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 are an important part of the dental exam, used to diagnose problems with the teeth, gums and jaw. X-rays use electromagnetic radiation to produce these images -- they form wavelengths that penetrate the soft tissue of the body and are absorbed by denser materials, creating pictures of your bones or teeth. And since your dentist doesn't have X-ray vision, they're necessary to distinguish dental problems not visible to the naked eye.
Tooth decay, periodontal disease, impacted teeth, bite problems and even tumors are just a few of the dental conditions easily found with dental X-rays.
While X-rays provide valuable information that we can't get from any other source, they can't show you everything that's going on in your mouth. That's why we have invested in an intraoral camera-a highly advanced peice of diagnostic equipment that allows you to what we see inside your mouth.
You'll be able to see problems such as worn or broken fillings, cracked teeth, plaque deposits, cavites next to fillings and excessive wear.
You can see what we see!
The intraoral camera allows you to be an active partner in you dental treatment by enabling you to see what we see inside your mouth with clear understanding of your dental conditions, You'll be able to make treatment decisions with confidence.
Ask us about or intraoral camera on your next visit to our office.
No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth. A professional hygiene appointment is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. While a traditional hygiene appointment involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools, advances in dental technologies now give you more options for teeth cleanings.
Deep Cleaning or Scaling and Root Planning
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.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The keys to surviving oral cancer are early detection and early treatment. This starts with a regular oral cancer screening – at least once every six months. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free and can be performed during regular dental exams. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: Oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk of oral cancer include people over the age of 60, tobacco smokers and heavy drinkers.
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.
If your silver fillings make you feel self conscious when you smile, or it's simply time to replace them, consider white fillings. White fillings are just as durable as they are attractive! Made of composite resin, white fillings match the natural color of your teeth and are an excellent option for small to mid-sized cavities. White fillings are strong, stain-resistant and require less removal of your tooth structure than amalgam fillings.
A dental crown may not make you feel like royalty, but it is one of the premiere treatments for teeth with extensive decay or damage. Dental crowns can also used to hold a dental bridge in place, cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth, or cover a tooth after a root canal procedure. Made of either porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic or gold, dental crowns are placed during a multi-step process and sometimes require more than one dental visit. The first step is a dental impression. A temporary crown is then placed to protect the tooth while the impression is sent to an offsite laboratory to create the final restoration. With good oral hygiene and minimal wear and tear, your beautiful new dental crowns can last up to 15 years.
Porcelain Dental Crowns
Although dental crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including stainless steel, gold and silver, nothing looks better than a porcelain dental crown. Porcelain dental crowns match the natural color of your teeth and are virtually undetectable by the naked eye. And because they're metal-free, porcelain dental crowns are an excellent option for patients with metal allergies. Best of all, porcelain crowns don't just look beautiful – they're long-lasting, too!
Dental bridges have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth. Today, dental bridges are still considered one of the most durable, conservative and cost-effective options for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape in tact.
There are three types of dental bridges: 1) Traditional Dental Bridges, 2) Cantilever Dental Bridges, and 3) Maryland Bridges. Traditional bridges have either dental crowns or dental implants on either side of the missing tooth, plus a replacement tooth, which is held in place by a post-like structure called a dental abutment. Cantilever Dental Bridges are used in cases where there are surrounding teeth only on one side of the missing tooth. Maryland Bridges are made of a specialized resin that is cemented to a metal framework and cemented to the enamel of surrounding teeth.
Dental bridges typically take 2-3 weeks to complete and are less invasive than other options, such as dental implants. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental bridges can last up to 30 years.
Dentures, Partials and Flippers
Using dentures to replace missing teeth is not only great for your oral health; it's a great way to look and feel younger! Today, there are a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures for patients who need to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and either resin or porcelain replacement teeth, dentures are custom designed to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures, which can be either fixed or removable, are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.
Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require daily maintenance. With regular wear and tear, your dentures can last 5-7 years. During that time, you may need periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. Regular denture relines involve resurfacing the base to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it's critical to bring them to your dentist for professional denture repair. Home denture repair kits can cause more damage and be even more costly to fix.
Our office offers free consultations for prothetics (dentures/partials). Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!
Gum Disease Treatment
Red, swollen gums are a red flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you're not alone. More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, requires scaling and root planing to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line. Laser gum surgery, a new alternative to scaling and root planing, uses beams of high-speed light to remove plaque and tartar buildup. If non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective, a gingivectomy, or periodontal surgery, may be necessary.
What is a night guard?
A night guard, also known as a dental splint or occlusal guard, is a thin piece of plastic that covers and protects the entire upper or lower arch of your teeth.
What is a night guard used for?
It is used to treat temporomandibular joint disorders and to prevent further wear, fractures, and damage to your teeth due to clenching, grinding or bite issues.
How does a night guard work?
A night guard works in a few ways. First, it works as a shock absorber by distributing the forces during grinding and clenching at night. A night guard prevents fractures by protecting the teeth and preventing traumatic interferences. Additionally, it prevents wear on the biting surfaces, so instead of grinding away the protective hard outer covering of the tooth (enamel), you grind on plastic. Finally, it helps treat TMJ disorders by relaxing the jaw joints and “de-programming” the muscles to prevent extra movements that can wear the joint, cause tight muscles, inflammation or damage.
How do I know if I need a night guard?
There are multiple reasons a night guard might be the right treatment for you. Many people who grind or clench their teeth will wake with a headache or toothache. Additionally, you may wake with sore muscles or tender jaw joints. Your teeth may have a flat worn appearance or look very short. Your sleeping partner may report that you make grinding noises in your sleep. This grinding and clenching can cause damage to teeth, fracture or shorten the longevity of dental restorations, loosen teeth and cause irreparable destruction to the jaw joint itself. Therefore, to protect your long-term dental health and help you keep your teeth healthy; your dentist may recommend an occlusal guard or a night guard
Catering to the dental needs of kids requires a special touch. We treat the oral health needs of children into their teenage years. This involves in-depth knowledge about children's behavior, as well as their growth and development. We make kids feel comfortable and relaxed with plenty of toys and activities, with a warm, inviting and fun décor.