Our primary office philosophy is to treat our patients with the integrity they deserve by listening to them, offering our expertise to aid in their decisions and ultimately taking care of them. We are in dentistry to restore, maintain and prolong our patient’s dentition in a manner that is beneficial long-term to their health, function and overall self-esteem.
Comprehensive New Patient Exam
With every new patient that steps into our office, our goal is to get to know you, your needs and what concerns brought you in to our dental office and your needs. We learn about you so we know how to best manage your oral health and how that naturally integrates with your overall health and well-being. We perform a thorough head and neck cancer screening, take the necessary digital radiographic images in order to properly diagnose your treatment, perform a complete periodontal and occlusal evaluation and finally evaluate your teeth. As we are information gathering, we are formulating treatment plan options tailored to you and after presenting you with your options, will answer any questions you may have regarding your treatment options. The objective of this appointment is not to overwhelm you with information treatment options but rather to present them fully, then to use our dental expertise to help you decide what is best for you.
Cosmetic Restorations (or Fillings)
The base for most dental practices, we perform restorations for a variety of reasons: to stabilize cracks that have formed, to remove and restore caries (or cavities) or to add esthetically or functionally to teeth that have been worn or chipped. These restorations work to stabilize the oral environment and, rather than place mercury amalgam fillings, we only place strong, esthetic, tooth-colored composite restorations to restore your teeth to their natural shape, color and contour.
Periodontal (Gum) Treatment
The gums and alveolar bone beneath them comprise the periodontium and are the foundation for your teeth, mouth and even your body. Healthy teeth and gums have been found essential to decrease risk factors for many systemic conditions, in particular, unhealthy periodontium (gums, etc) is a high risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Treatment to gain or maintain healthy gums is incredibly important to preserving a stable foundation. This includes your regular dental cleanings as preventative dental care to prevent plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) build-up which can lead to bone loss, tooth mobility and cavities. Or, if it’s been longer between cleanings, we may need to perform a deeper, more intensive scaling and root planing as indicated. Whether it has been 6 months between your regular cleaning or 10 years since you last stepped foot in a dental office, we have certified dental hygienists to treat your gums and teeth with care. These hour-long regular appointments are vital to maintaining your dental health long-term.
These appointments may include: a pre-appointment mouth rinse, ultrasonic and hand instruments to scale and remove hardened plaque or calculus and a thorough round of polishing to leave your teeth clean. Regular dental cleanings are the best way to prevent more invasive and expensive dental work down the road by maintaining that solid foundation of your alveolar bone and gums.
Emergency Dental Care
If you are having a toothache, we are always there for you and want you to feel comfortable calling our office with issues. These toothaches can be for a variety of reasons and have a variety of causes, which is why we take the time to carefully evaluate the offending tooth or quadrant of the mouth, determine what is happening, create options for treatment and together, we will formulate an ultimate decision for care.
Endodontic (or Root Canal) Therapy
Part of that evaluation process includes confirming the reason for the toothache. With teeth that may need root canal therapy, this is likely due to an infection in the nerve of the tooth causing inflammation. With four different classifications for nerve involvement, we will test and decide if the damage to the nerve is reversible and can be treated without a root canal or if the nerve has become infected and is dying or necrotic. These infections can lead to surrounding bone loss and can spread to other areas of the body. Signs that you can look for could be extreme temperature sensitivity that lingers, pain when biting and/or spontaneous pain while you are sitting reading a book, watching TV or even waking you during the night.
After deciding whether or not the tooth has enough remaining tooth structure to save it, the objective of endodontic therapy is to remove the infected nerve (from the root canal), thoroughly disinfect the tooth and place a well-sealed filling into the canal space to prevent it from becoming reinfected. Fortunately for us as dentists and you as patients, recent medicinal improvements have made root canals quite painless and if you need one, rest assured that it is significantly more comfortable than it used to be.
Lastly, during a root canal, significant internal support for the tooth is compromised and for the majority of teeth, a crown will be recommended as the final step to effectively support and seal the cleaned, disinfected and filled tooth. This crown helps to protect the investment you put into the tooth with the root canal.
Extraction (and socket preservation for implant placement)
If we collectively decide that an extraction is the best course of treatment for you, we will first discuss the various options available to replace the missing tooth. If you were to leave the space open, the adjacent and opposing teeth will begin to tilt and shift to fill in the, now open, space. This causes malpositioning of your remaining, healthy teeth and can create problems long-term.
If implant placement is decided as the ideal treatment, we are trained to prepare the site for later implant placement by placing a specialized bone mixture to preserve optimal bone in the area.
When it comes to the extraction, we are gentle, and remove the tooth in a minimally traumatic way and after extraction, will remove as much infected tissues as possible to aide in proper healing.