Monthly Archives: June 2015

Taking the Fear out of Wisdom Tooth Extractions: What to Expect with the Dentists at Smiles on Bristol Dentistry Santa Ana

The dentists at Smiles On Bristol Dentistry in Santa Ana, Ca, have a few tips for anyone considering wisdom tooth extractions.  The removal of the wisdom teeth is a very common dental procedure.  Like any surgery, it can have its risks, but in the hands of a well-trained professional, everything should go smoothly.

Wisdom teeth develop roots and begin to emerge during the late teen years and early twenties.  They are the third set of molars in the human mouth.  When our early, early ancestors were eating raw meat and crunching up tough plants, nuts, and seeds, this third set of molars helped them chew the tougher food.  Additionally, dental care was nonexistent and losing teeth was a fairly common occurrence.   The arrival of the wisdom teeth later in life would help to replace missing teeth so early humans could continue eating.

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In modern times, however, food is easily chewed and we deal with the loss of teeth much more directly.  Dental care is now the norm, making the loss of teeth a rarity rather than a daily hazard.  With the jaw still full of teeth, wisdom teeth these days can causing crowding of the other teeth or, worse, not have enough room to fully erupt and get stuck within the gums.  When wisdom teeth get stuck, they are called impacted and can become infected, cause pain, and create periodontal disease in the area.

Some people naturally have jaws with enough space for their wisdom teeth, or they simply never had them.  In these cases good dentists will be able to let their patients know that wisdom teeth extraction is not necessary.  The dentists at Smiles on Bristol Dentistry’s Santa Ana office recommend patients have their wisdom teeth removed before the roots have developed two-thirds of the way.  At this stage, the teeth are much easier to remove because the teeth are in the best placement for extraction, unblocked by other teeth, and the root is weak enough to be pulled out with the least risk of damage.

Many patients do not need their wisdom teeth removed precisely at that time and being able to tell exactly if wisdom teeth will be a problem or not is hard to tell, but the later patients have their teeth removed, the more chance of complications there will be.  This is because the wisdom teeth can move and crowd the other teeth around them.  Should their roots be too close, dentists have to be extra careful to remove the unwanted wisdom tooth without damaging the nearby permanent tooth.  The roots will continue to harden making extracting the tooth more difficult and usually create longer recovering times for the patient.  Additionally persons aged 30 to 40 usually have longer recovery times than younger patients.

Many dentists recommend their patients to an oral surgeon to have their wisdom teeth removed.  This is because wisdom tooth extraction tends to be more complex than general extractions and is considered a surgical procedure.

Oral surgeons will generally offer two anesthesia options to their patients.  All patients will receive local anesthesia to the extraction sites, but patients can also choose between laughing gas and general anesthesia.

Laughing gas has the benefits of removing the possible complications of general anesthesia.  It is well tolerated by most people and can help relieve stress and anxiety about the procedure.  Extractions done with laughing gas also tend to be cheaper than those done with general anesthesia.  The downside to laughing gas, however, is that the patient it awake for the entire procedure.  This adds a bit of extra trouble for the performing surgeon, as awake patients will be more prone to fidgeting and unexpected movements.  Patients are also fully aware of the pressure, vibrations, sounds, and sights that accompany the extraction.

For patients that want to simply go to sleep and wake up when the procedure is all done, they have the option of general anesthesia.  Usually distributed through the body with an IV, general anesthesia puts the patient in a sleep-like state that lasts until the IV is removed.  The patient usually wakes up groggy and will need someone to drive them home as the anesthesia will take a while to fully leave the body. The dentists in Santa Ana at Smiles on Bristol Dentistry suggest patients have someone assist them the rest of the day after surgery to make sure they remember all post-op procedures and take their medicine as prescribed.

All patients will receive a multiday dose of antibiotics to protect the extraction sites from infection.  Most patients will also receive strong pain killers to help them ease any pain while they heal after surgery.  Oral surgeons will discuss with their patients beforehand their recommended dosage of both painkillers and antibiotics depending upon how invasive an extraction is required.  After the initial dose of prescription painkillers, dentists recommend patients who still have pain use the over-the-counter pain medications ibuprofen and Tylenol.

Most people experience facial swelling but it usually subsides within a week.  The Santa Ana dentists advise patients with swelling to keep their heads elevated and to apply ice packs to the area to help soothe the inflammation.

After surgery, patients also need to be careful about what they eat.  For the first couple of days, soft foods like ice cream, smoothies, and yogurt are recommended.  Avoid using a straw, as the sucking can damage the fragile healing sites.  For the five days following surgery, solid foods can be reintroduced, but they should continue to be soft such as scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, pasta, etc.  After that, patients can continue introducing more foods back into their diet but should be careful and go slow!  Until the extraction areas are healed, patients should try to limit their chewing as much as possible.

Santa Ana, California | Dental Implants | Smiles On Bristol Dentistry

Santa Ana, California | Smiles on Bristol Dentistry

Dr. Kalantari On Dental Implants

 

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. banner3

 

Advantages of Dental Implants For You!

  • Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth, and because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
  • Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip
  • Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain
  • Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
  • Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders — such as diabetes or heart disease — or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to Dr. Danial Kalantari to see if they are right for you.

What Is Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?

The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by Dr. Danial Kalantari or Dr. Fernando Arcila, both of whom are trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. Next, the tooth root implant, a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from 6 to 12 weeks. Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post called an abutment is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, Dr. Danial Kalantari will make impressions of your teeth.  The new tooth or teeth are based of this impression. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment. Dr. Danial Kalantari also will match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Coverage by your medical plan may be possible depending on the insurance plan and/or cause of tooth loss. Detailed questions about your individual needs and how they relate to insurance should be discussed with Dr. Danial Kalantari or with a Smiles on Bristol Dentistry team member.

For more information, contact Santa Ana Smiles On Bristol Dentistry at 714-662-2000, visit us at 2502 S. Bristol Street, Santa Ana CA 92704 or visit our site at http://www.SmilesOnBristolDentistry.com

Understanding the Many Types of Dental Surgeries with Santa Ana Smiles on Bristol Dentistry

According to dentists Dr. Daniel Kalantari and Dr. Arcila of Smiles on Bristol Dentistry, when many patients are told they need dental surgery, they often have no idea what that means for them.  There are a number of different types of dental surgery.  A good dentist will walk a patient through all the information before surgery, but in case they do not or patients have further questions, the dentists from Smiles on Bristol Dentistry recommend patients to do their own research.

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Santa Ana Smiles On Bristol Dentistry’s key dentist, Dr. Danial Kalantari, explains that there are five major categories of dental surgeries: Endodontic, Prosthodontics, Orthodontic, Periodontic, and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  Endodontic procedures refer to surgeries involving the root of the tooth.  This includes root canals and apicoectomy.  Every tooth in the mouth has a hollow portion and these are called the root canals.  In the canals are nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. These materials are called dental pulp and are what keeps the tooth alive.  When this dental pulp because infected or inflamed, often due to a nearby cavity, dentists usually perform a Pulpotomy and Pulpectomy.  In a pulpotomy, the dentist opens the tooth to clean out an infection or ease inflammation of the pulp.  When this is not enough, they will perfom a pulpectomy where they remove diseased pulp from the tooth and leave the healthy pulp intact.  They will then apply a medical filling to the tooth to protect the healthy pulp.

When this is not enough, Santa Ana dentists will perform a full root canal, also called endodontic therapy.  This involves opening the tooth and removing all the pulp in the tooth.  Dentists will make sure to clear all the canals in the tooth of infection.  Once santizied, they will fill all the canals of the tooth with an inert substance such as dental cement.   This procedure is used for teeth with deep infections, teeth with a strong likely hood of cracking, and teeth that have a high chance of becoming infected again.  The last step dentists will usually perform to further protect the tooth is to cover the tooth with a crown to further seal it.       If a root canal ends up not being enough for the tooth, dentists may then try apicoectomy where they remove the roots of the teeth and replace it with a biocompatible material.

The next type of dental surgery by Santa Ana dentist, Dr. Kalantari is Prosthodontics which covers dental prosthetics.  This includes crowns, veneers, bridges, implants, dentures, and implant-supported prosthesis.  Crowns are a way to cap the teeth to seal them, reshape them, and protect them from damage.  They are usually made of ceramic, porcelain, gold or a tin/aluminum combination.  They are fit over the original tooth, but the tooth must be reshaped to accommodate the crown.  Veneers are very similar to crowns, except they only cover the front of the tooth and are most often done for aesthetic purposes.

Bridges are used to replace missing teeth, often after an extraction of a permanent tooth.  They are made up on two or more connected crowns to “bridge” across the gap and fill the space of the missing tooth.  Another way to replace missing teeth is with a dental implant.  Dentists place a titanium support into the jaw bone and then the area is let to heal for 4-6 months.  After the healing period an artificial tooth is permanently affixed to the titanium rod either with cement or with a screw.

One of the most well-known dental prosthetics and the most common way to replace a large amount of teeth is with dentures.  Dentures are made up of multiple artificial teeth and can be attached to the mouth either with metal or plastic pieces that attach to the neighboring teeth or with adhesive that attach the dentures to the gums or palate.

The last type of dental prosthetics is a combination of dentures and dental implants called implant-supported prosthesis.  Again, metal supports are put into the jaw and after the area has healed, dentists affix dentures across the multiple supports.

Orthodontic treatment is another area of dental surgery.  The prefix ortho- means straight, upright.  Orthodontics refers to straightening the teeth and moving them to their correct place.  Orthodontic surgery covers any dental surgery that helps to properly align the teeth which can include veneers, implants, and dentures.  It can also cover extractions of the teeth particularly that of the wisdom teeth.  The wisdom teeth often push the normal adult teeth out of position and can cause numerous other problems, therefore most people have their wisdom teeth removed.

Another orthodontic surgery is called fiberotomy where a dentist cuts the gum fibers around a tooth to help prevent the gum from pulling a tooth that has been aligned with orthodontic braces back out of position.  It is most often perform on teeth that have had to be rotated with braces.  The fibers that hold the tooth then get pulled into a twisted position.  After the braces are removed, many times those pulled fibers will try to return to their original position and pull the tooth back.  Cutting the fibers is an effective way to prevent this relapse.

Periodontal surgeries involve the structures that support the teeth including the gums, alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament.  This can include gum grafts, gum trimming, removal of infections and others.  Periodontal surgeries can also overlap other dental surgeries when the periodontal structure have become infected as well or are needed to be manipulated to allow for a certain surgery.

The last area of dental surgery is oral and maxillofacial.  This area does not just cover the mouth, but also pertains to the jaw, face, head, neck, and hard and soft tissues of the mouth.  This area covers a huge range of surgeries that range from cosmetic surgeries such as browlifts and lip enhancements, to more serious treatments such as bone grafts, difficult tooth extractions, fixing cleft palates, and removing cysts and tumors.

Santa Ana Dentist Dr. Danial Kalantari Talks About The Latest 3D Printing For Dentistry

According to experts, Dr. Danial Kalantari and Dr. Arcila of Smiles on Bristol Dentistry, 3D printing is the future of dentistry.  Dentists have been using 3D printing for a while to supplement their production of various objects including metal frameworks for crowns and bridges, for orthodontics, and for replacing traditional impressions.

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A number of areas of 3D printing, however, have not been accessible to dentists.  Meeting the demand, companies around the world have been developing new innovations in dental and medical 3D printing, opening the door to a whole new range of possibilities.

Thanks to CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics), dentists have been able to construct veneers, crowns, and replacement teeth fast enough that the patient can simply wait in their chair.  This method of construction, called milling, involves a machine subtractively sculpting out the new structures from porcelain.  While effective, it lacks the precision and detail able to be afforded by 3D printing.  Until now, 3D printers were too slow to efficiently help patients needing new dental work fast.  However various companies have been developing new 3D printers able to meet the requisite speed.  One such company is Carbon3D whose CEO, Joseph DeSimone, claims has a 3D printer that can print a new tooth in just 6.5 minutes.   Another company based out of Australia, Gizmo 3D has also announced recently that they have developed their own 3D printer with speeds that can compete with Carbon3D.

Digital dentistry has fast been replacing traditional dentistry that requires taking potentially less precise, and more damageable impressions.  Improved scanning technologies allow dentists to get a clear image of all the grooves, bumps, and shapes of individual teeth which is then all recorded digital.  Computers can then use those scans to make much more precise apparatuses for patients tailored completely just for them.  3D printing is the best way to take the precision of digital imaging and translate it into physical objects.

Another 3D printing company, Stratasys, has developed what they are calling Objet260 Dental Selection, another medical 3D printer.   This printer can make not only artificial teeth, but also gums, and nerves.  Its purpose it not for use on patients, but rather as a learning tool for both patients and dentists.  Dentists can use highly realistic 3D printed models of mouths in various conditions to show patients exactly what something they are referring to looks like.  It also allows dental students to experience a wider, more realistic range of dental models to supplement their learning.  It also allows dentists to print highly accurate models of patient mouths, so that their mouths can be assessed in a multitude of ways without the patient needing to sit uncomfortably through extra examinations.