To repair decayed teeth (composite resins are used to fill cavities)
To repair chipped or cracked teeth
To improve the appearance of discolored teeth
To close spaces between teeth
To make teeth look longer
To change the shape of teeth
As a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings
To protect a portion of the tooth’s root that has been exposed when gums reced
A Teeth cleaning (also known as prophylaxis) is a procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing, flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine tooth brushing. A professional cleaning includes both scaling and polishing. This involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. The general recommendation for a frequency of routine cleaning is 6 months. Routine examination of the teeth is recommended at least every year. This may include yearly, select dental x- ray. Between professional cleanings good oral hygiene helps to prevent cavities, tartar build up and gum disease.
Oral cancer screening
Oral cancer screenings are a very important part of the dental visit for the patient. With the advances in modern technology, we are now able to pinpoint the start of a potential problem much earlier in its evolution. The ability to do so is extremely important in being able to treat any issues prior to them becoming a major irreversible problem.
The oral cancer screening is often completed with an ultraviolet light or similar device that allows us to view issues that can’t always be detected by the human eye under normal conditions.
Certain lifestyle choices can have a great impact on the health of tissues and your overall health in the mouth. If you are a smoker or heavy drinker, make sure to get regular screenings when you visit the dentist.
Scaling, Root (deep cleaning)
Often there is plaque and tartar that accumulates below the gum line. In this scenario, we will clean and smooth this area with special instruments to ensure that the area is completely spotless. If this area is not kept clean the entire area can become irritated with the bacteria that reside in the tartar and plaque. It’s very important to have your dentist check this area if you have bleeding during brushing.
Bonding is a popular method to enhance the aesthetics of your smile. Bonding can be used to correct cracks or gaps in teeth, as a filling after a cavity has been removed, or to cover up stains or discolored teeth.
A composite resin is used on the affected tooth or teeth. It is molded and sculpted over an adhesive gel that is placed on the tooth. After the resin has been applied an ultraviolet light is used to harden the resin, which is then polished to give you a fresh, new smile.
Bonding is an obvious improvement over unsightly silver amalgam fillings. With the advancements in dental technology, bonding usually lasts for over 10 years. It is a safe, affordable, and attractive solution for many dental problems.
For What Conditions Is Bonding Considered?
Crowns & Bridges
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance.
The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
1. To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of cracked tooth
2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
4. To hold a dental bridge in place
5. To cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth
6. To cover a dental implant
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.
1. Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium), or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
2. Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
3. All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
4. All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
5. Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by a lab.
Bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. Bridges are made from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable.
The process of creating a bridge begins by creating abutments out of your existing teeth where the bridge will be attached. The existing teeth are recontoured to provide a base for the bridge. After the abutments have been created, a mold is taken of the area which is sent to a dental lab. The lab is able to use the mold to create a bridge that will fit properly and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. The bridge consists of two crowns on either end to place on the abutments and a pontic, which is the new tooth that replaces your missing tooth.
We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the abutments and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit to set the bridge. It will be placed on the abutments and the dentist will then use an adhesive to make sure that the bridge is set.
The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues.
If you are missing a tooth you should strongly consider having it replaced. Besides the aesthetic disadvantage of missing a tooth, it could also cause structural changes to your mouth and jaw, as well as making it difficult to eat or speak properly. Set up an appointment today to restore your smile.
Cosmetic contouring is a type of cosmetic dentistry that reshapes and contours teeth to fix various aesthetic problems. This cosmetic procedure changes the shape, length, and/or position of the treated teeth to make them look more appealing. This procedure is offered to help make your smile more appealing.
Cosmetic contouring is accomplished by carefully sculpting the teeth with a laser or sanding drill. The tool carefully removes enamel to reshape the teeth. Our dentist also uses abrasive strips to shape and smooth the areas in between your teeth. The last step of the process is smoothing and polishing your teeth.
Benefits of Cosmetic Contouring
There are many advantages to getting the cosmetic contouring procedure:
1. Improves your appearance if you have visible problems like crooked, cracked, irregularly shaped or chipped teeth.
2. Corrects teeth that overlap and may fix minor bite problems.
3. Gives you an attractive smile.
Cosmetic Contouring Candidates
Cosmetic contouring is an appropriate type of cosmetic dentistry for most people whose teeth are normal and healthy. You can have this work done as long as you have enough bone between the teeth in question to support them.
Your cosmetic dentist will take X-rays to find the pulp of each tooth that needs reshaping to make sure the work is doable.
If you grind your teeth, cosmetic contouring evens them out, but you’ll undo the work if you continue grinding them. Talk to us about getting a mouth guard to protect the work.
Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal therapy is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. This set of procedures is commonly referred to as a “root canal”. Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Root canal therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning, and decontamination of the hollows with tiny files and irrigating solutions, and the filling of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling.
Wisdom teeth extractions are a fairly common procedure. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.
When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin, called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. It will usually go away on its own, but it causes swelling and pain in the area.
Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth that can potentially cause problems, like infections, need to be removed. Extractions can range from a single tooth, to removing all four wisdom teeth at once. Based on the preference of the doctor and/or the patient, a local anesthetic could be used to numb the areas where the teeth will be extracted. Others will prefer to go under a general anesthetic so that they will be sedated during the procedure.
The gum tissue around the wisdom tooth is cut open to reveal the tooth. The tooth is loosened by gripping it tightly and wiggling it back and forth until it can be lifted out of the gums. Sometimes a tooth may be impacted so tightly that it cannot be simply lifted out of the gums. In cases like this the tooth will be broken up into pieces first before being removed. Depending on the incision and extraction site, sutures may be needed to close the area. Soluble sutures are the best option, which will dissolve on their own.
After the surgery you will need to rest. You need to be driven home by a friend or family member because of the anesthesia. You can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while after the surgery. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist will prescribe you pain medication, so if you become sore take as directed. You can also use an ice pack for the pain. Your dentist might also provide you with a cleaning solution to clean the extraction site.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery such as: Gelatin, Pudding, Yogurt, Mashed Potatoes, Ice Cream, Thin Soups and other food you can eat without chewing.
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. The same goes for smoking. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don’t feel that the extraction site is healing properly call your dentist for a follow up.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.
Which teeth are suitable for sealants?
Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay.
How are sealants applied?
Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure. The process is short and easy. After the tooth is cleaned, a special gel is placed on the chewing surface for a few seconds. The tooth is then washed off and dried. Then, the sealant is painted on the tooth. The dentist or dental hygienist also may shine a light on the tooth to help harden the sealant. It takes about a minute for the sealant to form a protective shield.
Are sealants visible?
Sealants can only be seen up close. Sealants can be clear, white, or slightly tinted, and usually are not seen when a child talks or smiles.
Will sealants make teeth feel different?
As with anything new that is placed in the mouth, a child may feel the sealant with the tongue. Sealants, however, are very thin and only fill the pits and grooves of molar teeth.
How long will sealants last?
A sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years. Sealants should be checked at your regular dental appointment and can be reapplied if they are no longer in place.
Will sealants replace fluoride for cavity protection?
No. Fluorides, such as those used in toothpaste, mouth rinse, and community water supplies also help to prevent decay, but in a different way. Sealants keep germs and food particles out of the grooves by covering them with a safe plastic coating. Sealants and fluorides work together to prevent tooth decay.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available — complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Complete dentures can be either “conventional” or “immediate.” Made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has begun to heal, a conventional denture is ready for placement in the mouth about eight to 12 weeks after the teeth have been removed.
Unlike conventional dentures, immediate dentures are made in advance and can be positioned as soon as the teeth are removed. As a result, the wearer does not have to be without teeth during the healing period. However, bones and gums shrink over time, especially during the healing period following tooth removal. Therefore a disadvantage of immediate dentures compared with conventional dentures is that they require more adjustments to fit properly during the healing process and generally should only be considered a temporary solution until conventional dentures can be made.
A removable partial denture or bridge usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is connected by metal framework that holds the denture in place in the mouth. Partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth remain in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed (permanent) bridge replaces one or more teeth by placing crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and attaching artificial teeth to them. This “bridge” is then cemented into place. Not only does a partial denture fill in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from changing position. A precision partial denture is removable and has internal attachments rather than clasps that attach to the adjacent crowns. This is a more natural-looking appliance.
Are There Alternatives to Dentures?
Yes, dental implants can be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost is usually greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble the feel of real teeth. Dental implants are becoming the alternative to dentures but not everyone is a candidate for implants. Please consult your dentist for advice.
Veneers are an excellent way to redesign and reshape your entire mouth. Veneers are a very thin ceramic shell that covers your existing tooth structure. In placing these new veneers on your teeth, you are able to fix the look of issues such as staining, cracked teeth, spaces, misaligned teeth, chipped teeth and many other issues.
In terms of the process to place veneers, it is a process that takes approximately two to three visits. In the first visit, we will discuss the new shape and look of what we are going to accomplish by placing the veneers. Once we have put a plan in place, we will carefully prepare the teeth for the placement of the new veneers. As we complete this piece of the process, the next step is to take an impression of the newly prepared teeth. This impression will be sent to our laboratory for the final product to be fabricated. We only utilize the highest standard laboratory for fabrication of all of our work. This process at the laboratory takes between 10-14 days. While the new veneers are being fabricated at the lab, we will provide you with a beautiful temporary solution to wear for this time.
As the veneers are finalized, we will make every effort to make sure that your new veneers will feel just like your natural teeth. We will bond them into place ensuring that you can enjoy your new smile for a very long time!
Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Tooth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.
To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize zoom in the office. Zoom white speed is a scientifically advance teeth whitening procedure applied chair side at the dentist’s office. It is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results and with the most advanced LED whitening technology the results are even better than ever.
Please contact us today to see if you are a candidate for this type of whitening.
Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth using a custom made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually visible plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place based on the exact movements your dentist plans for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You simply pop in a new set of aligners every two weeks until your treatment is complete and you achieve the confident smile that you have always wanted. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you have straightening your teeth.