General Services


Preventive and Diagnostic


Preventive and Diagnostic
An oral examination is a visual inspection of the mouth, head, and neck, performed to detect abnormalities.  Radiographs allow for a more complete examination, helping the doctor to detect cavities, problems in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession or other abnormal conditions within the mouth, head and neck area.
A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. Once all the tooth surfaces have been cleaned of tartar and plaque, the teeth are polished.
Many sports require athletes to use a Mouth Guard to protect their teeth while practicing and playing. Frequently used in contact sports, the mouth guard covers the gums and teeth to provide protection for lips, gums, teeth and arches. A properly fitted mouth guard can reduce the severity of dental injuries.

Pre-formed, ready-to-wear mouth guards can be purchased inexpensively at many sporting stores, but they do not always fit well. They can be uncomfortable and interfere with talking and even breathing.

Sporting goods stores also offer semi-custom mouth guards, in which the plastic is heated and then the athlete bites on it while still warm to provide some level of custom fit.

Your dentist can make a custom mouth guard by taking an impression of your teeth and then creating a device fitted to your mouth for the highest level of both comfort and protection. A custom fitted mouthguard can be particularly important for athletes who wear braces.

Be sure to bring your mouthguard to your dental appointments so your doctor can be sure it still fits you well.


Cosmetic & Restorative


Restorative
Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities. Composite fillings can be done in one visit. Once the decay is removed from the tooth, it is filled with this composite material and left to harden immediately afterwards.
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers the outside of a severely decayed tooth. Dental crowns can be completed in two visits. During the first visit, the tooth is prepped (shaved down) and an impression is taken. A temporary crown is placed while the permanent crown is being made. During the second visit, the permanent crown is carefully fitted and then cemented into place for a permanent restoration.

A bridge replaces missing teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. A false tooth is held in place by being attached to a neighboring tooth. In order to fabricate a bridge, crowns are made for the teeth on either side of the space and a false tooth is placed in between the crowns, which act as supports.

Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth. To place a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed. Afterwards, an adhesive layer is placed between the slightly prepped tooth and the veneer. The veneer is then hardened with a curing light.
Whitening, also known as bleaching, is the procedure used to brighten teeth. There are two different ways to achieve a desired whiter smile: In-Office Bleaching and At-Home Bleaching.

In-Office Bleaching usually requires only one office visit. A protective gel or a rubber shield is placed over the gums to protect the soft tissue. A bleaching agent containing carbamide peroxide is applied to the teeth, and a laser light is then used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.

At-Home bleaching requires an impression of the teeth to be taken to make a customized mouth guard to hold the whitening gel, containing carbide peroxide, against the teeth. Once the mouth guard is made, it is worn for a period of time, as instructed by our office. The amount of time may vary from a couple hours a day, or all night, to up to four weeks or longer, if desired.

Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know that you’re straightening your teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. There are two types of dentures: Complete (Full) and Partial Dentures.

Complete (Full) Dentures are made after all the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. The denture includes an acrylic base that is custom made in the dental laboratory and is made to look like natural gums. The denture sits over the gums or can be anchored to dental implants.

Removable Partial Dentures are made when only a few teeth need to be replaced. Removable partial dentures either attach to crowns on either side of the denture or to a metal framework that is then attached to the teeth on both sides of the partial denture. When worn during the day, removable partial implants can also be supported in place by dental implants. As opposed to being removable, partial dentures can also be anchored in place by being attached to dental implants.

Full Mouth Reconstruction is a multi-step process involving many different types of cosmetic dentistry procedures to improve both the health and the appearance of your smile.

Depending on the degree of tooth damage, any of the following dental treatments may be used:

  • Porcelain veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth bonding
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Dental bridges
  • Orthodontics
  • Periodontal Treatments
  • Endodontic Treatments

After a thorough evaluation with one of our dentists, we will create a step by step treatment plan for your reconstruction. The specific order of treatments will be outlined and explained during the evaluation.

Full mouth reconstruction can require multiple visits to the dentist office and can possibly take as long as 12 months. But at the end of this process, your mouth work better and look and feel great!


Periodontics


Cosmetic
Dental implants are the replacement of tooth roots in the mouth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants, which are placed in the jawbone, are small anchors made of a biocompatible metal called titanium. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over the course of a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the permanent attachment of the replacement teeth.
Commonly used to expose more tooth structure crown lengthening involves the removal of gum tissue and/or bone to expose more of a tooth’s structure.
Soft tissue grafting is commonly used to treat root exposure resulting from receded gum tissue. Tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth or from gum tissue near the tooth and stitched into the area needing gingival repair.
The replacement or enhancement of bone around teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone collapses. Bone grafting is performed to reverse bone loss or enhance bone. The bone can be taken from parts of the body or from synthetic material. Bone grafting allows for proper support of dental implants or prostheses.
This procedure is used to regenerate lost bone around existing teeth, or in an area where teeth have been extracted. This procedure is often performed to protect your existing teeth and the tissues that keep them in place from bacterial plaque. The gingival tissue is folded back to remove the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes, bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage the body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Ridge preservation involves placing a regenerative bone grafting material into empty tooth sockets to rebuild bone where an extraction has left an empty, weakened area. This process encourages your body’s natural capacity to regenerate bone.
A gingivectomy is the removal of unhealthy gum tissue around teeth to help eliminate pockets where bacteria can grow. A gingivoplasty is a procedure to help reshape the healthy tissue around the teeth once the diseased tissue is removed.
Osseous surgery can be used to smooth and reshape affected bone under the gum tissue. This procedure is performed when a pocket around a tooth (or teeth) has not responded to other treatments. It creates a shallow pocket, making it difficult for bacteria to survive and damage bone, which results in bone loss and, ultimately, tooth loss.
The LANAP® procedure helps avoid the use of traditional surgery and sutures by utilizing specialized lasers to clean out periodontal pockets of bacteria in the gum tissue.

Tartar and plaque on the teeth’s surface can harbor bacteria. Also known as Gingivitis, they can lead to swollen, painful gums that bleed during and after brushing. As this progresses, the bacteria will eventually cause an infection in the gums called Periodontitis. Periodontal pockets form in the gums and separate the teeth from the gums and bone structure. Unless this disease is treated, the infection will continue to worsen and the tooth will eventually be lost.

To repair the damage to the tissue, the infection has to be cleaned out and the pockets have to be sealed off. In the past, that meant oral surgery with sutures. The LANAP® procedure is a minimally invasive, patient-friendly procedure that uses laser technology to remove the diseased tissue and bacteria. The laser is also used to help seal the pocket so that new germs can not get back in. There is less trauma to the gum tissue, thus reducing the healing time and providing a more comfortable procedure for the patient.

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease. During the scaling process, specialized dental instruments are used to remove dental plaque and calculus from beneath the gums. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth’s root after the scaling process. Root planing helps the gums heal and reattach themselves to a cleaner and smoother root surface.
Home care is an extremely important part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but even excellent home care cannot prevent bacteria and plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can harden, becoming calculus. We will recommend a periodontal maintenance program that is best for you based on how quickly you develop calculus and your past and current periodontal health. During your maintenance visits we will perform and oral examination as well as a dental cleaning.

During an oral examination, a visual inspection is performed to detect normal and abnormal structures of the entire mouth, head and neck. Along with radiographs, an examination detects cavities, abnormalities in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession and any other abnormal findings within the mouth, head and neck

A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces.


Additional Services


Additional Services
Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected.  When root canal therapy is performed, infected or inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth chamber. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected before being filled and sealed to limit the possibility of future infection.  Soon after the root canal is performed, the tooth is restored with a dental crown or filling to protect the tooth and restore normal tooth function.
A tooth that can not be saved with restorative materials may need to be removed. Before removing your tooth, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. The tooth is then loosened using a special dental instrument known as an elevator. After it is loosened from the socket, it is gently removed by forceps, a dental instrument commonly used in dental extractions. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a tooth.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is similar to a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.

To treat TMJ disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, stabilization splints).


Specialized Techniques


Specialized Techniques
CAD/CAM is an acronym that stands for computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing. CAD/CAM technology is used to help the dental team fabricate precise shapes and sizes for dental restorations including inlays, onlays, crowns and bridges. This technology provides patients with durable, esthetic, well-fitted single and multiple tooth restorations in a more efficient manner. The first step in using CAD/CAM technology is tooth preparation.

Next, a digital impression is taken that sends the prepared tooth’s exact dimensions into a computer.

Afterwards, the computer software creates a virtual restoration replacement part for the missing areas of the tooth. The software then sends the virtual restoration data to the milling machine, where the replacement part is carved out of a solid block of ceramic or composite resin. The restoration is adjusted in the patient’s mouth and cemented or bonded in place.

Lasers in dentistry allow for many dental procedures to be performed with no noise, very little pain and fewer appointments. All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used for “curing” a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents. The procedures performed with dental lasers are minimally invasive and preferable to conventional surgery.

Other benefits of laser dentistry over traditional methods can include:

  • Reduced heat and vibration
    Little or no need for anesthetic
  • Faster treatment
  • Increased rate of retention
  • Fewer post-operative complications

Lasers can be used in dental procedures to:

  • “Cure” or harden fillings
  • Whiten teeth
  • Reshape gum tissue
  • Biopsy or remove soft tissue lesions and ulcers
  • Remove areas of tooth decay
  • Eliminate pockets of infected gum tissue
  • Root canal therapy
  • Correct ankyloglossia (tongue-tied)
  • Oral surgery and extractions
Using CBCT scans and restorative virtual treatment planning, along with specialized training, our doctors are able to provide guided implant placement for their patients.

Using a virtual 3-D model or a physical model, implant placements and the following restorative work can be simulated to create the ideal patient treatment plan. These virtual plans allow your doctor to take multiple aspects of implant placement and restoration into consideration, resulting in optimal aesthetics, function and longevity for the patient’s final restoration. Working with a 3-D model also allows patients to better understand the planned procedures and visualize the end result.

Once planning is complete, specialized software can be used to create a surgical guide that will used during implant placement. This guide directs the exact location, angle and depth of the implant placement. The use of the guide increases the accuracy, efficiency and safety and predictability of the procedure.