A dental exam is vital to good oral hygiene and is the best way to detect problems at their earliest stages. Early detection and treatment saves unnecessary discomfort, time and money.
The Academy of General Dentistry recommends checkups with cleanings twice a year. Your oral hygiene needs change with age and the condition of your teeth and gums. Your dentist may recommend a checkup schedule that is more or less frequent than twice a year.
A tooth filling repairs and restores the surface of a tooth that has been damaged by decay, fracture, or wear. A dental filling strengthens the tooth. If tooth decay is not repaired at its early stages, it will worsen and additional or alternative dental treatments may be necessary.
With proper care and routine oral hygiene, a cavity filling has a lifespan of 5-12 years, depending upon the type of filling material used.
A dental crown (also called a tooth cap) restores a tooth's shape, size, and strength. It fully encases the visible portion of your tooth. Once it is permanently bonded in place, only a dentist or specialist can remove it.
With proper care and good oral hygiene, the life of a tooth crown can range from 5 to 15 years.
Third molars, also called wisdom teeth, are the last set of permanent teeth to erupt in a person's mouth and are the ones least needed. Wisdom teeth can endanger a patient's dental health when:
When your jaw is too small to accommodate normal wisdom teeth, it is common for gum or jaw discomfort and swelling to occur. In addition, there is a greater risk of developing gum (periodontal) disease.
Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is typically the best course of action. If a wisdom tooth has fully erupted through the gum, a standard tooth extraction is performed. If the tooth has not erupted through the gum, an impacted tooth extraction method is used.
Dental veneers improve the appearance of teeth by covering the visible front surface with a custom-made, tooth-colored porcelain overlay.
A veneer is often prescribed for a tooth that is:
It may also be prescribed to "fill the gap" between two otherwise healthy teeth.
An endodontic treatment saves a severely injured, cracked, or decayed tooth when its pulp (the soft inner tissue inside a tooth's root canal) becomes inflamed or infected. If it is not treated promptly, pain or a tooth abscess (infection) results. Endodontic treatment is also known as a "root canal."
Root canal treatment is completed in one or two office visits, depending on the presence of infection and the required treatment plan. After restoration, the tooth continues to function like any other tooth. With good oral hygiene, the restored tooth has the potential to last a lifetime.
Dentures also referred to as fake teeth or false teeth, are prosthetic devices that act as replacement for missing teeth. They are supported by the surrounding tissues of the mouth. Dentures can either be full or partial depending on the number of missing teeth.
Dentures provide numerous benefits for those people who are struggling with missing teeth. For starters, dentures can restore a person’s appearance and smile and therefore their confidence. Having an improved smile means being able to smile more often and therefore feeling happier. Additionally, dentures support the facial muscles so you don't lose tone along your jaw and chin.
Dentures can also provide relief to those who are struggling to eat or speak. With new teeth, patients can once again bite through foods that they couldn't chew before. Speaking will also be easier because they'll be able to annunciate better.
Because dentures can be removed so easily, this makes it easier to keep the gums clean. This can lower your chances of gum disease and other mouth problems.
Partial dentures are used when the mouth still has a viable number of functional teeth. The partial dentures replace only the lost, or extracted, teeth. Partial dentures are held in place by using a system of clasps and rests that are connected to the adjacent natural teeth.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and tissues that support your teeth. It is caused most often by the build-up of plaque and tartar when teeth are not routinely brushed and flossed.
There are two major stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis affects only the gums. It is a mild form of gum disease, and if properly treated, may be reversed. Without prompt gingivitis treatment, it can turn into periodontitis. During this more destructive disease stage, bacteria penetrate into the deeper pockets of tissue where bone and membrane support your teeth. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and serious health problems.
Research shows that 47.2 percent of American adults over the age of 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease, which is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. It is also possible to have gum disease without experiencing any symptoms. The best way to avoid or manage gum disease is by practicing good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) play a critical role in functions such as opening and closing the jaw, speaking, chewing, and swallowing. But like other body parts, the TMJ can suffer from a medical condition that can inhibit it from working correctly.
The temporomandibular joints connect the lower jaw to the skull. There are two TMJs, one located on each side of the lower jaw. Each temporomandibular joint consists of three (3) parts: Mandibular condyle Glenoid fossa Meniscus The mandibular condyle is found in the lower jaw, while the glenoid fossa is located at the skull base. The meniscus is a small piece of cartilage shaped like a disc. It acts as a cushion between the mandibular condyle and the glenoid fossa. The meniscus is the part of the TMJ that allows the jaw to widely open, move up and down, forward and back, and side to side. Together, all three (3) parts of the TMJ function like a sliding hinge.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are medical conditions that affect jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and any nerve-related to chronic facial pain. TMDs fall into three (3) main categories:
Myofascial pain: This pain in the fascia – the connective tissue is covering the muscles – and the forces that control jaw movement. Myofascial pain is the most common type of TMD.
Internal joint derangement: This is classified in one (1) of three (3) ways: A dislocated jaw; The displacement of the cartilage disc is found between the jaw and the skull; An injured condyle bone, also known as the rounded end of the jaw bone.
Degenerative joint disease: The jaw joint develops osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Therefore, patients can suffer from more than one TMD at the same time.
We are open for emergency dental care. If you have any dental concerns, we are here to help you get the treatment you need. Please call with any questions.
Many patients may be unsure whether a dental concern counts as a dental emergency. We understand it may be difficult to know. However, if it’s a concern to you, it’s a concern to us. Pain is not the only way for a dental emergency to be present, so it’s important to discuss your particular issue with a dentist.
Besides focusing in your dental health and beautiful smile, in just minutes, we can temporarily enhance the aged appearance of your face caused by forehead wrinkles, frown lines and "crow's feet". With vast knowledge of face and neck anatomy, we offer a detailed examination of the muscles used in your facial expressions that may be contributing to an aged appearance. Botox® can be easily combined with your next routine dental appointment ... call for further details and see if Botox® is right for you!
Tooth whitening enhances the brightness of natural teeth, but it's not for everyone. Discuss it with your dentist before you take action, especially if you have:
The lifespan of teeth bleaching can range from 4-12 months, depending on the type of treatment used and your consumption of food and drink that can easily stain teeth (such as blueberries, coffee, and tea).
To keep your teeth their whitest without undergoing tooth whitening treatment, practice good oral hygiene.
If your dentist agrees that you are a candidate for tooth whitening, you can choose either an over-the-counter tooth whitening kit or a dentist-supervised treatment.
If using an over-the-counter whitening kit, choose one approved by the American Dental Association and follow the directions on its package. Store-bought kits require 7-30 days of consistent use for full effect. Individual results can vary.
A dentist-dispensed take-home kit contains a higher concentration of whitening agent than a store-bought kit and is as easy to use. You are likely to be more satisfied with the results of a dentist-dispensed kit than by a store-bought kit.