General Procedures

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Periodic Exams
A visual exam of your mouth, looking not just for cracked and decayed teeth, but also for growths and sores on the tongue, palate and mucous membrane that line the cheeks and cover the gums. Regular dental exams are vital to maintaining your dental and overall health. We also recommend Vizilite® oral cancer screenings for our patients who are smokers and/or use other tobacco products.

Dental Cleaning
Dental cleaning involves removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria-infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built-up on the teeth over time. Allowing plaque and tarter to accumulate on the teeth creates the ideal conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums. Cleaning and polishing leaves the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are less able to stick, enabling you to better keep your teeth clean during regular home care.

Fluoride Treatment
After cleaning, fluoride foam or gel is placed into small, flexible foam trays and placed over the teeth for 30 seconds. Fluoride treatments help to strengthen the tooth’s surfaces weakened by the acids from bacteria in dental tartar and plaque.

Air Abrasion
Air abrasion is a modern method of cleaning out tooth decay without using a drill. It works like a tiny sandblaster using compressed air and an abrasive powder to wear decay off the tooth. For some procedures, such as deep fillings, crowns, inlays or onlays, air abrasion is insufficient and a conventional drill is still the best solution.

Ultrasonic Scalers
Ultrasonic scalers are used by our hygienists to more quickly and comfortably remove larger amounts of tartar from the tooth through ultra-sonic vibrations, spraying a cooling mist of water while it works to wash away debris and keep the area at a comfortable temperature.

Non-Surgical Gum Therapy
Bacteria in your mouth forms a sticky film (plaque) on teeth and gums. If it is not removed, this film hardens into a crust (tartar, also called calculus). The buildup of plaque and tartar causes an infection called periodontal disease leading to pain, gum damage, bone loss and even tooth loss. Scaling and root planing is a special type of non-surgical gum therapy that removes the plaque and tartar from below the gum line, helping gums to firmly reattach to the teeth. The scaling and root planning process is usually broken up into quadrants, doing each quadrant about two weeks apart. We can also numb the treatment area if needed to eliminate any discomfort.

Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance is a type of cleaning designed for patients who have undergone periodontal surgery and/or those who are prone to periodontal disease or gingivitis. This is a program of regular visits to the dental hygienist, typically done every three or four months depending on the condition of your teeth after the scaling and root planing process and is designed to prevent periodontal disease from recurring.

Odyssey Diode Laser (Soft Tissue Laser)
A soft tissue laser uses light energy to vaporize oral soft tissues with unparalleled precision, without bleeding and usually without injected anesthetics. Today’s restorative techniques require total control over the operative sites and no other instrument delivers the capability of such precise, tissue sculpting.

Digital Imaging (Spectra)
A handheld laser probe that is shined on each tooth in the mouth with detailed information from each then tooth being transmitted to the handheld laser. DIAGNOdent digital imaging helps diagnose early decay in the under layer of the tooth (the dentin) long before a cavity is detectable in the outer, visible layer (enamel). It can also be used to follow a suspicious tooth or teeth over time to see if conditions change.

Digital X-Rays
Digital x-rays eliminate the process of biting down on cumbersome swatches of film and waiting for the x-ray to develop. The digital method allows the hygienist or dental assistant to glide a small sensor around inside the patient’s mouth and see the images instantly pop-up on the computer screen. With the x-ray image up on the computer screen it can easily be enlarged and manipulated to accurately and clearly show the doctor what is going on in the your mouth.

Additional advantages of digital x-rays include:

  1. The ability to e-mail x-rays to referrals and to insurance companies
  2. The x-ray images can be digitally compared to previous radiographs, subtracting out everything that is the same to give a clear image of anything that is different. This means that tiny changes that may not be noticeable with the naked eye can be seen earlier and more clearly with digital-subtraction radiography.
  3. Reduced radiation exposure

Intra-Oral Camera
This is a highly advanced piece of diagnostic equipment that allows you to see what the doctor sees in your mouth – making it much easier for the doctor, and you, to see and understand what is happening – with up to 25x high-resolution magnification.

Sealants
Sealants are ultra-thin resin coatings applied to the chewing surface of the permanent back teeth – the molars and premolars – to help protect them from decay.

Oral Cancer Screening (Vizilite®)
This is a more in-depth check for oral cancers designed to be used in a patient population at increased risk for oral cancer, especially smokers and users of tobacco products. We recommend that our patients who smoke or use other tobacco products have this done on a annual basis. This screening helps to identify oral lesions at their earliest stage of development, which enables the treatment to be simpler, less invasive and more than 90% successful.

Occlusal Night Guards
Occlusal night guards help combat the nightly clenching and grinding that many people suffer from. If you are waking up with headaches and a sore jaw you may be clenching and grinding your teeth at night. We take impressions of your teeth and from those make a custom-fit bite splint that you wear while you’re asleep.

Custom-Fitted Sports Mouth Guards
Sports guards are worn over the teeth to protect them from blows and impact to the face and head during any activity or sport that involves falls, body contact or flying equipment. They typically cover the upper teeth and are designed to protect against broken teeth, cut lips and other damage to the mouth. They are also ideal for protect your investment in crown, bridge, implant and other cosmetic restorations. Custom-fit sports mouth guards, as compared to store bought, offer a better, more functional fit, are more comfortable, and offer much better protection.

Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide is a sweet smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which is inhaled and has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. Nitrous oxide is safe and the patient is able to breathe on his/her own and remain in control of all bodily functions. This is used for individuals that are apprehensive, frightened or just need a little bit of calming down. There is no added charge for the use of nitrous oxide.