WaterLase laser system equips a dentist to perform the full range
procedures – from soft and hard tissue, to bone, endodontics
WaterLase Dentistry™ Clinical Uses
WaterLase® was first cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) to cut tooth structure in 1998, and since that time has
received numerous additional clearances from the FDA for a wide
range of procedures on teeth, bone and gum tissue.
Laser Hard Tissue Applications
Hard Tissue Procedures
Class I, II, III, IV and V cavity preparation
Hard tissue surface roughening or etching
Enameloplasty, excavation of pits and fissures for placement
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Powerful Prescription for Snoring and Sleep Apnea.
the Myerson EMA, the patient’s airway is obstructed by
As shown, the Myerson EMA facilitates free-flowing air in the
now offer VELscope (Visually Enhanced Lesion scope) Technology.
Traditionally, our dentist and hygienists have done oral cancer
screening with the naked eye, but recently a new technology,
the VELscope has received FDA approval. One of the VELscope’s
most important tasks is to help locate areas that might, if
not treated, progress to oral cancer. The VELscope will help
us pinpoint and identify suspicious tissue at earlier stages
before they may become life threatening concerns. Be sure to
ask us about VELscope. We are one of the few providers in San
Diego that offer this new technology.
good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can
do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you
to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak
properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing,
will help stop problems before they develop.
between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps
that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing
tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.
- Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
- Use dental products which contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinse with a flouride mouth rinse if advised to do so
- Make sure children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take
a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
following are indications of good oral hygiene:
- Your teeth are clean and free of debris
- Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath is not a constant problem go back
dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from
a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take between
45 and 60 minutes. Cleanings should be performed at least every
six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left
untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine
dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing and polishing.
this is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth
surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of
plaque and tartar.
hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new
and advanced technology has lead to more modern methods such
as electric scalers. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings
to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve
best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined
for dental cleanings.
planing: this is the process of cleaning pockets in
the gums to treat and prevent gum problems.
planing is used to treat moderate to advanced gum diseases.
When the gum is inflamed, gum pockets become deeper and may
lose connections to the bone inside. The deeper the pockets,
the easier it is for plaque deposits to become trapped and worsen
planing involves inserting a pointed dental tool called scalers
into the gum pockets to clean plaque buildup. Depending on the
degree of difficulty, root planing may take several appointments
and a local anesthesia may be used to prevent pain.
this is the last step in tooth cleaning and involves finishing
the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean.
are two kinds of polishing: air polishing and rubber tip polishing.
Air polishing works by spraying high pressured water mixed with
baking soda paste onto the surface of your teeth. This powered
water washes away residue and plaque while baking soda removes
stains. Rubber cup polishing uses a low-speed and gentle handpiece
that contains a polishing paste made of abrasive ingredients
ideal for removing stains. go back
is sophisticated word for “bad breath”. Depending
on the cause, bad breath may strike on occasion or be a persistent
condition. The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria.
Because the mouth is moist and warm, it creates perfect conditions
for the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth. In fact,
approximately 80% of bad breath is caused by something in the
Some types of bad breath, such as "morning mouth,"
are considered fairly normal and are not usually health concerns.
However, persistent bad breath may be a sign of more serious
problems with the gums and teeth.
breath may be caused by the following:
- Poor dental hygiene poor oral hygiene can leave food particles
to decay in the mouth
- Infections in the mouth such as periodontal (gum) disease
- Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus
infections, lung infections
- External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and
coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing
through the mouth
- Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney
disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
our office promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen
gums that bleed easily or loose teeth. We will perform a physical
examination of your mouth to determine the cause. If we discover
that systematic problems are the cause, we may refer you to
your family physician. In severe cases of gum disease, we may
recommend a specialized periodontist.
Sealants are used to fill narrow
grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing.
In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits
which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush,
but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into
them. To avoid cavaties developing over time, the dentist will
brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it
possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to
the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is performed
to repair damage caused by decay, to alter the alignment of
the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for other cosmetic
the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the
bonding. A gel is applied so the resin will adhere to the surface
of the tooth.
composite is then placed on the tooth and the bonding agent
hardens with intense light. The last step is shaping and polishing
to give a lustrous finish. go back
filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to
its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires
a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material,
clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity
with a filling material. A filling helps prevent further decay
by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.
are a variety of filling materials available including gold,
plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine
which material is best, depending on the extent of repair, where
in the filling is needed, and cost. Each filling material is
briefly explained below:
fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into
place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice,
many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are
well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color
of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While
white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials,
they usually only last between 3 and 10 years and may not be
ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.
They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom
created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched
to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the
same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally
covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth,
a crown (or "cap") may be recommended. Decay that
has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy
or through a procedure called pulp capping. go
SEDATION DENTISTRY/DENTAL ANXIETY
sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers
from dental anxiety or dental phobia. We are happy to offer
a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental
visit as comfortable as possible.
Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients who might otherwise
avoid the dentist, to receive dental treatment necessary for
a healthy smile. Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia,
varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas”
is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. This sedation
is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the
medication and induces a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic
will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate
This medication can be given to a patient the night before a
dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental
appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral
sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local
anesthetic will also be administered.
IV Sedation provides relaxation medication through a small needle
inserted in your hand or arm. Like oral sedatives, IV sedation
does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic will also
be administered. Intravenous sedation allows patients to be
awake but in an extreme state of relaxation with little or no
pain. go back
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENT
The gums, ligaments,
and bone around the teeth form the foundation for teeth. All
structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the
periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as
a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house.
Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and
bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away
from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or
bite of the teeth. With proper gum treatments, it may be possible
to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you're having a
problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away.
treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done
under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents.
It is important to have gum problems checked promtly, as gum
disease left alone may eventually need treatment through sugery
or extraction. go back
and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged
or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown (also referred
to as a cap) is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown
not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve
a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns may be used to:
- Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure
Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Attach a bridge
- Cover a dental implant
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing
teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth cemented into
place using the teeth on either side for support. This is an
option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. Bridge
work is as much an art as it is an exact science since it replaces
a missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. The materials
used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or
all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color.
The choice of material depends on requirements for strength,
wear, and aesthetics.
is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible.
If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift
inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one
is missing they begin to "fall” and shift into the
open spaces. This may worsen the bite because of the changes
in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw
such as TMJ.
and crowns are made by first taking an impression of your mouth.
The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge
will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural
tooth color. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into
your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is ready and
cemented into place.
and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra
care and good oral hygiene. go back
oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a
single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and
appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent
tooth loss, there still sometimes necessary occasions when a
tooth may need to be extracted. A tooth may need to be extracted
for the following reasons:
- Severe decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Infection or abcess
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to
have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist
will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position
of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty,
we may refer you to a specialized oral surgeon.
For a simple extraction, we will first apply a local anesthetic
to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with
a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps.
Once the procedure is complete, the area may be closed with
one or two stitches. We will then provide you with care instructions
to alleviate discomfort and ensure proper healing.
teeth are the last molars or “third molars” that
develop on each side of the jaws. Wisdom teeth usually emerge
in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20.
teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy
and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that
require their removal. When the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate
wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or
misaligned). Wisdom teeth may also grow in sideways, emerge
only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the
gum and bone.
wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. The
dentist will numb the area in your mouth with a local anesthesia
or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure.
the tooth is removed, we will provide care instructions to ensure
proper healing. Some pain and swelling may occur but will normally
subside after a few days. You should call your dentist if you
have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.
canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic
therapy) is made necessary when an untreated cavity reaches
all the way to this pulp. Treatment may also be needed when
deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause nerve damage. Once
the pulp becomes infected, and can begin to eat away at the
surrounding bone (this is known as an abscess). If the pulp
is infected, not only is it painful but it will require treatment
as it cannot heal on it's own. Symptoms that indicate the pulp
has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets,
pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste
in the mouth. However, sometimes no symptoms are apparent
and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal
is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect
the canals of the tooth. Alternate treatment would be to extract
the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal is filled
in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up
and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has undergone
root canal therapy. go back
dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who
are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal
disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post
that a periodontist or oral surgeon surgically positions into
the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has
had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post.
While implants are typically more expensive than other methods
of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants
are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years.
They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since
do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate
bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent
oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical
to the long-term success of dental implants. go
NIGHTGUARDS AND MOUTHGUARDS
designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic
and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended
to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports
such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where
your mouth may be hit. Guards also protect the soft tissues
of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are recommended
for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way
to protect their teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, we will take an
impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to
make a custom fit guard. In most cases you can choose from a
variety of colors and
On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years. go
stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple
area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint
as in where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may
be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess
Cartilage buffers the two bones and five muscles that meet in
this area, but any problems in this area can create quite a
bit of pain and biting difficulties.
of TMJ include:
- Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth,
moving teeth, adjusting the bite and filling gaps between teeth.
There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Occasionally
a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding
that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and in severe
cases, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
dentistry includes procedures to correct imperfections or enhance
the appearance of the mouth. Tooth color, alignment, spacing
as well as regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that
give the overall appearance. Any of these can be enhanced to
provide a stunning new smile.
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter
and brighter, and therefore more attractive.
Bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth,
or simply to enhance a dull smile.Either way, tooth whitening
is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients.
Our office offers two methods of whitening: in-office whitening
and tray whitening
whitening is ideal for anyone wanting immediate results. The
entire process takes place in our office in about an hour, making
it the perfect choice for busy individuals. In this process,
a protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft
tissue. A special light-activated gel is then applied to your
teeth and a special light or laser is used to enhance the action
of the agent - making your teeth whiter and brighter. As a final
step, we take impressions of your teeth to create custom trays
for at home touch-ups, and give you instructions for keeping
your smile bright. The result is dramatically whiter teeth that
will last for years.
whitening is a less expensive whitening treatment you can use
while in the comfort of your own home. We will first take an
impression of your mouth to create customized clear whitening
trays for you to wear. Within a few days your trays will be
ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the
special bleaching material to the trays. The whitening gel trays
should be worn 30-60 minutes up to twice a day. At the end of
this period, you will see maximum whitening results that are
nothing short of dazzling. Occasional treatment can be used
at your convenience to maintain your new smile.
is the art of using appliances to straighten and align teeth.
Most commonly it involves the use of braces to move teeth into
proper positing. In this method, brackets are bonded to the
teeth and arch wires are threaded through the brackets.
The arch wires act as a track, guiding each tooth to its proper
position. There are several types of orthodontic braces available
to patients, including traditional metal braces, ceramic "tooth
colored" braces, as well as clear plastic braces.
Bracket -- The Damon bracket uses a “sliding-door”
technology called “self-litigation.” This new technology
allows a wire to slide back and forth inside the bracket. This
method requires no elastics, creates less friction and is therefore
more comfortable for the patient than traditional braces. Damon
brackets require fewer adjustments and a shorter treatment period.
“Tooth Colored” Brackets -- Ceramic braces
are translucent brackets that blend in with your natural tooth
color. They are used with patients who are concerned about the
appearance of their smile as they are less metallic looking
than traditional braces. Ceramic braces are designed to resist
staining and discoloration over long periods of time.
Braces -- Clear Braces utilize brackets made of monocrystalline
sapphire, which make the braces nearly see-through except for
the thin arch wire. Next to the Invisalign system (below), clear
braces are the closest thing to invisible braces.
Braces -- Metal Braces are the most economical and
traditionally used braces. Metal braces are also ideal for those
with more extensive realignment needed.
Orthodontic Retainers are appliances made from plastic and stainless
steel to custom fit your mouth. They act as a guide to hold
your teeth into place after braces are removed. The retainer
holds your teeth in place so your surround gums and bone can
adjust around them – allowing you to maintain your realigned
smile. Although the time you must wear a retainer will vary,
many orthodontists recommend retainers are worn into the early
20s until the bone in your jaw and mouth has stopped growing.
Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear, snap-on,
custom fit, removable mouth trays that apply a controlled amount
of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. The system provides
the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but since
the trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually invisible.
In addition, because Invisalign trays are removable, they can
be taken out while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.
The Invisalign System begins by first creating a series of trays
that will each move your teeth gradually until the end result
the end of each two-week period, you will switch trays. Throughout
the process, you will visit your dentist every 4 - 6 weeks to
ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Once your treatment
is complete, you will likely wear a clear retainer to ensure
your new smile stays in place.
with all orthodontic appliances, the cost of Invisalign varies
according to the complexity of the case. However, Invisalign
is generally more expensive than traditional braces. Insurance
policies generally cover Invisalign to the same extent that
they cover traditional braces. To learn more, visit the Invisalign
website by clicking here. go back
are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the
outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only
applied to the part of the tooth that is visible when talking
or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on
the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually
referred to as bonding. The indirect technique usually involves
two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a
At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions
taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two
to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the
temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth.
The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain
or pressed ceramic and are very aesthetic.
advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material
is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable.
Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or
little tooth structure. go back
order to provide nothing but the best to our patients, our office
uses state-of-the-art technologies in all our procedures. These
new technologies allow us to treat dental cases with extreme
precision, detect dental concerns at early stages, and provide
stunning and customized restorations.
When you visit our office you can be confident that you are
receiving the finest and most advanced in dental care. We proudly
offer and use the following advanced equipment:
X-rays are a focused beam of x-ray particles passed through
bone which produce an image on special film, showing the structure
through which it passed. This provides the familiar black and
white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and
disease. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth and supporting
bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection
or pathology that requires attention.
our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take
x-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film
x-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an x-ray
of your mouth by using a small sensor which records the image
of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly
detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to
better diagnosis dental concerns and determine the very best
treatment for each case. go back
abrasion is a drill-less and more gentle approach to remove
decay from the teeth. An air abrasion unit is a small instrument
that blasts a fine stream of air and particles onto the teeth
to spray away decay.
The small particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide or baking
soda and aid in cleaning the tooth surface. Air abrasion allows
for decay to quickly be removed while conserving healthy tooth
structure. The particles and decay are then suctioned out of
Air abrasion is gentle because it generates no heat, sound,
pressure or vibration. In addition, it reduces the need for
anesthesia, making it an ideal choice for children and those
who experience dental anxiety. go back
use digital imaging software in our office, which allows us
to take a digital picture of you and use our imaging system
to predict how a particular treatment or cosmetic procedure
would change the appearance of your teeth. This software is
beneficial for patients who are considering cosmetic procedures
but are not sure if they’re ready for dramatic changes.
Digital imaging also allows us to document your dental case
and procedures very well.We take digital images of your face,
teeth and smile to provide us with a permanent dental record
and to provide a visual documentation of treatment. go
ELECTRONIC CLAIM PROCESSING
office utilizes electronic claims processing. This means that
rather than sending your dental claim through the mail, it is
sent electronically to your insurance company with the click
of the button. By filing your claim electronically, information
is submitted more efficiently and with fewer errors.
This benefits our patients because the turn around time on claims
is faster and fewer claims are returned or denied. We are happy
to submit your dental claims to your insurance company on your
behalf. go back
use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral
cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and
gums. With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small
diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme
precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera
are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose
dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology.
Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also
be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a
better understanding of dental procedures being performed. go
dentist performs most of his dental procedures while wearing
a pair of funny looking glasses called surgical telescopes.
These powerful glasses have magnifiers on them, allowing the
dentist to see fine details that would go unnoticed to the naked
eye. go back