Preventive and Diagnostic
An oral evaluation is recommended every 6 months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. During an oral evaluation, a thorough examination of the mouth, head, and neck is performed to detect abnormalities.
Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and polishing of the teeth to remove stains and prevent further buildup of plaque.
During a regular check-up, oral hygiene instructions are given to both patient and parent. Good home care can reduce the risk of plaque and tartar build-up which can lead to cavities. Instructions include proper techniques for brushing, flossing, and using mouth rinses.
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Fluoride treatments are administered at this office as an important component of pediatric dental treatment. The fluoride is applied to the teeth in a gel, foam, or varnish form.
Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool used to identify decay, extra teeth, bone defects, tumors, cysts and check the progress of previous procedures. Advances in technology now allow for digital X-rays, which reduce radiation exposure by more than 50%, and produce instant, high-quality images that can be viewed immediately by the dentist and the patient.
Dental sealants are made of a safe resin material which is applied to the surfaces of teeth (commonly permanent molars) to prevent cavities. The sealant material fills in the grooves of a tooth and “seals” off the tooth from cavity-causing agents like food and plaque. The teeth are prepared for the sealant application and the sealant is painted directly onto the chewing surface of each tooth and then hardens. Sealants are applied in one visit and the sealants used in our office are BPA free.
Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities. Composite fillings can be done in one visit. The area may need to be numbed prior to this treatment. Following local anesthesia, the decay is removed and then the tooth is filled with this composite material that hardens immediately after placement. The composites used in our office are BPA free.
Root canals involve treating decay that is inside of the tooth. If the inside of the tooth, known as the dental pulp, is damaged it will gradually decay if left within the tooth. The pulpotomy involves removing the pulp, cleaning out the root canals, and packing the canals with material that will help restore the tooth until it is time for it to exfoliate (or fall out on its own naturally).
A dental crown is a restoration that covers or caps a tooth, restoring it to its normal size and shape. Crowns are necessary when the tooth is decayed beyond the point where a filling would be effective and oftentimes following a pulp treatment. In order to effectively place a crown, tooth structure may be taken away to help create an esthetically pleasing fit. Our office offers two options; metal (stainless steel) crowns or esthetic porcelain crowns.
A tooth that can not be saved with restorative materials and teeth that are infected may need to be removed. Before removing the tooth, the area will be numbed with local anesthesia. The tooth is then loosened and removed using special dental instruments.
A habit appliance is useful to help stop a thumb or finger habit and/or to help re-train an improper tongue position or swallowing pattern. It is sometimes necessary to place an appliance to minimize the harm and distortion the habits or tongue posture can have on teeth. Most habit appliances are banded for adhesion to the back molars and are not removable.
Space maintainers are used to keep teeth from drifting into an empty tooth space due to early loss of primary (baby) teeth. Baby teeth act as a guide for the eruption of the permanent teeth. A space maintainer is made of stainless steel and/or plastic. It can be removable or fixed to the teeth.
Cosmetic bonding is the process of filling or restoring teeth with a tooth-colored material in order to maintain a natural appearance.