Our service offerings begin with you! Your oral health needs! Your communication needs! Your comfort needs! As we said in our welcoming section we are committed to excellence by providing the highest quality while maintaining a relationship of trust and individualized care. Our services are offered in our comfortable and pleasant environment with that vision in mind.
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial visit. At regular check-up exams your dentist and hygienist will perform the following procedures:
- A determination will be made initially if diagnostic x-rays are necessary: If so, they are essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts and bone loss. X-rays also determine tooth and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: Examine the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum (periodontal) disease evaluation: Evaluate the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
- Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be assessed for decay with special instruments and existing restorations, such as crowns and fillings, will be evaluated for any recurrent decay.
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists and are performed on patients who are periodontally healthy. If you are a candidate, your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
- Removal of calculus (tarter) at or above the gum line: Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
- Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation (gingivitis) could lead to the start of periodontal disease.
- Tooth polishing: Removal of stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during scaling. This leads to a fresh and clean feeling in your mouth.
This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles through bone which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no other way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not properly removed within about 24 hours, it hardens and becomes known as calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. Treatment methods of periodontal disease depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the effected tooth structure. It is called a filling because new a material fills the hole that decay left. We offer both amalgam (silver) and composite (tooth colored) fillings. Although our preference is for tooth colored there are instances when silver fillings are more predictable. We will determine the most appropriate treatment for you. We use technology to catch decay early. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated decay can lead to tooth pain and weakened tooth structure/or infection, and the tooth could need root canal treatment or extraction.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material onto the face of the tooth and matching the color of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay or for other cosmetic reasons. The tooth surface is roughened in order to accept the bonding and a gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface. A primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. The material is then placed on the tooth and hardened through a light curing process. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish.
A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy..
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body therefore; teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns sit over the weakened tooth, providing support and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns can prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile. It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. During the first visit, any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped (prepared) to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating the crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. During this time a temporary crown is worn. During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed, and the permanent crown is cemented in place and adjusted as necessary.
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function, they replace missing teeth. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or teeth become fractured due to trauma or extensive decay, a full or partial denture may be the answer. The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The effected teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, with regard to eating and speaking. Periodically the fit of the dentures will need to be improved with relining and/or new dentures. An ill-fitting denture can lead to permanent bone loss. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures.
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth (“one tooth – one solution”). In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft. Implants can also be used for support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, it will provide better function than a partial denture. Second, implants slow bone loss that can occur with a removable denture. Third, implants do not negatively impact other teeth. Implants can also be used to support a full denture keeping it stable. This leads to better function while eating and speaking.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics. It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not, treated teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward since teeth use their neighbors for support. When one is missing, they start to “fall”. As this becomes worse, the bite can change in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw or TMJ.
Today there is a dramatic increased interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, and beautiful smile enhances our appearance and increases our confidence. With improvements in technology and materials, treatments can be done quickly, reliably and affordably. Let our team help you achieve the smile of your dreams.
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Because all of us whiten differently, our practice utilizes multiple whitening systems. We offer both chair side and take home whitening by both Zoom® and Pola ® systems. Our philosophy is to make whitening as affordable as possible for all patients. Our patients all whiten to varying degrees. Our team will help you reach your individual whiteness threshold.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the face (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as chair side bonding. The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable.