Procedures

Cleanings & Prevention

As the saying goes, "Prevention is the best medicine." No where is it more apparent than in dental settings. Good dental hygiene and regular visits to see your hygienist can mean the difference between a superficial filling or a root canal. Regular cleanings, exams, xrays, fluoride treatments, and sealants are several ways we can prevent any decay from causing further damage and, thus, costing you less money in the long run.

DENTAL EXAMS & CLEANINGS

Dental exams and cleanings go hand in hand. A cleaning involves our hygienist using instruments to clean off any plague and tartar that has built up around the teeth and gums. Once the hygienist has completed the cleaning, flossing, and polishing, the dentist is called over to exam the mouth. The dentist is looking for any signs of decay (ie, discoloration, lesions, pain). The dentist and hygienist may also use an intraoral camera to show the patient what they see. This is also the time when the patient can with the doctor about any concerns they may have. At the time of examination, the dentist will make any diagnosis and suggest treatment options should any be needed.
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SEALANTS

Sealants are often done as a preventative measure for very early decay or deep grooves found in teeth. If the dentist sees staining (early signs of decay) or notices that the patient has deep grooves (which provide easy access for decay to begin), they may suggest that we do a sealant to protect the tooth from further decay and the need for a filling later. This is because teeth with deep grooves will often develop decay even with excellent brushing habits. There is no need for anesthetic when doing sealants.
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DENTAL X-RAYS

Dental X-rays are an important part of diagnosis, as they can show what cannot be seen with the naked eye. Dental x-rays can show tooth decay, bone loss, and other dental conditions.
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Cosmetic Dentistry

Whereas restorative dentistry is meant to fix and save the teeth that you have or replace the ones that are lost, cosmetic dentistry is meant to showcase the teeth that you have. Bring out the best in your smile, look your best in pictures and be proud to flash those beautiful pearly whites. These are considered more elective procedures. However, certain cosmetic procedures can make teeth healthier overall. For example, straightening badly crooked teeth will make them much easier to clean and help keep your gums and bones healthier. Likewise, people with a perfectly functional set of teeth frequently experience significantly higher levels of self-esteem and confidence after procedures such as whitening, veneers, or a dental make-over. Consider these treatments and request a free cosmetic consultation with Dr. Reed today.

VENEERS

When teeth are relatively healthy but have unsightly imperfections, dental veneers may the perfect solution. They are ideal for correcting the following conditions:
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Heavily stained teeth
  • Rotated or crooked teeth
  • Congenitally misshapen teeth
  • Chipped or fractured teeth
Much more conservative than crowns, veneers cover only the front of the teeth with a beautiful, yet durable porcelain shell that can transform a smile. Certain veneer materials, such as Lumineers, are so thin and strong that only light shaping of teeth is required which results in a minimal need for anesthesia. These appointments will require two office visits. During the first, the teeth are shaped to make space for the veneers. Temporaries are then made for the patient and impressions are sent to a laboratory. On the second visit, the veneers are placed with bonding materials for a beautiful improvement that will last a long time. Veneers are considered a permanent treatment option so proper hygiene is required to maintain the benefits to your smile from this procedure.
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TOOTH WHITENING

A bright white and healthy smile is one of our greatest markers of physical attractiveness. It catches attention and sparks unprompted smiling in everyone from strangers to friends. Cross culturally, a big smile truly is one our most powerful ways to communicate happiness and display a person's beauty. Tooth whitening is a perfect way for someone with healthy teeth to make a tremendous improvement in their own smile. These days, it is common for people try and whiten their teeth by all sorts of means. Over the counter take-home kits, one size fits all trays, in office bleaching, and custom gel trays are all commonly used. What may work great for one person may not work for another person with much more heavier staining. Indeed, some types of staining may never disappear fully with whitening treatments at all and may be best treated with options such as dental veneers. If you would like a whiter smile, speak with Dr. Reed about your options to get the results you are looking for.
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PERIODONTAL DISEASE

Periodontal disease occurs when the gums become so inflamed by plaque and bacteria that they pull away from the tooth (receding gums). Over time, this inflammation spreads to the bone surrounding teeth causing bone loss in the jaws. If periodontal disease is not treated, tooth loss may occur even in the absence of any decay. Although this process is very easy to stop with proper treatment, the damage caused by chronic periodontal disease can be very difficult to actually reverse once it is present. Therefore, prevention really is the best medicine.
Periodontal disease is caused by a number of reasons, but the most common are from poor oral hygiene, genetic disposition, and social habits such as tobacco use. If caught early, periodontal can be treated, reversed, and maintained. There are a number of periodontal therapies that treat this disease.

SCALING AND ROOT PLANING

Scaling and root planing is the first step in treating periodontal disease. In this procedure, your hygienist will use an instrument to clean away the calculus that has built up along the root surfaces. This is not a regular cleaning. Because the calculus has gone down below the gum line and onto the root, the hygienist will numb the gums before working on the affected area. The hygienist will usually scale and root plane 2 quadrants at one time. More visits is often needed to complete a full mouth scaling and root planing. Once the scaling and root planing has been performed, it is very important that the patient return regularly for maintenance treatments, otherwise the calculus will return and the disease will continue to progress. This is because the deeper pockets around the affected teeth are at a higher risk of collecting debris and bacteria than the shallow pockets surrounding healthy teeth.
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Adjunctive Therapies

Along with scaling and root planing, adjunctive therapies may also be suggested to treat periodontal disease. One treatment we like to use is Arestin, which is an antibiotic that is placed directly between the gum and the affected tooth. The Arestin kills the bacteria that are causing the inflammatory process. If the periodontal disease has progressed, we can also offer laser perio therapy. In this treatment, the hygienist will use a laser to kill the bacteria below the gum line and cauterize the tissue to help promote regrowth. These treatments are very good way to avoid painful and expensive surgical options. Talk with your hygienist on the best way to treat your current periodontal disease.
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MAINTENANCE

Because rebound inflammation occurs so easily, once your periodontal disease has been brought down to management level, it is extremely important to follow through with a periodontal maintenance program. This means that if you still have deep gum pockets after scaling and root planing has been done, your hygienist will recommend that you come in about 3 times a year for a periodontal cleaning. This more frequent cleaning is important to make sure that those higher risk deep pockets remain free of debris and inflammation so that your disease does not flare up again.
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RESTORATIONS

Restorative dentistry is anything done to the mouth that restores the integrity or loss of the teeth. Decay, fracture, pain, and tooth loss are the most common reasons a patient would seek out a restorative treatment.
The main restorative procedures are fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, dentures, and implants.

FILLINGS

Fillings are performed on teeth with small to medium sized cavities. A cavity happens when decay has progressed enough to cause a hole or lesion in the tooth. The dentist will first clean out the decay and fill it with a composite filling. These are shaded to match your teeth in color. The dentist will make sure the filling is properly sealed so that decay will not return. We do NOT use amalgam or any mercury based fillings in our office. If you have a current amalgam filling, we can remove it and replace it with beautiful white composite on request.
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CROWNS (CAPS)

A crown is a replication of the tooth, which fits securely atop the formerly decayed or broken tooth. If a patient has a cavity that is too large for a filling to resolve than a crown is placed on the tooth instead. Crowns are also done after root canals to strengthen the tooth. The dentist will remove all the decay on the tooth and shape the tooth to make space for the crown. He will then take an impression of the tooth, make a temporary crown, and place the crown on the tooth about a week later. Our crowns can be done in porcelain, zirconia, full gold, or porcelain fused to metal.
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DENTURES & PARTIAL DENTURES

When teeth have been lost, dentures can made in partial or full form depending on how many teeth need to be replaced. A partial denture will usually replace 1-12 teeth and is completely removable. A full denture can replace both upper and lower arches. Full dentures can be made in Conventional or Immediate form. After any diseased teeth are removed, the gums and jaw bones will shrink as they heal. An Immediate Denture can be worn during this healing period and adjustments will be made be made to accommodate them your mouth as you heal. However, because of the natural shrinkage of the gums, immediate dentures must be rebuilt in time to fit the new shape of your mouth once the healing has stabilized. A Conventional denture will be made and delivered after healing is complete, which can take from 4-8 weeks. Although this means going without teeth for a while, when the conventional dentures are delivered, the fit usually requires only minor adjustment. All dentures will typically require a learning period on a patient's part. The mouth, lips, cheeks, and tongue will adapt to the dentures with both time and practice. We also make Valplast dentures which give a better cosmetic effect due to having absolutely no metal present. Existing dentures that fit poorly can be secured in place with dental implants.
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BRIDGES

A bridge is used to replace missing teeth. In this treatment, crowns are placed on stable teeth on either side of the empty space with prosthetic teeth filling the gap between them. Unlike dentures, bridges are a permanent fixed treatment option and cannot be removed by the patient. If a space is very large, bridges can be placed onto dental implants without modifying your natural teeth at all. Bridges are very durable and give patients the ability to chew, smile, and even speak normally again after they have lost teeth. Additionally, they will help prevent teeth from collapsing into empty spaces like books on a shelf, thereby protecting your smile.
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ROOT CANAL THERAPY

Each tooth is filled with living pulpal nerve tissue that extends into the roots. When the internal tissue of the tooth is traumatized or exposed to the external environment, colonizing microorganisms will infect and overwhelm the tooth. This can result in pain or eventual infection, and a root canal is needed to resolve it, otherwise permanent tooth loss will and jaw bone damage may occur. This can happen through decay or often trauma. To treat this, the dentist will enlarge the canals and irrigate and medicate the inside of the tooth to ensure that all microbes gone. Once the tooth has been hollowed out and sterilized, it is then filled and sealed to prevent any further decay. A crown must then be placed on top of the root canaled tooth for strength.
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IMPLANTS

Rapidly becoming the standard of care, dental implants are ideal for treating missing teeth, creating attachments for bridges, or securing dentures. Natural teeth don't need to be altered to restore spaces with implants, making them a more conservative choice than a traditional bridge when restoring something like a single missing tooth. All teeth stimulate the bones of your jaw keeping it healthy and strong. But when teeth are removed, that stimulation ceases and causes the body to reabsorb the bone that held that tooth in place. This results in bone loss and significantly ages your facial features. However, because implants will actually become part of your body (a process known as osseointegration), they have the distinct advantage of preserving the bone that they are placed into. Preventing this loss of bone helps tremendously to maintain proper facial tissue contours and lip support. So dental implants do more than simply replace teeth. They also restore your smile and prevent the onset of early aging. If you gums and jawbones are healthy, you are very likely an ideal candidate for dental implants, so speak with Dr. Reed about your treatment options.
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Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery is surgery on the tooth and jaws.

EXTRACTIONS

Extractions are done for several reasons including bone loss, fracturing, large decay that has affected the bone surrounding the tooth, and creating space for orthodontic treatment.
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BONE GRAFTING

When a patient has gone a long time without tooth, sometimes there can be quite a bit of bone loss. This becomes a problem when they are wanting to get an implant because there is not enough bone to support the implant. In this case, a bone graft can be peformed to restore adequate and stable bone foundation for the implant.
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RIDGE AUGMENTATION

Ridge augmentation is performed for similar reasons as a bone graft. In this case, the ridge of the bone will be widened to accomodate the implant.
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Orthodontics

Orthodontics refers to the straightening of teeth. Our office can accomodate minor to moderate issues of orthodontia, and can be treated with Power Prox (6 month braces) or Invisalign.

INVISALIGN

Invisalign
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6 MONTH BRACES

6 month braces
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