We are convinced the better you understand your own
dental health, the better you will be at maintaining it and the better
dental health decisions you will be able to make. Below are various
topics of short, helpful essays regarding treatments, procedures and
general oral health for your education! If you need more information,
please let us know.
Cleanings & Regular Check-ups
Dental Exams and Cleaning
Cleanings and regular check-ups are crucial for a beautiful and
healthy smile. Starting in childhood, everyone should visit their
dentist every six months, or twice a year, for a cleaning and check-up.
- Visual inspection of the soft tissue inside the mouth, including
a check for lesions and signs of oral cancer.
- Periodontal screening, which may include a measurement of the
space between the teeth and gums for signs of gum disease.
- Examination of a patient’s bite, which may indicate a need for
- Visual inspection for signs of tooth decay. This may include the
use of specialized tools that can help a dentist identify the
presence of cavities.
- Feeling the head and neck area, including the temporomandibular
joints (TMJ), for signs of infection, disease or other problems.
- Dental x-rays, to identify any hidden signs of decay or disease.
The frequency of x-rays depends on a patient’s dental history and
risk of tooth decay.
- Dental cleanings, usually performed by a dental hygienist who
cleans and polishes the teeth, and may apply a fluoride treatment.
A regular check-up and cleaning involves a thorough, professional
cleaning. We can clean your teeth more thoroughly than you can at home,
and can remove plaque and tartar. Even if you have excellent oral
hygiene, regular cleanings are still essential to help prevent cavities
and gum disease. At your check-up, your dentist will also evaluate your
oral health and ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy. This is
essential, since your dentist can detect and treat early signs of gum
disease, oral cancer and cavities. If you wait to see your dentist, you
may face more complications and costlier treatments, so you will want to
visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Composites are tooth colored fillings that are directly bonded to the
tooth. When enough healthy tooth structure exits, composite resins are
the materials of choice. They can be used to reshape teeth, replace old
silver fillings, and fill in large gaps or act as temporary veneers
prior to bonding the porcelain veneers.
Conservative Esthetic Gold Castings
Everybody is concerned about keeping their teeth for a lifetime. The
conflict comes with wanting both esthetic restorations which often times
don't last as long. Gold is still the standard for longevity.
Conservative esthetic gold castings remove the least amount of tooth
structure and retain as much of your original enamel as possible often
resulting in showing no gold whatsoever. Therefore, this choice is for
one who is interested in keeping their teeth for the longest time with
the fewest problems removing the least amount of tooth as possible.
A dental implant is special surgical grade titanium post, manufactured
to highly precise specifications, under strict sterile conditions, that
is inserted surgically into the jawbone below the gum surface. As the
bone bonds to the post, it forms a secure foundation onto which your new
teeth are then attached and shaped to match your mouth. Dental implants
can help replace a single tooth, or a full set of teeth.
Dentures & Partial Dentures
A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth
and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural
teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures.
Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while
partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial
denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it
prevents other teeth from shifting.
A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.” A
conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum
tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the
patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance
and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the
patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once
the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may
have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Digital x-rays to snap a picture of the inside of a patient’s tooth and
the image instantly appears onto a computer screen. Digital x-rays:
expose patients to 90 percent less radiation; can be magnified on the
computer screen to better show patients any areas of concern; save time
so staff can spend less time in the dark room and more time with the
patient; and are environmentally friendly.
Inlays or onlays
Inlays or onlays are laboratory -fabricated restorations that are bonded
to tooth structure to replace amalgam (silver) fillings or decayed or
fractured portions of the tooth. Porcelain is the material of choice due
to its strength. The color can match the natural color of your tooth.
Porcelain inlays/onlays can last 15 years or more with proper care and
are more resistant to staining than composite resin fillings.
Furthermore, with porcelain inlays/onlays there is no risk of mercury
poisoning that comes with amalgam (silver) fillings.
FDA approved Invisalign is the “invisible” way to straighten your teeth
without wearing conventional metal braces. Invisalign uses a series of
clear, removable custom-made aligners to move your teeth. Because you
remove your aligners before you eat and drink, there are no food
restrictions or problems with flossing or brushing. This technology is
also more comfortable, avoiding the mouth abrasions that can be caused
by the metal and wires of conventional braces. And this technology is
also more convenient, since you are likely to spend less time in the
doctor's office getting adjustments.
Crowns (caps) and bridges were always made with porcelain fused to metal
that resulted in very opaque, unnaturally white teeth with black margins
over a period of years. We now have metal-free crowns and bridges that
result in more natural smiles as this allows the natural tooth color to
show through. These crowns and bridges are bonded to the tooth.
These are thin shells of porcelain that are individually sculpted by the
best laboratory technicians to the specifications of the dentist. These
are bonded to the tooth structure with a strong resin and polished to a
smooth finish. Porcelain Veneers mimic the shape and color of regular
teeth, so they are indistinguishable from your natural smile. Porcelain
Veneers can be used to repair chipped, cracked, stained, or missaligned
teeth. Porcelain Veneers resist stains better than normal teeth and with
proper care can last a lifetime.
LUMINEERS ® are porcelain veneers that offer the painless way to a
permanently whiter and perfectly aligned smile. Your LUMINEERS dentist
can apply these contact lens-thin "smile shapers" to teeth without any
grinding or shaving, transforming teeth into a naturally beautiful smile
that looks perfect for every individual. LUMINEERS can even be placed
over existing crown or bridgework without having to replace them.
Porcelain Fixed Bridges
Porcelain fixed bridges are the most popular type of bridge since they
resemble your natural teeth. This type of bridge consists to two or more
crowns that go over the anchoring or abutment teeth. One or more pontics
or artificial teeth fill the gap created by the missing tooth or teeth.
Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they
may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by
decay or infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living
tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed
and the resulting space is filled with special, medicated, dental
materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a
tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. Many patients
believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but
what is not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will
ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent
Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime,
although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new
Tooth whitening and bleaching remove stains and discoloration from
the surface of your teeth. If you are not very confident in your smile,
whitening can help you achieve a bright, white smile that you can be
proud of. Many patients report that having whiter and brighter teeth
helps them feel more confident and makes them feel better about their
VELscope Oral Cancer Screening
The VELscope Oral Cancer Screening System offers an
easy-to-use technique for the early detection of oral
cancer. The system is painless and non-invasive, consisting
of blue light that causes normal tissue to reflect green
light, and abnormal tissue to show dark. It only takes a
minute or two as part of an ordinary examination.
caught at an early stage, oral cancer has an 80-90% survival
rate. But only 35% of cases are diagnosed early.