Zoom Teeth Whitening
and Partial Dentures
Our office is ready to serve your dental needs.
Whether it’s a complete exam and cleaning or a cosmetic makeover,
our office is prepared to exceed your expectations. Painlessly and
professionally your entire family can be assured every patient is
our first priority.
A good preventive dental program requires the efforts of the
patient, dentist, dental hygienist and dental staff to help keep the
teeth and gums healthy and disease-free. Preventing dental disease
starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. In the
dental office, your dentist and dental hygienist will help to
educate, promote, restore and maintain your oral health. Of course,
dental prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings and
radiographs (X-rays) of both the teeth and the jaws.
Prevention and diligent care is the key to maintaining your teeth
for life. Additionally, the scientific evidence now suggests that
improved oral hygiene may help avoid serious health concerns
including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, gastric ulcers and even
Not all patients require the same type of cleaning. In all our
offices, we focus on a comprehensive oral evaluation and assessment
that will determine the proper treatment for your oral condition and
in consideration of your overall health.
A thorough dental exam is the key to
early detection and prevention. As a patient in our practice you can
expect your dental exam to be a team approach, completed by both the
dentist and dental hygienist. Your exam will include the following:
1. Soft Tissue and Oral Cancer
Exam: Soft tissues in the mouth, including the tongue, cheeks,
hard and soft palate, floor of the mouth and throat will be
evaluated for any signs of pathology, such as oral cancer.
Additionally, the lips, face and neck will be inspected..
2. Periodontal Evaluation (Gum
Disease): Your gums will be evaluated for signs of inflammation
and infection. Areas of the gums that bleed upon brushing and
flossing will be specifically examined. We understand that these
“bleeding spots” contain chronic inflammatory factors that may be
linked to your systemic health. Your periodontal exam will also
include an evaluation of the bone support around the teeth. Your
level of oral hygiene, systemic health and genetic risk factors,
tobacco use, gum health and bone levels are all taken into
consideration when determining the type of dental cleaning best
3. Review of Diagnostic Radiographs (X-Rays): All of our x-rays
are digital, providing you with a more comfortable experience, a
higher quality image for better detection and significantly less
radiation exposure. Different x-rays are required to detect decay,
tumors, cysts and bone loss; your dentist will determine which
images will be needed to complete a thorough examination.
4. Decay Detection: Complete cavity inspection will be completed
on all tooth surfaces. Often, suspicious areas are verified with
the use of special cavity detection dye to ensure accuracy.
5. Examination of Existing Restorations: Our team will check all
your current fillings, crowns and root canals.
6. Cosmetic Exam (Smile Assessment): “Are you happy with your
smile?” If you have ever considered improving your smile or
whitening your teeth, let our dentists complete a smile assessment
that includes a complete examination of your occlusion (bite),
tooth shape and form, facial form, shade analysis and gingival
symmetry assessment. New technologies offer patients a wide range
of options to improve their smiles – any of our dentists would be
pleased to discuss these options with you.
Most patients with relatively healthy gums receive a dental cleaning
known as a prophylaxis or “prophy”. Your dental cleaning is
typically performed by a highly trained, licensed expert in the
field, known as a dental hygienist. A typical prophylaxis includes:
1. Removal of Dental Plaque:
Plaque is an adhesive biofilm that forms on the teeth from a
combination of bacteria, food debris and salivary proteins. This
bacterial colony produces toxins that inflame the gums and
initiate the periodontal disease process.
2. Removal of Tartar: Tartar or
Calculus is a mineralized dental plaque
that is now adhered to the
tooth and can not be removed with brushing or flossing. Special
instruments are required to remove this mineralized material from
the tooth, specifically below the gumline. If left untreated, the
combination of inflammation and physical irritation will destroy the bone that supports the
3. Polishing: Removal of stain
If, however, during your initial
assessment your gums were determined to require special care, your
dentist and dental hygienist may talk with you about a more thorough
cleaning know as scaling and root planing.
Scaling and root planing is also known as a deep cleaning, it is
usually done in several appointments, often using anesthesia to numb
the area for patient comfort. Scaling and root planing removes
calculus deep along root surfaces that may be left untreated with a
regular cleaning. Additionally it helps to remove some of the
infected and ulcerated tissue around the tooth for improved healing.
Our hygienists are trained to recognize and treat these patients
with advancing periodontal disease. All of our offices encourage the
use of site specific antibiotic therapy to help treat and manage
localized areas of periodontal inflammation. The use of low dose
localized antibiotics often helps eliminate the need for more costly
and invasive gum surgery.
A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate
goal when treating patients.
Your personal home care plays an important role in
achieving that goal. Your personal home care starts by eating
balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat and correctly
using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and
bacteria that cause dental disease.
Tooth brushing: Brush you teeth at least
twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved
soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
1. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle
to the gums and gently brush using small circular motions, ensuring that
you always feel the bristles on the gums
2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth
3. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth
4. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your mouth.
Electric toothbrushes are highly
recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently.
Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and
allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.
Flossing: Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and
under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts
plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth and
1. Take 12-16 inches (30-40 cm) of
dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2
inches (5 cm) of floss between the hands.
2. Using your thumb and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert
the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
3. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum
line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each
Floss holders are recommended if you have
difficulty using conventional floss.
Rinsing: It is important to rinse you mouth after brushing and after
meals, if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter
product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or
dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.
Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist: Interdental brushes,
rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride,
medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.
Periodontal disease is a very serious condition. In its early stages it is
often painless, characterized by red or swollen gums, and occasional
bleeding with brushing. In its advanced stage, it is the #1 reason for
tooth loss and can result in painful periodontal abscesses and has been
linked to serious systemic illnesses such as heart attack, stroke,
diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, Alzheimer’s, preterm birth in pregnant
mothers and low birth weight of children born to mothers with advanced
Our staff is dedicated to maintaining your periodontal health. Using a
team approach of highly skilled hygienists and periodontally conscious
dentists we strive to improve your gum health and consequently your
overall health. From frequent screenings to thorough cleanings, we will
help you to maintain your teeth for a lifetime.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
1. Bleeding Gums – gums should not bleed
even with brushing and flossing
2. Loose Teeth
3. New Spacing between Teeth
4. Persistent Bad Breath
5. Pus around the Teeth and Gums
6. Receding Gums
7. Red and Swollen Gums
8. Tenderness and Discomfort
Our dentists take several factors into consideration when diagnosing
periodontal disease. First is the review of periodontal pocket depths.
All teeth, both healthy and diseased, have a sulcus or a pocket around the
entire tooth. Around a healthy tooth, this pocket has a depth of less than
3mm. Your dentist or dental hygienist will determine this depth for 6
spots around every tooth with an instrument known as a periodontal probe.
If the pocket depths exceed 3mm for any spot around the tooth, it indicates
bone loss; the deeper the pocket, the worse the bone loss. Eventually,
pockets will get very deep, indicating very little bone support remaining
around the tooth, the tooth will typically be loose and may require
removal if untreated.
However, periodontal pocketing is not the only means of diagnosing
periodontal disease. Your dentist or dental hygienist should also measure
areas of recession. Recession of the gum tissue exposes the softer, less
cavity resistant and highly sensitive root structure of a tooth.
Additionally, severe recession reduces the hold on the tooth and can cause
the tooth to become loose. The dentist will add the recession and the
pocket depth together for any one spot of concern to gain a measure of the
true attachment loss – the higher the number the worse the prognosis for
The dentist will also use the patient’s radiographs to diagnose
periodontal disease. Bone loss is very evident on x-rays; it can be
generalized (throughout the whole mouth) or localized (around one or two
teeth). Radiographs will also be used to see if the root morphology of a
specific tooth may be influencing the condition or effect eventual
Perhaps most importantly in this diagnosis is the amount of bleeding
around the tooth upon exploring with the periodontal probe. Bleeding is a
direct indication of gum inflammation. Gum inflammation releases specific
cellular mediators that effect a person's overall health. Our goal is to
not see any bleeding with probing. Your dentist will use pocket depths,
amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility and x-rays to make a
diagnosis of either one of the following categories:
1. Gingivitis: the first stage of gum
disease. Plaque left on the teeth has begun to release toxins,
irritating the gums and making them tender and inflamed. Gums with
gingivitis are likely to bleed with brushing.
2. Early-Moderate Periodontitis: Plaque has now hardened on the tooth to
form calculus (tartar). The amount of toxins increases as does the
physical irritation of the gums from this calcified bacterial colony on
the tooth surface. The gums begin to recede, bleeding increases and bone
loss is becoming evident on the radiographs.
3. Advanced Periodontitis: Calculus is often so thick at this point that
it has begun to bridge from one tooth to the next making proper oral
hygiene impossible. The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone and
periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Bleeding may be heavy
with brushing. The teeth may be very loose and moderate to severe bone
loss may be seen on x-rays. The patient may have pain and often
complain of severe “bad breath”.
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the
disease. Our dental team will evaluate each patient individually, assess
their periodontal condition, their risk factors such as diabetes or
tobacco use, and personalize an appropriate treatment plan. Good oral
hygiene, a balanced diet and regular dental visits will also help to
reduce your risk of periodontal disease.
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, it is likely
the patient will receive a thorough cleaning, be counseled on home care,
receive a snack index and dietary review and be asked to return every 6
months for recalls.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special
periodontal cleaning, known as scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
would likely be recommended. Typically, the patient is brought in for a
gross debridement, removing the majority of the calculus above the gumline
and the superficial calculus below the gumline. The intention of the gross
debridement is to remove the majority of the pathologic bacteria allowing
improved healing and less chance of infection spread during the next phase
of the cleaning. The scaling and root planing follows the gross
debridement and is typically performed in two visits, one side of the
mouth at a visit, always with anesthesia to achieve adequate patient
comfort. In this procedure, tartar, plaque and toxins are removed from
below the gumline (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made
smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to
shrink. Systemic medications, special medicated mouth rinses, site
specific antibiotic therapy and an electric toothbrush may all be
recommended to help control infection and promote healing.
Since periodontal disease is never cured and the bone and gums can not
return without surgical intervention, we recommend our periodontal
maintenance patients have cleanings every 3-4 months. This helps keep the
If pockets do not heal after treatment, periodontal surgery may be needed.
Our staff recognizes the importance of referring our patients for the care
they deserve and we work closely with specialists to help resolve
particularly difficult cases.
Periodontal disease is never cured -- it is only restrained and
maintained. Without surgical intervention, the damage done by moderate to
advanced periodontal disease will not resolve. However, through diligent
homecare and frequent periodontal maintenance visits, the disease should
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, our staff recommends
that you have regular dental cleanings four times per year. During your
recall exams, periodontal pockets will be carefully checked to ensure that
they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that has been difficult for you to
remove on a daily basis will be easily removed from above and below the
gumline, and areas of refractory disease will be addressed.
Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially
the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are
found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth
to help keep them cavity-free. Even if your child brushes and flosses
carefully, it is difficult –sometimes impossible – to clean the tiny
grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these
crevices, placing you child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants “seal out”
food and plaque, thus reducing the risk of decay.
|The application of a sealant is
quick and comfortable. It takes only one visit. The tooth is
first cleansed. It is
then conditioned and dried. The sealant is then flowed onto the
grooves of the tooth and allowed to harden or hardened with a special
light. Your child will be able to eat right after the appointment.
Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared
for. So, your child will be protected throughout the most cavity-prone
years. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard
objects, sealants will last longer. Your dental hygienist and dentist
will check the sealants during routine dental visits and can
recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.
The treatment is very affordable, especially in view
of the valuable decay protection it offers your child. Most dental
insurance companies cover sealants. Some companies, however, have age and
specific tooth limitations. Check with your benefits provider about your
child’s coverage and talk to your dentist or hygienist about the exact
cost of sealants for your child. The natural flow of saliva usually
keeps the smooth surfaces of the teeth clean but does not wash are the
six-year and twelve year molars. Many times the permanent premolars and
primary molars will also benefit from the protection of sealants. Talk to
your pediatric dentist, as each child’s situation is unique.
Sealants are only one step in the plan to keep your child cavity-free for
a lifetime. Brushing, flossing, balanced nutrition, limited snacking
and regular dental visits are still essential to a bright, healthy smile.
-American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
If, despite all preventative measures, a cavity develops, it needs to be
treated in some manner. The good news is that through public health
measures, such as water fluoridation, improved hygiene and frequent dental
treatment, your risk for decay has been significantly reduced; in fact,
almost half of all children in the United States between the ages of 5 and
17 are now free of tooth decay!
However, if a cavity occurs, the tooth will
need to be restored. A restoration or filling replaces lost or infected
tooth structure. Fillings can be used when enough healthy and sound
tooth structure remains to support the restoration.
What material will be used to fill an infected tooth depends on a number
of factors, such as location of the tooth, the size of the cavity, the strength of the biting force,
cosmetics and patient preference.
Should your teeth ever require a restoration, you can count on our
educated staff of dentists and dental hygienists to discuss the options
with you and recommend the most comfortable, least invasive and
potentially successful restoration.
It is important for all of our dental patients to be aware that, in
general, all of our practices place only composite (WHITE) fillings. For
years, amalgam or silver fillings have been the most commonly placed
restorations and although health concerns regarding the mercury content of
such restorations are not supported by sound scientific evidence, other
complications with these fillings have diminished their use. Silver
fillings do not bond to tooth structure, and therefore require much larger,
more invasive and damaging tooth preparations. Large silver fillings are
prone to fracturing the surrounding tooth structure often resulting in the
need for more invasive and costly dental treatment and in many cases
resulting in loss of the tooth. Additionally, silver fillings tend to be
unsightly and objectionable to most patients. Lastly, the environmental
concerns over disposing of the amalgam waste pose a serious concern.
Please feel free to discuss this with any of our dentists if you have any
questions or concerns.
Composite fillings, also known as white or invisible
fillings, are the restorative material of choice in all of our dental
offices. A composite restoration is used to
repair a tooth that has been affected by decay, fractures or to improve
the cosmetics of discolored or stained teeth.
Reasons for composite fillings are:
2. Cosmetic Bonding
Repair of Fractures and Chips
4. Acid Erosion and Wear from Grinding
5. Repair of Root Cavities and Lesions at the Gumline
Composite fillings offer several advantages to our patients. First, the
ability of white restorations to bond to the tooth allows our dentists to
remove only the decayed portions of the tooth. Silver restorations, which
were held into the tooth by mechanical retention, often necessitated
larger preparations and more aggressive procedures. Secondly, white
fillings are less likely to cause a fracture of the surrounding tooth.
Large amalgam restorations are notorious for fracturing the clinical crown
of the tooth, often resulting in the need for additional, more involved
dental procedures such as root canal therapy, full coverage restorations
(caps) and even extraction if the tooth is not restorable. Composite
fillings are tooth colored and can be closely matched to the color of the
existing tooth allowing for more aesthetic restorations and repairs
especially within your smile.
As with all dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and
may someday need to be replaced. They are very durable however, and with
diligent homecare and frequent cleanings, should give you beautiful,
HOW ARE COMPOSITE FILLINGS PLACED IN OUR OFFICES?
Composite fillings are placed in one visit, usually completing multiple
restorations in a single visit if needed. Utilizing today’s latest methods
to minimize discomfort, the tooth will be numbed. The dentist will remove
all the decay and the tooth will be verified for remaining cavities with a
special cavity indicating dye to assure no decay is left untreated. The
tooth will then be thoroughly cleansed using a prescription antimicrobial
mouth rinse. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, your dentist
may choose to apply one of several different medications to help improve
the prognosis and comfort. The composite filling will then be precisely
placed, shaped and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape
It is normal to experience a degree of sensitivity to hot and cold when
composite fillings are first placed; however, this will subside after your
tooth acclimates to the new filling.
At the end of your appointment, the dental staff will be sure to answer
any and all questions you may have about the procedure. In addition,
special attention will be given to reviewing your homecare and any special
instructions that may be warranted.
In all of our offices your comfort is our #1 priority and we will strive
to make all appointments enjoyable and relaxing.
A crown, commonly called a cap, is a dental restoration that covers the
entire tooth, restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns are
indicated when extensive damage has been done to the original tooth
through decay, fracture, erosion or attrition.
Crowns are also indicated for:
1. Aesthetics, to change the shape,
size, color or angle of the tooth
2. Improved Function
3. Alter Occlusion (bite)
4. Provide Support for a Fixed Bridge or Removable Appliance (partial
5. Prevent Tooth Fracture (typically done in the case of large
pre-existing amalgam restorations with suspicious cracks or fracture
Crowns can be made of different materials.
Our dentists will be happy to discuss the different types of crowns
available and their indications to help decide which crown may be best for
your individual case. The “standard” crown is known as a porcelain fuse to
metal (PFM). This crown has a metal core with a porcelain covering. The
metals used under the porcelain are judged on their gold
concentrations, from metal alloys without gold, known as base or nonprecious
metal, to the highest gold concentrations, known as high noble or precious metals.
As a patient, you can be assured that all PFM’s
constructed by our office are done using the highest gold content
available, helping to assure improved gingival health and lessen the risks
of allergic metal reactions. Crowns can also be made of all gold,
typically used on back teeth where improved strength is needed, or crowns
can be made of all porcelain, typically used on front teeth where
cosmetics are paramount.
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A CROWN PREPARATION PROCEDURE?
A crown procedure typically involves two visits. On the day of your first
visit you can expect to be put at ease by our team of dental professionals
– prior to initiating any treatment the entire procedure will be discussed
and all of your questions addressed. Secondly, a series of highly specific
impressions will be taken; these will be used to create your crown. Using
the most painless technique, the dentist will numb the area to ensure your
comfort. The dentist will prepare the tooth by removing all the decay,
existing restorations and potential fracture lines. Using a special dye,
the preparation will be verified to ensure complete decay removal and
cleansed using a prescription antimicrobial rinse. The dentist will then
shape the surface of the tooth to properly fit the crown. Once this has
been accomplished, a final impression will be completed of the crown
preparation. A cosmetic and durable temporary crown will be fabricated and
cemented. The temporary crown will be polished and checked for your
At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the
tooth will be cleansed and your new crown will be carefully placed to
ensure the spacing and bite is accurate. A specific type of radiograph,
known as a bitewing, will be taken to ensure all margins of the crown are
completely flush and sealed with the natural tooth. You will be given the
opportunity to evaluate the work and the shade of your new crown. Only
when the patient is completely happy with the results will the crown be
cemented permanently. Our offices pride themselves on maintaining a
superior level of care; we promise that we will strive to exceed your
expectations both in comfort and quality.
Following the final cementation, our staff will review all important
instructions and homecare. Although crowns are highly durable and will
last for many years with proper care, they may eventually need to be
A dental bridge, also known as a fixed
partial denture (FPD), is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.
Reasons for a fixed bridge include:
1. Fill Space Left by Missing Teeth
2. Maintain Facial Shape, Facial Height and Lip Support
3. Prevent Adjacent and Opposing Teeth from Shifting
4. Restore Your Ability to Chew
5. Prevent Changes in Your Speech
6. Restore Your Smile
7. Upgrade from a Removable Appliance, like a partial denture or flipper
There are several types of bridges. Your dentist
will be happy to discuss the best options for your individual needs.
All of our dentists will be sure to evaluate the bone support of
the adjacent teeth, the position of the proposed bridge in the patient's
mouth, the occlusion (also known as the bite), the cosmetic expectations,
as well as any parafunctional habits (such as night grinding) and the
number of missing teeth to be replaced before suggesting a specific bridge
design. All patients are encouraged to discuss and understand the options
available and the rationale for proposed treatments. All of our practices
believe firmly that an educated dental patient helps the treatment to
The “traditional bridge” is usually made of porcelain over a metal
framework. These bridges are widely used because the metal provides
improved durability and support to span the space of the missing tooth
while the porcelain allows the bridge to resemble your natural teeth. This
type of bridge consists of crowns that go over the anchoring teeth
(abutment teeth) on either side of the missing tooth. Attached to these
anchor teeth are artificial teeth, known as pontics, which fill the space
and function like natural teeth.
• WHAT IS INVOLVED IN PREPARING FOR THE BRIDGE PROCEDURE?
All of our dentists will agree the success of our dental treatment lies
not only in the execution but in the proper planning. Diligent treatment
planning and a thorough understanding of the patient’s dental health prior
to starting the fixed bridge are critical to a successful outcome. Toward
that end, our dentists often complete study models of your teeth prior to
finalizing treatment plans for a more thorough evaluation. Many times
these study models will be sent to our lab technicians so a diagnostic
mock up of the final bridge can be completed, allowing the patient the
opportunity to visualize the proposed treatment and expected outcome.
Lastly, our dentists will often have our technicians create custom, lab
fabricated provisionals (temporaries) for immediate insertion following
the bridge preparations. These custom temporaries are highly durable,
allowing for improved function during the temporary phase, they are highly
improved healing around the gums, they are
exceptionally cosmetic and give the patient the chance to evaluate shade,
form and function of the proposed bridge prior to the permanent
Although the use of study models, diagnostic
mock-ups and custom provisional crowns are costly, our offices do not pass
these charges on to our patients. It is our practice philosophy that these
tools allow us to provide the patient with our very best care and
therefore are essential -- not optional.
• WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING THE PROCEDURE
FOR MY NEW BRIDGE?
The procedure to prepare and deliver the bridge typically takes two
visits. During the first visit, our patients are painlessly anesthetized
with the latest techniques. Our educated staff will gladly review the
with the patient; all questions will be addressed by both staff
and dentist prior to proceeding. Once numb, the anchoring teeth, on either
side of the space, are prepared by removing the outer portion of enamel to
allow for a crown. Next, a series of highly accurate impressions are
completed and sent to our dental lab where the bridge will be fabricated.
A temporary bridge will be fit to the preparations. Once the patient is
happy with the fit, feel, bite and cosmetics of the new temporary bridge,
it will be retained with provisional cement.
At the second visit, the temporaries will be removed and the abutments
cleansed with a prescription antimicrobial rinse. The patient’s bridge
will be inserted and thoroughly examined. A specific radiograph (know as a
bitewing) will be completed to ensure marginal adaptation to the
supporting teeth. The bite, cosmetics, tissue contour and contacts with
the adjacent teeth will be checked. Only if the bridge is 100% acceptable
and the patient is pleased with the results will the bridge be permanently
Once completed, our staff will be sure to review the
proper methods for brushing, flossing and caring for you new bridge.
Regular dental cleanings, along with exceptional oral hygiene, will aid in
the life of your new teeth.
Canals (Endodontic Treatment)
If ever a reputation preceded a procedure in dentistry, it would be that
of root canal therapy. Unfortunately, the myth that root canal therapy,
also known as endodontic treatment, is painful has prevented many people
from saving teeth from unnecessary extractions.
Our dentists strive to make all procedures painless.
We welcome the opportunity to surprise you with how painless, and even
enjoyable, a root canal can be. One tooth at a time, our dentists hope to
dispel the myth that root canals are painful and help you to save your
teeth for a lifetime.
• WHY DO I NEED A ROOT CANAL?
Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by
decay or infection. When bacteria (from decay, fracture, trauma, etc.)
first invade the nerve of the tooth, they will elicit an inflammatory
response from the nerve; if this inflammatory process occurs slowly, it
may be completely painless and without any symptoms. If this process
occurs quickly, the inflammation will cause swelling within the tooth
which is rigid and does not expand to accommodate the increase pressure
resulting in severe pain. Once the nerve tissue is completely infected,
bacteria may escape into the surrounding bone, resulting in an infection
which can be quite severe, causing pain, destruction of the surrounding
bone and spread of the infection to adjacent teeth.
If the diseased nerve tissue is not removed from the tooth via a root
canal treatment, the tooth will eventually have to be removed. By
completing the root canal and removing the diseased nerve, we are removing
the source of the bacteria, preventing spread of the infection and
allowing the opportunity for the patient’s natural immunity to clear any
lingering infection in the surrounding bone. In the past, teeth with
diseased nerves (pulps) were routinely extracted. Unfortunately, this is
still true today, partially because root canal therapy is viewed by
patients to be expensive and painful. Our dentists and staff urge all
patients considering extraction rather than root canal therapy to discuss
the options thoroughly. Often times removing the tooth may be the most
costly option. Root canal therapy is the treatment of choice to save an
otherwise healthy tooth. Our staff will help you make an educated
treatment decision and work to dispel the myth of the painful root canal.
Signs and symptoms that you may need a root canal include:
1. An abscess (or bump) on
2. Sensitivity to hot and cold, particularly to hot and especially if
the pain lingers
3. Severe toothache
4. Swelling or tenderness to touch
5. Fractured or broken teeth with not symptoms at all
6. Pain that wakes you at night or worsens when lying down
• WHAT DOES ROOT CANAL
The first, most important point to remember is – it’s not painful. The
second, most important point to remember is – it’s not painful! In fact,
the top 10, most important points to remember regarding root canal therapy
are all – it’s not painful.
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments, depending on the
number of canals present, the degree of difficulty and the size of the
infection present. The procedure can be performed by a general dentist or
an endodontist (a root canal specialist). Depending on the findings of
your general dentist, you may be referred to the specialist for treatment
if the dentist feels that the success of the procedure will be improved
with an endodontist. If you are referred to a specialist, do not be
concerned that the procedure will be more difficult. In fact, on the
contrary, most referrals are made with the attempt of keeping the patient
comfortable and improving the overall outcome.
Prior to initiating the endodontic therapy,
our staff and dentists will thoroughly explain the proposed procedure,
review all risks and answer all your questions. Once the tooth is
profoundly numb, the tooth will be isolated with a rubber dam, thus keeping
the tooth dry and free from saliva contamination. A conservative access is
made through the tooth and all the decay is removed and dead tissue
cleared. A series of root canal files are placed into the tooth, one at a
time effectively removing the nerve tissue and bacteria.
Once the tooth is thoroughly cleansed, it will be dried and either a
medicine will be placed within the tooth or a permanent filling will be
placed within the canals. A temporary filling is typically placed over the
access following completion of the root canal.
It is essential to remember that all teeth
that have had root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed to
ensure a favorable long term prognosis. A crown helps to prevent leakage
into the root canal, protect the tooth from fracturing and restores the
tooth to its full function.
After treatment, the tooth may be sensitive, particularly during biting.
This sensation will resolve as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth as well as
providing a “fixed” solution to having a removable partial or complete
Dental implants, which are inserted into the
jaw bones, are artificial replacements for tooth roots. Once these
titanium implants fuse with the jaw bone they can be used to replace
single missing teeth, used to support a dental bridge to replace multiple
missing teeth, used to support a partial or complete denture with clips or
attachments or be used to replace all of the teeth permanently.
Dental implants have generated great excitement in dentistry because of
the many advantages they have over other dental prosthetics and because of
the unprecedented success rates they enjoy. Studies have shown that well
planned dental implants are typically between 95 -98% successful.
Reasons for a dental implant include:
1. Replace One or More Missing Teeth,
without affecting the adjacent teeth
2. Restore a Patients Confident Smile
3. Improve Quality of Life, through improved function and speech
4. Maintain Alveolar Bone and therefore prevent changes to facial form
5. Support a Removable Denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
• WHO PLACES THE IMPLANT?
The implant surgery phase, the act of placing the implant into the jaw
bone, is done by either an oral surgeon or a periodontist. The prosthetic
phase, the act of restoring that implant with a single tooth, bridge or
denture, is done by a general dentist or prosthodontist.
Experience Counts!! Possibly more than any other dental procedure, the
success of the dental implant relies heavily on the knowledge and
experience of the restoring dentist, in addition to the coordination
between the restoring dentist and the surgeon placing the implants.
All patients considering dental implants should be assured that our office
is highly trained in restoring all types of dental implant systems. All of
our dentists have done extensive graduate and postgraduate training in
implant restorations and our office has been working closely with our
referring specialists since the early use of implants in clinical
practice. Additionally, we pride ourselves on our team based approach to
implant design and restoration. When choosing our office to restore your
smile, you should know that not only will the dentist and specialist be in
constant communication regarding your case but all implant cases are
discussed amongst the dentists in our weekly implant study club, thus
ensuring the most thorough treatment planning and preprosthetic evaluation
possible. Please do not hesitate to ask any of our dentists what training
they have in implant procedures, how many implants they have restored,
what implant systems they prefer and why and what their personal success
and failure rates are. In addition, you should know that our office, from
dentist to hygienist, is committed to caring for you after the implants
have been placed. With thousands of successful implant cases completed, we
are confident that we will exceed your expectations.
• WHAT DOES GETTING A DENTAL IMPLANT INVOLVE?
Careful evaluation and treatment planning well before the implant surgery
is one of the keys to our success in dental implants. Our pretreatment
evaluation will involve at least an initial consult with our staff, a
consult with the treating surgeon and often a radiologist. Our consult
will involve the completion of all necessary radiographs, evaluation of
the periodontal health, the remaining dentition and the space available
between the upper and lower arches, as well as the health of the
tempromandibular joint and a bite evaluation.
Two sets of casts (models) of the dental
arches will be completed. The first is a record of how the teeth and
surrounding structures were before the implants were placed. The second
set of casts will be sent to a dental technician and the cast will be
altered to display the final result of the implant treatment. Your
treating dentist will now use this new cast to evaluate the effect of the
implant on the occlusion and the relationship of the jaws to plan the
proper implant design and provide the surgeon with a
guide to the placement of the implants.
Once properly designed, the surgeon will
place the implants and allow healing; this process can take up to 6 months
and longer if needed. During the healing phase, the patient will be able
to wear a temporary and avoid any cosmetic objections.
Once properly healed, the patient returns to
our office for implant restoration. This procedure varies greatly
depending on whether the implants will be used to replace a single tooth,
multiple teeth or support a denture. Your dentist will be happy to explain
the procedure on a case by case basis.
Implants can be a wonderful, life changing decision. Their success depends
on proper pretreatment planning and the experience to anticipate concerns
and adjust accordingly. Our staff, our assistants, our hygienists, our
dentists and our referring specialists all understand the importance of
communication and team work in this process and as our patient, you should feel
secure in our dedication to the success of your
Dentures and Partial Dentures
A denture is a removable dental appliance that serves
as a replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made
to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance
There are two types of dentures – complete and partial dentures. Complete
dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when
some natural teeth remain. A partial denture not only fills in the spaces
created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
A complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate”. A
conventional type is made after all the teeth have been removed and the
gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the
patient will either go without teeth or wear a temporary or transitional
denture. Immediate dentures are made in advance and are placed immediately
after the teeth have been removed. The immediate denture prevents the
patient from having to go without teeth during the healing process. Once
the tissue shrinks and the extractions sites have healed, adjustment to
the immediate denture will have to be made.
It is worth noting that the current thinking among dental professionals is
that the fabrication of a complete lower denture without the use of
implants to improve retention is below the standard of care. Our practice
strongly suggests any patient considering or in need of a full lower
denture to discuss the possibility of adding implants for an improved
quality of life.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years but may have
to be remade, repaired or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for dentures include:
1. Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth
in an arch
2. Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch
3. Enhancing smile and facial tissues
4. Improving chewing, speech and digestion
WHAT DOES GETTING DENTURES INVOLVE?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually
over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements
are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in”
appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color and fit. At
the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the
completed dentures, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased salivary flow, some soreness and
possible speech and chewing difficulty during the early days with your new
denture. As you become accustomed to the new appliance and adjustments are
made, the appliance will begin to feel more natural.
You will be given homecare instructions for your new dentures, as well as
a new denture cup and denture brush. Proper cleaning of your new dental
appliance, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will aid in the
life of your new denture.
It is important to continue having regular dental check-ups so that a
dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease or cancer. As you
age, your mouth will continue to change as the bone under you denture
shrinks or recedes. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be
necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture. Never
attempt to adjust a denture yourself.
Dental radiographs, typically known as dental
x-rays, are an essential diagnostic tool. Without x-rays, our dental
exams would be incomplete and problem areas may go undetected.
understands your concerns over radiation exposure and that is why
all of our offices feature digital x-rays. This allows for 90% less
radiation and a clearer picture than the old films.
Dental x-rays may reveal:
1. Infections and dental abscesses
2. Bone loss
3. Cancerous and noncancerous tumors
4. Decay between the teeth (Interproximal decay)
5. Developmental abnormalities
6. TMJ (Tempromandibular Joint) disease
7. Pathology in the neck and sinuses
8. Eruption patterns
9. Position of wisdom teeth
10. Root abnormalities
Our dentists will determine the minimum
number of x-rays required to thoroughly examine your dental health. We
guarantee, as dental professionals, that the radiographs we require
are being taken with your best interest in mind. Once a
comprehensive radiographic review has been completed at your initial
exam, recall patients will be asked to periodically update these
radiographs. The timing for these is determined by the individual
patient’s medical/dental health, dental exam, level of home care,
signs/symptoms and cavity pattern. Typically, new bitewing pictures
(the x-rays that display decay between the teeth) are taken between
6 – 24 months, while new panoramic radiographs (the x-ray that
displays the entire picture of the jaws, teeth, sinuses and joints)
will be taken between 3-5 years.
By utilizing digital x-rays, images can be displayed on a computer
monitor instead of a tiny piece of film, allowing zooming and
enhancement for better diagnosis. Additionally, all of our treatment
rooms are equipped with flat panel high definition televisions which
allow the patient to visualize the picture helping to understand
your dental condition. Through a clearer understanding of your
dental condition, often apprehension about the procedure is reduced.
Intra Oral Camera
camera is a small video camera that takes an X-ray of the
outside of the gum or tooth.
intraoral camera resembles an oversized pen and although usage
varies depending on the model-type, this image-taking device is
outfitted with a disposable protective sheath for each new
patient. While simultaneously viewing a monitor, the dentist
inserts the camera into a patient's mouth and gently shifts it
about so that images can be taken from a variety of angles.