Dental Health Maintenance (Routine Checkups):
Maintenance is a vital component of dental wellness both during the rehabilitation process and throughout the rest of your life. Dental maintenance involves meticulous dental cleanings combined with personalized help and coaching in ideal home care. With the dizzying array of dental products on the market, professional guidance about which products and instruments will work best for your unique dental situation is vital. The frequency of maintenance visits is highly individualized based on your unique situation.
A regular tooth cleaning regiment helps prevent plaque buildup and staining plus it gives us the opportunity to inspect your teeth on a regular basis. Our methods are less-invasive and focus on the thorough removal of plaque and tartar plus we finish with a beautiful tooth polishing, you will leave with your teeth feeling wonderful. For those with greater tartar and plaque buildup, our Eugene dental office offer deep cleaning. We will offer advice on techniques that can be used at home to keep your teeth clean and healthy. Taking good care of your teeth, along with regular cleanings and checkups, will help prevent gum disease.
Periodontal (“Gum”) Therapy:
Periodontal or “Gum” Health is the foundation of a healthy mouth. Gum disease has also been shown to have a strong impact on the overall health of the body. Irritation and infection in the gums creates inflammation that can spread through the body and increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Restoring or maintaining your periodontal health may be as simple as regular cleanings and home care or may require;
- Scaling and Root Planing: Special cleanings that remove bacteria and deposits that have formed below the gum line. These deposits, called calculus, inflame the gum tissue and damage the bone around the teeth.
- Laser assisted periodontal therapy: The use of a special dental laser to disinfect inflamed gum tissue and promote healing.
- Surgical periodontal therapy: Minor surgical procedures that correct damage to the gums and bone around teeth or restore gum tissue that has been lost.
Repair of Damaged Teeth:
Teeth are one of the few body parts that cannot be repaired or healed by the body. Once a tooth has been damaged by tooth decay, trauma, or a combination of these the damaged portion of the tooth must be removed and the tooth repaired. Different types of repairs include:
- Composite fillings: If the damage to the tooth is small and does not compromise the strength of the tooth it can be repaired with composite resin. Composite is a putty-like material composed of high strength ceramic glass in a plastic matrix. It can be sculpted into the shape of the missing tooth structure and cured with a high intensity light that sets it rock hard.
- Crowns or Onlays: If the damage to the tooth is large and the tooth is at high risk for breaking, a crown or an onlay can restore not only the damaged or missing tooth structure but the original strength and function of the tooth. Crowns and onlays are like new enamel that cover the outside of the tooth and protect it from further damage or breakage. Crowns and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or a combination of the two.
- Veneers: Veneers replace damaged or discolored enamel on front teeth and are similar to crowns and onlays. They can be done for cosmetic reasons if for example the teeth are too small and need to be larger to fill available spaces or the alignment or shape of the teeth need to be corrected. Veneers are made of porcelain and are bonded or fused to the teeth.
When the damage to a tooth affects the nerve and blood supply, the tissue in the center of the tooth or dental “pulp” can become inflamed or even develop an infection or “abscess”. Once this occurs there are only two options to treat the situation:
- Root Canal Therapy: This Involves removing the inflamed or infected tissue and placing a dental filling that extends to the end of the root and seals the space where the pulp was removed. A tooth in this condition then needs a crown to protect the remaining tooth structure from fracturing.
- Tooth Extraction: If root canal therapy is not an option for you, then the inflamed/infected tooth must be completely removed. This should be done utilizing techniques that preserve as much bone as possible to maintain esthetics and tooth replacement options in the future.
Replacement of Missing Teeth:
Missing teeth have a detrimental impact not only on chewing function but the health of the rest of the mouth. The teeth next to a missing tooth tend to shift toward the space causing bite problems and oral hygiene challenges; increasing the risk of additional dental damage. Replacing missing teeth prevents these potential problems and helps to maintain the health and function of your mouth. Two options for tooth replacement are:
- Dental Implants: Dental implants involve placing an artificial tooth root into the bone of your jaw. The bone heals and fuses to this new root, and a crown can be attached to the root to replace the missing tooth. Implants function like natural teeth and are brushed right in your mouth.
- Dental Bridgework: When an implant is not an option, a dental “bridge” can replace a missing tooth as well. A bridge connects the teeth next to the empty space with a replacement tooth that sits on top of the gums. The replacement tooth is fused to these teeth and functions like a natural tooth and is brushed in the mouth.
Parafunctional Control & TMJ:
- TMJ: There are any people that suffer from migraines, neck aches, clicking or popping jaws, or facial pain near the cheeks or ears may have TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disease. These symptoms are most commonly related to your bite and or how your jaw fits together. TMJ is treated at our Eugene dentist office as we are trained in advanced general dental techniques.
- Dental parafunction: is non-functional (meaning not involved in the chewing process) stress on the teeth in the form of clenching, grinding, and using teeth as tools (to clip thread, fishing line, fingernails, as a bottle opener, etc) These stresses are very damaging to teeth and have been shown to contribute directly to headaches and poor sleep quality. Damaging daytime habits can be overcome by simple awareness of the consequences and a determination to avoid them. Night time clenching and grinding can be controlled through the use of appliances that protect the teeth and reduce stresses. In most cases we recommend the NTI parafunctional control appliance. The NTI is a small plastic appliance that clips on to the front teeth and significantly reduces parafunctional stress during sleep and protects teeth and dental restorations from damage. This appliance has also been shown to help reduce the incidence of headaches and Migraines when clenching and grinding are a contributing factor.