Category Archives: General Dentistry

Inlays and Onlays: Which Is Which? | Riverside Dentist

We all want to have our best smiles and do our best to keep our smiles looking their healthy best. But sometimes, things happen that can give our teeth some flaws. Is all hope lost? Luckily, no. Damaged teeth can be returned back to new with dental restorations called inlays and onlays. The problem is – which is which?

A dental inlay or onlay is bigger than a filling and smaller than a crown. It is bonded or cemented into place. An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is larger than an inlay. It replaces one or more decayed cusps.

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office and applied in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are generally made in a laboratory, which means you’ll need two visits.

Inlays and onlays are completely natural looking dental restorations that will restore the strength and stability to your teeth. But more than that, inlays and onlays can also make your oral hygiene routines easier! In only two dental visits, your oral health will drastically improve with these little dental restorations.

If you’re worried about having a natural look, worry not. Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin (plastic) or ceramics. And not only are they a temporary fix – they can last for 10 years or longer, depending on factors like which teeth are involved, how you chew and your dental hygiene practices. The better you treat them, the better they’ll treat you.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

ZOOM! Your Way to Whiter Teeth | Riverside Dentist

Everyone wants white teeth and we do anything we can to achieve it. We brush daily, stay away from coffee and buy the best over-the-counter products out there, yet we still have dingy teeth. Now it’s time to call in the big guns and make ourselves a dental appointment – we need a professional tooth whitening treatment. Dr. Middleton agrees that the simplest way to brighten and whiten your smile is by ZOOM! ZOOM is an in-office tooth whitening procedure that is accomplished by applying a whitening gel to the teeth and utilizing a ZOOM light to penetrate the surface of the teeth to break up stains and discolorations.

Before ZOOM, a whitening procedure would take quite a while. This caused many patients to drag their heels when it comes to having the treatment done. NO one wants to sit in a dental chair longer than absolutely necessary. Patients love ZOOM whitening system because of the amount of time it takes to achieve a brighter smile. Dr. Gerald Middleton guarantees that ZOOM whitening system takes about 45 minutes to one hour. You can get it done during your lunch break! And within that short period of time, your smile will be rejuvenated with no stains or discoloration. Not only that but patients also enjoy how ZOOM allows you to achieve your desired level of whiteness, without seeming unnatural or overdone like the procedures of the past. The ZOOM teeth whitening system is quick, convenient, safe, and supervised and for these reasons, ZOOM is the perfect option for a whiter smile.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Keep Your Dental Appointments with Sedation Dentistry | Riverside Dentist

dental fearDoes the thought of having your teeth worked on make you anxious or uncomfortable? Do the sight of needles and the sound of dental drills make you cringe? Are you constantly skipping out on dental appointments for fear of pain or nerves? You needn’t worry anymore. Would you believe you could have everything done while you nap comfortably and awake to not remembering anything from the procedure? By the use of oral sedation, we can do this for you. In fact, we have been helping people overcome these fears for many years. Think you may have a dental fear or phobia, but can’t be sure? Here are a few of the more common symptoms experienced by patients:

  • High dental anxiety and fear
  • A severe gag reflex
  • Difficulty getting numb
  • Extensive treatment needs
  • A desire to have dentistry done comfortably while they are fully relaxed

We understand that going to the dentist can be very difficult for some people. Dental phobia is actually a lot more common than you may think. It is estimated that about 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of this reason. So, if you feel that you may have an issue that prevents you from keeping your dental appointments, talk to your dentist about these fears. There are lots of new developments in dental technology that can not only calm your nerves during a dental procedure, like local anesthesia and sedation dentistry, but also prepare you for your dental appointment with medications that will help to relax you. Your smile doesn’t need to suffer because you are scared of the dentist chair.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Did You Know? Toothbrush Edition | Riverside Dentist

woman brushing teethDid you know that February is National Children’s Health Month? It’s true. And we all know our little ones dislike anything that has to do with dental care. But is it important that they learn early to take care of their teeth in order to maintain a healthy smile. But not everything important needs to be boring. So, while you are teaching your tiny human that brushing twice a day, flossing and of course, frequent trips to the dentist for checkups and cleaning, throw in some of these fun dental facts to make taking care of their teeth fun:

Did you know that dentists recommend that the optimal time to spend brushing teeth is about two to three minutes? This would amount to around 122 days in a person’s lifetime. However, according to a recent survey, the average American spends only about 38 to 39 days brushing their teeth over a lifetime. That means that the average American spends only about 30 to 40 seconds brushing their teeth, as opposed to the recommended two to three minutes.

In 2003, toothbrushes were considered much more important than phones and cars. However, many years later, another survey showed that roughly around 4 billion people use a mobile device, but about only 3.5 billion actually use a toothbrush.

In an effort to cut down on the waste produced by toothbrushes every year, manufacturers have begun selling toothbrushes made out of recyclable materials, as well as ones that feature replaceable heads.

While modern toothbrushes are usually made from synthetic fiber, it’s said that animal bristles are still used sometimes today.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Heavy Is the Head Who Wears the Crown | Riverside Dentist

Dental crown procedures are recommended to patients because of the too is weak and requires a bridge or a discolored tooth that cannot be fixed. It’s important that you take the time to do research on the pros and cons of each type, as well as ask your dentist to make a recommendation based on what is best for your teeth’s specific situation.

Installing a dental crown should only take two visits – first for installation of the temporary crown and the second for the placement of the permanent one. During the initial visit, the dentist will examine the problem tooth and make sure that it is still able to support a crown. After this, the dentist will begin filing it down in preparation of the crown.

Once the dentist has finished filing or filling the tooth, the dentist will then take an impression of the tooth and its surroundings for the lab to create your crown. Your dentist will notify you once the permanent crown is finished and ready. Your temporary crown is removed, and the dentist will then position and fasten the permanent crown. To do this, dentists will use a special adhesive and take extra care to make sure that the crown is placed properly. Once placed and everything is taken care of, the dentist will send you off along with a few necessary tips and advises.

Remember that crowned teeth require as much care as normal teeth, so don’t forget to brush and floss regularly, rinse using an antibacterial mouthwash, and of course, visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleaning to ensure the best results.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Let Diabetes Affect Your Smile | Riverside Dentist

Diabetes is an affliction that affects more Americans every year. Not only do most of us know someone with diabetes, but there are more complications related to it besides heart disease, nerve damage, and limb amputation. In fact, diabetes can also affect your oral health.

In 2015, 30.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes, 7.2 million unaware they have it at all according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report. Your mouth is the window to your health, and we are trained to look closely for signs. For those of you unaware if you may have diabetes, there are certain signs and symptoms can help diagnose the disease.

Periodontal disease, an infection that affects the gum tissue and bone that hold one’s teeth in place and can lead to bad breath, abscesses and tooth loss, may be a first indicator that a person may not have control of his or her blood sugar level. Diabetics have difficulty controlling their periodontal disease. Conversely, people with periodontal disease have difficulty controlling their diabetes. If we are able to control the periodontal disease, then blood sugar levels are easier to control.

Diabetes also makes people more prone to other dental problems, including oral infections, thrush and dry mouth. A small amount of plaque on a non-diabetic patient may lead to gingivitis, but on a diabetic patient it may lead to rapid bone loss and the loss of teeth. We recommend regular dental visits to regulate the disease’s impact on your dental and overall health.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

When You Lose a Tooth | Riverside Dentist

Woman SmilingBelieve it or not, but millions of Americans will lose one or more teeth due to some combination of tooth decay, gingivitis, and physical trauma. Despite the prevalence of dentists and dental care, it’s still quite common for patients of all ages to suffer tooth loss of one or more teeth. While brushing, flossing, and routine professional cleanings are very effective at combating tooth decay and gingivitis, it is unfortunately quite common for patients to neglect professional cleaning, and teeth need to be removed.

In cases where the tooth must be removed, patients are typically left with a handful of options: either create fake teeth that cover the area, or replace the tooth with a combination of synthetic root and crown using a dental implant. While dentures and bridges have their advantages and disadvantages, implants are often recommended by dentists for a variety of reasons:

  • Closely match the appearance of natural teeth
  • Allow for natural eating, drinking, and speaking
  • Very comfortable, nearly indistinguishable from a normal tooth
  • Quite durable, often lasting decades

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots, often made of titanium, and fixed permanently into the bone of the tooth socket. The dentist then attaches a crown – often porcelain or ceramic above the titanium post, providing a structure that looks and feels almost exactly the same as a normal tooth, but without any natural tooth material. The implant can be brushed and flossed as if it were a normal tooth, but the crown surface is impervious to decay, and when properly installed, the titanium post will last for decades.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Do I Really Need to Use Mouthwash? | Riverside Dentist

Two of the most common dental problems for patients is tooth decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). While they sound very different, they both have a common cause: bacteria within the mouth. While many people realize that mouthwash is effective as a breath-freshener, it can also save your teeth and gums.

Tooth decay is typically caused by acid produced when bacteria consumes food particles and sugars within the mouth. Similarly, periodontal disease occurs when bacterial colonies make their way beneath the gum line, causing damage to tooth roots and gum tissue, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. In both cases, regular brushing and flossing can help remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Mouthwash helps maintain oral health by assisting in the process of killing bacteria that isn’t physically removed by the toothbrush or floss and minimizing bacteria on the insides of your cheek and the gum tissue near your teeth.

Mouthwash has other benefits as well. Physically swishing mouthwash within your mouth can wash leftover food particles. While brushing and flossing will help remove food stuck on the surfaces of the teeth, mouthwash may dislodge food particles throughout the mouth, which reduces the available food for bacteria that eventually cause tooth decay. For this reason, it’s often advisable to use mouthwash prior to brushing – mouthwash may help loosen food particles that can be fully removed with the toothbrush.  Finally, some mouthwash contains fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel, which will help resist cavities and minimize the chances of cracked or broken teeth.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Teaching Tiny Humans to Brush | Riverside Dentist

Boy brushing his teethParenting is never an easy job. We need to keep our tiny humans safe while we teach them how to navigate life in the best way they can, and this will generally come along with a struggle as they grow up. After all, they are figuring things out and when something like dental hygiene come up, the last thing they want to do is learn to do it. But when it comes to things like oral hygiene, consistency is key. However, we often find ourselves stuck in a constant struggle with children to get them to brush their teeth. If this is something that occurs whenever you try to help your little one, here are some tips that can make the process of teeth cleaning fun:

Start earlier. Timing can be a huge thing in helping your child adjust to a normal cleaning routine. Sometimes children get crankier as time goes on. With that in mind, try to start your routine earlier in the day, perhaps a little bit after dinner. This will definitely improve their mood.

Brushing together. Younger children love mimic what their parents do, so, take advantage of that habit by brushing your teeth alongside them.

Cleaning teeth to music. Music may play an important role in allowing your child to not only enjoy brushing their teeth, but sufficiently brush their teeth. Choose a song that is at least two minutes long, to ensure the brushing process is done in its full time, and then choose a song that your kid enjoys!

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.

Should I Get Veneers? | Riverside Dentist

When you have a flawed smile, it is tough to find reason to use it. Fortunately, there are plenty of dental procedures you can do to remedy the situation – one of which is porcelain veneers.

Porcelain veneers are generally used for patients who have several cosmetic problems or want their entire set of front-facing teeth made over. Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to care for (normal brushing and flossing is fine, no special care is required), provide a very natural appearance, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options. Still wondering if veneers are the way to go? Here is a list of reasons you should choose veneers:

Natural looking. Porcelain is a translucent material that mimics the look, luster, and feel of enamel.

White and bright. When adhered to the front surface of your teeth, veneers you’re your teeth look instantly whiter.

Straighten the crooked. Veneers offer a great alternative for patients with crooked teeth who do not want to endure the process of having their teeth straightened with dental braces.

Fillers. Veneers can fill in any gaps and improve the look of teeth that are chipped or broken.

Fountain of youth. A whiter, brighter, more lustrous smile can immediately you’re your face a more youthful appearance.

Protection. Once applied, the veneers also serve to provide a protective shield to the front surface of teeth.

Stain-resistant. Porcelain is stain resistant, which will make your smile stay brighter and whiter longer.

Gum-friendly. Gum tissue is not irritated by porcelain.

To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 or visit www.gmdental.com.

Dr. Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Moreno Valley, Lake Elsinore and all surrounding areas.