Baby Teeth

For children younger than 3 years, caregivers should begin brushing children’s teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice. Brush teeth thoroughly 2x per day (morning and night). Parents should try to get their kids into a routine and supervise brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste. When your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin flossing their teeth daily. We recommend to have your child's first dental visit by 3 years of age, if any concerns earlier don't hesitate to call our office or get them in sooner. It is always helpful for them to watch another sibling to put their worries at ease, the first visit is usually a quick introduction, ride in the dental chair and "counting of their teeth".


Bone Grafts

Bone grafts are placed typically right after extractions are completed, but sometimes we can place them years after lost teeth to widen a ridge. The bone graft we use is an allograft or from a human organ donor.  It is basically dried up bone pieces that can be packed into an area where we want bone to be.  The bone graft material goes through a very detailed tedious sterilization process to ensure the best result.  The allograft has an excellent safety record and is well documented in clinical trials.  If patients take care of their site well, we see great results of bone growth. Reasons to get a bone graft is to widen a ridge or fill in an odd shaped bone defect so there is enough room to place an implant.


Cavities

Cavities or tooth decay is when the outside layer of your teeth (enamel - strongest substance in our bodies) breaks down.  What causes cavities?  Usually it's a combination of factors, but on the biological level it usually starts with a substance called plaque.  Plaque (biofilm) contains a party of bugs or bacteria.  In simple terms, there's a species of bacteria in particular (Strep Mutans) that takes sugars we eat and turns them into a "battery-acid" substance that breaks down teeth.  The longer these bacteria sit there, the more the breakdown.  This is why frequent brushing and flossing habits help remove this plaque layer and stop the progression to a cavity.  It's important not only to have great oral hygiene habits in your daily routine but to have a good technique that works! We can teach you how to do this!  It only takes a few hours for plaque to start building, so it is important to remove this build up on your teeth at least 2 times daily, if not 3 times daily.


Cerec

Cerec (crown in one day) Technology is being able to walk out the door of the dental office with the permanent crown, inlay or onlay cemented in one visit! You don't have to wait a whole month and wear a temporary crown. This is case specific but we're completing more and more of these and it is very exciting.  Patients do not need two appointments, only one. The crown is milled, custom stain and glazed placed in the oven and tried in. 


Cone-Beam Technology

Cone Beam Computed Technology (CBCT) is a 3-D image that can be taken by a machine at our dental office. This technology is ground breaking, because we are  no longer limited to the constrains of a 2D x-ray and are given more information to work with and catch problems before they arise. This is the latest technology we have, on top of lasers and intra-oral photography.  We are able to take images and use them towards guiding surgeries such as implants into the precise location so that there's little human error involved. 


Conventional Dentures

These are “final dentures” made out of acrylic and plastic teeth. It takes multiple appointments to shape these dentures and teeth the way that fit your unique tissue and musculature.


Dental Fitness Program

Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help improve the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change or we can make them into your desired straight, white smile you always wanted!

There are different types of dentures that we offer –conventional, immediate and over-dentures. Depending on what type of bone you have remaining will dictate what options will be available to you. Remember, loosing teeth and regaining a smile is not an easy task, it will require you to re-learn how to talk and chew again. This requires time and practice.


Dentures

Dentures are removable appliances that can replace missing teeth and help restore your smile. When you lose all of your teeth, facial muscles can sag, making you look older. Dentures can help improve the appearance of your face and profile. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change or we can make them into your desired straight, white smile you always wanted!

There are different types of dentures that we offer –conventional, immediate and over-dentures. Depending on what type of bone you have remaining will dictate what options will be available to you. Remember, loosing teeth and regaining a smile is not an easy task, it will require you to re-learn how to talk and chew again. This requires time and practice.


Diode Lasers

The Diode Laser is used for a variety of different treatments! It can relieve symptoms and reduce the healing time for cold sores and canker sores. It's also used for taking biopsies (lesion removal), It can even sterilize gums before cleanings, which is useful for diabetics or immunocompromised patients. The great thing about the laser is that it sterilizes tissue leading the risk for infection minimal.  They also can cut tongue ties, or frenulum pulls.  Ask us more at your next visit! 


Extractions

An extraction is when the dentist removes a tooth (including the root). This usually needs to be done when the tooth is what we call "non-restorable" or has a poor prognosis from trauma, disease or a root fracture. We will completed numb the area before wiggling the tooth out, sometimes bone will need to be removed around the tooth if there is not a lot to grab on to. Afterwards we will dispense a detailed instruction sheet so that you can take care of the site best as possible. If you plan on replacing the area with an implant, we may recommend a bone graft or PRF placement immediately after an extraction.  A bone graft and PRF will help preserve that area so it remains wide enough to support an implant fixture. 


Fillings

Fillings need to be performed when there there is cavity in a tooth. This procedure involves removing the cavity and filling it with either silver or white composite material. There are pros and cons to silver versus white composite material. Typically the front teeth are filled with white filling material because it is an esthetic area of the smile and patients prefer this. Silver fillings, also known as amalgam, has been the dominant choice in the past but white composite filling materials have substantially improved in the last decade. 


Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral used to help fight cavities and harden the outside layer of our teeth (called enamel).  We advise to use a fluoridated toothpaste while brushing.  If you are at high risk for developing cavities we will usually recommend a prescription toothpaste with 4x the fluoride over the counter toothpastes contain. There two different ways to get a good dose of topical fluoride after a cleaning.  One way is through a minute mouth rinse. The other way is through a topical fluoride gel that is painted on to your teeth and remains there for hours.  The topical gel is highly recommended.  Talk with us more about the benefits of fluoride and feel free to ask us any questions you may have!


Gingivitis

Gingivitis, or bleeding of gums, is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that is constantly building up on teeth. It is a stage of gum disease that has not progressed to the breakdown of bone.  It does however have the inflammation of gums that can and most likely will progress to periodontitis, or the break down of bone around the teeth. That's why we try hard to inform our patients of the consequences of having bleedy gums, so we can stop the process before it becomes something worse. 


Inlays/Onlays

Inlays/Onlays are conservative options when a part of a tooth needs to be restored, but a decent amount of tooth structure remains. Instead of doing a full crown and removing tooth structure all the way around the tooth,  we only remove the diseased or jeopardized section.  Like crowns, you have to wear a temporary until the lab fabricates the final onlay or inlay.  These can be made in gold or natural white colored to match your smile.  This is the ideal option for replacing old worn fillings, ask your dentist if you'd be a good candidate for this procedure! 


Intraoral Photos

Intraoral photos are taken with a tiny camera to show the patient what we see! It can be a way of tracking changes in the mouth over time, such as "watch areas" of a tooth such as a crack. It is a great way of showing the patient things from staining to cavities. The system we use at our office is called Sopro CARE by Acteon it shows swollen gum tissue caused by plaque and even cavities! It is yet another tool in helping us educate our patients and prevent future problems. 


Immediate Dentures

If you have remaining teeth that need to be removed and you do not want to be without teeth an immediate denture option is available to you. Your dentist will take measurements and make models of your jaw during a preliminary visit. When we remove your teeth, we can “immediately” insert this type of denture. This will act like a band-aid covering those open sites and allowing the blood the clot and keeping any food or fluid out of that area. We will have you follow up through the healing process to make sure your tissue and bone looks good.  Remember these are only temporary, because your bone is going to heal and change, final dentures should be made 3-6 months after the extractions of your teeth.


Implants

Implants are ideal replacements for a missing tooth, or missing teeth.  An implant is a titanium screw that is surgically placed under the tissue in bone.  The final product usually contains three pieces --the part that replaces the root, the implant crown and the connector (middle) part.  Implants can replace a missing space without the need to involve more teeth, such as a bridge restoration.   In the past bridges were the only option, involving what we call "virgin" teeth or perfectly healthy teeth.  The best time to get an implant for a missing tooth is typically 3-4 months following an extraction, that's when the bone has filled in and it has the most bone.  If an implant is not placed and there is a missing tooth, slowly overtime we'll see changes in the bone dimension, decreasing the width and size of the ridge.  It's Long term studies have shown a success rate of 92-98%. 


Over Dentures

This particular type of denture allows better retention held in place by implants. Implants are titanium screws inserted into the bone. The cool thing about implants is that if you take care of them (clean and remove them of plaque) they will hold your bone in place and support your denture along with your tissue. The catch is you have to have enough bone to place these, so if your teeth have been missing a long time there may not be enough bone. Over dentures are great especially in the lower jaw where there are a lot of muscle groups acting on your denture, which can cause it to be looser then the top. Ask your dentist for an evaluation to determine if this treatment may be right for you.

It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases after the insertion of a denture. As your mouth becomes better accustomed to the dentures, these problems should go away. Follow-up appointments with the dentist are generally needed after a denture is inserted so the fit can be checked and adjusted. If any problem persists, particularly irritation or soreness, be sure to consult your dentist. We also recommend routine cancer examinations to make sure the oral cavity remains healthy.

Even if you wear full dentures, you still have to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your gums, tongue and roof of your mouth every morning with a soft-bristled brush before you insert your dentures to stimulate circulation in your tissues and help remove plaque.


Periodontis

Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that is constantly building up on teeth.  If plaque is not removed by thorough brushing and flossing it can cause the breakdown of tooth structure, gums, and bone supporting the teeth.  The destruction can ultimately cause the loss of teeth. We believe it is extremely important to educate patients on how to take care of the gums.  That way they can choose to create a healthy, stable foundation for a lifetime.  Our hygienists and dentists create individualized plans to help patients obtain optimal oral health -eliminate infection and keeping those gums pink and healthy. There are levels of gum infection from gingivitis (bleeding gums) to periodontitis (destruction of bone - bone loss).  Our hope is that our patients learn from us the way to truly take care of their teeth so that they will have healthy, functioning smile forever. 


Platelet Rich Finbrin

PRF (Platelet Rich Fibrin) is a great tool we can use to help accelerate tissue and bone growth in an extraction site or bone grafting site.  We locate a vein and take a few vials of blood. We then extract the "good stuff" and place it back into your healing site, placing a few sutures to keep it secure. If patients take care of their site as advised at home, we see great results clinically at their post operative visit.  This is also great for people with compromised immune systems. For the best results, we combine PRF with a bone graft. 


Root Canals

Extraction is when the dentist removes a tooth (including the root). This usually needs to be done when the tooth is what we call "non-restorable" or has a poor prognosis from trauma, disease or a root fracture. We will completed numb the area before wiggling the tooth out, sometimes bone will need to be removed around the tooth if there is not a lot to grab on to. Afterwards we will dispense a detailed instruction sheet so that you can take care of the site best as possible. If you plan on replacing the area with an implant, we may recommend a bone graft or PRF placement immediately after an extraction.  A bone graft and PRF will help preserve that area so it remains wide enough to support an implant fixture. 


Sealants

Sealants are placed to prevent cavities. They are a plastic material usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. Toothbrush bristles cannot reach into the deep depressions and grooves to remove food and plaque. Sealants protect these areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.Sealants are easy for your dentist to apply. The sealant is painted onto the tooth enamel, where it bonds directly to the tooth and hardens.  The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from acids and plaque. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and may last several years before a reapplication is needed. The likelihood of developing pit and fissure decay begins early in life, so children and teenagers are obvious candidates. But adults can benefit from sealants as well.


Veneers

Veneers are a porcelain shell placed on the front and chewing surface of your teeth. They help beautify and bring out a shiny, white appearance.  Within reason, they can help modify the shape of your original teeth to be more esthetic.  A lot of celebrities and public figures have veneers and they are becoming a more popular trend.  Your teeth typically have to be free of major fillings to get this restoration (instead of a crown).  These are usually placed on your front 6-8 teeth, or "smiling teeth" but they can be placed in other areas as well.


X-Rays

Digital X-rays have revolutionized dentistry! Not only do they cut almost 90% of the radiation down from the original film based X-rays, but they have superior image quality. Once taken, the image appears almost instantly on the computer screen. The dentist can manipulate the X-ray on the computer to make the best diagnosis for the patient.