Posts for: August, 2014

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
August 25, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

One’s a singer who made her name playing New York clubs in the 1980’s before catapulting to international pop stardom; the other’s an actress from New Zealand who, in 1994, at the age of 11, became the second-youngest person ever to win an Academy Award. Both remain at the top of the A-list today. What other feature do Madonna and Anna Paquin have in common?

You guessed it — it’s their teeth. Both have a small but noticeable gap between their two front teeth, known as a diastema. This condition is relatively common, and it’s normally easy to treat — if that’s something you’d like to do. But wait a moment… In certain African countries, this kind of smile is considered a sign of fertility; in France, they call it “dents du bonheur” (lucky teeth); some other cultures consider the gap a predictor of future wealth. So if you’ve already made this look work for you, there’s no need to change it — even if you might need other cosmetic dental work.

The “perfectly imperfect” smile has become an increasingly popular option for people having veneers, cosmetic bonding, or even dental implants. Some trend-watchers have even noted a pushback against the ideal of a completely even, flawless, Hollywood-white smile. Does that create a problem at the dentist’s office?

Absolutely not! We call the process of figuring out how your teeth should look “smile design” — and it’s as much an art as a science. When we’re just beginning to design your smile, we look at a number of features — including the size, shape, color and alignment of your teeth, the position of your lips, the amount of gums exposed, and the relationship between your smile and your other facial features. We’re also listening carefully to you: what you like and don’t like about your smile, how you think it could be improved… and what should stay just the way it is.

Of course, before doing any cosmetic work, we will always perform a complete dental exam to detect any underlying condition and determine what treatments are best. Then, we will work with you to help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. Not sure exactly how it will look when it’s all done? Ask us for a preview — from computer-generated pictures to actual 3-D models, we can show you how your new smile will enhance your appearance.

So if your smile needs a little help to look its best — but you still want it to be uniquely yours — maybe now is the time to come in and see us. If you would like more information on smile design, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “The Impact of a Smile Makeover” and “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
August 15, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: bridgework  

If at all possible, we want to save a tooth — it’s the best outcome for your overall dental health. In many cases, we can achieve this by filling the tooth or installing a crown over it.

Unfortunately, preservation isn’t always possible if the natural tooth has been irreparably weakened by decay or trauma. Replacing the natural tooth with a life-like artificial one is the next best option: the replacement will help you regain lost function and reinvigorate your smile. Filling the missing tooth’s space also prevents neighboring teeth from drifting into it, causing further problems with function and appearance.

Dental implants are widely recognized as the best choice for tooth replacement because of their life-like qualities, durability and positive effect on bone health. Even their biggest drawback, their cost, isn’t that great an issue if you factor in their longevity — they may actually result in less dental expense over the long-term.

A dental implant, however, isn’t always a viable option. Some patients may not have enough bone mass to support an implant. Those with certain systemic diseases like uncontrolled diabetes or a weakened immune system may not be able to undergo dental implant surgery.

Fortunately, many of these patients can benefit from a fixed bridge, a restoration option that’s been used for decades. A bridge is a series of life-like crowns permanently joined like pickets in a fence. The middle crown known as the “pontic” fills the empty space left by the missing tooth. The crowns on either side of the pontic are permanently attached to the natural teeth that border the missing tooth space. Known also as “abutment” teeth, they serve as the support for the bridge.

Bridges do have one downside — the abutment teeth must be prepared by filing them down so the new crowns fit over them properly. This will permanently alter and possibly weaken the teeth. Dental implants, on the other hand, have little to no effect on adjacent teeth.

Still, a bridge remains an effective option for many people. Properly cared for, a bridge can restore function as well as enhance your smile for many years to come.

If you would like more information on bridgework as a restorative option, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”

By Pasadena Dental Implants
August 12, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gum disease  
gum diseaseDid you know that about half of adults in America have gum disease? That statistic is downright frightening. In fact, you might currently be dealing with this disease and feeling a bit nervous about how to handle it. We understand how you feel. Any diagnosis can be stressful; however, you have options! While a lot depends on your overall health and the stage of your gum disease, one thing is certain—there is a periodontal disease treatment in Pasadena that is just right for you! We lay out your options right here so you can choose the one that works best for you and your health.
The Non-Surgical Route
There are some patients that won’t even need to consider surgery. That’s great news! Instead we’ll be offering you Pasadena gum disease treatment in the form of a professional cleaning combined with scaling and root planing.
We know you probably do a stellar job at home of brushing twice a day and flossing; however, despite all valiant efforts, there are still some spots that you just can’t get. Plus, with our professional tools, we know exactly how to get into every nook and cranny and remove all that pesky bacteria. We often recommend getting this deep-down cleaning more than twice a year to make sure we keep those toxins at bay.
Scaling and root planing might sound a lot like a landscaping project, and in some ways it actually is. We remove plaque and tartar from the gum line and we also smooth down the rough spots on a tooth root to create a beautiful and healthier smile. This also removes bacteria and helps the gums reattach to the teeth. This is an easy, nonsurgical procedure in Pasadena that will help keep your gum disease under control.
The Surgical Route
There are several Pasadena oral surgery options out there, and we’ll be happy to help you decide which one is best for your dental needs. Some surgical options include flap surgery, bone grafts, guided tissue regeneration, bone surgery and soft tissue grafts. For some patients, nonsurgical treatments are often all that is needed to treat gum disease. However, if the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and nonsurgical options just aren’t cutting it, oral surgery in Pasadena might help get your periodontal disease under control.
Dental Implants
Maybe you didn’t realize you had gum disease until after some serious dental issues took hold. Losing teeth can certainly be scary! However, there are ways to get your smile back. No need to fret, dental implants in Pasadena are here to help! As long as we have your gum disease under control we can implant an artificial tooth and give you a complete, beautiful smile. Even if you’ve experienced bone loss, our amazing technology allows us to offer bone-grating techniques, which regenerates the jawbone, allowing us to offer just about anyone the opportunity to replace a missing tooth.
Whether you’ve been battling gum disease for a while or you just recently received the diagnosis, there are gum disease treatments in Pasadena that can get you back on track to wonderful oral health. Call us today at (626) 796-1241 to set up a consultation. We want to get your smile back in tip-top shape!

By Pasadena Dental Implants Peter G. Cooper, DDS
August 01, 2014
Category: Oral Health

Singer Olivia Newton-John's daughter Chloe is now a lovely, grown woman, but Olivia recently recounted to Dear Doctor magazine a rather creative method she found to sooth Chloe's teething troubles many years ago.

“When Chloe was a baby and teething I remember using a frozen bagel for her sore gums,” Olivia said. “She loved it!”

Cold is often very soothing to a teething child's gums. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using a clean, chilled, rubber teething ring, or cold wet washcloth. Chilled pacifiers can also be helpful. Be sure not to freeze teething rings or pacifiers as ice can actually burn sensitive mouth tissues.

Older teethers can sometimes find relieve from cold foods such as popsicles (or bagels!) but make sure your child eats these sugar-containing foods only at mealtimes so as not to promote tooth decay.

If your baby has not yet begun the teething (or tooth-eruption) process, you can expect it to begin usually between six and nine months. It may, however, start as early as three months or as late as twelve months.

Teething symptoms vary among children, as does the length of time it takes for a tooth to make its appearance. But many parents notice the following signs:

  • Irritability
  • Biting and gnawing
  • Gum swelling
  • Chin (facial) rash
  • Disrupted sleeping patterns
  • Ear rubbing
  • Drooling
  • Decreased appetite

These symptoms are usually most bothersome during the week that the tooth is breaking (erupting) through the gums, starting about four days before and lasting about three days after the tooth appears.

Occasionally, teething discomfort can be considerable. If that is the case with your baby, you can give her or him acetaminophen or ibuprofen in the appropriate dose (check with your pharmacist if you're not sure what that is). The medicine should be swallowed — not massaged into the gums, as this can also burn. Numbing agents should not be used for children under 2, except under the advice and supervision of a healthcare professional.

If you would like to learn more about teething or any other child-related oral health issue, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Olivia Newton-John, please see “Olivia Newton-John.” Dear Doctor also has more on “Teething Troubles.”

Pasadena, CA Dentist
Pasadena Dental Implants
175 S. El Molino, Suite 4
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 796-1241
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