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General Dentistry

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.

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.

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.

Back-to-school dental exams and why they’re important, explained by manhattan beach general dentist

By | General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene | No Comments

It’s that time again where moms and dads everywhere are making plans for the first day of school. You have supplies, backpacks, plenty of healthy lunchtime snacks – but did you remember to schedule your child’s back-to-school dental exam by the Manhattan Beach general dentist?

How Poor Oral Health Affects Kids

Dental decay (caries) are the most common childhood illness, and research shows that 23% of children have untreated cavities. Your child deserves to get the most out of every moment of their school day. Their focus should be on learning and socializing, and not getting sidelined from the fun with a toothache.

Untreated caries put children’s future oral health at risk but the problems do not stop there. Dental problems can also have a dramatic effect on your child’s quality of life:

  • Difficulty chewing and getting the nutrition they need
  • Poor concentration because of tooth pain
  • Reduced academic achievement
  • Problems speaking clearly
  • Missed time from play and athletic activities
  • Poor self-esteem

Prevention for a Healthy Smile

When kids are young, we have an opportunity to start your child with good oral health practices that last a lifetime. As a dentist, Dr. Erick Guttierez does his part by encouraging routine dental exams and checkups and correcting problems as they occur. As parents, your job is to make sure your kids are brushing properly and eating a healthy diet.

If you haven’t yet scheduled a back-to-school dental exam for your child, please call the Manhattan Beach general dentist to arrange an appointment. It is far easier to ensure that your children enjoy excellent oral health than it is to deal with more painful, costly, and complicated dental conditions in the future. Please call our office and we will be happy to arrange an appointment at your convenience.

Have root canal questions? The manhattan beach general dentist has the answers!

By | General Dentistry, root canal | No Comments

Root canal therapy is no more complicated than most other dental procedures such as fillings or crowns. Unfortunately, though, the process has developed a reputation for being difficult and uncomfortable.

If the Manhattan Beach general dentist recommends a root canal, don’t let misinformation about the procedure keep you from seeking a root canal. We offer gentle treatment from a caring team, and if you need a little help with relaxing, we also provide calming sedation options as well.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Root canal therapy is used to remove the infection or extensive decay from the interior of the tooth. The space inside the tooth where the pulp and main nerves are located is called the root canal.

If you already have an infection in the root of your tooth, delaying a root canal can allow the infection to spread to your jawbone or nearby teeth. If the tooth continues to decay, there will not be enough hard tissue left for a successful root canal, and we will probably need to remove the tooth.

How Does the Procedure Work?

The root canal procedure includes removal of the infected, decayed or damaged pulp, as well as the nerve of the tooth. The dentist then sterilizes the space and uses medication to speed healing. We then place a crown over the tooth for protection and stability.

How Do Root Canals Help My Oral Health?

Root canal therapy allows the structure of the tooth to remain intact, even though we removed the nerve. Although the tooth no longer contains nerve tissue, it is still usable for chewing. Also, because the tooth is left intact, it maintains its proper position, helping to preserve proper spacing between remaining teeth and keeping your bite alignment correct.

Please Call Our Office to Learn More

If you suspect you need a root canal or have a question that’s not answered here, please contact the Manhattan Beach general dentist for additional information or if you have any questions about root canals and how they can help save a damaged tooth.

Dental emergency? Don’t panic! Manhattan beach family dentist shares tips for handling

By | Dental Emergency, General Dentistry | No Comments

Dental emergencies can be frightening and often painful. Prompt treatment is almost always necessary to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible chance of survival. ALWAYS contact the Manhattan Beach family dentist if you have a dental emergency. We always keep time open in our schedule for our emergency patients!

Here are a few of the more common dental emergencies and how you should handle them until you can get to our office:

Tooth knocked out

If a tooth has been knocked out of the mouth, it is essential to contact our emergency dentist immediately since tissues, nerves and blood vessels can become damaged.  If the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again. Contact your dentist immediately.

  • DO NOT touch the root of the tooth. Pick it up carefully by the crown and rinse under warm water.
  • Place the tooth back in the socket if possible.
  • If you cannot place the tooth, put it into a cup of milk, saliva, or water as a last resort.  It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
  • Get to the dentist, quickly and safely.

We will do what we can to replace the tooth in its natural socket, but if the root structure of the tooth is seriously damaged, root canal therapy may be necessary.

Lost filling or crown

Once you’ve lost a filling the affected tooth may become highly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure.  When a crown comes out make a dental appointment as soon as possible.  Keep the crown in a cool, safe place so the Mount Prospect family dentist can try to reinsert it.  If the dentist is not immediately available you can follow these temporary steps.

  • Apply clove oil to the tooth to alleviate pain.
  • Clean the crown and reattach with dental cement. This can be purchased at the local pharmacy. DO NOT use regular glue!
  • If you’ve lost a filling smear the top of the tooth with dental cement to alleviate discomfort.

Cracked or broken teeth

Natural teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks, and breaks. If the crack extends into the root, the pain may be extreme.  If a tooth fractured or cracked, you must see the dentist as quickly as possible.

Time is of the essence when you have a dental emergency, but the Manhattan Beach family dentist is always here for you!

Manhattan beach general dentist discusses oral cancer awareness

By | General Dentistry | No Comments

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and is designed to make people aware of the seriousness of the disease and the need for routine screenings by the Manhattan Beach general dentist.

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 general dentist knows that awareness raises your vigilance so potential problems can be addressed early when treatment options and positive outcomes are greatest.

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 you can and should address:

Alcohol – Moderate to heavy drinkers are at three to nine times higher 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 carefully 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 Contact Us for More Information

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