What is cosmetic dentistry? As the name implies, it is a dental treatment that creates a cosmetic aesthetically pleasing smile. Everybody has a different face shape, hair color, skin color, etc. Your smile is an integral part of creating the most beautiful you!
Veneers, crowns, bridges, Invisalign and implants are all treatment options to achieve that gorgeous smile you deserve. Even tooth whitening can help you turn that frown upside down Our in-office tooth whitening treatment is the fastest in the world. The material stays on the teeth a total of only 24 minutes and no light is required! That's it!
Prevention is the key to a healthy smile. How do we prevent problems from occurring in the mouth? A good start is regularly brushing and flossing at home. Then committing to your regular dental check-ups as needed. Just like going to the gym to keep your body in shape, you need to see the dentist to keep your mouth in tip-top shape!
Preventive dental care includes dental cleanings as well as fluoride treatments and sealants. The valleys you have on top of your teeth are deep and narrower than the diameter of a single bristle on a toothbrush, so it's virtually impossible to keep bacteria out of there. To prevent the bacteria from entering these pits, and avoid a cavity, we seal the tooth by placing a "sealant". A sealant is a thin layer of clear material that's bonded to the surface of the tooth, sort of like gel nail polish. Over time these sealants wear away and need to be replaced.
What is Restorative Dentistry? Basically, if your tooth breaks or has a cavity, it is cleaned, shaped and then different materials are used to "restore" it to its original shape so you can keep on chewing.
How do you get a cavity and why doesn't it hurt? We all have dirty mouths filled with tons of bacteria. These bacteria feed on the food particles left in between our teeth and then release a toxin that erodes the enamel on our teeth and causes decay (caries), which is an infection in the tooth. The soft mushy part of the tooth that is decayed is what we call a "cavity". It usually doesn't hurt, so you might be wondering why do I have to take care if now? Because if you don't treat the problem, then the decay will just get bigger and deeper and wider, and then you might need more than just a filling to take care of the "cavity".
How do we get rid of the "cavity"? First, we clean out the infected part of the tooth, then we shape it. Depending on the amount of healthy tooth structure left, we decide what type of "restoration" is appropriate. This could be a simple white filling (composite bonding) if there's tons of healthy tooth left. Or it might need an inlay that is made in the laboratory and then cemented into your tooth if there's roughly 50% of healthy tooth remaining. Finally, if there's very little tooth remaining, we usually have to build the tooth back up and then cement a crown (cap) on top of it to protect what's left. All of these restorations allow you to continue to use your teeth normally.
What happens when you are missing teeth? Well, over time tooth loss can lead to a collapse in your bite, and your cheeks may sink inward. If you're missing many teeth in the back, your remaining front teeth cannot handle the strain from your jaw muscles, and your front teeth start to shift and flare outwards. This can eventually lead to chewing problems and severe pain in the jaw joint (TMJ).
If you're missing even just one tooth, a lot of stuff happens over time. The tooth opposite the gap starts to erupt to try to fill in that space. And the teeth on either side of the space start leaning toward one another to similarly try to fill it in. Consequently, your teeth in the front start shifting and your whole bite is out of whack. This leads to a severe change in your bite and can cause TMJ pain as well.
Ever felt a sharp zing in your tooth when you're eating a snack or just drinking something cold? Did you fall off your bike when you were a kid and then your tooth turned grayish black? Then you might need a root canal treatment!
What is root canal treatment? Just as the name implies, it is a treatment that gets rid of the infection that resides inside the roots of your tooth. How do you get an infection in the roots? Basically, the infection (decay) that was just a small cavity has now grown bigger and has invaded your nerve which travels down the root. That is why you experience pain to cold or chewing because the tiny nerve inside your tooth is infected, inflamed and super sensitive.
Sometimes if you have a cracked tooth from repeated trauma to the tooth, it can affect your nerve and cause it to literally be traumatized and die. Sometimes, from having had a very deep filling done in the past, the nerve is traumatized from that experience and has PTSD. It then eventually dies over time and becomes necrotic. The tooth can become discolored due to the initial rush of blood from the nerve to try to protect it from its traumatic past. This dead nerve, now without any blood flow, is at risk for bacteria entering and colonizing it. It is when this happens that you can experience severe acute pain.
How do we relieve the pain and get rid of the infected nerve? We perform root canal treatment. This is when the super tiny inflamed or necrotic nerve is removed, then the canals of the root are thoroughly cleaned and finally, they are sealed to prevent any other bacteria entering the area.
Afterwards, the tooth is super fragile, so typically a crown (cap) is placed on top of it so you can continue to eat your favorite foods!
Do you think you have constant stank breath? Do your gums bleed when you smile? Then you might have active gum disease and be a candidate for periodontal treatment. If you clean up your gums, then the rest of your body will be sure to thank you!
If you have been told that you have periodontal (gum) disease, then you are not alone. Over 80% of adults have some form of periodontal disease. We all have naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths which feed off food particles and form plaque every 24 hours. If we don't brush and floss, this soft plaque gets hard for minerals in our saliva and turns into "tartar" or a hard stone-like material.
Periodontal disease is a continuous infection underneath our gums, and as "tartar" continues to grow down the surface of the roots, it begins to eat away at the bone that surrounds our teeth, making our teeth loose. We do not feel any pain, but some signs of untreated periodontal disease are bad breath; bleeding, puffy gums; a bad taste in the mouth; pain on brushing & flossing; sensitive gums.
A periodontal probe (small ruler) is used to measure the depth of your gum pockets, and along with x-rays to help determine the level of your periodontal disease. Many people can be treated without gum surgery, including debridement, scaling & root planing, and antibiotics (placed locally in the pockets or taken orally). Sometimes when the bone loss is severe, the teeth are no longer salvageable.
Untreated gum disease has been shown to be linked to cardiac (heart) disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, pancreatic cancer and even ED (erectile dysfunction). Keeping your gums healthy can give you fresh breath, a lovely smile and even save your love life!
Remember, your mouth is connected to the rest of your body, so if you keep a healthy mouth, your entire body will be happy!
Why would you need a tooth extracted? Only if it can not be restored to its original shape and function, and therefore is deemed hopeless. Or you don't have enough space in your mouth accommodate all of your teeth and maintain an oral health.
So wisdom teeth are taken out because most people don't have enough room to keep them and maintain a healthy mouth. All other teeth may be removed for the same reason, or because they are so decayed and broken down that they can not be restored. Or sometimes due to extensive gum disease, the bone around the tooth has dissolved and the tooth can no longer stay in place due to the infection that resides in the gums. What is an extraction? First, you get numbed up so you don't feel anything except the sensation of pressure, and then the tooth is removed with special instruments. Once removed, an empty socket remains. In order speed up healing, typically a bone graft (that's like tiny sand granules) is placed to fill in the socket. This way you keep your original bone levels and minimize bone loss in that area. Then you're ready to fill in the empty space with a bridge or an implant so your teeth don't shift and you can chew normally again!
There are all different types of dentures, from tiny single tooth ones called "flippers", to full dentures if all the teeth are missing. Dentures are removable prosthetics that help you speak, chew and smile. Find out which one might be right for you!
Dentures are removable prosthetics that have teeth on them, as their name implies. Just like someone who wears glasses to help them see clearly, dentures help you speak, smile and chew properly. Dentures are for people who are missing teeth, and they are put in and taken out of their mouths on a daily basis.
Dentures can restore a person's confidence by allowing them to smile, talk and eat properly again. They can sit directly on the bone and gums, or snap onto implants. Or if you still have some of your teeth left, then it's called a partial denture and they snap onto your remaining teeth. Either way, all dentures must be removed at night. You wouldn't sleep with your glasses on your face right? Same thing applies here. Glasses are removable prosthetics that help you see. Also, they do have to be replaced over time as they endure daily wear and tear.
Do your mornings suck because you haven't had a good night's sleep? Do you or your partner snore? Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or a face that aches? Then an oral appliance might be the answer for you!
We offer the latest oral appliances to help stop the pain you experience with constant grinding, clenching and snoring.
An anti-snoring oral device can be custom made to help you or your partner sleep better at night. These devices will reposition your lower jaw and therefore your tongue so that you are no longer able to snore. Remember, compliance is key with this type of device because if you don't wear it, it's not going to help you!
Dr. Wolff has even been told that she has saved a few marriages over the years by providing this treatment!
Did you ever have a toothache on a Friday night and think - !@#$...now I have to wait until Monday to feel better? Now you don't have to wait anymore! We are open on Saturdays and welcome emergencies to help make your weekend a more enjoyable one!
Emergency dentistry is just what it says - dentistry that is done without an appointment, after regular business hours and on weekends as well. We are here for you, ready to take care of your dental care needs when you need us! Whether it's a tooth extraction, or a broken filling or a crown that popped out, we are prepared to help restore your smile. Call or email us anytime, and we will get you in as soon as possible, to help you get back to living life with a glowing, healthy smile!