FAMILY DENTISTRY

Prevention

Prophylaxis: Dental prophylaxis AKA regular cleaning is a procedure performed to clean and polish teeth. Prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for preventing the progression of periodontal disease and gingivitis. It is a preventive procedure performed when there’s no bacterial infection.

Fluoride: Fluoride decreases dental decay. Since 1945, the U.S. Government has advocated the controlled addition of fluoride to public drinking water. In small amounts, ingested fluoride seems to strengthen the enamel while it is being formed in young children or pregnant women. Recommended levels of fluoride in water should range from 0.5mg – 1.0mg per liter of water with 0.7mg per liter as optimal.

In rare cases, extreme excesses of fluoride in water will change the appearance of the enamel, making permanent teeth lookdiscolored and pitted. Applying fluoride to the teeth in the form of toothpaste or gels helps prevent tooth decay and can also decrease thesensitivity of exposed root surfaces.

Scale and Root planning

Scaling and root planing, AKA deep cleaning, is the process of removing or eliminating bacterial infection ( –dental plaque, its products, and calculus) thus helping to establish a periodontium that is free of disease.

Plaque is a soft yellow-grayish substance that adheres to the tooth surfaces including removable and fixed restorations. It is an organised bio-film that is primarily composed of bacteria

Fillings

Dental fillings replace lost tooth structure due to dental decay or fracture of the tooth. In advanced cases of lost tooth structure, porcelain or gold crowns and onlays may be required. In simple cases, the missing tooth structure can be replaced with dental filing using composites.

Composites

Dental composites are a tooth-colored material commonly used as a filling material. It can be a way to build, reshape or change the color of teeth. This material can be used to conservatively alter the appearance of teeth as well as fill in places where cavities have been removed.

Inlays/Onlays

Traditionally, inlays were used instead of fillings to replace a small amount of tooth structure loss due to decay. Like fillings, inlays fit inside the tooth and were made only of gold. Today inlays are still used in the same situations, but the inlays can be made of a tooth-colored material such as ceramic/porcelain or special dental composite. Defective or unsightly “fillings” can be replaced by tooth-colored inlays and bonded to the tooth. This bonding process may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the inlay to the tooth.

Onlays also fit inside the tooth, but extend onto the chewing surface of a back tooth to replace one or more cusps. In the past, onlays were made only of gold, but like inlays, more and more patients request a tooth-colored onlay. Making the onlay of ceramic/porcelain allows the restoration to be bonded to the tooth. This bonding process may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the onlay to the tooth.

It is difficult to determine when inlays or onlays can be used instead of crowns or caps. Ask your prosthodontist if you are a candidate for a tooth-colored inlay or onlay.

Extractions

A dental extraction (also referred to as tooth extraction, exodontia, exodontics, or informally,tooth pulling) is the removal of teeth from the dental alveolus(socket) in the alveolar bone. Extractions are performed for a wide variety of reasons, but most commonly to remove teeth which have become unrestorable throughtooth decay,periodontal diseaseor dental trauma, especially when they are associated with toothache.

Root Canals

Endodontic therapy or root canal therapy is a sequence of treatment for theinfected pulp of atooth which results in the elimination of infection and the protection of the decontaminated tooth from futuremicrobial invasion.[1]Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities which together constitute the dental pulp.[2] Endodontic therapy involves the removalof these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning, and decontamination of the hollows with small files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta-percha and typically a eugenol-based cement.[3] Epoxy resin is employed to bind gutta-percha in some root canal procedures.[4] Endodontics includes both primary and secondary endodontic treatments as well as periradicular surgery, as applied to teeth that still have potential for salvage.

Digital X-Rays

Digital X-rays use low levels of radiation and an electronic sensor to create a black and white picture of the teeth and surrounding bone. Digital imaging is a relatively new technology in dentistry and offers features that enhance the viewing of any problem areas. The images are displayed almost instantly on a computer screen and are stored in the computer allowing easy electronic transmission. Like traditional dental x-rays, digital x-rays are used inside the mouth to examine the teeth, the jaw-bone and dental restorations.

Dental x-rays, including digital x-rays, play an important role in the diagnosis of decay and failing crowns and fillings, the correct placement of dental implants, and the proper treatment of teeth requiring root canals. Digital x-rays are utilized to help with evaluation of the upper and lower jaws, the sinuses, and the temporomandibular joints. All dental x-rays, including digital x-rays, use very low levels of radiation and are very safe. Protective lead aprons can be used to cover various body parts x-rays are taken.

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation is meant to help people calm their nerves through the use of medication or inhaled gas prior to and/or during a treatment procedure. Sedation is helpful for patients with fears related to dental treatment, for patients with a low pain tolerance, or perhaps for patients requiring longer dental appointments. There are different types of sedation used depending on the situation.

Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to help many patients feel comfortable during their dental visit. Before using sedation or anesthetic, it is important to tell your doctor about any medications or herbal supplements you are taking or medical treatments you are receiving.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” is given to a person with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps anxious people relax during their dental treatment. When using nitrous oxide, the patient remains conscious and can talk to the dentist during their procedure. The effects wear off almost immediately allowing the person to drive home following the treatment. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects when given properly.

Clear Braces

Clear Aligners are the clear alternative to metal braces for adults, kids and teens. These clear aligners are the virtually invisible way to improve your smile.

Laser Surgery

Dental lasers (laser surgery) are a new treatment option for many people that can be used to treat diseases of hard and soft tissues and teeth. The dental laser is a machine that focuses a beam of energy down a hollow tube of a thin strand of glass filament. Lasers are a safe way to allow your prosthodontist to remove extra gum tissue. This focused heated energy can remove the tissue being worked on. It also lessens bleeding and swelling, and kills bacteria limiting disease potential. Using laser surgery may also reduce the need for dentalanesthesia, giving your prosthodontist more control with bleeding, less swelling after a procedure, and less discomfort.