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General Dentistry

Oral Exam

At our office your dentist will perform a comprehensive head and neck exam which will include an oral cancer screening. The detection of many systemic diseases and oral cancers can be done by your dentist and early detection is key to a good prognosis when it comes to many diseases. A comprehensive exam is not only limited to the evaluation of your teeth but will also include the remaining oral cavity such as the inside of your cheeks, tongue, TMJ, occlusion, roof of your mouth and your gingiva which can all be involved in the presence of many systemic diseases and cancers.

During your dental exam, we also record your vital signs such as blood pressure to make sure that your overall health is in a good condition. In many occasions we have diagnosed patients with high blood pressure to refer to their general medical doctor for followups. We believe to treat oral health we need to treat the entire body first.

Digital X-Rays

Proper X-rays are always key to successful diagnosis and a necessary tool in helping to find the underlying cause of the problem.

At our office, digital X-rays are used in order to make sure low dosage radiation is being used and at the same time the highest quality of care is being delivered. Dental x-rays are pictures of the teeth, the bone, and the surrounding soft tissue and help in diagnosing the root cause of the dental problems. Usually, a full set of X-rays are taken at the initial appointment in order to give a comprehensive evaluation and follow up X-rays are taken every 6 months to a year as necessary in order to update the treatment plan, check on quality of work previously done, and help diagnose and detect newly formed decay or problems.

There are different types of X-rays and a Panoramic X-ray will show the location of the wisdom teeth in addition to the relation of the adult and primary teeth in the mixed dentition phase. A Panoramic X-Ray can also help detect problems associated with the TMJ and even abnormalities in the mandible (the lower jaw bone). These problems include but are not limited to cancer of the jaw bone, abnormal cysts or infection, or tumors.

A Panoramic X-ray is also used by the surgeon before placement of implants to assess the quality of the bone. In addition, the Panoramic X-ray also is used to study the anatomical relation of the sinuses and the nerves prior to dental extractions. Digital X-rays are more detailed and have lower radiation compared to the conventional film X-rays and are easily stored and can be transferred to other dental professionals if needed in diagnostic aid.

Teeth Cleaning

Your dentist will take the proper measurement when it comes to diagnosing the health and condition of your teeth and gums and bones prior to coming up with a treatment plan and a regimen for your cleaning. In addition to studying the X-rays and the level of the bone and tartar buildup, periodontal probing is also done to make sure there has been no attachment loss between the gums and the teeth.

Depending on these findings, proper diagnosis as far as the type of cleaning and the frequency of cleaning are made during the consultation appointment. Since periodontal disease is the number one reason for tooth loss in adults over the age of 30, proper dental cleanings and diagnosis are key in making sure you hold on to your teeth as long as possible.

Our office is equipped with the latest technology in periodontal treatment beginning with ultrasonic scalers which are more efficient and less painful than the conventional hand scalers. If needed, in addition to the cleaning, other treatment regimens including antimicrobial irrigation, laser treatment, or local antibiotic treatment may be recommended in order to flush out all the bacteria from under the gums and to establish a healthy oral environment.

Crowns

May be recommended when a tooth becomes:

  • weak
  • severely decayed
  • fractured
  • has a large failed restoration.
  • needs a root canal treatment

A crown can provide the necessary strength to withstand chewing forces. A crown can be designed to have the same shape and color as the original tooth. There are many different types of crowns including porcelain fused to metal, all porcelain, Emax, or Zirconia crowns that could be fabricated depending on the location of the tooth involved, the esthetic involvement of the tooth, and the forces of occlusion of the patient.

Fixed Bridge

When a tooth has been lost and not replaced, adjacent teeth can move given that there is no support to hold them. The movement can alter the bite and ultimately cause jaw and joint pain (TMJ), headaches, and decay. In order to prevent the movement, a fixed bridge may be recommended.

This will allow an ideal bite and better chewing mechanism. Bridges can be fabricated from a variety of materials including gold, metal and porcelain to replace the missing teeth involved and will require the adjacent teeth to be shaved down. Bridges are usually made from multiple crowns attached to each other and unlike partial dentures, they are cemented and do not need to be removed at night. They can be customized to match the remaining dentition so it does not look like there has ever been a missing tooth or teeth in that area. Your dentist will let you know if you are a good candidate for Fixed Bridge or other restorative options such as implants or partial dentures.

Gingivitis

Is an early form of gum disease and a real and significant oral health condition that can effect 75% of American adults. It occurs when plaque bacteria accumulate along the gumline. Its symptoms include bleeding, redness, inflammation, and swelling.Gingivitis can be reversed, however, if left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious and irreversible form of gum disease that can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

What can you do to reduce gingivitis?

  • Floss every day
  • See your dentist regularly
  • Brush twice daily

Periodontal disease

Is the most common cause of loss of teeth as a person ages. It refers to deterioration of the gums and bone around the teeth.The disease starts with excess plaque accumulation. Saliva will calcify the plaque if it is not removed by proper home care. The calcified plaque (tartar) can only be removed by your dentist or hygienist with a cleaning.

Bleeding during brushing, and mild gum irritation are signs of early periodontitis. Advance stages of periodontal disease can destroy the bone under the gums. Due to infection and the loss of the supporting bone structure, the tooth might have to be removed. Peiodontal disease cannot completely be cured or treated but your dentist will have to perform a thorough examination (including probing) in order to properly diagnose the stage of the disease and to come up with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Dentures

Are false teeth that made out of plastic that will used to replace missing teeth. if all teeth need to be replaced, a complete set of dentures are necessary. There are different types and materials that dentures are made out of. Examples include Totally Natural Teeth (TNT) or conventional acrylic dentures. Your dentist will work closely with you to make sure you are given what suits your needs and satisfies your comfort level.

Complete Denture:

They rest on the tissue that covers the bone of upper and lower jaw. These dentures are created and customized by the dentist. Your dentist will take multiple appointments to do the proper adjustment, fitting, impressions and registration of your bite. Afterwards your dentist will select the right size, shape and shade of teeth that best fits and is customized to your needs to get you as close as you were to your natural dentition.

What should I expect on my denture appointment?

During the first appointment, your dentist will evaluate if you are a good candidate for complete dentures by assessing the amount of bone via Panoramic X-ray and visual examination. Your dentist will take impressions and will send to laboratory for fabrication of custom trays. These trays are custom made for the patient and will allow the denture base to be perfectly molded around the bone and tissue. Your dentist will take another impression using the custom trays and special denture materials for the denture base. Another appointment will be committed to measuring the vertical dimension of occlusion to make sure that the top and bottom teeth are aligned based on your occlusion and the teeth will be properly set. The dentist and patient will decide on the color and shape of the teeth. The lab will place the teeth on the base of the dentures and the patient will try them on. If you and your dentist are both satisfied then the denture will be fabricated. The process will usually take about 4 weeks. The denture will need to be adjusted to make sure that there is no heavy contact between the teeth and that the denture base is resting comfortably on the tissue. Your dentist will schedule a few follow up appointments as needed to make sure that even after receiving your denture, there are no sores or discomfort to make sure you are getting adjusted to your new set of dentures.

Removable Partial Denture (RPD)

A removable partial denture replaces multiple missing teeth in either the upper or the lower jaw. This replacement of missing teeth is necessary in order to restore your mouth to its original functioning condition and maintain normal facial contour. If a missing tooth is left untreated, the remaining teeth can move out of place in order to replace the space of the missing tooth either sideways or up and down. This movement can lead to a bad bite, possible decay, and periodontal disease, since teeth cannot be cleaned easily. Partial dentures are customized and can be easily removed, they fit comfortably around teeth, and the artificial teeth will have the same color as natural teeth. Various materials can be used to create the partial denture, including such as Valplast, Totally Natural Denture, and conventional resin based with or without metal clasps. Your dentist will work closely with you to make sure the right type of partial denture is customized based on your needs and the location and number of the missing teeth in your mouth.

Immediate Denture

The advantage of an immediate denture is that patients do not have to go through a period without teeth. Immediate dentures are used when for any reason multiple or all teeth need to be removed. In order to make sure that the patient does nt leave the dental office without any teeth especially if the front dentition are involved, your dentist will take custom impressions, bite registration, and even teeth selection all before removing the teeth to make sure even your immediate denture has been selected and customized to leave you with a beautiful smile on the day of your extractions.

Your dentist will remove all the teeth and on the same appointment will deliver the perviously customized fabricaed Immediate denture. The patient will use the Immediate denture for a few weeks until the extractions spots are healed. Your dentist will fabricate your denture after the extractions spots are healed.

Root Canal

When a tooth nerve and blood supply is damaged due to:

  • Deep decay,
  • Repeated dental procedures on the tooth
  • Faulty crowns
  • Crack or chip in the tooth
  • The center of the tooth (pulp) has become infected

During root canal therapy (RCT) the nerve will be removed, the inside of the nerve and the decay will be cleaned and disinfected to remove any infection. Subsequently, it is very important to remove the entire infection, otherwise, the infection may return. After the tooth has been cleaned, materials will be placed inside the nerve to seal it. Untreated nerve damage; can cause lead to potential loss of the tooth and a serious spread of infection.