Nina Parker, the host of Love & Hip Hop for six seasons, is now busy with the new game show Blockbusters and her own talk show The Nina Parker Show. But even with a full plate, she took time recently for some personal care—getting a new smile.

Parker's fans are familiar with her noticeable tooth gap. But a video on TikTok in February changed all that: In the video, she teasingly pulls away a mask she's wearing to reveal her smile—without the gap.

Parker and other celebrities like Madonna, Michael Strahan and David Letterman are not alone. Teeth gaps are a common smile feature, dating back millennia (even in fiction: Chaucer described the Wife of Bath as being "gap-toothed" in The Canterbury Tales).

So, what causes a tooth gap? Actually, a lot of possibilities. The muscle between the teeth (the frenum) may be overly large and pushing the teeth apart. There may be too much room on the jaw, so the teeth spread apart as they develop. It might also have resulted from tongue thrusting or late thumb sucking as a child, influencing the front teeth to develop forward and outward.

A tooth gap can be embarrassing because they're often front and center for all the world to see, but they can also cause oral health problems like complicating oral hygiene and increasing your risk for tooth decay. They can also contribute to misalignment of other teeth.

Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate a gap. One way is to move the teeth closer together with either braces or removable clear aligners. This may be the best approach if the gap is wide and it's contributing to misalignment of other teeth. You may also need surgery to alter the frenum.

You can also reduce less-pronounced gaps cosmetically with dental bonding or porcelain veneers. Bonding involves applying a type of resin material to the teeth on either side of the gap. After some sculpting to make it appear life-like, we harden the material with a curing light. The result is a durable, tooth-like appearance that closes the gap.

A veneer is a thin wafer of porcelain, custom-made to fit an individual patient's tooth. Bonded to the front of teeth, veneers mask various dental flaws like chips, deformed teeth, heavy staining and, yes, mild to moderate tooth gaps. They do require removing a small amount of enamel on the teeth they cover, but the results can be stunning—completely transformed teeth without the gap.

Getting rid of a tooth gap can be a wise move, both for your smile and your health. You may or may not take to social media to show it off like Nina Parker, but you can feel confident to show the world your new, perfect smile.

If you would like more information about treating teeth gaps and other dental flaws, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Space Between Front Teeth.”

By Brookside Dental Care
October 21, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

Dental implants offer some unique advantages over other tooth replacement options.

No one ever expects to lose a permanent tooth but it happens to millions of Americans. When this happens, our Stockton, CA, dentist Dr. Alexander Pritsky and Dr. Roger Lang can provide dental implants, a lifelong solution to replacing your missing tooth or teeth. Many people are turning to our clinical dental practice for implants, and you could be an ideal candidate, too.

What is a dental implant?

An implant is a false tooth that replaces the entirety of a tooth, from the crown to the roots. A dental implant is placed into the jawbone by our Stockton, CA, implant dentists to anchor a dental crown into place. Once the implant fuses together with bone and tissue you won’t have to worry about the tooth wiggling or moving around in your mouth; it will stay as firmly in place as your healthy, natural teeth.

If you need to replace multiple teeth, our implant specialists can also place multiple implants along the jawbone to support partial or full dentures.

What are the advantages of a dental implant?

Most healthy adults who come into our office for implants are ideal candidates for this lifelong tooth replacement. Due to the uniqueness of this restoration, you better believe that it offers some one-of-a-kind benefits including,

  • Supporting the muscles of the face and preventing premature sagging and other changes to the shape and structure of the face
  • Preserving the jawbone and stimulating new bone cells to prevent tooth loss-related bone loss
  • A long-term restoration that functions, looks and even feels exactly like a real tooth
  • A false tooth that fully restores chewing, biting and speaking
  • A restoration that doesn’t require special treatment or products (you can simply care for it like you do your natural teeth)
  • Filling gaps in your smile to prevent your natural teeth from drifting into these open gaps and causing misalignments

Do you have questions about dental implants? We are one of the few dental implant specialists in the Stockton, CA, area, and we’ve been providing restorative dentistry for close to 20 years. To find out if you’re an ideal candidate for dental implants, call Brookside Dental Care at (209) 952-8804.

By Brookside Dental Care
October 13, 2021
Category: Oral Health
Tags: facial pain  

Physical pain is unpleasant—but not knowing why you're hurting makes it worse. Thousands of people encounter such as experience when parts of their face suddenly and mysteriously erupt in pain.

Often, though, the mystery can be quickly solved—more than likely, it's a nerve disorder known as trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Typically seen in people over 50 (and in more women than men), TN is a chronic condition that produces brief episodes of acute, spasmodic pain.

The source of this pain is the trigeminal nerve, which courses down each side of the face. Each nerve consists of three distinct branches that serve the upper, middle and lower areas of the face and jaw.

Physicians usually find that a blood vessel has come in contact with the nerve at some point, and the resulting pressure has damaged the nerve's outer insulative layer (myelin sheath). This causes the nerve to become hypersensitive at the point of contact, overreacting in a sense to the slightest touch (even a wisp of wind) on the face and jaw.

TN isn't the only source of facial pain. It can also accompany other conditions like TMD, which is why it's important to undergo a diagnostic examination. If you are diagnosed with TN, there are a number of ways to manage it. The most conservative approach (and the one usually tried first) is the use of medications to block pain signals from the nerve to the brain or to lessen abnormal nerve firing.

If medication proves ineffective or there are other factors related to age and health, you may be a candidate for a surgical solution. In one such procedure, a surgeon inserts a thin needle into the affected nerve and selectively damages some of its fibers to prevent the transmission of pain signals. Another procedure relocates the impinging blood vessel, which then allows the nerve to heal.

These surgical methods are effective but they can cause side-effects in rare cases like numbness or hearing impairment. It's best then to discuss with your doctor which approach would be best for you and your life situation. Ultimately, though, there are ways to relieve you of this painful condition.

If you would like more information on treating facial pain, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Trigeminal Neuralgia.”

By Brookside Dental Care
October 03, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant  

Although getting an implant requires surgery, it's usually a minor affair. Chances are good that after just a few days recuperation you'll be back completely to your normal activities.

But like many other minor surgeries, an implant procedure does pose a slight risk of post-op infection. That's especially so with any dental procedure like implant surgery, since the mouth harbors numerous strains of bacteria that could escape into the bloodstream. For most people, though, a post-op infection doesn't pose a major problem since their immune system kicks in immediately to defeat it.

But some patients with less than robust immune systems or other health problems can have serious complications from an infection. Among other things, infected tissues around an implant may not heal properly, putting the implant at significant risk for failure.

If you have a condition that makes a post-op infection problematic, your dentist or physician may recommend you take an antibiotic before your procedure. Known as prophylactic (preventive) antibiotic treatment, it's intended to give a weakened immune system a head-start on any potential infection after a procedure.

Using antibiotics in this way has been a practice for several decades, and at one time were recommended for a wide list of conditions. That's changed in recent years, though, as evidence from numerous studies seems to show the risk to benefit ratio isn't significant enough to warrant its use in all but a handful of conditions.

Both the American Dental Association and the American Heart Association recommend prophylactic antibiotics for patients with prosthetic heart valves, past infective endocarditis, a heart transplant and some congenital heart conditions. Some orthopedists may also recommend it for patients with prosthetic joints.

Even if you don't fall into these particular categories, prophylactic antibiotics may still be beneficial if you have a compromised immune system or suffer from a disease like diabetes or lung disease. Whether or not a prophylactic antibiotic is a prudent step given your health status is a discussion you should have with both your physician and your dentist.

If they feel it's warranted, it can be done safely in recommended doses. If your health isn't as robust as it could be, the practice could give you a little added insurance toward a successful implant outcome.

If you would like more information about dental implant surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Implants & Antibiotics.”

By Brookside Dental Care
September 23, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Implant Dentures  

Could a full-mouth restoration give you that beautiful, healthy, and confident smile?

There are so many issues that can seriously impact the health and function of your smile. From genetic disorders to severe dental diseases and accidents, there are many reasons people turn to Dr. Alexander Pritsky and Dr. Roger Lang,  for full mouth restoration. From implant dentures in Stockton, CA, to braces and teeth whitening, we offer a host of popular services that can be used in conjunction with two or more treatments to give your smile the transformation it deserves.

What does full mouth restoration entail?

In most cases, full-mouth restoration involves utilizing both cosmetic and restorative dental treatments to help you achieve a smile that is as beautiful as it is functional. Whether you are dealing with chipped teeth, teeth that are worn down and weak from years of grinding, or your smile was injured in a car accident, our dental team has the tools, experience, and knowledge to be able to makeover your smile with the help of:

  • Implant dentures in Stockton, CA
  • Traditional complete and partial dentures
  • Bonding and contouring
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental veneers
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Orthodontic treatment (including clear aligners)
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Gum reshaping and contouring

Who is a good candidate for full mouth restoration?

A full mouth restoration is a great option for patients who are dealing with several dental problems at once and who may benefit from both cosmetic and restorative treatment options such as the ones listed above. If you are dealing with two or more of these common dental problems below, then full mouth restoration may be able to restore your smile:

  • Chips and cracks
  • Stains and discolorations
  • Misshapen or malformed teeth
  • Short, stubby teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Crooked and misaligned teeth
  • Missing teeth

From implant dentures in Stockton, CA, to dental veneers, Dr. Pritsky and Dr. Lang of Brookside Dental Care offer a full range of restorative and cosmetic treatment options to give your smile the full mouth restoration it deserves. To find out if full-mouth restoration is right for you, call us at (209) 952-8804 to schedule a consultation.

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