Preventive Dentistry: A Look at Procedures That Could Help You Keep Your Teeth Much Longer

An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of restorative procedures. The old adage may not go exactly like that, but there’s truth behind the intent. It’s not hard to find reasons to keep dental appointments off your calendar. But minor to moderate preventive care early on in the calendar year can help you avoid needed more expensive restorative care later on in the year. Take a look at common preventive are procedures to learn how they can help you steer clear of serious, irreversible damage down the line.

Teeth Cleanings

It starts with food particles and bacteria that turn into plaque, which sticks onto teeth and then hardens into tartar. It continues with the accumulation of tartar on the teeth, down to the roots of teeth, the creation of bacterial pockets between the gums and the teeth. Left unchecked, this spiral of gum disease will continue to devolve until the gums recede and the teeth begin to fall out.

However, a standard dental cleaning, which entails scaling tartar from teeth, can prevent tartar from threatening the health and stability of your teeth and gums.

Fillings and Sealants

Left uncheck, crack and chips and cavities and soft spots can serve as an opening for gum disease and tooth decay. Dental fillings can protect compromised teeth against infection and stop the steady march of tooth decay, while sealants can be used similarly to fortified areas of teeth that have been weakened with cracks in them.

Bruxism (Grinding and Clenching of the Teeth)

Your daytime efforts to maintain your oral health could be undermined by your unconscious actions at night. Clenching and grinding while asleep, known as bruxism, wear down your teeth and shorten their life span. Something as simple as wearing a mouthguard every night could add years to the life of your teeth.

Talk with a dentist in Van Nuys, CA

Reserve an appointment with a local dentist in Van Nuys, CA to learn more about your options for preventive dental care. 

What Dental Technologies Could Improve My Experience at the Dentist’s Office

As dentistry continues to evolve, many of the tools and techniques we grew up with have either been improved or replaced by more efficient, less-invasive treatment option. Unless you run into a dental office that’s living in the past, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised at the new technologies available to make your dental experience comfortable and efficient. Check out some of the dental technologies that might make your next dental appointment much more pleasant than you may have initially anticipated.

Dental Lasers

They have various use cases in a dental setting, but one of the more popular applications of dental lasers is as an alternative to scalpels. To treat receding gums, for example, a scalpel would be used to carefully trim away decaying gum tissue while leaving healthy tissue behind. To treat this same case, a dental laser can do so more efficiently – with much less bleeding and much less discomfort. Dental laser can also be used to cauterize, essentially sealing incisions to stop or minimize bleeding.

Intraoral Camera

It’s important to trust your dental staff. A great tool for building that trust is an intraoral camera. This tiny camera can be inserted into a patient’s mouth to give the dentist a closer look at your situation. But more than that, these cameras allow dental staff to share what they’re seeing with you.

Plasma Rich Growth Factors

Healing after oral surgery can take weeks, months even. However, there’s a way to minimize the healing period: plasma rich growth factors. The idea behind plasma rich growth factors is to leverage more of healing proteins in a patient’s own blood to accelerate the healing process naturally. After the proteins are extracted from the plasma, the plasma rich growth factors are placed in the area that needs expedited healing.

Dental Implants

They function like natural teeth, by design. Dental implants are tiny screw-like components that are embedded in the jawbones, where they’ll serve as anchors for replacement teeth once the implants have healed. During the healing process, the implants fuse with the jawbone to provide a reliable foundation for restorations for everything from single crowns for single-tooth replacement to specialized dentures to replace a full set of teeth.

Talk with a Dentist in Van Nuys, CAReserve an appointment with a local dentist in Van Nuys, CA to find out more about how new technologies can enhance your dental experience and improve your oral health. 

What Can I Expect from Having a Root Canal Done?

dentist van nuys ca

It’s one of the more common procedures offered in dental offices, yet it’s still one of the misunderstood. When some people think of root canals, the first thing that comes to mind and the thing that often gets overlooked is the procedure’s ability to save teeth. Look past the misconception and get a closer look at how this restorative procedure saves teeth, how it’s performed and why you shouldn’t dread having one done.

No Pain, Plenty to Gain

Without medication, a root canal could be a painful procedure. Yet, not all root canals require pain-relieving medicine. In cases in which the nerves inside the tooth have all died, you could get through the procedure without anesthesia. However, local anesthesia is the key to ensuring that you feel no discomfort during your root canal procedure.

Still feeling anxious about your procedure? Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry, which can help you feel calm and can give you a greater sense of well-being during your time in the dentist’s chair.

The Procedure: Getting to the Root of the Problem

The purpose of a root canal is to stop an infection that’s decaying a tooth and to ultimately prevent the tooth from falling out.

At the start of your root canal, your dentist or hygienist will prep the area by cleaning and drying the tooth. From there, a thin sheet of rubber known as a dental dam will be placed around the tooth to isolate it.

The dentist will use a thin drill bit to access the center of the tooth, known as the pulp, where the nerves and other soft tissue lie. They’ll drill through the cavity already created in the tooth by the infection.

With access to the pulp established, the dentist will clean out decaying material. From there, the dentist will pour in a filler to fill the hollow inside the tooth and to encase the remaining healthy tissue inside the tooth. The repaired tooth will then be sealed.

Talk with a Dentist in Van Nuys, CA

Take a moment to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Van Nuys, CA to learn more about root canals or any other dental procedure. 

When Are Tooth Extractions Absolutely Necessary?

tooth extractions van nuys ca

It’s hard to blame someone for wanting to hold onto their natural teeth. But in many cases, removing failing teeth can help preserve other teeth. And in other cases, removing failing teeth can make way for replacement teeth: dental implants. Take a look at some of the reasons why tooth extractions are absolutely necessary.

Facial Trauma

Minor chips and breaks can be repaired with dental bonding or veneers. Major breaks can be repaired with dental crowns. But severe trauma to a tooth or teeth may need to be completely extracted if the nerves inside the tooth or teeth have been badly damaged.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Gum disease and tooth decay can rot both the exterior and interior of a tooth, causing the tooth to fail and eventually fall out. Though the tooth can’t be saved, a tooth extraction can prevent the bacterial infection and decay from spreading to other teeth.

Wisdom Teeth and Crowding

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to take root in the jawbone and emerge from beneath the gums into the interior of the mouth. If there isn’t enough space for wisdom teeth, or any other forming teeth, you may need to have those teeth extracted in order to avoid crowding or “impacting.”

Here’s a look at crowding and impacting:

Crowding – new teeth can force established teeth to move, throwing them out of alignment. Teeth that had been straight may become crooked or may protrude.

Impacting – new teeth are blocked by established teeth. This can cause infections to develop.

Dental Implants

If you have failing teeth that are loose, and on their way out, you’ll need to have them extracted to make way for new dental implants. Dental implants are the top solution for replacing missing teeth. They offer a fresh start for those who have lost teeth. In order to take advantage of this fresh start, you have to let go of the past: your old teeth that are now failing. Left in place, those failing teeth, which harbor gum disease, can compromise your fresh start.

More on Tooth Extractions in Van Nuys, CA

Take a moment to schedule a consultation with a local dentist to learn more about tooth extraction in Van Nuys, CA.

What to Expect Ahead of a Tooth Extraction?

tooth extractions van nuys ca

You can expect a bit of swelling after you’ve had a tooth extracted, but how long will it last? How can you ensure the extraction site heals properly? How long with the procedure last? These questions and more can dominate your thoughts in the days leading up to a tooth extraction, but getting a good idea of what to expect will both take the mystery out of the procedures and put your mind at ease. Find out what you need to know and what you can expect ahead of a tooth extraction.

If Won’t Feel Much During the Procedure

The term, “like pulling teeth” was around before modern medicine incorporated local anesthesia into the tooth extraction process. These days, you won’t feel much, if any, pain during your tooth extraction. After you’ve been administered a dose of a local anesthetic, you won’t feel anything more than a bit of pressure as your dentist works to extract the tooth.

Swelling Is Normal, But It Won’t Last Long

Expect a bit of swelling and tenderness at the tooth extraction site in the first few days following your procedure. You can use ice and anti-inflammatory medications to keep the swelling to a minimum. Applications of ice and doses of anti-inflammatories will help with the swelling and tenderness, but there are many other things you can do to ensure that your tooth extraction aftercare goes smoothly.

Aftercare Tips

Your doctor will send you home with an exhaustive list of steps to take to ensure your aftercare goes smoothly. Some of the things they’ll recommend include the below:

·         Make sure you bite down on the gauze your dentist will wrap the extraction site in. Keeping pressure on the extraction site will help the area clot and the bleeding stop.

·         Avoid drinking hot beverages, spitting, drinking threw a straw or chewing gum until the clot is fully formed.

·         Apply an ice pack to the extraction area in intervals of ten minutes or so

Getting a Tooth Extraction in Van Nuys, CA

Take a brief moment to reserve an appointment with a local dentist to learn more about what to expect ahead of a tooth extraction in Van Nuys, CA.

Reasons Why Someone Might Need a Tooth Extraction

tooth extractions van nuys ca

These days, your dentist will give you something more effective than a few shots of liquor to help you get through a tooth extraction. Though times have changed, and technology too, the reasons someone might need a tooth extraction haven’t changed. Take a look at some of the top reasons someone would need a tooth extraction.

Most Commons Reasons for a Tooth Extraction

There are many more reasons a person may require a tooth extraction, but the causes listed below are among the most common:

Gum Disease and Tooth Decay – advanced gum disease can attach the gums and other structures supporting the teeth, decaying a tooth by its very foundation.

Wisdom Teeth and Crowding Issues – when there isn’t enough room in the mouth for more teeth, new teeth can crowd established teeth and know them out of alignment. This is most common with wisdom teeth. A tooth extraction can prevent a crowding issue.

Facial Trauma – trauma to the mouth can chip, crack or break a tooth beyond repair, requiring an extraction.

Dental Implants – if someone has deciding to replace failing teeth with dental implants, extractions may be needed to remove any failing teeth.

Will Having a Tooth Extracted Hurt?

You’ll experience more discomfort after your tooth extraction than during it. That’s not to say the pain after extraction will be unbearable or that you can expect any degree of physical discomfort during the procedure. After a shot of local anesthesia, you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedures.

And afterward, you’ll only need common over-the-counter painkillers to manage the tenderness and swelling you experience for the first few days after the tooth extraction. In just a few days, the inflammation and soreness will go away. From there, the only thing you’ll need to keep in mind will be keeping the extraction site clear of food debris as the area continues to heal.

More on Tooth Extractions in Van Nuys, CA

Take a moment to schedule a consultation with a local dentist to learn more about tooth extractions in Van Nuys, CA.


14435 Sherman Way Ste 110
Van Nuys, CA 91405

Hours of Operation

Mon: 9:00AM – 7:00PM
Tue:  9:00AM – 7:00PM
Wed: 9:00AM – 7:00PM
Thu:  9:00AM – 7:00PM
Fri:    9:00AM – 7:00PM
Sat:   9:00AM – 5:00PM
Sun:  9:00AM – 2:00PM

Dental Website by Progressive Dental