Our Services

Intra-Oral Imaging

We use small cameras about the size of a pen, called intraoral cameras, to help clearly see the condition of your teeth and gums.

With this advanced technology we can zoom in on small diseased areas, cracks, chips and worn metal fillings with extreme precision. The full-color images taken with the intraoral camera are sent to a computer screen so we can clearly see and diagnose dental problems much earlier than with traditional dental technology. Because images are displayed on our screens, patients will also be able to see areas being worked on and are able to gain a better understanding of dental procedures being performed.

Paperless Charting

Our office is a completely digital (paperless) dental office. This means all X-rays and charting are made and recorded with the aid of the computer. This technology allows us to maintain your dental records electronically and cuts down the unnecessary paperwork used with traditional paper charting.

Traditional paper charting is difficult to keep standardized from a doctor to a hygienist to an assistant. Even handwriting differences and coding make the charts look different. The computer eliminates this problem by using consistent charting methods that are accurate and precise, making it easy to read your dental chart and see up-to-date information. Digital charting standardizes the charting process so it is clear, easy to understand, and enables us to provide the most accurate and precise care to our patients. When needed, this method also allows us to quickly and securely share information with your other health care providers.

Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders

It has been estimated that as many as 40% of the US adult population suffer from some form of sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders can range from mild snoring to the more serious obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep disorders can lead to serious health problems for the snorer, spouse, or family member whose sleep may be disrupted. Some common health problems associated with sleep disorders and sleep deprivation include daytime fatigue, increased blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, anxiety/depression, increased risk of vehicle accident (3-10X) and reduced quality of life.

Oral appliance therapy is a great solution for patients suffering from the effects of snoring and sleep apnea.

The Moses™ appliance is FDA cleared for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is an adjustable custom made device that incorporates 3 very specific dimensions into the design for maximum comfort and efficacy: tongue position, mandibular advancement, and patient compliance. The innovative, open-anterior design accommodates a forward tongue position that results in patient comfort and efficacy. It passively allows the tongue to assume a forward position conducive to better airway patency. With the maximum amount of tongue space, the mandible does not need to be protruded so significantly. By combining forward tongue position with conservative mandibular advancement, you can reduce patient discomfort and jaw pain. The Moses™ is comfortable and easy to wear, demonstrating excellent patient compliance.

The EMA® (Elastic Mandibular Advancement) is a custom-made removable intraoral appliance created for noninvasive treatment of snoring and OSA. The appliance is designed to both advance the lower jaw (mandible) and open the bite to allow for less restricted airflow during sleep. The EMA has many options for mandibular patient advancement with 5 strap lengths and 4 different elastic tension options. The appliance does not interfere with breathing through the mouth, even in cases of congested nasal passages. Non-restricted side-to-side (lateral) or front-to-back (protrusive) movements of the jaw are possible while wearing the appliance due to varying elastic bands.

Nightguards and Athletic Mouthguards

Custom mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are also recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.

If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth, which will be sent to a lab to make a custom guard for you. In most cases, you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.

Sedation Dentistry/Dental Anxiety

Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia. We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible. Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients — who might otherwise avoid the dentist — to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile.

Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.

Veneers

Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.

The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.

The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very aesthetic.

The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

Partial Dentures

A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base, which is held in place in the mouth. A fixed partial denture acts the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using the adjacent teeth for support. This fills the space created by missing teeth, as well as creates a support for remaining teeth to prevent shifting.

New dentures may feel awkward or loose for the first few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you are comfortable eating and speaking. This may require some practice, but soon you will adjust and enjoy the benefits that a full mouth of teeth can provide.

Complete Dentures

This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function if all your teeth have been lost. Complete dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned into a patient’s mouth to take the place of the natural teeth. Complete dentures are removable and may require adjustments in order to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.

Dentures

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!

Dental Implants

A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that a periodontist or oral surgeon surgically positions into the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework because they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.

To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.

Crowns & Bridges

Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.

Crowns may be used to:

  • Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics.

It is important that a missing tooth is replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Because teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to “fall” and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen the bite due to changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.

Bridges and crowns are made by first taking an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, it will be cemented into place.

Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and by practicing good oral hygiene.

Tooth Extractions

Good oral hygiene should always be practiced because the loss of a single tooth can have a major impact on your oral health and appearance. Although dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss, there still sometimes necessary occasions when a tooth may need to be extracted. A tooth may need to be extracted if the following occurs:

  • Severe decay
  • Advanced periodontal disease
  • Infection or abscess
  • Orthodontic correction
  • Malpositioned teeth
  • Fractured teeth or roots
  • Impacted teeth

After careful examination and treatment, the dentist may advise you to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, the dentist will take an X-ray in order to understand the shape and position of the tooth and surrounding bone. Based on the degree of difficulty, we may refer you to a specialist called an oral surgeon.

For a simple extraction, we will first apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps. Once the procedure is complete, the area may be closed with one or two stitches.

It is critical to keep the extraction area clean to prevent infection. We will provide you with dry, sterile gauze to bite down on for 30-45 minutes to limit bleeding while clotting takes place. For the next 24 hours, you shouldn’t smoke, rinse your mouth vigorously, or brush teeth directly next to the extraction site.

A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction, which can be minimized with a pain killer and ice packs applied to the face for 15 minutes at a time. After a routine extraction, discomfort should lessen within three days to two weeks. If you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call our office immediately.

Fillings

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:

  • Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
  • Amalgam (silver) fillings are a more inexpensive choice and are tolerant to wear. However, due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth.
  • Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. White while fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
  • Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.

Bonding

Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.

Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.

Non-Surgical Gum Treatment

The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for teeth. These structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is unhealthy, it jeopardizes the teeth, just as a bad foundation would threaten the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these may be a sign of a problem. With proper gum treatments, however, it may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe, it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. This is why it is important to have it treated at the first sign of a problem.

X-Rays and Digital X-Rays

X-rays are a focused beam of X-ray particles passed through bone, which produce an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This provides the familiar black-and-white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there would be no way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.

In our office, we use digital radiography, which allows us to take X-rays using up to 90% less radiation than conventional film X-rays. Using this technology, we are able to take an X-ray of your mouth by using a small sensor, which records the image of your teeth and sends it to a computer. The result is a highly detailed image of your mouth that can easily be enhanced to better diagnosis dental concerns and determine the very best treatment for each case.

Whitening

Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whitening stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients.

Tray whitening is a less expensive whitening treatment you can use while in the comfort of your own home to gradually whiten teeth. We will first take an impression of your teeth to create a customized clear tray that you will wear to whitening your teeth. Within a few days, your trays will be ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. The whitening gel trays should be worn for up to 8 hours a night for 7-10 nights. (Depending on gel strength) At the end of this period, you will see maximum whitening results that are nothing short of dazzling. Occasional treatment can be used at your convenience to maintain your new smile.

Oral Hygiene Care

Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being.

Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop.

In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:

  • Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
  • Use dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
  • Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist advises you to
  • Make sure that your children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months

The following are indications of good oral hygiene:

  • Your teeth are clean and free of debris
  • Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
  • Bad breath is not a constant problem

Nightguards and Athletic Mouthguards

Custom designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouthguards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may get hit. In addition, these guards protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. Nightguards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to protect their teeth and bite.

If you have decided a guard is right for you, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard for you. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles for your guard. On average, guards last between 3 and 10 years.

Sealants

Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits that accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they’re too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time. To prevent this problem, the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

Velscope Oral Cancer Screen

Velscope is a quick, painless exam for the early detection of oral abnormalities that could lead to cancer. The key is early detection, before precancerous cells are visible to the unaided eye, and while they can still be addressed at their most easily treatable stage. To learn more about the Velscope technology go to www.leddental.com.

Halitosis

Halitosis is sophisticated word for “bad breath.” Depending on the cause, bad breath may strike on occasional or may be a more persistent condition. The most common cause of bad breath is bacteria. Because the mouth is moist and warm, it creates perfect conditions for the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth. In fact, approximately 80% of bad breath is caused by something in the mouth.

Bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth can easily be treated. Brushing your teeth, tongue and gums after meals as well as flossing and rinsing with mouthwash will usually take care of the problem. Regular visits to the dentist should be made for dental examinations and for professional teeth and gum cleaning.

Some types of bad breath, such as “morning mouth,” are considered fairly normal and are not usually health concerns. However, persistent bad breath may be a sign of more serious problems with the gums and teeth.

Bad breath may be caused by the following:

  • Poor dental hygiene – poor oral hygiene can leave food particles to decay in the mouth
  • Infections in the mouth such as periodontal (gum) disease
  • Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
  • External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
  • Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing through the mouth
  • Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others

Call our office promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth. We will perform a physical examination of your mouth to determine the cause. If we discover that systematic problems are the cause, we may refer you to your family physician. In severe cases of gum disease, we may recommend a doctor specialized to treat gum disease called a periodontist.

Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take only between 25 and 30 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup. Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling, root planing and polishing.