Preventive Dental Procedures
Restorative Dental Procedures
Cosmetic Dental Procedures
» Preventive Dental Procedures
Regular examinations are essential to promoting good oral and dental health by detecting problems before they get worse, or preventing them altogether.
Professional cleanings performed by a certified hygienist are just as important to your dental health as daily brushing and flossing. Using specialized tools and training, your hygienist will:
Regular examinations help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious. Consistent dental check-ups help catch problems when they are small and easier to treat. Dental examinations generally include the following:
Digital Imaging & Laser Transillumination
Doctor Hemelstrand has four types of dental imaging systems for early detection of dental problems. We use intra-oral digital x-rays, panoramic x-rays, CariVu Transillumination and an intra-oral camera, as needed. Our advanced dental imaging systems help us prevent more extensive procedures or surgeries. X-rays are primarily used to detect:
Our x-ray systems emit 50% less radiation than traditional film, and are ready for viewing instantaneously. They also do not require harmful chemicals to process.
The laser system and intra-oral camera have no radiation, and are also ready for viewing instantaneously.
Sealants are used to help prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of molars. The natural grooves of these teeth can trap food that can resist casual brushing and rinsing. If left in place, the trapped food allows bacteria to multiply and can cause cavities.
Sealants are painted directly onto the tooth where they seal the natural grooves to help prevent tooth decay. While sealants are durable, they are not permanent. They can last up to 5 years of normal wear before needing replacement.
Sealants offer a cost-effective, preventative step to reduce the chances of tooth decay on the chewing surfaces of molars. However, they do not replace the need for regular brushing and flossing.
» Restorative Dental Procedures
To ensure overall oral health, missing or damaged teeth need to be replaced or restored by a licensed dentist. Dr. Hemelstrand will provide a personalized treatment plan that is right for you to get your smile back to its best.
Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)
Gum disease accounts for approximately 70% of all tooth loss in adults. Early signs of gum disease include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, and gums that are red, inflamed or swollen.
Gum disease and tooth decay are two different diseases. Gum disease starts to deteriorate the bone, and if deterioration is allowed to continue, "pockets" form in between the teeth and the gums. Pockets deeper than 3mm may require special treatment to remove the bacteria and plaque. Without treatment and continuous maintenance, gum disease will eventually decrease the bone levels and may lead to tooth loss.
Gum disease is not curable; however, it can be controlled with proper personal hygiene and regular periodontal maintenance.
Composite or Amalgam Fillings
Fillings are used to restore tooth damage caused by tooth decay. After removing the decay and cleaning the area, Dr. Hemelstrand will add filling material. Fillings are made from traditional amalgam (silver-colored) or composite (tooth-colored) material. Composite fillings, unlike traditional fillings, are more aesthetically pleasing and bond directly to the tooth.
Dentures are a "replacement" option for missing teeth. There are two variations of dentures: partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the two lies in how many natural teeth remain.
A complete denture is a removable prosthesis of white plastic teeth in a pink gum-colored plastic base; the denture rests on the remaining gum ridge once all of the teeth in the arch have been removed.
It is important to note that an upper and/or lower denture is a major lifestyle change when compared to natural teeth.
Reasons for a Full Denture
Root Canal Therapy
A root canal becomes needed when tooth decay is so deep that it reaches the tooth pulp. Once the pulp is infected, it cannot heal on its own. Sometimes tooth trauma, such as a fracture, can lead to the need for a root canal as well. In addition to being painful, untreated infections can reach the root tip and compromise the entire immune system. Symptoms of pulp infections may be:
A root canal procedure includes cleaning out the infected pulp, disinfecting the canals and filling the void with a rubber like substance. In addition to a build-up, a crown is often recommended after a root canal to restore the tooth's shape and strengthen the tooth's structure.
A tooth extraction is the procedure done to remove a tooth that is damaged beyond repair. Extractions are also done to remove wisdom teeth if needed.
Many extractions can be performed in our office, more complicated procedures may be referred to our trusted oral surgeons.
Why Are Teeth Extracted?
» Cosmetic Dental Procedures
Cosmetic dentistry will give you healthy, radiant teeth. It is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve confidence and make you want to share your smile.
Crowns are used to restore teeth that are severely damaged by fracture or decay. After the tooth surface is cleaned and prepared, the tooth is temporized and a custom crown is ordered. After we receive your crown back from the lab, it is sterilized, adjusted if needed, and permanently seated. The crown strengthens the tooth structure and helps prevent future decay. Crowns also improve the tooth's look, shape and alignment. Crowns are used to:
As the name implies, teeth whitening is the act of whitening teeth, making them more attractive. Teeth whitening can be used to whiten stained, discolored, or dull teeth to improve your smile. Whitening is one of the most cost effective ways to improve your smile and is relatively painless.
Custom bleaching trays require an in-office impression of the teeth. After a few days the bleach and trays will be ready for you to pick up, along with instructions on their proper use. The trays are taken home, filled with a bleaching gel, and worn for up to one hour at a time, up to twice a day. Bleach trays allow for gradual whitening of the teeth over several days or weeks, ending in a fabulous result. Bleaching may cause tooth sensitivity; if this occurs, inform your dentist.
Bridges are used to replace a missing tooth in both a cosmetic and functional fashion. A bridge structure is one or more artificial teeth anchored in place by natural teeth, crowns or implants. Using a bridge to fill the gap from missing teeth helps restore proper bite. It also prevents teeth from shifting to fill the gap (which may lead to additional bite and jaw joint issues). Bridges can be constructed from gold or porcelain. Porcelain is made to match your natural tooth color. Material choice will depend on structural requirements, wear and aesthetics. Bridges are used to:
Implants may be the best option for replacing missing teeth. An implant is a titanium post that is attached directly to the jawbone. After the bone and surrounding tissue has healed, an abutment and crown (artificial tooth) will be attached to the implant. Implants provide superior benefits compared to regular bridges as they do not destroy neighboring teeth for structural support. Implants are the closest dental structure in durability to natural teeth and have greater cosmetic appeal. Implants are used to:
Cosmetic bonding rebuilds teeth that are chipped or have gaps with resin that blends with your natural tooth color. The bonding adheres directly to the surface of the tooth, and is hardened in place with bright ultraviolet light. Cosmetic bonding is an attractive option because it is cost effective, looks natural and improves tooth shape.
Cosmetic bonding may require replacement due to wear and gradual discoloration over time. For this reason, some patients prefer more permanent solutions such as dental crowns, bridges and porcelain veneers. All these options should be discussed with your dentist.
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