Our practice provides a wide range of dental services, in many cases without having to refer you a dental specialist. Our emphasis is on comprehensive care which begins with regular hygiene visits, check-ups and stresses the importance of a thorough home care routine.
Most people require a dental cleaning on average of two times per year. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. This is especially important because there are places where your tooth brush and dental floss have difficulty in reaching, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. The hygienist will also check the health of your gums and review the best ways to help keep your teeth and gums free from disease.
For children and adults who are especially prone to cavities we can treat the teeth with medicines such as fluoride. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure and helps prevent future decay.
Periodontal disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. Gum, or periodontal disease causes inflammation, bone damage and possibly tooth loss. The process starts when the gums become inflamed due to factors produced by the bacteria in dental plaque. While this is the main cause of periodontal disease, other factors that can contribute are smoking, tobacco use, genetics, medications, diabetes and pregnancy.
Gingivitis is first stage of periodontal disease. While the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily, this stage is completely reversible via good oral hygiene and routine dental care.
When periodontal disease progresses and affects the gum tissue and bone, it is termed periodontitis and is characterized by the formation of pockets or spaces between the tooth and gums. This damage is irreversible and may eventually lead to loosening or loss of teeth. Periodontal disease can be managed by more frequent or deeper dental cleanings, medications and excellent oral hygiene.
A dental filling (or dental restoration) replaces and restore tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture. By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and a less commonly used amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).
Composite or tooth-colored filling materials are the most commonly used restorative material in today’s modern dental practices. They chemically bond to the tooth structure providing a strong, long lasting and natural looking result. We have many options for esthetic and durable dental restorations depending on your needs.
Crowns and Bridges
A crown or a bridge is a custom-made covering that fits over a patient’s tooth after it has been specially shaped. This is done because the tooth or teeth is either decayed, damaged, missing or cracked. A crown refers to a single restoration and a bridge attaches to the adjacent teeth and fills a space where one or more teeth is missing. Crowns and bridges are made from a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials.
This process generally consists of two to three office visits where the tooth/teeth are prepared, and a temporary restoration is made. A digital scan or an impression of the area is taken, and the information is sent to a dental laboratory in order to create the custom-made crown or bridge. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy a restoration. Given proper care, your crowns can last decades.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium. A complete dental implant restoration has three parts including the Implant (the artificial root), the Abutment (the connection between the implant and crown), and the Crown (to replace to actual tooth). Dental implants are the extremely successful and provide a long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. They have the same look, feel, and function as healthy natural teeth. If you are replacing more than a single tooth, custom-made bridges or dentures can be made using the implants as anchors to provide enhanced function and stability.
A root canal is accomplished by removing the infected or dying nerve and blood vessels from the central part of the tooth. A tooth can die or become infected for a variety of reasons. A cavity (bacteria) can extend into the deep structures of the tooth, causing nerve damage and infection. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, a root canal (or endodontics) can be performed, thus saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled. After this sterilization procedure is complete, the removed tissue is replaced with a strengthening filler and generally a crown to ensure that the tooth does not break or become reinfected. A common misconception is that a root canal is a painful procedure. Actually, root canals are similar to having a cavity filled, producing minimal pain.
An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary for reasons such as if a tooth has suffered extensive decay or trauma that cannot be repaired, or if a primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth. Most of our patient’s extraction needs can be taken care of in the office.
The third set of molars or “wisdom teeth” usually appear in the late teens or early twenties, and often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to erupt problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur. As we get older, wisdom teeth that cannot erupt through the gums become inflamed or infected causing a cyst or an and infected abscess. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth can result.
To prevent these complications an extraction of one or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised and is typically performed by an oral surgeon.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and gums. The two main types of dentures are complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. While dentures boast a long history of success, dental implants can enhance a denture’s fit by helping secure the appliance to the jaw making it more comfortable and stable.
Most people’s teeth will darken over time. Changes in tooth color can be caused by such factors as food and beverages consumed like coffee, tea and red wine. Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or poor oral hygiene. We provide a variety of safe and effective options for whitening your smile that include in office laser treatments and custom made take home whitening trays.
Veneers are a thin porcelain covering for the front of teeth. Veneers are an esthetic solution for common problems such as spaces in between teeth, broken or chipped teeth, discoloration or crooked teeth. A benefit of dental veneers is that your natural teeth remain largely intact with only a minimal amount being altered to fit the veneer.
Composite bonding is a great esthetic solution that allows for enhanced esthetics in a conservative and more economical manner. As the name indicates, tooth colored resin material is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth structure. Composite bonding is a common solution for repairing damaged teeth, closing gaps or spaces between teeth, or masking discolorations of the teeth.
Clear Aligner Orthodontics
Aligner Orthodontics is the process of moving teeth using a series of clear plastic trays. Each tray takes your teeth from where they are now to where you want them to be in small steps. The advantage of this type of tooth movement is that it is practically undetectable and very easy to manage. While the trays must be worn consistently through out the day, they can be removed to eat and clean your teeth. There are several products on the market including Invisalign and Clear Correct.