Dental Care - Thousand Oaks Dental
We provide services in all phases of restorative dentistry with an emphasis on esthetic excellence. We are very careful to direct you to specialists if you have a situation that requires that expertise. Our services include white fillings, veneers, metal free crowns, gold crowns, porcelain crowns, root canal therapy, periodontal (gum) therapy, implants, dentures and partial dentures, tooth whitening and esthetic diagnosis and treatment for teens and adults.
Comprehensive Dental Treatment Plans
After careful examination and study of your mouth a treatment plan will be developed that includes options for your review. If you have a complicated situation we invite you to include a family member or friend in our discussion of your options. Together we will decide on the treatment plan that best suits you and allow you to tell us how you wish to proceed.
Please call our office at (805) 497-3726 with the first indication of a problem. Early intervention can significantly improve your comfort. After hours calls will be forwarded to our doctors for their attention.
A dental implant is typically made of specially machined titanium alloy. You can think of an implant as an artificial root — the unseen part of the tooth strategically placed into the jawbone for support. A dental Implant provides a permanent and secure means of replacing one or more missing teeth. In addition, a dental implant can function as an anchor or support for other types of dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, implant dentures and partials.
The first step in an implant procedure is placing the alloy “root.” After the implant is in place, a connecting element called an abutment is fitted in preparation for the dental restorations, typically a crown. The final step is to place the final implant crown or restoration.
Cosmetic dentistry is a general term that includes a variety of specific methods of treating badly shaped, chipped or crooked, teeth; eliminating gaps between your teeth; whitening stained or discolored teeth; and treating deep tetracycline stains. We use crowns and veneers, bonding and various teeth whitening procedures to help give you a healthy and beautiful smile.
In the past, a badly infected tooth or one with significant decay was often simply extracted. Today, most teeth can be saved through root canal treatment.
A root canal is often necessary if:
- You have a throbbing pain while biting.
- You’re overly sensitive to hot or cold food or drink.
- There is an infection (an abscess) in the bone caused by severe decay or an injury.
Root canal treatment is not particularly uncomfortable when the underlying problem is treated early. In fact, with the effective use of local anesthetics, the entire procedure can be virtually painless.
After a root canal, the tooth is alive and functioning — contrary to what many people think — because it receives a blood supply from the surrounding tissues that hold it in place in your jaw bone. It is true that the tooth will not sense hot, cold or sweets, but it will be responsive to biting pressures. With proper treatment the tooth should last as long as your other teeth. In fact, it may even be used as an anchor tooth for a partial denture or cemented bridge. Success rates for root canal treatments are shown to be well over 90 percent.
Over the past several years, dental technology has advanced to make dental X-rays safer and more convenient than ever. In the past, some patients put off dental X-rays because they emit low amounts of radiation — even though every precaution has traditionally been taken to protect patients from exposure. Now digital radiography has become a high-tech replacement for traditional dental X-rays that should give patients complete peace of mind.
In some ways, digital radiography is quite similar to traditional dental X-rays. We begin by inserting a sensor into your mouth to capture images of your teeth. — But that’s where the similarity ends. The digital sensor is actually electronic and connected to a computer. Once the X-ray is taken, the image is projected on a screen for us to view.
The benefits to using digital radiography are significant: shorter dental appointments; higher quality images; more efficient transfer of dental records — even e-mailing of images to a specialist for immediate review.
Crowns & Veneers
Porcelain veneers are designed to look like your natural teeth and are individually and permanently attached to the fronts of your existing teeth. Bonding utilizes a composite material made of plastic to fill in areas of your teeth and correct chipping and shape problems. Both porcelain veneers and bonding are color-matched to the rest of your teeth.
Bonding is a popular way to repair slightly chipped, discolored or crooked teeth, and we often recommend bonding to treat cavities and dental decay. We use a tooth-colored filling — often a white composite resin — that is placed and bonded onto your tooth to repair it and improve its appearance and functionality. The composite resin actually bonds to your tooth structure and matches your tooth’s natural structure, texture and color.
We usually complete a patient’s bonding in one visit. Another advantage of bonding is that it’s less expensive than other aesthetic treatments, which is another reason it has steadily grown in popularity.
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Dentures and Partial Dentures replace missing teeth with removable restorations. They are a cost-efficient option that, when properly constructed, provide excellent functionality and aesthetics.
There are currently three popular types of dentures: Immediate Dentures, Conventional Dentures and Implant-Supported Dentures.
If you are having a tooth or teeth removed, immediate dentures can be worn while your gums heal so you do not have to go without teeth for any significant time. Conventional dentures are designed to restore your natural teeth and any oral structure that has deteriorated over the years. Conventional dentures are a good option for improving your smile and overall oral health.
Implant-supported dentures are increasing in popularity and are a good way to anchor traditional dentures, provide increased stability and enhanced functionality. One important benefit of implant-supported dentures is their ability to eliminate denture movement and securely fasten your dentures in your mouth.
TMJ Therapy/Night Guards
TMJ (temporomandibular joints) are your jaw joints. They are sophisticated joints located inside your jaw directly under your ears. These joints control your jaw movements during chewing, speaking and smiling. They are susceptible to various disorders because they are virtually in constant use both day and night, and because the jaw musculature is particularly powerful.
TMJ disorders have symptoms including:
• Pain — especially in the morning, in the jaw or under the ears
• Difficulty chewing and/or biting
• Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth
• Jaw tenderness
• Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
• Headaches or earaches
TMJ disorders can be treated with:
• Simple exercises
• Dental treatment appliances
In addition, a night guard is an appliance that provides a common treatment for those who suffer from teeth grinding or clinching. It acts as a barrier between your teeth to save them from the effects of grinding (typically, undue tooth wear) while protecting your jaw joints from unhealthy pressure.
There are several methods available for bleaching the teeth: in office, overnight or daily. For overnight bleaching, we make an impression of your teeth and create a mouth guard that fits your bite. Each day you fill the mouth guard with a small amount of bleaching gel and wear it overnight or for a few hours during the day. The overnight bleaching process takes approximately two weeks.
Other over-the-counter daily bleaching products are available, but it is important to use any bleaching product only under the supervision of a dentist. To achieve the whitening results you desire, the ADA recommends that you seek the professional advice of a dentist, including examination and diagnosis of the cause of tooth discoloration, before you begin any bleaching program.