CLEANINGS & PREVENTION
A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progression, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.
Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.
Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth.
Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.
Some of our procedures include:
Dental Exams & Cleanings
How to Properly Brush & Floss
What is Orthodontics?
In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry. We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence. Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, there are many options for improving the appearance of teeth.
Cosmetic dental treatments can:
- Change the size, shape, and alignment of teeth.
- Fill in unattractive spaces between teeth.
- Lighten or brighten the color of teeth.
- Repair decayed, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.
- Replace missing teeth.
- Replace old, unattractive dental restorations.
Porcelain Crowns (Caps)
Porcelain Fixed Bridges
The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
Not only is periodontal disease the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
- Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
- New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
- Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
- Receding gums – Loss of gum tissue around a tooth.
- Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
- Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
It’s great news that the incidence of tooth decay has significantly diminished over the years due to the use of fluorides and an increase in patient awareness. However, teeth are still susceptible to decay, infection, and breakage and sometimes need to be restored back to health. Through improved techniques and modern technology, we are now able to offer more options for restoring a tooth back to its normal shape, appearance and function.
Should your teeth ever require a restorative treatment, you can rest assured knowing we will always discuss with you the available options, and recommend what we believe to be the most comfortable and least invasive treatment.
Mini Dental Implants
Dentures & Partial Dentures
Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the complex structures found inside the teeth. The Greek word “Endodontics” literally means “inside the tooth,” and relates to the tooth pulp, tissues, nerves and arterioles.
Signs and symptoms of endodontic problems:
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold foods.
- Tenderness when chewing and biting.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Unexplained pain in the nearby lymph nodes.
- Reasons for endodontic treatment
Endodontic treatment (or root canal therapy) is performed to save the natural tooth. In spite of the many advanced restorations available, most dentists agree that there is no substitute for healthy, natural teeth.
Here are some of the main causes of inner tooth damage:
Bacterial infections – Oral bacteria is the most common cause of endodontic problems. Bacteria invade the tooth pulp through tiny fissures in the teeth caused by tooth decay or injury. The resulting inflammation and bacterial infection jeopardize the affected tooth and may cause an abscess to form.
Fractures and chips – When a large part of the surface or crown of the tooth has become completely detached, root canal therapy may be required. The removal of the crown portion leaves the pulp exposed, which can be painful.
Injuries – Injuries to the teeth can be caused by a direct or indirect blow to the mouth area. Some injuries cause a tooth to become luxated, or dislodged from its socket. Root canal therapy is often needed after an injury.
What does an endodontic procedure invlove?
Root canal therapy usually takes between one and three visits to complete. Complete X-rays of the teeth will be taken and examined before the treatment begins.
Initially, a local anesthetic will be administered, and a dental dam (protective sheet) will be placed to ensure that the surgical area remains free of saliva during the treatment. An opening will be created in the surface of the tooth, and the pulp will be completely removed using small handheld instruments.
The space will now be shaped, cleaned and filled with gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a biocompatible material. Usually, a temporary filling will be placed to restore functionality to the tooth prior to the permanent restoration procedure. During the final visit, a permanent restoration or crown will be placed.
If you have questions or concerns about endodontic procedures, please ask your dentist.
Root Canal Therapy
While most dental surgery is performed on an out-patient basis, it remains an involved procedure that requires specific preparation and aftercare. In an effort to provide safe, comfortable care, we encourage you to review our post-operative instructions, which are intended to facilitate a smooth and safe recovery.
If you have any questions or concerns about your surgery, please contact our practice today.
After Tooth Extractions
There are a number of reasons that your dentist might recommend a tooth extraction. Some dental patients suffer from tooth decay; others need to remove teeth hindering orthodontic treatment, whereas various patients simply need wisdom teeth removal. While a tooth extraction can be a serious dental procedure, aftercare is just as critical as the procedure itself. As the dental patient, it is important to understand that pain and the risk of infection can be lessened with proper care.
Care immediately following surgery:
- Keep pressure on the gauze pad that your doctor placed over the surgical area by gently biting down. Dampen the gauze sponge with water if it begins to dry out. Try to maintain constant pressure in intervals of 20 minutes, repeating with new gauze as often as needed until bleeding lessens.
- Keep your head elevated and try to lower your activity level as much as possible.
- Keep your mouth clean by brushing areas around the surgical site, but be sure to avoid sutures. Touching the wounded area in any fashion should be prevented.
- Use ice packs to control swelling by placing them on facial areas near extraction.
- Take all prescribed medications accordingly.
- Try to eat softer foods.
- Keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but do not drink through a straw for the next 3 days.
- If you are a regular tobacco user, refrain from smoking for at least 3 days.
After your tooth has been extracted, healing will take some time. Within 3 to 14 days, your sutures should fall out or dissolve. For sutures that are non-resorbable, your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment to remove the sutures for you. Your tooth’s empty socket will gradually fill in over time.
Please contact our office with any questions or concerns.