Monterey Cosmetic Dentistry Blog

Dentist Serving Monterey, Carmel and Nearby Areas of California

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 9:09 AM

Both porcelain veneers and Invisalign can provide a seamless, straight, and beautiful smile. The question then becomes which option is best for you? Invisalign plastic aligners are much different than braces, but the results are the same: straight teeth and a functional bite. Porcelain veneers can cover gaps or correct some malocclusion, and are a great quick fix for patients looking for a cosmetic solution only.

Through a careful evaluation of your smile, as well as talking to you about what you want, Dr. Kern and her team can assess your specific problems and determine if porcelain veneers or Invisalign will best provide you with the results you deserve.

Benefits of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers can correct many issues in just a couple of office visits, and have been referred to as instant orthodontics. They correct chipped and severely discolored teeth, which cannot be accomplished with Invisalign. They can also cover any minor gaps or malocclusion. As a result, porcelain veneers have an advantage of giving patients strong, bright smiles that look straight.

Veneers can last a very long time when taken care of properly, but they do not solve issues of misalignment. They cover it up. Patients with significant overbite, crossbite, or underbite may want to look into how to correct these dental issues before looking into porcelain veneers.

Benefits of Invisalign

Invisalign plastic aligners are a perfect option for patients who are seeking ways to straighten their teeth, but who do not want to wear traditional braces. Invisalign’s clear plastic aligners reposition teeth over time, which closes gaps, brings misaligned teeth back into proper postion, and improves bite function. They can even be removed for special occasions or to brush and floss. Invisalign also corrects teeth repositioning much faster than traditional braces, saving months or even years of having to worry about uncomfortable metal over teeth.

 Invisalign is a preferred choice for many men and women who are in social or business situations regularly due to the practically invisible nature of the clear aligners. This, plus the speed of results, gives Invisalign an advantage. It is also a permanent rather than just a cosmetic fix. However, if your teeth are chipped or stained, you may want to look into additional treatments, including porcelain veneers.

If you are interested in finding out more about porcelain veneers or Invisalign, contact the team at Jeanette Kern DDS today at 831-372-8011 at Dr. Kern’s office. Dr. Kern’s dental office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.

Labels: Monterey cosmetic dentist; Monterey veneers; porcelain veneers; Invisalign
Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 11:11 AM

The great summer road trip season is upon us, and with it comes endless places to visit and adventures that will be remembered for a lifetime. What you don’t want those memories to involve are dental emergencies, especially if it is something that cuts short the vacation you’ve been planning for months – or a lifetime. What can you do if you find yourself away from home and you suddenly need a dentist?

Most people who have a general dentist see him or her for their regularly scheduled checkups. If traveling is in your future, it is a good idea to make an appointment to have your mouth examined. If you are going to be away for a long time, you may want to get any dental procedures you’ve been planning out of the way, such as root canals or wisdom teeth removal.

Preventing Emergencies on the Road

Keeping your teeth healthy on the road is just a little more difficult than it is while you are at home, especially if you are going to be camping, or going to undeveloped or remote areas of the world. Brushing and flossing is obviously important, but being more mindful of things that can hurt or break teeth should be considered. Don’t chew ice, hard candy, or popcorn kernels, and never use your teeth as a tool – that is, don’t cut tape or try to take off bottle caps.

What to do when Dental Emergencies Occur

You may prepare as much as possible, but still have a dental emergency pop up while you are on the road. Some of the most common problems include toothaches, broken teeth, cracked teeth, or a tooth that is knocked out.

Toothaches can be extremely painful. Things that can help are:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm water
  • Check to see if there is anything caught between your teeth using dental floss
  • Ibuprofen may alleviate the pain long enough for you to soldier through, but may not resolve the problem
  • Contact a local dentist if the toothache continues

Broken teeth, often caused by biting something hard or using teeth as a tool, can be helped through rinsing the mouth with warm water to clean the area, and cold compresses can keep swelling down. However, you should contact a dentist immediately if you suffer a broken tooth. Cracked teeth should be managed in the same way as a broken tooth. Cold compresses can control swelling, but it is important to get to a dentist as soon as you can.

While a broken or cracked tooth can be trouble, a tooth that is completely knocked out may be some travelers greatest dental concern. Some things that can be done when a tooth has been knocked out include:

  • Rinse off the tooth with water if it is dirty while holding it by the crown (not the root). Do not scrub it or remove any fragments of tissue
  • You should attempt to hold the tooth in its socket while going to a dentist, but this may be difficult for a plethora of reasons. The ADA states that it is OK to put the tooth in a cup of milk, but get to the dentist as soon as possible to see if it can be saved.

There are many ways for dental emergencies to occur while away from home. As with anything during travel, preparedness is going to help you keep calm during stressful situations. It is a good idea to look for dentists in the area you are traveling through, or where your destination is, and checking to see what they offer if an emergency occurs.

If you would like more information on what to do during a dental emergency during travel, or have a dental emergency yourself, contact the team at Jeanette Kern DDS today at 831-372-8011 at Dr. Kern’s office. Dr. Kern’s dental office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.

Labels: dental health; Monterey dentist; dental emergencies
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 at 4:16 PM

As adults, we are already well aware of the routines we are expected to maintain to have healthy mouths. Brush after eating, floss regularly, and schedule regular checkups and dental cleanings. While most people perform this admirably, women are more active in maintaining their teeth and gums than men.

 According to the Journal of Periodontology, women do a much better job at scheduling maintenance checkups, and, by a two to one margin, have seen their dentist in the past year. Women also have less plaque buildup and bleeding when their teeth are probed. High incidence of these may both be seen as signs of the early stages of periodontal disease. Finally, according to the study, women have a more positive attitude about visiting their dentist.

While this is by no means a complete picture of every single man, because June 9-15 is National Men’s Health Week. Although it is still a few weeks away, this is a good time to remind patients of the steps to take to avoid periodontal disease.

Risk Factors of Periodontal Disease

Some of the factors that will increase risks of periodontal disease include:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Diseases such as diabetes
  • Medications including steroids, cancer therapy drugs
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Defective fillings
  • Bridges that no longer fit correctly

Two more factors that don’t affect men include oral contraceptives and pregnancy. However, men are less likely to brush and floss after every meal, and are more likely to be at risk due to heart or blood pressure medication and antidepressants. These medications cause dry mouth, which increases the risk of cavities. Saliva washes away food particles that cavity causing bacteria love, as well as neutralizes acids formed by plaque.

Even if men avoid all of these things, they are genetically more predisposed to periodontal disease and even oral cancer, so it is important to remember to go to the dentist for checkups and oral cancer screenings.

Reducing dry mouth, and therefore symptoms, include drinking more water, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages, don’t smoke, avoid salty foods, and chew sugarless gum and used an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Women can, and should, avoid these risks, and take the same precautions, but, again, men are more likely to forego care and more likely to suffer from problems with their oral health.

If you are looking for solutions for crooked teeth, contact the team at Jeanette Kern DDS today at 831-372-8011 at Dr. Kern’s office. Dr. Kern’s dental office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.

Labels: dental health; Monterey dentist
Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 10:10 AM

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. This is the month to take time to understand what oral cancer is and how to reduce risks. While keeping your smile looking good is important, this is achieved through keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Brushing and flossing is important to keeping your oral health in tip-top shape, but so is your biannual checkup.

Your teeth are professionally cleaned, and your gums, tongue, and other soft tissues are checked for any irregularities that might indicate a problem. Oral cancer screenings are part of your biannual checkup because early diagnosis is the best way to treat cancerous lesions. Oral cancer’s survival rate is very high when treated in its early stages.

Risk Factors

Genetics and gender certainly play a role in who is more susceptible to a higher risk category. Men are more likely than women to get oral cancer, but lifestyle choices can greatly increase your risks. The two largest lifestyle risk factors are tobacco and alcohol use. Another leading cause of oral cancer is the human papilloma virus (HPV). A vaccine is now available for children, which may help reduce the risk for certain cancers during their lifetime.

Ways to lower your risks of oral cancer include increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as lowering, or eliminating, your intake of alcohol and tobacco products. We live during a time where cultural awareness makes living a healthier life possible.

Another thing you can do is be aware of any changes in your mouth that occur between checkups. Do you have lumps or sores that aren’t healing? If so, schedule an appointment as soon as possible to be checked out.

Oral Cancer Screening

Dr. Kern and her team screen all patients for oral cancer during regular checkups. Your mouth, jaw, neck, and head are examined. Using LED technology, signs of oral cancer can be detected with the VELScope. If anything suspect is found, a brush biopsy will be conducted. This will inform Dr. Kern if another biopsy is needed.

If you have questions about oral cancer or how to reduce your risks, contact the team at Jeanette Kern DDS today at 831-372-8011 at Dr. Kern’s office. Dr. Kern’s dental office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.

Labels: Monterey dentist; oral cancer; oral cancer awareness month; oral cancer symptoms; oral cancer risk
Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5:17 PM

One of the most obvious signs of a healthy and beautiful smile is straight teeth. Your smile conveys much about you to others in your life, and when your teeth are straight, you are more likely to exude confidence. If you want to straighten your teeth, there are several solutions to give you the smile you have always wanted.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a versatile solution for minor imperfections. The bonded porcelain shells give your teeth the appearance of being straight, and they are matched in color and shape to fit seamlessly. A minute portion of enamel is removed to fit your veneers, and this can be accomplished in only a couple of visits to Dr. Kern.

This is a cosmetic fix to crooked teeth. If you need to straighten your teeth, and are looking for a full restoration, but don’t want to concern yourself with traditional metal braces, Invisalign is another option.

Invisalign

Invisalign’s clear plastic aligners are a very effective way to straighten crooked teeth gradually. You will replace aligners as your teeth become straighter. Benefits of Invisalign include:

  • Aligners are very difficult to detect by others
  • Aligners may be removed to allow for eating foods you enjoy, as well as maintaining your brushing and flossing regimen
  • No need to worry about metal edges that can cut teeth and gums like traditional braces
  • Adjustments are painless. Just visit Dr. Kern for the next set of aligners

Because your teeth will straighten gradually, Invisalign takes some time to complete. However, this is a much quicker timeline than with traditional braces. However, given the end result of what straight teeth can accomplish, Invisalign is a very popular treatment for fixing crooked teeth.

If you are looking for solutions for crooked teeth, contact the team at Jeanette Kern DDS today at 831-372-8011 at Dr. Kern’s office. Dr. Kern’s dental office is conveniently located at 660 Camino Aguajito #201 in Monterey, CA 93940.

Labels: Monterey cosmetic dentist; Monterey veneers; porcelain veneers; Invisalign

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