TREATMENTS

Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.

The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured.

The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.

After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Some offices have an onsite lab to create the crown, but others will have to send it to an outside lab. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.

Mini dental implants are about half the size in diameter of a regular dental implant. This offers many benefits, and they can also be used in situations where regular implants cannot. If an implant needs to be placed in a narrow space, mini implants are the preferred method because of their smaller size.

A main use for mini implants is to install a full upper or lower denture. A series of mini implants (4-6) are placed along the gum line and they serve as the base of the denture. Rather than placing a single implant for a single tooth, an entire lower or upper set of teeth are directly attached to the gum line.

The small size of mini implants often means that no incision needs to be made to place the implant. They can usually be inserted right through the gum into the bone. This eliminates the need for a recovery period, and the restoration can usually be placed right away or only a short time after.

Mini implants are also less expensive than regular implants. Only your dentist knows if mini implants are right for you, so call for your consultation today.

One of the technologies that we utilize is the Iluma Ultra Cone Beam CT Scanner. This imaging technology produces a 3D images of the patient’s mouth. This allows a precision diagnosis. The surgeon is also able to tell whether it is necessary to perform a bone grafting or sinus lift to complete the total procedure. The 3D technology provides a level of accuracy that is not present with 2D technology.

Osstell specializes in instruments for analyzing dental implant stability. The company’s latest product, Osstell ISQ, measures the stability of implants in an objective, non-invasive manner using the universal ISQ scale (Implant Stability Quotient). The ISQ values help dentists determine the optimal time to load each implant. Also, by detecting decreasing stability, Osstell ISQ can help prevent failure caused by premature loading. For more information please, go to our website.

Another 3D treatment technology that we implore is the Simplant system. This interactive system determines the position of each implant with 100% accuracy. For the patient, this means that the implant will be placed precisely where it needs to go, eliminating discomfort.

What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a permanent new root for a missing tooth. It is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. An abutment and crown is then placed on the implant to provide a new tooth that is permanent and looks just like a natural tooth.

How are dental implants different than dentures?
Dentures are a removable set of teeth or partial set of teeth that need to be removed and cared for in a special manner. They can often feel bulky and are difficult to get used to. Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth that can be cared for just like natural teeth.

What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth, they are permanent, you can eat the foods you want without any fear of embarrassment, and they procedure is very successful and fairly inexpensive.

Who can place a dental implant?
Your dentist may be able to perform implants in their own office based on their training. If not, they will recommend you to an implantologist, cosmetic dentist, or another specialist that will perform the procedure.

How much do implants cost?
The price of your dental implants will vary based on the level of experience of your doctor, how many implants you are having placed, amount of insurance coverage, and more. Schedule a consultation with us to determine a price for your implants and a financing plan if necessary.

Do dental implants hurt?
No. A local anesthetic will be given before the procedure so that you do not feel any pain. If you have anxiety or fear you should discuss sedation options with your dentist.

How long do implants last?
When cared for properly, implants should last a lifetime. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to the success of your implant.

Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Teeth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.

To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize a tray whitening system. This tray whitening system is completed in 2 steps. The first step is to make an impression of your teeth. With this impression, we’ll craft you custom whitening trays that you can use over and over. Finally, you will take the whitening gel and put it in the gel for a short period of time over a period of a few days. This often results in a whiter smile of 4 – 8 shades!

Please contact us today to see if you are a candidate for this type of whitening.

Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Teeth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.

To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize a product called ZOOM!. ZOOM! is a chairside whitening procedure that uses a safe whitening gel and a low intensity light to activate the gel. This combination allows us to provide you with teeth that are 6-10 shades whiter in about an hour!

Veneers are an excellent way to redesign and reshape your entire mouth. Veneers are a very thin ceramic shell that covers your existing tooth structure. In placing these new veneers on your teeth, you are able to fix the look of issues such as staining, cracked teeth, spaces, misaligned teeth, chipped teeth and many other issues.

In terms of the process to place veneers, it is a process that takes approximately two to three visits. In the first visit, we will discuss the new shape and look of what we are going to accomplish by placing the veneers. Once we have put a plan in place, we will carefully prepare the teeth for the placement of the new veneers. As we complete this piece of the process, the next step is to take an impression of the newly prepared teeth. This impression will be sent to our laboratory for the final product to be fabricated. We only utilize the highest standard laboratory for fabrication of all of our work. This process at the laboratory takes between 10-14 days. While the new veneers are being fabricated at the lab, we will provide you with a beautiful temporary solution to wear for this time.

As the veneers are finalized, we will make every effort to make sure that your new veneers will feel just like your natural teeth. We will bond them into place ensuring that you can enjoy your new smile for a very long time!

Invisalign is a new system of straightening teeth without the use of conventional braces. A series of clear plastic aligners are utilized to create tooth movement. Moving teeth with removable aligners is not new. However, the computer program, which can generate a series of aligners with small changes is the new part. Invisalign is recommended for orthodontic situations with mild to moderate spacing or crowding. They are virtually undetectable, easy to use and comfortable to wear.
Whether you’re an adult or a teen, we all want to look our best at all times. Changing the way your teeth are structured takes time and there are now ways to keep you looking your best during this period. Clear braces or ceramic braces are translucent. This new technology is available for most cases. The great benefit of these braces is that you won’t have to have that metallic look. In addition, clear braces are specifically designed so that they won’t stain or wear over time.Give us a call today to see if you’re a candidate for ceramic braces!
Traditional braces have been around for many years. They are the standard among patients looking to straighten their smile. Today’s contemporary braces are made of exceptionally strong metals as they need to be able to stand the test of time while they are on your teeth. While contemporary braces are metallic colored, there are a number of bands and features that can be utilized to spruce them up. Give us a call today so we can discuss in more detail about getting you that perfect smile!

PERIODONTIC

Have you recently eradicated gingivitis or periodontal disease from your mouth and gums? 

If so, then you are feeling good about your mouth and gums. Your teeth have no plaque and tartar and you won’t need to visit your dentist again for another year, right?
Wrong!
Many patients are not aware that periodontal maintenance is the only sure way to keep gum disease from returning. Periodontal maintenance is regularly performed at certain intervals after procedures such as scaling and root planing. Periodontal maintenance includes the removal of plaque and tartar, scaling and tooth planing and polishing. Your dentist will determine the frequency the periodontal maintenance is needed.

Canine exposure has nothing to do with leaving your dog outside, exposed to the elements. It is a procedure to expose impacted teeth. An impacted tooth is one that has not erupted in the mouth, but instead becomes stuck in the surrounding bone or tissue. Any tooth may become impacted, but generally, the wisdom teeth and canine teeth are the most likely candidates. Canine teeth are critical for function. The mouth will also appear aesthetically odd without the canines. The procedure is quite simple. It involves the dentist cutting a small hole in the gum, which allows the tooth to erupt. The dentist also uses a dental brace to guide the tooth into its correct position.

Impacted teeth are sometimes obvious to the naked eye, but in some instances, an –x-ray is necessary to identify the extent of the impaction. Many times, there is an impacted canine tooth where the baby tooth remains in the mouth. A loose tooth is also a sign that an impacted tooth may be present.

Throughout the medical field, a biopsy is simply the removal of a tissue sample to determine if it is diseases. In dentistry, teeth and gums are sent for biopsy. The role of a biopsy in the dental industry is to diagnose oral cancer. In these instances, a brush biopsy is used to identify oral lesions that warrant further attention.

If you have unexplained lesions in your mouth, they need to be examined by a dentist. They may or may not be cancerous, but they need medical attention nonetheless.

It is no secret that dentists are committed to saving teeth. This is why we fill a cavity, instead of pulling the tooth.

Cavities can decay to tooth to the point where restoration is virtually impossible without a procedure called crown lengthening. Crown lengthening is a routine surgical procedure, which remodels the contour of the gum line. The procedure does not actually lengthen the crown, but rather lowers the gum line. When there is not enough tooth structure to affix a crown, this is the only option. Sometimes a tooth has been broken below the gum line. In this instance, crown lengthening is very successful in exposing more of the tooth, so that the dentist has something to work with.

A frenulum is a piece of tissue that prevents an organ from moving. There is a frenulum that attaches your upper lip to the gums, while another connects the lower lip to the gums. A frenulum that is too short or thick, will cause problems in speech patterns and tooth misalignment. In infants, a shortened frenulum underneath the tongue will inhibit breastfeeding. When the frenulum disrupts movement, growth, or development, corrective action is necessary to resolve the situation.

A frenectomy is a minor surgical procedure that is performed in your dentist’s office. It can be performed with either a scalpel or laser and takes less than 15 minutes. Using a laser causes very little bleeding and does not require stitches. A laser also results in less postoperative discomfort and a shorter healing time. Young children and infants are put under general anesthesia for the procedure and adults have the procedure performed using local anesthesia. If your child needs a frenectomy, there is nothing to worry about. The procedure is very successful and causes minimal discomfort.

Jacksonville Comprehensive Dentistry in Jacksonville AL Gingivitis and in its advanced state, periodontitis, has a profound effect on the gums. As gingivitis progresses, more and more bacteria and plaque builds up, causing the gums to stretch. The end result it large pockets, that once they are cleaned out, remain on your gum line. These pockets cause the gums to recede, which aesthetically not pleasing to the eye. When the gums recede, an abnormal amount of tooth structure is exposed.

Gum grafting is the corrective procedure that restores the gum to its natural, healthy state. Using soft gum tissue from the roof of the mouth, the receded gums are grafted. The goal if the graft is to cover exposed tooth and root surfaces with grafted on oral tissue. This grafting encourages new tissue growth that will enable the gums to return to its original position around the teeth. The procedure is routine and entails a minimal amount of downtime and discomfort.

Jacksonville Comprehensive Dentistry in Jacksonville AL Gingivitis and in its advanced state, periodontitis, has a profound effect on the gums. As gingivitis progresses, more and more bacteria and plaque builds up, causing the gums to stretch. The end result it large pockets, that once they are cleaned out, remain on your gum line. These pockets cause the gums to recede, which aesthetically not pleasing to the eye. When the gums recede, an abnormal amount of tooth structure is exposed.

Gum grafting is the corrective procedure that restores the gum to its natural, healthy state. Using soft gum tissue from the roof of the mouth, the receded gums are grafted. The goal if the graft is to cover exposed tooth and root surfaces with grafted on oral tissue. This grafting encourages new tissue growth that will enable the gums to return to its original position around the teeth. The procedure is routine and entails a minimal amount of downtime and discomfort.

Gingivitis is a generative disease that left untreated, will cause significant tooth and gum deterioration. Just the word gingivitis can strike panic in a patient’s mind. The reality is that the treatment is simple and performed right in your dentist’s office.

Plaque and tarter that sits on the teeth provides an environment, which allows bacteria to thrive and multiply. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed. The condition becomes more noticeable when you brush your teeth or sometimes when you eat. These are signs of the early stage of gingivitis. Gingivitis is easily treated by having the hygienist scaling and polishing the teeth. If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition will progress and the roots will need a planing. The difference between scaling and root planing is simple. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surface Root planing is the process of smoothening the root surfaces and removing the infected tooth structure.

As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and planing is performed without any anesthesia, in the dentist’s office. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis may make it necessary to numb the area for complete comfort. Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into one section of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time, and reduces the time for each appointment.

A soft tissue graft is used when there has been a significant amount of gum recession in a particular area. Slight gum recession can usually be fixed with a few changes to your oral hygiene routine to take better care of your teeth and gums. When the gingiva recedes further it exposes you to greater risk for infection and bacterial penetration. You will likely be more sensitive to hot and cold foods when you have receding gums. If the gums recede enough as to expose the root you can set yourself up for more serious problems. The root is softer than the enamel making it more vulnerable to bacteria and plaque.

To restore proper gum level and functionality a soft tissue graft can be performed. This is done by either removing soft tissue from the roof of the mouth, or repositioning healthy gum tissue from adjacent teeth. This procedure is very predictable and has a high success rate. This procedure should be performed before more serious problems develop and periodontal surgery is necessary.

Do you wake in the morning with sore jaws?

When you bite, do you feel like your jaw is lopsided? If so, then you may need an occlusal adjustment.

An occlusal adjustment corrects the alignment of the bite, that is a result of loose, shifting, crowded, or missing teeth. The result is an evenly distributed bite that eliminates irregular pressure on one side of the mouth. Once your bite is adjusted, your teeth will meet properly. Occlusal adjustment causes minimal pain, and only a little discomfort. The adjustment is made by using a dental drill using a fine filing stone. In addition to the actual adjustment, removal mouthpieces are also utilized, to protect the tooth surface, and relax the jaw muscles once the adjustment is completed.

Who is a good candidate for an occlusal adjustment? Patients with loose or shifting teeth will many times not meet correctly. Patients, who grind or clench their teeth, will have an uneven bite and pressure distribution in the mouth, which is also corrected through an occlusal adjustment. Sometimes tooth sensitivity can be corrected through an occlusal adjustment as the treatment reduces pressure on the sensitive tooth.

New technology allows dentists to accurately identify the areas, which need adjustments. The dentist utilizes a computer scan of the mouth, which records hundreds of bite registrations per minute, and notes even the slightest irregularity. That data allows the dentist to make only the adjustments that are absolutely necessary, which ensures a well aligned bite and minimal tooth wear.

If you suspect that you may need an occlusal adjustment, schedule an appointment.

Loose teeth are uncomfortable, especially when you try to eat food or chew gum. The feeling of the tooth pulling away from the gum is enough to send chills down your spine. It seems like an eternity, waiting for either the tooth to become loose enough to be extracted or strong enough to no longer be a problem.

Teeth become loose because of lost gum tissue, injury, orthodontic treatment, or pressure caused by tooth misalignment. A new technique called periodontal splinting attaches weak teeth together, turning them into a single unit that is stable and stronger than the single teeth by themselves. The procedure is most commonly performed on the front teeth. The procedure is as simple as using composite material to attach, or splint, the loose teeth to the adjoining stable teeth. Tooth splinting is a common procedure that has gained popularity due to its effectiveness.

Life is too short to live with loose teeth.

Contact our office today for a consultation.

Your smile is the first thing someone notices about you. People form their first impressions based on the appearance of your smile. There was a time when, unless you made allot of money or were born with perfect teeth, you had to live with your smile.  Today, a wide range of cosmetic procedures is available to the average citizen, at a cost they can afford. If you have a gummy smile, uneven gum line or elongated teeth, cosmetic periodontal surgery is for you.

Cosmetic periodontal surgery sculpts the gum line so that it is even and in proportion to the amount of exposed tooth versus gum. This procedure removes the excess gum and exposes more of the tooth crown. If your gums have receded, and your teeth appear overly long, then soft tissue grafts can extend the gum line to create an aesthetic balance. The grafts also reduce the gum pockets that are prone to future periodontal disease.

If you are unhappy with your smile, give us a call to discuss your options. After all, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

Sealants are a great way to protect against tooth decay and cavities on your back teeth (molars). These are the teeth that are most vulnerable to cavities and decay because they are used in the chewing process, and are the most difficult to reach and clean. Molars first come in at around 5-7 years of age, with a second set coming in between the ages of 11-14. It is best to have a sealant placed when the molars first come in to ensure they are protected early.

To place a sealant an adhesive is first applied to the teeth. The sealant is then placed over the adhesive as a liquid, as if it is painted right onto the tooth. The liquid then hardens and creates a barrier between your tooth and any plaque, food particles, and bacteria. Sealants last for about 10 years and can be reapplied if necessary.

Mouth guards are an essential piece of equipment in contact sports.  They should be worn by athletes of all ages who participate in sports such as:

  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Baseball/Softball
  • Soccer
  • …any sport where contact is a possibility.

Wearing a mouth guard helps prevent against structural damage to your teeth and jaw and also helps prevent injuries such as lacerations to your cheeks, tongue, and lips.  Mouth guards have also been shown to help decrease the risk of concussions.

Mouth guards are available in most any sporting goods store, but you should be careful when purchasing a mouth guard.  Mouth guards like this do not offer the best level of protection.  They are also usually ill-fitting and uncomfortable.

For the highest level of comfort and protection, you should visit your dentist for a custom mouth guard fitting.  A custom mouth guard is created specifically for the optimal protection of YOUR mouth.  It is created with thin plastic that is hardened to protect your teeth.  The thinness of the custom mouth guard allows for easy breathing and also allows for easy communication (especially important for you star quarterbacks calling out the signals).

See your dentist today for a custom mouth guard to protect your teeth and ensure that you maintain the highest level of performance on the field, court, or rink.

Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw. 

The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then drill down into the tooth to create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. After the infection has been removed, the space if filled with a sealant called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is successful. 

“Root canal” has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary”. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard. If you are experiencing pain consult your dentist today.

An apicoectomy is performed after an unsuccessful root canal. When an infection will not go away or returns after a root canal has been performed this procedure is usually necessary. There are many nerves that may contain the infected tissue, so it is difficult to ensure that all of the infection is removed during a root canal. During an apicoectomy, the tip of the root of the tooth is removed and replaced with a filling. 

In most cases a second root canal is considered before an apicoectomy since it is a simpler, less invasive procedure. Before the apicoectomy begins you will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area. The doctor will start by making an incision in your gum to expose the root of your tooth. Any inflamed tissue will be removed to clean out the area. The surgery takes place in a very small area, and only a few millimeters are removed from the root. For this reason, the doctor will use magnification and small precision instruments to perform the surgery. The precise nature of the surgery gives it a high rate of success. After the root is removed a filling is placed and the gums are sutured. Depending on the type of sutures you may have to return in a few days to have them removed, or dissolving sutures may be used instead. Over the course of the next few months the bone will heal around the root.

The use of the Endo Microscope allows a doctor to perform procedures with greater accuracy because the treatment area is magnified. The microscope’s superior illumination and magnification has made the greatest impact on visualization of the area, evaluation of surgical technique and use of fewer x-rays. With the unique ultrasonic unit and tips, a separated instrument or silver point can be removed with less effort. Fourth canals are now routinely being located and completely debrided in virtually all molars, thus increasing the long-term success rate with root canal therapy.

With proper care, most teeth that have had endodontic (root canal) treatment can last as long as other natural teeth. Root canals performed by endodontists (root canal specialists) have a 95% success rate. In some cases, however, a tooth that has received endodontic treatment fails to heal. Occasionally, the tooth becomes painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. 

Why do I need retreatment?

As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure. 
Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure. 
The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment. 
The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth. 
In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated.

For example:

New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth. A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to a new infection. A tooth sustains a fracture. Retreatment is performed in two visits and involves the following:

  • At the initial visit the endodontist will examine the tooth, take x-rays and discuss your treatment options. If you and your endodontist choose retreatment, the retreatment will be scheduled at that time for a future date.
  • At the retreatment appointment the endodontist will administer local anesthetic to numb the tooth. After the tooth is numb, the endodontist will reopen your tooth to gain access to the root canal filling material. In many cases, complex restorative materials (crown, post and core material) must be disassembled and removed to permit access to the root canals.
  • After removing the canal filling, the endodontist can clean the canals and carefully examine the inside of your tooth using a microscope, searching for any additional canals or unusual anatomy that requires treatment.
  • After cleaning the canals, the endodontist will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the tooth. Post space may also be prepared at this time.
  • After your endodontist completes retreatment, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or other restoration placed on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.
  • If the canals are unusually narrow or blocked, your endodontist may recommend endodontic surgery.