Tips for Healthier Gums

Cartoon of a mouth with bleeding gum due to gum disease.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that 50% of adults over 30 have gum disease? Gum disease often develops when you don’t maintain good oral hygiene. Tender, bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease. If untreated, it can cause tooth decay, tooth loss, and even bone loss. How do you keep your gums healthy? Here are some tips.

Brush & Floss Every Day

Brushing and flossing well are the best things you can do for your gum health. When you don’t clean your teeth well, plaque and tartar build up and irritate your gums. When brushing, be sure to hold your soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.

Don’t forget to floss once a day! Flossing is very important for gum health because it removes food and plaque from places your brush can’t reach. If you haven’t flossed in a while, a little bleeding is normal. Not getting the results you want from brushing and flossing? During your dental exam, ask Dr. Tin for advice.

Don’t Use Tobacco

Smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease as non-smokers. This is because smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight gum disease. Chewing tobacco comes with an increased risk for cavities, gum irritation, and mouth cancers. If you want healthier gums and you use any tobacco products, quitting is a great idea.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Your whole body – including your teeth and gums – benefits from a nutritious diet. Fresh produce, dairy, and whole grains are all linked to better gum health. These foods are packed with nutrients that support your soft tissues. Many also help the body fight against harmful bacteria. If you’re looking for another reason to improve your diet, healthier gums is a good one!

Get a Healthy Smile at Villa Vista Dental

At our Elk Grove office, we offer cleanings and exams that keep your gums healthy. If your gums need some extra love, we’ll most likely recommend scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning treats more advanced gum disease. If you have any questions for Dr. Tin or you want to schedule an appointment, please get in touch today!

Good hygiene & regular dental exams keep your gums healthy!


Benefits of ClearCorrect® Aligners

Pretty black girl is holding a ClearCorrect® clear aligner in front of her smile.

In dentistry, we sometimes like to say that ClearCorrect® aligners are the clear choice when it comes to orthodontic treatment. What that really means is that there are so many clear benefits to choosing ClearCorrect®. If you’re deciding whether or not to get ClearCorrect® to straighten your smile, here are some of its advantages to consider.

The Clear Appearance

One of the best benefits of ClearCorrect® is hinted at right in the name. These aligners are made from clear, plastic trays, which means that it’s hard to notice them when you’re wearing them. You can compare this to traditional braces where it’s easy to spot the metal wires and brackets. Many people love that ClearCorrect® allows them to still remain confident in their smile even while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Removability

Not only are ClearCorrect® aligners barely noticeable, but they’re also completely removable. You can pop them in and out whenever it’s time to eat, brush your teeth, or clean the aligner trays. That, in turn, means you don’t have to navigate certain food restrictions or change your brushing and flossing technique. Plus, it’s easier to keep your teeth clean when you aren’t maneuvering around dental hardware attached to your teeth.

More Comfort

Since ClearCorrect® aligners are made out of smooth plastic, many patients find that they’re more comfortable to wear than metal braces, which can sometimes irritate your gums or lips. Plus, the pressure the aligners apply to shift your teeth is gentle and gradual so it’s not a painful procedure. You won’t experience the discomfort that usually follows tightening of metal brackets.

Clear Aligners in Elk Grove, CA

Are you convinced about ClearCorrect®? Then we invite you to Villa Vista Dental to have a consultation to kickstart your treatment. We provide ClearCorrect® aligners as part of our orthodontic services. Still on the fence and want to ask us more questions? We’d be more than happy to answer them! Call or email our practice in Elk Grove today, and a member of our dental team will be there to help.

Discreetly & comfortably straighten your teeth with ClearCorrect® clear aligners!


Types of Dental Cleanings

Cartoon showing little elves helping with a deep teeth cleaning.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that there’s more than one type of dental cleaning? You may not think twice about it if you regularly visit the dentist for a standard cleaning. However, there are more specialized types of dental cleanings to take care of specific problems. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of dental cleanings.

Prophylaxis Cleanings

The name sounds fancy, but this is actually the standard teeth cleaning and most likely what you’re getting when you go in for your check-up. During a prophylaxis cleaning, any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth is removed. Tartar forms when plaque has hardened, and it can only be removed by a dental professional with special tools. No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, you can’t remove all of the plaque that builds up over time. Basically, this is the kind of cleaning you get if you have a generally healthy mouth.

Scaling & Root Planing

Sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is used to treat gum disease. The “scaling” portion is when plaque and tartar are removed from not just the surface of the teeth, but also from the pockets under your gum line. The “root planing” portion is when your tooth roots are essentially smoothed out, making it easier for the gums to reattach. Since this type of cleaning is more intensive, it is often performed with local anesthetic.

Debridement

A debridement or gross debridement cleaning is used for people who have never visited the dentist, who haven’t visited the dentist in quite some time, or who have struggled to maintain a healthy oral care routine. Performed with a special electrical tool, this kind of cleaning can remove a heavy build-up of plaque and tartar.

Dental Cleanings in Elk Grove, CA

Speaking of dental cleanings, is it time for yours? Book your appointment at Villa Vista Dental by calling us or clicking the contact link below. In addition to routine exams and cleanings, we also offer a wide variety of other dental services. Whatever your smile needs may be, we’re here for you.

Twice a year dental cleanings keep your smile in great shape!


When To See a Cosmetic Dentist?

Smiling young adult woman with dark curly hair.

If it’s more normal for you to hide your smile rather than show it off, it’s possible that you’ve already considered getting some cosmetic dental work. Rather than restorative dentistry, which is focused on restoring the function of teeth, cosmetic dentistry is focused on the aesthetics of your smile. So, when is it the right time to see a cosmetic dentist? If you relate to any of the following statements, then we believe it’s worth scheduling a consultation with Dr. Tin at Villa Vista Dental.

I Want My Teeth To Be Whiter

Not everyone is born with pearly white teeth, and even if you were, there are plenty of foods and beverages that can lead to staining. A cosmetic dentist can help boost the brightness of your teeth with professional teeth whitening treatment. By going to a dentist rather than trying to whiten your teeth on your own, you’re ensuring that you’ll get a fully personalized treatment with professional-level results in a safe and supervised environment.

I Don’t Like the Size or Shape of My Teeth

Is one of your teeth noticeably longer or shorter than the other? Maybe there’s something else about the size or shape of your teeth that’s always bothered you. A cosmetic dentist can help with that! We use custom-made dental veneers, which are super-thin shells of porcelain, to adjust the appearance of your teeth. Dental crowns are another option available to correct misshapen teeth.

I Want To Fix the Alignment of My Teeth

Villa Vista Dentistry also offers several orthodontic options to correct the alignment of your teeth. We provide Six Month Smiles® and ClearCorrect® clear aligners. Our team can walk you through each treatment and help you decide what’s best for you.

I Want to Love the Look of My Teeth!

If you’re ready to see what cosmetic dentistry can do for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation at Villa Vista Dental. We provide a suite of cosmetic dental services at our practice in Elk Grove. Our experienced team would be more than happy to help you design your dream smile. We look forward to hearing from you!

Love the look of your smile!


How to Help a Child’s Fear of the Dentist

Little girl riding a trike with parents helping from behind.

It is natural for children to be afraid of things that are unfamiliar to them, even something as fun as riding a bike! Is your child afraid of going to the dentist’s office? This is quite a common issue with young patients. Many adults also deal with dental anxiety! The good news is there are plenty of strategies you can try as a parent to help alleviate your child’s fear so they can build healthy dental habits in the years to come.

Stay Positive

When talking about the dentist, make sure you stay positive. Avoid using any scary-sounding words like “pain,” “surgery,” or “drill.” Whether you’re talking about your treatment or your child’s, these words heard by young ears can make the dental office seem pretty frightening. If you’ve had negative dental experiences in the past, be careful about sharing those with your child. You don’t want to pass on your concerns to them.

Play Pretend

Before it’s time for your child to go in for their dental appointment, consider a game of pretend. In the familiarity of your home you can walk them through what they’re going to experience at our Elk Grove office. For example, you can pretend to be a dentist teaching them about their teeth. Show them how to brush and hold up a mirror like dental hygienists normally do. Alternatively, you can let your child pretend to be the dentist who’s taking care of their stuffed animal or doll’s teeth. Either way, they’ll become more familiar with the general process.

Read Dental Books for Kids

Switch up the normal bedtime story routine and read your child a colorful picture book related to dental care. There are lots of children’s books available at public libraries that are designed to show kids how fun and important visiting the dentist is, and what it means to have good oral hygiene. With these fun stories in the back of their mind, a dental visit can seem far less intimidating.

Family Dental Care at Villa Vista Dental

If you’re still having trouble getting your child to feel comfortable at a dental office, please feel free to reach out to us at Villa Vista Dental. We see patients young and old at our inviting Elk Grove practice, and we’re happy to help you figure out the best way to ease your child’s concerns. Call or email us today!

We want your child to feel comfortable at the dentist!


Dental Bridge vs. Implants

A cartoon woman with thought bubbles helping her decide between a dental bridge and a dental implant.

If you are missing teeth, you are probably looking for the best way to restore your smile. You may have heard of dental bridges and dental implants, but which one is better for you?

What Are Dental Bridges?

Dental bridges use natural teeth as a support system to create a “bridge” of artificial teeth to cover a gap. This may be a good option if the gap has two healthy, natural teeth on each side.

Pros & Cons of Dental Bridges

Getting a dental bridge is faster and usually more affordable than a dental implant. There’s no need for surgery and the healing time is quicker. However, dental bridges don’t replace a dental root in the same way dental implants do. This could mean that there is a possibility of bone loss in the jaw.

What Are Dental Implants?

The dental implant process starts when Dr. Tin inserts a titanium post into your jaw where the missing tooth used to be. The post will fuse to your jaw bone and serve as a replacement for a dental root. Once it’s healed, a dental crown is put on top of the post to give you a complete smile.

Dental Implants Pros & Cons

Dental implants are a popular choice since they look and function like natural teeth. The implant itself will last a lifetime and the crown will last 15 years or more with proper care. You also don’t need to care for your dental implant differently from the rest of your natural teeth. Dental implants may cost more, especially if you are replacing multiple teeth. The recovery process also takes longer since it can take weeks to heal after the surgery to insert the titanium post.

What Is Best for You?

Every person will have a different answer on which dental restoration is best for them. Dr. Tin is experienced with dental restorations and may recommend another solution if you are missing multiple teeth. Our team will listen to your needs and consider your budget. You can trust Villa Vista Dental to provide honest and appropriate options. If you would like a consultation, please give us a call. We would be happy to provide you with a dental exam and discuss your choices.

We can help you choose between a dental bridge and dental implant!


Preparing to Welcome New Patients

Smiling man in the dental chair.

Are you thinking about setting up a visit with us here at Villa Vista Dental? We are always happy to welcome new patients. To learn a little bit about how we get ready for your visit, and more of what to expect at our office, keep on reading.

How Does Our Team Prepare When We Have a New Patient on Our Schedule?

It’s always exciting to get a new patient! While most dental check-ups are fairly routine, first visits are somewhat unique, since we have never met you or looked at your teeth. Dr. Tin and the rest of the staff are very thorough, so they’ll review any background information that you supplied in advance. That way, they’re primed on some of your history by the time you get in the chair.

How Should I Prepare for My First Visit?

The patient has a little bit of work to do when starting at a new dental practice, too. After making your appointment, access our new patient forms on our website and complete them in advance. Additionally, don’t forget to forward or bring with you any dental or health records that you think our dental team may need. And last, but not least, you’ll want your insurance card, if you have one.

What to Expect When You Arrive at Our Office

We pride ourselves on offering a relaxing, welcoming, and safe setting. You can make yourself comfortable and enjoy a range of amenities, including wifi and television. We also ensure that all our patients feel completely safe throughout their visit by adhering to a number of COVID-19 safety precautions. You can read more about the steps we’re taking on our website.

Welcome to Villa Vista Dental

We’re glad we can look forward to meeting you as a new patient. We know you’ll be pleased with the range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic procedures we offer here at our Elk Grove, CA practice.

We love welcoming new patients!


Benefits of Saving Your Natural Tooth Over Extracting It

Graphic showing how a root canal is used to eliminate infection and save the natural tooth.

Long ago, before modern dentistry, simply removing a tooth that caused problems was very common. Thankfully, dentistry has advanced so now we know how to keep teeth strong and healthy. When teeth do suffer from problems like an infection, we try to save the natural tooth instead of extracting it. Why? What are the benefits of saving a natural tooth?

Natural Teeth: There’s Nothing Better

When you have a tooth removed, you can get a replacement, but no matter how good the replacement is, it’s not the same. When a tooth is extracted, it affects the natural structure of your mouth and removes the root. Replacements like dentures and bridges help restore your smile and chewing function, but they don’t replace the root. As a result, your jawbone doesn’t receive stimulation from chewing. Over time, you lose bone density, which leads to other tooth problems and changes in your facial appearance.

What About Dental Implants?

Dental implants replace roots with a biocompatible titanium post, which helps with jaw stimulation. They still aren’t better than a healthy natural tooth, however. The process of getting dental implants also takes a while and they can be costly. If you’ve already lost a tooth, implants are great, but if you still have your natural tooth, we will do what we can to preserve it.

How We Save Teeth

Whenever possible, Dr. Tin will save your natural teeth. A root canal is one of the most common and effective ways to do that. Root canals have a bad reputation, but they are a much better alternative to extraction and they have a high success rate. Thanks to modern dentistry, root canals are not scary anymore. After treatment, you might experience some inflammation or mild discomfort, but it’s nothing compared to what you likely felt before the root canal.

Protecting Your Teeth at Villa Vista Dental

Here at our Elk Grove office, we want to protect your smile and oral health. Saving a natural tooth instead of extracting it is one of the ways we do that. You can keep your teeth strong and healthy with good oral hygiene habits at home and checkups every six months. You may never need a tooth-saving treatment like a root canal, but if you do, we’re here to make the experience as smooth and comfortable as possible. Please contact us today with any questions!

We work hard to protect your smile and oral health!


Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

3 cartoon electric toothbrushes on a stage competing for "best toothbrush".
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Proper brushing is vital to your oral health. When you brush at least twice a day, you remove the sticky plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay. Is it better to use an electric toothbrush or a regular manual one? Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA provides a look at some key features and how the toothbrushes compare to each other.

Ease of Use

Electric toothbrushes do more of the work for you. Thanks to a battery-powered motor, the toothbrush head moves quickly. All you need to do is guide the brush around your teeth. Electric brushes are especially useful for people who have limited mobility, like someone with arthritis. With a manual brush, you’re responsible for moving the brush head over each tooth.

Cleaning Power

Research shows that, in general, electric toothbrushes remove more plaque. Most electric brushes also offer a variety of cleaning modes like a deep clean mode, sensitive mode, gum care mode, and so on. A timer on the brush ensures you clean as long as recommended by dentists. This doesn’t mean that manual brushes are ineffective. Proper brushing technique and brushing for two minutes with a manual toothbrush gets your teeth clean. It just takes more attention.

Price

Electric toothbrushes are always more expensive than manual brushes. Some are significantly pricier. You also have to keep buying replacement heads, which can cost more than a manual toothbrush. A possible benefit is that if your oral health significantly improves with an electric toothbrush, you save money on other dental costs like cavity fillings. If your oral health is already great with a manual toothbrush, an electric one may not be worth the cost.

Final Call?

So, what’s the verdict on electric vs. manual toothbrushes? When it comes to ease of use and cleaning power, electric toothbrushes win. On price, manual toothbrushes are better. Manual toothbrushes can also clean just as well as electric brushes if used properly. Whatever you choose to brush with at home, getting regular cleanings and exams at Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove is important, too. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment with Dr. Tin, please contact us today!

Need help deciding if an electric toothbrush is worth the expense?


Same Day Crowns vs. Regular Crowns

Smiling brunette woman looking sideways from the dental chair

Nowadays, the evolution of dental technology means that many restorative treatments are quicker and more comfortable than ever before. For example, our CEREC Omnicam system means that Dr. Tin can create and place dental crowns during the same visit. Don’t believe it? Read on to learn about same day crowns vs. regular crowns!

When Do We Use Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are a versatile restorative treatment for a variety of dental issues resulting from damage to your natural tooth. Crowns fit snugly over your natural tooth like a protective shield. Not only do they protect your tooth from further damage, but they also restore the look and function of your natural tooth. If cavities, cracks, or other issues have damaged your natural tooth, we commonly recommend a crown.

What Are the Benefits of Same Day Crowns?

Traditionally, regular dental crowns required multiple visits to the dentist’s office. During the first visit, our team would take an impression of your natural tooth, then send the results away to the lab. In the meantime, we fitted patients with a temporary crown while waiting on the customized crown from the lab. Now, our CEREC system eliminates the need for sending impressions to a lab off site! That means no waiting around with an uncomfortable temporary crown — your treatment is complete during the same day!

How Do Same-Day Crowns Work?

First, we use digital imaging software to construct a 3D model of your damaged tooth. Not only are digital images more accurate, they’re more comfortable than the messy impressions of the past. Once we construct a model for your dental crown, we send the specifications to our onsite milling unit for fabrication. After about 15 minutes, your crown will be ready. Then, we’ll place and polish your new crown. Once we check the crown for fit and comfort, you’ll be on your way!

Same Day Crowns in Elk Grove, CA

With our same-day dental crowns, Villa Vista Dental can offer quicker treatment than ever before. To ask our team any questions or schedule your next appointment, call our office today!

Getting a crown takes only one visit in Elk Grove, CA!