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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take Care of that Implant | Walnut Creek Dentist

When we get any sort of dental surgery, we are always wary about what the aftercare will entail. Sometimes it can be a lot of deal with, but it’s worth it in order to make your smile healthy again. So, if you are considering dental implants, you need to look after them, because they require a clean environment to properly heal. Here’s how to keep your dental implant for good:

Leave it alone. Immediately after getting your dental implant installed, leave the surgical site alone as much as possible. Agitating the surgical site can slow down the healing process or could potentially lead to additional problems.

Ice it. If a part of your face swells over the first few days, don’t worry – it’s completely normal. To help reduce the swelling, you can apply an ice pack to the affected area for the first 24 hours and take 20-minute breaks in between icing.

Careful eating. Avoid swishing liquids around your mouth for the first week after the procedure. You should also eat soft food for the first few days and avoid eating or drinking anything hot. When you do eat, avoid the implant as much as possible.

Keep things clean. In order for your new dental implant to heal properly, it’s important to keep your mouth and the surgical site as clean as possible. Rinse your mouth out with a warm saltwater solution at least 4-5 times a day, preferably after every meal.

Exercise. Refrain from any physical activity for the first few days following your dental implant surgery – activity may cause unnecessary bleeding. If they cause bleeding, reduce the level of activity.

For more information about dental surgery aftercare, 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.

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.