Routine dental cleanings are important to maintaining good oral hygiene. Professional cleaning by a hygienist can remove plaque and tarter that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. It is recommended you have a professional cleaning once every six months. Our skilled and gentle hygienists will first scale your teeth, removing plaque and tarter from the tooth surfaces, and will then polish them to remove any final plaque and buff the teeth.
Dental Exams & X-Rays
Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends twice yearly checkups for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in the early stage. Here’s what to expect at your exam:
Medical history review.
Examination of tooth decay – your mouth will be checked for cracked or decayed teeth.
Oral cancer screening – your face, neck, lips, tongue and throat will be checked for signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation.
Examination of existing restorations.
Additionally, Dr. Bullard and his team will take diagnostic x-rays to reveal any other hidden problems, especially in the areas below the gums.
When treating a cavity, Dr. Bullard will remove the decayed portion of your tooth and fill it with another substance. This procedure is called a filling. The most common type of filling is a composite (or tooth colored) filling. Composite fillings provide good durability for small to medium cavities. They are also well suited for treating front or highly visible teeth because of their natural look. A composite filling can be used for a decayed tooth (cavity), chipped or broken teeth, or to decrease the gap between teeth.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that has been infected due to a deep cavity or cracked tooth. The treatment involves removing the pulp and the nerves of the tooth, and cleaning the infected area. A tooth’s pulp and nerve are not important to a tooth’s health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums. If the treatment is not performed, pus builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone. This results in pain and swelling, and possible loss of the tooth. Signs that a root canal is needed include:
Severe tooth pain while chewing.
Tooth pain that wakes you up at night.
A tooth that is highly sensitive to hot or cold.
Discoloration or darkening of the tooth.
Swollen gums in the area of the infected tooth.
Root canal therapy has a high rate of success and many teeth undergoing the procedure can be saved to last a lifetime!
A dental extraction is the procedure to remove a tooth from your mouth. It is most commonly required when a tooth is damaged beyond practical repair. The most common reasons for tooth extractions include:
Severe tooth decay or infection making it impossible or too costly to repair a tooth.
Advanced gum disease may require a tooth to be pulled so as not to affect the supporting tissues and bone structure of your mouth.
A tooth may be extracted if it is blocking other teeth from coming in.
Teeth may need to be extracted during orthodontic work to create room for the teeth that are being moved into place
Wisdom teeth are often extracted either before or after they come in.
Since teeth whitening has now become the number one aesthetic concern of many patients, there are many products and methods available to achieve a brighter smile. Professional teeth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel, and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile. Bleaching lightens teeth that have been stained or discolored by age, food, drink, and smoking.
Below are the most popular teeth whitening options available today:
In-Office Teeth Whitening: In-office teeth whitening works by producing a significant color change in your teeth in a short amount of time, usually within an hour. The procedure is done at the dentist’s office applying a high-concentration peroxide gel on the teeth after they have been protected with a special shield.
Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Whitening Kits: These whitening kits are purchased from your dentist for use at home. At-home products usually come in a gel form that is placed in a custom-fitted mouthguard (tray), created from a mold of your teeth. The trays are worn in 15 or 30 minute increments daily.
Over the Counter Whitening: Over the counter teeth whitening kits are store-bought and use a lower concentration gel than both in-office and professionally dispensed take- home whitening kits purchased from your dentist. While sometimes cheaper, they typically are less effective. Additionally, over the counter trays are not custom fit for your teeth, which can result in irritation to your gums.
A crown is a tooth-colored, custom-made covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns protect and strengthen teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings and also for those that are badly decayed.
Veneers are thin custom-made, tooth-colored shells that are bonded onto the fronts of teeth to create a beautiful individual smile. They can help restore or camouflage damaged, discolored, poorly shaped, or misaligned teeth. Unlike crowns, veneers require minimal tooth structure to be removed from the surface of the tooth.
Dental bridges literally bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap—these two or more anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth—and a false tooth/teeth in between.
Dental Implant Restoration
Dental implants are artificial roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace one or more missing teeth. Porcelain crowns, bridges, and dentures can be made specifically to fit and attach to implants, giving a patient a strong, stable, and durable solution to removable dental appliances.