Category Archives: Extractions

General Dentists Offer Anxiety-Free Services

Photo Credit: oneblink1 | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: oneblink1 | Adobe Stock

When you think about the dentist, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

For many people, anxiety rears its head as soon as they think about general dentists.

According to Gallup, about 33% of Americans didn’t go to the dentist in 2013. Some people don’t go to the dentist until they have an emergency! That can endanger their health and make recovery more expensive.

There’s no doubt dental anxiety is a big part of the picture.

What is Dental Anxiety and Where Does it Come From?

General dentists have long known they need to go the extra mile to make their offices safe and comfortable.

Older people in particular cite the possibility of pain and discomfort as a major reason why they don’t always go to the dentist, even though they know they should.

Luckily, there are two great new things to know about modern dentistry:

Discomfort from Routine Procedures is All But Gone

It’s true that, decades back, hand tools like scrapers and drills were in common use. However, dentistry is undergoing a transformation. More procedures use laser dentistry, rendering many visits completely discomfort-free.

Even in cases where hand tools are used, their design and manufacture is totally different from what it was. When you visit expert general dentists like those at Landmark Dental Group, you can be certain your comfort is the #1 concern.

There’s a Greater Awareness of Dental Anxiety

There was a time when if you admitted to having worries about the dentist, you may not have reached a sympathetic ear. That has completely changed. At Landmark Dental Group, we’ve pioneered a comfort-first approach to dentistry.

From beginning to end, you’ll completely understand your dental options and the procedure you choose. Nothing is ever performed without your consent. From our front office team to our general dentists, everyone makes the process easy.

Sedation Dentistry Can Make Any Procedure Simple for Dental Anxiety Sufferers

Last, but not least, there’s sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry allows you to enjoy your choice of sedation options so you can rest peacefully during your procedure. Patients usually awaken refreshed, with little memory of the goings-on.

There’s a wide range of mild and moderate sedation options for you to choose from:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide “takes the edge off” while allowing you to recover completely within just a few minutes after your procedure. The gas is inhaled with oxygen through a nose mask. Afterwards, it is safely flushed out with pure oxygen and you awaken fully.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation uses oral medication – typically in the Valium family – about an hour before your appointment. Patients using oral sedation may doze off completely during their visit. It’s crucial to bring along a friend or family member to drive you home.

Conscious IV Sedation

Medication administered through a vein can produce the strongest relaxation. This safe, effective approach typically leaves patients with little memory of their visit. Again, a driver is required.

To learn more about anxiety-free dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Our General Dentists Will Ease The Discomfort Of A Tooth Extraction

tooth extraction

Photo Credit: Adiano | Adobe Stock

Even if you’ve worked hard all your life to maintain the health of your teeth, you may find you need a tooth extraction. Next to fillings, an extraction is the most common procedure performed by general dentists. At Landmark Dental Group, it’s quick, easy, and safe.

Tooth Extraction: What You Need to Know

Across the profession, most general dentists agree that tooth extraction should be a last resort.

Still, there are many cases where extraction can be for the best. Sometimes, a tooth may be too damaged to stand up to ordinary use. In other cases, it may be severely infected – and a prompt removal may be the safest way to ensure that the problem doesn’t spread.

An extraction might be performed for any of the following reasons:

  • Severe decay which compromises the structural integrity of the teeth;
  • Trauma, such as damage from an accident or from long-term grinding;
  • Gum disease or other infection that causes the tooth to become loose;
  • Ordinary “wear and tear” that occurs as we age.

Indeed, having a tooth extracted doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious dental problem. As people are living longer and more active lives, more are finding that they may need to have a tooth extracted now and then. With all that in mind, it’s important the procedure be safe and simple.

Before and After Your Tooth Extraction

Generally speaking, there’s nothing special a patient has to do to prepare for an extraction – simply continue brushing and flossing as you normally would. Before a tooth is removed, general dentists should discuss replacement options that suit your needs.

Dental implants, bridges, and removable partial dentures are all appropriate for replacing one or a few consecutive teeth. X-rays and other diagnostic tools may be needed to determine which option would be the best for you. Then, it’s time for the extraction itself!

Depending on the circumstances, the extraction may take as little as 30 minutes of chair time. Sedation may range from localized oral sedation to conscious IV sedation, the most potent option. If you choose stronger sedation, be sure you have someone’s help or arrangements to get home after the procedure.

A small amount of swelling, and possible bleeding, is normal after extraction. To accelerate healing, avoid smoking and vigorously rinsing your mouth. Instead, rinse three times daily with warm salt water. You can apply a cold cloth to the outside of the mouth as needed to treat swelling.

As always, continuing to brush is important. Simply avoid the surgery site while brushing other teeth.

Landmark Dental Group Makes Extractions Easier

At Landmark Dental in Santa Cruz, our general dentists have performed thousands of tooth extractions on patients of all backgrounds. We can even offer deep sedation to help people with anxiety about going to the dentist. To find out more, call us.

call landmark dental 831-464-1372

Looking for a Dentist Near You? Get 2017 Started Off Right With a High-Quality Santa Cruz Dentist

Photo Credit:  luckybusiness | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: luckybusiness | Adobe Stock

Get 2017 Started off Right with a High-Quality Santa Cruz Dentist Near You

With the new year here, it’s time to start thinking about your smile. If you’ve been neglecting your teeth, it’s time to make the resolution to get back to taking care of them. Start by finding a high-quality Santa Cruz dentist near you.

Check out what they can do for you:

Keep Your Teeth Clean and Healthy

What’s the most basic thing a Santa Cruz dentist can do for you? The answer is simple: keep your teeth clean and healthy. Regular check-ups and cleanings are a must for good oral hygiene.

And, if you’re in need of extra special care, Landmark Dental Group also offers root scaling and planing for people with gingivitis or deep pockets that hide tartar and plaque. Everyone needs to come to the dentist at least twice a year for preventative care even if you don’t have a problem. It’s the best way to stop problems before they start.

Get Your Whole Family Treated

As a family dentist office, Landmark Dental makes treating your whole family easy because they see anyone at any age. If you have a child whose first tooth just emerged, they invite you to bring your child for their first exam. You’ll learn how best to care for your child’s teeth. If you have a geriatric parent, bring them by. Older patients often have many problems such as dry mouth, gum disease, etc., that need specialized attention.

Fix Problems That Arise

Of course, even with good preventative care, problems may arise. A little too much sugar could lead to a cavity, and a lot of sugar could lead to a big crack. Your Santa Cruz dentist is there to help with fillings, crowns and extractions. They even offer tooth-colored fillings. So if you need a filling or have metal fillings, you can have them replaced with white fillings that look like natural teeth. Everyone will think you’ve never had a cavity on your life!

Get a Complete Smile

It’s so common to have one or two missing teeth, especially if you are older. This can sometimes be embarrassing, but Landmark Dental Group has you covered. They offer three different ways to replace missing teeth: dentures, dental bridges and dental implants.

Dental implants are the most durable way to replace missing teeth, but they are expensive. Whatever your budget and preferences, you’ll find a way to get the complete smile you desire.

Perfect Your Smile

So many things affect the beauty of your smile: discoloration, genetics, poor oral hygiene, etc. In the past, you pretty much had to live with an imperfect smile. However, today, there are many ways a Santa Cruz dentist can give you a breathtaking smile. Some services include teeth whitening, veneers and crowns. These are all great ways to make your smile look brighter, healthier and younger.

Stay Calm and Relaxed

Too many people have anxiety about going to the dentist, and in the past, there may have been reason, but today, going to the dentist is painless. Of course, that doesn’t always stop your anxiety. So, if you need a way to relax in the chair, choose sedation. You can choose from inhalation sedation, oral sedation and IV conscious sedation. All of them make you feel so relaxed you may fall asleep. Plus, they have some amnesiac qualities, so you won’t remember much of your visit — making it less scary to go to the dentist in the future.

Don’t neglect your mouth a moment longer. You want to be proactive with your smile, so serious problems don’t arise. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Tooth Extraction

tooth extraction

Photo Credit: mkarco | Adobe Stock

5 Reasons You May Need Tooth Extraction

Nobody wants to hear the dreaded words “tooth extraction” from their dentist. However, sometimes, it is the best option for a healthy smile. Check out these five reasons you may need a tooth extraction, and why it is a good idea to allow your dentist to pull that tooth.

1. Severe Damage

A quick filling here and there can fix minor cavities. However, if you have failed to take care of your teeth, you may experience severe damage, such as major decay, cracks or chips. In some situations, your dentist can rebuild the tooth and strengthen/protect it with a dental crown. However, depending on the extent of damage, your dentist may prefer to extract the tooth to prevent future problems or pain.

2. Impaction

Teeth are supposed to grow upright, but occasionally, they grow with a slant. This is known as an impacted tooth, and it is common in wisdom teeth. With an impacted tooth, the tooth grows in at an angle. This can cause the tooth to grow into other teeth, causing damage, pain and infection. These teeth can’t usually be fixed by braces, so they are typically removed to prevent future problems.

3. Crowded Teeth

Braces are usually the first choice to correct crowded teeth. Unfortunately, braces alone aren’t always enough. If you have a small mouth and don’t have enough room in your mouth for all your teeth, braces won’t give you a beautiful smile. Your bite may be off or your teeth may just not look perfect. In this case, your dentist may suggest removing some teeth to allow room for the existing teeth. Your dentist will only remove necessary teeth that will give you a beautiful smile.

4. Supernumerary Teeth

Believe it or not, you can get extra teeth. Known as supernumerary teeth, they can grow in any spot, but they are common in wisdom teeth. For example, you get all four of your wisdom teeth removed, but suddenly, a few extra teeth start growing in their place. In some cases, the supernumerary teeth are fully grown teeth, but they may also be partial teeth. If the supernumerary teeth grow too close to healthy teeth, they can cause overcrowding and difficultly during cleaning.

5. Non-Erupted Teeth

Teeth are supposed to break through your gums and become fully functioning tools for eating and speaking. However, some teeth don’t completely break through the gums. Again, this is common in the wisdom teeth because there isn’t much room in your mouth. Teeth that aren’t fully erupted may not seem like a serious problem, especially if they are just your wisdom teeth, but they can cause pain and infection. Nothing can cause these teeth to fully erupt, so it is best to have them removed.

Sometimes, you need a tooth extraction, but luckily, there are many ways to replace missing teeth, such as dental bridges and dental implants, so you don’t have to suffer with an imperfect smile. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group in Santa Cruz today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Everything You Need to Know About Tooth Infections

Everything You Need to Know About Tooth Infections

Photo Credit: sunabesyou | Adobe Stock

Your teeth face a lot of problems, especially when you fail to brush and floss regularly. One serious problem that can occur is a tooth infection. If you are unfamiliar with this common and painful condition, check out these four facts.

Everyone Is at Risk

A tooth infection can affect anyone. Even if you take impeccable care of your teeth, a sudden trauma that cracks the tooth could lead to infection. Of course, unless you play full-contact sports or get into a serious car accident, good oral hygiene typically keeps tooth infections away.

Basically, you want to make sure you brush and floss regularly at home and eat a well-balanced diet with few sugary foods and drinks. It’s also important to see your dentist regularly for cleanings and examinations. If you fail to take good care of your teeth, a deep cavity or crack may develop. This allows bacteria to enter the vulnerable center of the tooth that can lead to an infection.

Tooth Infections Affect the Pulp

If you suddenly notice you have a small cavity, you probably won’t develop an infection before you make it to your dentist for treatment. However, if you don’t seek treatment, and the cavity grows, your risk drastically increases. This is because a tooth infection affects the pulp of the tooth, and it usually takes a big cavity or crack to reach the pulp.

When the bacteria reaches the pulp, an infection starts to grow. This often leads to an abscess, which is filled with pus and puts pressure on the tooth pulp. At this stage, removing the cavity and simply placing a filling will no longer be enough to solve the problem.

Swelling, Pus and Pain are Symptoms of an Infection

There are some tell-tale signs of a tooth infection. Because of the abscess, the gums around the infected tooth may be swollen. You may even notice pus leaking out of the area between your gum and tooth. Pain is another symptom of infection because of the pressure on your tooth’s pulp. Sometimes, this pain can be extremely severe. If the pus breaks free, this can alleviate the symptoms for a while, but the abscess will return.

If there isn’t pus and the pain is minimal, you may not be sure you have an infection, a cavity or just sensitivity. A great way to test this is by taking a drink of cold water. Hold the water by the tooth. If this causes pain, it’s probably a cavity or sensitivity. If it relives the pain, you most likely have an infection, and the cold water is working like an ice pack.

You Need Treatment From Your Dentist

If you have an infection, you’ll probably get some antibiotics. However, don’t assume they are enough to solve the problem, and don’t expect the problem to go away on its own. An infection must be treated by your dentist or it could worsen or spread to other parts of your body.

Currently, there are only two ways to treat an infection. If the tooth severely decayed, your dentist may recommend extraction. However, typically, dentists prefer root canal therapy to remove the infection and replace the pulp. Root canal therapy has a high success rate, but you will need a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth afterwards.

A tooth infection may or may not cause pain, but either way, it needs to be treated. If you would like more information on tooth infections or you think you may have one, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Five Must-Know Facts About Tooth Extractions

dental implant tooth

photo credit: vetkit | dollarphotoclub

Even if you take great care of your teeth, you may have to undergo a tooth extraction at some point in your life. Tooth extractions can be stressful, especially when you don’t know what to expect.

Fact #1: There Are Simple Extractions and Surgical Extractions

If the tooth is fully erupted, your general dentist can perform a simple extraction. During a simple extraction, the dentist uses an elevator and forceps to loosen and remove the tooth. Sometimes, however, the tooth may still be completely or partially hidden under the gums, requiring surgical removal. Surgical extractions require an incision in the gum to reach all or some of the tooth.

Fact #2: The Process Isn’t Painful

A lot of people associate pain with going to the dentist, but like basically all dental procedures, a tooth extraction should not be painful. The entire area is made numb with a local anesthetic so that you don’t feel anything. If you do feel some discomfort, simply tell your dentist you need more anesthetic. You may experience some pressure when the dentist pulls on the tooth. While this pressure may feel weird, it doesn’t hurt.

Fact #3: Anxiety-Reducing Options Are Available

If you’re really nervous about having your tooth extracted, talk to your dentist about anxiety-reducing options. Inhalation sedation, oral sedation and IV-conscious sedation are the three common sedation options that help make your time at the dentist’s office a little easier. All options give the process a surreal feeling that keeps you calm and relaxed during the procedure. In many cases of IV sedation, you don’t have much memory of the treatment once it’s done. As an added benefit, these sedation options further reduce pain and discomfort. You won’t even notice the pressure previously described.

Fact #4: There Is a Short Recovery Period

While a tooth extraction is a common dental procedure, there is a small recovery time. The area will probably bleed or ooze a little, swell and feel tender, but over-the-counter and prescribed pain medications can help. Your dentist will tell you how best to care for the surgical site. During this recovery time, it’s important to avoid painful dry socket, which occurs when the blood clot is lost. Dry socket can be caused by smoking, sucking through a straw or forcefully spitting.

Fact #5: Replacement Options Are Available

Luckily, after your tooth is pulled, you can have it replaced. The three options include a dental implant, dental bridge and partial denture. Dental implants are the strongest and most durable option because they sit in your jaw like natural teeth, but they are the most expensive option. Dental bridges are somewhat durable because they use existing teeth as anchors. They are cheaper, but require the dentist to alter some of your healthy teeth. Partial dentures are the cheapest option, and although they are not as invasive as the other choices, they are removable, and this allows them to move and slip.

Sometimes, tooth extractions are necessary in order to prevent further complications. Luckily, whether you need a surgical or simple extraction, the process isn’t painful. There are anxiety-reducing options to choose from, the recovery period is short, and there are replacement options available. For more information, please contact Landmark Dental Group today!

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Tooth Replacement Options After Tooth Extraction

dental implants bridge image

Photo credit: Dollar Photo Club

When a tooth is severely damaged or decayed, sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary. After the tooth is pulled, however, it’s important to replace it to maintain functionality and appearance. The three common solutions to replace a missing tooth are a dental implant, dental bridge and removable partial denture.

Dental Implant

A dental implant is a titanium artificial tooth root that replaces the original tooth root. Just like your real tooth sits in your jawbone, so does the titanium root. Titanium has a special ability: it can “fuse” to bone. This process is called osseointegration – where the bone grows around the threads of the titanium screw, creating a powerful hold, which makes dental implants almost as durable as your natural teeth.

The implant process does take some time and happens in several stages. First, the dentist must place the implant into your jaw. The gum and bone is then allowed ample time to heal over the implant. Once the area is completely healed, the dentist makes an incision in the gum to reveal the implant and place an abutment, which sticks out of the gums as the area around it heals again. Last, a porcelain or gold crown is placed on the abutment.

To be a good candidate for a dental implant, you should be in good health and have healthy gums and adequate bone. In some cases, the dentist may suggest a bone graft to help add quality and quantity to the jawbone before placing the implant.

Dental Bridge

A dental bridge works much like a real bridge, but instead of connecting land, it connects teeth. Typically, a traditional bridge is comprised of at least three pieces that are connected together: a pontic, that replaces the missing tooth and two abutment crowns (one on each side of the pontic).

To place the bridge, the dentist must file down the teeth on each side of the missing tooth. The crowns on the bridge fit over these teeth, allowing the pontic to fit snuggly between them.

If you are interested in replacing your missing tooth with a dental bridge, it’s important that you have healthy teeth to support the bridge. After the bridge is placed, it’s extra important to keep the support teeth clean and healthy by flossing underneath the pontic tooth with the help of floss threaders.

Removable Partial Denture

Removable partial dentures are used to replace one or several missing teeth. They are usually designed to look like both teeth and gums because they sit on your gums, and they typically have clasps, so they can clip to remaining teeth for extra stability. However, they are removable, so the clasps are not cemented to the existing teeth.

As with dental implants and dental bridges, the dentist will need to take an impression of your mouth to build the partial denture. The dentist can do this before your teeth are pulled to craft immediate dentures or wait until the area has healed for conventional dentures. The benefit of immediate dentures is that you can wear them as soon as your teeth are pulled. However, if you have a lot of missing teeth, the bones and gums have a tendency to shrink, causing the immediate partial denture to feel loose and may eventually require a reline to tighten up the fit.

Removable partial dentures are the best replacement option if you suffer from uncontrolled gum disease or similar oral health problem because dentures don’t require you to have a firm jawbone. They are also usually the least expensive option, making them a common choice for people on a tight budget.

Tooth extraction isn’t always necessary, and if that’s the case, your dentist will discuss other options to save the tooth. However, in some cases, there’s no alternative option and there are replacement options. For more information about tooth extraction or replacement, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz