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Understanding tooth decay in San Francisco

Understanding tooth decay in San Francisco

In today’s fast-paced society, people frequently turn to snacks and fast food, bypassing a nutritious meal for one that is filled with starches and sugars. Unfortunately, many are oblivious to the detrimental effect these choices can have on their oral health. Oral bacteria thrive on the overabundance of starch and sugar and produce acids that can lead to tooth decay, which is the second most frequently occurring health disorder, surpassed only by the common cold. Although most often occurring in children, young adults, and seniors, decay can affect anyone of any age.

Causes

Oral bacteria, the acid they produce, saliva, and food particles combine and form a sticky biofilm called plaque. The sticky film clings to teeth, especially on the molars, at the gumline, and at the edge of fillings. Plaque begins forming within twenty minutes of eating. When it isn’t removed promptly, decay will begin. The acid in the plaque damages the hard tooth enamel by dissolving, or demineralizing it.

Progression

The demineralization creates tiny openings in the weakened enamel, which are the initial stages of cavities. Once the enamel erodes, the acid and bacteria reach the dentin layer of the tooth, which is softer and has less resistance to the acid. The destruction of the tooth continues as the bacteria and acid chew through the dentin and reaches the pulp in center of the tooth, damaging it. At this point, sensitivity to temperatures, and a severe toothache are likely to develop.

We are here to help Call us at 415-881-4343 or Schedule an Appointment today

Treatment

The method of treatment depends on the extent of the decay. All procedures require that the decayed portion of the tooth structure be removed. If the cavity was caught in the early stages, a resin or porcelain filling can repair the damage effectively with a natural look. If the tooth has been structurally weakened by the cavity, a dental onlay or crown may be necessary to strengthen and protect it. When the decay has reached the inner portion of the tooth, root canal therapy may be necessary to remove the damaged pulp and save the tooth. This treatment can make a tooth brittle, so a crown may be placed over the tooth to prevent breakage.

Prevention

We use the Diagnodent® laser to detect cavities before they are visible to the naked eye or x-rays, enabling us to focus on the earliest, easiest treatment possible. Although early treatment is less expensive and less painful than treating extensive decay, prevention is the best treatment of all. Making wise food choices, practicing excellent oral hygiene, dental sealants, and regularly visiting Dr. Leo Arellano and his talented dental team is the smoothest path to optimal oral health in San Francisco. Call 415-881-4343 and schedule a checkup today.



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Patient Reviews
Image Of Dolores E

I've been going to Dr. Arellano for about 20 years and I continue because of the excellent care and treatment I get with him and his whole office team. He is both professional and personable.
Recently I had a newer technique of gum surgery/grafting at his office called, "Pinhole Surgical Technique of gum grafting." I personally found this to be much easier to handle than the other style of gum grafting that I received years ago for the other side of my mouth. That worked, it was where part of my roof of my mouth was cut and surgically sewn onto the gum. However, I much prefer the pinhole technique. It was actually the easiest dental work I've had (beyond regular cleaning.) It didn't take too long and it didn't feel uncomfortable getting it done. I was swollen, but I think that happens regardless of what kind of gum grafting is done. I needed ibuprofin for a few days, no major pain. It healed well and just felt easy. I am not a fan of having any work done in my mouth because that's me, but this was the easiest work I've ever had done.
So, if you are debating which kind of surgery to do I personally would recommend the pinhole surgery.

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Patient Reviews
Image Of Laura V

We've gone to Dr Arellano for many years and have never been disappointed with any of the work he's done. Recently my husband broke a tooth and Leo got him in and had the tooth repaired within a few short hours. Service like that is very hard to finds these days. His office staff is fantastic. Nice people you are always glad to see. I would highly recommend Dr Arellano to anyone who is searching for an honest, competent, well trained dentist.

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Patient Reviews
Image Of Steve G

I recently had a dental implant procedure performed by Dr. Arellano.
I could not be more pleased with the results. From the initial consultation to insertion of the implants, Dr. Arellano made this entire procedure understandable, easy, & pain-free !!
Highly recommend this professional dentist.

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