Cosmetic Dentistry for Your Family

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Garden Grove office: (714) 537-0550
 

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Posts for: June, 2017

By Timothy T. Bui, D.D.S., Inc.
June 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
ReplacingaBackToothMayHelpYouAvoidFutureDentalProblems

Considering the costs, many people view replacing a back tooth as less important than a more visible front tooth. They’re rarely seen, so who will notice?

You might, eventually. A missing back tooth can set off a chain reaction of problems that can affect your overall dental health. Besides playing an important role in chewing food, back teeth also redistribute most of the chewing force away from the front teeth. Their absence can also affect the bite: adjacent teeth to the missing one will tend to migrate toward the open space, causing them to tip and rotate into an improper position. This can cause an increase in tooth mobility, excessive wear and erosion, and endanger their survival in the long run.

To avoid these and other problems you should consider some form of replacement. Most dentists prefer a dental implant for its life-like appearance and durability, and because its titanium post has a natural affinity with bone. Bone cells will grow around and permanently adhere to the implant, which may stop and even reverse bone loss in some cases.

Implants, though, require a certain amount of bone structure initially to anchor and position properly. If you have inadequate bone and don’t want to bone graft the area, the next best option is a fixed bridge, in which the missing tooth is replaced with an artificial crown known as a pontic. The pontic is fused between two support crowns that are permanently affixed to the natural teeth on either side of the missing tooth (also known as abutments). While fixed bridges restore function and inhibit tooth migration, they require the natural tooth supporting the bridge to be reduced to accommodate the crowns placed on them. This permanently alters them and places them at higher risk for future nerve damage, gum disease and decay.

One final option is a removable partial denture (RPD). Although RPDs restore function and improve appearance, their movement within the mouth may place additional stress on the teeth that hold them in place. This movement over time could damage or loosen them.

We can discuss which option is best for you after a complete dental exam. The important thing, though, is to replace the back tooth as soon as possible — doing nothing could cost you much more in the long run.

If you would like more information on tooth replacement, 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 “Replacing Back Teeth.”


By Timothy T. Bui, D.D.S., Inc.
June 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Correcting small flaws in your smile doesn't have to involve spending hours at the dentist's office. Newport Beach and Garden dental bonding, cosmetic dentistryGrove, CA, dentist, Dr. Timothy Bui explains how bonding, a common cosmetic dentistry treatment, can transform your smile.

Bonding offers a simple solution to imperfections

Bonding is used to repair teeth and change their appearance. During bonding treatment, composite resin is attached to your teeth. When the resin hardens, it bonds to your teeth, providing an exceptionally strong surface that looks no different than your natural tooth enamel.

Because composite resin is a plastic-based material, it's very flexible in its original form. In fact, it can be manipulated into any shape imaginable. After the composite resin is applied to your teeth in our Newport Beach or Garden Grove office it's exposed to a curing light that hardens it in just a few minutes. Bonding treatment offers an easy way to transform your smile and is a less expensive option than many other cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Will bonding help me?

Bonding is a very versatile treatment that can be used to treat many cosmetic issues, including:

  • Short Teeth: If you grind or clench your teeth, you may eventually shorten them and wear down the enamel. Adding some bonding material to the teeth restores the length.
  • Shape Issues: When you have a few teeth that are strangely shaped, it's not unusual to feel self-conscious about your smile. Bonding will help improve the appearance of your teeth, whether they're twisted or crooked.
  • Discolorations: A dark tooth can be very noticeable when you smile. Luckily, bonding covers discolorations easily.
  • Small Flaws: Bonding is an excellent solution if a tooth has bumps or depressions, or is chipped or cracked.
  • Spaces: Would you like to get rid of the slight spaces between your front teeth? Bonding offers a long-lasting way to close the gap.

Are you ready to upgrade your smile with a cosmetic dentistry treatment? Call Dr. Bui at (949) 675-7750 to schedule an appointment at the Newport Beach office or (714) 537-0550 to make an appointment at the Garden Grove office.


By Timothy T. Bui, D.D.S., Inc.
June 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health
LifeIsSometimesaGrindforBrookeShields

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”