Prevention is key in obtaining and sustaining long term oral health. Comprehensive care includes the diagnosis of existing conditions and their treatment, oral hygiene instructions, dietary modification, the use of additional products to help with caries prevention or the use of specialized tooth pastes to help prevent periodontal disease. Every patient is unique and deserves an individualized oral health plan designed by the doctor. The basic dental office visit includes dental exam, oral hygiene instructions, oral cancer check, routine dental cleanings and x rays.
Occlusal Guards, also called bite guards or night guards, are intended to reduce the effects of bruxism and/or grinding your teeth. Patients with the condition often show symptoms such as morning headaches and facial muscle soreness. Dentists are often able to diagnose patients with an exam that shows limited opening of mouth, worn teeth, broken fillings and pain. The occlusal guard is a custom-made hard plastic appliance that comfortably fits over your upper teeth. The guard is made of a durable plastic that protects your natural teeth and dental restorations from harmful wear down and/or chipping of teeth.
Composite resins are environmentally safe and eliminate the possibility of mercury allergies, have a natural tooth color and can blend the composite to match virtually any tooth shade. Decayed teeth require fillings to restore strength and health of natural teeth when enough structure of the tooth remains to support the restoration. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed from the sound tooth structure and the ares is prepared and the inert filling materials is shaped to match the look and feel of natural teeth.
Dental crowns, when cemented in place, fully replace the visible portion of a tooth but rely on your original root structure for support. Crowns have often been referred to as “caps” because they form a cap over your tooth. They can be made of porcelain, gold, metal alloys, or a combination of materials but are often of pure porcelain material in the esthetic areas of the mouth.
The reasons you may need a crown include: restoring a tooth weakened by decay, holding together parts of a cracked tooth, covering misshaped teeth, holding a bridge in place, and after root canal completions. The procedure is usually requires two office visits, one for preparation and the second for cementation but using CEREC digital dentistry can be a one visit procedure.
Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth and are distinguished by the extent of damage to the bone. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar) and they begin to destroy the gums and bone, which can eventually result in tooth loss. The first indicator of periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums when you brush and floss.
Currently there is a significant interest in periodontal disease due to research suggesting that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease while minimizing clinical signs, which result in late diagnosis and increased damage.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Periodontal treatment may include scaling and root planing (AKA: deep cleaning), medication and periodontal surgery for complete treatment.
Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets. Invisalign has been proven effective in clinical research and in orthodontic practices nationwide.
You wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the their final position. You’ll visit us about once every 6-8 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 12-18 months and the average number of aligners during treatment is between 24 – 36 but both will vary from case to case.
In-office whitening allows for control and achieves the highest level of shade change and uniformity. The whitening generally lasts for a year, and “Take Home” kits are often recommended for touch-ups.
While teeth whitening kits purchased in drug stores can achieve some whitening, the in-office whitening produces more even results and many more shades of whitening. And the other important factor with in office whitening is that we protect your gums from the whitening gel and there is typically less sensitivity afterwards.
Porcelain veneers are thin shells placed over stained, misshaped, damaged teeth. They can also close gaps between teeth and quickly improve your smile. The thin layer of porcelain appears very natural due to the translucency of porcelain and require minimal preparation of the patient’s natural dentition. Veneers can be made from either porcelain or resin chairside, with porcelain the more natural looking of the two. Typically porcelain veneers require that you have two appointments. Since veneers are applied to your natural teeth, they must be fundamentally healthy to provide a strong foundation for the veneers.
Veneers represent the most highly “cosmetic” of dental procedures. Many times they are applied simply because the patient is unhappy with their current smile. The results can quite often be dramatic and esthetic.
Wisdom teeth can lead to problems if there isn’t enough space for them to surface or they come through in the wrong position. Impacted wisdom teeth means they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums and not in a position above the gums where they can be cleaned and treated.
Wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as pain, infection, damage to other teeth, gum disease, and future orthodontic treatment planned.
Bone grafting is a procedure that involves the addition of bone to the jaw using processed or synthetic bone materials. Bone grafts are often performed in the dentist’s office using local anesthesia to numb the areas that will be involved after an extraction. Bone grafting is often performed in preparation of implants that will be placed after the grafted bone has fused or become an integrated part of the existing bone.
A dental implant is a titanium post (replacing a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows your dentist to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. Dental implants also benefit general oral health because they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges.
If you are considering implants, you must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. If your bone is too thin or soft and unable to support an implant, you may require a bone graft. Or if there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, you may require a sinus lift.
How do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants fuse to your jawbone providing stable support for artificial teeth. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won’t slip or shift in your mouth — an especially important benefit when eating and speaking. This secure fit helps the dentures and bridges — as well as individual crowns placed over implants — feel more natural than conventional bridges or dentures.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant and must refrain from smoking. You must also commit to keeping these structures healthy. Meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.