General Dentistry

General Dentistry

We understand how much of a nuisance that it may be to have to visit many different specialists to get the oral and dental care that you need. That’s why we at Lakewood Dental Arts are proud to offer you a comprehensive selection of dental treatments that are sure to be able to get you a healthier smile. Our doctors have all the training and expertise needed to administer both a safe and effective treatment for you. When you come visit your general dentist in Lakewood, CA, you’ll be offered an assortment of treatments that range from cosmetic dentistry to periodontics to general dentistry. Just a sample of the general dentistry that you’ll find here is as follows.

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Teeth Cleanings

We recommend scheduling professional teeth cleanings once every six months as they’ll be able to give you a more thorough cleaning than what you’d get at home. During one of these regular visits to your adult and children’s dentist in Lakewood, CA, a dental hygienist will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from the places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in between the teeth. After that, we’ll clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect them after you’ve left our office. Fluoride won’t just help prevent tooth decay, but it can strengthen and rebuild tooth structure as well.

Fillings

A filling is a restorative material that’s used to replace any tooth structure that’s been damaged due to decay or fracture. With the advancements of dental technology, you won’t have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly (and unhealthy!) silver and metal fillings of the past. Your family dentist in Lakewood, CA uses composite fillings that will match the appearance of your teeth and give it a more natural look and feel. We’re even capable of replacing any of your old and broken-down metal fillings with our composite fillings.

Crowns 

A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over a tooth that has been damaged, decayed, or cracked. Crowns can be made out of many different materials, such as porcelain, acrylic resin, gold, or a combination of them. While porcelain offers the most attractive natural appearance, it’s often less durable than the other options. Placing a crown follows these steps:

  • First, the tooth will be numbed to remove any decay in it.
  • After the area is numbed, the tooth will be re-sculptured so that the crown will be able to fit over it.
  • An impression will be made of your re-sculptured tooth so that a crown can be made to specifically fit the tooth.
  • A temporary crown will be made out of acrylic resin and fit on the tooth while the custom crown is being made.
  • After the crown has been made, the patient will return to his or her family dentist in Lakewood, CA and have the temporary crown removed.
  • The permanent crown will be placed onto the tooth and after it’s certain that the crown has the right look and fit, it’ll be cemented into place.

Just like with the rest of your teeth, you’ll want to maintain proper brushing and flossing to maintain the health of your crowns and prevent gum disease. With good care, your crown can last a lifetime.

Bridges

If you have a missing tooth, a bridge is a dental device that can be used to fill that gap. By using a bridge and filling in that area, it can help prevent the shifting of teeth that can lead to bite or jaw problems. Additionally, it can help protect the integrity of the existing teeth. There are three main types of bridges that can be used and these are:

  • Fixed Bridges – These are the most popular type and they consist of a filler tooth that’s attached to two crowns that are placed over the teeth on each side of the gap. These crowns will hold the filler tooth in place over the spot where the missing tooth is.
  • Maryland Bridges – These can be used to replace missing front teeth. It consists of a filler that’s attached to metal bands that are bonded to abutment teeth. The metal bands are made of a white-colored composite resin so that they’ll blend in with your natural tooth color.
  • Cantilever Bridges – These are used when the teeth are only on one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge will consist of two crowned teeth that are positioned next to each other on one side of the gap left by a missing tooth. The filler tooth will then be connected to these two crowned teeth and it will extend into the missing tooth space.

Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure that extracts the decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth and reshapes the canal while replacing it with strengthened filler. While a cavity may be the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth, when it’s left alone long enough, it can burrow into the deeper areas of the tooth and cause extensive damage to the tooth structure. When this causes more damage than can be treated with a filling, a dentist will need to perform a root canal to save the tooth and retain its integrity. The process is similar to a basic filling and follows these steps:

  • First, the patient will undergo anesthesia.

  • A dental dam will be used to isolate the tooth that requires the root canal.

  • The tooth will be opened so that the infected or dead dental pulp can be removed.

  • The tooth will be comprehensively cleaned.

  • With the usage of special tools, the general dentist will reshape the canals.

  • The tooth will be filled with biocompatible filling material.

  • A temporary covering will be used to cover the access opening.

  • Patients will then need to see their general dentist quickly so they can get a permanent restoration of the tooth.

Tooth Extractions

A tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. These can be necessary if a tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that leaves it unable to be repaired or if a patient has gum disease. Even primary teeth may need to be extracted if they’re blocking the normal eruption of a permanent tooth. Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed either surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia will be used to ensure that the patient is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. We’re fully trained and we utilize the proper equipment so that our patients receive only the minimum level of discomfort.

One of the most common reasons for tooth extraction though is because of the third molars, also known as wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth typically appear sometime in the late teens or early twenties and they often don’t have enough space in the mouth to properly erupt. This is a condition known as impaction. Problems can arise with impaction, such as causing damage to adjacent teeth and crowding of the teeth.

In some cases, the wisdom tooth can become inflamed underneath the gums and in the jawbone, which causes a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause an abscess or a cyst if it becomes infected; if this situation goes untreated, serious damage can occur to the underlying bone, the surrounding teeth, and the tissues as well. To potentially fend off this problem, extraction of the wisdom teeth is frequently advised.

Contact Lakewood Dental Arts Today!

If you’re looking for a family or children’s dentist in Lakewood, CA, you’ve come to the right place! Feel free to schedule an appointment with us by giving us a call at (562) 866-1735 or by filling out our appointment request form. We’re looking forward to seeing you!