We will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, specifically looking for any potential problems. Depending on the patient, X-rays may be taken. If there are any signs of decay or other problems, we will recommend treatment options and make notes of any conditions that may need future observation. Oral hygiene instructions will also be provided along with suggestions to help you care for your teeth.
Routine Teeth Cleanings
Twice a year, you should schedule a routine dental cleaning. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can't reach, such as underneath the gum line and between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.
Fillings replace damaged or decayed tooth structure with a restorative material. There are several different types of filling materials, including:
- Silver amalgam: Silver was once the most commonly used material when it came to dental restorations, such as fillings. However, silver fillings do not have much aesthetic appeal to patients.
- Gold fillings: Gold fillings are very durable, able to last approximately 10 to 15 years. The main drawback to gold fillings is the cost of the restoration, since gold is a precious metal.
- White fillings: After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer-lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. These new tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The fillings can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.
A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown usually involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it
- Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown
- Making a physical or digital impression of your teeth in order to create the custom crown
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it to the tooth while the custom crown is being made
- Removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth
- Ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, and cementing it into place
New technologies have greatly reduced the time needed to make strong, natural-looking crowns. Once the procedure is completed, proper care should be taken to ensure the crown remains in good condition and the teeth and gums are healthy. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime!
A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent the shifting of teeth, to fix bite problems or to ensure the strength and integrity of the surrounding teeth.
Fixed bridges are the most popular, and consist of a filler tooth attached to two crowns in order to hold the bridge in place. "Maryland" bridges, commonly used to replace missing front teeth, use tooth-colored metal bands bonded to surrounding teeth. And cantilever bridges use two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth.
Regardless of your needs, we have a bridge solution that will work best!
A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed tissue from inside a tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthened filler. There are a number of reasons a root canal may be necessary, including dental injuries, severe decay and infection or inflammation in the tooth pulp. When left untreated, these problems can cause extensive damage to the tooth structure.
Root canals can typically be completed in one visit, although more extensive cases may require another appointment. You will also be able to drive yourself home after the appointment.
An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if:
- A primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth
- The tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired
- The patient has gum disease
- The tooth is impacted – this is usually the case with the third molars, or “wisdom teeth,” as they erupt years after the other teeth and often have insufficient room in the jaw
Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.