The secret to a bright, healthy smile is actually no secret at all: brush, floss and get a professional dental exam at least once every six months. Professional dental exams are all about prevention – preventing existing problems from getting worse and preventing dental problems from developing in the future. Regular dental exams make it possible to identify and treat a problem in its earliest stage – which is not only good for your oral health but also good for your budget!
There's nothing to fear with a dental exam. Your teeth will be visually examined for signs of plaque, tartar and tooth decay. Your gums will also be examined for puffiness or discoloration, which are signs of gum disease. A full set of dental X-rays may also be taken during your dental exam, to enable your dentist to see below the surfaces of your teeth. Dental exams typically end with a dental cleaning, to remove surface stains and buildup.
Digital (Panoramic) Dental X-Ray
Dental X-rays have come a long way. Todays dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Intraoral photography is another alternative to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a 35mm or digital camera.
Today's teeth whitening treatments are so easy, convenient and affordable that they've become a regular part of everyone's beauty routine. If you haven't tried one yet, you'll be happy to know that you have plenty of choices. For the fastest, most dramatic results, consider laser teeth whitening. Laser teeth whitening treatments take just an hour and can whiten teeth up to 10 shades. If you're the do-it-yourself type, an at-home teeth whitening kit might be right for you. These professional grade teeth whitening kits produce excellent results over a longer period of time. They can be purchased from your dentist or over-the-counter, but for best results, it's recommended that you always consult with a dentist before trying any over-the-counter teeth whitening system.
Dental composite resins are types of synthetic resins which are used in dentistry as restorative material or adhesives. The main advantage of a direct dental composite over traditional materials such as amalgam is improved aesthetics. Composites can be made in a wide range of tooth colours allowing near invisible restoration of teeth. Composites are glued into teeth and this strengthens the tooth's structure.
If your silver fillings make you feel self conscious when you smile, or it's simply time to replace them, consider white fillings. White fillings are just as durable as they are attractive! These white fillings match the natural color of your teeth and are an excellent option for small to mid-sized cavities. White fillings are strong, stain-resistant and require less removal of your tooth structure than amalgam fillings.
A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant and is typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth.
A dental crown may not make you feel like royalty, but it is one of the premiere treatments for teeth with extensive decay or damage. Dental crowns can also used to hold a dental bridge in place, cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth, or cover a tooth after a root canal procedure. Made of either porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic or gold, dental crowns are placed during a multi-step process and sometimes require more than one dental visit. The first step is a dental impression. A temporary crown is then placed to protect the tooth while the impression is sent to an offsite laboratory to create the final restoration. In some cases, same-day crowns are possible, so be sure to inquire. With good oral hygiene and minimal wear and tear, your beautiful new dental crowns can last up to 15 years.
CEREC crowns are one of most innovative dental technologies to ever emerge. With CEREC crowns, you don't have to worry about messy impressions, temporary dental crowns, or multiple dental visits. CEREC crowns are made right in the dentist's office and are placed in just one visit. CEREC crowns look great, too. Made of pure porcelain and no metal, CEREC crowns look and feel like your real teeth. The convenience, comfort and beauty of CEREC crowns are unbeatable!
Porcelain Dental Crowns
Although dental crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including stainless steel, gold and silver, nothing looks better than a porcelain dental crown. Porcelain dental crowns match the natural color of your teeth and are virtually undetectable by the naked eye. And because they're metal-free, porcelain dental crowns are an excellent option for patients with metal allergies. Best of all, porcelain crowns don't just look beautiful – they're long-lasting, too!
Years ago, smile makeovers involved multiple dental treatments over a period of several months. That's no longer the case, thanks to porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers are ultra thin shells made of translucent porcelain that can be bonded to your teeth for cosmetic purposes. Extremely versatile and durable, porcelain veneers are an excellent option whether you want a total smile makeover or need to cover a chipped tooth, mask a cracked tooth, or close gaps between your teeth. They require little to no prepping and can often be applied in just one dental visit!
Gum Disease Treatment
Red, swollen gums are a red flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you're not alone. More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, requires scaling and root planing to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line. Laser gum surgery, a new alternative to scaling and root planing, uses beams of high-speed light to remove plaque and tartar buildup. If non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective, a gingivectomy, or periodontal surgery, may be necessary.
A human tooth normally has one to four canals, with teeth toward the back of the mouth having more. These canals run through the center of the roots like pencil lead through the length of a pencil. The pulp receives nutrition through the blood vessels and nerves carry signals back to the brain to warn of adverse events and circumstances. For a person who feels tooth pain or discomfort, a root canal may be neccesary.
Root canals get a bad wrap. But don't believe the rumors; the dreaded root canal isn't dreadful at all! Root canals are needed when either decay or an injury infects the inner tooth (the pulp). In the earliest stages of infection, you may not feel any pain at all. But when it progresses, you could have a toothache and swelling, or a dental abscess might form. Root canals remove the infection and prevent it from spreading. Thanks to laser root canals, this process is faster, more comfortable and, in many cases, more thorough than conventional root canals. Pulp capping is an alternative to root canals that are used when the infection has yet to penetrate the pulp. Pulp capping can also prevent a large dental filling from getting too close to the nerve.
Oral surgery is an umbrella term for surgical treatments such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extractions and bone grafting. Dental implants, an excellent solution for missing teeth, are surgically placed tooth roots that hold dental crowns in place. A wisdom tooth extraction may be recommended if there isn't enough room in your mouth to accommodate wisdom teeth and they become impacted, partially erupted or infected. Bone grafting transfers bone from one part of the jaw to another, usually to accommodate a dental implant. While a general dentist can perform some oral surgery procedures, an oral surgeon is required for others.
Cosmetic Dental Bonding
Cosmetic dental bonding is a versatile and affordable way to improve the appearance of chipped teeth, stained teeth and gapped teeth. As one of the most conservative cosmetic dentistry treatments around, cosmetic dental bonding requires little to no prepping and preserves most of the natural tooth structure. And it's fast, too! Dental bonding usually takes just one visit to complete.