Monthly Archives

April 2017

Supplements for Fighting Periodontal Disease

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Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. It affects not just the gums but also the teeth, the supporting structures and the bone around the teeth. Periodontal disease begins with the oral bacteria that live in plaque, and as it progresses, it can cause widespread dental and overall health problems. Our expert in dental implant in Los Angeles recommends taking a proactive approach that includes good daily dental hygiene, routine checkups and a balanced diet with nutrients that are essential for gum health.

• Vitamin C – Insufficient intakes of vitamin C have long been associated with an increased risk of gum disease. Adults who are not consuming the RDA of 60 mg. a day should adjust their diets by including more citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberry, bell peppers, broccoli and cantaloupe or consider supplementation.

• Vitamin D – Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties that can increase your resistance to gum disease. Sun exposure can promote healthy vitamin D levels naturally. Fortified milks and juices can be great ways to improve your vitamin D consumption.

• Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties. Use tea tree oil toothpaste rather than the essential oil for the best results.

• Coenzyme Q10 – This powerful antioxidant occurs naturally in the body, but topical application of Coenzyme Q10 in the form of toothpaste can reduce infection and inflammation.

• Cranberry – Cranberry can make it difficult for bacteria to adhere to the teeth. Natural cranberry juices without added sweeteners are the best choices.

Contact our periodontist in Los Angeles today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.

How to Stay Free of Gum Disease

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Gum diseases are one of the leading causes of tooth loss in the United States. Gum disease is caused by the oral bacteria that live in plaque. Plaque is a colorless biofilm that is constantly developing and accumulating on teeth. The bacteria can irritate and infect the gums, which eventually leads to gum disease. Our Los Angeles dental implant expert encourages dental health practices that can help you stay free of gum disease.

Removing plaque regularly can help reduce exposure to oral bacteria and reduce the potential of gum irritation. Plaque that is removed infrequently or incompletely can quickly harden into tartar, a mineralized substance that harbors even more bacteria and can only be removed by a dental professional. Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush effectively removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth. You should brush at least two times a day or after meals. Flossing removes plaque in those hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth and along the gumlines. Floss at least once a day for the best results. Visiting our dentist regularly for professional cleanings is also important because we can remove tartar buildup and identify the earliest signs of gum disease.

Symptoms of gum disease include inflamed gums, gums that are easily irritated, sensitive or painful gums, gums that bleed when teeth are brushed or flossed, swollen gums, receding gums, chronic bad breath or a chronic bad taste. Contact our periodontist in Los Angeles if you have any of these symptoms or would like to schedule an appointment.

Myths about Gum Disease

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Gum disease is a serious dental health problem that as many as three out of four Americans experience at some point in their lifetime. It can range from mild gingivitis to more serious periodontitis. Unfortunately, only a minority of those who are affected ever seek treatment. Dr. Afar, Los Angeles dental implants expert combats the myths that are known to contribute to this low number.

• Bleeding gums are normal.
Bleeding gums are a common symptom of gum disease. If your gums bleed when you brush, floss or eat, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Afar as soon as possible.

• Flossing is not necessary.
Plaque and bacteria can build up between your teeth where brushing alone cannot reach. Brushing after meals and flossing at least once a day is critical for removing this buildup and preventing gum disease.

• Poor oral hygiene is the cause of gum disease.
Although poor oral hygiene can contribute to the onset of gum disease, it is not the only factor. Gum disease can be caused by smoking, an unhealthy diet, genetic factors and stress.

• Once a tooth is lost to gum disease, it cannot be replaced.
Gum disease is one of the top causes of tooth loss. However, dental implants can be used to restore teeth safely and effectively.

• The periodontist is scary.
Dr. Afar has a warm, friendly manner and will work with you to ensure your comfort. He is highly skilled and has completed extensive training in the field of periodontology so that he can meet your needs.

Contact our Los Angeles periodontist today to schedule your appointment.

What Happens if You Do Not Replace Missing Teeth?

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Tooth loss is a common dental health concern for patients who are over 35. Because potentially serious dental health problems are frequently associated with tooth loss, our expert in dental implants in Los Angeles advises our patients to restore missing teeth.

1. Shifting teeth – If lost teeth are not replaced, remaining teeth can begin to shift. You may be left with crooked teeth, unsightly gaps or tilted teeth. You may be at an increased risk of tooth fracture or further tooth loss because your teeth no longer fit together properly.

2. Increased risk of health problems – Tooth loss can lead to an increased risk of gum disease, which is associated with diabetes, dementia, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications and respiratory infections. Tooth loss can also increase your risk of obesity since your diet may be more limited due to inefficient chewing, and you may be prone to nutritional deficiencies.

3. Decreased bone tissue – The jawbone begins to resorb after the loss of a tooth, which means that the bone density decreases. This can eventually lead to further tooth loss and dental disease.

4. Decreased self-confidence – A gap in your smile can be unattractive and leave you unwilling to share your smile. You may even feel self-conscious about speaking or eating in public or meeting new people.

Replacing your missing tooth or teeth can help prevent many of these potentially serious dental health problems and restore your smile confidence. Give us a call today to learn more about your tooth replacement options or to schedule your consultation.

Do Dental Implants Require Special Care?

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Dental implants offer patients many benefits over traditional tooth replacement options such as dental bridges or dentures. Similar to your own natural teeth, dental implants have both a root and a crown, which creates a prosthetic restoration that can last for decades. Our Los Angeles dental implant expert recommends caring for your dental implants properly to ensure that they last a lifetime.

You may need to maintain a soft diet and avoid smoking immediately following your implant procedure. This gives your new implants an opportunity to heal. Our dentist may provide you with antibiotics, pain medications and further care instructions that will promote healing and reduce the risk of developing complications associated with the dental surgery.

Once your dental implants have healed, you will discover that they are easy to care for, similar to your own natural teeth. Dental implants should be brushed with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing is essential to removing plaque and bacteria from in between teeth and along the gumline. Biannual dental checkups and cleanings are important to keep your smile healthy.

Dental implants are virtually as strong as your own teeth. However, some dental habits can be harmful to your new restorations. Avoid chewing pencils, ice or your fingernails. Contact our dental office today to learn more or to schedule your consultation.

Are You Healthy Enough for Dental Implants?

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Dental implants are considered the standard for replacing missing teeth. If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be a candidate for the procedure, which replaces the root of the missing tooth for a sturdy, permanent restoration. Our Los Angeles dental implants expert can help you learn more about the procedure and determine if it may be right for you.

Most patients who are healthy enough to undergo a routine extraction will also be healthy enough for the dental implants procedure. Several factors will be considered when determining if you are healthy enough for dental implants.

General health conditions – Certain health problems, including diabetes and high blood pressure, will not affect your candidacy for dental implants as long as they are well-controlled. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy blood pressure or blood sugar levels, our dentist may recommend regaining control of your symptoms to reduce the risks of complications.

Bone and gum tissue – Good dental health and hygiene can help reduce the risk of post-procedure infection. If you have lost gum or bone tissue due to tooth loss or gum disease, you may need to undergo a graft procedure that will help restore gum tissue so that it can support the implant properly.

Habits – Heavy smokers may be more prone to complications, but you may still be a candidate for dental implants even if you smoke. Our dentist may recommend that you quit before undergoing the procedure and during the healing period.

Contact our office to schedule your appointment and learn more about your options.

Is there a Risk of Body Rejecting Dental Implants?

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Any time a foreign object is implanted into the human body, there can be a risk of the body rejecting the material. The rejection, or failure, rate of dental implant rates tends to be extremely low, however. This is because the implants are made of highly biocompatible materials, which allows them to fuse safely and effectively with your bone tissue. Our expert in dental implant in Los Angeles uses titanium implants, which osseointegrate, or fuse, with your jawbone and become a part of your body.

However, while failure is rare, it can occur under certain conditions. The worldwide implant rejection rates are about 4 percent. The 15-year success rate in the United States is over 95 percent. The body is most likely to reject a dental implant when the implant is placed improperly, post-procedure instructions are not followed properly or the patient smokes. Certain health conditions can also increase your risk of dental implant rejection. Treatment options are available to reduce the risk of implant failure.

Implant failure is most likely to occur within a year of placement and is most frequently due to infection, improper placement, poor dental health, poor overall health, poor implant quality and insufficient jawbone. Choosing an experienced dental implants dentist can help significantly reduce these risks and improve your chances for a successful implant procedure. Following our dentist’s aftercare instructions can help reduce your risk of infection and other complications.

Contact our expert in dental implant in Los Angeles to learn more or to schedule your initial consultation.

Steps Involved in Getting Dental Implants

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A dental implant is an artificial tooth that replaces both the root and the crown of the missing tooth. They are placed directly into the jawbone where they fuse for a sturdy, permanent prosthesis. This design reduces the bone loss that tends to follow the loss of a tooth and preserves jawbone strength. If you are a candidate for a dental implant, you may need several appointments over a period of weeks or months with our Los Angeles dental implant specialist.

At your initial appointment, we will evaluate your gum health and bone density. Addressing any problems in these areas is critical to a successful procedure. We may recommend periodontal treatments or bone grafts if there are any deficiencies.

Once the jawbone and gum are prepared, the implant can be placed. The procedure is considered minor dental surgery. The implant will be placed directly into the jawbone and then allowed to heal. During the healing period, the jawbone will grow around the implant in a process known as osseointegration. This creates a durable foundation for the restoration. The healing time can vary based on the type of implant that is used and the area in which it is placed.

When the implant has fused with the jawbone, you will be ready to have the abutment and your new prosthetic tooth placed on it. Following our dentist’s aftercare instructions carefully can ensure a more successful procedure.

Contact our dental office today to learn more or to schedule your initial consultation.

What is Osseointegration?

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Dental implants are a strong, secure tooth replacement option that can be used to restore your smile’s beauty, function and health. Our Los Angeles dental implants expert often recommends dental implants for those who have lost one or more missing teeth.

The implant is a small titanium screw that is securely implanted in the jawbone, and an abutment and artificial tooth are later attached to create a tooth that is extremely similar to your own natural teeth. Osseointegration is the process through which dental implants fuse to your jawbone. Once the titanium dental implant is inserted into the jawbone, bone cells begin to grow around it and fuse with it. Swedish researcher Per-Ingvar Branemark first discovered the process of osseointegration in the 1960s.

Human tissue tends to reject foreign objects. Researchers at Cambridge University discovered that they could implant titanium chambers into rabbits’ ears in the 1952, and Branemark expanded on their research. He successfully inserted the chambers into a rabbit’s leg bone. He then determined that the titanium could be implanted in human bone tissue, and the bone tissue would grow around it rather than reject it.

Since then, dental implants have become the safest, healthiest tooth replacement options available today. They can be used to replace one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. With proper dental care, they can provide you with a lifetime of healthy smiles.

If you are missing teeth, our dentist can help. Contact our office today to learn more or to schedule your initial consultation.

Dental Implants Compared to Dentures

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Most adults have lost at least one tooth by the time they reach 35. By the time they reach 74, more than one-fourth of Americans have lost all their teeth. Gum disease, tooth decay and accidents are the most common causes of tooth loss in adults. Replacing these lost teeth is essential for many reasons, including continued dental health, good nutrition and self-esteem.

People who lost all their teeth once had few options for replacing them. Fixed bridges were the typical solution for patients who had lost one or two teeth while dentures were generally recommended for patients who had lost an entire arch of teeth. Dentures are an imperfect tooth restoration solution, however. They can slip, pinch or irritate sensitive gum tissues. Patients may find it difficult to speak clearly or eat without difficulty. Even smiling can be embarrassing if patients feel their dentures are not secure.

Dental implants offer a more complete solution. Patients who have dental implants enjoy secure restorations that do not slip or irritate, and the implants can even offer additional dental health benefits. Because the dental implants are firmly rooted in the jawbone, they help stimulate the tissue and can help prevent the bone loss that often accompanies tooth loss. Dental implants can also last longer than dentures. While dentures tend to last just five to seven years before requiring adjustment or replacement, dental implants can last for decades.

If you are ready to learn more, give our offices a call and schedule a consultation with our specialist for dental implant in Los Angeles.