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Once upon a time, celebrities tried hard to maintain the appearance of red-carpet glamour at all times. That meant keeping the more mundane aspects of their lives out of the spotlight: things like shopping, walking the dog and having oral surgery, for example.

That was then. Today, you can find plenty of celebs posting pictures from the dentist on social media. Take Julianne Hough, for example: In 2011 and 2013, she tweeted from the dental office. Then, not long ago, she shared a video taken after her wisdom teeth were removed in December 2016. In it, the 28-year-old actress and dancer cracked jokes and sang a loopy rendition of a Christmas carol, her mouth filled with gauze. Clearly, she was feeling relaxed and comfortable!

Lots of us enjoy seeing the human side of celebrities. But as dentists, we’re also glad when posts such as these help demystify a procedure that could be scary for some people.

Like having a root canal, the thought of extracting wisdom teeth (also called third molars) makes some folks shudder. Yet this routine procedure is performed more often than any other type of oral surgery. Why? Because wisdom teeth, which usually begin to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums) around age 17-25, have the potential to cause serious problems in the mouth. When these molars lack enough space to fully erupt in their normal positions, they are said to be “impacted.”

One potential problem with impacted wisdom teeth is crowding. Many people don’t have enough space in the jaw to accommodate another set of molars; when their wisdom teeth come in, other teeth can be damaged. Impacted wisdom teeth may also have an increased potential to cause periodontal disease, bacterial infection, and other issues.

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed; after a complete examination, including x-rays and/or other diagnostic imaging, a recommendation will be made based on each individual’s situation. It may involve continued monitoring of the situation, orthodontics or extraction.

Wisdom tooth extraction is usually done right in the office, often with a type of anesthesia called “conscious sedation.”  Here, the patient is able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli (such as verbal directions), but remains free from pain. For people who are especially apprehensive about dental procedures, anti-anxiety mediation may also be given. After the procedure, prescription or over-the-counter pain medication may be used for a few days. If you feel like singing a few bars, as Julianne did, it’s up to you.

If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”

By United Dental Care
March 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Are you dealing with missing teeth? Find out if implants are the implants

Experiencing tooth loss as an adult can be a challenging and upsetting time; however, we are lucky that we live in this day and age where our Culver City, CA, dentists can provide you with a restoration that mimics the look and function of a real tooth. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about dental implants.

What is a dental implant?

While the implant itself won’t look like a tooth this metal post is designed to take the place of your tooth roots. The implant, often made from titanium, is biocompatible so that it won’t be rejected when it’s implanted in the jawbone. A single implant may be placed if you only need to replace one missing tooth, while several implants can be placed to support a bridge or dentures (to replace multiple teeth).

What makes someone a good candidate for implants?

If you are a healthy adult who is missing at least one permanent tooth then you might be an ideal candidate for getting dental implants in Culver City. In order to determine whether this is the right treatment option for you, you will need to come in for a consultation so that we can make sure that you are healthy enough for implants.

What are the benefits of getting dental implants?

Dental implants are unlike any other way to replace missing teeth. They are the closest you can get to a natural tooth. Since an implant naturally fuses together with the jawbone you’ll have a restoration that will be stable, strong, and could last the rest of your life with the proper care. Confidence in your appearance will be restored along with chewing and speaking. You’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite foods again.

Are you ready to take the plunge and find out if implants are the best way to treat your tooth loss? If so, call United Dental Care in Culver City, CA, today to book a no-risk consultation with us.


The chances of contracting an infectious disease from a dental visit are extremely low, thanks to the stringent safety standards practiced by over 170,000 dental care providers across the U.S. Without these standards, you and your family would be at risk for diseases like hepatitis from even a routine office visit.

The main prevention focus centers on blood-borne diseases in which blood from an infected person is introduced into the body of another through a cut, incision or injection site. While HIV/AIDS (autoimmune deficiency syndrome) is perhaps the most well known of blood-borne diseases, a more common and thus a more threatening disease is hepatitis. Caused by a pair of viruses known as HBV and HCV, hepatitis damages the liver, which disrupts normal bodily function and can even cause death.

The spread of hepatitis and similar diseases is a major concern for blood transfusion and surgical centers that commonly use invasive procedures and intravenous (IV) equipment. It’s also a concern in dental offices where even a hygienic cleaning may result in some bleeding. To reduce the risk of disease, the dental profession has several layers of both mandatory and recommended standards for protection against viral or microbial transmission.

The Center for Disease Control, for example, publishes and regularly updates recommended procedures for equipment sterilization and disinfection. State level dental licensing boards also mandate safety procedures and require continuing education for infection control as a requirement for re-licensing, as often as two years. Professional organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA) also encourage safety protocols among its members.

The vast majority of dentists place infection control among their highest priorities. These care providers institute and practice daily protocols and procedures for hand washing, use of masks, gloves and other biohazard protection, and disinfection. Through effective infection control you and your family can receive the dental care you need without endangering your general health.

If you would like more information on health safety in the dental office, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Infection Control in the Dental Office.”

By United Dental Care
February 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canal  

Find out if the symptoms you are experiencing might mean it’s time to visit our dentist.root canal

Ouch! That tooth has certainly been bugging you as of late. What should you do? You might be surprised to hear that a lot of people might just ignore the pain, hoping that it will go away. This is the wrong answer! A toothache is a warning sign that our Culver City, CA, dentists say you should take seriously. Here’s why:

While a toothache can be an indication of many things, it could also mean that the dental pulp of the tooth is inflamed or infected. Once a pulp has been damaged the only option is to have it removed and to clean out the inside of the tooth to prevent infection or bacteria from spreading to neighboring teeth or the jawbone. Getting a root canal when it’s necessary could preserve your tooth and prevent you from needing a tooth extraction in the near future.

So, now that a root canal isn’t looking like such a bad guy, let’s tell you a little more to put your mind at ease. Before the procedure even begins we will apply a local anesthesia to the area, which will numb the area completely. This is usually a major relief for anyone dealing with a toothache since the pain will finally disappear. Once numb, our Culver City, CA, dentists can go inside the tooth to remove the pulp and to carefully disinfect it.

After the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, we will seal up the canals to prevent bacteria from re-entering. The inside of the tooth is also filled with special dental materials to support it. At this point, we want to make sure the tooth is strong enough to sustain chewing and biting forces. In order to do this we will take impressions of your mouth to make a permanent crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown will be placed over the tooth to protect it until the permanent restoration is made and placed.

So, how do you know if you need a root canal? Besides dealing with dental pain, here are some other symptoms you may notice:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Sudden darkening of the tooth
  • Gum tenderness or swelling around the tooth
  • The development of a pimple or growth on the gums (known as an abscess)

No matter whether you are dealing with telltale signs of an infected dental pulp or you just need to schedule a routine exam to check the health of your teeth and gums, the dental team at United Dental Care in Culver City, CA, is here for you. Call us today!

By United Dental Care
February 16, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral appliance  

What do dentures, retainers and nightguards have in common? Along with orthodontic aligners and athletic mouthguards, they’re all types of removable dental appliances. They also share another commonality: each one depends on the wearer caring for it to ensure its longevity.

The most important thing you can do for your appliance is to clean it regularly. Don’t use toothpaste, though, even with dentures: while your natural tooth enamel can handle the abrasive particles in toothpaste, your appliance’s materials may not. Toothpaste can create tiny scratches that can harbor disease-causing bacteria. Instead, use liquid dish detergent or hand soap with warm water.

Although boiling water may disinfect your appliance, it’s not advisable to use. Even hot water can distort plastic components and warp the appliance’s fit in your mouth. Likewise, don’t use bleach, which can fade the plastic color used to resemble gum tissue and break down the material’s composition. When you clean your appliance, use a brush — but not the one you use for your natural teeth. Use a soft toothbrush, a nail brush or a specialized brush for appliances like dentures.

You should also protect your appliance from damage. Some appliances like dentures have parts that can break if they’re dropped on a hard surface — like the porcelain in your sink. To prevent this, place a towel in the sink to cushion the appliance if it accidentally slips from your hand during cleaning. And when the appliance isn’t in your mouth, don’t keep it on a low table or night stand where small children or pets can easily get their hands (or paws) on it.

And one more thing: don’t wear your denture appliance around the clock — take it out, for instance, while you sleep. Leaving dentures in interferes with the acid-neutralizing and antibacterial function of your mouth’s saliva, which could increase your risk of disease (and bad breath).

Appliances can be an expensive investment in your dental health. By following these guidelines you’ll help protect that investment for years to come.

If you would like more information on caring for your dental appliance, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance.”

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