Comprehensive Oral Exam

The health of your teeth and gums may have a significant effect on the overall health of your body.  Recent scientific literature suggests a strong relationship between oral disease and other systemic diseases and medical conditions. Many systemic conditions will first be evident within the oral cavity. A thorough evaluation of the teeth and gums by a dental professional is necessary to ensure good oral health.

Routine Cleanings
It is recommended to have routine teeth cleanings every six months.  The hygienist conducts a brief oral exam in addition to removing any tarter buildup that has accumulated since the previous visit.  The procedure is completed by polishing and flossing the teeth to smooth the teeth and prevent bacteria from attaching to the teeth. 

Fluoride Treatments
Research has proven that the use of fluoride in oral health care improves the overall strength and stability of the teeth.  It is a common misconception that only children should receive fluoride treatments.  Dental professionals today are facing difficult challenges from a rapidly aging and diverse patient pool.  Maintaining restorations and controlling caries (decay) become more complex as patients’ medical histories become more complex.  Many medications alter the rate and flow of saliva contributing to xerostomia (dry mouth) which, in turn, contributes to increased rates of primary and secondary caries.    Fluoride will continue to play a pivotal role in maintaining good oral health of both children and adults.

Dental Implants
Dental implants are metal cylinders made of titanium surgically placed in the jawbone where teeth are missing.  Dental implants replace the root of missing teeth and support single crowns, large bridges and dentures.  State-of-the-art technology makes it possible for replacement teeth supported by dental implants to look, feel and function like natural teeth. Patients must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support implants.  Dental implants require surgical procedures that usually include a small amount of discomfort and the time it takes for the implant to heal in the bone, which can be a few months.  A dental evaluation will help determine if a patient is a good candidate for dental implants.

Dentures are an option to replace lost teeth and can be utilized with or independently of implants.  Full or complete dentures replace all of the teeth and their adjacent tissues in the upper or lower jaw.  Conventional dentures require a recovery time of approximately six to eight weeks after all of the teeth are extracted before dentures are fabricated.  Immediate dentures are placed in the mouth at the time of extraction.  Additional adjustments in the fitting of this type of denture are necessary as healing occurs.

A crown is a dental restoration that covers or replaces most or all the natural crown of a tooth.  Placement of a crown may be indicated on teeth with root canals, broken or fractured teeth, cracked teeth or teeth with failing large fillings.  In order to strengthen a tooth which no longer has sufficient structure left to place a filling, a crown is utilized to offer strength and durability. 

Fixed Bridges
A fixed partial dental bridge is a prosthesis that replaces one or more missing natural teeth and is cemented to teeth or implants next to the missing tooth or teeth.  To replace a missing tooth with a bridge, at least one tooth on either side of the space created by the missing tooth must be prepared for a crown. A dental bridge can help with chewing and speaking, as well as with maintaining the natural shape of the face and alleviating stress in the bite.

Removable Partial
For patients missing several teeth, but not all of their teeth, a removable partial denture may be recommended.  This type of denture uses the remaining teeth to anchor the removable denture in place.  There are many different types of designs for removable partial dentures.  Typically, a removable partial is made of a metal framework with pink acrylic to replace the gum tissue and plastic or resin denture teeth.  Dental implants may be recommended to increase the stability of a removable partial denture. 

Porcelain veneers are used to modify the shape and color of teeth.  Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are etched and then bonded to the enamel of the teeth.  Tooth preparation is necessary to avoid over bulking of the tooth.  Veneers can close small gaps between teeth and also provide color correction for teeth that have permanent stains.

Sleep Apnea Appliances
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep and blocks the airway, often causing loud snoring.  Dental devices are effective for mild to moderate sleep apnea.  An acrylic mandibular repositioning device helps to open the airway by bringing the lower jaw and tongue forward during sleep.  Treatment is coordinated between the dentist and a medical specialist, who may require an overnight sleep study to confirm a sleep apnea diagnosis.