Retainers. Love them or hate them, they serve an important purpose. Yes, they keep your teeth aligned, that we all know. But did you know there are a multitude of other reasons you should continue to wear that retainer, even when you don’t really want to?
If you are missing teeth and are not a good candidate for dental implants due to bone deterioration or loss, you may be considering getting dentures. But if dentures don’t seem like your cup of tea, there is another option that bridges the gap between dentures and dental implants: overdentures. Find out what these clever prosthetics are and who is a good candidate for them.
The winter holidays are here, and that means friends, family and photo ops. But what happens when your smile isn’t quite as dazzling as the bright lights and tinsel of the season? You may not have the time or budget for a full-mouth reconstruction before the new year, but there’s still plenty you can do to make your teeth look whiter and healthier on a tight schedule - and budget!
With children of all ages heading back to school, some parents are no doubt breathing a collective sigh of relief, while some are trying to be brave and not cry as they bid farewell to their kids in this new chapter in their lives. But whether your child is heading off to school for the first time or leaving the nest for good, now is the perfect time to focus on someone who probably hasn’t gotten a lot of attention lately: you.
Porcelain veneers can make a big difference in changing the look and feel of your teeth - but not all veneers are created equally. While you may think that any veneer is better than no veneer, this isn’t always true. After all, if you’re making the investment in your smile, doesn’t it make sense to do the job right the first time? Don’t settle for mediocre or bad veneers if you don’t have to!
Curious about what sets a good veneer apart from a bad veneer? Here’s what you should know before taking the plunge into porcelain veneers.
You may never have known about it, but across America, there’s a controversy that’s been brewing for years involving a very popular cosmetic filler. That’s because, depending on where you live, your dentist may be able to inject you with the cosmetic filler Botox - and not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.
Here in California, dentists cannot inject patients with Botox for cosmetic purposes. Many other states have the same law. This was done to protect patients from practitioners who may not have the skills and training to administer Botox. However, dentists arguably know the muscles and nerves around the mouth and face better than any other type of doctor, including plastic surgeons.
The good news is that your dentist can inject you with Botox for medical purposes! In fact, you may never have realized it, but Botox can be used to help alleviate the pain from some very common dental issues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There's an old marketing story about a barber shop in a small town that has provided high-quality haircuts and service at a fair price for many years. One day, a new chain barber shop opens up across the street and starts advertising haircuts for $5. The other barber is quite concerned because he knows he can never compete with that price and provide any kind of quality for his customers. And he has no interest in compromising his standards.
He knows the $5 haircut barber is not providing the same quality service that he is, since it's simply not possible at that price. So he comes up with a brilliant plan to get his customers back. He places a sign in front of his shop that says, “We fix $5 haircuts."
The story underscores what many of us struggle with as consumers. We want the best service for our money and (especially in this economy) we must carefully manage that aspect of our lives. Cosmetic dentistry has always been subject to price competition, and because of that the quality providers tend to be very close in their fees.
As with all services though, there are those that offer discount bonding and veneers and try to make it work by increasing volume and using suspect dental labs and inferior materials. Considering the state of the market it would be tempting for any cosmetic dentist to employ these tactics and provide that type of service. Sometimes for the patient it is just the only way at the time. At some point, we have all been a position where we have had to make compromises based on price.
The problem arises when people do not understand the differences, and what they are getting into, and end up with something completely different than what they expected. They learn quickly that there are huge differences in materials, techniques, laboratory fees and case design. All of this affects the final outcome in terms of appearance, functionality and longevity. Porcelain veneers should look natural and age appropriate and it can be done with proper experience of the doctor.
If you have been disappointed with the results of your cosmetic dentistry, gives us a call and see if we can help. A lot of what I do is re-doing old work or work that didn’t come out so well. There is no need to hate your smile and the solution might be easier than you think.
A chipped tooth can feel like “No Man’s Land.” It’s not fully broken and that can mean an extraction would be unnecessary. If multiple front teeth are chipped, a great solution is porcelain veneers. These days we normally associate porcelain veneers with elective cosmetic dentistry. In this case, there are a lot of practical reasons for the veneers as well as a cosmetic need to make your smile look right again.
When only part of a tooth is lost, or if it is only chipped, the remaining part of the tooth can be healthy. You do not want to disturb the enamel or the healthy part of the inner tooth if possible. In these cases the solution is to encase the tooth as much as possible to maintain a healthy tooth. In doing this, there is an opportunity to make cosmetic corrections.
Dental veneers that are created by an experienced cosmetic dentist can lengthen teeth, increase whiteness and generally improve the smile. When using veneers to treat a chipped tooth, I use my skills as cosmetic dentist to make sure that we are making the most of the work being done. If through using veneers we can make improvements to the smile, I consult with the patient to let them know the opportunities I see. This can turn the negative experience of a chipped tooth or teeth into a chance to enhance the smile.