General Dentistry

Tooth Colored Fillings

In the past, silver amalgam has been used almost exclusively to fill and seal cavities. In recent years, concerns have arisen about the use of this compound. First, silver fillings are made up of several metals, one of which is mercury. Some people prefer not to have this in their mouth. Second, amalgam fillings by their nature require a relatively large portion of the natural tooth to be removed. Recent innovations now allow us to replace existing silver fillings with composite “tooth colored” fillings. These amalgam alternatives offer several important benefits to our patients. Not only is the composite material stronger and safer than traditional fillings, they’re also the color of natural teeth. Say goodbye to the metal in your mouth and hello to a healthy, beautiful new smile.

Root Canal

Endodontic treatment, more commonly known as root canal therapy, is necessary when the pulp/nerve of your tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes such as deep decay, repeated dental procedures on your tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. With proper care, an Endodontically treated tooth will function normally for years to come.

Oral Surgery / Extractions

The main goal of dentistry is to preserve your natural teeth and keep them healthy for as long as possible. There are times, however, when it is in your best interest to have a tooth extracted (removed). This could be the case for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you have a tooth that has been severely damaged by trauma or decay; or an impacted wisdom tooth that may cause trouble for you later on. Maybe your teenager will soon undergo orthodontic treatment and has insignificant space for his adult teeth, referred to as crowding. Or your younger child has a baby tooth that’s stubbornly adhering, even though it’s past time for it to go.

Whatever the reason, tooth extraction is more often than not a very routine procedure. How straightforward this minor surgery is will depend on where the tooth to be extracted is located in the mouth, and what its roots are like. For example, a front tooth with a single straight root is easier to remove than a molar with multiple roots. This is especially true when that molar is a wisdom tooth that is impacted, meaning it is below the surface surrounded by gum tissue and bone. Often, a wisdom tooth is blocked from fully erupting (growing in) by other teeth in its path.

Crowns & Bridges

Teeth are often restored using silver or porcelain fillings, but when a large portion of the tooth must be removed for a filling, dental crowns, sometimes called “caps” may also be needed. A dental crown replaces the outermost layer of the tooth, reconstructing the tooth’s natural shape and size. This covering is bonded over the existing tooth, restoring the appearance and function of the natural tooth. A crown can be also used to:

  • Attach bridges
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing or restore fractured teeth
  • Cover badly shaped or discolored teeth
  • Cover dental implants

Athletic & Occlusal Guards

Occlusal guards (also called night guardssplints and bruxing appliances) are made of rigid or semi-rigid materials like laboratory-processed acrylic. They are generally made to be worn over the biting surfaces of either the upper or lower teeth, and are easily inserted and removed by the patient.

Occlusal guards accomplish three main functions:

  • Evenly distribute bite forces
  • Protect the temporomandibular joints
  • Reduce the heavy forces

Evenly distribute bite forces to protect the teeth from stresses that can crack or wear them abnormally.

Protect the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) from excessive bite stress that can produce pain, damage to the jaw joint components, and dysfunction.

Reduce the heavy forces generated by the jaw-closing muscles, to protect your teeth and help prevent the wearing away of good tooth structure.