Posts for: November, 2019

By Brookside Dental Care
November 23, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  
KeepOralCareinFocusforaFamilyMemberWithSpecialNeeds

Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to spotlight an often unsung group: individuals providing primary care for another family member. During November, National Family Caregivers Month recognizes those caring for children with special needs or senior adults with life challenges—and part of that ongoing care includes watching out for their loved one's oral health.

Keeping teeth and gums healthy requires a concerted personal effort to prevent dental disease. While most of us can handle this on our own, some need assistance. If you're caring for someone like this, be sure you focus on two main areas: daily hygiene and regular dental visits. These are the two foundation stones for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

The relatively simple tasks of brushing and flossing are crucial for disease prevention—but they can pose a challenge for someone with diminished physical, mental or behavioral capacity. In some cases, you as a caregiver may have to perform the task for them.

But even someone with severe limitations may be able to do these tasks for themselves with some adaptations. For one, choose a place for brushing and flossing that's most comfortable for the person (not necessarily the bathroom) and keep to a routine schedule. Above all, approach the task in a positive and playful way, especially for children.

Choose a toothbrush and flosser that your loved one can easily handle. Flossers are also available with toothbrush-sized grips for those with less manual dexterity. An older person with arthritis may need an extra-large grip or a toothbrush modified with a bicycle handle. As an alternative, both children and older adults may benefit from using an electric toothbrush. Some special needs children can have a gag response to toothpaste, so you may wish to use less or substitute it with a diluted fluoride mouthwash on the brush.

Dry mouth is a concern among many older adults, often due to the medications they take. In fact, hundreds of medications can have dry mouth as a side effect. Saliva serves the important oral health function of washing away food debris and neutralizing acid in the mouth, but when saliva production is low, it is not only uncomfortable—it greatly increases the risk of tooth decay. To help with dry mouth, encourage your loved one to drink more water during the day and ask us to recommend a product that will boost their saliva production. You can also ask their physicians about drug alternatives without dry mouth side effects.

To make dental visits easier, be sure we know about any needs or conditions that might affect their care. If possible, accompany your older family member during their visit: Because health problems often increase with age, even routine visits may be more involved.

We understand that caring for family members who need assistance can be demanding, with needs often being prioritized. We urge you to keep dental care on the high-priority list—it could make a difference with the rest of their health and overall quality of life.

If you would like more information about oral care for a family member with special needs, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Aging and Dental Health.”


By Brookside Dental Care
November 15, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dentures  

People often lose teeth from dental trauma, extractions, or in severe cases of periodontal disease where the tooth was impossible to save. If yours are missing, you probably don't feel like smiling much these days. When you lose your teeth, facial muscles can sag, and eating and speaking may not be as easy as it once was. At Brookside Dental Care in Stockton, CA, it doesn't matter why your teeth are missing. What matters is how we can help you to correct the problem.

Below are some frequently asked questions patients have about dentures.

What Types of Dentures are Available?

  • Conventional - After we extract the remaining teeth, and tissues heal, we place these removable dentures inside the mouth.
  • Immediate - We insert these removable set of dentures immediately after extracting the remaining teeth. Because we outline your smile goals before you begin, you won't be without teeth during the healing period.
  • Over-denture - It isn't always necessary to remove natural teeth for dentures to be placed. When we can save them, an over-denture covers the remaining teeth to provide stability, support, and to preserve your jawbone.

What Can I Expect from Treatment?

At Brookside Dental Care, once your procedure is complete in our Stockton, CA, office, it may take some time getting used to your new dentures. As your mouth becomes accustomed, you'll need to follow adequate oral hygiene practices and brush and floss them as you would your natural teeth. We also recommend that you brush the roof of your mouth, as well as your tongue, to stimulate circulation before inserting them. Taking care of your dentures will prevent stains, scratches, and oral irritation.

If you are tired of living with missing teeth, visit our office to discuss the benefits of dentures further. At Brookside Dental Care, our dedicated team of Stockton, CA, dentists are committed to providing you with the best care, services, and results every time. To learn more about dentures, as well as other services we provide to restore your smile, visit our website. For questions, concerns, or to schedule an appointment, please call (209) 952-8804.


By Brookside Dental Care
November 15, 2019
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Invisalign  

Available from the Stockton, CA, office of Drs. Alexander Pritsky, Ravneet Nijjar, and Robert Lang, Invisalign is an orthodontic system that uses removable clear aligners made of polyurethane plastic. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign is invisible and removable, making it a great option for those who are looking for a more discreet orthodontic option. Read on to learn what this treatment can do for you!

More about Invisalign

Invisalign clear aligners apply controlled pressure to teeth to move them into their proper position. Made of flexible plastic material, these aligners fit over the top and bottom rows of teeth and are crafted using computer software. You will wear these trays, or aligners, for a minimum of 20 hours per day, only needing to take them off while you eat or brush your teeth.

You get a new set every two weeks to continue the gradual movement of teeth until they are correctly aligned.

One of the many advantages of Invisalign is that they're not cemented or bonded to teeth. This removability makes oral care simple and removes any need for food restrictions.

Aligner for Teens

While this dental treatment is primarily for adults, Invisalign can be right for some older teenagers. Modern-day technology addresses several issues teenagers used to have with the invisible aligners:

  1. The first issue was getting teenagers to wear the aligners for 20-22 hours a day. Invisalign for teenagers solved this problem by creating “compliance indicators” on the aligners themselves. Compliance indicators are colored dots that fade over time as aligners are worn in the mouth to ensure teenagers are following the plan.
  2. The second issue is that teenagers' teeth are still eruption so “eruption tabs” are built-in. These tabs hold space for teeth that have yet to erupt.

Interested? Give our Stockton office a call

Invisalign is a great treatment method to improve your smile. If you're interested, just call Brookside Dental Care in Stockton, CA, at (209) 952-8804 today!


By Brookside Dental Care
November 13, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crown  
3ThingsYouNeedtoKnowBeforeGettingaCrownRestoration

You may think all crowns are alike—but there can be a world of difference between one crown and another. Getting the crown your dentist recommends and one that's satisfactory to you will depend on a number of factors, including what you'll ultimately have to pay.

Here are 3 things you need to know about crowns before undergoing a crown restoration.

Different materials. Although porcelain is the most life-like material used, earlier types of this glass-based material weren't strong enough to withstand biting forces, especially in back teeth. Years ago, all-metal crowns were most often used until the development of a hybrid porcelain crown with an inner metal substructure for strength. In recent years stronger all-porcelain crowns have risen in popularity. The material type that works best often depends on the tooth to be crowned—all-porcelain may work for a visible front incisor, but a porcelain-metal hybrid might be needed for a back molar.

Level of artistry. While new computer manufacturing systems allow dentists to produce patient crowns in-office, most still require the services and skills of a dental lab technician. The cost difference between crowns usually occurs at this juncture: the more life-like and customized the crown, the more artistry and time required by a technician to produce it. This can increase the cost of the crown.

Limited choices. While you and your dentist want your crown choice to be as individualized and life-like as possible, your dental insurance may limit your options. Many policies only provide benefits for the most basic crown restoration—enough to regain functionality and have an acceptable, but not always the most aesthetic, appearance. To get a higher quality of crown you may have to supplement what your policy and deductible will cover.

Deciding which crown is best will depend on where it will be needed, the level of attractiveness you desire and your insurance and financial comfort level. And your dentist can certainly help guide you to a crown choice that's right for you.

If you would like more information on restorative crown choices, 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 “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”


By Brookside Dental Care
November 03, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
NBCStarDeliversaMessageaboutthePerfectSmile

Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.

Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.

Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”

Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.

There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.

So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.

Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”

If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”