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Enjoy The Benefits Of A Healthy And Beautiful Smile!

June is Oral Health Month, so it’s a good time to reflect on the health of your smile and those of your loved ones. Enjoying the benefits of a vibrant smile in tip-top condition is not something that you can take for granted. The best way to avert the development of cavities, gum disease, and other issues is with good oral hygiene, a nutritious diet, a healthy lifestyle, and a program of preventive dental care. Remember, it’s important not to hold off seeing the dentist until you’re in terrible pain or think there’s something wrong. By scheduling a routine appointment for a comprehensive checkup and professional cleaning, we can help you keep your smile looking and functioning at its very best.

As skilled and experienced providers of care, we emphasize the importance of dental prevention to help maintain optimal oral health. We encourage patients to come in twice a year for routine checkups and professional cleanings. In this way, we can monitor your oral health, reduce your risk of dental disease, and detect any issues early in their onset when they are typically the simplest to treat.

While proper dental care is essential at every stage of life, it’s especially important for children to establish a strong foundation for a lifetime of oral health. With routine checkups, preventive treatment, and age-appropriate education in the best methods of taking care of their teeth, we can help your little ones protect their smiles from dental disease. We also monitor your children’s dental and jaw development as they grow; keeping a close watch to determine if any orthodontic intervention will be needed to align their smiles. We’re proud of the reputation we’ve established for providing skilled and compassionate care while achieving outstanding treatment outcomes. We look forward to helping you keep your smile in tip-top condition. For more information on our office and the many state-of-the-art services that we provide, give us a call today.


Our office has refined our philosophy of care, and what we believe our mission to be. We have transitioned from repair-oriented dentistry to the philosophy of ideal optimal health and wellness. We want to develop better relationships with our patients, so that we can personalize care to the unique needs, wants and values of each individual.

In years past, wst of our time e spent mopatching, scraping, drilling, and filling. Although we provided good repair service, it seemed something was missing. We observed many patients who later returned with still more gum disease and tooth decay. In spite of our diligent efforts, some patients were not getting healthier.

We learned our frustration was not due to lack of interest or dedication, but rather a failure to focus on education, motivation, nutritional counseling and behavior change. Dental school gave me excellent technical training, but the training focused on repairs and mechanics! Through course of study, we were taught about building relationships with people and getting our patients involved in their own health care through behavior change and nutrition. We learned convincingly that health is directly related to active participation.

People always tell me they want a healthy, pain-free, mouth, and to keep all their teeth for life. But I also believe that people want….NO DENTISTRY! No fillings, no crowns, no root canals, no gum surgery, no needles or injections, and no need to come to the office every 3 months! People want freedom from the dentist, and they would like to spend their time and money elsewhere.

Is it possible to give our patients what they want…a healthy smile that feels good, lasts a life-time, and no dentistry? First, we believe that answer lies in education, and encouraging our patients to take responsibility to care for themselves. We encourage our patients to think health first, something they can give themselves, and treatment/repair second.

Our second responsibility is to deliver optimum ideal dental treatment to our patients. If we can help our patients get their mouth healthy first, then we can take the time to restore their teeth so they have the least chance of needing repair again later. If disease is controlled, and breakdown is stopped, treatment can often be phased over time. Our patients can choose to restore their mouths with durable, long lasting and aesthetic restorations, rather than making hasty repairs as they need replacement.

Most dental offices are repair centers that focus on the short-term fix. Patients often become frustrated and disillusioned about what dentistry can do for them. We believe in treatment that will last many years longer than the commonly used silver or plastic materials used for fillings. This philosophy allows our patients to be free from repeated patchwork dentistry. Freedom from dentistry is what we all really want. Working together we can help our patients keep their teeth for a lifetime.


Head, neck and facial tension and pain can be a result of dental disharomy. These pains can start and worsen because the body’s tolerance for uneven, unbalanced bite can change over time. The brain finally says, “That’s it! I can’t take this uneven bite anymore!”

Tooth clenching and grinding are the body’s reaction to an uneven bite. They are dentistry’s “silent killer”, responsible for incalculable dental damage. Most people are not even aware that they have and uneven bite because their teeth appear straight. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE APPEARANCE OF YOUR TEETH.

Dental problems associated with tooth clenching and grinding include broken teeth, gum recession, worn and chipped teeth, loose teeth, bone loss, shifting of teeth, sensitivity and ultimately, tooth loss. Clenching and grinding can also cause chronic or acute muscle pain radiating to the neck, temples and jaw. Most pain associated with having an uneven bite can be relieved over night once a bite analysis is performed and treatment is provided.

Our goal is to help you acheive a stable and healthy bite that will last you a lifetime. Contact Dr. Bernie Villadiego to have your bite analysis performed today.


Q: Do I really need to floss?

A: Many people don’t realize how important flossing is to your oral health, as well as, your overall physical health. Your dental health is a direct reflection of the health of the rest of your body. Not all dental plaque can be removed by brushing. The plaque that remains can be detrimental to your health if it is not removed. Gingivitis, aka gum disease, is caused by plaque accumulating around and in between your teeth. Bacteria goes hand in hand with gum disease. This bacteria can enter your body and effect vital organs such as your heart. Flossing will help eliminate these harmful bacterium from entering your body and bloodstream. Please floss every day!


Q: Should I use a manual or an electircal toothbrush?

A: Either is fine as long as you brush at the gum line for a minimum of two minutes and floss regularly. The most common benefits of using an electric toothbrush are:

  • It comes with a timer to take the guess work out of how long you have been brushing.
  • An electric toothbrush also keeps you from brushing too hard which can cause gum recession and loss of enamel.
  • The vibration from an electric toothbrush helps loosen trapped food particles.

Toothbrush style is really a matter of preference. As long as you are following the basic guidelines stated above, the choice is all yours.


Q: How often should I have dental X-rays?

A: X-rays should be taken annually, however some patients require them more frequently. If a patient is complaining of pain, or if a crack is visually detected in a tooth, additional x-rays are needed to diagnose the problem. I use digital imaging instead of film. This greatly reduces the patient’s exposure to radiation while creating sharper images. My patient’s safety and well being is always a priority.


Q: What causes bad breath?

A: Bad breath is a common problem amongst many people. Chronic bad breath is known as halitosis. Mints, mouthwash, gum, and toothpaste act as a temporary fix. Certain foods such as garlic, and onions or smoking cigarettes or cigars can contribute to bad breath, but there are other more serious factors that cause true, persistent halitosis. For some people dry mouth is the cause for their bad breath. Saliva acts as a cleanser ad rinses away food particles from your teeth. If those food particles remain they begin to decay and cause odor. Another major cause of persistent bad breath is gum disease. Good oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing daily, can reduce bacteria and removes decaying food particles trapped between teeth and in gum pockets. Simply put….A clean mouth helps eliminate bad breath.


TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint. This is the area directly in front of the ear on either side of the head where the upper jaw (mixilla) and lower jaw (mandible) meet. It is one of the most frequently used joints of the body. When the muscles of the TMJ are relaxed and balanced both jaw joints open and close comfortably and we are able to talk, yawn, or chew without pain.

Let’s start by answering the following questions: What are TMJ disorders (TMJD), and what are the causes if TMJ disorders? TMJ disorders are, simply put, problems of the jaw joint. Muscles and joints are designed to work together harmoniously. If there is a problem with one or the other it can lead to pain and discomfort. One of the most common causes of TMJD is buxism, the habitual involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth. A conflict between the teeth and jaw joints leads to bruxism. By reducing or eliminating the clenching, you are effectively relaxing the jaw and minimizing the source of the pain.

Recognizing the symptoms of TMJ:

  • Clicking, popping, or a grating sound when opening and closing the mouth
  • Chronic headaches and/or dizziness
  • Tenderness in the jaw muscles
  • Ear ache and/or itchy ears
  • Neck pain
  • Locking of the jaw when yawning or laughing
  • Spasms or cramping in the jaw area
  • Unexplained nausea or vertigo
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Chipping and breaking your teeth

Using custom made occlusal splints will prevent nighttime damage associated with the grinding and clenching while, at the same time, adjusting your bite to relax your jaw. Once your bite has been corrected dental restorations can redirect and balance your bite while repairing and enhancing the look of your smile, bringing you relief from your TMJ symptoms.

At our office we use tekscan technology, a diagnostic device that measures relative biting forces. It collects and analyzes the pressure distribution. This device measures the elapsed time it takes the patient to move the jaw, left, right, forward and to separate their back teeth. The longer your back teeth don’t disengage the more muscle firing your jaw creates which leads to pain and headaches. The T-scan has the ability to take very percise measurements and assists with understanding how to correct the bite. Simply put, it helps us balance the bite by locating the points on the teeth that meet with too much pressure. Making corrections and adjustments to those teeth lessen the force and relax the muscles of the joint in the jaw which reduces or eliminates the pain experienced.

We use the BiteFX educational system to show our patients exactly why, and how, your teeth are causing you so much inflammation and persistent discomfort. BiteFX makes a complicated subject easy to understand and, most importantly, easy to select a course of action that will take you out of pain.

EVERYTHING WEARS OUT…..including your teeth!


Read all about it! Southern California Dentists vote Dr. Bernie Villadiego as the dentist they would choose for their own dental needs. Undoubtedly, dentists need dental care and cosmetic restoration, just like we do. The question is ,who do they trust and respect enough to perform that work? The leading researcher and publisher of Super Dentists, sought out the experts and did the research for you.

Health care professionals were asked to nominate one or more colleagues (excluding themselves) they would choose if they needed dental care. The Super Dentist research team reviewed the prospective candidates further and searched for exceptional professionals to complement the results. Dentists were evaluated on the indicators of peer recognition, professional status and disciplinary history.

Nominees were grouped into seven practice categories. A blue ribbon panel reviewe and scored a list of candidates in their practice area. Finally, the dentists who received the highest total points from the surveys, research and blue ribbon panel review were selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Dentist 2014.

We are happy to inform you about this exciting honor. Dr. Bernie is committed to oral health and has earned his colleagues’ confidence and high regard.


Benefits of Cometic Dentistry; Bite Analysis and Correction (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our previously published article, Bite Dysfunction, we talked about the fact that cosmetic dentistry is more than just creating a pretty smile. It is imperative that the teeth, jaw, and muscles function together as a unit. To achieve stability, health and comfort, all of these components must operate in harmony. If any one of these is out of balance, the entire system will be affected. This is called malocclusion or bite dysfunction. If bite dysfunction exists in the mouth, it is important to restore the form, function and health of the mouth. To accurately diagnose a bite dysfunction, an oclussal analysis is essential. An accredited cosmetic dentist is highly trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating patients that suffer from bite dysfunction.

Warning signs of bite dysfunction:

  • Cracked of broken teeth
  • Worn teeth
  • Grinding
  • Sore or stiff jaw muscles
  • Facial pain
  • Pain while chewing
  • Lose teeth
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw
  • Uncomfortable bite
  • Gum recession

If you suspect that bite dysfunction exists within your mouth, you should consult with a cosmetic dentist.  An occlusal analysis (analysis of the bite) should be performed to determine whether or not the bite is stable or unstable and causing damage. Occlusion is a dental term that describes the way our teeth touch when they are closed together. Each tooth has a specific shape which allows it to fit together with the opposing teeth. In proper occlusion teeth, jaw, and muscle all work together free of disease, pain and trauma. A dentist must first determine what is “normal” for a particular patient. Normal for one individual is not necessarily normal for another. How an upper and lower jaw fit together is determined not only by the the relationship of the teeth, but also by the joint and muscles. An instrument called an articulator is used early on in the process to determine where and how occlusal forces occur in a patient’s bite. If malocclusion (bad bite) is present, correction is necessary to regain balance and good health within the mouth.

When should an occlusal analysis be performed?

  • Before crown, bridge, denture or implant treatment
  • Before fabrication of any bite gaurd
  • Before and after orthodontic treatment
  • When there is evidence that a poor bite may be contibuting to:
    • Worn or broken teeth
    • Gum recession, sensitivity at the gum line
    • Facial muscle pain
    • Loose teeth, bone loss associated with gum disease

If malocclusion has been detected it MUST be treated! Occlusal correction is often overlooked by dentists or put off by many patients until the damage is so extensive that th only way to resolve the issue is with full mouth reconstruction. Occlusal correction changes or corrects the shape and/or position of the biting surface of the teeth to allow the jaw joints to function in their most biologically natural and comfortable positions. There are several techniques for occlusal correction. They include reshaping of the teeth, restorative dental work, orthodontics, and occlusal splint therapy.

Selective reshaping is a method by which the biting surfaces of the teeth are reshaped by selective tooth reduction to obtain the desired bite relationship. In this procedure, a minimal amount of tooth structure is removed to restore the teeth to better form and function.

Restorative dental work is required when teeth are missing, damaged, decayed or misshapen. The use of crowns, bridges, implants, or partial dentures may be necessary to restore proper bite function.

 Orthodontics is the movement of teeth by use of braces or removable appliances such as retainers to adjust the position of the teeth.

 Occlusal splint therapy  incorporates the use of a removable hard, clear plastic appliance to temporarily stabilize the bite. This is done to stop the destructive effects of clenching, and/or to alleviate muscle and joint pain. Treatment to correct a poor bite may follow.

Ignoring the warning signs of bite dysfunction may lead to irreversible damage to your teeth, gums, and bone. By performing a proper analysis of your bite an accredited cosmetic dentist can devise a plan that will minimize or prevent most of these problems. Our goal is to help our patients maintain a healthy mouth and a stable bite that will last you a lifetime.