Patient Education 2017-11-06T11:26:32+00:00

Sealants :

Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they’re too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, so the hygienist or dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.


X-rays are a focused beam of X-Ray particles which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.

In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis.


A filling is done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because a new material fills the hole that decay left. Today, most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings, although there are still situations where amalgam is the material of choice. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, or the tooth might need root canal treatment or extraction.


Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile. Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions. As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Periodontal Therapy:

The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for our teeth. Together these structures are referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing often done with a local anesthetic, and possibly local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery, extraction, or we may refer you to a specialist (Periodontist). This is why it is important to receive routine care, so that we can identify risk factors before your oral health deteriorates due to this disease process.


Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. The jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body and teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns completely cover the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns can help prevent this, as well as making for an esthetic smile.
Two appointments are needed to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain over gold alloy, all ceramic material, or gold. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the final crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.


This is an option for filling the space created by missing teeth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two adjacent teeth for support and it replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.


A dental implant is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, our doctors then work to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This solution has the advantage over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support.
Implants can also be used as support for an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures. One of the most exciting ways implants are used is to secure full or partial dentures. Dentures inherently move and loosen over time. Connections to implants via snaps, can fully secure dentures, ensuring better comfort and more confidence with these teeth

Partial and Full Dentures:

There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss, trauma or extensive decay. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it may be time for dentures.
The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around the teeth which remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, most of the normal function and appearance should return. Implants are often used to stabilize or hold dentures when the remaining teeth or amount of bone (if all teeth are missing) is inadequate.

Root Canals:

Root canal treatment is sometimes necessary when a cavity reaches all the way to the pulp, the tooth is traumatized, or the nerve dies due to deep restorations or decay. Once this occurs the pulp may become infected, and the infection may extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

TMJ Disorder:

TMJ refers to the temporal-mandibular joint. It is located just in front of the opening of your ears. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.
Treatment of this condition may involve the fabrication of plastic mouthpieces to help reduce trauma to the joints. It is sometimes necessary to reshape or move teeth that are preventing the joint from functioning properly.


This is the procedure for making teeth whiter and more attractive. Our office uses a process called passive tray whitening.This tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and they are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. This method works well for most types of stains but badly stained teeth may need several months of use for significant improvement. Your restorative dental needs should be completed prior to whitening, however, we may recommend it before you begin any cosmetic treatment as porcelain and composite do not change shade. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months. Passive tray whitening produces much less sensitivity post operatively than the same day methods.