Dr. Lieu DMD & Dr. Styles DDS Answer Your Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history.
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
If a manual toothbrush is used for the appropriate amount of time, and done with proper technique, it can perform just as well as a powered toothbrush. But many people don’t brush for the recommended two to three minutes. Children are also good candidates for powered brushes as their brushing habits tend to be less than optimal.
While everyone certainly does not need an electric toothbrush, in many instances they can be beneficial. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about which brush is best for you.
Yes, you may eat immediately after cleansing with OraCare™.
Yes. Many patients worry about more germs released during a power cleaning. Dentist Dr. Lieu recommends Pre-, Mid-, and Post-Treatment Rinsing with OraCare™.
Using laser gum treatment, our dentist has been able to save many teeth that would otherwise have been extracted. As with other aspects of dentistry, we may or may not be able to save your tooth depending on the severity of your dental condition.
Children age 8 and up can use OraCare™. Accidental swallowing of a mouthful will not harm children or adults.
Many dentists are now recommending OraCare™ over Peridex for your periodontal and gingivitis care.
It will not stain your teeth or interfere with taste like Peridex does. It also can be used long term.
Because medical benefits differ from policy to policy, you should review your personal coverage plan and check with your insurance provider. In general, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.
Yes. Over 1.5 million patients have been treated with Invisalign. It is perfect for realigning teeth if you have had regular braces, or looking to make a minor correction. Wear your aligners and your teeth will move.
The procedure itself is virtually painless, although we may anesthetize the area for your comfort. There is often some discomfort following your procedure, but it is minimal, and should disappear fairly quickly.
No. We use the same billing codes as traditional gum surgery. The factors affecting your treatment cost are related directly to the severity of your disease, such as how many teeth are involved in the treatment. We invite you to discuss your payment options with our office, as we offer financing solutions for this treatment.
If you are missing one or more teeth, or have loose fitting dentures, dental implants may be for you.
Dental implants are permanent anchors that integrate with the jawbone to provide secure, stable and long-lasting tooth replacement. Because dental implants become part of the jaw, they look and feel like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, talk and smile without worry.
When properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime, making them one of the best investments for long-term tooth replacement. Studies have reported that the long-term success rate of implants is over 95%.
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your doctor. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks before moving onto the next set of aligners in your treatment plan.
First, our dentist will use and ultrasonic scaler and small instruments to remove from plaque and tartar from the root surface of your teeth. Then he will use a small laser to direct light between the gum and the tooth, removing the diseased tissue and reducing the bacteria in the area. The area will then be thoroughly cleaned so that your body can heal naturally.
Traditional gum recession treatments involve the use of donor tissue or soft tissue grafts in order to rebuild the gumline. This soft tissue would be sutured in place and would join with existing gum tissue as
While this traditional grafting treatment is effective, comparable results with better patient experience can be achieved through the Receding Gumline Technique.
During the Receding Gumline Technique, a needle is used to make a small hole in the patient’s existing gum tissue. Through this pinhole, special instruments are used to gently loosen the gum tissue. These tools help expand and slide the gumline to cover the exposed root structure.
There are no grafts, no sutures, and no incisions needed with the Receding Gumline Technique. It simply involves the adjustment of the existing tissue.
OraCare™ does not make your mouth germ free. OraCare™ greatly reduces the number of germs and the mouth gradually returns to its normal state in about 24 hours.
Because CEREC crowns are quicker than traditional crowns, some patients worry that CEREC crowns won’t last as long as their conventional counterparts. However, the milling process used for same-day crowns produces high-quality ceramic crowns that are comparable in durability to conventional dental appliances.
Well-cared-for crowns should last for at least five years. Because five years is the expected lifespan for ceramic crowns, most dental insurance providers cover a replacement crown after that time frame.
Additionally, because CEREC crowns tend to fit more precisely than conventional crowns, these crowns typically require less refitting. The reduced maintenance of CEREC crowns can translate to even more durability for some patients.
One of the most common reasons that patients and providers opt for CEREC same-day crowns is to save time. As mentioned in the last section, conventional crowns require multiple appointments, usually within the time frame of a month or less. This time commitment can often be difficult for busy patients.
Conversely, CEREC crowns are finished in a single appointment that generally only runs moderately longer than the average dental cleaning and exam. Most CEREC appointments last between one and a half to two hours.
However, the appointment time includes 30 to 45 minutes of free time for the patient while the crown is milled. Patients are free to use personal electronics, read or otherwise entertain themselves during this period.
The length of your treatment depends on the severity of your condition. Initial treatment will focus on scaling away the plaque and tartar, and the laser portion of your treatment will only take a few minutes. An accurate estimate of the time it will take to complete your treatment will be provided after evaluation, when our dentist discusses your treatment plan with you.
Bio film is reduced for approximately 24 hrs after treatment with OraCare™.
You usually only need two treatment visits and a couple of post-operative, follow-up appointments. Our dentist will then ask you to visit our hygienist every 3 months for a checkup.
The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you.
Cost is always a concern, and only your doctor can the exact price of treatment. In most cases, Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. In the U.S., the cost of Invisalign treatment ranges from $3,500 to $8,000, with the national average at about $5,000.
Today, state-of-the-art guided surgical techniques are convenient alternatives to place dental implants and allow you to have the dental implant placed in a single session using keyhole surgery. This new method has significantly simplified the procedure, for both patients and dentists. The major advantage of the guided surgical technique is the minimal amount of manipulation of the soft tissue due to keyhole surgery. This significantly reduces the healing time and the discomfort normally associated with traditional dental implant surgical techniques.
The conventional process can take from three to six months. First, the dentist places the dental implant, which is left for three to six months to heal and integrate with the jawbone. During the healing period, your are given a temporary prosthesis until the permanent crown is put in place.
The procedure chosen depends on several factors, such as your dental health, the number of teeth involved and which teeth are replaced. These factors will also determine the total number of visits to the dentist throughout the treatment period.
It is recommended that you wear your aligners for 20-22 hours per day and only remove them for eating or drinking, brushing and flossing.
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children and adults are exposed. Lead aprons and digital sensors are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation. More radiation comes from using a smartphone than getting a full set (25) of dental x-rays.
Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. See your dentist in six months, or more frequently if so advised.
It is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. But usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.
You may use OraCare™ while taking antibiotics.
Bio Film is a sticky film of germs. In the mouth, it is called plaque.
Yes, you can use OraCare as a vegan.
You can use OraCare™ while pregnant.
After rinsing with OraCare™, bad breath will be gone for 12 hours. Bad breath will be improved for 24 hours.
You can come in for a Power Cleanse with OraCare™ as often as you like, or you may purchase OraCare™ from your dental professional for home use.
With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to help reduce any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Ask your dentist to recommend another patient who has already had tooth replacement therapy to assess their personal experience.
For best results, use OraCare™ dental rinse twice per day or as directed by your dentist.
OraCare™ is very safe. The active ingredient is Activated Chlorine Dioxide which has been used for over 70 years by hundreds of municipalities in the United States to purify their drinking water. It is also used by hikers to sanitize water in canteens.
You’re not alone! Whether it’s been 6 months or 6 years, it’s never too late to get back into the routine.
At our office, we can arrange for you to have a thorough and educational exam appointment. We take care of people just like you every day!
Ask about our New Years New Patient Special for $99 exam and X-rays. We can give you an idea what we see and where you can begin taking care of your smile.
Yes, children and adults with protruding front teeth are more likely to sustain mouth injury. If sports are important to a person’s lifestyle, then a mouth guard should be used for protection. Orthodontics, or braces, should also be considered as a long-term solution.
It is a fact that bacteria and bacterial toxins deep inside a tooth or in gum disease can be brought out to the tissues of the tongue and other mucosal surfaces in the mouth during treatment. These should be removed as much as possible. It is a fact that the more bacteria and microbial toxins that are present in a wound area or injection area will delay healing and induce pain. Doesn’t it make sense to help promote healing and reduce pain after a dental procedure?
You may have noticed that any time you get an injection from a nurse or physician that they always disinfect the area before the injection to help prevent bacteria being carried into your body by the needle. We believe this must be the standard of care for dentistry too.
Have you lost your teeth due to severe tooth decay, gum disease, trauma, or even a failed root canal? If so, you may qualify for implant treatment, dental implants are used to replace one or more missing teeth in your mouth. Implants, are made of titanium or similar materials, that are well suited to the human body. They are, artificial replacements for teeth roots that support restoration, or a dental appliance. Besides, it’s cosmetic advantage replacing the missing teeth will restore your ability to properly chew and speak.
In addition, the space caused by the missing teeth may allow the surrounding teeth to shift into that space. This shifting could cause a misalignment in your bite, that can result in problems with your jaw joint, these shifted teeth are harder to clean making them more susceptible to gum disease, decay, or even additional tooth loss. Before we start, it’s important that you notify your dentist of your medical condition. Whether you have any artificial joints, diabetes, or a history of heart, and valve conditions you should also inform your dentist of any medications you are currently or have previously taken. Such as redux or Fen Fen blood thinners, more importantly medications that contain bisphosphonates, like fosa Max.
It normally takes a few phases, and several months for your dentist to complete the treatment. In the first phase, your dentist will place the implants in your jaw bone, it requires 3 to 6 months for the bone to fuse to the implants. In the second phase. your dentist will place an extension, or opposed to extend the implants above the gumline this process can also be performed during the first phase, depending on the technique chosen by your dentist. After, your gums are healed it is time for an impression to be made, and a final restoration or appliance to be fabricated by the dental laboratory.
In most cases, on your final visit the restoration of the dental appliances are made than placed and adjusted to ensure proper fit, and function. While every effort is made to place a successful, and functioning implant, it sometimes fails. This is mainly due to lack of proper attachment between the implant, and the jawbone, during the bone fusing phase. Other problems, such as breakage of the implants, loosening of its restoration of dental appliance, or infection of the surrounding gums are also rare possibilities.
Finally, due to differences in the shapes of the jaws and the bone density, the back area of upper jaw may require an additional procedure such as a sinus lifting, to increase the predictability and long term success. Please, keep in mind that the longevity of your implant, and its restoration depends in large part on your oral hygiene diet and the health of the supporting bones and gums. Please ask your dentist for proper brushing and flossing techniques if you have any additional questions please consult your dentist.
When you lose the entire tooth – crown and root – shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge doesn’t.
Preserve natural teeth:
With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.
There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is need after placement. Normally, it will serve its owner for life.
Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. But most importantly, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem.
Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, most commonly abbreviated to “CEREC,” crowns are an alternative capping method for damaged teeth used instead of conventional crowns. Conventional crowns require fabrication in an offsite lab, while CEREC crowns are milled in your qualified dentist’s office.
CEREC crowns are created through x-ray and digital-imaging references rather than dental molds. This process is often more comfortable for patients than the mold-taking procedure.
Additionally, conventional crowns always require at least two appointments — a fitting and a placement appointment. Between these two appointments, the patient must wear a temporary crown. As the name suggests, same-day crowns are finished in a single appointment.
CEREC crowns consist of dental quality ceramic, finished to match the color of the patient’s teeth.
The benefits of the Receding Gumline Technique are many:
Less discomfort for the patient after treatment
Faster recovery for the patient than traditional grafting
No need for uncomfortable sutures
No need for scalpels or invasive surgical tools
No need to take donor tissue from the patient’s palate
Excellent, natural-looking, long-lasting results
This may be your first visit to the dentist, or just your first visit in a while either way, you may not know what to expect and you may even be a little nervous but sit back, relax, and let us explain to you what we will be doing during this visit.
The first thing we will check during the exam is your face and neck. Checking visually, we will look for any abnormalities such as lumps, bumps, or swelling.
Checking inside your mouth is next on the agenda during this part of the checkup. We will be looking for any abnormalities in the soft tissue, such as discolorations or ulcers on your lips, gums, tongue, palate, and cheeks.
We will also perform an oral cancer screening and will check your bite and your jaw joint for any problems.
Next, we will check your gums and jaw bone as they are the foundation for your teeth. We will check them for any signs of gingivitis, gum disease, and bone disease.
Checking your teeth comes next. We will be checking your teeth for any cavities or other problems.
Finally, we’ll be sure to look specifically at any areas where you may have symptoms or concerns. In most cases, a clinical exam by itself is not sufficient to completely diagnose all potential problems with your mouth. In fact, the majority of problems with your teeth in the jaw bone, are not visible to the naked eye and that’s why X Ray’s play a key role in allowing a better and more accurate look at what is really going on inside your mouth, below your teeth and gums.
A good example of this would be the use of X Ray’s to better diagnose the destructive periodontal disease by using X Ray’s, your dentist can check for any bone loss and determine the severity of the gum disease.
Based on the diagnosis from the x-ray, your dentist can then determine the proper cleaning or treatment you may require. In addition to revealing any problems that were not visible during the clinical exam, these initial X Rays will also provide your dentist with a benchmark with which to compare against during your future visits. If you have any additional questions please consult Dr. Lieu or Dr. Styles.
While bad breath (or “halitosis”) can be linked to numerous systemic diseases, the majority of bad breath originates in the mouth. A dry mouth or a low salivary flow can also influence bad odor.
There are two main goals in the management of bad breath. First, controlling the bacteria that produce the sulfur compounds and second, to neutralize the sulfur compounds that are produced. We recommend OraCare mouth wash as a wonderful and easy way to combat bad breath.
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the bio-compatible properties of titanium, a dental implant fuses with the bone and becomes a good anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used in solutions for replacing single or multiple missing teeth.
Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gumline. This can occur as a result of periodontal disease (gingivitis, periodontitis, advanced periodontitis), the natural aging process, or abrasive habits when it comes to brushing the teeth.
Laser gum therapy is a treatment for periodontal disease, or gum disease, that uses lasers, rather than scalpels and sutures. It is a less invasive and more comfortable treatment than traditional gum disease treatments.
OraCare™ is an oral cleanser utilizing activated chlorine dioxide. In a university study, chlorine dioxide has been shown to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, destroy biofilms and neutralize bacterial toxins (VSCs). Dr. Lieu offers OraCare in his office.
Plaque is a clear sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. As plaque collects it forms a hard layer of tartar (or calculus) particularly in hard to reach areas between teeth and near the gum line.
Bacteria found in plaque create toxic chemicals that irritate the gums. Eventually these bacteria cause the underlying bone around the teeth to be destroyed, a condition known as gum disease. Recent research suggests that gum disease is linked to other health problems including heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and some pregnancy complications.
Removal of plaque with brushing and flossing on a twice daily basis and removal of tartar by your dentist and dental hygienist is the first step in defeating gum disease. By the time gum disease begins to hurt, it may be too late. Seeing a dentist regularly can help prevent this and many other problems.
The Receding Gumline Technique is a minimally invasive option for treating gum recession. Unlike traditional grafting techniques, this technique is incision and suture free.
All of the tools and techniques used to perform the Receding Gumline Technique were created by Dr. John Chao, and who trained our doctor.
The active ingredient in OraCare™ is Activated Chlorine Dioxide. It is not harmful if accidentally swallowed.
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Taking care of your crown appropriately has a significant impact on how long the dental appliance lasts. The first step toward preserving a CEREC same-day crown is to pay attention to how it fits. If you need an adjustment on the fit, it’s smart to schedule that follow-up appointment as soon as possible.
To care for your crown, you should:
- Avoid circumstances that increase the sensitivity of your crown, such as drinking hot beverages or consuming foods high in sugar
- Floss conscientiously to ensure that the crown stays firmly in place If you have issues with teeth grinding or clenching, wear a mouthguard as appropriate to protect the crown from fractures or chips
- Limit the sticky foods you consume, which can potentially shift or remove crowns
- Practice good brushing and flossing habits just as you do to maintain your natural teeth
- Reduce the amount of staining foods and beverages you consume, such as coffee and tobacco, to retain the original color of the crown
- Schedule routine dental cleanings every six months or as recommended by your dentist
- In addition to these general recommendations, prioritize any instructions you receive from your dentist, especially guidelines pertaining to the recovery period after the crown’s initial placement.
If you need a crown, ask your dentist if a CEREC same-day crown is the right option to repair damage to your tooth and protect it from further potential damage.
In many situations, CEREC same-day crowns have virtually replaced conventional crowns. Many dentists recommend CEREC crowns in every situation where a ceramic crown is appropriate.
Generally, these crowns are used to protect a tooth that has sustained extensive damage, either from advanced decay, internal treatment like a root canal or an injury.
Your dentist may recommend a conventional crown rather than a CEREC crown if you need an alloy dental appliance rather than a ceramic one. These alloy crowns are stronger and therefore are better suited for patients with bruxism.
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. The determining factor is the amount of available bone. Your dentist is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.
Even though most dentists refer their patients to specialists for the placement of dental implants, Dr. Flack has the training and expertise to perform the surgery in his office without the need for a referral saving your time and money.
Baby teeth are meant to fall out eventually, with adult teeth to come in behind them. By replanting a baby tooth, you may actually cause damage to the adult tooth behind it and it’s the adult tooth that should be of primary concern.
Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone can shrink and dissolve. This shrinkage will make your face look older than it is.
With more than three decades of clinical experience and over a million patients treated, statistics confirm a success rate of nearly 95 percent for individual dental implants.
Although studies have shown there is nothing better to eliminate bad breath, OraCare™ is much more than a mouthwash. OraCare™ is a health rinse and a tool for dentists to use to reduce the bacteria that cause many diseases in the mouth.
It is true that replanted teeth do not last a lifetime; however, they are expected to last many years. If a tooth can be replanted immediately (within 5 minutes) after being knocked out, then its survival is lengthened. With an adolescent whose face and jaw is still developing, it’s best to save the original tooth until the adolescent reaches maturity, and then consider long-term replacement options.
When gum recession occurs, the root structure of the tooth becomes exposed. This means that tooth decay and other problems can affect the teeth along the gumline and beneath it. Since healthy gums are essential for a healthy mouth, getting gum recession treated is important for lasting dental wellness.
In a perfect world everyone would brush and floss twice a day. Plaque builds up over time and this sticky bacterial film can solidify and turn into calculus or tartar. This cement-like substance is removed by the hygienist at your regular cleaning visits. A six-month interval not only serves to keep your mouth healthy and clean, it allows potential problems to be found and diagnosed earlier.
In some instances a six-month schedule in not enough. Based on your dental history, rate of calculus buildup, and pattern of decay a 3 or 4 month interval may be needed. Your dentist can work with you to determine what will be best for you.
Also, Dental insurance companies came up with the idea for people to have two teeth cleanings per year. An insurance company recommends what is average. At Blue Apple, and many other dental offices in CA and the US, three teeth cleanings per year is becoming more standard to help battle gum disease and keep a healthy mouth.
When dental implants are used in combination with modern restorative dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.
Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity, pressure and force of your bite with dental implants is comparable to that of natural teeth.
These questions are typically the first ones asked when a child has injured his or her mouth or teeth. This is subjective and depends on the situation. If your child suffers a mouth or tooth injury, it is important to see a dental professional as soon as possible to evaluate the situation and to possibly prevent further damage.
Our dentist can answer all your questions about treatments. We offer a complimentary consultation so that you can meet with our doctor and learn more about laser gum treatment. Please remember that practicing good oral hygiene at home will greatly reduce your chances of contracting gum disease, both now as well as following your treatment.
Yes. OraCare™ helps to maintain white teeth.
We believe so. There are many studies that link the reduction of germs and diseases in the mouth to better overall health.
Invisalign aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as you get used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.