Category Archives: Patients

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

5 Tips to Care for Your Toddler’s Teeth

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock | Vitalinka

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock | Vitalinka

Children have to be taught how to do just about everything, and caring for their teeth is no different. As a parent, it’s your job to foster good habits and help their teeth grow healthy.

Here are five tips on dental care for toddlers:

1. Set a Good Example

One of the most important things you can do for your child is to set a good example. If you eat a good amount of sugary food and don’t brush your teeth or floss, your child will naturally learn those habits. Even if you insist they eat healthy and brush their teeth often, they are more likely to adopt your bad habits. Set a good example by avoiding sugary foods and beverages. Let your kids see that you brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis. By setting a good example, your child subconsciously learns these good habits without you having to say much.

2. Take Your Child to the Dentist

It may seem unnecessary to take your child to the dentist until they have permanent teeth, but that isn’t the case. Your child should start seeing the dentist by age 1. This is an important time in your child’s life. Not only is it a chance for you and your child to learn about good oral care, tooth development, etc., it also means your child’s primary teeth are cared for, which is important. Children with rotting primary teeth are more likely to have problems with their permanent teeth.

3. Help Relieve Pain From Erupting Teeth

As those first teeth emerge, it can be painful for your child. Help your child by relieving the pain from erupting teeth. Talk to your dentist about pain relief gels and medications for teething. At home, you can rub the gums with your finger or use a frozen teething ring. These are safe, effective ways to help alleviate some of the pain. If you notice your child develops a fever while teething, contact your pediatrician.

4. Brush Your Child’s Teeth Right

At first, obviously, your child can’t brush their own teeth. However, once they can, it’s still important to monitor them until they have it down, usually at 8 years old. Correct them if they miss a spot, go too fast or are brushing incorrectly. When brushing, make sure that only a small amount of paste is used and use a soft-bristled brush. When brushing, have your child start with the inside of the teeth, then the outside and finally the surface. The bristles should be angled upward toward the gum line.

5. Don’t Let Your Child Suck Their Thumb After Permanent Teeth Appear

It’s not uncommon for a toddler to suck their thumb or to use a pacifier, and that’s perfectly fine. However, once permanent teeth start to erupt, you need to help your child break that habit. Continuing to thumb suck at this point could cause teeth to grow awkwardly, which leads to premature tooth wear, dental decay and a misaligned bite. To help your child break the habit, praise them when they aren’t thumb sucking and try to solve any anxiety they have.

It’s up to you to care for your child’s mouth to ensure they have the habits and skills they need to take care of their teeth as adults. If you would like more information regarding dental care for toddlers, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Antibiotics for Dental Procedures After Joint Replacement


Photo Credit: Adobe Stock | Feng Yu

Your mouth has a lot of bacteria in it. Typically, as long as you care for your teeth, you don’t have to worry about bacteria from your mouth reaching another part of your body. However, if you have recently had joint replacement surgery, there are many situations that could increase the chance of joint infection. If you’ve had joint replacement surgery, learn more about antibiotics for dental procedures and when they are necessary.

Why Do You Need Antibiotics?

When you have a joint replacement, one of the most dangerous possible side effects is an infection in the joint. When your dentist works on your teeth, even minor services could allow the bacteria in your mouth to enter your blood stream. From there, it has the ability to reach any part of your body, including the joint replacement. Even after the area has healed, there is a risk of infection after dental work, which is why it’s important to tell your dentist if you’ve had joint replacement surgery.

Who Needs Preventative Antibiotics?

Just having joint replacement doesn’t necessarily mean you will need preventative antibiotics. In most cases, you also have to have:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Weakened immune system from disease, medication or radiation
  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Had joint replacement in the last two years
  • Had a previous infection in the joint

These conditions all increase your chance of getting a further infection. Therefore, if any of these ring true, make sure to tell your dentist. Depending on your history and the treatment, your dentist will determine if antibiotics are the right choice.

What Procedures Require Antibiotics?

Not every procedure requires antibiotics. For example, if you are just getting some X-rays, your dentist probably won’t suggest antibiotics. Most of the time, you’ll only need antibiotics if there is a possibility of blood exposure, such as:

  • Extractions
  • Dental implants
  • Root canal
  • Local anesthetic injection (even before a filling)

Also, if your gums are tender from gum disease, you’ll also need antibiotics for gum disease procedures and regular cleanings (because your sore gums are likely to bleed).

What Kind of Antibiotics Should You Expect?

There are typically two ways your dentist will provide the antibiotics. If you can take pills, you’ll be given a prescription for oral medication. If you can’t take oral medication, the dentist can administer an injection an hour before the procedure. Types of antibiotics your dentist may prescribe include:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalexin
  • Cephradine
  • Clindamycin (if you are allergic to penicillin)

Taking care of your artificial joint after surgery is important, and one of the key steps is talking with your dentist. Discuss your procedure and history. Your dentist will use this to determine when antibiotics for dental procedures are necessary to keep you and your joints healthy. For more information about the connection between dental care, antibiotics and joint replacement, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Family Dentist

family dentist

Photo Credit: LuckyImages | Adobe Stock

4 Things You Should Know About Family Dentists

If you’re looking for a great dentist in the Santa Cruz area, you must consider choosing a family dentist. Family dentists offer many types of treatments and have many advantages.

Check out these four things you may not know about a family dentist.

1. They See Patients of All Ages

Get your whole family’s treatments done in one location with Landmark Dental family dentist. It’s right there in the name: “family” dentist, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that a family dentist like Landmark Dental in Santa Cruz sees patients of all ages. You don’t have to take your child to a pediatric dentist, your parents to a geriatric dentist and yourself to a general dentist. Landmark offers services targeted at different age groups, such as sealants for children.

The benefits of choosing one family dentist for your entire family are convenience and comfort. You can schedule all your cleanings in lumped appointments, so you don’t have to miss work on more than one day. Also, the dentist gets to know you and your family better, which makes everyone a little more comfortable about going to the dentist.

2. Many Offer Major Services

You may think that a family dentist can’t offer much more than cleanings, X-rays and yearly exams. While they do offer these important services, that’s not all they offer. Many family dentists also offer major services you wouldn’t expect. Many offer services such as extraction, dental bridge and dental crowns, so you don’t have to go see a specialist.

They may even offer more specialized services. For example, at Landmark Dental Group, you can have your root canal therapy performed without having to go see an endodontist. This is especially important because people tend to fear root canals. However, if you are able to have yours performed by your regular dentist, you know what to expect and feel less anxious than if you have to see a specialist you don’t know.

3. They Typically Offer Cosmetic Services

Cosmetic dentistry is exploding. To keep up with the demand, more and more general dentists are learning these valuable skills. So it’s no wonder so many family dentists offer cosmetic services. It isn’t surprising to find that a dentist provides treatments like tooth whitening, porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers and tooth-colored fillings.

Some dentists, however, go above and beyond to ensure their patients get a gorgeous smile without having to see a specialist. At Landmark Dental Group, if you have missing teeth, you don’t have to choose between a bridge or dentures because they offer dental implants.

4. They’ll Give You a Healthy, Beautiful Smile

The best thing about family dentists, however, is that they are dedicated to give you a smile you want. Of course, this starts with a healthy foundation of strong teeth. Therefore, your dentist will work with you to create a treatment plan that will get your teeth healthy with cleanings, fillings, root planing and scaling, etc. If you already have a healthy smile, your dentist will help you keep it that way.

For many people, however, having a healthy smile isn’t enough, but a dentist who only focuses on cosmetic dentistry may not be the best option. When you choose a dentist who also wants to keep your smile healthy, you’ll get a treatment plan that is perfect for improving the look of your smile without impacting the health.

Choose a dentist that can treat your whole family and provide a wide range of services. You’ll get a healthy, beautiful smile. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Oral Health for Diabetics – A Twofold Attack

Oral health for diabetics

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock | pathdoc

Diabetes is a common disease. In fact, about 9.3 percent of the US has this condition. Diabetes, however, doesn’t just affect your body’s ability to produce insulin. It affects many other parts of the body, particularly because it affects how well your body fights infection. One part of your body that is susceptible to diabetes is your mouth. If you have diabetes, learn about oral health for diabetics.

Oral Symptoms of Uncontrolled Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes can affect many parts of your body, and your mouth is no exception. If you suspect you may be developing diabetes, or if you just want to know how your diabetes can affect your mouth, you must know the oral symptoms of diabetes. One of the biggest problems is that your mouth may have less saliva. This causes dry mouth, which isn’t just uncomfortable. Due to the fact that your body doesn’t have enough saliva to wash away bacteria, your teeth are more prone to decay.

Because diabetes makes it harder to fight infection, infections of the mouth are also possible. Gum disease and tooth infections can occur, and your body has a hard time fighting these off. If you develop a wound in your mouth, diabetes can slow healing time.

What’s the Big Deal With Inflamed Gums?

Minor gum inflammation can be a mild annoyance, but if left untreated, it can cause major dental problems. First, your gums become sore, inflamed and bleeding. Eventually, your gums start to recede, exposing the roots of your teeth and increasing the risk of decay. As the disease progresses, it may affect your jawbone, causing it to diminish, which increases the risk of tooth loss.

Gum disease is also bad for your diabetes. An uncontrolled infection makes it harder for you to control your blood sugar, which puts you in danger and increases your chance of other diabetes complications. On top of that, studies have shown that gum disease can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Protecting yourself from the problems associated with diabetes is a twofold attack.

1.) Make sure you continue to care for your smile with good at-home care. You’ll also want to ensure you see your dentist regularly, and divulge that you have diabetes. Your dentist will help keep your mouth clean, which in turn reduces the risk of inflammation. Your dentist can also help look for gum disease before it happens. If you do develop gum disease, it can actually have a negative affect on blood sugar control.

2.) Follow your medical doctor’s instructions. Keep your blood sugar at the right levels and use your medications appropriately. When your diabetes is under control, your body fights infections better, reducing the risk of gum disease. Make sure you also avoid smoking. Smoking decreases your body’s ability to fight infection.

Everyone should take good care of their teeth, but if you are a diabetic, poor dental health can actually affect your diabetes. If you would like more information regarding oral health for diabetics, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Landmark Dental Group in Santa Cruz today. We’ll help you take control of your diabetes and your oral health.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Geriatric Dentistry Santa Cruz

Photo Credit:  Phase4Photography | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: Phase4Photography | Adobe Stock

4 Dental Dangers That Affect Geriatric Patients

Everyone is at risk for various dental problems, such as cavities. However, as you age, your risk of developing more severe problems rises because of natural wear and tear — perhaps from a lifetime of not caring for your teeth. Landmark Dental Group welcomes patients of all ages, including geriatric patients. To learn more about geriatric dentistry, check out these four common dental dangers that affect older patients, just below.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth may just seem like an annoyance, but it has major consequences. The saliva in your mouth plays an important role in the health of your teeth. It helps remove the bacteria and the foods on which bacteria feeds, such as sugar. When you have a dry mouth, nothing is flushed from your mouth. It stays on your teeth, promoting decay and tartar build up. Everyone can get dry mouth, but it is quite common in older people due to the fact that there are many medications that can cause dry mouth, and oftentimes geriatric patients are on multiple prescriptions.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is another problem that affects many elderly patients. Without treatment, it can lead to severe pain, gum recession, tooth loss or even loss of bone structure in the jaw. Gum disease is completely preventable with good oral hygiene, but it is still common. Failing to get routine cleanings that can eliminate tartar or being a smoker can increase your risk of gum disease. Landmark Dental Group offers geriatric dentistry treatments to help reverse or relieve the symptoms of gum disease, such as cleanings and antibiotic treatments.

Root Caries

Root caries are special types of cavities. Most cavities occur on the erupted portion of your teeth. However, root caries occur on the roots of the teeth. This leads to discomfort and increases the risk of tooth infection or tooth loss. Root caries are more common on elderly patients because they are more likely to have gaps between their gums and teeth, which allow bacteria to hide and cause decay. Landmark offers services such as scaling and root planing to prevent root caries, and they can, of course, treat them once they occur.

Missing Teeth

A lot of elderly patients have missing teeth. Again, there are many causes for this, such as poor oral hygiene habits, smoking, trauma, gum disease, normal wear-and-tear over the years, etc. The more teeth you have missing, the harder it is to talk and eat properly. Landmark offers a wide selection of options for replacing missing teeth, including dentures, dental bridges and implants. If you already have dentures, but they aren’t fitting properly, that’s normal. Landmark can help resize them for you, so you can once again eat and talk without trouble.

It’s important for everyone to care for their teeth, even the elderly. In fact, they often have more problems than younger people, but most of these problems can be corrected. For more information about geriatric dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Family Dentistry Santa Cruz

Family Dentistry Santa Cruz

Photo Credit: LuckyImages | Adobe Stock

What to Look for When Choosing a Family Dentist

Just because you have children or older parents that you’re caring for doesn’t mean that you need a different dentist for everyone. Landmark Dental is a general dentistry practice in Santa Cruz that’s an excellent option for your entire family. These tips will help you choose a great one.

A Wide Selection of Services

A great family dentist offers a wide selection of services that you can choose from. Of course, this includes preventive care, such as cleanings, exams and X-rays. It also includes restorative treatments, such as fillings, dental crowns, etc. However, your best bet is to find a dentist that offers even more. For example, at Landmark Dental Group, you can get specialized services such as root canal therapy. You can also opt for different cosmetic dental procedures, such as porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, bridges, dental implants and tooth whitening. Landmark is a one-stop solution for all your dental needs.

Skilled and Experienced Dentists

It’s also important that you choose an office that has experienced dentists with the education and training to support the services they provide. If you go to a dentist who offers root canal therapy, but they haven’t had additional training on the procedure, you may end up wasting time and money on a root canal treatment that fails. At Landmark Dental Group, Dr. Trang Tran, DDS and Dr. Scott Weston, DDS have taken many continuing education courses on esthetic dentistry, root canal therapy, dental implants, sedation dentistry — and many others. Therefore, you can trust the services they provide.

Patients of All Ages

A family dentist is someone who accepts patients of all ages: child, teen, adult and geriatric. Landmark Dental Group welcomes patients of all ages, and has services specifically designed to help treat dental problems at any age.

Gentle Services

No one wants to have a rough experience at the dentist, but it’s even more important for children and the elderly. Having a bad dental experience as a child can shape how you view going to the dentist for the rest of your life. At Landmark, you can trust that all the treatments you and your family will receive are gentle, and the entire staff is caring and attentive. If you’re still nervous about going to the dentist, ask about their sedation dentistry options, such as nitrous oxide, which can make your appointment seem more like a quick dream and keeps you calm and stress-free during the treatment.

Choosing family dentistry is a great idea because it puts all your visits in one place. However, it’s important to choose a qualified dentist with a robust selection of services and the skills necessary. For more information on family dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Children’s Dentistry at Landmark Dental

Children's Dentistry Santa Cruz

photo credit: rubchikova | Adobe Stock

4 Facts You Need to Know About Your Child’s Primary Teeth

Tooth development begins early, and the habits your child learns now can affect them for life, which is why bringing your child to the dentist early on is incredibly important. Check out these four facts you need to know about your child’s primary teeth, so you can keep their mouth healthy.

The Teeth Start to Form Before Birth

Although it takes a while for your baby’s primary teeth to erupt, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Baby teeth actually start forming before birth and are hiding under the gum line. In fact, primary tooth buds can be discerned by only eight weeks after conception. By twenty weeks into pregnancy, even the permanent tooth buds start to form. This is why it is incredibly important to start taking care of your child’s teeth during pregnancy by eating healthy foods and taking prenatal supplements. Failing to do so can affect your child’s early tooth development (even of permanent teeth), which can negatively impact their oral health for life.

Baby Teeth Are Vulnerable to Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Just like adults, babies have to worry about tooth decay. Of course, for your baby, it’s up to you to ensure this doesn’t happen. One type of decay babies are prone to is baby bottle tooth decay. This type of tooth decay occurs from high exposure to liquids with sugar. This doesn’t only mean soda or high-sugar juices. Even the sugar in breast milk and formula can cause baby bottle tooth decay. Generally, your child is at risk for baby bottle tooth decay if you put your baby to bed or for a nap with a bottle filled with something other than water. The sugary liquid has a lot of time to pool in the mouth around the teeth and cause damage.

Primary Teeth Make Eating and Talking Easier

If you’ve ever had missing teeth, you know that it can make eating and talking difficult. The same goes for your child. Primary teeth will eventually fall out, but until they are replaced with permanent teeth, your child needs healthy baby teeth to eat and talk. If major decay causes the teeth to need to be removed, this can make it hard for your child to eat properly, which could lead to many other problems, such as malnutrition. Also, without the right amount of teeth, your child may not learn how to speak properly.

They Help Ensure Permanent Teeth Are Healthy

Primary teeth aren’t just important for now, however. They can also play a role in the health of your child’s permanent teeth. Primary teeth are place holders. They give a path for permanent teeth to grow. If the teeth are lost, the permanent teeth may not be able to grow in properly, and your child will need help from an orthodontist. Another reason baby teeth are important for the future is that having healthy baby teeth allows the jaw bone and jaw muscles to develop properly. If the bone and muscles can’t develop properly because of missing baby teeth, it can make permanent teeth less durable.

Dental health is important for everyone, and good dental habits should begin before birth. As a parent, you need to keep your child’s primary teeth healthy, which will impact them for life. For more information about children’s dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz Family Dentist for Every Stage of Life

family dentist santa cruz

photo credit: Monkey Business | Dollar Photo Club

Whether you’re young or old, dental care is an important piece of your health. Landmark Dental Group, a Santa Cruz family dental office, has the experience and procedures available to help you at every stage of your life. Read on to find out how they serve children and adults!

Dentistry for Children

Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits from an early age is imperative for promoting a healthy smile throughout their life. By the time you see that first tooth start to emerge, you should take your child in for their first dental exam. It’s true that your child’s first teeth are only temporary, but they aren’t useless. Well-cared for primary teeth help promote healthy permanent teeth, so this is a great time in your child’s life to really focus on preventative care.

Of course, one of the most basic things you should ensure that your Santa Cruz family dentist does is provide routine cleanings. Just like adult teeth, primary teeth need regular cleanings to remove tartar and prevent cavities. Landmark Dental also provides dental sealants that help prevent decay before they starts. However, the doctors and staff at Landmark Dental also know that one of the most important tools for fighting bad oral health is knowledge. For this reason, they will talk with you and your child about healthy habits, such as proper brushing/flossing, how a healthy diet affects the teeth, etc.

Dentistry for Adults

By the time you’re an adult, the habits you learned as a child have become routine. Hopefully, they were good habits. But whatever the case, preventative care is still extremely important, so you should still see your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. For some people, restorative procedures may be necessary. Even if you take good care of your teeth, you may fall victim to a cavity once or twice, and for this, Landmark Dental offers tooth-colored fillings. If you have a lot of decay, big fillings or cracks, Landmark Dental can help protect those weak teeth with dental crowns. Root canal therapy is also available as an alternative to extractions for infected teeth.

Adulthood is also when you may start thinking more about how your smile looks. Luckily, Landmark Dental Group provides many cosmetic dental procedures. Some of the most popular cosmetic procedures available at Landmark Dental include tooth whitening and porcelain veneers. However, they also provide porcelain crowns, porcelain bridges and dental implants.

Geriatric Dentistry

Elderly patients may have to deal with a lot of different oral concerns. Even if you cared for your smile throughout your life, there are a lot of issues you may face. Oftentimes, older patients take several types of medications for other common medical problems, and this can lead to dry mouth, which can cause tooth decay. Teeth can also become worn on the incisal and occlusal surfaces from constant wear and tear. Patients who haven’t followed the best oral care regimen may now be suffering from gum disease, an extremely common oral disease in elderly adults.

Another common problem many elderly patients share is missing teeth. Whether from poor oral hygiene habits or regular wear and tear from getting older, many elderly patients have missing teeth. Some may even be missing all of their teeth. Landmark Dental provides patients with denture services, including partial dentures, complete dentures and even implant-supported dentures, which are extremely secure and sturdy.

Whatever your age, it’s of utmost importance to take care of your teeth, and finding a good Santa Cruz family dentist is the first step. Landmark Dental Group offers preventative, restorative and cosmetic services for children, adults and the elderly. For more information, contact them today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz