San Fernando Dental Care
Dr. Allen R. Baker & Associates
Family Cosmetic and Specialty Care
Call: (818)365-7107

Allen R. Baker, DDS - Ask the Doctor

1. Do over the counter teeth-whitening products work as well as professional options?

No! Although over the counter products are much cheaper, in office dental office whitening solutions are of a much better quality and safer to use. In addition, office whitening is faster and some products can do the whitening in one hour.

2. Can blueberries, coffee, and red wine really stain teeth?

Yes! Teeth will show stains over a relatively short time especially when one is undergoing the process of whitening.

3. What’s the latest in braces technology?

Clear plastic braces which tend not to show metal which is used in traditional orthodontic treatment. Many offices choose to use “invisalign” technique, a product that uses a series of plastic trays and offer the advantage of being metal free and no brackets.

4. Fill us in on the pros and cons of veneers

Veneers are a very important product in cosmetic dentistry today. The main disadvantage is the cost. However veneers minimize the amount of tooth structure removed and the esthetic results far out way the cost.

5. What are some of the most out-there cosmetic dentistry procedures?

There are many newer crown (caps) out there that are extremely cosmetic for example Zirconia and Lava. Implant overdentures and implants themselves offer a wide variety of cosmetic treatment that can give you that “Hollywood smile”.

1. Is there a connection between oral health and other health conditions?

Many systemic problems can be correlated to dental conditions. Some bacterial infections of the mouth can cause cardiac (heart) problems. In addition, severe infections of the mouth cause systemic problems else ware and must be looked at by your dental professional and checked by your physician. One should not allow infections of the mouth to go untreated. Pregnant women also should be fully aware of their teeth and surrounding tissue to prevent unwanted problems.

2. Besides brushing and flossing, what should we be doing to take care of our teeth?

a. Brushing and flossing are two very necessary steps in helping to fight cavities and periodontal disease. However, this does not eliminate the need to visit the dentist every year if you have not had any problems and twice a year following treatment for dental needs. Sometimes more frequent visits are necessary to see the hygienist if you gums are in need of more attention.

Even with brushing and flossing, problems do arise that must be checked by x-ray (radiographs) and examination by the dentist.

3. Which oral symptoms shouldn’t be ignored?

If a person has any pain, swollen gums, or signs of anything “irregular” that person should not ignore the problem. If it goes away, it is typically only temporary and one will find themselves in a worse condition later on.

4. What are the biggest misconceptions about dental health?

a. “If it doesn’t hurt then nothing is wrong.” Many times problems that are just developing do not hurt and when undiagnosed or untreated become monumental later.

5. Why have amalgam fillings been under scrutiny?

a. Amalgam fillings have been implicated in having adverse reactions to the body because of the amount of Mercury present. There is a lot of research showing the problems with mercury in the body. Today composite fillings are not only safer but very cosmetic and have become the standard in restoring teeth.


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