General Treatment

Fillings | Tooth Extractions | Crowns & Bridges | Implants

Our practice can provide a wide range of dental services. We can typically provide every type of dental service without having to refer you to other specialties. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice. Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, regular checkups 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.


 

Fillings

The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We offer both amalgam (metal) and composite (tooth colored) fillings to help restore your tooth. The location, type of cavity and patient expectations will help determine which type of filling would be most suitable for you.

Silver Amalgam Fillings – Metal fillings are made from strong and durable materials that can withstand the forces applied to the teeth while chewing. They are not made for aesthetics and can make the surrounding tooth structure appear discolored. Generally, silver amalgam fillings are used for the back teeth as they are more durable for the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Composite White Fillings – Tooth colored fillings are ideal for patients wishing to maintain the natural beauty of their smile. Composite fillings are closely matched to the natural color of your teeth and bond well to the tooth. While not as strong as metal fillings, tooth colored fillings are durable and should last up to 6-12 years. Composite fillings are usually used on the front teeth offering optimal aesthetics.

We will work with each patient individually to determine which type of filling would be best for you.

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Tooth Extractions

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. More complicated extractions may be referred to an oral surgery specialist.  Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.

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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 2-3 visits over a three to four 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 a lifetime.

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 three main types of bridges, namely:

  • Fixed bridge- this 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 “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
  • 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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Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement

Types of Implants

There are three main types of implants:

  • The root implant
  • The plate form implant
  • The subperiosteal implant

The root implant—by far, the most popular—is the most effective because it mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth. This implant is often as strong as the patient’s original tooth. The implant or artificial root is placed into the jawbone under local anesthesia, then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone. Once the healing process is completed and the jawbone is attached to the implant, the patient returns to the dental office where the implant is fitted with the new tooth. This process generally takes anywhere from three to eight months.

The plate form implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. The plate form implant is long and thin, unlike the root implant, and anchors into thin jawbones. It is inserted the same way as a root implant. In certain cases, the plate form implant is immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the healing process to run its course.

The subperiosteal implant is used when the jawbone has receded to the point where it can no longer support a permanent implant.

Implant As a Treatment Option

If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.

The treatment plan for a bridge usually requires two trips to your dentist. Specifically, it involves:

  • Numbing the surrounding teeth with a local anesthetic and cleaning plaque or decay.
  • Reducing the teeth so that the crowns can be fitted.
  • Making a mold or impression of the teeth in order to create a customized permanent impression (this generally takes 1-2 weeks).
  • Fitting the patient with a temporary bridge until the permanent bridge is ready for placement.
  • Removing the temporary bridge and replacing it with the permanent one.
  • Adjusting the bridge for the proper bite and fit and permanently bonding it into the mouth.

Post Implant Care

Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

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