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

Are Dental Implants a Better Investment?

Every year, people around the world find themselves having to make the decision about replacing a tooth that’s fallen out. Whether you’re replacing a tooth due to lack of care, genetics, or a simple accident – it’s always helpful to know that there are plenty of options available to you.

Dentures

As a leading denture dentists in Downey, we’ve helped numerous patients get fitted for affordable dentures that are effective at comfortable and functionally replacing as many teeth as required. For many patients, partial dentures and full dentures are a no-brainer.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges use healthy teeth on either side of the gap as supports for an artificial tooth known as a pontic. The downside to a dental bridge is that it can be a little more difficult to clean. On top of this, if the teeth oh either side are still perfectly healthy – you might not want to have to cut them down to prepare them for the bridge. On the other hand, if the teeth may need crowning in the future anyhow – a dental bridge can sometimes be an ideal option. In most cases, you can expect a dental bridge to last between 7 and 10 years.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are quickly becoming one of the most popular solutions for replacing teeth. Not only does a dental implant not harm the surrounding teeth, but the titanium post used for the implant interfaces directly with the jaw – which keeps the bone engaged and leads to a sturdier anchor. While this does take time to happen, it means that – after a few months – your new artificial tooth will be just as secure as natural adult tooth, and it can last about as long too.

What’s right for you?

The best solution for your specific situation will always depend on a number of factors ranging from your budget to your lifestyle. Need help deciding? For patients in Orange County, our Downey Dentists can help.

How Eating Changes with Dentures

Our denture specialists in Downey, CA frequently hear from patients who are concerned with the adjustment from natural teeth to dentures. Many of these patients are concerned with how the functionality of their mouths will change.

Of course, this happens for a number of reasons – and it can be looked at from a variety of perspectives. For example, if you currently don’t have all of your teeth, and had the ability to instantly replace all of them – whether the replacements were “real” or not, the way your mouth feels would certainly change. This is no different than the adjustment to dentures.

If you are missing two or more teeth, it’s already difficult to eat. So, for most patients – the brief adjustment period of dentures is simple decision: train your mouth to eat with your dentures and, with a little practice, easily enjoy all of the  foods that you know and love.

Generally, adjusting to dentures can be done in about 30 days. After about a month, you will have acclimated and adjusted to dentures and should be able to enjoy eating and speaking much like you used to, if not with just a little more care.

This adjustment period goes kind of like this…

Weeks 1 and 2

After starting out with soft foods like pudding, ice cream, jello, and mashed potatoes – your gums will toughen up and your dentures will feel much more stable. During this period, you may experience an increase in saliva production – on top of sore spots here and there in your mouth. In addition to soft foods, a salt water rinse can help with the soreness. This can persist for longer if your procedure required extracting teeth.

Weeks 3 and 4

In weeks 3 and 4, you will have gotten used to eating softer foods – but you are still probably adjusting to speaking and eating. Around this time, however, your gums will have started to toughen up and you can start using a denture adhesive (recommended by your denture dentist) to help give you added stability and confidence while eating.

Beyond Day 30

Beyond the 30 day mark, you should be getting pretty familiar with your dentures. Eating, speaking, and carrying about your day shouldn’t much of a problem – especially with the help of a small amount of denture adhesive.

In order to ensure your dentures fit and work properly for years to come, you’ll need to see your denture dentist (prosthodontist) regularly. With the proper care, your dentures should last between 5 and 10 years – so do baby them when it comes time to wash and store them.

5 Ways Dentures Will Improve Your Life

Nobody wants to live without their teeth.

Frankly, they’re a pretty essential component when it comes to your day to day life. Think about it. Even when you were a small child, losing a tooth instantly gave you a palpable feeling of loss that caused you to constantly poke and prod the void with your tongue. Years later, whether from age or injury – losing any number of teeth can make an incredible impact on your life. Fortunately, we have dentures to fix that.

Of course, as a dentist in Downey, CA it’s not surprising that patients aren’t always excited to get dentures. More often than not, they approach the proposition with a “lets get it over with” mindset. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Dentures can and will improve your quality of life, and the sooner you make that distinction – the easier it is to embrace them, get used to them, and get back to living your life with a full set of great looking teeth!

Speak Clearer

Many times, missing any number of teeth can make it harder to speak effectively. With dentures, this problem dissapears. Of course, it takes a small amount of adjustment, but our patients in and around Orange County have found that both partial and full dentures have a marked affect on their ability to speak clearly.

Eat the Foods You Love

Far too often, patients tend to avoid the foods they love because they simply can’t eat them anymore due to the condition of their teeth. Dentures also fix this issue. When you’ve adjusted to your dentures, there’s no need to avoid your favorite foods. After some adjustment and practice, chewing is easier, more natural, and more effective, and you don’t need to chew on a single side of your mouth.

Look Younger 

Missing teeth doesn’t just affect your confidence, speech, and ability to eat. It will also make you look older by altering your facial structure. Without teeth to fill-out your mouth and face, your appearance can often look collapsed, with wrinkled that form around your mouth. With dentures to support your facial structure – this doesn’t happen.

 

Are you curious about how dentures will work for you? Our denture dentists in Downey can answer any questions you might have. 

 

When a Dental Bridge Isn’t the Best Option

For many years, dental bridges have been a solution of choice for dental patients of all ages (except, of course, children who still have their baby teeth). While dental implants have become incredibly popular for their benefits, dental bridges – with new technology, great aesthetics, and tough durability continue to be an economical and effective way to replace teeth. Years ago, patients could expect their dental bridge to need to be replaced within 5 or 6 years. However, today it’s not unheard of for a patient who takes good care of their dental bridge, to keep it for years and years.

At our dental practice in Downey, CA we install a lot of dental bridges. They are still a great solution for many patients, especially when budget is a factor.  However, sometimes a dental bridge isn’t the best solution.

One of the most common dental issues that patients experience is loss or damage to a front tooth. This leads to many patients who search for answers regarding dental bridges and dental implants for replacing an unsightly front tooth that can often be an uncomfortable blow to their confidence.

In many cases, a patient who’s been having problems with their front teeth will often have had one or multiple endodontic treatments in the area. When this happens, further endodontic treatment can often lead to less-than-positive results. In these cases, your dentist will often recommend a dental implant over a dental bridge. This is because the bridge requires that we cut and prepare the healthy adjacent teeth. Not only does this make them harder to clean and care for, but we rarely want to “bother” healthy teeth (and shorten their natural, healthy life) just to save another tooth. Meanwhile, a dental implant only impacts the problem tooth (not it’s neighbors).

Are there any other situations where a dental bridge isn’t recommended?

In general, whenever the neighboring teeth are healthy and haven’t been filled or repaired in the past – a dental bridge is generally not recommended. Think of it this way: if a dental bridge makes teeth harder to care for while replacing an existing tooth that’s already too far gone – there’s a greater chance that those healthy teeth could go the same route in the future. As the saying goes: it’s best to leave “well enough alone!”.

Do you have questions about dental bridges and how they might be able to help improve your smile? Our dentists in Orange County can help! Get in touch today to learn how.

Why Kids Sometimes Need Root Canal Treatment

If you just got the news that your child’s dentist has recommended they get root canal treatment for a painful and infected tooth – you might be wondering “Why?” After all, a root canal is a procedure used to clean out infection in order to save a permanent tooth, and kids’ baby teeth are far from permanent, right?

Yes, and no. In our dental practice in Downey, root canal treatment for children, while rare, is definitely not unheard of.

Saving Baby Teeth is Important, Too

Your dentist isn’t trying to trick you. There are actually some important reasons why a child might need a root canal. In fact, saving a baby tooth can sometimes be just as vital as saving a permanent, adult tooth.

It all comes down to preparing for the future. Losing a baby tooth too early can severely impact chewing, speech, and the proper development of adult teeth (which is the major concern). Everyone has a friend who had a slight speech impediment in their young age. Typically, those issues go away on their own. However, problems stemming from misalignment that began at an early age due to untimely loss of baby teeth can last for years if they’re not corrected, and could lead to a need for braces when they might have not been needed otherwise.

Every baby tooth your child has acts as a place-holder for adult teeth. They hold the space open so that when adult teeth are ready to emerge behind them – the spacing and placement is right. When missing teeth create a gap too early, other teeth can have the time to shift into its place, which can (and will) eventually change the alignment of adult teeth.

If a baby tooth is severely infected, and needs root treatment – or if a new permanent tooth erupts with nerve damage  – your dentist may very well recommend root canal treatment to both minimize future problems and relieve the pain for your child.

 

Many times, this doesn’t mean your child didn’t take care of their teeth – often, it’s just the luck of the draw (or luck of the “eruption”).

Have questions about pediatric dentistry and root canals in Orange County? We’re here to help! Schedule a consultation today to get all the details on kids, teeth, and the best choices to make for years to come.

When Should My Child Get Braces? And Other Questions about Orthodontics

When it comes to our children, it’s no surprise that parents can get a bit concerned with health, appearance, and the many connected emotions that go along with it – like confidence and self esteem.

So, when it comes to deciding on braces for your children – it’s only natural that a number of questions arise. As long-time dentists in Downey, CA – we completely understand! Braces are a big investment, but they can also be an incredibly necessary investment that’s far more than just cosmetic. They will do more than just straighten the teeth, they’ll prevent bite issues, ensure future teeth come in properly, and improve your child’s confidence.

Of course, there are a number of questions that parents often ask when it comes to braces for their children. For the answers to a few of the most common ones, please feel free to read on (and remember: if you have questions and live in the Orange County area, our dentists in Orange County team is here to help!)

“When Should My Child Get Braces?”

As is the case with many things, timing is everything. That’s no difference with braces. Your dentist will typically recommend your child see the orthodontist around age 7 or 8. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that’s when your child needs to get braces. Many times, parents and dentists wait a couple years to see how the teeth change as they come in.  In fact, one of the reasons that brace treatment often lasts longer than it should (12 months to 24 or 30 months) is because the braces were placed before a child’s baby teeth were completely lost, or because they placed before 12 year molars had a chance to erupt.

So, the answer is a bit different for every child. All it takes, however, is a short consultation – and the answers are just around the corner.

 

“Does overbite always need to be fixed?”

Many patients have an over-bite, but still have perfectly fine looking teeth. Sometimes, it’s not even a small overbite. This can often lead parents and patients to wonder does it even need to be fixed? The answer to that is – “not all the time!”

The primary reason we fix overbite is because it can sometimes prevent the lower jaw from having enough space to successfully open and close without conflicting with the upper teeth. As a result your brain forces your jaw to help avoid the teeth colliding, which can lead to jaw disfunction known as “TMD” – or temporomandibular joint dysfunction. So no, overbite doesn’t always require treatment – but you should consult with your dentist to be sure, and to prevent problems in the future. Like they always say – you don’t have to fix a limp, but if you walk on it for 20 years you’re going to have problems from compensating.

“Do genetics influence a need for braces?”

Sometimes, a need for braces can come from early tooth loss, over-reliance on pacifiers, bottle feeding, and thumbsucking. However, bad habits aren’t all it takes to need braces. More often than not – misalignment and crooked teeth are genetic. If a family member needed braces, there’s a good chance their children may need braces too.

Have questions about braces? We have answers! Our dentists have been helping patients in Downey, CA get brilliant smiles for years. Contact us today to learn how braces might help your children

 

 

Cleidocranial Dysplasia, Stranger Things, and Other Reasons a Child Might need Dentures

If you’re like more than 8.2 million other people around the world, there’s a good chance that you’ve spent some time with Netflix’s hit new show Stranger Things.  If you have, there’s a good chance you’ve also become familiar with cleidocranial dysplasia – a little known condition that people have gotten to know thanks to one of the show’s teen star’s – Gaten Matarazzo
gaten-dentures-dysplasia
Gaten Matarazzo, is one of the stars of Netflix’s hit new series “Stranger Things”. He also just so happens to prove that even one of the rarest dental disorders can’t stop you from doing great things!

Of course, since cleidocranial Dysplasia is one of the rarer dental disorders – most of our dental patients in Orange County don’t have to worry about the disorder. But if you do happen to have this rare genetic disorder – you can lean on the knowledge that NO, it doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you love. Part of the reason for that, is dentures. As you can see: this young child star is living proof that dentures definitely aren’t just for the elderly – a fact that our dentists in Downey frequently remind patients who, for one reason or another, need to consider them to replace missing teeth for any reason.

young-kid-dentures-stranger-things
Now you see them, now you don’t! Here’s the actor with his dentures in. You can hardly notice the difference.

But What Causes This Disorder in the First Place? And What Can Be Done

For the most part, this disorder affects the growth an development of both bones and teeth. The most common affect is underdeveloped or absent collarbones in patients, which allows those affected to bring their shoulders incredibly close together. In fact, a wide range of symptoms are common, ranging from shorter height, eyes that are wider set, a flatter nose, and – as many know now – abnormal teeth.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot that can be done to “cure” the disorder. After about 5 years of age, many patients will require surgical correction to make sure the affects of the deformation don’t get any worse. Other times, if the skull is under-developed, a patient might require protective headgear to protect them from injury. In the case of a patients teeth – dentures or dental implants are often the best best.
This just goes to show that dentures, while traditionally only worn by the elderly can successfully restore smiles for kids – even the kind that go on to star in one of the year’s most popular TV shows.
Do you have questions about dentures or dental disorders? Our Experts are here to to help!

Should You Get Traditional Braces or Invisalign?

When you speak, when you laugh, when you smile – it’s hard not to show your teeth. Even in the animal kingdom, the act of bearing teeth can mean a wide variety of things in a wide variety of contexts – so it’s only natural for us humans to feel a bit vain about our teeth. In the past, we’ve covered in-office teeth whitening, solutions for teeth replacement, and dentures. But today, we’ll be talking about the straightness of your teeth.
Teeth become crooked or misaligned in the first place for a few different reasons, which can range from genetics and diet, to habits that develop from infancy (like thumbsucking, or an over-reliance on pacifiers). While it’s hard for scientists to pinpoint why some children inexplicably develop straighter teeth than others, certain habits – like those mentioned above – can definitely have an impact. Like anything, when these problems aren’t solved early on – they tend to exist later in life as well. This can lead some parents and patients at our Downey dental office to wonder, “well aren’t they just baby teeth?” Which is a common misconception. The reality is that in addition to helping children eat and speak, baby teeth also serve as a guide-post for future adult teeth. If baby teeth are misaligned or crooked – there’s a good chance that the “adult” teeth that come in afterwards (and adjacent to them) aren’t going to be perfectly straight, which is a problem that can cause something of a snowball effect around the mouth.
But it’s not just young teeth that can fall out of line. Adults who have never had a problem with alignment or crooked teeth can run into problems too if certain issues don’t get taken care of. For example, if you’ve lost a tooth – it’s not just important to get it replaced for cosmetic reasons, but also because it can encourage other nearby teeth to fall out of line.
So, if you do have teeth that have become crooked or misaligned over time – you’re probably wondering, “Do I go with Invisalign or traditional braces.” Well, the answer there depends.
While the treatment times with both solutions are, more or less, comparable – the two procedures have some distinct differences and benefits.
The Benefits of Traditional Dental Braces
 
Traditional dental braces are a tried and true solution for all sorts of alignment and straightness problems. While Invisalign can work wonders, and our dentists in Downey have used a number of techniques to enable them to accomplish some pretty remarkable adjustments, dental braces are capable of fixing even some of the most complex occlusion, bite, and alignment problems where Invisalign might otherwise fall short. So, if you have severe alignment problems, crookedness, or large gaps – traditional braces might be the ticket. Better yet, many adults who get braces (and would prefer something less noticeable) opt for clear braces – which can significantly reduce the visual impact of the braces while you have them.
 
The Benefits of Invisalign
Invisalign can work great when it comes to adjustments that aren’t too drastic. Slight adjustments to straightness and alignment can definitely be handled by Invisalign. However, when it comes to more serious adjustments (ones that tend to impact the functionality of your teeth, on top of their appearance), that’s where traditional braces are often recommended. However, for those patients with aesthetic problems that don’t tend to have an impact on the way the teeth help with chewing or speaking – Invisalign retainers are an incredible and almost invisible solution that many adults prefer for the way they can quickly and discretely boost confidence with straighter, more perfect teeth.

What it Means When Your Teeth Hurt

“My teeth hurt!” 

You hear the cry. It’s followed by a series of wimpers (or even wails) and maybe a cough, and the pitter-patter of footsteps, coming to announce a potentially expensive dental problem. . While the common cold or a simple headache isn’t likely to cause a great deal of concern for the average parent – dental problems tend to cause ears (and checkbooks) to perk up.

First, don’t panic! In fact, in many cases teeth that hurt could actually point toward something completely unrelated to teeth at all. Take it from our dentists in Downey, California – we’ve seen a number of patients who thought they had a problem with one of their teeth, but it was really just the family doctor and an antibiotic they needed.

Sinus Infection

If you or your child has been sick, you’re feeling congestion, and teeth feel like they hurt – there’s a good chance that it might be sinusitis – or an infection in your sinuses. This happens because mucus build-up provides a great environment for bacteria to thrive. Unfortunately, nerves in this area can also make your teeth sore. See your doctor before your dentist and you might save a trip! In the meantime, you can lean on an OTC anti-inflammatory medication, pain relievers, and plenty of water.

Angina

Angina is a chest pain that, essentially, causes a shortage of blood reaching the heart. Angina isn’t actually a condition, however, and is more a symptom of coronary artery disease. In addition to chest-pain, angina can also cause pain in and around the teeth and jaw.  If you ever experience pain like this, see your doctor (especially if you’re experiencing chest pain).

You have an Ear Infection

When you have a sinus infection, the nerves in the area can sometimes cause pain that seems like it comes from your teeth. In the same way, an infection in your ear can also manifest as pain in your teeth. This can especially be true if you’re experiencing dental pain on the same side of your head as your ear infection. Our dentists in Downey frequently see patients who are experiencing ear infections who also mistakenly think they have a cavity or other related dental problem.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or looking for advice on your own teeth or your child’s teeth, please don’t hesitate to contact our team! We’ve served patients in Orange County for years, and if your teeth are at the heart of the problem – we’ll fix it!

 

Single-Tooth Implants vs. Bridge Implants

If you’re in the position where you need to replace a tooth that’s either been knocked out by injury or affected by infection or deep decay – it’s only natural that you want a solution that restores your smile reliably and functionally.

While dental bridges have long been a method of choice – and still work well, dental implants and crowns have become a method of choice, our dentists in Downey, CA tend to agree. So let’s take a look at why.

The advantages of a single implant over a dental bridge

While a dental bridge uses adjacent, healthy teeth to support an artificial tooth over the gums, dental implants are a little different – and actually replace both the tooth and its root.

On top of this, a dental implant also looks and feels like one of your natural teeth – and it doesn’t sacrifice the health of adjacent teeth like a dental bridge requires. This is because the adjacent teeth need to be filed and prepared for dental crowns, which support the portion of the bridge that replaces the tooth (the pontic).

But that’s not all. Because the dental implant replaces the root of the tooth with a biocompatible titanium post, the bone remains engaged – keeping the jaw bone healthy and strong for years and years to come.

When it comes to cleaning, a dental implant is also often preferred due to ease of cleaning, which in turn impacts its longevity.

Have questions about replacing your teeth? Don’t worry! 

Our dental team in Downey, CA has years of experience when it comes to replacing teeth in the best way possible. That means considering your history, your injury, and your budget and doing everything to provide an implant or bridge that works for you. Have questions? Contact us today.  We can help!