Dr. Bjornbak’s News and Updates

Can You Handle A Dental Emergency?

Studio City CA after hours dental

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The answer is all of the above.

For any dental emergency or other oral condition, call an urgent dental care office or Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS in Sherman Oaks. We have been providing quality dental care for Sherman Oaks residents since 1987. If you add our address and phone number (818-465-9704) to your phone contacts right now, you won’t have to search for it in the case of an emergency. When trying to save a knocked-out tooth, every minute counts.

Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
Sherman Oaks, California

If My Gums Bleed, Should I Stop Flossing?

bleeding gums Sherman Oaks

This is an important question occasionally asked by patients at Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS. The answer, however, is “No!” Bleeding is probably a sign that you need to clean your teeth and gums more thoroughly – not leave them alone. It is impossible to clean effectively between teeth without using floss or an interdental brush.

If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times you use floss. The bleeding may be due to detrimental gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding frequently stops within a week or two.

Gingivitis (gum disease) and the more advanced periodontal disease is extremely common in California and around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of American adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease.

If you don’t make flossing a habit, and your gums become sore, swollen, and tender, it could cause gum disease. The good news is that, unlike tooth decay, gum disease can be reversed with improved oral hygiene.

It is vital to correctly use dental floss to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth:

  1. Cut a length of floss about 18 inches long.
  2. Securely wind each end around your middle fingers.
  3. Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with.
  4. Thread the floss between two teeth.
  5. Hold the floss tightly against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gumline. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s critical to scrape up and out of the pocket.
  6. Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface – especially those that your brush can’t reach. As you use a section of floss, unwind from one hand to access a clean piece. With 18 inches, you should have enough to provide a clean section for every tooth. If you run out, that’s okay. Just toss the used piece and cut a new one.

Some people find it easier to start on one end on the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the end on the opposite side. Then repeat for the bottom row. Whatever system you opt for, make sure you clean around every tooth, including the back surfaces of the last molars.

What if you continue flossing for a few weeks and still observe bleeding? Call Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS at 818-465-9704 to schedule a consultation. Michael Bjornbak, DDS, will perform a comprehensive examination to determine the cause of the bleeding.

Our goal is to help patients keep healthy teeth and gums. Our dental hygienists not only carry out the most thorough dental cleanings, they also educate patients on proper brushing and flossing. If you have a child who needs extra help learning how to brush and floss correctly, schedule an appointment with our Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS child-friendly team.

Some patients have perfectly healthy teeth and gums but are not satisfied with their smile due to cosmetic troubles. If you want to explore possibilities for improving your smile, speak with us today at 818-465-9704.

We offer state-of-the-art cosmetic dental procedures including teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, dental crowns, inlays/onlays, and tooth-colored filling replacement. Ask us about oral sedation options if you need help relaxing during dental treatment. You can trust in us to maintain the highest standard of safety and sterility at Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS.

Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
Sherman Oaks, California

Does Your Teen Have Unique Dental Challenges?

adolescent dental health

When it comes to oral health, adolescence is a pivotal time.The last of the permanent teeth come in, giving young people their “adult smile.” Good habits can be forged and reinforced. Teeth can be straightened with orthodontia, providing increased confidence when it is often sorely needed.

On the downside, some teenagers take up habits that are harmful to their teeth. Adolescents often don’t understand the importance of proper dental hygiene and how itimpacts lifelong oral health. Some develop teenage cavities that can cause recurring dental issues in later years.

Eating disorders are far too common among teenagers. Bulimia can cause enamel erosion, decay, and even complete tooth loss. We strongly recommend parents  to intervene immediately and seek appropriate medical care if they suspect their teen has an eating disorder.

The importance of diet cannot be overstated. Adolescence is a time when many kids decrease their calcium intake – a danger to both bones and teeth. The consumption of energy drinks and sugared soda also contribute to tooth and gum problems in teenagers.

Additionally, those use tobacco and illegal drugs have an increased risk of dental caries and oral cancer. Oral piercings can be extremely harmful. The health risks include tooth and gum damage, infection, allergic reactions, nerve damage, and excessive swelling that can block airways.

Teens who are undergoing orthodontic treatment often have a difficult time thoroughly cleaning their teeth. It is a challenge to fit toothbrush bristles and floss under dental hardware. Toothbrushes and flossing devices that squirt water can help clean their teeth and gums.

Make sure kids receive twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings.We’ll identify and treat oral issues in their early stages so that further damage can be prevented or minimized.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers the following essential guidelines for adolescent oral health:

Teens should drink fluoridated water.
Fluoride supplementation is recommended for high risk teens that don’t have access to fluoridated water (up to age 16).
Teens should use fluoridated toothpaste twice a day.
Teens should floss daily.1

To schedule a thorough teen dental examination and cleaning, call Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS at 818-465-9704. The team of compassionate dental professionals is passionate about oral health for patients of all ages.

1“Protecting All Children’s Teeth, Oral Health in Adolescence,”, accessed September 17,  2014

Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
Sherman Oaks, California

Dental Crowns At Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS

Dental Crowns at Sherman Oaks Dental - Michael Bjornbak, DDS in Sherman Oaks Dental crowns have been used in dentistry for over 2000 years. There is evidence that the Etruscans experimented with crowns on teeth using ivory and bone as early as 700 B.C. By 200 A.D., they began using gold crowns to construct artificial teeth. Ancient Egyptians fashioned tooth replacements out of seashells and then hammered them into their gums. (Oral sedation, anyone?)

Porcelain crowns were first used in the 1800s. With the refining of metal casting methods in the 1900s, crown dentistry advanced significantly.

Today, crowns are strong, comfortable and are made to match your surrounding teeth.

Dental crowns (also called caps) cover the entire visible portion of the tooth and are cemented in place. Crowns are used to strengthen teeth that have been worn down or weakened by decay or injury. Crowns are also used to restore the original shape of a tooth or solely to improve the appearance of a tooth.

The most common types of crowns are:

  • All-porcelain (ceramic)
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal
  • Gold

The material used is determined by several factors. If you suspect you need a crown, want to replace an old crown, or want to learn about other cosmetic dentistry procedures, call Dr. Michael Bjornbak at 818-465-9704. Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS is located at 4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101 in Sherman Oaks. We have been serving patients in the Sherman Oaks area since 1987. We can recommend the best tooth restoration or cosmetic dentistry option for you.

Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
Sherman Oaks, California

Bridging The Gap

cosmetic dental Sherman Oaks

Hello, Sherman Oaks smiles! Do you have a missing tooth that is detracting from your otherwise beautiful teeth? Let Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS fill the gap for you and help you get your dazzling smile back! A dental bridge could be the perfect solution for your missing tooth and help you chew and speak properly.

A bridge incorporates two or more crowns on either side of the gap created by your missing tooth. These two anchoring teeth let a false tooth to be held in place where the missing tooth should be. The false tooth that is placed in the gap is called a pontic. Bridges contain one or more pontics, and a pontic can be matched to the surrounding teeth if you decide on a porcelain material. If you’d like, a pontic can also be constructed using gold or an alloy.

Dr. Bjornbak will work closely with you to make sure that your bridge has a precise fit. Then one of our experienced hygienists will show you how to clean under and around the bridge to ensure that no tooth decay develops in the nooks and crannies.

Dr. Bjornbak has been successfully restoring smiles since 1987.Come see us at Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS and you can bridge the gap and love your smile again!

Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
Sherman Oaks, California

Remake Your Smile With Bonding And Shaping

Remake Your Sherman Oaks Smile With Bonding And Shaping

Hello, friends of Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DD! When you think about getting into shape, your teeth are probably not the first body parts that come to mind. But your dentist may be able to improve your smile with bonding and enamel shaping, and you won’t even have to join a gym!

I’m Dr. Michael Bjornbak, an experienced Sherman Oaks dentist, and today on my dental blog I want to explain a little more about these relatively conservative cosmetic dentistry procedures that can improve your smile without major remodeling.

Bonding is a great way to improve the appearance of teeth that are cracked, stained, broken, chipped, or have large spaces between them. When teeth are bonded, your dentist applies tooth-colored materials, and “bonds” them to the tooth surface.

Usually used in conjunction with bonding, enamel shaping is the process of modifying teeth by contouring or removing enamel. Something my patients love about enamel shaping is that it’s quick, painless, and the often dramatic results are immediate.

If you are looking for quality, affordable Sherman Oaks dental care, give us a call at 818-465-9704. Our compassionate dental team would be happy to answer any questions you have about any of our cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers and tooth whitening. We would love to explain the latest advances in teeth whitening, dentures, and dental crowns and let you see our gallery of before and after photos of smile makeovers.

If it has been a while since you have treated your teeth to a deep cleaning, call today to book an appointment with the most gentle yet thorough dental hygienists in Sherman Oaks!

Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
Sherman Oaks, California

What Have We Done For You Lately?

family dentist Sherman Oaks

At Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS, everything we do is for the well-being of our valued patients. We are enthusiastic about providing quality, compassionate dental care tailored to each patient’s individual needs.

We know that optimum oral health is an essential element of comprehensive physical health and that dentists do more that just “drill and fill.” Like your primary care doctor, Michael Bjornbak is an essential member of your family’s team of healthcare providers.

What Has Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS Done Lately?

  • Diagnosis and treatment of gum disease
  • Oral cancer checks
  • Diagnosis and treatment of chronic bad breath
  • Coordinated care with medical doctors for dental patients with cancer or other chronic conditions
  • Guidance on the oral health implications of medication side effects
  • Custom night guards for people who grind their teeth
  • Oral conscious sedation, patience, and compassion for patients with dental anxiety
  • Specialized care for woman who are pregnant
  • Pediatric dental advice for new parents
  • Emergency care for victims of a mouth injury
  • Referrals to and coordination with trusted specialists for procedures we don’t perform at Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS
  • Custom mouthguards for athletes of all ages
  • Guidance on correct dental hygiene
  • Diagnosis of bite issues
  • Replacement of old amalgam fillings
  • Improved confidence for cosmetic dental smile makeover recipients
  • In-office and at-home teeth whitening
  • Dental deep cleanings that include scaling and root planing for plaque and tartar removal

What Can We Do For You?

The compassionate team at Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS would love to help you with any of your dental needs, but we can’t help you unless you come in. To schedule an appointment, call 818-465-9704.

Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
Sherman Oaks, California

Why Look For The Seal?

Look For The Seal In Sherman Oaks

When you go to a drugstore or supermarket looking for toothpaste, mouthwash, teeth whitener, or other oral care product, make sure that it carries the seal of the American Dental Association. This is a quick way to make astute choices for the products you need to keep your mouth clean, healthy and free of dental caries.

You can rely on the American Dental Association (ADA), which only places their seal on a product after it has been evaluated to be safe as well as effective. This typically means that companies have to meet standards even higher than those required by law.

Making sure to purchase products with the seal is practically like shopping with your Sherman Oaks dentist or dental hygienist right by your side!

Hi, I’m Dr. Michael Bjornbak of Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS in Sherman Oaks. We also serve the Van Nuys and Studio City CA areas. We take pride in caring for our patients and, like the ADA, want you to have a healthy, beautiful smile.

Many of our patients want details about smile transformations. If you’d like to know what state-of-the art cosmetic dentistry can do for your smile, schedule an appointment and we’ll advise you on possible courses of treatment.

We offer:

    dental implants
    porcelain veneers
    teeth whitening

    Contact us at 818-465-9704 to schedule a consultation, examination, or deep teeth cleaning treatment. We hope to hear from you soon!

    Creating Beautiful, Healthy Smiles

    Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
    Sherman Oaks, California

    Do You Have A Thumbsucking Toddler?

    Open Bite For years, parents have been warned that thumb-sucking can cause future dental problems for their thumb-loving toddlers. One of these problems is a type of malocclusion called an open bite.

    An open bite occurs when the front teeth in the lower and upper jaw have been moved forward; often to the extent that they do not meet when the mouth is closed. In most cases, an open bite has been caused by thumb sucking, but pacifiers and tongue thrusting can also move teeth out of alignment.

    Tongue thrusting refers to an abnormal swallowing action in which the tongue is pushed forward during swallowing. Normally, the tongue is on the roof of the mouth and the teeth closed completely when swallowing. A tongue-thrusting habit can develop due to factors other than thumb sucking, though this is a common cause. Allergies, large tonsils, tongue size, jaw angle, muscular problems, frequent sore throats, and anything that makes swallowing difficult can result in a tongue-thrusting habit.

    At Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS, we diagnose bite problems in young dental patients. This includes underbites, overbites, crossbites and open bites. If dental treatment is started early in a child’s life, many bite issues and their associated problems can be prevented.

    Call Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS at 818-465-9704 to schedule a dental examination for your toddler or child. If you need dental treatment for your child and do not have dental plan insurance, talk to us about financing options.

    We offer comprehensive dental care in the greater Sherman Oaks area. Because our friendly staff puts our youngest patients at ease, your child can grow up without fearing visits to their family dentist.

    Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
    Sherman Oaks, California

    Super Smiles For Life

    implant dentures Sherman Oaks

    Your child should be naturally proud of his or her smile. It expresses joy, laughter, and fun! To make sure your child has a healthy and attractive smile, start early. Really early.

    Dr. Michael Bjornbak recommends that you bring your child in for their first dental visit soon after their first birthday. An early check is the first step in preventing troubles and setting the stage for lifelong dental health. Dr. Bjornbak will keep the visit short, but carry out a thorough visual examination to make sure there are no concerns.

    Our staff will advise you on good dental procedures at home, such as correct brushing and flossing. You will also be guided regarding healthy eating choices and the consequences of poor choices. It is especially essential to keep your toddler from eating sticky or hard candies that lodge in molars and spaces between teeth. It is also important to monitor the amount of juice they drink and keep it in a cup instead of a bottle.

    Any time sugary foods or drinks are in contact with teeth, the enamel is weakened from the acid those substances contain. Prolonged exposure begins to wear the enamel away, setting the stage for tooth decay. Unlike broken bones that regenerate, once enamel is gone, it’s essentially gone, though fluoride can remineralize weakened enamel to a small degree.

    Promoting a healthy, low sugar diet is always optimal for your toddler’s teeth. If your baby or toddler needs a bottle to calm down and go to sleep, make sure that the bottle contains only water.

    Other critical habits are to brush and floss your teeth in front of your child. (If you have never been regular flossing – it’s time to start!) Let them see that it is a priority and a comfortable habit in your life. Brush their teeth with a soft bristled brush and a small amount of toothpaste. Let them try it, but always go over their teeth afterward, making sure each tooth is brushed. When finished, give them a cup of water to help rinse the toothpaste out.

    Before your appointment, let your child know that their teeth are going to be checked. Dr. Bjornbak will help them feel proud of their effort and feel positive about their visit.

    Call Dr. Bjornbak at 818-465-9704 to schedule an appointment. Remember also to call any time between scheduled visits with any questions or concerns that might arise. We are committed to your child’s lifelong dental health.

    Dr. Bjornbak serves many families in the Sherman Oaks area with knowledge and compassion. Some of our patients come from Van Nuys, Studio City CA, and Sherman Oaks. We love working with children and will help your child have a good experience learning to care for their teeth.

    Each member of our compassionate team is committed to making our youngest patients feel safe and comfortable. Our patients enjoy the friendly atmosphere while benefitting from our state-of-the-art technology.

    Some of our most popular services include dental implants, porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. We are located at 4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101 in Sherman Oaks.

    Creating Beautiful, Healthy Smiles

    Contact Sherman Oaks Dental – Michael Bjornbak, DDS:


    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    4849 Van Nuys Blvd Ste 101
    Sherman Oaks, California


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