Not Just a Pretty Smile! The Manhattan Beach Invisalign Dentist Explains Health Benefits of Orthodontics

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 | by

If you are thinking about orthodontic treatment, you are probably focused on the esthetic result. It’s exciting to think about smiling again with confidence!

While esthetics are important, you probably haven’t given much thought to the long-term health effects of orthodontic treatment. It’s true that treatment can dramatically alter your appearance, but straighter teeth also result in a healthier smile.

The Problem With Crooked Teeth

You already know that crooked teeth have a negative impact on the appearance of your smile. But many patients of the Manhattan Beach Invisalign dentist who are interested in orthodontics, may not realize how a misaligned smile impacts overall oral health. Here are a few examples of oral health problems related to crooked or crowded teeth.

Difficulty Cleaning: If you don’t have clean teeth, you don’t have a healthy smile. Proper oral hygiene is essential if you want to enjoy a lifetime free of dental problems. Crooked or crowded teeth make it difficult to practice good oral hygiene because you may not be able to floss between them. This puts you at risk for decay and periodontal disease.

Increased Orthodontic Problems: When one or more teeth are crooked or crowded, surrounding teeth start to shift as well. Your teeth are constantly moving, and as the root of a crooked tooth tilts to one side or the other, adjacent teeth follow. Putting off treatment may result in increased orthodontic problems down the road.

Dental Bite: If you have untreated orthodontic issues, you can end up with a misaligned dental bite. This means that teeth on one side of your mouth bite down harder on one side than the other. This can lead to a variety of problems including excess wear on teeth, jaw pain, and even TMJ.

Call the Manhattan Beach Invisalign Dentist Today!

Why risk your good oral health with a crooked smile? With all the great adult orthodontics available today, there’s no reason to live with a smile you don’t love. Please call our office and we’ll be happy to schedule a consultation with our dentist.

Can Nitrous Oxide Help During Your Next Dental Visit? The Manhattan Beach Dentist Explains the Benefits

Tuesday, October 03, 2017 | by

Anxiety about dental visits is quite common, and nothing to be embarrassed about. People suffer dental anxiety for many different reasons ranging from a bad childhood experience to worries about gagging during treatment.

Whatever your concern, The Manhattan Beach dentist has the skill and training needed to provide you with a comfortable, stress-free experience.

Safe, Gentle Nitrous Oxide

For your comfort, we offer nitrous oxide, a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that we administer through a small mask. Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. It is safe, and we calibrate our equipment so that you receive 50–70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

You will be able to breathe on your own and will be vaguely aware of the activity around you. You will experience slight euphoria and a type of temporary mild amnesia. Many of our patients don’t remember what happened during their appointment when we use nitrous oxide.

Advantages of Using Nitrous Oxide

  • Your dentist will monitor and adjust the depth of sedation throughout treatment.
  • There is no after effect such as drowsiness.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very useful in minimizing gagging.
  • Nitrous works quickly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2–3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons Not to Use Nitrous Oxide

We do not recommend nitrous oxide if you have been diagnosed with a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other significant contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, MS, a cold, or other difficulties with breathing. If you are pregnant, we will only recommend nitrous if a local anesthesia is not sufficient to help you relax.

Trust Your Care to Experience and Training

Our doctors have specialized training in delivering safe, effective sedation for our patients. We’ve helped lost of our patients reclaim healthy, beautiful teeth through relaxing sedation dentistry. Please call the Manhattan Beach dentist if you are ready to eliminate your anxiety and get the care you need.

Manhattan Beach General Dentist Stresses the Need for Routine Oral Cancer Screenings

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | by

Many people are unaware of the risks and dangers associated with oral cancer. While oral cancer makes up only a small portion of annual cancer cases, it is still a serious problem. Oral cancer cases that are diagnosed in the early stages of development have a significantly improved survival rate — up to 80% after five years.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

The following risk factors can’t be changed, but the Manhattan Beach, CA general dentist knows that awareness raises your vigilance so potential problems can be addressed early when treatment options and positive outcomes are greatest.

  • Heredity
  • Aging - More than 90% of all oral cancers occur in individuals over 40. However, the incidence among younger people has been on the uptick recently, perhaps related to lifestyle behaviors.
  • Race - African Americans have a higher incidence of oral cancer than Caucasians. 

The following are risk factors that can and should be addressed:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco - Smokers are at five to nine times greater risk of developing oral cancer
  • Alcohol - Moderate to heavy drinkers are at three to nine times greater risk; the higher the alcohol content, the greater the risk
  • Diet - A high intake of fruits/vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, has been found to have a protective effect against a variety of cancers, including oral.
  • Chronic sun exposure - Often connected with lip cancers. 

As part of your routine oral hygiene, you should closely monitor any changes in your mouth that don’t diminish in a few days, e.g., ulcers, sores, or white or red patches on the tongue. We care about your overall wellness, so our dentist always performs an oral cancer screening as part of your regular check-ups.

Please Call to Arrange a Checkup

We want to do everything possible to keep your oral health and your general health on track. Please contact our Manhattan Beach general dentist to arrange your next exam, including an oral cancer screening.

Stop Dental Problems before They Start with Preventive Treatments from the Manhattan Beach General Dentist

Tuesday, September 05, 2017 | by

The dental needs of your entire family are very important when selecting the right dentist. A dental professional who offers services to family members of all ages is really the best option. You can enjoy the benefits of one-stop convenience for yourself and your children at the Manhattan Beach general dentist office while ensuring that everyone’s oral health is being monitored regularly. 

How Prevention Helps

The simple truth is that the key to optimum oral health is prevention. The types of services that family dentistry includes are those that address prevention as the first step in dental care. These include regular cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, routine x-rays and other basic dental work. The American Dental Association suggests at least twice-yearly visits to your family dentist for checkups.

Semi-Annual Dental Visits

During your semi-annual visits with the Manhattan Beach general dentist, you will receive a routine oral examination including an oral cancer screening and a professional dental cleaning. The professional cleaning is important in order to get rid of stains and plaque buildup, which in turn prevents tooth decay and gum problems. Your dental team will provide recommendations for proper at-home brushing, flossing and rinsing in order to help reduce the buildup of plaque between regular appointments.

Benefits of Visiting a Family Dentist

An important benefit of seeing a family dentist is that they can effectively monitor the oral health of your family from early childhood into adulthood. This establishes an important ongoing relationship with your family. Young children need to be introduced to dental care in a welcoming and comforting setting to develop a trusting relationship with dentists that will last into adulthood.

It is especially important to schedule regular appointments for checkups so that problems can be identified as early as possible before more extensive and costly dental work becomes necessary. Take the stress out of making and keeping your regularly scheduled appointments by selecting a family dentist who can see to all your oral health needs.

Which is Better – Veneers or Bonding? The Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist Reviews Both

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 | by

As you head back to work or school after summer vacation, are you considering making some changes to your smile? Fortunately, there is a wide array of cosmetic dental treatments from which to choose. Of course, it’s great to have all these options, but how do you choose which is right for you?

Today, the Manhattan Beach cosmetic dentist talks about the benefits of porcelain veneers vs. those of dental composite bonding. Both procedures can be used to build up and change the shape of a tooth, but which is right for you in the long-term?

Choosing Porcelain Veneers

A porcelain veneer is a thin layer of dental material, usually porcelain, that replaces enamel and is bonded on to the underlying natural tooth.

Porcelain veneers are one of among the most aesthetic means of creating a more pleasing and beautiful smile. Your cosmetic dentist can place them on just one or several teeth to allow for alteration of the tooth’s shape, size, and color. Veneers require a minimal amount of tooth preparation and are a more conservative restoration than crowns, which require significant removal of healthy tooth structure.

In general, porcelain veneers provide a better look than composite bonding. Composite bonding generally stains over time, while porcelain veneers can't. Veneers are a better long-term option because, if made beautifully and natural-looking, they will retain their look for up to 20 years. Bonding has a shorter lifespan – up to 10 years at the most.

Advantages of Dental Composite Bonding

The three advantages of composite bonding are:

  • Less tooth structure needs to be altered
  • One or several teeth can be treated in only one visit
  • Since less time is involved and the material used, bonding costs less than veneers

Dental bonding is a good choice if you are younger. Whether you choose bonding or veneers, you will need to have them replaced at some point in your lifetime. So it’s a good idea to go with the less expensive option to start. You can always opt for veneers in the future.

Choosing the Right Solution for You

When choosing the right treatment for you, it’s important to communicate your wants and needs to your Manhattan Beach cosmetic dentist. We will take all the time necessary to make sure we have a clear understanding of the results you are looking for. You are investing time and money, so you should be thrilled with the results, no matter which treatment you choose.

If you would like more information about dental bonding and veneers, please give us a call to schedule a consultation!

Back-to-School Dental Exams and Why They’re Important, Explained by Manhattan Beach General Dentist

Tuesday, August 08, 2017 | by

It’s that time again where moms and dads everywhere are making plans for the first day of school. You have supplies, backpacks, plenty of healthy lunchtime snacks – but did you remember to schedule your child’s back-to-school dental exam by the Manhattan Beach general dentist?

How Poor Oral Health Affects Kids

Dental decay (caries) are the most common childhood illness, and research shows that 23% of children have untreated cavities. Your child deserves to get the most out of every moment of their school day. Their focus should be on learning and socializing, and not getting sidelined from the fun with a toothache.

Untreated caries put children’s future oral health at risk but the problems do not stop there. Dental problems can also have a dramatic effect on your child’s quality of life:

  • Difficulty chewing and getting the nutrition they need
  • Poor concentration because of tooth pain
  • Reduced academic achievement
  • Problems speaking clearly
  • Missed time from play and athletic activities
  • Poor self-esteem

Prevention for a Healthy Smile

When kids are young, we have an opportunity to start your child with good oral health practices that last a lifetime. As a dentist, Dr. Erick Guttierez does his part by encouraging routine dental exams and checkups and correcting problems as they occur. As parents, your job is to make sure your kids are brushing properly and eating a healthy diet.

If you haven’t yet scheduled a back-to-school dental exam for your child, please call the Manhattan Beach general dentist to arrange an appointment. It is far easier to ensure that your children enjoy excellent oral health than it is to deal with more painful, costly, and complicated dental conditions in the future. Please call our office and we will be happy to arrange an appointment at your convenience.

Manhattan Beach Invisalign Dentist Shares 3 Things You Should Know about Crooked Teeth

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 | by

If you would like to talk to your dentist about orthodontic treatment like Invisalign, you are probably focused on the esthetic result. After all, it’s exciting to think about smiling again with confidence!

While esthetics are important, you probably haven’t given much thought to the long-term health effects of orthodontic treatment. It’s true that treatment can dramatically alter your appearance, but straighter teeth also result in a healthier smile.

Three Things to Know about Crooked Teeth

You already know that crooked teeth have a negative impact on the appearance of your smile. But patients looking for a Manhattan Beach Invisalign dentist may not realize how a misaligned smile affects overall oral health. Here are a few examples of oral health problems related to crooked or crowded teeth.

  1. Difficulty Cleaning: If you don’t have clean teeth, you don’t have a healthy smile. Proper oral hygiene is essential if you want to enjoy a lifetime free of dental problems. Crooked or crowded teeth make it difficult to practice good oral hygiene because you may not be able to floss between them. This puts you at risk for decay and periodontal disease.
  2. Involved Orthodontic Problems: When one or more teeth are crooked or crowded, surrounding teeth start to shift as well. Your teeth are always moving, and as the root of a crooked tooth tilts to one side or the other, adjacent teeth follow. Putting off treatment may result in more involved orthodontic problems down the road.
  3. Dental Bite: If you have untreated orthodontic issues, you can end up with a misaligned dental bite. This means that teeth on one side of your mouth bite down harder on one side than the other. This can lead to a variety of problems including excess wear on teeth, jaw pain, and even TMJ.

Call the Manhattan Beach Invisalign Dentist Today!

Why risk your good oral health with a crooked smile? With all the great adult orthodontics available today, there’s no reason to live with a smile you don’t love. Please call our office and we’ll make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Guttierez.

Don't Let Dental Anxiety Ruin Your Oral Health! Manhattan Beach Sedation Dentist Can Help!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 | by

Do you postpone dental appointments due to extreme anxiety? You're not alone. Dental anxiety is a significant problem for millions of people who are willing to risk their oral health so they don't have to experience the stress of a dental visit. If this is a familiar pattern for you, the Manhattan Beach sedation dentist respects your concerns and offers options that will allow you to get the dental treatment you need without anxiety or fear.

We Care About Your Concerns

We are committed to helping you overcome these fears by taking the time to help you understand that you no longer need to view dentistry as a frightening prospect. Combining compassion with state-of-the-art dental treatments, we can provide the care that is so important to your well being.

Sedation Options to Soothe Anxiety

We also offer sedation options that will allow you to feel calm and relaxed before, during and after treatment:

Inhalation Sedation – Also referred to as “laughing gas,” this sedation method is very effective if you experience mild to moderate dental anxiety. 

It will calm you and help you feel relaxed and somewhat drowsy.

During treatment, a member of our team will be by your side at all times in the event that the level of sedation needs to be increased to keep you comfortable. Once treatment is complete, you will be wide awake but may have little or no memory of the details of your visit.

Oral Conscious Sedation – For patients with more severe dental anxiety or those who are receiving more complex treatment, oral conscious sedation is highly effective. Our dentist will prescribe a calming medication that you should take about an hour before your appointment.

By taking the medication beforehand, you will begin to relax even before you arrive at our office. In this case, the prescribed medication can be combined with inhalation sedation to provide you with a completely comfortable and stress-free experience.

Please Contact our Office

If you’ve been putting off dental treatment because of anxiety, we urge you to contact the Manhattan Beach sedation dentist to make an appointment. We can provide you with exactly the care you need to calm your fears and allow you to take control of your oral health.

Manhattan Beach Cosmetic Dentist Answers Your Questions about Six Month Smiles

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | by

When you look at yourself in the mirror, are you satisfied with the appearance of your teeth? Are misaligned teeth making you want to hide your smile? If so, Six Month Smiles braces can quickly and easily straighten minor misalignments and give you a reason to smile with confidence.

The Six Month Smiles system is a great way to achieve your goal of a perfectly aligned smile in a relatively short period of time. Whether you’re getting ready for a special event or just want to finally fix your crooked smile, Six Months Smiles provided by the Manhattan Beach cosmetic dentist can quickly produce positive results – often in as little as six months.

What Makes Six Month Smiles Different?

Six Month Smiles can straighten your teeth in such a short amount of time because the system does not work on correcting the bite in your back teeth like traditional braces do.

The teeth that show when you smile move at a faster rate than your back teeth, so our dentist is finished with your treatment once the front teeth are positioned in a cosmetically pleasing arrangement. The rate of movement is the same as with traditional braces, but the total treatment time is faster.

Will Everyone Know I’m Wearing Them?

The Six Month Smiles treatment system works with clear wire and tooth-colored choose Six Month Smiles orthodontics because they don’t have to wait for years while wearing shiny metallic braces that mar their appearance.

How is Six Month Smiles Different from Invisalign?

Both Invisalign and Six Month Smiles provide you with a discreet option for correcting misaligned teeth. The main difference is that Six Month Smiles orthodontics consist of clear wire and tooth-colored brackets that blend with your natural teeth.

Invisalign aligners are made of clear plastic resin and are virtually invisible when worn. Many adults and teenage patients are comfortable with either of these options. But it really depends on the individual needs and desired goal of the treatment.

Contact Us to Arrange a Complimentary Consultation

If you’re interested in learning more about Six Month Smiles or Invisalign treatment, please contact the Manhattan Beach cosmetic dentist to schedule an appointment for a consultation. We will be happy to discuss your needs and which treatment option may be best for you.


Can Nitrous Oxide Help During Your Next Dental Visit? The Manhattan Beach Sedation Dentist Explains the Benefits

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | by

Feeling anxious about dental visits is quite common, and nothing to be embarrassed about. People suffer dental anxiety for many different reasons ranging from a bad childhood experience to worries about gagging during treatment. Whatever your concern, The Manhattan Beach sedation dentist has the skill and training needed to provide you with a comfortable, stress-free experience.

Safe, Gentle Nitrous Oxide

For your comfort, we offer nitrous oxide, a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas that we administer through a small nasal mask. Nitrous oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. It is safe, and our equipment is calibrated so that you receive 50–70% oxygen with no less than 30% nitrous oxide.

You will be able to breathe on your own and will be vaguely aware of the activity around you. In some cases, you may experience a type of temporary mild amnesia or even fall asleep. Many of our patients don’t remember what happened during their appointment with the use of nitrous oxide.

Advantages of Using Nitrous Oxide

  • The depth of sedation can be monitored and adjusted by the dentist throughout treatment.
  • There is no after effect such as drowsiness.
  • Inhalation sedation is safe with no side effects on your heart and lungs, etc.
  • Inhalation sedation is very effective in minimizing gagging.
  • Nitrous oxide works rapidly as it reaches the brain within 20 seconds. In as little as 2–3 minutes its relaxation and pain killing properties develop.

Reasons Not to Use Nitrous Oxide

We do not recommend nitrous oxide if you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Though there are no other major contraindications to using nitrous oxide, you may not want to use it if you have emphysema, M.S., a cold, or other difficulties with breathing.

Trust Your Care to Experience and Training

Dr. Firshein and Dr. Guttierez have specialized training in delivering safe, effective sedation for our patients. We’ve helped lots of our patients reclaim healthy, beautiful teeth through relaxing sedation dentistry. Please give the Manhattan Beach sedation dentist if you’re ready to overcome your anxiety and get the care you need.


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