Dental Education

FILLINGS

Fillings are done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because new material fills a hole that decay has left. Nowadays most teeth are treated with bonded tooth-colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If untreated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection. Ultimately resulting in the need for a root canal or extraction.

SEALANTS

Sealants are used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you don't want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENTS

The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation of teeth. These structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, the teeth are jeopardized just as a bad as a foundation would jeopardize the stability of a house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) may be as follows: gums that are red and bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. Any of these signs may mean something is wrong. With the proper care, however, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. If you're having a problem, come in and see us so we can take care of it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease gets too severe, it may need to be treated through surgery or extraction. Gum disease may also lead to other serious health conditons. Remember, your mouth is part of your body. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.

X-RAYS

X-rays are a focused beam of particles through bone which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process. To decline their use could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention. We use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays.