Specialized Specialty Services in Bakersfield, CA
Why race across town to dentists you don’t know? We provide comprehensive, specialized dental care in one familiar place.
You’ve dreamed of a beautiful smile for as long as you can remember. It’s NOT too late! From teens to seniors that beautiful smile is just an Invisalign® procedure away.
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® has changed the face of orthodontics. Instead of wires attached to your teeth, your teeth can now be straightened invisibly.
- Invisalign® is clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing.
- Invisalign® is removable. Unlike braces, you can eat and drink what you want during treatment. You can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene.
- Invisalign® is comfortable. No metal brackets or wires to cause mouth irritation, and less time in the dentist’s chair getting adjustments.
The Invisalign® process has been proven effective in clinical research and in orthodontic practices nationwide. However, only a certified dentist like ours can undertake this procedure.
How Does Invisalign® Work?
- A set of aligners are worn for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
- As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position the dentist has prescribed.
- You will visit us approximately once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.
- Total treatment time averages 11 months with the average number of aligners worn during treatment between 18 and 30. This of course will vary from case to case.
The aligners are made through a combination of our dentists’ expertise and 3-D computer imaging technology provided by the Invisalign® company. Be sure to read our article on Why You Should Choose Invisalign to Perfect Your Smile.
We now offer Invisalign Teen™ designed specifically with additional features that compensate for Teen treatment challenges.
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss any aspect of your dental health – we don’t charge for giving advice!
No one wants to lose their teeth, but sometimes it is necessary to undergo an extraction to restore and maintain the health of your smile. Extractions are never your dentist’s first choice, but in certain situations, the preservation of your oral health may be dependent on it.
Reasons Why Tooth Extractions Are Necessary
We always do everything we can to help patients keep their natural teeth, but sometimes it isn’t a viable option. Here are a few reasons why a tooth extraction may be necessary to restore your overall dental health and function:
- There is severe damage or decay to the tooth that is irreparable.
- To allow for a patient to undergo orthodontic treatment.
- For ensuring long-term success with a restoration, like a denture.
- When a primary tooth won’t fall out on its own.
- If a tooth is impacted and unable to erupt properly.
Ultimately, by extracting problematic teeth, future infections and other oral health issues are significantly less likely to occur.
The Process of Removing a Tooth
Teeth are generally removed by either pulling or surgical extraction. Teeth can only be “pulled” when they have fully emerged from the gumline. In this case, we will start by numbing the area around your tooth and use a clasping tool to shift the tooth around until it breaks away from the gumline. If pulling isn’t a possibility, the tooth will need to be surgically extracted. For this procedure, a small incision is made into your gum tissue to allow us the ability to reach enough of your tooth to fully remove it.
To determine which extraction method would be necessary for you, come see us for a consultation where we can evaluate your smile. In the process of discussing the extraction, we will also talk about necessary tooth replacement options to prevent future oral health issues as a result of tooth loss.
Tooth Extraction Aftercare
Before you leave the practice, we will provide you with a specific aftercare plan to help you stay comfortable and avoid complications. While every case is different, here are some steps that we will generally recommend for optimal recovery:
- Take recommended over-the-counter and prescribed medications as directed
- Rinse with saltwater 24 hours after your procedure
- Avoid using tobacco products until your mouth has healed
- Do not drink using a straw
- Elevate your head while sleeping
- Get plenty of rest
- Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and discomfort
- Stay away from hard, crunchy, and sticky foods
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that tends to go undiagnosed for many folks. Fortunately, as more people become aware of the symptoms and signs of sleep apnea through public awareness and patient education campaigns, diagnosis and treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is becoming more commonplace than in years past. Our dentist offers sleep apnea appliances as a non-invasive and comfortable form of treatment.
Apnea involves the cessation of breath. During sleep, those with OSA experience airway obstruction, which causes them to stop breathing for short increments of time. To reinitiate breathing, the brain will send signals to wake the sleeper slightly. The cycle of apnea and wakefulness can take a toll on a patient’s health and wellbeing because it impedes one’s ability to truly rest.
Sleep Apnea And Your Health
When sleep apnea goes untreated, it can have far-reaching effects on every facet of a person’s health. For instance, sleep apnea has been linked to cardiovascular disorder, mental health problems, stroke, and hypoxemia (low oxygen levels in the blood).
The reason sleep apnea affects the entire body is because it causes sleep deprivation, affects the natural rhythm of air intake, and disrupts the body’s ability to rest and rejuvenate tissues during sleep.
Signs And Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
OSA produces symptoms and signs that may be noticed by a sleeper or his or her bed partner. In many instances, OSA causes a patient to gasp for air during sleep or snore loudly. When waking, people with sleep apnea tend to experience dry mouth, headaches, and grogginess. Fatigue and malaise are common, too – even after a person has what they think is a full night’s sleep. Sleep apnea can cause memory loss and depression as well as raised blood pressure.
How Sleep Apnea Appliances Work
In the past, obstructive medical equipment or invasive surgeries were used to treat OSA. For instance, CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy was used during sleep to keep airways open by emitting a constant stream of air. While this was effective, the bulky and loud machinery affected patients’ abilities to sleep comfortably.
To help promote comfort, our dentist may recommend the use of a custom oral appliance. This appliance is made from soft materials and is worn in the mouth during sleep. By slightly repositioning the lower mandible (jaw) forward, the appliance can prevent soft oral tissues from collapsing into airways during sleep.
When patients experience extreme sensitivity, pain from a broken tooth, or are suffering from advanced periodontal disease, your dentist could recommend that you have a tooth extracted. During a simple extraction, the dentist can safely remove the affected tooth without the need for major surgery.
There are numerous situations in which a simple extraction is needed. Extractions are typically performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay, infection, as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future, or to prepare your for another cosmetic or restorative procedure.
Common reasons for tooth extractions include:
- Advanced periodontal disease that has loosened the roots of your tooth
- Extra teeth or baby teeth that impede adult teeth
- Preparing a patient for orthodontic treatment
- Removing a fractured or malformed tooth
- Severe tooth decay which cannot be remedied with root canal therapy
- Removal of Wisdom Teeth
Third molars, commonly referred to as wisdom teeth, are usually the last four of 32 teeth to erupt (surface) in the mouth, generally making their appearance between the ages of 17 to 25. They are located at the back of the mouth (top and bottom), near the entrance to the throat. The term “wisdom” stems from the idea that the molars surface at a time typically associated with increased maturity or “wisdom”.
In most cases, inadequate space in the mouth does not allow the wisdom teeth to erupt properly and become fully functional. When this happens, the tooth can become impacted (stuck) in an undesirable or potentially harmful position. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to infection, damage to other teeth, and possibly cysts or tumors.
There are several types, or degrees, of impaction based on the actual depth of the teeth within the jaw:
Soft Tissue Impaction: The upper portion of the tooth (the crown) has penetrated through the bone, but the gingiva (gum) is covering part or all of the tooth’s crown and has not positioned properly around the tooth. Because it is difficult to keep the area clean, food can become trapped below the gum and cause an infection and/or tooth decay, resulting in pain and swelling.
Partial Bony Impaction: The tooth has partially erupted, but a portion of the crown remains submerged below the gum and surrounding jawbone. Again, because it is difficult to keep the area clean, infection will commonly occur.
Complete Bony Impaction: The tooth is completely encased by jawbone. This will require more complex removal techniques.
Reasons to remove wisdom teeth
While not all wisdom teeth require removal, wisdom teeth extractions are most often performed because of an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future. If impaction of one or more wisdom teeth is present, and left untreated, a number of potentially harmful outcomes can occur, including:
- Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars (the teeth directly in front of the wisdom teeth) can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay (cavities), periodontal disease (gum disease) and possible bone loss.
- Disease: Although uncommon, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth.
- Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection. The infection can cause considerable pain and danger.
- Tooth Crowding: It has been theorized that impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on other teeth and cause them to become misaligned (crowded or twisted). This theory isn’t universally accepted by all dental professionals, and it has never been validated by any scientific studies.
Wisdom teeth examination
As with any dental procedure, your dentist will want to initially conduct a thorough examination of the wisdom and surrounding teeth. Panoramic or digital X-rays will be taken in order for your dentist to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and determine if a current problem exists, or the likelihood of any potential future problems. The X-rays can also expose additional risk factors, such as deterioration or decay of nearby teeth. Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve the results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. Only after a thorough examination can your dentist provide you with the best options for your particular case.
What does the removal of wisdom teeth involve?
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure, generally performed under local anesthesia, intravenous (IV) sedation, or general anesthesia by a specially trained dentist in an office surgery suite. The surgery does not require an overnight stay, and you will be released with post-operative instructions and medication (if necessary), to help manage any swelling or discomfort.