What Is the Dental Implant Procedure?

Artistic rendering of a dental implant with the titanium post in the jawbone on the left and the post topped with a dental crown on the right
LEFT: The titanium implant post fuses with the jawbone RIGHT: The implant is topped with a dental crown

If you need to improve or restore your smile, then dental implants may be a good choice. But what is the dental implant procedure? In this blog, we’ll explain what dental implants are, the benefits, and how they are placed.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an oral procedure that can improve your smile if you have a missing tooth or missing teeth. Specifically, dental implants are metal posts that support replacement teeth. The post is made from titanium, a strong, corrosion-resistant metal. The post is capped with a dental crown and the end result is a natural-looking smile. Implants can last for a very long time. Watch the videos under our Dental Implant FAQ for more information.

What Is the Dental Implant Procedure?

The dental implant procedure requires multiple trips to our office. First, you’ll make an appointment so that we can determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants. We do this by determining if your jawbone is strong enough to support an implant. If you are a good candidate, then you can schedule an appointment to place the dental implants. Dr. Ricky Tin will drill a hole into your jawbone so that the implant can be surgically placed. This might sound intimidating but Dr. Tin is experienced with the procedure and stays up-to-date with the latest dental technologies. His gentle care will make the procedure as painless as possible.

After this part of the dental implant procedure, your jaw will begin to heal and the bone will start to grow around and fuse with the implant. This creates a strong base for replacement teeth. Once the implant and bone have fused completely, we’ll place the replacement tooth on top of the implant. The crown will be specially made to match your natural teeth. Several implants can be done at the same time if necessary to complete your smile.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are great because they are permanent fixtures that won’t move around in your mouth when you’re talking or eating. They are also very long-lasting if you care for them correctly by brushing and flossing every day. Using fluoride toothpaste and eating a diet low in carbs and sugars can also help keep your implants in good shape. Dental implants look and feel more natural than other tooth replacement options. Another benefit is that they act like a tooth root, therefore they help maintain good jaw strength and density.

Dental Implants at Villa Vista Dental

If you think you may be a good candidate for dental implants, then give our team in Elk Grove a call to schedule a consultation. We can also discuss other options available to you to restore your smile such as veneers and dental crowns. We offer a number of payment options which gives you another thing to smile about.

Call us today to learn more about dental implants!


How to Prevent Gum Disease

Artistic rendering describing the states of gum or periodontal disease

What Is Gum Disease?


Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an oral health condition that occurs when plaque–a clear, sticky film–builds up in your mouth. Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, swollen or red gums, loose teeth, receding gums, changes in bite, and bad breath that won’t go away. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is the precursor to gum disease. When gum disease occurs, it pulls the gums away from the teeth to form pockets that bacteria and debris start to build up in. The plaque will spread to under the gums if the pockets become infected. If the infection is left untreated, it could destroy the gum tissue and bone. The result is that your gums are no longer able to support your teeth.

What Causes Gum Disease?


Plaque buildup is the primary cause of gum disease. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, there is a good chance you will develop gum disease. However, there are other reasons why you might have gum disease. Genetics can sometimes play a role. About 30% of people are more predisposed to developing gum disease. People who smoke are also at a higher risk. Misaligned teeth also create a hazard because they are harder to floss and brush well enough to get rid of the plaque. Some other causes of gum disease include stress, poor nutrition, grinding teeth, dry mouth, and hormones. Gum disease can also be associated with diseases like HIV, IBS and leukemia.

Treating Gum Disease


At Villa Vista Dental, we have special equipment to detect and treat gum disease. We offer laser gum therapy for advanced gum disease. By avoiding scalpels and sutures, your recovery time is much faster. If you think you may have gum disease, don’t wait to call for a consultation. If left untreated, gum disease can be very harmful to your overall health.

How to Prevent Gum Disease


The best prevention is practicing good oral health habits every day. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and using toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen your teeth. Additionally, a diet low in sugar and carbs and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Another great way to prevent gum disease is by coming in for regular checkups and cleanings. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Call us today if you’re ready to discuss your straightening options!


Straight Teeth Faster with Six Month Smiles

Black mother, daughter and father smiling in front of green trees

For those who are considering orthodontic treatment, time can be a deterrent. Traditional braces may need to be worn for up two years! Not everyone is interested in the lifestyle adjustments, look, and feel, that come with wearing braces for that period of time. The good news is that Six Month Smiles is a faster option. It’s safe, effective, and great for anyone who doesn’t want to wait for straighter teeth!

All About Six Month Smiles


Want straighter teeth by your next dental checkup? Then Six Month Smiles may be for you. Essentially, Six Month Smiles is an orthodontic appliance that focuses mainly on straightening the front six teeth. Six Month Smiles uses tooth-colored wires and brackets that are more discreet than traditional braces. They are most well-suited to those with mild to moderate misalignment. Individuals with complex bite issues should schedule a consultation first to see if it’s the right treatment.

Straight Teeth Faster


Are you tired of hiding your smile because of tooth gaps or misaligned teeth but unsure about committing to a year or more of wearing metal braces? Then you have even more reasons that this option might be great for you. Even though the brackets are less noticeable, they are still effective at straightening teeth within mere months. As a result, you get the benefits of a huge difference to the look and feel of your smile in a shorter period of time. This makes them a great option for busy adults.

Villa Vista Orthodontics


If you’ve been considering options for getting a better, more beautiful smile, call us and ask about our budget friendly options. We offer ClearCorrect® and Six Month Smiles®, both alternatives to the hassle of wearing traditional braces. We want to help you achieve your ideal smile in a time frame that works for you!

Call us today if you’re ready to discuss your straightening options!


What Foods to Avoid with Dentures

woman eating a carrot

Dentures are a wonderful way for those who’ve lost all of their teeth to be able to eat, talk, and smile as they would before. But just like with natural teeth, there are some foods that you should avoid eating with dentures to prevent any complications as you begin to enjoy your new smile.

Foods to Avoid When You First Get Dentures

As you adjust to your new dentures, you should slowly adjust to eating hot foods as you get used to your new heat tolerance level. You should also slowly introduce softer, more textured foods, like rice and beans, over time.

Foods to Avoid in General

Although you can enjoy most of the foods that you like to eat with dentures, there are some foods that you should steer clear of to avoid any issues with your new smile. This includes:

  • Sticky Foods. Sticky foods, like certain candies or peanut butter, because they can shift your dentures out of place and cause discomfort.
  • Hard Foods. Hard foods require you to apply pressure from your jaws to bite down, which can shift your dentures. Apples, corn on the cob, and raw carrots are all examples of hard goods.
  • Certain Meats. Pork chops and steak all require time to tenderize, which can put pressure on your dentures and gums.
  • Foods with Small Pieces. Foods with seeds (like sesame and poppy seed rolls), popcorn, and some nuts and seeds can get stuck under your dentures, which can cause irritation and discomfort.

Aside from these foods, you can enjoy all of the foods that you normally eat. Remember to remove your dentures periodically to rest your gums and to thoroughly clean your dentures daily.

Customized Dentures at Villa Vista Dental

If you’re missing all of your teeth, you don’t need to settle for uncomfortable, ill-fitting dentures. Our staff at Villa Vista Dental can create a customized, modern, and comfortable dentures that can restore your smile.

Contact us for a consultation today!


5 Causes of Tooth Discoloration

woman wearing a hoodie smoking a cigarette

You know that taking good care of your teeth is all about keeping good habits. But what about bad habits? There may be ways that you’re sabotaging your oral health without even realizing it. Several habits can lead to problems like discoloration that can be hard to treat or reverse. Here are a few habits that you should avoid if you want to maintain bright, white teeth.

1. Using Tobacco Products

Smoking and using chewing tobacco is a quick way to stain teeth and cause discoloration. These products contain particles that will stick to the teeth and create a brownish hue. Not only that, cigarettes and tobacco products can cause oral and lung cancers. We recommend quitting as soon as possible if you use these.

2. Staining Beverages

Coffee, tea, and wine are some of the most popular beverages consumed by American adults. The problem is that they can also cause a lot of extrinsic staining on your teeth. That means that the dark tint these drinks create stay on the enamel, or outer layer of the teeth. If you’re not ready to give up your favorite morning or evening drink, try drinking them through a straw. This will reduce the chances of staining. When you do drink coffee, wine, and tea, be sure to drink plenty of water to rinse and brush teeth after if possible.

3. Abrasive Tooth Cleaning Products

“Natural” whitening products like charcoal toothpaste, baking soda, or fruit can create irreversible staining by eroding the enamel of the teeth. Unlike extrinsic staining, this type of staining is harder to fix. We recommend avoiding these types of products for tooth cleaning. If you’re interested in having your teeth whitened, let us know. We are happy to talk to you about professional whitening.

4. Bad Brushing Technique

Forgetting to brush or not brushing correctly is a surefire way to stain teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each day. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush. Many people brush their teeth too hard. This can also lead to enamel erosion and staining that’s difficult to correct. Brush gently and in circular motions.

5. Ditching the Dentist

Not prioritizing your biannual dental appointments will not only contribute to discoloration and staining, but it will also increase your chances of developing cavities, plaque and gingivitis. Coming in for regular cleanings is necessary for a bright, healthy smile.

Interested in Whitening Options?

Call today if it’s time to set up a checkup. Let us know at your appointment if you’re interested in whitening options for your teeth. We have solutions to help you achieve your brightest smile!

Want to avoid tooth discoloration?


Toothache Pain Relief Options

Brunette woman cringes in pain and touches her cheek due to a toothache

Toothaches can happen for a variety of reasons. If you’ve ever had a severe toothache, you know how much they can affect your ability to function. Trouble eating, sleeping, brushing teeth, or even concentrating can be side effects of a toothache.

A severe toothache is considered a dental emergency because it could signify a deeper issue, like advanced decay or an abscess. Call our office if you’re suffering from new or worsened tooth pain. Additionally, there are a few ways you can manage your pain from home until we see you.

1. Use A Cold Compress

If your toothache is so bad that it feels as though it’s radiating from your cheek and face, use a cold compress for some quick relief. Soak washcloths or dishrags in cool water and place them in the fridge. Switch them out intermittently as they begin to become warm on your face. Doing this will help reduce pain and swelling.

2. Take Over-The-Counter Medication

Anti-inflammatory pain medication is available at your local drugstore and can bring fast relief and help to reduce swelling. Ibuprofen and aspirin are the best options until we can see you. If you need a stronger medication, call us first. Do not take a friend or family member’s prescribed pain killer.

3. Eat Soft Foods

Avoid hard, hot, and cold foods until your problem is addressed. Applesauce, scrambled eggs, low-sugar yogurt, purees, and other soft foods are best to help you not aggravate the area in pain.

4. Be Gentle While Brushing & Flossing

Brush gently around the area in pain and try to not place too much pressure on it. A few times a day, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water to cleanse and reduce pain.

Toothache Treatment in Elk Grove, CA

We’re so sorry if you’re experiencing dental pain! Rest assured, there is a solution and we can help you find it. So please don’t delay calling us if you have a toothache.

Tooth pain driving you crazy?


Signs You May Need Root Canal Therapy

Brunette man with facial hair in a gray shirt strokes his chin while wondering if he needs root canal therapy

For some, just hearing that you might need root canal therapy is enough to cause a toothache. But how do you know that you may need to get one? Here are some of the warning signs to look out for.

Why Would I Need Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal therapy is required when the pulp, the innermost soft layer of a tooth, becomes damaged or infected. The cause of this could be advanced decay or even serious trauma to the tooth such as a bad chip, break, or a bad crown. Additionally, if you’ve had a lot of dental work done around the tooth, it might have sustained enough damage to require root canal treatment.

How Do I Know If I Need Root Canal Therapy?

Common warning signs that indicate you need root canal treatment include severe and throbbing pain (especially when you apply pressure on the tooth), your tooth becoming darker, extreme sensitivity, and swelling around the tooth.

The Root Canal Therapy Procedure

After we have determined that you require root canal therapy, we will first numb the area around your tooth so you won’t feel any pain during your procedure. We will then remove the infected pulp from your tooth and clean out the canals to remove all traces of infection and damage from the area. After the tooth is cleaned out and free of infection, we’ll fill the canals with a special material called gutta-percha to strengthen the tooth and ward off future infection. Then, the area will be fortified with a filling or dental crown, depending on the extent of the damage.

How to Prevent Root Canal Therapy

In order to prevent root canal treatment, it is important to maintain exceptional oral health habits. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss daily, brush your tongue every day, stay hydrated with water, chew only sugar-free gum, consume a balanced diet, and come visit our Villa Vista Dental team for cleanings and exams twice a year, even if your teeth seem perfectly healthy.

Don’t Delay Receiving Treatment

If you are feeling pain, sensitivity, or discomfort, don’t wait to see a dentist. It’s better to catch things as early as possible to prevent further damage.

Schedule a checkup today!


Abscessed Tooth Symptoms & Treatments

Brunette man cringes in pain and touches his cheek due to an untreated abscess

Tooth abscesses can be debilitating painful and are almost always an indication of a more serious underlying issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Here’s how you can tell if you have an abscessed tooth and how you can properly treat it.

Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that is due to a bacterial infection. Abscesses can either occur at the tip of the tooth root or on the gums beside the tooth root.

Abscesses are caused by injury due to prior dental work or advanced decay. Signs of an abscess include severe pain that can radiate, sensitivity to temperature or pressure, fever, swelling, foul smell or taste in your mouth, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Abscess Treatment

If you suspect that you have an abscess, you must seek treatment from a dentist right away. They will take an X-ray and conduct any other necessary tests to confirm that you have an abscess, and then develop a course of action from there. Usually, they will drain the abscess, and may have to perform a root canal (if you have infected pulp) or pull the infected tooth entirely. You will also have to take antibiotics in order to kill off any of the bad bacteria that have collected in your mouth over time. You may also be prescribed painkillers and be required to rinse your mouth with warm salt water to reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.

Preventing a Tooth Abscess

In most cases, abscesses are due to neglect and lack of proper dental hygiene. To avoid an abscess, you should be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice a day to maintain good oral health. Seeing your dentist regularly is also a good way to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and strong.

If you believe you have an abscess and require treatment or if you have any questions about how to improve your oral health, don’t hesitate to contact our staff at Villa Vista Dental. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

If you have any questions about any oral health issue, contact Villa Vista Dental!


Dental Implants vs. Veneers

Man and woman with dental implants and veneers smile as they cuddle on the couch with orange mugs

Dental implants and veneers are increasingly common dental procedures, but patients are often uncertain which one is best for them. Simply put, dental implants are intended to solve an oral health problem, while veneers are intended to solve merely a cosmetic problem. In this article, we give an overview of both dental implants and veneers, and summarize the benefits of each.

Dental Implants

When teeth are missing or removed, the only options are to do nothing or to add artificial replacement teeth. Traditionally, replacing teeth has been accomplished with dental bridges or dentures. But dental implants are now recognized as the superior option for a permanent solution. They serve as artificial tooth roots, with a biocompatible titanium rod being surgically inserted into the jawbone to bond with the natural bone. Then, an “abutment” is connected to the top of the dental implant that serves to hold an artificial crown, which is custom-made to match the look and feel of your natural teeth.

Benefits

Not only are modern dental implants the strongest and most realistic option to replace teeth, but they require virtually no more maintenance than regular teeth. They are also the only tooth replacement option that actually helps stimulate bone growth to prevent bone loss.

Veneers

Dental veneers are thin pieces of tooth-colored porcelain that are cemented to the front surfaces of natural teeth. They offer a permanent solution to many cosmetic dental issues, such as teeth that are misshapen, discolored, or otherwise imperfect. Gapped teeth or crooked teeth are typically treated with braces or other orthodontic treatments, but veneers can often accomplish the same cosmetic effect. Of course, it doesn’t correct the underlying condition, but the cosmetic flaws are rendered invisible.

Benefits

Veneers are designed to look just the way you want, so you can create your dream smile! Additionally, being stain-resistant, veneers offer a permanent way to whiten your smile. There’s never any need for whitening treatments!

If you have any questions about dental implants or veneers, contact us today to set up a consultation at Villa Vista Dental!


The History of Modern Dentistry

Brunette man sits in a dental chair as a dental hygienist examines his mouth with modern dentistry tools

Humans have been trying to fix bad teeth since about 7,000 B.C., according to archaeological evidence. But dentistry didn’t become a serious profession until the 18th century. Read on to learn about the history and evolution of modern dentistry!

The Birth of Modern Dentistry

The French surgeon Pierre Fauchard is widely considered to be the founding father of modern dentistry. His book The Surgeon Dentist, published in 1723, defined the first comprehensive system for caring for and treating teeth.

Dr. Fauchard was the first person to assert that tooth decay was caused by acids derived from sugar, refuting the centuries-old belief that cavities were caused by tooth worms. He also pioneered the use of dental fillings, and kept dentures in place by anchoring them to molars—a technique that provided the foundation for modern metal braces.

Dentistry in the USA

The world’s first dental school was established in 1828 by Dr. John M. Harris in Bainbridge, Ohio. Not long afterward, in 1840, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery was established as the first dental college in the nation, followed five years later by the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati. In 1859, the dental profession’s first official organization, the American Dental Association, was formed. And in 1867, the Harvard University Dental School was the first university-affiliated dental institution.

Dentistry & Consumer Products

In the 1870s, the soap and candle manufacturer Colgate and Company introduced the first commercial toothpaste packaged in a jar. After Dr. Sheffield introduced a collapsible tube of his Crème Dentifrice in 1892, Colgate followed suit. Mass-produced toothbrushes with nylon bristles appeared shortly after the debut of Colgate toothpaste. Proctor and Gamble was the first company to put fluoride in toothpaste, with its Crest brand in 1955.

Modern Dental Care at Villa Vista Dentistry

Of course, dental technology and techniques have come a long way over the years. At Villa Vista Dental, we keep up with the latest advancements in our industry. Our office is equipped with modern dental technology, and we constantly search for ways to improve each patient’s experience.

If you have any dental issues, or if you’re overdue for a checkup, contact us today to set up an appointment with Dr. Tin!