General Treatment

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We believe that excellent care begins with open communication. If you need more information, have any questions, or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us!

 

Our practice can provide a wide range of dental services. We can typically provide every type of dental service without having to refer you to other specialties. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice. Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients.

Dental Examination

We will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, specifically looking for any potential problems. Depending on the patient, X-rays may be taken. If there are any signs of decay or other problems, we will recommend treatment options and make notes of any conditions that may need future observation. Oral hygiene instructions will also be provided along with suggestions to help you care for your teeth.

Routine Teeth Cleanings

Twice a year, you should schedule a routine dental cleaning. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing regularly ensures significantly lower cavities. We can evaluate the level of fluoride in your primary drinking water source and recommend fluoride supplements (usually in tablets or drops), if necessary.

Fluoride Varnish

A topical fluoride varnish is both simple for hygienists to use and comfortable for patients to wear on their teeth. It is a sodium fluoride formula that contains three components naturally found in saliva – fluoride, calcium and phosphate. The hygienist will easily brush the varnish onto the surfaces of teeth, and as it comes into contact with saliva, it will stay in a liquid form and spread across the teeth, seeping into the crevices between teeth. The fluoride varnish is also “activated” when it mixes with saliva, releasing calcium and fluoride. As the varnish continues to coat the teeth, more calcium and fluoride are released, and this process can last the lifetime of the varnish – up to as long as 24 hours!

Patients receive many benefits from a fluoride varnish treatment. The varnish helps prevent tooth decay by replacing minerals in the tooth enamel. If a patient is suffering from tooth sensitivity, the fluoride varnish will fill the dentin tubules, which are the small porous channels that run from the center of the tooth outward.

Fillings

“Fillings” replace damaged or decayed tooth structure with a restorative material. There are several different types of filling materials, including:

  • Silver amalgam: Silver was once the most commonly used material when it came to dental restorations, such as fillings. However, silver fillings do not have much aesthetic appeal to patients.
  • Gold fillings: Gold fillings are very durable, able to last approximately 10 to 15 years. The main drawback to gold fillings is the cost of the restoration, since gold is a precious metal.
  • White fillings: After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer-lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. These new tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The fillings can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.

Crowns

A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown usually involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown
  3. Making a physical or digital impression of your teeth in order to create the custom crown
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it to the tooth while the custom crown is being made
  5. Removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth
  6. Ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, and cementing it into place

New technologies have greatly reduced the time needed to make strong, natural-looking crowns. Once the procedure is completed, proper care should be taken to ensure the crown remains in good condition and the teeth and gums are healthy. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime!

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent the shifting of teeth, to fix bite problems or to ensure the strength and integrity of the surrounding teeth.

Fixed bridges are the most popular, and consist of a filler tooth attached to two crowns in order to hold the bridge in place. “Maryland” bridges, commonly used to replace missing front teeth, use tooth-colored metal bands bonded to surrounding teeth. And cantilever bridges use two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth.

Regardless of your needs, we have a bridge solution that will work best!

Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed tissue from inside a tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthened filler. There are a number of reasons a root canal may be necessary, including dental injuries, severe decay and infection or inflammation in the tooth pulp. When left untreated, these problems can cause extensive damage to the tooth structure.

Root canals can typically be completed in one visit, although more extensive cases may require another appointment. You will also be able to drive yourself home after the appointment.

Tooth Extractions

An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if:

  • A primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth
  • The tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired
  • The patient has gum disease
  • The tooth is impacted – this is usually the case with the third molars, or “wisdom teeth,” as they erupt years after the other teeth and often have insufficient room in the jaw

Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.

Oral Cancer Screenings with VELscope

Every hour, one American dies from oral cancer. Because of this alarming statistic, our office now offers a simple test for those at high risk.

Using the VELscope oral cancer screening machine, we can diagnose oral cancer at its earliest stages. Developed by the British Columbia Cancer Agency and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, VELscope uses fluorescent technology to detect abnormal tissue in the oral cavity, which may be or may lead to, oral cancer.

The VELscope examination is painless and non-invasive. The system features a revolutionary handpiece which is used to safely emit blue light into the mouth. Generally, normal, healthy tissue has a bright apple-green glow while abnormal, unhealthy tissue appears dark.

If caught early, oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases. An examination using the VELscope machine is comfortable and only takes a few minutes. Best of all, it is one of the most accurate methods for detecting cancer early. With proper screening and early diagnosis, the severity of oral cancer drops significantly.

Don’t become a statistic – talk to us today about the dangers and warning signs of oral cancer, and schedule a VELscope oral cancer examination at your next appointment!