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What is a Partial Denture?

Dentures have long been used to replace missing teeth. When most people think of dentures, they probably think of a whole mouth full of prosthetic teeth. But what happens if you are only missing two or three teeth? A partial denture is a dental appliance that helps to restore the function and form of the jaw by replacing one or more missing teeth. The partial denture is natural-looking and helps with chewing and speaking.

Why would someone need a partial denture?

If one or more teeth are missing, the bite pressure in your mouth shifts. Other teeth may even move some to compensate for the gap in your bite. Soft tissue and supporting bone near the missing teeth may start to shrink. This can alter your appearance and sometimes lead to problems with your other teeth. When a partial denture is in place, it helps keep the underlying structures like the gums, facial muscles, and jawbone engaged and active. This can help keep other teeth from shifting around as well as provide you with a natural, complete, and beautiful smile.

How does a partial denture work?

Partial dentures consist of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base with a metal framework. They can be used to replace back, front, lower, and upper teeth. Structurally, they are all basically alike except they are designed so they fit in the different parts of the mouth. They are held in place with metal clasps that clip onto the teeth on either side of the gap.

Benefits of Partial Dentures

Getting partial dentures is less invasive than implants and other options and it is a less expensive way to replace missing teeth. They are easy to get used to and restore the natural appearance and functionality of the mouth. Partial dentures are ideal if your other teeth are healthy. Of course, it is always preferable to keep your natural teeth. But sometimes it’s not an option and partial or full dentures can be a workable tooth replacement option.

Are they hard to take care of?

Partials need to be kept clean and taken care of just like your natural teeth. If partial dentures are not kept clean, they can cause problems. Here are the steps to keeping them clean:

  •   Always clean your partial dentures over a bowl of water or a towel so if you drop them they won’t break.
  •   Use a special brush designed specifically for brushing dentures.
  •   Soak the partial dentures in a special cleanser made specifically to clean dentures.

You also need to keep up with your oral hygiene for your remaining teeth and gums. This helps keep gum disease and decay under control. Continue brushing your gums, natural teeth, tongue, and roof of your mouth twice a day. You should also get your natural teeth cleaned by a San Pablo dentist twice a year.

Are partial dentures hard to get used to?

For a few weeks, they may feel a little awkward. You may have a little bit of difficulty speaking and you may notice your mouth watering a lot at first. Just keep wearing them so you will get used to them faster. To help with the adjustment, try these tips:

  •   Practice reading aloud to help your tongue get used to the feel.
  •   Practice putting them in and removing them. Don’t force it into position by biting down on it.
  •   Eat soft foods when you first get your partial dentures. Try cutting your food into smaller pieces for a few weeks until you get used to the way they feel.
  •   Chew slowly and use both sides of your mouth.

Contact Dr. Edwin Kim

If you are missing a tooth or teeth, contact us to schedule an exam with Dr. Edwin Kim to discuss treatment options.

Do you want to know how reducing sugar intake can preserve your teeth?

smiling womanMost of us understand that consuming too much sugar is bad for our teeth. Reducing your sugar intake in your everyday diet can have some positive effects on dental health as well as overall health. When sugar is consumed regularly, it can cause damage to teeth.

How Cavities Develop from Eating Sugar

Every individual’s mouth contains hundreds of bacteria. Most of the bacteria in the mouth are helpful and essential for maintaining a healthy oral environment. Some other bacteria can be harmful though. Harmful bacteria love sugars found in foods like cookies, cake, ice cream, and drinks. When harmful bacteria have the opportunity to feed on sugars, it creates an acid that destroys tooth enamel. The acids work to erode the protective enamel that’s on the outside of the teeth. When sugar is left on the teeth for harmful bacteria to enjoy, the resulting acids can work their way deeper into the teeth causing cavities.

Reducing Sugar Intake

Avoiding sugar altogether is the best way to keep from feeding harmful bacteria in your mouth. But that’s not always practical. There are some ways to start reducing your sugar intake. Firstly, just be more mindful of what you are eating. Try just reducing your intake of sugary foods. Reading labels on prepared foods can help you become more aware of the sugars you are eating. There are many foods with hidden sugars. Some so-called “healthy” snacks are over-laden with sugar including:

  •  Store-bought smoothies
  •  Yogurt
  •   Pre-packaged oatmeal
  •  Trail mix
  •  Salad dressing

By being aware of foods that contain sugars, it helps you avoid the worst ones and reduce the overall amount of sugar you are ingesting.

Ways to Protect Your Teeth from Sugar

Dr. Edwin Kim understands that you will have a very difficult time trying to remove all sugars from your diet. There are some habits that can help you reduce sugar and its ill effects on your oral health. Here are a few tips to help you avoid cavities while you are working on reducing your sugar intake.

  1.  Brush your teeth often. Everyone has a busy schedule, but brushing your teeth is not something you can cut. You can carry a portable or disposable toothbrush with you. That way you can brush your teeth after eating a meal or a snack.
  2.  Change out your toothbrush often so it’s fresh and effective. Choose toothbrushes with diamond-shaped heads and those with triple-action bristles since they are better designed to clean hard-to-reach places.
  3. Use a mouth rinse. If you can’t have a toothbrush with you, you can still rinse your mouth. Rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash can eliminate a lot of the sticky residue and sugar. Use a fluoride mouth rinse if possible. Rinsing with plain mouthwash and even water is better than nothing.
  4. Choose snacks with less sugar. Fruit is your best option if you are trying to satisfy a sweet tooth. If fruit isn’t your choice, choose foods less sticky and foods with less sugar. For example, a slice of pound cake is better than a thick chocolate brownie.
  5. Chew sugar-free gum after eating. Sugar-free gum helps clean your mouth after you eat. It also helps produce saliva which helps to remove the sugar coating on your teeth.
  6. Eat a healthy diet. Following an unhealthy diet can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. When you eat sugars, carbohydrates, and starches plaque can build up on your teeth and cause damage to the enamel. Controlling sugar intake and making other health-conscious choices about what you are consuming helps protect your health and teeth. Choose foods and drinks with low amounts of added sugars or eliminate them if you can.

Contact Your San Pablo Dentist

If you are concerned about your oral health and preventing cavities, it’s important to schedule routine exams with Dr. Edwin Kim. Are you worried you might have a cavity? Getting it seen as soon as possible can prevent it from worsening. Call San Pablo Dental Care today and schedule an appointment.

Why is family dentistry important for oral health?

 The unique thing about family dentistry is that it takes care of oral health during every stage of life rather than just focusing on a single age group. Adults, children, and teens have varying dental needs and the family dentists at San Pablo Dental Care are experienced at delivering the comprehensive oral care every member of the family needs no matter what their age or stage in life.

Importance of Good Oral Health

Maintaining good oral health is a vital part of your life and your future. Family dentists provide dental services designed to help keep your teeth healthy so your facial structure is maintained and so you can chew your food. Your teeth also affect your smile and a beaming smile builds self-confidence. In addition, the mouth is sort of a window to view the overall health of the rest of your body. People who take care of their teeth are usually more conscientious about their overall health and well-being.

The mouth houses lots of bacteria which is normal. Good oral health habits like brushing and flossing daily help keep the bacteria under control. When there are poor oral care habits, problems can arise. Bacteria are allowed to combine with sugar in food and form acids. These acids wreak havoc and can cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. When gum disease is left untreated, an infection can spread throughout the body causing a wide range of health problems. Regular exams for family members of all ages can help prevent dental problems and treat them quickly should they occur. This can be essential for one’s overall health.

Benefits of Having a Family Dentist

Your San Pablo dentist can help family members maintain good oral and overall health. Regular exams, checkups, and cleanings help treat harmful bacteria and removing tartar and plaque. Scheduled exams are often when a family dentist identifies problems that can be addressed before they cause damage. Each family has unique dental needs and family dentists can treat each person according to their age and stage in life from infants to elderly parents. Taking all your family members to a single dentist can save a lot of time and hassle. Your San Pablo family dentist sees patients of all ages which means your children do not have to change dentists as they get older.

The Role of Your San Pablo Family Dentist

Family dentists can perform a variety of procedures and treatments based on the needs of your family. Most commonly, they will include services such as:

One of the most important ways a dentist can help your family is by providing preventive dentistry. This includes applying sealants and fluoride to help prevent cavities and developing oral appliances to help prevent bruxism or teeth grinding. They can also screen for oral cancer as well as provide cosmetic dental procedures like teeth whitening.

Contact San Pablo Dental Care

Maintaining good oral health is an important part of each person’s overall health. Taking care of your dental health can help ensure the longevity of your teeth but can also help maintain a good quality of life. Family dentists provide essential dental care for the entire household and focus on maintaining good oral health for each person. Please contact San Pablo Dental Care with your questions about family dentistry and how we can help your family maintain good oral health and overall health.

It is easier than you think to get a dental crown on the same day

Dental crowns are often used in cosmetic dentistry in San Pablo for addressing several types of dental problems. Crowns restore the functionality of a tooth, protect the natural tooth, restore an aesthetic appeal to a tooth, and are used for dental implants. Sometimes, they are used to protect a weak tooth. A weak tooth can occur as the result of several fillings, a cracked tooth, or one that has been subject to lots of decay. A crown may also be used to restore a worn down or broken tooth. They help improve your appearance and smile as well as the functionality of your teeth. A dental crown may be used for numerous restorative or cosmetic reasons.

What’s the Difference in Same-day Crowns and Traditional Crowns?

As far as function, there isn’t a lot of difference in traditional and same-day dental crowns. They are basically the same when it comes to protection and restoration, but the procedure is different. Same-day crowns save you a lot of time and you only have to schedule one trip to your San Pablo dentist. You won’t have to juggle your calendar and events trying to make multiple trips to the dentist, it’s conveniently done in one appointment on a single day.

The other big difference is that there is no need for a temporary filling or crown to hold the space until the final crown is prepared. Same-day crowns alleviate the discomfort that can often be present when temporary crowns are placed and removed. The crowns are custom made and placed all in one visit. They will look more natural and blend in with your other teeth.

How do Same-Day Dental Crowns Work?

The same day crown CEREC procedure is an advanced restorative system that your San Pablo dentist can use. CEREC is an acronym that stands for Chairside Economical Restorations Esthetic Ceramic. Once Dr. Edwin Kim or Dr. Jacqueline Lee determines that a dental crown is the appropriate treatment, he will begin to prepare the tooth for the restoration. An anesthetic is administered and any decayed or weakened tooth tissue is removed.

Then your San Pablo dentist will take an optical impression of the tooth that will receive the crown. With the use of modern technology, this is as simple as taking a digital picture of the tooth. It’s done in a matter of just a minute or two. The CEREC machine will then help Dr. Kim make a dental crown that will fit your tooth precisely. The tooth-colored restoration is made out of ceramic and will match your other teeth. The crown is then polished and bonded to the tooth being restored. This is all done in just one appointment.

How long will a CEREC dental crown last?

CEREC dental crowns are constructed from exceptionally durable porcelain. As long as you observe good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing as recommended, and see your San Pablo dentist for regular exams, a dental crown can last for decades. You can protect a dental crown by not biting on objects that could crack or chip them.

Contact San Pablo Dentist, Dr. Edwin Kim, and Dr. Jacqueline Lee

Do you have more questions about dental crowns and if a same day crown would be a good option for you? Please don’t hesitate to call your San Pablo dental care professionals. We will be happy to answer your questions and set you up with an appointment. Let us know how we can help you!

Is Cosmetic Dentistry Helpful in Smile Designing?

 Cosmetic dentistry differs from general dentistry in that the goal is to improve one’s looks by improving the teeth, mouth, or smile. A cosmetic dentist can treat a variety of problems that are not considered health risks to make a person more comfortable with their appearance. Services offered by cosmetic dentistry in San Pablo, CA can range from simple to complex procedures. 

Who should consider Cosmetic Dentistry in San Pablo, CA?

The answer to this question is simple. Anyone who doesn’t like the way their teeth or smile looks is a candidate. Smile designing includes everything from whitening treatment for discolored teeth to repairing chipped or misshapen teeth. Dr. Edwin Kim and Dr. Jacqueline Lee two of of the best cosmetic dentists in the East Bay area, help patients improve their appearance through smile designing using cosmetic dentistry treatment options. Some of the most popular includes:

Your first step is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lee or Dr. Kim at San Pablo Dental Care. Our professional staff has the experience and expertise to provide you with the best recommendations to help you get the smile makeover you desire.

Smile Designing with Cosmetic Dentistry

A skilled cosmetic dentist can help make a difference in your appearance and smile. It can help you feel and look younger too. Usually, cosmetic procedures are used to restore chipped, cracked, discolored, or missing teeth which also help improve jaw alignment and the bite. Here’s a more detailed look at how these cosmetic procedures can help with smile designing.

Missing, Uneven, or Damaged Teeth – several options are available to help with teeth that are disproportionate, missing, chipped, or cracked. A cosmetic dentist at San Pablo Dentistry may suggest veneers, bridges, or implants as cosmetic solutions for these problems.

Brightness – There are many factors that can contribute to stained or discolored teeth. Caffeine, diet, smoking, and aging can cause teeth to become stained or off-color. Smile designing using cosmetic dentistry can eliminate the discoloration or stains and make teeth appear brighter and whiter.

Spacing and Alignment – Cosmetic dentistry has many available procedures to help correct gaps and misaligned teeth. Dental bonding is a quick and easy solution for fixing gaps between teeth. Tooth-colored resin is often used to shape teeth and give them a more natural look. Aligners can help move teeth back into proper alignment.

Treating Gums – Smile designing with cosmetic dentistry includes improving a gummy smile and balancing out the amount of gum that is seen. Shaping irregular gum contours and other serious gum issues can be corrected using cosmetic dentistry.

Factors Considered in Smile Designing

When you are not happy with your smile, it can be difficult to describe just what you want to be done to change it. Deciding what makes one smile more beautiful than another can be subjective. But there are a few things that can be used to measure the aesthetic quality of a smile. When you are ready for smile designing, these factors can be considered.

  • Symmetry of the teeth and mouth should be balanced and rightly aligned with the eyes and the facial midline.
  •  Shape of the mouth, lips, and teeth create a signature shape for your smile. Cosmetic dental procedures help align the edges of the upper teeth and the smile line.
  • Tooth characterization includes the shape of individual teeth and how this affects the smile. Smaller, rounder, smoother teeth are often considered more feminine. Square-shaped, larger teeth are more masculine.
  • Proportion is the most prominent feature of a smile. The two front teeth make the biggest impact and need to be the right length to create a balanced, healthy smile.
  • Color is more important and complex than it might seem. It should be considered and balanced with the individual’s age, hair, skin, and eye color.
  • Occlusion can prevent the functionality of the teeth. The upper and lower teeth should contact each other when the mouth is closed. This is essential for the overall look of the smile, as well as for chewing and jaw alignment.

Contact Dr. Jacqueline Lee or Dr. Edwin Kim

When you are ready for smile designing, you want a dentist who has the experience and expertise to use cosmetic procedures successfully on your behalf. Dr. Edwin Kim at San Pablo Dental has specialized training, artistic skills, and experience to provide you with a wide range of cosmetic dental solutions. Call us to schedule a consultation!

Is Dental Care Safe During a Pandemic?

As dental healthcare providers, your San Pablo dentists are closely following the recommendations of the American Dental Association (ADA). We are seeing patients for emergency care and on a case-by-case basis as long as you don’t have symptoms such as shortness of breath, running a fever, or dealing with a persistent cough.

New Check-in Policies at San Pablo Dental Care

Thank you for being understanding as we implement new check-in policies during the pandemic. Drs. Edwin Kim and Jacqueline Lee put these in place to ensure your safety and the safety of the community as well.

  1. Patient’s temperature will be taken when they check-in. Anyone who has a fever or elevated temperature will have to reschedule their appointment.
  2.  Adults are asked to come alone to their appointments.
  3. Adults who are bringing a child to an appointment are asked to bring only the child who has a scheduled appointment.
  4. After completing the check-in process, patients are asked to remain in their vehicles. When the dentist is ready to see you, the office will call or send a text.

Frequently Asked Questions

As the state of California continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, patients have a lot of questions about dental care. Here are some of the most common questions we hear from patients.

Is it safe to seek dental care during a pandemic?

We assure you San Pablo Dental Care adheres to recommendations set forth by the ADA, the CDC, OSHA and our state and local regulatory bodies to ensure you continue to receive compassionate and safe care. Should it become unsafe to access dental care, our offices will keep you updated.

What precautions is the San Pablo Dental team taking to prevent infections from spreading?

Prior to the COVID-19 breakout, infection control was an important issue for dental offices. At our offices, we were following the strict infection control procedures as outlined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Dental Association.

  • Sanitization: All of our public spaces are sanitized. This includes waiting areas, restrooms, and treatment rooms.
  • Disinfectant Spray: We apply medical-grade disinfectant sprays to operator rooms after each patient per the CDC guidelines. This includes high-touch areas like countertops, chairs, and equipment.
  • Protective Barriers: We place protective barriers on items like curing lights, overhead lights, suction tips, computer keyboards, and armrests.
  • Sterilization of Instruments: Our dental instruments are sterilized after each patient. CDC protocol is strictly followed as it applies to sterilizing dental instruments.

Is San Pablo Dental Care taking any extra precautions to ensure safe dental services during the pandemic?

  • Our staff understands the need to remain at home if they show symptoms like sneezing, difficulty breathing, or coughing.
  • Staff members are encouraged to refrain from traveling at this time, but if they travel to a Level 2 or 3 area they will be required to self-quarantine before returning to work.
  • We have implemented a three-point screening process for seeing patients. Patients are screened for symptoms or exposure when their appointment is scheduled, once they confirm the appointment, and when they arrive for their appointment.
  • We have also increased the interval between patient appointments.
  • Patients are asked to remain in their vehicles once they have checked in. When the staff is ready to see them, they will be notified by phone call or text.

Do you have more questions for San Pablo Dental Care?

Please reach out to us if you have more questions or concerns about your dental appointment and COVID-19.  Your San Pablo dental team appreciates your patience during these trying times. Once we return to a sense of normalcy, we suggest you see your dental professional for a checkup twice a year as part of your preventative dental care plan.

Reasons to Not Delay Dental Care

Sometimes, when you discover a cavity or sore gums, you are tempted to wait on calling the dentist until the situation gets worse and causes you more problems. You may think it’s good to wait until it starts to hurt before you try to get it fixed. Your Contra Costa dentists recommend to not delay dental care. There are several very good reasons you should not skip routine visits or delay oral care.

Dental Issues Won’t Fix Themselves

There are a few health and medical issues that can heal on their own given enough time. Dental issues are not one of them. Instead, dental problems tend to worsen as more time goes by. Unfortunately, cavities and infections, including gum disease, don’t get better with time; they actually become worse. Avoiding dental care can mean you’ll need more aggressive and invasive treatment. With an infection, dentists can remove bacteria and prescribe medications to help the healing process. Cavities can be filled to stop the damage. Without these interventions, though, they will just continue to get worse and can cause more damage.

Some like to rely on homeopathic and DIY remedies for treating dental problems. The trouble with these is that it often just gives the condition more time to worsen. Our Contra Costa dental office uses preventative and minimally invasive treatment options when possible. We take the route of halting or reversing a condition first before recommending more invasive treatment options if it’s possible. The best option is to see a dentist as soon as you experience even the slightest symptoms. However, symptoms are not always present, so you cannot play your dental care around them. There are times when a problem doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort.

 No Pain Doesn’t Mean No Problem!

Pain is what often alerts you to a problem like a cavity, gum disease, or an abscessed tooth. It is unpleasant, and it’s often what motivates a person to seek treatment. But just because there isn’t any pain, it doesn’t mean no problem exists. In some of the most severe cases of tooth decay or a dental abscess, the affected nerve becomes deadened, so there is no pain felt in the area. If you do see a problem like swollen gums or a cavity, don’t wait for the pain to start before seeking dental care. You need a dental professional to intervene right away. The trouble is that there are often no symptoms at all. This is why regular checkups with your Contra Costa dentist and dental care team are important. A dentist can often discover a problem in an exam before you even have any symptoms. This allows for swift and effective treatment and reduces the chances you will have to undergo more invasive treatment later. This is a great reason for you to not delay dental care.

Delaying Dental Treatment Can Cost You More

Because dental problems progress as time passes, treatment options change accordingly. For example, when a small cavity is discovered during a routine checkup, it can be filled to prevent it from spreading. If you notice it, but don’t have any symptoms, it may be tempting to wait to get it seen about. But delaying treatment may mean it spreads and causes further damages. By the time you notice symptoms and go to the dentist again, decay may have spread to nearby teeth. It might have already affected the nerve and created an abscess. Now, instead of just a filling, you may need a root canal, a crown, and other fillings in teeth that were cavity-free at your last exam. Instead of paying for a filling, you may be paying more than double out of pocket for more intensive treatments. Even if you have dental insurance, your fees may be much more than originally expected.

Contact San Pablo Dental Care

Is it time for a routine exam? Contact our dental office to schedule your dental exam and dental cleaning today. Let Dr. Edwin Kim and Dr. Jacqueline Lee protect your oral health.

 

Vaping and Your Oral Health

Vaping and e-cigarettes have become very popular over the last few years. One reason for this surge of popularity is the promise of fewer health risks than those posed by cigarettes. However, many people do not consider how the chemicals in an -e-cigarette can negatively impact your oral health. The liquid used in vaping does not contain the tar associated with cigarettes, but other aspects can still be harmful to oral health.

What is in E-Cigarettes?

An e-cigarette works by heating a liquid, which is called vape juice. When the vape juice reaches a specific temperature, it turns into vapor. The liquid made especially for vaping includes water, flavorings, glycerin, and propylene glycol. It has no tar, unlike regular cigarettes, but most types of vape juice do contain nicotine.

Is Vaping Safe for Mouths?

At least removing the tar takes out one chemical that’s harmful to your mouth. However, the studies to determine the long-term effects of the other chemicals in vape juice are still being conducted. It’s not yet clear how safe they may be. What your San Pablo dental team does know, is that some of the chemicals in vape juice do harm your oral health. Here are a few of the potential hazards.

Inhaling Bacteria

When bacteria settle in the grooves and pits of the teeth, it leads to tooth decay and cavities. When vaping, you inhale the vapors and bring bacteria into the mouth with them. It has the same effect as eating sticky, sweet foods. Excessive bacteria in the mouth also contribute to plaque buildup. Users often find they are more prone to cavities, especially if they do not maintain good oral hygiene.

Dry Mouth

Some users may experience dry mouth due to the propylene glycol in e-cigarettes. It may not sound serious, but it is annoying and can lead to other serious problems. The saliva provides a natural defense against bacteria. Vaping removes some of the moisture leaving your mouth vulnerable to developing cavities and tooth decay. Other side effects from dry mouth include painful sores in the mouth and chronic bad breath for some.

Vaping and Periodontal Disease

Having extra bacteria in your mouth, along with dry mouth can have adverse consequences on your gum health. Vaping itself can harm gum tissue too. Some users have found they are sensitive to the chemicals used in vape juice. This can cause the gums to become irritated and inflamed. If it is a serious case, the gums may develop pockets, bleed, or recede. These are all signs of gum disease.

Candy-Like Flavoring

One of the things so appealing about vaping is the wide variety of flavors available. If you’ve been around someone who is vaping, you probably noticed the sweet aroma. The flavorings used to make vape juice have the same properties and present the same problems as sugar-filled drinks and candy. This, of course, means they contribute to a higher risk of cavities and decay.

If You Choose to Vape

There are studies still being conducted to determine the full impact of vaping on oral health. Even though e-cigarettes are not deemed by many users to be as harmful as a regular cigarette, they do still present some problems. If you choose to vape, just be aware of the possible risks. Your San Pablo dentists have a few tips to help you lessen the risks of vaping. 

  • Avoid using vape juice that has nicotine.
  • Drink extra water to offset the reduced moisture in the mouth.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing every day.
  • Continue seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

Contact Us

Please contact your San Pablo Dental Care team if you have any questions about vaping and its effect on your oral health. Drs. Edwin Kim and Jacqueline Lee will be happy to answer your questions.

San Pablo Dental Care

13925 San Pablo Ave., Ste. 210
San Pablo, CA 94806

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