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All Posts in Category: Dental Care

Choosing Porcelain Veneers or Lumineers

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Cosmetic veneers are the most affordable and easiest way to get a complete smile makeover and Dr. Shervin M. Louie is recognized by patients and peers as one of the masters of the process. People from all over the world have heard about his work over the past two decades and come here to get that Hollywood Smile.

A veneer is made of thin material that can be designed to look like a natural tooth and attached to the front of the tooth to cover up discoloration, a chip or crack, or even a gap between teeth. The least expensive material, composite resin, is adequate for emergencies or a tight budget, but is much more easily discolored or chipped than cosmetic porcelain and only lasts 4-8 years.

Porcelain veneers are usually durable for 10-15 years with proper care and are resistant to stains. To avoid having them stick out too much and look artificial, it is necessary to shave off some of the enamel from the front of the teeth on which they will be placed. Impressions are made of the area and sent to a top dental laboratory to craft your veneers. On a second visit, they will be bonded to your teeth for your new, confident smile.

Lumineers are a new type of patented Cerinate porcelain as thin as contact lenses which do not require shaving the enamel. They can be even be placed over existing restorations and last for up to 20 years. The way Dr. Louie designs the Lumineers, they are considered works of art. 

It is important to have your natural teeth professionally whitened in advance of having veneers placed, so that the shade you have chosen will match the best your natural teeth look. You may need to do this especially for teeth which have dead roots that appear dark or which have had root canals done and may seem yellow. You can’t whiten veneers, but you can keep your teeth the same color by cleaning frequently, especially after drinking coffee, tea, or red wine or smoking. Be aware the using some medications, like tetracycline, and strong mouthwashes can stain teeth. Dr. Louie will also discuss whether you should consider having misaligned teeth first corrected with transparent Invisalign aligners.

Set an appointment with Dr. Louie today so you can get the smile you have always dreamed about for all the benefits to your personal and professional life.

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Even the Most Minor Cosmetic Procedure Can Make a Difference

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Few of us learned how important good dental care was when we were growing up. We thought going to the dentist was just about getting a filling for a cavity. Dentistry is actually the most underappreciated medical specialty for many people, who are not aware that good oral health can prevent a greater risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

But cosmetic dentistry also has many benefits, even the most minor procedures, because a great smile is the easiest way to start a new friendship or begin building a relationship with a prospective customer.

Sometimes just using white bonding resin can repair chipped teeth, cover stains, close gaps between teeth, or protect enamel or roots.

Tooth-colored composite fillings can inexpensively and easily replace unsightly old silver or gray ones that many feel may be harmful.

Inlays and onlays made of porcelain, gold, or resin to cover a area of the bite that has been damaged and a filling is not enough.

Or a professional whitening by our dental team can give you that Hollywood smile by removing up to eight layers of discoloring in an hour (more, if you want).

Veneers, thin pieces of porcelain that are placed on the front of teeth, are a step up in cosmetic dentistry, but are an easy fix for many problems, including cracks and chips, teeth that are too small or too large compared to others, misshapen teeth, and gaps.

Perhaps the biggest reason for veneers is for discoloration that is hard to remove with whiteners. This is usually due to either smoking and chewing tobacco or excessive consumption of coffee, tea, and red wine, but even apples and potatoes can stain. Many medications and even mouthwashes or excessive fluoride in water can discolor. A dead root can darken a tooth and with age the outside enamel surface can wear down and show the yellow dentin underneath. Properly made and customized to your needs, veneers can mask anything.

Even a single dental crown is an affordable and simple way to cover a damaged tooth that stands out.

If you are missing a tooth, you may know that unless something takes its place, the nearby teeth will lean in to fill the gap, which can cause misalignment and eventually the loss of other teeth. The easiest way to prevent this is to place a dental bridge on the adjacent teeth, with a natural-looking artificial tooth in between. 

Come in to have Dr. Louie assess your cosmetic dental needs and recommend a path to a new life with a brighter smile.

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How Skipping Dental Check-Ups Can Affect You

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los angeles dentist

For many patients, a dental checkup is the absolute essential to maintaining the longevity and health of their smile. Dentists advise that dental checkups are scheduled twice per year. However, not everyone actually goes through with having their regular dental exams and checkups in the year. Skipping a check-up can leave your teeth vulnerable to many risks and conditions. Here are things that can go awry with your teeth without a regular checkup schedule.

Cavities can Occur

Cavities are not easily detectable or visible right away. This can be risky as without a check-up, your dentist may not be able to see the clear signs of cavities. In addition, they can worsen overtime is you may not have the timely and preventative treatment necessary to restore your teeth.

Gum Disease Becomes a Higher Risk

Another risk of missing dental check-ups is the occurrence of gum disease. This condition generally is treated best when it is detected early. Many patients are not aware that they have this condition because the symptoms do not stand out right away. With a dental check-up, you can have a cleaning perform that targets the gum lines and helps manage any bacteria from accumulating. In addition, a good cleaning can reduce the chances of long-term gum disease and even conditions such as jaw deterioration.

Other Important Notes

It is imperative to understand that dental check-ups are necessary to reduce the most serious conditions that can affect your teeth, gums, and jaw. Except for cavities and gum disease, the jaw can be prone to shifting over time, which can lead to issues with your bite as well as crowding of the teeth. With timely treatment as a result of a regular check-up schedule, you can prevent the chances of these conditions occurring or worsening.

Dr. Shervin Louie and his team in Los Angeles can provide consistent dental care to help you maintain your smile. Contact our team today to schedule a consultation.

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Are You Brushing Your Teeth Differently?

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Woman flossing teeth

When patients are asked about their brushing habits, the common response is how hard can it be? Most patients are actually surprised to hear that oral discomfort and other conditions can indeed be the result of incorrect teeth brushing methods. One of the most valuable parts of your appearance is your smile, if you brush it differently than others, are you really sure that your teeth are getting thoroughly cleaned? 

Here are several teeth brushing techniques that your dentist recommends.

Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Not all toothbrushes are made the same when it comes to quality and material. Do not select your toothbrush by its color and design. Find a toothbrush that has soft bristles that will not be too irritating to your teeth and gums. There are toothbrushes which feature the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, this can help you determine the brushes that meet official quality standards. 

Brush at a 45-Degree Angle 

When brushing your teeth early, aim your brush at a 45-degree angle inside your mouth. This angle is particularly effective because the toothbrush can clean your gum line. Without the proper cleaning styles performed each day, gum disease or infections can occur. 

Use Shorter and More Rounded Strokes 

Cartoons and shows may exaggerate teeth brushing as a simple left and right motion. However, this technique is not as sufficient as using a more circular motion in cleaning your teeth. Instead of brushing aggressively, use a softer circular motion that is more akin to massaging your teeth, rather than scrubbing them. 

Take the Necessary Time to Clean 

The dentist recommends brushing for at least two minutes per session, twice per day. You can take more time as well, which will help you thoroughly clean your teeth. 

For additional information on good teeth cleaning or brushing habits, contact the office of Dr. Shervin M. Louie today.

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What Kind of Dental Crowns Are Best for You?

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Choosing what type of dental crown is right is a tough choice to make. After all, it’s going to be in your mouth and if it’s not perfect, it will affect the way you look, the way you talk, the way you chew, and will affect your other teeth. So how do you make such a critical decision that could affect so much? What are your choices?

Color

One of the key considerations will be color because not everybody loves the idea of looking like a bad Bond villain with a discolored front tooth. For front teeth, porcelain and ceramics fused with metal will be most commonly used as they are relatively easy to blend the color with your own teeth. This will mean nobody will even know that one of them is a crown. If you want to be bold and have either a metal or gold front tooth, this is possible too, but obviously, this is a big decision to make because it is not subtle and will show every time you smile or speak.

Materials

Crowns come in all different types of materials and not every material is suitable for every placement. Metal alloys and gold crowns are the strongest crowns. They don’t wear down, they don’t chip or break. If you grind your teeth, this would be an excellent choice as they have the best resistance to wear. Metal and alloys stay so smooth, they don’t aggravate the teeth next to them. This would make them the ideal material to place everywhere, but due to the color they do tend to only be used for back teeth where their strength suits them.

Porcelain and porcelain infused with metal base are tough too, but they can chip and break. If used for back teeth, they are a little more likely to become damaged if you grind your teeth. Porcelain can also become a little rough. If this occurs, then the teeth that are next to them can quickly become roughed and sensitive.

Hold

Every crown requires the tooth that it is going to be cemented onto is prepared and filed for a good fix. Some require more of the natural tooth to be taken away than others. A metal alloy requires the least natural tooth to be removed, which is obviously better for the mouth in general. If a crown ever comes out, it is rare that it doesn’t cause some damage to the remaining tooth, so to have more left behind is good.

Price

The final thing to consider is price. Each type of crown has a different cost associated with it so you should talk to your cosmetic dentist about pricing and payment schemes for all dental crowns and pick the best fit for you and your budget.

Choosing the right dental crowns is a big undertaking. Hopefully this article has helped you understand what the factors are in getting the right fit.

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What to Expect from Your Wisdom Tooth Extraction

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A wisdom tooth extraction is a type of dental surgery that is either performed by your dentist or an oral surgeon. The purpose of the surgery is to remove one or more of your wisdom teeth, which are the third set of adult molars in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth usually appear in your late teens or early twenties. If your dentist recommends getting them removed, here is what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

Preparing Before the Surgery

Wisdom tooth extraction is a fairly common procedure, so you will be able to go home after it is over. Since you will be given anesthesia, have a friend accompany you to the dentist’s office so they can drive you home. You should also ask your dentist if you need to fast before the surgery and if so for how long. Also, let your dentist know of any medications that you take so they can check to see if it is okay to take them before surgery. Feel free to ask your dentist any questions about the procedure, so you have a full understanding of what will happen.

During the Procedure

Anesthesia is used to eliminate pain during the procedure. If you are given a local anesthetic, you will stay awake during the procedure but aside from some pressure, you will not feel any pain. If you are given sedation or general anesthesia, you will be given either an intravenous line in your arm or breathe in medication that you make you fall asleep. You are monitored by a surgical team and when you wake up, the procedure will be finished. During the procedure, the dentist cuts into your gums to expose the wisdom teeth. The teeth are then removed and the cut is stitched up. Gauze is placed in your mouth to control bleeding.

Recovery after Surgery

Once the procedure is over, you will take some time to recover either in the chair you had the procedure in or another room. Once you go back home, take it easy for the rest of the day. You can go back to a normal schedule the following day, but avoid strenuous activities for about a week. Eat soft foods for a few days and take over-the-counter medications that contain acetaminophen for pain relief. Do not brush your teeth or spit for about a day after the surgery as it may loosen the blood clot at the incision site. In order to clean your mouth after meals, you can rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If you experience any symptoms such as fever or numbness, contact your dentist immediately.

In Conclusion

Every year, about five million people get their wisdom teeth removed. While it is a common procedure, it is important to prepare yourself before you arrive for the surgery. Make sure to listen to your dentist’s instructions to ensure a smooth procedure and recovery time.

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Reducing Anxiety Ahead of Dental Visits

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Does the thought of going to the dentist make you a little anxious? You’re in good company since a third of Americans don’t see one regularly largely for that reason. The good news is that Dr. Shervin M. Louie and the office staff will do everything possible to make you feel completely comfortable when you visit.

You can get to know us in advance by going to www.smileinla.com. Read Dr. Louie’s impressive biography, which includes being in private practice since 1996. He also received an award for 10 years of service as a clinical professor at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 2006. Dr. Victoria Naiman has the distinction of having a degree in dental hygiene and dentistry. You may also enjoy reading about all of our friendly and well-trained staff members.

You can listen to our patients talk about their positive experiences with us in the video testimonials right here.

Anxious about the possibility of pain during a dental procedure? We use the latest technology, such as lasers, techniques, and medications to be sure your experience will always be painless. For example, we use topical anesthetics to numb the area where we will administer an injection. We ask you to confirm when you are ready or to let us know if you feel any discomfort. And we can provide complete sedation, as needed.

Wondering how we can help you? The more you know, the more you will not only feel less anxious about coming to see us. You will realize we will be an important way to improve how you look and feel, as well as helping you to avoid unnecessary complications and pain. Browse our website for a description of our services, which include cosmetic dentistry, treatment of gum disease, Invisalign to straighten teeth, and dental implants to replace lost teeth or those that need to be extracted.

Worried about being able to afford quality care? We have a variety of ways to help you finance the highest quality dental care.

Concerned about whether it is safe to come in during this time of the COVID-19 crisis? Our office has always followed strict disinfection and cleaning strategies. As we explain here, we are following the guidelines from the American Dental Association to be sure all patients feel safe. These include the staff wearing masks and disposable gowns, screening patients to be sure they do not have symptoms of illness, and scheduling appointments so there is social distancing in the waiting room. You will be safer here than almost anywhere else. 

We can promise that when you leave our office, you will feel a new confidence in the future of your oral health.

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Porcelain Veneers Add More Radiance to Your Smile

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A highly sought cosmetic dentistry solution, porcelain veneers are developed to treat a multitude of cosmetic concerns at the same time. With its benefits in concealing chips, cracks, gaps, tooth discoloration, and mild forms of misalignment, porcelain veneers provide flexible advantages to an aesthetically improved smile. If you have to cover your teeth when you smile or laugh, then porcelain veneers can help you reassert a sense of pride in your smile. 

A porcelain veneer can be tailored to match the natural color and shade of your surrounding original teeth. These improvements can provide the look of a healthy smile that does not have to be hidden on social occasions. With this advanced cosmetic treatment, you can transform the aesthetics and presentation of your teeth. 

Our dental veneers are created from durable porcelain material that is precisely molded to provide the best fit and appearance. These restorations are affixed to the visible portion of the affected tooth with a strong bonding agent, your porcelain veneers can create beautiful results that with proper care and maintenance, can last for decades. 

For additional information about porcelain veneers, the procedure, or to schedule an appointment, contact our team today.

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Risks of Oral Cancer

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Many dentists are constantly looking to recognize and understand the causes of oral cancer., but the issue is complex. There are five commonly identified factors that may place patients at greater risk of developing these conditions. Here are five of them below

Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that is associated with about 9,000 cases of head and neck cancer (specifically those occurring at the back of the tongue, in or around the tonsils) diagnosed each year in the United States.

Gender
According to the American Cancer Society, male patients have a twice as high probability of being diagnosed with oral cancer than women. In addition, they have a death rate that is twice as higher as women. These figures are attributed to the higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use among men. In addition, higher HPV rates among young men have been a reference as a factor.

Tobacco
Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco has a dramatic effect on the risks of oral cancer. Pipe smokers also have a higher risk of developing cancer on their lips. In addition, even smokeless tobacco can lead to cancer of the cheeks, gums, and lips.

Alcohol
According to the American Cancer Society, 7 of 10 oral cancer patients have a history of alcohol use, and heavy drinking. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) characterizes heavy drinking as having an average of two drinks a day or more. These rates were observed to be higher in men than in women.

Infrequent Dental Visits and Check-Ups
One of the earliest options for treatment and defense against oral cancer is early detection. Every time you visit the dentist, you can assess your tongue, teeth, gums, and every other surface in the mouth. Your dentist is not only checking for plaque buildup and cavities, but also for early signs of oral cancer. If left untreated, oral cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become more difficult and costly to manage.

These are just five of the most prominent risk factors associated with oral cancer. Nearly all of these factors stem from lifestyle choices. Patients who choose to over-consume alcohol or smoke are recommended to schedule regular dental check-ups to find early signs of this condition. To schedule one now, contact our dental team today.

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Reinforcing Your Immune System in a Pandemic

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With the coronavirus wreaking havoc in every corner of the globe, we’re forced to remain isolated at home and brace for the worst case scenario. Until a vaccine is developed, our only internal line of defense against COVID-19 is our immune systems. The degree of symptoms vary from person to person with the most common symptoms being a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It’s good to prepare your immune system just in case you’re infected, so here are a few tips on ensuring your immune system is pandemic battle ready:

1. Reduce Stress

We understand it’s hard not to stress out as we’re forced into social isolation, the economy has entered a recession, and none of us have a timeline of when things will go back to normal. However, stress releases hormones that affect your immune system and can make it less effective should you get infected. There are many ways to reduce stress: try meditation, exercise regularly, and take breaks to clear your mind.

2. Reduce inflammation

There are many foods that can cause inflammation in your body, such as sugar, processed meat, and alcohol. It’s good to avoid these foods so that your immune system’s resources can be diverted to fighting disease rather than food-related inflammation.

3. Exercise

Exercising three times a week can do wonders for boosting the immune system. Spending 30 minutes jogging at a moderate pace is a good approach. If you go too hard during each workout, then this can stress the body and have a negative effect, so keep exercise moderate and not strenuous.

4. Avoid toxins

Toxins such as mycotoxin from mold are brutal on the immune system. Other toxins can also be found in pesticides, chlorinated water, aromatic air fresheners, and general air pollution. Try and avoid these as much as possible so that they don’t heavily tax your immune system.

5. Rest

Finally, get adequate rest. Nothing hinders an immune system more than poor sleep and exhaustion. Times are stressful, but try to keep work-life balance in check as you work from home, and sleep on a consistent eight hour schedule.

Following these tips can ensure your immune system is in the best position to withstand any infection, including the current coronavirus. Stay healthy and safe.

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