We’re convinced that there are three primary ways to make our patients smile. First, we make sure we’re providing thorough, comprehensive dental care—including a full array of preventive and restorative services. Second, we make sure we provide adequate instruction to help our patients care for their teeth properly at home, and make wise dental decisions as needed. And third, we make available a variety of cosmetic services so that our patients can make any desired enhancements to their appearance, giving new life to their smiles. Below is a list of our services:
Preventive and Gum Care
Oral Cancer Screening
Our office performs a thorough oral cancer screening at every routine cleaning appointment. Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth. It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, cheek lining, tongue, and the hard or soft palate. Oral cancer most often occurs in those who use tobacco in any form. Alcohol use combined with smoking greatly increases risk of oral cancer. Prolonged sun exposure increases the risk of lip cancer. Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.
Regular Dental Examination
Dr. Stevens will monitor your oral health and help you prevent any problems that may arise before they become uncomfortable or require more comprehensive treatment. At your appointment she will perform an examination of the entire mouth, which includes an oral cancer screening, gum disease evaluation, visual examination of tooth decay, examination of diagnostic x-rays, and evaluation of status of current restorations (fillings and others).
Professional cleanings (dental prophylaxis) performed by a certified dental hygienist form the foundation for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Depending on the diagnosis, your cleaning frequency will be at 3, 4, or 6 month intervals.
Pregnancy and Gingivitis
Expectant mothers (and women who take some oral contraceptives) experience elevated levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This causes the gums to react differently to the bacteria found in plaque, and in many cases can cause a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Symptoms include swollen, red gums and bleeding of the gums when you brush. Remember that the bacteria in plaque (not hormones) is what causes gingivitis. Brush twice a day and floss before you go to bed to help avoid plaque buildup.
New research suggests a link between pre-term, low birth weight babies and gingivitis. Excessive bacteria, which causes gingivitis, can enter the bloodstream through your mouth (gums). If this happens, the bacteria can travel to the uterus, triggering the production of chemicals called “prostaglandins,” which are suspected to induce premature labor. Good oral health care is vital during your pregnancy. Continue with your regular dental cleaning and check-ups to avoid oral infections that can affect the fetus, such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Remember, the healthier your mouth is, the healthier and happier your pregnancy and baby will be.
Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can’t reach. 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. Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored “coating” is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively “seals” the deep grooves acting as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.
The foundation for natural teeth, restored teeth, and implant supported teeth is healthy gum tissue and bone. We know that 90% of all adults have gum disease of various levels. Three out of four adults over the age of 50 have bone loss which is called periodontitis. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, bone and ligaments that support the teeth and anchor them in the jaw. It can be localized (one tooth) or a generalized condition (many teeth). As periodontitis progresses, more bone is lost which can lead to eventual tooth loss. Recent studies indicate that periodontitis has been associated with diabetes, heart disease, and low birth weight infants. The main goal of periodontal treatment is to eliminate the disease from the gums, ligaments, and bone that surround the teeth. With early detection of gum disease, Dr. Stevens and his team of highly trained hygienist can restore your oral health and help you maintain it for a lifetime.
Initial treatment involves educating patients in the proper methods of effective oral hygiene. Scaling and root planing is performed to clean the tooth structure and remove bacterial plaque and calculus deposits from the gum pockets. This will allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In less severe cases, this may be the only treatment required. Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may be recommended to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis. It is critical that you are seen routinely for regular periodontal maintenance appointments. This periodic maintenance, along with diligent oral hygiene, will aid in managing periodontal disease and help prevent tooth loss. In fact, many patients can keep their teeth for a lifetime.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
•Smoking •Diabetes •Stress •Clenching •Medication • Poor nutrition
Tooth Colored Composite Resin Fillings (Mercury-Free Fillings)
We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Tooth colored restorations create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies. Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!
CHECK OUT THIS LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ylnQ-T7oiA YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT THE HARMFUL EFFECTS FROM MERCURY FILLINGS
Inlays / Onlays
When over 1/2 of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay. Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. Using an inlay or onlay is a conservative option for restoring damaged teeth.
Crown and bridgework is a very reliable solution for major dental problems caused through accidents, diseases, where teeth have broken away through excessive wear, or as the result of old fillings breaking. This is an extremely reliable technique, even permanently replacing missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite. We can use crowns to make the smile appear “as new”.
Many people have unexplained pain from filled back teeth, which is usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth relieves the pain and allows a return of full dental function for these teeth. In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause “appearance” problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent breakage. These treatments are used for a long lasting correction of major dental problems and we consider these treatments to be as close to permanent as dental treatment can get.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically.
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, as this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and gum disease becomes a serious problem. Often implants are a better treatment option instead of a bridge.
Removable Partial and Dentures
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or been lost. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth. Often implants can be used to further stabilize the dentures.
This includes any treatment which corrects imperfections in the appearance of the teeth and gums. If you would like improvement of your teeth, there are many cosmetic treatment options which can enhance your smile. The upper teeth show, usually, 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. The color, alignment, spacing as well as 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 Dr. Stevens office a wide selection of cosmetic options are offered. Some of these options are whitening, smile design, recontouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, clear braces, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.
Custom Whitening Trays
The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 1 hour. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use.
Cosmetic Tooth Bonding
Bonding can be used as a restorative procedure for teeth that are chipped, cracked, discolored or misarranged, and is an alternative to veneers.
The bonding procedure can often be completed in a single office visit, and can improve the appearance of a tooth significantly. This is an excellent option for adolescents and teenagers who have completed orthodontic treatment and need cosmetic correction. However, since the plastic resin used is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, it is more likely to stain, chip or break than natural teeth. Bonding typically lasts three to five years before repair is needed.
Porcelain veneers are thin shells of ceramic that bond directly to the front and top surfaces of the teeth. They are an ideal choice for improving your smile and have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. With veneers as an alternative, there is no reason to put up with gaps between your teeth, teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. A veneer placed on top of your teeth can help you achieve a beautiful smile!
When bonded to the teeth, the ultra-thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. For strength and appearance, their resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel is unsurpassed by other restorative options. Because they are thin, light can shine through them and they take on the natural color of the underlying tooth. With proper care, porcelain veneers will brighten your smile for years to come. Dr.Stevens will ensure that your veneers are crafted from the highest quality porcelains and are bonded with the most advanced and proven materials available.
Something Extra: Toothprints
One of our worst fears we all have had is that our children could get lost, or worse, abducted. Developed by a pediatric dentist, Toothprints is a thermoplastic wafer that dental professionals can use to record children’s individual tooth characteristics, tooth position within the arch and the upper to lower jaw relationship – all important information for identification. Like fingerprints, dental imprints are unique to every person so bite impressions serve an accurate method of identification. Dental restorations and X-rays have historically been the primary basis for dental identification, but the successful fight against tooth decay has left many children with no cavities and, thus, no dental records. A Toothprints impression also captures saliva, which is a powerful source of human scent, thus making Toothprints effective for scent-dog tracking. Parents keep the Toothprints record themselves for confidentiality and quick access.
Replacing Missing Teeth to Create Healthy, Strong Smiles
Dental implants are tiny, manmade tooth roots that anchor replacement teeth. Made from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are accepted as a natural part of your anatomy. Over time, the jawbone fuses around the implant, creating a permanent foundation for a custom crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants are the only tooth-replacement option that closely mimics the anatomical structure of natural teeth.
Why should I replace missing teeth?
Aside from diminishing self-confidence, missing front teeth impair biting/chewing ability, cause additional strain to surrounding teeth, and eventually lead to more tooth loss. Back teeth are essential to chewing and a comfortable bite. A misaligned bite can cause headaches, facial pain, and tooth wear. Additionally, patients with missing teeth may experience:
- An increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay
- Bone loss and facial sagging
- Shifting of remaining teeth
- Heightened tooth sensitivity
- Locating hidden decay before it destroys tooth structure (from the inside out) is a major goal. Finding cavities beneath the hard surfaces is challenging because the disease process can start through microscopic defects in the hard surface can spread into the softer tooth structure beneath the surface.
- Recently FDA approved, this amazing laser cavity finder instantly and accurately finds cavities in areas x-rays rarely see and the dental pick misses 76% of the time.
- Diagnodent is a major breakthrough that allows us to monitor the areas below the hard surfaces. We can now locate hidden decay, and with treatment stop the spread of the disease before it destroys the tooth from within.