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General Dentistry

Dental Exam

The secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!

There's nothing to fear with a dental exam. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable your dentist to see below the surfaces of your teeth. Dental exams typically end with a dental cleaning, to remove surface stains and buildup.

Digital Dental X-Rays and photos

Dental X-rays have come a long way. In our office, we use digital X-rays which are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the film X-rays of years past. These are one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, producing high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a computer monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% compared to old film X-rays and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Intraoral photography is another tool that we use. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured at their earliest stage through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a digital camera.

Teeth Cleaning

We believe that a good foundation is the key to exceptional oral health. No matter how often you brush and floss, plaque and tartar deposits can still build up on your teeth. A professional teeth cleaning is the single most effective way to remove these deposits and prevent them from causing more serious problems in the future. While a traditional teeth cleaning involves manually scraping away these deposits with special dental tools, advances in dental technologies now give you more options for teeth cleanings.

A deep cleaning may be recommended if excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below the gum line. Deep cleanings, also known as scaling and root planing, involve a two-part process: first, the stubborn deposits are removed, and then the root surfaces are smoothed. A deep cleaning helps prevent periodontal disease and restores gum tissues to a healthy state.

In our office, we customize your cleanings to care properly for your specific periodontal needs. So, whether you need a 6 month checkup or you haven't had your teeth cleaned in many years, our hygienists will always provide the very best treatment while maintaining your absolute comfort.

Gum Disease Treatment

Red, swollen gums are a warning flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you're not alone. More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, we provide many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, requires scaling and root planing to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line. If non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective, a gingivectomy, or periodontal surgery, may be necessary.

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The keys to surviving oral cancer are early detection and early treatment. This starts with a regular oral cancer screening – at least once every six months. Our oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free and can be performed during regular dental exams. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: Oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk of oral cancer include people over the age of 60, tobacco smokers, and heavy drinkers.

 

Tooth-Colored Fillings

If you've been told you need a dental filling, you're not alone: 92% of Americans have had at least one cavity. Dental fillings are the tried-and-true treatment for treating cavities. Composite fillings, which are made of a tooth-colored resin and glass composite, are quickly becoming the preferred dental filling due to their natural appearance and durability. In our office, these cosmetic restorations are mercury-free so there is less risk to your health. White fillings are strong, stain resistant, and require less removal of tooth structure than silver fillings. Whether they are used to repair a new cavity or to replace an old, unatractive, silver filling, Composite fillings will keep your smile beautiful.  Ask Dr Guttman if these restorations are right for you.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown may not make you feel like royalty, but it is one of the premiere treatments for teeth with extensive decay or damage. Dental crowns can also be used to hold a dental bridge in place, cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth, or to cover and protect a tooth after a root canal procedure. Made of either porcelain-fused-to-metal, all ceramic, or gold, dental crowns are placed during a multi-step process. The first step is to prepare the tooth for a crown and take a dental impression. A temporary crown is then placed to protect the tooth while the impression is sent to an offsite laboratory to create the final restoration. On your next appointment, the crown can be cemented in place. With good oral hygiene and minimal wear and tear, your beautiful new dental crown can provide you with many years of reliable use.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges have been used for centuries to replace missing teeth. Today, dental bridges are still considered one of the most durable, conservative and cost-effective options for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape intact.

There are three types of dental bridges: 1) traditional dental bridges, 2) cantilever dental bridges, and 3) implant-supported bridges. Traditional bridges have teeth on either side of the missing tooth. Once complete, a replacement tooth is held in place by those prepaired natural teeth. Cantilever dental bridges are used in cases where there are surrounding teeth only on one side of the missing tooth. With implant-supported bridges, it is the implants that take the place of the supporting natural teeth (see picture).

Dental bridges typically take 2-3 weeks to complete. They are permanently cemented into place on the second appointment. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental bridges can last for many years.

Endodontics

Root canals have a bad reputation, but don't believe the rumors. In our office, the dreaded root canal doesn't have to be dreadful at all! Root canals are needed when either decay or an injury infects the inner tooth (the pulp). In the earliest stages of infection, you may not feel any pain at all. But when it progresses, you could have a toothache and swelling, or a dental abscess might form. Root canals remove the infection and prevent it from spreading. Pulp capping is an alternative to root canals that is used when the decay has yet to penetrate the pulp. Pulp capping can also prevent a large dental filling from getting too close to the nerve.

Dental Implants

It's almost impossible to feel confident about your smile if you're missing teeth. Dental implants can change all that! With dental implants, you get the best in function and aesthetics. A dental implant is securely anchored in the jaw bone for maximum comfort and durability. The replacement tooth, or dental crown, is made of tooth-colored porcelain so that your cosmetic dental implant looks, feels, and functions just like your real teeth!

Dental implants are an extraordinary blend of science and art. Made of titanium, dental implants may often be the best option for replacing missing teeth. They are also used in place of dental bridges or partial dentures, or to provide support for dentures. With dental implants, surrounding teeth are left untouched. Finally, dental implants are exceptionally reliable. Year after year, dental implants have had high success rates and typically last more than 15 years.

Dentures

Using dentures to replace missing teeth is not only great for your oral health, it's a great way to look and feel younger! Today, there are a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures for patients who need to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and either resin or porcelain replacement teeth, we custom design dentures to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures, which can be either fixed or removable, are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.

The process of getting dentures usually takes a few dental visits. In some cases, however, same-day dentures are also possible. Same-day dentures aren't for everyone, however. Let us evaluate your case to see what is right for you.

Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require regular maintenance. It is important to have periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. Regular denture relines involve resurfacing the base to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it's critical to bring them to your dentist for professional denture repair. Home denture repair kits can cause more damage and be even more costly to fix.

Oral Surgery

Oral surgery refers to surgical treatments such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extractions and bone grafting. Dental implants, an excellent solution for missing teeth, are surgically placed tooth "roots" that hold dental crowns in place. A wisdom tooth extraction may be recommended if there isn't enough room in your mouth to accommodate wisdom teeth and they become impacted, partially erupted or infected. Bone grafting places bone into the extraction site of a tooth, usually to accommodate a dental implant. While a general dentist can perform some oral surgery procedures, an oral surgeon may be required for others.