Welcome to My Downey Family Dentist
8653 Florence Ave, downey ca,90240

An Introduction to Dental Bridges

Nobody wants to deal with losing a tooth, it’s never fun, it’s never convenient, and most people tend to feel a little self conscious when they’re missing a noticeable tooth.

Generally, one of the most popular choices for a replacement tooth is the trusty dental bridge. Dental bridges use the two teeth adjacent to the missing tooth as anchors for a dental prosthetic, which is called a Pontic.

Many dentists recommend bridges for their ability to quickly and successfully replace a damaged tooth without being too expensive. However, while dental bridges have few limitations, there are some situations where a dental implant is a better choice. This is generally done for a couple reasons.

First, if the teeth on either side of the gap are still perfectly healthy, your dentist will often recommend a dental implant instead. This is because the teeth adjacent to the gap need to be crowned in order to support the prosthetic, and crowning perfectly healthy teeth is generally something your dentist will choose to avoid.

Secondly, dental implants are generally chosen over dental bridges if the patient has a long history of poor oral hygiene. This is because a dental bridge is generally more difficult to take care of than a natural tooth, and if a patient isn’t the best about brushing, flossing, and rinsing with their natural tooth, there’s a good chance the dental bridge won’t last as long and will, ultimately, need to be replaced sooner (which can get expensive). While a dental implant is more expensive up-front, they are easier to take care of and will last longer, making them a better investment in the long run.

How to take care of a dental bridge

Dental bridges, while more difficult to clean, still don’t take much more effort. Because the replacement tooth sits on the gum, it’s important that you’re able to floss it on all sides. To make this easier, most dentists recommend what is called a dental threader, which easily threads the flossy under your bridge. Some patients also like to use a waterpik, which uses a high speed jet of water to clean out the tooth.

Keeep Your Teeth In Shape With These Simple Tips

http://www.mydowneyfamilydentist.com/services/root-canal-treatment-downey-ca/Patients of all ages wonder how they can keep their teeth strong and healthy for life. While it’s true that you only get one set of teeth, taking care of them doesn’t take much effort, and by following a few simple tips you can avoid the need for tooth replacements like dental bridges and dental crowns.

Brush at the right time

Everyone knows a brushing is important, but did you Also know that it’s important to brush at the right time? While brushing after meals is a great start, there’s a whole lot more you can be doing to make sure your brushing is as effective as possible. For example, while it’s  always smart to avoid acidic foods, you should also be careful about brushing after eating acidic foods. Don’t immediately brush after eating something acidic, because it will essentially scrub the surface of your teeth with the acid, which can damage your enamel.

To be safe, either rinse your mouth before brushing or simply wait for saliva to take care of the acid before you brush.

Don’t Rinse Right After Brushing 

While it might seem like a good idea at first, rinsing right after brushing isn’t actually helping. In fact, all you’re really doing is washing the toothpaste off of your teeth. Instead, rinse later. Let your toothpaste do its job!

Mind the Grind

Do you ever wake up with a headache? Even if you don’t, hundreds of thousands of dental patients around the world deal with teeth grinding, and many of them don’t even realize they’re doing it. Grinding your teeth can lead to sensitivity and the gradual wearing away of your tooth’s enamel, which can cause unnecessary and premature damage.

Avoid Risky Foods (and non-foods)

What you eat has a lot to do with how healthy your teeth are. Hard candy, chewing ice, biting your nails and generally punishing your teeth with difficult to chew “foods” is a good way to chip, crack, and damage your teeth (while also exposing your tooth to decay and infection). Being careful with food is a great way to avoid the need for a root canal or dental bridge.

 

Dental Bridges vs. Dental Implants

More often than not, when a patient loses a tooth – it’s either because of an injury that physically knocked the tooth out, or a pattern of poor oral care that slowly worked against the tooth, with gum disease that undermines the supporting structures of the tooth and infection that gets decay deep inside the tooth, slowly killing it from the inside and preventing it from being salvaged.

When this happens, it’s actually not surprising that some patients don’t actually get missing teeth replaced or treated for many years, and this is sometimes because they’ve simply gotten accustomed to ignoring their teeth.

But if you’re reading this right now, that isn’t you. Whether you’ve had a chance of heart and want to fix your teeth after years of neglect or you’ve recently experienced an injury or dental emergency – you’re probably wondering how it’s possible to replace your teeth. What that comes down to is dental bridges and dental implants. For many patients, the first question is: “which one is right for me?”

What a Dental Bridge IsIt’s called a bridge for a reason, and it’s name perfectly explains its function. A dental bridge bridges the gap between 2 healthy teeth and a gap in between.

When it’s Useda bridge is a cost effective and reliable option, especially when the teeth on either side of the missing tooth are healthy but worthy of some reinforcement. This is because, when you receive a dental bridge, the adjacent healthy teeth are used as supports for the bridge. In order to prepare them for crowns, your dentist will  file away the enamel to make for a perfect fit. Typically, this is something to be avoided if the tooth is healthy and wouldn’t be helped by a crown.

Typically, a dental bridge takes 2 or 3 appointments. First, your dentist will prepare the teeth on either side of the gap. Next, a temporary bridge will be placed in order to protect the prepared teeth while a permanent bridge is ordered and designed to match your smile. To do so, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and send it to a dental lab.

In your follow up appointment (usually a few weeks later), your permanent bridge will be installed and your dentist will fill you in on all of the care requirements to make sure it lasts many, many years.

What a Dental Implant Is: we have to hand it to the dental industry for naming these dental prostheses with a little common sense. Just like the dental bridge, a dental implant is exactly what it sounds like. Your dentist will carefully implant titanium posts (which can naturally  bond over time to your jaw structure), where your teeth used  to be. The posts actually end-up replacing your tooth’s root structure. Attached to these posts will be dental prostheses that look and perform almost exactly like your natural teeth.

When it’s Used: Dental implants are frequently used in place of a dental bridge when the surrounding teeth are too healthy to warrant a dental crown, or when the patient prefers the slightly more expensive dental implants due to their slightly better form and function, as well as easier care. For some patients, the whole reason they lost a particular tooth was because of a lack of effective oral care. For these patients, a bridge (which takes extra care) isn’t always a good option. Instead, a dental implant can be taken care of just like a normal tooth, which ensures the patient will be more likely to take care of it and keep it for years to come.

The process for installing a dental implant, like the bridge, also takes up to 3 visits, where your dentist will install the titanium implant  and replace the tooth’s root (the first visit),  after the insertion has healed, your dentist will need to surgically expose the tip of the implant (the second visit) so that he or she can install the abutment, which anchors through the gum. On the third visit, after your gums have healed,  your dentist places the final prosthetic — which would have been customized and designed during the previous steps in the process.

What’s Causing Your Toothache

Toothaches are no fun. Not only is the pain incredibly annoying, but the entire prospect can often be stressful because you know it could be an expensive fix. Whether you need a root canal or a simple filling, the range of treatments are many. But by visiting your dentist and diagnosing the problem as soon as possible, you do yourself a service by making sure the problem doesn’t have the time to get worse and harder to treat.

 Read on to learn about some of the potential causes behind your tooth pain.

The Symptom: sensitivity to hot or cold 

The Potential Problem: If you’ve just gotten a dental procedure, there’s a good chance that your teeth can be sensitive for a couple days. However, if you haven’t had a procedure done and the sensitivity is severe and prolonged, there’s a chance that the dental pulp is infected and inflamed. Unlike the sensitivity from something like a receding gumline, this sensitivity will sometimes be painful, and will generally stick around for a little after the stimulus is taken away. Speak to your doctor ASAP, you might need a root canal.

The Symptom: You’re experiencing a dull pain or pressure in your upper teeth, near your sinuses.

The Potential Problem: If you’re experiencing pain near your sinuses, the underlying problem is often related to your back teeth (since they share the same nerves). The problem with this, is that tooth pain can sometimes be mistaken by sinus pain, and sinus pain can often be mistaken for tooth pain.  If the pain isn’t from a cold or flu, there’s also a good chance that you could be clenching or grinding your teeth. The best course of action here is to visit your dentist or your family doctor before the symptoms get worse.

The Symptom: You’re Experiencing Sharp Pain When Chewing

The Potential Problem: Sharp pain while chewing, or when you put pressure on the tooth, points to either a cracked tooth, a loose filling, or a deep cavity. Before the problem gets worse, you should see your dentist to either seal the crack or remove the decay at the root of the problem. If the pain’s source is damage to your tooth’s insides (the dental pulp) there is a chance that you might require root canal treatment, which will disinfect the inside of the tooth, fill the cavity, and seal the tooth from outside damage.

The Symptom: Acute Pain that Won’t Subside

 

The Potential Problem: If you’re experiencing a sort of pain that is painful and immediate during and after eating, or even constant – there’s a good chance the underlying structure is infected and dying.  The underlying reason for this pain is that the infection is working away at the nerve.

The Symptom: Swollen Gums, or a Small Pimple-Like Bump on Your Gums

The Potential Problem: Generally, if gum disease isn’t already a factor, swelling and/or the presence of a pimple-like bump on the gums generally point to the presence of an infection or abscess that has moved beyond the tooth and into the periodontal tissues that support your teeth.

For all of the above symptoms, the first step for treatment is always to contact your family dentist. If you don’t yet have a family dentist in the Downey, CA area – we can help!

Is it Ever Okay to Delay Root Canal Treatment?

We get it. Tooth care, especially emergency tooth care, is hardly convenient. However, when you need a root canal, it’s not like there’s much else to be done. You simply need a root canal, or else risk losing one of your teeth (don’t forget, you only get one set!). However, sometimes circumstances arise that make it impossible to get timely root canal treatment.

Take this story for example: One patient was a semi-pro athlete who suffered an injury on the field. Unfortunately, the crack in the tooth was so deep that the tooth’s dental pulp was compromised. Ultimately, this meant that the tooth needed to have complete root canal treatment in order to prevent it from decay and to, essentially, save it’s life. However, this particular patient couldn’t spend enough time in the office to actually receive his root canal treatment because he had a game across the country, and had to make a flight. Fortunately, in situations such as these we do have recourse.

In some cases, it is possible to delay the full root canal treatment in order to schedule a more suitable time frame. In any case, it’s always best to try and get the treatment as soon as possible, but dentists are able to temporize a tooth by performing a number of the procedures that would normally go into the root canal treatment. While this is a temporary procedure, it will make your tooth feel better in the short-term, without sealing the tooth off from the potential for inflammation to return. For the patient at hand, doing the temporary procedure minimized pain and made the tooth more predictable, which bought more time for our dental team to schedule a root canal treatment that worked.

If you ever have to delay full root canal treatment, it’s important to remember that, even when a tooth’s pain dies down, the infection associated with the pain can still spread to nearby teeth and your surrounding tissue. As teeth give infection more time to establish, it can be even harder to eliminate. With this in mind, be certain to take care of dental problems as soon as possible.

What happens if you ignore a root canal?

Ignoring a root canal is never a smart move. In the short term, the infection from your tooth will continue to spread and deteriorate your remaining teeth. In the long term, it will rot beyond repair and send the infection into the gum-line where it will sit for years, putting you at risk for blood infection and other illness.

Care Instructions for a New Dental Bridge

If you’ve recently had a dental bridge installed to replace a missing teeth, the first advice you should be careful to the follow is quite simple: try not to bite off your tongue. It might sound dramatic at first, but the underlying truth is there: after virtually any dental procedure that involves anesthetic and a new piece of “hardware” in your mouth – there is good potential you could bite your tongue. So, avoid chewy or otherwise difficult to eat foods until the numbness from your recent procedure has worn away.

If you’ve received a temporary dental bridge, be careful to make sure it stays in place until your dentist installs a permanent bridge. Don’t simply “go without” or try to force it back in yourself. Be sure to call your dentist immediately, as the placement of the permanent prosthetic relies on the temporary one.

Once your permanent dental bridge is secured in place, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, the cement used to secure your dental appliance could cause a bit of sensitivity to your teeth. To start your recovery, a toothpaste for sensitivity might help.

After a couple days, once your mouth begins feeling normal again, be sure to pay attention to your bite. If it seems “off” or otherwise doesn’t feel normal to you, this is another reason to contact your dentist — your bite should feel fairly natural.

With a new dental bridge (or virtually any prosthetic) it’s important to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Sometimes, patients believe that since a tooth has been replaced it doesn’t need to be cared for. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Bridges still open teeth up to the potential for damage and decay. Care should be twice as diligent as normal.  In order to protect your bridge, it’s equally important to protect the crowns that support it. Most dental prostheses use a ceramic exterior. While this covering is very secure, it is still possible to fracture it – which can lead to future infection. To avoid cracks and micro fractures, avoid overly hard foods, and try not to chew ice (the temperature difference and the hardness of the ice can encourage cracking).

When it comes to caring for a dental bridge, flossing and regular brushing are the name of the game. There is no such thing as too much flossing, but as long as you can do it at least once a day (twice is best) your dental bridge and the teeth that support it will remain healthy for years.

Looking to learn more about dental bridges? Explore other topics in our blog, such as ” Should I get a dental bridge or an implant?

 

Should I get a Dental Bridge or a Dental Implant?

If you’re missing a tooth and considering cosmetic dentistry, you might be wondering what the best solution is. At My Downey Family Dentist, as experienced cosmetic dentists, dental bridges and dental implants are some of our specialties.

The choice between a dental bridge and a dental implant is often a personal one that should ultimately be decided between you and your dentist. However, we understand that patients across the county (and around the world) like to do some research first. Read on below to learn the differences between dental bridges and dental implants, and to potentially gain an insight into which solution will be best for you.

They Both Have Their Place

Both bridges and implants have their place in the world of cosmetic dentistry. In years past, the dental bridge was – more or less- the only solution available. The main downside here is that getting a dental bridge happens to involve more than just the affected tooth. In addition to the actual replacement tooth, the abutting teeth also need to be prepped by removing some enamel and installing a dental crown for added protection and support.

On the other hand, a dental implant only involves the tooth you’re replacing – and the result is a replacement tooth that’s longer lasting and stronger.

Think of it this way, which do you think is stronger: a bridge over a river with supports on either end, or a concrete dam installed directly into the river bed?

But don’t be discouraged. Look to the many iconic bridges around the world, from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Brooklyn bridge, and it becomes apparent that the  concept is no stranger to longevity (more on bridge repairs later…)

A dental bridge is often chosen as an alternative if the teeth that would otherwise be used as supports have already received multiple large fillings, or will need crowns or caps further down the road.

The Difference in Aesthetics

Years ago, it would be tempting to suggest that a dental implant looks much better than a dental bridge. However, with the rate prosthetic dental technology has advanced over the years, dental bridges still look incredibly natural and can be matched to your other teeth to ensure a seamless look.

In some cases, dentists prefer to install an implant due to the ability to place it right after a tooth has been extracted, this allows your dentist to preserve your bone’s natural structure.  On top of this, implants can generally be customized a bit more to ensure a proper match.

Often the implant will provide the most pleasing result, as your dentist can make the final tooth look just like your natural enamel. Sometimes, an implant can be placed immediately after a tooth extraction, preserving the natural level of bone and improving the final appearance of the dental work.

Are Dental Implants More Expensive?

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry in Downey, CA, Many times, our patients assume that dental bridges are more affordable than dental implants. While there is a grain of truth to this, the story actually goes deeper.  Sure, the initial cost of a dental bridge tends to be more. However, it’s important to remember that a dental bridge will need to be fixed or replaced in the future.

On the other hand, while a dental implant is generally more expensive in the short-term, you can think of it as a permanent solution that can very likely last for the rest of your life.

So, which solution is right for you? Ultimately, that choice will be between you and your dentist. If you’ve ever wondered, “Who’s a cosmetic dentist near me?”  and you live in the Downey, CA area – look no further. We can help.

How Root Canal Treatment Will Save Your Infected Tooth

Ah, the dreaded root canal. 

Whenever anyone hears a friend or family member is receiving a root canal, the first impulse is an outpouring of sympathy. However, many times, this is all because of a simple misconception: that root canals are painful. In fact, the truth is that root canal treatment isn’t actually painful, and is more comparable to a simple filling than you might think.

With modern dental technology and anesthesia, getting a root canal is a sure-fire method to clean out an infected tooth and alleviate the pain it causes. At My Downey Family Dentist, our dentists are leaders in root canal treatment in Downey, CA. Curious to learn how root canal treatment can help? Look no further.

How a Root Canal Can Help

Endodontic treatment (otherwise known as root canal treatment) takes place inside your teeth and is generally necessary when the pulp of the tooth is either inflamed or infected.

The dental pulp is located inside of your tooth and is comprised of living tissue, nerve sells, and cells called “odontoblasts”. When a crack or fracture in your tooth allows bacteria to work its way inside your tooth, the pulp becomes infected. If this infection is left unchecked, it can spread deeper into the root canals, and into your gums, the consequence being dangerous infection that can eventually work its way into your bloodstream.

Inflammation and infection in your dental pulp can happen for a variety of reasons. One of the most common is deep decay. If you’ve slacked on your oral health or are simply prone to cavities, the need for a root canal is a very real possibility.  In addition to this, both injury (such as a crack or fracture) and repeated dental work on the same tooth can ultimately provide small or large cracks that can give bacteria and infection an inroad to the inside of your tooth.  Unfortunately, it’s this soft-tissue that bacteria loves to feed on and thrive in.

What happens during root canal therapy

When you receive root canal treatment, your dentist will attack the bacteria and infection by removing the affected dental pulp and carefully cleaning the inside of the tooth. All the while, he or she will be certain to remove all traces of infection. Once this is complete, your dentist will rinse the space with medication, and fill the opening with a rubbery material.

You might be wondering, “But don’t I need the dental pulp?” and the answer is no. While the dental pulp is necessary when your teeth are growing, after they’ve already developed your teeth can be sustained by the surrounding tissues.

Once the root canal treatment is complete, your dentist will close the tooth with a filling, or – if the crack or cavity was large enough – a dental crown. The best part? After your tooth is cleaned and restored, it will function just like a natural tooth, and every bit of pain and discomfort will be a thing of the past.

Questions about Root Canal Treatment? We’re here to help. For patients in Downey, consult with our experts dentists today to learn how we can save your tooth. Not in the Downey area? Check our blog often for the answers to a wide variety of dental questions. 

A Brief Introduction to Your Baby’s Teeth by a Family Dentist in Downey, CA

 

Whether you just had your first child or you’re making a lovely addition to an already very busy family, it’s never uncommon for questions to arise from parents, whether they’re new to being parents, or seasoned pros — hardened in the battlefield of bottles and late-night diaper duty.

More often than not, the most common questions parents ask about new babies pertain to the odd rash, stomach ache, fever, and a litany of other issues ranging from how long it’s normal for a baby to cry to how a baby should be sleeping at night.

Unfortunately, few of the questions asked about newborn health tend to be about a newborn’s teeth. We don’t particularly blame parents for this. After-all,  a newborn doesn’t have teeth. With that said, it’s easy to let oral health fly under the radar.

However, even though your baby doesn’t have teeth, it’s important to find your newborn family dentist nearby, especially if you can find a dentist that specializes in pediatric care. One of the best reasons? An oral health risk assessment

Your Baby’s First Dentist Appointment (by 6 months of age) 

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, performing an oral health risk assessment is incredibly important for infants. Put simply: this visit allows your dentist to spot the potential for any problems that could arise in the future. It assesses your baby’s risk for conditions relating to the hard and soft tissues of the mouth, as well as the potential risk for dental caries, and make suggestions for your baby’s fluoride needs.

Why baby teeth are Important

Parents occasionally believe that their baby’s teeth aren’t incredibly important because they’re just (eventually) replaced with adult teeth. This is one of the first misconceptions a good family dentist will squash right away.  Your baby’s first teeth are important for the development of healthy adult teeth by helping to properly space permanent teeth, while also aiding the development of speech and the ability to chew.

How to Brush a Baby’s Teeth

Even if your baby is “all gums” it’s still important to gently brush, it’s still important to brush very gently with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste. If teeth have not yet come-in, a warm and damp washcloth will do. If possible, this should be done twice a day. The overarching goal: clean out the bacteria. Gently doing whatever you can to clean the bacteria out of your baby’s mouth is the name of the game.

Helpful Tip for Better Teeth: Follow Meals with Water (and bottle feeding before bed)

Many parents don’t realize that simply following every infant’s meal with water is a sure-fire way to reduce the risk for gingivitis and decay. By preventing gingivitis and decay early on, your baby’s teeth get an oral-health head start that can impact his or her smile for years and years to come.

On top of this, it’s important to remember that bottle-feeding anything but water before bed means that the bacteria from that food will continue to live in your child’s mouth all night – which can contribute to decay  and gingivitis.