Dental Hygiene involves the removal of dental plaque and tartar from teeth to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Severe gum disease causes at least one-third of adult tooth loss.
Tooth decay is the most common global disease. Over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces where brushing cannot reach. Food is left trapped after every meal or snack in places that saliva or fluoride have no access to neutralize the acid it creates, unlike easy-to-reach surfaces, where fewer cavities occur. This is why a very important part of Dental Hygiene is to floss daily.
The use of dental floss is an important element of oral hygiene, since it removes plaque and decaying food remaining stuck between the teeth. This food decay and plaque cause irritation to the gums, allowing the gum tissue to bleed more easily. Acidic foods left on the teeth can also cause de-mineralization teeth, eventually causing cavities.
Flossing for a proper inter-dental cleaning is recommended at least once per day. Flossing is preferred before brushing so fluoride toothpaste has better access to help the re-mineralization of teeth, prevent receding gums, gum disease, and cavities on the surfaces between teeth.
Daily brushing and flossing removes plaque and can prevent tartar from forming on the teeth. Keeping up the dental hygiene has even been linked to a reduce risk of heart disease and should be a very important part of your daily routine.
A crown (often called a cap) covers the tooth and restores it to its original shape and size. Decay is removed and cleaned from the tooth and a highly accurate impression or mold is made of the prepared surface. This mold is used to create a model of the tooth which is then sent to a special laboratory that will create a gold or porcelain (tooth colored) crown. The crown is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the tooth.
Porcelain offers a fine alternative to other tooth restoration materials. Made to perfectly match the shade and shape of your teeth, it's durable, it's strong, and it's virtually undetectable.
Crowns are incredibly strong due to the fact that they are created in a laboratory. This protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure. In the hands of a skilled dentist, a crown will fit almost perfectly onto the prepared surface of the tooth, reducing the size of the seam between the crown and the tooth. This helps keep decay from eventually occurring under the crown.
Crowns should be placed before the tooth is so decayed that it may fracture. This can often help prevent the expense of root canal therapy in the future. It can also prevent the possibility that a fractured tooth may need to be removed, requiring the expense of a bridge or implant to replace the missing tooth.
A bridge is a single appliance that is generally attached to two teeth on each side of the space where a tooth is missing. An artificial tooth attached in the middle of the bridge fills in the gap where the missing tooth was. The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared for crowns (see crowns) and a highly accurate impression or mold is made of the prepared area. This mold is used to create a gold or porcelain (tooth colored) bridge in a special laboratory. The bridge is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the teeth, effectively creating the appearance of a "new" tooth.
In some instances, a resin-bonded bridge may be used. In this case, the two teeth on each side of the gap are not prepared for crowns. Instead, the bridge consists of a false tooth with metal brackets on the back of each side of the gap. The brackets are attached to the backs of the real teeth on each side.
Unlike dentures, a fixed bridge is never removed. It is stable in the mouth and works very similar to natural teeth. By filling the gap and stopping the movement of other teeth, a fixed bridge is an excellent investment, providing better chewing ability, heading off jaw joint problems and saving money that might otherwise be spent on future dental treatment.
A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth, or to protect a damaged tooth surface. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer, composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth, typically using a resin cement such as Panavia. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated. Either way we do it, our veneers are perfectly fit to make you have the most beautiful smile possible.
Tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. According to the FDA, whitening restores natural tooth color and bleaching whitens beyond the natural color. There are many methods available, such as brushing, bleaching strips, bleaching pen, bleaching gel, laser bleaching, and natural bleaching.
Tooth bleaching is not a modern practice. Ancient Romans, for example, utilized urine and goat milk as a product to make and keep their teeth whiter.
Modern bleaching methods use carbamide peroxide which reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide. Carbamide peroxide has about a third of the strength of hydrogen peroxide. This means that a 15% solution of carbamide peroxide is the rough equivalent of a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod-like crystal structure of enamel and bleaches stain deposits in the dentin. Power bleaching uses light energy to accelerate the process of bleaching in a dental office.
The whitening shade guides are used to measure tooth color with the Vitapan Classical Shade Guide being the most widely used with 16 shades. These shades determine the effectiveness of the whitening procedure, which may vary from two to seven shades. The effects of bleaching can last for several months, but may vary depending on the lifestyle of the patient. Dentures can also be whitened using denture cleaners. Ask us about all of our bleaching and whitening options.
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable, however there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or the maxillary arch.
A removable partial denture (RPD) is for a partially edentulous dental patient who desires to have replacement teeth for functional or aesthetic reasons, and who cannot have a bridge (a fixed partial denture) for any number of reasons, such as a lack of required teeth to serve as support for a bridge (i.e. distal abutments) or due to financial limitations.
The reason why this type of prosthesis is referred to as a removable partial denture is because patients can remove and reinsert them when required without professional help. Conversely, a "fixed" prosthesis can and should be removed only by a dental professional.
Ask us about all of our denture and partial options.
Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your appearance. A beautiful, bright, healthy smile can increase self confidence and overall life satisfaction.
Many regular dental treatments can be cosmetic. Modern tooth-colored fillings are virtually invisible when compared to traditional silver fillings. Tooth-colored crowns or caps can be placed instead of gold or silver. In this section, we will look at some of the best treatments we can use to greatly improve your smile and the way you feel about yourself.
Dental x-rays or radiographs are very important. They allow the dentist to see things about your oral health that cannot be seen by the naked eye. These items include cysts (sacks of fluid that form on the roots of teeth), cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, invisible decay that occurs between teeth, and the location of teeth that haven’t grown all the way in.
By using an x-ray to diagnose these problems, we can help save you money in the long run from surgeries or other treatments that might become necessary if we didn’t find the problem. In some cases, where dental x-rays show the location of tumorous growths, x-rays can be responsible for saving your life.
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