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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Healthy Life Dental
July 07, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth pain  

Tooth pain can be annoying, and if it’s not treated as soon as possible you could lose your tooth. If you are experiencing persistent tooth pain, you need emergency dentistry. Dr. Elaine Lu, Dr. Nissim Benbassat, and Dr. Chad D’Abilio are dentists at Healthy Life Dental. Located in Monrovia CA, they specialize in emergency dentistry and can help you with your tooth pain. Call our office to learn more about Monrovia emergency dentistry.

What Causes Tooth Pain

Tooth pain or toothache occurs when the nerve within a tooth’s root or surrounding a tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The most common causes of toothache are tooth decay, infection, injury, or tooth loss. You may also experience pain after you have had a tooth extracted.

Tooth pain varies, sometimes it may be isolated to a specific tooth or area of your gum. In other cases, it may radiate throughout your jaw, ear, or sinuses.

What Can I Do About My Tooth Pain?

While you are waiting to see your Monrovia emergency dentistry specialist, you can rinse your mouth with warm saltwater or try gently flossing around the painful tooth to remove any trapped particles of food. You can also take over-the-counter pain medications for tooth pain, but this is only a temporary measure. You should always consult your Monrovia emergency dentistry office so the pain can be treated properly and your tooth can be saved.

What is a Dental Emergency?

Monrovia residents should call Healthy Life Dental if they need emergency dentistry for:

  • Severe or persistent pain
  • Bleeding teeth or gums
  • Loose teeth
  • A lost tooth
  • A gum infection

As a general rule, any treatment that is needed to stop bleeding, repair or replace a damaged or lost tooth, or to prevent pain is considered a dental emergency.

If you live in Monrovia CA and you need Monrovia emergency dentistry, call Healthy Life Dental at (626) 256-3368. Dr. Elaine Lu, Dr. Nissim Benbassat, and Dr. Chad D’Abilio are available by appointment.

By Healthy Life Dental
June 01, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: facial pain  

Each year doctors treat about 150,000 new cases of severe facial pain. If you're one of those people, you don't have to suffer—there are ways to gain relief from these painful episodes.

Those recurring episodes are known as trigeminal neuralgia (TN). As the name implies, the source of the pain are the trigeminal nerves, which originate in the brain stem and extend on either side of the face. Each is divided into three branches (hence the "tri" in trigeminal) that serve the upper, middle and lower parts of the face and jaw.

TN can involve one or more of these branches, resulting in mild to severe pain that can last for several seconds. Jaw movements like chewing or speaking can trigger an episode, as well as a light touch to the face.

There are various proposed causes for TN, including links with inflammatory disorders like multiple sclerosis, which damages the insulating sheathing around nerve cells. The most common cause, though, appears to be a blood vessel pressing against the nerve. The compression causes hypersensitivity in that area of the nerve so that it transmits pain at the slightest sensation.

Other conditions like jaw joint pain disorders (TMD) or a dental abscess can cause similar pain symptoms, so it's important to get an accurate diagnosis. If your doctor does identify your condition as TN, you may then need a comprehensive approach to treatment involving a team of care providers, including your dentist.

For the most part, TN can be managed, beginning with the most conservative approach to gain relief, often with medications to block the nerve's pain signals to the brain or decrease abnormal nerve firings. If that proves insufficient, though, more intensive treatments are available.

One possible treatment for an impinging blood vessel is a microsurgical procedure to expose the affected nerve and relocate the vessel. While this can be effective, the surgery does carry some risk of facial numbness or decreased hearing. If the risks are too high for conventional surgery, an alternative procedure uses a precise beam of high-dose radiation to relieve the pressure from the vessel.

The most important thing to know about TN, though, is that it is possible to control it and relieve future pain episodes. If you're experiencing these symptoms, see your dentist or doctor for an exam and accurate diagnosis.

If you would like more information on trigeminal neuralgia, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Nerve Disorder that Causes Facial Pain.”


Professional Hockey player Keith Yandle is the current NHL “iron man”—that is, he has earned the distinction of playing in the most consecutive games. On November 23, Yandle was in the first period of his 820th consecutive game when a flying puck knocked out or broke nine of his front teeth. He returned third period to play the rest of the game, reinforcing hockey players’ reputation for toughness. Since talking was uncomfortable, he texted sportswriter George Richards the following day: “Skating around with exposed roots in your mouth is not the best.”

We agree with Yandle wholeheartedly. What we don’t agree with is waiting even one day to seek treatment after serious dental trauma. It was only on the following day that Yandle went to the dentist. And after not missing a game in over 10 years, Yandle wasn’t going to let a hiccup like losing, breaking or cracking nearly a third of his teeth interfere with his iron man streak. He was back on the ice later that day to play his 821st game.

As dentists, we don’t award points for toughing it out. If anything, we give points for saving teeth—and that means getting to the dentist as soon as possible after suffering dental trauma and following these tips:

  • If a tooth is knocked loose or pushed deeper into the socket, don’t force the tooth back into position.
  • If you crack a tooth, rinse your mouth but don’t wiggle the tooth or bite down on it.
  • If you chip or break a tooth, save the tooth fragment and store it in milk or saliva. You can keep it against the inside of your cheek (not recommend for small children who are at greater risk of swallowing the tooth).
  • If the entire tooth comes out, pick up the tooth without touching the root end. Gently rinse it off and store it in milk or saliva. You can try to push the tooth back into the socket yourself, but many people feel uneasy about doing this. The important thing is to not let the tooth dry out and to contact us immediately. Go to the hospital if you cannot get to the dental office.

Although keeping natural teeth for life is our goal, sometimes the unexpected happens. If a tooth cannot be saved after injury or if a damaged tooth must be extracted, there are excellent tooth replacement options available. With today’s advanced dental implant technology, it is possible to have replacement teeth that are indistinguishable from your natural teeth—in terms of both look and function.

And always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports! A custom mouthguard absorbs some of the forces of impact to help protect you against severe dental injury.

If you would like more information about how to protect against or treat dental trauma or about replacing teeth with dental implants, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method That Rarely Fails” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”

By Healthy Life Dental
May 18, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants   Dentist  

Patients who have missing teeth or major tooth and gum problems often have questions about dental implants. Implants are the modern solution for replacing teeth and are now often preferred over other solutions like dentures and bridges. Here are a few of the most common frequently asked questions about dental implants, answered. Having more knowledge of this dental treatment may inspire you to take action and call your Monrovia, CA dentist to see if you’re a candidate for this procedure.Dental Implants

How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants are designed to serve the same purpose as the root of a tooth. They are small titanium devices that resemble screws that are inserted into the bone tissue below the gumline. When the implant heals into the bone, which may take several months, an abutment and permanent crown are placed on the top. With a porcelain or ceramic crown, the implanted tooth is indistinguishable from your other teeth.

Why Are Dental Implants the Best Solution?
The main reason why dental implants are the ideal solution is that they are permanent. Once they’re installed, they’re no different than any of your other teeth in terms of function and appearance. They also help keep the bone tissue healthy and strong. When you get dentures or bridges, the bone tissue can degrade over time. 

Who Can Get Dental Implants?
Only patients who have generally good dental health can get dental implants. Viable bone tissue is needed to ensure that the implants will stay rooted. That’s why it’s important to see a dentist for a tooth implant as early as possible. In some cases, a bone grafting procedure can help improve a patient’s chances of having a dental implant integrate successfully.

How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
For patients of a certain age, a dental implant has a good chance of lasting for a lifetime. The crown part of the implant can last for up to 15 years before it may need to be replaced. Seeing your dentist at least two times every year for professional cleanings and becoming meticulous about at-home dental care will ensure that the implant (and your other teeth) stays strong and healthy.

Contact your Monrovia, CA Dentist

Dental implantation is a straightforward and effective procedure that can help improve your dental health and the appearance of your smile. Call your Monrovia, CA dentist to schedule an appointment.

By Healthy Life Dental
May 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants offered by your Monrovia, CA, dentists, Drs. Elaine Lu, Nissim Bensassat, and Chad D'Abilio provide an innovative way to fill gaps in your smile. Implants offer several important benefits for your appearance and oral health.

Implants replace your entire tooth

Implants don't just restore the top (crown) of your tooth, but they also replace the roots. Without strong roots, it's difficult to bite and chew foods. The dental implant process starts when you visit the Monrovia dental office for minor oral surgery. During the surgery, your dentist makes small openings in your jaw and places tiny titanium rods inside.

These implants become your new tooth roots once they osseointegrate, or bond, to your jawbone. Osseointegration usually takes about three to six months to complete and ensures that your new roots are securely anchored to your jawbone. The next steps involve adding connecting screws and dental crowns to the top of the implants to create brand new, fully functioning teeth.

Dental implants prevent shifting and keep your jawbone strong

Teeth may begin to drift when a gap appears in your smile. Overlapping teeth not only change your appearance, but they also increase your tooth decay risk. When teeth overlap tightly, it can be difficult to remove plaque. Replacing lost teeth with dental implants prevents shifting from ever occurring.

Implants help you avoid jawbone resorption, a condition that occurs when the bone begins to shrink due to decreased stimulation from lost tooth roots. Replacing your lost roots with implants stimulates the bone and helps you avoid resorption.

Your implants may never need to be replaced

After osseointegration, your implants become a permanent part of your mouth. In most cases, they'll last your entire life. Implants can be loosened by infections or grinding your teeth. Fortunately, good oral hygiene and nightguards help you keep your dental implants in good condition.

Dental implants are an excellent choice no matter how many teeth you've lost

If you've lost more than one tooth, you might think that dental implants won't be an option for you. Although implants are frequently used to replace single missing teeth, they are also a good option if you have a larger gap or have lost all of your teeth.

Restore your smile with dental implants! Call your dentists in Monrovia, CA, Drs. Lu, Bensassat, and D'Abilio at (626) 256-3368 to schedule an appointment.