We practice general and esthetic dentistry.

We enjoy seeing all age groups and doing beautiful dentistry.

What is a dental cleaning?
When a hygienist talks about cleaning your teeth, she usually means that she will remove the stains, plaque, and tartar from the exposed portions of your teeth. This is usually done once every three to six months. A cleaning will help a person eliminate inflammation of their gums and treat gingivitis.

How often do I need to have my teeth cleaned?
Different people need cleanings at different intervals. Most people need to have their teeth cleaned twice a year. Some people show greater signs of inflammation and should have their teeth cleaned more frequently. Also, people with greater risk for decay and gum disease should have more frequent cleanings. These include people with braces, dry mouth, and people who have difficulty cleaning their mouth.

Diagnostic and Preventative Care
A full range of diagnostic and preventive services including digital radiographs (X-rays).

A dental sealant is a thin plastic film painted on the chewing surfaces of molars. Sealants have been shown to be highly effective in the prevention of cavities. They act as a barrier to prevent bacteria and small food particles from penetrating into a tooth. Sealants are most commonly used on newly erupted molar teeth. Molars typically erupt at age six and twelve. Sealants can be beneficial at any age.

Teeth can be whitened to improve their looks. About 90% of the population can successfully whiten their teeth. This is done by using a peroxide formulation. Many different methods are used to carry the peroxide – ranging from trays to strips. Most methods will work, but trays are the most reliable method.

To make trays, we make impressions of your teeth. The trays are custom-made for your mouth and are lightweight so that they can be worn comfortably while you are awake or sleeping. The trays are so thin that you should even be able to talk and work while wearing them. Generally this type of system requires two to four weeks to complete.

A dental filling is used to replace missing or damaged tooth structure. Tooth decay leads to the formation of a cavity, which is then filled. Many materials are used to fill teeth. The two most common are tooth colored composite materials and metallic amalgam.

What is a composite filling?
Composite materials are made of resin and glass. They are adhered to a tooth in place of the missing tooth structure. Composites have the benefit of being very natural in appearance. They adhere to teeth, possibly strengthening them when cracks are present. Composites can be expected to last between two and ten years.

What is an amalgam filling?
Amalgam fillings have been used in dentistry for over 100 years. They are less expensive than composites and seem to last a little longer. Amalgams are not natural in appearance, and do not adhere to tooth structure. They also offer no additional resistance to fractures.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support. They are permanent and stable. Implants are a good solution for tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth. They do not get cavities, but can still suffer from gum disease.

A root canal treatment is performed to treat an infection within a tooth. This treatment eliminates the infected tissue within a tooth. Once the diseased tissue has been removed, the inside of the tooth is disinfected and filled with a rubber material. The rubber material prevents bacteria from growing greatly reducing the risk of reinfection.

A root canal treated tooth requires a filling or a crown to seal it. Front teeth are usually filled, but back teeth are almost always crowned.

More than 95 percent of root canal treatments are successful. Sometimes a tooth needs to be redone due to diseased canal offshoots or the reinfection of a tooth.

What is a post?
When a tooth is root canal treated, an opening is created to gain access to the diseased pulp tissue. The opening needs to be filled in order to strengthen the tooth and retain a crown. A post is used to retain the filling material by giving the material something to hold onto. A post is placed into the hollowed out root and cemented into place.

The post can be made out of different materials. Gold, carbon fiber, and stainless steel have all been used successfully. Each has specific indications where they work best. Gold is typically used when only a small amount of tooth structure remains. Carbon fiber and stainless steel are used when more of the tooth remains intact.

When are posts used?
A post is used to retain core material. Core material is used to retain a crown when insufficient tooth structure remains after root canal treatment.

Do all teeth with root canals need a post?
Not all teeth with root canals need a post. When there is enough tooth structure remaining after root canal treatment, then a post does not offer any additional benefit but all teeth that have root canal treatment need at least a build up.

When a tooth can no longer be maintained, an extraction is done to remove it. An extraction may be simple or surgical. In a surgical extraction, some of the surrounding bone and gums that support the tooth need to be removed. The tooth may also need to be sectioned into smaller pieces. An extraction is more likely to be surgical with a broken tooth or a tooth with more than one root like wisdom teeth.

Why a veneer?
Veneers are an excellent alternative to crowns in many situations. They provide a much more conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color, size or shape. Veneers can mask undesirable defects, such as teeth stained by tetracycline and damage due to an injury or as a result of a root-canal procedure. They are ideal for masking discolored fillings in front teeth. Patients with either gaps between their front teeth or teeth that are chipped or worn may consider veneers. Generally, veneers will last for many years, and the technique has shown remarkable longevity when properly performed and protected by a nightguard.

How about maintenance?
For about a week or two, you will go through a period of adjustment as you get used to your “new” teeth that have changed in size and shape. Brush and floss daily.

What are realistic expectations?
Veneers are reasonable facsimiles of natural teeth, not perfect replacements. It is not uncommon to see slight variations in the color of veneers upon close inspection, as this occurs even in natural teeth. Nevertheless, this procedure can greatly enhance your smile and can heighten self-esteem.

Direct Veneers
Direct veneers are coverings/build ups of a composite resin material that are bonded to the front of teeth. This procedure can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth and to improve a smile.

What happens during the procedure?
Patients may need up to two appointments for the entire procedure. The first appointment establishes a diagnosis and treatment plan. At this visit, you should discuss your objectives in having the veneers placed – do you want to change the color of your teeth, fill in spaces, correct chips, or a little of each. At the second visit, the direct veneers will be placed.

To prepare the teeth for the veneers, the teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Sometimes, about half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. Composite resin veneers are generally done in one appointment. Layers of tooth colored resin are placed over the prepared tooth, shaped, and hardened with a curing light. The veneers are then shaped and polished to a high luster.

Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to front teeth. They are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth, and to improve smiles.

What happens during the procedure?
Patients need at least three appointments for the entire procedure. The first appointment establishes a diagnosis and treatment plan. At this visit, you should discuss your objectives in having the veneers placed – do you want to change the color of your teeth, fill in spaces, correct chips, or a little of each. At the second visit, the teeth will be prepared for veneers by removing some tooth structure. The teeth are lightly buffed to allow for the small added thickness of the veneer. Usually, about half a millimeter of the tooth is removed, which may require a local anesthetic. Impressions will be made of the prepared teeth and sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication of the porcelain veneers. Provisional veneers will be bonded to your teeth in the interim. At the third visit, the veneers will be cemented to your teeth.

An onlay is a restoration made of porcelain or gold that can repair a heavily damaged tooth. An onlay is an indirect restoration that incorporates a cusp by covering, or onlaying, the missing cusp. This type of restoration conserves natural tooth structure by replacing only the broken parts of the tooth.

What is a CEREC?
A CEREC is a type of porcelain onlay that is made using CAD/CAM technology. Unlike a traditional porcelain onlay, a CEREC can be made in one visit. This saves time and minimizes discomfort. A CEREC is made by preparing a tooth for the onlay, scanning the tooth, and using a computer aided design process to fabricate the restoration. The onlay is then milled in a robotic unit that carves the restoration out of a porcelain block in about twenty minutes. The restoration is then cemented onto the prepared tooth.

What alternatives exist to an onlay?
A crown may be used in place of an onlay. Unlike the onlay, the crown covers the entire tooth. This conserves less tooth structure but may offer advantages in retention and strength of the restoration.

What is a crown?
A crown is a restoration that covers an entire tooth. They are done when a tooth has more than one-half of its tooth structure missing and a filling won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown will usually hold the tooth together so that the damage doesn’t get worse.

What are crowns made out of?
Crowns are made out of two materials: gold and porcelain. Porcelain crowns are very natural in appearance. They are the most commonly used crown and are used where it is important to look good as well as last. Most crowns will last between five and twenty-five years – eight years is the average. Gold is the longest used material in dentistry, but it has esthetic drawbacks. The main advantage of gold crowns is that they have the best longevity of any restoration in dentistry – often exceeding twenty-five years.

What is a fixed bridge?
A bridge is used to replace a missing tooth that is between two natural teeth. Unlike a removable denture, a bridge stays in your mouth. It is made by putting crowns on the adjacent teeth and attaching a third tooth, called a pontic, in the middle. The pontic replaces the missing tooth. Most bridges can be expected to last from five to seven years.

What is a bonded bridge?
A bonded bridge is a variation on the traditional bridge. Sometimes called a Maryland bridge, a bonded bridge is made out of porcelain and gold. It is bonded to minimally prepared adjacent teeth. This makes it a less invasive procedure than a traditional bridge, but this limits its use to areas of your mouth with low chewing pressure.

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic, plastic, and sometimes porcelain and metal materials. A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth.

Complete dentures replace all of the teeth, while partial dentures fill in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from shifting position.

Complete dentures are “immediate” or “conventional.” An immediate denture is a complete denture or partial denture that is inserted on the same day that teeth are removed. The immediate denture acts as a bandage to protect the tissues and reduce discomfort after tooth extraction. An immediate denture will fit poorly after about six months. This is because the tissue which supports the denture changes shape after the teeth are removed.

A conventional denture is done when teeth have been missing for six months or more. Unlike the immediate denture, the fit of a conventional denture changes more slowly over time. Most dentures need to be relined or replaced after about five years.

The denture process takes five appointments: the initial diagnosis is made; an impression is taken; and a wax bite is made to determine vertical dimensions and proper jaw position; a “try-in” is placed to assure proper color, shape and fit; and the patient’s final denture is placed, following any minor adjustments.

New denture wearers need time to get accustomed to their new “teeth” because even the best fitting dentures will feel awkward at first. While most patients can begin to speak normally within a few hours, many patients report discomfort with eating for several days to a few weeks. To get accustomed to chewing with a new denture, start with soft, easy-to-chew foods. In addition, denture wearers often notice a slight change in facial appearance, increased salivary flow, or minor speech difficulty.

How are dentures repaired?
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and the tissues connected to those teeth. It is made of acrylic plastic and sometimes porcelain and metal materials. A denture closely resembles natural gum tissue and teeth.

Occasionally, a denture will break, requiring a repair. This can usually be done over two visits. At the first visit, an impression may be taken of the denture. The denture will then be sent to a laboratory that specializes in the fabrication and repair of dentures. The laboratory technician will repair the denture, and send it back to the office.

The second visit will be used to insert the denture. At this visit, the bite and the fit of the denture will be evaluated and corrections made if needed.

What is a denture reline?
The shape of your mouth changes slowly over time. A denture made more than five years ago may no longer fit your mouth as well as it used to. To correct the discrepancy between the denture and your mouth, a reline may be needed. This is the process of adding additional acrylic between the denture and your mouth,allowing for a more precise, stable, and comfortable fit.

A reline requires at least two visits. At the first visit, the denture will be used to take an impression of your mouth. This will be sent to a dental laboratory where more acrylic will be added. When completed, the denture will be returned. At the second visit, the denture will be tried in. The bite and fit of the denture will be evaluated and corrections made if needed.

Additional appointments may be needed to make the denture comfortable. Your mouth will need to undergo a period of adaptation to the new shape of the denture.

An occlusal guard is a dental appliance made from acrylic. They are used to protect teeth from wear and to reduce symptoms from clenching and grinding. They are also used to protect veneers and extensive crown/bridgework.

How are they made?
Two appointments are needed to make an occlusal guard. At the first visit, molds of your teeth are made. The molds are sent to a dental laboratory. Acrylic is used to cover the tops of your teeth. At the second visit, the acrylic guard is checked for fit. The way you bite on the guard is adjusted so that any jaw pain will be minimized.

When should they be worn?
Ideally, they should be worn every night. The guard will keep your teeth from wearing. They will also decrease the pain associated with TMJ. They work by helping the chewing muscles to relax – the usual source of TMJ pain. They are also suggested to protect extensive dental work.

A space maintainer is a dental appliance that preserves space when a baby tooth is lost prematurely. They are made from stainless steel and usually consist of a band that goes around a molar with a loop that keeps the teeth from squeezing together.

What happens if a space maintainer isn’t used?
The teeth will shift, often crowding out an adult tooth. This may cause changes to the growth and development of the jaw – resulting in an unattractive smile, poor chewing function, and poor speech.

How long does a space maintainer stay in place?
A space maintainer remains in place until the adult tooth erupts into the missing area. This may be months or years, depending on how premature the tooth loss was.

A full range of diagnostic and preventive services including digital radiographs (X-rays).

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Periodontal Disease Services

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and tissue that supports your teeth. It is the major cause of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four people at some point in their life. Periodontal diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis.

The initial treatment of periodontal disease is to remove bacteria and debris (scaling) from the gum pockets around the teeth. The roots of the teeth are smoothed (root planing) to remove infected root tissue and inhibit future attachment of bacteria. This procedure is usually done over two visits typically no more than 2 weeks apart, and uses a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable during the procedure.

How is periodontal disease diagnosed?
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by the presence of gum pockets 5mm deep or more, bleeding on probing, mobility of teeth, bone loss, and recession of your gums.

Can you cure periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is similar to diabetes in that it cannot be cured, but it can be managed. You can slow the progression by brushing, flossing, and having professional dental care regularly.

What is periodontal maintenance?
Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. It is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in their life. Periodontal diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis.

Periodontal maintenance is a dental procedure performed to maintain the health of periodontal tissue. This procedure removes bacteria, plaque, and tartar from around your teeth. Unlike a cleaning, the emphasis in periodontal maintenance is below the gum line. Periodontal maintenance should occur every three months. Periodontal maintenance requires more time, skills, and effort to perform than a cleaning.

A localized antibiotic can be used in some cases of periodontal disease. The antibiotic, a tetracycline, is mixed into a powder form with a binder. The powder is placed into an infected gum pocket, and the binder holds it in place for about ten days. The antibiotic slowly releases into the area, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, and reducing inflammation.

When is a localized antibiotic used?
A localized antibiotic is placed into gum pockets to treat periodontal disease. Disease is characterized by bleeding upon probing and a pocket depth of 5mm or greater. Prior to placement, the gum pockets must have been carefully cleaned of debris. The antibiotic is placed into the cleaned pocket, and the area is evaluated at the next health maintenance appointment.

What results can be expected from a localized antibiotic placement?
Typically, the signs of disease will improve. Bleeding usually decreases and the pocket depth decreases. Results vary by person.

What is periodontal splinting?
Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue. It is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in their life. Periodontal diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis.
Periodontal disease may cause teeth to become mobile. As a way of stabilizing the teeth, the teeth may be attached to one another with a splint. This is often done with composite resin and a nylon mesh.

How about maintenance?
A periodontal splint makes cleaning your teeth more challenging. In order to floss, a threader must be used to pass the floss below the splint much like with braces. Brushing your teeth requires more care, making sure that you clean above and below the splint.