Welcome to Summerhills Dental Care


Your Citrus Heights dental care facility with experienced dentists that truly care about YOU. Excellent affordable care for Families, Seniors, and Children. Preventative Tooth Care For You and Your Family Teeth Whitening Digital X-Rays White Fillings and Bondings Beautiful Veneers Crowns and Bridges Implant Dentistry Dentures & Prosthetics Education Read more

Preventative Tooth Care for Your Family


Preventative Care Our number one goal is to help you and your family steer clear of extensive dental care such as crowns and root canals.  As a matter of fact, studies show that individuals who visit their dental office for Read more

How to Prevent Gum Disease


Gum Disease At Summerhills Dental Care, our first priority is to help you keep your gums and your teeth healthy. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the second most prevalent human ailment after the common cold. At some point, Read more

Why replace missing teeth?


The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth (by Dentist in Citrus Heights, CA) The most obvious effect of missing teeth is your smile, missing teeth are unaesthetic! This then affects the way you feel and present yourself. True psychological issues may Read more

What are Dental Implants?


Dental implants have dramatically changed the way dentists are able to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are the closest thing we have in dentistry to actually re-growing the natural tooth. Implants are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable. Typically we Read more

Welcome to Summerhills Dental Care

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Your Citrus Heights dental care facility with experienced dentists that truly care about YOU.

Excellent affordable care for Families, Seniors, and Children.

** Now open Select Fridays **

SummerHills Dental Care 
7904 Zenith Drive  Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Conveniently located in Citrus Heights, CA serving Sacramento, Orangevale, North Highlands, Roseville and Antelope areas.  Click on the following link  ->  for our Citrus Heights dentist office address, map and directions.  For more information or to set up an appointment, please call (916) 723-3368


TMJ Symptoms, Jaw Pain and Remedies

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Northern California Sacramento Dentist comments on TMJ Symptoms, Jaw Pain and Remedies

Jaw pain in the area near your ear may be associated with your temporo mandibular joint, or TMJ and is known clinically as TMD.  Dental research and study are replete with recommendations for treating TMJ jaw pain.Sacramento dentist explains tmj pain and what to do about it

While the doctors at Summerhills Dental Care in Citrus Heights, CA do not specialize in TMJ treatment, they do see a fair number of patients suffering fromTMD, typically those less painful conditions requiring minor non-invasivce intervention. The most important thing Dr. Gary Clusserath, www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com, stresses is to deal with your TMJ signs and symptoms early on. Do not wait till it hurts.  Feel free to call us at (916) 723-3368 with any questions or to set up an appointment at our Citrus Heights dental office.

There are a number of treatment protocols for patients TMD, not all exclusive, meaning multiple strategies may be employed simultaneously.

The first is to immediately get on a soft diet; stop chewing gum; don’t open your mouth wide; eat much smaller bites of food, and limit your yawning.

The next area that clinicians address is for muscle treatment. There are numerous muscles in and around your TMJ.  Relaxation exercises, warm packs, chiropractic neck adjustments, and stretching exercises.  Having your posture check by a professional may be wise.  A lot of stress and tension may be placed on TMJ if one’s posture is incorrect.

The next area and probably most important is an analysis of one’s general daily stress and fatigue levels.  This may be the most important causal factor.

Taking antinflammatories will help with acute pain in the short term.  This certainly does not treat the disease and should be limited to real painful TMJ conditions.

The two remaining areas of treatment involve having a dental professional assist in pain and disease elimination. An analysis of your teeth and gums is important. Determining whether there is occlusal disease and whether bruxism in any form is present. Both occlusal problems and bruxism can cause and increase TMJ signs and symptoms. Your dental professional can prescribe the correct course of treatment whether just receiving a nightguard, occlusal splint or more. Surgical intervention and orthodontics are very bold and should be reserved for the most severe of cases.

Please visit www.familydentistinroseville.com for more information or call Dr. Clusserath at 916-773-4343

Click here for Citrus Heights dental office location and directions.

Thank You.


Sacramento Area Dental Expert Comments on Oral Surgery and Dry Socket

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Sacramento Dental Expert Shares Tips for Treating Painful Dry Socket Syndrome After Oral Surgery

One of the complications of oral surgery and tooth extractions in general is known as dry socket.  A dry socket is expected when a patient feels pain that is deep seated a day to day and a half after oral surgery.  Dry socket means the blood clot for one reason or another has fallen out or otherwise gone away.  Hot or cold drinks or food and even breathing can intensify the pain.  We are here to help alleviate that pain for you as soon as possible.

Sacramento area dental oral surgery expert on dry socket symptoms and treatment

A dry socket will be persistent for a week or so and the pain can be unbearable. In fact, antibiotics will not solve this pain. Foul mouth odor (bad breath) is commonly present as well says our Sacramento Area Dental Expert.  A dentist or oral surgeon must be seen by a patient suffering from a dry socket as soon as possible.  A packing material will be placed and simulates what a blood clot normally does, with ultimate goal of alleviating pain and helping accelerate the healing process.  This procedure is fast and easy, so don’t delay in contacting us.

A follow-up is generally not needed.  The dentists at Summerhills Dental Care, Dr. Gary Clusserath is experienced with this complication and can treat this condition. If you have questions, contact them at www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com or call 916-723-3368.

Thank You and have a happy healthy smile today.

SummerHills Dental Care 
7904 Zenith Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Telephone:    916-723-3368
Fax:   916-772-8384

Directions to SummerHills Citrus Heights Dental Center:

From I-80, take exit 100, “Antelope Road”

Travel west on Antelope Road, 2 blocks to Zenith Drive

Take right on Zenith Drive

Summerhills Dental Office is 100 yards on the right

We are conveniently located North of I80 and near Antelope Road in the Sacramento area. Click here for a detailed map.


Citrus Heights Dentist Expert Advice on Benefits and Dangers of Mouthwash

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Citrus Heights Dentists’ Blog on Mouthwash, Oral Rinses, Listerine and Side Effects 

Some over the counter mouthwashes and oral rinses have strong ingredients, chemicals and materials as part of their make-up.  At times you may notice burning on your lips, gums, tongue or elsewhere in the mouth.  A certain company has even leveraged the harsh taste as an indicator that it’s “working” hard killing the germs and bad breath in your mouth.  Don’t be fooled … please read on …

Some studies are also showing that acidic mouthwashes are eroding the enamel of your teeth.  Roughly ninety percent of over the counter mouthwashes have an acid level similar to that of household vinegar … yuck!

Listerine and some other brands contains what are called isonomers, chemicals, eucolyptol, menthol, thymol, and methyl salicylate along with alcohol, ethyl alcohol.  The culprit ingredient is the ethanol or alcohol – this does have some antiseptic qualities, but can do more damage than good and can actually exacerbate dry mouth in some people.

A good recommendation is to be careful how often, and for how long one swishes with strong over-the-counter mouth rinses.  Duration in the mouth does affect this burning that goes on.  Unlike working out, you don’t want to “feel the burn”.

The dentists at your local Citrus Heights Family Dental Care office actually recommend non-alcoholic mouth rinses such as Biotene for oral rinsing.  While in-frequent use of Listerine or other brand’s rinses is fine, it should not be the predominant or even daily one used.  If you want to use an over the counter mouthwash or oral rinse, please do not use them more than 3 times a week.

Here’s an informative video on Biotene mouthwash oral rinse:

Please contact your local Citrus Heights family dentist Dr CLusserath at http://www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com/contact-us/ or call staff at 916-723-3368.


Citrus Heights CA Dentist Tips for Mentally Challenged Children

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Oral Health Tips For Working with Mentally Challenged Kids from Your Dentist in Citrus Heights, CA

We all know early on in childhood that good brushing habits develop early is very important for long term dental health and compliance. This is especially true for mentally challenged children.

Frequently mentally challenged children have dexterity deficits; they just have a more difficult time getting their brush in their mouth and around tooth surfaces.

A few things regarding early childhood habits:

  • Young children are more apt to learn when they see an adult performing this routine. Show your child how to hold the brush, how to place it in his/her mouth. Tell them how good it tastes, and how wonderful your teeth feel all the while attempting to make this a “fun” task, one they look forward to.
  • Go online and find funny child tooth brushing videos and have your child watch – like this one from Sesame Street:

  • The use of electric toothbrushes is very helpful. This seem much more effective and reduces time needed for child to brush.

Dr. Gary Clusserath at Summerhills Dental Care in Citrus Heights CA, www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com, recommends this be a slow process with your mentally challenged child; be patient, make it fun and keep it positive at all times. Please contact them at 916-723-3368 for your appointment and don’t hesitate to ask about your child.


Citrus Heights Dentist Offers Affordable, Minor Cosmetic Dental Changes

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Citrus Heights Dentist Shares Secrets of Affordable, Minor Cosmetic Dental Changes For Your Teeth 

Would you believe that very subtle tooth reshaping or contouring may be all that is necessary to enhance your smile dramatically?Citrus Heights dentist offers affordable dental care

Tooth reshaping can be done by your local Citrus Heights dentist to your front teeth. Generally it is very minor removal of your tooth structure. The incisal (pointy) edge may be adjusted to shorten the tooth; the sides of a tooth may make the tooth appear narrower; smoothing the edges of teeth or evening the lengths of multiple teeth can enhance the appearance.

Typically tooth contouring does not require anesthesia; does not harm the teeth; and is relatively inexpensive and can be done right in your nearby Citrus Heights dental office. Sometimes the health of teeth and gums is improved in cases where contouring can improve hygiene in and around the teeth with less buildup of plaque and tartar.

Keep in mind cosmetic dentistry reshaping and contouring is for when only very minor changes are desired. In conjunction with whitening it is a real option for many folks.

Dr. Clusserath at Summerhills Dental Care can answer your questions about any minor changes you might want.  We’re happy to answer any questions you may have.  Contact us at www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com for your no obligation consult, or call us at 916-723-3368.

Thank You.

SummerHills Dental Care 
7904 Zenith Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Telephone:    916-723-3368
Fax:   916-772-8384

Directions to SummerHills Citrus Heights Dental Center:

From I-80, take exit 100, “Antelope Road”

Travel west on Antelope Road, 2 blocks to Zenith Drive

Take right on Zenith Drive

Summerhills Dental is 100 yards on the right

We are conveniently located North of I80 and near Antelope Road in the Sacramento area. Click here for a detailed map.


Infection Control In The Citrus Heights Dentist Office

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Citrus Heights dentist shares concerns and prevention ideas on Infection control to protect you …

In the wake of the revelation that over 7000 patients of Dr. Scott Harrington in Tulsa, OK may have been exposed to HIV virus or Hepatitis  brings cause for pause on the part of many dental patients.  The Tulsa Health Department has tested well over 1000 patients to date.  Findings or conclusions have not been provided yet.best practices for preventing infections for dental clients

We are all concerned about our safety when we see our healthcare providers.  It is especially important that we feel safe  when we go to our Citrus Heights dentist because we know the various procedures and dental care provided involves many small instruments that are sharp and cause bleeding.

Patients need to be reassured at their local dental offices that the staff and dentist are practicing the utmost standards of care regarding infection control. The edict “Do no harm” is especially true when it comes to infection control.

Patients must be free to directly ask what their dentist is doing every day, every week, every month to ensure their safety. Patients should be given list of items that help ensure staff are performing needed infection control practices.

The dentist, Dr. Gary Clusserath at Sumemrhills Dental Care in Citrus Heights, CA (www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com) keeps up with strict protocols and regularly conduct training.

We have daily lists and weekly lists that staff follow. We address sterilizer issues immediately. In fact, recently one of our main sterilizers was making noises. Rather than wait and see if it became a problem, we removed it, sent it to manufacturer and have loaner machine. Practices like this where infection control issues are dealt with quickly and smoothly is a way of ensuring safety.

Staff clean and disinfect drills and equipment lines to ensure sterility and disinfection. In fact, after any oral surgery, it is important that water lines and air lines are disinfected, a regular practice at Summerhills Dental Care in Citrus Heights, CA – click on this link for our contact information.

best practices to prevent infection for Sacramento Dentist clientsWe encourage patients to come back and view sterilization area. We welcome that and recommend that. We practice  evidence-based infection control precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We all in the dental profession were truly shocked when word of the Tulsa oral surgoen problem came to light. While it is actually very rare for a patient to contract these very harmful viral conditions such as Hepatitis or HIV, we still remind ourselves everyday that infection control must be practiced under universal precautions whereby every patient is believed to be a carrier.

Please contact Dr. Gary Clusserath or Citrus Heights dental staff for more information: 916-773-4343 or Info@DentistInCitrusHeights.com 

Watch this informative video from the American Dental Association for more detailed information:

 http://www.mouthhealthy.org/az-topics/i/infection-control.aspx

 

SummerHills Dental Care in Citrus Heights, CA
7904 Zenith Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Tel:    916-723-3368

Directions to SummerHills Citrus Heights Dentist Office:

From I-80, take exit 100, “Antelope Road”

Travel west on Antelope Road, 2 blocks to Zenith Drive

Take right on Zenith Drive

Summerhills Dental is 100 yards on the right

We are conveniently located North of I80 and near Antelope Road. Click here for a detailed map.


Citrus Heights Dentist Answers – What Are Toothpastes Made Of?

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Citrus Heights, CA dentist shares the truth about the ingredients in your toothpaste:

Do you ever wonder what toothpastes are made of and whether there are harmful ingredients in them?  Toothpaste are now in several classes, from everyday brushing paste to whitening toothpastes to gum inflammation toothpastes to tooth sensitivity pastes.  All have similar ingredients but with different percentages of these ingredients.

Abrasives are in all toothpastes, generally in a mild amount. These are additives that help remove extrinsic stains. Toothpastes are tested to determine that these abrasives help clean and remove stains without removing enamel.  Ingredients such as hydrated silica (which can be made from sand), hydrated alumina, calcium carbonate, and dicalcium phosphates are all possible abrasives.

Detergents are in toothpastes. These help with scrubbing and foaming action. These are needed to loosen and dissolve the hard substances on outer surface of your teeth.  They are like “surfactants” that help dissolve things by changing the surface tension on your teeth. Sodium lauryl sulfate is one common detergent in toothpastes. These have been researched very thoroughly by the ADA and manufacturers for over 50 years and have not been proven to be an irritant.

Humectants are also added to toothpastes to bind all the ingredients together.  Commonly glycerol and propylene glycol and sorbitol are normally found.

Flavoring agents are also placed in toothpastes.  These are quite important as toothpastes would taste terrible without them.

The most controversial ingredient is Fluoride. This is truly the only ingredient that helps resist decay and protect our teeth!  Thousands of US based studies have been done and there is absolutely no scientific evidence to suggest any carcinogenic potential of Fluoride.

Other agents in condition specific toothpastes are  peroxides(whitening toothpastes) and pyrophosphates in anti-inflammation toothpaste(those that prevent tartar buildup).

If you are unsure of a toothpaste in regards to its safety and efficacy(whether it really works), one suggestion is to look on the carton or tube to find the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This association approval is very strict for consumers and is reliable.

The professional dentists and hygienists at Summerhills Dental Care in Citrus Heights, California (in the Sacramento area), Dr Gary Clusserath and Maggie VanBrunt would like to stress a few things.  One, it is all about the brusher, you, and your technique. While a good toothpaste is essential and helpful, your brushing and flossing frequency and technique is what prevents inflammation and decay.  The other advise is that complete oral care must include semi-annual professional dental cleanings and check-ups. There is no substitute for a thorough professional cleaning by a qualified hygienist.

SummerHills Dental Care in Citrus Heights, CA
7904 Zenith Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Tel:    916-723-3368

Directions to SummerHills Citrus Heights Dental Center:

From I-80, take exit 100, “Antelope Road”

Travel west on Antelope Road, 2 blocks to Zenith Drive

Take right on Zenith Drive

Summerhills Dental is 100 yards on the right

We are conveniently located North of I80 and near Antelope Road. Click here for a detailed map.


What To Do If My Child Has A Toothache in Citrus Heights, CA

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Here’s a helpful article on child tooth pain or toothache by expert dentists in Citrus Heights, CA:

Every so often you hear of a child who has fallen on the playground or on the street in the Citrus Heights area and has broken a tooth and now the tooth hurts.  What should you do if your child has a toothache?  These are concerns of parents.

The most important thing is to keep your child calm and comfortable. As long as there is not significant swelling or bleeding or acute pain, the first thing would be to assess your child’s report.  Is the pain all the time, when he or she chews, at night, any specific time during the day?  If possible, look into your child’s mouth and check the tooth, does it look like it has a hole in it.

The most common cause of tooth pain obviously is decay (a cavity). Be sure however, to check and make sure a food particle is not stuck in between your child’s teeth, this can cause mild pain.

If the pain keeps your child up at night, then this could be deeper infection in and around the tooth.  Check for redness or swelling around your child’s tooth, and look at his/her cheek to see swelling or facial asymmetry. Remember, sometimes a child will say toothache when it is soft tissue problem.

It is important to call the dentist for an appointment within a day or so.  In the case of an accident (like a fall) then the appointment should be that day.

Medicating your child is very important. The dentists at Summerhills Dental Care (www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com) recommend the following:  One Acetaminophen (child’s Tylenol) or two ibuprofen (Advil) both dosage dependant, check your child’s weight. In the case of trauma, applying ice packs for 1 or 2 minutes on the affected side is helpful.  Do this only long enough to get pain reduction.

Dr. Gary Clusserath  (916) 723-3368, dentists in Citrus Heights, CA) recommends that even if you are successful at relieving a toothache or other pain in the mouth, unless you’re absolutely sure that you know what caused it, you need to see your family dentist or a pediatric dentist. A professional look by a trained eye backed by years of study and experience can pinpoint a problem and identify a real solution. This is the only way to both treat the toothache and put your mind at rest. That’s why it’s important for anyone — adult or child — to see the dentist if tooth pain does not resolve itself within a day. Today’s minor cavity can turn into tomorrow’s painful abscess.

Thank You.  We hope you found this child dental care article helpful.  Please click the “leave a comment” button to reply with any other suggestions, comments or questions.


The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

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Citrus Heights Dentists Share the Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

“In the wake of recent news about Michael Douglas’ bout with oral cancer, it is importance to emphasize the necessity of regular frequent dental oral cancer screenings” says Citrus Heights Dentist, Gary Clusserath.

Oral cancer is a buildup of malignant (cancerous) cells on the lips, in the oral cavity or oropharynx. The lips, gums, tongue, floor of mouth, hard palate, soft palate, and all throat structures including the tonsils can become cancerous.  All areas should be checked according to expert dentist in Citrus Heights.

Most cancers are within the squamous epithelium of oral cavity areas, known as squamous cell carcinoma.

Because of the dental community’s diligent efforts to educate the public on oral cancer screening, the number of oral cancers has been decreasing for 30 years. A big reason is reduced use of smokeless oral tobacco and reduction of alcohol consumption, two big culprits.

However there is one type of oral cancer that has increased and this is the one associated with the human papilloma virus(HPV, sexually transmitted virus).  Intense research has been directed at this. I recommend viewing the PSA announcement created by the Oral Cancer Foundation of America by Michael Douglas on this important topic.

Dr. Clusserath at Summerhills Dental Care, Dentist located in Citrus Heights, CA recommends semi-annual screenings for oral cancer. Rarely these will include a referral to an oncologist or oral surgeon for biopsy or other tests.  There are simple tongue and oral cavity scrape tests that can check for cancer. The real message is that finding early signs of cancer even before true cancer is present is a whole lot more treatable and survivable than waiting till stage 4 cancer.

Thank You,

Gary Clusserath, DMD

916-723-3368


Is Taking Blood Thinners Dangerous for Oral Surgery?

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Citrus Heights Dentist in California weighs in on the potential dangers of using blood thinners during oral surgery:

 

Is surgery safe when taking blood thinners? Many of our seniors are on blood thinners these days and do share concerns about this.  Yes, it is relevant when doing oral surgery.

The question arises what can happen when bleeding occurs during any oral surgical procedure.

Numerous medications can cause blood thinning.  Not all medications, however, cause enough thinning to recommend cessation of the medicine prior to oral surgery. Warfarin or Coumadin, for example, is a major anti-coagulant.  Blood loss can be increased when a patient is on thinners and this could cause an emergency.

Aspirin is a potent anti-coagulant and should not be taken around the time of oral surgery. Be sure and tell your dentist you are taking aspirin.

The good news is that careful planning and consultation with your physician to insure proper blood thinner levels should allow you to proceed with oral surgery. Typically small amounts of aspirin are fine when in the hands of a skilled oral surgeon and minor trauma is expected. The dentist may have the patient go to the physician or nurse and get a blood thinner time, eg.,  Prothrombin time.  This should be done close to time of surgery, in fact, sometimes the day before.

The specifics of the oral surgery can also minimize complications when blood thinners are “on-board”.  Use of special surgery drugs and agents during surgery, careful suturing, anti-coagulant agents, anything employed by surgeon to decrease blood flow is helpful. Post-operative home care including less activity, no smoking, soft diet and oral hygiene are all very important in getting the bleeding stopped after oral surgery.

The dentists at Summerhills Dental Care in Citrus Heights, CA, Dr Clusserath is experienced with a variety of patients and do careful interviews prior to surgery to ensure your safety. We invite you for a consultation to see if we can assist you on anything regarding tooth removal or oral surgery and your blood thinners.  Please visit www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com or give us a call, 916-723-3368.

Thank You.  If you’d like to visit our office, please feel free …

SummerHills Dental Care 
7904 Zenith Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621

Tel:    916-723-3368
Fax:   916-772-8384

Directions to SummerHills Citrus Heights Dental Center:

From I-80, take exit 100, “Antelope Road”

Travel west on Antelope Road, 2 blocks to Zenith Drive

Take right on Zenith Drive

Summerhills Dental is 100 yards on the right

We are conveniently located North of I80 and near Antelope Road. Click here for a detailed map.


Do Root Canal Treatments Last Forever?

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Important Facts about Root Canal Treatments: 

It is very important that patients understand that root canal treatments do NOT last forever. Why?  There are many reasons.

Root canal treatment involves a lot of skill and science on the part of the dentist. Firstly, anatomical variations of a tooth root structure, curved canals, blocked canals; irregular shaped canals all can pose complications in treatment of the roots of the tooth.

The technical operations of doing the root canal can vary.  Was the tooth and roots disinfected enough? Was an adequate seal at the end of the root achieved? Was the fill material placed properly and enough?

Other complications are factors regarding the tooth itself.  For example, was the tooth too broken down to restore after root canal treatment completion? Was the permanent filling over the root canaled tooth placed properly? Was there tooth much time elapsed between root canal completion and final restoration? For example, if a crown was delayed by 3 or more months, this can allow bacteria to creep back in and reinfect root canal area.

The question then becomes can retreatment of root canals be done successfully and with good prognosis.  Is it worth having another root canal? This depends on many factors, the type of infection, the absence of a fracture (which renders the tooth untreatable), the skill of the dentist or endodontist doing retreatment, the restorability of the tooth, the risks of leaving the tooth in place with existing bone loss or further bone loss possibilities.

Dentists today are not doing as many retreatment of root canals because we now can offer highly successful dental implants to patients. A patient must consider alternatives like and implant when weighing his or her decision to retreat a root canal. The benefit of doing retreatment should be a healthy, full functioning, symptomless tooth that will last for many years to come.

Dentist – Dr. Clusserath at Summerhills Dental Care, www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com, welcomes your questions on these teeth. Even if you would like a short consultation on something regarding your root canaled tooth, please contact the staff at our Citrus Heights Dental Office (Summerhills Dental Care) is located off Interstate 80 and Antelope in Citrus Heights at 7904 Zenith Dr, 95621.  Click here for map and directions. we are here to listen carefully to you.

Don’t hesitate to call staff and ask any questions, even if you are new to our office or the Sacramento area and just want to discuss something over the phone.  Serving Sacramento, Orangevale, North Highlands, Roseville and Antelope areas.

Thanks,

Gary Clusserath, DMD

Summerhills Dental Care


Preventative Tooth Care for Your Family

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Preventative Care

Our number one goal is to help you and your family steer clear of extensive dental care such as crowns and root canals.  As a matter of fact, studies show that individuals who visit their dental office for preventative care on a regular basis are more likely to avoid extensive dental care than those individuals who do not follow a similar regimen.how to prevent tooth decay

Our experienced hygienists are constantly updating their professional skills and knowledge.  They are eager to share their expertise with you so that you are able to enjoy a healthy, pain free smile for many years to come. Our hygienists will give you specific suggestions which you can follow at home in order to maximize your dental health. For instance, they’ll help you decide which toothpaste is best for you, whether you should purchase an electric toothbrush or if you should use a mouth rinse after brushing.  And, they’ll make sure your visit is comfortable and pain free.

At SummerHills Dental Care, our hygienists will listen to your dental concerns, assess your specific needs and help you come up with a plan you can follow to prevent dental disease.  If you’d like to have the newest tricks and tips available to keep your smile healthy for a lifetime, call for an appointment at 916-723-3368!


How to Prevent Gum Disease

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Gum Disease

At Summerhills Dental Care, our first priority is to help you keep your gums and your teeth healthy.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the second most prevalent human ailment after the common cold. At some point, about 9 out of 10 of us will get gum disease. Gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults and is linked to heart disease.

Gum disease is easily treated in the early stages. The early signs of gum disease are, unfortunately, painless and hard to recognize.  At Summerhills Dental Care we check for any signs of gum disease at each and every dental cleaning.

Our treatment for gum disease emphasizes a non-surgical approach.  We start with a simple removal of plaque and tartar below the gum line. The removal of all plague and tartar may take several appointments with your dental hygienist.  Our dental hygienists make sure the process is comfortable and pain free.

Gum disease typically shows up in any of the following ways:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or flosstips for preventing gum disease
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Pus that appears between the teeth and gums
  • Teeth which are loose or moving
  • Sudden changes in the way the teeth come together
  • Consistent bad breath

If you have any questions or are concerned you might have any of the symptoms described above, please call our Citrus Heights dental office at 916-723-3368 as soon as possible.  We’ll come up with a plan to help you maximize the health of your gums. Our approach is very thorough and treatments are usually covered by insurance.


Why replace missing teeth?

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The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth (by Dentist in Citrus Heights, CA)

The most obvious effect of missing teeth is your smile, missing teeth are unaesthetic! This then affects the way you feel and present yourself. True psychological issues may arise with missing teeth.

There are several other dental ramifications, from having a compromised bite for chewing to increased risk of periodontal disease, infections, root canals and further loss of teeth.

However, the most severe consequence is loss of bone mass in your jaw. When teeth are missing, the jawbone in that area slowly withers away. Our bones are living tissue and the jawbone requires the stress of chewing to remain healthy. When the stimulation of chewing is absent due to a missing tooth bone resorption takes place. Over time this will cause the jaw to deform, with disastrous results.

When your back teeth, molars and premolars, are gone you will be forced to chew with your front teeth. Then the front teeth get worn much more quickly leading to lower front teeth and a chewing disability.

There are a number of tooth replacement solutions. After years of research and follow-up we now know dental implants are truly the best way to deal with all of the above issues associated with tooth loss. It’s not just about getting a tooth in there; it’s about overall health beginning with your jaw and mouth. It’s hard to smile when you’re in pain, but when you have a mouth full of healthy teeth and gums you won’t be able to contain your smile.

When dental implants are placed the bone stays in position thereby maintaining and keeping our jawbone quality and quantity in a healthy condition as well as in a natural form all with the intent to preserve your smile.

The dental implant team in Citrus Heights, CA of Dr’s Gary Clusserath, and periodontists/gum specialists Ash Vasanthan, and Nicki Hakimi in Roseville are here to answer your periodontal questions about tooth replacement and jaw preservation. Please visit them at www.dentistincitrusheightsca.com (Dr. Clusserath, at 916-723-3368) or www.periozone.com (Dr. Vasanthan and Dr. Hakimi at 916-788-1114).


What are Dental Implants?

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Dental implants have dramatically changed the way dentists are able to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are the closest thing we have in dentistry to actually re-growing the natural tooth. Implants are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable.what are dental implants

Typically we work in a team fashion with surgical implant specialists, either a periodontist or an oral surgeon. They begin the process of tooth replacement via implants by diagnoses and consultation with you, preliminary jaw bone preparation and then implant placement and follow-up. Once the specialist has determined that your implant and tissues are ready for crown(s) then Dr Clusserath and staff work with you.   At that point, our office will complete the process by attaching an implant crown to the fixture.

For those individuals who use a denture, multiple fixtures can be placed in the jaw allowing an entire denture to be attached. Gone are the days of lose, floating lower dentures!

Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant and crown. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene.

Implant crowns are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth

The staff at Summerhills Dental Care in the Sacramento, California area have years of experience placing implant crowns. We utilize our surgical specialists in a team approach to deliver quality dental implants to you.  Implants are an exciting part of our practice.  If you’d like more information on dental implants, please give us a call at 916-723-3368.


Citrus Heights Dentist Explains What to do about Tooth Pain

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Why is your tooth/teeth painful and what can you do about it? 

Do you have tooth pain?  We are so sorry to hear that.  Tooth pain is one of the most annoying, painful and distracting ailments that you can suffer from.  When patients ongoing and sharp pain with their mouth, they often times get confused as to exactly what is causing it.  Is it a tooth and how and why has the tooth become painful?

Once in a while, the patient might think it’s the gums that are the issue and sometimes they are positive it’s the tooth.  The quality and severity of tooth ache may vary, say, from mildly annoying (scale from 0 – 10) to the worst pain you’ve ever felt in your life.  It may feel like it is several teeth, or your gums or even your jaw bones, or possibly even a sinus infection.  Only a dental doctor or expert can help you find out exactly the source and what to do about it.

Your signs and symptoms may change with what you eat, with hot or cold liquids or solids or even time of day and can change from day to day.  The key item to keep in mind is to pay attention to what causes the origin of tooth or mouth pain.  For example, if you take a bite of an ice cream bar or drink hot coffee or tea, do you experience more pain?  What time of day is it worse?  Gum or periodontal pain is typically less sharp and tends to include gum problems in immediate areas like bleeding, swelling, drainage (pus coming out – gross) with minor chewing problems – discomfort or pain.

Determining the cause of pain in and around teeth can be complex.  Your dentist has studied for many years to gain his or her expertise and is the best qualified person to tackle this challenge.  Whether pain is in your tooth (could be an endodontic root canal problem) or in your gums (periodontal origin) the dentists at Citrus Heights Dental (Summerhills Dental Care) have extensive experience and employ multiple techniques to determine the cause of your tooth pain and what to do about it.

Through a combination of tests, patient interviewing, and symptomatology (thorough review of complaint), Dr. Clusserath at Citrus Heights Dental quite often successfully determines patients problems and proceed with correct treatment.

Don’t hesitate to call staff and ask any questions, even if you are new to our office or the Sacramento area and just want to discuss something over the phone.  Citrus Heights Dental (Summerhills Dental Care) is located off I80 and Antelope in Citrus Heights at 7904 Zenith Dr, 95621.  Click here for map and directions.  Serving Sacramento, Orangevale, North Highlands, Roseville and Antelope areas of California.

Thank you.

Gary Clusserath


Safeguarding the Dispensation of Prescription Painkillers and Whitney Houston

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In light of the recent, tragic death of singing, superstar, Whitney Houston, dentists must rethink their practice of prescribing addictive pain medication to patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control, prescription drug abuse is classified as an epidemic. Studies show that teens perceive prescription medication use as safer, less addictive and less risky than using illegal drugs. After all, if the dentist or doctor prescribed medication for the parent, the medication must be safe.  This is a terrible misconception! The CDC states that an addiction to a drug starts with belief that the drug is safe.

Dentists are the third leading prescriber of opioid painkiller medications in the United States. Dentists need to be aware of the possibility of drug abuse each and every time a prescription is written. Dentists have a duty to understand which patients can safely be prescribed addictive pain medication, what dental procedures call for such medications and appropriate dosage levels.  Finally, and most importantly, dentists must be willing to  say “no” to a patient who appears to be abusing prescription medication even if  saying “no” means losing the individual as a patient.

Dentists must encourage patients to destroy leftover painkillers. Sometimes a dentist will come to know that a patient’s relative or child is at risk for substance abuse.  In this case, the dentist must be very aware of dosage levels.

The good news is, we can all be part of the solution. If a patient suspects another family member or partner may be at risk of addiction, then the patient must secure the medication in a safe place. Leftover medications must never, ever be “saved for later”.  Immediately, destroy unused medications. In addition, ask the dentist to limit the number of pills prescribed to just enough for a few days.  Finally, before taking a prescription, ask the dentist if an over-the-counter medication will control the discomfort.  Often, ibuprofen or Motrin will provide enough pain relief until the tooth can be treated.

Fortunately, there are organizations and information available that dental offices may consult to check on patients who might be at risk. The staff at Summerhills Dental Care, serving patients in the Citrus Heights, Sacramento, Orangevale, North Highlands, Roseville and Antelope areas regularly consult with pharmacists to ascertain such data.

Dentists and patients can do a lot to prevent prescription drug abuse. Let’s work together so that prescription medications are used for the right reasons and do not get into the hands of vulnerable individuals.

Gary P . Clusserath, DMD


Dental Xrays and Risk for Brain Tumors – Are Dental X rays safe

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Today, a study was published by the American Cancer association linking dental X-rays with an increased risk of meningioma, a benign Brain Tumor cancer.  This study was based on a cross-sectional study of over 1300 randomized patients.  This data was collected through surveys, and not based on actual dental records.  Without evidence beyond self-reported results, causality cannot be proven.

Dental X rays are only one source of radiation.  Cell phones, radio towers, microwaves, ng many: cell phones, headphones, and the sun, among others.  Atmospheric radiation is around 3.0 MsV.  In contrast, a routine set of dental X rays is around 0.038 MsV.  It is very unlikely that yearly dental xrays would have increased the risk of these tumors, the ADA(American Dental Association) claims.

X rays are necessary to provide quality dental care.  Dental X rays allow us to see the extent of decay, location of roots, bone levels, or tooth infection.  X rays serve to document the state of health in the mouth.

At Summer Hills Dental office in Citrus Heights CA, we take several measures to minimize radiation exposure.  First, we only use digital X-rays, which require far less radiation than traditional X-rays.   Secondly, we use thyroid shields, which protect vulnerable areas around the lymph nodes.  Finally, we only take X-rays when necessary. And we follow most or all of ADA guidelines on xray frequency.

Here at Summer Hills Dental, we are committed to your health.  If you have any questions, feel free to call us at (916) 723-3368, email Info@DentistInCitrusHeightsCA.com  or come on in.

Dr. Gary Clusserath – dentist in Citrus Heights, California; serving the greater Sacramento area.


Beautiful Veneers for a Radiant Smile

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Are you concerned about the appearance of your teeth?  Would you like a more gorgeous smile?

SummerHills Dental care specializes in beautiful veneers for your teeth.

Dental veneers are sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates.  Veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of semi translucent tooth-colored porcelain designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size or length and resulting in an improved appearance.cosmetic dentistry includes teeth veneers

Veneers are excellent for fixing crooked teeth, cracked teeth, misaligned teeth, teeth that are too long or too short, crowded teeth, and severely stained teeth, gapped teeth, or slightly chipped teeth.

Not all teeth are good candidates for veneers. Veneers work best when placed on healthy teeth that can provide adequate support and are fairly well aligned. Some minor alignment problems can be corrected with veneers. This is sometimes called “instant orthodontics.”

The procedure is done in two appointments. On the first, a small amount of surface enamel ( 1/50 inch) is buffed away, shaping each tooth which will receive a veneer. An impression of the teeth is made for use by our dental laboratory where the veneer is fabricated. Digital photographs and computer-aided shade matching are used to achieve the best possible cosmetic result. We utilize the computer for lab communications which more thoroughly helps in shade determination and veneer fabrication.

On the second appointment the veneers are gently placed on the teeth for your approval. When (and only when) you, Dr.Clusserath or associate, all agree that our veneers are fitting well, and properly colored, will we proceed to attach them to your teeth. This is a comfortable process wherein several liquids and gels are applied to your teeth, the veneers pressed on and cured by shining a laser-like curing light on the teeth.

Veneers require no special upkeep beyond regular good preventive dental hygiene with tooth brushing and flossing.

Our dental office is conveniently located in the Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Orangevale, North Highlands area of California – call today for a free consultation to see what the best and most affordable solution is for you (916) 723-3368