During a dental exam, your dentist or hygienist will also ask about any health problems you may have. This will include any medications you're taking. This is to discuss how they might affect your oral health. If you have diabetes, for example, you're at increased risk of gum disease. Any medication that contributes to dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay. For example, If arthritis interferes with your ability to effectively brush your teeth. Your dentist or hygienist might show you how to insert the handle of your toothbrush into a rubber ball for easier use. We may also recommend a powered or electric toothbrush. Some people have prosthetic replacements such as dentures or bridges. Your dentist or hygienist will examine how well they fit and discuss if they need adjustments. Dental exams might also include counseling about diet, use of tobacco products and other lifestyle factors that can affect oral health.
The dental x-rays we take in our offices are an important part of evaluating your overall oral health. We take x-rays during your visit, so your dentist can immediately see what is happening under the surface of your teeth and gums during treatment. Children require x-rays more often than adults because their teeth and jaws are still developing and their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay. If you are a new patient, we may recommend a dental x-ray to see how you're doing now. This will also help identify changes that may occur later. Dental x-rays can help us identify problems that otherwise would not be seen. Finding and treating those problems early can save you time, money and unnecessary discomfort later on.
Click on photo for video.
Scaling and root planing is the most common and conservative form of treatment for periodontal (gum) disease. Scaling is the removal of calculus (commonly called tartar) and plaque that attach to the tooth surfaces. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root. Plaque is a sticky substance, full of bacteria, that forms on teeth. When plaque hardens over time, it is called calculus. Plaque is more likely to stick to rough surfaces. For this reason, the root surface is made smooth in a process called root planing. Root planing removes any remaining calculus and smooths irregular areas of the root surface.
Fillings may be used to address cracked or chipped teeth. However, fillings are most commonly used to repair cavities. Cavities develop when a substance called plaque, which forms from saliva, bacteria, acid, and food pieces, builds up in the mouth. Plaque tends to stick to teeth, where it slowly erodes the surface until holes, or cavities, are formed. Before inserting a filling, the decayed part of the tooth is removed. The filling is then added to fill the void created by the removal of the decayed area.
During root canal treatment, the inflamed or infected pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is carefully cleaned and disinfected. The inside of the tooth is then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Afterwards, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling for protection. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth.
A tooth may need to be extracted (removed) for any one of a number of reasons;
Tooth extraction allows room for the rest of the teeth to grow straight and proper. Antibiotics may offer temporary relief from symptoms like pain and swelling. Having teeth removed or surgically addressed often is the only solution for permanently relieving your symptoms.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth -- to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Your dentist may suggest a metal, PFM, gold or ceramic.
Bridges and crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by a dentist or prosthodontist. Bridges are commonly used to cover a space if you’re missing one or more teeth. They are cemented to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the tooth once stood.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available -- complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening. Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color
Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.