generally last between 3-4 months depending on your metabolism. However, many people find after several treatments that they don’t need another one for longer, because they have “unlearned” the habit of frowning or squinting that originally led to the development of these lines. Because you will be physically unable to frown after treatment, you may even lose the urge to frown. The lasting effect of treatment with Dysport® can differ between individuals after which further courses of treatment may be necessary. Call to schedule your free consultation and take advantage of promotional specials today (for a limited time).
Although Dysport® is commonly used to treat facial frown lines, additional uses include jaw reshaping, bruxism, and temporomandibular joint pain control. Many patients experienced headache and pain relief as their frown lines and wrinkles became less noticeable. This led to their development and use for other purposes in the facial region. This includes jaw reshaping with slimming the jaw line and correction of asymmetry (differences between the size of the jaw on one side versus the other side) where there is a disproportionately increased size of the masseter muscles. Often, when this is effective, surgery may be avoided. It was found that these patients frequently also had pain in the back portion of their jaws due to clenching, and that the injections reduced the pain, providing the dual effect of improved appearance (aesthetics) and pain relief. These injections may also reduce temporomandibular joint pain in some cases (reducing the need for medications).
A consultation examination and evaluation is necessary to determine if you are a candidate for Dysport® injections in the jaw region. Part of this evaluation determines if the masseter muscle is enlarged, if it is thicker on one side (assymetric), and if there are tender areas. If you are determined to be a candidate, injections are performed in the office. Although it takes a variable time for effect, often pain starts to improve within the first 2 weeks. Reevaluation will be performed in 2-6 weeks to determine if the injections are having an effect, and later to determine if additional injections are required. Call to schedule your free consultation and take advantage of promotional specials today (for a limited time).
Invisalign straightens your teeth using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. They gradually and gently shift your teeth into place. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You'll achieve a great smile with little interference to your daily life.
Your dentist will discuss your case in detail to determine if you're a good candidate for Invisalign.
Your dentist will take x-rays, pictures and impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to create a digital 3-D image of them. From these images your dentist will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth, and tell you the approximate length of treatment. Using the same technology your dentist will be able to show you a virtual representation of how your teeth will move with each stage of treatment. While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes six to fifteen months for adults. For teens the length of treatments is comparable to that of braces.
Based on your individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear aligners is then created specifically for you. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won't irritate your cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. Simply wear them throughout the day, and remove them when you eat or to brush and floss your teeth. As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. And because they're virtually invisible, most people won't even notice you're wearing them.
Every one to two weeks, you will begin wearing a new set of aligners, advancing you to the next stage of your treatment. To monitor your progress, you will also have occasional checkups with your dentist, usually only every six weeks or so. For best results and a timely outcome, you should wear your aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day, throughout your entire treatment. At every stage, you will be able to see how much closer you are to having the smile that reflects the real you.
Laser dentistry can be a precise and effective way to perform many dental procedures. The potential for laser dentistry to improve dental procedures rests in the dentist's ability to control power output and the duration of exposure on the tissue (whether gum or tooth structure), allowing for treatment of a highly specific area of focus without damaging surrounding tissues.
If you consider yourself somewhat of an anxious dental patient and are seeking extreme safety and comfort, you might consider looking for dentists who have incorporated laser dentistry techniques into their practices and treatments. It is estimated that 6 percent of general dentists own a laser for soft-tissue applications, with that number expected to increase over time.
Orthodontics is the the branch of dentistry concerned with aligning and straightening patient teeth. The example everybody thinks of is braces, usually worn by teens and preteens. This is because their adult teeth are all in place, while their young age means their teeth are more amenable to change.
If you're an adult, it's not too late to think about improving your smile, and it doesn't necessarily mean braces! We also offer Invisalign Clear Tooth Alignment, which uses specially molded clear plastic aligners to acheive the same goal.
Each patient's teeth are different. Based on your particular situation we will recommend the treatment method best suited to you.
Braces and brackets are typically in place for one to three years, during which they will be readjusted every six to eight weeks.
Once braces are removed, generally a retainer is required to be worn all the time for approximately 6 months, and while sleeping after that. The retainer is intended to prevent teeth from returning to their original pre-treatment positions.
Invisalign treatment typically lasts six to fifteen months, during which you'll receive a new aligner every one to two weeks.
There's nothing as beautiful as a child's smile. With good oral care at home and regular dental visits, children can reach adulthood without suffering from tooth decay and other oral health problems.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. When plaque is not removed from teeth every day, it builds up.
Plaque bacteria use sugar to make acid that attacks enamel, the hard surface of the tooth. The acid can attack tooth enamel for up to 20 minutes after sugary foods and drinks are consumed. Repeated acid attacks can cause tooth decay, which must be treated by a dentist.
For good dental and overall health, be sure your child eats a healthy diet. If your child needs a between-meal snack, choose healthy foods. To help prevent tooth decay, save sweets for mealtime.
Flossing is important to remove plaque from between teeth where a toothbrush can't reach. Starting when your child has teeth that touch, floss the teeth until your child is old enough to do so himself. Then show your child how to use floss or another between-the-teeth cleaner.
Fluoride helps to make teeth stronger and to protect them from decay. It is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources. Fluoride is also found in anti-cavity toothpastes, mouthrinses and treatments applied in the dental office. Talk to the dentist about your child's fluoride needs.
A sealant is a plastic material that the dentist applies to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant flows into the pits and grooves in the teeth, places where a toothbrush can't reach. Sealants protect teeth from plaque and acid attacks. As long as the sealant remains intact, the sealed surface will be protected from decay.
Sports-related dental injuries can be prevented by wearing a mouthguard. Mouthguards can be custom-made by your dentist to fit your child's mouth. Ready-made or "boil and bite" mouthguards are available at sporting goods stores. Ask your dentist which type is best for your child, especially if he or she wears braces.
Regular dental checkups and dental care-such as cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants—provide your child with "smile insurance." Plan your child's first dental visit within six months after the first tooth appears but no later than the first birthday. Consider it a "well-baby checkup" for your child's teeth. At the dental visit, the dental team will:
Periodontal treatments depend on the type of the gum disease and how severe it is. If the disease is caught early (when it is gingivitis), and no damage has been done to the supporting structures under the teeth, you may simply need a professional cleaning. The dental team can give you tips for improving your daily oral hygiene.
Even with these measures, some patients develop more severe periodontal disease. The first step in treating the disease usually involves a special deep cleaning called "scaling and root planing." In this treatment, the dentist removes plaque and tartar down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. This treatment may be done over several visits, depending on your needs.
The root surfaces of the teeth are then smoothed (or "planed") to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the teeth. This treatment also may take more than one visit.
Your dentist may recommend medications to help control infection and pain or to aid healing. These can include a pill, a mouthrinse or a medication that the dentist places directly into the periodontal pocket after scaling and root planing.
If you smoke or chew tobacco, it is important to quit. Ask your dentist or physician for information about ways to stop.
Another dental visit will be scheduled within a few weeks or months after your last scaling and root planing treatment. At this visit, your dentist or hygienist will look at your gums to see how they have healed. He or she will measure the periodontal pockets again. If the pockets have gotten deeper and the supporting bone is lost, more treatment may be needed.
If the pockets do not heal enough after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed. Surgery allows the dentist to remove tartar and plaque from hard-to-reach areas. Then the gums are stitched into place to hug the teeth tightly. Surgery can reduce pocket depth and make it easier to keep teeth clean.
If bone has been damaged by periodontal disease, surgery may be needed to rebuild or reshape the bone. Splints, bite guards or other appliances may be used to hold loose teeth in place and to help tissues heal. If too much gum or bone tissue has been lost, the dentist may do a gum or bone graft.
The dentist may place a membrane layer at the surgical area to help the gums stay in place while the tooth root reattaches to the supporting ligament. This is called "guided tissue regeneration." After surgery, the dentist may apply a protective dressing over teeth and gums and recommend or prescribe a special mouthrinse. Your dentist also may prescribe an antibiotic and pain reliever.
Once your periodontal treatment is completed, your dentist may recommend more frequent checkups and cleanings. Regular dental visits and deep cleanings are important to keep periodontal disease under control. In some cases, your appointments may alternate between your general dentist and periodontist.
Good oral hygiene at home also is very important to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or from coming back. Daily home cleaning helps keep plaque under control and reduces tartar buildup.
Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.
Composites cost more than amalgam and occasionally are not covered by some insurance plans. Also, no dental filling lasts forever. Some studies show that composite fillings can be less durable and need to be replaced more often than amalgam fillings.
It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That's because composite fillings require the tooth be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth.
Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Prevention is the best medicine. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:
A bridge is a dental restoration that fills the space where one or more teeth are missing. The bridge restores your bite and helps keep the natural shape of your face.
A missing tooth is a serious matter. Teeth are made to work together. When you lose a tooth, the nearby teeth may tilt or drift into the empty space. The teeth in the opposite jaw may also shift up or down toward the space. This can affect your bite and place more stress on your teeth and jaw joints, possibly causing pain. Teeth that have tipped or drifted are also harder to clean. This puts them at a higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease. When a tooth is missing, the bone may shrink. If that happens, it may change the way the jawbone supports the lips and cheeks. Over time, this can make your face look different.
Bridges are made from metal, ceramics or a combination. Ceramics often are bonded to a metal alloy. Your dentist will talk about the materials that are best for you and your mouth.
Placing a bridge usually takes more than one dental visit:
Dental implants may be used to support a bridge when several teeth are missing. Implants are posts that are surgically placed into the jaw. The implants fuse to the jawbone to act as a base for the bridge. A key benefit of implants is that they don't need support from the surrounding teeth.
Because surgery is required, candidates for dental implants should have good general health and enough bone to support an implant. For some patients, implants help preserve the bone where teeth have been lost. Implants can be placed in one day or may require multiple visits, depending on your dentist's treatment plan for you.
Tooth decay is a disease that damages and breaks down teeth. A tooth has a hard outer layer (enamel), a middle layer (dentin) and a center (pulp). The more layers affected by decay, the worse the damage.
If tooth decay is not treated, it can lead to pain, the spread of infection, loss of teeth and loss of self-confidence. An abscess (pus-filled sac) from a cavity can cause serious or even life-threatening infections when not properly treated. It is much simpler and more affordable to prevent tooth decay than to repair or replace a decayed tooth.
Your teeth are covered by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. After a meal or snack, the bacteria turn the sugars in foods and drinks into acid. The acid attacks the tooth enamel. The acid eats away at the tooth and can cause decay. A hole called a cavity can form.
People of all ages can get tooth decay. Your risk may increase if you:
Tooth decay can be prevented if you:
Treatment of decay depends on how early the decay is caught. Before cavities form, fluoride treatments may solve the problem. If you have a cavity, you'll need a filling. A large cavity may need a crown to replace the decayed part of the tooth. If the center (pulp) of your tooth is involved, root canal treatment may be your last chance to save the tooth. Finally, a badly damaged tooth might have to be pulled and replaced. Your dentist will discuss options and plan the best way to get your mouth healthy again.
Restylane® is a non-animal, human derived biodegradable filler gel composed of hyaluronic acid approved by the FDA for cosmetic injections into subdermal facial tissues. With age, skin becomes more susceptible to wrinkles and sagging. Exposure to damaging sun rays and years of muscle movement (squinting, chewing, smiling) contribute to the breakdown of tissue and loss of volume in the skin. Restylane®, a soft tissue filler, adds volume to the skin via tiny injections while smoothing facial folds and wrinkles in areas around the mouth and eyes, as well as returning volume to desired areas of the face. All Restylane® products are available with numbing agent for advanced comfort.
Three particle sizes are available for your dermal filler needs; Restylane® Lyft, Restylane®, and Restylane® Silk. Restylane® and Restylane® Lyft are used to smooth away wrinkles and fine lines. Restylane® is used to add volume and fullness to the skin to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, such as the lines from your nose to the corners of your mouth (nasiolabial fold) or the lines from the corner of your lips down to your chin (marinette lines).
Restylane® Lyft is used to increase lift and volume to the cheek area, smooth out more prominent folds, and correct age-related mid-face contour deficiencies. Restylane® Silk creates fuller and more accentuated lips with its natural-looking smaller, smooth particle size. Lip thinning, loss of shape, and increase of vertical lines above the lips are all results of aging, which can be addressed with Restylane® Silk.
The average treatment is 15 to 60 minutes per session, depending on the individual and areas being treated. Restylane® injections require minimal downtime, allowing patients to return to work and normal activities following treatment. Treatment results are temporary; typically lasting from 6-9 months to a year. To achieve optimal results, additional treatment sessions may be needed. All Restylane® products work to enhance facial features and give long-lasting, yet non-permanent results, which are reversible. Call to schedule your free consultation and take advantage of promotional specials today (for a limited time).
Do you have frequent headaches, earaches, tender jaw muscles or a dull, aching facial pain? Does your jaw lock or stray to one side when you open your mouth? These aches and pains may be related to the jaw joint, called the temporomandibular joint or "TMJ," and the muscles that work to move the joint. These painful conditions are often called "TMD" for temporomandibular disorders.
A TMD is a condition, not a specific disease. Temporomandibular disorders can have many different signs and symptoms, from mild to severe. Some patients may have symptoms but are still able to function fully. TMDs appear to be more common in women. Specific symptoms may include:
Several conditions may be linked with TMD. This often makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of a particular case of TMD. Related conditions may include:
To determine how best to treat your condition, a complete evaluation is recommended. Your dentist may check the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Your complete medical history may be reviewed, so it is important to keep your dental office record up-to-date. Your dentist may take X-rays and may make a model of your teeth to see how your bite fits together. Your dentist may also request specialized X-rays of the TM joints.
The joints and muscles on each side of your jaw help open and close the mouth. These joints move in many different directions. They allow you to chew, talk and swallow.
The two temporomandibular joints are among the most complex joints in the body. They work together in a delicate balance with muscles, ligaments, cartilage and your jaw bones. When a problem prevents these parts from working together properly, pain may result.
For some patients, the disorders may disappear by themselves; for others, they may come and go, or may worsen over time. TMD disorders are often managed, rather than cured. Your general dentist may recommend treatment, or he or she may refer you to a physician or dental specialist.
There are several ways TMD may be managed. The success of the treatment often depends upon you and your dentist working together to find what works to relieve your symptoms.
Treatment may involve a series of steps. The step-by-step plan allows you to try simple treatment before moving on to more involved treatment. Experts generally recommend a "less is often best" approach to treating TMJ disorders.
The following self-care practices may be recommended:
If necessary, your dentist may recommend the following to relieve your symptoms:
In some cases, your dentist may recommend fixing an uneven bite by adjusting or reshaping some teeth. Orthodontic treatment may also be recommended.
Depending on our everyday choices, we may not have the smile we always wanted. Wine, smoking, tea, soda and other foods and beverages can cause teeth staining.
Philips Zoom professional whitening is a fast, effective and safe way to whiten your teeth. Results from treatments can be immediate (up to 8 shades whiter in 45-60 minutes), and because a dental professional is involved, the process is safe, reliable and hassle free.
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