Dental cleanings are the gentle removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures. They are intended to remove irritants from the teeth. Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and having the teeth polished to remove stains and further buildups of plaque that are not removed when regular tooth brushing is performed.
Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in water and many foods. Fluoride builds up teeth’s strength against the acids that cause cavities and tooth decay. The ADA (American Dental Association) encourages fluoride treatment, stating that professional fluoride treatments are beneficial and are best utilized as part of a comprehensive preventive program in the dental office.
Dental sealants are a safe resin material applied to the surfaces of children’s teeth (commonly permanent molars) to prevent cavities. Sealants fill in the crevices of an erupting tooth and “seal” off the tooth from cavity causing agents like food and plaque. The sealant is painted directly on the chewing surface of the teeth and is then light cured.
Oral cancer affects thousands of Americans yearly. Dr. Sherman will complete a thorough clinical exam of all the oral tissue to check for any changes in the tissue consistencies and/or lesions. With early detection, cancer may be caught before it has time to spread, potentially saving lives.
An oral evaluation is recommended every three (3) to six (6) months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. During an oral evaluation, a thorough examination is done to check the hard and soft tissues of the mouth.
Dental X-rays are a valuable diagnostic tool used to identify decay, extra teeth, bone defects, tumors, cysts, infection and check the progress of previous procedures. Latest technology now allow for digital X-rays, which reduce radiation exposure more than 50 percent, and produce instant, high-quality images that can be viewed immediately by the dentist and the patient.
After cavities are cleaned, a composite filling is used to restore the areas that bacteria leave behind when they infect the tooth. Composite fillings are safe and shaded to match the color of the tooth.
A dental crown is an artificial replacement that restores missing tooth structure by surrounding the remaining coronal tooth structure after the decay is removed from the tooth. Crowns are necessary when the tooth is broken down to the point where a filling won’t be effective. In order to effectively place a crown, tooth structure may be taken away to help create an esthetically pleasing fit.
A bridge replaces missing teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. A false tooth is held in place by being attached to a neighboring tooth. In order to fabricate a bridge, crowns are made for the teeth on either side of the space and a false tooth is placed in between the crowns, as a support.
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth and roots and can provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Implants are small titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where the teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, acting as a tooth root substitute. Posts are attached to the implant allowing for dental prosthetic attachments. Once the implant have been placed and healed, our office will place implant restorations such as crowns, bridges and dentures to the already placed dental implants to complete your new smile.
An extraction is the process of removing a tooth or tooth parts. To perform an extraction, the area is anesthetized to minimize discomfort and the tooth is then rocked back and forth until it is removed from its socket.
Our primary goal is to save your natural teeth whenever possible. When root canal therapy is performed, the pulp chamber of the tooth is removed and then filled with a suitable filling material. Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. People have anywhere from 1 to 4 canals in a tooth. Extra canals may branch out and are called “accessory canals.” The number of canals and anatomy of a tooth can vary.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. There are two types of dentures, complete (full) and partial dentures.
Complete (Full) Dentures are made after all the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. The denture includes an acrylic base that is custom made in the dental laboratory and are made to look like natural gums, which sits over the gums or can be anchored to dental implants.
Removable Partial Dentures are made only when a few teeth need to be replaced. The removable partial denture either attaches to crowns on either side of the denture or to a metal framework that is attached to the teeth on both sides of the partial denture. Partial dentures can be removable or they can be anchored in place by attaching them to dental implants. Removable partial dentures can be supported in place by attaching them to dental implants when wearing them during the day.
Cosmetic bonding is the process of filling or restoring teeth with a tooth-colored material in order to maintain its natural appearance. In order to bond a tooth, tooth colored material is added to the tooth to build it up.
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth. To place a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed. Once it is applied between the slightly prepped tooth and the veneer, the adhesive layer is then hardened with a curing light.
Whitening, also known as bleaching, is the procedure used to brighten teeth. There are two different ways to achieve a desired whiter smile, In-Office Whitening and Take-Home Whitening.
In-Office Whitening usually requires only one office visit. A protective gel or a rubber shield is placed over the gums to protect the soft tissue. A whitening agent containing carbamide peroxide is applied to the teeth, and a visible light is then used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
Take-Home whitening employs specialized UltraFit® trays which are prefilled with the whitening agent and use body heat to mold themselves to the shape of your teeth. This provides a custom fit that provides maximum coverage of all the teeth and also eliminates the mess associated with traditional at home whitening products. These trays need to be worn only 15 – 20 minutes a day.
Oral appliance therapy involves the selection, fitting and use of a specially designed oral appliance that maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat when worn during sleep. These are indicated for patients who have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and have been unsuccessfully treated with a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe sedation agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Mixed with oxygen, nitrous oxide allows you to breathe normally through your nose and within minutes you should start to feel the effects. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some patients comment that their legs and arms feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable and calm. The effects of nitrous oxide wear of quickly after the small mask is removed. Talk to Dr. Sherman about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.