Kantor Dental Group

Is Teeth Whitening Safe For Me?


Hello, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here with Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California.

Today, I want to talk about whether or not whitening your teeth is safe. A lot of people ask me this question namely because they may have had sensitivity in their whitening treatment previously.

The quick answer is yes. Whitening at the dental office is very safe. We use either carbohydrate peroxide or hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. Different levels depending on different percentages, depending on the type of treatment we do. Whether at home or at the office; in the office being a much higher percentage.

We do it in a safe manner where it may make the teeth sensitive, but it will be a transient sensitivity. So, not to worry. Nothing will hurt your teeth. They’ll just look whiter. If the sensitivities too much, please just use ibuprofen to reduce the sensitivity. But again, it should only last a couple days.

If you have any more questions about teeth whitening or how to make your smile brighter. Give us a call here at Kantor Dental Group in San Rafael, California. Aesthetic dentistry and implantology, please subscribe.

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Are Root Canals Safe?

Hello, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here in San Rafael, California with Kantor Dental Group. Aesthetic dentistry and implantology.

Today, I want to talk about root canals and whether or not root canals are safe? There’s been a lot of stuff I’ve seen on Facebook and some other articles people have been sending me, that have shown that root canals can be reinfected, may have recurring infections. And, a lot of people are wondering are root canals safe? Is there bacteria left in the environment of a root canal that can be dangerous to your health?

So, let’s bring up a situation. Say you had tooth like this one with a big dark abscess at the bottom of it. In this case, this tooth can’t be saved, but if, let’s say it could be saved and you’re in pain. Is it worth saving? Should I get it root canal treated or should I not? Is it worth root canal treating it, or should I just pull it? Those are some questions that might go through your head.

My first answer is that root canals are very safe. Root canals have a success rate of over 95%. So, that means about one in twenty may need to be treated due to a recurrent infection. Recurrent infections are usually visible. You can either feel them or you can see them in the X-ray. In general, they’re not subclinical. Meaning they’re not just an infection that secretly leading bacteria into your bloodstream.

The way we do root canals can help you understand how sterile the environment is. First of all we separated it with either a rubber dam or an Isolite. We separate that from the rest of the mouth. Then, we clean it with copious amounts of sodium hypochlorite, which is essentially bleach. This has to be done for a minimum of 15 minutes. That 15 minutes allows it to sterilize the inside of that tooth before we fill it up. And then, when we fill it up we seal it. We usually seal it with a resin composite just like a filling. And, put a crown over it. So, it is a very sealed environment with unlikely recurrent infection.

So, then the question may occur… should do a root canal or an implant? And I’ll do a separate video on that. But that is an excellent question whether the tooth is worth saving. In the case of this picture behind me, due to all that decay, the dark spot in the tooth. That proves that tooth is not worth saving.

If you have any questions about the root canal, you can definitely come into our office if you’re in the area. But, you could also ask your dentist to see if they believe that root canals are sterile and have a low rate of recurrent infection.

Thanks for watching this video I hope that was helpful. And this is Kantor Dental Group, aesthetic dentistry and implantology. Please subscribe.

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How Abrasive Is Your Toothpaste?

Whitening toothpaste has become incredibly popular in recent years. Many people automatically buy whitening toothpaste without giving it a second thought. Unfortunately, many whitening toothpastes can be quite abrasive. Just how abrasive is your toothpaste? In some cases, actually abrasive enough to do long-term damage to your teeth.

To whiten effectively, whitening toothpastes contain a small amount of a bleaching agent but a lot of silica. The purpose of the silica is to rub stains off the surface of teeth. Because of the short amount of time toothpaste actually stays on your teeth, this silica is actually doing most of the whitening work, not the bleaching agents. The more effectively toothpaste whitens, the more likely it is very abrasive.

Over time, this abrasiveness can wear off dangerous amounts of teeth enamel. In fact, over time, this makes your teeth vulnerable to plaque and bacteria. Many dentists caution against long-term use of whitening toothpastes for just this reason. You may already be feeling the effects of this abrasiveness if your teeth are feeling sensitive but you have no cavity. Come talk to us at Kantor Dental to find out how we can reduce the damage.

How Can I Find Out If My Toothpaste Is Too Abrasive?

So is your current toothpaste too abrasive? There’s a simple way to find out. When toothpastes come to market, they have to disclose how abrasive they are. This abrasiveness is measured by an RDA (Relative Dentin Abrasivity) Value, or the toothpaste’s ability to cut dentin (the layer of teeth below enamel).

In RDA terms, anything under 70 is considered to have low abrasivity and should be safe for long-term use. An RDA score between 70-150 means the toothpaste has a medium to high abrasivity and it’s use should be monitored by a dentist. Once your toothpaste’s RDA is over 150, the abrasivity is likely dangerous in the long-term and should only be used for short periods of time. According to the FDA, no toothpaste should exceed an RDA of 200. The American Dental Association places the top limit at 250.

You can find the RDA of many popular toothpastes in the chart below. Check to see where your toothpaste falls. If it is over 150, you may want to consider switching to a less abrasive toothpaste to avoid damaging your enamel.

Type of Toothpaste RDA
Toothbrush with plain water 04
Plain baking soda 07
Weleda Salt Toothpaste 15
Elmex Sensitive Plus 30
Weleda Plant Tooth Gel 30
Arm & Hammer Dental Care 35
Weleda Children’s Tooth Gel 40
Arm & Hammer Advance Whitening/ Peroxide 42
Squiggle Enamel Saver 44
Weleda Calendula Toothpaste 45
Weleda Pink Toothpaste with Ratanhia 45
Oxyfresh 45
Arm & Hammer Dental Care Sensitive 48
Tom’s of Maine Sensitive 49
Arm & Hammer Peroxicare Regular 52
Rembrandt Original 53
Closys 53
Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Bold Mint 54
Tom’s of Maine Children’s 57
Supersmile 62
Rembrandt Mint 63
Colgate Regular 68
Colgate Total 70
Arm & Hammer Advance White Sensitive 70
Colgate 2-in-1 Fresh Mint 70
Biotene 78
Sensodyne 79
AIM 80
Close Up 80
Under the Gum 82
Colgate 2-in-1 Tartar Control/ Whitening 82
Colgate Sensitive Max Strength 83
Nature’s Gate 87
Aquafresh Sensitive 91
Tom’s of Maine 93
Rembrandt Plus 94
Oxyfresh with Fluoride 95
Crest Regular 95
Oxyfresh Powder 97
Natural White 101
Mentadent 103
Arm & Hammer Sensation 103
Sensodyne Extra Whitening 104
Colgate Platinum 106
Arm & Hammer Advance White 106
Crest Sensitivity Protection 107
Colgate Herbal 110
Amway Glister 110
Aquafresh Whitening 113
Arm & Hammer Advance White Gel 117
Arm & Hammer Sensation Tartar Control 117
Close Up with Baking Soda 120
Colgate Whitening 124
Crest Extra Whitening 130
Ultra Brite 133
Crest Multicare Whitening 144
Ultra Brite Advanced Whitening Formula 145
Pepsodent 150
Colgate Tartar Control 165
Arm & Hammer Dental Care PM Fresh Mints 178
FDA recommended upper limit 200
ADA recommended upper limit 250

Wisdom Teeth Recovery Tips


Hello, I’m Dr. Grey Kantor here with Kantor Dental Group. Here in San Rafael, California.

Today, I want to talk about what to expect after a wisdom tooth extraction or any extraction for that matter. Say you have a wisdom tooth, like this one right here. It’s tilted, it’s impacted, or it has cavities on it, or you’re getting it extracted for another reason. The most important thing to remember is to leave that area alone, or all four areas if you’re getting all four wisdom teeth taken out. You want to not touch the clot. There’s a clot being formed in the socket. That clogs delicate.

Things that can dislodge the clot are rinsing, swishing your mouth, that could dislodge the clot. Suction, things like straws or cigarettes – especially cigarettes will delay healing. Or, even small particle foods like popcorn or rice those can get caught in the clot and can make the healing slower. Staying away from those things will help if you’re a lot faster. So, that’s the number one thing to look out for.

Some things to expect are soreness. The dentist will most likely prescribe you a painkiller such as a hydrocodone, Vicodin, thing of that nature. If you don’t want that, taking a Tylenol together (if you can take it and are not allergic). Taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen together is a very powerful pain reliever and won’t give you that head change your dizziness things sometimes get with Vicodin.

The next thing to expect is, there is possibly some swelling and bruising in the area. Most likely you’ll see that the morning after. So, you’ll go to sleep at night and fluids are allowed to rush towards your head because you’re laying down and that will give you swelling in the morning. What you can do is either use a couple extra pillows so your heads above your heart. Or, in the morning, just sit up put some ice on it. The swelling will go down very quickly, not to worry about that. At our office, we also give you some ice to put on your face, so you can feel better right away.

The next thing to think about is bleeding. Bleeding can occur after the procedure, usually will be biting down on some gauze. But, the dentist will give you some extra gauze to bite down on. What you can do is, bite on that putting pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding keeps kind of just oozing out slowly. It’s really easy to just put some green tea bags, a little tea bags, just grab that from your, from your cupboard, and bite down on that. And, that will help the bleeding stop as well.

One last thing that may happen, it usually doesn’t, is sometimes you’ll feel a little sharp edges. Like bony edges in your mouth, that’s actually pretty normal. Usually those will work themselves away. Your body will round those off or they’ll exfoliate if it’s a piece of some sort of piece of fragment or something. If the edge doesn’t go away and it starts to hurt or poking something like your tongue. Definitely go see your dentist right away. He or she can help you with that.

Another less likely thing to happen is jaw pain. A lot of times, taking out implants requires putting pressure on your jaw and your jaw might be sore afterward. Again, this is something you can ice. Ice is very helpful for and it should go away very shortly. If it doesn’t, again talk to your doctor about that.

Other than that, wisdom teeth extraction can go very normally. I know when I got my wisdom teeth taken out, I had almost no pain the next day. I was very sleepy.

Hopefully that’s some good information for those of you about to get your wisdom teeth taken out. If you live in the area along get more information please come to our office, Kantor Dental Group is San Rafael, California. And please subscribe, thank you.

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What are wisdom teeth and do I need them?

Odds are that you know a lot of people who have had their wisdom teeth removed. You may be wondering whether or not you’ll need to get your wisdom teeth out– and if it’s safe. So what are wisdom teeth? Do you need yours?


The reality is that wisdom teeth are a relic of when we ate more chewy foods. When our diets included sticks and other tough plants, our molars wore out faster. Wisdom teeth provided a replacement.


Nowadays, you don’t need wisdom teeth. Softer diets and better oral hygiene mean that our molars aren’t likely to wear out, so these replacements are redundant. In fact, wisdom teeth don’t really fit in our mouths. The average person’s mouth can only hold 28 teeth without overcrowding. Wisdom teeth make that number 32, which is why wisdom teeth often can cause bite problems, pain, and misalignment.


Should I Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?


If you don’t need your wisdom teeth, does that mean they should be taken out? That really depends on your mouth. Some people can go their whole lives without any problems associated with their wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, many people do experience such issues, which is why you should visit your dentist regularly, especially in your teens and 20s (when wisdom teeth are growing in).


Your dentist will monitor the growth of your wisdom teeth for signs that they may be painful or problematic later in life. If they see potential issues, your dentist will recommend a surgery to remove your wisdom teeth. Some common reasons you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed include:


  • Impacted teeth: If there isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt through your gums, they can become impacted, which can hurt! Impacted teeth also can develop cysts, which do damage to other teeth and your jaw.
  • Irritated gums: When wisdom teeth grow in awkwardly, they can irritate your gums. This inflames the gums and makes them more susceptible to infection. This inflammation can ultimately make your wisdom teeth more prone to cavities, too.
  • Sinus pressure: If your wisdom teeth push against the jaw uncomfortably, this can cause sinus pressure and pain as you age.
  • Misaligned bite: Wisdom teeth usually don’t fit in your mouth well. This can mean that wisdom teeth won’t always erupt straight. This can push teeth out of the way, ultimately misaligning your entire bite. A misaligned bite isn’t just a cosmetic problem, either. It can cause uneven wear on teeth and pain.
  • Cavities:Wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth that they are very hard to fill.  So a moderate size cavity may be enough to condemn the tooth.


If you are worried about your wisdom teeth, the best thing you can do is talk to a dentist. At Kantor Dental, we have helped thousands of patients make informed decisions about their wisdom teeth. Let us help you do the same.

Which Teeth Whitening Method Should I Use?

You brush and you floss, and you brush and you floss, and still, your smile just isn’t as bright as you’d like it to be. The good news is, you’re not alone. Millions of people experience discoloration of their teeth for a variety of reasons. Even with regular visits to the dentist for your cleanings your teeth just may not be the pearly whites you’d like them to be. Luckily, there are many more options to whiten them than there ever have been.


You could go the DIY route (Do It Yourself) and try some over the counter remedies. After all they are the most affordable. They might also not be as effective as you are hoping they will be and can contain abrasives that may damage teeth over time. There are toothpastes, gels, rinses, pre-made whitening trays, and the ever famous strips. The toothpastes are typically the least effective and do not have the bleaching agents to really make teeth bright white. The gels and rinses can help but may also not be that effective. The pre-made trays can be uncomfortable and may cause some gum irritation. Of all the over-the-counter remedies, the white strips are typically the winners with experts and customers.


To be clear, your best bet for whitening your teeth starts with consulting a professional. Make sure you check in with your dentist to understand the full scope of what you’re trying to accomplish. The main reason for checking in with your dentist is that there can be a lot of confusion and possible misinformation about the whitening process. Most importantly though, professional, dentist-supervised treatment is safer and more dependable than doing it yourself. Talk with your dentist.


Another reason for talking with your dentist is that you could get a result you don’t want or no results at all. For instance, people with restorations such as crowns or veneers on front-facing teeth. Also, if you have intrinsic stains (stains below the enamel), extreme tooth sensitivity, or worn enamel, you might not be a good candidate. People with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) should also make sure to consult a dentist first.


For those that are good candidates, most dentists offer options for whitening in the office or in the comfort of your home. Side effects of whitening are rare and generally mild, while the treatment is easy and convenient.


In-Home whitening procedures are pretty straight forward and offer much more dramatic effects than the over-the-counter options. You would get a set of custom-made trays and the gel to put in them. The gel prescribed for home care is generally more mild than the in-office treatment and poses little risk of irritation. You’ll wear your trays for a while every day as prescribed by your doctor to get the results you’re looking for. Very simple, and still pretty cost effective.


Finally, there is the in-office treatment. This treatment typically makes the most dramatic impact. Sometimes using special lights optimized to work in concert with the gel, giving you a dazzling smile. On occasion, to get the very best result you might be encouraged to do a combination of in-house and home whitening.


The array of options available to whiten your teeth now is dazzling. As we mentioned before, if you really want the very best bright smile you can get, talk to a professional first. Book an appointment with Dr. Kantor and ask what your best options are to get your brightest smile as soon as possible.

How long does it take for anesthesia to wear off

It would be nice if there were a simple, clear answer to this question, however, the number of variables involved make it very difficult to be precise. To answer this question there are a number of factors that we need to consider. Is the question really about anesthesia, or is it about sedation? What kind of anesthesia are we talking about? Who is it being used on? And the list goes on and on, so let’s explore some of these questions in our search for an answer.

Many times when people are asking about how long it will take for anesthesia to wear off, they are really asking how long they are going to be groggy or “out of it.” In this case, what we’re really talking about is general anesthesia. Depending on the type of treatment being performed, you might be surprised to find out that dental work is not commonly done under a general anesthesia, but may be performed under something called sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is a whole other topic that we addressed in another article RIGHT HERE

When it comes to anesthesia, this is a question of how long will something be numb. Anesthesia is about temporarily reducing the loss of sensation and as it turns out, there are a variety of ways to do this. Understanding that general anesthesia is more about allowing people to sleep, we’ll discuss the other two types; topical or local. When it comes to topical anesthesia, it is very common for dentists to use something like benzocaine or lidocaine in a gel or spray to make the area numb where they plan to administer an injection. This topical anesthesia typically wears off in as little as half an hour.

Local anesthesia is more complex than topical anesthesia. Local anesthesia is administered through an injection, typically very close to the area where the dentist will be working. The types of local anesthesia range from a nerve block, to infiltration, to other more technical procedures that are really unnecessary to go into for the purposes of our main question. How long does it take for anesthesia to wear off.

The challenge in guessing the duration anesthesia will last is that it not only depends on the type of anesthesia being administered, but who it is being administered to. Your own genetic makeup, body type, reaction to medications, time of day, metabolism and nutrients in your system are all contributing factors in how long the medicine will last. Given all of those variables and understanding that results will vary from person to person, however general rule of thumb is about 3 hours from administration. As always, please make sure to check with your dentist to get their professional opinion of what you can expect in regards to your procedure.

Two Types Of Dental Veneers – Which Is Right For You?

Dr. Kantor talks about the pro’s and con’s of the two types of veneers (composite or porclein) you can get in today’s video blog.


Hello, I’m Dr. Greg Kantor here with Kantor Dental Group. Aesthetic dentistry and implantology. Today, I want to talk about (dental) veneers.

Veneers can be either composite, meaning built up in the office, or made of porcelain, meaning the dentist takes an impression and they send it out to the lab.

They’re both very good and can give you a much-increased look in your smile. One however, veneers, I think will last longer. And, they also, initially, I think look better. The reason for this is the veneers are done in the lab. And, when they’re done in the lab they can be done outside your mouth. The dentist or lab technician can look at it. We’re not worried about time and create the perfect shape, color and lip line that will just be perfect for your smile.

Ones done in the office, time is of the essence. The composite ones in the office don’t keep their sheen as well. They have a more prone to staining and they may not be perfect in shape But, of course they will still look good. The price difference though, the composite ones are cheaper.

So, if you have any questions about this or would like to know more about veneers and the types that you go with, definitely give us a call here at Kantor Dental Group. Aesthetic dentistry and implantology. Please subscribe.

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How to make your teeth white in time for the holidays.

Here comes the holidays! Before you know it you’ll be up your teeth in pumpkin spice, presents, relatives, enormous buffets, and family photos! While the relatives might scare you more than the buffets do, you know you’ll want to look back on this holiday season and be happy with your shiny smile. Of course you will want to continue your comprehensive oral hygiene strategy of regular brushing and flossing, but maybe you owe it to yourself for a little upgrade with that smile and it’s not too late for the photos.

One of the greatest concerns associated with teeth whitening is whether or not it’s going to be painful. Because some products can cause harm to the gums and teeth, it’s best to discuss your whitening with your dentist. For the most part, there’s no real pain associated with teeth whitening processes in our practice, though there can be some temporary heightened sensitivity afterwards, depending on the method used. The other primary concern is whether it’s safe or not. All of the methods described here are considered safe as long as they’re done under the supervision of a qualified dentist.

With all the running around you have to do for the holidays, you may want to take advantage of a product like Opalescence Go. With the pre-formed trays for both upper and lower teeth, you can use this product while running around in your car or just bouncing around the house putting together the next feast.

Another great option for whitening uses custom trays that are made for your teeth and are filled with a syringe. They’re pretty easy to use at home, maybe in the evening while you’re watching tv after a long day of shopping. The whitening trays will take about 7-10 days before you’re done and the results are really noticeable.

Finally, if you’re really pressed for time, you could take advantage of laser whitening. Using a 40% solution of carbamide peroxide with your laser treatment could result in as much as two shades of whitening in just one office visit. Again, you’ll want to make sure this is done by a certified professional for safety and the best results.

So there you have it. If you want to treat yourself to a dazzling smile for all of your seasonal family photos, you’ve still got time. Ask your dentist what the best option is for you and let your smile help you spread some holiday happiness!

What Causes Adult Tooth Loss?

Well, we’re all going to have to get dentures eventually, right? Surprise, you don’t have to! For the past few decades, dental science has actively and successfully promoted the idea of teeth for life. As with many health considerations, the greatest challenge is all about education. If you know what causes adults to lose their teeth, then you have the opportunity to keep it from happening!

These five points about adult tooth loss will help you keep your teeth well into your twilight years.

1. Regular Check Ups
Let’s get right to it. Putting off dental treatment can and does lead to tooth loss. Even with a proper oral hygiene regimen, regular check ups with your dentist are a vital strategy for keeping your teeth. The reality is that you just can’t properly clean every part of your teeth that will keep them healthy and strong. Your dentist or hygienist can clean those impossible locations and keep your teeth and the connecting tissue in top shape.

2. Good Oral Hygiene
The primary reasons for tooth loss are tooth decay and gum disease. The tissues around the tooth begin to recede and eventually can no longer hold the tooth in place. Brushing twice per day, and flossing once per day, is the prescribed recipe for successfully keeping your teeth. Make it a habit and stick with it!

3. Dietary Habits
Can you just hear your mother now? “You keep eating that and you’re gonna rot your teeth out.” Turns out Mom is right again. Too much candy, gum, or other sugar-loaded treats contribute to tooth decay in a big way. That sugar wraps itself around the tooth and wears away at the enamel. Do yourself a favor and eat some fruit. You know it will benefit you more than just keeping your teeth.

4. Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Studies have shown consistently that smoking cigarettes and using chewing tobacco products both contribute to gum disease which, in turn, leads to tooth loss. This shouldn’t be a secret by now. Clearly it’s not an easy thing to stop, but it really is in your best interest. Putting down the pack is a great way to increase your chances of chewing in your senior years.

5. Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth might sound like an innocent little problem, but it really can be quite damaging. Your teeth are literally grinding away at each other. You can eventually break down your enamel and open the tooth up to decay. If you’ve been told that you grind your teeth while you sleep, make an appointment with your dentist. They may be able to fit you with a simple device to keep this from happening. Better sleep, less headaches, and keep your teeth. Sounds like a good plan all around.

Keeping your teeth is not an instant-cure proposition, it’s a long term commitment. It’s a lifestyle. Have a great maintenance program, drop a couple of bad habits, be proactive, and you’ll get to keep smiling that bright toothy smile!