Services

ORAL HYGIENE CARE

Preserving great oral health is among the many crucial things you can do for the teeth and gum tissue.  Healthy teeth not merely allow one to seem and feel great, they make it possible for eating and speak correctly.  Great dental health is crucial to your general well-being. Every day preventive care, including correct cleaning and flossing, can help end issues before they develop.

In between regular visits with your dentist, there are fundamental actions that each of us can take to considerably lessen the chances of creating dental cavities, gum problems along with various other dental issues. These comprise of:

  • Brush thoroughly twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
  • Use toothpaste which contain fluoride
  • Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if advised to do so
  • Make sure children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
  • Visit your dentist every six months for professional cleanings and oral exams
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months

Indications of good oral hygiene:

  • Your teeth are clean and free of debris
  • Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath is not a constant problem

DENTAL CLEANING

A dental cleaning is a procedure performed by your dentist or a dental hygienist. Dental cleanings take about 45 minutes and should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque build up. If left untreated, plaque can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A typical cleaning involves removing excessive plaque and we also polish your teeth to brighten your smile.

SEALANTS

Sealants are utilized to fill slim grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing your teeth.  In some instances, the enamel of your tooth can have fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, maybe not because the individual doesn’t clean, but because they’re too slim to enable even one bristle into them. To avoid cavities developing over time, the dentist will apply a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to remove all the plaque on the tooth and keep your teeth healthy.

BONDING

Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that’s matched to the color of your tooth enamel, to the front of your tooth. This procedure might be performed because of tooth decay, or to alter the tooth alignment, remove gaps between teeth, or for other cosmetic purposes.

Initially the area of the enamel surface is roughened.  Next, a gel is used so the resin will stick to the area of the enamel. Then a composite is put on the enamel and the bonding agent is hardened using an intense light. Finally, the dentist will shape and polish the bonding material to give a lustrous finish.

FILLINGS

When tooth decay causes tooth damage, a filling is used to bring the tooth back to its previous shape and function.  If you have a tooth needing a filling, the dentist will first remove the decay on the tooth, then clean the decayed area, and then apply a filling material to the tooth to remove the cavity created by the decay. Fillings help prevent future decay in the area, but also can be used to close any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter and develop further decay.

Filling material can vary including plastic, porcelain, silver and gold.  You and your dentist will discuss what material will work best for your particular situation, depending on the extent of repair needed, where in the filling will be located, and cost. Descriptions of various fillings:

  • Silver fillings, called Amalgam, are a less expensive choice than gold and are well tolerated in your mouth.  However, because of their darker color they are more noticeable than say porcelain or composite restorations, and are not recommended for fillings in the front teeth.
  • Plastic resins known as composite resins are made to the exact color of your specific natural tooth color, providing a more natural appearance.
  • Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory to ensure exact tooth shape and size and then cemented into place. Gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many dentists consider it the best filling material. Gum tissues tolerate gold very well and the filling may last more than 20 years.
  • Fillings that are called inlays or onlays are made of porcelain.  These fillings are also custom created in a lab and are then bonded to the tooth. Porcelain can be matched to the exact color of the tooth; they resist staining, but are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration typically covers most of the tooth, making the filling almost undetectable.

A crown or “cap” will be used if the decay or a fracture has caused significant damage to a large portion of the tooth. Decay that has reached the tooth nerve may need to be treated through a root canal procedure or through a procedure called pulp capping.

NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENT

The foundation of your teeth consists of your gums, ligaments, and bone around each tooth.  All these create a structure called the periodontium. If your periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes your teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth are signs of unhealthy periodontium. It may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state with proper gum treatments.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The Treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root “planing” done under a local anesthetic, and we also administer local antibiotic agents. It is very important to have gum problems checked promptly.  Gum disease left alone will most likely need treatment through surgery or removing the tooth.

CROWNS AND BRIDGES

Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged or to replace missing teeth. A crown (also known as a cap) is used to completely cover a damaged tooth. A crown will not only strengthen a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns are used to:

  • Protect a weak tooth from fracture
  • Replace a large filling if there is little tooth structure left
  • Completely cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Restore a broken tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal
  • Attach a bridge to the tooth
  • Cover a dental implant

A bridge is a very effective method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge uses teeth on either side as support to hold one or more artificial teeth cemented into place.  To make Bridge work look natural, it is as much of an art as it is a science since it must replace a missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used could be gold alloys, porcelain that is bonded to metal alloy, or it could be all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The material used depends on requirements for strength, wear, and aesthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth be replaced quickly.  If not, the teeth surrounding the gap can begin to shift inward causing additional issues. Since our teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is lost the neighboring teeth begin to shift into the open spaces. This may cause issues with the bite because of the changes in pressure and can elevate into problems with the jaw such as TMJ.

To make a bridge or crown the dentist first makes an impression of your mouth. That impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be created to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color. In the meantime, a temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth.

Bridges and crowns are so durable they can last a lifetime with proper care and good oral hygiene.

TEETH EXTRACTIONS

Even the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance so it is very important good oral hygiene should always be practiced. Although your dentist will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted, such as:

  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Severe decay
  • Infection or abscess
  • Incorrectly positioned teeth
  • Orthodontic correction
  • Impacted teeth
  • Broken teeth or roots

Extracting a tooth is a last resort after careful examination and treatment.  Before a tooth is extracted, the dentist will take x-rays in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. In some rare cases based on the degree of difficulty of a tooth extraction, we may refer you to a specialized oral surgeon.

We will first apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort for a simple extraction.  The dentist will then loosen the tooth with a tool called an elevator and then the tooth is removed with dental forceps. Upon completion of the procedure, the area may be closed with a stitch or two.  You are then provided with care instructions to alleviate any discomfort and to ensure proper healing.

WISDOM TEETH REMOVAL

Wisdom teeth are your last molars or “third molars” that develop on each side of your jaws. Wisdom teeth usually emerge through your gums between the ages of sixteen and twenty.

Wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. However, problems can develop that require their removal. If the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come through the gums properly or misaligned). Wisdom teeth can also grow in sideways, or emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum line and bone.

Wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure.  Your dentist will numb the area of the wisdom tooth with a local anesthesia or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure.

After the wisdom tooth is removed, you are provided care instructions to ensure proper healing. Occasionally some pain and swelling may occur but will normally subside after a few days. Call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT

A root canal treatment, also called endodontic therapy, is necessary when an untreated cavity reaches all the way to the tooth nerve. Treatment may also be required when deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause nerve damage. Once the pulp becomes infected, it can begin to destroy the surrounding bone.  This is known as an abscess. If the pulp is infected, not only is it painful but it will require treatment as it cannot heal on its own. Symptoms indicating the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot or cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain with biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Occasionally no symptoms are apparent and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is performed by cleaning out the infected tooth pulp and then disinfecting the canals of the tooth. An alternative to this treatment would be tooth extraction. Once the infection is removed, the canal is filled in by your dentist to prevent any further infection. Often a core build-up and a crown is recommended for restoring the affected tooth.

DENTAL IMPLANTS

Dental implants are ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth resulting from significant tooth damage, injury, or periodontal disease. A a metal post is positioned in the jaw by a periodontist or oral surgeon.  Once the post is implanted in the jaw, time is needed for the bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, and then a replacement tooth is attached to the post. Implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, but they provide superior benefits. Implants are even stronger than your natural teeth and generally last ten to twenty years. They are also a more favorable approach than a bridge since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.

You need to have healthy gums to receive implants, and also adequate bone structure to support the implant. It is imperative to commit to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits if you have implants as these are critical to their long-term success.

DENTURES

A denture is a removable tooth replacement for your teeth and surrounding gums. Dentures come in either partial or complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when you still have some natural teeth and the partial replaces those that are missing.  Complete dentures are a replacement of all your teeth.  Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth, or they can be made to improve your smile!

Full dentures are a last resort if none of your teeth can be saved.  This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function.  Complete dentures are removable.  The dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned to properly fit your mouth.  They may require adjustments in order to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.

A partial denture is a apparatus used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the jaw. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum colored plastic base and held in place by a form fitting the jaw line.  A fixed partial denture looks the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using neighboring teeth for support.
Dentures may feel awkward or loose at first for the first few weeks, and the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you become comfortable eating, drinking and speaking. Even though this may require some practice, you can adjust and you will enjoy all the benefits a full mouth of teeth can provide.

NIGHTGUARDS AND MOUTHGUARDS

Mouthguards and nightguards can be custom designed and are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the exact shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are highly recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as hockey, boxing, football, or other activities that blows to the face could occur. Guards also protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and inside of your cheeks.  Nightguards are recommended for patients who suffer from TMJ, which is the clenching or grinding of the teeth at night and wear these nightguards to protect their teeth and bite.

If you have decided a mouthguard is right for you, an impression of your teeth is made which will then be sent to a lab to create a perfect fitting guard. Mouthguards and nightguards come in a variety of colors and styles. On the average, guards last between three and ten years.

TMJ TREATMENTS

TMJ stands for temporal mandibular joint. Temporal, as in the temple area of your skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; and the joint in this case is the joint where the head meets the jaw.  Problems in this joint may be caused by variety of reasons including a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Cartilage buffers the two bones and muscles that meet in this area, but any of a myriad of problems in this area can create quite a bit of pain and biting difficulties.
TMJ symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Ear aches
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Treating TMJ can include replacing missing teeth, adjusting the bite, or moving teeth, and filling gaps between teeth. There is no single solution for TMJ. Occasionally a plastic mouthpiece can be used to prevent clenching or grinding if it is deemed contributing to the problem. If untreated and in some severe cases, surgery might be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

WHITENING

Attractive teeth are white teeth.  Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter.  Tooth bleaching can be used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients. Our office offers two methods of whitening: in-office whitening and tray whitening that you can do at home.

In-office whitening is available for those wanting immediate results. The entire process takes place in our office.  The procedure takes about an hour, making it the perfect choice for busy individuals. A protective gel is applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. Then a special light-activated gel is applied to your teeth and a special light or laser is used to enhance the action of the agent instantly making your teeth whiter and brighter. Impressions of your teeth are taken as a final step and used to create custom trays for at home touch-ups.  We provide you instructions for keeping your smile bright. The result is dramatically whiter teeth that will last for years.

Tray whitening is a less expensive and is done at home.  We make an impression of your mouth to create personalized custom whitening trays for you to wear. Once your trays are ready we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays and wear them. The whitening gel trays should be worn between thirty and sixty minutes up to twice a day. At the end of this treatment period, you will see maximum whitening. Occasional future treatments can be used at your convenience to maintain your new smile.

INVISALIGN

The Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear, snap-on, custom fit, removable mouth trays  made specifically and customized to your mouth that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. The Invisalign system provides the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but since the trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually invisible to detect, unlike traditional braces. In addition, Invisalign trays are removable.  They can be taken out while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.

The Invisalign System works by first creating a series of trays that will each moving your teeth gradually until the end result is achieved. Trays are worn for two weeks at a time, slowly moving your teeth to the new proper location.  You meet with your dentist every six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Upon completion of the treatment,  you will likely wear a clear retainer to ensure your new smile remains.

The cost of Invisalign varies according to the complexity of the case. However, Invisalign is generally more expensive than traditional braces. Insurance policies generally cover Invisalign to the same extent that they cover traditional braces.

VENEERS

Veneers are a covering placed over the outside of the tooth.  The procedure can be done either direct or indirect.

The direct method usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding agent to secure it. The direct method is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique is more involved, usually requiring two appointments as the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. In the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering.  Once the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded directly to the teeth. The veneers are usually made of porcelain or pressed ceramic and are very aesthetic.

The advantage of veneers instead of crowns is that much less of the tooth is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable than crowns. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

X-RAYS

X-rays are a beam particles passed through bone which produces an image on a special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This provides the familiar black and white images doctors and dentists can use to closely examine and diagnose problems and disease.

CEREC

CEREC is an acronym for Charismatic Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This high-tech equipment allows us to restore damaged teeth with beautiful custom ceramic crowns in a single dental visit, completely eliminating the need for multiple appointments over a period of time.  The process can create a ceramic dental crown, inlays, onlays or veneers using a variety of technologies including 3D photography and computer-aided design and manufacturing known as CAD.  Using an intra-oral camera, a photograph is taken of the tooth and the picture is loaded onto the computer. Using Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology, the dentist is able to design the restoration and transform the image into a three-dimensional model. This valuable program then allows the dentist to easily calculate the appropriate restoration shape and size to create near perfect restoration. When the model is ready, a milling machine then creates the restoration using a high-speed diamond bur and calculated precision. The restoration crown is then bonded to the tooth using a resin material. The result is a beautiful and custom designed and produced tooth, made entirely to fit your mouth exactly. CEREC crowns are metal-free and have been used for over 20 years.

DIAGNOdent

We are committed to providing the absolute best service to our patients.  To aid in achieving this goal, we use the latest in dental technology including a new high-tech device called the DIAGNOdent. This small tool is a portable laser that allows us to detect cavities on the chewing surface of the back teeth that possibly could have otherwise gone undetected by previous methods. Diagnosing cavities in the back of the mouth using traditional methods is difficult; studies even show that 50% of cavities are left undetected in these areas. Now with the new DIAGNOdent we are able to locate and treat these cavities, putting a stop to further decay. The laser is easy to use, harmless, and will alert us with an audible signal if it detects a cavity. It will even calculate the approximate size of the cavity so we can better plan treatment. By using this device, we are able to accurately detect and treat cavities in their infancy.

SOFT TISSUE LASER

Soft tissue lasers are used to safely remove soft tissue, such as excess gum tissue. The soft tissue laser can also be used to destroy bacteria in gum pockets, preventing infection and allowing the tissue to return to a healthy state. The soft tissue laser enables the dentist to treat patients with extreme accuracy and eliminates the need for more significant procedures that can result in stitches.

ELECTRONIC CLAIM PROCESSING

Electronic Claims Processing means that rather than sending your dental claim through the mail, it is sent electronically to your insurance company with the click of the button. By filing your claim electronically, information is submitted more efficiently and with fewer errors. The benefit is our patients insurance turnaround time on claims is faster and fewer claims are returned or denied. We are happy to submit your dental claims to your insurance company on your behalf lowering the frustration sometimes attributed with claims.

INTRAORAL IMAGING

Small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, help to clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums. With this advanced technology we can zoom in and explore small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. Full color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to
gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.