Cone Beam Imaging Is Transforming Dentistry

Dr. Shawn Hofkes is dedicated to using the latest technology to make your dental treatment more precise, efficient, and comfortable. We now offer cone beam dental imaging at our Cerritos, CA practice. This advanced type of x-ray is a recent development in dental technology, but it is already transforming the way dentists approach oral surgery, as well as cosmetic and restorative work. It also enables dentists to make earlier, more precise diagnoses and create highly personalized treatment plans for each patient. (more…)

Four Goals of Every Dental Visit

No two patients are alike and no two visits to the dental office are the same. Yet, for the endless variety of the dental care experience, your dentist has four goals that he and his staff try to fulfill at every appointment:

1. Make Your Mouth Healthier

The human mouth is an intricate system of muscles, soft tissues, teeth, and bones that must work in tandem to perform tasks essential to life, namely eating and communicating. The number of problems that can go wrong in the human mouth is long. The number of treatment options for those problems is even longer. Regardless of the specifics, your dentist will only recommend a treatment if it will improve or maintain an optimal level of oral health. (more…)

Oil Pulling: A Straightforward Look at an Alternative Therapy

Natural living enthusiasts have practiced it for decades. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley have even jumped on the bandwagon. Oil pulling is all the rage in 2014, yet this ancient practice draws from the Ayurvedic healing tradition of India. Oil pulling is purported to cure a wide range of oral health problems, from tooth decay and gum disease to canker sores. Today, we’re taking an in depth tour of this alternative oral health remedy and examining whether it lives up to the hype. (more…)

How to Qualify for Dental Implants If You’re Jaw’s Less than Perfect

If you lost a permanent tooth in an adolescent accident or if you’ve been wearing dentures for years, you might be concerned that replacing that missing tooth with a dental implant might be beyond your reach. After all, a few quick searches on dental implant websites indicate that poor jawbone density (a common side effect of tooth loss) can negatively impact your candidacy for the implant procedure. However, many of these websites fail to mention that a dental surgery procedure called a bone graft can help replace and regenerate lost jawbone tissue and help you qualify for this life-changing procedure. (more…)

Premedicating Before Oral Surgery: What You Need to Know

Did you ever wonder why you have to fill out a medical history form at the dentist’s office? After all, he’s just fixing your teeth, right? Actually, the health of your mouth is intimately connected to your general health. Similarly, the state of your general health can amplify the risks associated with certain types of dental care, especially the complex or invasive care offered by an oral surgeon or general dentist who practices oral surgery. Today, we’re looking at two types of premedication commonly used in advance of dental surgery. (more…)

Is a Root Canal Always Preferable to Extracting a Tooth?

Root canal therapy has been around in one form or another since the mid-18th century when dental surgeon Philip Pfaff placed lead and gold pulp caps to protect infected nerve tissue in decaying teeth. Of course, long before and long since the advent of endodontics (dental treatments concerned with the innermost layer of the tooth), people have opted to have painful, damaged, or decayed teeth extracted altogether. Neither root canal therapy nor tooth extraction sound like particularly attractive options. However, treatment is needed to relieve the pain of exposed pulp tissue and avoid the spread of infection to other areas of the body. Your dentist will recommend the best option for you, but understanding the advantages and disadvantages of tooth extractions and root canals will help you make a better informed decision. (more…)

Can General Dentists Practice Oral Pathology?

Oral and maxillofacial pathology is one of the nine specialized fields of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association. In generalized terms, oral and maxillofacial pathologists (OMPs) work to identify, treat, and gain a better understanding of diseases that affect the mouth, the jaw, and the surrounding structures like the salivary glands and the TMJs (jaw joints). Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at what OMPs and general dentists with advanced training in oral pathology do as well as examining some of the diseases they treat. (more…)

A Genuine Look at Artificial Teeth

False teeth. The phrase doesn’t exactly inspire much excitement (especially if you still have a mouthful of healthy, natural dentition). For people who have lost some or all of their teeth to decay, gum disease, or injury, false teeth mean all the difference in the world. False teeth, or dental prosthetics as they’re known clinically, serve the same purpose as other types of prosthetics, like an artificial limb: they replace the function and appearance (to varying degrees of success) of a missing body part. Today, we’re looking closely at a few of the more common types of dental prosthetics and why they’re vital for maintaining a healthy smile after adult tooth loss.   (more…)