ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop. In between regular visits to the dentist, there are simple steps that each of us can take to greatly decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems. These include:
• Brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily
• Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals
• Use dental products which contain fluoride, including toothpaste
• Rinse with a fluoride mouth rinse if advised to do so
• Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
• Make sure children under 12 drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area
The following are indications of good oral hygiene:
• Your teeth are clean and free of debris
• Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
• Bad breath is not a constant problem
A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. Most dental cleanings take
only between 25 & 30 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to prevent excessive plaque buildup.
Plaque left untreated can lead to unhealthy gums and tooth decay. A routine dental cleaning should include scaling,
root planning & polishing.
Scaling: this is the process of removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces in a variety of methods, depending on the amount of plaque and tartar.
Dental hygienists traditionally perform scaling by hand. However, new and advanced technology has led to more modern
methods such as electric scalers like a Cavitron. This sophisticated tool allows dental cleanings to be performed more efficiently and in less time. To achieve best results, both electric and manual scaling methods are combined for dental cleanings.
Root planning: this is the process of cleaning the root surface when periodontal disease is present.
Root planning is used to treat moderate to advanced gum diseases. When the gum is inflamed, gum pockets become
deeper and may lose connections to the bone inside. The deeper the pockets, the easier it is for plaque deposits to become trapped and worsen gum problems.
Root planning involves inserting a pointed dental tool called scalers into the gum pockets to clean plaque buildup. Depending
on the degree of difficulty, root planning may take several appointments and a local anesthesia may be used to prevent pain.
Polishing: this is the last step in tooth cleaning and involves finishing the surface of the teeth to make them shiny and clean.
Rubber cup polishing uses a low-speed and gentle hand piece that contains a polishing paste made of abrasive ingredients, ideal for removing stains.
• Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years and may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
• Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown (or "cap") may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.
• Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
• Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Attach a bridge
• Cover a dental implant
• Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
• Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter. There are a variety of filling materials available including gold, silver, plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best, depending on the extent of repair, where in the filling is needed, and cost. Each filling material is briefly explained below:
CROWNS AND BRIDGES
Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown
(also referred to as a cap) is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can
dramatically improve a tooth's appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns may be used to:
A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science since it replaces a missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and aesthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to "fall" and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen the bite because of the changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.
Bridges and crowns are made by first taking an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is ready and cemented into place.
The process of bonding, in which a dentist covers a tooth with either a plastic or enamel veneer, can treat many different problems affecting your teeth. Chips, cracks, stains, all can be corrected by bonding. The process begins by lightly etching your existing tooth enamel with an acid. This will allow the composite material which makes up the bonding to adhere to your tooth. For major cracks or chips, a shell can be bonded onto the surface of a tooth and the shell will look just like a natural tooth.
If you’re experiencing pain or need emergency dental services, we will find the earliest available appointment for you.
We are happy to serve you if you're having a dental emergency - whether you're a current or new patient. In most cases, the practice will be able to offer a same-day appointment, however, next-day appointments are occasionally necessary.
Once our team has addressed your dental emergency, we will likely schedule a re-evaluation for existing patients of Dr Mike Kincaid, or a comprehensive exam for new patients.
Common emergency dental care covers:
• Tooth ache relief
• Swollen jaw relief
• Cracked tooth
• Repair of lost or loose fillings
• Sore gum relief
• Root canal therapy
• Dental repair
NIGHTGUARDS AND MOUTHGUARDS
Custom designed mouth guards and night guards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth. Mouth guards are recommended to protect the jaw and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth may be hit. Guards also protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.
Night guards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night as a way to totaling protect their teeth and bite.
If you have decided a guard is right for you, we will take an impression of your teeth which will then be sent to a lab to make a custom fit guard. In most cases you can choose from a variety of colors and styles. On average, guards last between 3 & 10 years.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Cartilage buffers the two bones and five muscles that meet in this area, but any problems in this area can create quite a bit of pain and biting difficulties.
Symptoms of TMJ include:
• Head aches
• Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
• Clicking or popping of the jaw
• Pain in the jaw muscles
• Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite and filling gaps between teeth. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Occasionally a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and in severe cases, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
TMJ & Nightguards
Tooth whitening is a popular procedure to make teeth whiter and brighter, and therefore more attractive. Bleaching can be used to whitening stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. Either way, tooth whitening is a safe and relatively painless procedure ideal for most patients.
Tray whitening is a less expensive whitening treatment you can use while in the comfort of your own home. We will first take an impression of your mouth to create a customized clear whitening tray for you to wear. Within a few days your trays will be ready to be picked up and we will show you how to apply the special bleaching material to the trays. The whitening gel trays should be worn 30-60 minutes up to twice a day. At the end of this period, you will see maximum whitening results that are nothing short of dazzling. Occasional treatment can be used at your convenience to maintain your new smile.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that a periodontist or oral surgeon surgically positions into the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support. To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!
This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function if all your teeth have been lost. The dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned to take the place of natural teeth. Complete dentures are removable and may require adjustments in order to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.
A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached go a gum-colored plastic base which is held in place in the mouth.
A fixed partial denture acts the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using adjacent teeth for support.
New dentures may feel awkward or loose for the first few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you are comfortable eating and speaking. Although this may require some practice you will adjust and enjoy the benefits a full mouth of teeth can provide.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when an untreated cavity reaches all the way to this pulp. Treatment may also be needed when deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause nerve damage. Once the pulp becomes infected, and can begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is known as an abscess). If the pulp is infected, not only is it painful but it will require treatment as it cannot heal on its own. Symptoms that indicate the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. However, sometimes no symptoms are apparent and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. Alternate treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal is filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy.
WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTIONS
Wisdom teeth are the last molars or "third molars" that develop on each side of the jaws. Wisdom teeth usually emerge in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20.
Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn't large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may also grow in sideways, emerge only part way through the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
A wisdom tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. The dentist will numb the area in your mouth with a local anesthesia or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure. After the tooth is removed, we will provide care instructions to ensure proper healing. Some pain and swelling may occur but will normally subside after a few days. You should call your dentist if you have prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever.
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