Cosmetic Dentistry: Roger’s Million Dollar Smile

Roger Smith has been coming to Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry for three years. Him and his dad have been regular visitors of the office and the team enjoys when they come in. Roger’s jokes are endless and always have a way of brightening the team’s day.  So when Dr. Truong was given the opportunity to provide cosmetic dental work to one lucky patient, Roger was a no-brainer.  (See Roger’s case and other Cosmetic Dentistry cases)

Dr. Truong and Roger teamed up with California Center for Advanced Dental Studies (CCADS) in San Francisco to perform the advanced cosmetic procedure. Roger came in for his first appointment where Dr. Truong consulted with Roger about his expectations, took pictures and impressions.

At Roger’s next appointment in San Francisco the entire team came to watch Dr. Truong prepare his teeth,  a procedure where the teeth are made the perfect shape to fit the veneers. Then he was fitted with natural looking temporary teeth. At Roger’s final and long anticipated appointment he was fitted with eight permanent,  and beautiful, veneers.  As long as Roger maintains good oral hygiene at home and continues to see us for his regular cleanings his veneers will last him a long time.

Q & A with Roger

What has been your experience with Dr. Truong & the Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry Team? Everyone is always professional, informative, enthusiastic, friendly and sincerely caring.

Before your veneers what were your concerns in regards to the way your smile looked? I was hesitant to smile and embarrassed to show my teeth

What was the process like getting veneers? The process was pleasant. The preparation was simple and the measurements were exact. The placement of the veneers was painless and did not take long.

Are you happy with your results? Extremely. I feel more confident and I am no longer hesitant to “show off” my new smile.

What are you most happy about? My top teeth are now straight, even, aligned, and bright!

What is the next step you will take to complete your smile? I’m going to the orthodontist to correct my bottom teeth with braces first and then I will finish with veneers.

 

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Irritated, Bleeding Gums and Flossing

While Urbandictionary may describe floss as “flaunting expensive merchandise such as iced-out Rollies and Gem-encrusted Pimp goblets” we are talking about the kind of floss that goes between your teeth.

Why is it that every time you go to the dentist the first thing that they ask you about is “How have you been doing with flossing?” Before I worked for a Sacramento Dentist  I used to lie and tell them I did it all the time. But guess what, they know that you are lying. They just knowSacramento Dentist.

Your gums are telling an entirely different story than what you are telling your hygienist. They know because you have deep pockets that are forming in between your gums and teeth.

They know because your bleeding gums aren’t getting any better. They know because your irritated gums are puffy.

Most people do brush their teeth twice a day and think that because they do that then flossing isn’t necessary. But that’s false. Do you notice that you have redness or bleeding gums when brushing, frequent gum swelling, bad breath, or loose teeth? Then you have a gum problem.

The quickest fix to your gum problems is to start flossing immediately. There is a chance that it may be painful and that bleeding will occur, that’s okay. The food and gunk between your gums and teeth has to be cleaned out somehow and it sure isn’t going to happen just from brushing.

However, when you are brushing, angle your tooth brush at a 45 degree angle, that way you can maximize the use of your brushing and you will be able to get under the gum line a little bit. Again, this does not replace brushing.

 

Frequently pondered, but not always asked, questions:

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The probing instruments that hygienists and dentists use to determine pocket depth. Healthy gums measure under 3 mm.

  • What do all the numbers mean? Your teeth are numbered, unless you are a kid in which case they are lettered, and often times they aren’t referred to as “the molar on the top left” but instead as “You need a filling on #14.” In addition to that the hygienist probes, or inspects, the soft gum tissues around the teeth. The hygienist uses a periodontal probe that is used to measure the depths of pockets around the tooth to identify the state of health of your gums. The numbers correlate to how deep the probe goes down into the gums by the millimeter. The smaller the number, the better.
  • What is a pocket? Flossing is the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between your teeth. The floss scrapes up and down each tooth picking up clinging bacteria and food particles. Pockets indicate the presence of abnormal spaces between the tooth and the gums.  When the pockets form a crevice, or space, is created where fluids, food debris, and bacteria float around.  The depth of the pocket is constantly trying to fight off what has gotten trapped in there.

The next steps for you is to begin flossing immediately. There are lots of YouTube videos that can show you how to floss if you aren’t sure if you are doing it properly. Do it twice a day, religiously. And if you aren’t flossing well just tell your hygienist your concerns at your next appointment. She can show you what is going on in your mouth and how it will reduce gum irritation and bleeding gums.

Happy Flossing!

Do You Really Want to Keep your Teeth? Deep Cleaning Explained.

Sacramento DentistOn a recent trip back to visit family I encountered my kooky Great Aunt, let’s just call her Ivy. Ivy is an all-round entertaining lady. She could keep you talking for hours and comes up with some of the most ridiculous things. Upon telling her that I work for a dentist she blurts out, “You don’t work for 1-800-Dentist, do you!?”

Well, no, we are not affiliated with them but I was curious what caused her outburst. Upon further examination she said that recently her and her husband went to the dentist and “would you buh-lieve they wanted $250 for a cleaning, per quadrant!?” I don’t need to tell you the conversation that ensued that ended in Aunt Ivy refuting everything I said with, “I DON’T GET PLAQUE ON MY TEETH!” An odd statement considering that every single person on the planet has plaque on their teeth. Oh, Aunt Ivy.

When plaque gets under the gums where you can’t see it and can’t clean it you start to get irritation and bleeding in your gums. This is the early stages of gingivitis. When you have gingivitis your hygienist will want to give you a deep cleaning. They might also want you to use a wash called Chlorohexidine. Three out of four adults have some form of gum disease.Sacramento Dentist

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Your body is working feverishly to clean your teeth and the interaction between the food and the saliva creates bacteria and acid. If nothing is done about this it can begin to erode your bone structure. The acid begins to drip down your teeth and starts to eat away at the bone that is holding on to your teeth. Acid. Pretty nasty stuff. It eats through everything, including bone.

Here’s the tricky part, until someone’s condition get very bad they have virtually no symptoms. If gum disease is caught in time it can be stopped and steps can be taken to improve your condition. But, sadly, bone loss is irreversible.

In addition to keeping your teeth from falling out, or getting loose, a deep cleaning will help permanent crowns and bridges adhere to your teeth and last longer. It might help take care of that bad breath, too.

A deep cleaning will take approximately three hours where as a regular cleaning without x-rays will only take about 50 minutes. You are numbed with anesthetic and the hygienist cleans off the roots of the tooth.

I know what you are thinking. You brush your teeth every day, you’ve never had a cavity, you floss every now and then and maybe you even believe that you don’t get plaque on your teeth. Good for you! But that doesn’t mean you can skip your regular teeth cleanings every six months. Hygienists have special tools that get heavy plaque off of your teeth. They also have the ability to see and reach things that you cannot.

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Real Gateway Dental patient who received a deep cleaning. The patient was experiencing bleeding when brushing and flossing and had deep pockets of 5-6 millimeters (1-3 millimeters is great, anything more than 4 should require immediate attention).

The biggest mistake a patient can make is to not maintain a good hygiene program with the hygienist following the deep cleaning. After the cleaning your hygienist will want to see you three months later to clean the teeth again. More often than not it isn’t covered by insurance which is why many patients do not keep up on it. But, coming back every three months for a year will restore your gums to their better condition, will close the deep pockets created by the bacteria, and will help reduce the amount of bacteria that can get in there again.

If you were told you needed a deep cleaning, do not wait. Aunt Ivy will be sorry.

You can call 916-649-0249 if you have more questions and we’ll be happy to help you.