Most of what we do at the dental office is self explanatory; an exam is just that- we look at your teeth and mouth, a cleaning is just that- we clean your teeth. There are however, sometimes questions about certain types of treatment that require a more complete picture for the average patient. Below you will find these descriptions helpful:
Scaling and Root Planing: Commonly called a “deep cleaning.” During this procedure our goal is to clean your teeth at and under the gum line in an effort to treat Gum (also called Periodontal) Disease. Both hand and ultrasonic instruments can be used and some people require more than one appointment to effectively treat the periodontal problem.
Root Canal Therapy: Once considered by many patients to be an unpleasant experience, this treatment is actually relatively easy on both the patient and dentist. New instruments and technologies make things a snap. Basically all a root canal does is three things: remove the nerve, clean and shape the canal(s) that the nerve used to occupy, and finally to fill the canal space to the tip of the root. This can be done in one or sometimes two appointments.
Crowns and Onlays: A crown is nothing more than a cap that covers the tooth down to the level of the gums. An onlay is like a junior crown; it covers part of the tooth but not all of it. Crowns and onlays are placed to provide strength and stability to teeth that have either already fractured, or have a high probability that they will break down in the near future. Once more than about 50% of a natural tooth is missing due to fracture or decay, a filling is no longer a viable treatment option. Fillings are for filling holes and are not meant nor designed to replace large parts of missing tooth structure. This is where the treatment would call for a crown or onlay.
Bridges: A bridge is when crowns are connected together to “bridge” over an area where the patient is missing one or more teeth. A crown is placed on the teeth on either side of the space and attached to a “fake” or “dummy” crown that will replace the missing one(s).
So if a patient is missing just one tooth, one way to fill that space is with a three unit bridge- three crowns connected together, two crowns on the teeth on either side of the space and one crown to replace the missing tooth. A four unit bridge would replace two missing teeth and so on.
Implants: Implants are titanium screws that are implanted into the bone on top of which a crown can be attached to replace one or more missing teeth. Quickly becoming the standard of care in dentistry, implants offer patients many advantages over all other ways of replacing a lost tooth. If you or someone you know is missing teeth, have them give us a call today to learn more about this exciting treatment.
Veneers: Veneers are thin porcelain facings that are bonded to the front aspect of the teeth. They are placed to change the size, shape, position, and/or color of the existing teeth. These are a popular restoration on the make over shows now seen on television.
Invisalign: Invisalign treatment is a type of orthodontic treatment that does what regular braces do: they move the teeth. This is accomplished through a series of clear plastic aligners that are worn 22 hours a day and switched every two weeks. They are no more expensive that traditional braces, yet offer some great advantages. They are almost invisible, they are comfortable (no metal), and because they are removable, patients can still eat and clean their teeth free from the obstructions that go with the metal braces.
NTI Appliance Therapy: An NTI appliance is a small jig that is made chair side that fits over a patient’s two front teeth. It prevents the back teeth from contacting. People who excessively grind or clench their teeth at night can develop tension in the muscles that cause the jaws to come together. This can lead to tension headaches and sometimes migraine headaches. By not allowing the posterior teeth to contact, the NTI causes tension on the muscles of the face to drop significantly, thus preventing the headaches caused by overloading of the muscles. It has received FDA approval for the treatment of migraines. (SEE LINKS)
Zoom In-Office Whitening: In addition to traditional tooth lightening methods, we offer Zoom! -- a one hour light activated bleaching system. Its great for those who wish to have a younger, more attractive smile, but don't have the time to deal with the take home systems. We've gotten some dramatic results and patients have been very happy. We sometimes run specials on this procedure because these types of systems can be expensive, so please ask us if we've got any "deals" going.
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We are open three nights a week, Saturdays, and over lunch twice a week. Special arrangements can also be made. Our full schedule is listed below.
Monday : 8am - 12pm & 1pm - 8pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 12pm - 7pm
Friday: 8am - 12pm & 1pm-3pm
Saturday: 8am - 12pm
Wednesday: by special appointment only