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Advanced Services

Cosmetic Dentistry

 

This can be anything done to correct imperfections in the appearance of the mouth. Anyone who is unhappy with their smile can have it fixed. The upper teeth show, usually, only when smiling, while the lower teeth remain hidden. This is reversed when talking, with the upper teeth remaining hidden while the lower teeth show. The color, alignment, spacing as well as regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that give the overall appearance. Any of these can be repaired to give a stunning look to the mouth. We offer a wide variety of cosmetic options. Some of these options are whitening, smile design, recontouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses several methods: Zoom!, passive tray whitening, and professional strength white strips.

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Whitening– Including zoom!

Zoom! is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It's safe effective and fast, very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The convenience of Zoom! in comparison to days of using strips or wearing trays makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual. The Zoom! Whitening procedure is simple. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the proprietary Zoom! whitening gel that is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You'll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure. Trays with gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance.

The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months.

The end results whether using trays at home or doing Zoom! is the same. The cost of the tray method is about half compared to Zoom!, and there is usually less post-treatment sensitivity.

Veneers

Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.

The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.

The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.

The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

Crowns

Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth, it is shaped to accept the crown, an impression is taken, and a temporary crown is inserted. In the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is put in place.

Dentures

Dentures replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss. The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth. Once the patient is accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and he or she can carry on as usual. Often, implants can used to further stabilize the dentures.

Implants

 

A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has advantages over bridge work because it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be placed on the shaft.

Implants can also be used as support as an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and it has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, they don't have to be taken out all the time.

We also offer mini dental implants. These implants are about half the diameter of traditional implants and are used mainly to stabilize lower dentures. These implants can be placed in one appointment and can be used immediately. The cost is 50-70% of standard dental implants.

 

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to the pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect such problems early). In addition, sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point that it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and the infection can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is called an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected, it must be treated and cannot heal on its own. A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown are recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.

Bridges

A bridge replaces a missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics. It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a detrimental chain reaction. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens, the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.