What is the difference between a dental crown and a dental bridge?

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.

What are some TMJ treatments and remedies to Relieve Jaw Pain?

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
  • Headaches
  • 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.

How does cosmetic dentistry restore your oral health?

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.

Improve Your Smile with a CEREC Crown from Your San Pablo Dentist

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!

Sedation Dentistry in San Pablo. What to Expect in the Dentist’s Chair.

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

Nitrous Oxide

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

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

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.

General Anesthesia

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.

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.

San Pablo Dental Care

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

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