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cosmetic dentistry

Dental Questions: Does Invisalign work for everyone?

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Dental Questions: Does Invisalign work for everyone?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Invisalign (generically known as "clear aligners") is a relatively new orthodontic option for patients who desire straighter teeth. They offer a number of benefits over traditional bracket-and-wire braces, including less visible hardware, easier cleaning and less trauma to the lips and cheeks. However, Invisalign is not necessarily a great choice for everyone. While most patient have needs that can be addressed through clear aligners, it is important to note the limitations of this treatment option. 

For starters, Invisalign needs to be worn at least 20+ hours a day (ideally 22+ hours). If you are unable to adhere to this requirement, your treatment will take much longer. This is one of the primary reasons Invisalign is not recommended for young and poorly compliant kids. It is better to wait until the patient is ready to commit to treatment rather than stay in trays for additional months or years. 

While Invisalign is easier to clean than normal braces, it can pose a higher tooth decay risk for individuals who choose to eat or drink with their trays in (water being the exception). The clear plastic creates a cover that can hold in sugars and carbohydrates while blocking out the remineralizing/protective saliva. Oral hygiene is of utmost importance when considering any appliance, and Invisalign is no exception. 

Finally, there is a small subset of orthodontic conditions that Invisalign either cannot treat or treats very slowly. Severe deviations from normal dentition and drastic tooth movements may be better managed with traditional braces. Here, the wires and brackets can act as anchors on which to push, pull or slide teeth. In certain cases, a combination of Invisalign and other appliances may be needed to achieve an ideal smile. There is only so much a removable device can do in straightening teeth. 

At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we offer Invisalign aligners as a treatment option to our established patients. However, we evaluate each patient individually and decide if their needs are better managed by one of the orthodontists in our specialist network. If you would like to know more about Invisalign, braces or cosmetic dentistry, please give our office a call!

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Case Presentation: Premolar Crown

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Case Presentation: Premolar Crown

thosuandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Premolars can be very difficult teeth to repair. They are both functional (absorbing about half the chewing force of molars) and cosmetic (adding to the "corridors" of the smile). Often times, fillings cannot satisfy all these needs when restoring tooth decay or a fracture. A full coverage crown is usually recommended to provide a solution that will both look great and help protect the underlying tooth. For today's patient, an Emax lithium disilicate crown was used to restore their right first premolar. Notice how the shade and opacity blends in with the enamel of the adjacent teeth. The result is a virtually undetectable dental treatment- good as new!

If you would like to know more about fillings, crowns, implants or veneers please give our office a call. We specialize in providing cosmetic treatments that stand the test of time and would love to discuss your options!

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Cosmetic Incisal Bonding

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Cosmetic Incisal Bonding

ThousandOaksFamilyDentistry.com

Today's patient came to us with a chipped maxillary central incisor that did not extend to the tooth's nerve. They had no symptoms of pain and simply wanted the tooth fixed. This is a very typical dental injury- particularly with young children and patients who play contact sports. The maxillary incisors are the most commonly chipped teeth due to their vulnerable position in the mouth and thin enamel edge. 

After discussing treatment options, we decided to solve the cosmetic concern with composite bonding. Here, filling material is added to the tooth using a special adhesive and bonding technique. Once the restoration was cured to the tooth, Dr. Kari Ann Hong reshaped it to match the contours and length of the neighboring incisor. Since this material closely matches the optical properties of natural teeth, the effect is a natural and unnoticeable restoration!

It is important to note that not every type of chipped tooth can be fixed with composite bonding. Chips extending to the tooth nerve will need a root canal and crown to treat any residual pain and remove the inflamed tissue. Larger chips will also require veneers to reliably replicate large amounts of tooth structure. Finally, certain types of occlusion (the way the teeth come together when you bite) will limit the amount of repair that can actually be done to the teeth. It is impossible to decide what treatment option is best without a complete examination. For more information on dental bonding, crowns, veneers and other cosmetic treatment, please give our office a call!

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Is bleaching safe for your teeth?

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Is bleaching safe for your teeth?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Every year, millions of patients worldwide bleach their teeth using various products. Whether prescribed by a dentist or purchased over-the-counter, almost every effective whitening method utilizes some type of peroxide gel. When used correctly, they are all safe and effective ways to lighten the color of your teeth. Read on to catch the full story!

Peroxides (hydrogen peroxide, carbamide peroxide, etc.) whiten teeth by breaking down the pigmented compounds in the tooth's dentin layer (between the enamel and pulp). To reach this space, these products rely on opening up small gaps in the dentin called microtubules. This can cause a temporary sensitivity to air and cold liquids. However, the tubules quickly re-mineralize and close in a matter of hours. For cases of extreme sensitivity, we may recommend extra fluoride applications to dull the ache. 

Research shows that whitening causes no long term negative effects on teeth. However, prescription strength whitening procedures (zoom whitening or custom bleach trays) have the potential to irritate or discolor the gum tissue. This is why it is important to follow the dentist's directions carefully. It is also important to note that over whitening can cause the teeth to have a blue tint that many patients find undesirable. 

When performed correctly, whitening is an easy and convenient way to improve the cosmetics of your smile. If you would like to discuss your tooth whitening options, please give our office a call!

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Complete Smile Makeover!

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Complete Smile Makeover!

Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry- Veneers BY.jpg

What makes a perfect smile "pop?"

Today's patient came to our office wanting a smile that exuded natural beauty. Their existing teeth had a general "flat" appearance with uneven wear on the edges. Younger/cosmetically desirable teeth tend to have more variance in shape between adjacent teeth and more symmetry across the midline. Each tooth has unique anatomic features, and a great smile captures these subtle differences!

To create this transformation, Dr. Kari Ann Hong prepared the patient's anterior teeth (from canine to canine) for dental crowns. Impressions were taken and sent to Opus One Dental Lab where six crowns were fashioned from Emax lithium disilicate material. Emax allows us to make hyper-realistic crowns that capture the translucency and shading of natural enamel while remaining resistant to fracture. The result is absolutely stunning! If you would like to know more about dental crowns, smile esthetics or cosmetic dentistry, please give our office a call!

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Perfecting Incisors using Emax Crowns

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Perfecting Incisors using Emax Crowns

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

One of the most common dental anomalies is underdeveloped lateral incisors. Often referred to as peg laterals, this condition typically presents as two lateral incisors that look smaller and mismatched when compared to the central incisors. For today's patient, Dr. Kari Ann Hong chose to correct the cosmetics of this smile using two beautiful Emax lithium disilicate crowns.

Since the incisors were already undersized, only a minimal amount of tooth structure had to be removed in fitting the crown. By working with Opus One Dental Lab a near perfect match was made to the natural central incisors. Notice the delicate translucency near the edges of the teeth and harmonious shape. We even captured the pronounced developmental grooves (called mamelons) on the central incisors. The result is a beautiful smile that looks more natural than the "before" shot!

If you would like to know more about the cosmetic services we offer at Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry and what we can do for your smile, please give our office a call!

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Case Presentation: Invisalign Orthodontics

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Case Presentation: Invisalign Orthodontics

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Invisalign has made straight teeth a reality for a new generation of adult patients. While traditional braces may not be an option due to esthetic concerns or professional requirements, clear aligners can provide similar results with no visible hardware. In today's patient, Invisalign trays were used to correct minor crowding and spacing issues in the anterior teeth. Notice how the maxillary and mandibular incisors now follow even paths with minimal overlap.

At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we provide Invisalign treatment for long time patients of record with mild orthodontic needs. Severe crowding, cross-bites and complicated spacing issues deserve the attention of an orthodontist. Additionally, it is important to note that Invisalign cannot achieve all the results of traditional braces. Some tooth movements are simply impossible without traditional wires and brackets. To get the whole picture, please visit our office for an exam and consultation!

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Case Presentation: Repairing Periodontal Damage

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Case Presentation: Repairing Periodontal Damage

According to a recent study put out by the CDC, about half of American adults are affected by periodontal disease. As this condition progresses, the gums and bones recede away from the teeth, eventually leading to their loss. While deep cleanings and medications can stop the spread of the disease, nothing short of extensive surgery can replace lost bone and gums. 

In today's patient, periodontal disease had left them with three lost mandibular incisors and deficient gum levels. Due to the thin nature of bone at the front of the mandible and damage from disease, there was only enough structure to place one implant. Fortunately, by working with the experts at Opus One Dental Labs we were able to create a beautiful three tooth bridge complete with mock gums. Restorations like this have to be designed very carefully to protect the implant and prevent rotation/unscrewing. The end result looks phenomenal and functions just like natural teeth! If you would like to know more about what we can do with implants, please give our office a call!

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Case Presentation: Anterior Crowns

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Case Presentation: Anterior Crowns

Everyone wants beautiful and uniform teeth, but can you create a smile too "perfect?" In these before pictures, notice how this patient's teeth are smooth, consistently colored and similar in shape. While these qualities sound good on paper, they add up to a less than natural looking smile. We replaced the older porcelain and metal crowns with brand new Emax lithium disilicate restorations. The incisors were lengthened to fill out the smile line and gentle variations were added to the fronts of the teeth. Additionally, the translucent nature of Emax reacts to ambient light similarly to natural teeth. These small changes better mimic real dental enamel, and thus create a more life-like smile. 

If you would like to know more about our cosmetic dental services, please contact our office. We pride ourselves in creating beautiful smiles customized to the individual patient's wants and needs. Schedule an exam today!

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Zirconia Crown and Bridge Replacement

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Zirconia Crown and Bridge Replacement

Subtle changes can have powerful effects in cosmetic dentistry! Check out the crowns and bridge patient's before photos. The opaque shade and rounded features gave these teeth a definite "chiclet" appearance. Additionally, gum recession had left the teeth with dark lines surrounding their bases that contrasted with the white porcelain. By working with the Opus One Dental Laboratory, we were able to create new crowns with more lifelike shape and translucency. Even with similar color shades, the new crowns/bridge look infinitely more natural and beautiful in this patient's mouth. 

If you would like to know more about the amazing transformations we can achieve with crowns, bridges, implants and veneers, give our office a call. We specialize in providing the highest quality dentistry with a personal touch. Come see what Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry can do for you!

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