Our Dental Services Include:
- Digital x-rays
- Intra-oral camera with TV monitor in every room
- Tooth colored fillings, composite (tooth colored) fillings, silver fillings removal
- Mercury-free dentistry
- Emergency care
- Crown and bridge, veneers
- Cracked tooth syndrome
- Dental Implants
- Same day Denture Repair and Reline
- Root Canal Treatment
- Nitrous Oxide available - analgesia given to relax the patient
- Appliances for TMJ and teeth grinding
- Athletic mouth guards
Intra Oral Cameras Help You Get A Clear View
Patients don't often have a clear idea of the actual status of their dental health. With the use of intra oral cameras, when at the dentist, you sit comfortably back in the chair and can watch as things progress. The dentist or hygienist inserts a pen-sized, camera-tipped wand into your mouth that is covered with a disposable plastic sheath for contamination prevention. The wand takes a video of the inside of your mouth and transmits the images to a computer screen. The full-color images is one that you can view from the dental chair. And there is your mouth on the screen. The dentist points out any problem areas and explain his recommendations for treatment, so you will become an informed partner in your dental care.
FILLINGS AND BONDING
A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling also helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter. There is a variety of filling materials available including gold, plastic and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best for you, depending on the extent of repair, where in your mouth the filling is needed, and cost. Each of the filling materials is briefly explained below:
- Gold fillings are custom made in a laboratory and then cemented into place. While gold fillings are often the most expensive choice, many consider it the best filling material. Gold inlays are well-tolerated by gum tissues and may last more than 20 years.
- Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the exact color of your natural teeth, creating a more natural appearance. While white fillings may be less noticeable than other materials, they usually only last between 3 and 10 years. They may not be ideal for large fillings as they may chip or wear over time. They can also become stained from coffee, tea or tobacco.
- Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in a lab and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and are about the same cost as gold fillings. A porcelain restoration generally covers most of the tooth, making the filling nearly undetectable.
If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown, or cap, may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front 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. First the surface of the tooth 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 shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.
Root Canal Treatment
THE GOAL: PRESERVING THE TOOTH
Here is what you can expect when you schedule a root canal treatment.
On the initial visit:
- Local anesthetic usually is given, to maintain patient comfort.
- The affected tooth is isolated from saliva with a rubberlike sheet called a dam
An opening is made through the crown of the tooth. The pulp is removed, and then the root is cleaned and shaped. Medication may be added to the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help eliminate bacteria.
A temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to keep saliva out. Antibiotics may be prescribed if an infection is present and has spread beyond the end of the root(s).
On the next visit:
The temporary filling is removed.
The root canal is filled and permanently sealed. (A metal or plastic rod or post may be placed in the root canal for structural support.)
If an endodontist performs the procedure, he or she usually will send you back to your general dentist for preparation of a crown to be placed on the tooth. Crowns are made from a variety of materials, depending on the location of the tooth, the color of the tooth and the amount of natural tooth remaining. Discuss with your dentist which option is best for you.
Mercury is a toxic element which for years was used in the manufacture of dental fillings called amalgams. An amalgam filling uses a combination of multiple metals bound together by mercury. Some fillings can contain as much as 50 percent mercury. Larger fillings contain proportionately larger amounts of mercury. Mercury can be released from fillings in the form of tiny particles that can be inhaled or swallowed. Studies have shown that even low levels of mercury in the body can have toxic effects. Although both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) have stated the use of amalgam filling containing mercury is safe, many patients choose to avoid potential exposure by opting for mercury-free fillings. We do not use mercury in our dental fillings.
Emergency Dental Care
Existing patients are seen by appointment (for treatment for severe pain, broken tooth caused by accident, swelling, infection).
Do you have a cracked tooth?
A tooth that is cracked can be painful. It also can lead to disease of the tooth. How do you know if you have a cracked tooth? Look for these signs:
- sharp pain when biting down that quickly disappears
- pain that comes and goes
- pain when eating or drinking
- feeling that something is stuck between your teeth
Or you may have no signs at all.
Treatment depends on the size, location and direction of the crack, as well as your symptoms. Dr. Sorkin will talk with you about the treatment that is best for your tooth. It is possible that he recommends no treatment at all, since tiny cracks are common and usually do not cause problems.
Before pulling a tooth, we will give you an injection of a local anesthetic to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. If you are having more than one tooth pulled or if a tooth is impacted, we may use a stronger anesthetic. If the tooth is impacted, we might cut away gum and bone tissue that cover the tooth and then, using forceps, grasp the tooth and gently rock it back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and ligaments that hold it in place. Sometimes, a hard-to-pull tooth must be removed in pieces.
CROWNS AND BRIDGES
Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged, or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment. Crowns may be used to:
- Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining.
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing.
- Restore a fractured tooth.
- Attach a bridge.
- Cover a dental implant.
- Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth.
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment.
A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth that are cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support, hence the name. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridgework 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 made to match your natural tooth color. 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. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to “fall” and shift into the open spaces. This may worsens the bite due to changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ. Bridges and crowns are made by first taking an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is made. When the permanent crown or bridge is ready, it will be cemented into place.
Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and by practicing good oral hygiene.
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas or happy gas is commonly used with oxygen for partial sedation. It is one of the most widely used anesthetics in dental applications.
If you want to improve your smile, dental veneers are a simple option. Veneers are thin coverings that are placed over the front (visible) part of the tooth. They look like natural teeth. Veneers can be used to correct a wide range of dental issues, such as:
- teeth that are stained and can’t be whitened by bleaching
- chipped or worn teeth
- crooked or misshapen teeth
- uneven spaces or a large gap between the upper front teeth
Veneers are made of either porcelain or composite resin material. Your dentist will help you choose the material that is best for you. Each type of veneer has its own benefits.
A porcelain veneer is a thin shell that is custom-made to fit on the tooth.
Benefits of porcelain veneers:
- they are strong and long-lasting
- they have a natural-looking surface
- less tooth enamel needs to be removed than with a crown or cap
- they don’t stain easily
Steps to place porcelain veneers:
1. To prepare the teeth, the dentist usually removes a small amount of enamel from the front and sides of the teeth. This makes room for the veneers so that your teeth look natural.
2. The dentist makes an impression, or mold, of the prepared teeth. The dentist also decides on the veneer shade that will be best for your smile.
3. The impression is sent to a dental lab that custom-makes the porcelain veneers to fit your teeth. This may take several days. The dentist may give you temporary veneers to wear in the meantime.
4. At the next visit, the dentist places the veneers on the teeth to check the fit and shape. After any adjustments, the teeth are cleaned and the veneers are bonded to the tooth.
5. Further changes may be made at a later appointment.
Composite resin veneers
1. After the teeth are prepared or reshaped, the dentist carefully bonds and sculpts the composite material using a color that is best for you.
2. A special light is used to harden the composite and bond it to your teeth.
3. The veneers are smoothed and polished to look like natural teeth.
Before you get veneers
- Your teeth and gums must be healthy before you get veneers. Your dentist can treat any disease or decay before your veneers are placed.
- Veneers are not always a good choice for patients who clench or grind their teeth, because the thin veneers may chip or break. If you clench or grind your teeth, your dentist may suggest you wear a plastic dental night guard while sleeping.
- Although your dentist removes as little tooth enamel as possible for veneers, the process cannot be undone once the enamel is removed.
- It is possible for veneers to come loose over time. In that case, new ones might be needed.
- As with all your dental care, discuss all your expectations and treatment options with your dentist.
- Regular dental visits are a must for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
After you get veneers
- Veneers can chip or break under pressure.
- Avoid biting your fingernails and chewing on hard objects, such as pencils or ice.
- It may take you a few days to get used to the feel of your veneers. But do let your dentist know if your bite does not feel right after the veneer has been placed. He or she will correct it before you leave the office.
- Keep your teeth and gums clean by brushing and flossing each day. You can still get cavities under or around veneers. Look for dental care products that show the American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance. This says that a product has met ADA standards for safety and effectiveness.
A dental implant is an ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth as a result of injury, periodontal disease, or any other reason. A dental implant is a metal post that a Periodontist or an oral surgeon surgically position into the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post. While implants are typically more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, they provide superior benefits. Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are also a more favorable approach than bridgework since they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.
To receive implants, you need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. With inadequate bone amount, bone-graft is usually necessary. You must also be committed to excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits as these are critical to the long-term success of dental implants.
Just like your natural teeth, dentures need to be cared for constantly. With excellent habits at home and regular dental visits your dentures will fit perfectly. Sometimes dentures need to be periodically adjusted for a proper fit to avoid causing discomfort or difficulty chewing. Every few years, your dentist will usually recommend that your dentures be relined, or resurfaced, to conform to the changing contours of your mouth.
Why Is Denture Relining Necessary?
The bones and tissues in your mouth change over time. In fact, once you have a tooth extraction, the bone that once held the tooth in place begins to shrink. Since dentures require a tight fit against your gum tissue, it's important to adjust the denture base to keep up with this shift.
Poorly fitting dentures can also contribute to the problem by wearing down the bone and soft tissues in your mouth more quickly. Relining your dentures helps minimize this erosion, as well as compensate for natural oral changes. Dentures aren't indestructible! They will need to be consistently maintained and repaired to keep them as effective (and attractive) as the day you got them.
Your dentist begins by removing a layer of the existing denture surface. A putty-like material is filled in and inserted into your mouth to make an exact impression of the denture area. Once this impression has hardened, it is used to create a new surface or base for the existing denture teeth. This step is sometimes completed in the dental office, but more often is done in a lab to produce a longer lasting surface.
There are two types of denture relines:
Hard Denture Reline -- The impression material is replaced with a hard pink acrylic that is perfectly formed to the contours of your mouth. This type of relining is recommended every two years and provides the most contact with your gum tissue for maximum hold.
Soft Denture Reline -- For patients whose gums are too tender for hard relining, dentists may opt to reline the denture surface with a softer, more flexible material. Although easier on the gums, this type of relining may have to be replaced more often to maintain a proper fit.
Denture Loving Care
It's a fact, over time dentures become worn and don't fit as well, so it's important to reline them regularly. Denture adhesives, while a great way to help keep well-fitting dentures in place, should not be used in place of continual denture relining. See your dentist on a regular basis and make sure to communicate any changes in the way your dentures fit or feel. With proper denture care, your dentures can keep you smiling for years to come.
Same Day Denture Repair
We have a dental laboratory and technician close by. The dental lab uses special acrylics, denture adhesives and professional grade teeth to make repairs that aren't available in a store. Lab technicians are specially trained to remodel dentures or make custom impressions if necessary. However, it's important to note that the time it takes to repair dentures depends on the severity of damage. For example, we may be able to repair a chipped tooth in a couple of hours, but a cracked base may take at least 24 hours to repair. When it comes to repairing dentures, we want you to get excellent service. Please ask how long the denture repairs will take and what alternatives are available if you can't wait very long.
Don’t Do the Glue!
There's probably never a "good" time to damage your dentures, but breaking them late at night might put most people into a panic. Even if you feel like you can't go one day without your dentures, don't try to use Super Glue or any other type of store-bought adhesive to fix your dentures. You could do irreparable damage and wind up having to spend more in the long run.
Bruxism (TMJ & Teeth Grinding)
Bruxism is when you clench (tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together) or grind (slide your teeth back and forth over each other) your teeth. People can clench and grind without being aware of it. It can happen during both the day and night, although sleep-related bruxism is often a bigger problem because it is harder to control. Clenching the teeth puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw. The symptoms can cause temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ). Grinding can wear down your teeth. It can be noisy enough at night to bother sleeping partners.
To prevent damage to the teeth, mouth guards or appliances are used to treat teeth grinding, clenching, and TMJ disorders. An appliance may help protect the teeth from the pressure of clenching. There are many types of splints. Some fit over the top teeth, some on the bottom. They may be designed to keep your jaw in a more relaxed position or provide some other function. If one type doesn't work, another may.
Athletic Mouth Guard
Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports.
There are three types of mouth guards:
Stock mouth protectors are preformed and come ready to wear. They are inexpensive and can be bought at most sporting good stores and department stores. However, little can be done to adjust their fit, they are bulky, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection. Dentists do not recommend their use.
Boil and bite mouth protectors also can be bought at many sporting goods stores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. The "boil and bite" mouth guard is made from thermoplastic material. It is placed in hot water to soften, then placed in the mouth and shaped around the teeth using finger and tongue pressure.
Custom-fitted mouth protectors are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist's instructions. First, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth and a mouth guard is then molded over the model using a special material. Due to the use of the special material and because of the extra time and work involved, this custom-made mouth guard is more expensive than the other types, but it provides the most comfort and protection.
Generally, mouth guards cover your upper teeth only, but in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), your dentist will make a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well. Your dentist can suggest the best mouth guard for you. An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.
Who Needs a Mouth Guard?
Mouth guards should be used by anyone - children and adults - who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, even those participating in non-contact sports (for example, gymnastics) and any recreational activity (for example, skateboarding, mountain biking) that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard.
Can I Wear a Mouth Guard if I Wear Braces?
Yes. Since an injury to the face could damage braces or other fixed appliances, a properly fitted mouth guard may be particularly important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. Your dentist or orthodontist can determine the mouth guard that will provide the best protection for your unique mouth work. An important reminder: do not wear any orthodontic retainers or other removable appliance during any contact sports or during any recreational activities that put your mouth at risk for injury.