Signs You May Need a Crown | Walnut Creek Dentist

Many patients are unaware of the signs that signal you need a dental crown, generally because we will tough through any dental pain we may have until we can’t take it. In order to treat your teeth as soon as possible and avoid further damage, dental professionals strongly suggest looking for the following three signs that indicate you need a dental crown. After all, the sooner you seek treatment, the more likely it won’t develop into further issues down the line:

Deep cracks. If you have a deep crack in your tooth, it is very likely that you will need a dental crown. Deep cracks allow for bacteria to build up and make its way to the nerve of the tooth which can cause breakage and permanent tooth loss.

Chipped tooth. A chipped tooth can also be a sign that you are in need of a dental crown. Because strong and healthy teeth do not chip, the reason for the chip will be discussed and decide if a crown is necessary to restore the function of your tooth.

Multiple cavities. The more cavities you have on a tooth, the more your tooth is susceptible to damage and decay. This is a given we are all aware of. And if you are not able to solve your dental problem with a dental filling, a dental crown will most likely be necessary.

If you feel some type of tooth pain, avoid waiting until you can’t stand it anymore and make a dental appointment to find out if the signs indicate that you are in need of a dental crown.

For more information about dental crowns, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Bringing Bruxism to a Grinding Halt | Walnut Creek Dentist

When you wake up in the morning with headaches, it is likely that you are grinding your teeth in your sleep. The wisest thing to do is seek treatment, because ignoring the situation will begin to cause dental issues. Referred to as “TMJ” (temporomandibular joint), bruxism can cause damage to the temporomandibular joint (the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the upper jaw) if not properly treated.

The majority of people who clench also tend to grind their teeth. Grinding is when you slide your teeth over each other in a back and forth, sideways movement. The interesting fact about this is that you are likely unaware that you do it and will pointed out by a significant other. If left untreated, this grinding can wear down your teeth. The cause of bruxism is not completely known, but many agree that stress and anxiety play a major role.

So how do you treat it? There are lots of treatment options when it comes to bruxism. Stress reduction and anxiety management are methods used to treat bruxism and reduce the symptoms, but a night guard is the quickest treatment method. A night guard is a horseshoe-shaped, plastic appliance with shallow borders that can be worn on either the top or the bottom teeth to protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching and grinding. There are plenty of options available, and all will be effective at preventing your teeth from wearing down as you sleep, but when properly made by your dentist, it can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw.

For more information about bruxism, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

What You Should Expect from a Dental Implant Procedure | Walnut Creek Dentist

dental implants

If you’ve been told that you need to have your teeth removed or already have missing teeth, it may be time to consider what type of dental procedure you want to replace those damaged or missing teeth. With dental implants, you’ll need to discuss your individual case with a dental implant specialist and you will be provided with the following information:

  • The cost and what it includes
  • Potential risks and benefits of dental implants
  • If dental sedation is offered
  • How many appointments will be required
  • Aftercare requirements

You may be required to visit the dentist office two or three times, and also may have x-rays or CT scans done. During this time, your top and bottom teeth/jaws meet will also be accessed. This is done to allow the dental technician to replicate the way your jaw moves in the dental lab when they are finishing your permanent crown.

Once examined, your dentist will drill a hole into your bone to match the exact diameter of the implant. Then, the dental implant will be placed into the hole and your gums will be stitched over the top, and you’ll have some type of temporary tooth replacement.

During the healing phase, your gums will heal over the implant and the dental implant itself will integrate into the jawbone over 3-6 months. Your missing teeth will then be replaced with the final crown, which is cemented or screwed onto the dental implant.

Afterwards, you take care of your dental implant just the way you would your natural teeth – brush twice a day for two minutes, floss, use a mouthwash, and visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.

For more information about dental implants, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

How Bad Is Gum Disease Really? | Walnut Creek Dentist

If you’re not keeping up with good oral hygiene, harmful bacteria can lead to gum disease, which is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Though the harmful effects of gum disease have been well documented and highly publicized over the past few years, people still don’t seem to realize how detrimental gum disease can truly be. Not only can gum disease cause bleeding gums and tooth loss, but recent studies have shown that it may also be linked to major health problems. Here are a few ways gum disease can affect your overall health:

Heart. Although the cause-and-effect link has not been identified, research indicates that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and worsens existing heart conditions.

Respiratory system. The bacteria that grows in your mouth can be inhaled, causing respiratory infections including pneumonia, especially if they are suffering from gum disease.

Blood sugar. People who have diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease because they are more susceptible to infection, and research has found that gum disease can lead to increased blood sugar and diabetic complications.

Memory. Some research has suggested that people with gum disease may be at a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, others suggest that gum disease may be associated with mild cognitive impairment, such as memory problems that make daily life or tasks more difficult.

Conceiving. Aside from pregnant woman having increased risks of developing to gum disease, one study shows that gum disease can also cause problems with conception, making it harder to become pregnant, another study states it may increase the chances of miscarriage.

For more information about gum disease, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

It’s April. Visit the Dentist | Walnut Creek Dentist

April is known as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s a scary statistic, but approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. And believe it or not, your dentist is not only the expert in this diagnosis, but often the first line of defense against oral cancer, through the process of early detection and discovery.

These are frightening facts, but oral cancer will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about on a regular basis such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Although smoking and tobacco use is still the main cause of oral cancer, especially with the development of vapes, the fastest growing segment are actually young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus.

Because oral cancer is such a major risk factor for everyone, it is important to make sure to regularly visit the dentist in order to get oral cancer screenings. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Not only will you ensure you haven’t developed oral cancer, but you will also maintain healthy dental practices with a thorough professional cleaning and examination. Proactive measures taken is not only going to keep your smile healthy, but also nice and clean.

For more information about oral cancer, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Is It Time for Dentures? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When something traumatizes your teeth, there is a good chance tooth loss has taken place. And while there is no reason to fret, there are options to repair your grin. One of these options is dentures. Unfortunately, the only one who can really tell if it’s time for you to get dentures is your dentist, so if something happens to your smile, it’s time to make a dental appointment for a quick checkup. Your dental professional will have the expert knowledge and expertise to suggest dentures after a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. If dentures are suggested, there are several denture options available and she will help you decide which is best for you. The following are some signs that you are a good candidate for dentures:

Severe tooth decay. if the teeth are decayed beyond repair, then they will need to be pulled. If it’s only a few teeth, a bridge can be used. If a majority of the teeth are decayed or missing, a full denture would be needed.

Physical injury. People with sports injuries or accidents which lead to tooth loss.

Periodontal disease. If teeth and gums are left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Keep your dental health up by practicing proper dental hygiene.

Thanks to the modern advancements in technology, dentures are not what they used to be. There are several options available from different shapes, sizes, colors and the new implant supported dentures. They are custom fitted to give you the smile you have always wanted, and no one will have to know you are wearing dentures.

For more information about dentures, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Strawberries: A Sweet Alternative to Whitening | Corona, CA

Man with white teeth eating strawberryWe can all admit that we can feel pretty lucky to be able to live here in the great state of California. The weather is lovely year ‘round, there are plenty of things to do on any given day and we have the most beautiful scenery anywhere you look. But more than that, we have some of the most delicious foods around in our great state. One of the biggest of these prides is the California strawberry.

Yes, the strawberry seems to flourish in our lovely climate and have become an important part of our coastal landscape. So much so, that March 21st is known as National California Strawberry Day. And in honor of this special occasion, let’s take a look at the benefits these magical little berries bring our happy smiles, not only by flavoring some of our favorite dishes, but by brightening its shade.

Now, I know the first instinct is to think about picking strawberry seeds out of our teeth, but strawberries have citric and malic acid, which are great for breaking down staining that is occurring from things like smoking or drinking too many dark beverages. And the formula is fairly simple – take a bit of baking soda (yes, like your current toothpaste), crush up some strawberries to create a type of paste and apply it to your teeth for five minutes. After the five minutes, gently scrub your teeth like you would typically. Do this once a week and you will notice that your teeth aren’t staining as quickly as they used to. As for the seeds that may have gotten stuck – sounds like an ideal time to practice flossing technique.

For more information about strawberries, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Smile Makeovers Can Improve Your Life | Walnut Creek Dentist

If you’re one of the many people that needs more than one dental procedure to improve your smile, a smile makeover may be the perfect choice for you. A smile makeover is the process of improving the overall appearance of the smile of a single person through a series of cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as dental veneers, dental implants, teeth whitening, tooth colored fillings, etc. Not only are you improving the look of your smile, but a smile makeover will also have additional benefits:

Self-esteem and confidence. Increasing self-esteem and confidence are one of the main reasons that people are opting for smile makeovers in the first place. There is no shame in spending money to improve your smile, especially when it includes a boost to your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Corrected bites. There are many cases, especially in orthodontics, braces and invisible braces like Invisalign aren’t just used for aesthetic reasons. Many times smile makeovers are done to correct a bite, which can also help improve or fix the function of a patient’s teeth and help prevent gum disease.

Jaw atrophy prevention. Patients with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants, which are great for preventing jaw atrophy, also known as jawbone deterioration. Dental implants also maintain a youthful and beautiful smile.

Tooth decay and cavity prevention. When a patient’s teeth are chipped or broken, have excessive gaps in between teeth, or cavities, it can all eventually lead to worsening dental problems. While cavity fillings are not a cosmetic dentistry procedure, having a tooth-colored fillings or porcelain crowns seamlessly blend with your natural teeth, which means patients no longer have to sacrifice aesthetics over function when it comes to preventing further dental complications.

For more information about smile makeovers, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

Keeping Your Cavities at Bay | Walnut Creek Dentist

Oral HealthNo matter the age, no one wants to hear they have a cavity. Not only do you need to go to the dentist, but you now know you aren’t doing a great job taking care of your teeth. Fortunately, cavities can be avoided. In fact, there are many things you can do to get rid of cavities before they even appear. Here are the top five things on how to prevent cavities:

Brush daily. It may seem to be the obvious way to prevent cavities but by brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice daily, your chances of getting a cavity drops significantly. Also, be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride for the best results.

Floss. Most often food debris gets caught in between teeth while eating and flossing will get rid of the trapped debris before it turns into a cavity.

Use mouthwash. Rinsing with a mouthwash that has been clinically proven to reduce plaque can help get rid of bacteria that causes cavities quickly and effectively.

Eat healthy. Proper nutrition plays an essential role in good dental health. Eating and drinking nutritious snacks instead of those that aren’t good for us will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth.

Regular check-ups. Dental x-rays, check-ups and cleanings with your dentist are all vitally important to good oral hygiene and ensures that you get rid of cavities quickly and effectively. Visit your dentist twice a year for your checkup.

Cavity prevention is really easy – it just takes a little extra attention to your oral health. Work these five steps into your dental hygiene practices and your teeth will stay healthy and cavity-free.

For more information about cavities, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.

When It’s Time to Get Dentures | Walnut Creek Dentist

People can lose their natural teeth for a myriad of reasons, but none of those times are a pleasant experience. It could be due to injury, tooth decay or a number of different oral health problems. And if this is the case, you have probably been approached about getting dentures, or removable artificial replacements for missing teeth. Although dentures may take some getting used to and won’t ever feel exactly like your natural teeth, they have become more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable than ever before. Because there are three main types of dentures, which you need will depend on your situation:

Full dentures. Full dentures are used to replace a patient’s full set of missing teeth, the upper arch, lower arch or both. A set of artificial teeth a permanently a gum-colored base and are either kept in place by suction or by an adhesive.

Partial dentures. Partial dentures are used in cases where a patient’s missing multiple teeth are not located in a single arch. Partial dentures are attached to metal clasps and the artificial teeth present your remaining natural teeth from shifting and becoming misaligned.

Implant dentures. Implant supported dentures are secured in place by dental implants, instead of just resting on your gums like traditional ones. Dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone and your dentures snap onto them, preventing them from shifting around while you talk and eat. Unfortunately, for dental implants to be successful, a patient must have adequate jaw bone structure, so these aren’t always available to everyone.

For more information about dentures, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serve patients from Walnut Creek and all surrounding areas.