23Apr

Could your smile do with a little sprucing up? Maybe you have obvious esthetic flaws you want to fix or you’re maybe your teeth are making you look and feel older than you really are.

Modern dental science and advances in materials and techniques now provide the Santa Monica cosmetic dentist with more options than ever for customizing a smile makeover to fit your unique needs.

Let’s take a look at 5 options we offer that are designed to improve the aesthetics and health of your smile:

Professional Teeth Whitening

No list of cosmetic dental treatments would be complete without teeth whitening, the most requested of all procedures. With both in-office and take-home options, we can get your smile from dull to dazzling in no time.

Dental Veneers

If you have teeth that are improperly shaped, have gaps and uneven spaces or are severely stained, porcelain veneers may be the option for you. These tooth-shaped shells of porcelain are designed to conceal numerous esthetic flaws and leave you with a stunning Hollywood smile.

Dental Implants

Missing teeth not only detract from your smile, but those empty spaces can create other oral health problems. Dental implants are a full tooth replacement that improves both the beauty and health of your smile.

Invisalign

Have you been putting up with mild to moderate tooth misalignment? Crooked and crowded teeth are not only unappealing, but they can also make oral hygiene difficult and put you at risk for gum disease. Invisalign is a discrete, short-term orthodontic treatment that is perfect for the adult lifestyle.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Whether you have a damaged tooth that needs a filling or small flaws like chipped teeth, tooth-colored filling material looks completely natural. The Santa Monica cosmetic dentist can perform repairs that even you won’t be able to see.

Call for Your Smile Consultation

Would you like to learn more about these options and how they might benefit you? Please call the Santa Monica cosmetic dentist so we can arrange a convenient appointment to get started!


15Apr

Many people today are searching for ways to live a healthier lifestyle, and one solution is to pursue mercury-free dentistry: a superior alternative to the amalgam (“silver”) fillings of years past. Carol E. Follette, a well-respected dentist serving Santa Monica, addresses this topic in detail.

What Are Amalgam Fillings?

 

Kids today will hopefully never need to answer this question – but for older generations, amalgam fillings are the “silver” fillings from our youth, the ones the dentist used to fill a cavity. In recent years, it’s become apparent that many amalgam fillings consist of nearly 55 percent mercury – a substance that’s poisonous to humans.

 

The question, “At what quantity does mercury become dangerous in a filling?” is still being discussed, but what’s indisputable is that mercury becomes unstable once an amalgam filling is placed in a tooth. This instability results in the continuous release of mercury vapor into the mouth, a health risk compounded by the fact that mercury doesn’t leave the body voluntarily. Instead, it’s bioaccumulative, which means that every new bit of mercury raises the overall content of mercury in the body.

 

It’s ironic that amalgam fillings were once thought to be beneficial to teeth, when in fact the opposite is proven to be true. For one, amalgam fillings require a larger “support” area inside the tooth, which means the dentist must remove a quantity of healthy tooth structure. This of course weakens the tooth. Another problem is that an amalgam filling expands over time, which could lead to cracks in the tooth. Cracking can also result from repeated use of amalgam in the same tooth (i.e. replacing a filling) because the amalgam goes a little deeper into the tooth which each successive pass, creating a “wedge effect” that cracks and splits the tooth.

 

Though the effects of mercury poison do not always manifest visibly, the same unfortunately can’t be said for what’s happening inside a person’s body. Pregnant women and their unborn babies are especially susceptible to mercury poisoning, and a developing fetus could potentially be born with a damaged neurological system due to mercury’s toxicity. Over time, this toxicity can also manifest health problems like headaches, insomnia, and mood swings.

The Benefits Of Mercury-Free Dentistry

Mercury-free dentistry as practiced at our Santa Monica dental office consists of durable filling materials that are proven safe for use in a patient’s mouth: materials like glass ionomers and composite resin are reinforced with other robust, non-toxic substances, none of which produce chemicals harmful to the human body. What’s more, these mercury-free solutions are better for the environment, and they’re similar in color to a tooth, which renders them less noticeable. In fact, if a patient’s tooth/teeth are a certain color, we can customize the filling color to help it blend-in even more.

 

Our mercury-free fillings and the robust materials which reinforce them are malleable, which means they don’t need a lot of space to function in, unlike amalgam fillings. Consequently, the patient’s tooth structure remains strong, receives no undue pressure, and will never be compromised by the aforementioned “wedge effect”.

Your Health Is Paramount

Carol E. Follette DDS and her team put their patients’ health first. Our mercury-free dentist is always on the leading edge of solutions and technologies that are safer and healthier for the mouth. Contact us today and take the first step towards exceptional oral care.

09Apr

Is bad breath holding you back? Also known as halitosis, bad breath is unpleasant and embarrassing and can inhibit you in social or business interactions. All of us suffer from bad breath from time to time, especially in the morning. But there are numerous reasons why your breath smells, and it may not just be the onion rings you had with lunch.

Some common reasons for bad breath include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Tobacco use
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical conditions

Your Santa Monica family dentist wants you to be informed about the reasons for bad breath and how to eliminate it. While there may be a medical reason for chronic bad breath, there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to minimize the risk.

  • Don’t smoke: While there is a multitude of reasons to quit the bad habit of smoking, one of the more obvious ones is to devoid yourself of the smell externally (clothes and body) and internally (your mouth).
  • Don’t eat foods with strong odors: Avoid onions and garlic, especially before or during an important business meeting or another event where you need to interact with others. Onions and garlic leave a strong odor because they contain elements that make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs until you finally breathe them out.
  • Do floss: Flossing isn’t only necessary for your oral health to prevent cavities, but it dislodges food particles that would be otherwise stuck between your teeth, trapping bacteria and causing a distinctive odor.
  • Do chew sugarless gum: If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating, try rinsing out your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum about 20 minutes after mealtime. Chewing stimulates saliva production, which combats bacteria and cavities that lead to bad breath.

Chronic breath is not only unpleasant, but it may also be an indication of a more serious problem like periodontal disease. Please call your Santa Monica family dentist to arrange an appointment. You may be surprised that’s all that’s needed is a thorough dental cleaning to refresh your smile.