Give Your Smile the Royal Treatment | Walnut Creek Dentist

We all need to take care of our smiles if we want to have the best smiles throughout our lives. So, this means brushing, flossing and rinsing with a mouthwash daily. It also means visiting the dentist on a regular basis in order to ensure your efforts are keeping your mouth healthy. Unfortunately, there are life events that can happen that cause our smiles to become flawed. When this happens, you may need to have some type of dental procedure done in order to repair your grin. This may be done with a dental crown.

Dental crowns are one of the most common restorations that an individual can undergo in order to give your smile the ideal makeover. The procedure, though quite simple, may bring up questions. Discuss any questions or concerns you may have prior to the procedure being done. Here are just a few basics:

  • Crowns are used to fix cracked teeth. A cracked tooth may be evident when it hurts to bite down.
  • There are other options to getting a crown, like a filling. However, if the crack is large enough, it may require a crown in the future.
  • If you wait with a chipped tooth, it may lead to a root canal treatment rather than a crown.
  • Root canals are not necessary in order to undergo a crown treatment.
  • If your filling covers about 2/3 or the tooth, you will probably need a crown to rest on top of it to ensure a full recovery of the tooth.

For more information about dental crowns, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

I Need to Fix My Smile. What Are My Options? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When we have a flawed smile, it is tough for us to find a reason to smile. It becomes an issue with self-esteem and encounters within social circles. We would do anything for a Hollywood smile. Thankfully, there are lots of ways your smile can be made over to rival any actor. All you need is a dental appointment.

With cosmetic and restorative dentistry, you and your dental professional will develop a dental treatment program that will fix your dental issues to give you the smile you are looking for. Learning your personal history, your present condition of oral health and wellness and your future expectations helps to establish which type of treatment options are right for you; whether it is preventative care, aesthetic treatments or restorative dentistry.

But what exactly entails cosmetic dentistry? It is a wide array of procedures focused on not only improving the appearance of your smile, but also preventing issues from developing down the road. Whether you have a cracked or missing tooth, or some issues with gum disease that will result in tooth loss, there is a dental procedure that will address your issue. The following is just an example of some of the treatment options available:

  • Crowns and bridges
  • Bonding
  • Root canal therapy
  • Gum disease therapy
  • Restorative fillings
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures and partials

Dr. Barmby and Dr. Frick are committed to ensuring your optimal oral health and well-being.  Schedule an appointment today for a comprehensive exam and start on the road to a healthier, beautiful smile you will be proud to show off to the world.

For more information about cosmetic dentistry, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

Are Painless Dental Appointments Possible? | Walnut Creek Dentist

If you ask 85% of Americans to name their biggest fears regarding their health, they will say, “I hate the dentist”. If you ask why that is, it will be one of two things: the needles or that numbness that seems to last long after the procedure is complete. Unfortunately, there are a lot of needles used in your typical dentist office, and in order to help relieve your anxiety, some type of sedation is administered during the visit. And for many, this makes something as simple as a dental check-up a dreaded fact of life.

Thankfully, there have been a lot of advancements in the world of dental procedures. Now we utilize the digital age by working with technologies like lasers, digital radiology & impressions, and even social media. But the biggest, and most incredible, example of these developments is laser technology. In 2012, Convergent Dental introduced an isotopic CO₂ dental laser that can perform more than 95% of restorative treatment WITHOUT the use of needles. No need for needles, no need for anesthesia.

But what if you are one of those patients that will forever have a problem relaxing with a dentist? We know you’re nervous, but now we can offer you an oral sedative to settle those nerves enough for you to get through your visit, without IV sedatives or general anesthesia. We make it our business to provide you with the smile of your dreams, while making you feel comfortable at each visit by utilizing every type of dental technology available. So, don’t be afraid. We aren’t your grandparents’ dentist anymore…

For more information about dental anxiety, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

Gum Disease Comes in Stages | Walnut Creek Dentist

Believe it or not, having gum disease isn’t a life sentence. It can be treated, but the earlier it is caught, the earlier it is to treat. Unfortunately, it isn’t something that can be diagnosed without the untrained eye. This is why it is not only important to keep up with a proper dental hygiene routine, but to visit the only person that can help with your developing gum disease – your dentist.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is caused by bacteria found in plaque, or that weird film that forms on your teeth if you haven’t brushed. If the plaque is not removed, the bacteria will infect not only your gums and teeth, but your gum tissue and bone that supports your teeth. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up at your gum line. 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, where the tissues and supporting bone are destroyed and can affect your bite. Unfortunately, if treatment can’t save your teeth, they may be need to be removed.

For more information about gum disease, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

Not All Cosmetic Dentistry Is the Same | Walnut Creek Dentist

When we think of cosmetic dentistry, we generally think of dental work done to improve the look of a smile. And while it’s true – cosmetic dentistry is generally any dental work that improves the appearance, but it also improves the function of a person’s teeth, gums or bite. And while many dentists refer to themselves as cosmetic dentists, there are only two dental specialties that mainly focus on dental aesthetics, or cosmetics – prosthodontics and orthodontics. But what is the difference?

In aesthetic dentistry, the dentist is more focused on restoring teeth to their natural appearance, while cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the color, shape or arrangement of teeth. In other words, cosmetic dental procedures make things look better to the eye of the beholder.

But instead of categorizing these procedures by cosmetic and aesthetic, let’s focus on thinking about them as tooth-friendly (minimally invasive / conservative) and traditional (aggressive) cosmetic dentistry. Tooth-friendly cosmetic dentistry generally does nothing irreversible to the teeth and focuses on treatments such as tooth whitening, resin bonding, or short-term orthodontics. The results of these treatments are reversible and unlikely to jeopardize your long-term dental health. With tooth-friendly treatments, the goal is to make an improvement but not true perfection.

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 carry with them a “need to be re-done” every so often and are usually 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 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

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

Why You Should Consider Getting Inlays and Onlays | Walnut Creek Dentist

We all want to have our best smiles. It is one of the first impressions one makes on a daily basis, so having a flawed one can cause issues, not only to our overall appearance, but to our self-esteem. So, if our teeth have become victim to issues like decay or cavities, we enlist our dentist to help us out. Thankfully, there are several ways to go about repairing teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay or cavities, and those restorative options include inlays and onlays. But, which is best?

Inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach than dental crowns are because they don’t require as much of your natural tooth to be removed. This procedure is also considered less invasive an in some cases, which is going to be a better choice for patients. But there are many benefits that stem from inlays and onlays:

Natural looking. Inlays and onlays are made up of a mixture of porcelain and composite resin, which creates a more natural looking appearance.

Durability. Since inlays and onlays are made from a stronger material than crowns, they typically last longer and provide additional support.

Tooth preservation. Because they don’t require your dentist to remove as much of your natural tooth structure, inlays and onlays preserve more of your natural tooth.

Hygiene. Custom-made for each individual tooth, inlays and onlays are easier to clean and bacteria is less likely to get into the affected area after treatment.

Expansion. Inlays and onlays don’t expand and contract in the same way as filling materials, reducing the stresses on the tooth.

For more information about inlays and onlays, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Getting a Crown Without Being Royal | Walnut Creek Dentist

We would all like to believe that we try to keep our teeth as healthy and clean as possible, but there are times when we are unaware of any dental issues that may be presenting themselves. This is why it is important to maintain regular dental visits in order to ensure we are on the right track. Sure, we may see that we need a good cleaning or a tooth that needs to be looked at, but many patients are unaware of the signs that signal a dental crown:

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. Because strong and healthy teeth do not chip, your tooth will need an examination to determine the reason for the chip 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. If your dental problem cannot be solved with a dental filling, a dental crown will most likely be necessary.

Avoid any further dental issues from arising and call a dental professional if you experience any signs that indicate that you are in need of a dental crown. Drs. Barmby and Frick are experts in preforming dental crowns and other dental restoration to return your smile back to its healthiest.

For more information about dental crowns, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

There Is a Cure for Your Teeth Grinding | Walnut Creek Dentist

tmj disorder walnut creekDo you wake up with a headache each day? Do you ever wonder why your jaw hurts so much first thing in the morning? Chances are, you have developed a case of bruxism, or the clenching together of your teeth. Clenching causes pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other surrounding structures of the jaw, which results in various pain in the jaw, neck, ear and head. Because your muscles are so tense, if not treated, your teeth will begin to wear and cause damage to the temporomandibular joint (the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the upper jaw).

The cause of bruxism is not completely known, but many agree that stress and anxiety play a major role. Because of this, stress reduction and anxiety management are methods used to treat bruxism symptoms, but a dental night guard is the most commonly used treatment method. A night guard is a horseshoe-shaped, retainer-like, plastic appliance with shallow borders that can be worn on either the top or the bottom teeth. It is intended to protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching and grinding by having a protective cushion between the upper and lower teeth. A night guard is a simple and affordable decision for protecting your teeth and jaws from the damaging effects of bruxism. When properly made by your dentist, it can help reduce clenching, grinding, and TMJ problems by helping to relax the muscles in the jaw.

If you find that you are waking up with unusual pains, it is important that you seek some advice from a dental professional. They will be able to give you the best advice about how to treat your bruxism.

For more information about bruxism treatment options, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

A Clean Toothbrush Will Prevent Bad Checkups | Walnut Creek Dentist

We wouldn’t clean our house with dirty equipment because we know that it isn’t going to do a very good job cleaning our house and our dental hygiene should follow suit. Why clean your teeth with dirty equipment? When you reach for your toothbrush, do you know how clean it is? This may be a surprise to you, but the average toothbrush can contain up to 10 million bacteria, including E. coli and staph. Your toothbrush is basically a magnet for bacteria, so it is important to keep in mind how you handle your toothbrush in order to keep it as clean as possible.

If your toothbrush is stored on a bathroom counter, think about where it is placed – is it near your sink or toilet? Germs can be transmitted from both and end up on the surfaces of your toothbrush, inevitably ending up in your mouth. Here are a few ways to go about keeping your toothbrush as bacteria-free as possible:

Keep it fresh. Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or once the bristles become spread out and frayed. Replacing your toothbrush insures that you’re using an effective toothbrush.

Do not share. Sharing toothbrushes can result in exchanging bodily fluids and microorganisms between users, which increases risk for infection. You may be in a pinch or think it’s adorable to share a toothbrush with a significant other, but it can transfer more than just saliva.

Rinse toothbrush thoroughly. Once you brush your teeth, make sure to thoroughly clean your toothbrush with tap water to remove any remaining debris or toothpaste.

For more information about toothbrush care, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.

Some Bonds Are Hard to Break | Walnut Creek Dentist

We all want a fantastic looking smile – it’s one of the first signs we use to present ourselves to anyone we meet. But things happen in life that are out of our control, and sometimes it causes our smile to become chipped or cracked. Is there any hope left? Can your smile ever be repaired to its original state? The answer is yes; and dental bonding is your solution.

There are two main types of cosmetic dental bonding procedures: direct composite bonding and adhesive bonding. Direct composite bonding involves the precise placement of restorative material while in the adhesive bonding process. A restoration is then attached using adhesive and a high-intensity curing light.

Regardless of which cosmetic dental bonding procedure is used, a rubber dam will be used to isolate the teeth to prevent any interference from moisture that could potentially harm the bonding process. A gentle phosphoric acid solution is then applied to the surface of the tooth to strengthen the bond of the composite and the adhesive. After about 15 seconds that acid can be removed, and the liquid agent can finally be applied to finish the bonding process.

If you happen to have a dental emergency, it is important to have it looked after as soon as possible for the best possible outcome. Your dental professional will be able to examine your particular case and establish a treatment plan. A quick fast solution to repair a chipped or cracked tooth, bonding is the ideal option to bring your smile back.

For more information about dental bonding, call Drs. Barmby and Frick in Walnut Creek, CA at 9255-934-5526 or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com.

Drs. Barmby and Frick proudly serves patients from Walnut Creek, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Alamo, Orinda and all surrounding areas.