Preventive and Diagnostic
Pre-formed, ready-to-wear mouth guards can be purchased inexpensively at many sporting stores, but they do not always fit well. They can be uncomfortable and interfere with talking and even breathing.
Sporting goods stores also offer semi-custom mouth guards, in which the plastic is heated and then the athlete bites on it while still warm to provide some level of custom fit.
Your dentist can make a custom mouth guard by taking an impression of your teeth and then creating a device fitted to your mouth for the highest level of both comfort and protection. A custom fitted mouthguard can be particularly important for athletes who wear braces.
Be sure to bring your mouthguard to your dental appointments so your doctor can be sure it still fits you well.
Complete (Full) Dentures are made after all the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. The denture includes an acrylic base that is custom made in the dental laboratory and is made to look like natural gums. The denture sits over the gums or can be anchored to dental implants.
Removable Partial Dentures are made when only a few teeth need to be replaced. Removable partial dentures either attach to crowns on either side of the denture or to a metal framework that is then attached to the teeth on both sides of the partial denture. When worn during the day, removable partial implants can also be supported in place by dental implants. As opposed to being removable, partial dentures can also be anchored in place by being attached to dental implants.
In-Office Bleaching usually requires only one office visit. A protective gel or a rubber shield is placed over the gums to protect the soft tissue. A bleaching agent containing carbamide peroxide is applied to the teeth.
At-Home bleaching requires an impression of the teeth to be taken to make a customized mouth guard to hold the whitening gel, containing carbide peroxide, against the teeth. Once the mouth guard is made, it is worn for a period of time, as instructed by our office. The amount of time may vary from a couple hours a day, or all night, to up to four weeks or longer, if desired.
To treat TMJ disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (eating soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, stabilization splints).
Gum recession is often the result of gum disease but it can also be caused by genetic disposition and/or overly aggressive brushing.
Until recently, the primary treatment method for receding gums was gum grafting, also known as soft tissue grafting. This generally involves removing soft tissue from the palate or cheek, or from a donor source, and stitching it in place over the exposed tooth root.
The Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique is an exciting new procedure, providing a minimally invasive alternative to gum grafting. This new treatment can be used to restore gums to their natural position. A few small “pinholes” are created in the soft pliable tissue above or below the exposed tooth. Then, using these pinholes as access points, specially designed instruments are used to loosened and reposition recessed gum tissues to cover the exposed root. Collagen strips are then placed in the gum tissue between the teeth to keep gums in place and promote rapid healing. The result is a healthier and more beautiful smile.
Advantages over traditional gum grafting include:
▪ No blades, no cutting, no stitches
▪ Immediately visible results
▪ Minimal patient discomfort
▪ Short treatment time
▪ Rapid recovery time
▪ Lower risk of infection following treatment
Other benefits of laser dentistry over traditional methods can include:
- Reduced heat and vibration
Little or no need for anesthetic
- Faster treatment
- Increased rate of retention
- Fewer post-operative complications
Lasers can be used in dental procedures to:
- “Cure” or harden fillings
- Whiten teeth
- Reshape gum tissue
- Biopsy or remove soft tissue lesions and ulcers
- Remove areas of tooth decay
- Eliminate pockets of infected gum tissue
- Root canal therapy
- Correct ankyloglossia (tongue-tied)
- Oral surgery and extractions
When restoring damaged, broken, and decayed teeth, the goal is to return the tooth to its original strength, function, and esthetic. Biomimetic dentistry accomplishes all of this in a conservative, strong, and attractive approach.