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Procedures
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Root Canal Therapy

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Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp
(the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special,
medicated, dental materials, which restore the tooth to its full function.
Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed. 
Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the solution, but what is not realized is that extracting (pulling)
a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due
to new infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
An abscess (or pimple) on the gums.
Sensitivity to hot and cold.
Severe toothache pain.
Sometimes no symptoms are present.
Swelling and/or tenderness.

Reasons for root canal therapy:
Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth).
Infection or abscess have developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
Injury or trauma to the tooth.

What does root canal therapy involve?
A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and can be performed by a dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist).
While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments. Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with either a permanent filling or, if additional appointments are needed, a temporary filling will be placed.
At the next appointment, usually a week later, the roots and the inside cavity of the tooth will be filled and sealed with special dental materials.  A filling will be placed to cover the opening on top of the tooth.  In addition, all teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.
After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed.
You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.
 
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Dental Implants

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Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth and also provide a fixed solution to having removable partial or complete dentures.  Implants provide excellent support and stability for these dental appliances.
Dental implants are artificial roots and teeth (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a
dentist or Periodontist - a specialist of the gums and supporting bone.  The teeth attached to implants are very natural looking
and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!
Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, but on occasion, they will have to be
re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

Reasons for dental implants:
Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth.
Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into missing tooth space.
Restore a patient ’s confident smile.
Restore chewing, speech, and digestion.
Restore or enhance facial tissues.
Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable.
What does getting dental implants involve?
The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.
X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an
implant.  While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself
onto the bone for up to six months.  Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required in order to place
the “post” that will hold the artificial tooth in place.  With other implants the post and anchor are already attached and placed
at the same time.
After several weeks of healing the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor.  Because several
fittings may be required, this step may take one to two months to complete.  After a healing period, the artificial teeth
are securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient.
You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed.  Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits
will aid in the life of your new implant.
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Inlay Restorations

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An inlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain.  It is made by a
professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.
Inlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma.
  Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings.  Also, they are more conservative than crowns
because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays.
As with most dental restorations, inlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. 
They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for inlay restorations:
Broken or fractured teeth.
Cosmetic enhancement.
Decayed teeth.
Fractured fillings.
Large fillings.

What does getting an inlay involve?
An inlay procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate
impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom inlay and a temporary restoration.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials.  The space will then be thoroughly
cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration.  A temporary filling will be applied
to protect the tooth while your inlay is made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment your new inlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place.  A few adjustments may
be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular
dental visits will aid in the life of your new inlay.
A+Family Dental

Onlay Restorations

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An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain.  An onlay is sometimes
also referred to as a partial crown.  It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth
by your dentist. Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged
by decay or trauma.  Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the
preparation of onlays.  Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps
have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.
As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.  They are highly
durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for onlay restorations:
Broken or fractured teeth.
Cosmetic enhancement.
Decayed teeth.
Fractured fillings.
Large fillings.

What does getting an onlay involve?
An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate
impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials.  The space will then be thoroughly
cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration.  A temporary filling will be applied
to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.
At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place.  A few adjustments may
be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular
dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.
A+Family Dental

Composite Fillings

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A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc.  The decayed or
affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.  You and your dentist can
discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used
today.  Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and
are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth. As with most dental restorations,
composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.  They are very durable, and will last many years,
giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Reasons for composite fillings:
Chipped teeth.
Closing space between two teeth.
Cracked or broken teeth.
Decayed teeth.
Worn teeth.

How are composite fillings placed?  
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.  While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary.
  The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed.  If the decay was near the nerve
of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection.  The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped,
and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment.  Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.
 
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Crowns (Caps)

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A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular.  They are highly durable and
will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made
to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:
Broken or fractured teeth.
Cosmetic enhancement.
Decayed teeth.
Fractured fillings.
Large fillings.
Tooth has a root canal.

What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate
molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown
which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory. While
the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.
  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be
checked to ensure you are biting properly. At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will
be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate. You will be given care
instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
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Dentures & Partial Dentures

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A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue.  They are made to closely resemble
your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures.
Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting. A Complete denture
may be either “conventional” or “immediate.”  A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue
has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks.  During this time the patient will go without teeth.  Immediate dentures are made in advance
and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the
healing process.  Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Reasons for dentures:

Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch.
Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.

What does getting dentures involve?
The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks.  Highly accurate impressions (molds)
and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture.  Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure
proper shape, color, and fit.  At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture,
ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.
It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will
subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures. You will be given care instructions for your new dentures.
  Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.
 
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Fixed Bridges

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A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth. There are several types of
bridges.  You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case.  The “traditional bridge” is the most popular type
and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal.  This type of bridge consists to two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth
(abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Dental bridges
are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:
Fill space of missing teeth.
Maintain facial shape.
Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
Restore chewing and speaking ability.
Restore your smile.
Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?
Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits.  While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing
a portion of enamel to allow for a crown.  Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental
laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated.  In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until
your next appointment. At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve
a proper fit.  Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used
to the new bridge.  The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time. You will receive care instructions at the conclusion
of the procedure.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.
 
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Sedation Dentistry

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Sedation Dentistry, sometimes called Relaxation Dentistry, refers to the way dentist's manage pain and anxiety during dental appointments. Unlike general anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, asleep, and unable to respond,  patients
under conscious sedation, are able to respond to commands and breath on their own.

Sedation is defined as a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient's ability to independently and
continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal command. 

There are actually 14 different ways that sedation drugs can be administered. There are 2 ways that Sedation is administered
in our dental office: 
 
IV Sedation
IV Sedation also known as Conscious Sedation is usually used by Oral Surgeons and dentists with specialized training and
special certification. With this type of sedation, medications are administered directly into the blood stream. The greatest advantage
of IV Sedation is that if someone is not sedated enough, the doctor can administer more medication and the effects are instantaneous.
IV Sedation is not used commonly in most dental offices because of the specialized advanced training required and the requirements
for certification by the State Board of Dentistry. The drugs used for IV Sedation are more effective then the same drugs taken orally.
There is a more profound amnesia associated with this technique.

Oral Sedation
Orally Administered Sedation", sometimes called  "Sedation Dentistry" is administered by taking a pill. All body functions remain
normal and the person is able to breathe on their own. The patient will often fall asleep. Some degree of amnesia is common.
The disadvantage with this method of sedation, is that the level of sedation for each person is not predictable. 

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to know if sedation dentistry is available for your procedure. 
 
 
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