A comprehensive dental examination involves the close inspection of the teeth and tissues of the mouth using physical assessment and other diagnostic aids. The examination identifies tooth decay and evaluates the health of the gums and other oral tissues. The patient’s bite and oral hygiene are also assessed. The dentist then recommends the best treatment options.
A patient with no significant oral problems should see a dentist for an exam and cleaning at least twice each year.
We pay particular attention to the health of the gum tissues. Gum (periodontal) disease is the most common dental problem we see, and may be a contributing factor to other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
It is generally a painless disease until its later stages, so many patients don’t know they have it until permanent damage has occurred. Your gums will be thoroughly examined at each cleaning and comprehensive exam appointment.
For our patients with greater needs, we sit down together to discuss treatment options, costs and expectations before treatment begins. This approach allows you understand our recommendations completely, make comfortable financial arrangements and have input into your treatment planning.
We know that your tooth ache or other dental emergencies don’t always happen during business hours, so we offer emergency dental services to better serve our clients. We don’t want you to be in pain if we can help you!
Any injury to teeth or gums can be serious and should not be ignored and you should not delay getting treatment. Getting injured teeth repaired and treated quickly is the best thing to do.
DURING REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS we always try to accommodate emergencies. Please call the office nearest you and we’ll set up an appointment as soon as possible.
IF OUR OFFICES ARE CLOSED then we recommend that you visit an emergency medical provider for evaluation.
Select Midlands Dental locations have Saturday Hours.
Tips in Case of a Dental Emergency
As we all know, accidents can and do happen. If you or someone you know has a dental emergency, don’t panic. Handling a dental emergency can be tricky when you or a loved one is in pain, but a quick and appropriate reaction can help save a tooth in danger. The American Dental Association recommends that you become familiar with these dental emergency procedures just in case you ever have a dental emergency. These tips will tell you what to do in case of a dental emergency.
Never put any pain killers, including aspirin, on the gum because it can burn the gum tissue. Clean your mouth out by rinsing thoroughly with warm water. Gently floss around the tooth to remove any food particles that may be caught there. If your tooth continues to hurt, you should call your dentist as soon as possible. A toothache can result from several dental problems. Regular dental check ups and dental cleanings can help prevent toothaches.
If your tooth breaks, the first thing you should do is contact your dentist immediately. You should also clean your mouth out by rinsing thoroughly with warm water. Apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling.
If you think that your jaw might be broken, apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling. You will need to see your dentist immediately or go to the emergency room of a nearby hospital.
As a temporary measure, stick a piece of sugarless gum into the cavity (sugar-filled gum will cause pain) or use an over-the-counter dental cement. See your dentist as soon as possible.
Bitten Tongue or Lip
If you have bitten your tongue or lip, gently wipe the area clean with a cloth. Apply a cold compress to the area to minimize any swelling. If the bleeding will not stop, you should go to the emergency room of a nearby hospital.
Something Caught Between Your Teeth
Gently insert a piece of dental floss or a dental flosser. Be very careful not to cut the gum tissue. If you are unable to remove the object, contact your dentist. Never use a sharp object to try and remove something that is stuck in between your teeth.
Knocked Out Tooth
If your tooth has been knocked out, rinse the tooth off very gently to make sure it is clean. Do not scrub the tooth or remove any tissue that is attached to it. Be sure to place a towel or wash cloth in the sink so that it does not go down the drain. If you can, gently place the tooth back into the socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a small container or cup of milk. You will need to take the tooth with you and get to your dentist immediately.
If the dental crown falls off, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible and bring the crown with you. If you can’t get to the dentist right away and the tooth is causing pain, use a cotton swab to apply a little clove oil to the sensitive area (clove oil can be purchased at your local drug store or in the spice aisle of your grocery store). If possible, slip the crown back over the tooth. Before doing so, coat the inner surface with an over-the-counter dental cement, toothpaste, or denture adhesive, to help hold the crown in place. Do not use super glue!
Broken Braces Wires
If a wire breaks or sticks out of a bracket or band and is poking your cheek, tongue or gum, try using the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire into a more comfortable position. If you can’t reposition the wire, cover the end with orthodontic wax, a small cotton ball, or piece of gauze until you can get to your orthodontist’s office. Never cut the wire, as you could end up swallowing it or breathing it into your lungs.
Loose Brackets and Bands
Temporarily reattach loose braces with a small piece of orthodontic wax. Alternatively, place the wax over the braces to provide a cushion. See your orthodontist as soon as possible. If the problem is a loose band, save it and call your orthodontist for an appointment to have it recemented or replaced (and to have missing spacers replaced).
You’ll love the way your smile feels after a thorough cleaning from our trained professionals. We use the latest technology so your teeth feel squeaky clean for days after. Dental cleanings involve removing plaque (soft, sticky, bacteria infested film) and tartar (calculus) deposits that have built up on the teeth over time.
Cleaning and polishing teeth involves the removal of dental plaque and tarter from teeth to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease preventing tooth loss.
Your teeth are continually bathed in saliva which contains calcium and other substances which help strengthen and protect the teeth. While this is a good thing, it also means that we tend to get a build-up of calcium deposits on the teeth. This chalky substance will eventually build up over time, like limescale in a pipe or kettle. Usually it is tooth colored and can easily be mistaken as part of the teeth, but it also can vary from brown to black in colour.
If the scale, or calculus (tartar, as dentists like to call it) is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it will unfortunately provide the right conditions for bacteria to thrive next to the gums.
The purpose of the cleaning and polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth clean and smooth so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care.
The general recommendation is two cleanings per year.
We will show you how to maintain your smile with brushing and flossing at home. Preventative care will allow you to keep your teeth for life!
A dental filling is a type of restorative dentistry treatment used to repair minimal tooth fractures, tooth decay or otherwise damaged surfaces of the teeth. Enamel loss is a common component of tooth decay, and may result in tooth sensitivity. In many cases, tooth sensitivity caused by enamel loss will be significantly improved or completely eliminated once an appropriate dental filling material is placed.
If your dentist discovers tooth surfaces affected by decay or damage then a filling may be required in order to restore the damaged area. The decay or damage is removed, and the area is cleansed to remove bacteria or debris before the restoration is completed.
Long-lasting composite fillings have become the material of choice for restoring decayed teeth. Because they can be bonded to tooth structure, they can be placed much more conservatively than silver fillings, which require a large cavity preparation with undercuts to hold the material in. Plus, they’re white!
When Gingivitis, which is the beginning stage of gum disease, goes untreated then a progressive stage of gum disease called Periodontitis can develop. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Periodontal treatment entails the removal of bacterial plaque and calculus which is essential to periodontal health.
75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of periodontal disease, but the majority does not realize it. If you have periodontal disease, you may be experiencing persistent bad breath, bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing, soft, swollen, or tender gums, gums pulling away from the teeth or loose teeth. You may also notice inflammation of the gums between the teeth. This is where periodontal disease usually starts.
The main cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque, the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. If the plaque is not removed everyday, the bacteria in plaque invade the spaces between the teeth and gums and begin producing toxins. These toxins, combined with your body’s reaction to them, destroy the bone around your teeth. And once bone has been lost, it never grows back on its own. When too much bone is lost, there’s so little support for the teeth, they get loose and have to be removed.
Early detection is the key to successful treatment. We will routinely perform a gum-disease-screening exam. This is recommended at least once per year by the American Dental Association. The results of this exam will determine your periodontal status. If you have periodontal disease your treatment will be personalized for you and your level of infection.
With on-going monitoring and treatment, a recurrence of periodontal disease can be avoided. Daily care and professional maintenance visits are a commitment to better health.
Gum Disease is preventable by practicing good oral hygiene care.
A root canal is a dental procedure that is used to remove diseased pulp tissue from the interior of a tooth. This is necessary when an untreated cavity reaches all the way to the nerve tissue of the tooth. The dentist treats the inner aspects of the tooth by cleaning out and disinfecting the canals of the tooth.
Preventative care such as regular cleanings is a very cost effective way of preventing root canal treatment.
A tooth is made up of three main components: a hard protective shell referred to as enamel, a softer and sensitive middle layer referred to as dentin and a soft tissue inner layer referred to as dental pulp. Dental pulp is composed of nerve tissue, lymph tissue and blood vessels, and is considered to be the vital part of a tooth. If dental pulp is sufficiently traumatized — whether by exposure to oral bacteria via deep dental caries, a fracture in the tooth that enters the pulp or a forceful blow to the face — the tooth begins to die and root canal therapy is often required in order to prevent or eliminate infection and prevent tooth loss.
A root canal procedure involves tooth disinfection and the removal of all debris (nerve tissue, lymph tissue, blood tissue, bacteria and infection) from the coronal pulp chamber and its associated canals. Once an affected tooth’s canals are sufficiently cleansed and shaped, they are filled with materials designed to prevent pain and infection from recurring.
Certain signs may indicate that you have a diseased tooth or infected nerve and therefore may need a root canal. These signs include:
Dentists typically recommend a root canal in such situations to save the affected tooth and preserve its functionality.
Nerve fibers, blood, and lymph tissues are housed in the root canals. Located inside each tooth is a pulp chamber that funnels into those root canals.
A tooth can become inflamed or infected for several reasons, including severe tooth decay or a crack or chip in the tooth. Failing restorations such as dental fillings and dental crowns can foster bacterial leakage into the dental pulp. Once infected, the dental pulp begins to die and the body’s inflammatory responses set it. The combination of infection and inflammation can cause significant pain. The end result is a toothache.
In cases where tooth extraction is the only solution, the missing tooth may be replaced with a dental implant or dental bridge to maintain functionality. By replacing the missing tooth, a proper bite is maintained and the surrounding teeth are prevented from shifting. Because a severe infection can be very dangerous, it is important to receive a professional evaluation by a dentist who can look deeper into the cause of a toothache. If an infection spreads beyond the jaw to the head and neck, then more extensive medical treatment, including hospitalization, may be required.
Tooth extraction/removal is the extraction of a tooth permanently from its socket in the jaw bone. If a tooth has been broken or damaged by decay, there is sometimes too much damage for the tooth to be repaired. This is the most common reason for extracting a tooth.
Here are other reasons for extraction:
A dental implant is a small, sturdy titanium post that acts as the root structure would for a natural tooth and is placed in your upper or lower jaw bone. An implant is a metal post that is surgically positioned into the jaw by a periodontist or oral surgeon.
Implants offer a natural looking, permanent solution for tooth replacement. Strong, durable and natural in appearance, implants are among the most successful dental procedures performed and can last a lifetime.
Implants may be used in conjunction with other restorative procedures for maximum effectiveness. For example, a single implant can serve to support a crown replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also be used to support a dental bridge for the replacement of multiple missing teeth, and can be used with dentures to increase stability and reduce gum tissue irritation.
Procedural advancements, including the development of narrower mini implants, mean that more people than ever before are finding themselves candidates for implantation. Mini implants may be used for small teeth and incisors. Also, a narrower implant may best serve patients who require stabilization of lower jaw dentures, pre-molar teeth, or a missing tooth that was located in a narrow area.
Sedation dentistry is used to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for certain people receiving dental treatment. It enables individuals too afraid to go to the dentist to receive the dental care they need while avoiding the common apprehension known as dental phobia.
According to to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS Education), a professional dental organization dedicated to ensuring that patients receive safe, comfortable and anxiety-free dental care, 30 percent of the population avoids the dentist due to fear. This all-too-common “dental phobia” prevents people from receiving necessary routine dental care, potentially compromising the health and functionality of their mouth and smile.
Sedation is a process used to establish a relaxed, easy and calm state through the use of sedatives. Sedative drugs (tranquillizers, depressants, anti-anxiety medications, nitrous oxide, etc.) can be administered in a variety of ways. Sedation can help you deal with dental phobias so you can get the treatments you need.
IV sedation is both safe and effective when administered by a trained professional. Today, however, sedation dentistry has evolved to be even more conducive to a relaxing experience. Patients have alternatives to the traditional modalities of inhalation (nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”) and IVs, such as those offering a “no needle” (meaning, no injection) approach that many people find more appealing.
Oral sedation dentistry is now the most common technique used in the United States and Canada to quell patient fears. The technique is easy and requires no needles. Best of all, the medications create such a comfortable experience that most patients do not remember the visit; it is as if they slept through the treatment. In reality, oral sedation dentistry maintains a level of consciousness in the patient for safety and cooperation. Note that sedation is different from anesthetic injections. Although some forms of sedation (such as nitrous oxide gas) may raise your threshold for pain, most dental treatments still require a local anesthetic injected in the mouth, even when sedation dentistry techniques are performed.
This local anesthetic will temporarily block pain impulses from the affected teeth and gum tissue. However, this injection will occur after you are already sedated and comfortable, so most likely you won’t be bothered by or remember the sensation of having the injection.
Regardless of the type of sedation dentistry you receive, it is important to have a responsible caregiver accompany you to the procedure (and drive you there if you must take oral medication before arriving for your appointment). The caregiver should drive you home after the procedure is complete and stay with you for an additional two to four hours at home.
One of the major benefits of sedation dentistry is that people often feel like their dental procedure lasts only a few minutes, when in fact it might have taken hours to perform. Therefore, complex dental procedures such as smile makeovers or extensive rebuilding procedures that normally require multiple visits can often be performed in fewer appointments.
If you are reluctant to change the appearance of your smile because you are afraid or anxious about undergoing long or complicated dental procedures, sedation dentistry can make you feel comfortable during the treatment process and help you achieve a smile you can be proud of.
Also, because sedation dentistry addresses some of the fears that keep people from going to the dentist on a regular basis, sedation dentistry patients are more likely to receive recommended routine care. As a result, they are less likely to neglect their oral health or allow oral health problems to build to the point when drastic dental treatments become necessary.
Sedation Destistry available at the Timber Ridge Location
When teeth are heavily decayed they may be too weak to survive with just a filling. By placing a crown, a tooth may be given a new lease of life.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped restoration, also referred to as a “cap”, which is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size and strength. Crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of one’s teeth.
A crown may be needed for many reasons including; protecting a weak tooth from breaking, holding together parts of a cracked tooth, restoring an already broken tooth or a tooth that is severely worn down, covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling and a small amount of remaining tooth structure, and covering misshaped or severely discolored teeth.
Even when a single tooth is lost a denture may not be required as a bridge can be made which spans the gap with a tooth attached to those next to the space.
A dental bridge is an excellent way to replace one or more missing teeth and restore stability to your mouth. Like all bridges, a dental bridge needs abutments to hold it in place and to provide support. A dental bridge is attached to the teeth next to the space, and those teeth act as supportive abutments for your replacement tooth. We prepare your teeth and, from impressions your bridge is carefully crafted to fit your teeth precisely.
A veneer is a thin shield of porcelain used as a covering that is placed over the front surface of the tooth. Veneers are usually applied to the part of the tooth you can see when talking or smiling. Veneers require less tooth material removal then crowns.
Cosmetic dentistry can change not only your appearance, but your outlook on life. A smile can be the most eye-catching feature of a face. With dentistry’s many advances, you no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth. You now have choices that can help you smile with confidence. Once exclusively the domain of the rich and famous, cosmetic dentistry procedures can help all patients to improve their smile at a very reasonable cost.
While traditional dentistry focuses on oral hygiene and preventing, diagnosing and treating oral disease, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, mouth and smile. In other words restorative, general and/or family dental practices address dental problems that require necessary treatment, whereas cosmetic dentists provide elective — or desired — treatments or services.
Cosmetic dentistry may also provide restorative benefits. For example, dental fillings are a common procedure used to treat decayed teeth. Previously, most dental fillings were composed primarily of gold, amalgam and other materials that left visible dark spots on the teeth.
Today, dental fillings may fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry, because you can select fillings made of porcelain or composite materials that closely match the color of your teeth, thus maintaining the natural appearance of your teeth and smile. Many people may choose to have their older fillings replaced with newer, tooth-colored fillings to enhance their oral appearance.
Everybody loves a bright white smile. Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with a fluoride-containing toothpaste, cleaning between their teeth once a day and the regular cleanings at your dentist’s office. If you decide you would like to go beyond this to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate all of your options.
Tooth whitening is a common cosmetic dental by dentists to make teeth whiter and brighter. Teeth can take on a yellowish tint due to foods such as coffee and soda. Tooth whitening is safe and relatively painless for most patients.
You can achieve a brighter smile in one short visit! The process is very easy and straightforward.
A popular option for many of our patients, take home whitening is safe, easy and simple to complete comfortably at home. We make custom trays from molds of your teeth to maximize the usability of our take home whitening gel. Contact us to ask about more details and pricing.
TMJ disorder compromises jaw flexibility and may cause pain at rest or during common movements such as talking, chewing and yawning. The pain and discomfort caused by TMJ disorder may be severe, can be either intermittent or constant and may last for many years. A few symptoms of TMJ patients may experience are headaches, jaw popping, ear pain, and dizziness.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal refers to the temple area of the skull. Mandibular refers to the lower jaw. Joint refers to where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by misalignment of teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension.
If your dentist determines that no structural disorder exists in the joint but that there are deflective interferences on the teeth affecting the bite resulting in improper jaw closure, you may undergo occlusal equilibration or your dentist may elect to correct the bite with an appliance.
Occlusal equilibration, which involves reshaping the biting surfaces of the teeth, is often the best choice for eliminating deflective interferences so that the jaw can close properly. Once the lower jaw is able to close properly into position within the temporomandibular socket, you may find that your pain is relieved immediately. If your pain is not relieved, then the dentist may fit you for an occlusal appliance to cover the deflective interferences affecting the bite and allow for the lower jaw to be repositioned into the socket properly. If this relieves the pain, it is likely that your bite was causing the problem.
We provide specialized, comprehensive oral health care for infants, children, and adolescents in a fun, stress-free environment that focuses on prevention and education. Our goal is to help your child be healthy and enter adulthood free of dental diseases and dental fears – with good oral health habits that will last a lifetime.
We are committed to making your child’s first dental visit a pleasant and comfortable one. We understand the importance of establishing a good oral hygiene regimen early in a child’s life, and we provide children with the necessary knowledge and treatment to maintain a healthy smile.
Our practice strives to make this new journey for your child a fun and rewarding experience. There is no doubt… your child’s path to optimum dental health starts here.
Pediatric dentistry is one of the nine recognized dental specialties of the American Dental Association. Pediatric dentists complete two to three years of additional specialized training (after the required four years of dental school) to prepare them for treating a wide variety of children’s dental problems. They are also trained and qualified to care for patients with medical, physical or mental disabilities.