DENTIST LAKE FOREST, COSMETIC DENTIST, RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA
MY FRIENDLY FOOTHILL RANCH DENTIST
Invisalign, Zoom Whitening, Lumeneers, Braces, Orthodontics, Crowns, Bridges, Porcelain Veneers, Inlays, Onlays, Orthodontic, Ortho, Braces, Dental Implants, Periodontist, Cleanings, Bonding, White Fillings, Partial Dentures, Complete Dentures, Oral Surgery, Bleaching, Whitening, Cosmetic Dentist, General Dentist

DENTIST
FOOTHILL
RANCH,
LAKE
FOREST

COSMETIC
DENTIST

Lake Forest

Cosmetic
Dentist
Serving
Rancho Santa Margarita

GREAT DEALS: ZOOM in House Teeth Whitening $299
DENTIST FOOTHILL RANCH - 26720 Towne Centre Dr., Suite A, Foothill Ranch, CA 92610 - Call (949) 583-1500
DENTAL EXCELLENCE with VIP SERVICE! "Your Time is Valuable!"
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit -- Aristotle"
READ REVIEWS
 
.

Accepted
Insurances:

We accept most insurance plans. Please be sure to bring your benefit card with you to your appointment. Below is a list of our the most common insurance plans:

Aetna Dental Plan
AIG
Blue Cross
Blue Shield of California
Cigna Dental
Delta Dental
First Dental Health
Genworth Financial
GreatWest Healthcare
Guardian Dental
Humana
Southern California Local Union 831
MetLife
PacifiCare
Premier Access
Principal Plan Dental
Reliance Standard
Safeguard
United Concordia
United Health Care
United Food & Commercial Workers


and many more...


Our Dental Services Include:

Cosmetic Dentistry, Lava Crowns, Bridges, Lumineers, Porcelain Veneers, Inlays, Onlays, Zoom, Orthodontic, Ortho, Braces Invisalign, Dental Implants, Periodontist, Cleanings, Bonding, White Fillings, Partial Dentures, Complete Dentures, Oral Surgery, Bleaching, Whitening, Restorative Dentistry, Gum Treatment, Extractions


ProSmile Dentistry Serves the Southern Orange County and Southern California
Dentistfoothillranch.com receives many customers from the following cities and zipcodes:


Lake Forest 92609, 92630, Foothill Ranch 92610, Mission Viejo 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92694, El Toro 92609, 92610, 92630, Irvine 92602, 92603, 92604, 92606, 92612, 92614, 92616, 92618, 92619, 92620, 92623, 92650, 92697, 92709, 92710, Laguna Hills 92637, 92653, 92654, 92656, Laguna Niguel 92607, 92677, Rancho Santa Margarita 92688, San Juan Capistrano 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92693, 92694 Coto De Caza 92679, Dove Canyon 92679, Cowan Heights 92705, Silverado 92676, Trabuco Canyon 92678, 92679, 92688, Modjeska 92676, Robinson Ranch 92679, Ladera Ranch 92694, Tustin 92780, 92781, 92782, San Juan Capistrano 92675, 92690, 92691, 92692, 92693, 92694, Ladera Ranch 92694, California

 

You Deserve It!
"Because: Your SMILE
Is Important
!"
Statistics reveal that people place
a high value on their smile.

Virtually all adults (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset.
• 96% of adults believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex.
• Three-quarters (74%) of adults feel an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success.
• And when respondents were asked, “What would you most like to improve about your smile The most common response was: Whiter & Brighter Teeth.


Branqueamento Dental

"At Foothill Ranch Cosmetic Dentistry our focus is a great and wonderful dental experience." - Dr. Parisa Zarbafian

Our unhurried one-on-one personalized attention is something special you cannot find anywhere. Our high-tech oriented treatments and state of the art materials have incredible visible results.

Today's advanced techniques and materials can make a real difference clareamento dental. The skill, experience, and commitment of our practice uses a unique combination of science and artistry that can literally redesign your smile with our c
utting-edge service. Digital X-rays allow for quick viewing, and
Intra-Oral Camera help you see instantly what the problem is for your self.

ProSmile Foothill Ranch Cosmetic Dentistry can now correct a wide variety of so-called "permanent" dental problems:

  • Missing teeth, gaps between teeth, general bite dysfunction
  • Chipped, cracked or worn teeth
  • Unsightly, stained, or washed-out fillings
  • Permanently stained or discolored teeth
  • Crooked or crowded teeth


Dr. Parisa Zarbafian's goal is to not just to correct dental problems you may have, but to show you how to prevent dental disease in the future to save you time and unnecessary expense.

Dr. Zarbafian is a dentist that strives for excellence with your dental health and wants you to achieve a white smile that is free of disease with fresh breath and healthy gums.

"Treat yourself to the beauty of
a heavenly smile!
"

Especially for you:
A bold new look, A touch of dazzle, We deliver
VIP Dentistry!


VIP Taking Care of You Services
"Massage Chair available"

A healthy smile is a beautiful smile. With proper care and treatment, you can have strong, healthy teeth that will last a lifetime. Dr. Zarbafian from ProSmile Foothill Ranch Dentistry can provide you with care and treatment through a range of preventive and restorative treatments such as:

  • Comprehensive exams, including oral cancer screening, periodontal disease evaluation, and orthodontic evaluation
  • Gentle and thorough cleanings
  • Fluoride treatments, sealants
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Fillings, extractions
  • Crowns (caps) and bridges
  • Children’s dentistry


Making Smiles Beautiful
Dr. Zarbafian will help make the pearls in your mouth even more beautiful with cosmetic dental treatment such as:

  • Invisalign, Braces - Ortho Treatments,
    Kids and Adults
  • Cosmetic Dentistry - including White Fillings, Porcelain Veneers, Porcelain Inlays and Onlays, Lumineers, Bonding, and all Porcelain Crowns
  • Take Home Whitening
  • Professional Teeth Whitening - Zoom
  • Implant Crowns
  • On-Site Implants
  • Gum Treatment and Cleanings
  • Partial and Complete Dentures

Dr. Zarbafian can give you teeth that are healthy and free of decay as well as teeth that are whiter and more even. She is an industry expert at repairing broken or chipped teeth with virtually undetectable bonding and can correct uneven or imperfect teeth with porcelain veneers.

ProSmile Dentistry - Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest CA
WE CARE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
(949) 583-1500






















LUMINEERS, EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE

 
Finally, a painless way to reshape and permanently whiten your smile.
 

 

 
EXPERIENCE
THE LUMINEERS®
SMILES
DIFFERENCE



The safe, painless porcelain veneer. As easy as getting your hair done.


What makes LUMINEERS® Porcelain Veneers different from other veneers?


LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE® are porcelain veneers that offer the painless way to a permanently whiter and perfectly aligned smile. Your LUMINEERS dentist can apply these contact lens-thin “smile shapers to teeth without any grinding or shaving, transforming teeth into a naturally beautiful smile that looks perfect for every individual. LUMINEERS can even be placed over existing crown or bridgework without having to replace them.

LUMINEERS are contact lens-thin and are placed over existing teeth without having to remove painful tooth structure (unlike traditional veneers.) LUMINEERS is the painless, permanent cosmetic solution for stained, chipped, discolored or misaligned teeth.

LUMINEERS can only be made from patented Cerinate porcelain unavailable anywhere other than the Cerinate Smile Design Studio. In just 2-3 visits to your LUMINEERS dentist, you can have a custom-made smile that is clinically proven to last over 20 years - and it is completely reversible since your natural tooth structure is still intact! Get your perfect smile today!

     
 
LUMINEERS BY CERINATE Technique
TRADITIONAL VENEERS Technique
 
BEFORE

BEFORE
  Teeth are stained, slightly misshapen with spaces in-between. The dentist makes an impression and the mold is sent to the Cerinate Smile Design Studio where only LUMINEERS are crafted. Teeth appear stained and slightly misshapen. An impression is made and sent to a lab.
 
LUMINEERS VENEERS
NO PAINFUL TOOTH REDUCTION

TRADITIONAL VENEERS
PAINFUL TOOTH REDUCTION
  On next dental visit, your dentist tries in your LUMINEERS to ensure a good fit. Teeth are moderately etched to prepare for placement but there is no removal of sensitive tooth structure, the painful part of traditional veneer techniques. The LUMINEERS are bonded to your natural teeth and set in place with a curing light. Anesthetic shots are given to numb the area and teeth are severely shaved away with a drill to accommodate the veneers.
 
PAINFREE AFTER

LUMINEERS Prevents This
POTENTIALLY PAINFUL AFTER
  In only 2 easy dental visits, you will have a permanently whiter and beautiful smile without shots, drilling or pain.
A better, but still flawed smile, as the procedure is not reversible like LUMINEERS because the original teeth have been shaved down causing pain and discomfort immediately after the procedure.
 
ZOOM Whitening - Nothing whitens better or faster!
 
 

Your smile is important. It's one of the first things you notice when you meet someone. A whiter, brighter smile is beautiful - it can help you feel better about yourself and make a memorable impression

Your lifestyle and the aging process can stain and darken your teeth. Many things we do on a regular basis can contribute to stained teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine or smoking.

Whitening can get your smile looking its best. Non-professional procedures and clinically unproven teeth whitening tips can often lead to unsatisfactory results, you should look for a whitening procedure that is:

Fast and convenient
Long lasting
Low sensitivity
Proven to be safe and effective
Performed by a Dental Professional



 
  Other whitening systems don't compare to the Zoom! Chairside Whitening System. Nothing whitens better or faster.
 
 
 
Take a first step to feeling good, looking great. You owe it to yourself!
 
LAVA CROWNS - Technology Advancement in METAL-FREE!
 
3M LAVA - METAL FREE COSMETIC CROWNS
WITH THE HIGHEST STRENGTH
 
The 3M™ ESPE™ Lava™ Crowns and Bridges system is an innovative CAD/CAM technology using a zirconium oxide base. The esthetics of Lava restorations represent the optimum in all-ceramic systems. Preparations require removal of less tooth structure, and cementation can be accomplished using proven, conventional techniques. Colorable frameworks that are thin and translucent ensure a natural and vital appearance. Lava crowns and bridges provide some of the most durable and esthetic all-ceramic restorations available today.
  STRENGTH CHARACTERISTICS

The 3M ESPE Zirkonia frameworks are biocompatible and exhibit the highest strength available in all-ceramic restorations. The new technological advancements in metal-free products.

Finally,
Lava™ Crowns and Bridges from 3M ESPE the strength you’ve been looking for in an esthetic metal-free restoration is possible with Lava™, the new zirconia-based all-ceramic system by 3MTM ESPETM. The Lava Crown system combines CAD/CAM technology with an extraordinarily translucent zirconia framework that can be custom colored creating a restoration strong enough for long span bridges, with outstanding fit and biocompatibility and the esthetics your patients have come to expect. Now you can have it all!

Preparations require minimal removal of tooth structure, and cementation can be accomplished using proven, conventional techniques. We’re proud to offer Lava crowns and bridges to your practice, and invite you to see the durable, esthetic results for yourself.



Benefits:
*Excellent esthetics and translucency.

*Outstanding marginal fit.

*Superior strength of zirconia
with high fracture resistance.

*Preparation is similar to PFM.

*Preparations require removal
of less tooth structure.

*Cementation can be accomplished
using proven, conventional methods
 
INVISALIGN - The Invisible Braces - LEARN HOW TO SMILE AGAIN
 

INVISALIGN
Invisalign is an almost invisible options to straighten your teeth without wearing conventional metal braces. It uses a series of clear, removable custom-made aligners to move your teeth. Because you remove the aligners before eating and drinking, there are no food restrictions or problems with flossing or brushing. This technology is also more comfortable, avoiding the mouth abrasions that can be caused by the metal and wires of conventional braces. And this technology is also more convenient, since you are likely to spend less time in our office getting adjustments.


The clear alternative to braces.

Insist on Invisalign
 

Invisalign uses a series of clear aligners that are custom-molded to fit you. The virtually invisible aligners gradually reposition your teeth into a smile you'll be proud of.

  • Remove your aligners to eat, brush and floss
  • Change aligners every two weeks
  • Your teeth move little by little
  • Regular progress checks with your dentist or orthodontist
  • Results often in 6 months to 1 year

Why people prefer Invisalign

The convenience and ease of use of the Invisalign system have made it the choice of over half a million people. In fact, Invisalign has been effective in giving hundreds of thousands of people amazing new smiles.

  • Most people won't notice you're in treatment
  • Won't disrupt your lifestyle
  • Free initial consultation with participating doctors

No metal wires or bands to irritate your mouth, and best of all, most people won't notice you're in treatment. Invisalign®, the clear alternative to braces, has been chosen by over 500,000 people who want amazing smiles.

How Invisalign can improve the health of your mouth.

Teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced can create unhealthy conditions, including swollen gums, redness and pocketing, all of which are signs of periodontal disease. As Invisalign invisibly straightens your teeth, it can also do great things for the health of your mouth.


Healthier Gums

Clinical studies have shown that gum health may improve with the use of Invisalign during orthodontic treatment¹. Properly aligned teeth can help gums "fit" tighter around each tooth², which may lead to better periodontal health. Unlike braces, with Invisalign, you can brush and floss normally, which can help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Easier Cleanings

Unlike traditional orthodontics or braces, Invisalign has no metal bands or wires to trap food and plaque. Maintaining a good oral hygiene program will also reduce chances of plaque buildup, tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Improved Chewing and Speech

For some people, incorrectly positioned teeth and jaws can exacerbate speech difficulties and chewing problems. Correcting your bite by straightening your teeth can help improve both.

Lower Risk of Trauma and Abnormal Wear

Properly aligned teeth can be less stressful on supporting bone and jaw joints.


Is Invisalign® for Me?

Effective for a wide range of smiles. The Invisalign system has been successful in giving hundreds of thousands of amazing smiles to both teens and adults. ProSmile Dentistry in Foothill Ranch is a certified Invisalign provider will create your individual treatment plan using Invisalign’s clear, custom-molded aligners to solve a range of issues, including:

  • Overly crowded teeth
  • Widely spaced teeth
  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
In fact, take a look now at “Before and After” photographs of Invisalign cases. You’ll see the amazing results Invisalign can bring.

Made to fit lifestyles like yours.

Now nothing comes between your lifestyle and having an incredible smile. Because Invisalign offers you comfort, convenience and virtual invisibility during treatment. With Invisalign, you can:

  • Be as active as you like because Invisalign won’t hold you back
  • Remove your aligners for special events, eating and brushing
  • Feel more confident everywhere you go

Look your best during treatment.

Invisalign is clear and practically invisible, so nothing gets in the way of your new smile. No wonder Invisalign is the choice of over half a million people.

  • Unobtrusive in business meetings or social gatherings
  • No metal wires or bands to irritate your mouth
  • Many people won’t notice you’re wearing aligners

Once you decide to improve your smile, the rest is easy.

Getting started couldn't’t be simpler. The path to your amazing Invisalign® smile begins here.

Straighten Teeth with InvisalignStep 1:
Visit ProSmile Dentistry in Foothill Ranch
We offer an initial free consultation, so be sure to ask for yours.

Step 2: Map out a treatment plan.Straighten Teeth with Invisalign

You and your doctor develop a treatment plan specifically for you. Then the doctor takes bite impressions of your teeth, which Invisalign will use to custom-mold a series of clear, removable aligners that will gradually move your teeth into an incredible new smile.

Clear BracesStep 3: Your aligners are created.

The advancements in technology that led to clear aligners were developed by Invisalign. Your aligners are created via precision computer mapping and design, then are shipped to your doctor.

Step 4: Wear your aligners.Invisible Braces

You’ll receive your aligner series, switching to a new aligner every two weeks as your teeth move. Just wear each set of aligners night and day for a two week period, removing them only to eat, brush and floss. Visit your Invisalign dentist on a regular basis for progress checks. Each case is a little different, but on average, treatment lasts about a year. Then you can show the real you with an amazing new smile!

How much does Invisalign® cost?


An investment in yourself.

We know that cost is a big question for anyone considering dental or orthodontic work. The truth is, only your doctor can determine the cost for your specific treatment. It depends on the kind of treatment you need, how long it takes, and even where you live. Invisalign treatment is usually similar to the cost of traditional braces. It can start in the ballpark of $3500 and go up from there. The national average for Invisalign is about $5000.

Does insurance cover Invisalign?

If you have dental insurance that covers orthodontic treatment, Invisalign should qualify.

How else can I get help?

Many companies allow pre-tax contributions to be set aside in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Orthodontic treatment is considered a qualified treatment that can be reimbursed using your FSA. Many doctors also offer flexible and affordable in-house payment plans.

What is Care Credit?

CareCredit is a third-party flexible patient financing program, specifically designed for healthcare expenses, that makes it easier for you to get the treatment or procedures you want and need. Click here for more information.

Straight teeth aren't a luxury. Any way you look at it, a great, healthy smile is an investment in yourself.

Patient Success Stories

Over 500,000 people have been treated with Invisalign®. See what some of our patients have to say.

Invisalign Braces

William
Age 31
Investment Broker

At my age, to have the big metal train tracks in your mouth...I just figured, in person with people, I just wouldn't feel as comfortable as I would with something that was truly invisible. I really believe in the product, I am kind of a walking, talking billboard for it.
Invisalign Braces

Breanna
Age 20
Waitress & Student

What I like best about Invisalign is the fact that I can take them out and floss and brush my teeth and put them back in. So it's not like I'm working around all this metal in my mouth, trying to get the toothbrush in there and the floss in there.
Straight Teeth

Vivian
Age 53
Nurse

I am absolutely, positively thrilled. The fact that I was done with it in less than a year, and really had no inconveniences whatsoever, makes me wonder why I even hesitated.
Invisible Braces

Daniel
Age 38
Chauffeur

I definitely smile a lot more. Even though I'm still in the process, it has given me more confidence. It's given me something to look forward to. I feel good about myself. I feel good that I have taken the steps to get these braces.
Alternative Braces

Gina
Age 31
Analyst Relations

I would not have gone the regular braces route. I am in a customer-facing position in the high-tech industry, with a lot of young and hip people around me. To be in management, with a mouthful of braces in front of customers and prospects, just wasn't an option.
Clear Invisible Braces

Doug
Age 17
Student

My teeth look great! Using Invisalign was very easy and put me at ease, knowing that I was not going to have the pain of wires and brackets in my lips. I can now talk and smile with confidence, thanks to Invisalign.

Actual Results

Chief Concern: Spacing
Treatment Time: 13 Months

Front View

ClinCheck

Before

After
 
ORTHODONTICS
 

What is Orthodontics? Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental irregularities. Tooth movement is accomplished by light pressure exerted on the teeth. The pressure is applied by a variety of orthodontic appliances. These appliances have progressed by use of space aged research to apply gentile forces over the course of treatment. These are not "my fathers braces", braces now come in clear or metal. They no longer need "bands" to go completely around the teeth. Many of your friends have braces or have completed treatment, look at the difference it has made.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT ORTHODONTICS

How much do braces cost?

The price of orthodontic appliances can vary, depending upon the severity of the malocclusion, appliance, treatment time and the orthodontist's fee. The price range is quite large, but you will probably end up paying between $3600-4800. The best way to get a quote is to ask your orthodontist.

Do I have to?
No one is going to force you to wear braces. However, if you have some sort of malocclusion, it will cause you problems later in life if it is left untreated. Braces line your teeth up in the best possible manner to avoid plaque build-up, and undue wear and tear on your teeth and gums. They also help to improve your self esteem by giving you the best possible smile.

Will my braces hurt?
It doesn't hurt to apply your braces, but for the first week after you've had them put on, your teeth and jaw may ache. If any parts of the braces start to hurt the inside of your mouth, you can apply wax to the braces to smooth things over. You can also take an aspirin or Disprin to help the ache. Remember - the pain doesn't last very long. It will also help to limit your diet just to soft foods for the first week.

How old is too old for braces?
You are never too old to benefit from wearing braces. However, there may be some limitations, depending on your age.

What age should I send my child to an orthodontist?
Once the deciduous teeth start to fall out (exfoliate), the child should be examined by an orthodontist. If the baby teeth have fallen out too early, a preventative treatment may be needed to stop the erupting teeth from overcrowding.

When will I get my braces off?
This depends on how severe your malocclusion is. It also depends on your age, your growth spurts and how willing your teeth are to move! You can speed up the process by not breaking your braces, maintaining good oral hygiene, and wearing your appliances correctly. The usual time for braces is 18 - 24 months.

Are there any foods I can't eat?
Yes! Some hard crunchy foods may break your braces, so you'll have to wear them longer. These food include carrots, peanuts, gum, candy, popcorn, ice, hard chips and biscuits.

Can I chew gum?
There are some types of gum that you can chew, which will stimulate saliva production in your mouth. Sugar-free gums such as Wrigleys are great. However, do not chew sticky gum that will get caught in your braces.

Brushing & Flossing:
The biggest enemy of your teeth is plaque and the most common and effective means of removing plaque from your teeth is regular brushing and flossing:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Brushing

Hold the brush at an angle and press firmly against the teeth, flexing the bristles.

Move the brush in small circles, cleaning the tooth surface.

Brush above the archwire and below it.

Brush the backside and chewing surfaces of all your teeth.

Flossing

Slide the floss gently between the teeth.

Avoid snapping the floss through a tight space.

Rub the floss up and down the sides of each tooth.

Do not use a shoe shine or see-saw motion.

Sometimes, a parent whose child is being treated will choose to correct his or her bite at the same time. The fact is, braces can improve a persons smile-and confidence-at almost any age. More and more adults are turning to orthodontic treatment to correct a smile that's bothered them most of their lives. With the help of your dentist you can have a healthy, beautiful smile. And with todays smaller, less visible, more comfortable braces, plus the affordable payment plans that many orthodontists offer, adult patients are finding braces more appealing than ever. Some orthodontists even offer special payment plans for adults and their children who go through the treatment at the same time.

Depending on how much correction is needed, some patients opt for braces on the back surface of their teeth, where they're not visible to the eye. For many adults, the improvement in their health and appearance after braces is well worth the time and expense. We also offer Invisalign®, a nearly invisible mouthpiece.




While your child's teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem. Of course, the check-up may reveal that your child's bite is fine, and that can be comforting news. Even if a problem is detected immediate treatment may not be recommended.. Chances are, your doctor will take a "wait and see" approach, checking on your child from time to time as the permanent teeth come in and the jaws and face continue to grow. In some cases, there are problems that can benefit from early treatment.

Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing, and make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Typically, early treatment involves the use of orthodontic appliances, which may be removable, to guide the growth of young bones and create a better environment for adult teeth as they emerge. In some cases, one will be able to achieve results that wouldn't be possible once the face and jaw have finished growing. Early treatment gives your child's dentist the chance to:

Guide jaw growth
Lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
Correct harmful oral habits
Improve appearance and self-esteem
Guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position
Improve the way lips meet


It's not always easy to tell when your child has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding a problem bite, and that's why it's important to take your child for that first orthodontic checkup no later than age 7. Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:

Early or late loss of baby teeth
Difficulty in chewing or biting
Breathing through the mouth
Thumb-sucking
Crowded, misplaced or blocked out teeth
Jaws that are too far forward or back
Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
Protruding teeth
Upper and lower teeth don't meet, or meet in an abnormal way
An unbalanced facial appearance
Grinding or clenching of the teeth

ALL ABOUT CAVITIES

Dental Health: Cavities

Cavities occur as a result of tooth decay. Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Tooth decay can affect both the enamel (the outer coating of the tooth) and the dentin layer of the tooth.

Tooth decay occurs when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) such as breads, cereals, milk, soda, fruits, cakes, or candy are left on the teeth. Bacteria that live in the mouth digest these foods, turning them into acids. The bacteria, acid, food debris, and saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to the teeth. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in the teeth called cavities, or caries.

Who Gets Cavities?

Many people think cavities only affect children, but changes that occur with aging make cavities an adult problem too. Recession of the gums (a pulling away of gum tissue from the teeth), often associated with an increased incidence of gingivitis (gum disease), can expose tooth roots to plaque. Also, sugary food cravings in pregnant women can make them more vulnerable to developing cavities.

Decay around the edges of fillings is also common in older adults. Because many older adults lacked the benefits of fluoride and modern preventive dental care when they were growing up, they often have a number of dental fillings. Over the years, these fillings may weaken and can fracture, allowing bacteria to accumulate in the tiny crevices causing tooth decay.

Dental Health - Cavity


How Do I Know if I Have a Cavity?

Your dentist can discover cavities during your regular dental checkup The tooth surface feels soft when probed by your dentist with a dental instrument. X-rays can also show cavities before they become visible to the eye.

In advanced stages of tooth decay, you might experience a toothache, especially after consuming sweet, hot, or cold foods or drinks. Other signs of tooth decay are visible pits or holes in the teeth.

How Are Cavities Treated?

Cavities are treated in a number of different ways depending on the extent of tooth decay. If decay is not extensive, the decayed portion of the tooth is removed by drilling and replaced with a filling made of silver alloy, gold, porcelain, or a composite resin. Restorative materials used in fillings are considered safe. Concerns have been raised over the safety of mercury-based, silver amalgams in particular, but the ADA, FDA, and other public health agencies continue to support the safety of this restorative material. Allergies to silver amalgam are rare as are allergies to other restorative materials.

If the decay is extensive and there is limited tooth structure remaining, crowns will be used. If a crown is needed, the decayed or weakened area of the tooth is removed and repaired and a crown is fitted over the remainder of the tooth. Crowns are made from gold, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal.

If the decay causes the nerve or pulp of the tooth to die, a root canal will be performed. During the procedure, the center of the tooth (including the nerve, blood vessel, and tissue) is removed along with the decayed portions of the tooth. The roots are then filled with a sealing material. If necessary, a crown can be placed over the filled tooth.

Several new treatments are under development. One experimental technique uses fluorescent light to detect the development of cavities long before they can be detected by traditional means, such as x-rays or dental examination. In many cases, if cavities can be detected early, the decay process can be stopped or reversed.

Researchers are also working on a "smart filling" to prevent further tooth decay by slowly releasing fluoride over time around fillings and in adjacent teeth.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Dentistry - Source WEBMD.

 
We help with Cosmetic Dentistry, Orthodontics, Crowns,
Veneers, Lumineers, Invisalign and Whitening (Zoom)
 

Foothill Ranch Office
(Serving Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, Coto De Caza, Saddleback, El Toro, Tustin, San Juan Capistrano, and beyond)
(949) 583-1500