SERVICES

Apart of the routine checkups, and cleanings we also offer the serves. Please click on the links below for more information.

Preventive Oral Healthcare:

Arestin
Cleanings (prophys)
Examinations
Fluoride treatments
Intra-oral photography
Non-Surgical Gum Treatments
Periodontal (gum) disease
Sealants
Sensitivity
What is a dental hygienist?
X-Rays

 

 

Restorative and Cosmetic:

Bonding
Bridges
Cosmetic Dentistry
Crowns
Dentures - Full and Partial
Fillings
Implants
Lumineers
Root Canal Treatment
Veneers

 

 

 

Additional services:

Laser Decay Detection
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing gas)
Oraqix
TMJ Treatments
Tooth whitening
Treatment of snoring

 

Arestin

You may have heard about gum disease, or “periodontitis.”  You may have even been informed that you have this infection.  It’s important to treat gum disease professionally; brushing and flossing alone will not provide a cure.  Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss among American adults.  In addition, there is a relationship between periodontitis and other health issues including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and preterm low birth-weight babies.  Recent research has also determined a link between gum disease and pancreatitis.  You dentist and dental hygienist know how to treat periodontitis.  You may be referred to a periodontist for a surgical consult.  Instead, your dentist may recommend non-surgical treatment.  Non-surgical treatment includes a procedure called scaling and root-planing.  In addition, your dentist may place an antibiotic called ARESTIN® inside periodontal pockets.   ARESTIN® is an effective antibiotic treatment that comes in powder form which is placed inside a pocket after scaling and root-planing.  In many cases, this antibiotic helps reduce the depth of the pocket, thereby helping to control periodontal disease. 

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Bonding

Bonding is a style of cosmetic dentistry that involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.

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Bridges

This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before them, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.

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Cleanings (prophys)

A dental cleaning is also called a prophylaxis.  In addition to improving the appearance of teeth, the main reason for a dental prophylaxis is to treat and prevent periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay.  The dentist or dental hygienist performs dental scaling (which includes removal of plaque and calculus above and below the gum-line) and dental polishing to remove stain and soft plaque after scaling.  The prevention of dental disease lends itself to the improvement of overall health and well-being.   

Your dental hygienist is glad to answer any questions you have regarding your homecare.  There are several products we recommend to help you take care of your teeth.  The most important aspect of good home care is proper brushing and flossing.  If flossing is difficult for you ask about interdental stimulators.  There are several different styles and your hygienist will help you pick the best for you.  In addition, it is important to clean your tongue on a regular basis.  Ask us to show you how!

If you are considering a power toothbrush, one that we recommend is the Sonicare.

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Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is a component of treatment that includes anything done to correct imperfections in the appearance of the mouth. Anyone who is unhappy with his or her smile can have it fixed. The upper teeth show, usually, only when smiling, while the lower teeth remain hidden. This is reversed when talking, with the upper teeth remaining hidden while the lower teeth show. The color, alignment, spacing as well as regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that give the overall appearance. Any of these can be repaired to give a stunning look to the mouth.

At our dental office, a wide of cosmetic options are offered. Some of these options are whitening,  recontouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.

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Crowns

Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.

It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.

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Dentures

There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it's time for dentures. Relax. No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but you can still eat and talk regularly.

The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures.

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Examinations

A dental examination is usually performed twice a year to detect disease in its early stages.  In this way, decay can be treated before it threatens to cause a root canal and gum disease can be stopped in an early stage.  Existing restorations are inspected to make sure they are sound.  In addition, dental examinations include a screening for oral cancer and TMJ (temporal mandibular joint) dysfunction, and other issues affecting the head and neck.  In addition, dentists and dental hygienists review general health issues that relate to your oral health including diabetes and heart disease

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Fillings

Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because new a material fills hole that decay left.  In today's world, most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction.

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Fluoride treatments

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to and lost from a tooth's enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth's enamel layer when acids - formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth - attack the enamel. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel layer leads to tooth decay.

As mentioned, fluoride is found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor's prescription.  A dentist in his or her office can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Varnishes are painted on the teeth; foams are put into a mouth guard, which is applied to the teeth for 1 to 4 minutes; gels can be painted on or applied via a mouth guard.  Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids and tablets and must be prescribed by your dentist, pediatrician or family doctor.

It is certainly important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. These are the timeframes during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. However, adults benefit from fluoride too. New research indicates that topical fluoride - from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments - are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening developing teeth. In addition, people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay and would therefore benefit from additional fluoride treatment. They include people with: dry mouth, gum disease, a history of frequent cavities, the presence of crowns, bridges or braces.

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Implants

A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft.

Implants, such as those made by Nobel Biocare, can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, of course, they don't have to be taken out all the time.

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Intra-oral Photography

Intra-oral photography is used in this office for several reasons; first, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Photographs of a dental condition can help describe what is happening in the mouth and how to best treat a tooth.  They provide additional documentation to submit with dental claims when seeking reimbursement for dental treatment.  In addition, we often take photographs for our own benefit, to chronicle a treatment plan from beginning to end. 

 

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Laser Decay Detection

An instrument used for laser decay detection, called the Diagonodent, uses a small handheld diode laser to scan the surfaces of your teeth. As the light goes along, any areas of decay show up. This is because healthy tooth material does not fluoresce (glow) under the special light. Decayed tooth material, however, shows up clearly. This allows us to see forming cavities months or years before they will ever show up on x-rays. This early detection makes it very easy to catch small problems long before they get a chance to become big problems.

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Lumineers

LUMINEERS BY CERINATE® are porcelain veneers that offer the painless way to a permanently whiter and perfectly aligned smile. Your LUMINEERS dentist can apply these contact lens-thin “smile shapers” to teeth without any grinding or shaving, transforming teeth into a naturally beautiful smile that looks perfect for every individual. LUMINEERS can even be placed over existing crown or bridgework without having to replace them.

LUMINEERS can only be made from patented Cerinate porcelain.  In just 2-3 visits, you can have a custom-made smile that is clinically proven to last over 20 years - and it is completely reversible since your natural tooth structure is still intact! Get your perfect smile today! 

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Nitrous Oxide (Laughing gas)

Now, this isn't really a service in itself, it's used to make other treatment more comfortable. This is the famous dental analgesic. It's safe, has proven effective over a long period of time, and is pleasant. You will be given a mask that allows you to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. In about 30 seconds to 4 minutes you will notice a more sedate feeling, and your cheek and gums may go numb. After this any needed local anesthetic is applied and treatment begins. Afterwards, you will be given pure oxygen to breathe for about five minutes to dissipate the effects of the nitrous and return you to a normal state.

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Non-Surgical Gum Treatments

The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for ones teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium.  When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (periodontal [gum] disease) may be as follows:  gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth.  Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic or with Oraqix, along with local antibiotic agents such as ARESTIN®. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction.  This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.

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Oraqix

Oraqix® is the first and only FDA approved needle-free anesthetic that can be used to numb gum tissue for dental procedures, including scaling and/or root planing procedures. Oraqix® is applied on the gums around selected teeth using the blunt-tipped applicator.  After 30 seconds, the dentist or hygienist can start treatment.  Anesthetic effect  lasts approximately 20 minutes. Oraqix® helps provide comfort during dental treatment that involved treating gum tissue. 

 

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Periodontal (gum) disease

You may not realize that persistent sore, swollen, red, or bleeding gums as well as tooth pain or sensitivity and bad breath are warning signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) – a serious infection that, left untreated, may lead to tooth loss as well as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and premature/underweight babies.

Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.  In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed. 

(information supplied taken from the website for the American Academy of Periodontology, www.perio.org)

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Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.

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Sealants

This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you don't want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.


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Sensitivity

Discomfort in one or more teeth that can be triggered by hot, cold, sweet or sour foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. The pain can be sharp, sudden, and shoot deep into the nerve endings of your teeth. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the underlying layer of your teeth - the dentin - becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue (the protective blanket that covers the tooth roots). The roots, which are not covered by hard enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth's never center (the pulp). These dentinal tubules (or channels) allow the stimuli - for example, the hot, cold, or sweet food - to reach the nerve in your tooth, which results in the pain you feel.  There are many factors that may lead to the development of tooth sensitivity, including brushing too hard, gum recession, gum disease, cracked teeth, and teeth grinding, just to name a few. 

 

Let us know if you are experiencing sensitivity so we can help.   Possible treatments include using a soft toothbrush, using desensitizing toothpaste, using a prescription-strength fluoride at home, and treating bruxism (teeth grinding). 

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TMJ Treatments

TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches 
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

 Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

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Treatment for snoring

The Crystal Clear Anti-Snoring Device helps prevent snoring while you sleep.  It is a patented oral appliance that comfortably fits over your teeth.  You wear it on your upper teeth similar to an athletic mouth guard.  Snoring is caused by the soft tissue at the back of your mouth relaxing and partially obstructing the throat.  The Crystal Clear ASD keeps your lower jaw in a forward position so the airway remains open and unblocked, preventing you from snoring.  In addition, if you snore and grind your teeth at night (brux), the Crystal Clear ASD will also protect your teeth from grinding. 


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What is a dental hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a licensed health care professional, oral health educator, and clinician who, as a cotherapist with the dentist, provides preventive, educational, and therapeutic services supporting total health for the control of oral diseases and the promotion of oral health. A registered dental hygienist has graduated from a minimum two-year college program that includes classroom studies and extensive supervised clinical experience. A dental hygienist also must pass a national written exam and a comprehensive state clinical exam to earn the RDH license.

Generally, the dental hygienist may work in general and specialty oral health practices. Other areas of employment include programs for research, professional education, and community health; hospital and institutional care of disabled persons; federal programs, such as the armed services; or other health service locations as specified in statute or as authorized by the state board of dentistry.

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Whitening

Whitening is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. There are several methods to choose from if you want to whiten your teeth.  One of the most popular involves having impressions taken from which we fabricate custom vinyl trays. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use.  The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it can take several months of use to see significant color improvement if staining is severe. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months.  Some over the counter products such as Crest White Strips work as well.   In addition, we offer in-office bleaching such as the Zoom whitening method.  Check out this Whitening Fact Sheet for more information.

 

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X-Rays

This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles through bone which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention. Click here for more information about dental xrays.

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Veneers

Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.

BEFORE
                         AFTER

The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.

The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.

The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

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