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thousand oaks

What affects the cost of dental fillings?

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What affects the cost of dental fillings?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

If you've ever looked at an invoice after dental treatment, you may have noticed that the cost of dental fillings varies from tooth to tooth. In general, the billing prices of fillings are affected by three factors: the material, the location of the tooth in the mouth and the number of surfaces to be filled. Read on to learn how and why the different rates are calculated!

All dental procedures are categorized using the Current Dental Terminology codes, which are maintained by the American Dental Association. These codes allow standardization of information between dental offices, patients and insurance agencies. In regards to dental fillings, these codes can specify the location, surfaces and material used for the restoration. Generally, the number of surfaces to be filled has the biggest impact on final cost. A filling that requires three surfaces is typically more challenging and time consuming than a single surface restoration. This does not account for the size or depth of the cavity to be filled, but merely the number of tooth walls that are to be repaired. The type of dental fillings also affects the price. Materials that are more difficult to place (such as tooth colored "composite" fillings) are typically charged at a somewhat higher rate than others. Finally, the location in the mouth has some affect on filling prices. Fillings towards the back of the mouth tend to be larger and more difficult to place, and thus are coded at a higher rate. 

At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we maintain treatment rates that are on-average with the Thousand Oaks area. However, we must urge against the pitfalls of choosing a dentist based on prices alone. You should choose an office that fits best with you and your family's specific needs. If you would like to know more about dental fillings, crowns or other dental procedures, please give our office a call!

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Dental Questions: Does every tooth need a crown after a root canal?

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Dental Questions: Does every tooth need a crown after a root canal?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

As a rule of thumb, if you have a root canal performed on a tooth, you should expect to have a crown placed afterwards. Crowns help restore the structure and rigidity to a tooth after it has been "hollowed out" by the root canal process. In a few instances, a dentist may not recommend placing a crown on a tooth as part of definitive treatment. However, these cases are certainly the exception, and not the rule. 

To perform a root canal, an opening has to be created to access the nerve space within the tooth. This involves removing important structural components of the dental enamel, and thus rendering the tooth much more likely to fracture. A crown remedies this problem by creating a solid cap around the tooth that braces it against biting and chewing forces. Root canal treated teeth also frequently require buildups to replace lost tooth structure and posts to resist against lateral and shearing forces. The cost and time investment of these treatments need to be considered when you choose to have a root canal performed. Without them, the tooth has an much higher chance of breaking during normal use. 

In some cases, a dentist will not recommend placing a crown on a root canal treated tooth. Depending on how the patient bites and how much natural tooth structure remains, anterior (front) teeth do not always need crowns. Because they are not primary chewing teeth, the front teeth tend to deal with much less force than the canines, premolars or molars. Additionally, teeth opposing (biting into) dentures or teeth that have nothing to chew against may not need crowns after root canal treatment. In these instances, there is not enough force generated to put the weakened tooth at risk. 

In general, expect to need a crown placed as part of completing your root canal treatment. At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we do our best to inform patients of their complete treatment needs- from start to finish. If you would like to learn more about root canals, crowns, fillings or cavities, please give our office a call!

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Dental Questions: Why does it take two weeks to make a crown?

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Dental Questions: Why does it take two weeks to make a crown?

ThousandOaksFamilyDentistry.com

In today's world of on demand service, it may seem strange that a dental crown takes two weeks to make. Your confusion is probably compounded by news of "same day" crowns available at some dental offices. The reality is that many crowns are created (at least partially) by hand and take time, expertise and effort. Read on to learn how dental labs recreate and help replace lost teeth. 

After your first crown appointment, there is typically a two week wait until the new restoration is ready to be cemented to your tooth. In this time, a lab has to receive the impression, create a stone model and make a wax replica of your tooth. While many offices are using computer aided design and digital scanners to simplify this process, most of it is still done by hand to some degree. Converting the wax replica to metal, zirconia, porcelain, or other ceramics involves delicate processing and layering to maintain the initial structure. Finally, most crowns are colored and glazed (textured) by hand to expertly match them to the adjacent teeth. Currently, there is no computer or machine that can visually blend a tooth color to the rest of the mouth like a skilled lab technician. 

Some dental offices currently offer "same day" or "one visit" dental crowns. Here, a digital impression is taken after your tooth is prepared and the crown is milled out of a ceramic block while you wait. You will leave the office that same day with your permanent crown cemented. While this technology is fantastic in some applications and has a very promising future, our office feels that it needs a little more refining before we offer it to our patients. Studies show that the margins (where the tooth and crown meet) can be less precise with these digitally milled crowns. Additionally, many machines require additional tooth structure to be removed in order to create a shape that is compliant with the milling process. Overall, there is nothing wrong with this style of dental crown, but we feel the benefits of using a lab created restoration outweigh the drawbacks of a waiting period. 

Dental crown placement is one of the most common procedures carried out at dental offices nation wide. At our office, we specialize in creating crowns that are beautiful, functional and feel natural in your mouth. If you would like to know more about crowns, veneers, fillings or other dental procedures, please give our office a call!

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Case Presentation: Smile Improvement Using Crowns and Veneers

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Case Presentation: Smile Improvement Using Crowns and Veneers

ThousandOaksFamilyDentistry

In dentistry, many small changes can add up to make a huge difference! Today's patient came to our office dissatisfied with the uneven appearance of their front teeth. Note how the left central incisor has a large chip while the two lateral incisors are very different shapes. Additionally, the teeth do not have a uniform color shade, causing the crown on the patient's right central incisor to stick out noticeably.

Dr. Kari Ann Hong used a combination of three new zirconia veneers and a full zirconia crown on the right central incisor to create a matching shape and color across all the anterior teeth. She also provided minimal recontouring to the gums around the right incisor to create a more symmetric gum line. The result is an undeniably more natural smile! If you would like to know about the services we offer and what Dr. Hong can do for your smile, please give our office a call!

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Pediatric and Orthodontic Offices We Work With

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Pediatric and Orthodontic Offices We Work With

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Providing care for children is one of the most challenging and sensitive aspect of dentistry. Kids react to the office setting within an entire spectrum of behavior; from eager and inquisitive to scared and frustrated. We have designed our office to be as welcoming as possible for your young ones with toys, cable TV (Nick, Nick Jr., Disney, etc.) and even a dedicated kid's room (seen in the background of the title photo). Still, there are times that we need to rely on our network of specialists to best meet the needs of your individual child. 

We are proud to work with Dr. Ahsan Raza of 1000 Oaks Children's Dental Group. On top of specialized behavioral management techniques, Dr. Raza prides himself in being an extremely communicative and personal pediatric dentist. He uses a number of techniques, ranging from education to sedation to ensure the best possible dental outcomes. Your kids will love his spaceship themed office too!

In terms of orthodontic offices, we are proud to work with Doctors Nagel Sr. and Nagel Jr. of Nagel Orthodontics and Dr. William Hang of Face Focused Orthodontics. Norm and Jeffrey Nagel bring together over 40 years of experience in orthodontics and pride themselves in combining the best parts of digital and hands-on dentistry. Likewise, Dr. Hang has spent his career developing the Face Focused program, an orthodontic system that develops straight teeth while respecting posture and opening airways. 

If you would like to know more about our fantastic network of specialists, please give us a call. We want our patients to know they are in good hands, whether with us or one of our specialists.

Link to Dr. Raza's office

Link to Dr. Nagel and Nagel's office

Link to Dr. Hang's office

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Dental Questions: Why do we put braces on baby teeth?

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Dental Questions: Why do we put braces on baby teeth?

You may have heard of a relatively new orthodontic technique that involves putting braces on baby teeth. This treatment probably sounds absurd- trying to create a perfect and straight smile only to have the teeth fall out within a few years. On the contrary, this routine (known as interceptive orthodontics) is  a very effective method for developing a life-long beautiful smile. 

Interceptive orthodontics take advantage of the fact that toddlers and young children still have developing bones in their face and jaws. Here, braces and orthodontic appliances tend to have a more drastic effect and can correct defects and malocclusions (conditions where the teeth are misaligned) more robustly. They are almost always used as part of a two stage treatment plan- where earlier braces help create symmetrical and properly sized jaws and later phases create the straight and cosmetically pleasing smile. Overall, this combined approach leads to less time in orthodontics versus single phase treatment. 

Not every child needs interceptive orthodontics or will be a good candidate. If your orthodontist recommends early braces, it is part of a long term plan towards your child's best dental health. If you have any more questions about interceptive orthodontics or how they are used, give our office a call! 

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