A comprehensive oral exam is done which may include any necessary x-rays to complete the evaluation. We are looking for the presence of any cavities and checking the condition of any existing restorations. The soft tissues are checked for gum problems, periodontal disease and oral cancer. Also the TMJ and occlusion are checked for jaw and bite problems. From the exam, we can then come up with your diagnosis and treatment plan. We also do an exam at each regular cleaning.
An emergency visit includes diagnosing the immediate problem and getting you as comfortable as possible. A follow-up appointment can then be made to address any other dental problems.
Regular cleanings are vital to maintain good oral and systemic health. A cleaning will remove plaque, stain and calculus deposits from the teeth and root surfaces. Many times a cleaning can really brighten a smile. The intervals between cleanings can range from 3-6 months depending on the individual. Some patients require more frequent cleanings due to heavier and faster buildup of plaque, stain and calculus or the presence of gum problems.
An individual tooth can be restored with a crown if the tooth can be saved but is badly broken down, decayed and insufficient tooth structure remains to support a filling. Crowns are generally made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal or zirconia. They are durable, beautiful and natural looking.
Bridges will restore a space or gap that is present when 1 or 2 teeth have been removed or are missing. An anchor tooth must be present on either side of the gap in order to place a bridge.
Tooth colored fillings can be placed to restore decayed and damaged teeth if sufficient tooth structure remains. The composite (tooth colored) materials are very aesthetic and durable. They can be matched to the shade of your tooth.
Beautiful, natural looking and long lasting porcelain veneers or Lumineers can give you the wonderful smile you have always wanted. With Lumineers, little or no tooth structure is removed but does depend on the individual case.
A Lumineer is a patented porcelain veneer that can be made as thin as a contact lens and are translucent to look like your real teeth. In many cases no anesthesia is needed to prepare your case unless we are replacing old crowns or veneers that were placed before. Lumineers provide beauty and strength while preserving tooth structure. Veneers can correct a variety of cosmetic dental problems such as:
- tooth discoloration
- noticeable gaps
- permanent stains
- broken or misshapen teeth
A careful smile analysis is done first to determine if Lumineers or a combination of cosmetic procedures can correct and give you the smile you want. A new beautiful smile can be a life changing experience as I have seen with my patients.
Safe and effective teeth whitening (bleaching) can brighten discolored, stained and darkened natural teeth but will not change the shade of any existing crowns or fillings. A whiter smile will make you look younger. We recommend that patients bleach their teeth first and then replace any old, discolored fillings to match the new whiter shade of their teeth. Before bleaching can be done, the teeth need to be clean with any obvious surface stain removed and the gums healthy.
Whitening (bleaching) can be done one of three ways:
- In-office chairside whitening is the quickest way to whiten the teeth. It is done in one visit using a high concentration whitening (bleaching) gel.
- Home whitening (bleaching) with trays is done with custom trays or prefilled bleach trays. They are worn while at home from 15 minutes up to 1 hour.
- The combination of in-office treatment and home trays is the best way to whiten and maintain the new whiter shade. The trays can also be used after a cleaning for a quick touch up before going out.
Teeth can be cosmetically enhanced with bonding tooth colored composite filling material to a tooth without removing any tooth structure. This is a very conservative and effective procedure.
Sometimes a smile can be greatly improved with just reshaping and smoothing the enamel of teeth such as smoothing jagged, sharp or pointed edges and corners.
Some patients may require a “deep cleaning” if it has been a long time since the last cleaning and there is the presence of gum disease. Signs of gum disease includes swollen and bleeding gums, bone loss, loose and mobile teeth, gum infections and moderate to heavy tartar buildup. This is one of the most common reasons for losing a tooth. Many times there very few or no symptoms until the later stages. Treating it starts with a deep scaling and root planning along with careful oral hygiene at home. The more severe cases may require gum surgery.
We work with implant specialists who surgically place the implants. Implants are generally made of titanium which is biocompatible with the body. The bone will actually grow and fuse to the implant. After healing, the implants are restored with crowns or bridges depending on the case. They will look and feel like your natural teeth and eliminate the need for removable dentures and partials that you may be currently wearing and dislike. Implants are the preferred method for restoring missing teeth when possible and will help maintain and preserve the bone in your jaw and cheeks. The preservation of bone will help support the facial structures and prevent wrinkles and collapse of the face. A great website for information regarding implants is www.missingteeth.org.
A complete denture is a removable dental appliance that replaces and restores teeth on either the upper or lower arch when all the teeth on the respective arch are extracted or missing. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and will support your cheek and facial structure. They will restore your smile and ability to chew.
A partial denture is made when some natural teeth remain. The partial will fill in the gaps created by the missing teeth and restore your bite. It prevents the remaining teeth from shifting and collapsing the bite and supports the cheek and facial structures.
This is the American Dental Association’s website for consumers. It has information and tips that can help you take better care of your mouth today so it will take care of you for life. Go to website.