Use Your Dental Benefits Before the End of the Year!

A computer screen showing information about dental insurance.

We’re in the final stretch of 2021. There’s probably a lot on your to-do list with the holidays fast approaching. Amid all the hustle and bustle, we want to give you an important reminder. Make sure to use your dental benefits before the year ends!

You Either Use Them or Lose Them

Dental insurance generally runs on a year-to-year basis. Any dental benefits you have paid for that haven’t been used by the end of the calendar year will most likely expire. That means that after meeting your deductible, all those “dental dollars” you’ve already earned with your monthly insurance payments will go down the drain.

Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits for Preventive Services

Wondering how to use up your dental benefits before you lose them? The first thing we advise patients to do is to check and see whether or not they’ve gotten all their dental cleanings for the year. Most insurance plans cover two every year, and it always feels great to get a professional cleaning done.

Use Your Dental Insurance Benefits for Restorative Services

We know it can be easy to delay getting dental treatment because of the higher cost of major procedures. This is a good time to discuss with Dr. Tin about finally getting that restorative treatment you’ve been delaying. If you’ve met your deductible, it might make financial sense. In some cases, we can split up the treatments so that part of the procedure is covered by this year’s dental benefits, and the rest can be scheduled in 2022 when your insurance benefits renew.

Comprehensive Dental Care in Elk Grove

If the ins and outs of dental insurance are leaving you feeling confused, don’t worry—the Villa Vista Dental team is there for you! Contact our knowledgeable team and we will be happy to answer any financial questions you might have. We’re also ready to get your end-of-year appointments scheduled before things get even busier.

Use your dental insurance benefits before they expire!


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!


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!


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!


3 Advantages to Same-Day Crowns

Drawing of CEREC same day crown milling machine & computer

If you have a damaged or severely decayed tooth, dental crowns are a great way to preserve your natural tooth. The sooner you can repair it, the more likely you are to avoid more serious dental issues, lose the tooth, or have to deal with prolonged tooth pain and discomfort. That’s where CEREC® same-day crowns come in! Same-day crowns offer a wide array of benefits over traditional multi-visit crowns. After only one visit to our Elk Grove, CA office, we’ll have you back to enjoying a healthy, pain-free smile!

CEREC Advantages

No Temporary Crowns

With same-day crowns, we complete the entire crown process in a single visit. This means you don’t have to wear an ill-fitting, uncomfortable temporary crown while we have an off-site lab make your permanent one. You’ll leave our office with your final crown!

Quick, High-Tech Process

First, we prepare the tooth by removing a thin layer of enamel to make room for the crown. Then, we take a precise, digital impression of the tooth and design your custom crown using our advanced smile preview software. Once the design is complete, we’ll use our on-site milling unit to create your custom crown with high-quality ceramic.

Customized Fit

By crafting your crown on-site, we can easily adjust the fit and assess your bite to make sure your crown feels great! We take digital bite impressions and analyze the contours of your tooth to ensure your crown fits seamlessly over your tooth. We do everything we can so that when you leave our office, your same-day crown is just right.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you need a dental crown, Villa Vista Dental is here to help! Dr. Tin has undergone advanced training to provide CEREC crowns to the community. Contact us to book your crown consultation to see if same-day crowns are right for you!

CEREC same-day crowns are hassle-free!


Custom-Made Dentures to Fit My Smile

Smiling sweet faced older woman with dentures

Dentures are a wonderful solution to missing teeth. And, thanks in part to rapid advancements in dental technology, they’re a solution that offers natural, comfortable results. Today’s dentures allow you to keep on speaking, eating, and smiling as usual.

Custom-Made Dentures

Dentures are a custom solution to missing teeth. That’s why they wear so well, and so many of our patients love them. So, what are dentures? Simply put, they are a removable form of tooth replacement. Different situations call for different restorative techniques. While some patients’ needs may be addressed by an implant, bridge, or set of veneers, some patients will find that dentures fit their needs.

The Process of Getting Dentures

Here’s a quick look into the denture creation and fitting process. Once it’s been decided that dentures are the solution for you, Dr. Ricky Tin will take measurements and impressions. This data will inform the creation of your custom-made dentures. Once a model has been made based on your measurements and mold, you’ll get a chance to try it on for size. If it’s a fit, it’ll be used to make the final product. Once your final dentures are ready, you’ll come in to try them on and if needed, adjustments can be made. Our Elk Grove team will give you some instructions and pointers on how to wear them, and you’ll be all set with a brand new smile.

Dentures at Villa Vista Dental

At our office, we’re pleased to be able to offer a few different denture options to suit our patients’ varied needs. Visit our website to learn more about the following options we offer in our office:

  • Full conventional dentures
  • Overdentures
  • Partial dentures

Ready for Dentures? Give us a Call

If you think dentures might be a great fit for your dental needs, we’re here to help you get started on your journey to a new smile! Give our Elk Grove, CA office a ring as soon as restrictions are lifted and we’ll set you up with an initial consultation.

Dentures Can Get You Smiling Again!


Dental Implants vs. Dentures

Smiling older black couple with the man standing behind the woman and enfolding her in his arms

Dental implants and dentures are part of a subcategory of dentistry called “restoration.” This type of dentistry fixes gaps in your smile caused by missing or damaged teeth, restoring it so you can eat, talk and smile with confidence again. Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA, offers both dental implants and dentures. We want you to understand the differences before deciding which choice is best for you. As always, we’ll be here to help you make the best decision for your particular situation.

Dental Implants

If you want something that is as close to your natural teeth as possible, then implants are the way to go. A titanium screw is surgically inserted into your healthy jawbone below the gumline where your tooth root used to be. As it heals, the jawbone grows around the screw. Once the healing is complete, the implant is topped with a restoration that matches the rest of your teeth. It functions just like a real tooth. You brush and floss it just as you would a natural tooth. Eating and speaking are no different with a dental implant than with a regular tooth. It is possible to have multiple dental implants, but this procedure is not usually the best choice if you have many teeth that need replacing.

Partial Dentures

This is an affordable option if you are missing a string of teeth. Rather than have an implant inserted for each tooth, you can opt for a partial denture that is held in place on the sides by either implants or functional teeth. This is a hybrid between implants and dentures. Your restoration will be custom-made to match your teeth and look as realistic as possible.

Full Dentures

If all, many, or most of your teeth need to be replaced then this is a choice to consider. Great advances have been made in denture technology in recent years. George Washington probably would have smiled a lot more if he had access to the comfortable and realistic dentures that are made today. No more nightmare dentures held together with metal springs! Full dentures are kept in place with denture adhesive or mini dental implants. Dentures are easy to clean and maintain.

Smile Restorations at Villa Vista Dentistry

As you can see, there are more tooth replacement options available than ever before. Sometimes that makes it harder to make a decision! Help is here in Elk Grove, California. Our team can assess your individual case and make recommendations based on your budget, your oral health, and your smile expectations. Contact us today for a consultation.

Call us today to learn more about dental implants!


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!


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!


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!