Dental Hygiene and Periodontics
Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Your gum and bone health are also essential to optimal oral health. At your first hygiene visit, we will gather diagnostic information and recommend the appropriate hygiene plan based on your needs. Some patients may require additional periodontal procedures like Scaling & Root Planing or a referral to a Periodontal Specialist. Remember, the mouth is an ever-changing environment. If you have any questions about your current hygiene plan please ask us.
In addition, Oral cancer screenings are a very important part of the dental visit as well. With proper recall visits, we are able to pinpoint the start of a potential problem as early as possible in its evolution. The ability to do so is extremely important in being able to treat any issues prior to them becoming a major irreversible problem. Certain lifestyle choices can have a great impact on the health of tissues and your overall health in the mouth. Tobacco and alcohol are two factors that may increase your risk for oral cancer.
Some of our restorative services include white fillings and bondings, amalgam fillings, crowns and bridges on natural teeth, implant crowns and bridges, cosmetic veneers, and dentures. Please ask your dentist if you are a good candidate for any of the above cosmetic services!
Coffee, wine, smoking and other foods have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis. ZOOM! is a chairside whitening procedure that uses whitening gel and a low intensity light to activate the gel. This combination allows us to provide you with teeth that are 6-10 shades whiter in about an hour! It is important to complete any whitening procedure at least two weeks prior to any cosmetic dental procedures.
Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it can be related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw. Often, a referral to an endodontic specialist is recommended. A tooth that has undergone a root canal is often recommended to have a crown. This will prevent tooth fracture and make it much more likely that the root canal is successful.
We welcome all pediatric patients for a consultation and hygiene visit. We may recommend dental sealants for your child depending on their individual needs. Dental sealants can be a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (molars). Keep in mind, some pediatric patients may benefit from referral to a Pediatric specialist.
Oral Surgery & Dental Extractions
Extractions, especially of wisdom teeth, are a common oral surgical procedure. Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that emerge, usually during your late teens to early twenties. For some people the wisdom teeth emerge through the gums and have enough room to grow in naturally. For others, wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.
When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin, called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. Impacted teeth can potentially cause problems and may need to be removed. Often, referral to a board-licensed oral surgeon is recommended.
Post-op Instructions for Extractions
Following a dental extraction, you can expect for the extraction site to bleed for a little while. Gauze will be applied at the completion of the surgery, and you will need to change it when it becomes soaked. If bleeding continues for longer than 24 hours you should call your dentist. Rest when you return home, but do not lie flat. This could prolong the bleeding. Prop your head up on a pillow when lying down. Your dentist may prescribe you pain medication or may recommend an over-the-counter pain medication for use as needed.
You will be limited to soft foods for a few days after your surgery. Some recommended foods are:
- Mashed Potatoes
- Ice Cream
- Thin Soups
When drinking, make sure you do not use a straw. The sucking motion can loosen your sutures and slow the clotting process. Please also avoid smoking, drinking from a water bottle, and vigorous rinsing. If you have prolonged pain, bleeding, irritation, or don't feel that the extraction site is healing properly, call your dentist for a follow up.
Dental implants are an appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. The benefit to other alternatives is no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
The entire implant process is performed over the course of 3-9 months. Sometimes additional grafting is needed prior to placement of the implant itself which adds additional healing time. Once in position, the implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time, you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile. Talk with your dentist about your temporary options during the healing phase!
After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Remember, dental implants require maintenance just like your natural teeth!