The secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!
There's nothing to fear with a dental exam. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable your dentist to see below the surfaces of your teeth. Dental exams typically end with a dental cleaning, to remove surface stains and buildup.
Dental X-rays have come a long way. Todays dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Intraoral photography is another alternative to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a 35mm or digital camera.
No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth. A professional teeth cleaning is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. While a traditional teeth cleaning involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools, advances in dental technologies now give you more options for teeth cleanings.
A laser teeth cleaning, also known as an ultrasonic cleaning, is a popular alternative to traditional teeth cleanings. With a laser teeth cleaning, an ultrasonic scaler (rather than a manual probe) is used to remove deposits, kill harmful microbes and eliminate bacteria around the teeth and gums through high-frequency sound waves. Many patients find laser teeth cleanings more comfortable than traditional teeth cleanings because they are quicker, quieter and pain-free.
A deep cleaning may be recommended if excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line. Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, involve a two-part process: first, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are smoothened. A deep cleaning helps prevent periodontal disease and restores gum tissues to a healthy state.
If you've been told you need a dental filling, you're not alone: 92% of Americans have had at least one cavity. Dental fillings are the tried-and-true treatment for treating cavities – and they come in a variety of options to suit every need. Dental fillings can be made of silver amalgam, composite, porcelain and even gold. Amalgam fillings have been used by dentists for more than a century and are still the most common and cost-effective type of dental filling. But composite fillings, which are made of a tooth-colored plastic and glass composite, are quickly becoming the preferred dental filling due to their natural appearance and durability. The type of dental filling used is determined by a number of factors, including size and location of the cavity, as well as your budget.
Crowns are a type of dental restoration which covers the portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. A dental crown in effect becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made out of porcelain/dental ceramic, metal like gold or other metal alloy, or a combination of both.
Reasons for a crown:
- To restore a tooth to its original shape
- Reduce sensitivity due to fractured tooth syndrome
- To strengthen a tooth
- To improve cosmetic appearance of tooth
We offer single-visit CEREC® crowns! Call today for more information!
Fixed (non-removable) appliance is called a bridge. It is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontic (artificial teeth), filling the spaces created by one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however due to normal wear, they may need replacement or to be re-cemented.
Types of bridges:
- Porcelain fused to metal.
- All porcelain
Reasons for a fixed bridge:
- Fill space of missing teeth
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Restore chewing and speaking ability Restore your smile
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is designed to correct disorders of the dental pulp — the soft tissue inside the tooth that contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
- An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Severe toothache pain
- Sometimes no symptoms are present
- Swelling and/or tenderness
Why is root canal therapy necessary?
Without treatment, the infection will spread to the bone around the tooth, making it unable to hold the tooth in place.
What does the root canal procedure involve?
Treatment begins with the removal of the tooth crown, or top, to allow access to the pulpal (vital part) tissue. Once exposed, the affected area is removed. The area surrounding area is carefully cleaned, enlarged, and shaped to provide a clean, bondable surface for filling with a permanent filler to prohibit any further infection and discomfort. After filling, a crown is fabricated to complete the rescue and restoration of the natural tooth. The procedure may be spread over 2 visits to assure the infected area and associated bacteria have been adequately drained.
Abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth which is very painful. This is commonly caused by severe tooth decay. Other causes are trauma to the tooth, such as when it is broken or chipped, and gum disease or gingivitis. These problems can cause openings in the tooth enamel, which allows bacteria to infect the center of the tooth. The infection may also spread to the bones supporting the tooth.
Severe and continuous toothache that results in gnawing or throbbing pain or sharp or shooting pain are common symptoms of an abscessed tooth. Other symptoms may include:
- Pain when chewing
- Sensitivity of the teeth to hot or cold
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Foul smell to the breath
- Swollen neck glands
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- Swollen area of the upper or lower jaw
- An open, draining sore on the side of the gum
How is an abscessed tooth treated?
- Sometimes it is necessary to drain the abscess.
- Tooth extraction is also an option, allowing drainage through the socket.
- Abscess can also be drained by incision into the swollen gum tissue.
- Antibiotics are prescribed to help fight the infection.
Night Guard - Occlusal Guard
Bruxism is the parafunctional or habitual “grinding” of teeth, often nocturnal. There are three basic, broad types of bruxism appliances:
- Soft suck-down appliance, typically fabricated in the dental office
- Lab-made hard acrylic appliance
- The NTI – tss, an anterior appliance, generally worn at night.
Occlusal guards usually require two or more visits to deliver the appliance.