Fear of the dentist has kept many people away from having the treatment they need and want. Proper anesthesia is important. Though many people do not look forward to having dental treatment preformed it is our goal to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
We make every effort to communicate your treatment options, consequences of treatment and non-treatment, and treatment times and cost.
Informed consent is important for the patient to make good decisions. Often there are several viable options for treatment. We believe that the patient should be involved in determining their own care. No treatment should be considered “permanent” so the lifetime and consequences of different choices should be fully understood prior to commencing treatment.
The best treatment is often no treatment or minimal treatment. Prevention and early diagnosis of dental disease result in minimal care. We believe in periodic examinations and professional cleanings. By methodical evaluations, treatment can be minimized and the lifetime of your teeth extended.
It is our belief that restorations should return the tooth to its original form, function, and appearance whenever possible.
In addition to restoring teeth, we can enhance the appearance of your smile. Elective procedures can dramatically improve your smile. Careful evaluation can determine the best results. Improved appearance should be weighed against the possible risks of treatment and the most conservative, long-lasting techniques employed.
Comprehensive Dental Exam
You may think that a comprehensive dental exam consists only of a cleaning and a look at your teeth. Actually, there’s quite a bit more to it than just that.
An initial comprehensive dental exam includes the following:
- Obtaining a written record that details your medical/dental history, including a listing of all current medications.
- A thorough oral cancer screening, both visually and digitally (using the fingers), checking all of your lymph nodes, lips, tongue and the insides of your mouth and cheeks.
- A series of diagnostic X-rays that provide a comprehensive view of your teeth and condition of your bones.
- A periodontal examination, which includes a thorough screening and assessment of your gums – to check for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease.
- An occlusal exam, to check for bite problems (underbite, overbite, crossbite), worn teeth, and jaw problems, such as TMJ.
- Additionally, a meticulous tooth-by-tooth check to identify cavities, examine prior treatment and restorations and the current condition each, locate any chipped, cracked or missing teeth, or identify any work that needs to be performed.
A dental implant is a "root" device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures. They can also be used as anchorage for orthodontic tooth movement. The use of dental implants permits undirectional tooth movement without reciprocal action.
Digital radiography is a form of X-ray imaging, where digital X-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. Advantages include time efficiency through bypassing chemical processing and the ability to digitally transfer and enhance images. Also less radiation can be used to produce an image of similar contrast to conventional radiography. Instead of X-ray film, digital radiography uses a digital image capture device. The gives advantages of immediate image preview and availability; elimination of costly film processing steps; a wider dynamic range, which makes it more forgiving for over- and under-exposure; as well as the ability to apply special image processing techniques that enhance overall display of the image.
A dental laser is a type of laser designed specifically for use in oral surgery or dentistry. Several variants of dental laser are in use, with the most common being diode lasers, carbon dioxide lasers, and yttrium aluminium garnet laser. Different lasers use different wavelengths and these mean they are better suited for different applications. Dental lasers are not without their benefits, though, as the use of a laser can decrease morbidity after surgery, and reduces the need for anesthetics. Because of the cauterisation of tissue there will be little bleeding following soft tissue procedures, and some of the risks of alternative electrosurgery procedures are avoided.
Porcelain laminate veneers are one of the most effective ways to improve a smile. The teeth are lightly shaped and impressions are made. Temporaries are placed over the teeth during the several weeks it takes for the dental laboratory to fabricate the veneers. At the next appointment the temporaries are removed, the fingernail thin porcelain laminate veneers are tried in, and bonded to the teeth. The result is a beautiful lustrous surface to the teeth. Tooth preparation is significantly less than for all-porcelain crowns. Within the restrictions of the bite; the color, shape, length and spacing of teeth can be enhanced.
Crown & Bridge
Crowns can be used to restore fractured or badly decayed teeth. The defective area is often built up with an insulating core material. The tooth is shaped, impressions are made, and a temporary is placed. The impressions are sent to the dental laboratory for fabrication. At the second appointment, the temporary is removed the crown is adjusted, and the fit and color are properly evaluated. The crown is cemented and final adjustments are made. Crowns are strong and with proper care should give a good lifetime.
Bridges can be used to replace missing teeth. The teeth on either side of the missing teeth are shaped similar to the way they are prepared for a crown. The seated bridge looks like a series of crowns. They are connected together for strength, yet give the appearance of individual teeth.
A root canal is the space within the root of a tooth. It is part of a naturally occurring space within a tooth that consists of the pulp chamber (within the coronal part of the tooth), the main canal(s), and more intricate anatomical branches that may connect the root canals to each other or to the surface of the root. Root canal is also a colloquial term for a dental operation, endodontic therapy, wherein the pulp is cleaned out, the space disinfected and then filled. For many people who experience tooth pain or discomfort, a root canal treatment may be recommended, and a dentist should be consulted in a timely manner.
All charting is now done electronically which reduces time in the chair and allows for quick and easy access of records.
Extractions & Minor Surgeries
Broken, cracked, or extensively decayed teeth can be extraction candidates. Some teeth will have extensive decay (dental caries) or else will have broken or cracked in such an extreme manner that an extraction might be considered the best, or at least a reasonable, solution. Of course there will be a number of factors that will come into play with any specific situation. In some cases the obstacles that present themselves might be so formidable that a repair for the tooth is simply not possible. In other cases the cost of needed dental treatment or else a questionable long-term outlook for the success of the treatment may be the reason an extraction is chosen.
The esthetic replacement of faulty amalgam restorations can often best be accomplished by using tooth colored inlays and onlays. Direct placement composite restorations are best used to replace small to medium sized fillings. When the old restorations are too large to be replaced directly yet too small to justify fully shaping the teeth, indirect inlays and onlays may be the ideal solution. The old restoration is removed, the decay cleaned out, and an insulating base is placed. At the next appointment the temporary is removed, the inlay/onlay is tried in, and then bonded to the tooth. The bite is adjusted and the final restoration finished and polished. The restorations blend in beautifully with the remaining tooth structure. In-office fabricated tooth colored inlays may be used to replace 1 or 2 faulty amalgam restorations. When the procedure is simpler and ample time exists, it may be completed in one visit.
Partial & Full Dentures
Dentures (also known as false teeth) are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable, however there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or the maxillary arch.
With an intraoral camera, you can better visualize those small details that are otherwise invisible with traditional tools. The camera’s powerful magnification and lighting abilities enable you to detect cracks, tooth decay and broken amalgams quickly and easily. You can even visualize the chamber pulp during root canals.