Using the most advanced dental technology possible is just as important as staying up-to-date on the latest treatment techniques. Because our practice is dedicated to providing you with the safest and most convenient treatment options available, we utilize advanced digital X-ray technology in our office.
Digital X-rays provide several advanced imaging options designed to save time, provide clearer dental photos, and expose patients to less radiation than with traditional X-ray technology.
Our practice is focused on making your dental experience as comfortable as possible. At your next appointment, we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Screening
DIAGNOdent is a revolutionary new way for your dentist to find even the smallest areas of tooth decay and cavities. By using the advanced DIAGNOdent technology, we are able to treat small cavities and areas of tooth decay before they become larger issues requiring multiple procedures. DIAGNOdent is a quick, comfortable process that helps you and your doctor keep your smile healthy and happy for a lifetime.
How does DIAGNOdent Work?
DIAGNOdent uses a precise laser scanning system to scan over all of your teeth while sending out an audio signal and registering a digital read-out. By measuring the fluorescence within each tooth's structure, your dentist can identify where there may be cavities developing in the small spaces between, on, and around your teeth.
DIAGNOdent is comfortable and takes only a few short minutes to scan your entire mouth for cavities and decay. Detecting tooth decay as early as possible helps eliminate the number of costly treatments that you may need down the line and helps treat small problems before they become serious dental cases.
Not All Cavities are Noticeable without the Help of the Advanced DIAGNOdent Laser Screening.
Most tooth decay begins in the tiny cracks and grooves of your tooth's surface. By the time the cavities are noticed, it's often because there is a much larger problem, and the cavity itself was never seen or felt by the patient.
With the widespread use of fluoride, many of these cavities never make it to the tooth's surface, and instead begin eating away at the tooth from the inside out. The DIAGNOdent laser helps locate these small areas of decay.
If you would like to be screened for possible tooth decay and cavities, please contact our practice and schedule an appointment. Help your teeth stay healthy!
Oral Cancer Screening
Our office is not only dedicated to your smile, we're also dedicated to your overall wellness. We take a holistic approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam. Like any kind of cancer, oral cancer can be life–threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. You are the most important factor in the early diagnosis of oral cancer through routine screenings recommended by our office.
We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A lump, thickening, or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
Our team is trained in a simple, quick screening which involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole and not just your teeth to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. Besides a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of your mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities. If we find an area of concern, we may perform a simple test, such as a brush test, which collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If this test comes back atypical or positive, we may recommend a biopsy.
Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer.
- The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.
- During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chance of successful treatment.
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease, and is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. Gum disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, and because it is virtually pain free, many patients do not know they have the disease. During each regular checkup, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque (a sticky form of bacteria that forms on the teeth). If the plaque is not removed (by flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups), it will continue to build up and create toxins that can damage the gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis — This is the early stage of gum disease, when the gums become red and swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis — If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth will become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or be removed by a dentist.
Certain factors can increase a patient's risk of developing periodontal disease, including:
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Certain types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Old fillings
While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Treating Gum Disease
Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each individual case. Typical treatments include:
- Non-surgical treatments such as at-home periodontal trays, and scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
- Periodontal surgery and laser gum surgery
- Dental implants
Preventing Gum Disease
Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important for maintaining your health and the health of your smile. You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease, and by practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy.
A child's first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Recommends...
Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting at 6-12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.
Getting to know your teeth is fun!
When New Teeth Arrive
Your child's first primary or baby teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six and 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring. When your child has finished teething, you can expect a total of 20 primary teeth.
Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood, and their permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth, 32 including wisdom teeth.
Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing four times a day for optimal oral hygiene: after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner, and at bedtime.
Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.
Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your doctor will discuss with you the right time to start flossing. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.
Preventing Tooth Decay With Regular Checkups
Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason, many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.
Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they "seal" the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your regular checkups.
Under Armour Performance Mouthwear™
Athletes! Protect your smiles for many years and games to come! Our practice is pleased to offer our patients the most advanced line of custom mouthguards and mouthpieces with new Under Armour Performance Mouthwear.
Powered by premium Armourbite™ technology, Under Armour Mouthwear is designed to improve your overall health and prevent future dental issues, as well as improve your strength, endurance, and reaction time while reducing stress on your face and jaw.
How Will My Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece Protect My Smile?
Under Armour Mouthpieces offer superior protection and comfort, and are made from the highest quality materials. Custom fit to the shape of your smile, Under Armour Mouthpieces relieve pressure on the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and help protect your mouth and jaw from impact.
Aren't Mouthguards Only Helpful for Athletes Who Play a Contact Sport?
The answer is NO — athletes of any sport should use a mouthguard to protect their teeth, mouth, and jaw from injury. Your dentist may offer:
- Under Armour Performance Mouthpiece for non-contact sports, including baseball, golf, tennis, cycling, and running
- Under Armour Performance Mouthguard for full-contact sports, including football, hockey, lacrosse, martial arts, and wrestling
- Under Armour Performance Alloy Mouthpiece for ultra-durable protection in non-contact sports
Your dentist is an authorized provider of Under Armour Performance Mouthpieces, and is pleased to offer patients the same mouthguards and mouthpieces used by hundreds of professional, Olympic, and collegiate athletes. If you're an athlete, give us a call and schedule an appointment for a quick, 20-minute, custom mouthguard fitting.
We recognize that some of our patients may feel anxious or apprehensive about receiving dental care. Our doctors and staff work hard to make sure that you have a comfortable, positive experience, and that's why we are pleased to offer sedation dentistry for those patients needing a little extra comfort before receiving treatment. Feeling anxious about receiving dental care should never prevent you from having the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.
Customized Sedation Dentistry That is Safe and Effective
There are different types of sedation dentistry, and you and your doctor will work together to decide on a personalized treatment plan that will give you the care you need while ensuring your comfort every step of the way.
How Sedation Dentistry Works
About an hour before you begin your dental treatment, you will be given a small pill to help you relax. Due to the sedative nature of the pill, you will need someone to accompany you to your appointment because you will not be able to drive. When you arrive at our practice, our staff will be waiting for you and will escort you to a private room where you'll be treated.
Your doctor will gently place an IV and administer medication to help you into a deeper state of relaxation. Once your treatment is complete, you will wake up with little or no memory of the appointment and a beautiful new smile. Using sedation dentistry, we may be able to complete many different procedures, including complex smile makeovers, in just one office visit.
Common Questions About Sedation Dentistry
We understand that you may have many questions about sedation dentistry before receiving treatment. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about sedation dentistry:
- Will I feel anything during my treatment?
In most cases, patients do not feel anything. There is very little discomfort, and many patients wake up feeling relaxed and comfortable with almost no memory of the treatment.
- Is sedation dentistry the same as being unconscious?
No. You will still be conscious and responsive but you will be in a deep state of relaxation.
- Is sedation dentistry safe?
Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for many patients to receive dental treatment. Before starting your treatment with IV sedation, your doctor will help you decide if IV sedation is right for your treatment.
- How long will it take the sedation to wear off?
The time it takes for the sedatives to wear off depends on the dose you've received, how long your treatment is, and how quick your own body can recover. Because sedation causes drowsiness, it is recommended that you have a family member or friend drive you to and from your appointment. After your treatment, you should not drive, drink alcohol, or operate machinery.
- Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?
Any patient, from child to adult, who experiences dental anxiety is a good candidate for sedation dentistry. If you have any of the following fears or concerns, ask your doctor about sedation dentistry as an option for your next dental treatment:
- Extreme dental anxiety, or fear of visiting the dentist
- Fear of needles and/or shots
- Past traumatic dental experience
- Inability to handle the smells or noises at a dentist's office
- Overly sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, or trouble getting numb
- Need for a more complex dental treatment
- Self-consciousness about one's teeth
- Desire for a more comfortable dental treatment
If you feel that you could benefit from sedation dentistry at your next appointment, please contact us and let us know how we can better accommodate your needs.
Dental Health and Root Canals
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you would probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called root canal treatment, your tooth can be saved. Root canals are a relatively simple procedure involving one to three office visits. Best of all, having a root canal when necessary can save your tooth and your smile!
What is the Purpose of a Root Canal?
A tooth's nerve is not vitally important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has emerged through the gums. Its only function is sensory – to provide the sensation of hot or cold. The presence or absence of a nerve will not affect the day-to-day functioning of the tooth.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
What are the Signs That a Root Canal is Needed?
Teeth that require root canal therapy are not always painful. However, signs you may need a root canal include severe toothache, pain upon chewing or application of pressure, prolonged sensitivity or pain in response to hot and cold temperatures, a dark discoloration of the tooth, and swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor.
What Happens During a Root Canal?
Root canal treatment involves one to three visits. During treatment, your general dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in problems with the nerves of the teeth) removes the affected tissue. Next, the tissue will be removed and the interior of the tooth will be cleaned and sealed. Finally, the tooth is filled with a dental composite. If your tooth had extensive decay, your doctor may suggest placing a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth from breakage. As long as you continue to care for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and checkups, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth and jaw at risk of decay, so your doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
When it is determined that a tooth needs to be removed, your dentist may extract the tooth during a regular checkup or may schedule another visit for this procedure. The root of each tooth is encased within your jawbone in a "tooth socket," and your tooth is held in that socket by a ligament. In order to extract a tooth, your dentist must expand the socket and separate the tooth from the ligament holding it in place. While this procedure is typically very quick, it is important to share with your doctor any concerns or preferences for sedation.
Once a tooth has been removed, neighboring teeth may shift, causing problems with chewing or with your jaw joint function. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that you replace the extracted tooth.