Our practice’s comprehensive dentistry services distinguish this practice from most others. Comprehensive dentistry refers to our broad range of treatment abilities that provides you the convenience of having most of your dental services performed under one roof. That means that many patients will never need to provide their records and insurance information to another specialist or dental service provider. Our comprehensive dentistry practice covers all the procedures that are commonplace for both adults and children. It’s our way of not only helping you save time and effort, but also making sure that all the dental insights and personal preferences that we discover during your regular dental checkups are applied when you need some type of additional dental treatment.
The list below helps to define the breadth of our comprehensive dentistry services, which range from simple to complex. The primary focus of these services is on establishing and maintaining good dental health. These services are complemented by our cosmetic dentistry services. We have invested the time and have the experience that allows us to offer you this broader range of services with confidence. While we can address most patient needs within our practice, more complicated dental health situations will sometimes require the involvement of an oral surgeon or other dental sub-specialist.
With options that range from traditional braces to invisible braces (Invisalign), we provide our patients with personalized orthodontic treatment plans to help improve their smiles and overall facial appearance. With our orthodontic services, we treat overbites, underbites, crossbites, and crooked or crowded teeth. Traditional braces, which make use of brackets that are bonded to the teeth, now come in different varieties – metal, ceramic/tooth-colored, clear plastic, and colored plastic. Wires that are attached to the brackets are used to gradually readjust the position of teeth.
For many adults, an increasingly popular option is invisible braces (Invisalign and other similar systems). These non-traditional braces are actually a series of removable aligners that fit over your teeth and move your teeth to the desired position. Customized to make small progressive movements of your teeth from their current position to the desired position, these clear aligners aren't visible to others while you're wearing them. Because you can remove the aligners while eating or to brush and floss your teeth, you can avoid the trapped food and plaque build-up that can occur with traditional braces. The patient typically wears each aligner for about two weeks before it is replaced with the next one. Invisible aligners are typically better suited for adults, rather than children who are still awaiting permanent teeth.
While it is quicker and simpler to resolve orthodontic problems while the head and mouth are growing (patients between 10 and 14 years of age), braces clearly are not just for kids any longer! More and more adults are wearing them, and you may not even be aware that they are doing so. We firmly commit to you, as patient/parent/guardian, to help you understand all the options and the basis for our recommended treatment approach. We will recommend the braces that are best suited to dental health, smile improvement, and are also containable within your budget or payment plan. Our plans include information on the frequency of return visits, and help you understand what you can do before, during, and after the treatment to achieve the best short- and long-range improvements in your dental health and appearance. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Preventive Care and Cleanings
Our practice will provide you an exceptionally thorough dental exam, using technology such as an intraoral camera that helps us more readily identify small problems. Based on our findings, we will either monitor or treat a these areas of concern before they develop into serious problems. Our cleaning procedures are gentle while also being effective in helping to prevent gum disease. For patients who are anxious or simply prone to tooth sensitivity, we also provide a sedation dentistry option for administering regular preventive cleanings. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Tooth-Colored Fillings (and Traditional Silver Fillings If Preferred)
We can use a mixture of tooth-colored material (a composite filling) instead of traditional silver fillings to restore a decayed tooth. Composite fillings are practically invisible to others. Our staff will help you understand the best filling approach to use for your situation, including the costs and how much your dental coverage (if you have it) will pay for the treatment you need. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Oral Cancer Screenings
According to the ADA and the American Cancer Society, about 30,000 cases of oral cancer are newly diagnosed in the United States each year. That makes oral cancer the sixth most common form of cancer. If detected in late stages, oral cancer’s five-year survival rate is only fifty percent. Our practice will perform a painless but extensive cancer screening procedure that can be lifesaving. Please don’t be alarmed by the thoroughness of this exam – it will very likely differ from your experience in other dental practices. However, we have chosen to make this in-depth procedure our practice's standard of care because early detection is critical to survival. During your exam, we evaluate your glands, lymph nodes, and muscles in the head and neck area. We will examine both the sides and the underside of the tongue, along with the floor of the mouth. We also check your tracheal mobility and for the presence of thyroid growths. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Extractions / Wisdom Teeth
When confronted with the need for the extraction of a tooth or wisdom teeth, many patients experience dread or anxiety and postpone the recommended procedure. In most cases, our practice can perform these extractions for you – in the same familiar surroundings and with the same friendly and caring staff you’re accustomed to. We thoroughly evaluate each patient’s situation to determine whether we perform the procedure or whether we believe that you should see an oral surgeon. If you take advantage of our sedation dentistry services, you may find yourself wondering how troublesome teeth can disappear so quickly. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Gum Disease/Periodontal Treatment
Gum disease, more formally called periodontal disease, occurs when gums and surrounding tissue become inflamed and infected. At some point in time, most people (about 3 in every 5) will experience gum disease. For adults, periodontal disease is the cause of the overwhelming majority of tooth loss. If you notice redness, swelling, and bleeding as a result of brushing and flossing, that can be an indicator of gum disease. Other signs include a receding gum line, persistent bad breath, a loose tooth, and pain in the gum area. If plaque and tartar are removed from the teeth and root surfaces early (while in a stage called gingivitis), patients can usually avoid the need for surgical treatment. Antibiotic treatment may also be in order. Our practice will advise any patient being treated for periodontal disease on daily practices at home that can help prevent or minimize future disease. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Crowns and Bridges
A crown (sometimes called a "cap") is a way to repair a cracked, broken, or damaged tooth that cannot be effectively restored using a filling. At times, a crown is used to prevent a weak tooth from breaking, or to improve the look of a badly shaped or severely discolored tooth. To prepare for a crown, we first shape the tooth and reduce its size to allow the crown to fit over it. Once the tooth is prepared, we create impressions of your teeth that allow us to create a customized crown that fits well over the existing tooth and between the surrounding teeth. While that custom crown is being made, we will place a temporary crown over your tooth. During your follow-up visit, the temporary crown will be removed, and we will cement the permanent crown in place.
Sometimes, we fuse a false tooth between two teeth that have crowns. This creates what is more commonly called a fixed bridge – a procedure used to replace one or more missing teeth. It is called fixed because you cannot remove it from your mouth like you can remove dentures. Dental implants are an increasingly popular alternative to a bridge. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Root Canal Therapy (Endodontics)
Underneath the outer surface of your tooth lies soft tissue (the pulp) which contains the nerves and blood vessels that keep your tooth alive. Every tooth has at least one, and sometimes four or more, canals that extend from the top of the pulp area down to the end of the tooth's root. The pulp area of the tooth can become infected if the tooth is cracked, broken, or has deep decay. The result is a build-up of symptoms - pressure and pain when you bite down, chew, or expose the tooth to hot or cold foods and beverages. If not treated soon, the infection will spread, the pain will intensify, and the integrity of surrounding bone can also become compromised. During a root canal (or more properly, root canal therapy), we open up the pulp area, remove the infected tissue, and clean up the root canal(s). Sometimes we also apply medication in the canals for a period of time during the treatment process. After we eliminate the infection, we fill the root canal with a rubber- or plastic-like substance. Afterwards, the tooth is permanently sealed and covered with a porcelain or metal alloy crown. This procedure allows patients to keep the original tooth functioning normally (for chewing) and also prevents surrounding teeth from shifting into improper positions. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Dentures and Partials
A denture is a removable substitute for missing teeth. It is composed of acrylic resins and sometimes includes various metal components. A complete denture is used to replace all the teeth, while a partial fills the spaces created by missing teeth so that nearby teeth don't shift from their proper positions. Dentures, whether complete and partial, improve your ability to chew and to speak, as well as offering the advantage of improved facial appearance if you have missing teeth. To ensure good-fitting and good-looking full and partial dental plates, we make impressions of your mouth and carefully choose the appropriate color. The fit is very carefully customized for your comfort. One option to consider is the use of dental implants to help hold the denture in place or perhaps to even attach fixed bridges. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry)
Mouth and Bite Guards
Mouth guards prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries each year, and are increasingly used by soccer players. Most people think of football and hockey as the sports most likely to cause an orofacial injury, however studies show that football players are less likely than soccer players to experience that type of injury. Surprisingly, basketball players are injured 15 times more often than football players. And if you’re a "weekend warrior" who plays pick-up games, tag football, or engages in other rough-and-tumble activities with your friends, you’re also very vulnerable to orofacial injuries. Our practice can custom-fit a mouth guard for you, allowing you to maximize both your protection and comfort while wearing it.
Bite guards are very similar to mouth guards. They simply protect patients from the unintentional, self-inflicted grinding and clenching of teeth that is called bruxism. Bruxism can cause chronic jaw pain, tense muscles, headaches, and sensitive teeth. When we perform your oral exam, we check for this condition because there are telltale signs. While patient awareness may help in some cases, some patients will need a custom-fitted bite guard to abate the unintentional damage they are doing to their teeth while sleeping. Left untreated, bruxism can result in serious problems such as damaged tooth enamel/decay, receding gums, and jaw misalignment. Other bite guards are orthotic and are used in the prevention and treatment of TMJ/TMD. (More information from the Academy of General Dentistry