Posts for: June, 2016
If you notice a small sore or a change in the appearance of the tissues inside your mouth, don’t panic. It’s likely a common, minor ailment that appears on a lot of skin surfaces (like the wrists or legs) besides the cheeks, gums, or tongue.
These small sores or lesions are called lichen planus, named so because their coloration and patterns (white, lacy lines) look a lot like lichen that grow on trees or rocks. They’re only similar in appearance to the algae or fungi growing in the forest — these are lesions thought to be a form of auto-immune disease. Although they can affect anyone, they’re more common in women than men and with middle-aged or older people.
Most people aren’t even aware they have the condition, although some can produce itching or mild discomfort. They’re often discovered during dental checkups, and although they’re usually benign, we’ll often consider a biopsy of them to make sure the lesion isn’t a symptom of something more serious.
There currently isn’t a cure for the condition, but it can be managed to reduce symptoms; for most people, the lesions will go away on their own. You may need to avoid spicy or acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, hot peppers or caffeinated drinks that tend to worsen the symptoms. If chronic stress is a problem, finding ways to reduce it can also help alleviate symptoms as well as quitting tobacco and reducing your alcohol intake.
Our biggest concern is to first assure the lesion isn’t cancerous. Even after confirming it’s not, we still want to keep a close eye on the lesion, so regular monitoring is a good precaution. Just keep up with the basics — good oral hygiene and regular checkups — to ensure you have the most optimum oral health possible.
If you would like more information on lichen planus lesions, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Lichen Planus: Mouth Lesions that are Usually Benign.”
Discover the many ways you can get your smile radiant again.
With summer fast approaching you may have a lot of weddings on the docket. Perhaps yours is even coming up. If so, you may be considering ways to revamp your look for these special occasions. Have you considered a whiter smile? If you are dealing with dull, yellowing or stained teeth then it might be time to find out how your Turlock dentist Dr. Cesar Acosta can help.
It can be a challenge figuring out which option to choose when it comes to whitening. We are here to demystify the experience for you to help make your decision easier:
In-Office Teeth Whitening
Sometimes referred to as laser teeth whitening, this in-office treatment takes about one hour to complete. If you are looking to get a brighter smile fast then you’ll want to consider getting our chairside whitening, since you can walk out of our office with a smile that’s up to eight shades whiter.
This system is great because it offers the most highly concentrated bleaching gels combined with a dental laser, which speeds up the whitening process. This option may also be great for patients with teeth sensitivity, since your Turlock cosmetic dentist Dr. Acosta can monitor your treatment and reduce the amount of time the whitening gel remains on your teeth to reduce your chances of experiencing any sensitivity during your whitening session.
At-Home Whitening Treatment
While you can certainly go to the local drugstore and grab a whitening kit, maybe you are looking for something that will give you better results. These commercial kits aren’t as strong as the whitening gels you can get from your dentist in Turlock. So, if you aren’t too keen on sitting in the dental chair for an hour to get your teeth whitened (or you are looking for a more budget-friendly option) then you’ll want to talk to us about our at-home whitening system.
Through custom-made whitening trays you can whiten your teeth over the course of a couple weeks from the comfort of your own home. When you come in for a consultation we would be happy to tell you more about the awesome system, how it works and the results you can expect. While the results won’t be as sudden as our in-office whitening system you’ll still enjoy a more radiant smile within a couple weeks.
Have questions about teeth whitening? Want to find out if this is the right treatment for you? Cesar Acosta, DMD Family Dentistry is here to help. Call us today!
You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:Â He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.
“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”
Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?
In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.
There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.Â Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.
If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”