Services and Procedures

American Dental Association (ADA) provides information under their Public Programs - www.mouthhealthy.org includes age specific information for dental care and oral health issues.

Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) - The AGD's (www.agd.org) patient resources "Oral Health Fact Sheet" and "Know Your Teeth"- www.knowyourteeth.com provides information on more than 50 oral health topics.


Preventative Procedure

A beautiful healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays a vital role in achieving that goal.

Home Care

Tooth Brushing - Brush your teeth at least twice daily, especially before going to bed at night. You should use an ADA approved soft bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste.

Avoid toothpastes with "Tartar Control" or "Whitening" agents. They often cause sensitivity over time. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. Sonicare is our choice for the best electric toothbrush.

Flossing - Daily flossing is the best way to clean between teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Fluoride - Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, it is not enough to help prevent decay. It is important to brush at least twice daily, floss daily, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, avoid carbonated beverages which contain harmful acids, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Dental Exams and Cleanings - Regular visits to your dentist help detect dental problems at an early stage, which saves you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Dental Exams - A comprehensive dental exam is usually performed at your initial dental visit. At your regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist might include:

  • Oral Cancer Screening
  • Gum Disease Evaluation
  • Examination for Tooth Decay
  • Examination of Existing Restorations

Diagnostic X-Rays - These are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Some people are concerned about radiation exposure from dental x-rays. Research shows that there is a very low level of radiation emitted. In fact, the amount of radiation from a full mouth series is equal to the amount a person receives in a single day from natural sources.

Dental Cleanings - These procedures are performed by your dentist or hygienist. He or she will remove all calculus (tartar) and plaque (a soft, sticky film that grows living bacteria and produces toxins that inflame the gums). Your teeth will also be polished.



Restorative procedure

Composites (tooth colored fillings) are used to repair a tooth that is chipped or affected by decay. Since the material is tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when the filling is first placed, however this should subside shortly. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.



Cosmetic

Tooth Whitening (or Bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel. It is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Since bleaching only works on tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth. There are several methods of bleaching. You should discuss them with your dentist to select the right method for you. Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every so often, especially if you smoke, or drink coffee, tea, wine, or other brewed beverages. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.



Implants

Dental Implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. They also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. They provide excellent support and stability for those appliances. With implants, it is possible to replace one or more missing teeth without affecting the adjacent teeth. Implants are artificial roots (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower bone. Later, a crown or cap is placed on top of the implant to complete the restoration. Implants are very strong and stable. The process of getting implants normally requires a number of visits over several months, but most patients agree that the result is well worth it!



Root Canals

Root Canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the nerve tissue in the tooth and any decay and bacteria are removed. The resulting space is filled with a special dental material which restores the tooth to its full function. Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that would otherwise die and need to be removed. Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but extracting (pulling) a tooth is ultimately usually more costly and causes significant problems for adjacent teeth. Root Canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, but occasionally, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infection. Often your dentist will recommend a crown be done on a tooth that has had a root canal. This helps to strengthen that tooth and prevent it from breaking.



Whitening

Tooth Whitening (or Bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel. It is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Since bleaching only works on tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth. There are several methods of bleaching. You should discuss them with your dentist to select the right method for you. Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up may be needed every so often, especially if you smoke, or drink coffee, tea, wine, or other brewed beverages. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.



Crowns

A crown (cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are either gold, porcelain fused to metal, or all porcelain, depending on the placement in the mouth. They are highly durable and usually last many years, but over time, may need replacement due to normal wear and tear.



Bridges

A (Fixed)bridge is a restoration that replaces or spans the space where one or more teeth have been lost. A fixed bridge is commonly cemented or bonded to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth/teeth. An artificial tooth called a pontic replaces the lost natural tooth and restores its function. Crowns, which are cemented on adjacent prepared teeth, serve as retainers that support the fixed bridge. There are other options for replacing missing teeth, and your dentist can help you make the right choice for your unique situation.



Dentures

Dentures are removable appliances that can replace nature teeth lost to gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Dentures help fill out your face and profile, and restore the ability to eat and speak. They are made to closely resemble natural teeth in shape and appearance. Even if you wear dentures, it is important to practice good oral hygiene. Brush and rinse your dentures using a soft bristled brush to clean them and avoid staining and scratching. You should also brush your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth. Your dentist can recommend appropriate cleaners and adhesives.

Dentures usually last many years, but not forever. The loss of natural teeth causes the supporting bone to deteriorate. As the bone changes, so does the ridge supporting the denture. It is normal to need to reline and even replace dentures over time. There are other ways to replace missing teeth. Your dentist can discuss the options with you and help you make the appropriate choice.



Tooth Colored Fillings

Composites (tooth colored fillings) are used to repair a tooth that is chipped or affected by decay. Since the material is tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when the filling is first placed, however this should subside shortly. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.



Periodontal Services

Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis is gum disease . It is a progressive condition that is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It begins with inflammation and irritation of the gum tissues which surround and support the teeth. Common causes include poor dental hygiene, tobacco use, genetic predisposition, pregnancy, clenching and grinding of teeth, certain medications, and diabetes and other medical conditions. It is extremely important to note that periodontal disease can progress without any signs or symptoms such as pain. That is why regular check-ups are so important. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible: unexplained bleeding, pain redness or swelling of gum tissue, gum recession, loose teeth, change in bite pattern, or a pus discharge from the gums. In the case of moderate periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend a procedure called Scaling and Root Planing, where the pockets under the gum line of the teeth are cleared of debris and treated to kill any remaining bacteria.

Mouth Body Connection - It is impossible to divorce the health of your mouth from the health of the rest of your body. There is a strong association between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions.

Heart Disease

Scientists theorize the link between heart disease and periodontitis. One theory is that oral bacteria strains attach themselves to coronary arteries when they enter the bloodstream. This can contribute to both clot formation and the narrowing of coronary arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack. A second possibility is that the inflammation caused by gum disease causes significant plaque build-up, which can swell the arteries and worsen pre-existing heart conditions.

Diabetes

Research studies show that periodontal disease can increase blood sugar levels, which makes controlling the amount of glucose in the blood difficult. Conversely, diabetes thickens blood vessels and therefore makes it harder for the mouth to rid itself of excess sugar. Excess sugar in the mouth creates a breeding ground for the types of oral bacteria that cause gum disease.

Pregnancy/Menopause

Women in general are at risk for gum disease because of hormone fluctuations that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Research suggests that pregnant women with periodontitis are at a higher risk for preeclampsia, premature labor, and delivering underweight premature babies.

Respiratory Disease

Oral bacteria linked with gum disease has been shown to possibly cause or worsen conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Oral bacteria can be drawn into the respiratory tract during normal inhalation and colonize, causing bacterial infections. Additionally, inflammation in gum tissue can lead to inflammation in the lining of the lungs, aggravating pneumonia and chronic or persistent respiratory issues. Those with low immunity are especially at risk, since bacteria can readily colonize beneath the gum-line, unchallenged by the body’s natural immune system.



Children’s Dentistry

It is recommended that a parent take their child for their first dental appointment at about age three. That appointment usually includes an exam, cleaning, and diagnostic x-rays. Home care should begin at the appearance of the first teeth. Primary teeth are important, and parents should brush and floss their child’s teeth, just as they would their own teeth.

Sealants - Your dentist may recommend sealants on your child’s molars, as soon as they appear. A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molar, premolar, and any deep grooved teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing off the deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface. It is a great way to help prevent tooth decay in children.

 


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The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the counsel and expertise of a dentist.
We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with your dentist.

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