Oconto Falls Dental
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ORAL HYGIENE / PERIODONTAL HEALTH
ORAL CANCER SCREENING
DENTURES / PARTIAL DENTURES
ROOT CANAL / ENDODONTICS
ORAL HEALTH IN BABIES
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Bonding is the process of using a composite resin to fill in gaps between teeth or to whiten them. Bonding also may be used to correct chipped teeth or minor decay. The bonding procedure may be completed in a single office visit, and the results often last for several years, although some bonding resins are more susceptible to staining or chipping than other materials.
Contouring and Reshaping
Often combined with bonding, contouring and reshaping procedures are used to correct crooked, chipped, irregularly shaped, or overlapping teeth. Contouring and reshaping procedures can alter the teeths’ length, shape, or position; contouring also can be used to improve bite. Contouring and reshaping procedures may be completed in a single visit and are ideal for patients with normal, healthy teeth who want subtle changes to their smiles.
The CEREC procedure is state-of-the-art technology which allows for the restoration of fractured, decayed, cracked or chipped teeth in only one appointment. The advantages are a superior restoration with no messy impression material and no second appointment so a temporary restoration is also avoided.
The procedure starts with removing all the decay and preparing the tooth. If only part of a tooth is defective, an inlay or onlay (partial crown) can conservatively restore the tooth. Next a reflective powder is placed on the tooth which allows the 3-D optical camera to scan the tooth. Next we will design the restoration right in front of you. Diamond coated instruments then mill a ceramic block creating your restoration in approximately 15-20 minutes. Finally, the restoration is polished and bonded in place.
CROWNS (TWO VISIT)
Dental restorations restore the function, integrity, and morphology of missing tooth structure, which can be caused by caries or external trauma, such as chipping or cracking a tooth. Fabrication of a crown (a type of dental restoration) usually requires two dental visits. The first visit involves an examination of the tooth to determine how it should be restored and preparation of the tooth for the restoration; this visit may include a core build-up (sometimes requiring a post), fabrication of a temporary crown, and making an impression to be sent to the laboratory. The second visit usually involves delivery of the final restoration, which has been fabricated in the laboratory.
What is a crown?
A crown is a restoration that covers (or “caps”) a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, which can strengthen and improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth has been damaged significantly and cannot be adequately restored with a filling. A crown can protect a weak tooth from fracturing; it also can prevent a cracked tooth from further damage. Crowns can cover discolored or misshapen teeth for more aesthetically pleasing smiles.
Whitening is a chemical procedure used to brighten dull teeth, which often become discolored over time. Some people have their teeth whitened to remove stains, while other simply want a brighter smile.
The process of whitening your teeth starts with an impression or mold of your teeth. After the impression is taken, a custom – made whitening tray is created. This tray will be used to carry the whitening gel to your teeth while you sleep. After a few days you can expect your teeth to be several shades whiter!
To determine if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening, please contact us.
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A dental implant is a post, usually made of titanium, which serves as a substitute for a natural tooth’s root. The implant is placed in the jawbone so that it may fuse with the natural bone to become a sturdy foundation for a replacement tooth. Implants can be used to replace individual teeth or to support a bridge or denture containing multiple teeth.
Who can receive implants?
Dental implants can be provided to most patients who are missing teeth due to decay, disease, injury, or other medical conditions. You also may be a candidate for a dental implant if you can’t wear dentures or find them uncomfortable, or if you don’t want to sacrifice existing tooth structure to support a dental bridge. Since surgery is required, implant patients must be in good general health, with healthy gums and adequate bone structure. If an implant site lacks the adequate structure, we may be able to perform procedures to improve it. Implants are not for everyone, however. Chronic conditions like bruxism, diabetes, or leukemia may interfere with healing after implant surgery, so the success rate decreases for patients with these conditions. This also is the case for patients taking bisphosphonates for osteoporosis. Additionally, those who drink alcohol or use tobacco may not be good candidates for implants. We will take into consideration your medical and dental history when deciding if implants are right for you.
First, we will perform surgery to place the implant in the jaw. Next, the surrounding bone will heal via a process called osseointegration; the bone grows around the implant to hold it firmly in place. Finally, we will complete the process by placing on the post an artificial tooth, or crown, that resembles your natural teeth.
Once the implant placement surgery is completed—usually in an hour or two— the healing process begins and generally takes three to four months. Additionally, the fitting of the permanent replacement tooth is usually accomplished in one to three weeks. We may provide you with a temporary replacement to help you eat and speak normally until the permanent replacement is ready. If your bone structure is strong enough, however, we may be able to place the implant and replacement tooth in one visit.
Bone grafting is a common dental procedure which may be required prior to dental implant placement. The main purpose of bone grafting is to replace or increase the presence of bone at the surgical site. After a tooth is extracted the height of the bone will naturally decrease. By placing bone in the extraction socket we are able to rebuild the bone close to original height.
Everyone knows to brush their teeth twice a day, but many people forget about their gums! The word disease sounds scary— and it can be if you don’t take care of your gums. Removing plaque through daily brushing and flossing and professional cleaning is the best way to minimize your risk. You also should try to reduce smoking, eating an unhealthy diet, grinding your teeth and so forth.
What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed. Gingivitis is the mildest form of the disease. In this stage, the gums redden, swell, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort.
What causes gum disease?
As mentioned, plaque is recognized as the primary cause of gum disease. If plaque isn’t removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance called calculus (also known as tartar). Toxins produced and released by bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. These toxins cause the breakdown of the fibers that hold the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets that fill with even more toxins and bacteria. As the disease progresses, pockets become deeper, and the bacteria move down until the bone that holds the tooth in place is destroyed. Eventually, severe infection may develop with pain and swelling. The tooth may loosen and later require removal. There are other factors, too. Smokers and tobacco users are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Changing hormone levels in pubescent teenagers and women who are pregnant also can increase the risk of gum disease. Stress, clenching or grinding your teeth, an unhealthy diet, and diabetes can increase your chances of developing gum disease as well. And, in some cases, it’s in your genes—nearly 30 percent of the human population is genetically predisposed to gum disease.
How is it treated?
In the early stages of gum disease, most treatment involves a special cleaning called scaling and root planing, which removes plaque and tartar around the tooth and smooths the root surfaces. Antibiotics or antimicrobials may be used to supplement the effects of scaling and root planing. In most cases of early gum disease, scaling and root planing and proper daily cleaning will definitely help. More advanced cases may require surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums—sometimes with the assistance of a laser—to remove the hardened plaque build-up and then recontouring the damaged bone. The procedure also is designed to smooth root surfaces and reposition the gum tissue so it will be easier to keep clean.
How can I maintain treatment at home?
Sticking to a maintenance program is crucial for patients who want to sustain the results of periodontal therapy. You may need treatment every three to four months (or more frequently, depending on the patient) for spot scaling and root planing and an overall exam. Between visits, brush at least twice a day and floss daily.
Talk to us and we can design a personalized program for home oral care to meet your needs.
Oral cancer is a common form of cancer, with roughly 35,000 new cases reported annually in the United States. The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, the soft palate, and the tissues in the lips, gums, and back of the tongue. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of oral function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery, and even death. For this reason, it’s important to regularly visit your dentist so a thorough screening for oral cancer can be performed.
How do dentists screen for cancer?
We will screen for oral cancer during routine checkups. During the screening, the dentist will feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity and will thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for sores or discolored tissues.
What causes oral cancer?
Scientists aren’t sure of the exact cause of oral cancer. However, the carcinogens in tobacco products and alcohol, as well as excessive exposure to the sun, have been found to increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Research also suggests that some forms of oral cancer may be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
What are the warning signs?
Oral cancer—represented by red, white, or discolored lesions and patches or lumps in or around the mouth—is typically painless in its early stages. As the malignant cancer spreads and destroys healthy oral tissue, the lesions or lumps may become more painful. See us immediately if you observe any sore that persists longer than two weeks; a swelling, growth, or lump anywhere in or about the mouth or neck; white or red patches in the mouth or on the lips; repeated bleeding from the mouth or throat; difficulty swallowing; or persistent hoarseness.
How can I prevent oral cancer?
You can help prevent oral cancer by abstaining from all forms of tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. According to a study in the May/June 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), vaccines that have been developed to treat HPV might decrease the risk of developing oral cancer. Because successful treatment and rehabilitation are dependent on early detection, it is extremely important to regularly check your mouth for changes in appearance and see us for an oral cancer screening and regular checkup at least every six months. Survival rates greatly increase the earlier oral cancer is discovered and treated.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or resin placed over the front of the teeth to change their color or shape. In addition to improving teeth with uneven surfaces, veneers can be used to correct chipped, discolored, oddly-shaped, unevenly spaced or crooked teeth.
Placement of veneers requires approximately 2-3 visits. During your first visit we will take photographs and models of your teeth. Together we will discuss your concerns and design your perfect smile. On your next visit we will prepare the teeth and provide you with a temporary restoration while your new veneers are being fabricated in the laboratory. At your third visit the custom veneers will be bonded into place giving you the smile you’ve always dreamed of having.
A fixed bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth—thus “bridging” the space between the two adjacent natural teeth or implants. Bridges are made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials.
A traditional fixed bridge consists of a false tooth or teeth fused between two crowns, or caps, that are cemented on the surrounding, or abutment, teeth. An implant bridge is fastened to two or more implants that are submerged in the bone tissue.
Bridges are sometimes called “fixed partial dentures.” However, unlike removable partial dentures, bridges cannot be removed by the patient.
If you are missing any teeth, the resulting space could cause speech or chewing problems. Missing teeth also can cause your remaining teeth to move out of position. This repositioning can make you more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease, which can cause further tooth loss. A fixed bridge can replace those missing teeth, correcting your bite, and improving your chewing and speech abilities. A bridge also can help to maintain the natural shape of your face.
What is the total treatment time?
There are several steps required and several dental visits needed in order for your dentist to create a bridge that meets both your functional and aesthetic needs. The total treatment time for a bridge is usually two to four weeks, depending on the type of bridge you receive.
When decay occurs below the gum line, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue.
Crown Lengthening procedures are done for both restorative dentistry and/or to improve the aesthetics of your gum line. This procedure adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.
Sometimes crown lengthening is done to improve a “gummy” smile because the teeth appear short. The teeth may actually be the proper length but excess gum tissue may be covering these teeth. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.
Missing teeth can affect the way you eat and speak, and they can impact your appearance and self-esteem. Dentures are custom-made removable appliances that can help alleviate these problems by replacing missing teeth. Dentures are made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Learn more about the process of receiving dentures and which types of dentures are available to you.
Those who have lost all or most of their teeth are candidates for complete dentures, which replace all of the teeth. Those who have some natural teeth remaining may consider a partial denture, which can fill in the space created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from changing position. This type of denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink or gum-colored plastic base, which is held in place by a metal framework and clasps, or natural-looking connectors called precision attachments.
Conventional dentures are placed in the mouth after any remaining teeth are removed and the tissue has healed, which may take a few months. Immediate dentures are placed in the mouth the same day that the remaining teeth are removed. This means you won’t have to go without teeth during the healing period, but your denture may need to be relined or remade after healing is complete.
Overdentures fit over a small number of remaining teeth or implants after they have been prepared. We will usually try to preserve your remaining natural teeth. Saving these teeth can help preserve your jawbone and provide support for the denture.
How do I get dentures?
The process of getting dentures takes about three to six weeks and consists of several appointments. After the initial diagnosis, We will take impressions and measurements of your jaw and create models to determine the appliance’s shape and position. The dentures’ color, shape, and fit will be assessed during multiple try on appointments before the final appliance is cast. After you receive the final dentures, we will make adjustments as necessary.
What should I expect from my new dentures?
Your dentures may feel awkward and loose for a few weeks as your cheek and tongue muscles learn to keep them in place. Your speech may be temporarily affected, and saliva flow may increase for a short time. It’s also normal to experience some minor irritation and soreness. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, however, these problems should subside. If they persist, please call us.
We will provide you with instructions regarding how long to wear your dentures and when to remove them. You may be asked to wear them all the time, including during sleep, for the first several days to identify areas that need adjustment. Under normal circumstances, however, it is likely We will recommend that you remove your dentures at night.
Caring for Dentures
Dentures should be brushed every day to remove food particles and plaque, and to prevent staining. After rinsing the appliance, gently brush all of its surfaces using a soft-bristle toothbrush and nonabrasive denture cleaner (not toothpaste). When you’re not wearing your dentures, keep them in a safe place and soak them in water to keep them from losing their shape. If you use a denture adhesive, make sure to follow all of the product’s usage instructions carefully. Before inserting your dentures, brush your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth with a soft-bristled brush to stimulate tissue circulation and remove plaque. In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene, you should continue to see us for follow-up appointments and regular checkups. If you encounter any problems with your dentures’ fit or they become damaged, contact us.
We do our best to preserve our patients’ natural smiles but, under certain circumstances, we may need to remove one or more of your teeth through a procedure called extraction.
Teeth are usually extracted because decay and damage has left the tooth unable to be repaired through other methods. Patients suffering from periodontal disease also may undergo extraction to remove loose teeth. Teeth also may need to be removed for orthodontic reasons. With the goal of properly aligning a patient’s teeth, we may recommend extraction to provide your teeth with the room needed to achieve the desired result. Lastly, for teeth that are impacted—those unable to break through the gum line—we may recommend extraction.
The first step in the extraction process is to numb the area(s) surrounding the extraction site. The procedure will not begin until the local or general anesthesia used has taken effect. When extracting an impacted tooth, we may need to remove gum tissue and bone to expose the tooth. Then, using forceps, we will loosen the tooth using a gentle back and forth rocking motion. While a tooth is usually removed in one piece, hard-to-remove teeth may be extracted in pieces.
Upon completion of the extraction, a gauze pad will be placed in the socket to help stop the bleeding. We also may choose to stitch the extraction site to help promote the closing of the gum edges.
Tooth extractions are a common form of oral surgery but, like most surgeries, this procedure leaves the body susceptible to infection. Before scheduling your extraction, it is important to be honest with us by providing your entire medical history—including a list of all of your medications and supplements. Your medical history will guide us in developing the pre- and post-treatment plan that best fits your needs.
Inside your teeth is a soft material called pulp that contains blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. If this pulp becomes infected, it can cause severe tooth pain. In some cases, that infection will require root canal therapy.
What is a root canal?
Nerves enter at the tip of the tooth’s roots and run through the center of the tooth in small, thin root canals, which join up in the pulp chamber. Each tooth has at least one root canal but may contain more.
Why might I need root canal therapy?
Injury or trauma to a tooth may cause the pulp to become inflamed or infected; eventually, the pulp may die. Damaged or dead pulp leads to increased blood flow and cellular activity, creating pressure inside the tooth that cannot be relieved. This may result in pain when biting down or chewing with the affected tooth, or when consuming hot or cold drinks. Without treatment, the infection may spread, the bone around the tooth may degenerate, and the tooth may fall out.
What is root canal therapy?
Root canal therapy is a procedure to remove damaged or dead pulp. After the pulp chamber and root canal are cleaned out and reshaped, the canal is filled with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha to prevent recontamination, and the tooth is permanently sealed.
Treatment usually involves one to three appointments. After cleaning and reshaping, we may seal the tooth with a temporary crown, leave it open to drain, or fill the canals, depending on the tooth’s condition. A topical medication also may be applied in the area to fight bacteria.
Temporary fillings will be removed on subsequent visits. If the tooth is still weak after the pulp chamber and canal are filled, a metal or fiber-reinforced resin post may be used to reinforce the tooth.
Finally, the area is permanently sealed, and a gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or ceramic crown usually is placed over the tooth to reinforce its structure and improve its appearance.
How will I feel after treatment?
Tissue inflammation in the area may cause some discomfort. This usually can be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Aftercare includes maintaining regular visits.
Are there any potential complications?
On rare occasions, new infections may occur. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including an undetected crack in the root of the tooth, a defective restoration, or the breakdown of an inner sealing material. In these cases, additional follow-up and treatment may be necessary.
Are there any alternatives to root canal therapy?
The only alternative to root canal therapy is extraction of the infected tooth. This can eventually cause the surrounding teeth to move, which may result in a bad bite that ultimately requires an implant or bridge. It’s always best to keep your original tooth if possible, and root canal therapy allows you to do so.
It’s never too early to start taking care of your little one’s teeth. In fact, proper oral health care should start well before your baby’s first teeth even erupt. For a lifetime of healthy smiles, follow these guidelines to ensure your child gets off on the right tooth.
Just say “no” to bottles in bed.
Never put your baby to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with milk, formula, fruit juice, or other sweet liquid. The sugar in these beverages can cause cavities in your baby’s teeth, leading to “baby bottle tooth decay.” Instead, let your child finish his or her bottle before bedtime. If you must give your baby a bottle when he or she is going to sleep, fill the bottle with water instead.
Be sure your baby drinks fluoridated water.
By the time your baby is 6 months old, he or she will require some fluoride for healthy teeth. Most babies can get all of the fluoride they need from the water they drink. Keep in mind that bottled water usually doesn’t have any fluoride, however. If you have questions about fluoride, talk to us.
Clean your baby’s gums.
Twice a day, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a wet, clean, soft cloth. You should start doing this before your baby’s teeth even come in, or “erupt.” When can you expect to see that first tooth? The average age is 6 months, but some infants don’t get their first tooth until they are 14 or 15 months old. Some babies see their first tooth when they are as young as 3 months old!
Brush new teeth.
Once the first teeth come in, you can clean them using a soft, flexible childrens’ toothbrush and water. Continue to clean your baby’s entire mouth, not just the new teeth. Gently brush his or her first teeth with a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Switch to a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste once your child is age 2.
See a dentist.
Whether it’s the first tooth or the first birthday—no matter which happens first—it’s time for your child’s first dentist appointment! We will examine your child’s mouth and advise you on any concerns you have, such as thumb sucking. If you are having trouble brushing your child’s teeth, we can show you a few methods to ensure you are doing a thorough job. Regular exams are essential to your child’s oral health so be sure to keep regular appointments.