General & Restorative Treatment

  

Sealants | Fluoride | Tooth-Colored Fillings | Inlays and Onlays | Crowns and Bridges | Dentures and Partials | Dental Implants

Our practice can provide a wide range of dental services.  Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, regular check-ups and continued home oral health routines.

Our practice also provides the highest-quality services for restoring mouths that have been damaged by dental disease and injury and common problems that require cosmetic dentistry. Our primary goal for our patients is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques, technologies and by maintaining their scheduled dental exams.


Sealants

The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean of bacteria and food. As the bacteria reacts with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.

Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. It lasts for several years but needs to be checked during regular appointments.

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Fluoride

Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advance in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.

It is important to note, however, that like any medical treatment, fluoride should be taken in moderation. Overexposure to fluoride can result in a cosmetic condition known as fluorosis: thin white lines, streaks or spots on the tooth enamel that start usually darken later. The risk of fluorosis is most pronounced in infants and children whose teeth have not yet fully developed and erupted from the gum line, which is why extra care must be taken to monitor how much fluoride a child ingests. Many, if not most, public water sources contain fluoridated water, and a common cause of fluorosis in children is powdered formula prepared that is prepared with fluoridated water. There are also many kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes and even some flosses that contain fluoride.

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Tooth-Colored Fillings

Silver amalgam used to be the norm when it came to materials for restorations, such as fillings. However, silver fillings do not have much aesthetic appeal to the patient and can even cause damage to your tooth years down the road. The amalgam can break down the tooth, causing a fracture and the need for a crown to salvage the tooth.

After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. Composed of porcelain and composite resin, these new tooth-colored restorations bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The restorations can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.

These new restorations require less removal of your healthy tooth structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a tooth-colored restoration. They are also healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams.

Ask us about our new tooth-colored materials and how we can restore your smile!

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Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations. They are a great alternative to traditional metal fillings primarily because less of the tooth structure needs to be removed. Inlays and onlays are suitable for treating mild to moderate decay, and can be used to restore a cracked or fractured tooth if the damage is not extensive enough to require a crown.

Generally, inlays are small restorations that fit within the contours of the biting surface of a tooth, while onlays cover a portion or the entire chewing surface.

Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin. Once fabricated, they are securely bonded to the tooth.

The advantages of inlays and onlays include:

  • Since they can be fabricated from tooth-colored materials, inlays and onlays are aesthetically pleasing. Unlike traditional metal fillings, the restoration is virtually invisible.
  • Less removal of the tooth structure is required to achieve optimal results.
  • They do not cause excessive wear and tear to opposing tooth structures.
  • Inlays and onlays prevent the need for more significant treatment in the future.

The process for placing inlays and onlays generally requires two or more office visits. Initially, once the decay is removed, an impression of the tooth is taken. A temporary restoration is placed until the custom-made inlay/onlay is manufactured in a laboratory.

Following a proper oral hygiene regimen daily ensures the success and longevity of your new restoration.

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Crowns and Bridges

Crowns

A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  3. Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.

This process generally consists of a minimum of two visits over a two week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last many, many years.

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are two main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.

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Dentures and Partials

Periodontal disease, injury and tooth decay can all cause a loss of your natural teeth. However, we can bring back the smile on your face with dentures to restore your missing teeth. With improved technology and updated materials, dentists can now make them appear more natural and more comfortable for the patient.

Types of Dentures
There are two types of dentures: complete and partial.

  • Complete dentures cover the patient’s entire jaw.
  • Partial dentures, with their metal framework, replace multiple missing teeth.

To know which type is best for you, be sure to ask your doctor.

It may take some time to adjust to your dentures. Speaking and eating may feel different at first, but these regular activities will resume normally once you are accustomed to your dentures.

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Dental Implants

If you have missing teeth, you shouldn’t be embarrassed about your smile. We offer a wide range of options for you to correct your smile. The best option, especially if the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, is a dental implant. A dental implant will give you optimum functionality as well as an aesthetic solution. To learn more, visit our Implants page.

 

 

 

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