Dentures If you’ve lost all of your natural teeth, whether from periodontal disease, tooth decay or injury, complete dentures can replace your missing teeth and your smile. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. Without support from the denture, facial muscles sag, making a person look older. You’ll be able to eat and speak—things that people often take for granted until their natural teeth are lost.

There are various types of complete dentures:

  • A conventional full denture is made and placed in the patient’s mouth after the remaining teeth are removed and tissues have healed which may take several months.
  • An immediate complete denture is inserted as soon as the remaining teeth are removed.The dentist takes measurements and makes models of the patient’s jaws during a preliminary visit. With immediate dentures, the denture wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period.
  • Natural Looking Cosmetic Dentures - Instead of traditional plastic prosthetic teeth, natural looking cosmetic dentures are made with modern ceramic porcelain teeth. The dentures are usually individually crafted, and look more like real teeth than the plastic variety. Cosmetic dentures also have a more natural looking support structure, and though they may cost a bit more than conventional dentures, they are truly difficult to distinguish from real teeth.
  • Partial Denture - For those who have lost some teeth, but don't want to get dental implants or bridges, partial dentures are an affordable option. Removable partial dentures are held in place by natural teeth, gums, and a connective structure made of plastic and metal.
Dentures are designed to have the look and feel of natural teeth
The 21st century offers a much more natural choice of colors for artificial gums and teeth
Advanced dental materials create dentures that are more comfortable, more durable and fit better than your parents and grandparents ever imagined
Dental Hygiene

Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean in order to prevent dental problems and bad breath.

We customize cleanings on the basis of your periodontal, (gums and bone), health. We utilize medicated gels along with prescription mouth rinses in problem areas if necessary. Ultrasonic scalers are sometimes used to make the procedure more comfortable and effective as well.

  • Interdental Brushing - Periodontologists nowadays prefer the use of interdental brushes to dental floss. Apart from being more gentle to the gums, it also carries less risk for hard dental tissue damage. There are different sizes of brushes that are recommended according to the size of the interdental space.
  • Flossing - The use of dental floss is an important element of the oral hygiene, since it removes the plaque and the decaying food remains stuck between the teeth. This food decay and plaque cause irritation to the gums, allowing the gum tissue to bleed more easily. Flossing for a proper inter-dental cleaning is recommended at least once per day, preferably before bedtime, to help prevent receding gums, gum disease, and cavities between the teeth.
  • Gum Care - Massaging gums is generally recommended for good oral health. Flossing is recommended at least once per day, preferably before bed, to help prevent receding gums, gum disease, and cavities between the teeth.
  • Oral Irrigation -Oral irrigators get what tooth brushes and floss can't reach - 3-4 mm under the gum line - the jet stream is not strong enough to remove plaque and tartar.

Fillings

Thanks to advances in modern dental materials and techniques, dentists have more ways to create pleasing, natural-looking smiles. Dental researchers are continuing their often decades-long work developing materials, such as ceramics and polymer compounds that look more like natural teeth. As a result, dentists and patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth.

With so many choices, how do you know what's right for you? To help you better understand what's available, here are the advantages and disadvantages of commonly used dental restorations. The ultimate decision about what to use is best determined by the patient in consultation with the dentist. Before your treatment begins, discuss the options.

Composite Fillings
  • Composite Fillings - Composite fillings are a mixture of glass or quartz filler in a resin medium that produces a tooth-colored filling. They are sometimes referred to as composites or filled resins. Composite fillings provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small-to-mid size restorations that need to withstand moderate chewing pressure. Less tooth structure is removed when the dentist prepares the tooth, and this may result in a smaller filling than that of an amalgam. Composites can also be "bonded" or adhesively held in a cavity, often allowing the dentist to make a more conservative repair to the tooth.
  • Parl Desert Family Dental is a metal-free office and do not use any kind of metals.
Implants

Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.

Implants offer stability because they fuse to your bone. Integration of the implants into your jaw also helps your replacement teeth feel more natural and some people also find the secure fit more comfortable than conventional substitutes

Implants are prescribed to replace a missing tooth or teeth. An implant post is surgically placed into the area where the tooth is missing. In a few months bone will fuse to the implant. A customized crown or bridge is permanently cemented to the implant. Implants restore the natural beauty, function, and health of teeth.

Inlays

Inlays are indirect fillings pre-made in a dental lab and must be permanently cemented by a dentist. Fillings are different from indirect fillings in that they are soft to begin with and set in the mouth. As opposed to an onlay (the other type of indirect filling) which sits on the tooth and builds up its shape inlays fit into the space left after a cavity or old filling has been removed.

Inlays are generally made in tooth-coloured porcelain but are also made in gold or composite materials. Inlays are far more durable than fillings don’t require much of the actual tooth structure to be removed in order to place them and actually increase the strength of the tooth by up to 75% preventing further decay. Since inlays are made outside the mouth they are usually very strong and last up to thirty years. Inlays are aesthetically pleasing as they can be made to match the tooth color and as such don’t draw attention.

Applying an inlay is a two visit dental procedure. During the first visit the tooth decay or old filling material will be removed. A mold of the tooth and adjacent teeth is taken and sent to a dental lab. In the meantime a temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth. During the second appointment the dentist will cement the inlay in place making any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable bite.

Decayed teeth may require an inlay to restore strength and health to the natural tooth structure. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed from the sound tooth structure. An inlay is fabricated to match the look and feel of your natural teeth. This restoration often resembles a puzzle piece. In most cases the restoration will completely blend into the natural tooth structure.

Periodontal (Gum) Diseases

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket: generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.

Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.

Gingivitis
(bleeding gums)
Periodontitise
Advanced Periodontitis
Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

  • Tobacco smoking or chewing
  • Systemic diseases such as diabetes
  • Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Crooked teeth
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives

 

Several warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Root Canal Treatment

Once upon a time, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you'd probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called a root canal therapy you may save that tooth. Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth, it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then your dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.

Your restored tooth could last a lifetime, if you continue to care for your teeth and gums. However, regular checkups are necessary. As long as the root(s) of a treated tooth are nourished by the tissues around it, your tooth will remain healthy.

Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!

Tooth with a healthy root.
When decay or damage goes untreated it can result in an infection to the pulp chamber of the tooth
After creating a small opening, very small instruments are used to clean and shape the root canal spaces.
The cleaned spaces are filled with a biocompatible material and specialized cement to ensure complete sealing of the root canals.

What does treatment involve?

Treatment often involves from one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems of the pulp) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed.

Here's how your tooth is saved through treatment:

  1. First, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth.
  2. An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
  3. The pulp is then removed. The root canal(s) is cleaned and shaped to a form that can be filled.
  4. The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
  5. Medications may be put in the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help get rid of germs and prevent infection.
  6. A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits. Your dentist may leave the tooth open for a few days to drain. You might also be given medicine to help control infection that may have spread beyond the tooth.
  7. The pulp chamber and root canals are filled and sealed.
  8. The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal(s) are cleaned and filled.
  9. In the final step, a gold or porcelain crown is usually placed over the tooth. If an endodontist performs the treatment, he or she will recommend that you return to your family dentist for this final step.
  10. The crown of the tooth is then restored.
 

Veneers

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They're made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist.

You should know that this is usually an irreversible process, because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.

Your dentist may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or discolor your veneers such as coffee, tea or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or fracture. But for many people the results are more than worth it.

Veneers are prescribed for damaged, discolored, or broken teeth
The tooth is prepared by eliminating surface structure
After fabrication the veneer is cemented to the prepared tooth
Veneers restore natural beauty and health of teeth
Teeth Whitening

Your smile is important. It's one of the first things you notice when you meet someone. A whiter, brighter smile is beautiful - it can help you feel better about yourself and make a memorable impression.

Your lifestyle and the aging process can stain and darken your teeth. Many things we do on a regular basis can contribute to stained teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine or smoking.

You can take several approaches to whiten your smile:

  • In-office bleaching;
  • At-home bleaching;
  • Whitening toothpastes
  • Before
    After

    Whitening can get your smile looking its best. Non-professional procedures and clinically unproven teeth whitening tips can often lead to unsatisfactory results, you should look for a whitening procedure that is:
    • Fast and convenient
    • Long lasting
    • Low sensitivity
    • Proven to be safe and effective
    • Performed by a Dental Professional

    Palm Desert Family Dental offeres Zoom!, the most advanced whitening system available.

    Zoom in Action

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

Wisdom teeth can cause gum disease, crowding or other damage to adjacent teeth, decay (due to the inability of your toothbrush to keep the area clean), and bone destroying cysts. Pain and swelling are the most common symptoms of problem wisdom teeth. Whether you have obvious symptoms or not, it is important to diagnose existing or potential problems caused by your wisdom teeth.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:

  • Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.
  • There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.
  • A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots

 

Horizontal Impaction is a severe condition that always requires extraction.
Vertical Impaction. In time, vertically impacted teeth may erupt. However, in many cases the process is painful and can damage and crowd adjacent teeth.
Mesial Impaction is the most common condition requiring extraction.
Distal Impaction. The term “distal” simply means that the wisdom tooth is angled back, towards the rear of the mouth.
Bridges

If you're missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. There are options to help restore your smile.

Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviating the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth.

Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. The restoration can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.

Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist

An implant bridge attaches artificial teeth directly to the jaw or under the gum tissue. Depending on which type of bridge your dentist recommends, its success depends on its foundation. So it's very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong.

Bridges are prescribed for damaged, decayed or broken teeth.
The damaged teeth are prepared by eliminating tooth structure.
After fabrication the bridge is cemented to the prepared teeth.
Bridges restore the natural beauty and health of teeth.
Crowns

Crowns are prescribed when a tooth or teeth are too badly decayed, broken or cracked to be easily restored with a filling. Crowns are normally needed for teeth that have had root canals. Crowns are also placed on dental implants to replace missing teeth. Crowns can be made entirely of gold or porcelain fused to a gold substrate for strength and beauty. However, with new technology, crowns can be made entirely from high-strength ceramic and porcelain for beautiful cosmetic results.

With proper care, your new crown will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.

Crowns are prescribed for damaged, decayed, or broken teeth
The tooth is prepared by eliminating surface structure
After fabrication the crown is cemented to the prepared tooth
Crowns restore natural beauty and health of teeth

 

With proper care, your new crown will increase your overall health and instill confidence for years to come.

Digital X-Ray

Digital X-ray has 90% less radiation than old fashioned regular film X-rays. Dental X-ray examinations provide valuable information that your dentist could not collect otherwise. With the help of radiographs (the proper term for pictures taken with X-rays), your dentist can look at what is happening beneath the visible oral tissues. They pose a far smaller risk than many undetected and untreated dental problems. If you have questions about your dental X-ray exam, talk with your dentist.

We use state of the art digital X-rays and digital cameras to help with an accurate diagnosis of any concerns. Digital X-rays use less radiation to get a diagnostic picture of your teeth and they help the environment by eliminating the use of chemicals to process the film.

We also use digital photography to help patient see and understand the procedure.

Digital X-Ray
TMJ Treatments

TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorder, is a condition which is not well understood in cause. The condition involves pain around the jaw joints and difficulty in moving the jaw due to inflammation. Pain and stiffness in the jaw naturally affects eating, talking and swallowing. Therefore, TMJ is a serious medical condition that impacts one’s health and well-being.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction may present with a variety of symptoms. Patients may have complaints of earaches, headaches, neck pain, and limited mouth opening. They may also complain of joint noises such as clicking or grating sounds, or pain when opening and closing the mouth.

Arthritis is one cause of TMJ symptoms. It can result from injury or from abnormal functions such as grinding the teeth. Another common cause involves the dislocation of the disc that is located between the jaw bone and the socket. This may cause popping or clicking sounds, limit jaw movements, and produce pain during opening and closing of the mouth. Other conditions such as trauma or rheumatoid arthritis may lead to fusion or ankylosis of the jaw bone to the skull and limit jaw mobility.

In addition to joint problems, abnormalities in the alignment of teeth or malocclusion (bad bite) which generate disharmony in the movement of the joints, clenching or grinding the teeth due to stress produce painful muscle spasms and difficulty in jaw movement.

TMJ

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