15Jul

 

Want straight teeth without ongoing work? Carol E. Follette DDS has the perfect solution: dental bonding. It’s affordable, reliable, and remedies virtually any cosmetic dental issue, including stained, broken, or chipped teeth.

What Is Dental Bonding?

There are four core steps involved in a typical dental bonding treatment:

  1. A tooth-colored composite material is applied to the tooth/teeth to be treated.
  2. The composite is sculpted until its shape matches that of the tooth.
  3. The composite is given time to harden.
  4. After hardening, the tooth is polished to ensure an attractive sheen and texture.

 

Given the integral role played by the composite material, you may have guessed that dental bonding derives its name from the fact that the material “bonds” to the tooth. In addition to the symptoms mentioned in the opening paragraph, dental bonding is also a desirable solution for closing small gaps, and it’s a safer/more appealing method of filling small cavities.

What Does The Procedure Entail?

A dental bonding procedure t is fast and painless. Here’s how you can expect things to go:

 

  1. The dentist applies a benign phosphoric acid to the affected teeth. This substance roughens the surface of the tooth, which ensures that the bonding material will adhere and remain in place.
  2. After the adherent is applied, the composite material (which resembles putty) is placed on the tooth, whereupon it’s sculpted and shaped so that it integrates seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.
  3. The hardening process begins, during which a special light is used to expedite things.
  4. Once the bond is sufficiently hardened, the dentist polishes and buffs the tooth/bond until it’s indistinguishable from the real thing.

Benefits Of Dental Bonding

Dental bonding offers some terrific benefits, including:

  • A competitive cost, especially considering that most dental insurance plans cover most/all of the expense. This is especially true if the bonding is needed to fill a cavity, or as a structural reinforcement for a tooth/teeth.
  • Painlessness: unless you come to us for a dental bonding that is needed to fill a decayed tooth, anesthesia isn’t part of the process. Also, compared to crowns and veneers, there is very little enamel removal associated with dental bonding.
  • Aside from the rare exception, a standard dental bonding procedure necessitates just a single office visit. We recommend allowing 30 - 60 minutes per tooth.

Maintaining Your Dental Bonds

Despite dental bonding’s effectiveness, regular maintenance is vital. If not properly cared for, bonds are vulnerable to chipping and staining. The following three tips are especially helpful:

  • Avoid chewing on hard objects and biting your nails
  • Reduce red wine, tea, and coffee intake
  • Quit smoking

 

For Dental Bonds, Choose Carol E. Follette DDS

Carol E. Follette DDS and her team are highly regarded for their professionalism, friendliness, and expertise in a wide range of dental procedures. Whether you want dental bonding from a leading cosmetic dentist serving Santa Monica, or are seeking a trusted family dentist, we invite you to visit our office for a tour today.

 

 

18Jun

Do you brush and floss routinely, avoid sugary foods and drinks, and see your dentist for scheduled appointments but still get cavities? Do you have friends who don’t follow healthy oral habits and don’t deal with tooth decay and wonder if there’s any fairness left in the world?

Your Santa Monica family dentist understands your frustration! How is it possible to take care of your teeth and still get cavities? It turns out that your genes may be responsible.

It’s Not Just about Bacteria

Keeping your mouth free of harmful bacteria is essential if you want a healthy smile, but another significant factor is the resistance of your teeth. A recent study by two researchers from the University of Zurich shows a definite condition between defects in the gene complex that’s responsible for the formation of tooth enamel and the rate of caries (cavities).

What This Means for You

There’s a lot more study that needs to be conducted in this area to understand how these findings can change the way we approach oral health care. But whether or not your genetic makeup puts you at higher risk for tooth decay, there are always steps you can take:

  • Make sure your oral hygiene’s up to par – Brushing and flossing for decades does not make you an expert, and if you aren’t doing it properly, you may not be getting the benefit of your efforts. Talk to your hygienist to “brush up” on your oral hygiene for the best results.
  • Keep up with routine dental appointments – Prevention is the key to enjoying good oral health, making semi-annual exams and cleanings with your family dentist crucial. Decide if you’d rather take a couple hours out of your week now or wait until you need costly and complex treatment!
  • Pay attention to what you eat and drink – Certain foods, especially those high in sugar and acid, are very damaging and weaken dental enamel which can lead to cavities. 

Please Call to Arrange an Appointment

Your family dentist can offer you many helpful tips for keeping your smile healthy, regardless of genetics. If you would like to learn more, please call the Santa Monica family dentist to arrange a convenient appointment.

 

15Jun

For the most part, people young and old are comfortable and confident during treatment with our Santa Monica dentist. However, for some patients dental anxiety is a real concern, and one that Carol E. Follett DDS takes seriously. If you’re someone who dreads the dentist’s chair, here’s some advice for reducing your dental anxiety.

What Is Dental Anxiety?

It’s estimated that 5% - 8% of Americans suffer from dental anxiety and avoid the dentist under any circumstances. Moreover, another 20% of people possess a lower level of dental anxiety that keeps them from seeking dental care unless it’s absolutely necessary.

 

Two main causes of dental anxiety have been identified. The biggest, and one that applies to roughly two-thirds of anxiety sufferers, is a bad experience in a dentist’s office. The second cause is related to clinical conditions like anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress, and substance abuse. Across both causes, an overarching theme is the inability to control the situation due to being prone in the dentist’s chair, where it’s difficult to move or talk.

Ways To Reduce Dental Anxiety

There are a few ways to reduce dental anxiety, some of which are patient-specific and others that are dentist-related.

Dentist-Related

Many of the most effective solutions for dental anxiety pertain to communication techniques that a dentist will use to ease an anxious patient’s mind. For example:

 

  • Telling the patient they can leave at any time (seldom will a patient accept this offer, but many people like the fact that they’ve been given the choice)
  • “Narrating” the dental procedure, i.e. telling the patient what’s coming next, how it will feel, and how long it will last
  • Periodically asking the patient for permission to continue the procedure
  • Allowing the patient to pause the procedure if they start feeling uncomfortable. In some cases, the dentist and patient will agree to a cue, i.e. the patient raising his right hand when he wants to pause.
  • Making time for breaks at certain intervals of the procedure

Patient-Specific

From a patient’s perspective, there are some steps to be taken that can increase in-chair comfort and peace of mind. These include:

  • Asking a friend or relative to join at the first dental visit. This could mean having the person close by in the waiting room, or sitting in on the procedure.
  • Talk with the dentist about available/appropriate sedatives for the procedure to be conducted: local anesthetic, oral sedative, or nitrous oxide, depending on the dentist’s opinion
  • For many patients, listening to music on headphones brings added comfort - especially a new album that heightens interest level and takes the patient’s mind from the procedure
  • Relaxation techniques are beneficial: progressive muscle relaxation (which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups) and controlled breathing (helps to slow the heartbeat and relax the body) are two of the most popular

 

Visit Carol E. Follett DDS and Leave Your Worries Behind

If you’ve been searching online for a “dentist near me” who takes a de-stressing, patient-focused approach to dentistry, Carol E. Follett DDS is the ideal choice. We provide a comfortable, relaxed environment that helps patients feel good about the dental care they need.