Dentistry


General Dentistry

General dentistry covers a wide range of procedures. This includes the initial consultation and diagnostics such as x-rays, CAT scans and wax moulds for replacement teeth. He or she will use a variety of methods such as tests, x-rays and the like to determine what is wrong with your teeth before treatment.

Root Canal
A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Without treatment, the tissue surrounding the tooth will become infected and abscesses may form. A root canal requires one or more office visits and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist. An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth. The choice of which type of dentist to use depends to some degree on the difficulty of the root canal procedure needed in your particular tooth and the general dentist's comfort level in working on your tooth. Your dentist will discuss who might be best suited to perform the work in your particular case. The first step in the procedure is to take an X-ray to see the shape of the root canals and determine if there are any signs of infection in a surrounding bone. An access hole will then be drilled into the tooth after a rubber sheet is placed. The pulp along with bacteria, the decayed nerve tissue and related debris is removed from the tooth. The cleaning out process is accomplished using root canal files that expels water or sodium hypochlorite periodically flushes away the debris. And once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it is sealed.
Tooth-Colored Fillings
Fillings are used to treat cavities or repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse (such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding). First, the dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth to be filled. Next, a drill, air abrasion instrument, or laser will be used to remove the decayed area. The choice of instrument depends on the individual dentist's comfort level, training, and investment in the particular piece of equipment as well as location and extent of the decay. Next, your dentist will probe or test the area to determine if all the decay has been removed. Once the decay has been removed, the dentist will prepare the space for the filling by cleaning the cavity of bacteria and debris. If the decay is near the root, your dentist may first put in a liner made of glass ionomer, composite resin, or other material to protect the nerve. Generally, after the filling is in, your dentist will finish and polish it. Several additional steps are required for tooth-colored fillings or composite fillings. After your dentist has removed the decay and cleaned the area, the tooth-colored material is applied in layers. Next, a special light that "cures" or hardens each layer is applied. When the multilayering process is completed, the dentist will shape the composite material to the desired result, trim off any excess material, and polish the final restoration.
Partial and Full Dentures
Dentures are appliances that are custom made to replace a person's missing teeth and restore the appearance and oral functions that were lost. Full dentures are made of a plastic base that is colored in order to replicate gum tissue and supports a full set of plastic or porcelain teeth. The traditional full denture is held in the mouth by forming a seal with the gums. They can also be held in place by attaching to dental implants that are surgically placed in the bone of the jaws. Partial dentures can either be made with a plastic base or a metal framework that supports the number of teeth that need to be replaced. It is held in the mouth by using clasps and rests that are carefully adapted around the natural teeth. Plastic partial dentures have normally been used as emergency or temporary replacements of missing teeth, allowing the gums and bone to heal before a definitive restorative solution is obtained. Recently, however, various materials such as Valplast have been developed to provide durable, flexible alternatives in certain situations.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance of teeth, gums and/or bite. It primarily focuses on improvement dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance.

Porcelain Veneers
These custom shells, typically made of porcelain, cover the front sides of the teeth to change their color and/or shape. Veneers last longer than bonding and provide a superior appearance. Veneers can improve teeth that: - Have spaces between them - Have become chipped or worn - Are permanently stained - Are slightly crooked Before inserting veneers, the dentist first takes an impression of your tooth, and then, buffs the tooth before cementing the veneer in place. A beam of light helps harden the cement, which secures the veneer to your tooth. And as porcelain veneers are made in a laboratory, the entire process can often be completed in two visits over the course of six weeks. The visits are comprehensive and may require several hours of examination and tooth preparation. Dental offices typically provide amenities that may include sedation dentistry and audio/visual distractions, and dental spas even offer massages and other services to help you relax and stay comfortable. The diagnostic and examination phase of treatment is essential and identifies any oral health concerns that must first be addressed before veneer placement. Treatment begins when the examination is completed and the customized plan designed.
Bonding and Implant Retained Crowns
Bonding may improve how your teeth look if they have excess space between them, or if they are chipped, broken, stained, or cracked. Dentists also use bonding materials to fill small cavities or to protect the exposed root of a tooth. The dentist can usually do this procedure in a single office visit by applying an etching solution followed by tooth-colored materials directly to the tooth's surface where needed. Although bonding can last for several years, it is more likely than other types of restorations to wear down quicker. However, the implant retained crowns that are more of a permanent solution to the problem, represent the latest development in restorative dentistry and are, perhaps, the gold standard way of replacing a missing tooth. Divided into 2 stages over several months, the first stage is a surgical placement of the implant into a socket to integrate with the jawbone. This process can take up to 3 months including the recovery process. The second stage is the restorative process where the crown is screwed or cemented into place. The restorative process is much simpler these days due to laser scanning. Now, patients come in for a quick optical scan and return just two weeks later for a full custom abutment and all ceramic restoration.

So what are your options for teeth whitening?

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry dealing with children from birth through adolescence. Children are not just small adults. They are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. Pediatric dentists know how to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable. In addition, pediatric dentists use specially designed equipment in offices that are arranged and decorated with children in mind.

A pediatric dentist offers a wide range of treatment options, as well as expertise and training to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth. When your pediatrician suggests that your child receive a dental exam, you can be assured that a pediatric dentist will provide the best possible care.

Orthodontics
No matter what your age, orthodontics can protect your bite (occlusion), maximize your teeth's effectiveness in performing their functions and create a well-aligned smile. Today's treatments involve repositioning of the teeth and underlying roots, providing better support for the crown of the tooth. Orthodontic treatment can also rejuvenate your facial appearance by reshaping the jaw, neck and lips, especially when combined with maxillofacial surgical procedures. In addition, well-aligned teeth make oral hygiene easier to maintain. An orthodontist reviews your dental records, performs a clinical assessment, takes X-rays of your mouth and head and makes models of the teeth by creating an accurate impression of them. The results of this evaluation are studied in order to formulate the best treatment plan. Typically during the second visit, the treatment plan is reviewed and an estimate for the number of months required for the active phase of treatment is discussed. (The standard treatment phase is two years.) Following treatment, you may be required to wear a retainer for a period of time. The duration of orthodontic treatment varies based on your age, the extensiveness of the procedure (some people require more work than others) and how closely you follow your treatment plan. For example, younger patients may respond more quickly to treatment than older patients because the bones supporting young teeth are more pliable than those supporting older teeth. However, adults tend to follow treatment instructions more consistently than pre-teens. In some cases the treatment time is longer. For example, oral surgery and recovery may be needed before or during treatment.
Care for Dental Injuries
Mouth injuries are common, especially in children, and may involve the teeth, jaw, lips, tongue, inner cheeks, gums, roof of the mouth (hard or soft palates), neck, or tonsils. Sometimes mouth injuries look worse than they are. Even a small cut or puncture inside the mouth may bleed a lot because there are many blood vessels in the head and neck area. Teeth may be injured during a fall or a sport activity. A tooth may be knocked out (avulsed). Your doctor may be able to replace a permanent tooth in its socket (reimplant) if it has been knocked out or torn away from the socket. Immediate first aid and dental care are needed when a permanent tooth has been knocked out. An injury could crack, chip, or break a tooth, or make a tooth change color which may require a porcelain veneer to restructure the tooth. A tooth also may be loose or moved in position. (dental luxation) Such tooth that has been loosened, but which is immediately treated, usually firms up again within a couple of weeks or so if treated gently. The nerve is at high risk of being damaged however, so more often than not root canal treatment is needed. Other dental injuries may be caused by grinding your teeth, especially at night. Your teeth may hurt, chip, or become loose. Biting surfaces may become flat and worn down. The dentist may have to repair the “length” of the tooth biting implanting crowns. A broken or loose dental appliance or an orthodontic wire or bracket may poke or rub the inside of your mouth and make your mouth sore. This will require an immediate trip to your doctor to fix the apparatus in your mouth and prevent further cuts.
 

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