It might seem as though your dentist is just casually poking around your mouth during a dental exam, but in fact, they're checking out the state of your teeth, the condition of your gums, looking for signs of wear and tear on previous dental work as well as for any signs that indicate other developing health problems. That's a lot of work to get done in what usually only takes a few minutes. Exam times will vary, depending on what has been and needs to be done. A young person with perfect teeth will require a shorter routine exam than someone with a mouthful of fillings. If you have any questions about what the dentist finds during an exam or any treatments being recommended, be sure to ask.
Your dental hygienist works collaboratively with your dentist, with a focus on preventative oral health care. At each hygiene appointment, they will closely examine your mouth, gums and teeth to identify existing or potential problems. A hygiene appointment often includes scaling and debridement to remove plaque and calculus from your teeth, tooth-polishing, a fluoride treatment to strengthen your teeth and prevent decay and possibly, a conversation about how you can improve your oral health by brushing and flossing more efficiently.
As your teeth can probably attest, there are several different types of fillings from which your dentist can choose to fill a cavity. Teeth can be filled with gold, amalgam, porcelain or composite (white fillings). The best choice will depend on a number of factors including where the tooth is in your mouth, cost , aesthetics, and how long you want the filling to last. Your dentist will help you determine the right material for your treatment.
If you have a tooth that is damaged but not lost, your dentist might recommend a crown (sometimes called a cap) to cover the damage and restore function and aesthetics. A bridge is a restoration your dentist might suggest to to replace a missing tooth. Basically, a crown is placed on the teeth on either side of a space and a three-tooth restoration is cemented into that space. Today, with the surge in acceptance and reliability associated with implant therapy, this treatment choice is made less frequently.
A root canal is the process of removing the infected, injured or dead pulp from a tooth, cleaning, disinfecting and shaping the internal anatomy in the canal system, and then sealing the canals off. Your dentist might recommend this treatment for a number of reasons – pain can be a compelling one. Often we will suggest a root canal procedure if we feel a tooth is likely to start bothering you, or is currently a problem. If you are contemplating restorative work, there are often advantages to doing a root canal prior to placement of a crown, for instance. We will make sure your options are made clear. Root canals have a bad reputation, but they are usually a very minor procedure. Our instrumentation and abilities in this area of dentistry have grown in leaps and bounds in recent years.
Sometimes when there are multiple missing upper or lower teeth, we can fabricate a removable partial denture to restore comfort, function and aesthetic. Implants are often employed in retaining and stabilizing RPDs. A well- fitting, removable partial denture can be a great choice to replace missing teeth. Removable dentures can be made to replace some or all of the teeth in the arch and can be secured using the remaining teeth, dental implants or a combination of the two.
With so many more possibilities available than there were in years past, dental implants are being used more and more frequently to support, stabilize and retain dental restorations. Often, we can remove a tooth and place an implant in that space immediately and, possibly have a temporary crown on the implant before you walk out the door. There is some planning involved, but implants are a very dependable treatment to consider. They are very useful in retaining both removable and fixed restorative dentistry. We would be happy to discuss in greater detail, what implant dentistry can do for you.
When bone loss and other issues affect the general well-being of a patient's dentition, there are a variety of ways we can help prevent or stop further damage from occurring. Sometimes we perform periodontal treatments entirely at our office and other times we refer our patients to a Periodontist. There are other cases where it is in the patient's best interest for us to share their treatment with a Periodontist. We do whatever we can to help our patients keep their teeth.
There comes a time in some people's lives when they must take steps to regain what has been lost, worn, damaged or missing. It is a big decision and helping people in this regard is a source of joy and fulfillment to us at Anchor Dental. The training, ability and experience our team brings to the process is combined with a careful diagnosis and treatment regimen to ensure the best possible result. And we are not finished when the restoration is complete. In fact, we consider the maintenance of this work to be as important as the work itself, as we help our patients maintain what has been rebuilt.