Cosmetic Dentistry for Your Family

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Posts for: June, 2016

By Timothy T. Bui, D.D.S., Inc.
June 26, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmj disorders   tmd   tmj  
AClearDiagnosisofJawPainisNeededtoDeterminetheRightTreatment

A blow to the face can result in a variety of injuries to your jaws and the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that join the lower jaw to the skull. Only a thorough examination can determine the type and extent of the injury, and how to treat it.

The pain you feel in your jaw may indicate a direct injury, usually near the joint. This could mean the joint head (condyle) has dislocated, or moved out of the joint space. It could also mean you’ve fractured your lower jaw, most commonly just below the head of the joint.

Jaw pain can also indicate structures near the jaw and joint have been damaged and the jaw is indirectly affected. In some cases a damaged tooth may be radiating pain signals through the jaw (along similar nerve paths). More likely, trauma to soft tissue near the jaw joint has swelled with inflammation, putting pressure on the joint and temporarily stopping the condyle from seating fully in the joint space.

Any of these injuries can also cause painful muscle spasms, a defensive reaction from the body that causes muscles on either side of the jaw to limit movement preventing further damage (a natural splint, if you will). Thus, the pain may be compounded by a diminished range of motion when you try to chew or speak.

It’s important, therefore, to determine the exact cause of pain and limited movement before commencing treatment. Spasms and inflammation are usually treated with muscle relaxant drugs and anti-inflammatory pain relievers. In the case of a dislocation, gentle manipulation can ease the condyle back into the joint space. A fracture would require more extensive treatment, including repositioning broken bone and immobilizing the jaw from movement to allow healing. In the most severe cases, surgical treatment may be necessary to internally immobilize the joint.

If you sustain an injury that results in jaw swelling and pain, you should see us without delay. The sooner we can diagnose and begin the proper treatment for your injury, the less likely you’ll encounter long-term problems and the sooner you’ll be pain and swelling free.

If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of jaw pain, 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 “Jaw Pain.”


By Timothy T. Bui, D.D.S., Inc.
June 16, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

You know that regular visits to the dentist for cleanings and x-rays are important. But you may be less invested in cosmetic cosmetic dentistrydentistry, a specialty practice that enhances the appearance of teeth, sometimes replacing them altogether. Your Garden Grove and Newport Beach, CA dentists, Dr. Timothy Bui and Dr. Caden Lim, want to address any myths their patients may have heard about cosmetic dentistry, helping them to understand their benefits and importance instead. If you've found yourself thinking one of the four statements below, this blog is for you!

Cosmetic dentistry looks "fake."

While there was a time that cosmetic procedures of any kind weren't as good as "the real thing," huge strides have been made in the materials, technology and processes used in cosmetic dentistry. This means that whatever treatment you choose from your Garden Grove and Newport Beach dentists, you can be assured that your comfort and and appearance are at the forefront.

Cosmetic dentistry is out of my price range.

Although there are certain situations that make procedures more costly - particularly if multiple procedures are needed to achieve the desired results - there exists a cosmetic dentistry treatment for every budget. For example, in-office whitening can make a noticeable difference in the appearance of your teeth, making them as much as 8 shades lighter in just one half-hour treatment. The cost is very affordable, typically running considerably less than a root canal on one tooth. Other low cost procedures include bonding, sculpting and contouring.

For more in-depth procedures, Drs. Bui and Lim offer financing for their patients. You can learn more about our payment plans options during your cosmetic dentistry consultation.

Cosmetic dentistry procedures don't last very long.

Today's cosmetic dental procedures aren't designed to be a "quick fix" - they are all long-lasting and durable, provided that patients follow the necessary steps to care for them. While over-the-counter whitening products may take weeks to show and only last several months, in-office whitening from your dentist can last well over a year before a touch-up treatment is needed. Porcelain veneers typically have a lifespan of one to two decades and dental implants can last a lifetime.

Cosmetic dentistry is vain.

Many people, especially men, have imperfect teeth but feel uncomfortable with the idea of cosmetic dentistry, seeing it as an unnecessary indulgence. However, your dentists want their patients to know that cosmetic procedures can be more than just an aesthetic update - they actually improve the health of your teeth! By filling in overlapped teeth with bonding or veneers, for example, those teeth are much less likely to trap food particles that can't easily be reached by a toothbrush or floss. Crowns protect damaged teeth and allow the natural root structure to remain intact and undisturbed. Dental implants help to support the teeth on either side and prevent them from shifting out of place.

If you'd like more information about any of the cosmetic dental procedures mentioned, contact Dr. Bui and Dr. Lim in Garden Grove and Newport Beach, California today!


By Timothy T. Bui, D.D.S., Inc.
June 11, 2016
Category: Oral Health
ActorDavidRamseyDiscussesBabyBottleToothDecay

Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavi­ties. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”