Oakland Dental Specialty Center
8105 Edgewater Drive, Suite #1
Oakland, CA 94621
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that corrects teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. Crooked teeth and teeth that do not fit together correctly are harder to keep clean, are at risk of being lost early due to tooth decay and periodontal disease, and cause extra stress on the chewing muscles that can lead to headaches, TMJ syndrome and neck, shoulder and back pain. Teeth that are crooked or not in the right place can also detract from one’s appearance.
The benefits of orthodontic treatment include a healthier mouth, a more pleasing appearance, and teeth that are more likely to last a lifetime.
A specialist in this field is called an orthodontist. Orthodontists receive two or more years of education beyond their four years in dental school in an ADA-approved orthodontic training program.
Some dental procedures require a very specific set of dental skills and fall into a branch of dentistry called oral surgery. Oral surgery treats a wide range of diseases and conditions, including:
Endodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy — procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth, called the pulp. The word “endodontic” comes from “endo” meaning inside and “odont” meaning tooth. Like many medical terms, it’s Greek. All dentists are trained in diagnosis and endodontic therapy, however, some teeth can be especially difficult to diagnose and treat. That’s why you may have been referred to an endodontic specialist.
In addition to dental school, endodontists receive two or more years of advanced education in this kind of treatment. They study root canal techniques and procedures in greater depth, for diagnosis and treatment of more difficult cases. For this reason, many dentists choose to refer their patients to endodontists.
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and are also trained in performing cosmetic periodontal procedures.
Periodontists often treat more problematic periodontal cases, such as those with severe gum disease or a complex medical history. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments, such as scaling and root planing (in which the infected surface of the root is cleaned) or root surface debridement (in which damaged tissue is removed). They can also treat patients with severe gum problems using a range of surgical procedures. In addition, periodontists are specially trained in the placement, maintenance, and repair of dental implants.
During the first visit, the periodontist usually reviews the patient’s complete medical and dental histories. It is extremely important for the periodontist to know if any medications are being taken or if the patient is being treated for any condition that can affect periodontal care, such as heart disease, diabetes, or pregnancy.
The periodontist examines the gums, checks to see if there is any gum line recession, assesses how the teeth fit together when biting, and checks the teeth to see if any are loose. The periodontist will also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and place it between the teeth and gums to determine the depth of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets; this helps the periodontist assess the health of the gums. X-rays may also be taken to observe the health of the bone below the gum line.
The Oakland Dental Specialty Center medical professionals are highly trained in anesthesia and sedation. We are licensed in the administration of medications to control pain. There are three general types of sedation.
Some surgeries require general anesthesia (deep sedation) while other procedures can be comfortably handled with a local anesthesia. Depending on your medical history, medications and the surgery that will be performed, Dr. Luque and his team will work closely with you to utilize the best and safest anesthesia to meet your needs and provide you the greatest comfort.
Local Anesthesia numbs a specific area. It is typically delivered by injection or topically, and lasts for up to three hours following treatment. This is the most common form of anesthesia.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the agent typically used for inhalation anesthesia. Combined with a local anesthesia, inhalation anesthesia enables patients to feel calm while experiencing little to no discomfort. The patient is able to respond and communicate with Dr. Luque during the procedure.
Oral Conscious Sedation By taking a benzodiazepine (such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax or Ativan) combined with a local anesthesia before treatment, patients feel significantly reduced anxiety and little to no discomfort. The expression “sleep dentistry” was coined a number of years ago for the practice of oral conscious sedation, but this term inaccurately suggests that patients are put to sleep through oral sedatives prior to treatment.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is another form of conscious sedation. Patients often have no recollection of the procedure and think that they have been asleep. Dr. Luque is able to communicate with a patient who consciously sedated intravenously. IV sedation is combined with a local anesthetic to block discomfort and maintain a feeling of relaxation.
In more complex surgeries, patients are put in a state of unconsciousness called general anesthesia. A combination of medications is used to induce unconsciousness, making a patient feel no pain during the procedure, and have no recollection of the operation. Another effect of general anesthesia is the relaxation of skeletal muscles. This is important for some operations.
The goal of Phase I Treatment is to develop the child’s jaws to make room for the future eruption of permanent teeth and to improve the relationship of the upper and lower jaws. An upper or lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can benefit from this early orthodontic treatment. This early correction can often prevent dental trauma, later removal of permanent teeth or even jaw surgery. Leaving a severe condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a problem too severe to correct with braces alone. The treatment time for Phase I treatment is usually between 9-18 months. After this, our patients wear retainers and are checked every four to six months while waiting for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt.
Later, when most of the permanent teeth have erupted (usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen), Phase II treatment will be recommended.
The goal of Phase II Treatment is to position all the permanent teeth to maximize their appearance and function. This is best accomplished with full braces or Invisalign and is usually between 12-18 months long. Due to the improvements made in Phase I Treatment, Phase II Treatment requires less patient participation (no headgear and less rubber bands), often eliminates extraction of permanent teeth and reduces the time spent in full braces. This is especially important for patients as they enter their teenage years!
Moving teeth in the jaw has been compared to moving a stick through the sand. With the application of force, sand moves aside in front of the stick, and fills up the space behind. The “sand” in this case consists of bone cells and cells of the periodontal ligament, which attaches the tooth to the bone. These tissues slowly move aside and reform as force is applied to them by orthodontic appliances, such as wires and elastics.
But to do its work, that force needs a fixed point to push against. For example, imagine trying to move the stick while you’re floating free in the water: Not so easy! But with two feet firmly planted in the sand, you can do it. When possible, orthodontists use the back teeth as an anchor — but sometimes, cumbersome headgear may be required to provide the necessary anchorage. In many cases, using TADS can change that.
While it’s generally preferred, the use of teeth as orthodontic anchors can have drawbacks in some cases. For example, there may not be a viable tooth located at the point where an anchor is needed. Also, when a greater force is required, the teeth used as anchors can themselves start to move. This is one instance where TADS are beneficial: These mini-implants can eliminate the need to use teeth as anchors, or stabilize a tooth that’s being used as such.
TADS can also provide an anchorage point for a pushing or pulling force that would otherwise need to be applied from outside the mouth: generally, via orthodontic headgear. Wearing headgear can be uncomfortable, and compliance is sometimes a problem. In many situations TADS can eliminate the need for headgear, a welcome development for many patients.
The use of TADS offers other benefits as well: It may shorten overall treatment time, eliminate the need to wear elastics (rubber bands) — and in some cases, even make certain oral surgeries unnecessary. It also allows orthodontists to take on complex cases, which might formerly have proved very difficult to treat. This small device can really do a big job!
Dental Implants are artificial teeth that replace missing or damaged teeth. Unlike removable dentures, which rest on the gum, or fixed bridges, which anchor to adjacent teeth, dental Dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone to provide a foundation for replacement teeth. Dental implants look and feel like real teeth. With good dental care they can last a lifetime.
Dental implant surgery typically involves threading a titanium support post into the jawbone in the location of the missing tooth, and attaching the new tooth onto the support. The bone fully heals and fuses around the newly implanted tooth support structure before the new artificial tooth can be attached. This is called osseointegration.
If multiple teeth need to be replaced the Center is has advanced experience in all dental implant technologies and techniques for removable implant prostheses. Utilizing the office’s 3-D imaging technology, both TEETH-IN-AN-HOUR and All On Four revolutionary dental implant procedures significantly reduce the time needed for treatment. Both procedures involve implanting supports and the teeth prosthesis in one procedure.
The Center performs dental and oral implants, craniofacial implants, bone grafting for implants, sinus lifts, zygomatic implants and guided implant surgery. We encourage you to call with questions about the Bay Area Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery’s expertise in the area of dental implants.
Braces can correct crooked and crowded teeth, a misaligned bite, and jaw problems. Braces also eliminate problems you may have with eating, speaking properly, or with keeping your teeth clean. With advancements in dental technology, traditional braces are now sleeker, smaller, and more comfortable.
Dental Associates offers clear braces as an option for traditional bracesTraditional braces consist of standard metal brackets that are placed on your teeth with an adhesive and connected by wire. They require periodic tightening so steady pressure can gradually straighten your teeth and align your jaw. While metal braces brackets are still the most common, there are various other treatment options available. Read below to learn more about traditional braces and how you can customize them to fit your lifestyle.
Choosing Invisalign treatment is an important dental and financial decision, so it’s essential that you find the right doctor for you. You may want to meet with several experienced Invisalign-trained doctors to find the one you feel most comfortable with. At your initial consultation, your doctor will discuss your needs and evaluate whether Invisalign treatment is right for you.
Your doctor will use a scanner such as the iTero® digital scanning system to create fast, precise 3D digital images of your teeth. (Some doctors will take physical impressions.) Then your doctor will map out a precise treatment plan, including the exact movements of your teeth and how long your treatment will be. You’ll even get to see how your teeth will move and preview your new smile.
Your custom-made aligners will be made of our proprietary SmartTrack® material. They’re virtually invisible, so most people won’t even notice you’re wearing them during your teeth straightening. Wear your Invisalign clear aligners 20 to 22 hours a day for the best results, taking them out to eat and to brush and floss.
As you wear each set of aligners, your teeth will gently and gradually shift into place. Your doctor may recommend that you begin wearing a new set of aligners every week and schedule check-ups every six weeks or so. At every stage you’ll be able to see your progress and imagine how far your new smile will take you.
When your treatment is complete, ask your doctor about a Vivera® retainer. Vivera retainers are custom-made using the same state-of-the-art technology as Invisalign clear aligners.