- + Bonding
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material to the surface of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. Special care is taken to match the resin to the tooth color perfectly before it is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is then shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish.
- + Bridges
A bridge is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to resemble the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two adjacent teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics. It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a chain reaction of problems. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ.
- + Cosmetic Dentistry
This can be anything done to correct imperfections in the appearance of the mouth. Anyone who is unhappy with his or her smile can create a new one. Usually the upper teeth show only when smiling, while the lower teeth remain hidden. This is reversed when talking; with the upper teeth remaining hidden while the lower teeth show. Color, alignment, spacing, and regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that give the overall appearance; any of these can be repaired to give a stunning look to the mouth.
At Ashman Dental, a wide variety of cosmetic options are offered. These options include whitening, smile design, recontouring the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.
- + Crowns
A crown is a full coverage restoration that is used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The amount of tooth structure left after the removal of decay will determine if a crown is needed. A tooth is more likely to break when a large cavity is replaced with a filling material. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest muscles in the human body. Our teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. A crown rides over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile. With our cutting edge CEREC Machine, most crowns can be designed, made and seated in a single visit. This means no temporaries and no uncomfortable impression trays. The CEREC also provides color matched ceramic that looks and feels natural.
- + Dentures
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. Different dentures include: complete dentures (CD), which replace all missing teeth in an arch, a removable partial denture that replace some missing teeth, and an overdenture which replace all missing teeth in an arch but attach to implants for stabilization. Dentures replace teeth that have become loose or have been lost due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it's time for dentures. There is no need to worry, no one enjoys losing his or her natural teeth, but you can still eat and talk regularly. The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fit to go over or around any remaining teeth in the mouth, depending on the type of denture. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. Once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. Often implants can be used to further stabilize the dentures.
- + Fillings
Fillings are done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because a new material fills hole that decay left. Nowadays most teeth are treated with tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would possibly need root canal treatment, or extraction.
- + Implants
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to heal. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work in that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the crown wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft. Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period, unlike dentures, the patient only fells the new tooth and does not have to become accustom to metal supports around the teeth. Second, this slows the bone loss created by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating, and, best of all, they don't ever have to be taken out unlike dentures. We also offer mini dental implants. These implants are about half the diameter of traditional implants are used mainly to stabilize lower dentures. These implants can be placed in one appointment and be immediately used. Call for a free consult.
- + Sedation Dentistry
Dental sedation is used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia. We are happy to offer a number of solutions to our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible. Sedation dentistry enables patients - who might otherwise avoid the dentist - to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile. Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.
Medication is given to a patient the night before their dental procedure and 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered to relieve the pain.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV Sedation provides medication through a small needle inserted in your hand or arm. Like oral sedatives, IV sedation does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic will also be administered. Intravenous sedation allows patients to still be awake but in an extreme state of relaxation, feeling little or no pain.
- + Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to its pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected and cannot heal on its own it must be treated this infection can even weaken the entire immune system. It is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain when biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. However, sometimes no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp (nerves and blood vessels), and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. When the pulp is removed the tooth becomes brittle and depending on how much tooth structure is left a core build-up and crown are recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
- + Sealants
Sealants are predominantly done on children. This procedure is used to fill in narrow grooves on a newly erupted 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 between them. These grooves will develop cavities over time, 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
Gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for ones teeth. These structures are also referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth just as a bad foundation would threaten 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 indicate something is wrong. However, with the proper care, it may be possible to return them to a healthy state. This is where appropriate gum treatments come in. 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. This is why it is important to get it treated at the first sign of a problem.
- + Whitening - Including Zoom!
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses several methods: Zoom II, passive tray whitening, and professional strength white strips. Zoom II is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It's safe, effective, and very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The convenience of Zoom II in comparison to days of using strips or wearing trays makes it the perfect choice for busy individual. Zoom II whitening procedure is very simple. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the proprietary whitening gel that is activated by a specially designed light. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You will be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure. Trays with whitening gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance. The tray method involves having impressions taken of your teeth, from which custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every few months. The end results whether using trays at home or doing Zoom II is the same.
- + X-Ray
This is a focused beam of X-Ray 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, and not to use them 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 does require attention. In our office we use digital radiography which provides faster results, and allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. This digital technique also allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
- + Veneers
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a porcelain or composite covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. This is done to increases esthetic concerns, such as; gaps between teeth, miss shaped teeth, and to correct decolonization of teeth. The procedure can be direct or indirect. The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to simply as bonding. The indirect technique involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory-fabricated veneers are made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic. The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth structure is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that need large fillings or have little tooth structure.