Preventive Care for Adults and Children
Our gentle dental practice caters to "kids" of all ages. We understand many patients are apprehensive about dental treatment and we use this knowledge to effectively and with care treat their needs.
Preventive care appointments are key in promoting and maintaining good oral health. Patients vary in their susceptibility to build debris (plaque and tartar) on their teeth. Only your dental professional can evaluate the amount of debris and implement an effective maintenance schedule to promote optimal oral health. Most patients require routine visits every six (6) months but some need to be seen more frequently (every 3-4 months) to maintain health.
Comprehensive exams are completed on each new patient and are followed up by periodic exams at each maintenance appointment. Comprehensive exams include:
- A complete series of xrays including a panoramic film and bite-wing films (if no current films can be collected for a previous office). There xrays are used to diagnose decay between the teeth and any abnormalities in the bone structure and/or roots of the teeth, such as tumors, cysts or abscesses.
- Complete dental charting of all existing fillings, implants or crowns, missing or extracted teeth, existing decay or any other treatment needed.
- Complete periodontal exam of the space between the teeth and gums to detect any existing periodontal disease or gingivitis.
- Complete oral cancer screening to check for abnormal lumps or bumps in the glandular tissue, cheeks, lips, tongue or palate.
- Complete evaluation of the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) to diagnose abnormalities or malpositioning of the jaw which my cause pain and/or teeth and bone damage.
Digital Xrays are utilized in the office and allow immediate viewing of dental images. Digital radiographs allow for more efficient use of the dental appointment by taking away processing time and can be enlarged or color enhanced for easier viewing and diagnosis of treatment. Digital sensors allow for use of less radiation to capture images on the computer.
Composite restorations, commonly referred to as "fillings", are an effective way to treat decayed, fractured or chipped teeth both functionally and cosmetically. Glass-based composite material adds strength and durability to a restored tooth. Unlike amalgam (silver) restorations, composite fillings don't tarnish or corrode in the mouth enabling leakage which promotes new decay. Click here to view our policy on composite fillings.
Crowns, Bridges and Veneers
Bridgework is an effective method of treatment for replacing congenitally missing or extracted teeth. Bridges fill spaces between teeth to prevent drifting of teeth that can misalign the bite causing loss of more teeth and/or jaw problems. Bridgework involves preparing teeth on either side of the space to allow placement of a permanent structure.
Crowns cover the adjacent teeth acting as anchors attached to the replacement tooth placed over the space. Crowns are used to cover a tooth that is fractured, has a large filling that is breaking down, root canaled, or is severely decayed. Crowns strengthen and protect the tooth helping to prevent loss of the tooth. Crowns can also be used to enhance the appearance of a tooth as a cosmetic makeover.
Veneers can also be used to enhance the appearance of front teeth. Veneers cover the fronts of teeth and wrap around the sides and tips of the teeth. New technology has allowed veneers to be thinner and stronger than ever before. A patient needs to be a good candidate for veneers for them to be successful. If a patient grinds their teeth, he/she will need a bite appliance, usually worn at night, to protect the veneers.
Periodontal therapy is used for patients with pocketing around their teeth creating an area difficult for patients to clean on their own. These patients require more frequent maintenance visits to ensure cleanliness to prevent further gum and bone damage. A procedure called "scaling and root planing" is used to effectively remove debris deep below the gums. Your dental professional will access your periodontal and gingival health and amount of debris to determine if periodontal therapy is needed.
Dental implant restorations can be an effective alternative for replacing a tooth or several teeth. Implants can also be used to replace a partial denture, secure a removable denture or support a bridge. The procedure requires surgery and is coordinated by your dentist with an oral surgeon or periodontist for placement of the implant. Your dentist places the permanent crown 3-6 months after the placement of the implant. The complete procedure ranges from 3-12 months.