Know Your Loftin Dental Team OAInvisalignKKeeddTTeeth Cleaning and Disease Prevention
Whether it’s your first appointment or you’re a regular patient, we take your oral health very seriously. With Loftin Dental, you can expect a thorough exam and cleaning in a relaxed and comfortable environment where you’re surrounded by our friendly and professional team.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial visit to Loftin Dental. At regular check-up exams, Dr. Loftin and a hygienist will perform the following:
Professional dental cleaning (prophylaxis) are usually performed by a registered dental hygienist. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
Everyone’s tolerance is different. If you are uncomfortable and the pain is getting worse and worse, please call us and we will fit you in to see Dr. Loftin as soon as we can. If it’s over a weekend or after hours, we ALWAYS have a phone number to either reach Dr. Loftin or our on-call emergency dentist.
Yes! If your tooth is broken, chipped, or fractured, call us as soon as possible. It’s always best to catch this quickly so your tooth doesn’t become further damaged or possibly infected and causing you pain. Worst case, if you wait too long, you could possibly lose your tooth.
Until you see us, try the following self-care:
Treatment for a broken or chipped tooth will depend on how severely it is damaged. If only a small piece of enamel broke off, the repair can usually be done simply in one office visit. A badly damaged or broken tooth may require a more lengthy and costly procedure.
Be careful not to swallow it. Please call us and we will fit you in to see Dr. Loftin as soon as we can. If it’s over a weekend or after hours, we always have a phone number to either reach Dr. Loftin or our on-call emergency dentist.
Everyone’s tolerance is different. It is important not to ignore your symptoms as it could be a sign of something more serious like a cracked tooth, gum recession or tooth decay. We don’t want you to lose your teeth. If you are uncomfortable and the pain is getting worse and worse, please call us. We will fit you in to see Dr. Loftin as soon as we can. If it’s over a weekend or after hours, we ALWAYS have a phone number to either reach Dr. Loftin or our our on-call emergency dentist.
A dark spot on a tooth typically means you have a cavity and needs to be evaluated immediately. If ignored, it can cause significant loss of tooth structure, you can be in pain or you can ultimately lose your tooth. Even if you’re not in any pain, please call us and we will fit you in to see Dr. Loftin as soon as we can. If it’s over a weekend or after hours, we ALWAYS have a phone number to either reach Dr. Loftin or our on-call emergency dentist.
This may be a sign of infection. Determine if that area is sensitive to hot or cold or to pressure. It’s best to call us and have Dr. Loftin take a look. Based on what you’re experiencing at that moment you call, we may prescribe you an antibiotic to get the swelling down before we see you.
In many instances, swollen and bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease. However, there are a number of other things that could be causing your gum problems. Whatever the cause of sore, painful gums, there are steps you can take to minimize gum damage and discomfort.
Let’s review your brushing and flossing technique:
If you are doing all the above, it may be something else:
Be sure to seek attention if you have the following, even if you’re experiencing any discomfort:
When gingivitis progresses, it develops into periodontitis, a condition in which the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place can be severely weakened. The bacteria on the teeth release toxic substances that harm your gums and cause them to become infected. The infection and the inflammation that result when your body attacks the bacteria can degrade your gums and the bone in your jaw even further. You may have exceptionally swollen, painful gums that are likely to bleed. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
More than three-quarters of American adults over age 35 get periodontal (gum) disease. While most people with gum disease have the less severe form, called gingivitis, between 5 percent and 15 percent have a much more serious type of gum disease known as periodontitis.
When you don’t practice proper dental hygiene, bacteria in the mouth forms plaque on the teeth. These bacteria may cause your gums to become inflamed, which results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. For many people with gingivitis, this inflammation is not painful. If you catch gingivitis early, it can be reversed and healed with proper oral hygiene. But left untreated, gingivitis can worsen and ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Be sure to seek attention if you have the following, even if you’re experiencing any discomfort or notice the following:
There are various reasons you may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.
Other things you can do:
If you’re still experiencing bad breath, review below to see if modifying or addressing one of these items will help. Typical causes of bad breath include:
In most cases, we can treat the cause of your bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, we may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.
Noises in the jaw joint, the TMJ, are extremely common in the general population. Like any joint, such as the hip, shoulder, or wrist, the TMJ muscles in your jaw can be strained or injured. Joint problems involving the TMJ are slightly more common in women than men. The injury can be the result of a specific trauma to the jaw or can result from prolonged micro-trauma from oral habits. There are also other causes for jaw problems as well.
Once a joint or muscle is strained, it can be easily re-injured. Because we use the jaw for so many activities (talking, eating, yawning, laughing, etc.), the joint and the muscles are constantly moving. Therefore, total relaxation of the jaw joint and surrounding muscles is difficult. Holding the jaw muscles and joints in a relaxed position is, however, very manageable with practice. Regular attempts to relax the jaw muscles, and avoidance of activities that would overwork the area, will be helpful to reduce pain and prevent additional strain to the area.
The following suggestions should help:
Recognize that this is not a life-threatening situation, even though it can be very uncomfortable. Injury to the TMJ and jaw muscles is extremely common, and locking of the jaw is not uncommon. Most often, these symptoms will improve over time. Changing habits, relaxing the area, avoiding additional strain or injury and doing the above should speed up your recovery considerably.
It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area for a few days after your root canal treatment as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications. Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal treatment has been completed. If you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, please contact us.
You should treat your new tooth just as you would your other teeth. Daily flossing and brushing after each meal will help keep the gums and the remainder of the tooth under the crown healthy and free from bacteria, which can cause gum disease or even re-decay of the remaining tooth structure. While we often call these crowns ‘permanent’, nothing can really last forever. Most insurance companies will consider a crown a success, and pay for its replacement, if it serves you daily for 5 years. We want to see it last much, much longer. Avoid chewing on ice and hard foods such as nuts which can crack or break your new crown. Do not be afraid to chew a normal diet because with proper care your new crown will last you for a very long time.
New crowns can take just a little getting used to. Usually your teeth will mesh perfectly even before you leave the dental office. If, after a few days, you still think that your new tooth is ‘high’ please let us know so that we can quickly take care of it for you. It is not abnormal to have some slight sensitivity to air or cold for a short while after you have your crown installed. Remember that you have had delicate surgery to hard tissues in your mouth and that, after recovery, your new crown will become such a part of you that you will probably even forget that you had the procedure done. We want you to have many years of enjoyment eating and smiling with your brand new tooth!
First, get the crown out of your mouth. You don’t want to risk swallowing it or accidentally breathing it in. If you swallow it, it will probably pass without a problem, but after it’s been through your digestive system you probably don’t want it back in your mouth.
Call us and let us know that your crown fell off and we’ll schedule an appointment for you, hopefully on the same day, but at least within a few days, as long as you’re pain free.
Examine the crown, if your tooth fractured and is inside the crown, you will have to see Dr. Loftin before anything can be done.
If desired, here is a temporary solution before you see Dr. Loftin:
If it fits passively, put it back with some temporary cement from the drug store to protect the tooth integrity. Clean and dry tooth, but don’t overload the cement. It is important that it is fit in properly and you don’t use excess cement that could cause a gum problem or have the crown sit too high and causes a problem with your bite. If it does not fit or you are not comfortable, do not put it back. Call us and we will get you in as soon as able.
If it doesn’t hurt, then it may be ok to leave it off for a couple days; however, your teeth can shift if your temporary is off more than a few days causing the permanent one to not fit.
As long as there is no pain and you are comfortable, you can wait until normal business hours to take care of this.
Remember to be careful and not chew too hard on the crown that you have re-cemented. Don’t chew sticky foods like caramel or taffy. The temporary cement is much weaker than the permanent cement that the dentist initially used.
Our friendly front desk team is available during business hours to get your appointment scheduled! If you call after hours, leave a message and we’ll return your call the next business day!
For your convenience, our new patient registration forms can be filled out prior to your arrival.
Please note that filling out the on-line forms DOES NOT automatically schedule you for a new patient exam. Please call us at 925-672-7997 to schedule your appointment.
You can access both here: NEW PATIENT FORMS. Make sure to fill out both forms: (1) New Patient Registration and (2) Medical History. You will not be automatically redirected to the second form, so please click on it to complete. We’ve also provided our privacy practices for your review here: HIPPA FORM.
After this initial registration, we will ask you for formal updates every 2 years.
If you haven’t already done so, please call 925-672-7997 to schedule an appointment at a time that works for you.
We do accept most PPO dental plans and are considered in network for Delta Dental. If you don’t currently have insurance coverage, we offer options:
*If you are 62 years or older, we offer a 10 percent courtesy off all our treatments.
*We have our own in-house dental plan, The Club! Details here.
*Pay using CareCredit here.
We do not accept MediCal, Medicare or HMO plans.