The way you feel about your appearance reflects the way you smile and greet those you meet every day.
Porcelain veneers are a minimally invasive and painless way to transform your teeth from discoloration, misshapen, and malalignment to a beautiful, bright and friendly smile. For over 20 years, Dr. A. J. Boyajian has been creating cosmetic masterpieces for his patients in Los Angeles, CA.

Metal versus Ceramic Dental Implants

Titanium Implants
Titanium metal was determined the choice material for implant designs when implants came on the market in the 1980s. When titanium implants were installed correctly, they were thought to withstand the workload of the human jaw most similarly to natural teeth. This metal had a lower risk of complications compared to other metals, and it boasted the best bone integration success rate. Titanium is the “default” material that you will find in practices that perform implant surgeries. It is less expensive, and for the majority of the population, it adequately meets patients’ needs.

Low Risk versus No Risk

There are some downsides, naturally. “Low-risk” does not mean “no-risk.” Implant complications usually involve infection at the site or weakness due to failed integration (merging with bone like a tooth’s root). Implants are a little higher-maintenance at the crown; careful cleaning must become a habit so bacteria do not grow in the microscopic crevices between implant segments.

Allergies to Metal
Also, a small percentage of the population is severely allergic to titanium. The allergy can be tested for ahead of time. Holistic-minded patients and those seeking to detox and heal their physical health should be aware that titanium, like any metal, will find its way into the bloodstream. As long as titanium implants are installed in a patient’s jaw, presence of metal in the blood and underlying health disruptions can be permanent.
Metal-free zirconia ceramic implants are newer to the U.S. market, but have been the choice implants of Europe and Canada for a while. American biological dentists have long been awaiting an alternative to titanium. Patients also seeking this alternative are heaving sighs of relief, particularly those few who are physiologically sensitive to metal.

Zirconia Implants

A Zirconia implant is slightly more expensive than titanium, but the cost covers tangible benefits that titanium cannot promise. Zirconia is just as strong as — if not stronger than — titanium or titanium alloy. It is similar to human bone in structure, thus providing the strength needed to withstand the jaw’s pressure of daily movement when chewing or biting. Because it contains no metal, the body does not reject it as a foreign object or a toxin. This creates a stronger bond and integration into the facial and jaw bones, which means the implant will last a very long time — a lifetime, if installation is done well.

Better Health

The absence of metal also promotes better health in the surrounding tissues. Zirconia is electrochemically inert and attracts less plaque than titanium. Fewer, if any, bacterial infections occur if the implant and crown are carefully maintained with daily hygiene.

Better Aesthetics

Also, sometimes titanium implants will show off slight grayish discoloration around the gum line. Zirconia implants are all white, just like a natural tooth, and will not cause aesthetic disturbances. Dr. Boyajian has over 20 years experience with placing and restoring dental implants cosmetically and holistically. And patient satisfaction tends to be higher with ceramic as well.

The Holistic Approach

As a holistically-minded dentist, I prefer using zirconia over titanium any day… if you couldn’t tell. But I offer both, and many patients are content to settle for titanium if they have tested negative for allergies. Not to mention, implants by themselves are not an end-all solution. Restoring a dying tooth successfully and preventing the need for an implant in the first place is certainly a better route to take. With the aid of ozone gas and a dental laser, restoring a tooth to health is more viable than many people (some other dentists included) think! On the other hand, sometimes implants are the best way to go. I will answer questions and provide all the information patients need so they can make the best decision for themselves. For more information on dental implants, including metal free zirconia ceramic implants call us today to schedule an appointment at (310) 670-6944.

Dr. A. J. Boyajian,  Los Angeles

Improvements in the Realm of Dental Implants

Modern implants have come a long way in the last 50 years. I have been performing implant surgeries for over 20 years, but only in these last few years, after attending an AAID convention in Las Vegas and completing the ADII MaxiCourse(R) in Puerto Rico, learning the most advanced techniques with state-of-the-art materials and equipment has added a powerful new element to my practice.  Current technology allows for the best implant results we have ever had in history. In the coming posts, I’ll give you some insiders on the things we can do now.

Dr. Sperbeck, Los Angeles


Happy New Year, everybody!

No matter what your dental hygienic history is, there is always room to improve upon how you care for your teeth and overall health. If you’re setting any goals for this year, why not add a manageable habit to your daily dental care? Not that I intend to sound cliche, but since getting a fresh start is the prevailing attitude this week, I’m going to take advantage of it.

Incorporate these small habits that yield big improvements:

  • Brush at least twice a day — once in the morning and once before bed (after all food and beverages).
  • Floss at least once a day, preferably at the end of the day before you go to sleep
  • Take a few minutes to irrigate if you have an irrigator. Irrigation staves off the vast majority of disease and infection and promotes fast healing. Irrigation keeps your gums healthy, wards off canker sores, and provides relief from more painful infections like pericoronitis.
  • Cut out refined sugar, flour, and processed foods from your diet, and eat fresh foods and green things. A lack of oral cleanliness is not the only cause of oral disease; your diet, exposure to and storage of toxins, hereditary susceptibilities, and poor lifestyle habits all contribute to disease.

You might even set goals that are a little more major in that they require more time and money. The long-term investment pays off greatly, however. Why not:

  • Invest in a better toothbrush (such as a Rotadent, the best you’ll ever find)*
  • Invest in an irrigator*
  • Replace the chemicals in your bathroom cabinet — mouthwash, commercial toothpaste, commercial ointments, gum or breath fresheners, etc. — with natural options or alternatives*. Also, examine the cause behind the need for these items. Have bad breath all the time? Get checked out!
  • Save up for and schedule that surgery you’ve been putting off. I’ve been doing many more implants lately, so if you need them, call us.
  • Have your amalgam dental work replaced. Mercury is poisonous and it slowly leaks into your body’s tissues for as long as it is bonded to your teeth. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, it would be best to delay the process until you’re done. If you are trying to get pregnant, get the amalgam replaced immediately and let your body detox before you continue trying to conceive. I will write more about that soon. For now, I use the safest protocols for mercury removal, and getting that replaced, in my opinion, should certainly be done as soon as possible.
  • Consult a nutritionist and find out how you can build the health of your teeth back up through proper nutrition. By the way, if your nutritionist thinks you can’t help your teeth by changing what you eat, find a different nutritionist!

So how are you going to take better care of your teeth this year?

Dr. Boyajian, West Los Angeles

*You can ask me about the hygienic and natural dental care products I supply.

Hi, folks! It’s been a busy couple of months of traveling and learning around here. I am two months into a ten-month course on what is probably the best dental implant education you could find — designed for dentists, of course, unless you’re really curious and care to commit the next year of your life learning about implant surgery. The classes are held in Puerto Rico, where the head surgeon lives, which means each month, for one week, I fly to Puerto Rico, learn about and work on implant surgeries, and come home for three weeks to repeat the routine. Like I said, we’re two months into this, and I’m already feeling the wear-and-tear of such frequent flying. This course is fabulous, and I’ll tell you why soon. But I think by the end of it I will be done signing up for classes out of state. That is, unless a particular course is especially intriguing. Sometimes I can’t resist.

I have a lot of great things to share about what we’ve done so far, so the next few posts will have some fun information and pictures. Stay tuned!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

P.S. I’ve been a little awed by how many internet users are looking for answers for solving pericoronitis issues. Soon I will try to help you out. For now, read this.

Sometimes, sadly, teeth that have suffered major trauma cannot be restored or the patient has let the injury go untreated for too long. In these cases, a full tooth extraction may be in order. A dental implant can replace the missing tooth later once the area is able to be prepared for an implant.

If you are ever presented with a situation where a tooth is knocked out, call the dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. The tooth must be handled professionally within the hour for the best chances of saving it. Some new advances in scientific technology have lengthened the time an ejected tooth can still be salvageable; however, most people are not equipped with the supplies when the accident happens. It is best to call a professional immediately and follow his instructions.

If the natural tooth was not able to be restored, the dentist will provide the opportunity to prepare for a dental implant to replace the missing tooth. Steps will be taken to properly let the injured area heal and set a foundation for a strong replacement. Every case is different, but with the aid of ozone, lasers, and strong ceramic zirconium restorations, we can assure you that around here the best work would be done to restore a strong, healthy smile.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

The title for this post doesn’t exactly seem appropriate, even though it is along the same lines as the previous couple. Oh, well. We’ve listed some detriments of invasive dentistry; today I’ll give a brief explanation about the benefits of minimally invasive holistic dentistry — precisely what we strive for in this office.

If dental work needs to be done, minimally invasive procedures are what will be best for the patient’s dental health in the long run. When all measures are taken to preserve the natural tooth, the need for dental work in the future is greatly reduced. This is pretty valuable; you don’t want to be the patient who seems to be in the dentist’s chair all the time, but sees that either nothing improves or new problems keep coming up. Good dentistry (and diligent daily care on your part) means you don’t have to keep going back!

Minimally invasive dentistry also allows the least amount of dental work to be performed. The high quality of work and genuine care for each patient’s best treatment saves the quantity of materials needed, saves time in the chair, saves money in the short and long run, and brings more comfort to the patients who want to know that the best is being done for them.

To explain minimally invasive dentistry, I’ll use the cavity filling again as an example. Also being a holistic practice, it is important to us that we evaluate the patient’s overall physical health and immune strength. Extra care must be exercised with patients whose ability to fight infection is compromised (we may offer advice and refer the patient to sources for improving nutrition and rebuilding immunity).

Once the green light is given, tooth restoration begins. As opposed to the filling itself, how the tooth is prepared for the filling is in the spotlight this time. The tooth is “sick” and infected. It must be remineralized to restore the nutrients that keep it healthy. With our combination of ozone and dental lasers, the infected tissue is easily and quickly removed, and the tooth is completely sterilized. Sealant is then applied to preserve the healthy tissue and protect the tooth from further decay. Bacteria and acid can easily continue rotting the tooth over time if it is not sealed well.

Then, finally, the restoration is installed, which may range from a small, laser-cured filling, or an inlay/onlay formed by our CEREC unit. The type of restoration depends on the amount of lost tooth. All of our materials are metal-free and aesthetic, meaning we will ensure that the restoration looks and functions as naturally as possible. Unsightly metal? No, thanks! Sometimes, if decay has gone beyond a certain point, a crown is needed. Crowns traditionally require quite a bit of unnecessary sanding down of the tooth, but minimally invasive dentistry sees crowns as a last resort if the natural tooth is not restorable with partial reconstruction. And even then, using our CEREC unit will ensure that no natural tissue is removed unnecessarily. The results will be both strong and functional, ensuring secure dentistry for years to come.

If needed, bite splints may be fitted and supplied to the patient to eliminate the effects of bruxing (teeth grinding). Bruxing can quickly damage both healthy tooth structure and dental repairs, so it is important to protect against it.

Ta-da! Now, with proper hygiene, nutrition, and mindful monitoring by his dentist at regular cleanings/checkups, a patient shouldn’t expect to need another restoration for a good, long while, if ever.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

So when exactly is an implant needed? There are several reasons which include the following:

Tooth injury — maybe because of an accident, the natural tooth/teeth were knocked out and cannot be replaced normally.

Disease — perhaps because of infection, poor treatment, or other reasons, a sick or dead tooth with no hope of recovery must be extracted and replaced with an implant.

Improper development — if a tooth has come in with complications such as crookedness, which may cause pain, infection, or wear and tear on other teeth, then it may be necessary to replace it with an artificial tooth constructed to optimally function with the rest.

Ugly teeth — well, if you have enough money and are willing to undergo surgery for vanity’s sake, then this would be for you.

Of course, every single case is different. It’s possible someone needing an implant wouldn’t fall under one of these categories. Not only that, but sometimes the extra step of providing enough bone for an implant is necessary, meaning you may need an implant, but there’s not enough bone in your facial/jaw bones to hold one in. But I’ll go over that later. You’ll be amazed at the science and technology involved in the process.

Stay tuned!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

There has been a lot of dental surgery going on around here. The information I collected at the AAID seminar has been put to good use!

If you are new to the entire dental implant procedure, the next few posts will be helpful for you to read. Every implant surgery is unique to the individual receiving it; every case is different. Dental implants require more than drilling a hole in your mouth and sticking an artificial tooth in that hole. (Ugh, that sounds like cruel torture stated so bluntly!) That is basically what dental implantation is; however, because we are not cavemen and have all kinds of brilliant technology and intelligent doctors* handling your oral ailments, you can be assured that such a surgery will be done with the utmost care and precision with long-term sustainability in mind.

Let’s say, in a “simple” case, a tooth has been extracted, lost, or missing for years. There is no tooth — or no healthy tooth — and the doctor determines that an implant is needed. After several careful measurements; x-rays; sizes; ways, shapes, and forms are recorded, the drilling begins. Don’t worry; you’d be under anesthesia. The place for the tooth in your jawbone or facial bones, depending on where the tooth is going, is drilled into and prepared for the implant base that will be twisted, screwed in, and anchored.

Side note: I have mentioned one-piece implants here before, but I will not bring that up just yet. Just imagine for a second that we’re using typical, two-piece implants.

After the base is screwed in nice and tight, the second piece is anchored onto it. This second piece is what the crown of the artificial tooth will fit onto. When the below-the-surface hardware has healed and integrated into the surrounding bone with no complications, the crown is installed. The crown, by now, has been formulated by the doctor after more measurements and math. In my holistic practice, it would be important for me to be sure this new tooth isn’t just some standard tooth that looks good alongside the others. This tooth must fit into the body’s naturally designed chewing system so that it does not interfere in any way with other teeth or the whole jaw. If it were to interfere, it could break, cause other teeth to wear down or break, or change how you chew in a way that might be detrimental to your jaw joints. I’ll go on about this later.

So finally, that crown is inserted and anchored into the implant site, allowed to heal, and there you have it: a brand-new tooth.

This is a problem-free version. Questions patients might have include:

What about if there is not enough bone to drill into?

What if multiple teeth in a row need to be adjusted?

How long does the entire process take?

Does it even look good afterwards?

I’m terrified of this procedure, but if I let my condition worsen, I will be infected and in pain the rest of my life. Which poison do I choose?

Oh, we’ll go over it all. Thanks for reading!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Last week was the American Academy of Implant Dentistry’s (AAID) Annual Meeting. This convention is important to the dental implant world’s continuing education. It was especially helpful for me, as I plan on incorporating more implant work into my practice. All sorts of lectures, classes, demonstrations, and exhibits were held there, and I’m pretty excited about all the goodies coming into my office this week.

I’ll talk a little bit about implants and give you some information on the installation process, how they work, and how they may help you if you’ve been found to need them. Stay tuned!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

There’s a very new kind of treatment recently released for early-stage cavities. This treatment is fabulous in that it uses no drilling or anesthesia for halting and even reversing growing pre-cavities. If you happen to discover white spots on your teeth, see the dentist. A white spot is actually an indication of enamel weakness and where a cavity will eventually develop. Icon gets rid of these, not only restoring the enamel, but also the tooth’s consistent pearly-whiteness.

The treatment is a quick step-by-step process where the tooth and damaged area are cleaned and kept dry (easy for me with my handy-dandy ozonating machine); a series of Icon’s special gels are applied, each left to sit for a designated activation & infiltration time, then carefully cleaned off; the teeth are polished; and that’s it! The entire process can be as short as 15 minutes with absolutely no painful drilling or invasive removal of natural materials. Immediately after the procedure, dramatic cosmetic improvements will be noticeable.

Check out Icon’s demonstration on YouTube… and if you are one of those individuals who are dentist-phobics, don’t be alarmed. None of this feels as weird as it looks, by far. If you still can’t get past the atmosphere of the place and letting someone prod around your mouth, I have that covered too.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

P.S. By the way, “caries” are going to be mentioned a lot in the video. Caries is just another name — the sciencey, dental-world name — for cavities. Enjoy!