General Dentistry

Cleanings | Composite Restorations |
Crowns & Bridges | Implant Restorations | Removable Dentures | Root Canals | Extractions

Cleanings

Annually, 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 in-between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.

Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.

If you are due for your annual dental cleaning, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

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Composite (Tooth Colored) Restorations

We are currently gathering resources for this section. Please check back soon for more information.

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Crowns and Bridges

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. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown 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 an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.

This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. 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:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
Before After

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Implant Restorations

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement

Types of Implants

There are three main types of implants:

  • The root implant
  • The plate form implant
  • The subperiosteal implant

The root implant—by far, the most popular—is the most effective because it mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth. This implant is often as strong as the patient’s original tooth. The implant or artificial root is placed into the jawbone under local anesthesia, then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone. Once the healing process is completed and the jawbone is attached to the implant, the patient returns to the dental office where the implant is fitted with the new tooth. This process generally takes anywhere from three to eight months.

The plate form implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. The plate form implant is long and thin, unlike the root implant, and anchors into thin jawbones. It is inserted the same way as a root implant. In certain cases, the plate form implant is immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the healing process to run its course.

The subperiosteal implant is used when the jawbone has receded to the point where it can no longer support a permanent implant.

Implant As a Treatment Option

If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.

The treatment plan for a bridge usually requires two trips to your dentist. Specifically, it involves:

  • Numbing the surrounding teeth with a local anesthetic and cleaning plaque or decay.
  • Reducing the teeth so that the crowns can be fitted.
  • Making a mold or impression of the teeth in order to create a customized permanent impression (this generally takes 1-2 weeks).
  • Fitting the patient with a temporary bridge until the permanent bridge is ready for placement.
  • Removing the temporary bridge and replacing it with the permanent one.
  • Adjusting the bridge for the proper bite and fit and permanently bonding it into the mouth.

Post Implant Care

Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

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Removable Dentures

Replacing your missing or damaged teeth will benefit not only your appearance but your overall health. Using state-of-the-art technology and updated materials, dentures can now be custom designed to look more natural and feel more comfortable.

It may take some time to adjust to your dentures. Speaking and eating may feel different at first, but these regular activities will resume normally once you are accustomed to your dentures.

Complete Dentures

Complete dentures are artificial, removable replacements for the natural teeth of the upper or lower jaw or both.

  • Upper dentures
    Upper dentures are held in place by a vacuum created between your appliance and the palate of your mouth.
  • Lower dentures
    Lower dentures are horseshoe-shaped to accommodate the tongue, and, due to lack of suction, are often held in place by implants placed in the jaw for support.

Partial Dentures

Partial dentures are removable appliances that replace missing teeth by attaching via a metal framework to your natural teeth.

Caring for your removable appliances:

Proper denture care is essential to the durability of your dentures and the overall health of your mouth.

  • Brush your dentures daily with a soft-bristled tooth brush. (Don’t forget to brush your gums and tongue as well.)
  • While not being worn, keep your dentures in denture solution and/or water (not hot) to prevent warping.
  • Handle with care and keep out of the reach of children and pets

If your dentures become loose, chip, break or crack, see your dentist.

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Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthening filler.

A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity; thereby, saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.

Procedure:

  • The patient undergoes anesthesia.
  • A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
  • The tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp.
  • The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals.
  • With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals.
  • The tooth is filled again with cutting edge biocompatible filling material.
  • A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening.
  • Patients MUST see their regular dentist quickly for a permanent restoration of the tooth.

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Extractions

General 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, if the tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired, if the patient has gum disease, or if the tooth is impacted (usually the wisdom teeth). Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure you or your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.

Wisdom Teeth

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.

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