Young woman at dentist looking shocked getting shot of local anesthesia

We are all familiar with dental procedures that require parts of your mouth to be numbed so you won’t feel any pain from the procedure. There’s good reason to numb your jaw while the dentist is working on your teeth or gums. Your teeth are nourished by blood vessels and filled with nerves so that invasive procedures in and around these areas are going to cause pain. 

Types of Dental Anesthesia

The answer to avoiding pain during dental procedures for most of modern dentistry’s history has been to numb the area being treated. Numbing your jaw usually involves a shot of local anesthesia that is injected into your gum-line or inner cheek. For example, you may be given local anesthesia before having a tooth pulled or before the dentist drills to clean out a tooth cavity or prepare the surface for a crown. The injection deadens the nerve responses around the work area, so the patient feels no pain when the procedure begins. Local anesthetic lasts for about 90 minutes, so the patient may leave the dentist office before it fully wears off, temporarily making drinking, eating and sometimes talking hard to do.

Your dentist will likely apply a topical anesthetic first, a light paste applied to the gum or cheek surface that numbs it at the injection site. Then, the dentist will inject a local anesthetic with a needle to numb the surrounding jaw area, allowing it several minutes to take effect.

Novocaine or Lidocaine?

Years ago, the most commonly used shot anesthesia in dentistry was Novocaine. It was widely used because it works quickly and does not last too long. There were some common side effects that could occur with the use of Novocaine, such as pain around the injection site and a tingly feeling that lasts for more than a few hours. Unfortunately, for some people, there can be a serious allergic reaction when Novocaine is used, so most dentists abandoned it years ago in favor of Lidocaine. 

Lidocaine is used in dentistry as a numbing agent as well as a nerve block. Lidocaine can also be mixed with a small amount of epinephrine to reduce the risk of bleeding and help the numbing effect to last longer, making it ideal for more complicated procedures.

Another form of anesthetic that your dentist might use, either alone or with a local anesthetic, is nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, often referred to as “laughing gas”, is used for its sedative properties. It is mixed with oxygen for the patient to inhale through a mask. Designed to help you relax, you will not go to sleep after inhaling nitrous oxide, and will be able to follow the directions of your dentist. While your limbs may feel heavy, you will feel calm and relaxed. The effects will wear off as soon as the mask is removed. 

Are There Alternatives to the “Shot” of Dental Anesthesia?

While the vast majority of patients have no problem with local anesthetic use, a few have minor side effects that can last for several hours. One of these side effects is hematoma if the injection site hits a blood vessel. You also can experience facial drooping which will rectify after the drug wears off. There is a small risk of more dangerous side effects, such as damage to a nerve. Allergies to some medications such as Novocaine can be severe and lead to symptoms like hives, irregular heartbeat, drowsiness, anxiety, vomiting, tremors, and seizures.  Tell your dentist if you have any drug allergies.

No Shot with Laser Dental Treatment

Young man receiving laser dental treatment at his dentist wearing protective glasses

Of course, many of us dread those injections. Sometimes it’s more the anticipation, knowing the shot is coming, that is painful. And, sometimes putting a needle in that sensitive area of the mouth really does hurt. Avoiding the “shot” even keeps some people away from the dentist. They end up foregoing important care and repair of cavities that can result in lost teeth, unattractive smiles and even long term health problems caused by dental decay, including respiratory infections, dementia and heart disease.

 Well, the good news is, for many procedures, the shot may no longer be necessary. For a growing number of dental procedures, such as cavity repair and teeth whitening, today’s dentists have more options than traditional anesthetics. One of these is the growing field of laser dentistry. Unlike traditional mechanical dental procedures, lasers focus only on the area that is being repaired and avoid damage and pain to surrounding areas that are not part of the procedure. This reduces the need for numbing a large section of the jaw.

In laser dentistry, a laser produces an exact beam of concentrated energy delivered right where the dentist needs it. It also provides the added benefit of sterilizing and coagulating the blood vessels at the same time, reducing your risk of infection. It can be used as both a cutting tool and a vaporizer that melts away tissue. You will be given glasses to protect your eyes and may or may not need an added anesthetic, depending on the complexity of your procedure along with your tolerance to pain. 

Other Advantage of Laser Dentistry

There are many pros to using laser dentistry for your dental procedures. With laser dentistry:

  • You won’t have to endure the sound of the drill.
  • You may not require local anesthesia or sedation.
  • Bleeding and swelling can be controlled when undergoing gum disease treatment.
  • Laser promotes the tooth’s natural ability to help heal deeper cavities. 
  • There is minimal post-operative discomfort.
  • You will have a shorter procedure time for fillings as the lasers are used for curing the filling as well. 

If you are looking for a quicker way to get your cavities filled, or take care of other dental treatments with minimal pain, minimal use of anesthetic and without the fear of the drill, ask about laser dentistry as an option. About 70% of dental cavity cases can be fixed with laser treatment, making it an ideal option for this common procedure. 

Las Vegas Laser Dentist Jesus Medina Jr DDS

Want to see if laser dentistry is right for you? Contact Dr. Jesus Medina Jr. DDS, an experienced Las Vegas laser dentistry practitioner today at 702-368-3627 to schedule your appointment.

Pretty young dental patient in chair during exam of her healthy gums and teeth

Your gums do more than simply hold your teeth in place — they’re pulling double duty! Gums are a barrier where your mouth meets the outside world. Because of this, gums pick up a lot of bacteria. That’s not a problem by itself, but when the bacteria grows and spreads in the mouth, it can lead to a condition called periodontitis or periodontal disease. Because periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and health problems throughout your body, it’s very important to take good care of your gums.

How Gum (Periodontal) Disease Begins

graphic showing the stages of gum disease as teeth - healthy, gingivitis and periodontitis

The gums are a soft type of skin that covers the teeth and keeps them sealed and protected from the outside world. Your mouth makes up an ecosystem that has a lot of different kinds of bacteria competing for space. Regular brushing and flossing is needed to keep some of those bacteria in check and to prevent them from congregating and building plaque. If plaque is allowed to build up on the surface of the teeth, it can start to release toxins that irritate the gums. This reddening and irritation is a condition known as gingivitis.

Gingivitis causes the body’s immune system to kick into high gear. The main symptoms are swelling and reddening of the gum tissue. White cells in your bloodstream show up to attack and eradicate the bacteria causing the irritation. However, white blood cells don’t discriminate – they destroy the bad bacteria, but these cells can also destroy healthy gum tissue. Once that process starts, the more serious stages of periodontitis begin to take place.

How Gum Disease Can Impact Your Health

Complications of gum disease Periodontitis. Bacteria from inflamed gums can enter in to the blood stream and affect other organs such as heart and brain.

Many adults can have gingivitis and not even know it. This is why it’s so important to brush and floss regularly. As the gum damage progresses, the effects can spread to the teeth and jaw.  Once gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease, the bony structures of the teeth and jawbone come under attack. Many additional chronic health conditions have been associated with gum disease with the likely connection being inflammation in the body. Doctors have determined that people with gum disease are at higher risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease, chronic respiratory conditions, diabetes and pregnancy complications. There are even links between periodontal disease and dementia.

One positive thing about the connection that doctors have found is that treating these conditions works both ways. If a person’s gum disease is effectively treated, it can reduce the severity of diabetes, and vice versa.

How to Maintain Healthy Gums

Man In Bathroom leaning on sink and brushing his teeth to maintain healthly gums and teeth

Following this regimen is the best way to prevent gum disease:

  • Regular Brushing and Flossing: Plaque buildup provides a nice home for bacteria to nest and cause gum disease. Brushing your teeth a couple of times per day and flossing before bedtime gets most of that trapped food out of your mouth. Ask Dr. Medina to recommend the best type of toothbrush for your teeth and gums.
  • Stop Smoking: If you smoke, stop! Doctors have found a direct correlation between smoking and a highly increased risk of gum disease. Smoking half a pack of cigarettes per day makes you three times as likely to develop gum disease as a non-smoker. The risk of gum disease is even greater if you smoke more than that.
  • Eat Healthy Foods: A diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, vegetable oils, nuts and fatty fish helps your body fight inflammation (which leads to gum disease). The omega-3 fatty acids in certain types of fish have been shown to reduce the risk of gum disease.
  • Have Regular Dental Checkups: Keeping regularly-scheduled dental appointments for cleaning and a check up can help prevent the buildup of plaque. Your dentist will also be able to spot signs of gum disease early, when it is much easier and less costly to treat.

Schedule Your Next Las Vegas Dentist Appointment with Dr. Medina

Advanced gum disease is treatable. Dr. Jesus Medina specializes in laser dentistry for gum disease. This is a less invasive, less painful method of treating gum disease. Whether you need a regular checkup or teeth cleaning, or if you think you might have gum disease, contact Dr Medina’s office in Las Vegas to schedule your next dentist appointment.

Young boy with missin front tooth smiling in a Christmas Elf costume

Remember that kid’s song “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”? The kid singing was always cute and had a lisp because his teeth were missing. Well, if you have missing teeth as an adult, it isn’t really that cute. It makes you self-conscious, it makes it harder to enjoy your favorite foods, and missing teeth can affect your bone, jaw and dental health for years to come.

Missing Teeth? You Are Not Alone

Missing teeth is a common occurrence in adulthood with the American College of Prosthodontists estimating that at least 120 million Americans have lost at least one tooth during adulthood. The good news is your self-confidence can be restored this holiday season by choosing to replace missing or damaged teeth. Modern dental technology offers a number of ways to replace missing teeth, so there is a way to get your holiday smile back.

Causes of Tooth Loss

the four stages of periodontal disease leading to tooth loss step 4

There are a number of reasons an individual loses a tooth. Tooth loss could be a result of a serious injury. Any form of trauma, such as a car accident or sports injury, could knock one or more teeth out of your mouth.

Tooth decay that is not managed through regular dental care can also cause a tooth to fall out. As the decay spreads to the root of the tooth, the tooth may need to be pulled or fall out on its own accord.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a leading cause of tooth loss, as well as being related to other health problems, including heart disease. Bacteria build up around the gums, infecting the surrounding area. As the infected gums start to recede, tooth loss is imminent. This is one reason dentists encourage daily flossing as well as regular cleanings and checkups that help you keep your gums healthy.

A number of pre-existing medical conditions could put a patient at risk for tooth loss. For instance, patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain forms of arthritis are more likely to experience tooth loss.

Consequences of Tooth Loss

When you have missing teeth, you are likely to experience a number of mental and physical effects. You could feel shy over your smile and may have an overall dissatisfaction about your appearance. During a 2015 oral health study, 58 percent of participants with tooth loss felt it had a negative effect on their social lives and self-esteem. They were also more prone to bouts of depression. When you have tooth loss, you may withdraw from social events due to embarrassment over your appearance.

Missing teeth lead to health complications as well. The bones in the jaw where the teeth are missing have the potential to atrophy since they are no longer being stimulated through the act of chewing. The tissue in the jawbone will dissolve continuously until the tooth is restored. The shrinking of the jawbone causes evident facial sagging.

Another issue is remaining teeth in the mouth may move when a tooth is missing and create gaps between teeth. Consequently, the drifting teeth put you at risk for gum disease and further tooth loss. Also, eating certain foods can become a challenge when you are missing teeth. Meats, raw vegetables, and nuts are difficult to chew when you are missing a number of teeth, and without these items in your diet, there’s a risk for malnutrition.

Four Treatments for Tooth Loss

smiling hockey player with tooth loss missing front tooth

Here are the four most common treatments for lost or heavily damaged teeth:

  • Dental Bridges: Dental bridges are fixed appliances that permanently replace missing teeth in the mouth. A bridge uses two anchor teeth to cement the artificial teeth in place. Even if the anchor teeth are perfectly healthy, they must be cut down as a way to connect the teeth together. Porcelain crowns need to go over the cut teeth as a way to fix the bridge in place. Typically, bridges will have two or more artificial teeth set between the two porcelain crowns.
  • Dentures: Unlike bridges, dentures are a removable option for tooth replacement. Dentures feature a plate that holds artificial teeth and will suction to the gums to stay in place. Dentures are used to replace all teeth on the upper or lower jaw. In comparison, partial dentures are used when you still have some natural teeth. They leave spaces on the plate to accommodate the remaining healthy teeth.
  • Dental Veneers: Dental veneers are an option for damaged teeth that have yet to be pulled. Teeth that have been worn down, broken, or chipped could be cosmetically repaired with veneers. Veneers are traditionally made from porcelain and colored to match surrounding teeth. They are very thin and fit like a shell over the damaged tooth. Veneers will be permanently bonded to the teeth.
  • Dental Implants: Dental implants are the preferred option for tooth restoration because the procedure replaces both the crown and root, creating a stable, permanent replacement of your natural teeth. A post is embedded into the jawbone to act as a new root and once the bone has healed, a ceramic or porcelain crown is attached. No surrounding teeth are impacted by a dental implant procedure.

Dental Implant Dentist in Las Vegas

Healthy teeth and dental implant. Realistic vector illustration of tooth medical dentistry. Human teeth dental implantation

Today’s dental implants are the best, long-term solution to tooth loss. Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth and function in the same exact manner. Once in place, dental implants feel like your own teeth. You’ll enjoy a healthy smile and won’t have to worry about your face changing shape due to bone loss.

And, you’ll never cringe when you hear the song “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” again.

Jesus Medina, DDS in Las Vegas offers dental care, including dental implants, to patients in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson in his  Las Vegas dental office conveniently located off I-95 and Rainbow in Las Vegas. Contact Dr. Medina today at 702-368-3627 to schedule an appointment.

Graphic art anxious woman in dental chair with dentist ready to start work

When you think about visiting the dentist, how do you feel? Anxious, worried, or stressed perhaps. Wouldn’t it be nice if going to the dentist was as routine as getting a haircut or manicure? Well it can be. Many modern dental offices focus on making sure the patient experience is as pain-free and stress-free as possible. Plus, the latest dental technology can make procedures like getting a crown or X-rays much more comfortable and safer than in the past.

So instead of grinning and bearing it, you can feel relaxed about going to the dentist. Think of your dentist visit like a workout at the gym. A dentist visit takes only a little time, is far less work than lifting weights, and has lasting benefits. It’s good for your teeth and your overall health. Most of us know that getting cleanings and preventive care on a regular basis can help you to avoid problems later on. Here are some common issues people face when they skip the dentist for too long:

Young afro american woman wearing winter sweater over isolated background touching mouth with hand with painful expression because of toothache

  • Toothache: Most of us have some kind of experience of toothache. Once you’ve had a tooth that is damaged enough to cause toothache, you don’t forget the sharp, strong pain that comes with it, making you miserable until you can get to a dentist. Regular preventive care can help you avoid the pain of toothache by diagnosing problems before they hurt and by preventing them in the first place.
  • Bad breath (or halitosis): Did you know about one out of four people has a type of halitosis? Some may not even realize they have bad breath unless someone lets them know. However, you can take some easy steps to fix the problem. A dentist can help you figure out what’s causing bad breath and how to treat it.
  • Gum disease: If your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth, or if they’re tender or swollen, those are early signs of gum disease. If it’s not treated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and lead to other serious health problems. A dentist has simple treatments that can help prevent or stop gum disease from progressing. Your teeth will last longer, and it won’t hurt to brush your teeth anymore.
  • Your smile:  If you have crooked, broken, yellow or missing teeth, it’s hard to feel good about your smile. Cosmetic dentistry today is so advanced that you can have your teeth restored better than ever, and not feel much discomfort at all. Don’t shortchange your own happiness with how you look and feel, just ask a dentist about the options you might have.

These are just a few examples of why dental care is both important and easy compared to the alternative pain and tooth loss from poor dental hygiene.

While you might know you have a dental problem, worrying about the treatment could prevent you from setting up an appointment. It’s easy to just take charge of the process. If you don’t feel comfortable with your current dentist for any reason, it’s perfectly fine to try somewhere else. Call or visit a few dentist offices before you decide which dentist to use. There are as many professional styles as there are people in dentistry, and eventually you’ll find a place you feel most at home.

What’s new in dentistry will make you smile

smiling young man in dentist chair looking at dentist's tablet computer as she explains a dental procedure

If you currently don’t have a dentist, or you’re thinking about trying a new one, how can you choose a dentist you feel comfortable with?

Here are few questions to ask when deciding which dentist to see:

  • Does the dentist use the latest techniques such as sedation dentistry or laser dentistry to minimize pain and discomfort for a patient? With sedation dentistry, no IV needle is used and you snooze during most of the procedure, but you can still respond to a question. Laser dentistry is virtually painless and doesn’t use drills and needles, which causes stress for many people. Many procedures can be done with laser dentistry, so if you find a dentist who offers it, that may make a good regular dentist for you. You can also get painless teeth whitening for a brighter smile.
  • Does the dentist provide “dental health care” and not just “disease care”? A good dentist not only treats problems after they happen, but also encourages easy, routine cleanings and regular exams to check the health of your gums and teeth to prevent dental disease. Regular care is a lot less painful, and more affordable, than the “emergency care” model, when you call the dentist only if you have a serious – and painful – dental problem. Find a dentist where you are at ease with the hygienist who cleans your teeth and with the dentist who examines them. Just make that inexpensive 6 month cleaning and exam part of your regular self-care routine.
  • Does the dentist office feel relaxed? A good dentist will know how to make your visit pleasant, from start to finish. The office should be sparkling clean and neat, but relaxed and inviting. Comfortable chairs, music or a low volume TV for entertainment can help take the edge off.  Some offices may even offer coffee or tea for those who have to wait a bit. The staff should be quiet, busy and happy, helping patients to relax and feel welcome. If you don’t feel “at home”, it’s ok to find another dentist you enjoy visiting.
  • Does the dentist take the time to inform you about your care? Trust is an important part of your relationship with a health care professional, and this is especially true for your dentist. Being able to ask questions before a procedure will help you feel less anxious and more at ease during the procedure. Your hygienist plays an important role as well. He or she can answer questions about dental care and gather information about any problems you have to let the dentist know. From front desk to the dentist chair, your entire dental team should be dedicated to giving you quality care that’s right for you.
  • If you feel anxious. If you feel anxious on the day of your appointment, it’s ok to let the dentist know. This is more common than you may think. The dentist may suggest solutions, like taking breaks with a chance to walk around, a moment to relax or meditate, drinking a glass of water before he starts work, or adjusting the chair or light. Another solution is to break multiple treatment visits into multiple shorter visits. Just let the staff know, and you may be surprised how many ways they can help you feel better about your visit.

Looking for a dentist in the Las Vegas area?

Young handsome man smiling confident showing and pointing with fingers to clean teeth after dentist visit

Dr. Jesus Medina, Jr. DDS provides personalized dental care for his patients. Whether you need routine preventive care or restorative dentistry, Dr. Medina uses the latest painless technologies, like Waterlase laser dentistry, and is dedicated to making sure all of his patients get the highest quality of care. Dr, Medina’s practice is conveniently located just off I-95 at the Rainbow interchange, at 777 N. Rainbow Boulevard, #395, Las Vegas, NV 89107. Contact his office at 702-368-3627 for more information about easy and pain-free dental care.

happy woman holding cup of coffee on sofa considering teeth whitening

As a child, you probably took your bright, new white teeth for granted. But, by now your smile may be showing signs of long-term exposure to things that make teeth look dull, yellow or stained. Teeth age and the surface enamel gets worn and stained. Different foods, coffee, cigarettes, wine, even illnesses or those missed dental cleanings – all these things contribute to teeth yellowing and staining over time. Even people who are very careful in caring for their teeth will find their teeth becoming less white over the years.

Don’t be embarrassed about your smile. Today’s teeth whitening processes provide a solution that helps bring back those beautiful white teeth. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about teeth whitening, to help you make a decision about whether or not you should whiten your teeth.

Why should I whiten my teeth?

Mouth and teeth before and after teeth whitening

There are many reasons people decide to whiten their teeth, such as:

  • Improve Appearance — a brighter smile can make a big difference in the way we look and more importantly, how we feel about ourselves.
  • Correct Discoloration — removing specific stains or spots on one or more teeth.
  • Balance Tooth Coloration — some people have widespread staining on either top or bottom teeth and want to balance out the color or shade of whiteness, to give the teeth a more uniform look.
  • Increase Self-Confidence — knowing you look your best allows you to feel free to be yourself without being embarrassed or worried about the appearance of your teeth.
  • Desired Change — for people who want to renew their look, teeth whitening is cheaper than having a facelift, Botox or other cosmetic procedure.

Are over-the-counter teeth whiteners safe and effective?

Portrait of a happy Hispanic young woman using a whitening strip on her teeth and smiling

Teeth whitening products sold at pharmacies and grocery stores are fairly inexpensive. These typically contain a much less potent whitening gel than used by your dentist. The whitener is usually applied with small plastic strips or painted on with an applicator. This is a convenient alternative to professional whitening, though results may be less or inconsistent whitening. These do-it-yourself whitening kits are not customized to the individual patient and can cause increased sensitivity of teeth and gums burns or irritation.

Are there natural ways to whiten my teeth?

People have used various natural methods to care for their teeth for centuries. This includes teeth whitening. These methods are generally safe, but they are not generally effective enough to make a truly visible difference in the color of your teeth. From strawberries to oil pulling, here are a few of them.

What methods are used for professional teeth whitening?

Woman is whitening teeth with special toothpaste and LED light at home.

These three methods are done in the dentist office or supervised by your dentist for best results.

Whitening by Your Dentist A special bleaching gel using hydrogen peroxide is used by dentists to achieve whiter teeth in under an hour at the dentist’s office. A rubber protective coating is used to protect gums from the enamel whitening solution. The procedure is followed up with bleaching at home, using custom whitening trays (which are included in the cost of the whitening procedure).

Professionally Provided Whitening Kits — Professional-quality whitening supplies are provided by your dentist for you to use at home. Whitening gel is used in custom trays that are inserted into the mouth. These formulations are used for 30 minutes or longer, depending on your dentist’s assessment of your teeth. This is a safe whitening method, if you follow instructions and do not leave trays in too long. This convenient at-home method produces excellent results.

On-The-Go Whitening — Your dentist can provide a whitening kit with a tray made of material that readily conforms to your teeth (instead of a custom-made tray). This process provides coverage from molar to molar, ensuring that the whitening gel covers more of the posterior teeth.

How long does the teeth whitening process take?

A teeth-whitening session with your dentist usually takes less than an hour. The dentist will have you take home trays to use overnight, to follow-up the in-office procedure. Severe staining may require several sessions in the dental office to complete the whitening process.

Is teeth whitening permanent?

Teeth whitening is not a permanent solution. The regular daily use of our teeth continues breaking down tooth enamel and reducing its whiteness throughout our lifetimes. You are probably not going to stop drinking the dark-colored beverages that promote discoloration, and you cannot stop the aging process that inevitably thins the enamel. Therefore, teeth whitening will need to be repeated from time to time for the effects to continue.

Can teeth whitening damage fillings or bonding?

Teeth whitening is safe for teeth with restorations. Existing bonding, fillings, crowns, veneers and bridges are not damaged by teeth whitening agents or processes. Whitening may, however, make your teeth different colors than your restorations. Just keep in mind that, after you have your teeth whitened, a filling, crown or other restoration will remain the same color that it was previously.

Can teeth-whitening toothpaste be used instead of whitening procedures?

Toothpaste in the shape of question mark coming out from toothpaste tube.

Whitening toothpastes do not contain anything that actually whitens teeth. These toothpastes can help maintain the whitening effects after bleaching, and are recommended for that purpose.

Is teeth whitening bad for teeth?

There is no evidence that whitening harms tooth enamel. Whitening does not make teeth softer or change the tooth surface—if the process is performed properly and cautiously. Of course, anything done in excess can be bad for a person, and teeth whitening is no exception. If you over-use whitening agents to strip your teeth over a long period of time, you may cause damage to your enamel. It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions and advice on whitening processes and frequency of application.

What is GLO teeth whitening?

pretty woman in dental chair waiting for teeth whitening process

If you’re looking for an easy, painless and fast professional teeth whitening procedure, GLO teeth whitening is one method we recommend. The GLO (Guided Light Optics) procedure uses a simple device that combines light and heat to activate the unique GLO tooth whitening gel. GLO provides the level of results that is only possible from a process performed in a dental office. Your office procedure is supplemented with simple home care that continues the whitening processes, giving you significant whitening in just a few days of use.

The GLO Teeth Whitening Process

The first step of the GLO process is a one-time in-office procedure. Heat and light are thoroughly and quickly introduced to the teeth, to remove stains from tobacco, coffee, tea, soda, medications, etc. as well age and genetic effects on the teeth. Then, follow-up at-home whitening materials and instructions are provided to complete the full process. Unlike other teeth whitening methods, the innovative GLO process does not cause any tooth sensitivity. You can expect to leave your dentist’s office after the whitening session with no discomfort. GLO also works better than other whitening procedures, due to its dual-step application process.

How else can I keep my teeth white?

After you get your teeth whitened, upkeep is required to keep them at their new level of whiteness.

  • Use whitening toothpaste to help reduce new staining and discoloration.
  • Use straws when drinking coffee, tea, dark-colored soda or other beverages, to reduce risk of staining your teeth.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not grind your teeth, as it can cause spotting.
  • Have a teeth whitening touch-up every six months.

Dr. Jesus Medina, Jr. DDS, Las Vegas Can Help

Our highly-skilled and caring dental professionals can help you achieve whiter and brighter teeth in just one brief visit—using the state-of-the-art GLO teeth whitening process. For more information about teeth whitening, contact Dr. Jesus Medina, Jr. DDS, by calling (702) 368-3627 to schedule an appointment.

handsome young man with beard missing a front tooth considering dental implants in Las Vega
When you are missing teeth, it becomes more than a matter of appearance. The fact is, missing teeth can make the rest of your teeth prone to shifting, or even falling out due to the lack of supporting teeth on either side. Today, many people are considering dental implants as an alternative to traditional methods of tooth replacement, including bridges or partial dentures. Why?

Because dental implants do not slip when eating, will not affect your speech pattern, and require no special care aside from your regular dental routine. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions when considering dental implants.

How are dental implants different?

las vegas dental implant chart snip

Dental implants are a permanent replacement for one or more missing teeth. A small titanium post is surgically implanted into the gum line at the location of missing teeth. Your dentist will then attach either a dental bridge or a replacement tooth creating strong replacement teeth that do not shake loose when eating and will not affect your speech delivery. The dental implants are cared for in the same manner that you would care for you original teeth – flossing, brushing, and rinsing.

What type of issues can dental implants solve?

Dental implants are more than a cosmetic solution to missing teeth replacement. They also act to prevent other teeth from shifting, which can cause further gum and tooth problems. Some patients who suffer from irregular placement of teeth benefit from having their bite straightened with dental implants. The result is improved chewing which benefits food digestion. If you are suffering from jaw pain caused by TMJ or a misalignment of the jaw, dental implants can help to correct this condition and alleviate the tender muscles, jaw pain, and headaches or ear aches associated with TMJ.

What are the health risks for this procedure?

Dental implantation process dental implant specialist placing the new dental implant tooth into the metal socket at gumline in Las Vegas

Similar to any dental surgery, implants pose the risk of infection or nerve damage – even though these issues are not common or are alleviated with common medications. Other less common risks include improperly placed dental implants in the upper jaw that could cause sinus problems or damage to other teeth or mouth tissue. Dental implants have become a common dental surgery and patients can expect good results and some pain at the insertion site, which is easily treated with a Tylenol prescription.

What steps are needed before the surgery?

A dental implant procedure begins with an exam and diagnosis from a dental professional. X-rays of your mouth is used to determine the least intrusive procedure for the greatest gain in replacing missing or bad teeth. Your dentist will also examine the quality of your gum line and the quantity of gum tissue for a successful implant procedure. As with any surgery, each procedure is customized for the patient’s condition, but most procedures can be completed in one day – while others that may require additional bone grafting can take months.

Are dental implants insured?

Las Vegas dental implant consultation

Most dental insurance programs cover dental emergencies and routine dental maintenance. Most also have a financial cap or a yearly maximum to be spent on standard treatment options such as extractions, a bridge, or dentures. While dental implants tend to be excluded from most dental insurance programs, when you partner with a dental implant specialist, financial options for payment are usually flexible. Always discuss your case with your dentist. If your missing teeth are part of a medical condition or if it is a work-related incident, the individual insurance policy may have provision for dental implants.

Dental Implants Las Vegas

If you are considering dental implants, contact Dr. Medina, a full service dentist in Las Vegas who specializes in dental implants, for more information and learn how dental implants can turn your smile into the healthy, vibrant look you deserve.


These days, like everything else, finding a dentist can feel complicated. There are so many different types of dentists to choose from. You can choose between general dentists, pediatric dentists, cosmetic dentists, and family dentists, just to name a few. How do you decide which dentist is the right one for you? And what about the other members of your family?

What do different kinds of dentists do?

Pediatric dentist in Las Vegas explaining

Most of us want a dentist to help us keep our teeth healthy and take care of problems before they become painful, harmful or expensive. We need a dentist who can clean, examine and make minor repairs, like fillings. But we also want a dentist who can help when we need to make bigger choices like: does my child need braces? Am I dealing with gum disease and what should I do to reduce it? And, ouch, why do I need a root canal?

What most of us need is someone who practices general dentistry and is trained in all these areas, even if he or she may not specialize in them. A general dentist does not specialize in any one thing but can cover most general types of dental work, such as cleanings, fillings, etc.

Other types of dentists may specialize in certain areas. This includes pediatric dentists, who specialize in dental care only for children and adolescents. Cosmetic dentists work on making your teeth look nicer, using treatments such as dentures, braces, implants, crowns, and bridges to help you restore your confidence to smile again. Other specialists include orthodontists (braces), periodontist (gum disease), endodontists (soft tissue care, such as root canals) and so on.

Specialists are usually only needed if referred by your regular dentist. Because their services are specialized, they won’t be a one-stop shop for your basic regular dental needs. That’s where a good family dentist comes in.

Why Choose a Family Dentist?

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For busy families, finding a trusted family dentist can be a great decision. A family dentist specializes in care for all age ranges, from infant to elderly, so everyone can see the same dentist.  And, as time goes by, there’s no need to change dentists. The dentist knows your family and can help look out for each of you as you reach milestones, from the baby’s first tooth, to how to care for your gums as you age, to granddad’s first implant.

There are a lot of great reasons for choosing a family dentist. Here are a few of the many reasons to use the services of a family dentist:

  • Trusted advisor: When you have a single family dentist, you’ll get to know the dentist and the office team and they’ll know you and your family. If you have questions or advice, they’ll be able to help faster than a stranger who may not have your dental history. Your children will be able to get to know their dentist from a young age.  This familiarity will help make them more comfortable with dental visits. They’ll find it easier to talk to “their” dentist and ask questions. By the time they enter the dreaded teen years, they’ll have built the trust they need to take the dentist’s advice and practice the good dental habits he has instilled in them over the years. This goes for busy adults too. Your family dentist will be happy to remind you of a missed visit or how you’ve forgotten that regular flossing routine he taught you last year.
  • Save time: It can be really hard to try to schedule and keep track of different appointments for different family members. If you have several different dentists to handle care for your elderly parents, the orthodontist for your teens, general dentist for yourself and your spouse, and pediatric dentist for your little ones, that can add up to a lot of time, planning and running around, including time off work, just to get everyone to the dentist. With a single family dentist, you can schedule appointments for one or more family members at the same time to make the most of the visit.
  • Stay organized: In a household, it can be hard to keep track of everyone’s dental records and appointments. When you go to the same family dentist, it’s easier to keep track of everyone’s dental cleanings and other work. Also, when the same dentist sees everyone in the family, he or she can identify patterns of dental problems that arise due to a family’s genetic history. You don’t get this when you see different doctors at different locations.
  • Get all the work done at one place: Some people only need routine maintenance for their teeth. Others might require more extensive work with braces, root canals, or wisdom teeth extraction. When you visit a family dentist that offers a wide variety of options, including cosmetic dentistry, you can get it all done in one place. While one family member is having their braces put on, another family member can be getting their teeth cleaned. It’s always easier for children to visit a dentist knowing that their parents are nearby and that their parents are getting work done, too. And, when you have a one-stop dentist office, you can more easily work out scheduling for everyone and have the team help you space out any major work to maximize your insurance coverage, plan your expenditures and minimize pain to your pocketbook.

Dr Jesus Medina Jr DDS is a Family Dentist in Las Vegas

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With regular preventive care in a supportive and familiar environment, everyone in the family will develop good dental habits and stay confident of their smile all day long. Dr. Medina is a family dentist in Las Vegas, offering a full range of dental services for the whole family, including regular checkups and teeth cleanings, fillings, braces, tooth restoration, dentures, bridges, and a wide variety of other treatments. Whether you are looking to establish regular family care, need to make an emergency appointment, or are looking at options for cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Medina, and his friendly team offer something for every member of the family, all in one place.

Give Dr. Medina’s office a call today at 702-368-3627 for more information or to set up an appointment with Dr. Medina. Or, save time and request an appointment online. See why so many people in Las Vegas choose Dr. Medina for their family’s dental care.

do you need a las vegas cosmetic dentist

Most of us  have memories of going to the dentist as a child. These memories probably included the chalky toothpaste and whirring toothbrush leaving your teeth pearly white, and of course the less fun x-rays and poking around looking for for cavities. Maybe you remember visits for those wonderful and embarrassing braces. For most of us, the dentist is there to keep our teeth healthy and make sure we don’t have any problems that lead to pain or tooth loss.  But, do you know that your dentist today can do a lot more for you?

Why do People Need Cosmetic Dentistry?

You may find that a cosmetic dentist can help with a host of dental issues that come up over time. Some of the reasons people turn to cosmetic dentistry are to improve their looks and aesthetic appeal, while other people may need a cosmetic dentist for mechanical or oral health reasons.  If you’re wondering if a visit with a cosmetic dentist is right for you, read some of the reasons why someone might need a cosmetic dentist:

A Cosmetic Dentist Can Give You a Better Smile

There is a myriad of aesthetic issues that a cosmetic dentist can help with that relate to a person’s smile. A few of these issues include:

  • cosmetic dentistry orthodontics las vegasA Cosmetic Dentist can Whiten Teeth: Some people have strong stains on their teeth from a variety of cause from smoking to drinking soda, coffee, or tea. People may feel self-conscious about the stains on their teeth and subconsciously avoid enjoyable situations like sharing meals, laughing and talking with friends. With the help of a cosmetic dentist, stained teeth can be restored to look fresh and white once again.
  • A Cosmetic Dentist can Fix Chipped or Broken Teeth: A cosmetic dentist is also capable of helping people who have chipped or broken their teeth. Some people have unfortunate accidents or weakened teeth that result in the complete or partial loss of a tooth, making them unhappy with the appearance of their smile. A cosmetic dentist can apply caps, porcelain veneers, dental bridges, or other treatments to restore missing or broken teeth to their full and natural appearance.
  • A Cosmetic Dentist can Contour Teeth: Some people do not like the shape of certain teeth or need one or more teeth to be contoured to fit the teeth around it and the shape of the patient’s mouth. A cosmetic dentist is able to contour teeth.

See a Cosmetic Dentist for your Health

While some of the reasons for needing a cosmetic dentist relate to appearance and self-confidence, other problems are directly related to oral health. Some of the important health reasons to see a cosmetic dentist are:

  • A Cosmetic Dentist can Straighten Teeth: Whether or not someone had braces to straighten their teeth as a child, there are other issues with a person’s teeth alignment that arise during adulthood. If the teeth aren’t straight, it can be challenging to adequately clean the teeth. This makes it easier for cavities to develop, giving rise to numerous oral health problems. Options for teeth straightening include traditional metal braces and Invisalign, or removable, clear braces. Contouring can help correct misshapen teeth that are not misaligned.
  • A Cosmetic Dentist can Help with Implants: If someone is missing a tooth, there are numerous options available. A patient can elect to have a fixed porcelain bridge or a complete implant. Having an implant placed can help make it easier for someone to chew while also helping to keep their teeth in the proper location.
  • A Cosmetic Dentist can Treat Speech Issues: Crooked or missing teeth can make it difficult for someone to speak properly because people use their teeth and their tongue to articulate sounds and words. If a patient is struggling with these issues, a cosmetic dentist may be able to provide treatment options to move the teeth into positions that allow someone to speak in a clear manner.
  • las vegas cosmetic dentistry sensitive teeth helpA Cosmetic Dentist can Help with Sensitive Teeth: Some people have overly sensitive teeth that send painful shocks throughout their mouth when they eat foods or drink liquids at hot or cold temperatures. This may be a result of microscopic gaps that develop in the surface of the tooth, exposing the underlying material, dentin, which sends signals to the nerves in your teeth. For people who struggle with this issue, a cosmetic dentist may be able to help by restoring the surface of the sensitive tooth.


In the end, these are only a few of the reasons to see a cosmetic dentist. Without a doubt, a  healthy, white smile can restore self-esteem and confidence to enjoy the simple things in life again like food and friends. Of course, a cosmetic dentist can also make tasks like chewing, talking, and brushing easier, and help patients maintain their oral health in the process. Either way, to make the most of your dental health, make it a habit to visit a dentist regularly. You’ll enjoy a better smile for years to come.  For more information on how cosmetic dentistry can help, give Dr. Medina in Las Vegas a call or contact us today.

las vegas laser dentistry dentist

You do everything you can to care for your teeth and gums. You want them to be there for you throughout your lifetime and you know they are an important part of taking care of your overall health. Dental care starts at home with regular brushing and flossing, and of course, we all need regular cleaning and checkups at the dentist.

But, problems with teeth and gums can develop over time.  When you do need additional procedures, it’s good to know that modern dentistry has come a long way. With the equipment, training and procedures available today, going to the dentist doesn’t have to be painful, and our dental care is more effective than ever.

One recent development is the use of laser dentistry for some procedures.  With its gentler approach, laser dentistry can reduce pain and healing time.  Less invasive and more precise, laser dentistry means less damage to surrounding areas that don’t need treatment. Laser procedures may also help minimize bleeding and swelling. When used in conjunction with traditional treatment, laser dentistry is a great option for a number of common dental procedures.

What is Laser Dentistry?

Lasers are beams of light that use heat to cause a reaction on whatever surface they touch.  Used for many things as precision tools, they have also proven to be a safe and efficient way to repair teeth and gums for some dental procedures. It works because laser heat is minimal and so precise it is able to remove only diseased tissue, leaving healthy tissue around it intact and undisturbed. The laser may also be used for “curing” a filling, that is helping it bond to the surface of the tooth, and in tooth-whitening procedures where the laser’s heat helps to activate the bleaching agents.

Laser Dentistry is Better For Your Teeth

Laser dentistry is better for your teeth in two primary ways.

If you have a cavity, it needs to be taken care of quickly. Without treatment, your tooth will decay further, causing pain and eventually the loss of your tooth. In the past, the dentist relied on a drill to remove large chunks of the tooth in order to make sure all the decay was gone. But, with this method, the drill takes out a big part of the tooth, not just the decayed part. You can end up losing too much of your tooth to remove a cavity that is very small. Once it’s weakened, that tooth is more likely to eventually have to be replaced with a more costly dental implant.

Laser dentistry helps address that problem. It’s precise, and it does little external damage, focusing only where it is needed. The healthy part of the tooth stays intact, assuring it will have a better chance of lasting longer.  And, this saves you, the patient, money and inconvenience down the road, because it’s less likely you will have the pain and expense of a tooth that has to be removed and replaced.

Laser Dentistry is Better for the Gums

The second way that laser dentistry helps protect your teeth is by helping to keep your gums healthy. When gums are severely inflamed, they separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria to go deep into the roots. Eventually that tooth will fall out.  So, healthy gums mean healthier teeth.

las vegas laser dentistry treatmentsIf you have periodontal disease, or gum disease, during treatment a dental hygienist would typically use various hand instruments to break up the plaque under the gumline and remove the pockets of nasty bacteria. The gum must be pulled away from the tooth in order to scrape this material out from under the gums. But this procedure is also damaging to the gums, delaying healing and often resulting in discomfort and occasionally bleeding.

Dental laser treatment for gums, on the other hand, uses a gentle beam of light to gently dissolve pockets of bacteria at and below the gumline. The laser can more effectively target tight areas that dental tools struggle to reach without causing pain. Since the laser can be finely targeted, damage to the gums is minimal and the procedure is pain free, needing no anesthetic or extended healing time.

The American Dental Association looks “positively” on the dental laser procedure for its potential to reduce the need for local anesthetic, which besides the nuisance factor of having a numb mouth for hours also carries some minor medical risks.  Laser dentistry means fewer times the dentist needs to use local anesthetic, which everyone can appreciate.

While laser dentistry is still in the early stages, it is widely used for a number of procedures where it has proven to be both effective and comfortable for patients.  We expect that its uses will increase as new way are found to use this tool to better care for your teeth and gums, and make a visit to the dentist easier than ever before.

Laser Dentistry treatment available now

Dr. Medina offers laser dentistry treatment for a number of procedures including dental fillings, root canals, gum treatment and more.  Learn how Laser Dentistry works and call Dr. Medina today to see if you can benefit from pain-free laser dentistry care.

People who don’t like uncomfortable and ugly traditional dental braces will love Invisalign

las vegas metal braces dentistPeople of all ages tend to avoid getting dental braces for a wide variety of reasons. Most people don’t want to feel or be seen with brackets, wires, or bands on their teeth. While these factor into a person’s general comfort, did you know that there are medical reasons to avoid traditional metal braces as well?

Periodontic Health

Traditional dental brace care can be a hassle. Brushing and flossing are both key components of maintaining your periodontic or gum health, but braces make these practices more difficult. Metal braces partially impede the route to your teeth and gums. As a result, you become more susceptible to plaque buildup, tooth discoloration, and tooth decay. Many people already have trouble flossing without braces, and they’ll have even more difficulties threading floss or using proper flossing techniques with metal braces on. This can lead to an overall lower level of dental hygiene which can lead to tooth and gum health issues.

Injury and Discomfort

Not only can braces be restrictive for cleaning, but they also add uncomfortable bulk between the teeth and the cheek. Brackets and brace wires can cause irritation, mouth sores, and small injuries. While irritation can be somewhat alleviated with dental wax, accidents can and will happen. Allowing an issue to persist not only adds to your temporary discomfort, but may also lengthen your overall treatment duration. For example, something outside your control may cause part of your braces to pop loose. Many a brace-wearer can tell the story of eating a casual lunch, and being interrupted by a sudden loose wire resulting in the need to schedule an urgent dentist appointment to fix it.

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Eating Habits

Speaking of eating, traditional metal braces limit your food options as well. To maintain the integrity of the braces, you need to avoid eating things that are too hard or sticky. As a result, many foods that negatively affect metal braces have to be skipped over on the menu. The extra attention and care required to eat some common, healthful foods like crisp apples or carrots may even contribute to a poorly-balanced diet. Even allowed foods can end up being hard to deal with when wearing metal braces. Would you keep ordering something if you knew it got stuck in your braces every time?

A better braces experience with Invisalign

So what alternatives do you have for metal braces? At our dental practice, we regularly provide assessments for Invisalign – a custom-made series of clear, removable aligner trays. Invisalign works by gradually shifting your teeth until treatment is complete. Since the trays are removable, your brushing, flossing, and eating habits don’t need to change. As an added benefit, you’ll avoid the discomfort of metal brackets and remove any insecurities you may have associated with being seen wearing those traditional grill-like metal dental braces.

las vegas orthodontist metal braces alternative

When considering Invisalign, patients will sometimes ask about other alternatives such as veneers or similar treatments. Since the purpose of these treatments is to cover up dental imperfections, they won’t correct the same problems that dental braces do. They don’t straighten teeth or treat cases of spacing, crowding, crossbite, overbite, or underbite. Most importantly, straightening teeth and addressing jaw discrepancies increase the likelihood of improved oral health and prevention of other health problems.

For more information about Invisalign and how it can help you, give us a call!