Cleaning & Exams
Even the most diligent caretaker of oral hygiene needs to have regular checkups with a dental professional to determine if there are any early signs of decay, gum disease, oral cancer, or other dental problems. In addition, professional cleanings remove the calcified plaque that has built up in hard-to-reach places on your teeth. A dentist can even determine if oral problems are symptoms of more serious diseases elsewhere in the body. During your cleaning, a dental hygienist will use a small metal instrument to scrape off tartar around the gum line, rinsing away the unwanted guests with a stream of water. After a quick floss and polish, your dentist will examine your teeth with a metal probe and small mirror, making sure your oral health is exactly where it needs to be.
Composite (White) Fillings & Cosmetic Bonding
Composite fillings combine tooth-colored plastic and glass to restore decayed teeth or provide cosmetic improvements by changing the color or shape of teeth. Dentists place the composite in layers using a special light to harden the material, shape the composite to fit the tooth, and finally polish the composite to prevent staining and wear. The main advantage of this technique is aesthetics because the dentist can blend shades to match the color of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support its remaining structure, prevent breakage and insulate it from excessive temperature changes. After the composite has hardened, your dentist will trim, shape, and polish the material until it matches the sheen of the rest of the tooth surface. Bonding can be done in a single visit to your dentists and is used as a cosmetic alternative to fillings or to protect portions of a tooth’s exposed root due to gum recession.
Whether you are seeking general enhancements to your smile, veneers or other various dental procedures, your dentist uses a protocol called Smile Design to manage the shapes, contours, and color of the teeth as they appear in a smile, keeping in proportion with the face. Ultimately, the protocol balances needed function and health factors for each case to achieve the best possible result. Based entirely on the patient’s goals and through a series of photographs taken are various angels and magnification, the dentist can plan a series of modifications that will result in the most beautiful and natural smile. The main advantage of Smile Design is that the system yields predictable results from careful planning.
Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells of tooth-colored material customized to cover the front surface of your teeth to improve appearance. Made from porcelain or resin composite materials, the shells can change the color, shape, size or length of teeth. Porcelain resists stains better than resin while naturally mimicking the reflective properties of teeth. Treating discolored, worn down, chipped, misaligned or irregularly shaped teeth or the gaps between them, veneers are permanently cemented to your tooth, typically lasting between 7 and 15 years before needing to be replaced. The advantages of dental veneers include a natural appearance, good cohabitation with gum tissue, stain resistance, and no requirement to extensively shape the tooth as needed with crowns.
A dental implant is a titanium post, like a tooth root, that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line, allowing for replacement teeth to be mounted in that area. Implants provide stable support for artificial teeth and aren’t anchored to other teeth like bridges are, allowing for a more natural feel and better oral health. Implants require healthy gums and adequate bone for support, in addition to meticulous oral hygiene and regular dental visits to ensure their long-term success. There are two types of implants: endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. Endosteal implants are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone, requiring a second surgery after the gums have healed to connect the artificial teeth. Subperiosteal implants consist of a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone below gum tissue that becomes fixed to the jawbone as the gum heals, at which point the artificial teeth are attached.
Treatment of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place, typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque to build up and harden. Periodontal disease can lead to bleeding gums, painful chewing, and tooth loss. Smoke is the most significant risk factor for gum disease and can make treatment less successful. Treatment aims to control the infection and will vary depending on the extent of the gum disease. Treatment requires that the patient keep up good oral hygiene care. A topical antiseptic can be used to destroy or prevent the growth of microorganisms, Penicillin can kill bacteria, and the removal of dead or infected tissue can promote healing.