All Posts By

Dr. Erick Gutierrez

Veneers Can Help You Smile With Confidence

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

 

Perhaps you are feeling insecure about your smile, or you want to improve the look of your smile so that you can laugh with abandon. Cosmetic dentistry can make all the difference, and help you leave your worries behind. Here we’re going to tell you all about veneers, so you can decide whether they’re the best option for you.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are paper-thin porcelain coverings which sit over your natural teeth and help correct visible dental imperfections, including chipping, wear, and tear, or stains that cannot be removed by any other way. 

They can also be used to fill in small gaps and imperfections, to give you a natural smile still follows the shape of your mouth.

Essentially veneers give you a dream smile that enhances your natural teeth, and which look natural – helping you to be more confident in your smile than ever before.

Why Veneers Are A Great Option

If you’re considering investing in veneers, it’s important to consider the effect that you hope to achieve. There’s significant false information out there about what you might need, including the expectation that veneers will need to be applied to every individual truth. This is not the case! Instead, you’ll find veneers are placed on as few teeth as possible, depending on the way you want your smile to look. So, for example, if you are looking to fix a small chip or a slight misalignment, then veneers are a perfect way to do so.

Equally, if you are hoping to completely reinvent your smile, veneers can make all the difference in the world. Many people feel self-conscious about their teeth and lack the confidence or know-how to change that. Yet you don’t have to feel insecure any longer. Veneers provide you with a long-lasting and natural-looking solution that can ease your concerns about your smile’s aesthetic.

Best of all, veneers allow you to completely customize your experience so that you pay for what you want to get – and then get it, rather than having to fit into one-size-fits-all models.

What Next?

Although veneers are a fantastic choice, and many people will find them the best cosmetic option for your dental concerns, it’s important to visit an experienced dentist who can talk to you about your needs and provide you with the care and attention you deserve.

You may find, for example, that if your concern is having a brighter, whiter smile you are the perfect candidate for whitening, rather than paying for veneers. Only a consultation with an experienced professional can tell you exactly what the right course of action is for you.

It’s important to know all the options that are available to you, and the requirements and expectations of each possible dental intervention. Get in touch today if you want to talk through your hopes and expectations, and find out if veneers are the right choice for you.

Gum Disease and Gingivitis: Major Differences to Recognize

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria.

Some bacteria in plaque are harmless, but some are harmful to the health of your gums.

If you do not remove plaque from your teeth by brushing them, it builds up and irritates your gums. This can lead to redness with bleeding, swelling and soreness.

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. The three stages of gum disease — from least to most severe — are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Difference between Gum disease and Gingivitis

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease).

However, it is important to know that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.

In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque build up, causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during toothbrushing. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. 

No irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage.

When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. 

These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. 

The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.

As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs

Signs of Gum Disease

  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Receding Gums
  • Swollen, red gums

Causes of Gum Disease

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease. These include:

  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body’s ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.
  • Medications can affect oral health because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as the anticonvulsant medication Dilantin and the anti-angina drug Procardia and Adalat, can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Bad habits such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.
  • Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing on a daily basis make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Family history of dental disease can be a contributing factor in the development of gingivitis.

Conclusion

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Always schedule a visit to your dentist the moment you notice irregularities in your oral health.

At Manhattan Dental Care, we can employ a variety of tactics to fight gum disease, including deep cleaning and preventive care.

 

Effective Habits to Prevent Halitosis

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

Halitosis, or bad breath, can be unpleasant and significantly reduce your confidence. The good news is halitosis is preventable, and there are measures you can take each day to prevent bad breath from affecting your life.

What is Halitosis?

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is characterized by a strong, unpleasant odor that a simple mint or mouthwash is unable to solve. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, over 80 million people suffer from chronic bad breath.

Halitosis is typically caused by the decay of food particles or other debris in your mouth, waste from bacteria, and poor oral hygiene. The decay of this debris, if not cleaned out through proper brushing and flossing, produces a sulfur compound which leads to the unpleasant odor. In most cases, the odor originates from the gums and tongue, but in serious cases, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Dental issues that can cause bad breath include cavities and gum disease, as these can give bacteria additional places to grow that are not easy to clean out while brushing or flossing. Sinus and throat infections that result in postnasal drip can also cause halitosis, as the bacteria in your body feeds on the mucus being produced by the infection.

Dry mouth is another major cause of bad breath and one that most people do not normally think of. Saliva is very important for breaking down bacteria and food in your mouth, and also serves to prevent cavities and infections. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, and even alcohol or tobacco use.

In addition to the multitude of negative effects caused by smoking and tobacco, it can also cause bad breath. Besides leaving their own unpleasant odor, they can dry out your mouth as well. In fact, smokers are more likely to develop gum disease and, as a result, suffer from halitosis.

Habits to Prevent Halitosis

Although halitosis can be difficult to get rid of, there are steps you can take on a daily basis to prevent the development of bad breath to begin with. The best way to do this is to build effective habits focused on good oral hygiene.

Good Dental Hygiene

Practicing good dental hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent halitosis. This includes brushing your teeth and flossing on a regular basis – with an added emphasis on flossing. Many people skip this part of their routine but flossing to remove the pieces of food and bacteria that your toothbrush cannot is essential in preventing bad breath. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash also effectively prevent cavities and gum disease, which are both causes of halitosis.

In addition to your daily dental hygiene routine, you should see a dentist and get a professional cleaning at least twice a year. This will get you an extra deep clean and give your dentist the opportunity to check for cavities and gum disease before they develop or worsen.

Preventing Dry Mouth

Another habit that can help prevent halitosis is proper eating and staying hydrated. There is less saliva produced when you have not been drinking enough water or eating on a regular basis, and as mentioned above, dry mouth is a leading cause of bad breath.

Similarly, your body produces less saliva when you sleep, so flossing and hydrating first thing in the morning is also imperative to keep away bad breath.

The same goes for alcohol consumption – if you’ve had a fun night out drinking, make sure to floss and drink some water when you get home so that you can prevent bad breath in the morning.

When is a Tooth Extraction Necessary?

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

Whenever we think of a tooth extraction, most of us might think of wisdom teeth, but there are certain instances when a tooth extraction is necessary in cases of irreparable tooth damage.

At Manhattan Dental Care Studio we believe that it is the dentist’s job to be as conservative as possible, so a tooth extraction will only be an option we’ll consider when it presents the best possible solution for the patient’s long-term oral health plan.

Signs you might be in need of a tooth extraction procedure include:

• Moderate to Severe Tooth Pain
• Jaw Pain or Joint Stiffness
• Swollen Gums
• Gum Disease Affecting Surrounding Area

We might suggest a tooth extraction if a tooth has experienced severe decay, infection, to help clear a path for an impacted tooth, to prevent overcrowding, or as a method of treatment after an accident or trauma.

However, having a tooth extraction does not have to be a traumatic experience. We’re happy to provide options to patients needing tooth extractions in Los Angeles, CA.

What to Expect from a Tooth Extraction Procedure

We provide a comfortable ambience at Manhattan Dental Care Studio, where the focus is put on you.

We begin our tooth extraction procedure by applying an anesthetic, which will numb the mouth and minimize any discomfort. For patients who experience anxiety, we can provide additional sedation techniques geared toward making the procedure as comfortable for you as possible.

A certain amount of bleeding, pain, and swelling is perfectly normal and will resolve quickly. We’ll also provide all of the follow-up care you need to ensure the treatment is successful.

Same-Day Dental Extraction in Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach, CA

Contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today if you believe that you’re in need of a tooth extraction procedure in Los Angeles. Schedule your consultation and we’ll get you back on the footpath to oral health success.

Alzheimer’s and its Link to Gum Disease

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

Science Advances recently published a paper linking Alzheimer’s (AD) to periodontal disease (also known as gingivitis).

More on Alzheimer’s (AD)

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia — a general term for memory loss or mental deterioration that can sometimes occur to patients later in their lifespan (during middle or more advanced ages). Alzheimer’s accounts for over 60% of cases of dementia and is the most common cause of premature senility.

More on Gum Disease and its Link to AD

Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) spurs an increase in amyloid beta production, which is found in plaque that has been linked to Alzheimer’s — this was found in lab animals orally infected with Pg.

The bacteria is believed to travel from the mouth to the brain while coinciding with two proteins that have also been associated with AD, ubiquitin and tau.

Gum Disease and its Link to Other Age-Related Conditions

The fact that your oral health is inextricably linked to your overall health is nothing new. Gum disease also contributes to other health problems in addition to AD, conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and more. There is also a noted link between periodontal disease and overall mortality rates in advanced stages of life.

What You Can Do to Reduce Your Chance of Getting AD

Although there isn’t a study out there that says periodontal disease is the direct cause of Alzheimer’s, it’s worth mentioning that keeping a good oral health routine is your first line of defense against conditions that can really impede upon living a good quality of life down the road. Having healthy teeth and gums is an investment in your future, in more ways than one.

At Manhattan Dental Care Studio we believe in providing innovative oral health care, both general and preventive, that sets our patients up for a healthy, productive life.

By scheduling (and keeping) your biannual checkups and routine cleanings you’ll give yourself a much higher chance of advancing through the many stages of life with good health intact, which means you’ll save time, money, and hardship that comes along with living with a chronic condition.

Contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today to schedule your consultation. We provide modern care for healthy gums and we have a long track record of keeping our patients healthy and well through our comprehensive dental treatments, services, and procedures.

Woman with bright smile

5 Resolutions to Make for the Sake of Your Smile

By | General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene | No Comments

As the new year approaches many of us make resolutions and set new goals — usually these goals have something to do with our vocations, our fitness, our health, maybe even learning a new skill of some sort.

Even though taking special care of your teeth and gums might seem like it’s sort of low on the priority list for 2019, it’s more important than ever to have a nice, sparkling set of pearly whites. Not only will having a sparkling, healthy open new doors for you in many realms, it will also help you maintain your overall health.

It’s true. Study after study supports the idea that gum disease has been shown to be linked to all sorts of awful health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and more.

Read on for a few resolutions you can set that will help you stay on top of your oral health this year. You won’t regret it!

1.) Bring a Travel Brush with You

Whether you’re at work or at play, packing an extra travel brush will help you take care of your smile when it counts. When you’re out and about eating and drinking, you’re doing an inside job to your teeth that can create real problems down the road.

2.) Brush Properly

After eating any sort of sugary or acidic foods, make sure to wait 20-40 minutes before brushing, that way your mouth can neutralize the acids. Otherwise, you can do damage to your enamel. Brush and floss twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush. Mouthwash is optional. Stay on top of your oral health routine because it’s the cornerstone of a healthy smile.

3.) Keep Your Routine Check-Ups and Dental Exams

Keeping your check-ups and oral health examinations at Manhattan Dental Care Studio twice a year will help you stay on top of any problems before they become more serious issues. We can clean away plaque and harmful bacteria that might be lingering — even after your diligent brushing.

4.) Eat and Drink with Your Smile in Mind

This means staying away from sugary foods and candies. If you’re going to eat almonds, try to opt for chopped. Drink plenty of water and stay away from sodas and carbonated beverages. Limit snacking in between meals and, as mentioned above, packing a travel toothbrush is always clutch. Try to be the designated driver when you can — it’s the responsible choice and that old fashioned or Manhattan can really do a number on your teeth.

5.) Quit Using Tobacco Products

If you partake here and there, it happens. However, smoking or using chewing tobacco can stain your teeth and is harmful to your mouth in more ways than one. If your resolution in 2019 is to quit smoking for your health, you’d also be doing your oral health a huge service as well.

If you have any additional questions about how you can maintain your oral health year-round, contact Manhattan Dental Care Studio today. We have a demonstrated history of improving smiles for patients of all ages.

What to Expect During Your Dental Exam

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

At Manhattan Dental Care we’re all about transparency, which means that we’re always willing to take our patients and prospective patients behind the curtain about our practice, as well as the technology and techniques we use to help build amazing smiles.

We provide dental exams that help you stay on top of your oral health. When you come in for a dental exam, here’s what you can expect…

1.) A Custom-Tailored Experience

We customize our treatments and procedures to meet the unique needs of each patient.

2.) We Search for Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a serious matter that we never take lightly, because it can lead to infection, illness, even loss of teeth. We like to deal with tooth decay in its minimal state to avoid further damage. However, we’re also equipped to deal with tooth decay in advanced stages as well.

3.) We Check for Gum Disease

Also called periodontal disease, gum disease causes more people to lose teeth than cavities do. We check for inflammation in the gums and treat any underlying problems. After all, gum disease can lead to heart disease.

4.) We Evaluate Your Fillings

Did you know that fillings can get old or damaged? Tooth decay can also hide underneath your fillings, so we always make sure to check this through thorough examination and x-rays when needed. We’ll suggest replacement whenever it’s necessary.

5.) Finally, We Clean Your Teeth!

Even though you might brush properly and floss regularly, nothing beats a professional cleaning. We have the tools and expertise to stay on top of your oral health. During our cleanings we set your teeth up for success year-round.

6.) We Boost Your Home Care Oral Health Routine

We always let our patients know that great oral health, like so many things, starts in the home. We’ll give you advice and guidance when it comes to best oral health home practices during your exam.

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.