Our most basic dental services are important to your overall dental health because they help prevent future problems and provide early detection for upcoming problems.
Perhaps the most important step in preventing advanced oral problems is regularly scheduled cleanings. Many people think regular brushing prevents the need for professional dental cleanings. Although regular brushing does help, your teeth are constantly exposed to saliva, which contains calcium and other substances that while good for strengthening your teeth, also builds up on your teeth and along the gum line in the form of tartar and soft, sticky bacteria called plaque.
Periodic cleanings prevent this build-up from accumulating on your teeth. Regular cleanings leave the surface of your teeth clean and smooth so bacteria can’t stick.
Most children and adults should schedule cleanings every 6 months. Adults with additional issues such as tobacco use, diabetes, pregnancy, or gum disease should have their teeth cleaned more frequently.
Drs. Davis and Reese employ several kinds of dental x-rays to see different parts of your mouth that are hidden to the human eye. These “pictures” of your teeth, bones, and soft tissues help us diagnose problems that may be developing so we can treat them early—before our patients experience discomfort. They also help us find the source of existing pain so we can provide fast, effective treatment. X-rays show decay (cavities), bone loss, or teeth hidden underneath the gums, such as developing permanent teeth in children, or wisdom teeth in adults.
We have options to help ease the discomfort of X-rays for those patients with a very sensitive gag reflex.
A filling is a tooth-colored plastic or resin patch used to ‘fill in’ divots on a tooth damaged by decay (a cavity). Drs. Davis and Reese work to ensure the filling material matches your tooth color so it won’t show when you speak or laugh. Fillings may also be used to repair cracked or broken teeth, or teeth worn down from use.
When a tooth has lost its original shape due to decay or breakage, but the root is still viable, a crown can be placed on the remaining tooth structure to restore the tooth to its original shape and size. The restored tooth can then function as a normal, healthy tooth again.
Drs. Davis and Reese are known for their attention to detail and will work to ensure the crowned tooth matches the surrounding teeth as well as possible.
Crowns are also used to protect teeth that have undergone root canal procedures since those teeth tend to become brittle over time.
In addition, crowns can be used when creating a new smile for those who just aren’t happy with the appearance of their teeth for any reason.
Don’t allow nervousness about dental treatment prevent you from seeking the help you need. We offer nitrous oxide—laughing gas— to those patients who would like help relaxing. Nitrous oxide brings about a mild level of sedation that can be quickly and easily adjusted to fit our patients’ needs.
Drs. Davis and Reese will also work with patients who require more sedation than nitrous oxide provides, in conjunction with their general practitioners.
Why replace a missing tooth with a bridge? The opposing tooth (the tooth the missing tooth used to bite against when chewing) needs an opposing force—another tooth—to bite against to maintain the strength of bone around it. A bridge is a solid crown made to mimic the missing tooth, supported by crowns on either side of the gap.
This bridge can span the gap made by one or several missing teeth. Bridges are usually made of metals, dental porcelain, or a combination of both.
Dental sealants are a plastic resin placed in the grooves of teeth on the chewing surface to prevent tooth decay. Sealants result in a smooth surface less likely to trap food and plaque making it easier for the toothbrush to clean your teeth.
Inside the hard exterior of your teeth lies what dentists call “pulp tissue”, which is made up of nerves, arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and connective tissues. Most of the pain related to a “toothache” comes from sensations surrounding the nerves running through canals in the pulp tissue of your teeth. Treatment of this portion of the tooth is called a root canal.
By removing these nerves, which are throbbing or aching in response to some other stimuli, the pain usually stops, bringing the patient relief. In the long term, however, removing these nerves also removes the blood supply and nutrients that keep the tooth healthy, and eventually a tooth that has experienced a root canal, will become brittle and easy to break. Most root canal treatment plans include a protective cap or crown to protect the tooth from further damage.
Periodontal Deep Cleaning
Used with patients suffering from bone loss as a result of periodontal disease, there are three levels of periodontitis: mild, moderate, and severe. If left untreated, periodontitis can destroy gum and bone tissue, which supports your teeth.
Periodonal Disease occurs when calcium or tartar builds up beneath the gingivitis on the root surface of the teeth. Left untreated, patients with periodontal disease can lose teeth.
Most periodontal patients require cleanings every three months.