General Dentistry

Below is a partial list of several of the general dentistry services that we offer to our patients. In order for us to better service your dental needs, we recommend a complete examination followed by a free consultation in which we will create a dental plan that suits you or your children's dental health and lifestyle. Our general dentistry covers adults and childrens dental care, dental exams & cleanings, metal free fillings, bonding, teeth extractions, root canals, dental hygiene, digital x-rays, floride treatment, sealants, and more.

Bonding and White Fillings

Bonding is the application of a tooth-colored resin to repair a decayed, chipped, fractured, discolored tooth, to make the teeth appear longer, and as a cosmetic alternative to amalgam fillings. Sometimes bonding is used to protect a portion of the tooth's root that has been exposed because of gum recession. It also can be used to close spaces between teeth. The cosmetic resin used can be shaped and polished to match the surrounding teeth. Tea, coffee, cigarette smoke and other substances can stain the resin used in bonding. To prevent or minimize stains, avoid eating or drinking these types of foods and drinks during the first 48 hours after any composite procedure. In addition brush your teeth often and have them cleans every 6 months by a dentist.

A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Aesthetics are the main advantage of white fillings, since dentist can shade match the composite to mirror the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes. A second advantage of white filings is that they are more insulative than silver fillings. As a result, they can be less sensitive to cold air, fluids, and foods.

Children

Having a family dentist that cares for the best interests of your children is an important decision. It is also important that your children feel comfortable with their dentist and are educated at an early age about good dental habits. It is very important to maintain the health of the primary teeth. Neglected cavities can frequently lead to problems which affect developing permanent teeth. Primary teeth are important for providing space for the permanent teeth and guiding them into the correct position. They also aid in normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.

Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early. 

To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied to the teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid, as if it is painted right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.

Bridges and Crowns

Both crowns and most bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike removable devices such as dentures, which you can take out and clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants, and can only be removed by a dentist.

A bridge may be recommended if you're missing one or more teeth. Gaps left by missing teeth eventually cause the remaining teeth to rotate or shift into the empty spaces, resulting in a bad bite. The imbalance caused by missing teeth can also lead to gum disease and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing. Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth, called abutments, serve as anchors for the bridge. A replacement tooth, called a pontic, is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments. As with crowns, you have a choice of materials for bridges. Your dentist can help you decide which to use, based on the location of the missing tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations and cost. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

A crown is used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.

Periodontal Disease

Unhealthy gums are a major warning to problems ahead and the possibility of future tooth loss. This can also be an indication of the potential for stroke and heart disease. Periodontitis begins with bacterial growth, and if untreated will result in destruction of the tissue surrounding the tooth and eventually loss of that tooth. In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors also contribute to periodontal disease; these include hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy, poor hygiene, and smoking.

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

Even if you don't notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease. A periodontal exam is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.

Dentures

Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. If you've lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, tooth decay or injury, replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance and your health. That's because dentures make it easier to eat and speak better than you could without teeth – things that people often take for granted.

When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile.

New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away. Even if you wear full dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.

Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are restorations used to repair rear teeth with mild to moderate decay or cracked and fractured teeth that are not sufficiently damaged to need a crown.Ideal candidates for inlay or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a filling, but have sufficient healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient's original tooth structure.

Dental inlays and onlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth. During treatment the dentist removes the old fillings under local anesthesia and takes an impression of the tooth, which is sent to the dental laboratory. The new inlay or onlay is made from this mold in porcelain, gold or composite resin material. The inlay or onlay is then cemented into place at the next appointment. The inlay or onlay blends successfully with the treated tooth and the rest of the teeth to achieve a natural, uniform appearance.

Night Guard/Occlusal Guard

A night guard is a device which is placed in the mouth on teeth to help deal with grinding or clenching. Night guards can also be called occlusal guards, occlusal splints or bite splints. They are used to protect tooth and restoration surfaces, manage mandibular (jaw) dysfunction TMD, and stabilize the jaw joints during occlusion or create space prior to restoration procedures. People prone to nighttime clenching may routinely wear guards at night. They generally cover all the teeth of the upper or lower arch, but partial coverage is sometimes used.

TMJ Treatment

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as TMJ.

Symptoms of TMJ can range from popping or clicking when you open your jaw, to head and neck aches. Normal treatments can range from bite guards to muscle relaxants. A thorough dental exam will usually reveal any TMJ problems, some can be treated through soft or hard night guards. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.

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