Smiles West is the ultimate destination for all of your general dentistry needs. General dentistry encompasses all treatments and services done to maintain the health of your teeth, gums, and entire oral structure. Our dedicated team is eager to serve you and your family with the utmost care to ensure your experience with us is incredible.
Whether you are visiting for a routine examination or to receive one of our many treatments, our priority is towards your health and comfort. If you are located in or around Bell, CA, we invite you to schedule an appointment at our office. Discover the difference quality dentistry can make in your life by calling today!
Cleanings & Exams
If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, you’re likely to enjoy the benefits that come with having a hygienic mouth. These include:
- Fresher Breath
- Cleaner Teeth
- Healthier Gums
Even so, there are multiple factors beyond hygiene that can affect your oral health, such as tobacco use, genetics, and medications. This makes regular visits to your dentist’s office imperative for your dental wellness.
Despite how diligently you follow your cleaning regimen, there are still areas of the mouth that can only be reached by special tools used in our office. These tools help us remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and hard-to-reach areas, preventing problems such as dental decay or gum disease. These thorough cleanings help to prolong the life of your teeth.
As part of our examination, we utilize x-rays to assess the condition of every tooth above and below the gum line, so we can diagnose issues more precisely. You should have your teeth fully examined on a regular basis to ensure any problems you may have been identified and treated promptly.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease is a relatively common oral condition that occurs in three separate stages, each ranging in severity.
- Gingivitis is classified as the first stage of gum disease, in which gums may bleed while flossing or brushing. They may also appear slightly red, though this is quite easy to overlook and may go unnoticed.
- Periodontitis is the next step of the disease, in which the condition becomes irreversible. This stage is characterized by receding gums or gums that are more swollen, tender, and uncomfortable.
- Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease where many patients notice loose teeth or tooth loss. Gum recession at this stage will be severe and repair may require surgical intervention.
Our practice offers various treatments to manage each stage of gum disease.
- Patients with gingivitis could benefit from our professional cleanings, as well as consistent brushing and flossing at home.
- We offer scaling and root planing as a more intensive treatment that can allow receded gums to reattach to the tooth root. We perform this treatment by polishing the tooth both above and below the gums, removing the buildup of plaque and tartar that can’t be reached during a typical cleaning.
- Antibiotic therapy may be prescribed as a mouth rinse for patients to eliminate the progression of the disease through antibiotics. This helps to kill the bacteria causing the gums to become inflamed.
- In the most severe cases, we will utilize surgical techniques in order to prevent the progression of the disease from affecting the bone. By reshaping the jawbone, we are able to restore the health of the bone and limit the areas in which the disease may thrive.
Fillings (Metal amalgam & composite)
After a tooth suffers minor damage from decay or injury, a filling may be used to restore the strength and appearance of the affected tooth. Additionally, the filling prevents bacteria from causing further damage to the tooth’s weak spot.
Our practice offers both metal amalgam and composite material in order to fill cavities, cracks, or chips in our patient’s smiles. Metal fillings are silver in color, and while they are the more affordable option, their use is generally reserved for the back of the mouth, where they are less visible.
Composite fillings are used to repair teeth towards the front of the mouth, as they are much more cosmetically appealing. They are white in color and blend seamlessly with the surrounding of the tooth. Composite material allows patients to restore the health of their teeth while keeping their same bright, confident smile!
For patients with missing teeth, dentures are a great option that restores the function and appearance of the entire smile. Our dentures are built precisely to fit the needs of the patient, as we offer both complete and partial dentures. While partial dentures are designed to replace a limited number of missing teeth, a complete denture replaces the full arch of teeth.
The denture is made from a hybrid composition of both resin and acrylic with custom-created porcelain teeth, built to suit your smile. A complete denture can adhere to the mouth by suction or dental adhesive while a partial denture will typically clip into place. Dentures help to not only replace teeth but to prevent the appearance of sunken lips or sagging skin that occurs once teeth are no longer present to support the lips.
Each night, dentures should be brushed with a special toothpaste designed specifically for denture care. Patients should remove dentures before going to bed each night, as wearing them to sleep can damage the gum tissue or eventually lead to fungal development.
Crowns & Bridges
Crowns are used to restore a damaged tooth that has suffered from severe trauma or tooth decay. Crowns are typically applied after a root canal has been performed, or when tooth damage is extensive enough to need more than a simple filling. Crowns are custom-created to slip over the damaged tooth and shield it from further damage. The crown is designed to match the size, color, and appearance of the surrounding teeth to ensure a long-lasting, beautiful smile.
Bridges are composed of multiple crowns that are fused together to replace an area of a missing tooth or teeth. In order to attach a bridge, the adjacent teeth on either side of the gap must be filed and prepared for the bridge to be anchored into place. Bridges are a long-term, durable option, but will require replacement over time.
Fluoride is a material that is used to benefit the oral health of our patients by greatly reducing their risk of tooth decay. A natural component of drinking water, fluoride supports teeth by strengthening their protective enamel lining and attracting calcium from the saliva to promote remineralization. Fluoride is an extremely effective method for not only preventing tooth decay but also reversing the formation of small cavities.
Mouthguards for Bruxism
Bruxism is a condition that describes the consistent grinding or clenching of teeth, usually while patients are asleep. Many patients don’t even realize they suffer from this habit but may wake up with headaches, vertigo, and sore jaw muscles. A variety of factors can contribute to teeth grinding, including stress or poor bite alignment. Left untreated, bruxism can lead to gum recession, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), or even tooth loss.
Our practice offers treatment for bruxism in the form of a mouthguard that can be worn while the patient sleeps. The mouthguard separates the top and bottom arch of teeth, preventing friction from occurring. This allows the jaw joints to relax and prevents any further damage from occurring to the teeth or supporting tissues.
Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom Teeth are the third set of molars that patients may grow at varying times in their life. While some people never have a problem with their wisdom teeth, patients that do can suffer from extreme complications if they are not removed; this may include impaction, infection, or overcrowding.
The extraction process varies depending on where the tooth or teeth are located; in most cases, erupted extractions are less invasive because at least part of the tooth has emerged from the gums. Impacted extractions require the tooth to be removed through incisions made in the gumline. In either case, the procedure is conducted under sedation to ensure the patient is comfortable and pain-free.
In our practice, x-rays taken during routine exams provide us with information about wisdom teeth development. By doing so, we can keep a close eye on their placement so we can schedule an extraction appointment right away if they need to be removed.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a condition that causes patients to experience lost airflow during their rest. This can be caused by soft tissues in the mouth, throat, or nasal passages being obstructed as muscles relax once the patient has gone to sleep. Common indications of sleep apnea are:
- Snoring During the Night
- Sleepless Nights
- Frequent Headaches
- Dry Mouth & Throat
While many people don’t associate this problem with dentistry, it can usually be addressed in a dentist’s office by the use of a mouthguard or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Those who suspect they may have sleep apnea should reach out to our office today to schedule a sleep apnea examination; our dental team is well-trained to diagnose and treat this issue, restoring your rest and allowing you to again enjoy life.
TMJ therapy is a treatment utilized to resolve the inflammation or misalignment of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). TMJ disorder, or TMD, can cause patients to suffer from:
- Jaw Tenderness
- Jaw Popping
- Neck Pain
- Locked Jaw
The TMJ joint acts as a hinge between the lower jaw and the skull; once it becomes inflamed, this makes everyday tasks such as eating or speaking uncomfortable, or even unbearable for some patients. Our practice diagnoses TMD through examination of the patient’s bite and x-ray imaging of the jaw.
We are prepared to treat TMD by utilizing the gathered information to treat the cause of the disorder. In many cases, a mouthguard can be used to prevent the grinding or clenching that frequently occurs alongside this condition. Once the cause of the disorder is determined, our team will be better prepared to treat TMD through a range of therapies offered in our office. Call today to schedule your visit!
Quality Care Whenever You Need It
For your convenience, Smiles West supports same-day appointment scheduling. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, or just wanted to come in for an appointment, we are happy to work you in. Your oral health is our priority and we care about your smile wellness just as much as you do. Our staff is looking forward to seeing you. Please call us today to schedule your appointment!