COMPREHENSIVE INITIAL EXAM
This is a ninety minute visit that includes a full set of dental x-rays, health history review, dental exam, jaw joint exam, bite analysis, gum exam, oral cancer screening and risk assessment for sleep apnea. The first part of this appointment is reserved for the patient to express their concerns and goals for their dental care. This time allows for the doctor and patient to begin to develope a relationship to provide dental care according to the patient`s desires and needs.
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. Today, most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, which can result in the need for root canal treatment or extraction.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First, the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied, so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you don't want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for teeth. These structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. This infection and the inflammation that results can lead to the irreversible loss of jaw bone. Research has also shown that periodontal disease can be a factor in heart disease and other health concerns.
This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles through bone which produces an image on a special sensor, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 80% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. Imaging software allows us to enhance the image to aid in the diagnosis of oral pathology.
For more information, click on the logo below for videos regarding a wide range of dental procedures and topics.