At Family Dental Care, we provide a wide range of restorative, cosmetic, and surgical procedures. With today's techniques, materials, and coaching in oral hygiene, we can provide you with lasting results to ensure healthy teeth and gums for years. By providing form through function, we can provide you with a smile of which you will be proud.
Typically your first visit will include radiographs and a comprehensive oral exam to effectively diagnose your needs. Depending on the complexity of your health history and dental needs, time may not allow for any additional procedures to be performed that day. In that case, we will make sure that you are rescheduled as soon as possible to begin the agreed upon treatment.
Regular cleanings are an important part of maintaining health teeth and gums. Bacteria form a plaque on our teeth that can cause tooth decay and inflammation of the gums. If the plaque is not removed daily, minerals in our saliva can harden the plaque forming calculus which can not be removed with brushing and flossing. This is why home care through effective brushing and flossing is the key to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Inevitably, we will miss certain hard to reach spots on our teeth, and since we are creatures of habits, they are often the same spots. Over time, these spots will turn into calculus, and regular visits to your dental hygienist will be the only way to clean these spots. They have special instruments for the removal of deposits of plaque and calculus, and by polishing the teeth they can make it more difficult for new plaque to attach to the freshly smoothed tooth surface. The frequency of regular cleanings is dependent on many factors, but essentially boils down to the patients ability to effectively remove plaque at home. Certain patient specific factors contribute to this difference such as the shape and position of the teeth, rate of saliva flow, and diet. Your dentist and hygienist will prescribe you a recall frequency based on your specific needs. In addition to the periodic cleaning, a periodic exam will be completed at the same time to try and catch problems while they can still be treated conservatively.
A dental filling is typically indicated when tooth structure is weakened or missing, most often as a result of dental decay. In the case of dental decay, the decay is removed and the tooth is prepared to receive and retain a man made material to replace the missing tooth structure and restore form and function. The type of man made filling material that is chosen depends on the location of the filling, the amount of tooth structure missing, oral hygiene of the patient, desires of the patient, and other factors. The two basic types of direct filling materials are amalgam and composite, these are placed at the time the tooth is prepared. Other materials can be used in indirect fillings which are fabricated in a dental lab and cemented in place at a second appointment.
Amalgam fillings are most common in posterior teeth and are commonly referred to as "silver" or "metal" fillings. Amalgam fillings are made when one or more metals are mixed with mercury and allowed to harden. These fillings have a long track record (over 100 years), are the longest lasting direct filling material, and continue to be proven safe. The disadvantage of amalgam fillings is that they are not tooth colored, and have the tendency to darken teeth over a long time. For this reason they are typically reserved for the posterior teeth where they are not as visible and where stronger materials are needed due to higher chewing forces.
Composite fillings are a tooth colored filling material that are used exclusively in the anterior of the mouth but can also be used in posterior teeth as well. The greatest advantage of composite fillings is that they are tooth colored and therefore a more aesthetic restoration. Composite fillings are not as hard as amalgam fillings and tend to wear out faster in the posterior where the chewing forces are greater. The placement of composite fillings is also more technique sensitive requiring the tooth be clean of saliva and other contaminates during placement. Although the life of composite fillings in the posterior of the mouth are sometimes half that of amalgam, advancements in materials and techniques are improving the results of composites.
Crown and Bridge
Single Unit Crowns
For various reasons, more extensive restorative work may be required to provide a longer life and proper function and form to a tooth. Single unit crowns are typically indicated when the preparation of a tooth for restoration results in a tooth that can not adequately retain a direct filling. This is also the case in many root canal treated teeth. In performing the root canal, tooth structure is removed and the tooth is weakend. In posterior teeth where forces from chewing are greater, root canals without full coverage crown restoration afterwards is not recommended. The five year failure rate of root canal treated posterior teeth without restoration with full coverage crowns is near 90%. In preparing a tooth for a crown, tooth structure must be removed from all surfaces to provide room for the crown or cap while maintaining proper external form without additional bulk.
A bridge, also know as fixed partial denture, is a common way of replacing missing teeth without having to worry about a removable appliance. The teeth adjacent to the space created by the missing tooth are prepared much like a tooth is prepared for a crown, only the restoration consists of caps joined together by the false teeth. This restoration is cemented in place much like a crown and so is "fixed" in the mouth.
At Family Dental Care we work with the best surgeons in the area to replace missing teeth with implants. After the surgeon places the implants, we restore the implants with crowns, fixed bridges, or over-dentures to replace the missing teeth. The surgeons we use offer free consultations to determine if you are a good candidate and whether more advanced procedures will be required before placing the implants.
Certain cases provide the opportunity you enhance the smile with various restorative materials and techniques.
Bonding is a techinque in which chipped, cracked, discolored, or malaligned teeth can be improved using direct composite materials. The tooth is roughened or lightly prepared, etched, and tooth colored composite material is fixed directly to the tooth. The advantage of these procedures is they are usually completed in one visit, and there is little to no tooth reduction necessary. The disadvantage to composite bonding is that over time, the composite can chip or stain, requiring periodic maintenance or replacement.
Porcelain veneers are a more invasive alternative to direct bonding. Veneers are thin shells of porcelain that are fabricated by a dental lab and bonded directly to the facial surface of teeth. The teeth are prepared on facial surface to provide room for the porcelain without adding excessive bulk. Typically preparation is limited only to the enamel layer of the tooth. Veneers can provide greater shade change in cases such as tetracycline staining. Porcelain veneers are more expensive than bonding due the multiple appointments needed, temporary veneers, impressions, and laboratory work required. However, if protected and cared for properly, porcelain veneers can last years without staining or needing replacement. There are certain patients in which veneers are not recommended such as those who grind their teeth. Because each case is diffierent, it is important to consult your dentist to find our if you would be a good candidate for veneers.
We are now offering orthodontic correction using Invisalign. Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic retainers to reposition teeth instead of the brackets and wires used in traditional orthodontic treatment. Straighter teeth not only creates a pretty smile, but also contributes to a healthy and more cleansible mouth due to proper possitioning of the teeth. Come in and find out if you are a candidate for orthodontic treatment with Invisalign.
Teeth whitening is a great way to improve your smile with minimal time in the chair. We use custom made trays and a higher concentration of whitening agent to provide better and more predictable results than you will achieve using over the counter products. Come find out if you are a good candidate for custom home whitening.
Complete and partial dentures are an efficient way to replace all or some of your missing teeth. Both are removable, and should be removed and cleaned daily to keep the soft tissues of the mouth healthy. In both cases, but particularly in complete dentures, the patient should be prepared for the altered sensation of having something foreign and movable in the mouth. Only time and practice will create a sense of comfort and confidence in wearing a removable denture.
Complete dentures, often refered to as a plate, typically consist of acrylic false teeth surrounded by pink tissue colored acrylic. The upper denture typically covers the entire palate or roof of the mouth in order to increase stability and retention by forming a seal. The lower denture on the other hand can only rest on the ridge of bone where the teeth once were to provide space for the tongue. This causes the lower denture to be unstable, and a challange for many patients to wear comfortably. Often two implants are placed in the ridge of the lower jaw to greatly enhance stability and retention. There are greater monetary and time considerations associated with the implant retained overdenture treatment, but the drastic improvement in patient satisfaction has made this treatment the new standard of care for lower dentures.
Removable Partial Dentures
Removable partial dentures utilize a metal framework and clasps to secure false teeth to existing teeth. Because removable partial dentures use existing teeth for support, stability, and retention, they are typically much more comfortable to function in than complete dentures. Removable partial dentures require existing teeth in both quantity and quality to ensure good length of service. Your dentist will have to evaluate each of your existing teeth to determine if they are strong enough to support the partial denture. The greatest advantage of the removable partial denture is being able to fill multiple areas of missing teeth in a single arch with one relatively inexpensive prosthesis. The biggest disadvantage of the removable partial denture is that it is removable.
Extractions are required for a number of reasons including excessive decay, advanced periodontal disease, in preparation to orthodontic treatment, and improper eruption into the mouth. In many cases, the extraction of a tooth can have a negative impact on your future dental health. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your dentist what options are available for saving a tooth and avoiding the loss of the tooth, or replacing the tooth to stabilize the remaining teeth.
Root canal treatment is a common way to save teeth that have been infected or tramatized to the point that they would otherwise require extraction. If adequate tooth structure remains for restoring the tooth, a root canal can be performed to eliminate or prevent an infection prior to restoring the tooth to proper form. A root canal consists of opening the tooth pulp so that the nerve that transmit pain and the soft tissue that support an infection can be removed and filled with a sealing material. Posterior teeth will always require a full coverage crown and other retentive elements in order to reinforce the tooth that is weakend during the root canal procedure.
Many patients suffer from sleep apnea but are unable to tolerate the bulky medical devices that are used to properly treat this condition. In some of these cases, a simple oral appliance can be made to reposition the lower jaw during sleep to open the airway and effectively treat apnea or non apnea snoring. Let us determine if you are a candidate for relief using one of these oral appliances.