Periodontal Maintenance

In its most advanced stages, gum disease can lead to gum recession, and even tooth loss.  At Redwood Dental Smiles, we want to make sure it never gets to that point for you and your family!  When plaque builds up on a tooth, the gum starts to pull away from the tooth and forms a pocket around the buildup, which only leads to more gum recession.  A scaling and root planing procedure is used to treat this buildup and prevent the later stages of gum disease. Scaling and root planning are two parts of a deep cleaning procedure your dentist can perform to help reverse the progress of gum disease.  The procedure beings with scaling, which is the process of the dentist removing plaque from the surface of the teeth, all the way down to the gums. Root planing is the term for any minor contouring to smooth the surface of a tooth near the root.  When plaque has been removed and the tooth root has been smoothed, the gums that have pulled away will have a clean, smooth surface to reattach to as the

Dental Implants to Replace Teeth

Dr. Vijay Munagala of Redwood Dental Smiles replaces teeth and restores patient smiles with dental implants. Implants are a permanent restorative option for teeth that are missing or have been extracted.  They look and feel like natural teeth, and are the most permanent and efficient means of replacing lost teeth. An implant is placed over a series of appointments because of the healing time required.  Implants are titanium screws inserted through an incision in the gum. Over a period of 3-6 months, the jaw bone heals around the implant to become a solid, stable base for the new tooth. During this time a patient is fitted with a temporary crown, and a custom crown is created to match their smile perfectly. After the jaw bone and gums have healed appropriately, the custom crown is placed in a second minor procedure.  The doctor may need to expose the head of the implant by removing some gum tissue, and the crown will be screwed to the top of the implant.  When this is complete the tooth

White Spot Lesions

As a general dental office, preventing tooth decay is one of our top concerns at Redwood Dental Smiles in Castro Valley. Regular brushing and flossing is the best defense against tooth decay, but some parts of the teeth, especially the sides and the areas around orthodontic brackets, are particularly vulnerable. That’s why we want our patients to be able to recognize incipient lesions, also known as white spots. When teeth are exposed to acid, there will be a period before they form cavities when molecules are being dissolved and the enamel is weakening. This can happen when the acid is being regurgitated from the stomach, but on the front teeth, it is likelier to be caused by bacteria metabolizing food debris and excreting acid as a waste product. The more sugar is on the teeth, the more bacteria consume and the more acid they excrete. As enamel dissolves, it turns a chalky white that is noticeably different from enamel’s natural color. It only takes about thirty days for a white spot

ZOOM! Whitening

A smile is the best accessory you can wear, which is why Dr. Vijay Munagala of Redwood Dental Smiles wants to ensure that her patient’s smiles are as bright as their personality. Tooth discoloration is caused by foods, drinks, lifestyle habits such as smoking, and is usually the result of poor dental hygiene. By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you may be able to prevent teeth discoloration. However, change doesn’t happen over-night. At Redwood Dental Smiles the ZOOM! Professional Whitening system can jumpstart the whitening process in the best way possible. ZOOM is a bleaching process used to lighten discoloration of enamel and dentin. The ZOOM in-office whitening procedure uses the ZOOM Advanced Power Chairside Lamp – said to accelerate the bleaching process – to activate the 25 percent hydrogen peroxide whitening. As the hydrogen peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin to bleach the stained substances, leaving the structure of the tooth unchanged. If you h

Prevent Dental Injury with a Mouthguard

Traumatic dental injuries can occur in children and adults. When a tooth is knocked out due to a fall, or from playing a sport, it’s important to take the proper measures to save the tooth and prevent infection. Mouthguards, also called mouth protectors will help cushion a blow to the face and minimize the risk of broken teeth and injuries to the oral cavity. Dr. Vijay Munagala of Redwood Dental can provide a custom-fitted mouthguard for ultimate comfort. An athlete is more likely to experience a mouth injury than a non-athlete, but accidents do happen. When it comes to protecting your mouth from trauma, a mouthguard is an essential piece of equipment. A custom-made mouthguard can be created for a patient and it’s made for your mouth only. One can be made for the upper teeth, lower teeth, or both. To discuss custom-fitted mouthguards, schedule a consultation with Dr. Vijay Munagala today. If you have questions or concerns regarding mouthguards, please give us a call. To learn about the

Dental Instruments

Regular dental cleanings aren’t just an important component of oral health. They’re crucial for a patient’s overall wellbeing, particularly if they suffer from a complicating condition such as diabetes. We at Redwood Dental Smiles in Castro Valley want our patients to feel comfortable coming to us for help, but we recognize that dental instruments can be a source of anxiety for some people. That’s why we want our patients to know their names and how they’re used. There are several metal hooks hygienists use along with the handheld mirror for basic cleanings and assessments. Explorers are hooks which are used to test the durability of enamel, the outermost layer of the teeth, and to break apart tartar. We may also use a longer hook called a probe while examining the health of gum pockets and one called a scaler to remove debris and decay from below the gum line. Patients doubtlessly remember at past visits being told to close their lips around a vacuum hose. It is called an evacuator, a

Halloween Tips

Stores are full of Halloween candy, and the rest of the sugary treats of the holiday season will soon be upon us. So how do you protect your and your children’s teeth from decay without spoiling everyone’s fun? At Redwood Dental Smiles, we have some solutions, but first, we wanted to explain more about how tooth decay works. While consuming highly sugary snacks isn’t good for you, the amount of time teeth are exposed to sugar is the more relevant factor to decay than the sugar content of any particular thing. The riskiest Halloween candies for teeth are hard candies, which are sucked on for a long time, and toffees, which get caught in between teeth. But other risks come from drinks such as apple cider and creamy lattes, which will leave sugary residue on teeth if drunk slowly, and from high-starch vegetables such as winter squash. Brushing after eating sugar is the best way to prevent tooth decay, but this is sometimes unfeasible. Another tactic is to only eat candy with meals, when t