A professional dental cleaning takes about 30 minutes and 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 planing and polishing.
A filling is a way to restore a decayed tooth back to its normal shape and function. This will help prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria might enter.
There are a variety of filling materials available and we will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, the location of the filling and the cost.
Veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure in which a thin layer of porcelain or composite material is placed over the outside of the tooth to improve esthetics or help with tooth damage. Veneers can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique is often referred to as “bonding” because it involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth and bonding the material to the teeth.
The indirect technique involves two appointments because the veneers are fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions are taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. After two or three weeks, the temporaries are removed, and the veneers, usually made using porcelain or pressed ceHardyc, are bonded to the teeth.
The advantage of veneers over crowns is that much less of the tooth material has to be removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are not recommended for patients who have large fillings or little tooth structure. They are also typically recommended for the restoration of front teeth.
Crowns, also called “caps” are used to restore or replace teeth that are missing or damaged. A crown is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth and not only strengthens the tooth, but it can also dramatically improve the tooth's appearance, shape, and alignment.
Crowns may be used to...
- 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 bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the real teeth on either side for support--hence the name. Bridges are a perfect option for filling the space created by a missing tooth because it replaces the missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge materials include gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all-ceHardyc material made to match your natural tooth color which is why it is considered an art as much as it is an exact science. We will help you choose the best material based on requirements for strength, wear, cost, and/or esthetics.
Sealants are a preventive treatment in dentistry intended to protect teeth which may have fine grooves or pits that accumulate plaque overtime. These grooves create a problem because the grooves are too narrow to allow even one bristle into them, not because the person doesn't brush. When plaque accumulates, it can lead to cavities and other types of tooth decay. To apply sealants, a plastic material is brushed onto the tooth, filling these narrow grooves and preventing the cavity-causing buildup.
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure used to whiten stained and discolored teeth, or simply to enhance a dull smile. This is a safe and relatively painless procedure for most patients which we offer in strips, trays, or in-office procedures. As always, Somerset Dentistry will help you make the best choice best on your needs and budget.
Many patients choose to have in-office bleaching procedures because they provide the most immediate results. In about an hour we are able to apply a protective gel to your gums, then a special light-activated gel to your teeth before putting you under a light which activates the whitening agent. Additionally you will receive a take-home gel and instructions to keep the smile bright for years.
Alternatively, tray whitening is a less-expensive and convenient at-home whitening treatment but the results are more gradual. An impression of your teeth is taken at the dentist's office in order to create a customized clear tray. Within a few days the patient will be able to pick up the tray and gel and be given instructions for at-home treatment. Maximum whitening results and a dazzling smile are achieved at the end of the set treatment period. An occasional treatment can be used to maintain the new smile.
Whitening strips can be available at the local store or at dental practices. The dentist will have the best recommendations for your needs.
Ask about our whitening options! Please consult us about use of over-the-counter whitening treatments.
Root canal treatment, also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy, is used to save an infected or damaged tooth and avoid having to remove it. A root canal becomes necessary when a neglected cavity reaches all the way to the pulp at the center of the tooth, causing the pulp to become infected. Regular cleanings and checkups are recommended to detect and prevent problems early on.
Dentists will use every measure to prevent tooth loss because the loss of a single tooth can have major impact on a patient's overall oral health and appearance. However, there are still some occasions when a tooth needs to be extracted, such as:
- Severe decay
- Advanced gum disease
- Infection or abscess
- Orthodontic correction
- Malpositioned teeth
- Fractured teeth or roots
- Impacted teeth
The dentist may suggest an extraction after careful examination and treatment and based on the degree of difficulty you may be referred to an oral surgeon. A certain amount of pain and discomfort is to be expected following an extraction but our staff will tailor make a specific treatment plan to ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
If you experience prolonged or severe pain, swelling, bleeding or fever, call our office immediately.
If you are missing one or more teeth for reasons like injury or periodontal disease our team may recommend an Implant. First a metal post, which will act as a permanent "root", is surgically positioned into the jaw. After some recovery time,our highly- trained team will place an implant to meet your dental needs. Implants require healthy gums, adequate bone and a commitment to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits.
Please set up a consultation for this comprehensive procedure.
A dental implant is the ideal tooth restoration procedure for people who have lost one or more teeth from injury or periodontal disease. After a metal post is placed, the restoration is completed with a replacement crown. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits such as being stronger than natural teeth, lasting up to 20 years, and because they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support they are a more favorable approach than bridgework.
It is important to note that implants require healthy gums and adequate bone. A patient must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits, as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Please let us know if you have any questions about the procedures involved in dental implants.
Dentures are either a complete (replaces all teeth) or partial (replaces some teeth) replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues that is removable. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth, so there should be no noticeable change to appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve a smile!
Complete Dentures are custom created and natural looking. They are fit in the patient's mouth to take the place of the original teeth. Complete dentures are generally removable and may require adjustments in order to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.
Partial Dentures are replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base and help restore better functionality to the mouth. As with complete dentures, it is possible to have more permanent option cemented into place.
Custom-designed mouthguards and nightguards are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit the shape of your teeth and are recommended to protect the jaw, tongue, cheek lining and teeth during physical activity and sports such as boxing, football, basketball, or other activities where your mouth might get hit. Night guards are recommended for patients who clench or grind their teeth at night to protect their teeth.
Custom-made oral appliances can also be used as part of treatment for conditions like sleep apnea and TMJ disorders. In general, plastic appliances can be used to correct a variety of problems.
If you are active in athletics or experiencing any concerning experiences with your mouth, teeth, or jaw, please let us know. If any kind of guard or appliance is a good option for you, we will take an impression of your teeth to create a custom-fit product for your specific needs.