Inlays: When You Need to Fix a Cavity | Northridge Dentist

When a dentist removes decay, the void left by drilling must be filled with something to provide a proper bite surface and a pleasing aesthetic appearance. When patients have cavities on teeth with large bite surfaces, they’re often offered a choice in the way the cavity is treated. While composite fillings are very common, occasionally dentists will recommend synthetic resins bonded onto teeth, or inlays.

Inlays serve a similar purpose to composite fillings, but do so in a different way. Where a composite filling is bonded onto the tooth, an inlay is a lab-created restoration cemented into place. The inlays are made of a much stronger material, and are molded to perfectly match the natural tooth curves. However, dentists will need to remove much more tooth material to get an inlay in place. The larger the decay, the more likely it is the dentist will recommend an inlay, as the inlay will be able to provide more strength for the weakened tooth than the softer composite resin.

If your dentist recommends inlays, rest assured that they’re typically a great way to add strength to a tooth that has been weakened by decay. While inlays aren’t as strong as a procedure such as a dental crown, they’re significantly stronger than composite fillings and provide a great visual match with natural teeth. If you have questions about the procedure, call your dentist – they’ll be happy to explain the pros and cons, and what you can expect during the process.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Bone Grafting Isn’t as Scary as You Think | Northridge Dentist

Dental implants are a wildly successful evolution in dentistry. They are restoratives that last a lifetime. But for the implant to last a lifetime, sometimes you need to start with ideal bone health. And to be honest, it’s not unusual for a patient to be told that they require a bone graft in order to secure the outcome of dental implant surgery. Sounds scary, right? Don’t let the term bone grafting scare you. Bone grafting in the oral cavity today is a routine, painless procedure, with a predictable outcome.

Bone loss can occur in the upper and lower jaws for several reasons.  Localized bone loss often occurs around diseased teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease, fractured teeth, traumatic injuries and dental infections. Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies (bone resorption/shrinks). This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone, unsuitable for placement of dental implants.

With current bone graft techniques, we have the ability to grow bone where needed. Augmentation bone grafts can be accomplished virtually anywhere on the upper and lower jaws. This enables us to offer dental implants as a replacement for missing teeth to almost all patients, even if substantial bone loss has occurred.

Bone grafting plays a very important role in making your new tooth/implant possible. The science behind implant dentistry has brought us these highly specialized and successful techniques. Bone graft surgery is only a moment in time but being able to eat, laugh, talk and smile lasts a lifetime!

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Veneers Will Fix Your Flawed Smile | Northridge Dentist

Porcelain veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. But dental veneers can also be placed over the surfaces of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, spacing, discoloration and chips or cracks.

Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Here are some advantages of veneers you should consider:

  • Veneers will provide a natural tooth appearance. No one will ever know the difference!
  • Gum tissue will tolerate porcelain well, making it an easy transition to deal with.
  • Porcelain veneers are resistant to stains, so your smile will always have a pearly white sheen.
  • The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter. Your new smile is customizable!

Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape. They don’t generally require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative to bonding. Because they do not require any special care, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices as you normally would. You will be happy to know, veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years so don’t worry about having to go to more dental visits because you have them.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

If You Love Coffee, There’s Something You Should Know | Northridge Dentist

There is always a line at your favorite coffee shop, so you know aren’t the only one that needs their cup of joe in the morning. But if this is your caffeine form of choice, you need to be extra careful. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can also contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, while accelerating the progression of periodontal disease.

Firstly, you should know the two forms of periodontal disease. Gingivitis, or an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis, a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. When caught in the beginning gingivitis stage, it can be treated and, hopefully preventable in the future. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and, due to the gap between the teeth and gums, may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now, coffee affects your mouth in two ways: it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums, and reduces the blood flow to your gums. This does not allow your gums to get all of the necessary oxygen they need to continue functioning properly.

When it comes to gum disease, saliva plays a major role in prevention. It contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

The Joy of Having Invisible Braces | Northridge Dentist

individual set for teeth whitening silicone tray syringeSince 1998, there has been an aesthetic alternative to the typical tooth-straightening option. Invisalign are transparent tooth aligners that have revolutionized the orthodontic world. This system can now straighten your teeth without wires and glued brackets, which almost sounds like a miracle. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is clear, removable and the treatment time is generally a third of what wearing traditional braces would be. The downside to this is that they are more expensive and it takes a lot more discipline to maintain the strict regimen of wearing the aligners 22 hours/day and the additional steps it takes to clean.

So, between traditional braces and Invisalign – which do you choose? An orthodontic consultation is definitely in order and a treatment program will be based off of that. Because despite what you may hope, you may not have a choice. While they are fantastic at what they do, the Invisalign system is perfect for minimal to medium dental issues and does not work as well for major ones. Patients with bridgework, certain bite issues or rotational needs are just out of luck. Unfortunately, Invisalign can’t help this situation, but traditional braces are perfect. Alternatively, traditional braces are not ideal for those that lead a rough and tumble life, or have a job that doesn’t allow regular braces. In that instance, you may want to consider the Invisalign system or lingual braces (braces attached to the insides of your teeth) to straighten things out.

Using clear aligners, Invisalign will allow you to achieve your dream smile even if you have misaligned, crooked, or gapped teeth. You are less restricted than with traditional braces, but there is some maintenance involved. In order to ensure that your Invisalign aligners are in good condition, keep the following care tips in mind as you use the Invisalign system:

  • Wear your aligners at all times, except when eating, brushing, and flossing. Failure to wear your aligners will prevent your teeth from becoming straight.
  • Avoid gums and caramels at all times. The chewy material will instantly ruin your aligners.
  • Keep your aligners in a safe place. Avoid placing your aligners in places that are too warm because this could potentially damage your aligners.
  • Clean your aligners often. In order to prevent the formation of bacteria, aligners should be gently cleaning with a tooth brush and soap in cool water.

It will take a while for them to fix your crooked teeth but rest assured the process will only be temporary. And that’s enough to make anyone smile, right?

 

Bonding vs.Veneers: Which Is My Best Bet?| Northridge Dentist

dental-implantIs your smile everything you want it to be? If you would like to change your smile cosmetic dentist Dr. David Lunt, DDS can help you. Dr. Lunt offers many cosmetic dentistry procedures including the most popular, bonding and porcelain veneers.

But what is the difference between the two?

Both bonding and porcelain veneers have similarities. They both are used to cover dental imperfections. However, the procedures are quite different.

Dental bonding uses a smooth tooth colored solution which is applied to teeth. It covers stains, and fills in small chips and gaps. After the dental bonding solution has been applied and shaped a specialized dental light is used to harden the bonding material. Once the bonding solution is dried and cured additional layers may be applied depending on your situation. When the process is complete the tooth is then polished. Bonding is used on patients who need one or two teeth corrected.

Porcelain veneers are fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. They fit over the front and underside of your tooth covering the entire surface of visible tooth. Veneers can be fitted to lengthen or widen teeth to close gaps or fill in chips. Porcelain veneers are generally used for patients who have several cosmetic problems or want their entire set of front facing teeth made over. Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to care for (normal brushing and flossing is fine, no special care is required), provide a very natural appearance, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options.

While veneers and bonding are cosmetic procedures used to treat similar problems, veneers may be a better alternative in cases where the patient wants to adjust the size or shape of the tooth.

If you are unhappy with your smile and would like more information on bonding or porcelain veneers call Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230. Learn more about Dr. Lunt and his practice by visiting his website at www.davidluntdds.com.

Dr. Lunt is proud to accept patients from Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura, and all surrounding areas.

Recognizing Periodontal Disease | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237Have you been experiencing persistent bad breath or perhaps notice a loose tooth? Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end — if not properly treated — with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth(Source: webmd.com).

Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease. Though, plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease.

Factors such as:

  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures

Even with all these symptoms and warning signs, periodontal disease often goes unnoticed. If you don’t notice any symptoms, you could still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars.

Keeping your gums healthy requires a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, using a mouthwash, flossing and maintaining a healthy diet. Of course, visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups bi-annually can head of potential larger oral health problems. Prevention is your key to oral health success!

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Replacing Old Fillings | Northridge, Ca Dentist

459899307Are your old, unattractive, silver fillings making you feel self-conscious about your smile? Modern dentistry is now using more tooth-like materials (composite resins and porcelains) that are both safe and predictable. The most important feature, for many people, is that they look like real, natural teeth. In the past, teeth were filled with a mixture—or amalgam—of different metals. Today that is changing as more natural-looking and metal-free fillings are becoming the preferred approach.

Many patients are suffering from the same dilemma and feel like there is nothing they can do, however, thanks to the advanced technology utilized by Dr. Lunt you can achieve your dream smile with tooth colored fillings.

Dr. Lunt explains the advantages:

• Tooth colored fillings eliminate unnatural, metal fillings
• Tooth colored fillings diminish discoloration caused by metal fillings
• Tooth colored fillings prevent tooth decay and gum diseases
• Tooth colored fillings strengthen your teeth
• Tooth colored fillings are undetectable and match the exact shade of your teeth

Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

When it comes to selecting the best material for you and your particular teeth, consultation with your dentist is key. Strength, esthetics, cost and longevity of dental filling materials may vary greatly in different situations and for different patients. Some of the considerations your dentist takes into account when recommending a particular filling material for your teeth are the current condition of the teeth, the size of the area to be restored, the location of the teeth involved and the forces (chewing, shearing, grinding, etc.) being placed on the teeth during chewing and other normal movements of your jaw.

Talk to Dr. Lunt today about restoring your smile with tooth colored fillings!

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Inlays & Onlays | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237If you have a tooth or teeth damaged from decay, inlays and onlays may be a viable dental solution for you!

Inlays and onlays are the ideal dental restorations needed to repair damaged teeth, not only improving your oral hygiene, but enhancing the look of your smile.  Dental inlays and onlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth. Both will rejuvenate your smile! Dr. Middleton can also use inlays and onlays to replace dark, old dental restorations that can look unappealing.

Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin or ceramics. They can last for 10 years or longer. How long they last depends on:

  • The material used
  • The teeth involved
  • The forces of chewing
  • How well you maintain them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist

How it’s done:  

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office. They are placed in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory. Two visits are needed to place them. The type your dentist will use depends on how much of the tooth is left.

Watch this informative video on Inlays and Onlays:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Wu8_MCnJs (Source: YouTube)

Indirect Inlays and Onlays

Dental decay will be removed. Then your dentist will make an impression of the prepared tooth and neighboring teeth. The tooth will get a temporary filling. The impression will be sent to a laboratory, which will make the inlay or onlay.

At your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary filling and clean and dry the tooth. He or she will then cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth. Then it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together. A dental inlay or onlay is bigger than a filling and smaller than a crown. It is bonded or cemented into place.

An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is larger than an inlay. It replaces one or more decayed cusps.

Direct Inlays and Onlays

Your dentist will remove the decay and shape the tooth. He or she will put a soft material called composite resin on the tooth. The composite resin is molded to fit the tooth. The inlay is removed and hardened in a special oven. Then, your dentist will cement the hardened inlay to your tooth. After the inlay is cemented, it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together.

Dr. Lunt will be able to determine whether or not inlays and onlays will be right for your situation.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Sedation Dentistry | Northridge, Ca Dentist

hygiene-granada-hillsMany people are afraid of the dentist – the noise of the drill, and memories of pain and discomfort make it a place that many people dread. However, modern dentists are very aware that many patients are anxious, and make a concerted effort to make patients as comfortable as possible.

One popular way of dealing with dental anxiety is sedation dentistry – using medication to allow patients to relax during the procedure. Often known as sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry can be of various types and strengths, depending on the level of anxiety of the patient and the length of the procedure.

For mild anxiety and short procedures, dentists are likely to use minimal sedation, where the patient will remain awake but will be relaxed. Examples of minimal sedation include inhaled nitrous oxide – “laughing gas” – which takes effect quickly, and wears off quickly, and will allow the patient to relax.

For longer procedures, or more anxious patients, dentists may use oral sedation using pills similar to Valium, or an IV applied sedative, leaving the patient conscious, but in a state where they are unlikely to remember the procedure. The patient will likely be awake and able to answer questions during the procedure, but will be groggy during and after the procedure, and may require assistance getting home.

For serious anxiety or very involved procedures, some dentists and oral surgeons will employ deep sedation or general anesthesia, where the patient will be entirely unconscious. In the case of general anesthesia, a third party anesthesiologist may be present to monitor the patient’s health during the procedure. With deep sedation and general anesthesia, the patient will likely not be permitted to leave alone – they may require a ride at the end of the procedure.

If you’re anxious about a dental visit, talk to your dentist about sedation options. Your dentist should be happy to work with you to ensure that you can endure the procedures you need without unnecessary anxiety, and that may involve some level of sedation.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.