Good oral hygiene helps prevent cavities, tartar build-up, and gum disease. Professional “teeth cleaning” (also known as prophylaxis, literally is a preventative treatment of disease) is a procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and/or debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. This involves the use of various specialized instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth. Most dental hygienists recommend having the teeth professionally cleaned every six months. More frequent cleaning and examination may be necessary during treatment of dental and oral disorders. Routine examination of the teeth is recommended at least every year. This may include yearly, select dental X-rays.
Replacing missing teeth is much more than just having a pretty smile. Replacing missing teeth can help you improve your quality of life. The loss of teeth compromises your ability to eat fruits, vegetables and other healthy food, which are such an important part of your diet. Dental implants are a vast improvement over conventional dentures. They’re more stable and user-friendly than many other teeth replacement options, and because the posts that secure dental implants in place are integrated into the jaw, they also help prevent bone loss and gum recession (because the pressure of chewing on the implant’s crown stimulates the underlying bone and prevents it from deteriorating from disuse).
Sedation dentists perform their work while patients are under the effects of heavy anesthesia. This kind of heavy sedation is often reserved for extensive treatments, such as multiple root canals or other procedures that could cause patients pain or severe discomfort. Finding an intravenous sedation dentistry may not be easy, as these dentists are rare. Only an estimated 2% of dentists are certified to perform dental work on patients under the effects of heavy sedation. Intravenous sedation is the strongest form of dental sedation, and thus requires dentists to undergo additional training. IV sedation is extremely safe when carried out under the supervision of a specially-trained dentist.
Enamel shaping removes parts of the contouring enamel to improve the appearance of the tooth. It may be used to correct a very small chip. The removed enamel is irreplaceable, and may sometimes expose dentin. It is also known as enameloplasty, odontoplasty, recontouring, reshaping, slenderizing and stripping.
Also known as tooth reshaping, is one of few instant treatments now available in cosmetic dentistry. Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session. The dental contouring procedure can even be a substitute for braces under certain circumstances. It is also a procedure of subtle changes. A few millimeters of reduction and a few millimeters of tooth-colored laminate is involved. Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of teeth.
Dental bridges are false teeth, known as a pontics, which are fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures. In areas of your mouth that are under less stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are used when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. Bridges can reduce your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges require your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as many as ten years or more.
Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made porcelain laminates that are bonded directly to the teeth. They are an option for closing gaps or disguising discolored teeth that do not respond well to whitening procedures. Depending on the procedure, tooth reduction may be necessary.