OUR SERVICES

COMPOSITE FILLINGS  (tooth colored)

Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and hold it. A gel is applied to micro etch the tooth surface, and a primer/bond agent is applied so the material adheres to the surface. Then the material itself is placed on the tooth and hardened with intense light. The composite resin material is shaped and polished to get a lustrous finish as a last step.

SEALANTS

This is used to fill in narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn't brush, but because they're too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. These will develop cavities over time, and you don't want that. So the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

BRIDGES                                                                                                                                      

A bridge is one of several options to restore a missing tooth or teeth.  The replacement of these missing teeth is necessary in order to maintain the proper mouth functions.  Tooth loss can affect the way you eat, speak, and the alignment of other teeth in your mouth.

A bridge, by definition, is a link or connection between two permanent structures.  A dental bridge is very similar in that it attaches the restorative teeth (bridge) to the natural teeth on either side of the gap.  This bridge acts as your new teeth, closing the gap and restoring your smile. Bridges are often constructed of gold or metal foundations with porcelain fused to the foundation.  This ensures that the bridge will support the normal functions of the mouth.  Traditional bridges involve creating a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth, with a pontic (artificial tooth) in between. Traditional bridges are the most common type of bridge and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

The procedure begins with preparation of the natural teeth, or abutments.  We will shape the abutment teeth so that the ends of the bridge will fit comfortably on each one.  The next step is to take an impression of the area.  This impression will be sent to our lab where your new restoration will be crafted.  While this new tooth is created, we will provide you with a temporary restoration.  Our temporary restorations will resemble your natural teeth so that you can continue with your daily life without worrying about a missing or unattractive tooth.

During your second visit to the office, we will proceed with the placement of your final restoration.  This bridge will be fitted comfortably into the mouth. We will make every effort to ensure that the new bridge feels exactly like your natural teeth.  The final step in the process is to cement the bridge into your mouth, leaving you with a beautifully restored smile.

CROWNS

Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.

With the CEREC technology that we have in the office, a crown appointment usually only consists of one appointment of about 2 -2 1/2 hours.  There are occasions when we will need to send a crown to the outside lab and in that case you would be scheduled for 2 appointments.  During your visit any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then with our CEREC technology a digital impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. The crown is then milled, glazed and fired and then cemented onto the tooth that day.  If you are required to come back for a second appointment a temporary crown is fabricated and worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed. Then the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and then cemented in place.

 

VENEERS

Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.

The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.

The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.

The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.

ROOT CANAL TREATMENT

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy, also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.

IMPLANTS

A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, you are referred to an oral surgeon who surgically places a small titanium shaft into the bone and allowed to set. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, our office  then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over bridge work that it does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and, should the tooth wear out, another can simply be replaced on the shaft.

Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, of course, they don't have to be taken out all the time.

 

 

DENTURES

There are different types of dentures, but they share their common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, it's time for dentures. Relax. No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but you can still eat and talk regularly.

The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures.

 

WHITENING

This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses several methods: In-Office Whitening, and Take-Home Whitening.

In-Office Whitening is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It's safe effective and fast, very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The convenience of In-Office Whitenng in comparison to days of using strips or wearing trays makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual. The In-Office Whitening procedure is simple. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. The clinician then applies the proprietary whitening gel and lets that sit for up to three 15 minute intervals. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You'll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure. Take home trays with gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance.

The Take-Home Whitening method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 1 hour per day. The entire process takes about 2 weeks of daily use. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months.

The end results whether using trays at home or doing our In-Office Whitening is the same. The cost of the Take-Home method is about half compared to In-Office Whitening, and there is usually less post-treatment sensitivity.

TMJ TREATMENTS

TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.

Problems in this area can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw
  • Pain in the jaw muscles
  • Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face

Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.

NIGHTGAURDS

Many people are afflicted with bruxism, or teeth grinding. Some people may do this consciously during the day, but it is a larger problem at night while you are asleep. Grinding your teeth can damage enamel, wear down teeth, cause jaw pain, or irritate your gums. The noise from teeth grinding can also disturb your spouse's sleep if loud enough.

If you grind your teeth you should consider a night guard. The night guard, which is very similar to a mouth guard worn by athletes, provides a barrier between your top and bottom teeth while you sleep. All night guards are custom fitted for comfort and to allow for proper breathing. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and have the night guard created by a dental lab. Night guards are very durable and can be used for up to 10 years.

There are also some things that you can do to try to stop teeth grinding. You can train your jaw to be free and easy rather than clenched. Refrain from chewing gum or on other objects like pens. You should also avoid alcoholic drinks and drinks with caffeine, as these can increase the likelihood you will grind your teeth. If you suspect you might be grinding your teeth at night set up an appointment with us today. 


 

 

 


 

2575 Ceanothus Ave., Ste 160
Chico, CA 95973
Ph:  (530) 343-7306
Fax:  (530) 343-7504 

 

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