general dentistry

Do you notice when you smile you see gum tissue more than your teeth? This is known as a gummy smile, and many patients are bothered by how their smile looks. There are treatment options to correct a gummy smile, and we are here to help you find a treatment that works best.

What Can Cause a Gummy Smile?

  • Your Bite

Your bite can be genetic and your top jaw may not align properly with your bottom jaw. If your bite causes the upper jaw to protrude this can cause a gummy look.

  • Hyperactive Upper Lip

If your lip raises up too high gum tissue may be exposed, and this results in a gummy smile.

  • Excess Gum Tissue

The most common cause of a gummy smile is having too much gum tissue. In many cases gum tissue can over grow when permanent teeth erupt in the mouth.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Crown Lengthening

Crown Lengthening helps to reshape the gum tissue around the tooth and correct a gummy smile. This procedure exposes more of the patient’s natural tooth and make the teeth look longer.

Gum Contouring

Gum contouring can help change the shape of your gum, and this can be done if you have excess gum tissue. This procedure also helps if the gum line is uneven. Gum contouring removes the excess gum tissue and exposes more of your teeth. This helps to give patients a beautiful even looking smile.

Scaling and Root Planing

If a gummy smile is caused by inflamed gums a deep cleaning treatment may be recommended. Scaling and root planing reach down deep into the gum pockets to remove bacteria. This can help the gummy appearance subside.

Lip Lowering

This procedure involves removing a section of gum tissue to reveal a shorter looking lip. This keeps the upper lip from rising too high and exposing your gum tissue.

Orthodontics

If you have an issue with your bite orthodontics may help correct your gummy smile. Orthodontic treatment can help adjust your bite to avoid gum tissue showing when you smile.

Looking To Take the Next Step to a Beautiful Smile?

If you are looking to correct your smile we encourage you take the first step and schedule a consultation in our office. This will give our team the opportunity to evaluate your concerns, and discuss possible treatment options that work for you. We want you to be proud of your smile, and we are here to help you get the smile you have always wanted.

If you are interested in scheduling a cosmetic consultation, contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.

Orthodontics

If you are planning to get orthodontic treatment and have cavities, it is always recommended to treat cavities first. Cavities are tooth decay, and if they are not treated promptly they can grow and weaken the tooth structure. Taking care of your oral health always comes first. Once your cavities are treated you can move on to orthodontic treatment.

Can You Get Braces if you Have Cavities?

Braces for example use wires and brackets, and they put pressure on your teeth in order to move them into the correct position. Cavities weaken your teeth if they are not treated properly. Taking care of any decay before orthodontic treatment is required, and will help to prevent further damage.

Teeth need to be strong for orthodontic treatment. If the tooth is decayed it may not be able to withstand the pressure of biting or chewing, and this can lead to cracks or fractures. Tooth loss is another concern for candidates that have tooth decay and need orthodontic care.

Cavity Treatment With Braces

Cavity treatment with braces is possible but tends to be more difficult. Keeping your teeth healthy with braces is extremely important. This includes brushing and flossing each day to keep that sticky plaque from building up between brackets and wires. If needed, cavities can be filled carefully, but may require your wire to be removed. Our team will work closely with your dentist to coordinate this process.

What Are My Next Steps?

If you suspect you have cavities we encourage you to make an appointment with our office. Our team can treat your cavities, and ensure your teeth are strong and ready for orthodontic treatment. Depending on the severity of the cavities will determine what treatment is needed.

Once your cavities are treated you are ready to schedule your orthodontic consultation. Starting orthodontic treatment can be costly and is a large commitment. Making sure your teeth are ready is important and should be a priority. Practicing good oral hygiene at home helps to take care of your teeth, and ensures your orthodontic treatment will be a success.

Ready To Schedule Your Consultation?

If you are interested in scheduling your orthodontic consultation please contact our office. Our team is here to help you through every step towards a beautiful smile. Your oral health is our priority, and creating beautiful smiles is what we do.

If you have questions or to schedule please contact our office, and our friendly staff can assist you!

Invisalign

Invisalign is a popular choice for orthodontic treatment. Invisalign is an alternative to braces, and uses clean plastic aligners that are worn in a series over time to gently move teeth into place. Invisalign is extremely successful, and before you decide on what orthodontic treatment is right for you, definitely check out other options.

Keep in mind that Invisalign is a treatment that requires regular visits to your doctor to monitor your progress. Invisalign also allows you to work with your doctor to take impressions and ensure the proper fit. With many of the at-home alternatives, you are responsible for taking impressions and ordering your aligners.

Invisalign can also treat a larger scope of corrections, and some alternatives are limited to only certain corrections. Working directly with your doctor allows them to address any issues that may occur, as well as provide additional treatment if needed.

What Should I Consider When Searching for an Alternative to Invisalign?

  • Cost
  • Length of treatment
  • In-office monitoring versus at home
  • Diagnostic process

What Are Some Alternatives?

SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub offers a similar treatment to Invisalign where the clear aligners are customized to fit your teeth. The difference is that this product is at-home treatment only with no office visits required. If you choose an option like this your treatment will tend to be less expensive. In addition, sometimes home aligners are not as effective especially for severe correction cases.

SmileDirectClub has SmileShops in various convenient locations, and this allows the customer to skip the impression kit. SmileDirectClub also offers a night time treatment, and provides various financing options. Similar to other at-home treatments SmileDirectClub has a limited scope of correction, and can only treat mild to moderate cases for crowding or spacing.

Byte

Byte is a new alternative to Invisalign and seems to be gaining popularity for home aligners. Their treatment delivery is fast, and Byte averages a three month treatment time. They are known for their quality customer service.

Byte also offers a lifetime guarantee, and will always provide aligners to you if your bite shifts. Byte offers financing as well as other payment plan options, and not only has their normal treatment, but also offers a night time treatment.

Candid

Candid is another alternative to Invisalign that is effective and high quality. This company offers at-home treatment with a remote monitoring service. Each patient is assigned to a remote orthodontist, and this helps to keep track of your progress. Typically Candid’s treatment plans take around 6 months and costs less than Invisalign. Their aligners are high quality and made similarly to the Invisalign aligners.

What Treatment Is Best for Me?

Choosing the best orthodontic treatment is important, and a patient must consider the benefits of an in-office treatment versus a treatment that is done completely at home. When patients choose our Invisalign treatment we provide guidance and regular monitoring during treatment. Our patients have the convenience of treatment at home, but also have regular contact with our doctors to monitor progress and catch any issues.

Choosing an at-home treatment does come with risk, and problems may arise during your treatment. If you don’t end up with the results you desire, you may end up having to complete the treatment all over again.

If patients have mild or moderate correction needed, at-home aligners may be the best choice for you. For those that have severe correction it may be best to go through your doctor. Working with our office ensures your smile will look great, and you get the results you desire.

Looking To Schedule Your Consultation?

If you are interested in learning more about how Invisalign treatment can benefit you, we encourage you to contact our office and schedule a consultation. Our team will take a look at your teeth and mouth, and talk about your smile goals.

We will provide you with a customized treatment plan, and work directly with you to get you that smile you have always wanted. Designing smiles is what we do, and we always make our patients a priority.

To schedule your consultation with us please contact our office, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

pandemic feat 1

With the outbreak of the coronavirus, treatment for inflammation and prevention of infection and disease is more important than ever. The human body can only handle so much inflammation, and the healthier a person is – the less chronic inflammation taxing the body – the easier it is to fight off other infections, including viral.

This is why our dentist in Brentwood, CA, Dr.Patel, takes any infectious oral conditions, even asymptomatic gum disease, so seriously. Brushing, flossing and homecare may seem mundane, but so is washing your hands. These “mundane” acts can help keep you healthy.

How Can I Help Prevent Gum Disease at Home?

Our Brentwood dental office prescribes Perio Protect, a homecare system to prevent and treat gum disease. Special prescription trays, called Perio Trays®, are made just for your mouth to deliver medication deep below the gums to fight infections causing disease. The primary medication applied with the trays, Perio Gel® with 1.7% hydrogen peroxide, is highly effective at killing infectious bacteria and reducing inflammation.

Does Peroxide Help Prevent COVID?

Yes, Peroxide also kills the coronavirus. Using peroxide in these special prescription trays will not prevent you from contracting the virus, but the peroxide therapy, rinsing with peroxide or brushing with the peroxide gel may help reduce the viral load in saliva and the risk of oral transmission. For this reason, some dentists may ask you to pretreat with a peroxide product before coming to the dental office.

Looking for Gum Disease Treatments Near You?

It has never been more important to keep your gums healthy. Gum health is key to keeping your teeth for a lifetime and important for a healthy immune system. The chronic inflammation from infected gums is also associated with arterial inflammation, heart disease, stroke, dementia and uncontrolled diabetes. For patients with these illnesses, it is especially important to see our dental team.

If you have been told that you have gum disease or if you are concerned about bleeding gums or chronic bad breath, both symptoms of infected gums, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Patel. We believe that informed patients will make informed decisions. Be sure to contact Orchard Dentistry & Orthodontics in Brentwood, CA to discuss your concerns.

teeth whitening

Teeth Whitening treatments are popular for patients that have tooth discoloration, or for those that just want a brighter smile. Whitening your teeth can be done safely and there are several options to choose from. If the directions are followed patients can successfully whiten their teeth with no side effects. Teeth whitening boosts self-confidence, can change a patient’s smile quickly, and make you feel great.

What Are My Options for Teeth Whitening?

If you have decided to whiten your teeth there are a few options to choose from. We offer teeth whitening treatments in our office, and this typically is a faster way to get the results you desire. We also offer a treatment you can take with you and whiten in the convenience of your own home.

Both options give great results patients are happy with. In addition to those two options there are over the counter whitening treatments that can help you whiten your teeth. Part of the evaluation process is to take a good look at your teeth and the level of discoloration, your age, and dental history to help you decide what treatment options will work best.

What Are Common Side Effects With Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is perfectly safe, but there are a few side effects that patients can experience.

Teeth Sensitivity

When you whiten your teeth the product gets deep into the tooth enamel. In some cases patients can experience sensitivity after teeth whitening treatments. We may recommend you use a sensitive type tooth paste to help with any sensitivity after whitening.

Irritated Gums

Gum irritation is another common issue when patients decide to whiten your teeth. In some cases patients are sensitive to the whitening treatment. This typically goes away after your treatment is complete.

Whitening treatments can be done periodically to keep teeth looking bright white. Whitening treatments are for patients with natural teeth. If you have implants, crowns, bridges, or dentures and want to whiten your teeth, we recommend scheduling a consultation to discuss your options. If you suffer from many cavities we recommend those are treated before any whitening treatment begins. Depending on each case we can help determine if teeth whitening is right for you.

How To Keep My Teeth Looking White

There are things you can do at home to help keep your teeth looking bright white. Avoiding food and beverages that may stain your teeth like coffee, tea, or red wine. If you do eat or drink something that may stain your teeth it is a good idea to rinse or brush right afterwards to help decrease staining.

Looking To Whiten Your Teeth?

Teeth whitening is a great way to give you a bright white smile. Whitening your teeth is safe and easy, and does not cause many side effects or issues. Scheduling a consultation with our team to examine your teeth and discuss your goals is a great way to start the process. Our skilled professionals will help you decide what treatment is best, and help get you on the road to a brighter smile.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to find out if teeth whitening is right for you, contact our office and our staff will be happy to assist you.

invisalign

Invisalign is a great alternative to traditional braces for both teens and adults. Invisalign has the capability to treat even severe corrections. This treatment uses clear aligners that are worn in a series over time to gently move teeth into place. The aligners are removable for easy cleaning, drinking, and eating.

Is Invisalign Treatment Just As Effective as Braces?

Invisalign is a discrete treatment making this a popular choice for teens. There are no wires or brackets, and the aligners are smooth and comfortable when worn. If the aligners are worn properly, and for the recommend length of time, this treatment is very successful for teens. Invisalign can correct an overbite, underbite, crowding, and gaps.

Is My Teen a Good Candidate?

To determine if your child is a good candidate we recommend starting with an orthodontic consultation in our office. Most teens are good candidates, and Invisalign can give great results. Depending on the level of correction needed and their age, will determine the best treatment plan to give your teen a beautiful smile.

What Are the Advantages of Invisalign?

Blue Indicator

Invisalign trays come with a blue indicator to help indicate if your teen has worn the trays for the required amount of time.

Removable Aligners

Invisalign aligners are removable and easy to clean. This is helpful for teens who play sports. There is no need to worry about getting hit in the mouth like with braces. If your teen plays an instrument the aligner can be removed. Brushing and flossing is a lot easier when you can remove your clean aligner. This helps teens to really keep up with their oral hygiene and get those hard to reach areas.

No Food Restrictions

Traditional braces require some food restrictions. Invisalign aligners can be taken out while eating so your teen can enjoy all the snacks and healthy foods they love.

Invisalign Is Discrete

Teens tend to go through a lot during their teenage years. Self-image is important, and some tend to be self-conscious about how they look. Invisalign gives teens a discrete treatment that can produce beautiful results. Teens can feel comfortable wearing their clear aligners around others because they are invisible.

Saves Time

Invisalign does not require any hardware adjustment or repair like traditional braces do. This helps to decrease the time spent in our office. Typically we have patients using Invisalign come in every four to six weeks to ensure treatment is going well.

Interested in Finding Out More About Invisalign?

Invisalign is just as effective as braces, and as long as your teen wears the aligners properly you will have amazing results. Schedule your teen’s consultation today, and we can get them on the way to a straighter smile.

To schedule your consultation contact our office, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

oral health

Mouthwash is used to help rinse away bacteria or food particles after you brush and floss each day. Using mouthwash is an additional way to help protect your teeth and gums. Knowing the differences between mouthwashes can help you choose the right one to incorporate into your oral hygiene routine.

What Are The Different Types of Mouthwashes Available?

Mouthwash With Fluoride

Fluoride mouthwash contain sodium fluoride, and this helps to protect your teeth from decay and cavities. Fluoride is also found in toothpaste and is added to our tap water. Only using the required amount each day is important because too much fluoride can be harmful to your health. Reading the labels can help to ensure you are only using the appropriate amount that is recommended daily.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

Antiseptic mouthwash is the most common mouthwash used by most patients. This type of mouthwash contains alcohol and can help to stop bacteria in its tracks. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help fight bad breath, and prevent infections. Patients must be careful using this type of mouthwash. Overuse can lead to stains or discoloration on your teeth. Following the recommended daily guidelines is important to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

This type of mouthwash is used to only freshen your breath. Cosmetic mouthwash does not do anything to help with your oral health. Using this type of mouthwash can help rinse food particles away, and is a temporary solution for bad breath.

Natural Mouthwash

Natural mouthwash is a common type of mouthwash that helps keep bacteria away and freshens your breath, but contains only natural ingredients. Natural mouthwash brands do not contain alcohol, and the ingredients are safer compared to other types of mouthwashes available.

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

Interested in Finding Out More?

During your routine cleaning it is important to discuss what products you are using at home including your mouthwash. Our team is available to access your dental health, and recommend the best mouthwash for you to use at home.

If you are interested in finding out more about what mouthwash may be best for you, or to schedule your next exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

family dentistry

Dental care can be costly, and simple procedures can even run up your bill. Caring for your teeth is necessary to keep your oral and general health in check. Many people have no dental benefits at all, or if they retire their benefits are lost.

Skipping dental care is not an option, and can lead to other more serious health issues such as diabetes, or heart conditions. There are ways you can reduce your dental care costs, and help pay for those costly procedures that are necessary to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Ask Your Dentist if They Offer an In-House Membership Plan

Many dental practices today offer their own dental membership for patients. These plans act like an insurance plan, and give patients discounts on procedures that are done in their office. If a patient does not have insurance it is wise to inquire about an in-house plan to help keep costs down.

Sign Up for a Dental Plan Through Your Employer

Many companies offer both medical and dental insurance plans. Most plans pay for at least half of the cost, and preventative services are typically covered 100 percent. Routine procedures are usually covered around 80 percent, and larger more involved procedures such as crowns are usually covered at 50 percent. Using in-network providers can help you save money, and allow you to get the dental work you need.

Dental Savings Plan

Dental savings plans are available to participants who pay a fee to join. The fee is typically annual, and allows you to choose from a network of dentists that offer discounts for members. Dental savings plans allow patients to get the work done that they need at a discounted price without insurance.

Affordable Care Act

Patients can apply for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Logging on to their website can let you know if you qualify to purchase dental coverage.

Dental HMO Plan

A dental HMO plan may be available in your state. Typically cleanings and exams twice a year are covered, and procedures are at a discount. Many dentists participate and accept HMO plans, and this is a good way to help save on dental care.

Veterans Benefits

If you are a veteran you qualify to receive insurance at a reduced rate. Disabled veterans are also eligible for free dental care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Do Your Research

If you are required to have a costly procedure, research the average price of that procedure. Ask your dentist for a discount, and most likely they will work with you, and help find a price and payment plan that fits your needs.

Create an Emergency Dental Fund

Setting aside money each month for dental care can help cover procedures or emergencies that are unpredictable.  Knowing you have a savings account will put you at ease if an emergency arises and you need dental care.

Looking for an Affordable Dentist Near You?

Taking care of your oral health is a great way to prevent costly dental procedures. Brushing and flossing each day, and staying away from foods and drinks that contain sugar can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Visiting our office regularly for exams and cleanings is extremely important to maintain your oral health. Regular visits allow our team to get in front of issues before they become urgent, and we can help you keep your teeth and mouth looking and feeling great.

We care about our patients, and our team is here to help take care of your oral health. Ask our team if you have questions on coverage or payment plans, and we will work with you to ensure you can receive the very best care.

To find out more about dental programs we offer, or to schedule your next dental exam, contact our office and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

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Planning your child’s first dental visit can be stressful. Many parents wonder when the perfect time is to bring their child in for their first exam. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists or AAPD recommends that children visit the dentist by the age of one, or when they first notice signs of teeth erupting. Typically, primary teeth do not erupt until about six months of age.

Parents tend to worry how their child will feel or behave at the dentist for the first time. There are many benefits to visiting the dentist starting at a young age, and with positive encouragement and our amazing staff we always ensure your child’s first visit and every visit after will go well.
There are a few things we recommend to parents to help prepare their child to visit our office for the first time. We want all of our patients to feel calm and relaxed and enjoy their visit. Our staff is specially trained to work with children, and they are in good hands while in our care.

Helpful Ways to Prepare Your Child Before Their First Visit to Our Office

  • We welcome all new patients to schedule a tour of our office and meet our staff. This helps your child get to know where they are going, and when they arrive they will feel more comfortable because they have already been here for a visit.

  • Talk to your child about how important it is to see your dentist regularly. With positive attitude your child will feel excited and not afraid, and will enjoy visiting our office.

  • There are dental books and TV shows available that you can show your child so they can get an idea what a dental office looks like, and what we do during a dental exam and cleaning.

  • During your child’s appointment we recommend bringing in any comfort items such as a stuffed animal or blanket to make your child feel relaxed.

  • Our staff provides each child with a reward at the end of each visit so they have something to look forward to. Parents are welcome to plan for a reward as an incentive to help the child get through their first appointment.

  • It is important to talk to your child about how important dental hygiene is. Keeping our teeth and gums clean so we can have beautiful smiles can help teach them good oral hygiene habits at a young age.

Starting your child out right with proper dental care helps to set the stage for later in life and teaches children good oral hygiene. We look forward to establishing a good relationship with each of our pediatric patients, and our staff will help your child understand how important it is to take care of your teeth and visit our office regularly.

Our dental exams are thorough and we can check for any issues as your child grows older. We believe in preventative care to help keep your child’s teeth feeling and looking their best.

Are You Interested in Scheduling Your Child’s First Exam?

If you are interested in scheduling your child’s first dental exam we are here to help. Contact our office and our friendly staff can assist you!

Helping your child take charge of their oral health at a young age is important and our staff is here to support both our pediatric patients and their parents, and provide the highest level of dental care.

We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our dental family.

Anxietyfeat

Many people suffer from chronic bad breath or halitosis. Bad breath is something you do not want to be known for, and typically finding the cause is easy. If you suffer from bad breath but also brush, floss, or gargle each day the cause may not be obvious. Taking the time to figure out the underlying problem that may be causing your bad breath is important, and finding a cure can be simple.

Common Cause of Bad Breath

Dental Hygiene

The first area patients should focus on is their dental hygiene habits. Gum or mints are only a short term solution, and finding the cause is the only way you can truly get relief from bad breath. Looking at your dental hygiene is a great place to start because dental hygiene is the most common cause of chronic bad breath. About 85% of bad breath comes from inside the mouth. If you do not brush and floss daily, bacteria can get left behind and cause issues with your breath. Bacteria eats the leftover food particles in your mouth, and as a result leaves a foul smelling odor in your mouth and on your teeth.

Devices

If patients wear retainers, dentures, or mouthguards while they sleep, these devices can trap bacteria or food particles if not cleaned properly. This can attribute to halitosis or chronic bad breath. Taking care of your teeth and mouth is extremely important for your overall and oral health, and can prevent issues such as bad breath that could be embarrassing around others.

Cavities or Infection

If you suffer from cavities or have an infection lingering in your mouth that has not been treated, this can cause bad breath. Attending regular visits to our office for your dental cleaning and exam is important. Our skilled staff can get in front of issues such as cavities or infections and prevent further problems in the future. If patients have issues with their tonsils or throat, this can cause bad breath, and can be from an infection such as strep throat. Patients should seek treatment from their primary care physician if they feel there is an issue with their tonsils or throat.

Dry Mouth or Dehydration

Dehydration or dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath. Saliva and water wash away bacteria or food particles. If your mouth is not hydrated this reduces saliva and can cause halitosis. Our saliva contains pertinent minerals and proteins that help defend against bacteria. Staying hydrated is important to keep our mouth healthy and to prevent bad breath.

Other Possible Causes for Bad Breath

• Diabetes
• Throat or mouth cancer
• Sinus infection
• Digestive issues
• Acid reflux
• Lung infection
• Liver disease

What Can I Do to Cure My Bad Breath?

• Brush and floss two times a day
• Use an antimicrobial rinse daily
• Tongue scrape daily to remove bacteria
• Remove any devices and clean them thoroughly
• Visit our dental office for regular cleanings and exams
• Review your diet and try and stick to eating healthy foods
• Drink water and stay hydrated
• Avoid tobacco products

Looking For Help With Chronic Bad Breath?

There are many simple solutions to cure bad breath. We encourage you to make an appointment for an exam in our office to discuss your concerns. Our skilled staff can help give you tips, and our thorough dental exam can help identify any issues you may have that could be causing chronic bad breath. If you have already tried simple solutions and still notice your bad breath does not go away, we may advise you make an appointment to see your primary care physician.
If you are interested in finding a solution to cure bad breath we can help. To schedule your appointment contact our office, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you!

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