Dental Services

EXTRACTION

tooth extractionExtraction is the removal of a tooth from the mouth. Extractions are performed for a variety of reasons. The most common reasons for an extraction is that there is severe tooth decay or infection, severe gum disease, extra teeth which are blocking other teeth from coming in, fractured teeth, insufficient space for wisdom teeth.

NIGHTGUARDS

NightguardNightguards are plastic custom trays, worn at night, to prevent the destruction of enamel for patients who grind their teeth in their sleep. Nightguards are recommended when a patient exhibits occlusal wear of the enamel.

WHITENING PROCEDURES

tooth-whiteningWhitening is recommended if the patient’s tooth enamel coloring is a yellow or gray shade, or if the patient expresses a desire for a whiter shade of enamel. In some cases whitening can lighten intrinsic stain.

Whitening is accomplished with the use of a prescription strength gel. It is most commonly used as an at home treatment and uses individualized custom trays.

SEALANTS

sealantDental sealants are thin white plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Sealants protect the teeth by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves.

PARTIAL AND FULL DENTURES

DenturesA partial denture is a removable appliance that can replace missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. A partial looks like a retainer and is made up of a metal and/or acrylic type material with the false teeth in the appropriate places. There are usually metal clasps on each side that slide over the teeth and help hold the partial in place.

A full denture is a removable appliance that replaces all the teeth on either the upper of lower jaw (or both). They are for people who have no teeth in one or both jaws. The patient must not sleep with the denture in place, as it will cause irritation to the gums. It should be brushed just like your normal teeth. A denture takes several visits to fabricate and like partials, may need to be adjusted after being made.

BRIDGES

bridgeA bridge is prepared just like a crown and is two or more crowns connected together. The tooth on one or both sides of the missing tooth is crowned and the missing tooth is replaced with a false tooth. A bridge is permanently cemented into the patient’s mouth and is treated just like natural teeth. It is not removable, which is the advantage over the removable treatments for missing teeth.

Bridges are recommended when a tooth is missing and surrounding teeth are in jeopardy of drifting to produce malocclusion and when there is compromise of bone support with periodontal complications. It is also indicated after an extraction when the tooth needs to be replaced in order to continue occlusion stability.

ROOT CANAL THERAPY

root-canalA root canal means that the decay on the tooth has gotten down to the nerve. The nerve can be totally infected and abscessed at the bottom, or the nerve can be partially infected. A root canal consists of cleaning out the decay and removing the infected nerve of the tooth, then filling the tooth. Completing a tooth’s treatment sets the stage so your body’s healing process can take place as effectively as possible, thus allowing the tissues surrounding your tooth to maintain a healthy state.

GUM (PERIODONTAL) DISEASE

gum-diseaseGum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Treatment for this may consist of regular cleaning, and then a deep cleaning called root planning and scaling.

Here are some warning signs of gum disease:

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures
  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease. They are:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

FILLINGS

fillingA dental filling is a way to restore a tooth back to its normal function and shape. A filling is done by removing the decay areas of the tooth and cleaning the affected area. The cleaned out cavity will be filled with a filling material. By closing off spaces where bacteria can enter, a filling also helps prevent further decay.

How Do I Know if I Need a Filling?
Only your dentist can detect whether or not you have a cavity that needs to be filled. During a checkup, your dentist will use a small mirror to examine the surfaces of each tooth.

Anything that looks abnormal will then be closely checked with special instruments. Your dentist may also x-ray your entire mouth or a section of it. The type of treatment your dentist chooses will depend on the extent of damage caused by decay.

CROWNS

CrownA crown is also known as a cap. It sits on the tooth as a protective cover to prevent a tooth from chipping or breaking when chewing. A crown extends the life of the tooth. Signs for the need of a crown are large fillings, a tooth with a crack in it, teeth that are broken or have large chips where a filling would not hold, and teeth that have had root canals. Crowns can last 10-15-20 years or longer if properly done and maintained.

PORCELAIN VENEERS

veenerPorcelain veneers are the most conservative esthetic restorations available in dentistry today. A thin layer of the front tooth is removed to allow a veneer of porcelain to be bonded to the tooth without making it any thicker. Similar, in a way, to a false fingernail, the veneer covers dark or yellow teeth, fills unsightly gaps, lengthens short or stubby teeth, straightens crooked teeth, and in general creates a more attractive smile. Unlike the false fingernails, the veneers are permanent. The end result is something that is a real joy to see and gives 100% patient satisfaction.