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What does teeth whitening have to do with dental implants?

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Restorative dental work isn’t just about restoring function to your smile, the best restorative treatment takes the look, feel and function of your smile into account.

If you are missing a tooth the best treatment for that is implant dentistry—that is, provided you have adequate jawbone density and oral health.

Without adequate jawbone density there will be nothing for the dental implant to fuse with, making implant dentistry not a viable option. The same goes with poor oral health or smoking.

If you suffer from gum disease this will need to be treated prior to any restorative work. The reason being gum disease, if left untreated, can progress to an advanced form called periodontitis which can cause tooth loss.

Dental implants

If you are a suitable candidate for implant dentistry, you will eventually need to consider the appearance of your natural teeth.

Implant dentistry is the placement of a dental implant and a prosthetic crown replacement: either a dental crown or bridge depending on your needs. This process takes around 3 to 6 months depending on the location of the missing tooth and the length of time it takes your jaws to heal around the implant.

The part of the treatment that takes the longest is the process of osseointegration. This is where your jawbone fuses with the implant, creating a strong and sturdy tooth root replacement. The next step is the placement of an abutment which a prosthetic crown will be attached to.

Teeth whitening and implant dentistry

When it comes time to place the prosthetic crown it will be color-matched to the shade and color of your natural teeth. And it cannot be bleached. What this means is that if after the placement of the prosthetic tooth you opted for teeth whitening, the implant crown would not be affected and so it would stand out against your newly whitened teeth.

To avoid this from happening you should consider the appearance of your smile and whether or not you wish to whiten your natural teeth prior to the placement of the implant crown.

At Curtis Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks we offer a teeth whitening treatment that is safe, quick and inexpensive. Our take-home whitening kit can whiten your smile up to 8 shades in just two weeks. All you have to do is wear special custom-made splints for 3 to 4 hours a day and you’ll soon notice amazing results.

Once you are happy with the shade and color of your smile we can then take impression for your implant crown. This impression will be sent off to the lab where your implant crown will be fabricated and then sent back to us.

A dental implant treatment replaces a tooth like no other treatment. If you are looking for a treatment that replaces the whole tooth, and provides health benefits for your gums and jaws, please contact Curtis Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you, or to book an appointment at our Thousand Oaks practice, please contact us today.

Teeth whitening is an integral part of restoring your smile

Are you happy with the color of your smile?

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If you could change something about your smile, what would it be? Do you wish your teeth were a little whiter? A little longer? Are there chips and cracks you’d like to conceal?

Want to make the change but aren’t sure how to get started?

Curtis Couch DDS in Thousand Oaks offers a range of cosmetic dentistry procedures to help give you a healthy, natural-looking smile.

What cosmetic dentistry can do for you

There are a number of ways your smile can be cosmetically enhanced which will look and feel natural. Whether you are looking to have dental veneers, veneers, bonding or Invisalign Dr. Couch can assess your oral health and determine which treatments will give you the best results.

Before undergoing cosmetic dentistry it is necessary to ensure you have good oral health. Problems such as decay and gum disease must be treated prior to any restorations being placed. Failure to do so can result in the restorations failing.

Cosmetic dentistry can whiten, brighten and straighten your smile. The health of your teeth will factor into which treatment will best achieve your cosmetic desires.

Cosmetic dentistry in Thousand Oaks

Dr. Couch is a well-respected dentist with a history of success. If you are looking to improve the appearance of your smile, or require restorative treatments such as dental crowns, bridges or implant dentistry, Dr Curtis Couch is the dentist to go to.

If you are going to have dental veneers, or dental crowns, placed on a few teeth you need to consider the appearance of your whole smile. Porcelain restorations are matched to the shade and color of your teeth, so if you want a brighter smile it is important you have tooth whitening treatment prior to the restorations being placed.

The main reason for this is that porcelain restorations cannot be whitened. So if you were, later down the track, to want your teeth whitened this would prove problematic.

By discussing your desired outcome with Dr Couch, he will be able to tailor a treatment plan to suit your needs.

Teeth whitening at our Thousand Oaks dental practice

Curtis Couch DDS offers patients Zoom tooth whitening. This whitening treatment takes an hour and can whiten your teeth up to eight shades.  After the in-office treatment you will be provided with take-home kit to help maintain your newer whiter smile. Typically, the results from whitening, provided you continue to look after your teeth, will last up to nine months. However, this does vary from patient to patient.

If you would like to know more about teeth whitening, and how Curtis Couch DDS can help you, please contact us today.

What are dental implants

Replacing a missing tooth has never been easier with this restorative treatment

what are dental implants

When considering your oral health, replacing a missing tooth is important to maintain optimal oral health. But what is the best treatment for your situation?

The thing about tooth loss is there can be many different reasons for it. Reasons such as accident, injury, tooth decay or gum disease can all cause tooth loss.

If you have lost a tooth from gum disease this will need to be treated prior to any restorative work. If a tooth has been knocked out Dr. Curtis Couch will need to assess the health of your jaw and gums to ensure there’s no other trauma.

Knowing the cause of tooth loss informs the best way to approach treatment. The most effective treatment for tooth loss is always implant dentistry. This is because unlike dental bridges, implant dentistry—in three phases over six months—replaces the whole tooth.

Replacing the whole tooth

When you lose a tooth it affects the health of your jawbone. The particular bone that holds a tooth root in place starts to atrophy. This process happens as soon as you lose a tooth.  This process occurs because without a tooth there is no stimulation for jawbone growth.

With implant dentistry you replace a tooth and help to maintain the health of your jaw.

What are dental implants?

Implant dentistry is the best way to replace a missing tooth. This treatment involves the placement of a dental implant and a prosthetic tooth attachment. The dental implant is a medical-grade titanium screw that is placed at the site of the missing tooth root.

Being made from medical-grade titanium the dental implant is biocompatible with your jaw, so there is only a miniscule chance your body could reject the implant. It should be noted that the success rate of implant dentistry is more than 96%.

When dental implants are placed at the site of the missing tooth root, a process known as osseointegration takes places. This is where your jawbone fuses to the dental implant—osseointegration takes between 3 to 4 months depending on a number of factors such as whether or not the implant is placed in the upper or lower jaw; and your body’s natural ability to heal.

Why dental implants are always the best option for replacing a missing tooth

One of the few obstacles to implant dentistry is jawbone density. Without adequate jawbone density the risk of implant failure is high. That is why during your initial consultation x-rays are taken to ascertain the health of your jawbone.

If you lack adequate jawbone density, you will require a bone graft. This surgical procedure will give you the jawbone density you require for the placement of a dental implant.

Why don’t I just get a dental bridge and avoid the jaw surgery?

The problems with getting a dental bridge that isn’t supported by a dental implant are: it doesn’t provide the same support for your jaw and it requires two healthy teeth to be shaved down for crowns.

Jawbone shrinkage can cause further tooth loss. It can cause a bad bite and it can cause headaches, neck and back pain.  A combination of implant dentistry and jaw surgery will help to stimulate your jawbone and prevent further atrophy.

If you would like to know more about implant dentistry, and how Curtis Couch DDS in Thousand Oaks can help you, please contact us today.

Implant dentistry is the best way to replace a missing tooth

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Dental implants are the most effective and efficient treatment for tooth loss

Whether you’ve lost a tooth or you’ve lost teeth, implant dentistry is the healthiest treatment. Other forms of tooth replacement treatment only replace the crown of your tooth, neglecting the health of your jawbone.

When you lose a tooth the jawbone that ‘holds’ the bone in place starts to atrophy. This happens as soon as you lose a tooth. The sooner you replace a missing tooth the better it is for your oral health. The longer you leave the gap the more the bone atrophies and this can—over a considerable period of time—lead to further tooth loss.

Once this jawbone atrophies it does not grow back. The only thing that can be done is either bone grafting or bone augmentation surgery to give you adequate jawbone for implant dentistry.

If you are wondering if it would be easier to just get dentures instead, think about this: without a tooth root, artificial or not, to support your jawbone, the bone will atrophy. It’s why you may have noticed people with dentures/missing teeth have that sunken appearance.

Dental implant treatment at Curtis Couch D.D.S

At our Thousand Oaks dental practice we offer a range of dental treatments to give you the best results. From cosmetic to restorative we can help you achieve a healthy, natural-looking smile.

When you visit Curtis Couch D.D.S for your initial consultation, your oral health will be assessed and we will discuss with you the nature of implant dentistry.

The treatment takes between 4 to 6 months. The length of treatment depends on a number of factors. For instance:

  • Where the implant is placed. If it’s placed in the upper jaw it will take longer than if it’s placed in the lower jaw.
  • State of your oral health.
  • State of your general health.
  • Your body’s natural ability to heal.
  • If you are a smoker. This can adversely affect treatment time, because smoking does affect your body’s natural ability to heal.

The process of your jaw fusing to the dental implant—known as osseointegration takes at least 3 months. When your jaw has fused around the implant you will have a strong and sturdy tooth root for the porcelain restoration to be attached. At the end of the treatment you will have a whole tooth replacement that will look and feel like a natural tooth.

Taking care of your dental implants

While dental implants are not susceptible to decay, they can be affected by gum disease. Looking after your prosthetic tooth is as simple as looking after your natural teeth. You still need to brush, floss and visit the dentist every six months.

The dental implant itself will – in the majority of cases – last for life. The restoration attached (dental crown, bridge or denture) usually lasts around 10 to 15 years depending on how well you look after them.

If you are missing a tooth, or teeth, we strongly recommend you visit us at our Thousand Oaks dental practice for a consultation. We will assess your oral health and determine what the best course of treatment for you is.

To find out more about how Curtis Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks can help you, or to make an appointment, please contact us today.

Could antidepressants increase risk of dental implant failure?

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Antidepressants have been reported to increase the risk of bone fracture and reduce bone formation

Dental implants are the most effective treatment for replacing teeth. There are really only 3 cases when placing dental implants is not a viable option: if you are smoker, if you have periodontitis and if you take certain medications.

Smoking

Many dentists and prosthodontists will not treat smokers because of the high risk of implant failure associated with smokers. There is a higher than normal risk of implant failure with smokers because of the effects of smoking on a person’s health. Aside from the possibility of various cancers and other deadly illnesses, smoking negatively affects your body’s ability to heal naturally. What this means is that there is a good chance that the osseointegration process will not be successful.

Periodontitis

While it is true dental implants and dental crowns are not susceptible to decay, they are susceptible to gum disease.

Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease and causes the inner layer of your gum to pull away from the teeth to form pockets. These pockets collect debris and can become infected. If left untreated the bone and the tissue holding your teeth in pace start to break down.

Since dental implants act as an artificial tooth root there is nothing to stop periodontitis from forming around them. So before dental implants are placed, periodontitis must be first treated. Although it is important to realise that periodontitis is not curable: only treatable.

Antidepressants

The jury is still out on this one. The most recent study, which looked at data from 2007 to 2013, concluded that patients not on antidepressants had a failure rate of 4.62%. Patients on antidepressants had a failure rate of 10.64%. This failure rate is almost equal to that of smoking.

The reason the jury is still out on the antidepressants is because this study was retrospective: the data was collected after the fact. Which means it’s difficult to ascertain the dosage of antidepressant capable of causing bone fracture and reduced bone formation. What this research has reinforced is the importance of patient’s sharing their full medical history prior to any surgery. This research has also demonstrated the need for a further research on the subject.

Dental Implants from Curtis Couch D.D.S

At our Thousand Oaks dental practice we offer implant dentistry to suitable candidates. Unlike any other form of tooth replacement treatment, implant dentistry replaces the whole tooth. The dental implant, a biocompatible titanium screw, replaces the tooth root and fuses with your jawbone. Then either a dental crown or bridge is placed to replace a missing tooth or teeth.

If you are looking for a dentist in Thousand Oaks who can replace your missing teeth with the best tooth replacement treatment, give Curtis Couch D.D.S a call. The dental implant part of implant dentistry can last for life; and the porcelain restoration – dental crown or bridge – will last for 10 to 15 years.

To find out more about how Curtis Couch D.D.S can help you, or to make an appointment at our Thousand Oaks dental practice, please contact us today.

Explaining dental implants with infographics

 

Knowing your options when facing tooth loss

If you are faced with tooth loss it’s essential to know what the next best thing to your natural tooth is. Fortunately in almost every situation replacing missing teeth with a dental implant is the next best thing to your real teeth.

Curtis R. Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks provides dental implants to help patients recapture the health and appearance of their smile.

What is a dental implant?

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A dental implant is a tiny titanium post which is placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.

You dental implant options

Missing teeth can be replaced with a dental implant that supports a:

  • Crown
  • Bridge

A crown supported dental implant

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A dental crown supported implant is often suitable for those who have experienced single tooth loss.

A bridge supported dental implant

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A bridge supported dental implant is suitable for people who have lost a number of teeth. While bridges can be a suitable option, it is important to support them with a dental implant the instance of several missing teeth in order to stimulate the jawbone.

Protecting the jawbone

When you lose a tooth there’s nothing there to stimulate the jaw bone and so it gradually starts to shrink. Over time this can give your face a shrunken and aged appearance. A dental implant looks after your jaw bone health as chewing and biting stimulates the jaw bone promoting jaw bone density.

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When you lose a tooth there’s nothing there to stimulate the jaw bone and so it gradually starts to shrink. Over time this can give your face a shrunken and aged appearance. A dental implant looks after your jaw bone health as chewing and biting stimulates the jaw bone promoting jaw bone density.

Comprehensive care with Curtis R. Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks

When you visit Curtis R. Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks our dental professionals will assess your oral health to determine what the best option is for your oral health. If dental implants are the treatment for you—and they are rarely not—we will inform you of what you can expect during the treatment.

To find out more about dental implants, or to book an appointment, please contact us today.

5 things a Dental X-Ray Can Show You

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Radiographs or x-rays are sometimes necessary to expose problems that are not viewable or diagnosable by the naked eye.

Here at Curtis Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks we will always recommend coming to see us for a check-up, which sometimes can include a dental x-ray.  A lot of the time we have patients ask us why a dental x-ray is necessary for them, in which case we always tell them that it can expose problems that we cannot see (although we may suspect).

Today we’re going to discuss 5 things which a dental x-ray can tell us.

Cavities beneath the gum line

Cavities generally show as black shadows on your x-ray. This can give your dentist a gage on how severe the infection is and in some cases can make a difference between getting a filling or performing root canal therapy. The dental x-ray will show how severely the roots are affected and how deep the infection is.

Why would it be recommended: If you have notified your dentist that you’ve been feeling pain in the jaw or beneath your gum this can be a symptom of a deep cavity. If your dentist notices a significant cavity in the surface of your teeth they may also recommend an x-ray.

Periodontal disease

If your gums are inflamed and you have severe plaque then your dentist may examine further for periodontal disease. Gum disease manifests as dark shading around the bottom of your tooth roots in the gum. A healthy gum will look a pale grey while a diseased gum will look dark around the roots.

Why would it be recommended: If you have other symptoms of gum disease like inflamed and sensitive gums as well as general tooth pain and severe plaque. You are at higher risk of this if you smoke.

Impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth

This is a common problem which affects a majority of people. A dental x-ray will determine if your teeth are growing correctly below the surface and when it comes to your wisdom teeth this is extremely important. Most people’s wisdom teeth grow on an angle towards their healthy teeth which is dangerous and potentially painful. Impacted wisdom teeth will be exposed even if they have not yet surfaced so you can get them removed as soon as possible. For wisdom teeth removal in Thousand Oaks please contact Curtis Couch D.D.S.

Why would it be recommended: If you have noticed your wisdom teeth surfacing or if you have pain in the back of your mouth your dentist will recommend this – especially if you are between 17 and 25 years old.

Abnormal growths

An x-ray may be recommended to look inside an abnormal growth. This can help diagnose oral cancer or in some cases benign growths.

Why would it be recommended: If your dentist notices an abnormal growth or a change in colour or texture in a small part of your mouth.

The effects of smoking

Smoking is a vaso-constrictor which causes the contraction of blood vessels and reduces the effectiveness of circulation. This therefore decreases blood flow to gums and bone as well as the roots of your teeth. This can slowly kill your teeth by depriving them of blood and eventually they can fall out. If you are a smoker then it’s important that you receive a regular x-ray to keep the health of your teeth intact. Of course (although we cannot force you) you should make an attempt to quit smoking if you want healthy teeth.

Why would it be recommended: If you are a smoker, especially if you smoke a lot of cigarettes a day. This may also be recommended if you have authority to use medical marijuana.

For more information on dental x-rays please contact Curtis Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks, CA. We can also perform x-rays as part of a Thousand Oaks dental check-up.

Are you missing a tooth? Dental implants may be the ideal solution for you

dental-implant-blogMissing a tooth can affect your oral and general health

Before we even talk about replacing a missing tooth a dentist will want to know is why you have lost the tooth?

There are number of reasons why you might lose a tooth. Three of the reasons are:

  1.  Injury
  2.  Decay
  3.  Gum disease

If injury is treated early on it is not likely to cause further tooth loss. However both decay and gum disease (periodontal disease) can, if left untreated, cause further tooth loss.

Before any restorative or cosmetic dentistry is performed gum disease and/or decay will need to be treated

Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. This is an insidious disease but it is also the most easy to prevent. Gum disease comes in two stages: gingivitis and periodontal disease. Gingivitis is curable but if it progresses to periodontal disease this is not curable. Periodontal disease is a chronic disease that can only be treated and managed.

While dental implants are impervious to decay they are not impervious to gum disease. This is because advanced gum disease causes the gum to pull away from the tooth root.

Dental implant procedure

The dental implant process takes between 4 to 6 months. The reason for this is it takes 12 weeks for the dental implant to integrate with the jaw bone. This is a process known as osseointegration and involves the jawbone fusing to the implant. Once the implant fuses it will act as a strong and sturdy tooth root.

Once the implant has fused, an abutment will be attached to the implant and then the gum is left to heal. The stage is the placement of the dental crown, bridge or denture.

At the completion of your dental implant treatment your whole tooth will have been replaced giving you a whole tooth solution.

Which is why you should get dental implant treatment

No other treatment looks after your oral health as comprehensively. The dental implant looks after your jaw bone health: chewing and biting stimulates the jaw bone promoting jaw bone density.

When you lose a tooth there’s nothing there to stimulate the jaw bone and so it gradually starts to shrink. Over time this will give your face a shrunken and aged appearance.

If you have inadequate jawbone density you may require a bone graft in order to make the treatment viable. Otherwise a denture or dental bridge can be placed depending on how many teeth need to be replaced.

When you visit Curtis R. Couch D.D.S in Thousand Oaks we assess your oral health and will determine what the best option is for your oral health. If dental implants are the treatment for you—and they are rarely not—we will inform you of what you can expect during the treatment.

To find out more about dental implants, or to book an appointment, please contact us today.

The importance of a healthy smile

Oral Cancer

 

Having a healthy set of teeth is not difficult to achieve but it can be essential to your overall health and wellbeing…

At Curtis R Couch DDS in Thousand Oaks California we are determined to help our patients maintain their oral health. Often patients are aware of how to keep their teeth clean but are unaware of how important it is. Oral cancer is a serious disease and is more prevalent than you might think, in fact close to 43,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year.

 

Non-smokers can get oral cancer too

While smoking and chewing tobacco may increase your risk of oral cancer, it is not the only cause of this disease. Everyone can get oral cancer, at any age, and many develop the cancer without even knowing they have anything wrong. The symptoms often manifest as a small mouth ulcer which is why many people think nothing of it. It’s important to have your mouth examined for any cancerous spots during your regular six monthly checkups. Dr. Couch is extremely experienced and able to check your mouth easily and quickly during your general checkup to determine if there are any concerning areas that require further testing.

Your general appointment at Curtis R Couch DDS

Here at our Thousand Oaks practice we pride ourselves on providing a comfortable environment for our patients. It is your comfort that we prioritize during your general checkup and our team of highly trained dental professionals will ensure your visit is informative and relaxing. Not only will we assess your mouth for any concerning ulcers or spots but Dr Couch will also determine whether you require any further restorative treatment. For those patients who wish to seek cosmetic or restorative treatments, Curtis R Couch DDS offers a variety of dental treatments to suit your needs.

To learn more about treatments available for your missing tooth or teeth call 805 497 8077 or contact us online.  

 

 

3 Reasons why you need to replace your missing teeth

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Missing teeth should not just be an aesthetic concern; in fact the undesirable look of a gap between two teeth will be the least of your worries once you know what missing teeth can do to your health…

If you are missing teeth, receiving treatment should be a priority, by leaving gaps between your teeth you could be causing damage to your entire oral health. Here at Curtis R Couch DDS in Thousand Oaks California we have multiple treatments to help replace your missing tooth or teeth.

#1 Shifting

When you lose a tooth it puts the condition of your entire mouth at risk, this is largely because your surrounding teeth could shift out of place. Our teeth are not cemented into position (which is why we can use braces to straighten them) this means that they can move in and out of place if their surroundings change. When a tooth falls out the teeth surrounding it have room to move into the gap which can cause alignment problems in the future.

#2 Facial harmony

Facial harmony refers to the structure of your entire mouth, it looks at the jaw, the teeth and gums in relation to the structure of your face. By leaving your missing teeth untreated you could be putting your facial harmony at risk. Your teeth each have an individual purpose and each contribute to the structure of your jaw and face. When you lose a tooth this puts more pressure and strain on the surrounding teeth to make up for the gap, when this occurs it can cause changes to your oral environment. These changes can affect the aesthetics and function of your smile. Appearance can alter as a result of the of the jaw changes, this can even increase wrinkles and can cause the corners of the mouth to droop.

#3 Eating and speaking

One of the most worrying effects of tooth loss is your ability to properly consume food, depending on the tooth lost this can make it difficult to eat. The area that surrounds and supports your teeth relies on essential stimulation that comes from the teeth themselves. Teeth make contact with each other all the time which will cause small stresses to the socket and jaw which prompts the bone to remodel and rebuild continually. When a tooth is missing this rebuilding doesn’t occur which can often cause a loss of volume. When a tooth is lost, the lack of stimulation causes the jaw to decrease in width and height- as this happens gum tissue also gradually decreases. The ability to chew and to speak can be impaired because of this lack of volume.

What I can I do about my missing teeth?

Here at Curtis Couch DDS in Thousand Oaks California we offer a couple of solutions for our patients who are in need of treatment for their missing teeth. Some of these treatments include:

  • Dental implants – as the most secure and permanent solution for your missing teeth, patients can feel confident about the security and durability of implants. Dental implants are titanium fixtures that fit into your jaw (like a tooth root would). This ensures that your replacement tooth will securely stay in your mouth while maintaining your facial harmony.
  • Crowns and bridges – this restorative solution acts as a cap for your damaged teeth, with a bridge we can cap the two neighboring teeth and replace the gap with a prosthetic tooth. While providing less security to the jaw it does prevent your teeth from shifting in and out of place.

To learn more about treatments available for your missing tooth or teeth call 805 497 8077 or contact us online.   

 

Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks Thousand Oaks
  • Phone
    805 497 8077
  • Address
    216 Lombard Street
    Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
  • Opening Hours
    Monday8:00am - 5:00pm
    Tuesday7:30am - 5:00pm
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