Santa Cruz Family Dentists | Smile With Confidence in Santa Cruz

Opening Hours : Mon 7AM-5PM; Tu/We/Th 7AM-6PM; Fri 8AM-5PM
  Contact : (831) 316-1580

All Posts in Category: Blog

The Basics of Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial teeth that are surgically placed into the jaw. These are made of titanium metal posts that are inserted into the jaw through an incision in the gums. Once they are secure and stable, your Santa Cruz implant dentist attaches dental crowns with metal abutments or specialized glue. These dental crowns are typically made of porcelain, a hard kind of material that looks like natural tooth enamel.

Unlike removable dentures, dental implants look, feel and function like real teeth. They also provide a permanent solution to tooth loss. With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last for a lifetime. They can also withstand daily chewing and biting without incurring damage. Since they’re made of artificial materials, they don’t decay like real teeth.

Dental implants work by fusing to the bone tissue in the jaw area. This process takes up to five months after surgery, during which time the patient’s surgical wounds heal. Rare cases of dental implant failure, however, occur when dental implants are unable to completely fuse with the bone tissue. When this happens, the dental implants remain mobile in the jaw. Your Santa Cruz implant dentist remedies this by re-opening the surgical wound and replacing the dental implants with new ones. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking during recovery can lead to dental implant failure.

Dental implants also require high bone volume in the jaw area. Hence, patients who lack bone tissue are advised to undergo bone grafting surgery. During bone grafting surgery, the surgeon extracts bone tissue from the patient’s arm or thigh and transplants it to the jaw. This augments bone density in that area.

Dental implants can make chewing and eating easier. They enhance your facial structure and restore the functionality of your mouth. They can also make you look younger and more attractive.

For more information about dental implants, get in touch with Santa Cruz implant dentist Dr. Matiasevich, Jr., by calling 831-440-7577 today.

Read More

How Safe is Intravenous Sedation?

For patients with dental anxiety, treatments are made possible with the aid of sedation, either administered through nitrous oxide laughing gas (inhalation), a sedative pill (oral) or through the veins (intravenous). But what happens if the patient is afraid of sedation itself or potential side effects from it? How can an extremely fearful patient who needs to be sedated in order to undergo the required dental procedure receive a high dose of sedatives intravenously when at the same time, he/she is terrified of needles?

Sedative drugs work to facilitate a dental procedure by reducing the patient’s agitation or irritability. As with any other drugs or medication, sedatives are safe and only become dangerous when administered by someone who isn’t trained or qualified to perform the procedure. Under the supervision of an expert dentist specially trained to perform intravenous sedation, anti-anxiety benzodiazepines like Midazolam and Diazepam can effectively make the patient relaxed, with the addition of pain-killing opioids to make the experience even more comfortable for the patient. If sleep-inducing barbiturates need to be given, the patient will be closely monitored as these could slow down the breathing and heart rate.

Apart from the pain from the actual dental procedure, which will be numbed out by the local anesthesia, sedation is not known to be a source of any adverse side effects. Conditions such as allergies, pregnancy, alcohol intoxication and high tolerance for sedative drugs should be disclosed to the dentist to avoid any contraindications.

For safe, effective and reliable deep sedation to give you those stress-free treatments, visit Dr. Santa Cruz dentist Robert Matiasevich, Jr.’s Smile with Confidence clinic in California. Call 831-440-7577 for an appointment with Dr. Matiasevich Jr., a Santa Cruz implant dentist who specializes in intravenous sedation for patients availing of teeth-in-an-hour and mini-dental implants.

Read More

What Wrong Tooth Brushing Can Do to Your Gums

It’s something that everybody knows all too well – you’ve got to brush your teeth at least twice a day in order to maintain decay-free teeth and healthy gums. But apparently, basically just like everything else that we do, there’s a correct way to do it and not doing so can actually damage the gum tissue which can lead to receding gums and tooth sensitivity.

Expect heavy-handed brushing to be the immediate suspect as the culprit for receding gums but as in all other tasks, the tools that we use, in this case, the toothbrush plays a big role in doing the damage. Brushing with hard bristles do clean away plaque that forms on the teeth surface but brushing with soft bristles that would hurt your gums less is just as effective in removing plaque.

Brushing with soft bristles for at least two minutes disrupts the bacteria in the plaque preventing them from calcifying into hard calculus that can only be scraped off by a dentist’s special instruments during a prophylaxis. Brushing in a gentle, circular motion instead of the usual back and forth or up and down direction in a way massages the gums instead of pushing them away the normal gum line.

Unfortunately, after your gums have receded, even if you change the way you brush your teeth, your gums will not grow back to their original position but rather need invasive and painful gum grafting or periodontal surgery to restore them to their healthy state. Using the pinhole gum rejuvenation technique practiced by Santa Cruz dentist Dr. Robert Matiasevich, Jr. in his clinic in California, you can get back your healthy gums without the cuts, bleeding and stitches.

Dr. Matiasevich, Jr. uses a specially-designed dental instrument that makes a pinhole into your receded gums to loosen the gum tissue and move it back down to the original gum line. Keeping the gums in place after the procedure are collagen strips inserted into the same pinhole that will fuse with the natural collagen produced by your body.

Contact the Smile with Confidence clinic in California at 831-440-7577 to schedule your pinhole gum rejuvenation session with Santa Cruz dentist Dr. Matiasevich, Jr.

Read More

Making Life with Dentures Better using Mini-Implants

Regardless of how well-fitting removable dentures can be, wearing dentures is not something that people look forward to as they age. For those who have experienced wearing removable partial dentures, they often get a renewed appreciation for their natural teeth and would even switch to having a fixed bridge just to rid themselves of the discomfort of having to live with an artificial dental piece inside their mouth.

Although more tooth loss can be prevented, aging could not be avoided. For those folks who for whatever reason could not avoid becoming edentulous or totally without teeth in either or both arches, they don’t have to live with discomfort and the accompanying worries and insecurity over slipping dentures. Removable dentures can now be stabilized by mini-dental implants to make implant-retained dentures.

Mini-dental implants are miniature titanium posts that act like teeth roots after they are surgically placed beneath the gums and into the jawbone. The ball-shaped head of the implant fits perfectly into the socket of the retaining fixture attached to the base of the denture, holding the denture securely in place to let the patient eat, speak and smile confidently. Four implants are non-invasively and painlessly screwed into the ridge of the upper of lower jaw to support the dentures.

Even patients who were previously turned down for standard-sized dental implants because of their low bone density can instead benefit from mini-implant treatment that only requires careful planning and precision in order to place the implants in the position where they could sufficiently fuse with the available bone. And since they are smaller, mini-implants would necessitate only a tiny incision for inserting the posts, which would translate to less bleeding and stitches during the actual procedure and little pain and discomfort in the recovery phase.

At Santa Cruz implant dentist Dr. Robert Matiasevich’s clinic in California, mini-implant procedures are even made more comfortable with intravenous sedation. Call 831-440-7577 to enjoy the benefits of implant-retained dentures from your Santa Cruz dentist.

Read More

All-on-Four: Fast Replacement for Missing Teeth

Want to replace your missing teeth but don’t really want to wait for months to get them? Are dentures too much of a hassle for you and you would like something that’s more of a permanent solution? Ask your Santa Cruz implant dentist about All-on-Four dental implants today!

What Is All-on-4?

All-on-Four is a revolutionary procedure that allows patients to have a permanent set of four dental implants inserted into his/her jawbone in just one session. Before, if people wanted to restore their missing teeth, they needed to undergo several surgical implant procedures and wait for months for the incisions to heal. However, due to this new breakthrough in dental medicine and technology, patients can now get implants and use their artificial set of teeth all in the same day.

Who Are Best Fit for an All-on-Four Procedure?

Edentulous patients or those who have lost all their teeth are very good candidates for an All-on-Four procedure. Current denture wearers and people with damaged crowns and bridgework will also benefit from this breakthrough procedure. Even those patients who have been turned down for traditional implants because of severe bone loss of low jawbone density can have a chance to regain their missing teeth with All-on-Four.

What to Expect During an All-on-Four Procedure?

When you do decide to undergo All-on-Four, here’s what you can expect to happen for your treatment:

Your Santa Cruz implant dentist will plan your implant placement using a CT scan that will capture three-dimensional images of your teeth, gums, jaws, and neck. These images will be uploaded into a virtual reality software that will help your dentist plan your entire implant procedure even before any surgery is performed.

The computer-generated images are vital in helping your dentist fabricate your artificial teeth and for him to know exactly where to place the Titanium implant posts during surgery. The 3-D images are extremely accurate and give your dentist a virtual look into your teeth and gums without you having to spend long hours on the dentist’s chair.

To know more about All-on-Four and how you can benefit from it, get in touch with Dr. Matiasevich, Jr., DDS by calling 831-440-7577 today.

Read More

Sedatives Used in Sedation Dentistry

Have you been skipping your dental appointments with your Santa Cruz dentist? If your reasons for not going include irrational fears and unexplainable anxiety attacks, then it might be time for you to ask your dentist about sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry uses different types of sedatives to help calm a patient who cannot undergo dental treatments due to anxiety attacks or dental fears. The sedatives can be taken in different ways and are effective in keeping nerves and muscles relaxed throughout the dental procedure.

Below are the common types of sedatives used for sedation dentistry:

Oral Sedatives

Oral sedatives are in tablet or pill form and are taken orally like you would any regular medicine or vitamins, except that they are prescribed with a particular dosage.

Intravenous Sedatives

Intravenous or IV sedatives pass through the bloodstream and has a faster effect on calming the muscles and nerves of the patient.

Laughing Gas or Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

Laughing gas is probably the easiest sedative to administer. All the patient needs to do is inhale the gas and within two to three minutes, he will already feel the effect of the sedative.

General Anesthesia

Among the other previously mentioned sedatives, general anesthesia is not really a preferred type and not commonly used in dental clinics, though it can still be an option for severe dental anxiety cases. Using general anesthesia is quite difficult for dentists because the patient will be in a fully unconscious state and therefore cannot reply or answer questions from the dentist.

The dosage of these sedatives can all be adjusted depending on the anxiety level of the patient.

If you have dental anxiety, please get in touch with Dr. Matiasevich, Jr., DDS at 831-440-7577. Dr. Matiasevich offers a variety of options for sedation dentistry treatments.

Read More