Understanding Your Oral Cancer Treatment Options

Man seriously considering his oral cancer treatment optionsAlthough oral cancer is not one of the more common or well-known types of cancer, it has a relatively low survival rate because it is often not treated until it has already reached a late stage. In fact, the five year survival rate only averages about 57% nationwide. Identifying the signs of oral cancer while they’re still in the early stages is key to successful treatment and long term survival.  Treatment options for oral cancer vary depending on the stage the patient is diagnosed with and where in the mouth the cancer is located. Some common treatment options include: (more…)

Exploring Oral Pathology: A Closer Look at Three Diseases of the Mouth

Man thinking about oral pathologyWhen we think about dentists, and what dentists do, we tend to focus solely on their role as care providers for the teeth and gums. However, general dentists are the first line in identifying and, in the case of dentist with specialized training in oral surgery, treating serious oral health issues. Today, we’re discussing just a few oral pathologies often seen in the dental chair. (more…)

A Patients’ Glossary of Dental Implants

Guy with missing tooth smiling about dental implantsIf you’re interested in replacing your missing teeth with implants, you’ve probably just begun researching your options. As your research continues, you’ll need to know some key terms. Over the past few days, we’ve answered frequently asked questions about the cost of dental implants and discussed whether the procedure is worth the investment in time and money. Today, we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty of dental implants and supplying a handy guide to some frequently used terms. (more…)

Four Dental Technology Trends to Look for in 2014

Man excited about dental technology trendsYou might think your dentist is boring and old fashioned, but general dentists and dental specialists get to deploy some of the coolest, most cutting-edge technology in their offices every day. And, as the industry diversifies and the price of equipment drops, more dentists can utilize lasers, 3D imaging, and digital technology to provide better, faster, more convenient patient care. (more…)

Why Do Dental Implants Cost So Much?

Woman thinking about the cost of dental implantsIn yesterday’s post, we discussed whether receiving dental implants was worth the investment in time and money. Determining the return on investment for the procedure is a highly personal matter, but for the right patient, dental implants can provide a new lease on life. However, the cost intensive nature of the treatment presents an obstacle for many people interested in dental implants. Today, we discuss why dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement.   (more…)

Are Dental Implants a Good Investment?

Man Considering Investing in Dental ImplantsOnce an adult tooth is lost, it’s gone forever . . . or is it? Dental implants provide a secure, long-lasting tooth replacement option that features a true-to-life design meant to mimic the crown and root structure of a natural tooth. Moreover, dental implant posts can be used to replace one tooth or a full arch of missing dentition. However, before proceeding with a dental implant procedure, mindful patients must consider whether the sizeable investment in time and money involved is worth it. (more…)

Is Third Molar Extraction Surgery Safe?

Mother and Teen DaughterSome high profile news stories emerged in the past two years detailing how apparently healthy young people have died as a result of routine third molar (wisdom tooth) extraction surgery. In most cases, the patient passed away as a result of an adverse reaction to the anesthetics or sedatives administered to manage discomfort during the procedure. While cases like these are devastating to the families affected, they are very rare. Understanding the risks associated with surgical procedures of all kinds and knowing what questions to ask your dentist prior to undergoing treatment are the best way to stay informed and safe. (more…)

Do You Need a Simple or Surgical Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Making a DecisionThe average human jaw can accommodate 28 teeth. However, sometime during the late teens or early twenties, about 75% of the population develops four (or more, in some cases) additional molars. These teeth, referred to as wisdom teeth or third molars, can cause crowding if they grow in normally. If they grow in at an angle or don’t fully erupt from the jawbone or gums, they can lead to a host of serious oral health issues like tooth decay, damaged cheek tissue, periodontal disease, and even cysts within the jaw. To prevent the development of serious oral health problems, many dentists and oral surgeons recommend extracting problematic third molars once they have fully developed. Today, Shawn Hofkes, DDS, a multi-specialty dentist in Cerritos, CA, provides an easy-to-understand guide to two types of wisdom teeth extraction procedures. (more…)

Busting Two Common Misconceptions about Dental Sedation

Woman busting misconceptions about sedation dental servicesYou may have seen billboards around town advertising “sleep dentistry” or an “anxiety-free dentist,” and if you live with anxiety or fear associated with visiting the dentist, those promises probably seem pretty attractive. But are these guarantees too good to be true? Today, Shawn Hofkes, DDS, a Cerritos CA dentist with specialized training in sedation dentistry, discusses how a lack of information has led to two commonly-held misunderstandings about this patient-focused dental service. (more…)

The Secret to a Beautiful Smile (Even If You Don’t Have All Your Teeth!)

Beautiful woman with dental implantsBeauty, and what we find beautiful, is highly subjective. However, when it comes to a beautiful smile, there are a few common denominators: bright white enamel and a general lack of stains, chips, and breaks. The (arguably) biggest detractor from the overall beauty of your smile is missing teeth. Whether you lost them to gum disease or in accident on the softball field, missing teeth can make you look older, less attractive, and in poor health. Dr. Shawn Hofkes, a Cerritos, CA dentist with specialized training in oral surgery and implant dentistry, discusses how replacing those missing teeth with dental implants can help restore a dazzling, youthful smile. (more…)