A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We will replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.
With today’s advancements, no longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly and unhealthy silver/mercury fillings or metal margins of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.
Comparing White Fillings Versus Silver Amalgam Fillings:
- White fillings bond to the tooth; they strengthen the tooth by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgams, on the other hand, weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking. Broken teeth can be very expensive to replace; white amalgam can actually save time and money in the long run.
- White filling composites are preferred by most patients. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel. Composites are naturally more comfortable.
- Hot and cold sensitivity is greatly reduced with composite material compared to the silver/mercury amalgams.
- Restorations with composites require less removal of tooth, less structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a composite.
- White fillings are healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams.
A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, porcelain fused to gold, zirconia, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
- Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.
There are two types of dentures
Complete – Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
A Complete denture may be either “conventional” or “immediate.”
Conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth.
Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.
Partial – A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.
Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.
Reasons for dentures:
- Complete Denture – Loss of all teeth in an arch.
- Partial Denture – Loss of several teeth in an arch.
- Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.
- What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.
You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
What is an Inlay or Onlay?
You can think of a dental inlay or onlay as being midway between a filling and a crown. Inlays or onlays are used when not enough tooth structure remains to support a filling, but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it needs a crown.
An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is more extensive than an inlay and covers one or more cusps.
Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin (plastic) or ceramics. They can last for decades. However, how long they last depends on the material used, the teeth involved, the forces of chewing and how well the patient maintains them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist.
Veneers are thin, semi-translucent “shells” typically attached to your front teeth. Veneers are customized from porcelain material and permanently bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great alternative to otherwise painful dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile.
Common problems that veneers are used for:
- Spaces between the teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
- Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
- Permanently stained or discolored teeth
- Crooked or misshapen teeth
Veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.
Please contact our office if you have any further questions on veneers.
WHAT OUR PATIENTS SAY
I am a physician myself but usually weary of going to the dentist. I went last month for standard check up and cleaning. SmileNOW dentists are very professional and through. They found a small cavity and erosions that my old dentist either did not catch or think was significant. I also had my teeth whitened for a great price. The office staff is very accomodating and attentive. They made me feel very comfortable. You can watch movies or tv shows while waiting to get work done in your dental chair:)
I can’t say enough wonderful things about this place. The staff is AMAZING! They are all very nice, professional and caring. They make you feel so comfortable. I had several cavities filled and a crown and they did such a great job that I didn’t feel any pain at all. I’ve never gone to a dentist without feeling pain (until now!). The office is clean and comfortable. They even play movies for you in your chair while you’re waiting. Making appointments was very simple, and I didn’t have a long wait to be seen. They definitely have my family and me as life customers.