Everyone wants a beautiful smile. Today’s dentistry lets us have the smile we choose, not just the smile we were born with. Cosmetic dentistry is all about getting the smile that you want. It goes beyond the procedures that a person needs for a healthy mouth, and provides choices for all of us to improve the appearance of our smiles. Call our Family Dentistry office today for quality cosmetic dentistry in the Big Spring, TX area.
Dental Bonding is a wonderful and safe technique for fixing cosmetic flaws in teeth and even replacing damaged tooth structure. It is a fast and affordable way to conceal stains and cracks, fill gaps, and restore chipped or broken teeth. Here at Family Dentistry our dentists use a moldable plastic, called resin, to cover existing teeth or replace missing part of the tooth structure. Once the resin hardens and bonds to the existing tooth, it blends in and looks very natural.
Bonding can quickly and painlessly solve a number of dental problems. It can:
• Change the color of teeth
• Whiten teeth that are too dark or stained
• Hide cracks in teeth
• Close spaces between teeth
• Lengthen small teeth
• Restore chipped or broken teeth
• Restore decayed teeth
• Restore worn teeth
• Protect teeth from further damage
Crowns & Bridges
Crowns are restorations that replace the entire visible structure of a severely damaged tooth. A bridge is a replacement tooth anchored by crowns or existing teeth on either side.
Sometimes the surface of a tooth becomes too badly damaged to be fixed with a filling or other dental technique, but the root structure beneath the gums is still strong. In this case, our dentists can cement a crown or “cap” on the old tooth. This crown will completely cover what is left of the existing tooth, and will be sized and shaped just like the original healthy tooth. Crowns are made of different materials, and the circumstances of each patient will determine which material is best.
When a tooth is missing, and not just damaged, crowns can be used as anchors on adjacent teeth, with a false tooth attached to "bridge" the gap.
A bridge is a false tooth that is fused to one or two crowns. This false tooth, or pontic, is held in its position on the gum by the anchoring crowns next to it.
Denture, also called "false teeth", are removable replacement teeth, made primarily from acrylic resin. If you have no healthy teeth, a complete denture gives you a brand new replacement set, while a partial denture replaces just some missing teeth. There are different types of dentures for different situations. Our dentists can explain which may be the best for your circumstances.
A cavity is tooth structure that has been weakened by decay. When one of your dentists remove this decay, he/she replaces the removed structure with a filling to protect and retain the structure of the tooth. It is called a filling because it fills the space where the decay in the tooth has been removed.
When our dentists removes tooth decay, he/she replaces the removed structure with a filling to protect and retain the structure of the tooth. Traditionally, dentists have used metal “amalgam” fillings for this purpose. Cosmetic fillings, also known as composite fillings or tooth-colored fillings, are a tooth-colored alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. They are made of a composite plastic resin, and they look just like natural teeth.
Amalgam fillings are much darker than natural tooth structure, so they stand out in sharp contrast with the color of your teeth. This is sometimes called the “metal-mouth” look. Amalgams can corrode and leak over time, potentially staining teeth. Additionally, many are now concerned over the health consequences of mercury content in amalgams.
The most obvious advantage of the cosmetic fillings is that they are nearly invisible in your mouth. They won’t stand out as dark spots in that beautiful smile you’ve been working hard to get. Cosmetic fillings bond very tightly to your existing teeth and work extremely well for small cavities. There is obviously no danger of metal-sensitivity.
Properly proportioned healthy-looking gums can make a big difference in your smile because the shape of your gums affects the shape of your teeth. Gums contouring evens out uneven gums and restores the proper look and proportions to your gumline. One of our dentists can comfortably remove excess tissue to fix a "gummy" smile, and can add tissue to receded gums that make teeth look too "long".
At our Family Dentistry office we use special instruments, most commonly a laser, to trim excess gums and maybe excess bone tissue. This "sculpting" procedure is known as a gingevectomy. It will give your smile a more youthful, natural appearance, since your newly shaped gums will properly frame and showcase your teeth. The procedure will be quick and comfortable, and the laser will actually seal the gum tissue, helping you to heal faster.
Implants & Mini-Implants
Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. In addition, implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing.
Dental implants are changing the way people live! With dental implants, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.
Veneers are thin shells of plastic or porcelain that cover just the visible portion of your teeth, typically the front and the chewing surface. They can fix most cosmetic problems and totally transform a smile in just two appointments. Veneers are usually placed on front teeth that can be seen when you smile, and can be used to resurface just one or several teeth. They are similar to artificial fingernails in size and appearance, and serve a similar function as they are bonded to the natural surface to improve appearance. But veneers are very firmly and permanently bonded, and are custom designed for the exact fit and color for your teeth. When you see a complete smile makeover, very often the person has received a new set of porcelain veneers.
If you have one or more teeth that are healthy, but need some cosmetic improvement, you should talk to us about veneers. People get veneers for a variety of reasons, but the result is always beautiful new teeth that make your smile more youthful and attractive.
Whitening is a safe and effective way to quickly deliver a dramatic change to your smile. As we age, minerals penetrate the enamel of our teeth and darken them. Certain factors also affect the whiteness of our teeth.
Here at Family Dentistry we have different options available for whitening teeth, but generally it is accomplished by applying a bleaching gel directly to the teeth. The active ingredient in this gel, usually hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, breaks down and forces oxygen into the enamel and dentin of your tooth structure. The oxygen breaks down the stains and makes teeth whiter, without hurting the structure of the teeth.
The health of your mouth affects the health of your whole body. When you have a dental problem, it is best to have our dentists here at Family Dentistry give you a thorough examination and then an explanation of all the options offered by modern dentistry.
In an abscessed tooth, the nerve is dead or almost dead, so the tooth is usually not sensitive to cold. Cold may actually make the tooth feel better as it causes the swelling to reduce some, causing less pressure. The tooth will be sensitive to touch however, and the patient will feel pain even when the dentist gently taps on the tooth. Biting and chewing may be very painful and the gums may be swollen and red.
An abscessed tooth, or periapical abscess, is an infection of the tissue inside of a tooth with a dead nerve. Often this is the result of an untreated severe cavity, but could result from a deep filling or from trauma to the tooth. The pain and pressure comes from a buildup of fluid inside the tooth. This painful condition needs to be treated immediately to prevent further infection and damage.
Halitosis, or “bad breath” is a common, but embarrassing condition that often has a dental cause. A thorough examination by one of our dentist can help determine the cause and rule out a more serious condition.
Unfortunately, those around us are often aware of our bad breath before we are since it is difficult to smell your own breath. If it is not too uncomfortable, you could ask a close friend or family member for their opinion. To test your own breath, try licking the back of your wrist and scraping the back of your tongue with a spoon. Let the saliva on your wrist and the spoon dry for a few seconds, and then smell them. Smelling the spoon and the back of your wrist will give you a good idea what your breath smells like to everyone else.
Cavities and Decay
A cavity, or caries, is a hole in a tooth that is caused by tooth decay. If you experience pain when eating something cold or sweet, and the pain goes away fairly quickly, you may have a cavity. If it is a cavity, the sooner you get it taken care of, the less severe the damage will be. A toothache that is not sensitive to cold may have another cause. See us for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The foods we eat react with the bacteria in our mouth to form acids that can eat away and decay the hard tissue of our teeth. Plaque is the bacteria most responsible for tooth decay. A cavity, or caries, is a hole in a tooth that is caused by this decay.
There are many possible causes for a toothache. Two of the most common dental causes are the presence of a cavity or an abscess. Some of the other causes of toothache are quite serious, so you should certainly consult our dentists for a proper diagnosis.
Several other disorders, many of them serious, can mimic the sensation of a toothache, including Temporomandibular Dysfunction, Sinusitis, Angina, Trigeminal Neuralgia, common earaches, and some cancers. If you are experiencing dental pain, you should immediately consult our dentist for a proper diagnosis.
Gingivitis is early stage gum disease which affects only the gums and not the surrounding bone and tissue. Symptoms include gum inflammation and infection. It is a serious problem which afflicts perhaps up to 90% of adults, but it is treatable and reversible. If left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, severe gum disease that can cause permanent tooth and jaw damage. If you have symptoms of gingivitis, make an appointment with us at Family Dentistry for a thorough examination and proper treatment.
Gingivitis is an inflammation and infection of the gums. It can be caused by trauma to the gums or by irritating rough edges of teeth or dental work, but is usually caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms daily on our teeth. It reacts with the food we eat to produce acids and toxins that cause tooth decay. Newly formed plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but plaque that is not removed hardens into tartar or calculus. This hard layer of tartar forms at and below the gumline and cannot be removed by brushing. Tartar causes decay even faster than plaque alone and irritates the gums. The resulting inflammation and infection of the gums is called gingivitis. Untreated, this condition can develop into a serious gum disease, called periodontitis.
Gingivitis will appear as:
• Red, or reddish-purple swollen, tender gums
• Gums that bleed very easily, even with gentle brushing (blood on toothbrush even with gentle brushing of the teeth)
• Gums that hurt only when touched
• Gums that have a “shiny look”
• Gums that have receded from your teeth
• Continuous bad taste in mouth or bad breath
• Mouth sores
You can reduce the risk of gingivitis greatly by:
• Brushing and flossing regularly
• Quitting tobacco use
• Making regular dental visits for examination and cleaning
At Family Dentistry our dentists will give your mouth a thorough examination to see if any of your teeth or dental work has rough edges that are contributing to this problem. Either one of our dentists or his/her dental hygienist will give your teeth a thorough cleaning above and below the gums. This will usually include a process called scaling, where the dental professional uses instruments to scrape the tartar off teeth below the gumline. Scaling is followed by a smoothing procedure called planing to make sure there are no rough surfaces to continue irritating the teeth. Our dentists can further describe the procedure and the techniques for making patients completely comfortable during the appointment.
Gingivitis is the milder and very treatable form of gum disease that affects just the gums. Untreated gingivitis can develop into serious gum disease, called periodontitis, which can cause tooth loss and permanent damage to your jaw. This is preventable. If you develop the signs of gingivitis, see us for a thorough examination and treatment.
Wisdom teeth are actually your third set of molars, the chewing teeth towards the back of your mouth. They typically emerge, or erupt, in one’s late teen or early twenties. If there is room in the jaw to accommodate them, and they emerge fully and straight, without crowding other teeth, then there is no need to remove them.
Though there is nothing inherently wrong with wisdom teeth, they are often removed so that they don’t cause problems for your other teeth and the rest of your mouth.
Wisdom teeth often get impacted, which means they did not fully or properly emerge through the gums. Partially emerged teeth can be difficult to clean, which leads to plaque accumulation and tooth decay. Teeth that are not positioned straight can cause comfort issue and crowd existing teeth. Ask us to show you your wisdom teeth on the x-ray and explain how their positioning affects your mouth.
Oral cancer is a common cancer which has a high mortality rate if it is not caught in the early stages. Early detection is key, so regular dental visits are very important. It affects all parts of the mouth, tongue and lips.
The following are signs of oral cancer. Make an appointment immediately for a thorough examination if you suspect a problem:
• Small, white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth, including the tongue, lip, gum tissue, cheek lining, the hard or soft palate or other mouth area.
• Often pale, but can be dark or discolored
• A deep, hard edged crack
• Often initially painless
• Could eventually cause a burning sensation or pain
• A sore or lesion that bleeds easily or does not heal in two weeks
• Any part of the mouth that changes in color
• A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
• Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips or tongue
• Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
• A change in the way the teeth fit together or the fit of your dentures
• A sore throat or a feeling like something is stuck in the throat
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that coats teeth. It consumes sugars in the foods we eat, and releases acids as a waste product. These acids slowly eat away at the enamel of teeth, if left unchecked, can cause tooth decay. Over time the plaque layer on teeth can harden to become tartar or calculus. This hard layer continues to release acids, and is even harder to remove than regular plaque. Plaque is a leading cause of gingivitis, early stage gum disease.
Plaque is naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths, and it can never be permanently eradicated. It becomes a problem when it is not regularly removed from our teeth by brushing and flossing.
The sensitive parts of the tooth have been exposed due to damage to the enamel or recession of the gums. The enamel on the outside of your teeth, the hardest substance in your body, protects the inner sensitive part of your teeth. Sometimes this enamel gets cracked, worn or decayed. Your gums also protect the sensitive roots of your teeth by forming a tight seal where the gums meet the teeth. Gums sometimes recede from their natural position and expose the roots of the tooth. Typical causes for this recession are gum disease, or even just brushing teeth too hard and vigorously.
If the enamel is worn or damaged, or the gums recede, the dentin layer of the tooth is exposed. The dentin is not as hard as enamel, and it contains pores and small tubules that lead to the soft sensitive center and nerve of the tooth. These tubules allow cold and heat to reach the nerve, causing hypersensitivity and shooting pain. Sensitive teeth can be painful when one drinks hot and cold liquids, eats cold foods like ice cream, and even when one breathes cold air.
Bruxism is either the clenching or grinding of teeth, or both of them together. It is usually a greater problem at night when one is unaware that they are doing it. Often the patient’s partner will be the first to notice it as they can hear the noise coming from the other side of the bed. It is commonly believed that this subconscious nighttime bruxism is due to stress and anxiety.
Grinding can damage teeth by scraping and wearing away the surface. This can be a cosmetic problem, as teeth shorten and change shape, and can lead to sensitive teeth as the enamel becomes worn. Clenching can cause muscle strain and fatigue, earaches and headaches, and put severe stress on the hinge of the jaw, the temperomandibular joint.
Gum disease is categorized by severity. Gingivitis is milder, treatable and reversible early-stage gum disease that affects only the gums. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease, where the inflammation and infection have spread to surrounding tissues.
Periodontitis is caused by plaque, which unremoved, causes a gum infection which spreads to surrounding tissue. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms daily on our teeth. It reacts with the food we eat to produce acids and toxins that cause tooth decay. Newly formed plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, but plaque that is not removed hardens into tartar or calculus. This hard layer of tartar forms at and below the gumline and cannot be removed by brushing. Tartar and plaque combine to accelerate tooth decay and irritate gums. The resulting inflammation and infection of the gums is called gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis creates pockets of plaque, tartar and bacteria between your teeth and gums. This spreads infection below the gums, eventually causing bone and tissue loss. This condition, known as periodontitis, is the biggest cause of adult tooth loss.
Our dentists recommend that certain procedures be performed at regular dental visits as part of your proper dental hygiene. Preventative dentistry help prevents problems before they start, corrects routine problems before they worsen, and identifies serious oral problems so they can be properly treated.
Regular dental exams are a crucial part of preventative dentistry because they allow our dentist to address dental problems in their early stages, and to identify serious problems. Most people need an exam every six months, but he/she may recommend more frequent visits depending on your circumstances.
Dental problems tend to get worse when left untreated. When you see us for regular visits, small problems won’t have a chance to become major concerns. For instance, the longer tooth decay goes unchecked the more damage it can do to a tooth, and the less of the original tooth that can be saved. Good hygiene and dental visits are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings. Routine exams also give you the best chance for early detection and treatment of serious oral problems.
Usually an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment. The dental hygienist will first give your teeth a thorough cleaning. Then one of our dentist will review the x-rays, and if necessary take new ones. He will make a visual inspection of the inside of your mouth, and may use instruments like a long handled mirror, and a dental explorer. If all is healthy, your gums will be firm and pink, and your teeth won’t have any soft, rough or discolored surfaces. He/she will recommend treatment for any signs of decay or other problems, and make notes on any conditions that deserve observation on the next visit.
More x-rays pass through softer tissues than harder tissues, so softer areas like gums and cheeks look darker on an x-ray. If you put an impenetrable object like a piece of lead between the x-ray machine and the film, no x-rays would get through that spot, and it would leave a totally white impression. Similarly, the strong dense enamel of your teeth looks very light on the x-rays, and areas of softer decay look darker. Our dentists have been trained to read x-rays to determine if there are any signs of problems.
The fight against plaque is a major component of preventative care, and our team at Family Dentistry can be your main ally in this effort. While daily brushing and flossing are your first line of defense against plaque, the professional cleaning from one of our dentist or a dental hygienist is more thorough than the best you can do at home. Even proper brushing alone can’t remove the tartar that accumulates at the gumline. Good hygiene and regular dental cleanings are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings.
Usually an exam and cleaning are scheduled during the same appointment. Your dental hygienist is an expert at giving teeth this thorough regular cleaning known as a prophylaxis or “prophy”. Stubborn plaque and tartar will be removed with specially designed dental tools. Tartar is the plaque which has hardened at and even below the gumline. Your hygienist can clean tartar below the gumline as well in an intensive cleaning called scaling. Often the last step in the cleaning is polishing.
Many adults require cleanings every six months. If your mouth is prone to tooth decay, tartar buildup or gum disease, our dentists will recommend more frequent appointments.
Scaling is the deep-cleaning procedure that our dentists or a hygienist uses to scrape the tartar off your teeth at and below the gumline. It is important to remove tartar because tartar makes teeth even more susceptible to tooth decay. Tartar also causes gingivitis, inflammation of the gums. Scaling is the process of actually scraping the teeth with dental instruments, or the use of an ultrasonic machine that aids in the process. The scaling is usually followed by a process called planing, which smoothes any roughness from the surface of the tooth. After scaling and planing, teeth are more resistant to plaque, and gums can return to their normal pink, healthy state.
Polishing is often the last step of a dental cleaning, scaling (deep root cleaning), and some restorative procedures, like when a new crown is placed. It smoothes and polishes the tooth or restoration surface and removes some stains.
Our dentists or a hygienist will polish your teeth as the last finishing touch to regular cleanings and deep root cleanings (called scaling and planing). When a new restoration like a crown or composite filling has been placed in your mouth, our dentists may polish it as well. He/she uses either a prophy jet polisher or a rubber cup polisher. The rubber cup holds a small amount of polishing paste which is held against the tooth surface on a spinning handpiece. Think of this as a gentle power sand and buff for your teeth. The prophy jet is more like a power washer, as it uses a jet of water and baking soda to smooth and polish teeth. Both methods are effective for removing some stains, and leaving teeth looking smooth and polished.
Sedation Dentistry offers anxiety-free dental procedures as the patient is in a deeply relaxed state, though fully responsive. It means something even more important: a comfortable experience - often with no recollection of the time passed. We often hear from patients who express their gratitude and delight in their first ever visit to the dentist without fear.
All of the amazing advances in dentistry can’t do a thing for you if you don’t go to the dentist. We realize that there are a lot of legitimate reasons why many people stay away from the dentist. It’s been estimated that almost half of the population has some kind of dental fear, from people who feel a little uncomfortable, to those who are so terrified they can’t set foot in a dental office. Whether it’s fear or something else that’s keeping you away, today’s dentistry gives our dentists many options for making you comfortable throughout your appointment. Sedation dentistry uses medications to relax patients which makes for a totally comfortable dental experience.
Oral sedation is a wonderful option for patients as it allows you to be sedated through an entire dental visit using just a small pill.
Most healthy adults are good candidates for oral sedation. For some, comfortable dentistry is as simple as taking one small pill. Conscious sedation is modern dentistry that lets even the most high fear patient have a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. Since the patient is comfortable, one of our dentists is able to accomplish the work of several appointments in just one.
Nitrous Oxide sedation is a very effective way for our dentists to help you stay relaxed and comfortable during a dental procedure. It is a very light form of sedation, which works fast and wears off quickly.
Nitrous oxide, often called “laughing gas”, is a colorless gas that our dentists can give you to help you relax. It is very safe when professionally administered, and it works extremely well to reduce the anxieties in many dental patients.
Approximately one-third of all dentists use nitrous oxide in their offices. It is often used to sedate a patient for a short period of time, or in conjunction with another sedation medication. Our dentists have been trained on exactly when and how to administer nitrous oxide, so feel free to if it is right for your situation.
A dentist, when you really think about it, is a doctor of the mouth. When most people think of dentistry, they think of the most common procedures that are most familiar, like exams, filling cavities, or even cosmetic procedures like whitening. Our dentists also have a number of specialized treatment options, each designed for a specific component of your overall oral health.
Orthodontics is the dental specialty for treating malocclusion, the condition commonly referred to as “bad bite”. Orthodontic treatment works by exerting a gentle pressure over time to straighten teeth. The braces that exert this pressure are fitted by dental specialists called orthodontists.
Orthodontic treatment works by exerting a gentle pressure over time to straighten teeth. Braces exert this pressure with brackets that attach to teeth and arch wires that run from bracket to bracket. Modern dentistry has made this hardware much smaller and less visible. In some cases, our dentists can use brackets and wires that are transparent or attach behind the teeth. Invisalign® is a newer technology that uses clear appliances that look like mouthguards. Ask us what technology is recommended for your particular circumstances.
Sealants protect teeth from tooth decay by adding a protective layer to keep out plaque. Ask us how this wonderful technology can, quickly and easily, help you and your children fight cavities.
The chewing teeth toward the back of the mouth, the molars and pre-molars, have pits and fissures that can be difficult to clean. If plaque is not properly removed, it results in tooth decay. Sealants are a layer of composite plastic that one of our dentists can apply to your teeth to fill these pits and fissures to keep out the plaque. It’s like a suit of armor for your teeth! While often used for children, they are also beneficial for any adults who are struggling with tooth decay.
Sealants are most often used on children’s molars and pre-molars, soon after they get their permanent teeth. But there is no reason that they cannot be used on adults, and they often are. Any child or adult, who is struggling with tooth decay, especially in the back, chewing teeth, can benefit from sealants. Ask us about sealants for yourself and your family.
An abscessed tooth has an infection that can only be removed by extracting the tooth or performing root canal treatment. Root canal treatment is a dental procedure designed to remove infection from the soft center of a tooth and save the rest of the tooth.
Some toothaches or gum pain are actually symptoms of an infection inside a tooth, called an abscess. Tooth decay and trauma can break through the hard outer layers of a tooth, exposing the inner tooth to bacteria and infection. If there is infection in the soft center of a tooth, it has to be stopped from spreading to the gums and the rest of the mouth. A spreading infection can cause damage to other teeth, your gums and jawbone, and even spread through your body. Root canal treatment removes the infection and saves the rest of the tooth.
Root canals are actually specific parts of a tooth, but usually the term, “root canal” refers to a common dental treatment designed to save a tooth. The crown of the tooth, the part you see above the gum, has a soft center filled with blood vessels and nerves. These nerves and blood vessels also run through the tooth roots, down to the gums, inside thin tunnels known as root canals. When these nerves, blood vessels and other soft tissue get infected, a condition called an abscessed tooth, infection and bacteria can travel through the root canals down to the gums. To stop the spread of infection without extracting the tooth, one of our dentists performs a root canal treatment. The soft tissue is all removed, and the hard tissue of the tooth is cleaned and filled. The procedure is very common and can be done with minimal discomfort. Since the procedure actually saves much of the original tooth structure, it is a better, healthier option for the patient than having the tooth extracted.
Extraction/Wisdom Tooth Removal
A tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth, a safe and routine procedure that is no cause for worry. Sometimes it is referred to as "pulling teeth". One of our dentists may perform the procedure right in his/her office, or under certain circumstances refer you to an oral surgeon.
Our dentists may recommend extraction for a number of reasons, including:
• The tooth is so badly decayed that it cannot be saved and the mouth would be healthier without it
• The tooth has been broken in a way that cannot be repaired
• A tooth is impacted, which means it has not properly emerged through the gums. This often happens with wisdom teeth.
• A tooth is positioned in away that it could crowd or damage other teeth
• Removal in preparation for braces or orthodontic treatment
• Very serious gum disease, called periodontitis
Wisdom teeth are actually your third set of molars, the chewing teeth towards the back of your mouth. They typically emerge, or erupt, in one’s late teen or early twenties. If there is room in the jaw to accommodate them, and they emerge fully and straight, without crowding other teeth, then there is no need to remove them.
Though there is nothing inherently wrong with wisdom teeth, they are often removed so that they don’t cause problems for your other teeth and the rest of your mouth. Wisdom teeth often get impacted, which means they did not fully or properly emerge through the gums. Partially emerged teeth can be difficult to clean, which leads to plaque accumulation and tooth decay. Teeth that are not positioned straight can cause comfort issue and crowd existing teeth. Ask us to show you your wisdom teeth on the x-ray and explain how their positioning affects your mouth.
While it may sound like a scary procedure, modern dentistry has made the procedure routine, with minimal discomfort. Make sure to share any concerns you have with our dentists. Extractions are performed with local anesthesia which numbs the area of the mouth around the tooth to be extracted, so while you will feel some pressure from the procedure, there should be little or no pain. If you have trouble getting numb, or have dental fears that make you uncomfortable with dentistry, discuss this ahead of time with us. It may be possible to use sedation dentistry to keep you relaxed and comfortable throughout the whole procedure. Once you are comfortable, the procedure is usually relatively quick. Afterwards, we will give you instructions on keeping the removal area clean and helping the area properly heal. It is important to carefully follow these instructions to prevent infection or other complications.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is a dental specialty which includes the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the mouth, teeth, jaws and face. Patients with facial deformities or injuries can have a more natural and attractive look restored to their faces with this kind of procedure.
What types of conditions and procedures does this specialty include:
• TMJ Disorders
• Face trauma, like facial injuries from a blow or a car accident
• Cleft lip or cleft palate
• Wisdom teeth or other impacted teeth
• Tumors and cysts
• Reconstructive surgery
• Dental Implant surgery
• Severe bite problems
Here at Family Dentistry we have “designed” our practices for people like you, so that you and your family can get state of the art care from an office that cares. We always welcome new patients, so feel free to call our office to make an appointment or just to introduce yourself. We are proud to offer the services listed below.
Same Day Emergency Dental Care
Our dentists understand that emergencies don’t always wait for appointments. That’s why he/she offers same day emergency dental care. Just call the office number and make sure we understand that your case is an emergency. We will do our best to make time for you that same day.
In case of a dental emergency immediately call us at the main office number. If there are emergency non-dental injuries, or if you cannot immediately reach our office, then seek medical assistance at the closest emergency room. Make sure to leave us a message so that we can get you in to our office as soon as possible.
Advanced Dental Technology
Here at Family Dentistry we use advanced dental technology and state-of-the-art equipment to serve you and your family. Every year, our dentists continues his/her education with additional training on the latest in dentistry so that our community can continue to improve their oral health in a relaxed and comfortable manner.
With today's cosmetic technology it is now possible to choose the smile you want. Modern cosmetic dentistry lets our dentists reshape, resurface or replace any tooth or all the teeth in your mouth.
There are now options to dentures and traditional tooth-replacement technology. Implant systems can give you back your smile and your confidence. Ask us how the latest technology lets you smile, speak and eat your favorite foods without worries, and gives you the smile of your dreams.
Improve your smile dramatically and quickly with professional whitening at our offices. Schedule a visit today and find out how advancements in whitening can safely and quickly give your smile a big lift.
Children Care and Prevention
In addition to the primary goals of preventing tooth decay and gum disease, children have special needs for their developing teeth. Pediatric dentistry addresses these needs. One of our dentists will discuss a care and prevention plan that addresses these special needs and promotes good dental hygiene for the whole family.
The sooner children start seeing our dentists, the better, and they certainly should visit by age one. The age at which the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child see a dentist. An early dental visit lets one of our dentists examine your child’s teeth and gums to make sure there are no early problems. Your child’s first visit may just be to get them comfortable with the office, or for a quick examination.
As with adults, dental care for children focuses on preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Some children are especially prone to tooth decay because of diets that are heavy on sweets or poor dental hygiene. Since their teeth are still developing, they have some special needs as well.
Adult Care and Prevention
Dental problems tend to get worse when left untreated. When you see one of our dentists for regular visits, small problems won’t have a chance to become major concerns. For instance, the longer tooth decay goes unchecked the more damage it can do to a tooth, and the less of the original tooth that can be saved. Good hygiene and dental visits are cost-effective, too. It costs much more to have teeth repaired and replaced than it does to have regular exams and cleanings.
Adult care and prevention focuses on preventing tooth decay and gum disease, the preservation of natural tooth structure, and early detection and treatment of serious oral problems.
• Most tooth decay and gum disease are due to plaque, so our dentists want keeping plaque in check to be your first priority
• To resist plaque, adults need to brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Brushing before bedtime is especially important, but brushing in the morning and after eating is recommended whenever possible.
• Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is small enough to reach all your teeth. Replace it when the bristles start to wear.
• Schedule regular dental visits every 6 months, or more frequently if one of our dentists indicates that you are prone to plaque and tartar buildup. These visits will include a thorough examination and a professional cleaning by the dentist or his/her dental hygienist.
• Discuss painful or problem areas with us as soon as possible, so more serious problems can be prevented.
Traditional dentistry uses metal instruments and rotary tools on teeth and gums. Dental lasers use special, highly focused beams of light to perform procedures on teeth and gums, sometimes accompanied by water or air suction to keep the area clean and cool. Our dentists has been specifically trained to use these lasers to perform dental procedures, often making the experience more comfortable for the patient, with fewer visits and less recovery time.
Advantages of laser dentistry include the following:
• There is often no need to use a drill for repairing tooth decay and placing a filling
• Laser dentistry can often be performed without local anesthesia, so you may not even need a needle
• Gums surgery can be performed quickly, with less appointments, fast healing and no needles
• Lasers can increase the strength of dental fillings and bonding
• Post operative sensitivity can be reduced
• Lasers can be used to thoroughly disinfect teeth and soft tissue
• Children can be treated without drills and needles
• Less pain and rapid healing for many procedures