General Dentistry

Teeth Cleanings   |   Fillings   |   Crowns and Bridges   |     Tooth Extractions   |   Dental Implants   |   Composite Bonding

Our general dentistry practice provides a wide range of services to meet your needs throughout every stage of life. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice. Our emphasis is on total preventive care. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, routine check-ups and continued home oral health routines.

We believe in providing the highest-quality services for restoring mouths that have been damaged by dental disease and injury, as well as common issues that result from aging that may require cosmetic dentistry. Our goal is for you to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques and by helping you to maintain your scheduled dental exams.


Teeth Cleanings

During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then polish your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.

Are you due for a dental cleaning? Call us at 757-484-1444 to schedule your appointment.

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Fillings

The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring a tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We will replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.

With today’s advancements, no longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly silver/mercury fillings or metal crown margins of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.

 

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Crowns and Bridges

Crowns

A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  • Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  • Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  • Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  • Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
  • Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
  • After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements or bonds it into place.

This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.

 

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth.
  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extends into the missing tooth space.

 

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Tooth Extractions

General Extractions

An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if a primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth, if the tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired, if the patient has gum disease, or if the tooth is impacted (usually the wisdom teeth). Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A local anesthetic is used to ensure patient comfort throughout the procedure.

Wisdom Teeth

Third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of the jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, a wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one or more of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.

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Dental Implants

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement
  • Full Lower Replacement

If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.

Post Implant Care

Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentist at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

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Composite Bonding

Bonding is a common solution for:

  • Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
  • Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface

Often, composite boding is used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

Composite bonding has many advantages:

  • It is a quick process, which typically takes less than one hour.
  • It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
  • Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
  • Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.

Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, certain foods and candy.

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