My Blog

Posts for: March, 2017

By My Dentist
March 21, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Smiling shouldn't be an uncomfortable sensation, but if you're dealing with noticeable cosmetic flaws in your teeth, you're likely to feel lumineershesitant to smile. It might surprise you to learn that in just one painless hour at Dr. Sanjay Patel's My Dentist office in San Bernardino, California, you can have a smile that you'll be proud to show off. Lumineers transform your smile by taking the concept of dental veneers one step further. You can learn more about them here.

What are Lumineers?

Lumineers, offered by your San Bernardino dentist, are a revolutionary way to improve the quality of your smile. They are wafer-thin pieces of porcelain that have been shaped, painted and shined to look just like the front surface of natural teeth. Each one is fitted onto the corresponding tooth using a bonding cement. Chipped or worn-down edges, irregular shapes or sizes, crookedness, gaps and discolorations are all easily masked by Lumineers' translucent porcelain.

What's the difference between traditional veneers and Lumineers?

Lumineers are durable and attractive, just like traditional veneers. The most remarkable difference is that Lumineers are much thinner - about the width of a contact lens versus half the width of a dime. This means that your San Bernadino dentist will not have to remove of any of your tooth enamel for successful placement. Traditional veneers require about five millimeters of tooth enamel to be permanently removed in order to adhere properly. Lumineers give the wearer the same beautiful results as traditional veneers; however, they're easier to place, less expensive and completely reversible if you change your mind.

Are there limitations with Lumineers?

Lumineers are durable, but care should be taken not to bite down forcefully on hard or crunchy foods like candy or ice, and to never use the teeth as a way to open packages or remove tags. The most important thing your San Bernardino dentist wants his patients to remember is that Lumineers do not replace natural teeth, so regular dental hygiene needs to be maintained.

Ready to learn more about how Lumineers can change your smile? We're ready to talk to you! Contact My Dentist in San Bernardino, California to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sanjay Patel!


KeepaCloseEyeonYourDentalHealthWhileUndergoingCancerTreatment

As a cancer patient, you know how important radiation and chemotherapy are to overcoming the disease. But these treatments often come at a price to other aspects of your health, including your teeth and gums if the treatment target includes the head or neck regions.

Radiation and chemotherapy are effective because they target and destroy cancer cells. Unfortunately, they may also kill non-cancerous, healthy cells; in the mouth, for example, they can damage the cells in the salivary glands and disrupt their ability to produce adequate saliva flow, leading to xerostomia (dry mouth).

This could seriously affect your teeth’s protective enamel shell. As we eat or drink, our mouth’s pH level can become too acidic. Acid is your enamel’s primary enemy because it causes the minerals in the enamel to soften and dissolve (de-mineralization). Saliva neutralizes acid and replaces much of the enamel’s minerals.

Without adequate saliva flow, the enamel will tend to erode over time. You can further aggravate the situation if you routinely consume acidic foods and drinks, like sipping energy drinks or soda during the day. Once the enamel is gone it can’t be replaced naturally, and the teeth will be in serious danger of tooth decay and eventual loss of function and appearance.

To avoid these consequences you should take steps during cancer treatment to reduce your risk for xerostomia or other unhealthy mouth conditions: limit your consumption of acidic foods and beverages; use mouth rinses to counteract acidity and inhibit bacterial growth; and promote saliva flow through medication.

It may be, though, that enamel erosion and subsequent tooth damage is unavoidable. In this case, you may need to consider restorative options with artificial crowns or other cosmetic enhancements — not only to improve your appearance but also to protect your natural teeth from further damage.

Before considering the latter, you should undergo a complete dental examination to assess your condition and make sure you have adequate bone and gum support, and any dental disease under control. From here, we can go about restoring the attractive smile that may have faded during your battle with cancer.

If you would like more information on oral care during and after cancer treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


DrTravisStorkIfOnlyIdWornAMouthguard

If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”

What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.

You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.

Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.

Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.

“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…

If you would like more information about mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Athletic Mouthguards.”