6 Ways To Remedy an Imperfect Tooth

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In a perfect world, each of your priceless teeth would stay healthy, strong, and brilliantly white throughout your life. The truth is, however, that most men and women will need to restore a tooth at some point.

A tooth can be compromised by dental caries, enamel erosion, a chip or crack, gum disease, or injury. Sometimes old restorations break and need to be replaced or root canals performed decades ago develop an abscess. Here are 6 different options for repairing a damaged tooth:

Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin tooth-shaped fronts that are permanently bonded to your natural teeth. They are used when the underlying tooth is structurally sound and free of tooth decay. A beautiful veneer can cover a chip or crack or fix the alignment of a tooth that appears slightly off.

Modern white fillings are strong and inconspicuous. A minimally invasive filling at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry leaves you with more of nature’s ideal dental material — your own enamel and dentin. We can also replace old amalgam fillings with white fillings. This makes your teeth look a lot better every time you open your mouth. Get rid of all that metal!

Inlays and Onlays
A traditional filling is shaped and molded after it is applied to the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental lab, they are usually called indirect fillings. A less invasive inlay or onlay may be used instead of a traditional filling or, in some cases, a crown. Inlays are applied to just the center of the biting surface of a tooth (not to a cusp or point) and are often smaller than onlays. An onlay restores one or more cusps of a tooth.

A dental crown replaces the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring appearance, stability, and function. A crown is frequently necessary for a tooth that has had a root canal, a tooth with acute decay, or as the replacement tooth in a dental bridge. Attaching a crown to the abutment is the final step of a tooth implant procedure. Crowns can be made of all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all ceramic, or all resin.

Soft Tissue Grafts
Gum recession puts teeth and underlying bone at risk. Soft tissue grafting can cover the exposed root of a tooth to prohibit further damage. Gum surgery is also performed for cosmetic reasons such reshaping a gum line to eliminate a “gummy” smile.

Dental Implants
What if a tooth has to be extracted because it is beyond saving? For many Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry patients, a dental implant in La Mesa anchored into the bone is the ideal solution. A tooth implant consists of a strong metal post, abutment , and beautiful crown. A dental implant in La Mesa had many advantages over a dental bridge. They are stronger, provide virtually natural function, prevent bone recession, and do not affect the surrounding teeth. For patients with several missing teeth, custom implant-anchored dentures can be developed in any configuration required.

For more details about procedures such as a dental implant in La Mesa, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at 619-717-8560. Thanks for visiting the Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry blog. We appreciate your interest in our La Mesa dental practice. Our team looks forward to hearing from you!

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

Sports Injuries: Avoid a Cracked Tooth in La Mesa

cracked tooth in la mesa

It is estimated that over 5 million teeth are knocked out yearly and a significant portion of these dental traumas occur on the playing field or court. Each dislodged tooth requires several trips to the dentist and hundreds of dollars in restoration expenses. Not to mention the pain of a cracked tooth in La Mesa.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we want to raise awareness of the importance of athletic mouth protection. We advise our patients to think of mouth guards as a vital part of their protective gear. Most La Mesa parents require their children to wear helmets when biking and shin guards while playing soccer. We strongly encourage parents to emphasize the importance of mouth protection to avoid a cracked tooth in La Mesa.

You are probably aware of the main types of mouth guards: ready-to-wear, boil and bite, and custom-fitted. The stock mouth protectors are pre-formed but are definitely not one-size-fits all and probably provide the least amount of protection. Though they are better than nothing, so if you don’t have any other options, you should use them. You can find boil and bite mouth protectors at La Mesa sporting goods stores. They are to be softened in water and then formed to the mouth following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Some La Mesa dentists offer custom sports mouth guards that provide the highest level of protection and comfort. Ask your dentist about custom mouth guards to prevent a sport related injury such as a cracked tooth in La Mesa. Mouth protection is extremely vital for La Mesa patients with braces or fixed bridge work. Some La Mesa orthodontists recommend mouth protectors for lower teeth as well.

If you or your child has a sports-related dental emergency, call my La Mesa office immediately at 619-717-8560. We will do everything in our power to save the tooth. Every second counts, so make sure to schedule an appointment immediately and to save all pieces of the tooth and bring them with you. We also

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

General Dentistry in La Mesa: Protect Your Teeth from Enamel Erosion

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Our teeth work hard, and are constantly under attack. It’s no wonder that nature encases them in enamel—the hardest substance in the body. Unfortunately, enamel erosion is common. But with general dentistry and your at-home regimen, you can protect it in La Mesa.

Enamel’s chief enemies are acidic foods and beverages. Others include certain medications, teeth grinding, acid reflux, gastrointestinal problems, chewing ice or other hard substances, and eating disorders.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we educate our patients about how to keep their enamel strong and keep erosion at bay.

Here are some quick facts about enamel:

  • Enamel is unlike many other tissues in the body. Once it has worn away, it cannot be regenerated.
  • According to the National Institute of Health, 41% of adolescents already have enamel erosion.
  • Brushing too hard can hurt enamel. We recommend a soft-bristle brush and a gentle hand.
  • Diet sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks are just as dangerous as sugared sodas.
  • Dry mouth can weaken enamel because it results in less saliva which helps keep enamel healthy and strong.

If you have already experienced enamel erosion, it’s vital to take action. There are several dental procedures that can protect teeth that have been compromised. Call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry today.

We also provide cosmetic and restorative dentistry, and use state-of-the-art dental technology.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California


Losing Your Adult Teeth In La Mesa, California?

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It was one thing to lose that set of baby teeth but, unfortunately, these don’t grow back. (And you don’t look adorable with a gap-toothed smile.) If you feel like you are losing your adult teeth to staining, decay, chipping or brittle aging then it’s time to visit with Dr. Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS. Since 1986, Dr. Gray has built a practice teeming with experience, filled with kindness, flowing with a gentle touch, and carrying all the wisdom of smart, capable professionals.

When it comes to the prospect of losing your adult teeth, the preference is always to save your natural teeth. If this is not possible, we can look at other ways to maintain your ability to eat, drink, speak, laugh and smile in selfies.

Dental Bridge
A dental bridge is used where a tooth is missing. It “bridges” a gap between teeth. There is a false tooth (or teeth) attached to the surrounding teeth. Dental bridges have been used with success for generations of dental patients who have lost teeth for various reasons.

Dental Implant
A dental implant is a more extensive replacement for a missing tooth. An implant consists of an artificial tooth PLUS an artificial root (usually biocompatible titanium). With local anesthesia, the artificial root is actually inserted into the jaw bone where it integrates with the bone tissue. There are three parts to a dental implant: the artificial root, the connecting abutment, and the final crown or denture. An implant offers beauty, strength, natural function and protection from bone recession that often occurs at the site of a missing tooth.

Most La Mesa residents have heard of dentures: a plate holding artificial teeth that can be removed by the patient. These are custom made and can contain varying numbers of teeth. Sometimes the entire set of upper and lower teeth have to be pulled and a denture created for chewing and speaking. Modern dentistry offers a myriad of custom dental implant-denture combinations to restore missing teeth.

Dental Veneers
If you still have your teeth, but are not happy with them, these might be your answer. Stunning porcelain veneers offer an affordable approach to cosmetic adjustments – uneven color, size or shape. These are very thin shells bonded to the front of the teeth. They beautify unsightly, but structually sound teeth.

Don’t worry about losing your grip on the adult teeth you’ve been enjoying all these years. We have experience and training in many services to meet your dental needs including teeth whitening, Invisalign, laser dentistry, and porcelain veneers.

Schedule your initial consultation at 619-717-8560 to visit us at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa, California. We are perfectly situated for our neighbors throughout the Santee, Alpine, and Jamul areas.

Your consultation will include a customized treatment plan for restoring teeth, the cost of dental procedures and a schedule for completing the dental plan created specifically for you. Come with questions and leave with answers.

Chipped Tooth? No Need To Panic With Jeff Gray DDS

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There are basically two ways to handle a chipped tooth:
1. Panic.
2. See Dr. Jeff Gray right away and get on with life.

Dr. Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS can fix a chipped tooth in a jiffy by determining the right solution and expertly preforming the procedure. Decay, missing teeth, braces, even crowns can impact the course of treatment.

Time is often an important factor when it comes to tooth repair so don’t wait, call 619-717-8560 to schedule an appointment. Our address is:
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California 91942

We’ve been around since 1986 – serving your neighbors in La Mesa  and improving smiles for Alpine patients.

When La Mesa residents need cosmetic dentistry, we’ve successfully managed their treatment. When Santee patients have needed sedation dentistry, we’ve watched happy, smiling patients leave our office. And when you need dental implants, we are excited with the opportunity to make a true believer out of you!

We offer teeth whitening, dentures, Invisalign and laser dentistry. Trust Dr. Gray to deliver exceptional results. No panic. No mistakes. No worries.


Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California 91942

Missing Teeth In La Mesa? Dentures And Implants Restore Smiles

Missing Teeth In La Mesa? Dentures And Implants Restore Smiles

If you have had years of dental problems or are embarrassed by your teeth, our friendly and professional team at Jeff Gray DDS can help you find the restoration procedure right for you. You could be a candidate for complete or partial dentures or dental implants.

A removable replacement for missing teeth, dentures can be made in advance and positioned as soon as the natural teeth are removed. Our Jeff Gray DDS dental lab creates dentures that look just like natural teeth: attractive, healthy teeth.

If you still have some healthy, natural teeth, you can benefit from dentures without having your healthy teeth extracted.

Partial dentures fill in the gaps, replacing missing teeth to complete a smile. Partial dentures can prevent natural teeth from moving. Many La Mesa dental practices can complete these procedures in one day.

Many dental insurance providers cover most or all of the cost of dentures. Call us at Jeff Gray DDS and we can help you find out if your California dental insurance covers dentures.

Another alternative for La Mesa people with missing teeth is to receive dental implants. A dental implant is a permanent tooth restoration that is anchored into the jawbone, actually replacing both the root and crown of the tooth. Dental implants have many advantages, such as preventing jaw bone recession which can occur when natural teeth are removed. However, not all La Mesa dentistry patients are good candidates for implants. Call Jeff Gray DDS at 619-717-8560 for a dental implant consultation.

Dental implants can also be used to anchor a removable denture. The denture is ‘snapped on’ or attached to the implants for no-slip confidence.

The combination denture/implant smile restoration solution is being used successfully by many La Mesa dentists. It is usually more affordable than dental implant replacements for several natural teeth.

Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health, improving your ability to eat and speak. If you are embarrassed to smile or laugh, it’s time to bring back your beautiful smile!

To learn more or to ask about dental financing options, contact our La Mesa office today!

Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray DDS

At Jeff Gray DDS, we provide advanced general and cosmetic dentistry. Ask us about Invisalign, porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and laser dentistry.

Can You Handle A Dental Emergency?

Can You Handle A Dental Emergency? Contact A San Diego Dentist

At Jeff Gray DDS, we hope you never experience a serious dental emergency. It’s important, however, to know what to do in such a situation. Here is a quiz on dental emergencies and less urgent oral issues.

1. One of the wires on your braces breaks. What do you do?

a. Cut off the loose piece.
b. Put a piece of orthodontic wax on the end if it is irritating your tongue or gums. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to have it fixed.
c. If the wire has cut your gums, rinse with a solution of salt and water.

Both b and c are correct. If you don’t have a piece of orthodontic wax, you can use a cotton ball to cover the sharp end. If you cut off the loose end of the wire, you risk swallowing it.

2. Your five year-old falls off his bike, hits his face on the sidewalk, and knocks out one of his front teeth. What do you do before driving immediately to the nearest San Diego dental office or San Diego ER?

a. Put the tooth back in the socket.
b. If the tooth is dirty, scrub it with a brush.
c. Put the tooth in milk.

The answer depends on whether it is a permanent tooth or a baby tooth. If a permanent tooth is knocked out, it may be successfully re-implanted if done quickly. Make sure you only hold the tooth by the crown, never touch the root. If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently with water being cautious not to brush off any tissue attached. It is best to reinsert the tooth into the socket. This may not be possible with younger children. Because it is essential to keep the tooth from drying out on your way to your San Diego dentist or nearest San Diego area emergency room, you can put the tooth in a cup of milk. Baby teeth should not be reinserted because it can potentially damage the emerging tooth.

3. You lose a filling and the tooth starts hurting. After
scheduling an appointment with your La Mesa  dentist, what do you do in the meantime?

a. Save the filling.
b. Take an OTC pain reliever.
c. Put an aspirin on the tooth.

Both a and b are correct. Though your La Mesa dentist probably can’t use the same filling to repair the problem, it may reveal important information about the cause of the separation. Never put an aspirin on a tooth because the acid in it could irritate your gums.

4. One of your teeth suddenly darkens. What are the possible causes?

a. The nerve inside the tooth is damaged.
b. It is side effect of a medication you are taking.
c. Gum disease.
d. An infection.

The answer is all of the above.

For any dental emergency or other oral condition, call an urgent dental care office or Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. We have been providing quality dental care for San Diego residents since 1986. If you add our address and phone number ((619) 337-7700) to your phone contacts right now, you won’t have to search for it in the case of an emergency. When trying to save a knocked-out tooth, every minute counts.

Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California 91942

Full Mouth Reconstruction in San Diego

Cosmetic Dentistry San Diego Cosmetic dental techniques and materials have advanced to a point where total and near-total mouth reconstruction is possible right here in the San Diego area.

Unlike conventional removable dentures, extensive mouth reconstruction involves strong, functional and aesthetically pleasing teeth with roots permanently anchored into the jaw bone.

You have probably heard around San Diego about dental implants; the tooth replacement option that is, in most cases, the best possible replacement for a missing tooth. Dental implants have been used in the San Diego area for many years to replace one or two missing teeth. However, they can also provide a structure for crowns, bridges, and anchored dentures that replace nearly every tooth in the mouth!

Every smile makeover patient requires a somewhat unique combination of cosmetic dental procedures, but let’s talk about a hypothetical case involving several restorations:

‘Linda’ was a 52 year-old San Diego patient with a mouthful of problems. She was missing most of her back teeth on both her upper and lower arch. Four of her front teeth were chipped and her gums had eroded revealing the metal bases of two old crowns.

To restore a beautiful, strong and youthful-looking smile, she would receive dental implants to anchor partial dentures for her upper and lower back teeth. After soft tissue grafts, her front teeth would receive a combination of porcelain crowns and veneers.

The result? A stunning smile, renewed confidence and no more slipping dentures!

Jeff Gray DDS

Have A Large Cavity In Your Tooth?

La Mesa Cosmetic Dentistry When Dr. Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS in San Diego repairs a tooth that has decay or damage, the procedure chosen often depends on the location of the problem. (We’re talking tooth-specific locale here; it doesn’t matter whether you live in San Diego, Alpine, or Santee.) If there is a chip, crack or cavity on the biting surface of a tooth, an onlay or inlay is often used to restore the tooth.

Inlays and onlays are a type of tooth restoration used successfully at Jeff Gray DDS. They are usually bigger than a conventional filling yet smaller than a complete dental crown. An inlay is used to fill an area inside the cusp tips or bumps of a tooth. An onlay covers an area that includes more than one cusp.

At Jeff Gray DDS, the inlays and onlays we place for our San Diego clients are indistinguishable from their natural teeth. Dr. Jeff Gray has the finely-honed eye for detail and complete mastery of dental aesthetics to create an exact match.

Jeff Gray DDS inlays and onlays:

  • Are stain resistant
  • Do not cause tooth sensitivity
  • Are beautifully matched to natural teeth
  • When bonded to the tooth, they strengthen the tooth and prevent further decay or damage

Call 619-717-8560 to book a cosmetic dental consultation today.  We offer sedation dentistry for patients anxious about dental work.

We’ll help you keep your smile happy and healthy!

Periodontal Disease in California

Periodontal Disease in CaliforniaWhat is periodontal disease? According to an article on Wikipedia, periodontal disease is ‘the name of a collection of inflammatory diseases affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth.’

Periodontal disease, more commonly called ‘gum disease’, is an inflammation or infection of the gums. Periodontal disease can be very painful in some extreme conditions, and can limit your ability to eat normally. In some cases, periodontal disease can affect your smile, and can create cosmetic concerns.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause irreversible damage. When caught early and treated, periodontal disease can be little more than an inconvenience. However the best policy is to practice good dental hygiene to keep periodontal disease at bay.

One of the best ways to avoid periodontal disease is to get a regular dental check up at your local La Mesa dentist.

Give us a call at 619-717-8560 to schedule your next dental checkup; we look forward to seeing you.