When teeth are chipped, cracked, discolored, or have gaps between them, dental bonding can be used to create a youthful and healthy looking smile.
Damaged teeth can cause difficulties for eating comfortably and even affect your speech.
Dental bonding uses a tooth colored material that is sculpted onto the damaged teeth or in between the gaps. Once in place, the material is hardened making it solid and strong. It is then customized and polished smooth as a natural tooth.
Dental bonding can:
• Prevent further risk of damage, nerve pain and even premature tooth loss
• Correct discolorations
• Close unsightly gaps
• Correct malpositioned and misshapen teeth
• Recreate a beautiful and natural smile
• Last for up to 30 years or more
With proper oral hygiene habits at home and regular check-ups at the dental office, dental bonding can be well maintained for decades.
If you are missing one or more teeth, the surrounding teeth may begin to drift and shift into the area of the missing tooth, causing a domino effect of misaligned teeth, creating gaps, leading to periodontal problems and furthering tooth loss.
A dental bridge should be put in place immediately to prevent this from occurring, thereby restoring the strength and structure of all your teeth.
A dental bridge is completed in the following steps:
1. First, the neighboring teeth beside the missing tooth are prepared to allow the cementing of the bridge.
2. An impression of your mouth is taken, which is used to custom-fabricate the fixed bridge.
3. A temporary bridge is often placed while the permanent bridge is being fabricated.
4. When the bridge is ready, it is cemented into place to achieve a proper fit.
With a dental bridge in place, the structure of your mouth is restored and protected, and your smile appears complete once again.
To strengthen and repair your injured tooth, a dental crown can be fabricated from a variety of materials including gold, other metals, or porcelain.
Because metal crowns do not match the color of your natural teeth, they may become the focal point of your smile – discouraging you from smiling altogether.
Unlike crowns made from metal, porcelain crowns capture and reflect light to match the look and feel of your natural tooth enamel.
With porcelain crowns there are a variety of shades available to match the natural color of your teeth.
Porcelain crowns restore and strengthen teeth, while creating a beautiful and healthy looking smile.
Dental implants are metal posts, surgically placed into the jawbone below your gums. Once dental implants have been placed, they allow the dentist to mount new replacement teeth onto them.
To be a successful candidate for implants, healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant are required, along with a commitment to maintaining your oral health.
By way of the process of Osseointegration, dental implants fuse with your jawbone and provide a very stable foundation for replacement teeth, dentures, and even bridges. Restorations supported by implants don't slip or move— which is one of the most important benefits when speaking or eating.
For many, regular bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore gums, thin ridges or due to gagging.
Implant supported dentures or bridges feel much more natural than conventional dentures or bridges.
Another downside to ordinary bridges is they must be attached to neighboring teeth on either side of the missing tooth area – which at times requires shaving the neighboring teeth and breaking down healthy tooth structure in order to cement the bridge.
A major benefit and advantage of dental implants is that you preserve the health and structure of the neighboring teeth.
A commitment to oral hygiene and regular dental visits are very important to the long-term success of dental implants.
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth.
Dentures are custom-made. Impressions are taken in your mouth and a dental laboratory creates the denture.
Based on the cost and how many teeth need replacing, your dentist will help determine which type of denture is best for you.
The two main types of dentures are partial and full dentures.
Partial dentures rest on a framework made of metal that attaches to your natural teeth. Partial dentures can be used as a removable alternative to dental bridges.
With full dentures the base of the upper denture covers the roof of the mouth, and that of the lower denture has a horseshoe shape accommodating the tongue.
With passing years, one’s mouth naturally changes. Changes cause dentures to loosen, making chewing difficult, and causing friction which irritates the gums. It is recommended that a denture wearer go for an annual checkup because as time passes, dentures will need relining or rebasing because of normal wear and the changing size of one’s jaw bone as they age.
Digital X-Ray Technology
Although your teeth may appear to be strong and healthy on the surface, dental x-rays can diagnose many diseases of the teeth, gums and surrounding tissues that otherwise cannot be seen with a visual examination.
Traditional dental x-rays use a significant amount of radiation, and harmful chemicals in the development process. This process is time-consuming and develops an image that can be too small for an effective diagnosis.
You can avoid these time consuming procedures and limit exposure to radiation with the latest technology in Digital X-rays.
Digital x-rays use specialized technology to capture images and send them directly to a computer. A software program can then enlarge and enhance the digital image, providing more detail for an accurate diagnosis.
In summary, digital x-rays are superior to traditional x-rays in the following ways:
1. Digital x-rays reduce the amount of radiation you are exposed to by as much as 90% when compared to traditional x-rays.
2. No toxic chemicals are used in the development process
3. More accurate diagnosis, with ability to enhance the digital image
4. Instant, no need to wait for film to be developed
With digital x-rays, your oral health can be safely, accurately and quickly diagnosed.
Inlays and Onlays
When cavities develop inside the grooves of the teeth, the teeth get weaker. Decay can spread from the grooves over the chewing surface of the teeth, causing a lot of pain and damage that can lead to tooth loss.
Inlays and Onlays are designed to immediately restore the decayed tooth before the situation worsens.
An inlay is a treatment that covers decay inside the grooves of the teeth.
An onlay is a treatment for decay that has spread over the chewing surface of the tooth.
Both inlays and onlays restore the tooth to its full function and natural look.
1. The process for inlays and onlays are very similar.
2. First an impression is made of the decayed area.
3. From that impression, a custom-made, tooth-colored inlay or onlay is created.
4. The inlay or onlay is then put into the tooth and cemented in place.
5. The teeth are then to complete the procedure.
Porcelain Inlays and onlays are more effective than metal fillings because they save more of the healthy tooth during the procedure and metal fillings expand and contract in response to temperature changes, which can weaken and fracture the teeth.
Since inlays and onlays are made of porcelain, they stay the same size, keeping the tooth safe.
When it comes to protecting your mouth, it’s vital to use a mouthguard when participating in sports.
Mouthguards assist in buffering the shock of an impact or blow that could have otherwise caused broken teeth, injuries of the jaw or cuts to the tongue, lips or face.
Mouthguards can also reduce the rate and seriousness of concussions. Athletes not wearing mouthguards are over 50 times more likely to suffer harm to their teeth when not wearing the device.
We recommend you choose a mouthguard that:
• Is comfortable and has the right fit
• Is strong, made of resilient material
• Is very easy to clean
• Is not restrictive to your speech or breathing.
Comfortable custom mouthguards can be made by your dentist. Since treating sport injuries can amount to thousands of dollars, using a custom mouthguard is a wise investment.
Healthy teeth are free of decay and cavities, and shine a nice bright white.
Cavities develop when too much plaque builds up in the tooth, causing decay to begin.
Our back molars are at a higher risk because plaque settles into the grooves on the top of the tooth. These grooves can be hard to clean with regular brushing and flossing, so cavities are more likely to occur here.
An effective way to prevent cavities, especially in the back molars, is with preventative sealants.
Sealants are easily applied and protect the grooves in the back teeth from plaque buildup. Sealants ensure that healthy teeth remain healthy.
The process to apply sealants is very easy.
First the teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Then clear sealant is painted directly onto the tooth enamel with a small brush.
The sealant flows into the grooves of the tooth and hardens quickly, creating a shield on the surface of the molar. The depressions and grooves in the teeth are protected against plaque, preventing tooth decay.
Sealants even prevent further decay from occurring on teeth that may already have cavities forming.
Strong and durable, sealants can last up to ten years and are the best way to prevent cavities from forming.
Composite fillings are tooth colored fillings used in areas of the mouth that are visible, or for those patients who do not want metal fillings. The greatest advantage of composite restorations is the improved aesthetics over amalgam or “metal” fillings.
Composite materials can be made in a variety of colors to match the color of your natural teeth. The composite material is bonded into your tooth strengthening its structure.
Compared to amalgam restorations, composites have a much greater aesthetic appeal.
When teeth have permanent stains or are crooked, chipped, or uneven, porcelain veneers can be used to achieve a straighter and whiter “Hollywood” smile.
A porcelain veneer is a thin, custom-made layer of porcelain that captures and reflects light to match the look and feel of your natural tooth enamel.
After preparing your teeth for veneers, the size, shape and color is custom crafted to create your best smile.
The porcelain veneers are then bonded into place, minimizing gaps between teeth, and your teeth immediately appear whiter and brighter.
Porcelain veneers look and feel like natural teeth, and can instantly enhance your smile.
Over time, your teeth can become stained or discolored and regular brushing may only remove surface stains.
Stains that are deep in the enamel of your teeth require a more effective treatment method.
The at home whitening kit includes a custom-made bleaching tray and whitening solution. You start by applying specialized whitening solution into your bleaching tray and wearing the custom tray according to the recommended schedule, along with follow up visits to the dentist to determine your progress.
Whitening treatments remove deep enamel stains and make your teeth brighter and whiter for a healthy looking smile.
Do you feel stressed before visiting the dentist? Do you have dental phobia? If so, sedation dentistry may be for you.
Dr. Steven Thomas offers oral conscious sedation to help relieve the very real and many times debilitating anxiety associated with dental phobia. Sedation Dentistry, which is sometimes called Relaxed Dentistry, refers to the way a dentist manages pain and anxiety during dental appointments.
There are primarily two types of sedation techniques performed in our office:
1. IV Sedation - Administered by a certified colleague.
2. Orally Administered Sedation, which is often called "Sedation Dentistry" is administered in a pill format. With this method of sedation, all body functions remain normal and the patient is able to breathe independently.
As a patient of ours, you deserve to enjoy the best oral health without fear. Sedation dentistry can help you achieve that goal. To schedule your appointment contact our office today.
Cosmetic Gum Lift (Crown Lengthening)
A healthy smile has symmetrical gums that frame your teeth and make your teeth appear well proportioned.
Smiles that have excessive gum tissue (sometimes referred to as “gummy” smiles) can create the appearance of short or disproportionate teeth and an uneven smile line.
A cosmetic gum lift adjusts the gum line to expose more of your teeth for a more even, healthy smile.
Using specialized instruments and techniques, the gum tissue is gently sculpted and contoured to create a higher gum line.
As the gum line is adjusted, your teeth become the focal point of your smile, appearing larger and straighter than before.
Gum Disease Therapy (Scaling and Root Planning)
Your gums along with the underlying bone support teeth and anchor them into place.
Over time bacterial plaque collects on the teeth at the gum line. When this occurs the gums turn from a healthy pink, to an inflamed red color.
As the inflammation of the gums gets worse, the tissue becomes puffy and may easily bleed. This is called Gingivitis and if not treated, will progress into Periodontitis.
When Periodontitis occurs, the tissues that support your teeth become infected, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth creating pockets between the gums and teeth.
Bacteria continue to spread into the pockets below the gum line and the body attempts to fight the infection by releasing toxins and enzymes which have an adverse effect by causing the supporting tissues to deteriorate more quickly. This can lead to bone loss and eventually loosen the teeth altogether.
Scaling and root planing are non-surgical procedures that can save your teeth and gums.
First the plaque, food debris and other hard deposits are removed from deep inside the infected gum pocket. Then the rough spots that are left on the tooth are smoothed out above and below the gum line.
This ensures the removal of all the plaque and makes it harder for bacteria to grow. Scaling and root planing can effectively stop periodontal disease before it becomes chronic, saving your gums, teeth and bone from deteriorating.
Scaling and root planing makes it easier for your gums to become healthy again.
Root Canal Treatment
At the center of the tooth lies the tooth pulp, a thread-like tissue that contains nerves.
A deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or an injury to the tooth may cause inflammation or damage of the pulp.
An inflammation of the pulp may require a special treatment known as Root Canal Treatment.
It is very important to treat inflamed pulp because if the infected or dead pulp is left untreated, it can form an abscess at the tip of the root in your jawbone. This can cause extreme pain and can destroy the bone that surrounds the injured tooth.
Root canal treatment is essentially the removal of the pulp inside your tooth.
After removing the pulp, your dentist will clean, shape and fill this area to seal off the root canal.
Depending on your situation, root canal treatment can require several office visits.
1. First, an opening is created that will allow your dentist to remove the diseased pulp.
2. After cleaning and shaping the pulp chamber and root canals, the root canals will be filled.
3. If you require more than one visit to the dentist, your injured tooth may be fitted with a temporary crown to protect your tooth until the next visit.
4. As a final step, a crown is usually placed over your injured tooth to restore its function, appearance and natural shape.
With proper care, including good oral hygiene and regular dental exams, your restored tooth can last a lifetime.
Severe decay, infection or insufficient room, are all reasons that your dentist may recommend removing or extracting teeth.
During your initial visit, your dentist will review your medical and dental history and take X-rays that will reveal the position of the tooth, its length and shape.
It is highly recommended to extract a partially erupted impacted tooth before they create a problem.
Impacted teeth that are partially erupted (with a portion still under the gum) can cause a particular concern because bacteria can easily enter around the partially erupted tooth causing a possibly extremely serious infection.
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, is when the joint connecting the upper and lower jaw isn't functioning correctly.
The temporomandibular joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. It is the joint that moves the lower jaw from side-to-side, forward, and backward.
Any problem that prevents this group of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from functioning is called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
There are many symptoms of TMJ making it difficult to know for sure if you have TMJ or not. The common symptoms of TMJ include:
• Jaws that "lock up," or get stuck
• Popping or clicking sound when opening or closing your mouth
• Aching jaw muscles
• Pain when yawning, chewing, or even opening the mouth wide
• Earaches, pressure behind the eyes, headaches
• A change in the way your upper or lower teeth bite together (occlusion)
Your Dentist can help diagnose your TMJ by conducting a complete clinical examination and taking X-rays.
Dental Implants (Surgery)
We collaborate with our specialists in every dental implant case. Our specialists focus on the surgical aspect (placement of the dental implant into the jaw bone), and our focus is on the final crown restoration.