Procedures

General Dentistry

Pediatric

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it is recommended that a child sees their first dentist when their first tooth starts to grow. This normally occurs around the age of 1. This is a great way to examine your child's oral hygiene at an early age. Starting with the basics such as helping your child to brush and floss his or her own teeth daily is beneficial. This will prevent bad habits and start them off on a healthy lifestyle.  Regular check-ups and cleaning will help your child to keep their teeth clean and beautiful.

Tooth Extraction

There are usually two types of extractions. The first is a Simple extraction and those are usually done on teeth that are easily seen in the patient's mouth. The doctor will use the forceps and move the tooth back and forth until the tooth comes out easily. The second type of extraction is Surgical. This is done when the patient's tooth has been broken off at the gums or have not even come in yet. This requires the doctor to cut the gums so he or she will be able to access that area and proceed to remove the tooth as gently as possible. This procedure is usually done with anesthesia.

Root Canal

This procedure is needed when the layer of the tooth becomes infected. The root canal therapy will save the tooth and prevent the spread of infection in that area. We first numb the affected area and then we use a tiny dental instrument that is placed inside that area to clean and shape so it is ready to receive a filling.

Occlusal Adjustment

Occlusal Adjustment is conducted to remove tiny interferences that prevent the teeth from coming together. These interferences can occur over time just by accident or by crowns, bridges, filling and extractions. This can cause problems with the jaw, affect the muscles and even movement in the neck. If one does not address this issue, it can also lead to bruxism — the grinding of teeth. The grinding of teeth can cause tooth and bone loss as well.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole that is made by a cavity needing to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as make for a nice smile.

This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.

Fillings

Fillings are done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because a new material fills the hole that is left by decay. Nowadays, most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction.

Bonding

Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage made to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First, the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. Then, a gel is applied to micro-etch the tooth surface. Following after, a primer/bond agent is applied so that the material adheres to the surface and the material itself is placed on the tooth, which is then hardened with intense light. As a last step, the composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish.

Sealants

This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time and you don't want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

Whitening - INCLUDING Zoom!

This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses several methods: Zoom!, passive tray whitening, and professional strength white strips.

Zoom! is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It's safe, effective, and fast — very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The convenience of Zoom! in comparison to days of using strips or wearing trays makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual. The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! whitening gel that is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You'll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure. Trays with gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance.

The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used. However, the higher the strength, the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth, the trays should be used every several months.

The end results, whether using trays at home or doing Zoom!, is the same. The cost of the tray method is about half compared to Zoom!, and there is usually less post-treatment sensitivity.

Veneers

Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.

The Direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.The Indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment, the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks, the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed, and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic and are very esthetic.

The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

Invisalign

Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, virtually invisible custom-molded aligners. By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth with results you'll notice sooner than you think. The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving your teeth into a straighter position step by step until you have a more beautiful smile. Unlike braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual.

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