General Dentistry

Over all dental health accounts for the areas in general dentistry. General dentistry is based on preventive care, as well as restorative procedures. Good preventive care includes bi-yearly dental checkups and teeth cleanings.

Preventative Care

Early detection is key for preventing gum diseases and tooth decay.  Proper care of your teeth at home and seeing a dentist regularly for cleanings and exams will spare you cost and discomfort in the future.

Controlling plaque, a major source of tooth decay and mouth diseases, is important to good dental care. Plaque is a colorless-bacteria that sticks to the surfaces of your teeth. The hard material that’s deposited on teeth is calculus. Both of these are dangers to your oral health and must be eliminated through a proper oral-care routine.

Dental Exams

It’s important to see your dentist twice a year for dental exams. Without regular dental exams, you can never be too sure that your dental health is good. Dental exams reveal problems which allows for appropriate early treatment.

During a dental exam, the dentist does the following:

  • Visual signs of unhealthiness or gum disease.
  • Detect any tooth decay.
  • X-rays determine whether you have dental problems such as bone loss, decay or tumors.
  • Check for signs of oral cancer.
  • Examines the strength of crowns, bridges, veneers and bonding.

Your dentist’s findings during the exam will determine appropriate treatment procedures to proper oral health.

Cleaning

You should visit a dental hygienist for regular dental cleanings. Cleaning removes plaque and tartar and protects your teeth against gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. Depending on how much plaque and calculus (hard plaque) has built up on your teeth, your hygienist will use different instruments for proper removal. If the buildup is heavy, she will use an ultrasonic device to facilitate removal. Even moderate build up requires the use of hand instruments.

After removing the buildup, she will finish by flossing your teeth and polishing to remove any stains, leaving the surface of your teeth feeling clean and refreshed.

Gum Disease

When tartar (calculus) builds-up between teeth, acid from bacteria eats away at fibers that secure your teeth to your bone and gums, resulting in bone loss and recession, is termed periodontal disease. Plaque is the beginning stages of tartar so it is very important to visit your dentist regularly for cleanings.

If diagnosed with periodontal disease, one of our highly-trained hygiene staff will carefully remove the deep calculus build up from around the roots of your teeth over the course of several visits. This is referred to as “deep cleaning” or “scaling and root planing.” Once diagnosed with gum disease, it’s imperative that daily hygiene protocol is adhered to and “periodontal maintenance” visits to our office are upheld.

Daily oral care

Oral care involves the following activities:

  • Brushing

Removing the build-up of plaque.  You can remove these deposits by brushing your teeth twice a day. If you don’t brush your teeth, this could lead to tooth decay and/or gum and bone issues, known as periodontal disease.

  • Flossing

Flossing reaches areas in between teeth that toothbrush bristles cannot reach.

  • Mouth Rinse

In combination with brushing and flossing, mouth rinses aid in removing residual debris.The antiseptic characteristics lower the bad bacteria count in the oral cavity as well, resulting in increased health of the tissues and helps in eliminating bad breath odors.

Sealants

Teeth are sealed by applying resin to the chewing surfaces in order to protect them from plaque and damage-causing acids. The resin fills the grooves of your teeth forming a natural appearance and normal bite.

When your teeth are sealed, the sealant can last for years when properly cared for and through avoiding hard foods. They may need to be reapplied or touched up after several years due to wear.

Pediatric Dentistry

It is fundamentally important to get your child in the routine of daily dental hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits promise good oral and physical health. Our dentists are fun and make a visit to our office a positive adventure. They are trained to make your child feel comfortable and to give them a positive experience.

Whether it’s their first visit to the dentist or they’ve been going to the dentist for years, our entire staff is dedicated to providing all the services your child needs. The result…a beautiful smile along with educating your child about  preventative care.

Implants

When you have lost a tooth or a tooth is unrestorable and the best option is removal, a dental implant may be a solution for you. An implant is a cylindrical screw-type device that is placed into the bone where the roots of the original tooth were. This device makes for a foundation for replacement as a prosthetic crown is attached to the implant. Implant dentistry gets rid of gaps due to missing teeth and are the closest you can get to natural strength and look of teeth.

Endodontics

Endodontics is associated with the pulp (blood vessels and nerves) in the roots of teeth. Dentists are trained on how to diagnose and treat tooth problems involving the pulp, but specialized endodontic procedures may need to be treated by an endodontist. When suffering from a toothache, pinpointing its source becomes complex as a network of nerves can be involved causing pain and discomfort. The pain originating from a damaged tooth can be felt in other areas of the mouth. Endodontic evaluations and treatments track down where the pain originates and eliminate the pain by locating its origin and treating it.

Endodontic dentistry involves the following:

Root Canal therapy

A root canal is performed when your tooth is infected or suffers traumatic impact.

Root canal Retreatment, including endodontic Surgery

Retreatment is carried out if pain and infection persists following a first root canal treatment.  Retreatments can be surgical or non-surgical. The method used will depend on the dentist’s diagnosis.

Surgical or apicoectomy is performed on the apex (the root end of the tooth) and its aim is to:

  • Treat the bone surrounding a tooth
  • Find microscopic fractures that could not be detected in x-rays during your past treatments.
  • Treat roots that have incurred damage
  • Remove calcium that may have deposited in root canals

Endodontic procedures for traumatic tooth injuries

Chipped, dislodged teeth from accidents or sports may call for endodontic procedures. Though dislodged teeth are rare, when they happen, they are very severe. Such injuries need to be examined promptly by a dentist and may need additional treatment from an endodontist (specialist) or oral surgeon.

Treating trauma-related dental damage.

  • Treatment for fractured teeth:

Crowns that are broken or chipped can be repaired by reattaching the piece that’s broken or using a tooth-colored filling. When a large part of your tooth is broken, your tooth will be restored using a dental crown.

If an injury leaves the pulp exposed or damaged, a root canal procedure will be needed. A split tooth may require extraction and can be replaced with an implant, bridge or a partial denture.

  • Treatment for dislodged (luxated) teeth: Dislodged teeth are teeth that are pushed sideways, into or out of their sockets. The dentist will repair this damage by repositioning and stabilizing the tooth.
  • Knocked-Out (Avulsed) Teeth: If your tooth gets knocked out, it may be able to be restored. Keep the area clean and avoid touching the roots and seek dental attention immediately. The best medium to store the tooth until it can be re implanted is in your own mouth between the cheek and gum. Milk may be used as well. The dentist will put the tooth back in the socket and stabilize it with a splint. The amount of time that the tooth is outside your mouth and how you stored it will directly influence the results, i.e the longer it takes, the less likely the tooth will re implant successfully.
  • Root Fractures: A root fracture may or may not be able to be repaired. A fracture that occurs close to the apex will likely be repaired, but if the fracture is close to the gum line, there’s a lower likelihood of success.

Facial Trauma

If you’ve had facial trauma, a defect, or an oral disease, let one of our local oral-maxillofacial surgeons meet with you to determine the best treatment option. Examples of procedures they perform are dental implants, jaw realignment, facial and jaw reconstruction, and facial, jaw or oral mass removal.

Snoring or Sleep Apnea

If you’ve had facial trauma, a defect, or an oral disease, let one of our local oral-maxillofacial surgeons meet with you to determine the best treatment option. Examples of procedures they perform are dental implants, jaw realignment, facial and jaw reconstruction, and facial, jaw or oral mass removal.

There are three main types of sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea

When the muscles at the back of your throat relax your airway to narrows when you breathe inhibiting your ability to take adequate breaths. The result – low oxygen levels in the blood.

Your brain will rouse you from sleep briefly and you make sounds like snorting or choking. This pattern may be repeated a few times every hour or throughout the night.

The brain senses the inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. The awakening is usually so brief that you don’t remember it but your sleep is disrupted all night long and you will not get fully rested.

Central sleep apnea

This type of sleep apnea happens because your brain fails to send signals to the muscles that regulate breathing causing you to wake up abruptly.  You may experience shortness of breath during these abrupt awakenings and find it very difficult to go back to sleep.

Complex sleep apnea syndrome

A combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea may contribute to your exhaustion.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

Obstructive and central sleep apnea have the following symptoms:

  • Loud snoring
  • Breathing stops during sleep
  • Shortness of breath after awakening abruptly
  • Waking with a dry mouth and/or throat soreness
  • Morning headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping (Insomnia)
  • Excessively sleepy during the day (hypersomnia)
  • Inattention
  • Irritability

Treatment for sleep apnea

Your treatment options could include the following:

  • Lifestyle changes

Mild cases call for lifestyle changes such as weight loss and quitting smoking will help.

  • Devices

More severe cases are treated with oral devices that help to open up the airway passage. These devices are prescribed by your dentist and you might need to try out different ones before you find the one that’s most effective for you. Regularly follow up with your dentist to make sure that the device is a good fit. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device may also be helpful and can be prescribed by your physician.

  • Surgery

Surgery may be the only treatment option if you have problems with your jaw structure.

Surgical procedures include:

  • Tissue removal (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty)
  • Tonsils, adenoids, the tissue at the back of your mouth and tissue on the top part in your throat are removed in order to enlarge passageways.
  • Jaw repositioning (maxillomandibular advancement)
  • Surgically moving your jaw forward in order to leave a larger space behind the tongue and palate, minimizing obstruction when breathing.
  • Implants
  • Surgically implantation of plastic rods in the soft palate.
  • Tracheostomy
  • Rare but if all options fail and your sleep apnea is life-threatening, you might need to have undergo surgery to create a new airway.