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GENERAL FREQUENTLY ASKED questions

Riley Dental Group “Incredible LA Smiles” has been in business on the corner of fourth and Maclay Ave in San Fernando for over 64 years. Dr. Lincoln Riley started the business 1954. In 1994 the business was passed along to his son Dr. Paul Riley DDS.  Dr. Riley’s daughter, Dr. Olivia Muller DDS Maxillofacial Prosthodontist, joined the team in 2018 as a consultant. Currently Dr. Olivia is lead maxillofacial prosthodontist at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota.

The “Incredible LA Smiles” Riley Dental Group building was designed by Collin Campbell who was, for many years, Vice President of Disneyland.  Among Mr. Campbell’s many international achievements are much of the upstairs design of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride and rerstauruant at Disneyland as well taking the lead during the refurbishment of the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. This is why the Riley Dental Group “Incredible LA Smiles” building would not look out of place next to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride in the “French Quarter” at Disneyland.

ILAS’s primarily focus is on a humanistic approach to the health of its patients.  

K-7, extensive study and pratice in smile design and design impementation. In other words, we want to improve the lives of our patients. 

Because as he puts it, “We’re here to care for people. We treat you like guests. We want you to have a wonderful experience and leave feeling great about yourself. Word choice affects our thoughts and actions and we prefer to ‘care for our guest’ rather than to ‘treat a patient.

teeth whitening frequently ASKED questions

Natural teeth are porous and susceptible to staining. Teeth stain at different rates depending on mouth chemistry, diet (foods and drinks consumed), and lifestyle, so how teeth stain and how easily they whiten vary from person to person.

There are many methods of teeth whitening that range as far as ease of use and price. The premise behind most teeth whitening methods is essentially the same: a form of hydrogen peroxide enters the pores of the teeth and bleaches stained particles. The variable is in the method of application and the corresponding strength of the whitening gel. What works well for one person may not work well for another. At ILAS, we recommend a complimentary consultation before choosing a whitening method so that your time and money are well spent.

Studies of the Zoom teeth whitening method indicate that results can last two to three years. Longevity will obviously vary depending on each person and his or her diet and lifestyle. Most people will choose to use one of the many simple at-home methods our office provides to maintain their white teeth over time, once the initial whitening has occurred.

No. Studies have shown that when following the normal or suggested use of teeth whitening products, there is no harmful effect on teeth. However, it is common for some people to have some sensitivity to the teeth whitening products.

There are two kinds of stains we find on teeth: superficial and inherent. Superficial stains arise from the things we eat, drink, and expose to our teeth. This kind of stain is usually yellowish in nature and yields the best results from teeth whitening systems. Inherent stains come from  things we absorb into our bodies such as minerals, fluoride, and various antibiotics like tetracycline. If ingested during key developmental phases in life, these substances can permanently discolor teeth to the point that no teeth whitening system will have a positive effect. People with inherent stains will often choose to whiten their teeth with veneers, which improve the teeth color and shade as well as length and shape.

Cosmetic Dentistry frequently ASKED questions

Cosmetic dentistry is dental treatment that improves both the beauty and health of a person’s smile, and is our speciality here at ILAS. Nearly every dental procedure has two goals: to improve both aesthetics and function. At ILAS our team takes both of those goals into consideration in every procedure we do, so you can be sure that you’ll have beautiful, long-lasting, hassle-free results. It’s also our mission to ensure that all of our guests feel comfortable and cared for every step of the way.

At ILAS, we handle a variety of cosmetic and restorative dentistry procedures, including teeth whitening, repairing, and straightening, as well as replacing teeth and enhancing the appearance of one’s teeth and smile. We most commonly use cosmetic veneers or laminates,  which are thin yet durable restorations that preserve much of the natural tooth and are popular alternatives to traditional crowns. We also perform dental bonding to shape teeth and enhance patients’ smiles.

Cosmetic dentists provide much more than a beautiful smile and healthy teeth and gums. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), an improved or restored smile has been shown to improve a person’s overall health and emotional wellbeing. When a person feels confident in his or her smile, it can boost self-image and lead to a feeling of confidence that permeates all areas of life. Cosmetic and restorative dentistry are for anyone who desires not only to improve oral health and function, but to improve quality of life.

Techniques in cosmetic dentistry have advanced dramatically over the last decade. The quality of dental materials like composite resins and porcelain have improved to provide a more natural, life-like appearance, and lasers have replaced traditional scalpels for contouring and gum tissue surgeries, providing quick, non-surgical results.

The answer depends on what your goal is cosmetically. If you’re happy with the color and shape of your teeth, and are only concerned with straightening them, then orthodontic teeth straightening may be the best option for you. However, if you want to whiten and enhance the shape of your teeth as well as straighten them, then cosmetic dentistry will provide the results you’re looking for, while also saving you time and money.

Clear teeth aligners, such as Invisalign®, are a fantastic alternative to traditional metal braces. Although not always necessary, some patients will choose to undergo a degree of teeth straightening before being fitted with cosmetic veneers.

A cosmetic veneer is essentially a conservative crown that covers only the visible part of the tooth rather than encompassing the entire tooth. This allows much of the natural tooth structure to be preserved. Veneers can lengthen, straighten, and whiten teeth to enhance one’s smile and bite. Although most of the natural tooth structure is preserved with veneers, each veneered tooth must be shaped, with a thin portion of the outer layer removed, to allow space for veneer placement.

Correctly “seated” veneers are incredibly strong and durable, and can last for many years or even a lifetime with good oral care.

Porcelain veneers are non-porous and therefore do not internally stain or discolor.

Absolutely. There are many different materials used to create veneers and crowns. To make sure that you receive only the highest-quality veneers and crowns, it’s important to look for a cosmetic dentist with experience and proven results. Always ask to see a portfolio of before and after pictures before choosing a cosmetic dentist.

ILAS creates all restorations from the finest materials available today and works directly with a ceramist dedicated to ILAS and its team.

Bonding is done by placing a tooth-like material onto a tooth to alter its shape or to build it up. The advantage of bonding is that it can be completed in one visit and is an ultra-conservative way to restore a damaged tooth. The disadvantage is that a bonded tooth discolors over time compared to the unbonded portion of the tooth, and is more prone to breakage than a veneer.

An all-porcelain crown or veneer is one that is 100% made of porcelain, as opposed to “porcelain fused to metal” (PFM) restorations that have a metal lining covered with porcelain. PFM restorations often appear “flat” because the metal doesn’t let light pass through it like a natural tooth does, and there is often a dark line visible next to the gum line that is undesirable. The metal can also cause an allergic reaction or irritation in the gum tissue.

Always inquire as to what materials will be used in your restorations! Some dentists will say they’re using porcelain, which they are…on the outside. ILAS can provide 100% all-porcelain restorations, which, when properly sealed, are as strong or stronger than metal-lined restorations and allow for light to pass through (referred to as translucency) for a natural, life-like look.

Sometimes patients have too much gum tissue, or their gum tissue is asymmetrical across their teeth. A specialized soft tissue laser can remove excessive gum tissue or reshape asymmetrical tissue to enhance one’s smile. This is a pain-free, non-surgical procedure that can be completed in a matter of minutes.

The cost of cosmetic dentistry depends on how much work you want or need, yet is likely not as expensive as you might think. As with any cosmetic process, costs vary with the amount of product or services you desire. Our office is happy to explain the various fees and to help you to determine the best procedures based on your aesthetic goals.

Some cosmetic dental options may be covered by insurance if a “need” is established. Our guests also often choose to take advantage of a monthly payment plan provided through www.carecredit.com or www.lendingclub.com.

Insurance will generally assist with any “medically necessary” dental work. However, since most insurance companies place limits on dentistry, most patients opt to pay their own fees related to cosmetic or restorative dentistry. To help make your dental work affordable, we can provide a monthly payment plan or a no-interest, same-as-cash program to qualifying patients. Please click on the links below to learn about our affordable, convenient financing options:

www.lendingclub.com

www.carecredit.com

Full Mouth Restoration frequently ASKED questions

Full Mouth Restoration,also called neuromuscular dentistry, is the individual restructuring of each and every tooth in a patient’s mouth. The goal of Full Mouth Restoration is to restore ideal occlusion (bite), therefore alleviating tension or pain from TMJ (temporomandibular joint or jaw joint) problems. Neuromuscular dentistry is a practice founded on the belief that a healthy smile begins with healthy function. This method of TMJ treatment determines the optimal physiological position of the jaw by measuring the relaxed position of the head and neck muscles, and then repositions the jaw to achieve those exact measurements.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the “hinge” that functions when the jaw opens and closes. People with TMJ issues will often report neck and upper back pain, headaches, sore muscles, and even migraines. There are many theories and practices to treating TMJ pain, and every TMJ dentist will have his or her own theory on TMJ treatment. Neuromuscular dentistry practices under the premise that when the teeth are shortened (either by wear, grinding, old age, clenching, or even the cumulative effects of large amounts of dentistry) then the jaw over-closes, causing stress and pressure in the TMJ.

By restoring the vertical dimension to the teeth or by positioning a carefully-fitted orthotic, optimal health and function can restored to the TMJ. Many people suffering from TMJ pain have found relief using the techniques and theories of neuromuscular dentistry that we employ at ILAS.

We have a Maxillo Facial Prosthodontist on board in the offices well as Dr. Olivia Riley for consultations. Dr. Olivia Riley is the lead Maxillo Facial Prosthodontist at the pretigious May Clinic in Rochester, MI. 

TBD – this is Dr. Kemmet’s certification – what is Dr. Riley’s?

Anyone can experience neuromuscular problems such as TMJ pain. Typically, those who were born with poor jaw position or improper bite (malocclusion) begin to experience problems in their teen years. Others who have had a history of teeth grinding often begin to have symptoms in or around their 40s. Problems that can be addressed with neuromuscular dentistry include not only TMJ pain, but also broken teeth, missing teeth, and old, decaying dentistry. Whenever there is an imbalance in the muscles that open and close the jaw and/or bite, neuromuscular problems can develop, causing pain and discomfort.

Neuromuscular issues require a neuromuscular approach and solution. Fortunately, there are successful ways to address neuromuscular problems. ILAS uses a computerized diagnostic system called Myotronics (K-7) to determine ideal occlusion (bite). Treatment options include an orthotic that temporarily repositions the bite in the same way as bite guard therapy, or a total restoration of each individual tooth (Full Mouth Restoration). Both approaches seek to alleviate pain and tension in the jaw, head, and neck. Orthotic therapy always precedes Full Mouth Restoration.

The jaw muscles are relaxed and the correct jaw position is determined through a computerized process called Myotronics (myo meaning “muscle”). Myotronics helps ILA determine the proper relationship between the upper and lower teeth via a technique called “tensing,” often used by physical therapists to relax muscle spasms. Muscle tension is monitored on a computer via special sensors that read muscle impulses to determine when full relaxation has occurred.

This two-to-three hour process helps to determine where the individual teeth should be restored so that they are comfortable and properly aligned. When the teeth are functioning in the correct bite position, the muscles and soft tissue around the head and neck remain relaxed.

Dental Implant frequently ASKED questions

A dental implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed into the bone of a missing tooth, replacing what was once the root of the tooth. A crown is then attached to the implant during a surgical procedure to simulate an individual tooth.

A dental implant replaces a missing tooth with an implanted one, whereas a dental bridge is non-surgical and uses the adjacent teeth to support a new cosmetic tooth. Tooth implants aren’t invasive to surrounding teeth, which is especially desirable if they are healthy and in good condition. By stimulating the root, the bone is engaged and kept healthy. Because an implant is an individual tooth, it is also easier to floss around it.

Once it is determined that a guest is a good candidate for dental implants, there is a visit scheduled to surgically place the implant. Sometimes the application is ready for immediate restoration, but other times the guest may need to wait anywhere from three to six months for bone growth to solidify around the implant and anchor it. Once there is sufficient bone growth, the restoration with the implant can then be completed.

Restorative Dentistry frequently ASKED questions

Restorative dentistry utilizes cutting-edge technology and materials to address the health of the entire mouth in an all-inclusive manner, saving you time and money. Our goal at ILAS is to provide restorative dentistry that allows your teeth, bite, and smile to function properly for years to come, without frequent visits to the dentist. Restorative dental work repairs cracked or missing teeth and replaces old mercury fillings, ugly crowns, and old composites that have become dysfunctional or discolored. Missing teeth can be restored with implants, partials, or dentures.

Restorative Dentistry is ideal for a guest wanting to completely renew his or her past restorations, ensuring overall oral health and a beautiful smile. He or she may be tired of “piecemeal” dentistry that never seems to quite solve ongoing dental problems. The guest may feel frustrated that his or her bite is always just a little bit “off.” By comprehensively addressing numerous teeth all at once (in some cases an entire upper or lower arch), length, shape, and health can be restored to a more ideal state.

Restorative dentistry is usually accomplished in two visits, each ranging from two to four hours in length, depending on the procedure.

Any area of the mouth where there is an actual porcelain restoration, whether it’s a veneer or a crown, will not be susceptible to decay. However, any uncovered area of the natural tooth structure (including the root surface and area under gum tissue) is vulnerable to decay. Continuing with regular dental hygienist visits and good home care will help maintain the integrity and health of your teeth and help preserve your investment.

Maintenance / Oral Care frequently ASKED questions

At an advanced dental office, there is much more happening than simply a “teeth cleaning.” The primary focus of the visit is removing tartar and calculus (hardened, prolonged buildup) where toothbrushes and floss can’t reach. The hygienist will also measure the depth of the “pocket,” or space, between the tooth and gum. These measurements should be taken at least once a year. Up to three millimeters is considered healthy, as this is the barrier between the exposed part of your tooth and the inner workings of your body. Three millimeters is also the maximum depth that floss will reach.

When patients don’t floss as often as necessary, dental cleaning visits become even more important. A visit every six months is recommended for people in good oral health who floss and take good care of their teeth and gums. For some people, more frequent visits may be necessary as recommended by the hygienist.

Cosmetic restorations do not stain and are unlikely to have any buildup over time, but the natural tooth adjacent to the restoration and the area under the gum need the regular attention of a skilled hygienist. For this reason, it’s important to keep up with your regular cleanings. With good personal and professional care, cosmetic restorations can last a lifetime.

Once a guest at ILAS receives the benefits of cosmetic dentistry, he or she is encouraged to return for follow-up care because of our attention to detail, expertise with cutting-edge materials and cosmetic techniques, and our high level of customer service. We’re also happy to provide you with information on properly maintaining your cosmetic dentistry should you choose to return to your general dental office.

There is much happening beneath the gum line and between teeth that isn’t visible to the naked eye. X-rays are necessary to detect decay and gum and bone problems that aren’t felt or detected from the surface. X-rays are also necessary for detecting bone loss and infections on root surfaces. Many people are understandably concerned about excessive radiation. Riley Dental takes digital radiographs, which use 80% less radiation than conventional techniques, making them a much healthier choice for both our guests and the environment.

New advances in tooth-colored porcelain and composite materials not only allow fillings to go unnoticed, but in many cases they are stronger and more wear-resistant than amalgam (silver fillings), making them both attractive and durable.

Invisalign frequently ASKED questions

Clear orthodontics have given our office the ability to transform the way we straighten teeth and improve our guests’ smiles. At ILAS, we use the Invisalign® medical imaging technology to rapidly straighten teeth with a series of clear, practically invisible customized aligners.

For many of our patients, Invisalign® and Clear Correct orthodontics have completely transformed their smiles while avoiding the metal look that is traditionally associated with braces.

Utilizing a precise 3D analysis of your teeth and adjacent tissue, Invisalign® custom crafts aligners specifically to fit the structure of your mouth and jaw. Each aligner is worn for about a two week period, and can be removed to brush, floss, and eat, and for brief special occasions.

While you wear the aligners, your teeth are gently moved into their ideal position. The length of the process depends on your specific situation and your desired results.

ILAS offers complimentary consultations to determine timing for each customized Invisalign® process.

Invisible aligners are:

  • Clear – most people won’t even know they’re wearing them
  • Comfortable –  aligners are gentle to your mouth, teeth, and gums
  • Removable – take them out to eat, brush, and floss; then put them back in again
  • Hygienic – surfaces are easy to keep clean
  • Affordable – in most cases, the cost is comparable to metal braces

Fast – treatment time is comparable, and in many cases less than, that of traditional braces, with an average course of treatment taking about five months to one year

Straight teeth are not only beautiful to look at, but more importantly, they are easier to keep clean and healthy, and less likely to develop periodontal disease.


Here are several reasons why it’s best to have straight teeth:

  • Straight, evenly spaced teeth are easier to keep clean, leading to improved oral health. (Good oral health can reduce the incidence of heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, and other health conditions.)
  • Properly aligned teeth chew more efficiently, aiding in proper digestion.
  • Straight, properly aligned teeth create a more perfect bite, and help to avoid stress and strain on your supporting bone and tissue, which can lead to headaches.
  • Straight teeth and good oral health help people feel more confident in job interviews, public speaking, and personal relationships.
  • Straight, aligned teeth play an important role in your ability to speak and enunciate properly.
  • A properly aligned bite can help avoid wear and tear on teeth that leads to long-term problems

Don’t underestimate the power of a straight, stunning smile!

Invisalign® and Clear Correct orthodontics are the clear alternative to traditional metal braces. Invisible aligners are:

  • Clear –  aligners are virtually invisible for a more desirable look
  • Stay clear –  aligners do not “cloud” during treatment
  • Hygienic –  aligners are easy to clean and maintain
  • Comfortable –  revolutionary manufacturing process ensures a precise fit

ILAS has extensive training and experience in orthodontics, and has had great success improving smiles from both a functional and aesthetic perspective. Dr. Riley takes pride in helping his patients achieve natural-looking, long-lasting results.

ILAS dentists have expertise in a variety of cutting-edge dental techniques allowing them to employ different methods to help each of his guests achieve their desired outcome. If orthodontics aren’t sufficient, they can whiten and recontour teeth, place veneers, use bonding, or other techniques to improve a smile to a patient’s complete satisfaction. ILAS’s skills and expertise in cosmetic and restorative dentistry are the perfect complement to their orthodontic practice.

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“I’ve been coming to Riley Dental since I was a little girl. The office staff is friendly and professional. Dr. Riley and Dr. Shimizu are both awesome! 10++” -Claudine C
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