Cavities What Are My Options? | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all do our best to try to keep our smiles bright and healthy, but there are times when things slip through the cracks and our dental visit reveals that we have developed a cavity. Always a gut punch to the ego, cavities are a very common occurrence, even to the most diligent dental patient. And in the past, the treatment option was simple – get a metallic filling.

Amalgam fillings, or metallic fillings, have been around for years and have been used by dentists to complete many cosmetic procedures. Metal fillings are most commonly used to fill holes left by cavities. While using this procedure is indeed very effective, there are a multitude of controversies surrounding the safety and appearance of them. After all, our teeth are white. The fillings are silver. Discretion about the state of your teeth is non-existent. Everyone can see every flaw when they are so obvious.

As far as safety is concerned, metal fillings are made out of a material composed of 50% mercury mixed with another 50% of copper, silver, and tin. The controversies sprung from the idea that too much mercury in one’s system has been proven to cause neurological issues and thus, made patients skittish.

If you don’t want to go the traditional route, ask your dentist about tooth-colored fillings. Tooth-colored fillings, or resin, are made out of a much safer material than amalgam fillings, or the traditional option. Along with that, these fillings are safer, and enhance the cosmetic appearance of teeth due to their natural tooth like color.

Our dental flaws are something that shouldn’t have to be obvious to everyone you meet. With tooth-colored fillings, no one will be able to tell the difference.

Wearing a Night Guard Is a Good Idea | Manhattan Beach Dentist

We all need a good night’s sleep if we want to keep our bodies running at optimum levels. But for many of us, these nights are few and far between because we’re grinding our teeth as we sleep and wake up with a dull headache or a sore jaw. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a dental condition that affects as many as 1 out of 10 adults and in rare cases, may also affect children and teenagers. Common symptoms of bruxism include neck pain, jaw pain, headache, and tooth pain.

The most common means of alleviating the pain that comes with bruxism is taking care of the teeth grinding itself, which usually happens while one is sleeping, by wearing a dental appliance known as a night guard. Night guards are available at most pharmacies and can be bought without a prescription, or you can visit your dentist for a custom one.

In addition to a better, more sound sleep, night guards have other benefits:

Lesser pain and discomfort when you wake up. While the main purpose of wearing a night guard is to protect your teeth from further damage, these dental appliances can also make a huge difference for patients who complain about sore jaws, muscle fatigue and spasms, earaches, neck pain and other types of pain commonly associated with bruxism.

Improved sleep patterns. Because of how night guards minimize common bruxism symptoms, they also help improve your once-disrupted sleeping patterns. The mouth guard helps improve the position of your jaws to make it easier for your muscle to relax and helping you avoid that stress-filled sleep that you’ve come to get used to because of bruxism.

If you have questions or concerns regarding night guards, contact Dr. Anthony Yamada, DDS at 310-546-2595 to schedule a consultation today, or visit www.anthonyyamadadds.com for additional information.

Proudly serving Manhattan Beach and all surrounding areas.