Exams: A comprehensive clinical exam will be performed by one of our dentists, normally during your cleaning appointments. They look for any visual decay and broken teeth or fillings, but also evaluate any soft tissue changes during their oral cancer screenings. An intraoral camera is used routinely to help you visualize your dental health or any treatment that may be needed. If any x-rays are taken, the doctors will also read those as part of your comprehensive exam.
X-rays: X-ray films are an important part of our prevention process. X-rays show the doctors many different aspects of dental health: decay, bone loss, infections – only to name a few. Many times, x-rays are the only way to detect any changes in your intra oral health. The x-rays we take are digital; for you this means no waiting times for processing x-ray film and less exposure to radiation. For our office, it means being able to give the best possible diagnosis technology allows - the doctors are able to highlight and magnify areas that may appear questionable, rotate films, and have clearer images than previous x-ray films offered.
Adult Prophylaxis: A licensed dental hygienist will perform your routine cleanings; a doctor’s exam or a hygienist’s oral evaluation will be a part of your appointment. Cleanings are recommended every six months; depending on your specific needs, more frequent visits may be recommended. The hygienists will remove plaque and tartar build up and evaluate the health of your gums and bone. During their evaluation, it may be noted that periodontal disease is a concern; periodontal disease is when bacteria causes an infection in the tissue that supports your teeth. The hygienists, with the direction of the doctors, may recommend that further periodontal screenings are needed; further recommendations may include, irrigation, a culture of the bacteria found in your mouth, root planing, or a referral to a periodontist.
Root Planing: This may be recommended if a more advanced stage of periodontal disease has been noted. Depending on the extent of the disease, one or more areas may need to be treated. Root planing consists of a “deeper” cleaning that removes the plaque, tartar, and toxins that have adhered to the surfaces of your tooth roots. Once removed, the surfaces are smoothed or “planed” – this allows a clean surface for the gum tissue to reattach to after it has healed.
Child Prophylaxis: A licensed dental hygienist will perform your child’s cleaning; a doctor’s exam or a hygienist’s oral evaluation will be a part of their appointment. It is recommended that a child be seen every six months for a cleaning; if your child has poor oral hygiene or has orthodontia in place, more frequent cleanings may be recommended. The hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth during their cleaning. We will also recommend a fluoride treatment be done for any child under the age of fifteen.
Sealants: Sealants are offered to our patients, adult or child. They are a protective, plastic coating that is placed on the biting surface of the permanent posterior teeth. Sealants cover the grooves on the top of your teeth so that plaque and bacteria can’t get stuck in them and start decay. It is important to note that sealants will only protect the biting surfaces of your teeth; good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist will help prevent decay from starting in between your teeth.
Oral Hygiene Instruction: Sometimes we become aware that a patient’s home care is not sufficient enough to keep their mouth in a healthy state. Oral hygiene instructions will be given by one of our dental hygienists or dental assistants to show proper techniques and equipment to use to help maintain your intra oral health.
Bite Splint Therapy: Bite splint therapy will be recommended for you if you show signs or have symptoms of clenching and grinding or TMJ disorders Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, headaches, jaw tension or soreness, muscle tension in your head, neck, and shoulders, and temperature or pressure sensitivity on your teeth. Recommended bite splints will vary from over the counter brands to a custom splint, made by our office, depending on the severity of your specific case.
Athletic Mouthguards: An athletic mouthguard is highly recommended if you are involved in any kind of contact sport or activity that could pose a potential threat to your overall oral health. A mouthguard will reduce the force of the blow that is received to your mouth and may save you from a broken tooth or even an evulsed tooth (tooth that gets knocked out).
Fillings: If during your exam decay is noted, a filling will be recommended for that tooth. An appointment will be made for you to see Dr. Rossi; he will remove the decay and fill that area with a resin filling, otherwise known as a tooth colored filling. Only in occasional cases will an amalgam or silver filling be done.
Crowns: When a tooth has a large area of decay, a large existing filling, or is broken, a crown will be the recommended treatment choice. A crown could be thought of as a “sewing thimble” for your tooth; it normally will cover the entire tooth that you see in your mouth. Crowns can be all metal, metal covered by porcelain, or ceramic covered by porcelain depending on the location in your mouth and the esthetics needed. The procedure is a two appointment procedure, which will be made with Dr. Lindstrom or Dr. Rossi. The first appointment is when the tooth is prepared and an impression is taken; a temporary crown made of plastic will be fabricated for you at the end of this appointment. At the second appointment your temporary crown will be removed and we will cement the real crown.
Bridges: A bridge is a treatment option that replaces the space where one or more teeth have been lost. The bridge has crowns, or abutments, that would be cemented to the natural teeth next to the space left by the missing tooth/teeth; a “fake” tooth, or pontic, is attached to the crowns. The pontic is what replaces the missing tooth/teeth and fills the space. Bridges start at three units – two crowns and the pontic, but can increase in quantity depending on how many teeth are being replaced. The preparation for the bridge has similar steps as a crown; your appointments will be made with Dr. Lindstrom or Dr. Rossi.
Implants: Implants are another treatment option that can replace the space where one or more teeth have been lost. Implants are metal “posts” that are surgically placed under your gum tissue. After a couple of months of healing time, the implant has fused to your jawbone and acts as artificial tooth roots. It is at this point that they can be restored with a crown, bridge, or denture. The initial placement of your implant will be referred to a periodontist or an oral surgeon; Dr. Lindstrom or Dr. Rossi will finish your implant case with the proper restoration needed for your specific case.
Root Canal Therapy: Root canals are recommended when a tooth has an infection in the nerve of the tooth; they are normally diagnosed by x-rays. Some patients have a toothache in the tooth that requires the root canal, some patients have no discomfort at all. A root canal is normally a one appointment procedure; this appointment will be made with Dr. Lindstrom. During a root canal, Dr. Lindstrom will remove the infected nerve tissue from the inside of the tooth. This area is then shaped and disinfected and the hollow nerve space is filled with a rubbery material that seals off the inside of the tooth. A few months following the root canal, a crown will be needed on the treated tooth because after a root canal is done the tooth becomes brittle.
Extractions: Under certain circumstances, we may recommend that a tooth be removed if it appears to be non-restorable or is affecting the health of the teeth and bone around it. After your case is reviewed by one of our doctors, they will decide if the extraction will be done by Dr. Lindstrom, in our office, or if your case needs to be referred to an oral surgeon. Your comfort, accessibility to the tooth, tooth and bone pathology, and quantity of teeth being extracted will all play a role in their decision.
Dentures: If you come to our office without teeth or have severe periodontal disease, dentures may be an option for you. Dentures are made out of acrylic and are custom made for you; they are a prosthesis that is removed on a daily basis. A series of appointments will be made with Dr. Rossi in which tooth/teeth position, bite, and jaw relations will be evaluated and impressions will be taken. From the impressions and other records/relations that are taken, dentures can be processed. There will be a minimum of two appointments; most cases require several visits. It is extremely important to us that we give you a quality prosthesis that is comfortable and esthetically pleasing.
Partials: A partial may be recommended if you have several areas of missing teeth and need a replacement option. Some partial dentures are made of all acrylic but most will contain a combination of acrylic and metal; partials contain different “clasps” that hold onto existing teeth. The clasps help retain and stabilize the partial. Appointments for the fabrication of the partial will be similar the ones described in the denture section.
(There are many areas already listed that could be considered esthetic or cosmetic dentistry. Resin fillings, crowns, and bridges can all fall into this category if done only for the reason of appearance; for any other reasons, they should fall under the restorative category.)
Porcelain Veneers: Veneers are thin “shells” that are cemented onto anterior teeth for esthetic reasons. They are used to help brighten teeth that have permanent stain or discoloration, fill in small gaps that you may have in between your anterior teeth, or fix teeth that are poorly shaped or slightly crooked. The preparation for veneers is similar to the crown procedure; they also will require two appointments with one of our doctors. Veneers are a great option if you are looking for that cosmetic boost to your smile.
Bleaching: Bleaching your teeth can be an easy, cost effective way of brightening your smile. Over time, your teeth can become stained for different reasons – age, smoking, coffee, cola, and red wine consumption just to name a few. Bleaching products can help remove the stain from your teeth and give you a whiter, younger-looking appearance. We offer two different ways of bleaching – professional strength Crest Whitestrips or bleaching trays with bleach gel. The Whitestrips are recommended when only anterior whitening is the goal of the bleaching process. If you have a smile that includes posterior teeth and are concerned about whitening your teeth further back, flexible plastic bleach trays will be fabricated for you. You will receive a bleaching gel that is to be placed into those trays. Whichever process is chosen, it normally takes about two weeks for results.