29May

The key elements of effective oral health care are comprehensive dental exams and professional dental cleanings every six months. While most patients of the Santa Monica family dentist are aware of the importance of these appointments, but may not know exactly what is involved in a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning.

The following is a brief summary of the steps that we take during your six-month checkups.

Comprehensive Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:

  • Check for tooth decay: All tooth surfaces should be checked for decay or changes since the last visit.
  • Examine existing restorations: Check condition of current fillings, crowns, etc.
  • Gum disease evaluation: It is essential to check the gums and bone surrounding the teeth for signs of periodontal disease.
  • Digital x-rays: This step is essential for detecting decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. Digital x-rays will also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Your dentist will check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) will be performed by your dentist or a skilled dental hygienist. Appointments for cleanings include:

  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky film that coats your teeth and is made up of bacteria, food debris, and saliva. If plaque isn’t removed with oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings, it continues to feed on the sugars in your mouth and produces acid that attacks dental and causes cavities.
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): When plaque remains on teeth, it hardens and forms a hard deposit known as tartar or calculus. Since tartar is calcified and adheres to the teeth above and below the gum line, it can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Teeth polishing: Polishing is the final step in the process of your professional cleaning and removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.

Please call your Santa Monica Family Dentist

If it’s time for your next routine exam and cleaning, please call Dr. Carol Follette to arrange an appointment.

 

15May

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 study conducted 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 later!
  • 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.

01May

If you are looking for a smile makeover and want to see a dramatic improvement, you may find your answer with the Santa Monica veneers dentist. We offer a variety of cosmetic procedures to our patients who are either in need of restorative dental work or want to improve their smile!

Natural-Looking Porcelain Veneers

For patients who want a smile makeover to correct chipped, damaged or slightly crooked teeth, we offer porcelain veneers for high quality, long lasting results. Porcelain veneers are expertly crafted to fit in with the rest of their natural teeth to provide you with the smile you desire. Many patients will choose porcelain veneers when looking to improve the appearance of the front teeth or those that are most prominent when smiling.

We start by preparing the surface of your tooth for veneers in a conservative fashion, removing only as much of the surface as necessary for a lasting and comfortable fit. The process will usually take place over several appointments, and the veneers will be custom made for each patient from impressions taken at by the Santa Monica veneers dentist.

While waiting for the permanent veneers to be created by a dental lab, patients will be fitted with temporaries after the tooth surface is prepared. The veneers will be bonded to the tooth/teeth with a dental bonding material at the final visit.

Bonding, a Cost-Effective Alternative

As an alternative to porcelain veneers, we also offer tooth bonding for patients who want to cover a chip or crack in a tooth that is noticeable when smiling. Dr. Follette is an experienced cosmetic dentist and can offer patients excellent results with this more cost-effective alternative when it is a suitable option.

Tooth bonding is called a “direct restoration” and is a process where a cosmetic resin material is attached directly to the affected area of the tooth. The material is matched to a patient’s natural tooth color, providing aesthetically appealing results for correction of minor cosmetic issues.

Please give us a call if you’d like more information about porcelain veneers.