3/1/2016 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

Taking the appropriate actions in a dental emergency can help you preserve your teeth and limit any discomfort you may be experiencing. While you should call our dental office immediately in the event of an emergency, so you may be seen as quickly as possible, there are some other initial steps you can take to protect your health before you're able to make it into our office:

Slow Any Bleeding - If you have experienced a cut to soft tissue on the inside of your mouth, or bleeding as the result of a knocked out tooth, rinse your mouth with salt water to keep it clean. You can also help stem the flow of any residual bleeding by placing clean, soft gauze at the site. It’s important not to take any other, more extensive steps, as Dr. Lai can take your treatment from here after assessing your needs.

Apply Cold Compresses - If pain from a sore, infected, or otherwise damaged tooth is preventing you from feeling comfortable, apply an ice pack to your cheek to help soothe and numb the affected area. Seeking treatment ASAP can also help alleviate discomfort associated with issues like tooth infections and cracked teeth. If you have questions about which over-the-counter pain medications you can or should take, please let our office know.

Save Avulsed Teeth or Restorations - Teeth that have been knocked out entirely should be preserved, if possible, and kept in a glass of milk, or even saliva so that it can be re-implanted into your smile. Whenever possible, do not handle knocked-out teeth by the roots -- instead, pick your tooth up by the crown or top portion. Similarly, dental prosthetics that have been broken or have fallen out should be saved for potential reattachment. If you can do so without causing discomfort, you can try re-attaching the broken prosthetic with drugstore dental cement until you can be seen by our office.

Emergency Dental Services to Relieve Pain and Repair Teeth

There are a number of treatments our Corona emergency dentist can utilize to help you regain your help and wellness. Dr. Lai provides emergency root canals and tooth extractions when necessary for severely damaged teeth and can also replace teeth with permanent dental implant or long-lasting bridges. Our first priority is getting patients out of pain and offering restorations to make their smiles whole and functional.

For more information about emergency dentistry and what to do if you’ve experienced an urgent dental issue, contact our office immediately for treatment and assistance.

2/12/2016 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

Gum disease is caused by bacteria infecting soft tissue, with the result being aggravated tissue, inflammation, bleeding gums, and eventually gum recession and loose teeth. Because initial symptoms are mild, gingivitis usually goes undiscovered until moderate pockets of bacteria and debris have formed below the gum line, causing soft tissue to pull away from teeth. 

Patients who are At-Risk for Gum Disease

Many people in the United States encounter gingivitis, the beginning stages of gum disease, at some point in their lives, though it is more common in adults over the age of 30. Those who practice inconsistent health habits and do not thoroughly brush and floss their teeth each day are at an elevated risk for the negative effects of gum disease. Smokers, people with compromised immune systems, and patients experiencing hormonal changes are most prone to developing gingivitis and periodontitis.

Complications of Advanced Periodontitis

Periodontitis causes gums to become inflamed and to bleed, but additional symptoms start cropping up, and the resulting discomfort can be painful. As periodontitis develops, sticky plaque and bacteria form tartar, which deprives teeth and gums of the natural antibacterial properties of saliva, and provides the perfect habitat for colonies of bacteria to breed in pockets under the gum line. Gums begin to pull away from teeth, exposing roots.

New and Advanced Ways to Treat Gum Disease

While gum disease can be destructive to soft tissue, the latest treatments in the fight against gum recession and lost soft tissue support caused by periodontitis are minimally invasive and effective. Among those advancements is the Chao Pinhole Surgery Technique. Named for its creator, Dr. John Chao, this therapy for gum disease covers tooth roots that have been exposed by gum recession by gently pulling tissue into place.

This procedure is sometimes called a lunch-time gum lift or gum rejuvenation therapy, as it takes around an hour to complete and helps your smile look and feel healthier. The Chao Pinhole process negates the need for gum grafts or other, more invasive procedures, for correcting soft tissue recession.

Dr. James Lai is experienced in the Chao Pinhole technique to help patients recover from gum disease. For more information on this procedure, please contact our Corona dental office today.

2/2/2016 12:00:00 PM | Anonymous

Compared to standard restorations, like dentures and fixed dental bridges, dental implants are exceptionally long lasting -- but just how long can you expect them to be a part of your smile? The very process by which implants are added to your smile allows them to remain functional for a lifetime with proper care.

If you’re considering dental implants for longevity, we can specify the expected lifespan of each part of your prosthetic tooth or teeth as follows:

Implant Post - The base of your dental implant is a small screw-like appliance that is embedded in your jaw. When placed properly into areas of dense bone, your implant merges with surrounding tissue to become a permanent part of your smile. With the 3D technology available at our office, we can help pinpoint the best areas to place your implant. The post portion of your implant will likely not need to be removed or replaced during the course of wear. While implant integration can fail due to poor bone quality or outstanding health issues that affect your ability to heal, it’s not a common occurrence if your treatment is planned and carried out appropriately.

Implant Restoration - The top portion of your dental implant, the prosthetic that is meant to look like your natural tooth/teeth, can vary in its life span, depending on the materials used to create your restoration and whether you grind your teeth. Metal-based prosthetics or prosthetics made from modern, tooth-colored materials, such as zirconia and e.max® are known to be long-lasting, even for patients who are hard on their teeth. These restorations can last for many years before they may need to be replaced to improve aesthetics and allow you to maintain biting and chewing power.

Longevity and its Association with Affordability

Because your dental implants are made to be durable and long-lasting, they prove to be less costly to maintain over the course of your life. While the prosthetic may need to be replaced at some point after many years of wear and tear, the post, and the surgical processes required to place it will likely not need to be repeated, providing a total cost savings for maintaining your new teeth over time.

In comparison, standard, fixed dental bridges or removable dentures may need to be completely replaced several times through your life. These less permanent restorations can also cause secondary health problems by resting on and damaging surrounding healthy teeth, prompting additional restorative treatment costs to correct these issues later on.

Dental implants are an investment in the lasting quality of your smile and your overall dental health. For more information on dental implants in Corona at Dr. Lai’s office, contact our team today.

12/4/2015 9:11:00 AM | Anonymous

We're excited to announce the official launch of our James K. Lai, DDS, Inc. blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from James K. Lai, DDS, Inc. , simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!