Q: What procedures and services do you offer?
- Complete Examination
- Porcelain to Metal Crowns
- Porcelain Crowns
- Porcelain Veneers
- Implant Retained Restorations
- Gold Crowns & Onlays
- Full & Partial Dentures
- Root Canal Treatment
- Tooth Colored Fillings
- Preventive Maintenance
- Comprehensive Full-Mouth Rehabilitation
- Periodontal Therapy
- Tooth Sealants
- Smile Analysis
- Diem Teeth-in-a-Day
- Home Tooth Whitening
- In Office Zoom Tooth Whitening
- 24 hr. Emergency Service.
Q: What about infection control?
A: We take no risk with your health. To protect you and our other patients, we strictly observe the following protective measures, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Dental Association (OSHA):
- Wear gloves, masks, protective eye-wear, and clothing.
- Wash our hands with special soaps before and after treating each patient.
- Change our gloves after each patient.
- Sterilize dental instruments and handpieces after each patient, using heat and chemical sterilization.
- Clean and disinfect the surfaces and equipment in the treatment room.
- Use disposable products whenever possible.
- Handle all disposable materials according to federal, state, and local guidelines and regulations.
When you visit our office, you can feel confident that your health, and ours, is protected.
Q: I’m nervous at my dental appointments. Is there anything you do to help?
A: It’s very common to be nervous before a dental appointment. From the moment you walk in the door, we strive to make you comfortable. Our reception area is filled with wonderful books to take your mind off your anxiety.We provide the following to help you feel at ease:
- Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
- Local Anesthesia (a.k.a. Novocaine)
- Topical anesthetics
- Neck pillows and blankets
- Oraverse – Reverses the effects of the local anesthetic after your procedure
We also work with professionals who provide conscious sedation, hypnosis, and acupressure services.
Q: What do I do if I need to change an appointment?
A: When we make an appointment, we have reserved this time exclusively for you. If you need to change an appointment, we ask for 7 days notice. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day to take messages and handle emergencies. To be fair to all our patients, we cannot accept frequent cancellations or short-notice changes.
Q: Do I need my wisdom teeth removed?
A: Wisdom teeth, or third molars, do not always properly erupt when they decide to make an appearance. It’s wise to get an early opinion from your dentist on getting wisdom teeth pulled before they become impacted, causing pain, swelling, infection, cavities, or gum disease.
Why don’t wisdom teeth grow in right? The shape of the modern human mouth is often too small to accommodate wisdom teeth, which make their first appearance in young adults between the ages of 15 to 25. Over the course of time, the preparing and cooking of food and other changes in diet have reduced the need for strong jaws to chew food.
What does “impacted” mean? When wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow or they haven’t reached their final position by age 25, they are considered impacted – no place to go and no place to grow. Third molar impaction is the most prevalent medical development disorder. A full set of healthy teeth sometimes doesn’t leave much room for wisdom teeth to erupt.
What kind of problems can cause impacted third molars cause? Partially erupted wisdom teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs that may cause infection, and cysts and tumors may grow on a trapped wisdom tooth. Jaw pain and gum disease may occur. However, not all wisdom teeth cause problems.
Can’t I just use an antibiotic? Antibiotics only soothe infected wisdom teeth for a short time. Since people frequently use a wide variety of antibiotics, the infection may be resistant to such medication and doesn’t solve the real problem: the tooth can’t fit in your mouth.
When is removal necessary? It isn’t wise to wait until wisdom teeth bother you. Early removal, as advised by your dentist, is generally recommenced to avoid problems, such as an impacted tooth that destroys the second molar. Younger people heal more easily, too. At an early age, people should be evaluated by their dentist who can track third molar development with the help of x-rays. Second molars should be visible to lessen the chance of damaging them during surgery. This occurs at age 11 or 12, so wisdom teeth should be removed when the decision has been made that they cannot erupt into an acceptable position.
What if I don’t have any symptoms? People with symptoms of impaction, such as pain, swelling and infection should have their wisdom teeth removed immediately. However, those with no symptoms can avoid the chance of ever suffering from the pain of impacted wisdom teeth or achieve better orthodontic treatment result by having them removed when appropriate.
Q: I hear a lot about cosmetic dentistry. What can you tell me about it?
A: The art of cosmetic dentistry can address these concerns. We can enhance your smile using modern, specialized, highly effective treatment procedures. Our skills with various cosmetic techniques enable us to brighten stained or discolored teeth, straighten misaligned teeth, even replace poorly formed or missing teeth.
Most procedures designed to enhance appearance also improve oral health. Placing tooth-colored-fillings is a very sensible treatment for small chips and cracks. They replace noticeable, dark silver fillings that can be unsightly when laughing. We may suggest whitening to lighten or brighten teeth that are noticeably stained from consuming certain foods or liquids or from taking some medications.
Direct bonding – molds special dental restorative materials onto your tooth and it is effective to conceal chips, cracks, and imperfections. It can also be used to close spaces between teeth.
Porcelain laminated veneers mask flawed tooth surfaces. We will perform tooth recontouring to round the rough or jagged edges of teeth or reshape teeth that aren’t the same length.For smiles that require more extensive restorative treatment, we may recommend crowns to fit over and protect existing teeth.
Should there be missing teeth to restore, we may suggest bridges. Bridges can be removable, permanent or partial. In some cases, we can even make them without metal. Of course, we will recommend a treatment plan only after a thorough examination and a complete consultation on your cosmetic needs and wants.
Cosmetic dentistry patients enjoy improved dental appearance and health. What could be better than an all-around improved, healthy smile?
Q: Can you give me some information about tooth whitening?
A: We have Phillips brand Zoom whitening procedure available that can lighten your teeth, generally 2 or more shades, in a 90 minute appointment. A powerful whitening gel is applied several times over the duration of the appointment. The gel is then suctioned off, your teeth are rinsed with water and dried. We determine the color of your teeth using a shade guide before and after whitening so you know exactly how much lighter your teeth have become. For maintenance, we provide a take home whitening system.
Our office also uses the Phillips Zoom brand take home tooth whitening system. It provides a safe and effective tooth whitening system that predictably removes internal and external stains from teeth. When used as directed by your dentist, the procedure is safe and effective. Significant whitening usually occurs in days.Why do teeth discolor?
- Some teeth are naturally too pigmented or stained as they develop.
- Exposure to coffee, tea, juices, soda, or tobacco accounts for much of the darkening as we age.
- Tooth discoloration sometimes happens from minerals antibiotic (tetracycline) or an excess of fluoride taken internally during tooth development.
- Old fillings, tooth nerve damage or trauma to teeth can also account for darkening.
How does at-home Zoom Whitening remove stains?
The at-home whitening system will remove most stains with a gentle sustained release action that will oxidize (bleach) stains within your teeth. Your tooth structure remains unchanged. History and research show that 90-95% of patients treated experienced some level of tooth whitening. Porcelain restorations and white fillings do not whiten.
What is the treatment procedure?
Most patients use at-home while they sleep. Your dentist will decide how many nights your treatment will take for maximum results. Most patients will need to whiten for only one to two weeks. In some cases, your dentist may recommend whitening during waking hours and possibly for shorter time periods.
We also have an at-home system that is designed to be used during the daytime.
Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums to assure good oral health. Old fillings may need to be replaced and/or decayed areas treated and filled. An impression of your teeth will be taken to guarantee proper fit or custom fabricated whitening trays. The thin, soft plastic trays provide sufficient comfort to allow whitening while you sleep. Once the tray is made, our team will explain how to use Zoom whitening gel.
Other Information about whitening:
Research and experience show that the whitening effect from whitening treatment usually lasts for years. Teeth may darken faster if exposed again to staining products such as tobacco, coffee, or juices. However, the teeth will probably remain significantly lighter than if no treatment had been done. Touch-up whitening is available if you and your dentist feel it is appropriate. Two to four nights of whitening, performed at six months to four year intervals may be all that is necessary.
Some difficult, darker stains may naturally require longer treatment than some milder stains. Depending on your teeth and the type of staining, results will vary. Your dentist can explain the type of results you can expect from the treatment.
Some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity to cold while using whitening products. This will disappear in one to three days after interruption or completion of the treatment. To help sensitivity your dentist may prescribe a MI link.
Q: Do you take children as patients? When should they have their first appointment?
A: We love children! The ADA and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that a dentist sees a child when teeth first erupt, or at least by their first birthday. We suggest that you bring your child to one of your hygiene appointments before they are 2 years old. We have found that it isn’t necessary to have a child have their own appointment, but that they accompany a parent or sibling for one of theirs. This is a great opportunity to allow the child to get accustomed to the office and the equipment that we use. It is also a time to demonstrate to the child that a dental visit is a positive experience.
Here are 7 suggestions to make your child’s first dental visit easier:
- Bring them to your hygiene visit to show them how easy an appointment is.
- Explain what a dentist does in simple, positive terms.
- “Play” dentist at home, giving the child a sense of what the dentist will do.
- Describe dental instruments and how they help the dentist.
- Explain the x-rays “take pictures” of the teeth.
- Never bribe a child to visit the dentist or use the threat of a visit as punishment.
- Above all, parents should be careful to not pass on any fears of the dentist to their children.
Q: When will my child start to lose their baby teeth?
A: Every child develops differently, but as a general rule, children lose their baby teeth at age 5 or 6, starting with lower front teeth.
One “rite of passage” looked forward to by most children is the losing of their baby teeth. The excitement of the tooth fairy and the feeling of becoming a “big girl” or “big boy” is a fun milestone.
You can expect the first baby teeth, the central incisors (the “A’s”) to be lost at ages 6-7.
Next, usually, go the lateral incisors (“B’s”) at ages 7-8.
The cuspids (“C’s”) are lost between ages 10 and 12 while the first molars (“D’s”) are shed between 9 and 11.
The second molars (“E’s”) also go between ages 10-12.
The first large, adult teeth erupt at about age 6. These come in behind all of the baby teeth. These “six year molars” are actually the adult first molars. These teeth usually have very deep grooves and are very prone to decay.
When these teeth first come into the mouth, they need to be protected immediately with protective plastic coatings called “sealants.” Sealants are absolutely necessary to protect the integrity of your child’s teeth.
Permanent teeth often come behind baby teeth. It is a normal occurrence for the permanent lower central incisors to erupt behind the primary lower central incisors (“A’s”), especially in the lower arch. Usually, these baby teeth will be lost without a problem because the permanent teeth resorb the roots of the primary teeth enough to loosen them.
The back teeth are less likely to have this type of eruption pattern. Normally, the roots of the primary (baby) molars (typically, 3 roots on an upper molar and 2 roots on a lower molar) straddle the developing permanent premolar. As the permanent premolar erupts, the roots of the primary molars are resorbed, resulting in the shedding of the tooth. If the baby teeth seem to have no desire to leave, or if the adult tooth does not follow the loss of a baby tooth within a “reasonable” period, give us a call or mention it at their next hygiene visit.
We may need to take an x-ray to determine what’s going on. By the age of 11-13, twenty eight permanent teeth are usually in place. “Wisdom teeth,” the third molars, appear around age 17, or they may not appear at all. When appropriate, we take a special x-ray to determine if these teeth are present and their position.
Q: How do I handle my child’s dental emergencies?
A: If your child gets hit or falls and the mouth is damaged, here’s what to do:
If the tooth or teeth are completed knocked out, phone your dentist immediately; time is very important! Find the tooth or teeth and put them in a glass of water or milk. Bring them with you to your emergency appointment. Don’t wipe or clean them in any way!
If the office is closed, call the emergency number, and they will page the doctor on call. The tooth (if in time) can be re-implanted, braced, or splinted and be useful for years to come.
If the tooth is fractured down to the gum-line: Hold a tissue or gauze over the area (have the child bite down). Phone us immediately. Depending on the way the tooth was hit, the root can be saved.
If the tooth is chipped: Make sure the piece of tooth is not in the mouth. Phone the dentist immediately and get an appointment as soon as possible but it is not usually a dire emergency.
If the tooth is banged hard and is loose: Do not wiggle it or eat on it. In many cases the tooth will tighten back up in the socket if it is not continually wiggled. Call the office for an appointment. We may try to take an x-ray of the tooth. This is not always possible with young children. You’ll be advised to keep an eye on the tooth for a sign of color change or a bubble on the gum-line
Q: How do I convince my child to give up her pacifier?
A: One of our favorite patients, Patti S., shared this tip with us on her recent trip to our office: Patti felt it was time for Elizabeth to give up her pacifier. A firm believer in giving her children choices, Patti simply snipped a small groove in the pacifier to make it less pleasing to Elizabeth. It was Elizabeth’s choice to give it up when she didn’t like it anymore.