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.

Celebrate April in a Dentist Chair | Walnut Creek Dentist

One of the things we celebrate during the month of April is oral cancer awareness. Did you know that approximately 42,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone? It’s a shocking statistic if you aren’t aware of oral cancer in general. And since your dentist is often the first line of defense against oral cancer, it’s a good idea to have a screening done next time you’re in the dental chair.

Ready for another shocking statistic? 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 (approximately 57%). 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. Although smoking and tobacco use is still a major risk factor for oral cancer, the fastest growing segment for oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals with the HPV virus.

Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 640,000 new cases being found each year. Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers frequently referred to as head and neck cancers, and of all head and neck cancers they comprise about 85% of that category.

The best defense against oral cancer is knowledge and prevention, so make an appointment to visit the dentist. Catching it as early as possible is the best way to keep ourselves healthy.

For more information about oral cancer screenings, 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.

Keep Those Pearly Whites as Long as Possible | Walnut Creek Dentist

teeth whiteningMost of us will equate having a great smile to have white teeth. And while most of us strive to achieve it, it isn’t always the easiest to maintain. Many of our lifestyle choices, like smoking or drinking coffee, keep up from keeping up our bright smiles. The change isn’t immediate – we brush on the daily and buy teeth-whitening products on the market – but over time, these habits catch up to our teeth and they begin to tinge. This is about the time we decide to call our favorite Walnut Creek dentists.

Once your teeth whitening procedure is complete and we have our pearly whites back, now we have to maintain them for as long as possible. And while we have a tough time changing our habits, here are the main foods that will ruin its gleam:

Wine. Many individuals assume that only red wine stains the teeth, however, professionals agree that white wine also contains staining agents that could ruin your white smile.

Tea. While we would think coffee stains more than tea, black teas can stain more than coffee.

Sodas and sports drinks. The sugars and high acidity of sodas and sports drink catalyze the staining process of teeth by breaking down your tooth enamel.

Berries. From blueberries to grapes to any foods and beverages made from berries, unfortunately, they all can cause stains.

Candy. Many candies have staining agents that cause your teeth and tongue to change colors.  Stay away from hard candies, chewing gum, and lollipops because of the risk of damaging your white smile.

For more information about teeth-whitening aftercare, 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.

It May Be Time for You to Get Dentures | Walnut Creek Dentist

denturesWhether we like it or not, we all have to age. And whether you have taken great care of your teeth or not, there may come a time when you would like to improve upon your smile. Sometimes that means getting a set of dentures. Now, the only one who can really tell if it’s time for you to get dentures is your dentist, and they can only tell by giving you a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. If you feel that you may need to be fitted for some dentures, make a dental appointment for a quick check-up.

The following are some signs that you are a good candidate for dentures:

Severe tooth decay. If your 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.

If dentures are suggested, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several denture options available. 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 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.

Are Dental Crowns Worth It? | Walnut Creek Dentist

When your dental professional tells you that a dental crown to restore your smile, think of these advantages before you say no to this dental procedure. A dental crown is a cap placed over a tooth to restore its strength and appearance. But besides the restorative purposes, crowns have several uses, such as protecting weak or broken teeth, cover a large filling or help support a dental bridge. But that’s not all…

Natural-looking. Porcelain and composite crowns have the look and feel of natural teeth, no one will ever know the difference.

Durable. Even with a renewed smile, dental hygiene is important. If taken care of properly, crowns can last up to fifteen years.

Stain-resistant. Your dental crowns will be composed of porcelain, so staining will not be an issue.

Cosmetic. Improve the look of broken, cracked or discolored teeth.

Non-slipping. Dental crowns are cemented or anchored in place, unlike dentures.

Protection. While you shouldn’t neglect your teeth, dental crowns protect those tooth from further decay.

Restorative. When you have missing or damaged teeth, it can affect your bite, speech and overall look. A crown can restore full function of your damaged tooth.

Comfort. Unlike wearing partial dentures, dental crowns are stable inside your mouth and will not irritate your gums.

Speech. Missing teeth and dentures can affect speech. Crowns replace the missing teeth and do not slip around, making speech sound clearer.

Confidence. Damaged, discolored or missing teeth causes confidence issues. The use of dental crowns will help make your smile beautiful again.

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.

Keep Away Those Cavity Creeps | Walnut Creek Dentist

Oral Health

Developing a cavity isn’t tough. Just a simple thing like a lack of proper dental hygiene can turn your next dental appointment into a one you’d prefer to avoid. But to be honest, prevention is easier than you think. In fact, it can be summed up in five simple steps. Take a look:

Brush your teeth. It may seem obvious, but by brushing your teeth several times a day your chances of getting a cavity drops significantly. Two minutes per time is the recommended time to be taken.

Floss daily. Most often food debris gets caught in between teeth while eating, it’s important to floss to get rid of the debris so that it does not turn 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. Eating nutritious snacks and limiting the amount of sugary drinks will help to prevent plaque from forming on the teeth. Saliva production is the first line of defense, so munching on healthy snacks can satisfy a craving while washing away cavity-causing bacteria.

Visit your dentist. The most obvious way to get rid of cavities is by visiting your dentist. Dental x-rays, check-ups and cleanings are all vitally important, so visit your dentist twice a year.

All it takes to prevent cavities is a little extra attention to your oral health. These five steps, plus regular checkups at our office will ensure your teeth stay cavity-free and proud.

For more information about preventing cavities, 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.