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    Regular dental checkups offer a smart way to dodge major dental problems and the accompanying financial headaches. By tackling issues early and actively safeguarding oral health, you can sport a healthy smile and likely reduce long-term dental care costs. Embracing your dental appointments is an action that pays off. It grants you these benefits and promotes your lasting oral health and overall well-being. It is a proactive move that certainly secures a gleaming and joyful grin.

    At The Lakewood Dentist, we believe in preventative and curative dental care. Our services are tailored to address all dental concerns. Book your dental visit with us today, and let us help you achieve your dental care goals.

    Dental fillings play a crucial role in contemporary dentistry. They restore teeth affected by decay or cavities. The procedure involves a series of essential steps aimed at repairing and reinforcing the compromised tooth.

    Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area around the tooth being treated. This ensures the patient’s comfort throughout the process. Once the tooth is numb, the dentist employs a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument to remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth. This step is pivotal in eliminating the compromised tooth structure and creating a clean space for the filling material.

    After removing the damaged portion, the dentist thoroughly cleans the area to remove any remaining debris or bacteria. An adhesive or bonding agent is applied to the prepared tooth surface to facilitate a strong and durable bond between the tooth and the filling material. This adhesive ensures a secure fit for the filling and prevents potential gaps or leakage.

    With the tooth cleaned and the bonding agent in place, the filling material is inserted into the prepared space. Dental fillings can be crafted from various materials, with amalgam, composite resin, porcelain, and gold being the most common options. The choice of filling material depends on factors like the tooth’s location, patient preference, budget, and aesthetic considerations. The dentist then shapes the filling material to match the natural contours of the tooth and bite, maintaining the tooth’s function and comfort. The filling is then polished to create a smooth surface that resembles the surrounding tooth structure, both in appearance and texture.

    The standard recommendation for dental check-ups and cleanings is every six months. However, this schedule can be adjusted based on:

    • Your unique oral health circumstances.
    • Risk factors and
    • Any pre-existing dental conditions.

    Your dentist will assess your specific needs and provide personalized recommendations.

    In some situations, more frequent dental visits could be necessary, especially if you have specific dental issues or risk factors that require closer monitoring and care. Your dentist will guide you regarding the appropriate visit schedule.

    Importantly, this does not imply that you should ignore dental issues that could arise between your regular appointments. Dental problems can surface at any time. It is necessary to address them promptly to prevent them from becoming more severe. If you experience any unusual symptoms or discomfort before or after your scheduled visits, do not hesitate to contact your dentist for evaluation and treatment. Your oral health should be a priority year-round, and maintaining open communication with your dentist is essential for sustaining good oral health.

    Regular visits to the dentist are necessary for maintaining good oral health. These appointments offer numerous benefits that positively impact your dental and overall well-being.

    One significant advantage is early issue detection. Dentists can spot dental problems in their early stages, like cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. Addressing these issues early prevents them from becoming more severe and costly to treat. It also saves you from the potential pain and discomfort associated with advanced dental problems.

    Moreover, regular dental visits include preventative care. Professional cleanings during these appointments help prevent tooth decay and gum disease by removing plaque and tartar buildup. Dentists also guide you on maintaining proper oral hygiene practices. This empowers you to take better care of your teeth and gums daily, reducing the risk of future dental problems.

    These visits also offer personalized guidance. Dentists can discuss your unique oral health needs, offering recommendations based on your dental hygiene practices, diet, and lifestyle. This tailored advice helps you make informed decisions to maintain a healthy smile and prevent dental problems.

    Tooth sensitivity, scientifically known as dentin hypersensitivity, is a common dental condition. It is marked by discomfort or pain triggered by specific stimuli. Sensitivity arises when the underlying layer of your teeth, called dentin, becomes exposed. Ordinarily, dentin is safeguarded by enamel and cementum. However, when these protective layers are compromised, sensitivity can occur.

    Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

    • Exposed dentin — The most prevalent cause of tooth sensitivity is dentin exposure. Dentin harbors tiny tubules that connect to the tooth’s nerve center. When dentin becomes exposed, stimuli like temperature variations or acidic foods can irritate the nerve, resulting in sensitivity.
    • Enamel wear — Enamel is the outermost protective layer of your teeth. Its wear and tear due to toothbrush abrasion, teeth grinding (bruxism), or acidic erosion from dietary choices can lead to dentin exposure.
    • Gum recession — Gum recession happens when the gum tissue withdraws from the tooth, revealing the tooth’s roots. Since roots lack the same enamel protection as the crown, they are more prone to sensitivity.
    • Tooth decay — Cavities or tooth decay can result in dentin exposure. Decay eats away at the enamel, exposing the dentin beneath.
    • Tooth whitening — Some individuals could experience temporary tooth sensitivity following teeth whitening procedures. This sensitivity typically subsides after a brief period.

    Common Triggers of Tooth Sensitivity

    • Swift temperature changes, for example, sipping a hot beverage or indulging in an ice-cold treat, can incite sensitivity.
    • Consuming items with high acidity, such as citrus fruits and carbonated beverages, can elicit discomfort in sensitive teeth.
    • The consumption of sugary foods can lead to tooth sensitivity when oral bacteria convert sugar into acid, which can erode enamel.
    • Aggressive brushing, hard toothbrushes, or improper flossing techniques can contribute to enamel erosion and dentin exposure.

    Managing and Treating Tooth Sensitivity

    Effectively managing tooth sensitivity involves addressing the root cause. Here are the steps you can take:

    • Opt for a soft-bristle toothbrush to reduce enamel wear during brushing.
    • Specialized desensitizing toothpaste can help block the tubules in exposed dentin, alleviating sensitivity.
    • Professional fluoride applications can fortify tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
    • In some instances, dental treatments like dental bonding, fillings, or gum grafts are required to address the underlying issue.
    • Maintain excellent oral hygiene to prevent further enamel erosion and gum recession.

    If you are grappling with tooth sensitivity, it is advisable to consult a dentist immediately. He/she can evaluate the cause and recommend suitable treatments or lifestyle adjustments to alleviate the discomfort.

    Dental X-rays are generally considered safe and are an essential tool in dentistry for diagnosing and monitoring various oral health conditions.

    Dental X-rays involve very minimal radiation exposure. The radiation levels used in dental X-rays are regulated to ensure patient safety. Modern digital X-ray technology has reduced radiation exposure compared to traditional film X-rays. Dentists take various precautions to minimize radiation exposure, including using lead aprons and thyroid collars for protection. They also employ high-speed film or digital sensors to capture images swiftly, reducing the duration of radiation exposure. The potential risks of dental X-rays are considered quite low when weighed against their significant benefits in terms of accurate diagnosis and treatment planning. Dentists adhere to guidelines and regulations set by professional organizations to ensure patient safety and limit unnecessary radiation exposure.

    Necessity of Dental X-Rays

    Dental X-rays are indispensable in dentistry for several key reasons:

    • They can unveil problems that are not visually apparent during a standard examination, including cavities between teeth, bone loss, impacted teeth, and infections.
    • Dental X-rays are invaluable in planning and executing treatments like root canals, orthodontic procedures, and dental implants. They provide essential information about the status of teeth and surrounding structures.
    • Regular X-rays are crucial for tracking changes in the oral cavity over time. They help dentists monitor the progression of oral health conditions and detect potential issues before they escalate.
    • X-rays allow for tailored, precise treatment plans that match each patient’s oral health requirements.

    The frequency and type of X-rays necessary can vary from one person to another. It depends on age, oral health history, and individual risk factors. Dentists take these considerations into account when determining the appropriate use of X-rays for each patient.

    Adults with a low risk of dental problems are typically advised to undergo dental X-rays every 1 to 2 years. This standard guideline is commonly followed for individuals who maintain good oral health, have a minimal history of dental issues, and currently exhibit no symptoms or concerns.

    On the other hand, children often require more frequent X-rays due to their ongoing dental development. As their teeth and jaws are still maturing, they are more susceptible to decay and misalignment. Consequently, pediatric dentists often recommend more regular X-rays for children to monitor their dental growth, identify any early problems, and plan for potential orthodontic treatments if needed.

    Choosing the right dentist is a pivotal decision that can significantly impact your oral health and overall well-being. To ensure you receive the best possible care, here are vital factors to consider:

    • Qualifications and credentials — Verify the dentist’s qualifications and certifications. Ensure they hold a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and possess a valid state license. Additionally, inquire about any specialized training or postgraduate education.
    • Experience — Seek a dentist with substantial experience, particularly in areas relevant to your dental needs. Experience often translates into a higher level of expertise in handling various dental issues.
    • Location and office hours — Choose a dentist whose practice is conveniently located and whose office hours align with your schedule to facilitate regular dental visits.
    • Services offered — Confirm that the dentist provides the services you require, whether routine check-ups, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, or specialized treatments.
    • Technology and equipment — Opt for a modern dental practice that utilizes advanced technology and up-to-date equipment, enhancing the efficiency and comfort of treatment options.
    • Payment and insurance — Ensure that the dentist accepts your dental insurance plan. Additionally, clarify payment options and any associated fees for the services provided.
    • Emergency care — Familiarize yourself with the dentist’s approach to handling dental emergencies, particularly outside regular office hours. Knowing how urgent dental issues are addressed is crucial.
    • Patient reviews and recommendations — Review patient feedback and consider seeking recommendations from individuals you trust, like friends, family, or colleagues, who have had positive experiences with a specific dentist.
    • Comfort and communication — Assess your comfort level with the dentist and evaluate their communication style. It’s essential to feel at ease when asking questions and discussing any concerns.
    • Cleanliness and sterilization — Pay attention to the cleanliness and sterilization practices within the dental office, as maintaining high hygiene standards is vital for your safety.
    • Dental team — Consider the competence and friendliness of the dental team. They play a significant role in your overall experience and comfort.
    • Preventive and educational approach — Look for a dentist who places emphasis on preventive care and offers patient education regarding the maintenance of good oral health.
    • Special needs and pediatric dentistry — If you have specific dental needs or children, ensure that the dentist is experienced and equipped to address these requirements.
    • Cost and transparency — Gain a clear understanding of the cost associated with dental procedures. The dentist must be transparent about fees and billing. Some offer financing options. Additionally, go for a dentist who offers payment options or insurance plans within your budget.

    Taking the time to carefully assess these factors will enable you to choose a dentist who can provide tailored care that aligns with your needs and preferences.

    Dentists and orthodontists are essential healthcare professionals in oral care, each with distinct roles and areas of expertise.

    General dentists are the go-to providers for routine oral health care. They offer various services to diagnose and treat common dental issues. These services include preventive care, cleaning, cavity treatment, gum disease management, and restorative procedures. Dentists focus on maintaining and restoring oral health, providing regular check-ups, cleanings, fillings, and more.

    Orthodontists, in contrast, are specialists within the dental field with a specific focus on teeth and jaw alignment. They are extensively trained to diagnose, prevent, and treat malocclusions. These are issues like crooked teeth or improper bites. Orthodontists primarily offer orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth and correct bite problems. They use various orthodontic devices, like braces and clear aligners, to achieve these goals. The extended education and training orthodontists receive beyond dental school enable them to address complex alignment issues and provide specialized orthodontic care.

    Taking care of your child’s oral health is a critical aspect of their overall well-being, and instilling good oral hygiene habits from an early age is essential. You should initiate dental care even before your child’s first tooth emerges. Gently cleaning their gums with a soft, damp cloth helps maintain a clean oral cavity and prevents harmful bacteria from accumulating.

    Once your child’s first tooth appears, you can introduce a soft, child-sized toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Assisting your child with brushing is crucial until they develop the skill to do it effectively, normally when they reach six years of age. Teaching them to use gentle, circular brushing motions and ensuring thoroughness without being overly vigorous can help prevent gum irritation.

    In addition to proper brushing, it is valuable to teach your child how to floss as soon as their teeth begin touching. Early introduction of this practice instills good oral hygiene habits that can last a lifetime.

    Regarding diet, encourage a balanced consumption of fruits, vegetables, and proteins while limiting the intake of sugary snacks and beverages. Regular dental check-ups every six months are essential for your child’s oral health. During these visits, the dentist can monitor their dental development, provide preventive treatments like dental sealants, and address any emerging dental issues.

    It is equally important to create a positive experience for your child regarding dental care. You should praise them for their efforts, and avoiding the use of dental care as a form of punishment can help foster a healthy attitude toward oral hygiene. By following these guidelines, you can assist your child in maintaining a healthy smile and establishing lifelong oral health practices.

    Dental implants are a highly effective solution for individuals with missing teeth. They involve the surgical placement of artificial tooth roots, made from biocompatible titanium, into the jawbone. The process is meticulous and requires several stages. The ultimate goal of the implants is to restore the appearance and functionality of your smile.

    The journey toward dental implants commences with an initial consultation. During this consultation, a dentist or oral surgeon will assess your oral health, jawbone condition, and gum health. They will also review your medical history to ensure you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. Gum disease, jawbone density, and certain medical conditions influence your candidacy for dental implants. If you are deemed an eligible candidate, the next step involves the surgical placement of the dental implant. This surgical procedure is typically carried out under local anesthesia to ensure your comfort.

    The implant is precisely inserted into the jawbone, and the gum tissue is stitched over it. Over several months, a process known as osseointegration occurs. During this period, the dental implant fuses with the bone, creating a stable and strong foundation for the artificial tooth to be placed. Following successful osseointegration, an abutment is attached to the implant.

    The abutment is the connecting element that will serve as the support structure for the custom-designed artificial tooth, also known as the crown.

    The crown is carefully crafted to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, providing a seamless and natural appearance. Once the crown is affixed to the abutment, the dental implant process is complete. You can then enjoy the benefits of a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement.

    Note: Smoking affects your candidacy, as smoking can impact the success of the implant. Additionally, your commitment to maintaining excellent oral hygiene and your overall health will also be considered.

    Dental implants are a preferred alternative to removable dentures or dental bridges for many individuals due to their stability and natural appearance. Further, they do not require alterations to adjacent healthy teeth.

    Dental sealants are used to prevent cavities. They are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars, where deep pits and fissures can easily trap food particles and bacteria. These areas are challenging to clean effectively, even with rigorous brushing and flossing. Dental sealants provide a protective shield over these vulnerable surfaces, effectively sealing off these pits and fissures. This barrier prevents food particles and bacteria from infiltrating and causing tooth decay.

    Children’s molars and premolars are especially prone to cavities since they typically appear at a young age. Young children may not effectively clean their teeth. Dental sealants are often applied when these teeth erupt, providing early protection and establishing a cavity-free foundation for a child’s dental health.

    One of the notable advantages of dental sealants is their painless and non-invasive application. No drilling or removal of tooth structure is required. Instead, a thin protective coating is gently painted onto the tooth’s surface, sealing off vulnerable areas from external threats.

    Moreover, dental sealants are known for their durability and long-lasting protection. They withstand the rigors of everyday chewing and routine oral hygiene practices. This then provides a reliable defense against cavities over an extended period and reduces the risk of tooth decay.

    Dental sealants are a cost-effective preventive measure. By guarding against cavities, they can help avoid the need for more extensive and costly dental treatments like fillings or crowns by preventing cavities in the first place.

    Find an Experienced Dentist Near Me

    If you are looking for dental services for you and your family, contact The Lakewood Dentist. We work with you to address all your dental concerns. Our services are competitively priced and incorporate the use of the latest technology so that we can achieve the best results. Contact us today at 562-423-1441 to book your appointment.

    Get Your Confidence Back and Smile. Don’t Wait!



    Find a Dentists Near Me

    Your smile is one of your defining features, and you should trust your oral and general health to an upstanding dental practice. The experienced team at The Lakewood Dentist is happy to be your family’s primary resource for practical and gentle dental services. With the proper care, you can enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and lasting smile, and we are excited to assist you in reaching your goals! Whether your smile needs restorative care to repair damaged teeth, cosmetic care to enhance your smile’s appearance, or you are looking for a new dentist to care for your family, we have your ultimate solution.

    Our friendly dentists welcome patients throughout Lakewood to discover why many choose us to meet their oral health needs. Whether you want to establish ongoing care, are new to the area, or want to discover how state-of-the-art technology can assist you feel and look your best, our practice has the technology, personalized approach, and skills you deserve. We will ensure you are comfortable during your visit.

    Contact our friendly team today at 562-423-1441 to learn more about our broad range of services and to get started!