Prophylaxis is a procedure where a dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from the teeth. This will make the gums, bone and teeth healthier. In addition, the patient’s immune system is stimulated to build antibodies against the microorganisms in the mouth, responsible for gum, bone and tooth disease. Further, research has found dental cleaning to enhance heart, kidney and overall health! It is truly amazing that such an important and vital component to full body health can be improved simply by adhering to a few quick and easy dental hygiene visits each year. A lifetime of optimal health can be had for a very small investment in cost and time for our patients who maintain consistent dental hygiene visits. As always it is ever important for one to brush and floss after every meal to prevent buildup of plaque, tartar, and periodontal disease.
Periodontal scaling is a procedure whereby a hygienist removes the disease-producing deposits from under the gum line. Plaque and tartar are removed from the tooth and root surface. The procedure is usually performed utilizing local anesthesia to make the patient comfortable during the procedure. Many times it can be performed in 2 to 4 visits depending on the amount of deposits, inflammation, and disease present.
Dental sealants are thin composite applications which are applied to the chewing surface of the teeth to prevent decay. Most tooth decay in children and adolescents occur on the chewing surfaces of these posterior teeth. This is secondary to irregular surfaces with pits and grooves which tend to trap food and bacterial debris. Sealants flow into and coat these pits and grooves preventing bacteria from multiplying and causing decay. Sealants are typically placed during the 6th and 12th years of life for our child population.
In the past, when an old filling wore out or you had a cavity, your only option was to get another amalgam (silver) filling. However, amalgam fillings have several drawbacks. Silver amalgam fillings greatest failure is the fact that they do not adhere to tooth structure. Further, they promote tooth fracture secondary to allowing leakage of bacteria and saliva between the walls of the tooth and filling. Decay formation under and along the walls of silver fillings is common place. Tooth decay, being a chronic disease, typically does not alert an individual to it’s presence. Thus, decay continues and grows, perpetuating itself for years, while never alerting an individual to its presence in their teeth. Today, we are most fortunate to have glass-resin restorations. When properly performed they adhere to and hold together our tooth structure after decay removal. This amazingly promotes long term health, as well as fracture resistance. Glass-filled restorations are exceedingly conservative vs. silver fillings. Further glass restorations do not contain mercury, nor do they conduct cold or heat, thus they are very comfortable.
Root Canal Treatment is the most misunderstood of all dental work performed today. A true blessing for tooth retention in the mouth, otherwise diseased teeth that would be lost to extraction can successfully and comfortably be retained in the patient’s mouth. Modern anesthesia allows for exceptionally smooth and effective root canal treatment, remarkably without any discomfort.
Most individuals are not aware that diseased and “dead teeth” most commonly do not result in any pain to the patient. This is a result of the chronic nature of all dental disease.
Utilizing state of the art endodontic treatment methods, studied through ongoing root canal continuing education hands-on seminars, we are able to thoroughly and without trauma nor discomfort successfully treat teeth throughout the mouth, allowing patients to retain and use teeth for years to come, that would otherwise be lost.
Teeth that are either diseased, fractured extensively and or have large failed fillings, require restoration with either a large core or post and core restoration. These resorations can be placed in teeth with or without root canals. Dr. Rice utilizes state-of-the-art dental adhesives and tooth colored glass restorative material, to bond and weld together the remnants of the tooth and the root. This allows for the strongest possible foundation filling, for a crown or bridge which follows this procedure.
A crown is an enamel replacement covering whereby a tooth is covered to strengthen and protect the tooth from future fracture and decay. Teeth damaged by decay or having previously been restored along with fractured or root canal treated teeth are also crowned if sufficient tooth is missing or if the dentist feels that the tooth will last longer by protecting it with a crown. There are several types of crowns. The dentist and patient will make the decision as to which one is best for the patient.
Many patients present to our Team with one or more missing teeth. Bridges, which allow one to regain not only a drastic improvement in chewing ability, but phenomenal Smile Enhancement, are easily performed these days. Bridges can span single tooth spaces, an entire side or front portion of the mouth, and in some instances, the entire upper or lower jaw. Strength and beauty have now united in Bridge making materials resulting in long-lasting, beautiful and healthy Smiles. Please ask Dr. Rice about this option for your overall health improvement.
Implants are used today to predictably and successfully treat missing teeth throughout the mouth, without involving other teeth surrounding the edentulous space or spaces. Feel free to ask us about your options.
We live in an ever demanding time, with little ability to decompress, this can lead to clenching, grinding, gnashing, etc. This can cause damage to patients TMJ’s, teeth, fillings, crowns, bone and gum tissue. Premature wear of teeth, tooth fracture and loss of root structure, are all currently attributed to parafunctional activity. Occlusal guard therapy, when properly implemented, can interrupt the negative and permanent effects of TMJ, TMD, clenching and bruxing. Our team can custom fabricate and individually fit, the appropriate appliance for your specific needs. Ask us today what is available to enhance your quality of life.
Patients today are being encouraged by their primary care physicians to pursue treatment of snoring and sleep apnea, with not only CPAP treatment, but in some cases, utilizing an intra-oral dental device. Patients who obtain a a prescription from their physician for a snore guard or sleep apnea guard can explore the latest treatment devices in dentistry, that have shown clinical prowess and success for some patients. Certain patients have even found relief from their migraine headaches wearing these devices.
These are often linked to parafunctional activity, clenching, grinding and bruxing of our teeth. Talk with the Copper Ridge Dental team about your headaches. Occusal guards as well as snore guards may be an alternative therapy for your migraine headaches.
Our office is very pleased to provide alternatives for some of our patients who find their trips to the dental office to be a “white-knuckled” event. We now offer safe, yet effective, prescription drugs that truly allow for the “anxiety-less” appointment that patients desire. The oral or pre-treatment medications have allowed a great many people to have necessary dental work performed, without the associated unpleasant feelings that can be experienced during invasive dental treatment. Please feel free to contact us regarding further information on this or other topics which you feel will enhance your ability to acquire the dental care that you choose to receive.