Adult Exams and Cleanings
Most adults should have an exam and cleaning every six months. Bitewing x-rays should be taken every six months to a year. These x-rays are necessary to diagnose cavities between the teeth that cannot be seen visually. They are important in diagnosing periodontal disease by revealing the associated bone loss.
Research shows a possible link between periodontal disease and heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes control. There is no substitute for regular cleanings.
X-rays of individual teeth should be taken as needed and a panoramic x-ray should be taken every three to five years to screen the health of the bone throughout the jaw and the over all health of the teeth.
Fluoride is a natural mineral which has the ability to prevent tooth decay, minimize tooth sensitivity and help remineralize areas where early decay is detected.
Both children and adults can benefit from this easy preventative treatment. Sealants are resins that are bonded into the pits and fissures of teeth to act as barriers to decay. It is very conservative and cost-effective procedure which requires no anesthetic.
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It attacks in the gumline crevice around the teeth. As it progresses, the bone is lost around the teeth and without treatment can lead to tooth loss. A common early warning sign of periodontal disease is gums that bleed easily. There may be no warning signs. Regular check ups are very important.
Recent research shows a possible link between periodontal disease and heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes control.
Treatment depends on the type of disease and progression. It can include regular dental cleanings, deep cleanings, or periodontal surgery by a periodontist to help create healthier gum tissues and enhance bone support to the teeth. With regular checkups, appropriate treatment, and good oral hygiene at home, you don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease
At Allen Dental Group we offer two types of fillings: composite (sometimes called resin) and amalgam.
Composite fillings are white, tooth-colored fillings that blend in visually with the patient’s natural teeth. After tooth decay is removed and cleaned, this tooth colored material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is virtually invisible.
Amalgam fillings are the silver-colored fillings used in the back of the mouth on the chewing surfaces. They are strong and long lasting and since they are placed in the area where they do not show, their appearance is not critical to the patient’s smile.
This restoration is a complete covering of a tooth. Unlike a filling that restores only part of a tooth, a crown is used to restore a much larger portion of the tooth. It can also be used to repair a broken or discolored tooth, and can be used in conjunction with an implant. The most popular type of crown is made with porcelain fused to metal and gold. A crown can last for many years with regular checkups and good oral hygiene at home.
A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of a pontic (artificial tooth) that is fused between two dental crowns placed on the teeth on both sides of the space.
Implants are an increasingly popular means of tooth replacement. A minor surgical procedure is performed to place the implant. In four to six months an attachment simulating a tooth is placed onto the implant. Then a crown is placed to complete the tooth form. Implants can be used as alternatives to tooth supported bridges which require natural teeth to be crowned.
Implants can also be used to support bridges and dentures. They achieve a level of retention not previously possible in lower full dentures.
We work closely with surgery specialists to ensure proper placement of the implant prior to the restoration of the implant crown.
Partial and Complete Dentures
In more extensive cases of missing teeth, a partial or complete denture may be proposed as the best option to restore a healthy smile. In these more extensive cases we bridge a relationship with another dentist in the area to reach your final goal.
Wearing a night guard prevents the fractures and wear to teeth caused by clenching or grinding while asleep. These biting forces are much greater and very destructive compared to normal chewing. The damage caused to the teeth can require a variety of treatment including filings, crowns, root canal treatment, gumline surgery and sometimes extraction.
Root Canal Treatment
The nerve of a tooth can become inflamed or infected (abcessed) due to a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, injury, or a fracture line. The tooth can be saved with root canal (endodontic) treatment. When necessary (more complex cases), we work closely with endodontic specialists who carefully clean the canal, remove the infection, and fill and seal the space. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report they are very comfortable during the procedure.
After root canal treatment we place a crown or another type of restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt. At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth at risk of decay, so it may be recommended for removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection or orthodontic correction can also require the removal of a tooth.
3rd Molar Extractions (Wisdom Teeth)
Wisdom Teeth are the third and final set of molars that usually grow in between the late teens and early twenties for most people. In some cases, these last molars can fit perfectly into a person’s mouth when they are properly aligned. However, in many individuals, the wisdom teeth are not properly aligned and may require removal. We will review your x-rays and the positioning of your wisdom teeth at your regular checkup visits. We may recommend to remove some or all of your wisdom teeth to help alleviate any pain, swelling or infection you may currently have, or to avoid future problems. Additionally, we may recommend removing wisdom teeth earlier rather than later, because future extractions may become more painful or complicated, or even result in a dental emergency, as we age.
We will determine the position of your wisdom teeth and determine the type of extraction to be performed. In most cases, we can remove your wisdom teeth right in our office. With a combination of conscious sedation and Nitrous Oxide we can reach a comfortable level of sedation for the surgery. Occasionally, however, we may refer a patient with a special case to an oral surgeon for an evaluation.
Conscious sedation dentistry provides patients with the option to feel totally relaxed and completely comfortable during procedures. Managing dental anxiety is simpler and allows patients to be unaware of the treatment, as if they were asleep. This procedures can be used for anything from routine fillings to surgical treatments.
Emergency Dental Care
We are here to help you, any time, any day. When your dental health is at risk, we will do everything we can to make sure that you’re treated as soon as possible. While dental emergencies are rare, they can happen, and it’s important to know how to take care of your teeth no matter what. Common dental emergencies include: broken or cracked tooth/teeth; broken jaw, permanent teeth that have been knocked out; object caught between teeth; or a severe toothache.