Preventative Care: Preventative dentistry is the way of helping you keep a healthy mouth. A healthy mouth means less dental treatment. When you work together with our dentists and our hygienists you can help prevent the need for treatment and the need for dental work. Our dental team will recommend a course of treatment to get your mouth into good condition, and then work out a maintenance plan to help you keep it that way. Keeping regular scheduled cleanings and exams is an important step in maintaining a healthy mouth.
Digital X-rays: Digital x-rays are a common technology and a practice standard. Our dentists and hygienists use x-rays as part of our diagnostic and preventive dental program. As some parts of the teeth and supporting bone structures are not easily visible during an oral exam, dental x-rays are an essential tool. A full set of dental x-rays is recommended for every new patient. The ongoing need for further x-rays will depend on your specific dental health needs.
Digital x-rays are safe and painless and have 80-90% less radiation output than older x-ray machines. Images from digital x-rays can be viewed instantly. Our dentists and hygienists use digital images to help reveal a number of conditions before they worsen. Digital x-rays are vital in the early detection of decay, abscesses or cysts, bone loss in the jaw, root positions, cancerous tumors, developmental abnormalities in the teeth, and other problems inside the teeth or below the gum line.
Oral Cancer Screening: According to the American Cancer Society, 37,000 people in the US will get some kind of oral cancer this year. Our dentists routinely perform an examination of your mouth during routine dental visits to screen for oral cancer. The goal with oral cancer screening is to identify cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure. We use the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System, a wireless, handheld scope that applies tissue fluorescence visualization to identify oral mucosal abnormalities early - often months or even years before they can be identified with the unassisted eye. VELscope VX is the world's most widely used adjunctive device for the discovery of viral, fungal and bacterial infections, inflammation from a variety of causes, squamous papillomas, salivary gland tumors, cancer and pre-cancer, and other oral mucosal conditions.
Periodontics: Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that is concerned with prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of your gums and supporting structures of your teeth. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque. When plaque is not removed with regular brushing, flossing and dental cleanings, it will continue to build up and cause damage to your gums. Periodontal disease starts to form right below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, when your gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Gingivitis is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing. Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis goes untreated and advances. Gums and supporting bones become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Periodontitis can cause tooth loss.
Certain factors can increase a patient's risk of developing periodontal disease. Some contributing factors include smoking or using chewing tobacco, Diabetes, certain steroid medications, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives.
Signs and symptoms of periodontitis include gums that red, swollen, tender gums that bleed easily, persistent bad breath or bad taste, pus between your teeth and gums, and loose permanent teeth.
Gum disease and periodontitis can be prevented with regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations. By practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease. By brushing regularly, flossing, eating a balanced diet, and scheduling regular dental visits you can keep your mouth healthy.
Restorative: Dental fillings are a type of restorative dental treatment used to repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay or otherwise damaged surfaces of the teeth. Once it is determined that a filling is needed, our dentists will advise you of your options for filling and sealing the cavity to prevent further decay and damage to the tooth. Our dentist use composite fillings. Composite filings are made of a material that can be matched to your tooth color and hardens with a curing light. Composite material contains acrylic and glass particles, but no mercury.
In preparation for treatment, our dentists will numb the area surrounding the affected tooth using a local anesthetic. Our dentists begin the dental filling procedure by preparing the tooth and necessary surrounding areas and decay or damage is removed with a dental hand-piece and the area is cleansed to remove bacteria or debris. Various adhesives are placed followed by the composite material. The completed composite restoration is both functional and natural looking.
In some cases, the extent of tooth decay or damage to the affected tooth may require a more extensive procedure, including dental crowns, implants, bridges, and root canals.
Root Canals: A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed, damaged or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, our dentists remove the nerve and pulp of a tooth. The inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and form an abscess.
If your tooth had extensive decay, it may be weak so our dentists may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime. A root canal procedure typically takes two visits.
Extractions: An extraction means to have a tooth removed, usually because of disease, trauma or crowding. Simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually under local anesthetic. Surgical extractions involve the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully.
Crowns: A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth and restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth. A dental crown may be needed to prevent a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth, to restore a broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down, to cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there is not a lot of tooth left or to cover or severely discolored teeth.
Bridges: A bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Our dentist literally bridge the gap left by missing teeth with artificial ones. Bridges can be made out of several different materials. Our dentists will discuss the different options with you to meet you specific needs.
Implants: Dental implants are artificial tooth root replacements that are used as a part of prosthetic dentistry in order to compensate for tooth loss. They are the most natural and secure way for you to get artificial teeth. Our dentists will refer you to a trusted oral surgeon that will work with you for Implants.
Dentures: Dentures are the partial or complete artificial replacement of natural teeth and the surrounding tissue. They can improve your smile and your whole facial appearance while making it easier for you to eat and speak.
Emergency Dental Care: If you experience a dental emergency, be sure to call our practice as soon as possible. If you need immediate attention after hours, our message provides details on how to get in touch with our staff. If you are unable to reach our office during an emergency, dial 911. We will do everything we can to make sure that you're treated as soon as possible.
Cosmetic Dentistry: Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of your teeth, mouth and smile. Our dentists and hygienists will discuss the options available in our office to improve your smile, increase your self-confidence, and have you looking your best in social or professional situations.
Veneers: Veneers are composite or porcelain laminates that are adhesively bonded to the surface of a tooth to correct and repair chips and cracks. This will improve the tooth’s appearance and correct severe tooth discoloration. Veneers may also be recommended if you have gaps in your teeth or if you have not had success with teeth whitening.
Teeth Whitening:Teeth whitening is perhaps the most commonly recommended cosmetic dentistry procedure. Teeth are often stained from smoking, food, drinks such as coffee, tea or red wine or poor oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth can enhance the appearance of your smile. Our dentist will fit you for custom bleaching trays to get you started.
Invisalign: Invisalign uses a series of nearly invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Treatment time can vary between one and three years, depending on your age, treatment method, and how minor or severe your case is.
Athletic Mouth Guards:The Academy for Sports Dentistry recommends athletes in any sport -- including football, basketball, softball and soccer -- wear a custom-fitted mouth guard. Our dentists will create a custom-fitted mouth guard to protect you from injuries to your jawbone, teeth, lips and cheeks. Custom-fitted mouth guards are thicker than over-the-counter guards and can help absorb shock, and in certain circumstances, may help prevent a concussion.
Night Mouth Guards: If you suffer from jaw pain, headaches, or breaking or worn teeth, you may have a problem with bruxism, or teeth grinding. Our dentists will make a custom-fitted night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.