We perform multiple types of exams, but our two most common exams are a routine recall exam and a new patient exam. During both of these exams, we typically examine a patient's hard and soft tissue (palate, gums, teeth, tongue, etc.). Additionally, we may also take x-rays—which would include bitewing (to see in between teeth) or periapical (to see the roots of the teeth) images.
When a tooth has a fracture or large decay, it may need a crown. A crown is a "cap" that fits over your tooth, providing a new tooth to cover the existing one. They are beneficial for large fillings due to the increased strength they provide. Crowns can also be used in cosmetic cases to help beautify a patient's smile.
When a tooth has a cavity, it may need a filling or a crown depending on the size of the decay within the tooth. For a restoration, we remove the decayed tooth structure and replace it with a dental material, usually a composite resin. This material takes the place of the decayed tooth structure to provide strength to the remaining healthy tooth. If you want to know a bit more about dental restorations you can click HERE.
Are you unsatisfied with your smile? We perform aesthetic cases with either veneers or crowns. In the same way a crown is a "cap" on the tooth, a veneer is a covering on the front surface. Veneers usually require careful planning and will require diagnostic casts to be completed beforehand.
A bridge is an option for patients who have lost a tooth. The two teeth adjacent to the space (the abutment) will have crowns that go over them, and the space between will have a crown (pontic) that is connected to the other two. This provides a wonderful cosmetic appearance and it is "fixed," so you never have to remove it.
Sealants are performed on newly erupted teeth in children. This is a little covering that goes into the grooves and helps prevent tooth decay.
Do you want a brighter smile? Our office offers whitening trays to help patients achieve the bright smile they desire. We take impressions (molds) of your teeth, and from there fabricate custom trays that fit directly over your teeth. These trays help the whitening gel adhere uniformly over your teeth—much better than white strips or standard over-the-counter trays. We also use a convenient 30-minute whitening gel, which we usually have in stock so you can pick up a replacement as needed.
Dentures replace lost teeth and give you your smile and ability to chew back. These are not "fixed," and need to be removed and cleaned each night in order to maintain good oral health.
A partial denture is one option to replace missing teeth. Unlike a bridge, it is removable. There are several types of partial dentures. Some are more rigid which provides the most strength, while others are flexible to offer more comfort.
Sometimes the root(s) of a tooth can become infected due to bacteria from a cavity. This causes the nerve to become damaged beyond repair--or a tooth can be fractured which damages the nerve directly. When this happens a root canal is needed, and the nerve must be removed. Signs that your tooth may need a root canal include pain that keeps you up at night, sensitivity to cold, and pain when you bite.
We recommend extracting a tooth when it is beyond saving, but this is the last resort. We perform certain oral surgery/extractions in house. However, we typically do not extract wisdom teeth (except under certain circumstances), and usually refer them to a nearby oral surgeon.
Tooth pain never comes at convenient times. If you have pain that is keeping you up at night, or that is unbearable, we can see you for an emergency visit. This will comprise of a limited exam, usually an x-ray and either the start of a root canal or extraction. If you have a dental emergency please call at 615-298-1651. The On call dentist's phone number will be listed on our answering machine.