overview

Dental Procedures

The San Diego office of Smiles by Design offers a full range of dental services. Procedures cover general dentistry offerings and cosmetic and restorative dental options. Sedation is featured to make dental procedures more streamlined and comfortable. We also provide children’s dentistry services, as we believe early dental care is imperative for maintaining healthy teeth throughout a patient’s life. Dr. Daniel Javaheri and the Smiles by Design are fully committed to providing dental care for patients of all ages.

General Dentistry

The Smiles by Design staff provides the latest in general dentistry services – each of which will put a smile on your face and keep you smiling long after the completion of the treatment. Following is a brief summation of what we provide.

Composite White Fillings

A composite filling is made of a tooth-colored plastic combined with glass. It is used to restore teeth with small cavities. Composites may also be used for cosmetic reasons to enhance a tooth’s color or reshape a tooth. The composite is placed in layers by the dentist, each of which is solidified by a specialized light. Afterward, the dentist shapes the composite so it fits nicely to the tooth. The composite is then polished to reduce staining and wear.

Dental Bridges

Like dental implants and partial dentures, dental bridges are used to replace missing teeth. When voids are not filled, it can lead to changes in the bite, tooth shifting, or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Missing teeth can also increase the risk for dental decay or periodontal disease and lead to problems with speech.

Dental bridges are fixed and cannot be removed. Three types of bridges are used for restoration – conventional fixed bridges, cantilever bridges, and resin-bonded bridges. Cantilever bridges and conventional bridges require that the teeth be shaped next to the missing tooth. These teeth are fitted with crowns before they are affixed to a pontic or artificial tooth.

A resin-bonded bridge requires less preparation of the neighboring teeth. It is frequently used to replace the teeth in the front. This restoration can be placed as long as the gums are healthy and the adjacent teeth have not been filled.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a restoration that is used to cover or cap a tooth and restore it to its regular size and shape. It also strengthens and enhances the appearance of a tooth. Dental crowns are needed when a tooth is either broken down or a filling will not adequately support a large cavity. It a tooth is cracked, a crown can be used to support the tooth so the damage does not worsen.

Crowns are used for restoration, as well, to attach the pontic of a bridge or protect a weak tooth from fracture. Crowns are also used to cover discolorations or misshapen teeth.

The dentist’s primary goal, when placing a crown, is to make it look natural. That is why an impression is made before the crown is made. When a crown is placed, your tooth will be functionally stronger as well as more attractive.

Dentures

A denture is a removable appliance that is used to replace missing teeth. Dentures are typically made of an acrylic plastic or metal and porcelain materials. Dentures are made to resemble natural gum tissues and teeth.

When complete dentures are made, they replace all the teeth. Partial dentures, on the other hand, are used to fill gaps created by missing teeth. Partial dentures prevent the other natural teeth in the mouth from shifting their positions.

A same-day denture is inserted immediately following the removal of natural teeth. This same-day denture is used to protect the gum tissues and reduce bleeding after the extraction. A conventional denture is normally placed two months to three months after the teeth have been extracted and the gum tissue heals.

Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial root that is anchored surgically into the jaw. After the root fuses with the jawbone, a bridge or replacement tooth is affixed with an abutment to hold a restoration in place. Implants make it possible to restore missing teeth without the need to rely on the support of neighboring teeth. Implants are considered an ideal solution for missing teeth because they appear and look like real teeth and are considered permanent.

When they are strategically placed, dental implants can also be used to support permanent and cemented bridges, thereby eliminating the need for a denture. While the cost is more, implants, when used with the bridges, convey a more natural in appearance.

Gum Disease Prevention

Gum disease prevention is necessary to keep the teeth anchored in the jaw and enhance the overall health of the patient. Gum disease can take one of three forms. In its early stages, it is known as gingivitis. During this stage, the gums are inflamed as the result of the buildup of dental plaque. During this early stage, the disease can be reversed, as the bone and connective tissue have not yet been compromised.

Periodontitis is the stage of gum disease where the supporting bone and connective fibers are irreversibly damaged. At this point, the gums begin forming pockets below the gum line. Periodontal therapy and better at-home hygiene are recommended to prevent further problems.
Advanced periodontitis is the last stage of gum disease. During this phase, the teeth have either shifted or loosened. When this happens, it can affect how you chew or communicate. Restorative options are recommended if the disease can no longer be treated.

In most cases, gum disease is treated using root planning and scaling along with surgery and antibiotics, when indicated. It is important to treat the condition immediately to prevent further damage to the gums and teeth.

Oral Cancer Screenings

VELscopy technology is used for oral cancer screenings at Smiles by Design Dentistry. By employing the VELscope with a regular exam, suspicious areas can more easily be identified. The equipment that is used is similar in concept to early detection techniques, such as mammography.
The VELscope screening is both painless and reliable. Early detection of precancerous tissue can greatly reduce or eliminate disfiguration and save patients’ lives. The exam only takes a couple of minutes and is completely safe. It is also affordable and is covered by many insurance providers.

Sedation

Sedation is a process that is used in the dental office to maintain a state of calm in the dental patient. Sedatives or certain drugs are used for this purpose. The drugs are administered in various ways. While IVs were often used in the past, today, sedation can be provided through other means.
A “no needle” approach is often used or inhalation is featured (using nitrous oxide or laughing gas). Today, oral sedation dentistry is now the most common method used for dental sedation in the US. This “no needle” approach enables the patient to feel more comfortable and relaxed. Oral sedation maintains a level of consciousness in the patient that keeps him or her safe as well as cooperative.
At Smiles by Design Dentistry, both oral sedation and laughing gas are offered to keep a patient calm and relaxed. Each method is discussed when you consult with the dentist and are planning a course of treatment.

TMJ/TMD Treatment

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a located in front of the ear. It is comprised of the mandible or lower jaw and the temporal bone, which is located next to the skull. The joint works as it should when the lower jaw’s left and right sides are synchronized when moving. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) is indicated when the jaw twists during side movements or the opening and closing of the mouth. These movements affect the joint in the jaw and the muscles that are used to control chewing and eating.

TMJ/TMD treatment is used to support patients who suffer from orofacial pain, headache, or clicking or popping sounds when they move their jaw. This disorder affects women far more often than men.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Invisalign

Invisalign is a teeth straightening method that involves taking one set of impressions along with photographs to create a 3D computer projection. This computer model forms the basis for creating a series of customized aligners to straighten the teeth.

This type of teeth straightening procedure uses computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. Treatment requires 20 to 30 sets of aligners for conditions, such as crowding, gaps, overbites, crossbites, or relapse. While the process usually takes about a year, it may take a shorter or longer amount of time, depending on the case.

Patients like Invisalign, as people cannot tell they are wearing aligners. People use this option when they do not want to wear braces to straighten their teeth. This teeth straightening solution is used to correct mild alignment or straightening problems.

Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are conservative restorations that are typically used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. They are also used to repair mild damage to the back teeth. The restorations are recommended to repair mild to moderately decayed cracked or fractured teeth as well.
Both inlays and onlays are made of a tooth-colored material. While both restorations are placed inside a tooth, onlays are placed to extend onto the chewing area of a back tooth to replace one or several cusps.
Because inlays and onlays are tooth-colored or made of a ceramic material, they are bonded to the tooth – a process that enhances tooth strength and seals the restoration.

Lumineers

Lumineers replicate traditional veneers. However, these restorations are even thinner than traditional veneers and are highly translucent. This translucency allows Lumineers to look almost like natural enamel. Because traditional veneers are thicker, some of the tooth structure must be reduced to fit the restorations. Lumineers, on the other hand, are ultra-thin. Therefore, little, if any, tooth reduction is required. The strength and durability of Lumineers make them a long-lasting restoration. In most cases, they can last over 20 years.

Like veneers, Lumineers can be used to cover misshapen teeth, make the front teeth appear straighter and more uniform, or make them appear whiter. Because the teeth usually do not need to be reduced to fit Lumineers, the procedure can be reversed if the patient so chooses. The natural teeth still remain intact and strong.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are made to enhance the smiles of people who wish to improve the appearance of the front teeth or would like to have a whiter smile. They are made of very thin shells of porcelain or ceramic. The therapy requires little, if any, anesthesia, and is therefore considered the ideal solution for improving the looks of the front teeth. Veneers are primarily placed to hide discolorations or to brighten the smile.
Therefore, veneers are considered a conservative method for changing the color, size, or shape of a tooth. Veneers can be used to mask undesirable stains, such as those produced by tetracycline. They can also improve the appearance of teeth that have been damaged as the result of an injury. Veneers are also used to fill in gaps in the front teeth or cover worn teeth or discolored fillings. When properly placed, veneers can last many years.

Teeth Whitening

Professional in-office whitening is offered by Smiles by Design Dentistry that takes place in a controlled environment – all which permits pain-free and safe whitening. A highly concentrated gel is used that provides results almost instantly. This bleaching method is the safest form used in dental offices today. The gel is also thicker, which reduces tooth and gum sensitivity. Added desensitizers, such as fluoride and potassium nitrate, reduce sensitivity as well.

Children’s Dentistry

Children’s dental care is featured that enables children to begin care of the teeth early. Therefore, a good deal of emphasis is placed on early oral hygiene by Dr. Javaheri and the Smiles by Design staff. Habits, such as brushing, flossing, and decay prevention, are provided in a positive and comforting environment. Both proper oral care is introduced as well as gentle and thorough treatments for children.