A thorough check-up and cleaning is the starting point for determining your overall dental health. At your initial appointment in our office we will discuss your medical history and determine any issues that may affect your oral health. We will take new x-rays so that we can check for decay, infections, cysts, or any other types of dental issues or abnormalities. If any issues are identified, we will customize a dental treatment plan to fix the issues and restore optimum dental health. We will perform a visual examination of the gums, teeth, and tissue. We also visually check for any signs of oral cancer. Your hygienist will check for signs of gum disease and/or bone loss and determine any necessary treatment needed, which may include a special “deep cleaning”, more frequent cleanings, or a referral to a gum specialist known as a periodontist. This may require you to come back for follow up visits, depending on your treatment plan. If there are NO signs of gum disease, the hygienist will perform a thorough cleaning to remove any plaque and calculus that is present. The hygienist will discuss any problem areas with you and provide advice on how to improve these areas. Even patients that no longer have their natural teeth will benefit from this examination to help ensure that there is no disease present.
The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist every six months for regular checkups and routine teeth cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
This visit is very similar to the initial visit, with a full evaluation of the mouth, x-rays, and cleaning. Regular visits will help to prevent dental issues and will help to identify any problems that may occur at an early stage.
Scaling and Root Planing (“Deep Cleaning”)
Gum disease is one of the most common and most serious dental issues patients may have. If left untreated it can lead to tooth loss and an increase risk for a number of other illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Gum disease is an infection of the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. It usually begins when calculus builds up on the teeth and causes inflammation in the gums. This inflammation allows bacteria to get below the gumline and develop infection that can destroy the gum tissue and the supporting bone. There are several different stages of gum disease, and your hygienist will help to determine what stage you are at and what treatment needs to be done to stop the disease process. Gum disease is best treated when caught early, but is difficult for patients to identify because it is usually painless. Therefore, regular check-ups are recommended.
If the hygienist determines gum disease is present, the first step is to perform a “deep cleaning” to remove the calculus build up from above and below the gumline. This is usually done over the course of several visits and the patient’s gums are numbed to maximize comfort during this procedure. After the “deep cleaning” more frequent visits, usually every 3 months, are recommended to help keep calculus build-up off of the teeth and monitor the success of the procedure. If improvements are not made, or if the disease becomes active again, your dentist or hygienist may recommend that you be referred to a periodontist for further treatment and possibly surgery.
If a filling is required we use the latest in bonding techniques that will give you a long lasting esthetic tooth colored filling. We are a mercury free office, meaning we do not place amalgam (silver) fillings. Amalgam (silver) fillings expand over time and can cause a tooth to fracture, especially on back molars. Tooth colored fillings tend to bring the tooth together rather than push it apart. Composite fillings give you a stronger and more cosmetic option than amalgam (silver).
See video for additional information on composite fillings.
The most common cause of a root canal is deep decay that has reached the nerve of the tooth. Other causes could be repeated dental procedures on a tooth, large existing fillings, a crack or chip, or trauma to the face.
What is a root canal?
A root canal procedure removes the nerve and blood supply inside the tooth root and any infected tooth structure. The inside of the roots are then filled with a material called gutta percha. After root canal treatment is completed a crown is normally placed around the tooth to help keep the tooth from fracturing.
Some root canals are better treated by a specialist called an endodontist. If your root canal cannot be treated in our office we will refer you to a trusted specialist.
See video for additional information on root canals.
A dental crown is a tooth shaped covering that is permanently cemented over your tooth. A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant.
In our office your crown will be completed in two appointments. At your first appointment the tooth will be prepared, an impression will be taken, and a temporary crown will be placed. Your impression will be sent to our laboratory where the crown will be made. You will return to our office in 3 weeks for your second appointment at which your permanent crown will be placed and adjusted to ensure proper fit and function. In our office we offer several options for your crown. These include, emax, zirconia, gold, and porcelain fused to metal. Dr. Dyer will discuss which option is the best for you.
See video’s for additional information on crowns and bridges.
If you are missing one or more teeth, a fixed bridge may be used as a replacement. Dental bridges also help maintain the shape of your face, and alleviate stress to your bite.
In our office it may take 2 or more appointments to complete your bridge. On the first visit the teeth that will support the bridge are examined and prepared. An impression will then be taken and sent to our laboratory for your bridge to be made. Then, a temporary will be made to ensure that your teeth will be protected.
To complete the dental bridge procedure you will to our office for a second visit to have the permanent bridge placed and adjusted to ensure proper fit and function.
See video’s for additional information on crowns and bridges.
Dentures are one way to replace missing teeth. They are the least expensive and least desirable. One of the most common uses of complete (full) dentures is to replace teeth because of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Complete dentures can be conventional, immediate or implant retained. The best and most effective dentures are those which are supported by implants. Dentures can look very natural depending on the quality and the arrangement of the teeth. Removable partial dentures are for patients who still have some healthy teeth remaining, although they often times cause additional tooth loss. Replacing missing teeth will benefit your appearance, health, chewing and speaking abilities.
Dentures are fabricated from acrylic teeth mounted onto pink acrylic to form the base or gums. The normal construction of the dentures takes several visits which would consist of impressions, a bite try in, and the finished product.
See video’s for additional information on dentures, and partial dentures.
Why Should I Replace Missing Teeth?
While the obvious answer to this question if for the improvement and enhancement of appearance, there are also health and functional considerations. When you lose a tooth, a series of events begin to occur as the remaining teeth being to shift and change positions. It is also important to realize, now you have fewer teeth to handle the stress and work load placed on them. This can cause a multitude of problems, not merely related to overall appearance, but your ability to chew, the health of your remaining gums and teeth, as well as your overall health. Replacing missing teeth is a major step in the direction of good health for a lifetime.
A dental implant/implants can be used to replace missing teeth, stabilize and restore a patient’s smile. Once an implant has been placed by an oral surgeon or periodontist you are ready to begin the process of restoring your implant/implants.
Implants can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, and can also support a denture.
When missing a single or multiple teeth and an implant has been placed and ready to be restored, your implant crown or bridge will be completed in two appointments. At your first appointment in our office an impression will be taken and sent to our dental laboratory to be fabricated. You will then return to our office in several weeks for your second appointment at which your permanent implant crown or bridge will be placed and adjusted to ensure proper fit and function.
An implant supported denture can be used when missing all upper and/or lower teeth. An implant supported denture is a type of over denture that is supported by and attached to implants to provide stability when chewing. These types of advanced and/or complicated cases may take several weeks to several months to complete.
Unlike the more traditional braces or retainers, Invisalign is a virtually invisible method to straightening your teeth. Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth. Invisalign uses a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing. So you can smile more during treatment as well as after. Invisalign is made with 3d computer imaging technology and has been proven effective.
You wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position Dr. Dyer has prescribed. You will visit our office every six weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time typically last 9-18 months, and the number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18-30, but both numbers will vary from case to case.
Tray bleaching is a type of professional whitening intended to whiten all of your natural teeth. Our office will make your custom whitening trays and provide you with a whitening gel that is only available through your dentist. The whitening gel is placed in custom-fitted trays that fit perfectly over your teeth. At-home tray whitening generally takes 10-14 days, although you may notice results sooner. Difficult cases may take longer.