Image Dental Blog


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Newport Beach General Dental Services

General dentistry covers a broad variety of procedures. Though general dentistry deals mainly with preventative treatments, many dentists continue their training to include cosmetic and restorative procedures. Below you will find information on a couple of restorative and cosmetic procedures that can be performed by general dentists.

Dental Fillings

Teeth can be damaged by tooth decay, dental trauma, or natural wearing. In such cases, dental fillings are used to repair the damaged tooth structure. The procedure requires the damaged portion of the tooth to be removed before the filling can be placed. Then the dentist will fill the open space of the tooth with a filling material. Your dentist will help you decide which material is appropriate for your filling.


When a tooth is chipped or cracked, your dentist may recommend a restorative procedure called bonding. In a bonding procedure, your dentist will use composite resins as glue to attach a special material to the damaged tooth. The material applied to the tooth is shaped and colored to match the rest of the tooth, producing a seamless cover over the damaged area.

*Please call our office for details (949) 760-0363 or visit Newport Beach Dentist if you have any questions.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Dental Crowns in Newport Beach

A dental crown is a solution to strengthening or repairing a damaged tooth. A dentist custom fits a crown to entirely cover or "cap" an existing tooth.  Dental crowns are made of ceramic or porcelain, improving the stability, appearance, shape and/or alignment of the tooth.

Newport Beach Dental Crowns

Why get a dental crown?

The following issues can be addressed with a dental crown:

  • Broken or cracked tooth
  • Unsightly appearance of teeth
  • Tooth with large filling
  • Weak tooth from root canal 
  • Space between teeth
  • Dental bridge procedure

Dental Crown Procedure

If the dentist finds that a crown is the right solution to your dental problem, it usually takes two visits for the dentist to put in a dental crown.

The first dental crown appointment involves preparing and shaping the tooth, taking an impression, and placing a temporary crown. A dental lab will use the impression to build a custom crown for the patient.

On the second visit, the dentist will apply the finished crown to the tooth and cement it in place. Another evaluation will be performed to check the fit and appearance of the new dental crown.
At Image Dental we provide all porcelain crowns, which means that there are never any grey lines or exposed metal, usually apparent from traditional crowns.

Newport Beach Dental Crown Consultation

Dr. Steve Ngo of Image Dental is a Newport Beach dentist specializing in aesthetic cosmetic dentistry. Serving patients in Irvine and Orange County. Image Dental offers a complete range of dental services with specialties in dental crownsimplant dentistrylaser dentistry, and Invisalign.

Schedule an appointment to see if you're a candidate for dental crowns, call us @ (949) 760-0363 or fill out our convenient online contact form.

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mutans Streptococci (Strep Mutans) - Cavity-Causing Bacteria

Before the science of tooth decay was well understood, there were all kinds of theories about things that harm the teeth. For instance, some people believed that decay was a result of worms found in fruits that bored holes in the teeth. Today, the dental profession maintains one theory: that tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that attack tooth enamel.

Narrowing Down the Cause of Cavities

Decades of research across the globe have linked as many as two to three hundred different species of bacteria to the production of plaque – the cavity causing biofilm. However, only within the last couple of decades have scientists managed to completely link one specific bacterium: Streptococcus mutans, to the pathogen-caused caries. Specific studies on this bacterium have revealed that the key bi-product of its anaerobic fermentation is lactic acid – which is extremely harmful to tooth enamel.

mutans strepococci symptoms More about Mutans Streptococci

Mutans Streptococci, or Strep Mutans in short, is a gram positive, anaerobic bacterium. The fact that it is anaerobic means that the bacteria don’t need air to survive, and can comfortably live between adjacent teeth or in deep crevices on the biting surface (occlusal) of teeth.

Although research has revealed that there are many bacteria and microorganisms found in the mouth, the entire genome of S. mutans – comprising over two million base pairs – has been fully identified and sequenced as the main halitosis (bad breath) and cavity causing bacteria. This discovery has been quite instrumental, as Dr. Jeffrey Hillman of the University of Florida managed to engineer the genome of S. mutans so that after it completes fermentation, it does not release lactic acid as a bi-product.

Scientists around the world largely agree that this species of bacteria has lived with humans in harmony for thousands of years, but the implication of more refined sugar into the human diet led to the evolution or “mutation” of this species to digest this sugar, producing the harmful acids. The lactic acid breaks down the mineral content on tooth enamel, creates holes on the outer surface, and then progresses into the inner section of the tooth (dentin). Penetration of the dentine marks the beginning of all kinds of dental problems.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

Scientists also agree that every single person has this bacteria species in their mouth (except newborns until it is transferred to them), which means that preventive measures provide the only means to reduce the impact of the lactic acid.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this, including proper brushing and flossing, reducing the intake of processed and refined sugars (found in colas, sweets, and processed sweeteners), maintaining a diet rich in calcium, proteins, and phosphorus to aid in enamel re-mineralization, and using mouth rinse, among others, according to Orange County dentist, Dr. Steve Ngo.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Study: Chewing Your Food Could Protect Against Infection

In a new study published in the ‘Immunity” journal, researchers claim that mastication, or chewing food, can boost your immune system by increasing the secretion of T helper 17 (Th17) cells in the mouth.
Role of Th17 Cells
The T helper 17 cells are a key component of the adaptive immune systems. They defend against potentially unsafe pathogens using specific antigens while tolerating beneficial bacteria that can help to improve your health.
chewing food protect against infectionThe researchers, led by Dr. Joanne Konkel of the UK-based University of Manchester, claimed that the TH17 cells are usually secreted in the gut and the skin in the presence of beneficial bacteria. However, they were not certain about how the helper cells were produced in the mouth. 
How chewing improves your immune system.
In order to identify the relation between chewing and the release of TH17 cells in the mouth, the researchers first made the assumption that the mechanical forces involved during mastication result in damage in the mouth. So, the study sought to find out the connection between the physiological abrasion and oral Th17 cell release.
Some mice were weaned off with soft-textured foods that required minimal chewing until the age of 24 weeks, at which point the release of oral Th17 cells was measured. The researchers found a considerable reduction in the amount of oral Th17 cells produced in this group of mice compared to those weaned on hard-textured foods.
This difference was attributed to the reduction in physiological damage attributed to mastication. To emphasize this point, the researchers found that rubbing the oral cavity of the rodents with a sterile cotton applicator – to increase physiological damage in the mouth – resulted in a subsequent increase in the release of oral Th17 cells.
Mastication is beneficial in moderation.
The researchers concluded that chewing food induces a protective immune system that protects you from illness.
But while increased mastication and physiological damage increases the release of oral Th17 cells and a subsequent immunity boost, the excessive production of these cells may also prove to be detrimental by increasing the risk of gum disease and periodontitis, which in turn contribute to serious health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
According to the researchers, physiological damage caused by chewing is only beneficial to a certain point, after which it begins to aggravate the effects of periodontal disease. This finding was observed after weaning another group of mice with hardened food pellets until the age of 24 weeks. These rodents were observed to have more mastication-induced damage and more periodontal bone loss compared to the mice weaned on soft-textured foods.

The researchers believe that this study could lead to the discovery of new ways to combat different illnesses, though more research should be done to understand the tissue-specific factors that control immunity at the mouth level without risking oral inflammation, which contributes to other health issues.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are Systemic Disease Linked to Oral Health?

The mouth is a doorway to the rest of your body with regard to not only the good and bad things that you put in your mouth, but also your oral health. Numerous studies show that poor oral health can adversely affect your overall health, contributing to serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, says Orange County dentist, Dr. Steve Ngo.
Earlier studies believed that bacteria buildup was the link between periodontal disease and other health issues in the body. However, more recent research suggests that the inflammation could be responsible for the link between the two. More specifically, infections in any part of the body could affect the function and health of other tissues and organs (remotely).
Why is inflammation bad?
systemic disease oral healthInflammation is a natural body process in response to cellular injury. It is a protective response intended to free the body of the primary cause of cellular injury and the effect of that injury. When inflammation occurs, antibacterial agents are released from the cells around the site of injury to defend against infection and initiate tissue healing and repair. But inflammation also affects the periodontium.
When bacteria builds up in the mouth, the plaque biofilm that forms around the teeth and gums releases different biologically active products that colonize and penetrate these surfaces, initiating a host response that leads to gingivitis (the initial stage of gum disease). This results in the signs of gingivitis, including swelling, gums turning red from pink, and bleeding upon probing.
While gingivitis can be easily corrected through proper dental care (regular brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups), it is a painless condition that rarely prompts the individual to take any remedial action.
So, gingivitis becomes a chronic condition that is gradually turning to periodontitis. During the transformation, the plaque biofilm continues to act on the surfaces. This increases the permeability of the gum vessels such that plasma proteins move from the blood and into the gum tissues, resulting in inflammation.
Continued inflammation leads to the release of pro-inflammatory substances in the gum tissues, with antibodies fighting oral bacteria circulating in the peripheral blood.
How gum inflammation leads to systemic diseases.
Studies show that inflammation at a distant site can lead to cardiovascular diseases and even pre-term labor. Periodontal disease is characterized by gum inflammation, which causes an elevation of inflammatory mediators in response to the injury.
The inflammatory mediators from periodontal disease are believed to affect other remote organs and tissues. Additionally, the systemic spread of periodontal microbes in the bloodstream leads to complications in other parts of the body.
Research shows a two-way connection between oral health and a number of systemic diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, osteoporosis, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and HIV.

To keep your mouth and body health, proper dental care at home should be combined with regular dental checkups and healthy lifestyle options (no smoking, reduced alcohol consumption).

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Research Suggests Benefits of Lasers for Certain Dental Issues

For patients who choose laser debridement for teeth whitening, there are now indications that the process offers additional benefits including killing bacteria and boosting better dental health.
According to the study published in the “Lasers in Surgery and Medicine” journal, researchers developed computer simulations to assess the impact of different laser wavelengths on bacteria colonies concealed in gum tissue. These bacterial colonies are responsible for gum inflammation or gum disease, which starts as a painless condition known as gingivitis and advances into a more serious infection that can cause tooth loss, known as periodontal disease.
benefits of lasers in dentistryIn the study, the researchers observed that laser treatment was effective in killing the harmful bacteria for patients diagnosed with gum disease, which resulted in better health.
Details of the Research
The researchers used the optical features of bacteria and gum tissues to develop mathematical models. Then, they used three different laser-types used in dentistry to produce simulations of their effects on two unique bacterial colonies with different sizes and depths within the gum.
In one of the experiments to determine the maximum depth that each laser light can effectively reach bacteria within the gum, the simulations showed that both the 810 nm diode lasers and the 1064 nm ND: YAG laser could kill bacteria buried 3mm deep in the gums. With the former laser, the success of the procedure required the use of moderate energy levels and short pulses.
The simulations also showed that both lasers did not have any adverse effects on the healthy tissue, with negligible heating of the surrounding tissue. Minimal thermal injury means that the tissue heals faster.
The computer simulations are accompanied with video descriptions that allow readers to see the changes to the virtual gum tissues as they heat up – when killing bacteria – and then cool down right after.
Implications of the Study
According to Dr. Reinisch, the lead researcher, the findings of this study provide a basis that medical professionals can use to tweak the power, pulse duration, wavelength, and other laser parameters to maximize the bacteria killing effect.
Moreover, the research shows that laser treatment can be safely used to remove an infection with minimal interference of the tissue, improving recovery times. Considering that the use of lasers in dentistry requires additional training for medical professionals, the costs of the treatment can be rather prohibitive. For a patient to part with $5,000 to $100,000, there must be definite gains that justify the costs.

Currently, about 25 percent of dental practices in the US have dental laser treatment for periodontal treatment, as well as a range of soft tissue and hard tissue procedures. This study could increase confidence in laser treatment in dentistry, as well as other treatments such as dermatological and vocal cord procedures.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

5 Ways You Can End Your Addiction to Sugar

Yes, Sugar Addiction is Real!

Sugar addiction can lead to a myriad of problems, from weight gain to tooth decay. Reducing sugar intake has been associated with better dental health, but many people don’t quite understand how sugar can be harmful.
Actually, it is not the sugar itself that causes damage, but rather the events that follow after drinking a sugary beverage or treating yourself to a piece of cake. According to the NIDCR – National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the mouth is filled with bacteria, some of which support the oral ecosystem and some that cause harm.
The harmful bacteria feed on the sugars in the mouth obtained from sugary foods and drinks to create acids that wear way tooth enamel, exposing the inner sensitive dentin and pulp cavity. Cavities are the result of this acid wearing away tooth enamel, and if not treated early, can cause sensitivities to heat and cold, pain, and even tooth loss.
Overcoming Sugar Addiction - Acid Wear Can Be Reversed!
Since many foods contain sugars and acids that feed harmful bacteria in the mouth, the body has a natural mechanism for counteracting the damage. While acids leach minerals from tooth enamel through a process known as demineralization, your saliva contains calcium, phosphates, and other minerals that help to restore and repair tooth enamel through a process known as re-mineralization.
Unfortunately, excess sugar intake can result in a net loss of minerals from enamel, resulting in tooth decay. So, it is important to limit your sugar intake to avoid severe damage.
Here are some ways to beat sugar addiction:
1. Curb your sugar intake
Start by identifying how much sugar is contained in the foods and drinks you consume by interpreting the nutrition labels. Identify the major sources of sugar, like soft drinks, and cut back on those gradually.
2. Substitute whole fruit for sweets
Sugary items like sweets that linger in the mouth for a long time are dangerous as they will be feeding harmful bacteria for the same duration that you’ll be savoring them in your mouth, and long after. Instead, enjoy some whole pieces of fruit. They are less likely to cause decay since they are combined with fiber.
3. Watch out for ‘hidden’ sugars
While fruit juices are healthy for you, the natural sugars they contain are still harmful to your teeth. So, try consuming fruit juices and other sugary treats at the end of a meal, and limit juices to 150 ml (one glass) per day. Remember to brush your teeth after meals.
4. Avoid unhealthy snacks
Although consuming sweets and carbonated drinks between meals is the best way to consume sugary and acidic treats, it is best to avoid them. Instead, opt for healthy choices like nuts, breadsticks, and raw vegetables.
5. Increase your magnesium intake
Studies show that sugar cravings (chocolate in particular) are linked to deficiency in the mineral magnesium. So, reduce your cravings by eating magnesium-rich dark leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and tofu.
Final Note

Dr. Steve Ngo of Image Dental OC recommends to brush your teeth after meals, or at least rinse your mouth with water to remove food particles that may feed bacteria in your mouth.

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