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Oral Health Care: The Ancients Did It, You Should Do It to

Posted October 16, 2019 in Oral health

Oral health is usually discussed through the lens of modern medicine, but it’s by no means a modern concept. 

Treatments for tooth decay were written about as far back as ancient Asia and Greece

It seems even the ancients knew that we only get one set of teeth in our lifetimes. So, even then, it was imperative we learn to take care of them. 

What followed led to the rise in modern dentistry as we now know it today. Dentists like Dr. Tomazin tackle many of the same dental problems their ancient counterparts did. 

What has changed, however, is the methods and technology available to ensure teeth stay strong and healthy. 

Common Dental Troubles

Modern dentistry has grown in leaps and strides since Aristotle first wrote about treating tooth decay. 

Dentists can preserve or even replace teeth to prevent decay from happening in the first place. 

Yet, periodontal disease continues to affect one out of every two Americans, according to a study from the Center for Disease Control.

The study shows that over 64 million Americans have a form of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss or more severe health issues. 

Symptoms don’t always appear right away, so knowing what to look out for can make a difference in long-term prevention and treatment. 

Cavities

Cavities develop when tooth enamel starts to break down, often due to the consumption of sugary food and drinks.

When left untreated, cavities can cause pain or extended tooth decay; in worst-case scenarios, tooth removal could be the ultimate outcome.

After they have developed, cavities are usually treated with fillings or crowns. But the best way to treat cavities is with preventative oral care. 

Dr. Tomazin uses intra-oral lasers, which can detect cavities earlier than any other option. 

Keeping a regular dental hygiene routine and avoiding certain foods and drinks also prevent cavities from occurring. 

Chipped or Broken Teeth

Chipped or broken teeth can cause pain if the nerve of the tooth is exposed. 

Broken or chipped teeth could also lead to uneven tooth placement, affecting your bite and the alignment of your smile. 

Tools for modern dental hygiene and medicine.

Dr. Tomazin may able to simply grind the chipped part of the affected tooth down if the chip is small, but, in some cases, chipped or broken teeth may need to be replaced with a porcelain crown or covered with veneers

Teeth Grinding

Grinding teeth or clenching the jaw together typically occurs at nighttime, but teeth grinding can also occur during the daytime. 

Teeth grinding can be debilitating, and cause the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Soreness or tenderness along the jaw area
  • Pain in teeth and gums
  • Broken or chipped teeth

Treating bruxism starts with identifying what its causes or triggers may be. 

Common causes include stress, anxiety, a misaligned or abnormal bite, or sleep disorders. Teeth grinding is also made worse by alcohol and smoking. 

Dr. Tomazin treats bruxism by creating an accurate impression of the patient’s teeth to produce a customized nightguard that helps to protect teeth and prevent grinding.

Disease and Decay 

Inflammation of the gums, known in its early stage as gingivitis, first happens when gums swell from the presence of too much bacteria. 

When left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease, where the gums actually start to recede and expose teeth and delicate tissues. 

Periodontal disease can lead to the loss of bone as gums grow weaker and are unable to support teeth, causing them to fall out. 

Prevent and Treat: How To Maintain Oral Health

While the ancients were aware of the importance of keeping teeth from decay, they were less skilled in ways to treat them. 

Fortunately, the stores of knowledge available today have led to sophisticated and effective treatments. 

Take Advantage of Modern Dental Medicine

Dr. Tomazin offers several treatment services that are all effective at keeping teeth and gums healthy. 

Regular use of services like these can prevent decay from occurring or stop it in its tracks, ensuring teeth remain healthy for longer. 

Activated Oxygen-Ozone: These treatments use ozone’s oxidizing qualities to destroy the bacteria that cause decay and other dental issues, including gum disease.

X-Rays & Intra-Oral Lasers: Dr. Tomazin uses these devices to immediately get a visual on patients’ teeth for the best treatment plans. Digital X-rays and intra-oral lasers both use less radiation than their counterparts for an overall safer treatment. 

CEREC: This machine allows Dr. Tomazin to make and complete porcelain crowns in-office, making the process shorter and more convenient for patients. 

VELscope®: Dr. Tomazin uses this device to get a good view of the tissues in the oral cavity and check for signs of oral cancer. 

Keep Up With Your Dental Hygiene

Preventative care is widely held to be the preferred method of maintaining oral health by dentists all over the world, including Dr. Tomazin.

It’s really a matter of staying on top of your dental routine and making it a consistent habit. 

Tooth characters, Smiling tooth

Some tips to incorporate into a daily dental routine include: 

  • Brushing and flossing twice a day
  • Avoiding sugary foods and crunchy snacks
  • Decrease alcohol and tobacco consumption
  • Wear mouthguards and nightguards regularly

Dr. Tomazin offers his patients several products that are specially designed to ensure preventive care becomes a regular part of their dental routine. The items include:

  • power toothbrushes
  • ozone trays
  • mouthguards for bruxism
  • specialized flossing instruments
  • sealants
  • snore guards

Want More Information?

Interested in learning more? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tomazin by calling our office at 951-686-3666 or using our contact form online.


Crowns Vs. Veneers: Which Are Best For Me?

Posted September 24, 2019 in Porcelain Crowns, Porcelain Veneers

Concerns such as crooked or discolored teeth can be embarrassing enough to make you want to hide away your smile for good. There are several methods to improve your smile from within, but one way to improve its appearance from the outside is by using crowns and veneers.

These nifty little dental improvements are designed to cover your existing teeth with a tough new shell that immediately makes teeth look better while also strengthening your smile. But what option is the best one for you? Dr. Tomazin offers both individual crowns and full veneers to make a beautiful, healthy smile a reality.

Royal Treatment: How Crowns Can Improve Your Smile

Much like the royal tiara that they get their name from, porcelain dental crowns go over the surface of the tooth like a cap to cover it and restore its shape and size. Crowns are then cemented into place, fully encasing the visible portion of the tooth and improving the overall appearance.

Dr. Tomazin offers individual crowns made out of specialized porcelain, which are designed to blend in with the rest of the teeth and provide the most natural appearance.

dental crown premolar tooth assembly process

What Can Crowns Do?

Crowns are useful in restoring individual teeth that show signs of damage such as cracks, severe wear and tear, or discoloration. Crowns can restore teeth that have been worn down due to grinding or other conditions. Crowns can also help strengthen teeth that are starting to grow weak or have sustained damage due to dental conditions.

Crowns Procedure & Recovery

Dr. Tomazin will first examine the tooth in need of a crown to better prepare for its placement, typically by getting X-rays done to clearly see the teeth and surrounding structures. The application process is fairly simple and involves some enamel being removed from the surface of the tooth receiving the crown.

Once the tooth is prepared, the crown is applied over it and adhered using a form of cement paste. An anesthetic may be used to numb the tooth right before the crown is placed to minimize any discomfort, but most crown placements are pain-free.

Porcelain crowns are closely matched to the color of the rest of your teeth, ensuring results look as natural as possible. The tooth will be sensitive for a few days following the crown placement, but this should dissipate within a few days. Crowns are designed to last up to 15 years with proper dental care.

Veneer of Excellence: How Veneers Enhance and Improve Teeth

If crowns are designed to improve on individual teeth, veneers take smile improvement one step further. By using wafer-thin shells designed to closely match shape and tone, veneers get rid of unattractive-looking teeth and replace them with ones that look and feel like the real thing, only better. They’re stain-resistant and very durable, designed to last up to 15 years or longer.

Dr. Tomazin offers porcelain veneers specially formulated to match and improve existing teeth. Veneers can even help improve a patient’s overall bite, helping to improve overall dental health in the long run.

How Do Veneers Work?

Veneers are essentially tiny shells made out of porcelain that are then adhered to the surface of the teeth, similar to crowns. What makes veneers a bit more versatile, however, is how their design can be expanded to improve large swatches of teeth all at once, drastically enhancing appearance right away.

dentist puts dental veneers patient and correction of teeth

Veneers Procedure & Recovery

Much as with crowns, Dr. Tomazin will first examine the teeth in question to see which teeth need veneers and where the veneers will be placed. On the day of the procedure, a thin layer of enamel will be removed to allow the veneer to better adhere to the surface. An anesthetic may be used to reduce tooth sensitivity after veneers are placed.

The procedure is usually painless, with Dr. Tomazin using a special cement to adhere the veneer in place before a light beam is used to “cure” the adhering agent and keep veneers in place. As with crowns, recovery for veneers is fairly simple, with some sensitivity in the treated areas for a few days after the procedure. Proper dental hygiene is recommended to ensure veneers stay in good shape.

Should I Get Crowns Or Veneers?

It really depends on just how much damage your teeth have sustained and what your appearance goals are. Patients who only need a few replacements here and there will probably benefit from crowns, which are best suited to repair individual teeth. Crowns are also better suited for teeth which are weakened, as they cover the tooth’s surface in a way that strengthens it greatly.

For more extensive signs of damage, veneers are the better choice, as they provide dramatic improvement almost right away. With veneers, patients can improve the appearance of several teeth at once. Veneers and crowns may also be used together for optimum results.

 

Interested in learning more about porcelain crowns and veneers? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tomazin soon by filling out our contact form online or calling our Riverside office at 951-686-3666.

 


Better Safe Than Sorry: A Guide To Dental Preventive Care

Posted August 26, 2019 in Laser Cavity Detection, Preventive Dentistry

Most of us are taught the importance of keeping teeth clean and healthy. But hectic schedules can make it easy to miss regular dental checkups and slide into bad habits, like skipping out on regular flossing.

But when it comes to dental health, it really is better to be safe than sorry. Preventive care plays a major role in ensuring our teeth stay healthy and beautiful. Setting a good dental routine early on is crucial to good future dental health.

Get In The Habit: Setting a Regular Dental Routine

It sounds simple enough: brush often, floss as much as you can, and be sure to keep in touch with your dentist to make sure there aren’t any further issues.

But statistics show that 80 percent of people will have some form of periodontal disease—inflammation or infections of the structures around the teeth. Left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss or more severe health issues that affect other areas.

With numbers like these, it’s even more important to learn about preventive dentistry and its benefits in keeping dental disease at bay.

false mouth dentist in blue background with equipment for toothbrush and floss-img-blog

What is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry, or preventive care, involves all the ways to keep teeth and general oral health in good shape. It primarily revolves around setting good hygiene habits to prevent decay or disease from occurring in the first place.

Preventive dentistry can help patients avoid:

  • Gum irritation and disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral cancers
  • Other general health issues

Preventive care typically involves setting a dental hygiene routine that includes:

Teeth Brushing: There’s no underscoring just how crucial regular brushing is to maintain oral health. Brush teeth at least twice a day and always brush the tongue, which can also carry bacteria. Toothbrushes should be replaced three or four times per year for the best overall experience.

Flossing: After brushing, flossing is the best way to really get teeth sparkling clean. Most dentists, including Dr. Tomazin, recommend daily flossing as a part of your dental health routine.

Regular Dental Checkups: Make sure you schedule a visit with your dentist at least once a year to make sure there aren’t any more serious problems with your teeth or gums.

Any person can turn to preventive care, regardless of age or the condition of their teeth. Preventive care is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to ensure teeth stay healthy in the long-term.

closeup of dentist examining mid adult patients mouth in clinic-img-blog

Go The Extra Mile: Simple Preventive Dentistry

Along with setting a good hygiene routine, there are other preventive dentistry methods patients can seek. Dr. Tomazin offers his patients a few treatment options that can be used for preventive care and to ensure teeth and gums stay healthy.

Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are small pieces of tooth-colored resin that can be placed into deep grooves inside the teeth. They dry into a hard, clear coating on the tooth and make the surface of the tooth tougher and harder to break, preventing cavities and decay from occurring.

To prepare, Dr. Tomazin first cleans the surface of the tooth before washing and drying the entire tooth. An acidic solution is applied along the crevices before the tooth is washed again and the sealant is applied.

Laser Cavity Detection

Dr. Tomazin offers his patients laser cavity detection, which uses laser technology to penetrate the surface of the teeth and gums and identify any defects. This method is typically safer and more effective than traditional methods.

Laser cavity detection can be extremely useful in identifying cavities, cracks, or other defects in teeth and gums that may not be visible through X-rays or an examination.

There are two laser cavity detection methods used by Dr. Tomazin:

DIAGNOdent™ laser: A non-invasive laser that scans each tooth to identify early signs of cavities or other forms of decay.

DEXIS™ CariVu™: This system uses infrared light, which makes healthy tooth enamel transparent and fractures dark—an easy way to visibly identify defects.

Ozone Therapy

This method involves the use of ozone gas applied in small doses along areas where decay is detected, killing bacterial growth. Ozone therapy is particularly useful at reaching tight crevices and other hard to reach places, preventing future disease.

Ozone therapy is very easy to apply and minimally invasive—it can even be used to help manage discomfort during other dental procedures, such as a root canal. Ozone therapy can also strengthen teeth and decrease enamel sensitivity.

Would you like to learn more about preventive dentistry? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tomazin by calling our Riverside office at 951-686-3666.


What Are the Best Ways To Keep a Bright Smile?

Posted July 15, 2019 in Teeth Whitening

Keeping your teeth clean is essential to dental health and the simplest way to keep that smile sparkling. But age, certain foods, and your lifestyle eventually cause teeth to start to yellow or stain no matter how strict your hygiene habits are.

Yellowed or stained teeth can drastically affect a person’s confidence, and more people are seeking ways to reverse the discoloring. When asked what they’d most improve about their smile, most people say they’d like whiter teeth, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.

For some, stains or yellowing can be so detrimental they stop smiling out of embarrassment. There are several methods offered by Dr. Tomazin that all restore brightness and help repair other signs of damage to keep that smile shining bright.

What Causes Teeth to Yellow?

Enamel works as our teeth’s front-line defense against damage, absorbing most of what the teeth come into contact with.

Teeth begin to yellow due to:

  • Food and Drink: Foods or beverages with dark pigments can stain teeth.
  • Smoking: Tobacco contains several chemicals, and the smoke itself causes teeth to yellow.
  • Age: Brushing and everyday wear and tear causes enamel to thin and look dull.
  • Medications: Certain medications can darken teeth.
  • Injury: Some injuries can be bad enough to chip or otherwise damage tooth enamel.

Teeth Whitening: How Does It Work?

Teeth whitening is one of the least invasive ways to brighten a smile and can remove years of stains or yellowing. Dr. Tomazin offers patients three different options:

teeth whitening procedure-img-blog

Bleaching

This process uses hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide to break down stains. Dr. Tomazin will use a protective gel or rubber shield to protect the gums and mouth before applying bleach to the teeth.

At-Home Whitening

This process also uses bleach, via whitening strips or special trays, to remove stains and yellowing. Patients are given the option of a 22 percent bleach or a 35 percent bleach solution.

The 22 percent bleach is used for an hour twice a day and overnight. The 35 percent bleach may only be used for 15 minutes twice a day or 30 minutes once a day. The entire treatment usually takes about two weeks.

In-Office Whitening

This process uses the Venus White® Max Whitening System, made with hydrogen peroxide and potassium nitrate to help ease the tooth sensitivity that often happens after whitening treatments. The in-office process takes about two hours and about two weeks of at-home treatments with special bleach syringes and trays.

Bonding, Crowns, and Veneers: How Do They Brighten Smiles?

Clearing up years of stains can sometimes be harder than it seems. Enamel doesn’t grow back, so any damage done is permanent and must be repaired through other means.

Dr. Tomazin offers bonding, porcelain crowns and veneers, and same-day crowns for patients who need to repair damage like cracks or chips on their teeth or repair a tooth that has grown discolored due to decay.

matching the shades of the implants or the process of teeth whitening-img-blog

Bonding

With bonding, Dr. Tomazin uses a resin (durable plastic) material applied to the tooth. The material is color-matched to the tooth and hardened under a special light to “bond” the material to the tooth, restoring its appearance.

Dr. Tomazin can perform direct composite bonding, where the tooth’s surface is first roughened with an acid solution before the resin is applied, molded, and hardened. Adhesive bonding is used together with other procedures, like veneers.

Bonding is quick and painless—most procedures are able to be completed within one office visit—and leaves patients with very natural-looking results that can last up to five years.

Same-Day Crowns

Dr. Tomazin uses CEREC® restorations to offer patients beautiful, natural-looking crowns that are crafted and placed all in the same office visit, avoiding a more cumbersome procedure.

CEREC® uses 3D technology and specialized cameras to take precise, digital impressions of each tooth. These images allow Dr. Tomazin to design the crown and get it milled in-office, typically within 15 to 20 minutes.

Same-day crowns are made with a unique type of porcelain that’s superior to the traditional material. This porcelain is less abrasive and wears down at the same rate as the rest of your enamel, ensuring results are as natural as possible.

Patients can walk in for a visit with Dr. Tomazin and walk out with brand-new crowns that last between 10 to 15 years. No temporary crowns are needed with same-day crowns.

Porcelain Crowns and Veneers

The gold standard for repairing damaged teeth, porcelain crowns and veneers are long-lasting and designed to blend in seamlessly for a beautifully enhanced yet natural-looking smile.

Crowns and veneers are non-porous and resistant to stains, which means teeth stay brighter for longer. Veneers completely cover the front surface of the tooth, a permanent way to repair heavily damaged or stained teeth.

Impressions of the teeth are made before the crowns and veneers are specially fabricated. Patients may need to use temporary crowns in the meantime. Dr. Tomazin ensures crowns and veneers are color-matched to blend in with the rest of your smile.

Application is generally painless. A thin layer of enamel is removed before the crown or veneer is placed over the needed tooth or teeth. They typically take about two office visits to complete.

Crowns and veneers can last up to 15 years without replacement.

Are you looking for ways to get a brighter smile? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Tomazin by calling 951-686-3666


What is TMJ and How Can I Treat It?

Posted June 3, 2019 in TMJ Disorder

The temporomandibular joint plays an integral role in the motion of the jaw and mouth. Located on each side of the mouth, each joint acts as a sort of “hinge” that allows you to open and close your mouth, making it possible to speak, chew, and swallow. Together with facial muscles and ligaments, the temporomandibular joints control the mandible, or lower jaw, allowing it to move forward, backward, and side to side.

TMJ is used as an abbreviation for disorders of the temporomandibular joint. TMJ affects the muscles and ligaments that make up the temporomandibular joint and cause pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the area. They are caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, injury, and stress levels. In more extreme cases, TMJ disorder can cause so much pain and stiffness that it can be difficult to open or shut the jaw.

Woman Grinding her Teeth in her Sleep

TMJ Signs and Symptoms

TMJ disorders can cause symptoms such as:

  • Pain, tenderness, and stiffness of the jaw
  • Pain in one or both temporomandibular joints
  • A “clicking” or “grating” sound when you chew or open your mouth
  • Pain or aches in or around the ear
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing
  • Facial pain or tenderness
  • Recurring headaches
  • Joint “locks” up, making it hard to open or close your mouth

Common Causes of TMJ

The area that controls the movement of the jaw muscles contains a disk of cartilage between the ball and socket of the temporomandibular joint. If that disk gets damaged for any reason, such as arthritis or an injury to the jaw, TMJ disorder may develop. An uneven bite or misaligned jaw can also cause the disk to get damaged or misaligned, leading to TMJ pain. Long-term teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is another common cause of TMJ. A diet with many hard or hard-to-chew foods, such as crunchy potato chips or chewy candy bars, may also play a role in causing TMJ pain. Stress has also been linked to both bruxism and TMJ. The causes behind TMJ disorders are not always apparent, but the pain will continue to worsen if left untreated.

Diagnosing TMJ

If you’re experiencing symptoms that indicate you may have TMJ, you should see your doctor or dentist, such as Dr. Tomazin, as soon as you can. Your dentist will check your jaw and teeth by observing the motion of your mouth as you open and shut your jaw and also pressing on specific areas to check for tenderness or pain. Your dentist will also listen for any audible “clicking” or grinding. You may need to get X-rays or other scans if further examination is needed. Once diagnosed, you can begin to discuss what treatment options are available.

Man Placing Bite Plate in his Mouth

Treating TMJ

Your dentist will help you develop a plan to treat your TMJ upon diagnosis. Some treatments for TMJ include:

  • Medications
  • Therapies
  • Change in diet
  • Physical exercises
  • Pain relief remedies
  • A night guard to decrease bruxism

Know Your Treatment Options

The causes of TMJ disorder can vary from patient to patient. Factors such as diet, jaw placement, previous trauma or injury to the area can all play a role, along with other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, also causes TMJ pain.

Dentists, such as Dr. Tomazin, work closely with their patients to accurately diagnose TMJ and come up with a treatment plan that works to relieve the effects of this often painful disorder. A good treatment plan will help to decrease the pain, tenderness, and stiffness associated with TMJ and can even help prevent what causes the disorder in the first place. A combination of treatments may be the best way to help alleviate your symptoms.

Treating TMJ with Medicine

Your dentist may need to prescribe certain medications to help deal with the pain and other symptoms related to TMJ. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, may be used for a limited time to help decrease pain. Some dentists may prescribe certain types of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications, as in low doses they can be used to decrease bruxism. If needed, a dentist may also prescribe muscle relaxants, which help ease tension and pain from muscle spasms related to TMJ.

grind guard on a custom-made tooth model-img-blog

Therapeutic Treatments

There are a few different therapies that can be used to address TMJ and relieve symptoms. Physical therapy, such as exercises to help strengthen and stretch your jaw and mouth muscles, can be used to provide relief. Some dentists also use ultrasound treatments to help relax muscles and a heat or ice pack for pain. If there is bruxism, the use of a mouth guard or splint will also help decrease nighttime grinding and relieve pain and discomfort. Mouth guards can be bought at a local drug store, but a mouth guard or splint customized to fit your bite is the best option. Dr. Tomazin uses a special mold to craft a mouth guard or splint tailored to your needs.

Home Remedies

Some dentists recommend some simple lifestyle changes that can also help ease the symptoms of TMJ. Some home remedies include:

  • Eating soft foods
  • Cutting food into smaller pieces
  • Avoiding sticky, chewy, or crunchy food
  • Avoid chewing gum and biting nails
  • Using heat or ice packs
  • Relaxation or meditation techniques to loosen tense jaw muscles

physician indicates on the mandibular joint or human ear bone canal as the source of the symptom

Surgery or Other Procedures

In more severe cases, or if other treatments haven’t helped, surgery or other less invasive procedures may be recommended.

Arthrocentesis:

This is a minimally invasive procedure where a dentist injects fluid to irrigate the temporomandibular joint and remove debris, helping decrease inflammation.

Injections:

Some TMJ patients benefit from cortisone injections into the joint to relieve symptoms. In other cases, botulinum toxin type A (commonly known as BOTOX®) injections into the jaw can help relax the muscles associated with TMJ pain.

Acupuncture:

The use of tiny needles inserted into certain points of the face and body may help alleviate some of the pain and muscle stiffness from TMJ.

Dental work:

In some cases, TMJ can be alleviated by adjusting or reshaping some of the teeth. This can help fix an uneven bite that often leads to some of the worst symptoms. Orthodontic treatments, such as tooth aligners or a retainer, may also be recommended.

Modified condylotomy:

This type of surgery is best used if TMJ has caused “locking” or difficulty in moving the jaw, as it is done on the mandible to correct movement issues.

Open-joint surgery:

This type of surgery will help replace or repair the temporomandibular joint and is typically only used if there is a structural issue with the joint itself. This should only be considered if other TMJ treatment options have been tried and haven’t worked.

 

Dr. Tomazin will help you develop a treatment plan that best addresses your TMJ symptoms to find you long-lasting relief. Call our offices at 951-686-3666 to schedule a consultation soon.