For many parents, taking their child to the dentist can be a stressful ordeal when the child is either fearful or hyperactive. For many children, the length of time for a professional teeth cleaning and exam can be a long time to sit still in the dentist’s chair. Dr. Martin Abelar offers sedation dentistry as an option to ease the experience.
One option is oral sedation dentistry. Dr. Abelar will prescribe an oral sedative for your child to take 1-2 hours prior to the appointment. Your child will drift into a peaceful slumber that should last through the duration of the dental procedures. Once the work is complete, your child will wake with little or no memory of the visit or the work that was done.Dr. Abelar also offers conscious sedation dentistry under which we administer nitrous oxide to sedate your child to the point that he or she achieves a comfortable yet conscious state of sedation. Conscious sedation allows your child to be semi-awake, able to talk and ask or answer questions during treatment and be aware of what work is done without fear or anxiety.
Dr. Abelar also offers conscious sedation dentistry under which we administer nitrous oxide to sedate your child to the point that he or she achieves a comfortable yet conscious state of sedation. Conscious sedation allows your child to be semi-awake, able to talk and ask or answer questions during treatment and be aware of what work is done without fear or anxiety. When Dr. Abelar treats your child under conscious sedation, he or she can be restored to full consciousness when we replace the flow of nitrous oxide with pure oxygen.
While some parents may consider sedation dentistry a luxury, Dr. Abelar believes that starting with sedation dentistry at a young age can eliminate a lot of the fear and anxiety that goes along with dental office visits. It may help your child feel comfortable with maintaining better lifelong care by conditioning them to understand that there is nothing to fear.
To inquire about sedation dentistry or schedule an appointment, call our office at 858-866-9692.
Rapid advances in technology are setting apart the dentists of yesterday from the dentists of today. For those who haven’t been to the dentist in the last five years or more, you may be pleasantly surprised by the changes you see if you brave the trip to see Dr. Martin Abelar, a San Diego dentist specializing in cosmetic, family and neuromuscular dentistry.
The technology we have been able to adopt in our practice over the last few years is way beyond anything patients saw in years past. We have replaced old school radiographs with lower radiation digital x-rays, and we have new dental instruments with laser technology that can detect cavities without poking and prodding at teeth.
We also have advanced intraoral cameras and laser imaging that can speed the computer aided modeling of potential crowns, veneers and other restorations, reducing the number of necessary appointments required to plan, create and place them in the patient’s mouths.
We also have largely transitioned to better bonding and filling materials that look and feel much more like natural teeth favoring composite resin over the amalgam fillings of the past. These new materials are able to fill holes on the front and side surfaces of teeth with less drilling into the natural tooth surface.
Overall, Dr. Abelar believes that these advances will offer patients better preventive care, as well as less traumatic maintenance and restorative care. Making that first step to get back into the dentist’s office can be scary when patients haven’t been in a while, but once they get here, we feel confident that they won’t stay away so long again. The future is looking brighter, and so will their smiles.
As we watched the Rio Olympics it was hard not to reminisce about the headlines made by Team USA swimmer Ryan Lochte’s Grillz that were first seen in Beijing in 2009 and sparking controversy when he was asked to remove them before climbing to the podium to received medals in the 2012 London Olympics. In an issue of Us Weekly, Lochte was quoted as referring to them as being like diamond studded retainers. One might even jest that like Lochte, many Americans might find the pursuit of the perfect smile worth its weight in diamonds…or gold. Dr. Martin Abelar is a cosmetic dentist helping patients in the San Diego area don their own perfect smiles.
Maybe not everyone wants to wear the American flag on their teeth as Lochte did. For many, the goal is simply to have straighter teeth. Or whiter teeth. Or mercury free fillings. Historically, gold was the metal of choice for dental restorations because it was malleable, non-corrosive, and hard enough to form a biting service. Additionally, gold has been studied for its anti-inflammatory properties, which are still used in a variety of medical and cosmetic products today.
In the 1980s gold dental restorations fell out of the mainstream, largely due to the rising value and price of gold, and the availability of new silver amalgam fillings. Amalgam fillings remained the standard of care when 2005 when the FDA began soliciting research and recommendations to determine if amalgam fillings should be banned due to the toxicity of their mercury component, as had already been done by Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Composite resin fillings have now become far more popular than amalgam due to the fact that they can be formulated to match the coloration of the patient’s natural teeth, which most people find more cosmetically appealing. Fads like Grillz and dental charms designed as jewelry to be cemented to the teeth will come and go, but having a great smile never will.
If you would like to consult about your options for upgrading your dental aesthetics, contact our office at 858-866-9692.
It’s been popping up in your newsfeed. You may have even thought it was a fake article from a farce website. Can it be true? Can you really throw away your dental floss?? Think of all the time wasted from years of flossing! A recent investigation is causing many patients to believe they can finally forego this hygiene habit. According to the investigation, the Associated Press asked the government for evidence that supports the benefits of flossing on oral health, and much to their surprise, they didn’t turn up much in favor of it. For years, dentists across the country have emphasized the importance of daily flossing to their patients. So what is the dental community saying about this? Dr. Abelar and his colleagues are answering with a resounding “Yes! You must keep flossing!”
While floss-haters are rejoicing at the thought of never having to floss again, there are still some very real health benefits to flossing, despite with this recent study would lead you to believe. Almost any dentist you talk to will tell you they’ve seen the benefits associated with flossing. People who floss regularly have healthier gums. Why is that, you may ask? To put it simply, your mouth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It’s dark, warm and moist, making it prime real estate for bacteria to set up camp. Flossing gets rid of the gunk between your teeth and gums that eventually turns into that bacterial build-up. That build-up can lead to some serious dental problems down the road, like gum disease or tooth decay. Regular flossing and brushing are your first lines of defense against bacteria.
It’s also worth noting that both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are still recommending flossing as an important component in your oral hygiene regimen. According to the ADA, the “lack of strong evidence doesn’t equate to a lack of effectiveness,” meaning that just because there isn’t a bounty of evidence in support of flossing doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t working.
So, before you toss that spool of floss in the trash for good, stop and ask yourself if ridding yourself of the minor inconvenience of flossing is worth the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Sure, it may add a few minutes to your bedtime routine, but you wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Your oral health is important, so don’t ditch the floss just yet, and remember to schedule annual cleanings and exams with your dentist. Give Dr. Abelar’s office a call today at (858) 866-9692 to schedule your appointment.
Roughly 5-8 % of Americans avoid getting dental care entirely, while as many as 20% of Americans admit to only going to the dentist when absolutely necessary, all due to fear of the dentist. For some of these patients, fear stems from a real traumatic event they experienced at a dentist’s office such as improperly being numbed before a procedure, but for far more, the fear comes from not feeling in control of what goes on in the dentist’s chair. Dr. Martin Abelar specializes in treating patients with high levels of dental anxiety.
We have come to recognize that lying prone in the dentist’s chair while a dental hygienist or dentist has hands in your mouth can be stressful because it limits your ability to communicate if you are uncomfortable, and it is important that we be responsive, especially when it comes to managing your levels of discomfort and pain. Patients can feel especially helpless when they are in the chair and things are happening in a way that they don’t understand or can’t give feedback.
Dr. Abelar makes sure that all dental procedures are explained to the patient before any work begins, and takes care to prep the patient for what to expect every step along the way. We encourage patients to signal us with their hands when they have a question or are uncomfortable. When we see the patient’s hand go up, we stop everything and give him or her a chance to speak and voice any concerns, and take breaks as needed.
For the more fearful patients, we also offer sedation dentistry. Administration of nitrous oxide gas can help calm the anxiety of the patient throughout treatment and levels can be adjusted throughout the procedure as needed. At the end of the procedure, we reverse the flow of nitrous oxide and replace it with oxygen so the patient is fully alert and able to drive before they leave our office.
To learn more about dental care for high anxiety patients or sedation dentistry, call our office to schedule a consultation at 858-866-9692.
As we discover more and more negative consequences of chemicals and processed foods, many people are looking for more natural alternatives for hygiene and personal care. Essential oils have become an important component of homeopathic medicine and can be combined with baking soda or “carrier” oils to create a chemical free alternative to traditional toothpaste or mouthwash. Dr. Martin Abelar encourages patients to keep in mind while trying these out, the American Dental Association has stated that while these treatments are harmless, more research is needed to understand their efficacy.
For those interested in DIY homeopathic toothpaste, here are some of the more popular essential oils that proponents are using:
Lemon: When combined with baking soda, lemon essential oil can help whiten teeth while killing bacteria. A popular addition as a carrier oil is coconut oil, which has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Spearmint or Peppermint: Commonly the flavors of traditional toothpaste, spearmint and peppermint essential oils are both prized for their antimicrobial properties and their ability to eliminate bad breath.
Clove: When used without diluting, clove oil has been known to be a powerful numbing agent to sooth tooth aches and mouth sores. When combined with a carrier oil and baking soda, it can effectively kill bacteria in the mouth as well.
Tea tree or Eucalyptus Oil: Tea tree oil and Eucalyptus Oil have been found to be powerful germicides.
Cinnamon Oil: Like Clove, Cinnamon oil has been found to have pain killing properties and fights bad breath.
Regardless of whether you are using your own creation of essential oils and baking soda or traditional toothpaste, Dr. Abelar says that patients should continue to brush and floss twice a day and get a professional cleaning every six months.
To schedule your six month cleaning, contact our office at 858-866-9692.
Receding gums are a condition that many dental patients face, and has been correlated with the accumulation of bacteria linked to a variety of larger health issues like diabetes, hypertension, and vulnerability to strokes. Dr. Martin Abelar believes that understanding the causes of receding gums can help patients stop the problem at its source.
Sometimes gum recession is the result of overly aggressive brushing. While the ADA recommends that all patients brush and floss at least twice a day, and ideally after every meal, brushing too hard or with a brush that’s bristles are too firm can cause irritation to the gums.
Gum recession can also be an early sign that a tooth is abnormally shaped or positioned, inhibiting the gums from growing to their normal position. In such cases, Dr. Abelar recommends having a visual examination including dental x-rays to determine where the teeth are improperly aligned stunting the growth of the gum tissue, so that spacers or braces can be used to create room for the teeth and gums to grow in naturally.
Teeth grinding can be another cause of receding gums. Signs that teeth grinding could be the cause of your receding gums include frequent migraines, head, neck or jaw pain upon waking up, and stiffness in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint. A variety of treatment options are available to treat TMJ disorders.
In today’s socioeconomic climate, everyone wants things immediately, cheaply, and perfectly, but in many cases, only two out of three of these criteria can be met. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, trying to get procedures done too quickly or too inexpensively can lead to bad dental decisions that leave patients paying dearly in the end. As a specialist in Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, Dr. Martin Abelar sees many patients who have had botched dental work by making these two mistakes.
A quick Google search of the words “botched dental work,” will yield hundreds of stories of patients who tried to get dental work done on the cheap and regretted it later. One such story is a patient in New York who saw an oral surgeon and was quoted $35,000 to get eight dental implants, but decided to get the work done by a cut-rate surgeon who offered to do ten implants and restoration of two fixed bridges for $22,500. He ended up with a hole in his sinuses where the surgeon had drilled the implant screw all the way through the sinus membrane leaving a hole, and implant screws placed too close together for the caps to fit. All of this work would have to be undone through a whole new financial and physical trauma, and it remains unknown if there will be enough bone left in the patient’s jaw to start over again.
Another less dramatic, but more common botched procedure is the creation and placement of veneers. When done correctly, the process of getting veneers takes place over a few weeks to a few months, and teeth are drilled down to make space for the veneers to be fit over the real teeth. Impressions are taken and veneers are custom crafted to fit the remaining tooth and achieve the desired size and shape. The dentist should place them over the real teeth to check for fit before cementing them in place. The cement is permanent, so if the veneer does not fit properly it can be cracked or permanently placed incorrectly.
Dr. Abelar recommends that prior to any major dental procedure, you have a consultation and make sure that the details of the procedure, its price, timeline and any other things you should know are outlined before the work begins. In the event that the work does not fit within your current budget, there may be financing options that can help you afford the right work at the right price. To schedule your consultation, call our office at 858-866-9692.
Soft drinks and other sugary energy drinks account for a large percentage of cavities and tooth decay plaguing Americans, and yet most of us continue to consume them regularly. Dr. Martin Abelar has the scoop on what makes these drinks bad for your teeth and which drinks are some of the worst offenders.
For tooth decay to occur, there are four key ingredients that contribute to the process: sugar, acid, oral bacteria, and time. Soft drinks and energy drinks provide the sugar and the acid; poor dental hygiene habits contribute the oral bacteria. To minimize the damage caused by your favorite drinks, Dr. Abelar recommends being extra vigilant about brushing and flossing, and upping your game to making sure that you brush after every drink. This way you eliminate the time element.
Additionally, many dentists recommend reducing the time these drinks are working on your teeth by using a straw, and gulping the drink down fast instead of slowly sipping over time. The sugars and acids in the drink work on your teeth in a chemical process that lasts about 20 minutes, and each new sip restarts the process. The worst drinks for your teeth are low in acid and high in sugar.
Here is a list of some of the worst offenders:
· Mountain Dew
· Full Throttle
· Sunkist Orange Soda
· Dr. Pepper
· Red Bull
· Sierra Mist
· SoBe Energy Citrus
· Minute Maid Orange Juice
If you just can’t sacrifice these drinks and don’t have the opportunity to brush afterward, there is one last thing you can do to mitigate the damage. Chewing a Xylitol based gum immediately after you drink can help restore the proper acidic balance in your mouth and help produce saliva to carry the sugar away.
Additionally, don’t forget to keep up with your twice yearly professional cleanings, and make sure to brush and floss at least twice daily. To schedule a professional cleaning with Dr. Abelar, contact our office at 858-866-9692.
There are so many reasons it’s important to have a good night’s sleep that May has been declared Good Sleep month. Dr. Martin Abelar helps many patients achieve a better night’s sleep through oral appliance therapy (OAT) as an alternative to CPAP for sleep apnea. In honor of Good Sleep month, here are some of the reasons to make sure you are catching all of your ZZZs.
People who get their full eight hours of sleep are less likely to gain weight. When you don’t get enough sleep, your brain over produces cortisol, a stress hormone that decreases metabolism and can increase cravings for fatty foods.
In addition to causing the body to store reserves of fat, cortisol increases blood pressure, which in turn makes you more vulnerable to these two health problems. It’s thought that the increase in blood pressure brought on by stress hormones serves a biological function to make oxygen available to your brain and muscles to prepare you for fight or flight. However, when excess cortisol is constantly present due to lack of proper sleep, the results can be disastrous. People who don’t get a good night’s sleep are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
People who get enough sleep are less likely to have inflammation in their bodies. This is caused by another hormone influenced by sleep quality, known as Creatinine. Increased creatinine levels are present in a number of inflammatory autoimmune conditions such as lupus and Crohn’s disease.
To learn more about sleep apnea and oral appliance therapy contact our office at 858-866-9692.
When a building isn’t properly maintained and goes into distress (the state at which it’s not legally habitable), engineers and construction crews work together to rehabilitate them for stability and aesthetics so they can return to normal functionality. The same is possible for the human mouth. Dr. Martin Abelar specializes in full mouth rehabilitation for people who haven’t been able to keep their smile in the condition they would like.
No matter what the functional or aesthetic problem a patient is facing, modern dentistry has the ability to solve it. Dr. Abelar starts with a consultation to understand the patient’s desired outcome, and performs a dental cleaning, examination and takes impressions of the patient’s teeth as they are in their current state.
From the impressions, a 3D plaster mold of the current mouth state that will be used along with x-rays and discussion with the patient to generate a model of the mouth in its future state. Any inlays, onlays, veneers and implants necessary to achieve the goal state will be hand crafted in a lab by a master craftsman and shipped to our office for the completion of the work.
Based on the type and amount of work needed to complete the full mouth rehabilitation, Dr. Abelar will discuss priorities for completion and our office will schedule appointments based on the time frame that will deliver the most optimal results. To learn more about full mouth rehabilitation, contact our office at 858-866-9692.
Recent headlines about the Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling has sparked the American Dental Association (ADA) to begin researching the validity of practitioners’ claims that daily oil pulling can eliminate bacteria in the mouth and whiten teeth. Dr. Martin Abelar encourages patients not to ditch traditional brushing and flossing to take on this new craze.
Oil pulling proponents believe that swigging approximately a tablespoon of coconut oil, olive oil, spearmint oil, or some combination of these oils for approximately five minutes a day can remove toxins and bacteria from the mouth. The theory is that during the swishing or “pulling,” the oil absorbs the bacteria into the oil, which the practitioner then spits out once the pulling is complete.
Homeopathic healers have identified coconut oil as having anti-inflammatory properties as well as antibacterial qualities. The same is believed of other oils that are formulated and distributed for this purpose.
At this point in time, the official stance of the ADA regarding oil pulling is that the practice is not harmful, but more research is needed to sufficiently ascertain whether it is actually helpful. The ADA recommends choosing dental products that have been marked with the official ADA seal of approval, and encourages patients to continue brushing and flossing at least twice a day. If you ever have any questions don't hesitate to contact us at (858) 866-9692.
Traditional dentistry deals specifically with oral problems affecting the teeth and gums, but there is a different school of thought in dentistry that the mouth is part of a musculoskeletal system, whose mechanics are impacted by the form and function of the jaw. Neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Martin Abelar undergo extensive training to understand the dynamics between the jaw and the rest of the musculoskeletal system and help patients with problems like migraine, head and neck pain, and spinal alignment.
Improper alignment of the temporomandibular joint can cause a domino effect of misaligned vertebrae from the back of the head all the way down the spine. A neuromuscular dentist approaches these problems by offering dental restorations to the jawline such as crowns and dental implants to restore the height of teeth, and orthodontic devices that can relieve pain caused by the improper alignment of the TMJ.
Neuromuscular dentists can help patients with a range of problems from sleep apnea to migraines, poor posture, back pain and more. To determine if neuromuscular dentistry could solve your health problems, contact our office at 858-866-9692.
On February 29, the United States Supreme Court officially declined to hear an appeal brought against the state of Connecticut regarding the constitutionality of state regulators prohibiting the sale of teeth whitening services by non-dentists. The suit was filed by a teeth whitening clinic called Sensational Smiles LLC when the owners were advised to discontinue offering services or face up to five years in prison or $25,000 in fines per individual customer. Dr. Martin Abelar weighs in on why it is important that whitening to be done by a dental professional.
There are two ways that teeth can be whitened: Abrasion of the tooth service to remove stains that are discoloring the teeth, and alternatively by bleaching the surface of the teeth to make them appear whiter. Often these techniques are combined, and a common procedure performed by Dr. Abelar is a one hour laser teeth whitening treatment. Following a professional teeth cleaning, a bleaching gel is painted onto the teeth, and then an intense light is applied to activate a chemical practice that bonds the bleaching agent with the surface of the teeth.
One of the perils of whitening at home or using a whitening service that is not provided by a trained dental professional is the possibility of over-abrasion of the teeth’s surface, which exposes the dentin and makes them more vulnerable to decay. Improper abrasives can leave particles trapped in pockets at the gum line and leave microscopic holes on the tooth surface where bacteria can build up that cannot be removed through regular brushing and flossing.
For those trying to save money, Dr. Abelar recommends using a whitening kit prescribed by your dentist, or at the very least, choose a whitening product stamped with the American Dental Association’s seal of approval. To ask about in-office one hour laser whitening services, contact our office at 858-866-9692.
Between bondings, white fillings, veneers, braces and crowns there are so many different options available to deal with chipped and cracked or gap teeth. It can be daunting to decide which is the best option for you. This month, Dr. Martin Abelar is sharing the top 10 reasons to choose porcelain veneers:
10. Veneers can address a variety of problems with the shape of teeth. Whether a tooth has been damaged, stained or chipped, veneers can cosmetically provide a straight, perfectly shaped tooth or teeth that look straight, white and aesthetically pleasing.
9. Once in place, porcelain veneers are semi-permanent. The porcelain veneer is cemented to the tooth and provides the same strength and bite force as a normal healthy tooth. The average porcelain veneer lasts at least 10 years but actually closer to 20 years before it needs to be replaced.
8. Like crowns, porcelain veneers require no different care than regular teeth. People who get porcelain veneers can brush, floss and rinse exactly the same as prior to their placement.
7. Unlike bondings, the porcelain material used to make veneers is resistant to discoloration and staining. As such, it is important to make sure that any whitening treatments you wish to do are completed prior to the preparation of your veneers. Dr. Abelar will have the porcelain veneer colored to match your natural teeth, and once placed the color cannot be changed through bleaching or other whitening treatment.
6. Veneers can be a convenient option to fill small gaps between teeth without the commitment of braces and aligners.
5. Veneers do not require drilling into the jawbone or tooth root structure for placement.
4. When working on multiple teeth, veneers are a less expensive option per tooth than crowns.
3. Veneers can be measured, fitted and cemented in just three office visits.
2. Veneers can serve the same function as fillings in preventing the spread of tooth decay.
1. Veneers can provide the smooth, flawless, symmetrical shape resistant to wear and tear.
Teeth whitening is by far the most popular cosmetic dental treatment sought out by people looking to improve their smiles. Dr. Martin Abelar offers in-office laser whitening treatments as well as at home bleaching kits with custom bleaching trays.
To best protect their investment in teeth whitening, it is important for patients to understand the three kinds of teeth discoloration so that they can change their habits to stave off further discoloration.
Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration is the most well-known type of discoloration. Extrinsic tooth discoloration is when the outer layer of the teeth gets stained by repeated exposure to cigarette smoking, red wine, coffee, tea, and dark colored soda. Minimizing consumption of these substances and brushing immediately after drinking or smoking can help slow or prevent this kind of staining.
Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration occurs when the inner layer of the teeth (the dentin) takes on a yellowish tone. This can be the result to too much fluoride exposure at a young age, internal bleeding of the tooth or birth defects. The dental patient has less control over these variables, but knowing if you have this type of tooth discoloration can be indicative of what kind of results can be achieved through teeth whitening efforts.
Age-related Tooth Discoloration is the result of both extrinsic and intrinsic tooth discoloration over time. With age the teeth enamel gets thinner and yellower naturally causing the yellow dentin to show through.
Teeth whitening is a process that bleaches the outer layer of the teeth, and results will vary depending upon the type and severity of discoloration the patient has. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Abelar, contact our office at 858-866-9692.