General Oral Health
Tooth Colored Fillings
- White fillings, also called composite resin fillings, are made from tooth-colored materials that restore the natural appearance of decayed or previously filled teeth. Due to their tooth color, they blend with the natural teeth, making a more pleasing smile.
- Teeth cleaning, or prophylaxis, involves the careful removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that forms on the teeth, especially in areas that are difficult to reach during routine toothbrushing. Instruments and often an ultrasonic scaler are used to remove the tartar. A tooth polishing will also be done. All patients should have their teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months to prevent cavities and gum disease.
- Scaling and root planings, referred to by some patients as deep cleanings, help to stop the progression of gum disease or periodontitis. The patient is given a local anesthetic and rarely does the patient experience any discomfort following the procedure.
- A root canal is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. Root canal procedures are performed when the nerve of the tooth becomes infected or the pulp becomes damaged. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed.
- Also called ceramic crowns, tooth colored "caps" are placed over teeth that have broken or are decayed. Crowns are cemented into place, fully encasing the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring the tooth to ideal shape, size and color.
- Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from tooth decay. Most tooth decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces. Sealants protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay by keeping germs and food particles out of these grooves. Permanent molars are the most likely to benefit from sealants. The first molars usually come into the mouth when a child is about 6 years old. Second molars appear at about age 12. It is best if the sealant is applied soon after the teeth have erupted, before they have a chance to decay. Applying sealants does not require drilling or removing tooth structure.
- Nightguards are custom fitted trays that the patient wears while sleeping to protect the teeth from the harmful habit of grinding or clenching. Wearing the trays will also help relieve stress on the TMJ. These trays are soft and very comfortable to wear.