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Dr. Erick Gutierrez

Take Advantage of Your Dental Insurance Before 2018 Ends!

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

When it comes to dental insurance, if you have it, use it!

Many dental insurance plans run on a traditional calendar year, and your benefits, unfortunately, do not roll over like minutes would with some cell phone plans.

If you take advantage of your remaining dental insurance benefits you can save yourself hundreds in spending.

Your dental benefits are going to reset at the beginning of 2019 anyways, so it’s important to take advantage now! If not, you’ll lose out on your unused benefits after 12/31/18. In short, this means that your dental dollars are going to disappear when your dental insurance plan renews at the beginning of the year.

Many Folks Aren’t Using their Insurance Benefits

In 2016 the ADA published a surprising study which found that almost 40% of individuals with dental insurance didn’t have a single claim within their respective year. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars being wasted each year on insurance.

Don’t wait for an emergency to use your insurance. You can use your insurance for check-ups and routine cleanings that will help you avoid costly procedures, like root canals.

There Might Be Fee Increases!

The fact that your monthly fee might increase is another reason to maximize what you get out of what you’ve spent this year. Many dentists raise their rate at the start of each year to make up for cost of operation, increases in cost of materials, as well as increase in cost of equipment. These fee increases can often make your copay higher, too. That’s why you should make it a point to see your dentist while your copay rates remain where they are.

There’s also the undeniable fact that when you delay treatment, you’re opening yourself up to damage that can cause costly problems down the road.

The solution? Contact Manhattan Dental Care today to schedule your consultation. We’ll make sure you get the most out of your insurance before the year’s end.

5 Reasons to Use Invisalign

By | Invisalign | No Comments

Braces have historically been given a negative connotation generally, mainly because of their imposing nature. Nobody loves the idea of having metal appliances attached to their teeth, sitting in their mouth for a year or more.

The Invisalign clear aligner system was designed for patients who want to fix their smile without the discomfort and embarrassment of traditional metal braces. The system uses a series of clear aligners that fit over your teeth to gently, but effectively, move your teeth into perfect alignment. Orthodontists have successfully treated patients crowded teeth, overbite, underbite, open bite, crossbite, and gap teeth using the Invisalign system.

Here are five reasons to use Invisalign to fix your smile:

1. The Invisalign system straightens your teeth without the need for traditional metal braces

The Invisalign system uses crystal-clear custom aligners to mould your teeth into position. When the aligners are in your mouth, people will barely be able to tell you are wearing an orthodontic appliance! Adults who do not want to feel embarrassed by a mouth full of traditional metal braces will enjoy the low-profile of the Invisalign system.

2. The Invisalign straightening trays are removable and easy-to-clean

With Invisalign, there’s no need to worry about the hassle of keeping complicated orthodontic appliances clean. The trays simply pop out when it’s time to eat or brush your teeth. A quick rinse of the tray is sufficient for keeping them free of debris. For best results, be sure to wear your Invisalign clear aligners for 20 to 22 hours per day.

3. With Invisalign, you can continue to enjoy the foods you love

While undergoing Invisalign treatment, you can still eat your favorite foods. Traditional braces restrict the patient from eating anything that hard, chewy, or sticky which may damage the metal brackets and wires. But with Invisalign, you can easily remove the trays so that they don’t get damaged while eating.

4. Invisalign saves you time by delivering faster results with fewer appointments

With the traditional braces you have to visit the doctor every month to fix the braces according to your teeth alignment. But with the Invisalign system, you will receive a set of trays that are swapped out every few weeks, eliminating the need to make monthly trips to the orthodontist’s office.

5. The Invisalign system is much more comfortable for patients than traditional braces

Patients with traditional braces commonly complain of sores on the inside of their mouth caused by the metal brackets and discomfort following their monthly office visits to get their braces “tightened.” With the Invisalign system you are able to avoid both these common complaints and enjoy a more comfortable orthodontic experience.

To see if you are a candidate for treatment with Invisalign, contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio to request a consultation your consultation today.

Inlays and Onlays

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

At Manhattan Dental Care Studio we work hard to create lasting, beautiful smiles — which can open new doors for you no matter your age.

A part of what we do is provide reconstructive options that have experienced damage, trauma, or decay.

Onlays and Inlays

Dental inlays and onlays are two reconstructive options for teeth that have mild to moderate tooth decay. They are offered by some dentists as an alternative to crowns, which require manipulation of the natural tooth before being fitted in the mouth. Inlays and Onlays can also be used as an alternative to traditional fillings. In such instances, the inlay or onlays offers a stronger, longer-lasting solution for repairing tooth decay or similar damage.

Lab Manufactured to Fit YOU

Dental inlays and onlays are a type of premolded filling, manufactured in a lab to fit perfectly on or within your natural tooth. Restorations requiring the restoration material to be bonded within the points (cusps) of the tooth biting surface are called Inlays. Whereas restorations covering the one or more cusps of the biting surface is called an Outlay. These customized restorations can be made out of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic or resin. Once bonded to your natural tooth, your inlay or onlay not only restores the look of your natural tooth, but also provides structural reinforcement against daily wear and tear.

The Inlay and Onlay Process

The process of getting an inlay or onlay is very similar to the process for getting a dental crown. At your first appointment, your dentist will numb the area being treated and clean out the decayed area of the tooth, much the same way the tooth would be prepared for a filling. Ensuring that all decay is removed is essential for preventing further decay and possible infection after the inlay or onlay has been set. Once all the decay has been removed, your dentist will take an impression of the remaining tooth area. This impression will be used by the laboratory to create your inlay or onlay. A temporary filling will be installed by your dentist to last until your second and final appointment.

Once the laboratory has completed your inlay or onlay, you will return to the dentist’s office for your final appointment. During this visit, the dentist will numb the area, remove the temporary filling, and bond your permanent inlay or onlay to your natural tooth.

Inlays and onlays are strong, long-lasting, and require no additional care than any other tooth. With good daily brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings at the dental office, your inlay or onlay restoration can last for years.

Dental Exams and Cleanings Blog

The Importance of Keeping Your Dental Exams and Periodic Cleanings

By | General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene | No Comments

Many adults balk at the idea of visiting the dentist when they aren’t having any problems with their teeth. They assume that visiting the dentist just to receive a clean bill of health is just a waste of money.

But, in fact, keeping your regular dental check-ups and cleanings can actually save you money in the long-run by making sure small problems don’t turn into expensive ones.

Keeping Your Exams Saves Your Money in the Long Run

If you don’t keep up with your oral health cleanings and exams, costly dental problems might occur.

Maintaining good oral health is also an important part of keeping your whole body healthy. While daily brushing and flossing is essential for a healthy mouth, regular check-ups and cleanings are also very important. Good oral health is also linked to good overall health.

When to Get a Checkup

For most adults, it is recommended they get a dental checkup and cleaning every six months. However, depending on your individual needs and personal dental history, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits.

What Happens During an Exam

During a typical dental exam, patients go through two important preventative treatment processes: cleaning and evaluation. Exams often begin with a deep clean performed by a dental hygienist. These are dental professionals who have been trained to use special equipment and techniques to remove the tartar and plaque that daily brushing and flossing might miss.

Once your teeth have been cleaned and polished, the dentist will come in to evaluate your neck, throat, tongue, teeth, and gums for any signs of damage, disease, or decay. X-rays may also be taken. If any troubled spots are found, your dentist will recommend a treatment plan and subsequent visits will be scheduled.

Even though the American Dental Association has invested millions of dollars in educating the public on the importance of maintaining good oral health, 50% of Americans do not visit their dentist regularly. This is a disturbing statistic considering that nearly the same percentage of adults have some level of gum disease and nearly three-quarters of adults are estimated to have at least one cavity.

By regularly monitoring your oral health and keeping up on necessary preventative care, dental disease and decay is less likely to occur. If a problem is found during your regular check-up, it is often easier to fix because it was spotted quickly. As a result, the need for expensive intervention and treatment is virtually eliminated, and any threat to your overall health has been removed. When it comes to keeping your dental exams and periodic cleanings, remember the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

If you haven’t been in the office in a while, we’d love to see you. Contact Manhattan Dental Care today to schedule your consultation.

More on Tooth Misalignment and Invisalign

By | Invisalign | No Comments

Teeth misalignment can happen genetically or be artificially induced. Some people have a smaller mouth that doesn’t allow for their teeth to align themselves correctly.

The upper jaw or the lower jaw might protrude forward causing an underbite or overbite. People who have dental alignment of this type inherit these traits from biological family members.

Restorative dentistry can be done in the wrong way, forcing the teeth to misalign. When a child loses a tooth at an early stage, which might cause misalignment as the other teeth continue to grow. Adults are also affected by teeth misalignment due to tooth loss.

When an adult loses a permanent tooth, a gap is left behind. Then other teeth crowd in to fill the gap. At times a dental restoration such as fillings and crowns can go wrong during the procedure and fail to fit correctly causing the adjacent teeth to shift.

Sometimes a person may have a dental illness such as gingivitis forcing the gums to weaken and not hold the teeth in place leading to misalignment.

Why correct tooth misalignment?

You might think why bother correcting it when it doesn’t hurt? Correcting misalignment will save you time and money.

Some reasons you should get your misaligned teeth corrected:

  • Enhances and Restores Self-Esteem
  • Functionality
  • Allows for Proper Cleaning
  • Reduces Chances of Disease
  • Reduces Strain

You Want to Correct Your Misalignment, Now What?

Choosing the right realignment method is vital since you want to correct the teeth misalignment and at the same time look good. Invisalign is the treatment of choice for the patient who is looking to correct their smile without being ostentatious about it.

Here are 5 reasons to choose Invisalign over metal braces.

1. Reduced Dental Visits

Once you have your Invisalign, you are not required to visit the dentist as often as you would with traditional metal braces. You’ll get a new aligner tray every two weeks and you’ll keep routine dental visits to check on progress.

2. No Diet Changes Necessary

You are allowed to eat everything you wish so long as you clean your teeth before putting the Invisalign tray back in your mouth. The old traditional braces would not let you eat sticky, or hard foods because they can cause damage to the hardware.

3. Invisible Smile Correction

Metal braces can be seen even with a person who is far away from you. But with Invisalign, nobody will know you even have it on your teeth!

4. Easy Cleaning

Metal braces have specialized flossing equipment which works in a certain way. It can be rigorous to follow through with such a rigorous routine. The design structure of Invisalign allows you to remove them and clean your teeth the usual way. You can also clean Invisalign trays easily and conveniently.

5. Enhanced Comfort

According to cases reported, the use of metal braces irritates the gums and cheeks. Invisalign comprises of flat plastic trays which can easily be installed and removed without any adverse reactions.

If you feel Invisalign might be right for you, we’d love to tell you more about it. If you’re looking for an experienced dentist who knows Invisalign inside and out, contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today for further guidance and assistance.

Restorative Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry Similarities and Differences

By | Cosmetic Dentistry | No Comments

Dental care should start as early as the first month from birth. Caring for your teeth and oral health, in general, doesn’t necessarily end with regular brushing and flossing at home. It requires more than just brushing and flossing to keep away the harmful bacteria that attacks and destroys the teeth.

To achieve optimum dental and oral health it is crucial to observe your regular dental visits without skipping. It is during these visits the dentist can note any dental problem at an early stage and address and adjust accordingly.

What is restorative dentistry?

Restorative dentistry is when periodontal disease is identified, managed and prevented from recurring again. Restorative dentistry in many cases usually starts during the regular visits. A dentist might locate tartar formation on your teeth which he/she will clean using a dental brush and toothpaste and later on conduct preventive measures to stop it from recurring.

When you have a cavity in your tooth, the dentist will clean and inject filling to the gap to prevent further damage. When a tooth is destroyed and in need of extraction, the dentist will guide you on the various types of tooth replacement.

In short restorative dentistry includes:

  • Implants
  • Fillings
  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Veneers
  • Root canal
  • Dentures
  • Extractions

These are some of the most common restorative dentistry in any standard dental clinic.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry focuses more on the appearance and to some extended treatment of the tooth. It also improves the appearance of your mouth and smile as well. It is done professionally by a dentist who specializes in cosmetic procedures, one who deeply understands the dental structures and treatments involved.

Cosmetic dentistry can be restorative to some extent. An example is when you want an inlay or only done on your decayed tooth. You’ll be restoring a decayed tooth back to its original structure, but this time you are free to choose a material of your choice.

Cosmetic dentistry is a part of restorative dentistry to some extent but not always. It is applicable during the following dental procedures:

  • Composite bonding
  • Onlays and inlays
  • Veneers
  • Implants

Restorative and cosmetic dentistry are more related than different. This is evident when patients are having corrective procedures done on their teeth. They consider the appearance the most instead of the functionality and overall health of the teeth. In this era most restorative dentistry clinics have incorporated cosmetic aspects of dental procedures to meet the rising demands of patients.

If you have any additional questions about restorative or cosmetic dentistry, please contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today. We’ll schedule your consultation and get your oral health back on track, leaving you with a seriously good-looking smile.

Not just a pretty smile! The manhattan beach invisalign dentist explains health benefits of orthodontics

By | Invisalign | No Comments

If you are thinking about orthodontic treatment, you are probably focused on the esthetic result. It’s exciting to think about smiling again with confidence!

While esthetics are important, you probably haven’t given much thought to the long-term health effects of orthodontic treatment. It’s true that treatment can dramatically alter your appearance, but straighter teeth also result in a healthier smile.

The Problem With Crooked Teeth

You already know that crooked teeth have a negative impact on the appearance of your smile. But many patients of the Manhattan Beach Invisalign dentist who are interested in orthodontics, may not realize how a misaligned smile impacts overall oral health. Here are a few examples of oral health problems related to crooked or crowded teeth.

Difficulty Cleaning: If you don’t have clean teeth, you don’t have a healthy smile. Proper oral hygiene is essential if you want to enjoy a lifetime free of dental problems. Crooked or crowded teeth make it difficult to practice good oral hygiene because you may not be able to floss between them. This puts you at risk for decay and periodontal disease.

Increased Orthodontic Problems: When one or more teeth are crooked or crowded, surrounding teeth start to shift as well. Your teeth are constantly moving, and as the root of a crooked tooth tilts to one side or the other, adjacent teeth follow. Putting off treatment may result in increased orthodontic problems down the road.

Dental Bite: If you have untreated orthodontic issues, you can end up with a misaligned dental bite. This means that teeth on one side of your mouth bite down harder on one side than the other. This can lead to a variety of problems including excess wear on teeth, jaw pain, and even TMJ.

Call the Manhattan Beach Invisalign Dentist Today!

Why risk your good oral health with a crooked smile? With all the great adult orthodontics available today, there’s no reason to live with a smile you don’t love. Please call our office and we’ll be happy to schedule a consultation with our dentist.

Can nitrous oxide help during your next dental visit? The manhattan beach dentist explains the benefits

By | Sedation Dentistry | No Comments

Anxiety about dental visits is quite common, and nothing to be embarrassed about. People suffer dental anxiety for many different reasons ranging from a bad childhood experience to worries about gagging during treatment.

Whatever your concern, The Manhattan Beach dentist has the skill and training needed to provide you with a comfortable, stress-free experience.

Safe, Gentle Nitrous Oxide

For your comfort, we offer nitrous oxide, a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that we administer through a small mask. Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. It is safe, and we calibrate our equipment so that you receive 50–70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

You will be able to breathe on your own and will be vaguely aware of the activity around you. You will experience slight euphoria and a type of temporary mild amnesia. Many of our patients don’t remember what happened during their appointment when we use nitrous oxide.

Advantages of Using Nitrous Oxide

  • Your dentist will monitor and adjust the depth of sedation throughout treatment.
  • There is no after effect such as drowsiness.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very useful in minimizing gagging.
  • Nitrous works quickly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2–3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons Not to Use Nitrous Oxide

We do not recommend nitrous oxide if you have been diagnosed with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other significant contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, MS, a cold, or other difficulties with breathing. If you are pregnant, we will only recommend nitrous if a local anesthesia is not sufficient to help you relax.

Trust Your Care to Experience and Training

Our doctors have specialized training in delivering safe, effective sedation for our patients. We’ve helped lost of our patients reclaim healthy, beautiful teeth through relaxing sedation dentistry. Please call the Manhattan Beach dentist if you are ready to eliminate your anxiety and get the care you need.

Manhattan beach general dentist stresses the need for routine oral cancer screenings

By | General Dentistry, Oral Cancer | No Comments

Many people are unaware of the risks and dangers associated with oral cancer. While oral cancer makes up only a small portion of annual cancer cases, it is still a serious problem. Oral cancer cases that are diagnosed in the early stages of development have a significantly improved survival rate — up to 80% after five years.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

The following risk factors can’t be changed, but the Manhattan Beach, CA general dentist knows that awareness raises your vigilance so potential problems can be addressed early when treatment options and positive outcomes are greatest.

  • Heredity
  • Aging – More than 90% of all oral cancers occur in individuals over 40. However, the incidence among younger people has been on the uptick recently, perhaps related to lifestyle behaviors.
  • Race – African Americans have a higher incidence of oral cancer than Caucasians. 

The following are risk factors that can and should be addressed:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco – Smokers are at five to nine times greater risk of developing oral cancer
  • Alcohol – Moderate to heavy drinkers are at three to nine times greater risk; the higher the alcohol content, the greater the risk
  • Diet – A high intake of fruits/vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, has been found to have a protective effect against a variety of cancers, including oral.
  • Chronic sun exposure – Often connected with lip cancers. 

As part of your routine oral hygiene, you should closely monitor any changes in your mouth that don’t diminish in a few days, e.g., ulcers, sores, or white or red patches on the tongue. We care about your overall wellness, so our dentist always performs an oral cancer screening as part of your regular check-ups.

Please Call to Arrange a Checkup

We want to do everything possible to keep your oral health and your general health on track. Please contact our Manhattan Beach general dentist to arrange your next exam, including an oral cancer screening.

Stop dental problems before they start with preventive treatments from the manhattan beach general dentist

By | Family Dentist, General Dentistry | No Comments

The dental needs of your entire family are very important when selecting the right dentist. A dental professional who offers services to family members of all ages is really the best option. You can enjoy the benefits of one-stop convenience for yourself and your children at the Manhattan Beach general dentist office while ensuring that everyone’s oral health is being monitored regularly.

How Prevention Helps

The simple truth is that the key to optimum oral health is prevention. The types of services that family dentistry includes are those that address prevention as the first step in dental care. These include regular cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, routine x-rays and other basic dental work. The American Dental Association suggests at least twice-yearly visits to your family dentist for checkups.

Semi-Annual Dental Visits

During your semi-annual visits with the Manhattan Beach general dentist, you will receive a routine oral examination including an oral cancer screening and a professional dental cleaning. The professional cleaning is important in order to get rid of stains and plaque buildup, which in turn prevents tooth decay and gum problems. Your dental team will provide recommendations for proper at-home brushing, flossing and rinsing in order to help reduce the buildup of plaque between regular appointments.

Benefits of Visiting a Family Dentist

An important benefit of seeing a family dentist is that they can effectively monitor the oral health of your family from early childhood into adulthood. This establishes an important ongoing relationship with your family. Young children need to be introduced to dental care in a welcoming and comforting setting to develop a trusting relationship with dentists that will last into adulthood.

It is especially important to schedule regular appointments for checkups so that problems can be identified as early as possible before more extensive and costly dental work becomes necessary. Take the stress out of making and keeping your regularly scheduled appointments by selecting a family dentist who can see to all your oral health needs.