General Dentistry

Dentistry involves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders and diseases affecting the teeth, gums and maxillofacial (associated with the jaw and face) region of the body. General dentists provide services related to the general maintenance of oral hygiene and tooth health.


Oral Surgery & Wisdom Teeth


Oral Surgery & Wisdom Teeth

Oral Surgery
Our doctors manage a wide variety of problems relating to the mouth, teeth and facial regions. We practice a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery, including:
• Wisdom Teeth Extraction
• Surgical Tooth Extractions
• Biopsies
This also includes techniques designed to rebuild bone structure with minimal surgical intervention and optimal patient comfort. We can also diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and fractures.

Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen. The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone as they attempt to find a pathway that will allow them to successfully erupt.
These poorly positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When they are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The pressure from the erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.


Root Canal Treatment


Root Canal

Endodontics

What is Endodontics?
Endodontics is a branch of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association involving diagnosis and treatment of the pulp (root canal) and surrounding tissues of the tooth. When you look at your tooth in the mirror, what you see is the crown. The rest of the tooth, the portion hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root. Though the outer portion of the root is a hard tissue called dentin, the inside channel or “root canal” contains a pulp of soft tissue, blood vessels and nerves.

The endodontist examines, diagnoses, and treats diseases and destructive processes, including injuries and abnormalities of dental pulps and periapical tissues of the teeth.
Our Endodontic Services Include:
• Non-surgical Root Canal Treatment
• Endodontic Retreatment
• Apicoectomy

Root Canal Treatment
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to build the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort.

Fillings


Dental Fillings

A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used artificially to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. Dental restorations may be fabricated out of a variety of materials:

Dental Composites
Dental composites are also called white fillings. Crowns and in-lays can also be made in the laboratory from dental composites. These materials are similar to those used in direct fillings and are tooth colored. Their strength and durability is not as high as porcelain or metal restorations and they are more prone to wear and discoloration.
Many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and tooth-colored restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable), but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Disadvantages Of Silver Fillings
Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and creates an environment where cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.
Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak, and cause stains on your teeth and gums.
Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with tooth-colored restorations.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations
There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.
Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!

The result is a beautiful smile!
For an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore decayed teeth, place crowns, remove defective amalgam fillings, or place cosmetic veneers in just one appointment. This allows you to have the highest quality, most lifelike dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist…in, out, and on with your busy life.

Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth-Colored Restoration
You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays). This process requires two appointments.

Your First Appointment:
• The old filling is removed and any additional decay.
• An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
• A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth.

At The Lab:
A resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look like your natural tooth.

Your Second Appointment:
• The temporary onlay is removed.
• A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
• Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
• The tooth is then polished.

Dental Implants


Dental Implants

Dental Implant Presentation
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life.
If, like many others, you feel implant dentistry is the choice for you, we ask that you undergo a dental/radiographic examination and health history. During these consultation visits, your specific needs and considerations will be addressed by implant specialist. Your questions and concerns are important to us. Our team will work with you very closely to help make your procedure a success.

Procedure
Dental implants are metal anchors that act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures or custom temporary crowns and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, our office designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and aesthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. The doctor then will uncover the implants and attach a small healing cap. Then, doctor will be able to begin making your new teeth. An impression must be taken. Following this, posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes four to eight months, based on the complexity of the case and patients’ healing rate among other factors. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.

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Dental Whitening


Dental Whitening

Having a beautiful smile may be even easier than you think. Many people achieve the look they’ve been dreaming of with our simple “bleaching” procedure.
It’s safe, quick, and inexpensive. Just let us know at any appointment if you would like to begin whitening. You can lighten only your upper teeth or both the upper and lower, depending on how much of each shows when you talk and smile.
In only a day or two your custom bleach trays will be ready for you. We provide you with a special bleaching agent that you put into the clear, nearly invisible trays. With only a few hours of wear per day, our special bleaching agent bubbles stains right out of your enamel in a very short time without altering tooth structure or existing dental work in any way. When your teeth reach the brightness you want, only occasional treatment is needed to maintain your new smile. We’ll want to take “after” photos at your next appointment.
Teeth Whitening can be used to correct many tooth discolorations. These discolorations may have been caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Using the latest in teeth whitening technology, we can offer a safe method for creating a beautiful, “brilliant” smile. In cases of extreme tooth discoloration, crowns or

Key Benefits
• Corrects brown, yellow, and mottled tooth staining
• Works on people of all ages.
• Is a near permanent solution for a “dull” smile, restoring brightness, and bringing a smile alive.

How Is It Done?
An impression is taken to make a specialized “mouthguard” or “stent” to hold the bleach against the teeth. The material is used each night for about three to four hours for a week or two, after which significant whitening will occur. In some cases, the change is nothing short of brilliant. For confidence in appearance, teeth whitening offers improvements in yellowing, aging, or stained teeth. For very severely stained teeth, crowns or veneers may be more appropriate.

Considerations
Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available at drug stores and pharmacies; however, since these products can harm the gums and teeth, it’s better to use products that our practice recommends.

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Periodontal Treatment


Periodontal Treatment

We provide conservative and surgical treatment of gum disease including cosmetic procedures to aesthetically enhance your smile, including:
• Crown Lengthening
• Osseous Surgery
• Gingivectomy
• Dental Implants, to replace single or multiple missing teeth

Periodontal Disease
Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically-susceptible individuals. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. They may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

Dental Implants
We provide single-tooth and multi-tooth implants, to full mouth rehabilitation.
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that their teeth appear natural and that their facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.

Extractions


Extraction Dental

You and your dentist may determine that you need a tooth extraction for any number of reasons. Some teeth are extracted because they are severely decayed. Others may have advanced periodontal disease or are broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Other teeth may need removal because they are poorly positioned in the mouth (such as impacted teeth) or in preparation for orthodontic treatment.
The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health.
To avoid these complications, our doctors will discuss alternatives to extractions as well replacement of the extracted tooth.

The Extraction Process
At the time of extraction the doctor will need to numb your tooth, jawbone, and gums that surround the area with a local anesthetic.
During the extraction process you will feel a lot of pressure. This is from the process of firmly rocking the tooth in order to widen the socket for removal.
You feel the pressure without pain as the anesthetic has numbed the nerves stopping the transference of pain, yet the nerves that transmit pressure are not profoundly affected.
If you do feel pain at any time during the extraction, please let us know right away.

Sectioning A Tooth
Some teeth require sectioning. This is a very common procedure done when a tooth is so firmly anchored in its socket or the root is curved and the socket can’t expand enough to remove it. The doctor simply cuts the tooth into sections then removes each section one at a time.

After Care

Bleeding
Some bleeding may occur. Placing a piece of moist gauze over the empty tooth socket and biting down firmly for 30 minutes can control this.

Blood Clots That Form In The Empty Socket
This is an important part of the healing process and you must be careful not to dislodge the clot.
• Avoid rinsing or spitting for 24 hours after the extraction.
• Avoid use of a straw, smoking, or drinking hot liquids.

Swelling
If swelling occurs, you can place ice on your face for ten minutes and off for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle as you feel necessary for up to 24 hours.

Pain & Medications
If you experience pain, you might use non-prescription pain relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Eating
For most extractions, make sure you do your chewing away from the extraction site. Stay away from hot liquids and alcoholic beverages for 24
hours. A liquid diet may be recommended for 24 hours.

Brushing & Cleaning
After the extraction, avoid brushing the teeth near the extraction site for one day. After that you can resume gentle cleaning. Avoid commercial mouth rinses, as they tend to irritate the extraction site.
Beginning 24 hours after the extraction, you can rinse with salt water (one teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water) after meals and before bed.

Dry Socket
Dry socket is when a blood clot fails to form in the socket where the tooth has been extracted or the clot has been dislodged and the healing is significantly delayed.
Following the postoperative extraction instructions will reduce the chances of developing dry socket. Dry sockets manifest themselves as a dull throbbing pain that usually doesn’t appear until three to four days after the extraction. The pain can be moderate to severe and radiate from the extraction area. Dry socket may cause a bad taste or bad breath and the extraction site appears dry.
Doctor will apply a medicated dressing to the dry socket to soothe the pain.

Healing
After a tooth has been extracted there will be a resulting hole in your jawbone where the tooth was. In time, this will smooth and fill in with bone. This process can take many weeks or months. However after 1- 2 weeks you should no longer notice any inconvenience.

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