Dentures: A Natural New Smile | Walnut Creek Dentist

When we lose teeth, we visit the dentist and they discuss a variety of ways in which to repair our smile. One if these ways is dentures. It may seem like your smile is about to change but worry not – today dentures are not the clunky, uncomfortable replacement smile you used to know. In fact, no one will even know your smile has changed at all.

For those individuals who are missing all of their teeth on the upper and lower jaw, complete dentures may be perfect for your dental situation. Conventional dentures will allow you to achieve your ideal smile eight to 12 weeks after your visit. If only missing a few teeth, partial dentures will give you a natural smile by inserting a metal bridge in the vacant area and securing the bridge with metal clasps.

Implant-supported dentures are a type of denture which involves the process of getting implants in the mouth to help fully support the denture. This type of denture is made mostly for individuals who don’t have any teeth in the jaw but have enough bones in the jaw to support the implants. The whole process takes about five months for the upper jaw and seven months for the lower jaw to complete.

All in all, two surgeries will take place for the implants to be screwed in and fully healed before the dentures are actually fitted and placed in the mouth. Once the dentures are fitted for the mouth, you will be able to snap them in and take them out whenever you please, making them comfortable and natural-looking.

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

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

Thanksgiving’s Secret Weapon: The Cranberry | Walnut Creek Dentist

As we prepare ourselves for the biggest food fest of the year, it is important to remember that the main reason for the season is to give thanks for everything, and everyone, you have in your life. It is the perfect day for family, football and fabulous foods. But there is one food in particular that your smile is most excited to see – the cranberry. Now we know that dark food and drinks can eventually begin to stain your teeth, but this tiny berry has an additional benefit to your teeth that you may not be aware of…and it’s worth having another helping on your plate.

When it comes to cavities, it isn’t exactly the sugars that are causing the issues. The sugars in our diets are used as food for us, but also for the bad bacteria in our mouth. It is these bacteria that is hiding in the crevices of our teeth, waiting for you to feed them. Once you have that slice of pumpkin pie, they have their meal.

According to Dr. Koo from the University of Rochester, the cranberry has compounds that disrupt enzymes known as glucosyltransferases that bacteria use to build glucans. Without its glucans, S. mutans and other bad bacteria in plaque becomes vulnerable, making it difficult to attack tooth enamel.

So, when you are filling your plate, make sure you are aware that starch and sugar are what is causing tooth decay. But we have a little secret weapon on our table that can help turn that around while we are waiting to brush. Enjoy the holiday and your loved ones…

For more information about cavity prevention, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

When It’s Time to Get a Filling | Walnut Creek Dentist

Happy Halloween! As we embark on the night of sweet confections, it is important to remember that we need to keep up our dental routines in order to maintain a healthy mouth. Otherwise, we may get cavities, which will result in needing a filling.

Once cavities start to develop you must have the decayed areas of the tooth removed and filled with a durable material. The choices you are offered to fill the void are composite filling or silver amalgam, more commonly known as silver fillings. Before there were composite filling, the only filling choice patients had was the traditional silver fillings. Fortunately, there have been many advances in dentistry and now there is a more aesthetically pleasing option with composite fillings, also known as tooth-colored fillings. First, let’s take a look at composite fillings…

Pros:

  • Preserves more of your natural tooth
  • No health risks with composite fillings
  • Composite fillings can be matched to your natural tooth
  • Reports of less post-treatment sensitivity and discomfort

Cons:

  • Composite fillings are higher in cost
  • Tooth colored fillings require more skill on your dentist’s part

And now, for the silver amalgam options…

Pros:

  • Silver fillings are lower is cost due to the materials used
  • Doesn’t require special tools or techniques to be placed
  • Longer lasting compared to tooth colored fillings
  • Take less time to place

Cons:

  • Temperature changes in the mouth can cause the silver fillings to contract or expand over time
  • Silver amalgam is noticeable
  • Some patients fear the potential danger of mercury found in the material
  • More of the natural tooth has to be removed

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

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

Gum Disease Is a Total Body Issue | Walnut Creek Dentist

When we don’t take care of ourselves, illnesses will arise. Bacteria gets into our system and begins to break it down. And believe it or not, good oral hygiene is pertinent to keeping your bodies healthy. Harmful bacteria can lead to gum disease, an infection of the tissue that surrounds and supports your teeth. The following represents just a few ways gum disease can affect your overall health:

Your heart. Several studies have shown that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and worsen existing heart conditions.

Your lungs. Studies have shown that the bacteria growing in your mouth can be ingested into your lungs, resulting in infections like pneumonia.

Your blood. As it is, keeping your blood sugar at a normal level is tough, especially with all the delicious food within arm’s reach, but the odds of you developing gum disease is more likely to occur. This is probably because those with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, and that includes gum disease. And to come full circle, gum disease can lead to increased blood sugar and diabetic complications.

Your brain. Some research has suggested there is a link between gum disease and the risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Other research has suggested that gum disease may also be associated with mild cognitive impairment, making daily life more difficult.

If you’re suffering from gum disease, make sure to keep it under control by brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing once, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, remember to visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.

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

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

Dental Options for Missing Teeth | Walnut Creek

Our smiles are a very important aspect to our personalities. Not only is it the first thing people see when we meet, but it helps us eat and speak. So, when something goes wrong and we lose a tooth, the first thing we do is panic. But worry not – there are solutions to this dental mishap. Here is a quick rundown:

Partial dentures. Partial dentures are used in patients that are missing more than one tooth. This type of denture is made with a plastic base or a metal framework that supports the number of teeth that need replacing. Partial dentures made with metal framework is the traditional design, due to the strength of the metal, while plastic dentures are typically used for emergency or as temporary replacements.

Complete dentures. This type of denture is used cases where patients are missing a full set of teeth, either on the top jaw, bottom jaw or both. Complete dentures are made of plastic base that’s colored to replicate your gum tissue and supports a full set of plastic or porcelain teeth. They are held in place by forming a seal with the gums or attaching them to dental implants.

Dental implants. This dental procedure is commonly used in cases where patients are missing teeth located towards the front of their mouth. An artificial tooth is anchored to the implant, which is integrated into the structure of your bone, ensuring the longevity of your dental implant.

Only a professional will be able to determine the right course of action to take for your individual needs. If you lose a tooth, make a dental appointment as soon as possible.

For more information about dry mouth, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

Dry Mouth Relief Is Simple | Walnut Creek Dentist

Does your mouth often feel dry? Does it feel that way in the morning? Does it last all day? It may not seem like a big deal, and many times it isn’t, but dry mouth is a condition that may be a sign of something serious. Things like certain health conditions, snoring, smoking, dehydration and sinus issues all have been linked to cause xerostomia, or dry mouth. But before you panic, here are some ways you can try to cure the symptoms on your own:

Stay hydrated. It is good to try and drink at least 8 glasses every day. Not only will it improve your dry mouth, but it will also improve your skin and digestion.

Chew gum. Saliva production can be improved by simply popping a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth.

Just say no. Avoid smoking and/or drug use as they can cause your mouth to dry out. If you take medications, consult your physician. Certain meds can cause xerostomia.

Humidify your sleep. If you find that dry mouth happens most while you sleep, try using a humidifier to moisturize the room. If it doesn’t improve, you may need a sleep study to diagnose any sleep issues.

Diet changes. Both alcoholic and caffeinated beverages have a tendency to dry out your mouth. Salty and spicy foods will also enhance the issue. Indulging in these should be done in moderation so as not to exacerbate any symptoms.

Keep brushing. Dry mouth gives bacteria more time to find a place to set up shop and cause a myriad of dental issues. Maintaining daily dental routines will help prevent that from happening.

For more information about dry mouth, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

The Name Is Bond. Dental Bond | Walnut Creek Dentist

tooth fillings

Summertime is the ideal time to be outside, getting active and having a great time with friends and family. But during these times you may run into an accident or two – accidents that can damage your teeth. Thankfully, a dental visit can likely remedy any tooth that may have been cracked, broken or damaged from decay. There are a variety of procedures that can repair any tooth damage, one being dental bonding.

Now, we know that there are many things that can lead to dental bonding, but what does it entail? Don’t worry – little advance preparation is needed for dental bonding. Anesthesia won’t even be necessary, unless the bonding is being used to fill a decayed tooth.

First, your dentist will use a shade guide to closely match the color of your tooth. The surface of the tooth will then be roughened and conditioned to help the bonding material adhere to the tooth. The tooth-colored, putty-like resin is then applied, molded, and smoothed to the desired shape. An ultraviolet light or laser is then used to harden the material. After the material is hardened, your dentist will further trim and shape it, and polish it to match the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface. All in all, a typical dental bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes per tooth to complete.

Not only does dental bonding repair chipped or cracked teeth, but it is also recommended for those individuals who suffer from tooth discoloration. Avoid suffering from stains that never seem to go away no matter how hard you try because dental bonding will allow you to achieve your ideal, bright smile.

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

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

Porcelain Veneers Are Your Best Bet | Walnut Creek Dentist

When looking to improve your smile, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all of the options available. One option would be getting porcelain veneers, or the superhero of cosmetic dentistry. These fingernail-thin shells are bonded directly over the teeth in question. And if taken care of properly, can last a lifetime. Not only will they immediately improve your smile, but they can improve a number is dental issues, including covering stains, fixing minor misalignments, or repairing a chipped or misshapen tooth. Still not convinced? Here are several reasons that may change your mind…

Natural looking. Porcelain is a translucent material that mimics the light reflective properties of your natural tooth, creating more natural-looking results. No one will ever know they aren’t your teeth!

General repairs. Porcelain veneers can repair broken, chipped or misshapen teeth, thus improving your overall smile.

Fill in gaps. Porcelain veneers can be customized to repair your smile by filling in unsightly gaps.

Conservative. Porcelain veneers are considered a less invasive procedure since less of your natural is required to be removed.

Stain-resistant. Porcelain doesn’t change color over time, and is resistant to classic stains like coffee, soda, tea and smoke.

Durable. Porcelain veneers are extremely durable; the strength is comparable to natural tooth enamel.

Customizable. The shape, size, and color of your porcelain veneers are all customizable.

Long-lasting. If you take care of your porcelain veneers properly, they can last a lifetime.

Dramatic results. Porcelain veneers produce fast and dramatic results. What could be better than that?

For more information about porcelain veneers, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

Cosmetic vs. Aesthetic Dentistry: What’s the Difference? | Walnut Creek Dentist

Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance but not always the function, of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite. Many dentists refer to themselves as “cosmetic dentists” no matter their specific education, specialty, training, and experience in this field. The American Dental Association (ADA) does not recognize cosmetic dentistry as a formal specialty area of dentistry. However, there are still dentists that promote themselves as cosmetic dentists.

There are only two dental specialties that mainly focus on dental aesthetics or cosmetics: Prosthodontics and Orthodontics. In aesthetic dentistry, the dentist is more focused on restoring teeth to their normal appearance as found in nature. Whereas cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the color, shape or arrangement of teeth to make things look better to the eye of the beholder.

Instead of categorizing procedures into “cosmetic” vs. “aesthetic”, a better way is to distinguish between minimally invasive and traditional cosmetic dentistry. Tooth-friendly cosmetic dentistry generally does nothing irreversible to the teeth, teeth whitening, resin bonding, or short-term orthodontics, where the results are reversible. These types of treatments are unlikely to jeopardize your long-term dental health.

In contrast, traditional cosmetic dentistry can include porcelain veneers, crowns, bridges – anything that involves drilling away a significant volume of otherwise healthy tooth. These treatments need to be re-done every so often and usually are also associated with an increased risk of the treated tooth requiring root treatment in future. The key factor here is once you have them, you are stuck with them for life.

For more information about cosmetic dentistry, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

Gum Disease in Three Stages | Walnut Creek Dentist

Believe it or not, but close to 75% of Americans will experience some form of gum disease within their lifetime. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. This is why it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by bacteria found in plaque, or that sticky colorless film that forms on your teeth. This plaque will build up and the bacteria will infect not only your gums and teeth, but your gum tissue and bone that supports your teeth. So, before it gets to that point, let’s take a look at the three stages as it progresses:

Gingivitis. This first stage of gum diseases is termed gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that’s caused by plaque build-up at your gum line. When you don’t brush and floss daily to remove plaque it produces toxins that irritates your gum tissue. This is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible since it hasn’t affected the connective tissue and bone.

Periodontitis. This is the stage where the supporting bone and tissues are irreversibly damaged. Your gums start to form pockets below the gum line, which in turn traps plaque and food debris. With proper treatment and improved home care you can typically prevent further damage.

Advanced periodontitis. Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease, the tissues and supporting bone are destroyed, which lead your teeth to shift and loosen. This stage affects your bite, and if treatment can’t save your teeth, they may need to be removed.

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

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