Prevention is the key to successful dental care. Our initial visit with each patient is the beginning of the preventive process.
All patients are required to have radiographs (x-rays) taken, based on their individual needs at the time of their first visit, along with a prophylaxis (cleaning) based, again, on their individual needs. More than one visit may be required, again, based on the individual needs of each patient.
While no one can predict an accident or emergency, we can assist in preventing problems by helping you with a routine maintenance schedule of radiographs and cleanings tailored to you. As you become more educated as a dental patient, we can work together to hopefully minimize dental problems. For patients who have a past history of dental problems, we will customize a program of recall visits to optimize your dental health. This will probably mean more frequent visits for cleanings below the gum line, to address problem areas that you are unable to take care of at home. Every mouth is different and everyone’s needs vary. We strive to customize visits to assure maximum care with minimal problems.
We are an amalgam free practice. For years, amalgam (silver) restorations were the workhorse of restorative dentistry. Amalgam restorations were and are very good restorations, which have served the test of time, however, as they age, they become unsightly in the mouth. Bonded composite restorations are tooth colored. They come in many shades, which can assure a close match to the color of most teeth. They bond to the teeth and create an aesthetic restoration with a great deal of strength and longevity. They are, however, not unsightly, like the amalgams. Major advancements in the products that were at one time used only in the front teeth, have made it possible to place strong, long-lasting, tooth colored restorations in bicuspids and molars.
Porcelain veneers are essentially thin, lab produced, layers of porcelain, which are bonded to your teeth. Minimal tooth structure is removed to allow for the thickness of the porcelain and the bonding agent. Porcelain veneers, on appropriate teeth (usually your front teeth) are a wonderful, aesthetic option for creating a beautiful smile.
CROWN AND BRIDGE
Crown and bridge restorations, whether a single crown or a multi-unit bridge to replace missing teeth are a wonderful means for restoring and replacing broken down and missing teeth. Crowns and bridges are fixed restorations, that is, they are permanently cemented in the mouth and are not removable. If major amount of tooth structure are missing due to decay or fracture, a filling usually is not the treatment of choice for many reasons. Single unit crowns can replace missing tooth structure and can look like your natural teeth when placed in the mouth. They are not only functional, but aesthetic as well.
Bridges are used to replace missing teeth and re-establish your occlusion (bite) to its natural, functional state. When teeth are missing, provided that there is adequate supporting structure (bone), a bridge can be the answer to filling in the missing space and restoring your occlusion and prevent the moving of your teeth. Teeth will over time drift into empty space creating potential periodontal problems.
Implants are another option, a very good option, to replacing missing teeth. Implants require a minor surgical procedure to place them in the bone. Implants can be used singly or with other implants to provide a base for restorative crown and bridge restorations. Implants can be placed in mouth with healthy levels of bony support. The conditions in your mouth will determine whether or not you are a candidate for implants.
Simply stated, the implant is placed into healthy bone and allowed to osseo-integrate (create a bond) into the bone. Once this happens, usually three months or so, an abutment is placed in the implant and a crown is made to fit over the abutment to restore the missing tooth. Multiple implants can be used to replace missing teeth and can be restored with single crowns or bridges, often in conjunction with your natural teeth. Implants can also be used to support dentures, should you be edentulous (have no natural teeth) or partially edentulous (missing some teeth).
Dentures are removable appliances, which are made to replace missing teeth. In cases where implant and/or crown and bridge are not recommended, dentures are an alternative. Dentures replacing all of the teeth are referred to as full or complete dentures and dentures, which replace missing teeth, where there are remaining natural teeth are referred to as partial dentures. Dentures can be used in conjunction with crowns, bridges and implants, depending on the situation, which exists in your mouth.
Our goal is to find the combination, which is best for the conditions in your mouth and will present the longest lasting result.
Although fixed appliances are preferable, dentures represent a viable option for tooth replacement.
Endodontic therapy refers to root canals. Root canals are necessitated when there is damage to the teeth, which involves the nerve, whether from natural causes, accident or decay.
Once the living tissue is removed from the tooth, the canal is cleaned and a pliable filling material is placed in the canal to seal it from both ends. Endodontic therapy is an excellent way of maintaining natural teeth in the mouth if there is adequate bone structure and tooth structure to support a restoration.
Restorations of choice after root canal therapy are crowns. The tooth will become brittle after root canal therapy and the crown is an excellent means of protecting the tooth and maintaining the occlusion (bite).
In our office we perform root canals on the front teeth and bicuspids. Molar root canals are referred to competent specialists with whom we have been working for years.
There are basically two types of night guards, soft and hard. Night guards are custom made to fit your mouth for patients who grind their teeth at night. Night guards are also, made to be worn in conjunction with TMJ treatment. A determination is made as to whether to use a soft or hard night guard, based on a number of factors including, but not limited to the amount of wear of the teeth associated with grinding, whether or not there is pain associated with the grinding, that is muscle soreness, and if there is involvement of the Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) with or without pain.
We make the soft night guards in our office and have the hard plastic night guards fabricated the excellent dental laboratory we use.
The pliable mouth protectors made for sports participants are similar to the soft night guards mentioned above and are also made in our office. Unlike mouth protectors purchased in stores, our sports protector is custom made to fit your teeth. They provide protection to the teeth when you are involved in a sporting activity where there is the possibility of injury to the teeth. Sports teams require mouth protection for athletes participating in contact sports, especially. The NCAA mandates mouth protection for athletes who participate in sports in college.
In the past few years the whitening of teeth has become a rage for aesthetically improving the appearance of your teeth. Whitening can be achieved in numerous ways from store bought kits to treatment kits available in dental offices. There is a difference in the materials used and the results may be very different.
We offer a number of options for whitening in our office. Our in office whitening is done using ZOOM. ZOOM is an hour long procedure which uses a concentrated light source in conjunction with a bleaching agent. The results, which vary from patient to patient, can show dramatic improvement. Home treatment using custom trays is necessary following ZOOM, as with all bleaching products to maintain the final result. We also offer home treatment kits. Our product of choice is Opalesence. We have two means of supplying treatment, one with custom trays using a treatment gel, the other using strips impregnated with gel. Both of these products will give you a good result. The strength of the gels used will vary based on the treatment chosen as will the length of treatment time. The method of choice for each patient will be discussed on an individual basis to help achieve the result desired.