Category: Blog

Approved VA Dentist Now At Brighton Dental

VA Dental PatientsAre you a veteran in the San Diego area? Are you in need of dental services? Would you like a VA dentist in your area that could provide you that care? Well, good news! Brighton Dental is now one of the over 200 facilities across the country providing dental care to eligible veterans.

What can veterans expect from VA Dentists at Brighton Dental?

The Dental Service of the VA San Diego Healthcare System endeavors to improve the health of their patients, even allowing them to see private dentists, such as Brighton Dental. At Brighton Dental, we provide eligible veterans the same comprehensive and quality care as an in-house VA dentist, but at lower cost. We also provide appropriate oral health care to beneficiaries who have developed medical conditions from sub-par dental care. Brighton Dental uses the latest procedures, materials, and equipment to provide the best quality, comprehensive care possible to both veteran and non-veteran patients and to provide them with both a diagnosis and treatment in one visit.

Veterans can receive a wide range of services from the VA Dentists at Brighton Dental, including:

  • Painless treatments
  • Fillings without drills or shots
  • Digital x-rays and diagnostic lasers
  • Restorations
  • Use of biocompatible (mercury free and non-metallic) materials for bridges, crowns, onlays and fillings
  • Oral-conscious sedation
  • Check-up/exam
  • General cleaning
  • Intraoral digital radiography
  • X-rays with digital radiography
  • Sealants
  • Panorex
  • Periodontal treatment
  • Gingivectomy
  • Periodontal scaling & root planning
  • Bone grafts
  • Osseous surgery
  • Gingival flap procedure
  • Porcelain crowns
  • Porcelain onlays
  • Porcelain-fused metal crowns
  • All-porcelain bridges

If you are interested in using Brighton Dental for your VA dental needs, we are conveniently located near the Mission Valley VA Clinic at 8810 Rio San Diego Drive. Our top VA dentist, Dr. Woods, would love to be able to serve you.

Call the VA Dental Center at (858) 552-7525 to request authorization, then 619-359-6569 to schedule your treatment with Dr. Paige Woods at Brighton Dental

Cavitations & Lyme Disease

lyme disease cavitations infographic

 

Lyme Disease and Cavitation

Many people know cavitations as “cavities”.  They are the same thing, meaning there is a hole in the tooth with decay, and a dentist has to be sought for a solution. A good number of people experience cavitation in their lives although some people are more prone to getting cavities. People suffering from Lyme disease often fall into this category. There is a high chance that people suffering Lyme disease will encounter at least three or more cavitations in their lifetime. Some people encounter all of them in the same span of time.

Dentists have the training to diagnose, support, and offer treatment to patients who have cavities. Cavitations can cause fundamental problems to a victim’s immune system. This is something anyone having Lyme disease will get concerned over. Their overall health is fundamentally affected by situations like cavitation. It is for this reason that symptoms and effects of cavitation which patients do not even know exist start showing.

For a person suffering Lyme disease it would be best to get an oral health checkup each year or every six months where patients want assurance that they do not have developing cavitations. The faster the checkup is done, the lesser the damage to your immune system and teeth. A plan for treatment can adequately be implemented for anyone suffering Lyme disease.

Signs of dental cavitations

In case you suffer Lyme disease you might notice increased deterioration of your health, more so, after recently undergoing surgery. These are not quite like decay or cavities in the teeth. They are issues with bones abound the mouth. It is quite important to seek medical solutions for this problem.

In simple terms dental cavitations can be understood as the holes which form on bone but cannot be easily seen. This means that even the dentist might not get a chance to identify them when examining the mouth or when examining an X-ray image.  These are bone areas that suffer infection, decay, and gangrenous tissue of the bone or inflammation of gum.  They will often occur in the region where a tooth has been removed or around teeth regions which have undergone root canals.

If you suffer from Lyme disease and have a weakening immune system you suffer the risk of increasing infection. For patients suffering dental cavitation the infected bone dies due to circulation in the region that is cut off. It is important to seek medical attention. Surgery is often suggested for the purpose of clearing the tissue that has already died to prevent more death on the bone and relieve Lyme disease symptoms.

Facts about Lyme disease and cavitations

Lyme disease will complicate many things. It will even complicate cavitations. Discussed are some cavitation facts aimed at helping understand them more:

  • Where there is a gap in the bone after a tooth has been extracted and the gap does not fit properly some dental cavitations will develop. It is also possible to get cavitations around a tooth where a root canal has been done and there is no functional blood vessel.
  • Cavitations aren’t rare. They are common complications from tooth extractions and root canals. The presence of Lyme disease could propel infections therefore leading to worse problems.
  • Cavitations have osteonecrosis and bacterial infections. Osteonecrosis are dead tissues of the bone, and they are mushy.
  • A cavitation can be a central infection point that affects the whole body which is already suffering from weakness caused by the Lyme disease.
  • It is possible for Lyme Spirochetes to hide themselves inside cavitations. This allows Lyme disease to sustain a hold onto the body.

What Are Composite Fillings?

composite fillings infographic

 

Composite Fillings

Most often the dull or severe pains experienced inside the mouth are probably due to some tooth decay. It could be a fractured tooth which paves the way for infections. It could as well be a hairline crack causing all the pain. It is true that dental fillings have been with us for a long time, but new innovations in technology have made it possible for dentists to provide composite fillings. The primary difference now is in the material employed in filling the gaps which developed in teeth.

The composite material used is now natural, and there are no safety concerns that other filling materials, like mercury, often have. To add on to this benefit, composite materials could also be fashioned to resemble the actual teeth. An untrained eye would find it difficult to distinguish between normal teeth and composite fillings.

Why get composite fillings

Composite fillings are appropriate for chipped teeth, worn teeth, decayed teeth, broken or cracked teeth, and filling the gaps between adjacent teeth.

Placing composite fillings

It is possible to get composite fillings placed within a single appointment. The dentist gets rid of decay after numbing the tooth as required. That space is then cleaned carefully and prepared adequately prior to placing the fillings. Where decay had occurred close to the tooth nerve, some special medication is applied to add on to the protection. Following this, composite fillings are then placed with precision. They are then polished and shaped until the tooth is restored to its initial shape and functionality.

Tooth sensitivity is normal when exposed to cold or hot water after the placing of composite fillings. The sensitivity is supposed to subdue a short period after the tooth gets acclimated to the composite filling. Towards the conclusion of the filling activity, care instructions will be provided. Preferred oral hygiene activities, frequent visits to a dentist, and good eating habits are precautions that will facilitate comfort with new fillings.

Benefits of composite fillings

After the sensitivity has subsided it will be possible to use the filled teeth normally. These composite fillings offer durability, resisting any fractures in mid-sized to small fillings that require some withstanding of small pressure from chewing activities. The fillings are also long lasting and quite strong. They could be applied both on the back and front teeth. People who prefer natural looking fillings are advised to go for composite fillings.

Downside of composite fillings

Composite fillings are more costly than amalgam fillings. Often composite fillings do not have insurance coverage. It is important also to note that there is no type of filling that will last forever. According to studies some composite fillings are less durable and require replacement quite often compared to amalgam fillings.

Generally it takes a longer session to place composite fillings compared to metal fillings. This is because it is fundamental for teeth to be dry and clean when composite fillings are being placed. The ultimate solution would be to prevent needing a solution. Protecting the teeth beforehand is the best choice in dental health. The risk of dental cavities can be alleviated by doing the following:

  • Routinely brushing the teeth two times a day using fluoride toothpaste
  • Frequent visits to dentist
  • Balanced diet
  • Flossing each day

What’s Involved In Having A Dental Crown?

dental crown infographic

 

Dental Crowns: What They Are and How They Can Help You

Dental crowns are a phenomenal way to help protect any fragile teeth you might have to prevent them from breaking or having extreme sensitivity. However, many are often unaware of just what these dental items are and how they work. Below you’ll find more information about what they are and how they can help you have a more flattering and beautiful smile.

What are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is an item that works like a cap for a pre-existing tooth. You can take this crown and slide it over your tooth where it gets to work helping to mold the tooth back to its normal shape and encourage it to grow stronger roots. These crowns are typically needed if your teeth are suffering from massive cavities, sensitivity, discoloration, or if you’ve had a root canal.

Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns come in three different types: porcelain/metal, ceramic, and gold. While these work to achieve the same purpose, they are slightly different from each other.

Porcelain/Metal Crowns

A porcelain/metal crown is tougher than a ceramic crown as it’s intended for larger teeth, like your molars. They have a metal structure built into the bottom of them to help them better secure themselves onto your teeth. This type is a little more noticeable than a ceramic crown, but isn’t very much so.

Ceramic Crowns

A ceramic crown is a more delicate type of crown and is intended to help restore teeth in the front area of your mouth. They tend to be hollow so they easily slide over your tooth to help it. They also have a more natural tooth color which helps the crown to blend in better.

Gold Crowns

Gold crowns are more noticeable, but help your teeth to be stronger compared to the other types. This type is very durable so there’s no need to worry about them breaking easily.

Benefits of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns come with plenty of benefits. One is that they can help to better support teeth which can lead to you have a better smile. They can also help to keep a broken tooth intact as they work to help fuse the tooth back together so there’s no need of you needing a tooth replacement. In addition to this, discolored teeth can be given a shiny white look and crowns can even help to make irregularly shape teeth look normal.

What to Keep in Mind

While dental crowns are safe to use, they do have some things you need to keep in mind. For instance, the materials could cause an allergic reaction and irritation for some. Also, if the crown isn’t properly cared for it could end up making chewing uncomfortable and even cause an infection. Because of this, you’ll want to be in constant contact with your dentist to ensure everything goes smoothly.

While dental crowns are designed to last and are easy to maintain, they do need to be routinely checked by your dentist who can work to make sure there are no fractures and the crown still fits your tooth well. Be sure to keep the information above in mind to ensure that you choose the best dental crown for your needs.

Porcelain Inlays.. Are They Right For You?

porcelain inlays infographic

 

Porcelain Inlays

Inlays are fillings manufactured from dental laboratories. A dentist will prepare the tooth and derives a tooth impression from it. The dentist will then place some provisional filling into that tooth for a period of about one week. This inlay is made from porcelain therefore making it both natural and strong. The inlays endure longer periods of time compared to white fillings. They often are recommended for cavities that are larger and in instances which white fillings wouldn’t be as strong.

Porcelain inlays have popularity among dentists because of their resemblance to a natural tooth. Porcelain inlays are designed by professional dentists in a laboratory. The inlay is cemented onto a tooth permanently. Porcelain inlays are conservatively used in the repair of teeth with traumatic or decay damages or defective fillings. Inlays serve as appropriate alternatives to composite fillings and conventional silver. They are conservatively used compared to crowns for the reason that during the preparation of inlays lesser tooth structure is removed compared to crowns.

Even though inlays are permanent they may require replacement in the future. Porcelain inlays are very durable and can last for many years without requiring replacement. This allows the patient to enjoy many years of glamorous teeth and a good smile.

Some of the reasons for restoration using inlays include: tooth decay, cosmetic enhancement, fractured or broken tooth, large fillings, and fractured fillings.

Is getting porcelain inlays the right solution for dental patients?

In the past, patients who had severe decay had to get many teeth extracted because porcelain inlays had not yet become a viable treatment solution. Today, porcelain inlays have become standard procedure provided to patients suffering tooth decay. Patients who thought they would never get a satisfactory tooth restoration procedure have a perfect solution with porcelain inlays. Patients seeking alternative solutions have been advised to consider porcelain inlays as a viable and lasting solution to their teeth problems. And, yes, porcelain inlays are indeed a viable solution for dental patients.

Process of getting inlays

Inlay procedures need two dentist appointments. The first appointment entails taking accurate tooth impressions. The impressions are used in the creation of custom inlays and for temporary or provisional tooth restoration. The dentist numbs the tooth and eliminates any tooth decay and any other old filling materials present. The remaining surface is meticulously cleaned and prepared. The surface is then shaped to allow for inlay restoration. Provisional fillings are then applied in order to add protection to the tooth as the inlay is being created from a dental laboratory.

The second appointment involves removal of the provisional filling and replacing it with the new inlay created. The inlay is precisely and meticulously cemented into position. It might be necessary to make some few adjustments in order to make sure the inlay fits perfectly and that the patient feels comfortable in it for a proper bite. After the two processes are over the dentist gives instructions on the best way to manage the new condition. Acceptable practices in oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, and proper diet are incredible facilitators of a healthy life with the new porcelain inlays.

The Dental Wand: Computer Controlled Anesthetic Delivery

dental wand infographic

 

Benefits of Using a Dental Wand to Treat Anxious Patients

The medical profession experiences technological growth much faster than the dental profession. Medical technology will be easily integrated into hospitals much faster than in dental surgery. According to most dentists the reason behind this is that dental patients dislike change. This is especially so when such change introduces new perspectives. Their thinking tells them the technology is untested and therefore unsafe for treatment purposes.

Dental wand

The wand can be understood as a dental injection that is computer controlled. The computer is responsible for controlling the flow of local anesthesia. The computer has an ability to slowly and steadily control the injection therefore allowing the patient comfort. Most people who are needle phobic find this technology quite appealing. The reason an injection stings is not because the needle pierced the skin but because the anesthesia was released quite quickly.

An experienced dentist can control the syringe and release speed of anesthesia although the wand concept is important in eliminating any possibility of a human error. People who have had bad injection experiences can find much needed comfort with the dental wand.

Advantages of the wand to a patient

  • The wand is less threatening to a patient, and its look is also appealing. According to research the wand invokes less anxiety compared to other methods of injection.
  • The wand innovation using P-ASA and AMSA is more effective and comfortable for patients.
  • The ease of handling and light weight makes the wand admirable for dentists. The wand’s pen-like grasps make it possible for operators to easily rotate its hand piece. This makes it much easier to slide the needle into tissue.
  • The succinct pressure and flow rate controls of the wand will produce comfortable injection even when the situation is more difficult such as in the palate when mouth tissue is not as elastic.
  • The wand can effectively alleviate collateral numbness.
  • The STA facilitates bilateral treatment of the mandibular in a single visit.
  • Both P-ASA and AMSA support the assessment of the smile line during treatment.
  • There is no numb face with the wand. This makes it possible to resume normal work immediately.
  • Compared to the syringe, patients prefer wand treatment.
  • The wand assures patients that the preferred dentist has the latest treatment technology.

Benefits to the practitioner

  • The patient will benefit from better satisfaction therefore becoming more loyal. More referral patients will likely show up based upon experience and messages of goodwill from happy patients.
  • The wand is a good marketing opportunity with potential to differentiate the dental practice and support high tech innovations.
  • The dentist has easier choices, both physical and mental. This increases their options and reduces strain.
  • The dentist also enjoys better flexibility.
  • There is increased productivity driven by comfort fees that eventually increase revenue.
  • Ease of use means prompt treatment hence enhanced productivity in lesser time.

It is true that dentists can execute their practice without the dental wand. This said though the manufacturer of this technology did not intend to make it impossible for practitioners to operate without it. Even though a tool is not entirely essential this is not to mean that its use cannot bring tangible benefits to those who choose to use it.