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 SERVICES & TECHNOLOGY
 
We are pleased to offer the following services and technologies to our patients:
 



ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums.  Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly.  Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.

In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:

  • Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
  • Use dental products which contain fluoride, including anticavity toothpaste
  • Rinse with a flouride mouth rinse if advised to do so
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months

The following are indications of good oral hygiene:

  • Your teeth are clean and free of debris
  • Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath is not a constant problem
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DENTAL CLEANING

A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. In our office, cleanings usually last 60 minutes depending on your level of treatment. Cleanings should be performed every six months  to prevent excessive plaque buildup.  Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay.

Scaling: this is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar.

Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has lead to more modern methods such as ultrasonic scalers.  This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both ultrasonic and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.

Root planing: this is the process of cleaning pockets in the gums to treat and prevent gum problems. Root planing is used to treat moderate to advanced gum diseases. When the gum is inflamed, gum pockets become deeper and may lose connections to the bone inside.  The deeper the pockets, the easier it is for plaque deposits to become trapped and worsen gum problems.

Root planing involves extensive therapy clean and remove plaque buildup. Depending on the degree of difficulty, root planing may take several appointments and a local anesthesia may be used to prevent pain.

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NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENT
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for 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 include: 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. With proper gum treatments, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. It is important to have gum problems checked promtly, as gum disease left alone may eventually need treatment through sugery or extraction.

Polishing: this is the last step in tooth cleaning and involves finishing the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean. 

There are two kinds of polishing: air polishing and rubber tip polishing. Air polishing works by spraying high pressured water mixed with baking soda paste onto the surface of your teeth.  This powered water washes away residue and plaque while baking soda removes stains. Rubber cup polishing uses a low-speed and gentle handpiece that contains a polishing paste made of abrasive ingredients ideal for removing stains.  Back to top

HALITOSIS
Halitosis is sophisticated word for “bad breath”.  Depending on the cause, bad breath may strike on occasion or be a persistent condition. The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria.  Because the mouth is moist and warm, it creates perfect conditions for the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth.  In fact, approximately 80% of bad breath is caused by something in the mouth.

Bad breath may be caused by the following:

  • Poor dental hygiene – poor oral hygiene can leave food particles to decay in the mouth
  • Infections in the mouth such as periodontal (gum) disease
  • Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
  • External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
  • Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing through the mouth and through medications
  • Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others

Call our office promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth.  We will perform a physical examination of your mouth to determine the cause.  If we discover that systematic problems are the cause, we may refer you to your family physician.  In severe cases of gum disease, we may recommend a specialized periodontist.  Back to top

SEALANTS
Sealants are used to fill 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.  To avoid cavaties developing over time, 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.  Back to top
 
BONDING
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is performed to repair damage caused by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for other cosmetic purposes. 

First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding.  A gel is applied so the resin will adhere to the surface of the tooth.  The composite is then placed on the tooth and the bonding agent hardens with intense light. The last step is shaping and polishing to give a lustrous finish.  Back to top

FILLINGS
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape.  If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.  A filling helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best, depending on the extent of repair, where in the filling is needed, and cost.  Each filling material is briefly explained below:

· Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place.  While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material.  Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.

· Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear.  However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth. (Please note, we are a mercury free office and the prior information is for educational purposes only.)

· Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years and may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time.  They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.

· Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth.  They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings.  A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown (or "cap") may be recommended.  Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.  Back to top

SEDATION DENTISTRY/DENTAL ANXIETY
Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia.  We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible.  Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients who might otherwise avoid the dentist, to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile. Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable.  This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation.  Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.

Oral Sedatives
This medication can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.

Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV Sedation provides relaxation medication through a small needle inserted in your hand or arm.  Like oral sedatives, IV sedation does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic will also be administered. Intravenous sedation allows patients to be awake but in an extreme state of relaxation with little or no pain. Please cotact our office to obtain more information as to who and how the medication will be administered. Back to top