We can help you with all your general, family and cosmetic needs. We are continually training in the latest techniques to ensure the best results. Our patients come from near and far to experience the warm, individualized care we provide. We pride ourselves in utilizing the most modern equipment and methods available.
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Click the services & technologies below for more information on each subject.
- Invisalign Clear Orthodontics
Your appointment begins with a complete professional cleaning (also called prophylaxis) by one of our licensed and registered dental hygienists. The hygienist will remove tartar and plaque and finally will polish your teeth to remove any remaining debris and staining.
Our hygienists will also go over brushing and flossing techniques to ensure optimal at-home care.
After your cleaning, the doctor will:
- Examine x-rays. X-rays help your dentist to monitor bone density, detect decay and determine tooth and root placement.
- Examine the teeth for any signs of decay, wear or problems
- Monitor existing restorations to ensure all crowns, bridges and fillings are in optimal condition
- Evaluate the gum tissue for signs of periodontal (gum) disease
- Carefully screen for oral cancer
- Evaluate the muscles and jaw joints for TMJ signs or symptoms
Dental injuries are common in collision or contact sports and recreational activities. Participants of all skill levels are at risk for sustaining dental injuries in sporting activities. According to the American Dental Association (link to ADA); "...surveillance studies of mouthguard users and non-users have consistently shown that mouthguards offer significant protection against sports-related injuries to the teeth and tissues."
We believe that a properly fitted mouthguard made by your dentist is a must-have for every athlete. Whether you participate in an organized sport or simply play recreationally, a mouthguard is essential in reducing the risk of injury to your mouth. We will create a custom-fitted mouthguard here at our office; all that's needed is a short appointment to take records of your teeth. We love supporting our athletes and mouthguards can often be made using your team color!
The Invisalign treatment consists of a series of clear, snap-on, custom fit, removable mouth trays that apply a controlled amount of force to your teeth, forcing them to shift. The system provides the same beautiful results as traditional braces, but since the trays are made of clear plastic, they are virtually invisible. In addition, because Invisalign trays are removable, they can be taken out while eating, drinking, brushing and flossing.
The Invisalign System works begins by first creating a series of trays that will each moving your teeth gradually until the end result is achieved. At the end of each two-week period, you will switch trays. Throughout the process, you will visit your dentist every six weeks to ensure treatment is progressing as planned. Once your treatment is complete, you will likely wear a clear retainer to ensure your new smile stays in place.
As with all orthodontic appliances, the cost of Invisalign varies according to the complexity of the case. However, Invisalign is generally more expensive than traditional braces. Insurance policies generally cover Invisalign to the same extent that they cover traditional braces.
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.
In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
- Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
- Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to
- Make sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone. Dental implants are a team effort approach by a dentist and Oral Surgeon. The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.
Reasons for dental implants:
- Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
- Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space
- Restore a patient’s confident smile
- Restore chewing, speech
- Restore or enhance facial tissues
- Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place. With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed at the same time.
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete. After a healing period, the artificial teeth are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.
Laser dentistry is the latest advancement in dental technology, treating a wide range of dental and cosmetic problems from cavities to gum disease to teeth whitening. The lasers we use in laser dentistry at our practice are an alternative to the common hand-held scalpel, drills, or other tools. These lasers direct an invisible energy beam onto problem areas and allow us to efficiently treat decayed teeth, enamel, and gums. The benefit of laser dentistry is that they minimize the pain most often associated with dental procedures, meaning more comfort to our patients. Clinical studies show that approximately 96% of all patients require no anesthesia when lasers are being used during dental treatments. Dental lasers have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are safe for both adults and children.
Soft Tissue Laser
Soft tissue lasers are used to safely remove soft tissue, such as excess gum tissue. The soft tissue laser can also be employed to destroy bacteria in gum pockets, preventing infection and allowing the tissue to return to a healthy state. The soft tissue laser enables the dentist to treat our patients with extreme accuracy and eliminates the need for most stitches.
Hard Tissue Dental Laser
Hard tissue lasers are used to remove old fillings, repair cavities, and prepare teeth for bonding. As with soft tissue lasers, they dramatically minimize discomfort and allow the dentist to treat teeth with more precision.
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. During dental bonding, a white filling is placed onto your tooth to improve its appearance. The filling "bonds" with your teeth, and because it comes in a variety of tooth-colored shades it closely matches the appearance of your natural teeth.
Tooth bonding can also be used for teeth fillings instead of amalgam fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings because the white color is much less noticeable than the silver amalgam fillings. Bonding fillings can be used on front and back teeth depending on the location and extent of tooth decay.
Bonding is less expensive than other cosmetic treatments and usually can be completed in one visit to our office. However, bonding can stain and is easier to break than other cosmetic treatments such as porcelain veneers. If it does break or chip, tell your doctor. The bonding can generally be easily patched or repaired in one visit.
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.
Reasons for dentures
- Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch.
- Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
- Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
- Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.
What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
Why seal teeth?
While regular brushing and flossing removes food and bacteria from the smooth surfaces of the teeth, it can be difficult to properly clean the pits and fissures or "grooves" on the teeth. These grooves are particularly evident on the back teeth or 'molars'. The bristles of a toothbrush can't fit into these microscopic fissures so, unless prevented, food particles containing sugars and starches remain in these grooves causing decay and ultimately, a filling. Sealants do just that; seal out food particles and sugars to help prevent decay. Children and teens are excellent candidates for sealants because the likelihood of developing tooth decay on the chewing surfaces begins early in life.
What are sealants?
The sealant itself is a tooth colored material that is bonded to the chewing surface of the teeth. Before the sealant is placed, the teeth are cleaned thoroughly and conditioned. Once the sealant is placed a curing light is used to harden the material. Sealants can be applied quickly and painlessly with no anesthetic and no restrictions afterward; except to continue brushing and flossing after every meal!
Like many people, you may feel unhappy about the color of your teeth. Maybe you have even tried over-the-counter bleaching products with little to no success. You need an effective way to remove the stains that give your teeth that dull, yellow appearance. With our whitening system, you can achieve that brilliant smile you have been dreaming of!
There are many causes of tooth discoloration. These include:
- Stains from tobacco, coffee, tea, soda, red wine, berries, or any food or drink with dark pigmentation
- Plaque and tartar deposits
- Use of the antibiotic Tetracycline during childhood (this creates dark “ribbons” of color)
- Ingestion of excess fluoride while teeth are forming (this gives teeth a “mottled” look)
- Trauma to the mouth and teeth, which can cause yellow, brown, and gray spots
- The natural aging process
We use a whitening tray system that will safely and effectively make your smile brighter and whiter. The process involves taking an impression of your teeth and creating trays fitted for your individual teeth. You can use these trays repeatedly to whiten your smile!
Some tooth sensitivity is normal and will subside after you stop whitening.
A composite filling is a tooth colored quartz-like material. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this tooth colored material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth.
What are veneers?
Porcelain laminate (often called a veneer) is a thin shell of porcelain that covers the front of each tooth. They bond directly to the front of the tooth. Each porcelain laminate is a work of art, carefully crafted in a laboratory to fit your individual smile. In the hands of a highly skilled dentist, porcelain laminates can provide you with an incredibly natural, beautiful smile. They are virtually undetectable and can dramatically improve your appearance. They are durable and long-lasting.
What is the difference between a veneer and a crown?
A crown is recommended in many situations; a tooth is cracked, has extensive decay or needs extra support because it is weak. A crown fits over the entire shaped tooth whereas a veneer covers only the visible surface. A veneer can correct the appearance of crooked, badly shaped or stained teeth by simply removing only a thin layer of natural tooth surface, helping many to achieve a beautiful smile.
What is the procedure?
The procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom veneer. The mold will also be used to create a temporary veneer which will stay on your tooth for approximately three weeks until your new veneer is fabricated. At the second appointment, your temporary veneers will be removed and your permanent restorations will be fitted and adjusted.
What is a crown?
A crown is a restoration that is made of a strong material (often porcelain or ceramic) which fits over the top of a prepared tooth to give it shape and added strength.
Reasons for crowns:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Tooth has a root canal
What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately three weeks until your new crown is fabricated.
While the tooth is numb, the tooth is prepared by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite is accurate.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
What is a bridge?
A bridge is just that; it is a series of teeth that serve to bridge a gap in the mouth where natural teeth are missing. Another option is to replace the tooth (or teeth) with a dental implant.
When is a bridge recommended?
- To fill the space of missing teeth
- Maintain facial shape
- Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
- Restore chewing and speaking ability
- Restore your smile
- Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance
Why replace missing teeth?
The gap left by a missing teeth can cause strain and breakage on surrounding teeth.
What is the procedure?
A bridge preparation is similar to a crown preparation. Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.
At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge
PERIODONTAL (GUM) TREATMENT
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for one's teeth. All structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these may be a sign of a problem. With proper gum treatments, however, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to have it treated at the first sign of a problem.
Good oral hygiene should always be practiced since the loss of a single tooth can have major impact upon your oral health and appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there are still some occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted. A tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:
- Severe decay
- Advanced periodontal disease
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an x-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.
A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, which can be minimized with a pain killer and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call our office immediately.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the complex structures found inside the teeth. The Greek word “Endodontics” literally means “inside the tooth,” and relates to the tooth pulp, tissues, nerves and arterioles.
Historically, a tooth with a diseased nerve would be removed immediately, but dentists are now able to save the natural tooth in most cases. Generally, removing the inner tooth structures, then sealing the canal space. Often a crown restores health and functionality to damaged teeth.
Signs and symptoms of endodontic problems
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold that last more than few seconds.
- Tenderness when chewing and biting.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Unexplained pain or swelling in the nearby lymph nodes.
Reasons for endodontic treatment
Endodontic treatment (or root canal therapy) is performed to save the natural tooth. In spite of the many advanced restorations available, most dentists agree that there is no substitute for healthy, natural teeth. Here are some of the main causes of inner tooth damage:
Bacterial infections – Oral bacteria is the most common cause of endodontic problems. Bacteria invade the tooth pulp through tiny fissures in the teeth caused by tooth decay or injury. The resulting inflammation and bacterial infection jeopardize the affected tooth and may cause an abscess to form.
Fractures and chips – When a large part of the surface or crown of the tooth has become completely detached, root canal therapy may be required. The removal of the crown portion leaves the pulp exposed, which can be debilitating painful and problematic.
Injuries – Injuries to the teeth can be caused by a direct or indirect blow to the mouth area. Some injuries cause a tooth to become luxated, or dislodged from its socket. Root canal therapy is often needed after the injured tooth has stabilized.
Removals – If a tooth has been knocked clean out of the socket, it is important to rinse it and place it back into the socket as quickly as possible. If this is impossible, place the tooth in special dental solution (available at pharmacies) or in milk. These steps will keep the inner mechanisms of the tooth moist and alive while emergency dental treatment is sought. The tooth will be affixed in its socket using a special splint, and the dentist will then perform root canal therapy to save the tooth.
What does an endodontic procedure involve?
Root canal therapy usually takes between one and three visits to complete. Complete X-rays of the teeth will be taken and examined before the treatment begins.
Initially, a local anesthetic will be administered, and a dental dam (protective sheet) will be placed to ensure that the surgical area remains free of saliva during the treatment. An opening will be created in the surface of the tooth, and the pulp will be completely removed using small handheld instruments.
The space will now be shaped, cleaned. Cement will be applied on top to ensure that the root canals are completely sealed off. Usually, a temporary filling will be placed to restore functionality to the tooth prior to the permanent restoration procedure.
If you have questions or concerns about endodontic procedures, please ask your dentist.
Halitosis is the sophisticated word for "bad breath". Depending on the cause, bad breath may strike on occasion or may be a more persistent condition. The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria. Because the mouth is moist and warm, it creates perfect conditions for the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth. In fact, approximately 80% of bad breath is caused by something in the mouth.
Bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth can easily be treated. Brushing your teeth, tongue and gums after meals as well as flossing and rinsing with mouthwash will usually take care of the problem. Regular visits to the dentist should be made for dental examinations and for professional teeth and gum cleaning.
Some types of bad breath, such as "morning mouth," are considered fairly normal and are not usually health concerns. However, persistent bad breath may be a sign of more serious problems with the gums and teeth.
Bad breath may be caused by the following:
- Poor dental hygiene - poor oral hygiene can leave food particles to decay in the mouth
- Infections in the mouth such as periodontal (gum) disease
- Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
- External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing through the mouth
- Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
Call our office promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth. We will perform a physical examination of your mouth to determine the cause. If we discover that systemic problems are the cause, we may refer you to your family physician. In severe cases of gum disease, we may recommend a doctor specialized to treat gum disease called a periodontist.
Air abrasion is a drill-less and more gentle approach to remove decay from the teeth. An air abrasion unit is a small instrument that blasts a fine stream of air and particles onto the teeth to spray away decay. The small particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide or baking soda and aid in cleaning the tooth surface. Air abrasion allows for decay to quickly be removed while conserving healthy tooth structure. The particles and decay are then suctioned out of the mouth.
Air abrasion is gentle because it generates no heat, sound, pressure or vibration. In addition, it reduces the need for anesthesia, making it an ideal choice for children and those who experience dental anxiety.
What is TMJ?
TMJ actually refers to the temporomandibular joints. These joints, located on either side of the head, work together with the jaw bone, ligaments, and muscles, making it possible for you to chew, swallow, and speak. Problems arise when this complex system is inhibited from functioning properly. This decrease in function could lead to TMD or temporomandibular disorder, this is characterized by pain in and around the ears, jaw tenderness, clicking or popping noises upon opening, headaches and muscle tenderness.
What causes TMD?
It is always important to get a thorough examination from your dentist. TMD could result from dislocation, injury to the jaw, neck, or head, and even from arthritis. The problem could also stem from the way the upper and lower jaws fit together (your bite). Grinding your teeth at night or clenching them during the day is often factors as well.
What can I do if I'm experiencing symptoms of TMD?
If you are experiencing jaw pain, headaches, or other symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith or Dr. Kolquist. They will work with you to identify the source of your pain and the best way to correct it. A splint for use at night is often recommended. If a splint is recommended, your dentist will take impressions of your upper and lower teeth as well as a record of how you bite. From these, a splint is made that specifically fits your mouth. The dentist will then adjust the splint until it functions ideally, relieving joint pain and reducing night-time grinding.
Orthodontics is the art of using appliances to straighten and align teeth. Most commonly it involves the use of braces to move teeth into their proper positing. In this method, brackets are bonded to the teeth and arch wires are threaded through the brackets. The arch wires act as a track, and guide each tooth to its proper position. There are several types of orthodontic braces available to consumers, including the more traditional metal braces, ceramic "tooth colored" braces, as well as clear plastic braces.
NITROUS SEDATION DENTISTRY FOR DENTAL ANXIETY
Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia. We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible. Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients - who might otherwise avoid the dentist - to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile.
Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as "laughing gas" is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.
WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTIONS
Wisdom teeth are the last molars, or "third molars" that develop on each side of the jaws. Wisdom teeth usually emerge in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20.
Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
A wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. The dentist will numb the area in your mouth with a local anesthesia or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure.
After the tooth (or teeth) is removed, you may be asked to bite down softly on a piece of gauze for 30 to 45 minutes after you leave the office, to limit any bleeding that may occur. Some pain and swelling may occur but it will normally go away after a few days; however, you should call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.
Aqua abrasion is a new cutting and polishing systems that works in the same fashion as air abrasion. In addition to removing decay and preparing restorations, it can be used to effectively clean and polish the teeth through a fine stream of water that is sprayed onto the tooth surface. The aquabrasion system can replace the drill in many dental procedures and it quickly removes decay while conserving healthy tooth structure. Its gentle nature can eliminate the need for local anesthesia in many procedures.
Fluoride is a mineral that often appears naturally in water and in certain foods. It serves to strengthen tooth enamel and protect against decay. Every day, through a process called 'demineralization', the tooth enamel is attacked by acid which is created by plaque bacteria and sugars and acids from the foods and drinks we consume. Unless these protective minerals are replaced ('remineralization'), the enamel is weakened and susceptible to decay. We offer fluoride treatments for children and also for adults who are more at risk for decay.
Our doctors have been treating children for years. Our hygiene department is well trained to make sure your child has a fun, educational, and pleasant visit. We value the importance of education in order to prevent dental problems and understand it starts when we are young.
A bridge may be used to replace missing teeth, help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress in your bite.
A bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. Your bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
The success of any bridge depends on its foundation — the other teeth, gums, or bone to which it is attached. Therefore, it's very important to keep your existing teeth, gums, and jaw healthy and strong.
Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to improve your tooth's shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
Crowns are "caps" cemented onto an existing tooth which fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns are often preferable to silver amalgam fillings. Unlike fillings which apply metal directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
If you have missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth.
An implant is a new tooth made of steel and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. Your implant is composed of two parts that mimic a tooth's root and crown. The implant's "root" is a titanium steel rod placed into the jaw bone to act as a root. Once the rod is in place, a porcelain crown is attached to replace the top part of your tooth.
Implants may also be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. Plus, for patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so that you have a more natural-looking smile.
X-RAYS AND DIGITAL X-RAYS
Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.
Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
- Abscesses or cysts.
- Bone loss.
- Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors.
- Decay between the teeth.
- Developmental abnormalities.
- Poor tooth and root positions.
- Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line.
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!
Are dental x-rays safe?
We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.
The dentist performs most of his dental procedures while wearing a pair of funny looking glasses called surgical telescopes. These powerful glasses have magnifiers on them, allowing the dentist to see fine details that would go unnoticed to the naked eye.
Click the IMPLANT VIDEO LINKS below watch a video for more information on each subject.
This type of radiograph shows the whole jaw and is a good diagnostic tool. It is an important tool for the extraction of wisdom teeth, placement of dental implants, and for many orthodontic procedures. A panoramic radiograph will show any abnormal growths or cysts in the jaw. Panoramic radiographs are taken every three to five years or as needed for diagnostic purposes.
It is estimated that up to 50% of adults have some snoring disorder. Snoring is such a common problem; people tend to under-rate its seriousness. Disrupted sleep on an on-going basis can lead to relationship problems and affect the physical well being of both the snorer and partner alike.
What Causes Snoring?
When you’re asleep, the muscles and soft tissues in your throat and mouth automatically relax. The lower jaw and tongue drop back, helping block and decrease the airway opening. This results in an increase in the velocity of air flowing through your airway when you breathe. The increased velocity causes soft tissues in your mouth and throat to vibrate. That familiar snoring sound is actually the sound of those tissues vibrating.
In its most severe form, the collapse of the upper airway is so complete that the lungs may not receive oxygen for up to 30 seconds. This is called "Obstructive Sleep Apnea." In response to this deprivation of oxygen, your body triggers an internal alarm and you partially wake. This is usually accompanied by loud gasps for air that can last 3 seconds or more, until you fall asleep and the cycle starts all over again.
Snoring is also affected by diet, health, lifestyle, age, weight, environment and other factors.
A snore prevention appliance is a small oral device professionally fitted by a dentist. It has a unique inner lining that is softened by heat during the fitting process. (Similar to an athletic mouth guard.) The unit is custom fitted to your individual needs. It fits snugly over your top teeth while you sleep and is designed to prevent your tongue from dropping towards the back of your throat. This helps keep your airway open, effectively relieving the main cause of snoring.
SLEEP APNEA APPLIANCE
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.
Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep 3 or more nights each week. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow.
This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Providing the absolute best service to our patients is of the highest importance to our office. To aid in achieving this goal, we use a new high-tech device called the DIAGNOdent. This small tool is a portable laser that allows us to detect cavities on the chewing surface of the back teeth that would have otherwise gone undetected by previous methods. Diagnosing cavities in the back of the mouth using traditional methods is difficult; studies even show that 50% of cavities are left undetected in these areas. However, the new DIAGNOdent enables us to locate and treat these cavities, putting a stop to further decay. The laser is easy to use, harmless, and will alert us with an audible signal if it detects a cavity. It will even calculate the approximate size of the cavity so we can better plan treatment. By using this device, you can rest assured that cavities will be accurately detected and treated in their infancy.
Our office is a completely digital (paperless) dental office. This means all x-rays and charting are made and recorded with the aid of the computer. This technology allows us to maintain your dental records electronically, and cuts down the unnecessary paperwork used with traditional paper charting. Traditional paper charting is difficult to keep standardized from doctor to hygienist to assistant. Even handwriting differences and coding make the charts look different. The computer eliminates this problem by using consistent charting methods that are accurate and precise, making it easy to read your dental chart and see up-to-date information. Digital charting standardizes the charting process so it is clear, easy to understand, and enables us to provide on the most accurate and precise care to our patients. When needed, this method also allows us to quickly and securely share information with your other health care providers.
We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums.
With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.
AUTOMATED APPOINTMENT REMINDER
We use an automated appointment reminder system that will call your home two days prior to your scheduled appointment time to remind you of your appointment. Please listen to the message carefully and press "1" to confirm the appointment and "2" if you wish to cancel. If you do not respond to the message, our office staff will contact you to confirm your scheduled visit. If are not home, a message will be left on your voicemail. Failure to notify our office of a cancellation may result in a charge. See our missed appointment policy for more information.
We use digital imaging software in our office, which allows us to take a digital picture of you and use our imaging system to predict how a particular treatment or cosmetic procedure would change the appearance of your teeth. This software is beneficial for patients who are considering cosmetic procedures but are not sure if they're ready for dramatic changes. Digital imaging also allows us to document your dental case and procedures very well. We take digital images of your face, teeth and smile to provide us with a permanent dental record and to provide a visual documentation of treatment.
Our office utilizes electronic claims processing. This means that rather than sending your dental claim through the mail, it is sent electronically to your insurance company with the click of the button. By filing your claim electronically, information is submitted more efficiently and with fewer errors. This benefits our patients because the turn around time on claims is faster and fewer claims are returned or denied. We are happy to submit your dental claims to your insurance company on your behalf.
CEREC is an acronym for Charismatic Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This high-tech equipment allows us to restore damaged teeth with beautiful custom ceramic crowns in a single visit, completely eliminating the need or multiple appointments over a several week period. The process can create a ceramic dental crown, inlays, onlays or veneers using a variety of technologies including 3D photography and computer-aided design and manufacturing known as CAD/CAM.
Using an intra-oral camera, a photograph is taken of the tooth and the picture is loaded onto the computer. Using Computer Aided Design technology, the dentist is able to design the restoration and transform the image into a three-dimensional model. This valuable program then allows the dentist to easily calculate the appropriate restoration shape and size to create near perfect restoration. When the model is ready, a milling machine then creates the restoration using a high-speed diamond bur and calculated precision. The restoration is then bonded to the tooth using a resin material. The result is a beautiful and custom designed and produced restoration, made entirely to fit your mouth. CEREC crowns are metal-free and have been used for over 20 years.
COMPUTERIZED SHADE MATCHING
Our office uses computerized shade matching to make restorations that perfectly match the color of your natural teeth. Old methods of shade matching can be inaccurate and inconsistent. Our shade matching system is a small hand-held device that captures tooth hue, value and chroma to create precise color matches. With this technology, you can be confident that your restorations will beautifully match your natural teeth.
CAD/CAM CHAIRSIDE RESTORATION SYSTEM
Our office utilizes CAD/CAM technology. CAD/CAM stands for "computer-aided design" and "computer-aided manufacturing". This technology allows the dentist to use an intra-oral scanner inside your mouth to take a digital scan of a tooth that has been prepared to receive a crown. Using special software, the data from the scan is used to generate a design (CAD) for a custom crown. This program will also generate a custom blue print and guide lines to manufacture the new crown (CAM). This software, paired with a state-of-the-art milling machine, enables our office to create precise and custom crowns, inlays and onlays in one single dental visit.