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2990 S Sepulveda Blvd Suite 204, Los Angeles, CA 90064 (310) 477-1081

Are Genetic Dental Problems a Myth?

September 29, 2014

177035393The answer to this question is both yes and no. Genetic dental problems are no myth. Scientists have found that genetic factors cause about 60% of the risk for tooth decay. While tooth decay isn’t an actual gene in the body, your genes do determine factors that are directly related to your ability to avoid tooth decay. Dr. Latner is an experienced Los Angeles area dentist that can help you find a treatment plan to fix your dental problems if you find yourself on the losing end of genetic tooth decay risk factors.

Genetics Can Increase the Risk of Developing Dental Problems

You can’t blame your parents for all of your dental problems, but you can blame them for passing on a few risk factors. Scientists have identified five genetically determined factors that affect your body’s ability to combat tooth decay.

  • Sweet Preference- The stronger your genetic preference for all things sweet and sugary, the more likely you are to overindulge, which will increase your risk for tooth decay.
  • Enamel Strength- If you have inherited soft enamel, it will be easier for bacteria to find a home there, which can lead to more cavities.
  • Tasting Ability- Some people possess the ability to perceive a wider variety of flavors than others. Though research has not yet discovered why this is the case, studies have revealed links between taste ability and cavities. The greater measure of your ability to taste a variety of flavors, the less likely you are to have tooth decay.
  • Saliva Strength- Saliva plays a big role in the proper metabolization of nutrients like calcium and potassium. Genetics make some people better at this metabolization process than others.
  • Microbiome- Your body’s immune system response to these communities of bacteria in the mouth can affect your ability to fight off tooth decay.

Dr. Latner Can Help Los Angeles, CA Patients Fight Genetic Risk Factors for Dental Problems

The remaining 40% risk of tooth decay can be attributed to environmental factors. These include your diet, dental hygiene habits, smoking habits, access to dental care, culture, and some socio-economic factors. The most widespread environmental factor increasing the risk of tooth decay is the consumption of sugary drinks. Although tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the world, an important factor to decrease your risk of tooth decay is to get regular dental check-ups from an experienced dentist. Dr. Latner has been helping his patients fight tooth decay and perfect their smiles for many years. You can contact Dr. Latner today to fight back against tooth decay and protect your healthy smile. He proudly serves all Los Angeles, CA communities including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista and West LA.

Three Cheers for Laser Dentistry!

September 22, 2014

160047568Dentistry has come a very long way in a relatively short time period. Advancements in Laser Dentistry have made many routine dental treatments less invasive and have significantly cut down on the time required for treatment and healing. By eliminating the need for incisions, certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia. Laser dentistry also minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beams aid in the clotting of exposed blood vessels, thereby inhibiting blood loss. Lasers are useful for patients who are fearful of dental work, don’t like anesthesia, or don’t like the sound of the drill. Dr. Latner utilizes laser technology in his practice to aid in the comfort of his patients throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Laser Dentistry is less invasive and yields better results than drills and needles.  It helps to minimize the spread of bacterial infections because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on. Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized and wounds heal faster as tissues are easily regenerated. Dental lasers may also be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity. There are two basic kinds of dental lasers.

Laser Dentistry: Soft Tissue Lasers

Soft tissue lasers help with the healing process after surgeries and during soft tissue procedures.  Soft tissue lasers can be used to reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure, improve the appearance of a gummy smile and for crown lengthening procedures. A soft tissue laser can also be used to perform a frenectomy, which is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied, babies who are unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement, and to eliminate speech impediments. Soft tissue lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.

Laser Dentistry: Hard Tissue Lasers

Hard tissue lasers also offer many advantages to the dental patient. Cavity detector lasers detect small amounts of decay inside the tooth. This is decay that visual exams and x-rays will not be able to find. Cavity detecting lasers, such as Dr. Latner’s Diagnodent system, consists of a small light probe that scans the teeth with harmless pulses of laser light. When the pulse reaches decay inside a tooth, the decay emits a fluorescent light.  This light bounces back to the sensors and is translated into a digital readout.  In general the higher the number the greater amount of decay. This laser accurately finds decay in its earliest stages. For dental fillings, some lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine dental drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity, potentially leading to improved long term tooth restorations. However, dental lasers are not appropriate for the replacement of amalgam fillings, onlays or crowns.

Laser Dentistry for Los Angeles, CA Patients

Laser Dentistry allows your dentist to detect cavities, remove bacteria, perform speech impediment surgery, crown lengthening, gum contouring and treat periodontal disease while minimizing your treatment time and discomfort. Contact Dr. Latner to find out how laser dentistry could aid in your dental treatment. Dr. Latner serves patients in and around Los Angeles, CA including Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dentistry and Sports

September 15, 2014

76649015No matter how old your children are, protecting their teeth is a top priority. Injuries to teeth have the potential to affect your child for the rest of his or her life. The key to protecting their beautiful smiles is prevention. You should start bringing your child to regular dentist appointments as early as age two. As they grow and become more active in activities like soccer, football, karate and cheerleading, it becomes necessary to protect their teeth from sports injuries as well. If you’re thinking about allowing your child or teen to participate in contact sports, contact Dr. Latner for an appointment today. Dr. Latner serves families in Los Angeles, CA Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

Pediatric Dentistry and Custom Mouthguards

The first step to ensure your child is protected while participating in any contact sport is to take them to the dentist to be fitted for a custom mouthguard. While almost all sports organizations require children to wear mouthguards, there is no strict quality standard for the mouthguards themselves. This means that your child may not be adequately protected from injury.

You have three choices in mouthguards. The cheapest option is the stock mouthguards sold in sporting goods stores. They are not customizable and rarely fit well. This lack of protection could cause your child serious injuries if they were to be hit near the jaw bone or back teeth. The next best option is the “boil and bite” mouthguards which are somewhat more customizable. However, they may still be unable to protect the back teeth, or stay in place. If your child must clench the mouthguard to keep it in place, their ability to speak or breathe correctly could be hindered. A custom mouthguard made specifically for use in sports and recreational activities is the single most effective option.

Pediatric to Adolescent Dentistry

As your child grows into a teenager, his dental needs will grow and change as well. While encouraging your teen’s healthy dental habits — like brushing and flossing regularly — is important, you also need to make them aware of the unhealthy habits that will affect their oral health. For example, the sugar and acidic flavorings in soda can cause their tooth enamel to erode and can cause the development of cavities. Experimenting with tobacco products can, among other things, cause their teeth to turn yellow or brownish shades and can eventually lead to oral cancers. Developing eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can also cause permanent damage to the mouth, gums and throat. At this stage in their development, parents must be proactive in making sure that their teens develop good oral health habits.

Trusted Pediatric Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Latner can be a trusted resource for every stage of your child’s healthy smile development. Bringing your child in for visits early and often will foster a positive attitude towards visiting the dentist that will keep their teeth healthy for the rest of their lives. Contact us today to schedule your child’s next appointment. Dr. Latner serves children and adults throughout Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.

The Cosmetic Dentistry Boom

September 10, 2014

187872302It’s hard to think of dentistry without thinking of teeth whitening, veneers, or natural looking porcelain crowns. However, dental treatments weren’t always focused on improving both the health and appearance of your teeth. In the not so distant past, dental treatment only concerned itself with the treatment and cure of dental maladies like tooth decay and gum disease.  Today, having good-looking teeth has merged with having a healthy mouth, and cosmetic dentistry is now a part of an all-inclusive dental treatment package. Although not an official branch of dentistry according to the ADA, cosmetic dentistry has fast become one of the most popular type dental solutions. Dr. Latner works to provide Los Angeles, CA, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities with comprehensive treatment plans, each designed to address both the health and appearance of their teeth.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic Dentistry encompasses any procedure that improves the appearance of your teeth. This includes: removing teeth stains, professional teeth whitening, reshaping teeth, filling gaps and cracks, placing crowns, veneers, bridges, dentures, dental implants and oral restorations through dental fillings. Advancements in technology have made it possible to get these restorations done and enhance the appearance of your teeth in a single dental visit. Whitening or bleaching is by far the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the United States.

Why is cosmetic dentistry so important?

Many surveys have shown that tooth loss and decay can significantly deteriorate quality of life for most people. Improved appearance is directly proportional to improved self-esteem. Imperfect smiles can effect personal self esteem and diminish confidence. This can affect your ability to form healthy personal relationships, and can also affect school and work productivity. Simply put, your smile is important.

Representing approximately 41 percent of the total population, Baby Boomers are the first generation to realize the importance of a great smile. The appearance of our teeth naturally changes as we get older. They may stain, yellow or decay. Baby Boomers made the move from hygiene to image enhancement. This desire to improve appearance — partnered with significant advances in the cosmetic dental industry itself — has contributed to the rise of cosmetic dentistry.

Quality Cosmetic Dentistry in Los Angeles, CA

Although having a great looking smile is important, your first priority should be to have a healthy smile. Dr. Latner will work with you to achieve this goal while also addressing your aesthetic concerns. In this case, health and beauty go hand in hand. Continuing advancement in biomimetics (mimicking nature) and biocompatibility (implants that match perfectly with the body and work permanently without causing any harm) have set the stage for the future of cosmetic dentistry industry. Contact Dr. Latner today to achieve your perfect smile. Dr. Latner proudly serves all of Los Angeles, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills, Marina del Rey, Rancho Park, Mar Vista, West LA, and the surrounding communities.