Make An Appointment!

South Lake Tahoe: (530) 600-2835
Diamond Springs: (530) 344-0290
Tahoe Valley Dental: (530) 600-2835 opt 2

-Are you a fluoride-free household?

-Do you have questions about fluoride?

Come in with your questions! We can discuss a customized plan to prevent cavities, using other applications. We respect your desires to prevent cavities and want to offer solutions.

We have an in-house lab to craft beautiful smiles! Our lab technician practices in the clinic and will get to know you personally, to design the best smile for you.

How are dentures made?

If you’ve just had extractions, we recommend a healing time of 2-6 weeks.

  • We start by making impressions of your jaw ridges with a soft material.
  • Then we make the denture bases and fit them.
  • After that, we’ll make the dentures in wax, to ensure that your denture teeth are the right height and size. We select the teeth based on your described desires (pictures help, especially pictures of your teeth before extractions), and we look at your face shape and size, too.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the look and fit, we process the dentures and do one more fitting when we deliver them to you.

If you lose or gain weight, you may notice your denture doesn’t fit as well. We can do a re-line to help the fit of your dentures, but sometimes, a new denture is necessary.

Once you have dentures, we recommend visiting your dentist once a year to have them checked, and to get an oral cancer examination at the dental office.

Partial Dentures

Dentures

Like a bridge, partial dentures rest on surrounding teeth to fill in the gaps where one or more teeth are missing. But unlike a bridge, partial dentures are fully removable by the wearer. Partials are affordable alternatives to other types of dental prosthetics and are custom-made to blend in with each patient’s natural teeth. It takes a little time to adapt to new partials, but many people find that they reclaim much of their original function and aesthetics with partial dentures in place.

Did you know?

Partial dentures require gentle care and frequent cleaning. Once you get your new partial dentures, you’ll need to:

  • Keep them moist at all times by soaking them in a denture solution when not in use
  • Gently brush your dentures daily using a soft-bristled tooth brush
  • Be careful not to drop your partial dentures, as they may break
  • Avoid exposing your partial to hot temperatures that could cause warping

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for partial dentures?

You may be a candidate for partial dentures if you have one or more missing teeth, and the space they once filled is surrounded by other teeth or permanent restorations. To find out more about whether partial dentures are right for you, schedule a consultation with your dentist.

What should I expect when being fit for partial dentures?

If you decide to get a partial denture, you’ll need to visit your dentist to have metal clasps attached to your surrounding teeth and an impression made of the area your partial will fill. The impression will be sent to a dental lab, where a technician will fabricate a custom denture that includes a gum-colored base that will fit securely over your gums. A metal framework will be used to attach your new partial to the clasps on your natural teeth to ensure a secure fit.

Will I need to follow any special oral health instructions after receiving my partials?

Yes. Good oral health is still important – even if you have a few missing teeth. In addition to caring for your new dental prosthetic, you’ll also need to brush your gums and tongue twice daily to stimulate circulation and remove bacteria that could cause gum disease. Continue seeing your dentist twice yearly for exams and cleanings, and be sure to bring your partial dentures along to each visit. After a few years, you may find that your partial needs to be rebased to better fit the changes to the bone structure in your mouth.

You know when you’re having an emergency, and we’re here early in the morning to help.

Severe pain, swelling or trauma are all considered emergency situations.

If you have a throbbing tooth that is waking you up at night, you need to see a dentist. If you have swelling in your face or moth, you need to see a dentist.

If you have swelling that is making it hard to breathe, you need to go to the Emergency Department. This can be life threatening. Contact your dentist after you have been treated at the Emergency Department and let them know what medications or care you received. You will still need a dental emergency visit as soon as possible, even if you feel better.

  • Trauma: Sports injuries and accidents can loosen or fracture teeth. Children often have bike or sports accidents that injure their front teeth and lips.

    ***If your child is dizzy or vomiting after trauma, see the Emergency Department before the dentist. Your child could have a concussion.****

  • If your child’s tooth is “knocked out”, here’s what to do:
    – first, find the tooth! DO NOT SCRUB the tooth. You can rinse it if the tooth is dirty. Put the tooth in milk. Call the dental clinic and come in fast—within 15 minutes is ideal.

We’re up early to help!  Come see us at 7am Monday-Friday.

When dental emergencies happen, waiting several days for an appointment with a dentist is not an option. Emergency dentists are committed to helping patients manage sudden injuries and complications that require immediate treatment. Some emergencies are extremely painful, and a visit to the dentist can provide palliative relief. On the other hand, some emergencies can threaten the health of the teeth, and receiving rapid dental treatment could mean the difference in saving a tooth or losing it.

Did you know…

that the steps you take after a dental emergency happens can greatly improve your outcome once you receive emergency care. Even though emergency dentists will see you very quickly, there are some precautionary steps you can take in the time it takes to arrive at your dentist’s office. The American Dental Association has a few recommendations:

  • If you bite your lip/tongue – gently cleanse the area and apply a cold compress
  • If you break your tooth – gently rinse the area and apply a cold compress
  • If you lose your tooth –rinse tooth’s root with water if it’s dirty, being careful to hold it by the crown. Carefully place it back in its socket, or place it in milk. Bring it to the dentist immediately.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to see an emergency dentist?

If you are experiencing sudden and chronic tooth pain, or if you have sustained trauma to your teeth and surrounding tissues, you may need to see an emergency dentist. Even if you do not currently have a dental emergency, it is important that your dentist is capable of treating you quickly in the event that an emergency does arise.

What should I expect from my emergency dental appointment at The Smile Shop?

Urgent problems that threaten the health of your teeth or leave you in pain should not be ignored. You can expect to be seen by your emergency dentist quickly and without an appointment though it is recommended that you call your dentist’s office if possible before you arrive.

What can I do after my emergency dental appointment to avoid future problems?

Some of the most common dental emergencies can be prevented by taking a few simple precautions. Avoid chewing hard foods, such as candy and ice, as these can cause your tooth to crack or chip. Also, be sure to wear a properly fitted dental mouth guard during sports and other high impact activities. Protecting your mouth on a daily basis can significantly reduce your risk of injuring your teeth, as well as your tongue, lips, and the walls of your mouth.

We treat patients of ALL ABILITIES!

What does this mean?

Medically complex patients: we work closely with your medical team to provide the safest, best
care for you. What do we mean by “medically complex?

• Persons who have experienced a heart event, a stroke, head injury, those needing
blood thinners, persons with autoimmune conditions, persons with a history of or current
status of cancer treatments

•We also work closely with parents and caregivers to develop a plan that is customized, even
down to the time of day we schedule appointments

Patients with Special Needs: all abilities! Non-verbal? Taste or texture sensitive? We are
creative, and our mission is to develop specific patient comfort goals, resulting in positive
dental visits and a lifetime of oral health!

This may include showing pictures of the team and the office before a visit—a virtual “tour” is
often helpful. No surprises!

Plans may also include multiple, short visits to develop comfort in the dental clinic, and develop
expectations for safe preventive and restorative treatment.

Braces are the standard for orthodontic correction, but few adults want to wear a mouthful of metal for a year or more while teeth are moved into better alignment. Clear Correct addresses this problem by offering a discreet alternative to metal braces. With Clear Correct treatment, there are no brackets and wires. Instead, you’ll receive a customized set of clear aligners that you’ll wear for at least 22 hours every day. The aligners will straighten the teeth little by little over the course of several months or years until you achieve your cosmetic goals.

Clear Correct

Did you know…

that orthodontic treatments can be successful for patients of all ages? Because of advancements in subtle orthodontics, adults are beginning to represent nearly half of all orthodontic patients in the U.S. Clear Correct aligning trays are nearly invisible and so discreet that they have no effect on your day-to-day interactions. Although every patient is different, most adults can expect to wear Clear Correct aligners for between one and two years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a candidate for Clear Correct?

To find out if you are a candidate for Clear Correct, you must first schedule a consultation with your dentist. Together, you can analyze the condition of your teeth and discuss your personal cosmetic goals.

What should I expect during my Clear Correct treatment?

If Clear Correct is right for you, your treatment will begin with impressions and imaging of your teeth. Those images and impressions will be used by Clear Correct to produce a prescriptive set of custom aligners designed to slowly move your teeth into alignment. You’ll wear those aligners at all times with the exception of when you are eating, brushing or flossing your teeth. Though you will not need to visit the dentist to have your braces adjusted, you will check in from time to time to monitor progress.

Will I need to follow any special guidelines when treatment is complete?

Once your treatment is complete, you will no longer wear Clear Correct aligners, but will likely require a retainer. Retainers are removable oral appliances designed to help retain the new position of your teeth and prevent them from moving back to their prior position.

We know that children are not just ‘little adults”. We understand childhood growth and development, especially tooth development!

Commonly asked questions about kids’ dental visits:

  • When should I bring my child in for their first visit?

    -We recommend at 6 months or when you see the first baby tooth. This way, we can observe your child’s tooth development from the start and talk about preventing cavities. Cavities are the most common preventable childhood disease.

  • What if my child is scared of doctors? How do I make sure they have a good exam visit with you?

    -You will be able to come to the exam room with your child, and be present for the exam, cleaning and any x-rays recommended by the dentist
    -We will never force your child to cooperate. We will work with you and your child to set reasonable goals for dental visits.
    -It helps to use positive words at home, before the dental exam. Practice “checking teeth” with a flashlight at home. Take our virtual office tour with your child! This way, they know what the office looks like and what to expect.

  • My child needs fillings and has a painful tooth. She is really scared to get fillings. What can we do?

    -First, we want to develop a trusting relationship with you and your child. Connection is the key to starting to overcome the fear.
    -At our Placerville office, we offer Nitrous Oxide or “Laughing Gas” to help with anxiety. We will talk more about this at your exam appointment, but it can be helpful to decrease anxiety and improve anesthetic effects, making the visit more comfortable.

  • How often should I bring my child in for check-ups?

    -Ages 6 months- 3 years: we recommend coming in every 3 months. At this age, children are teething and we like to observe the new teeth as they come in. If there are mouth development issues, we can find out early and develop a plan. This includes poorly formed teeth, early childhood cavities and general mouth growth.
    Ages 4 years- 18 years: Generally, we recommend dental cleanings and check-up visits every 6 months (2 times a year) for this age group. But special conditions or phases of growth might require extra visits, or referrals to a dental specialist.

At the Smile Shop, we’re general dentists who are committed to working with you to keep your child’s oral health in top shape. Please come to your child’s dental exams and bring your questions!

Your body works hard to convert the foods you eat into energy. You may not think twice about what you are eating – especially when it comes to grabbing an afternoon snack or sipping on a vanilla latte on your commute. But the food you put in your mouth affects more than just your waistline. The truth is, your diet has a direct effect on your overall dental health. Developing good eating habits can lead to excellent oral health free of decay and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends avoiding certain foods that can expedite decay, such as foods high in sugar.

Did you know…

that eating a slice of pie in the afternoon could be more dangerous to your oral health than eating the same piece of pie as a dessert after dinner? According to the ADA, snacking between meals – especially on sugar-filled foods – can more rapidly lead to decay than eating the same foods with meals. If you must eat the mid-afternoon pie, reach for the toothbrush afterward. Better yet, swap the pie for a nutritious, sugar-free snack like string cheese or some baby carrots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my eating habits to better my oral health?

Probably. But never start a new diet without first consulting with your physician. If you are on a special diet, be sure to speak with your dentist about the types of foods you should be eating that comply with your diet and can also optimize your oral health.

What types of changes will my dentist recommend?

In addition to avoiding sugary foods, the ADA recommends drinking plenty of water each day and avoiding snacks between meals whenever possible. It is also important to consume nutritious foods from each of the major food groups, including whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and fruits. Not only will you improve the health of your teeth and gums, but you may drop a pant size too!

Are there any other habits I should be adopting to improve my oral health?

Yes. You should be flossing daily and brushing twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should also be visiting your dentist at least twice per year for oral exams and professional dental cleanings.

Having bad breath can be an embarrassing problem – especially if you are regularly face to face with other people. Known professionally as halitosis, bad breath plagues many people every day. Most cases of bad breath can be remedied by efficiently brushing the teeth. However, some types of bad breath are chronic or recurring, which may warrant a visit to the dentist.

Did you know…

that bad breath can be caused by something as simple as eating too much garlic, or that it could be a serious symptom of a disease? Some of the most common causes of bad breath include dry mouth, certain medications, use of tobacco, poor dental hygiene, and oral infections. In rare cases, bad breath may be a sign of diseases like cancer or gastroesophageal reflux.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need treatment for my bad breath?

If your bad breath does not improve despite self-care techniques, such as dietary adjustments and thorough tooth brushing, you may need to see a dentist about pursuing professional treatment. Keep in mind that short-term remedies like gum, breath mints, and mouthwash may temporarily freshen breath, but they are not a solution to the underlying problem.

What should I expect my dentist to do about my bad breath?

Your visit will begin with an examination and questions about your daily habits, such as the types of foods you eat and the medications you take. Your dentist may then inspect your mouth for signs of decay, infections or gum disease that could be causing your bad breath. If your chronic bad breath cannot be traced to an oral problem or daily habit, you may be referred to a physician for further evaluation.

Is there anything I can do to maintain better breath?

Yes. If bad breath is a source of embarrassment for you, try to keep breath fresheners on-hand at all times. Sleep with your mouth closed, as this prevents dry mouth and helps tame morning breath. Eliminate odor-causing foods from your diet, such as garlic and onions, and make an effort to brush your teeth and tongue every morning and night. Finally, be sure to visit your dentist for professional cleanings at least twice per year to remove built-up plaque that can cause chronic halitosis.

Brushing your teeth is probably a standard part of your daily routine, but chances are you aren’t following the American Dental Association’s guidelines for cleaning your teeth properly. The ADA currently recommends that you brush your teeth at minimum of two times each day – preferably morning and night or anytime you eat foods that contain sugar. When you brush, your toothbrush should be tilted at a 45 degree angle to your gum line. As you brush, be sure to remove debris from every surface of the teeth – including the backs of the teeth, near the gum line, and on chewing surfaces. It is also important to brush your tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there and cause malodorous breath.

Did you know…

that the type of toothbrush you use makes a difference in your oral health? The ADA recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a head that is ergonomically proportioned to the inside of your mouth. Many patients erroneously believe that medium or hard-bristle toothbrushes are more efficient; but these brushes can actually cause abrasions to the teeth and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay. The ADA also recommends replacing your toothbrush about four times yearly or whenever the bristles become frayed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my brushing habits?

You may need to change your brushing habits if you are experiencing signs of poor oral hygiene. Examples of common symptoms include bleeding or reddened gums, excessive plaque build-up, decaying teeth and receding gum lines. To find out if you are brushing correctly or if you need to change your brushing habits, make an appointment with your  dentist for a full consultation.

What should I expect if I begin brushing my teeth correct?

The benefits of proper tooth brushing techniques may not be experienced immediately, but they are noticeable long-term. Over time, brushing too hard or not brushing enough can produce oral health complications that cannot be reversed and require special treatment. By adopting proper brushing habits, you could avoid expensive dental bills in the future.

Is there anything else I need to do in addition to brushing properly?

Yes. It is important that you also floss daily and use toothpaste that contains fluoride each day. You should also schedule dental exams and professional cleanings in at least twice per year.

Preventative dentistry is about more than just visiting your dentist twice yearly for an exam and thorough cleaning. In fact, the majority of your preventative care is done at-home as a part of your normal hygienic routine. Many residents use manual toothbrushes to remove debris and plaque from their teeth. However, electric brushes have become widely popular in recent years, leaving some to wonder whether one type is better than the other.

Did you know…

the American Dental Association does not lean toward one type of brush over the other? It does, however, acknowledge that people with upper body mobility restrictions may better benefit from an electric toothbrush instead of a manual brush. Regardless of which type you decide is right for you, the ADA recommends that all brushes be soft-bristled so as to avoid abrasions that can lead to decay and receding gum lines.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which toothbrush should I be using?

You can effectively brush your teeth with either a manual toothbrush or an electric one. However, the rapid movements of motorized versions may be more effective at removing plaque from the teeth and gum line. If you have questions about which toothbrush is best for you, speak with your dentist about it at your next visit. He or she may recommend an electric brush with an oscillating head or a brush that includes a timer to let you know how long to brush.

What types of results should I be getting from by toothbrush?

Regardless of whether you choose an electric brush or a manual brush, it should be easy for you to maneuver in your mouth and behind your back teeth. If the head is too big, it may not be effectively removing plaque from your teeth.

My electric toothbrush was expensive. Do I need to change it as often as a manual brush?

Yes. Your toothbrush should be replaced at least once every three to four months or whenever you notice fraying. However, most electric toothbrushes come with interchangeable heads. In other words, you won’t need to replace the entire device – only the brush itself.

Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. So what is the most effective means of flossing?

  1. Pull the floss taught and slide it between two teeth.
  2. Pull against the side of one tooth, creating a “C-shape” and sliding upwards to remove plaque build-up.
  3. Pull against the opposite tooth edge using the same technique.
  4. Repeat this process for each tooth until all inner surfaces have been flossed.
  5. Don’t forget to floss the backs of your molars!

Need some extra tips?

The American Dental Association recommends using a strand of floss approximately 18 inches in length. It is important to only use clean floss as you move between the teeth. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by looping each end of the floss around your fingers and beginning to floss with the area closest to one end. If you have never flossed, be sure to ask your dentist for a quick in-person tutorial at your next check-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I be flossing?

Yes. The ADA recommends that everyone floss in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have restorations, such as crowns or veneers, good oral hygiene is essential for prolonging their use and maintaining your oral health.

What types of results should I get from flossing?

You may not experience immediate results from flossing, but over time, your habit will pay off. Flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss – all of which can be highly inconvenient and expensive to treat. A piece of floss that costs just pennies could save you thousands of dollars later on.

Is there anything else I should be doing in addition to flossing?

Yes. In addition to flossing, you should be adopting proper brushing techniques and visiting your dentist at least twice per year for examinations and professional dental cleanings.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to help strengthen teeth in children and also prevent decay in people of all ages. Topical fluoride, in particular is helpful for promoting oral health. The American Dental Association has publicly endorsed the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, as has the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.

Did you know…

that you might be drinking fluoride every day without knowing it? Many communities add fluoride to the public water supply in an effort to promote better dental health. You can find out if there is fluoride in your tap water by contacting your local water utility. Keep in mind that if your primary source of drinking water is bottled, you may not be getting fluoride. You can contact your bottle water company or manufacturer to find out if fluoride is in your water. If not, speak with your dentist about getting professional fluoride treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need fluoride treatments?

You may need fluoride treatments if your drinking water is not fluoridated or if you are experiencing certain symptoms, such as receding gums. Fluoride treatments can also provide oral support and prevent decay if you wear orthodontic braces or are taking medications that cause dry mouth.

What should I expect during fluoride treatments?

Fluoride treatments are painless and can be administered in your dentist’s office at your twice-yearly check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist will distribute fluoridated gel, foam or varnish into a tray and place it over your teeth. The treatment takes only a few minutes and is only required between one and four times per year.

Is there anything I can do to supplement my fluoride treatments?

Yes. The ADA recommends supplementing your fluoridated drinking water or fluoride treatments with a fluoridated toothpaste.

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