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COMPREHENSIVE DENTISTRY

Fillings

Providing Patients With Dental Fillings and Implants

Tooth-Colored Fillings/Bonding

If your tooth is damaged, a dental filling may be necessary to repair it. At Encino Family Dental, we use tooth-colored fillings or bonding to help restore both the appearance and functionality of teeth.

Bonding involves the application of a composite resin to a discolored, chipped, or otherwise damaged tooth. Compared to amalgam fillings, bonding produces aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking results. It can be used to fill in the gaps between teeth, repair small tooth fractures, fill cavities, and even change the color and shape of teeth.

Crowns, Onlays, and Bridges

Crowns

A dental crown serves as a replacement for a tooth that is cracked, broken, misshapen, decayed, worn down or severely discolored. When the damage is too much for a filling to address, this may be the most suitable option.

Onlays

An onlay or partial crown is a good choice when only a portion of the tooth is compromised. This is a much more conservative alternative to a full crown. Since only the affected area of the tooth is incorporated into the restoration design, the rest of the natural tooth structure is relatively untouched.

Bridges

This is an appropriate option when you are missing one or more teeth. This is similar to a crown but involves bridging at least three teeth as opposed to just a single tooth. Please note that the teeth in front as well as behind the missing tooth may need to be involved to ensure proper restoration.

Implants

Dental implants are the next best thing to real teeth. They look and feel very natural, and their function is as close to that of your teeth as possible.

An implant is a small metal screw that serves as an anchor for a replacement tooth. It is placed by making a tiny cut into the gums above the site of the missing tooth. The implant is screwed into the jawbone and the cut is sewn shut. When the implant has fused successfully into the jawbone, the replacement tooth can be placed.

Dental implant surgery is done by dentists with specialized training, and the success rate is approximately 98%. Proper maintenance can help implants last a lifetime.

Pediatric Dentistry and Dental Care Recommendations

Our pediatric dental services are geared toward making the appointment easy and productive for both the parent and the child. We have a lot of experience with children, so don’t hesitate to bring your little ones to our practice.

Your Child’s First Dental Checkup

If you’re wondering about the right time to bring your children in for a dental checkup, we can help. We recommend that you schedule an appointment for your child within their first 6 to 12 months. You can also bring them once their teeth first come in.

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The Benefits of Early Dental Care

The earlier you bring your child in to see a dentist, the sooner you can start preventing cavities. This also has the added effect of helping your child get used to going to the dentist, making him or her less likely to become fearful of dental work. Aside from these benefits, we can also share tips and tidbits of information that may help you look after your child’s oral health.

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Book an Appointment

We usually treat patients who live in the neighborhoods of Tarzana and Encino in California. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Cavity Prevention

Sealants

At Encino Family Dental, we advocate preventive and proactive dentistry. Sealants are a quick and simple way to prevent the formation of cavities in children and adolescents. These are used to fill in the deep grooves and pits on teeth.

By smoothing the surface of teeth, sealants make them less likely to trap cavity-causing bacteria. This doubles as a great way for kids to have clean teeth without the constant need to bug them to brush. Sealants are best applied when the child’s teeth are just coming in. This method offers the most protection.

Fluoride

This is also an important tool in the prevention of tooth decay. Fluoride is a topical agent that has been proven in countless studies to reduce the incidence of cavities in children and adults alike.

Periodontics

Comprehensive Periodontal Treatment Options

Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that is focused on the structures that support the teeth and the diseases that affect them. The oral care professionals at Encino Family Dental are more than capable of addressing any and all of your periodontal needs.

What Is Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is characterized as a bacterial infection affecting the gums and bones in the mouth. Often, patients do not realize they have it because they do not experience pain or other distressing symptoms. However, if left unchecked, periodontal disease can result in tooth loss and severe damage to the gums.

At Encino Family Dental, we take this disease very seriously. Our dental professionals will do everything they can to prevent this from happening to our patients. We urge all of you to practice good oral hygiene and visit us regularly.

Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease


  • Pregnancy
  • Family History of Periodontal Disease
  • Heart Disease or Diabetes
  • Poor Oral Hygiene
  • Tobacco Use (Smoking or Chewing)
  • Certain Medications

The Two Major Stages of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Symptoms to watch out for are red, swollen gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is easily reversible when diagnosed and treated early. However, if untreated, it can develop into periodontitis.

Periodontitis

A more advanced form of periodontal disease, periodontitis occurs when bacteria penetrate deep into your tissues, adversely affecting the bones that support your teeth. Without treatment, this can loosen teeth from their sockets or even cause them to fall out. It can also lead to more serious health issues in the future.

Treatment Procedures

Regular checkups with us allow us to determine the level and frequency of cleaning that you require. If we see signs of periodontal disease, we may recommend a scaling and root planning procedure. This involves numbing and deep cleaning the affected areas, which are normally found above and below the gum line. During this process, we will remove as much of the bacteria and tartar buildup as we can.

To eliminate the bacteria that can’t be physically removed, we may have to use adjunctive tools such as antimicrobial rinses and antibiotics. If these do not improve your condition, you may need to undergo dental surgery. We will discuss all aspects of the surgical procedure with you in detail should this need arise.

Preventing Periodontal Disease

You can protect yourself from periodontal disease by practicing good oral hygiene. You should:

  • Brush your teeth for about two to three minutes at least twice a day. Focus on both the teeth and the gums. Remember to be gentle when cleaning your gums by using soft, circular motions. Brushing too hard can lead to other problems.
  • Brush your tongue whenever you brush your teeth.
  • Floss once a day. Flossing at night is ideal as it removes the built-up tartar that has accumulated between your teeth throughout the day.
  • Use mouthwash.
  • See our dentist every three to six months.

Root Canals

The Need for a Root Canal

The most common cause behind needing a root canal is an untreated cavity. If it has become very large and reaches the tooth root, a root canal is often necessary. Another reason is facial trauma. For example, accidents while playing sports can result in a fractured tooth that requires a root canal to address.

Pain Is Not Part of the Plan

Contrary to popular belief, a root canal is not extremely painful. Technology has come a long way, and our dental professionals are up to speed on the latest techniques.

Root canals can typically be completed in one session. However, depending on the severity of your tooth’s condition, we might have to schedule additional appointments.

We will walk you through the entire process and answer your questions before your root canal appointment, so you’ll know exactly what to expect. You can be confident knowing that we will do all that we can to make the procedure as stress-free as possible.

Process

  • First, we determine the reason for the root canal.
  • Next, we administer an anesthetic to the affected area.
  • Afterward, we clean and disinfect the affected tooth and pulpal tissue.
  • Finally, we fill the area previously occupied by the nerve with a material that prevents leakage and further contamination.

Tooth Extractions

Reasons for Extraction

Your teeth may need extraction for several reasons. It might be because they are badly decayed, broken or damaged by severe periodontal disease. A tooth may also need to be removed because it is positioned in such a way that it is difficult to clean, which is often the case with wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are your third molars, and they typically do not serve a purpose. Often, they end up causing problems such as cavities and bone loss. The reason for this is because wisdom teeth are located so far back in your mouth and in such an inconvenient position that they are almost impossible to clean properly. If there isn’t enough room in the mouth for wisdom teeth, often push their way through, causing movement and crowding.

Nitrous Oxide

Also known as laughing gas, this is a powerful yet safe tool used to eliminate the stress that comes with being in the dentist’s chair. This can be used on patients of any age, reducing their anxiety and making the experience less stressful for their parents.

The effects of this substance are short-lived and easily reversible. Once the dental work is completed, all you have to do is inhale pure oxygen for a few minutes, and you’ll be able to return to your normal routine.

Anti-Anxiety Medication

Anti-anxiety medication in the form of a small tablet can be taken shortly before a dental treatment. Its effects range from relaxation to mild amnesia. We can talk about this option with you. Our goal is to make your time in the dentist’s chair as pleasant and comfortable as possible.

Dentures

Dentures are a good option for patients that have lost or about to lose many or all of their teeth. They are a common, quick, and more affordable way for patients to replace multiple missing teeth at the same time. They are typically made out of a type of acrylic and they are made custom to fit the contours and spaces of your mouth. They are also designed to improve speech and function as much as is possible, all the while providing you with a beautiful smile. A full denture is made for someone who is missing all their natural teeth. A partial denture is made for someone who is missing only some teeth. An immediate denture is fabricated for placement “immediately” after the teeth are removed to allow for some function as well as to aid in the healing process. Implants can often be incorporated into the plan for dentures to provide additional stability and support of the denture. It is important to keep in mind that while dentures are a great alternative for people that are missing teeth, there is a learning curve that goes with wearing dentures. They do not feel or function like natural teeth, so patience is crucial to making wearing dentures a positive and successful experience. Furthermore, the mouth is constantly going through changes, especially when teeth are lost. So even if you’re wearing dentures you still need to come in for regular dental checkups so we can evaluate not only your dentures but your mouth as well. A healthy mouth is more than just teeth!