Thanks to modern cosmetic dentistry your East Bay area dentist, a smile makeover is easy to get. Dr. Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim focus on enhancing your smile. At the same time, they preserve those qualities that make it uniquely yours. There are many different types of cosmetic procedures designed to enhance your smile. Here are some popular cosmetic dentistry treatment options that can help you get the beautiful, natural smile you are looking for.
Problems Cosmetic Dentistry in San Pablo can Correct
Many times, patients reach out to Dr. Edwin Kim or Dr. Lee because they are not satisfied with their smile. They are self-conscious and worried that a gap, discoloration, or a missing tooth are too noticeable by others. Cosmetic dentistry can provide smile makeovers by addressing several dental problems including:
- Misaligned teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
- Yellowed, stained or discolored teeth·
- Gaps between teeth
5 Cosmetic Procedures Used by Your San Pablo Dentist for A Smile Makeover
Smile Makeovers using Invisalign
These clear aligners are a comfortable alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisalign aligners are specially engineered to move teeth predictably and comfortably. They are easy to use and removable so you can continue your daily oral care routine. Your San Pablo dentists often use Invisalign clear aligners to straighten all types of teeth enhancing smiles for patients of all ages.
Simple and Fast Smile Makeovers with Teeth Whitening
If you want affordable and fast, teeth whitening is the way to go. Your teeth can become stained from the foods and drinks you consume each day. If you drink a lot of coffee, tea, or sodas, or if you smoke, your teeth may become discolored. Professional teeth whitening at your East Bay area dentist help remove stains and gives you a whiter, shinier smile.
Porcelain Veneers to Improve Your Smile
A porcelain veneer is a thin, tooth-colored shell that is placed over the front of your teeth. They are beneficial for hiding flaws and can help change your teeth’s appearance drastically. Dr. Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim use them to change the color, shape, size, length, and alignment of teeth.
Get a Smile Makeover with Cosmetic Bonding
Cosmetic bonding is a special resin that is applied to teeth. It’s used to fix chips, whiten stains, and change the shape of your teeth. It’s a relatively inexpensive cosmetic procedure that can hide flaws and give you a new smile you can be proud of. The resin is colored so it matches your other teeth and gives you a flawless smile.
A Smile Makeover Using Dental Crowns
Your San Pablo dentist may recommend a dental crown to help restore a tooth’s strength, shape, appearance, and function. Sometimes, crowns are also called caps. This is because they are sort of like a cap that is placed over an existing tooth. Dental crowns are used for severely stained teeth, to support a heavily-filled tooth, or to strengthen a tooth that recently had a root canal treatment.
Ready for a Smile Makeover?
Now that you know the types of cosmetic treatments that can help you achieve a smile makeover, it’s time to call your East Bay area dentist. Contact us to learn more about cosmetic procedures and which ones can help you achieve the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. Dr. Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim work with you individually to help you get a smile you can be proud of.
As many as 12% of people in the United States experience chronic jaw pain at some point in their lives. For many of these people, the culprit is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Stiffness, clicking and persistent pain are all hallmarks of TMJ, and they’re not easy to ignore—nor should you! It’s always important to speak with an Eastbay area dentist as soon as you notice jaw pain, before it gets worse.
Dr. Jacqueline Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim are experts when it comes to assessing and treating San Pablo patients for TMJ, and can help each individual person explore options to alleviate their pain. But there’s another side to TMJ treatments that happens outside of the dentist’s office. Individuals need to take at-home care into their own hands (with dentist guidance). Here’s a look at some of the best at home treatments and remedies to relieve TMJ-related jaw pain.
Jaw exercises to prevent stiffness, soreness
There are many different jaw exercises you can practice to increase mobility, strengthen muscles and relieve pain. Jaw movements are easy to do and, when practiced on a daily basis, will reduce TMJ pain in the long run.
The easiest jaw exercise involves relaxing the TMJ muscle. All you have to do is place your tongue behind your upper front teeth, then allow your top and bottom jaws to separate. Allowing your bottom jaw to hang will relieve tension and minimize some of your TMJ pain.
Other jaw exercises create resistance to build up strength. One of the most effective strengthening exercises will develop the muscles necessary for chewing food. Place a thumb beneath your chin and apply gentle pressure. Slowly lower the bottom jaw, hold for a few seconds then close again.
These are just two exercises of many, and Dr. Lee and Dr. Jim can recommend a full regimen to help strengthen your jaw. Remember to complete each exercise six to 10 times per set, doing several sets throughout the day.
Mouthguards to protect against grinding
TMJ pain is often triggered when you grind your jaw. A repetitive grinding motion usually occurs as a result of stress and can happen subconsciously. As you go about your day, you might not even realize you’ve been grinding your teeth all this time! It’s a condition called bruxism.
Ask your Eastbay area dentist about getting fitted for a mouthguard. Dentists usually recommend mouthguards for nighttime use because you don’t have control over the jaws while you sleep. A mouthguard provides cushioning between the top and bottom jaws and has the added benefit of protecting the enamel on your teeth, so the repetitive grinding doesn’t cause damage.
Hot-cold therapy for pain relief
While mouthguards are great at preventing TMJ pain, there’s still the matter of alleviating pain that’s already present. A simple method for instant relief at home is alternating between hot and cold compresses.
Start by holding a warm towel along your jaw line. The heat will relax your TMJ muscle and help some of the pain subside. Intermittent sessions with an ice pack will reduce inflammation. Wrap the ice in a clean, dry cloth and press it gently against your jaw. Never put ice directly onto the skin—this can lead to frostbite and skin damage.
Apply ice packs for a maximum of 15 minutes per hour. Any longer than that can actually make inflammation worse because blood vessels widen to counteract the prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. This therapy is great for when you’re lounging at home, watching TV or scrolling.
Avoid triggering TMJ pain
The best way to treat TMJ pain is by doing what you can to avoid it. Think about what triggers the pain and limit those activities. Large jaw movements like singing can aggravate the TMJ muscle, so consider other activities you enjoy just as much that won’t cause you pain. Let your dentist know if routine cleanings trigger discomfort so they can tailor their methods accordingly.
Habits like biting your nails or lower lip can also contribute to TMJ pain. Adopt healthier outlets for expressing stress or anxiety, so you’re not unnecessarily making your condition worse. If you’re overwhelmed with stress, relaxation techniques can minimize the urge to bite your nails or lip, and alleviate TMJ pain in the long run—not to mention bruxism, if you suffer from it.
Follow up with a San Pablo Dentist
Before you start any at-home TMJ treatments, make sure you’re consulting with an Eastbay area dentist about your pain. Dr. Edwin Kim and Dr. Lee at San Pablo Dental Care will diagnose your jaw pain as TMJ and help you establish a treatment regimen for coping at home. In many cases, TMJ can fade with proper and persistent treatment. Don’t live with chronic jaw pain—learn how you can do something about it, right in your own home!
Dental crowns & bridges are both tooth replacement options for someone missing one or more teeth. Both dental crowns and bridges use prosthetic devices to fill in the gap caused by missing teeth. They help restore a more natural smile. Dr. Edwin Kim and Dr. Lee use dental crowns for damaged or fractured teeth and a bridge for teeth that are totally missing.
Dental Crowns at Your East Bay Area Dentist
A dental crown is made of ceramic or porcelain and basically functions as a fake tooth. Crowns are custom-made based on the needed restoration and the patient’s preference. The color and texture of dental crowns are matched to the existing teeth.
Most of the time, San Pablo dentists prefer using a crown for chipped, broken, or fractured teeth. The existing damaged tooth is filed down and reshaped, so it is smaller in size. Any tooth decay on the surface of the tooth is removed. The tooth’s structure is restored so it will be able to support the crown. Then, the crown is cemented into position over the surface of the tooth. A dental crown is often called a cap as it fits over the top of the tooth and restores its function and appearance.
Dental Bridges at Your San Pablo Dentist
Dental bridges are used for treating missing teeth. The bridge is comprised of false teeth fixed between two crowns. The crowns and false teeth are placed on a metal prosthetic appliance. The dental crowns fit on two natural teeth with the prosthetic teeth fitting in between. Once the dental crowns & bridges are placed into position, the appliance functions like natural teeth.
Which is better, dental crowns or bridges?
If you are uncertain which is best for you, Dr. Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim can make professional recommendations. They have the experience and expertise to determine which is the better option based on your dental health and circumstances. Generally, your East Bay area dentist will recommend dental bridges if you lose one or more natural teeth. A dental crown is usually recommended for one of these situations:
- Restore a fractured or cracked tooth
- Replace a large filling
- Cover an implant
- Strengthen a tooth after a root canal
Are there any benefits to dental crowns & bridges?
Any restoration offers the benefit of restoring your mouth’s natural function and helping you maintain good oral health. A fractured tooth will likely require more intense treatment because it will eventually break. Restorations help prevent more serious treatment options. Restorations also help restore your beautiful smile.
How long will crowns and bridges last?
Restorations like dental crowns & bridges will need to be taken care of just like your natural teeth. With proper maintenance like continuing to brush and floss daily, crowns and bridges can last for years. To keep from damaging your restoration, avoid biting down on hard objects. Additionally, you will still need to visit your San Pablo dentists twice a year for routine exams.
Contact Your San Pablo Dentists Dr. Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim
Do you have questions about dental crowns & bridges or wonder which one is right for you? Contact your East Bay area dentist today to discuss which dental restoration is best for you. Call us to schedule your next exam or to discuss any dental concerns. We want to help you keep your great smile!
When you are missing one or more teeth, your East Bay area dentist has solutions for you. Tooth replacement options include dentures that are removable but can shift around or even fall out of your mouth. Your San Pablo dental team has other options that are more pleasant and help restore your teeth’s natural function and your beautiful smile. A dental crown or dental bridge are both great tooth replacement options. But how are you supposed to know which one is best for you?
Differences between Dental Crowns & Bridges
Dental bridges are used only for the purpose of replacing missing teeth. They include two crowns on each end of the bridge and prosthetic teeth in between. The crowns on the ends of the bridge are fused to your natural teeth. Crowns on the other hand are used to cap a damaged or decaying tooth. They are also used in conjunction with implants. An implant involves your East Bay area dentist surgically implanting a post in your jaw. The post acts as a root and supports a crown that looks like your natural tooth. Even though the two have differing applications, they serve the same purpose of replacing lost teeth.
How do dental crowns & bridges work?
The purpose of a dental bridge is to replace one or more missing teeth. It is secured in place by anchoring to two existing teeth. A bridge is used to fill in the space the missing teeth used to occupy. Bridges will contain one or more false teeth which are sandwiched between two crowns. Once the two crowns are placed over your existing teeth, they become anchors which keep the bridge from moving.
How do dental crowns work?
A dental crown is often the option chosen by Dr. Jacqueline Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim to help save a badly damaged tooth. Many people refer to a crown as a cap since it fits over the tooth and is cemented into place. Crowns are also part of a dental implant. This tooth replacement treatment secures a post to the jaw. Then, a dental crown is placed securely on the post. This option most resembles a natural tooth in appearance and function.
Which is the better option?
In general, a dental bridge will be the recommendation of Dr. Lee if you are missing a tooth or if you are not a candidate for dentures. A crown is often the recommended treatment option if:
- Your tooth is damaged or fractured
- Your tooth has extensive decay
- Your teeth are yellowed or stained
- You have a misshapen tooth or if they are misaligned
How long will dental crowns & bridges last?
If you practice good oral hygiene, bridges and crowns can last for the rest of your life. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are essential for keeping crowns and bridges in good condition. Make sure to keep your routine visits with Dr. Lee to ensure your teeth are well cared for and keep your regularly scheduled cleanings. Failing to maintain good oral hygiene can cause tooth or bone loss which can loosen crowns or bridges over time. They can also become loose or damaged by eating or chewing on hard foods or objects.
Contact Your San Pablo Dentist
Dr. Edwin Kim and Dr. Jacqueline Lee have many years in restorative dentistry and can help you decide if dental crowns or bridges are the best option in your situation. Call us today to schedule a visit and an exam.
TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder is a common dental problem that affects millions of Americans. It is often characterized by pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles surrounding the joint. There are a wide variety of things that can cause TJMJ including teeth grinding, trauma to the jaw, arthritis, or genetic factors. Sometimes, TMJ is managed using home remedies. But if it disrupts your life, you will want more serious TMJ treatment options.
Common Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
The symptoms of TMJ disorder can range from mild to completely debilitating. Some of the symptoms include:
- Pain while chewing food
- Pain in the jaw, neck, ear, and face
- Popping sounds or clicking in the jaw when the mouth is opened and closed
- Locking of the jaw joint
How is TMJ diagnosed?
Your San Pablo dentist will discuss your symptoms in detail and then will examine your jaw. They may feel your jaw while you open and close your mouth. This will let them know if there is any clicking or popping while the jaw is moving. They may check the range of motion in your jaw joint. Pressing on areas around the jaw helps them identify areas of pain and discomfort.
If the dentist suspects TMJ, they may also use dental x-rays to examine the area around the jaw. Sometimes, a CT scan is used to examine more intricate details of the bones in the joint. An MRI is another option that helps reveal the existence of problems with the disk or soft tissue of the joint.
TMJ Treatment Options
If you suspect or know for certain that you are experiencing TMJ disorder, make an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Lee or Dr. Edwin Kim in San Pablo to discuss TMJ treatment options. They will work with you to develop a long-term treatment plan to help manage TMJ symptoms. Some of the treatment options that may be included in your plan may include:
- Ice Application. Just like ice can be used to relieve muscle fatigue or strain, it can benefit your jaw. If you notice fatigue or soreness in your jaw, place an ice pack on it for 20 minutes. Doing this off and on throughout the day can help reduce both pain and inflammation that you cannot see.
- Anti-inflammatory Medications. If you experience consistent pain from TMJ disorder, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications may offer some relief.
- Stress Management or Stress Reduction Strategies. TMJ can be caused or aggravated by clenching the jaw. You may automatically clench your jaw when stressors are introduced. If you can identify your stressors, you can avoid them. Also, utilizing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or meditation can help relieve stress and reduce jaw clenching.
- Avoid Gum Chewing. The continual motion of chewing gum can aggravate TMJ symptoms.
- Night Guards. A night guard is beneficial for protecting your teeth and preventing teeth grinding and clenching while you are sleeping.
- Prescription Drugs. If over-the-counter medications are not adequate for managing the pain often associated with TMJ disorders, Dr. Lee or Dr. Edwin Kim may prescribe stronger alternatives.
Contact Your San Pablo Dentist
If you notice a popping sound when you open and close your mouth or any of the other common symptoms of TMJ disorder, contact us. Our dental professionals can perform a thorough exam to determine if you have TMJ. Then they will work with you to develop an effective TMJ treatment plan. Call today to schedule your exam.
Improving your appearance through cosmetic dentistry gives you more confidence. But cosmetic treatments offer more than just aesthetic value. Most procedures are both restorative and cosmetic. However, you can get a lot more benefits from cosmetic procedures than just looking great. Cosmetic dentistry also offers many benefits for your overall oral health.
Teeth Straightening Improves Your Oral Health
When teeth are crowded or you have a dental malocclusion, it’s hard to brush and floss efficiently. When teeth are lined up as they should be, they are much easier to clean and keep clean. This reduces the risk of suffering tooth decay and gum disease. Invisalign clear removable braces can be used by adults and teens to achieve better alignment and improve your oral health.
Dental Implants Strengthen Your Jaw
Dental implants are a tooth replacement option that is considered cosmetic. While they effectively improve your appearance by replacing missing teeth, they also have oral health benefits. The jaw and bone can deteriorate when you are missing teeth. Teeth are necessary for stimulating the jaw and keeping it stable. Implants include surgically implanted titanium posts that act as a prosthetic root that stimulates the jaw and provides stability, This allows you to speak, smile, and eat with ease.
Reduce Risks of Gum Disease
When you have excess gum tissue, you’ll have what is called a “gummy smile.” Gum contouring is often used in cosmetic dentistry to remove the extra gum tissue. This gives you a more natural appearance and a full, balanced smile. But gum contouring can also help reduce the risk of gum disease as it removes places where bacteria tend to hide. The procedure is permanent and safe. With extra gum tissue out of the way, brushing and flossing are more effective.
Cosmetic Procedures and Healthy Teeth
You notice how chipped teeth, missing teeth, cavities, swollen gums, or a crooked bite affect your smile. These are all correctible through cosmetic procedures. But when they are not treated properly, they can lead to other oral health problems.
- Cracked or chipped teeth increase the risks of tooth loss and decay.
- Crooked teeth can lead to cavities, TMJ pain, uneven teeth, and gum disease.
- Missing teeth can lead to bone loss, tooth decay, and disease.
- Cavities can cause painful toothaches and dangerous infections if allowed to progress into the inner layers of a tooth.
- Swollen gums can often be a sign of gum disease and can lead to chronic bad breath, tooth sensitivity, and gum recession.
Smiling Improves Your Health
When you feel great about your smile, it can increase your happiness and your health. When you smile, stress-fighting chemicals rush to your brain. Research indicates that small amounts of those feel-good chemicals like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, are released each time you smile. This can help lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. Also, these chemicals are also great at relieving pain naturally. So, when cosmetic dentistry increases how many times you smile each day, your overall wellness improves too!
Contact Dr. Kim Lee at San Pablo Dental Care
Dr. Lee, dentist at San Pablo Dental Care provides cosmetic dental treatments that can help you look and feel better. Call our offices today to schedule your consultation. We understand that your smile is a reflection of you, and having a beautiful, healthy smile has an impact on your quality of life. Let us help you maintain your self-esteem and good oral health.
CEREC one-day crowns are one of the newest cosmetic treatments. This restoration treatment is designed for teeth that have moderate to severe damage. They are designed to restore your smile and your mouth to their optimum function and health. Thanks to the latest technological advancements in the field of cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Edwin Kim can complete the restoration in a single day. A one-day crown provides you a customized, natural-looking, restored tooth in one visit. Let’s talk about how CREC crowns can improve your smile.
What is the purpose of a crown?
Over a lifetime, most people will experience a variety of dental issues that need treatment provided by general or cosmetic dentistry in San Pablo, CA. The most common reasons for dental visits include teeth cleanings, filling cavities, and bonding. However, sometimes, more intensive treatment is needed to repair damaged teeth. This usually involves a dental crown. Dr. Edwin Kim usually recommends a dental crown if a tooth has suffered moderate to severe damage. A crown restores the tooth’s health and function. This fixed prosthetic is cemented to the damaged tooth. It improves the appearance of the tooth and the whole mouth. It also helps to strengthen the affected tooth. To be fitted properly with a crown, Dr. Kim will make an impression of the tooth. The damaged tooth may need to be filed down a little to ensure a perfect fit.
What are one-day crowns used for?
A one-day crown is versatile and suitable for numerous restorative and cosmetic purposes. CEREC crowns can be used to:
- Cover a severely stained, darkened, or discolored tooth
- Attach to and anchor a dental bridge
- Restore a tooth that has a lot of damage or decay
- Cover a dental implant
- Improve both the functionality and appearance of an irregularly shaped tooth
- Support a large filling when a lot of a tooth’s structure is gone
- Strengthen a weakened or fractured tooth
What is CEREC?
CEREC, which stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, is the latest dental technology that enables a crown to be milled and placed in just one office visit. The process uses 3D scanning to create a digital image of the tooth. Then a custom-made crown is made to match the size, shape, and shade of your tooth. Dr. Jacqueline Lee and Dr. Edwin Kim can prepare and place a CEREC crown in one dental visit.
Advantages of CEREC Crowns
The benefits of using CEREC one-day crowns include:
- Fewer appointments are required
- Fewer anesthetic injections are needed
- The natural structure of the tooth undergoes less reduction
- No need to have a temporary crown
CEREC one-day crowns are made using CAM/CAD technology. This just means the process of making a crown is, “computer-aided” designing (CAD) and “computer-aided” manufacturing (CAM). They can save patients a lot of time since there are no additional appointments necessary. This saves you time, as well as money since you only pay for a single visit, and you only have to take one day off from work. The crowns also provide a more comfortable experience since they do not need any impressions with putty or pastes. Dr. Kim will use an intraoral camera to make 3D images of the tooth and a crown will be designed so it fits your tooth precisely.
Ready for a CEREC One-Day Crown?
If you’ve been suffering from a damaged tooth, need to strengthen a weakened tooth, or need to cover an implant, call us to schedule an appointment today. At San Pablo Dental Care, we have the experience and expertise to create a CEREC one-day crown. We are ready to help you get the smile you want!
Some people get very tense just thinking about going to the dentist. For many, it brings on very real feelings of fear. Individuals often suffer from a painful toothache rather than visit a dentist’s office. For those who avoid going to their San Pablo dentist at all costs, sedation dentistry may offer some relief. There are various levels of sedation to help with everything from simple tooth cleaning to invasive procedures. But what’s it really like to experience sedation dentistry?
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is often called “sleep dentistry.” This term is not entirely accurate since patients do not often go to sleep while under sedation. There are different levels of sedation, including:
- Minimal sedation where you are awake but very relaxed.
- Moderate sedation where you are awake, but you are not going to remember much, if any, of the procedure.
- Deep sedation where you are just on the edge of consciousness but still easily awakened.
- General anesthesia where you are completely unconscious and unaware.
Sedation dentistry is administered in different ways. These are the types of sedation used in dentist’s offices.
- Inhaled Sedation. During this form of sedation, you will breathe in nitrous oxide. This is often called laughing gas. A mask will be placed over your nose as you breathe it in. It will help you relax, and the dentist controls the amount you receive.
- Oral Sedation. Dosage of oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. If you receive minimal sedation, you will be given a pill about an hour before the procedure. Most dentists use Halcion, which is similar to valium. It will make you drowsy, but you will still be awake. If you need more sedation, larger doses may be given. If you take a moderate dose, you may fall asleep during the procedure. However, usually, it only takes a gentle shake to wake you.
- IV Moderate Sedation. This sedative drug is administered through the vein. This allows it to work more quickly. Dr. Edwin Kim can make continual adjustments as needed.
- Deep Sedation/General Anesthesia. This type of sedation will make you unconscious or deeply asleep throughout the procedure. You will not be awakened easily until the anesthesia wears off.
What to Expect During Sedation Dentistry
Dr. Edwin Kim will place a mask on for you to breathe in the nitrous oxide. He will control the amount of gas administered, but if you don’t like how it makes you feel, you can remove the mask. You will stay awake and remain responsive. However, you will feel very relaxed and not fearful. Once the mask is removed, it will wear off quickly. You’ll be able to drive yourself home.
Oral sedation doesn’t “knock you out.” But you may be moderately sedated. You will be aware of what is happening. You’ll also be able to communicate with Dr. Kim during the procedure, although you may not remember much of it later. You may doze off while you are in the chair. Oral sedation may leave you feeling groggy for hours. You will need someone to drive you to the appointment and back home. However, you will be able to take care of yourself the rest of the day.
IV sedation will cause you to sleep through the procedure. Your vitals will be monitored carefully during the procedure. If you do fall asleep, you will be easily awakened. Afterward, you may feel a little out of it or loopy. Following IV sedation, you may have some lingering effects. They can last the rest of the day. Someone will need to drive you home and stay with you for a while. You may need someone to help you with basic care for a few hours. By the next morning, you should feel more like yourself.
You will be completely out during the procedure after Dr. Edwin Kim administers general anesthesia. Anesthesia can affect people differently. You may feel groggy. Some people get a bit nauseous following this type of sedation. You will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for a few hours to make sure you recover well.
Contact San Pablo Dental
Contact us at San Pablo Dental to discuss what type of sedation dentistry is right for you. Dr. Edwin Kim will want to discuss your personal health history and current medications to help you make the right choice about the level of sedation you desire. You may choose different sedation levels based on the type of procedure and your level of anxiety. Call us today to schedule your exam to discuss sedation dentistry.