Dental work is like no other kind of work.
It may be described as "construction work in the mouth," but this is only part of it.
Dental work must satisfy seven requirements to be successful:
If any of these requirements are not met, the work fails.
Therefore, great care and deliberation goes into oral diagnosis and the treatment plan.
As many dental conditions may take a long time to develop and successful treatment may take a long time, we hope and fully expect that patients remain in our practice for as long as possible. It is very important that each patient fully understand his treatment. Patient education includes diagnostic steps, audiovisual materials, and display models, but ultimately the decision to have the work done--after informed consent-- rests with the patient.Our practice utilizes state-of-the-art materials and procedures, but in the 2000's, the art and science of dentistry changes daily.
The following is a partial list of services offered in our practice, followed by their definitions to help you better understand what they mean:
The procedure used to support a patient's dental treatment plan utilizing many diagnostic tools:
Radiographs: A diagnostic tool, also known as x-rays or roentgenograms.
Diagnostic models: Models are constructed from plaster of paris after clinical impressions; they serve as a visual model of current conditions in the mouth.
Occlusal analysis: A diagnostic tool used to determine how the teeth actually chew and to determine the ideal relationship between the upper and lower jaw, as well as the ideal relationship between the teeth and rest of the skull and face.
Temporomandibular joint analysis: A diagnostic tool to evaluate the health of the temporomandibular joints.
Cancer and soft tissue screening: A periodic examination of the soft tissues and supporting structures of the teeth.
Blood pressure screening: A diagnostic tool used not only to determine if the patient is able to undergo dental treatment but to check for undiagnosed medical conditions.
Biopsy: A diagnostic tool to determine the health status of the tissues of the mouth.
The procedures used to maintain the optimum health of the mouth:
Prophylaxis and fluoride treatment: Procedures to clean the teeth and to preventatively apply topical fluoride solution.
Sealants: A procedure to apply sealant to the pits, grooves, and fissures of the teeth to prevent cavities.
Space maintainers, fixed and removable, active and passive: Appliances which maintain spaces in the arch. Active space maintainers move the positions of the existing teeth. Passive space maintainers do not alter the positions of the teeth.
Operative dentistry is treatment on the individual teeth:
Restorations of various materials: Restorations are treatments to the various surfaces of individual teeth. Restorations are of materials from a list of ADA-approved dental materials which are updated almost daily. The type of restorations selected for the treatment plan is a very individual matter and depends upon which material best satisfies the following requirements: The cosmetic requirements of the patient, the cost to the patient, whether or not the material is a covered insurance benefit, the difficulty involved in placing the dental restoration, and the longevity of the dental restoration. Usual dental restorations are silver amalgam or alloy, light-cured composite resin, and glass ionomer restorations.
Inlays of various materials: Inlays are constructed by dental laboratories and permanently cemented into the tooth. No cusp tips or incisal edges are involved. The type of inlay selected for the treatment plan is a very individual matter and depends upon which material best satisfies the following requirements: The cosmetic requirements of the patient, the cost to the patient, whether or not the material is a covered insurance benefit, the difficulty involved in placing the inlay, and the longevity of the dental work. Usual inlays are constructed of gold, composite, or porcelain.
Onlays of various materials: Onlays are constructed in dental laboratories and permanently cemented onto the tooth. Cusp tips or incisal edges are usually involved. The type of onlay selected for the treatment plan is a very individual matter and depends upon which material best satisfies the following requirements: The cosmetic requirements of the patient, the cost to the patient, whether or not the material is a covered insurance benefit, the difficulty involved in placing the onlay, and the longevity of the dental work. Usual onlays are constructed of gold, composite, or porcelain.
Crowns of various materials: Crowns are constructed in dental laboratories and permanently cemented onto the tooth. A crown cover the entire visible portion of the tooth. The type of crown selected for the treatment plan is a very individual matter and depends upon which material best satisfies the following requirements: The cosmetic requirements of the patient, the cost to the patient, whether or not the material is a covered insurance benefit, the difficulty involved in placing the crown, and the longevity of the dental work. Usual crowns are constructed of gold or other metals, laboratory-processed acrylic, composite, porcelain, porcelain-bonded-to-gold, or ceramic materials.
Pin, post, and core buildups: These procedures strengthen the tooth structure under the crown for increased longevity.
Laminates of various materials: Laminates are constructed in dental laboratories and are permanently cemented to the tooth. Laminates cover only the front surfaces of the front teeth. Usually the incisal edges are covered. Laminates are usually constructed of porcelain or ceramic materials.
Treatment to the nerve inside the individual tooth or treatment to or near the dental pulp chamber:
Pulp capping, direct and indirect, and therapeutic pulpotomy: Treatment to or near the pulp chamber of an individual tooth.
Root canal therapy: Treatment to the nerve inside the individual tooth. If not done as a treatment for decay, infection, or fracture, endodontic treatment may be performed as a necessary part of the restoration of the crown of the tooth.
Root amputation and hemisection: Treatment on defective roots for the preservation of other intact and healthy roots so that the tooth can be restored.
Bleaching of discolored teeth
Dental treatment to the gums, gingiva, and supporting structures of the teeth:
Scaling and gingival curretage: Scaling removes hard calculus and tartar from under the gums. Currettage removes unhealthy layers of gingival tissue next to the roots of the teeth. Both procedures are performed to diminish the size of periodontal pockets-which cause bone and tissue loss.
Periodontal maintenance procedure: Dental treatment to prolong the gums and bone supporting the teeth.
Provisional splinting, extracoronary: Splinting helps maintain loose or mobile teeth to prevent extractions.
Dental appliances which can be removed from the mouth periodically for cleaning and maintenance:
Complete and partial dentures: Complete dentures replace the teeth in an arch which has no teeth. Partial dentures replace teeth in an arch in which not all the teeth are present. Partial dentures are attached to the existing teeth by clasps or precision attachments.
Denture reline, rebase, and repair--temporary and permanent: Dental procedures to maintain complete or partial dentures.
Tissue conditioning: Dental procedures to make the gums healthy before dentures are altered or constructed.
Implants are essentially artificial roots, ideally placed by an oral surgeon:
Implant abutments and connecting bar: Implant abutments cover the dental implant and form a support for the crown or bridge. Connecting bars cover the implants and form a support for a removable prosthesis.
Crowns and bridges over implants: Crowns and bridgework can be constructed over dental implants. A dental implant is essentially an artificial root.
Dental appliances which are cemented or mechanically attached to existing teeth or implants. Fixed prosthodontics are generally not removable, except by the dentist:
Crowns and Bridges: Crowns restore individual teeth. Bridges restore missing teeth. The part of the bridge over the existing teeth is called the abutments. The part of the bridge replacing the missing tooth is called the pontic. Bridgework can be attached by full coverage crowns or resin-bonded retainers. Bridgework can be cantilevered. Usual bridges are of gold and other metals, porcelain, or ceramic materials.
Precision attachments: These are methods to attach missing teeth to existing teeth.
Recementations and repairs: Recementation is replacing an existing crown onto an existing crown preparation. Bridgework can be recemented also. Repairs restore the metal, porcelain, or ceramic to an existing crown or bridge.
This treatment is dental surgical procedures, including treatment of trauma:
Extractions-- simple, surgical, and tissue impactions: A simple extraction is the uncomplicated removal of a tooth. A surgical extraction involves the soft supporting tissues. A tissue impaction involves the displacement of the soft supporting tissues.
Excision of hyperplastic tissue: This procedure removes unwanted extra gingival or soft supporting tissues from around the teeth.
Surgical exposure of unerupted teeth: This procedure help the natural eruption of a tooth by removing impeding soft tissues.
Residual root removal: This procedure removes unwanted fragments of roots or residual roots of teeth, usually under full or partial dentures.
Alveoplasty: Alveoplasty is the shaping of the bone under the gums to facilitate bridge or denture construction and the comfort of the patient after these appliances are constructed.
Treatment of fractures: These are palliative-pain control-treatments involving trauma to the jawbones.
Management of temporomandibular joint dysfunctions: These procedures treat painful problems with the joints of the jaw or problems related to how the upper teeth chew against the lower teeth.
Reduction of dislocation: These procedure treat the condition when the ball-and-socket portion of the lower jaw is misaligned-or "slips off the track."
Occlusal orthotic devices and occlusal adjustments: These procedures correct discrepancies in how the upper teeth meet the lower teeth. This treatment sometimes involves the construction of removable orthotic devices.
Orthodontic treatment involves the moving of teeth into more optimal positions in the arch:
Active orthodontic treatment: These procedures utilize removable appliances to achieve minor tooth movement.
Minor treatment to control harmful habits: These procedures are the construction of appliances-fixed or removable-to control tongue thrusting, cheek biting, or other oral habits.
Adjunctive treatments are dental procedures usually not associated with a final treatment plan:
Palliative and emergency treatment: Dental treatment for the relief of pain or for the temporary treatment of function or aesthetics.
After-hours treatment and after-hours telephone consultation: This service is only available to patients of record - patients who have had dental work done in our practice in the past.
Bedside visits at the hospital: Dental care is available to patients of record who have a dental problem while an inpatient at the hospital or intermediate-care facility.
Consultations and second opinions: Our practice welcomes patients who wish to have a second opinion on a prospective treatment plan. We encourage our patients of record to seek second opinions if they have any reservations about the treatment plan we have prepared for them.