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Testimonial: Tamera Mullaly

Testimonial: Tamera Mullaly

We see many San Clemente locals at Shoreline Dental Studio, and are fortunate enough to touch many lives providing a level of care that help make our patients feel comfortable in spite of past experiences they may have had. Read on to learn how compassionate dentistry changed Tamera’s world for the better!

Calming Dental Anxiety with Sedation Dentistry

People find a variety of reasons not to visit the dentist, and dental anxiety is usually at the top of the list. According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, about 30 percent of the population avoids going to the dentist because of this fear. For about 4 percent of the population, this fear is immobilizing, and is classified as dental phobia. Whether it’s fear of the needle, the smells, or the overall pain of dental procedures, this fear keeps people from seeking the dental care they truly need. This is why we, at Kristen Ritzau, DDS offer sedation dentistry.

Sedation Dentistry
Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a way of working on your teeth without the anxiety that comes with it. There are three types of sedation commonly used today:

  • Inhalation sedation is usually in the form of laughing gas, and is usually administered by a small hood placed over your nose. The gas produces some tingling, and an overall sense of well-being, while also increasing your pain tolerance. You still receive a local anesthetic for most procedures.
  • Oral sedation is the most commonly used sedation for dentistry today. It is taken by mouth, so there are no extra needles involved. Although many patients usually receive a local anesthetic as well. The level of sedation is mild, but will put you in a state of constant relaxation. While you usually feel as if you have slept throughout the procedure, you remain conscious enough to respond to commands.
  • Intravenous (IV) sedation is administered directly into the bloodstream for a quicker effect than oral sedation. This is still a moderate sedation, so although you feel as if you were asleep you still respond to external stimuli. With IV sedation the dentist can continuously adjust the flow of medication.

If you choose oral or IV sedation you will need someone you trust to drive you home after the appointment. The sedatives cause extreme relaxation and memory loss, so although it will feel like you were put to sleep, you will be alert during the procedure.

You should consider sedation dentistry if:

  • You have a high level of fear or anxiety when going to the dentist.
  • You have a strong fear of needles.
  • You need extensive dental work.
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex.
  • You have a lower pain threshold.

Sedation dentistry is particularly helpful for when you have a complex or relatively long dental procedure. You can shorten the process by getting it all done in one visit rather than stretching out the work.

Regular cleanings and dental checkups are important to maintaining oral health. If you are plagued by dental anxiety, talk to Kristen Ritzau, DDS about the possibility of getting sedated during dental procedures.

Walk Down the Aisle With a Beautiful Smile

You want to look your best all the time. But some occasions call for extra special attention to your appearance, and one of the times when this is the most true is on your wedding day. All eyes will be on you, and you want to make sure that your look is absolutely flawless. One crucial aspect of your appearance that you don't want to overlook is your smile! Because you will be photographed more on your wedding day than on any other day, a beautiful smile is a must-have. Here are some cosmetic dentistry procedures to help you improve the quality of your smile before you walk down the aisle. Teeth Whitening

A bright, white smile not only makes your overall appearance look better, it also makes you look younger and healthier. Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most affordable forms of cosmetic dentistry, and you can see big results quickly.

Porcelain Veneers

If you need a little more help creating the most beautiful smile possible for your wedding day and beyond, porcelain veneers are an excellent, long-lasting way to get major results. Porcelain veneers are permanently bonded to your own teeth and can fill in gaps, fix misaligned or broken teeth and cover up discolored teeth as well. Invisalign_Wedding_Smile_Kristen_Ritzau_Dentist

Enamel Shaping

If your teeth are misshapen or have chips or minor bumps, enamel shaping can be a very effective way to create more symmetrical and attractively aligned teeth.


If you missed out on braces when you were younger, it's never too late. Invisalign is the clear and attractive alternative to metal braces, and can be worn by adults. Although this form of cosmetic dentistry is not the shortest route to a more beautiful smile, it is definitely worth considering if you have a longer engagement period and want to look your best when walking down the aisle.

In addition to shopping for a dress and choosing a venue, make sure one of your early stops in your wedding planning process is to see Kristen Ritzau, DDS. Dr. Ritzau will work with you to make sure you have a beautiful smile when you walk down the aisle! (949) 234-6850

Our New and Improved Office!

We've been hard at work over the past few months, turning our old office into a newly remodeled space that our patients can enjoy! Stop by for a visit or call our office to make your next dental appointment! (949) 234-6850 Here's what our office looks like now:


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Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Visiting the dentist is rarely a pleasurable situation for most people. With the multitude of reasons to see a dentist, including root canals and painful surgical procedures, we're not surprised to see that just over 60% of us actually visit a dentist regularly. However, the percentage of people who wish for cosmetic dentistry, such as teeth whitening and straightening, is a much higher number and over half of the population have already received cosmetic dentistry. Having a beautiful, white, and healthy smile is a fantastic asset in your professional and personal life. Dr. Ritzau is highly experienced with executing the necessary steps for your perfect set of pearly whites, as well as having a fantastic staff of educated individuals dedicated to making your experience a memorable and comfortable one.We've researched and compiled the top 3 most beneficial reasons to receive cosmetic dentistry to consider the next time you're scheduling an appointment:

If they look healthy, they will stay healthy. Sometimes getting a smaller cosmetic dentistry procedure, like Zoom whitening, can greatly improve your overall oral health. By having a smile that you appreciate, it will become easier to consistently take care of it by brushing and flossing. Having a beautiful smile boosts self confidence and social connection with others. Have the ripple effect of health transform your lifestyle. If you want to have a healthy smile for life and find it difficult to start, let our office give you a kick start!Cosmetic Dentistry San Clemente CA

Improve your dental health relationship. Humans are no stranger to the drawbacks of painful dental procedures. If you struggle with decaying teeth, or missing a few teeth in the same place, you would benefit by receiving cosmetic dentistry to correct it. By scheduling an in-depth repairing procedure, such as inlays to repair damaged teeth, you can remove the potential for these unsightly chompers giving you any trouble in the future. You need not fear the dentist, or be embarrassed to visit, any longer!

Prevent future dental complications. There are many other options available for your teeth that can smooth out and straighten your smile. These procedures exist to improve how your teeth settle, adjust and position an off center bite, and even prevent future issues with grinding teeth or potential chipping teeth from repeated contact over time.

We support our clients and their smiles. Contact us today![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Root Canals and the Procedure

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Endodontic dentistry or as it is more commonly known as the dreaded "root canal" is a dental procedure that eliminates infection and prevents decay. Demystifying the term "root canal" will help you come to terms with the fact that a a root canal is a regular procedure that is not much more complicated than having a tooth filled. It is definitely not something to be feared! What is a Root Canal?

During root canal therapy at Kristen Ritzau DDS, our skilled staff will assess the inside of the tooth, which is filled with a soft tissue called "pulp." The pulp holds nerve endings, blood vessels and connective tissue, and can become infected due to many different causes. This can result in discomfort, abscesses and even tooth loss. A root canal helps to avoid these problems, protecting the tooth, gums, and jawbone.  root-canals

Root canals are made very comfortable through the use of the appropriate anesthetic. During the root canal procedure, the infected pulp is removed, then the canal is cleaned, disinfected and sealed. Next, the canal is filled with a substance called gutta-percha, along with adhesive cement. The sealed tooth is then capped with a crown, allowing the patient to resume normal usage of the tooth after a short recovery period.

Returning to Normal Activity After A Root Canal

There is generally some amount of discomfort associated with the recovery time after a root canal. Fortunately this is usually controlled with over-the-counter pain medication. While it is often not recommended that a temporary crown be used for chewing, once the final crown is placed normal use can be resumed.

Having a root canal is a routine procedure that can have a very positive impact on maintaining and improving dental health. When seen in this way, getting a root canal is a very positive experience.  It may be time to update some of those root canal jokes with better punchlines! Call Kristen Ritzau DDS for a consultation! (949) 234-6850


Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy

A woman's body goes through many changes during pregnancy. Among these changes are increases in hormone levels, which can make dental problems worse. Relatively minor dental problems can become markedly worse if preventive steps are not taken. The Importance of Good Dental Health During PregnancyPregnancy and Oral Hygiene

The dental problems that a woman may face during pregnancy include:

  • Tooth enamel damage
  • Tooth decay
  • Oral tumors
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis

Good oral hygiene during pregnancy is important for both the mother and the fetus. Research suggests that the bacteria that causes periodontitis can also get into the mother's bloodstream and affect the unborn child. It is believed that periodontitis can cause babies to be born prematurely and with low birth weight. Periodontitis is one of the problems that can result from variations in progesterone and estrogen levels that occur during pregnancy.

Tips for Ensuring Dental Health During Pregnancy Fortunately, there are ways to avoid having dental problems while pregnant; good oral hygiene is key. Pregnant women should:

  • Get dental examinations regularly; women who are expecting should be sure to inform Kristen Ritzau DDS that they are pregnant.
  • Exercise good dental hygiene, including regular brushing (with fluoride toothpaste) and flossing; toothbrushes should be replaced every three months.
  • Use a mouth rinse formulated to rid the mouth of microbes that can cause diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis; the rinse should not contain alcohol.
  • Use chewing gums or other products that contain xylitol; these may be used to reduce bacteria in the mouth that can result in tooth decay.
  • Take steps to prevent tooth enamel damage from exposure to stomach acid. Morning sickness is a common part of pregnancy for many women and vomiting exposes the tooth enamel to stomach acid, which can cause cavities; using a mouth rinse containing baking soda can neutralize the acid and protect teeth.
  • Avoid dental treatments during the first trimester and during the latter half of the third trimester if possible. While emergency treatments are permissible, the safest time to have these procedures performed is during the second trimester.
  • Avoid foods that contain high amounts of sugar.
  • Drink water regularly throughout the day.
  • Avoid dental x-rays when pregnant, except for dental emergencies.

It is a good idea to plan ahead and take care of dental issues prior to becoming pregnant. Kristen Ritzau DDS can assess your dental health prior to and during your pregnancy. Call today for a consultation (949) 238-6850!

Dental Tips For Summer Vacation

During summer vacation, you can say goodbye to your workday routine and all your worries, but you should never neglect your dental hygiene. After all, you use your teeth every single day and your smile should never be on vacation. It's important to keep up your brushing and flossing regimen no matter where you are, because plaque and tooth decay never take a holiday.

Here are a few basic vacation dental tips and ways to keep your smile clean and healthy when you go on holiday, but the most important thing to bring along is a can-do attitude. Even though your daily routine is cast aside and you laze around aimlessly most of the time, your teeth and gums should never be neglected. Make a point of sticking to your dental hygiene schedule, even it seems like "work" to you.

Be Prepared For Anything And Everything

The last thing you want to do on vacation is spend valuable time searching for a local dentist in a strange place, so do a little homework before you leave. Even though the odds of having a dental emergency while on vacation are admittedly quite slim, it pays to be prepared for anything, so please keep these dental tips in mind. vacation smile dentist san clemente

Confirm with your dental insurance carrier to see if there will be any in-network providers at your destination, and what their policy is regarding emergency coverage. Don't forget to take your insurance card and keep it with your important travel documents.

See Kristen Ritzau DDS Before You Leave

It's always a good idea to schedule a dental appointment before your vacation, especially if you haven't been to Dr. Ritzau's office lately. It is so much easier to fix minor problems at home before they flare up in an unfamiliar city.

Air travel is stressful on your teeth because of the air pressure changes, and sensitive teeth may start to ache at higher altitudes. Dr. Ritzau will double-check all of your filling, caps and implants so they don't fall out unexpectedly.

Don't Forget To Floss

Along with these dental tips, you'll need to pack ALL of your dental hygiene items like toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste and mouthwash. Sticking to your daily dental care regimen when you're on vacation takes a little more willpower than usual, but it's absolutely necessary if you want a bright smile.

After all, vacations are definitely something to smile about.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Controlling plaque is key to fighting both tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque is the film that builds up on teeth over time. It consists of food particles mixed with saliva and is loaded with bacteria. If you fail to brush your teeth regularly, the plaque on your teeth will become hardened by the calcium and other minerals in your saliva to form a substance called tartar. Tartar is porous, so it is easily stained; tartar causes yellowed teeth and can also result in bad breath.Gum Disease Plaque and Tooth Decay The bacteria contained in plaque feed on the carbohydrates and sugar in food. These bacteria convert the carbohydrates and sugar into acid, which is held against the tooth by the plaque. Eventually, the acids dissolve the tooth enamel and cause decay. Tooth decay may be painless in its early stages but if the plaque is not removed, the tooth will rot all the way down to the nerves or the pulp.

Plaque and Gum Disease When plaque and tartar are allowed to remain on teeth, they irritate the gingiva. The gingiva is the part of the gums around the base of the teeth. This irritation is called gingivitis and causes the gums to become swollen and to bleed easily. Gingivitis can lead to gum disease, also known as periodontitis. Gum disease is the inflammation or infection of the bone below the gums. The disease causes the gums to recede away from the teeth and form pockets that collect plaque and bacteria. The resulting bone loss may eventually cause the teeth to start falling out.

Common Causes of Plaque Buildup and Gum Disease Factors that encourage gum disease include:

  • Poor dental hygiene.
  • Tobacco use in the form of smoking and chewing tobacco can keep gum tissue from healing.
  • Crooked or misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean thoroughly and therefore may allow for plaque buildup.
  • Diets that are high in carbohydrates and sugar or low in nutrients like vitamin C can create the perfect conditions for plaque and gum disease.

How Plaque is Removed Tartar is difficult to remove by brushing alone. Fortunately, dental professionals like Kristen Ritzau, DDS have the tools and skills needed to do the job. The process involves using ultrasonic tools to knock the tartar loose then finishing up with hand tools like scalers and curettes to scrape away the remaining deposits. In order to preserve your teeth, make sure to get routine dental check-ups and practice good oral hygiene to slow or prevent the buildup of tartar.

When to Replace Your Toothbrush?

With Spring in the air and warm weather just around the corner many are in the mood for some good old fashioned Spring cleaning. But, once your finished cleaning your home it's time to start thinking about your own personal health and hygiene as well. There's no better time than now to replace an old and worn out toothbrush with a new and updated model so you can keep your pearly whites in tip-top shape. Why It's Necessary To Replace Your Toothbrush

Since an old and worn out toothbrush no longer has the ability to clean your teeth correctly it's important to purchase a new one that can do the job right. As a general rule of thumb, your toothbrush should be replaced about once every three months. Otherwise its bristles will begin to wear out, rendering the toothbrush less effective, and an excessive amount of bacteria will start to accumulate. An old toothbrush also loses its ability to fully remove plaque and other debris from the teeth which could lead to dental problems down the road that could have otherwise been prevented.

Spring Cleaning

How To Care For Your Toothbrush

While still in the Spring cleaning mood, you should replace your toothbrush to ensure its cleanliness. You can also reduce the amount of bacteria your brush comes in contact with by storing it in a specific holder or a plastic case. In between uses you should also thoroughly wash your brush with water, or hydrogen peroxide, to remove any accumulated debris. It's also a good idea to replace your toothbrush after any illness, such as the flu or an infection, to minimize health risks.

Schedule Routine Dental Visits

Aside from brushing and flossing at home, scheduling annual visits to your dentist is truly the best way to ensure both a healthy and beautiful smile. Visiting a dentist on a regular basis, such as the office of Kristen Ritzau DDS, will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have when it comes to choosing a toothbrush that's right for you. By having a hygienist clean your teeth once every six months any plaque you may have missed can be removed to prevent the formation of cavities.  A professional dentist like Kristen Ritzau, DDS can also detect any issues before they become too serious by taking routine X-Rays to monitor your teeth.