What Are Overdentures?

If you are missing teeth and are not a good candidate for dental implants due to bone deterioration or loss, you may be considering getting dentures. But if dentures don’t seem like your cup of tea, there is another option that bridges the gap between dentures and dental implants: overdentures. Find out what these clever prosthetics are and who is a good candidate for them.

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How to Get the Perfect Holiday Photo

The winter holidays are here, and that means friends, family and photo ops. But what happens when your smile isn’t quite as dazzling as the bright lights and tinsel of the season? You may not have the time or budget for a full-mouth reconstruction before the new year, but there’s still plenty you can do to make your teeth look whiter and healthier on a tight schedule - and budget!

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Now Is the Time for a Smile Makeover

With children of all ages heading back to school, some parents are no doubt breathing a collective sigh of relief, while some are trying to be brave and not cry as they bid farewell to their kids in this new chapter in their lives. But whether your child is heading off to school for the first time or leaving the nest for good, now is the perfect time to focus on someone who probably hasn’t gotten a lot of attention lately: you.

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What Makes Some Veneers Better Than Others?

Porcelain veneers can make a big difference in changing the look and feel of your teeth - but not all veneers are created equally. While you may think that any veneer is better than no veneer, this isn’t always true. After all, if you’re making the investment in your smile, doesn’t it make sense to do the job right the first time? Don’t settle for mediocre or bad veneers if you don’t have to!

Curious about what sets a good veneer apart from a bad veneer? Here’s what you should know before taking the plunge into porcelain veneers.

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Botox From the Dentist?

You may never have known about it, but across America, there’s a controversy that’s been brewing for years involving a very popular cosmetic filler. That’s because, depending on where you live, your dentist may be able to inject you with the cosmetic filler Botox - and not everyone thinks it’s a good idea.

Here in California, dentists cannot inject patients with Botox for cosmetic purposes. Many other states have the same law. This was done to protect patients from practitioners who may not have the skills and training to administer Botox. However, dentists arguably know the muscles and nerves around the mouth and face better than any other type of doctor, including plastic surgeons.

The good news is that your dentist can inject you with Botox for medical purposes! In fact, you may never have realized it, but Botox can be used to help alleviate the pain from some very common dental issues.

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Smile Insecurities Affect Career Aspirations, Study Says

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_125240636.jpgA recent study by the American Dental Association has revealed some startling statistics about millennials and oral health. According to the study, titled "Oral Health and Well-Being in the United States," 29 percent of lower-income individuals and 28 percent of millennials admitted that insecurities about the health and appearance of their teeth have negatively affected their ability to interview for a new job.

"These numbers are very disheartening to hear, given the difficulty younger workers and lower-income workers have experienced entering the work force," says Dr. Martin Abelar, a dentist in San Diego, California. "These are definitely people we should be rooting for in the job market."

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New Stem Cell Treatment May Regrow Teeth

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_85060831.jpgIf you’ve ever lost an adult tooth, you already know your options for replacing that tooth are limited. Dentures, partials or bridges give you the look of having a tooth where one is missing, but they aren’t permanent and can still cause a great deal of insecurity to wearers. Dental implants are a more permanent solution, but their high cost can be prohibitive to some budgets, and they do carry a risk of implant failure that can cost the wearer portions of his or her jawbone. But a new procedure under development at Columbia University may provide a solution that patients will really want to sink their teeth into.

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Root Canals May Soon Be Enhanced With Nanodiamonds

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-12.jpgRoot canals are one of the most feared procedures a dental patient can undergo, but the root canals of today are a far cry from the painful procedures they used to be. Today’s root canals are quicker, less painful and have a higher success rate than procedures performed decades ago. In fact, many of today’s root canal procedures are about as simple and painless as getting a regular filling. Unfortunately, despite their reduced pain and higher success rate, there are still failed procedures - but a team from the UCLA School of Dentistry and UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have teamed up to try to improve the success rate of the root canal using particles known as nanodiamonds.

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Could Robots Replace Dentists?

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_631377275.jpgFor some patients in the United States, getting to a dentist poses a real challenge. In fact, according to Pew Charitable Trusts, nearly 50 million Americans have limited access to a dentist due to living in an area with a dentist shortage. So, what can be done to help people get the oral health care they need until there are more dentists to serve these rural areas? A clinic in Xian, Shaanxi, China, may have a solution.

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1551 Hits

Laser Treatment May Soon Replace Painful Gum Procedures

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_149625803.jpgFor patients with damaged or diseased gum tissue caused by advanced gum disease like periodontitis, treatment options have historically been very slim, and very painful. But a new laser-assisted treatment called "laser-assisted new attachment procedure," or LANAP, may be poised to change the periodontal surgery game forever.

Developed by Robert H. Gregg II and Delwin McCarthy, the LANAP procedure uses lasers to precisely cut away diseased gum tissue in the gum pocket without taking out healthy tissue in the process. This precision makes the procedure much less painful, and because it leaves healthy tissue behind, it allows the gums to heal faster and the areas with removed tissue to regenerate faster.

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1491 Hits

Four Ways to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter Instantly

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_96752179.jpg   Whiter teeth. Everyone wants them, but not everyone has the time or money to get them. So, what can you do if your teeth need a bit of a pick-me-up but you’re short on time and money? Try these quick tips for a whiter, brighter smile. 

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The Opportunities of a Smile

The Opportunities of a Smile

A study released by Princeton psychologists has determined that after looking at someone for only a tenth of a second, they make a judgment about their personality based solely on their appearance. That is faster than it takes the average person to blink.

The study found little hope of redemption for faces that received negative feedback. They discovered the original judgments, made in their one-tenth of a second glance, did not change after longer exposures to their faces.

The two most notable character traits they found affected in that split second glance were trustworthiness and attractiveness. Early theories on this suggest that we have learned the value of recognizing sincerity and knowing who is a trustworthy stranger very quickly throughout our evolution due to the nature of its importance.

This study is only one of thousands that point to the trend that physical attractiveness increases a person’s opportunity and quality of life. It is widely believed that people who are regarded as more attractive get more positive attention. They also have more confidence which leads to being perceived as even more attractive, as science has confirmed.

Ask any number of people walking down a busy intersection in San Diego what they notice first when meeting someone new and they will likely answer, "Their smile." Next time you are talking with someone new, pay attention to where your eyes drift as you converse. Most of us are drawn to the mouth, especially when they are speaking or if you are looking at a photograph.

People often make assumptions based off how often someone smiles. People are viewed as more reserved, safe and sometimes even negative that do not smile very often. Those who smile frequently are perceived as confident, fun and positive.

Not only is smiling important in person, but in an era of online resume sites and social media pages being such big players in our day-to-day lives, the average person's face is viewed much more than in was in generations past. Businesses devoted to helping people promote themselves on these platforms encourage users to feature profile pictures with open mouth smiles to increase positive perceptions. This can be hard for those who are not confident in the appearance of their teeth.

Dr. Martin Abelar, DDS, is in the business of creating beautiful smiles. He was trained at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, made famous by the show Extreme Makeover, and is on a mission to educate people on how accessible that perfect smile is to anyone who wants it.

"There’s a reason so much emphasis is placed on your smile being the first thing people notice about you. It’s because it’s true. A beautiful, white smile can be the difference between being remembered at that job interview or catching the eye of the person across the room you are attracted to. It opens doors to an entire world of opportunity that most people never even consider."

In fact, Dr. Abelar feels the sky is the limit. He even offers complete smile makeovers at his practice in San Diego. He says,

"In the past, people thought it was vain or shallow to put so much emphasis on appearance. Unless your teeth required a visit to the orthodontist, you got them cleaned regularly and were on your way. I don't think the average person even understands how much the field of dentistry has advanced and all the possibilities that exist now. I now encourage patients to bring in photos of their favorite celebrity smiles or maybe even a picture of a friend or family member whose smile they love, and we start there. Because, honestly, there is a world of possibilities and there is no reason we can't make that ‘shoot for the stars,' ‘something I have only dreamed of' smile happen for anyone who wants it."

As modern technology advances, it becomes easier to study what makes people act and react the way that they do. The information we gain from this can be life changing but it up us to decide what to do with it.

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1788 Hits

High Tech Advances at a Dental Office Near You

Rapid advances in technology are setting apart the dentists of yesterday from the dentists of today.  For those who haven’t been to the dentist in the last five years or more, you may be pleasantly surprised by the changes you see if you brave the trip to see Dr. Martin Abelar, a San Diego dentist specializing in cosmetic, family and neuromuscular dentistry.

The technology we have been able to adopt in our practice over the last few years is way beyond anything patients saw in years past.  We have replaced old school radiographs with lower radiation digital x-rays, and we have new dental instruments with laser technology that can detect cavities without poking and prodding at teeth.

We also have advanced intraoral cameras and laser imaging that can speed the computer aided modeling of potential crowns, veneers and other restorations, reducing the number of necessary appointments required to plan, create and place them in the patient’s mouths.

We also have largely transitioned to better bonding and filling materials that look and feel much more like natural teeth favoring composite resin over the amalgam fillings of the past.  These new materials are able to fill holes on the front and side surfaces of teeth with less drilling into the natural tooth surface.

Overall, Dr. Abelar believes that these advances will offer patients better preventive care, as well as less traumatic maintenance and restorative care.  Making that first step to get back into the dentist’s office can be scary when patients haven’t been in a while, but once they get here, we feel confident that they won’t stay away so long again.  The future is looking brighter, and so will their smiles.

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Rehab that Gets You Looking Fab

When a building isn’t properly maintained and goes into distress (the state at which it’s not legally habitable), engineers and construction crews work together to rehabilitate them for stability and aesthetics so they can return to normal functionality.  The same is possible for the human mouth.  Dr. Martin Abelar specializes in full mouth rehabilitation for people who haven’t been able to keep their smile in the condition they would like.

No matter what the functional or aesthetic problem a patient is facing, modern dentistry has the ability to solve it.  Dr. Abelar starts with a consultation to understand the patient’s desired outcome, and performs a dental cleaning, examination and takes impressions of the patient’s teeth as they are in their current state.

From the impressions, a 3D plaster mold of the current mouth state that will be used along with x-rays and discussion with the patient to generate a model of the mouth in its future state.  Any inlays, onlays, veneers and implants necessary to achieve the goal state will be hand crafted in a lab by a master craftsman and shipped to our office for the completion of the work.

Based on the type and amount of work needed to complete the full mouth rehabilitation, Dr. Abelar will discuss priorities for completion and our office will schedule appointments based on the time frame that will deliver the most optimal results.  To learn more about full mouth rehabilitation, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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Why Neuromuscular Dentistry?

Traditional dentistry deals specifically with oral problems affecting the teeth and gums, but there is a different school of thought in dentistry that the mouth is part of a musculoskeletal system, whose mechanics are impacted by the form and function of the jaw. Neuromuscular dentists like Dr. Martin Abelar undergo extensive training to understand the dynamics between the jaw and the rest of the musculoskeletal system and help patients with problems like migraine, head and neck pain, and spinal alignment.

Improper alignment of the temporomandibular joint can cause a domino effect of misaligned vertebrae from the back of the head all the way down the spine. A neuromuscular dentist approaches these problems by offering dental restorations to the jawline such as crowns and dental implants to restore the height of teeth, and orthodontic devices that can relieve pain caused by the improper alignment of the TMJ.

Neuromuscular dentists can help patients with a range of problems from sleep apnea to migraines, poor posture, back pain and more. To determine if neuromuscular dentistry could solve your health problems, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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The Top 10 Reasons to Get Porcelain Veneers

Between bondings, white fillings, veneers, braces and crowns there are so many different options available to deal with chipped and cracked or gap teeth.  It can be daunting to decide which is the best option for you.  This month, Dr. Martin Abelar is sharing the top 10 reasons to choose porcelain veneers:

10.          Veneers can address a variety of problems with the shape of teeth.  Whether a tooth has been damaged, stained or chipped, veneers can cosmetically provide a straight, perfectly shaped tooth or teeth that look straight, white and aesthetically pleasing.

9.            Once in place, porcelain veneers are semi-permanent.  The porcelain veneer is cemented to the tooth and provides the same strength and bite force as a normal healthy tooth.  The average porcelain veneer lasts at least 10 years but actually closer to 20 years before it needs to be replaced.

8.            Like crowns, porcelain veneers require no different care than regular teeth.  People who get porcelain veneers can brush, floss and rinse exactly the same as prior to their placement.

7.            Unlike bondings, the porcelain material used to make veneers is resistant to discoloration and staining.  As such, it is important to make sure that any whitening treatments you wish to do are completed prior to the preparation of your veneers.  Dr. Abelar will have the porcelain veneer colored to match your natural teeth, and once placed the color cannot be changed through bleaching or other whitening treatment.

6.            Veneers can be a convenient option to fill small gaps between teeth without the commitment of braces and aligners.

5.            Veneers do not require drilling into the jawbone or tooth root structure for placement.

4.            When working on multiple teeth, veneers are a less expensive option per tooth than crowns.

3.            Veneers can be measured, fitted and cemented in just three office visits.

2.            Veneers can serve the same function as fillings in preventing the spread of tooth decay.

1.            Veneers can provide the smooth, flawless, symmetrical shape resistant to wear and tear.

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2627 Hits

The 3 Types of Teeth Discoloration

Teeth whitening is by far the most popular cosmetic dental treatment sought out by people looking to improve their smiles.  Dr. Martin Abelar offers in-office laser whitening treatments as well as at home bleaching kits with custom bleaching trays.

To best protect their investment in teeth whitening, it is important for patients to understand the three kinds of teeth discoloration so that they can change their habits to stave off further discoloration.

Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration is the most well-known type of discoloration.  Extrinsic tooth discoloration is when the outer layer of the teeth gets stained by repeated exposure to cigarette smoking, red wine, coffee, tea, and dark colored soda.  Minimizing consumption of these substances and brushing immediately after drinking or smoking can help slow or prevent this kind of staining.

Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration occurs when the inner layer of the teeth (the dentin) takes on a yellowish tone.  This can be the result to too much fluoride exposure at a young age, internal bleeding of the tooth or birth defects.  The dental patient has less control over these variables, but knowing if you have this type of tooth discoloration can be indicative of what kind of results can be achieved through teeth whitening efforts.

Age-related Tooth Discoloration is the result of both extrinsic and intrinsic tooth discoloration over time.  With age the teeth enamel gets thinner and yellower naturally causing the yellow dentin to show through.

Teeth whitening is a process that bleaches the outer layer of the teeth, and results will vary depending upon the type and severity of discoloration the patient has.  To schedule a consultation with Dr. Abelar, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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"We fix $5 haircuts."

There's an old marketing story about a barber shop in a small town that has provided high-quality haircuts and service at a fair price for many years.  One day, a new chain barber shop opens up across the street and starts advertising haircuts for $5.  The other barber is quite concerned because he knows he can never compete with that price and provide any kind of quality for his customers. And he has no interest in compromising his standards.

He knows the $5 haircut barber is not providing the same quality service that he is, since it's simply not possible at that price.  So he comes up with a brilliant plan to get his customers back.  He places a sign in front of his shop that says, “We fix $5 haircuts." 

The story underscores what many of us struggle with as consumers.  We want the best service for our money and (especially in this economy) we must carefully manage that aspect of our lives.  Cosmetic dentistry has always been subject to price competition, and because of that the quality providers tend to be very close in their fees. 

As with all services though, there are those that offer discount bonding and veneers and try to make it work by increasing volume and using suspect dental labs and inferior materials.  Considering the state of the market it would be tempting for any cosmetic dentist to employ these tactics and provide that type of service.  Sometimes for the patient it is just the only way at the time. At some point, we have all been a position where we have had to make compromises based on price. 

The problem arises when people do not understand the differences, and what they are getting into, and end up with something completely different than what they expected.  They learn quickly that there are huge differences in materials, techniques, laboratory fees and case design.  All of this affects the final outcome in terms of appearance, functionality and longevity.  Porcelain veneers should look natural and age appropriate and it can be done with proper experience of the doctor.

If you have been disappointed with the results of your cosmetic dentistry, gives us a call and see if we can help.  A lot of what I do is re-doing old work or work that didn’t come out so well.  There is no need to hate your smile and the solution might be easier than you think.

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When a Tooth is Chipped

A chipped tooth can feel like “No Man’s Land.” It’s not fully broken and that can mean an extraction would be unnecessary. If multiple front teeth are chipped, a great solution is porcelain veneers. These days we normally associate porcelain veneers with elective cosmetic dentistry. In this case, there are a lot of practical reasons for the veneers as well as a cosmetic need to make your smile look right again.

When only part of a tooth is lost, or if it is only chipped, the remaining part of the tooth can be healthy. You do not want to disturb the enamel or the healthy part of the inner tooth if possible. In these cases the solution is to encase the tooth as much as possible to maintain a healthy tooth. In doing this, there is an opportunity to make cosmetic corrections.

Dental veneers that are created by an experienced cosmetic dentist can lengthen teeth, increase whiteness and generally improve the smile. When using veneers to treat a chipped tooth, I use my skills as cosmetic dentist to make sure that we are making the most of the work being done. If through using veneers we can make improvements to the smile, I consult with the patient to let them know the opportunities I see. This can turn the negative experience of a chipped tooth or teeth into a chance to enhance the smile.

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3172 Hits