Not All Crowns Are Created Equally

b2ap3_thumbnail_tooth-with-crown.jpgA crown strengthens an existing tooth or implant and improves its appearance. It becomes the new face of the tooth, in essence, and is usually color matched to the other teeth that surround it. With all the research that exists showing that smiles are one of the first things people notice about someone, Dr. Abelar feels you should be very concerned about the quality of the care that goes into taking care of one of your most valuable assets.

A huge range of materials can be used in crowns. There are many cheap materials available, and you get what you pay for. Some are sturdy and long-lasting while others may fracture and crack easily requiring a mouth guard to be worn to protect them.

‘You get what you pay for’ may be cliché but experience has shown that cheap goods and services are made cheap, look cheap and last just long enough to get by. Sometimes you have no choice, and Dr. Abelar is truly understanding of those situations, that’s why 40% of his work is spent correcting work that has been done in the past by others trying to make a quick buck.

It takes skill and precision to place a crown correctly. Even an error the width of a single strand of hair can create an opening that harbors bacteria and creates even more oral health problems than what the crown was placed to fix.

Low-quality crowns, even when placed by skilled dentists, are only lasting about five years according to the insurance companies. That means these patients are having to go through the process of having a new crown placed every five years and will have to continue for the rest of their life. The time, hassle, pain, and cost of have the same procedure done four times more often than you would at a quality dentist is astounding.

At Dr. Abelar’s office, crowns are expected to last 15 to 20 years. He uses top quality materials and has been perfecting his technique through years of instruction and keeping up with the latest technology and techniques with regular training. He feels cutting corners with crowns may be one of the worst places to choose cost over quality. Watch a quick video here
 about Dr. Abelar’s all time favorite story about quality care.

Call the office at 858-866-9692 to schedule an appointment today or to get more information on the quality materials and skills he uses in all of is his procedures every day.

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Not All Crowns Are Created Equally

b2ap3_thumbnail_tooth-fairy-2.jpgWhen children are little, they expect adults to be experts on all subjects. Many parents and even educators find themselves "winging it" on occasion or simply having to stall while they go find the information they need.

Rosemary Wells found herself in this predicaments when her students at Northwest University’s School of Dental Hygiene began asking questions about the Tooth Fairy. During her search to provide answers to her students, she found very little information on this mysterious but well-loved childhood icon.

She began researching in depth, reading through folklore and stories passed down among many different cultures. She did surveys and studies to gain insight. In fact, she became so involved in her quest that it quickly turned into a passion and she decided to open a Tooth Fairy Museum in her home in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1993.

The museum offers a tour, and the rooms are filled with artwork, dolls, books and over 500 drawings and stories created by children around the nation. She also has a collection of tooth holders from around the world. One of the strangest has a spot for each baby tooth in a model of pink gums.

Wells' research was fascinating as it found that 74% of Americans believe the tooth fairy is a female and that 97% of parents had positive or neutral feelings about her.

She concluded that the American concept of a tooth fairy probably came from a blending of a generalized happy, good fairy from Europe, specifically from England, Ireland and Scotland and a tradition involving mice and rats from Central and South America.

In Spain, he is Ratoncito Perez and in France La Petit Souris. The "Tooth Mouse" as they refer to the mythical creature in some literature is the epitome of a good sturdy show of teeth. As a prominent feature in stories and science the teeth of these animals are notoriously strong and large; and so, as an offering to these strong-toothed characters, they too hoped their children would be blessed with healthy, strong adult teeth in the place of their lost baby teeth.

It seems to be widely accepted that these traditions didn't stem from boredom but necessity and comfort. Losing baby teeth can be a scary experience for small children who don't yet grasp the difference in the permanent and temporary nature of things. Leaving gifts or money seems to help transition them into the world of growing up while helping distract them from the confusion of that empty spot in their mouth.

Dr. Abelar recommends cleanings every six months, even for children, and will be happy to help your little ones understand how their teeth work and grow together as they make the transition from little kid to big kid. Call us at 858-866-9692 for more information and resources.

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Dentists Can Help Patients Identify Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Latest Version

Do you suffer from chronic and persistent migraines or ear, neck, shoulder, head and body aches or pains? These may sound like symptoms of various medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and even Lyme disease, but did you know they are also the symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, known more commonly as TMJ?

Many patients undergo test after test at their general practitioner's office only to feel like there are no answers and no treatments for their chronic pain. They report feeling misunderstood, confused and anxious due to their futile search for remedies to their pain.

New breakthroughs in dental medicine have made it possible to run tests on patients with these symptoms now to determine if the cause is related to TMJ disorder and if so, how severe. Using advanced, state-of-the-art equipment, the movement of the jaw muscle can be measured to define how serious the problem is. The ideal resting position of the upper and lower jaw can then be determined, and a plan for non-invasive neuromuscular therapy can be put into place to achieve this ideal alignment.

Dr. Martin Abelar, a leading neuromuscular dentist that has over two decades of experience in treating TMJ disorders, discusses the three-part tests he conducts in his San Diego office.

"First we track and record jaw movement, how the jaw rests and how the jaw closes. This is vital information in determining if a jaw is misaligned. Then we record any sounds made and analyze them. This may seem strange but, it's common for a misaligned jaw to make a popping or clicking sound when it moves. The analyzing of these sounds can reveal important details in regards to treatment plans. Finally, we take x-rays or CT scans of the jaw for a visual evaluation. Just evaluating a patient from one of these angles means you only get answers to one. We are looking at the bigger picture so we can get a comprehensive analysis and develop a treatment plan that will eliminate the chronic pain these patients have often lived with for years."

Those who have found relief thanks to these tests, and the subsequent treatment, want to spread awareness for this painful and often overlooked disorder. In fact, the TMJ Association conducted a survey and found that TMJ sufferers want people to, first and foremost, understand the complexity of the condition and to change the misconceptions that surround it.

Dentists that are very passionate in their cause to help those who suffer from the chronic pain associated with TMJ disorders have worked hard to develop innovative treatments through neuromuscular dentistry. They receive specific post-graduate training in neuromuscular dentistry that focuses on not just treating the symptoms but addressing the overlying problems causing them.

Dr. Abelar says,

"Many dentists just want to jump right into surgery when a patient is diagnosed with TMJ. I have made it my mission to try and change this concerning perception that surgery is the only solution. Neuromuscular dentistry is the future of healing that those with chronic pain associated with TMJ have been searching for. Talking to your dentist about getting tested is the first step to begin the process of healing if you are hurting."

Even the American Association for Dental Research suggests conservative and therapeutic treatments for patients suffering from TMJ. Gone are the days of assuming that all those who suffer from TMJ disorders require a broken jaw to heal, an idea that in itself is barbaric.

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The Opportunities of a Smile

The Opportunities of a Smile

A study released by Princeton psychologists has determined that after looking at someone for only a tenth of a second, they make a judgment about their personality based solely on their appearance. That is faster than it takes the average person to blink.

The study found little hope of redemption for faces that received negative feedback. They discovered the original judgments, made in their one-tenth of a second glance, did not change after longer exposures to their faces.

The two most notable character traits they found affected in that split second glance were trustworthiness and attractiveness. Early theories on this suggest that we have learned the value of recognizing sincerity and knowing who is a trustworthy stranger very quickly throughout our evolution due to the nature of its importance.

This study is only one of thousands that point to the trend that physical attractiveness increases a person’s opportunity and quality of life. It is widely believed that people who are regarded as more attractive get more positive attention. They also have more confidence which leads to being perceived as even more attractive, as science has confirmed.

Ask any number of people walking down a busy intersection in San Diego what they notice first when meeting someone new and they will likely answer, "Their smile." Next time you are talking with someone new, pay attention to where your eyes drift as you converse. Most of us are drawn to the mouth, especially when they are speaking or if you are looking at a photograph.

People often make assumptions based off how often someone smiles. People are viewed as more reserved, safe and sometimes even negative that do not smile very often. Those who smile frequently are perceived as confident, fun and positive.

Not only is smiling important in person, but in an era of online resume sites and social media pages being such big players in our day-to-day lives, the average person's face is viewed much more than in was in generations past. Businesses devoted to helping people promote themselves on these platforms encourage users to feature profile pictures with open mouth smiles to increase positive perceptions. This can be hard for those who are not confident in the appearance of their teeth.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, is in the business of creating beautiful smiles. He was trained at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, made famous by the show Extreme Makeover, and is on a mission to educate people on how accessible that perfect smile is to anyone who wants it.

"There’s a reason so much emphasis is placed on your smile being the first thing people notice about you. It’s because it’s true. A beautiful, white smile can be the difference between being remembered at that job interview or catching the eye of the person across the room you are attracted to. It opens doors to an entire world of opportunity that most people never even consider."

In fact, Dr. Abelar feels the sky is the limit. He even offers complete smile makeovers at his practice in San Diego. He says,

"In the past, people thought it was vain or shallow to put so much emphasis on appearance. Unless your teeth required a visit to the orthodontist, you got them cleaned regularly and were on your way. I don't think the average person even understands how much the field of dentistry has advanced and all the possibilities that exist now. I now encourage patients to bring in photos of their favorite celebrity smiles or maybe even a picture of a friend or family member whose smile they love, and we start there. Because, honestly, there is a world of possibilities and there is no reason we can't make that ‘shoot for the stars,' ‘something I have only dreamed of' smile happen for anyone who wants it."

As modern technology advances, it becomes easier to study what makes people act and react the way that they do. The information we gain from this can be life changing but it up us to decide what to do with it.

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Helping Children with Dental Anxiety

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.

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High Tech Advances at a Dental Office Near You

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.

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Laser Treatments for Gum Disease

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.

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Is Flossing for Fools?

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.

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Does it Matter How Much Sugar Was in That Unicorn-Themed Drink?

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.

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Stress and Jaw Pain

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.

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A Beautiful Smile

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.

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Don’t Do it On the Cheap and Pay Later

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.

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Think Before You Drink: The Worst Soft Drinks for Your Teeth

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

·         Coca-Cola

·         Full Throttle

·         Sunkist Orange Soda

·         Dr. Pepper

·         Vault

·         Red Bull

·         Sprite

·         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.

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Why didn’t I do this sooner?

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.

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Rehab that Gets You Looking Fab

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.

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Top 4 Things You Shouldn’t Go Cheap On

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.

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Why Neuromuscular Dentistry?

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.

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Comprehensive Care from an Early Age

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.

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The Top 10 Reasons to Get Porcelain Veneers

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.

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The 3 Types of Teeth Discoloration

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.

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