Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because a hole is made where the decay was and a new material is added to fill this hole. These days most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that matches the tooth color to the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bonding agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the composite resin material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
Sealants are used to fill the 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, and you don't want that. So the 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.
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for ones teeth. These structures are also 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 done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.
This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles that travels through bone and teeth and produces an image on special digital film. 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 of any dental concerns.
This device rotates around the patients head and displays an x-ray on the computer showing the upper and lower teeth along with the jaw. The x-rays are used to assess orthodontic needs, diagnosis of wisdom teeth impaction, detection of advanced periodontal disease, assess the TMJ or jaw joint, and to help detect oral cancer. The Dentist may use this film to diagnose and refer you to a specialist.
This is a device that helps to improve our assessment of your overall oral health. It helps to ensure that the delicate tissues of your mouth are healthy. Most importantly the VELscope offers hope for the early discovery of oral disease, including precancer and cancer. If oral cancer is detected early it's still easy to treat and this is why we choose to use this device. We use the VELscope during routine exams. A VELscope exam takes less than two minutes and does not use rinses, stains, or cause any discomfort.