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All Posts in Category: Dental Blog

What is an All-on-X Dental Implant?

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Dental implants are the best permanent solution for missing teeth. Unlike dentures, which are removable, a dental implant is attached directly to your jawbone, with a crown that looks and functions exactly like a natural tooth.

But what if you have an entire row of missing teeth, or you even need to replace all your teeth? Will that require a painstaking process of installing one dental implant after another? Until recently, the answer was yes.

Until the arrival of the all-on-X dental implant changed the game. With this new technology, you can replace an entire row of missing teeth with as few as four implants. Let’s explore this revolutionary treatment and how it could be the solution you need.

All-on X Dental Implant Terminology

All-on-X dental implants are known by a few different terms, including full-mouth dental implants and full-arch dental implants. You may also hear different numbers referring to the procedure: All-on-4, All-on-6. These numbers refer to the amount of implants that your dentist recommends.

The Standard Dental Implant Procedure

When installing a single dental implant, your dentist first may need to prepare the jawbone with a bone graft. Your teeth actually help to maintain the strength and shape of your jawbone because when you chew, your teeth press on the bone. When your teeth are missing, your jawbone starts to atrophy. The bone needs to be strong enough to support an implant, so a bone graft may be necessary to restore its strength.

Next, the implant is inserted into your gums and allowed to fuse with your jawbone, a process called osseointegration. This takes 4-6 months, but once the process is finished, the implant feels like a natural part of your body. The final step is to attach the crown to the implant. The crown is the visible portion of the whole apparatus, basically an artificial tooth. It can be customized to your preference of color and shape.

The All-on-X Dental Implant Procedure

In an all-on-X dental implant procedure, four or more implants are inserted at the same time. Unlike a standard implant, which goes in straight, all-on-X implants are inserted at an angle, utilizing more of the jawbone for a strong, sturdy foundation.

Once osseointegration is complete, an entire row of artificial teeth is attached to the implants. Instead of painstakingly installing artificial teeth one by one, all the teeth are installed at once, saving on costs and procedure time. You’ll be able to walk out of the dentist’s office with your smile fully restored. As long as you keep caring for your implants like you would your natural teeth, they can last for decades.

Contact Shervin M. Louie, DDS for more information on All-on-X dental implants. Dr. Louie has been practicing in Los Angeles for almost 30 years, serving many celebrity patients and becoming a fixture in the community. Dr. Louie is here to help you achieve your brightest smile. Schedule a dental implant consultation and begin your journey to restoring your full set of sparkling, beautiful teeth.

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Low Mood and Its Effects on Your Dental Health

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It’s well known that mental health and physical health can be interconnected. However, this relationship can also be overlooked. Low mood, depression, and anxiety can significantly affect your oral hygiene routines and overall dental health. 

Our team is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to our patients in Los Angeles and Larchmont, understanding that addressing mental health can be valuable in maintaining your dental health. 

Low mood and depression can lead to a variety of changes in behavior and lifestyle that negatively impact dental health.

Reduced Oral Hygiene Practices

Individuals experiencing low mood or depression may struggle to maintain regular oral hygiene routines. Brushing and flossing can feel overwhelming or insignificant compared to other challenges they face. The absence of consistent dental care practices can lead to plaque buildup, tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

Dietary Changes

Depression often affects appetite and eating habits. Some people may overeat, particularly consuming excessive sugary or carbohydrate-rich comfort foods, which can increase the risk of cavities. Others may lose interest in eating altogether, leading to nutritional deficiencies that can weaken the immune system and make gums more susceptible to infection.

Dry Mouth

Low mood and certain medications used to treat depression and anxiety can cause dry mouth. Saliva is an important component for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, washing away food particles, and protecting against tooth decay. Reduced saliva production can lead to increased risk of cavities, gum disease, and oral infections.

Bruxism or Teeth Grinding

Stress and anxiety often accompany low mood and can contribute to bruxism, a condition characterized by grinding or clenching of the teeth. This can cause tooth wear, fractures, jaw pain, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Smoking and Substance Use

Some individuals with low mood may turn to smoking, alcohol, or other substances as coping mechanisms. These habits are detrimental to oral health, contributing to gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer, and other dental issues.

Recognizing and Addressing the Impact

Understanding the link between low mood and dental health is the first step towards prevention and treatment. 

Consistent Dental Appointments

Scheduling and keeping regular dental appointments is crucial. Dr. Shervin Louie and our team can help monitor your oral health, provide professional cleanings, and offer personalized advice to improve your dental care routine, even when you’re struggling with low mood.

Simplified Oral Hygiene Routine

An electric toothbrush can help contribute to a thorough clean with less effort and consider using mouthwash to help reduce bacteria and freshen breath. Set small, manageable goals and gradually build up your routine as your mood improves.

Healthy Diet

Even when dealing with a low mood, aim to maintain a balanced diet. Focus on incorporating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit snacks and beverages that carry high sugar content, and drink plenty of water to help combat dry mouth and support overall health.

Stress Management

Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood. Reducing stress can also alleviate bruxism and other stress-related oral health issues.

Professional Support

Additional support from mental health professionals can provide strategies and solutions to manage low mood and depression. This can lead to improved motivation and ability to care for your dental health.

Medication Management: If you are on medication for depression or anxiety, discuss any side effects, such as dry mouth, with your healthcare provider. They may adjust your dosage or recommend treatments to alleviate these symptoms.

Your mental health profoundly impacts your dental health. By recognizing this connection and taking proactive steps, you can protect your smile even during challenging times.

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Is Tooth Loss Preventable?

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Tooth loss is a common dental concern that can have significant implications for your oral health and overall well-being. While certain factors, such as genetics and aging, can increase the risk of tooth loss, many cases are preventable with proper oral hygiene and regular dental care. At Shervin Louie, DDS, we believe in empowering our patients in Los Angeles and Larchmont to take proactive steps to preserve their natural teeth for a lifetime.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: 

Regular brushing and flossing twice per day can help reduce the risk of tooth loss. Proper oral hygiene helps remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums, reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay, which are leading causes of tooth loss.

Schedule Consistent Dental Check-Ups

Routine dental visits are crucial for detecting and addressing oral health issues early, before they progress to the point of tooth loss. During your check-ups, our dentist will assess the health of your teeth and gums, perform professional cleanings, and provide personalized recommendations for maintaining optimal oral health.

Address Dental Issues Promptly

If you experience dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, or dental trauma, it’s  essential to seek prompt treatment from a qualified dentist. Ignoring these issues can lead to further damage and eventual tooth loss.

Practice Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Lifestyle habits, including smoking and poor dietary choices, can increase the risk of tooth loss. Quitting smoking, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and limiting sugary snacks and beverages can help protect your teeth and gums from damage.

Protect Your Teeth from Injury

Accidents and injuries can result in tooth loss, which makes it important to take precautions to protect your teeth during sports and other activities. Wear a mouthguard when participating in contact sports, and avoid using your teeth as tools for opening bottles or tearing packages.

Dental Implants

If tooth loss has already occurred, dental implants offer a reliable and long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. Implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth, providing stability and preventing bone loss in the jaw.

While some risk factors for tooth loss may be beyond your control, adopting a proactive approach to oral health can significantly reduce your risk and help preserve your natural teeth for a lifetime. By prioritizing good oral hygiene, attending regular dental check-ups, and addressing dental issues promptly, you can enjoy a healthy and beautiful smile for years to come. If you have concerns about tooth loss or would like to learn more about preventive measures, schedule a consultation with our Los Angeles dentist today!

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Effects of Highly Acidic Foods and Beverages on Your Smile

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Maintaining a healthy smile involves steps that go beyond regular brushing and flossing. The foods and beverages you consume can have a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Foods high in acidic contents in particular, can erode dental enamel and lead to a host of dental issues. Our team is dedicated to educating our patients in Los Angeles and Larchmont about the effects of acidic foods and beverages on their smiles.

Enamel Erosion

Dental enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects them from decay and damage. When you consume highly acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, soda, wine, and dressings containing high amounts of vinegar, the acid can wear down the enamel over time. This erosion weakens the teeth and makes them more susceptible to cavities, sensitivity, and discoloration.

Tooth Sensitivity

As dental enamel wears away due to exposure to acidic substances, the underlying dentin layer becomes more exposed. Dentin contains tiny tubules that lead to the nerve center of the tooth, making it more sensitive to hot, cold, sweet, and acidic foods and drinks.

High Risk of Tooth Decay

Enamel erosion caused by acidic foods and beverages can roughen the surface of the teeth where plaque and bacteria can accumulate. This buildup can lead to the formation of cavities and other dental problems if left untreated.

Changes in Tooth Appearance

Acidic foods and drinks can also cause cosmetic issues such as tooth discoloration and transparency. As enamel erodes, the yellowish dentin beneath becomes more visible, leading to a duller, yellowed appearance. In addition, acidic substances can soften tooth enamel, making it more prone to staining from pigmented foods and drinks.

Gum Irritation and Recession

In addition to harming the teeth, highly acidic foods and beverages can irritate the gums and contribute to gum recession. Receding gums expose the roots of the teeth, increasing the risk of sensitivity and decay in your smile. 

To minimize these risks, it is important to follow these tips:

  • Limit consumption of highly acidic foods and drinks.
  • Drink water or rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking 
  • Drink with a straw to minimize the fluid’s contact with your teeth
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming acidic foods or drinks to allow saliva to neutralize the acid and mineralize your tooth enamel

By being mindful of your dietary choices and practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can protect your smile from the harmful effects of acidic foods and beverages. If you have concerns about the impact of acidic substances on your dental health, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with our team today!

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Myths About Fluoride

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Fluoride is a mineral considered to prevent tooth decay and strengthen dental enamel, making it a valuable tool in excellent oral health care. However, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding this mineral  that can lead to confusion about its safety and effectiveness. Here are some of the most common myths to debunk about fluoride.

Myths About Fluoride in Dental Care

Fluoride is Harmful to Your Health

One of the most widespread myths about fluoride is that it’s harmful to your overall health. The truth is, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water sources and many foods. When used in appropriate amounts, such as in fluoridated water and toothpaste, fluoride is safe and effective at preventing tooth decay.

Fluoride is Only for Children

While it’s true that fluoride is crucial for children’s dental health, it’s beneficial for people of all ages. Fluoride helps strengthen dental enamel and can reduce the risk of cavities in adults as well.

Fluoride is Only Found in Toothpaste

While fluoride toothpaste is a common way to introduce fluoride into your oral care routine, it’s not the only source of fluoride. Many community water supplies are fluoridated to provide a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay for an entire population.

Fluoride is Ineffective

Some people believe that fluoride doesn’t actually prevent tooth decay. However, numerous studies have shown that fluoride can reduce the incidence of cavities by up to 25% in both children and adults.

Too Much Fluoride

While excessive fluoride intake can lead to dental fluorosis, a cosmetic condition that affects the appearance of tooth enamel, it’s rare and may primarily occur with significantly high fluoride exposure. When used as directed, fluoride is safe and beneficial for dental health.

Fluoride is Unnecessary if You Have Good Oral Hygiene

Even with the best of oral hygiene practices, fluoride is still an essential component of a comprehensive dental care routine. It helps strengthen dental enamel and provides additional protection against tooth decay.

Recognizing the facts about fluoride is essential for making informed decisions about your oral health. Fluoride is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay and maintain strong, healthy teeth at every stage of life. If you have any concerns or questions about fluoride, don’t hesitate to discuss them with our team during your next dental visit.

When maintaining optimal dental health, there is a lot of focus on brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. In addition, it is important to consider the role of nutrition in supporting dental bone health. We believe that a well-balanced diet plays a crucial role in keeping your teeth and gums strong and healthy in Los Angeles and Larchmont

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How Nutrition Supports Your Dental Bone Health

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When maintaining optimal dental health, there is a lot of focus on brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. In addition, it is important to consider the role of nutrition in supporting dental bone health. We believe that a well-balanced diet plays a crucial role in keeping your teeth and gums strong and healthy in Los Angeles and Larchmont.

How Nutrition Supports Your Dental Bone Health

Calcium-Rich Foods

Calcium is essential for strengthening bones, including the jawbone that supports your teeth. Incorporating calcium-rich foods such as dairy products, leafy greens, almonds, and fortified foods into your diet can help keep your teeth and jawbone strong.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has an essential role in calcium absorption, making it valuable for maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Exposure to sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, but you can also find it in fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified foods. Consider adding these foods to your diet to support your dental bone health. 

Phosphorus

Phosphorus works in conjunction with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth. Foods rich in phosphorus include meat, poultry, fish, nuts, beans, and dairy products. Including these foods in your diet can help maintain the integrity of your dental bones.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is crucial for gum health and collagen production, which is necessary for maintaining the structure of your gums and supporting the underlying bone. Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, and broccoli are excellent sources of vitamin C.

Limit Sugary and Acidic Foods

Consuming sugary and acidic foods and beverages can contribute to the demineralization of dental bones and increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Limiting your intake of these foods can help preserve dental bone health.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking an adequate amount of water is essential for saliva production, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth and remineralize dental bones.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity and being underweight can both have negative effects on dental bone health. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can be a singificant contributor to your long-term dental health. 

By paying attention to your nutrition and incorporating bone-supporting foods into your diet, you can help preserve the health and integrity of your dental bones. Combine a nutritious diet with good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits for optimal dental health and a beautiful smile.

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How to Save a Damaged Tooth

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If you are experiencing a dental emergency, it is important to take steps to save a damaged tooth before it worsens. Dr. Louie and his team understands the urgency of such situations, and we’re here to guide you through the process of preserving your tooth until you can reach our Los Angeles office.

Take Immediate Action

Time is of the essence when dealing with a damaged tooth. The sooner you act, the better the chances of saving it. Rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area and remove any debris.

Handle with Care

Avoid touching the root of the tooth. Hold it by the crown (the part visible in your mouth) to prevent further damage or contamination.

Reposition if Possible

If your tooth is partially dislodged, try to gently push it back into its original position. Avoid exerting too much force, and don’t attempt to reposition a completely knocked-out tooth.

Add Fluids

If you can’t reposition the tooth, keep it moist by placing it in a container of milk or saliva. This helps preserve the tooth’s viability until you can see your dentist.

Apply Cold Compress

To reduce swelling and alleviate pain, apply a cold compress to the outside of your mouth near the affected area.

Remember, these steps are temporary measures to help save your tooth in the event of an emergency. It is essential to see a dentist as soon as possible for proper evaluation and treatment. Dr. Shervin Louie and our team at Shervin Louie, DDS here in Larchmont and Los Angeles, can provide prompt and effective care for your dental emergencies.

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Replacing Dental Crowns

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Dental crowns are a restorative solution for damaged or decayed teeth. These tooth-shaped caps are placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. While dental crowns are durable, they may need to be replaced over time due to wear and tear or other issues. Our team specializes in replacing dental crowns to ensure our patients maintain healthy and beautiful smiles in Los Angeles and Larchmont.

Assessment and Consultation

If you believe your dental crown needs a replacement, schedule an appointment with Dr. Shervin Louie for a thorough evaluation. During your consultation, we’ll assess the condition of your crown and discuss your treatment options.

Preparation

Before replacing the crown, the tooth is prepared by removing the existing crown and any decay or damaged material. This process may involve numbing the area to ensure your comfort.

Once the tooth is prepared, an impression of the area will be taken to create a custom-made crown that fits perfectly with your bite and surrounding teeth.

Temporary Crown

While your permanent crown is being fabricated, a temporary crown will be placed to protect the tooth as well.

New Crown Placement

Once your new crown is ready, you’ll return to our office for its placement. Our team will ensure the crown fits accurately and comfortably before permanently bonding it to the tooth.

Additional Adjustments

We’ll make any necessary adjustments to ensure your bite is aligned correctly and that the crown looks natural alongside your other teeth.

Replacing a dental crown is a straightforward procedure that can significantly improve the function and appearance of your smile. If you’re experiencing discomfort or notice signs of damage to your crown, don’t hesitate to contact Shervin Louie, DDS, for expert care at our Los Angeles and Larchmont office.

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Smile-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions from Your Dentist

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Dr. Louie and his team encourage patients to adopt smile-friendly resolutions for the upcoming year. By developing a consistent routine and placing extra attention to your oral health, you can make the year ahead a great one for your smile.

Regular Check-Ups

Commit to regular dental check-ups at our Los Angeles and Larchmont office to catch and prevent potential issues before they escalate. Practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash consistently. 

Cosmetic Dentistry

Consider exploring cosmetic dentistry options to enhance your smile and boost your confidence. These include veneers, teeth whitening, bonding, Invisalign, and more.

Remember to stay hydrated, as water helps flush out bacteria and promotes a healthy mouth. Limit sugary and acidic foods to protect your teeth from decay. By incorporating these resolutions, you’ll be on the path to a healthier and more radiant smile in the new year.

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The Risks of Prolonged Missing Teeth

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The importance of addressing missing teeth goes beyond cosmetic concerns, especially for patients looking to maintain excellent oral health. Prolonged gaps in the dental arch can lead to various health concerns, and Dr. Louie emphasizes the significance of comprehensive dental care to mitigate these risks.

Changes in Bite Alignment

Missing teeth can cause neighboring teeth to shift, leading to changes in bite functionality. This shift can result in challenges in chewing, speaking, and may contribute to the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

Bone Resorption

The roots of teeth play a crucial role in stimulating the underlying jawbone. When there is a missing tooth, the lack of stimulation can lead to bone resorption, causing a decrease in bone density and altering facial structure.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Gaps in the dental arch create spaces where bacteria can accumulate, which can heighten the risk of gum disease. Proper tooth alignment and spacing are essential for optimal oral hygiene.

Speech Impediments

Missing teeth, particularly in the front of the mouth, can impact speech patterns, leading to difficulties in pronunciation and articulation.

Dr. Shervin Louie and his team in Los Angeles emphasize the importance of addressing missing teeth promptly through various restorative options, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures. Their patient-centered approach focuses on restoring not only the aesthetics but also the functionality and overall health of the smile. By providing comprehensive solutions, we can ensure that patients can enjoy a complete and healthy smile for years to come.

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