CLEANINGS & PREVENTION
Prevention is always better than treatment. By actively preventing dental disease and decay through regular home care, professional dental cleanings and regular exams, you will maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Effective prevention helps avoid costly treatments to remove decay, restore teeth and treat gum disease. Regular brushing is your best investment. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. Use a soft bristled toothbrush, moving the brush in a circular motion over the entire surface of each tooth. Floss a day by moving the floss in an up and down motion and keeping the floss in a U-shape against the tooth surface. Use an antiseptic and fluoride rinse as directed to complement your oral hygiene program.
Dental x-rays, or radiographs, allow your dentist to examine your oral health in more depth than can be seen with the naked eye. X-rays can reveal cysts, cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, abscesses, tooth decay, teeth that haven’t grown all the way in, and periodontal disease. There are three basic kinds of X-rays:
Bitewings – the most conventional X-ray is used to spot cavities and bone levels around teeth. They’re taken on average once a year.
Periapical X-rays – broad pictures of an entire tooth and are used to spot deep tooth problems such as abscesses, bone loss and the root structure of a tooth.
Panoramic X-rays – designed to capture an entire mouth. These X-rays can be used to spot tumors and cysts, positioning of wisdom teeth and permanent teeth that haven’t erupted into the oral cavity.
Fluoride can be placed at the time of cleanings to help strengthen your teeth and reduce the chance of decay, by being incorporated in the enamel or outer surface of the tooth. We use 2 kinds of fluoride – a foam version and a varnish version. We place the foam version in special trays and bathe your teeth in the fluoride for one minute. You are not to have anything to eat or drink for 30 minutes following this application. With the varnish version, the varnish is like a sticky paint that is applied to the teeth, you can eat and drink right away after the application. But, we recommend not brushing your teeth until the next morning to get the best benefit of the varnish fluoride.
Sealants are liquid coatings that applied to the chewing surfaces of permanent molar teeth and hardened with a special light. The pits and grooves of permanent molar teeth are prime areas for decay to form and are often times the first place kids will get cavities in their permanent teeth. The sealants are designed to prevent the intrusion of bacteria and other debris into the deep grooves on the chewing surface of the teeth. Young children are great candidates for sealants when their permanent molars erupt into their mouths. In order to apply the sealants, we first clean off the chewing surface of the tooth. This is done by using air abrasion, which is like a sand blaster, and clears out all of the bacteria, debris and decay present. Then an etching/bonding agent is applied to the surface of the tooth to help the sealant adhere better. The sealant is then applied and a special light is placed over the tooth for 20 seconds to help the sealant harden on the tooth surface.
Crowns are often needed in cases where a tooth has fractured, a tooth has had root canal therapy or a tooth has a large cavity or filling present. The tooth in these cases has been severely weakened and placing a large filling will only make the tooth more susceptible to fracture. A crown covers the tooth and will restore it to its original shape and size. The tooth is trimmed down and any decay that is present is removed at that time. Next a highly accurate impression of the tooth is made and sent to the dental laboratory to fabricate your permanent porcelain or gold crown. While the dental laboratory is making your crown, you will wear a temporary crown to cover and protect your tooth. It usually takes the dental lab 2 to 3 weeks to make your permanent crown. Once the crown has come back from the lab, it is tried in and its fit is checked. It is then permanently cemented onto your tooth.
There are many advantages to crowns. They are incredibly strong due to the fact that they are created in a dental laboratory. Crowns protect and strengthen the remaining tooth structure. They should fit almost perfectly onto the prepared tooth, reducing the size of the seam between the crown and the tooth. This, in turn, will help to keep decay from eventually recurring under the crown. In the best of circumstances, a crown should be placed on a tooth before it is so decayed that it may fracture or prior to the tooth fracturing. This can help to prevent the possibility of the tooth needing root canal therapy. It can also help to strengthen the tooth, preventing the tooth from fracturing and needing to be extracted and replaced by a bridge, implant or removable partial denture.
There are some disadvantages to crowns though. Crowns are highly durable, but may eventually need to be re-cemented or replaced due to normal wear and tear. Occasionally, a tooth may still need root canal therapy after it has been crowned. However, this indicates that the nerve of the tooth was already infected and would have eventually needed root canal therapy.
Gum Disease, also known as periodontal disease, is responsible for about 70 percent of adult tooth loss.
There are several types and stages of the disease, all of which start with an infection of the gums that can move into the bones and ligaments that support the teeth. In the beginning stages, it can only be detected by a dentist during regular checkups. If left untreated, gums and bone can become so seriously damaged that teeth can fall out or have to be removed. Plaque, a sticky substance that forms in the mouth from food, saliva and bacteria gets inside the space between the gum tissue and the tooth. If this plaque is not removed, it can harden into a substance called calculus or tartar. Eventually, if the tartar and plaque are not removed, the bacteria within them will eat away at the fibers that hold the gums to the teeth, creating what is called a deep pocket. As the bacteria spread, the pockets become deeper until the bacteria finally eat away at the bone that holds the teeth in place. This, in turn, will cause the tooth to become loose.
Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95 percent chance of experiencing some form of tooth decay. When tooth decay does occur, it is highly important to remove the decay, clean the tooth and repair the tooth with some type of restoration. Additionally, lost or missing teeth need to be replaced to protect your overall oral health.
Amalgams are silver-colored material that is placed in a tooth when treating a cavity. They are a combination of various metal alloys, including copper, tin, silver and mercury. Mercury, a binding agent used in amalgams, has come under scrutiny lately by some health officials who claim it may cause long-term health problems. However, the American Dental Association maintains that there has been no scientific evidence to show that amalgams are harmful and they appear to pose no measurable health risks to patients. Although, there have been rare cases of patients developing an allergic reaction to amalgams.
There are some disadvantages to silver fillings. First off, they do not bond or stick to the tooth structure. In order to keep the filling from falling out, the preparation of the tooth needs to be “undercut”, creating a space that is smaller at the surface of the tooth and wider at the base of the space.
This process of undercutting requires the removal of more healthy tooth structure than is necessary and furthermore weakens the tooth. This can predispose the tooth to fracture when a person bites down on hard items and since fillings eventually break down over time through normal wear, they will need to be replaced, requiring the removal of even more healthy tooth structure.
There are alternatives to silver amalgam fillings. These alternatives are composite or white fillings or porcelain or gold inlays or onlays.
With 95 out of every 100 people suffering from some form of tooth decay in their life, fillings are crucial when it comes to your oral health. Some people might not want silver fillings in their mouth - so there's a solution to make your fillings virtually invisible.
Composite, or resin, fillings are a mixture of resins and fine particles designed to mimic the color of natural teeth. After the tooth has been prepped for the filling, the composite material is layered into the space and hardened with a special light. After all the composite material has been placed, the filling is shaped and contoured to match the tooth and bite of the patient. It is then polished, to make it virtually invisible. There are many advantages to composite fillings. They are environmentally non-toxic, because they use no mercury like amalgams do. They actually bond directly to the surface of the tooth and help to protect the tooth from fracturing, by avoiding undercutting of the tooth structure. The disadvantages of composite fillings are that they are higher priced than a mercury filling. This is due to the fact that composite material is more expensive and the restoration is more difficult and time consuming to place.
Dental implants are an excellent way to replace a missing tooth or teeth. They help to prevent shifting of teeth, which may cause bite problems in the future. Implants also improve a persons chewing ability and are more comfortable and permanent then removable dentures. An implant is a tiny screw that is placed in the jaw of a patient in the area where a tooth or teeth are missing.The implant is surgically placed by an oral surgeon and after a period of healing (usually 3 to 9 months), it is then restored with a crown.
This is the most natural way to restore a missing tooth and most closely resembles a natural tooth. These implants help to secure a denture, creating a more stable fit and increasing a persons chewing efficiency. Dental implants are excellent restorations, but they do involve surgery, a period of healing and are more costly than either a fixed bridge or removable denture.
A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain that covers the front of each tooth. They are indicated for teeth that are stained or discolored, chipped, rough or jagged, crooked, worn, too small or too large in proportion to the rest of the mouth. Veneers can also be used to fill in spaces between front teeth. The teeth are prepared for the veneers by removing some of the front surface enamel of each tooth. A highly accurate impression is made of the area and temporary veneers are placed on the teeth to protect them while the dental lab is fabricating the porcelain veneer. When the veneers come back from the laboratory, they are tried into the patient’s mouth and adjusted as needed.
The patient is given the opportunity to view them prior to them being bonded into place. If the patient approves, the veneers are then bonded to the front of each tooth. Veneers can be virtually undetectable and can dramatically improve your smile. They are durable, long lasting, and will provide you with a natural and beautiful smile. Veneers, although long lasting, may eventually need to be replaced. They are not the treatment of choice for teeth with large fillings or areas of decay; a better suited option would be a porcelain crown.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. There are 2 kinds of dentures – a complete denture, used when a patient is missing all of their natural teeth and a removable partial denture, which is used when patient still have some of their natural teeth remaining. It is made of acrylic resin and sometimes in combination with various metals. A denture improves a patients ability to chew their foods, speak correctly and it provides support for the muscles of the face, enhancing a patient’s appearance and smile.
Dentures are an excellent way to replace missing teeth. However, they because they are removable, you do not get the stability and chewing efficiency that a person would have with their natural teeth, an implant or a fixed bridge. Sore spots can develop in areas where a denture rubs against the gum tissue, but these are easily treated through an adjustment at the office.
In order to make a denture, it consists of multiple visits over the course of one to two months. Impressions are taken and a dental laboratory fabricates the framework of the denture. The patient will need to return for multiple visits to check the fit of the framework, the positioning of the teeth and the overall aesthetics of the partial denture.
A fixed bridge is used to replace a missing tooth or teeth in order to improve a person’s chewing ability and to provide a more permanent solution than a removable partial denture. A bridge is a single appliance that is attached to 2 teeth on either side of the space where a tooth is missing. It is permanently cemented into place and thereby cannot be removed once it is in place. An artificial tooth is attached in the middle of the bridge and fills in the gap where the missing tooth was. The anchor teeth, or teeth on either side of the space, are prepped in the same way you prep a tooth for a crown. An impression of this area is made and sent to the dental laboratory to fabricate your permanent porcelain or gold bridge. While the lab is making your bridge, you will wear a temporary bridge to protect the prepped teeth and fill in the space where the missing tooth is. It usually takes the lab 2 to 3 weeks to fabricate your permanent bridge. Once it is returned from the lab, we will remove your temporary bridge and check the permanent bridge’s fit in your mouth, checking the bite, touch to the teeth in front and behind the bridge and color of the bridge. The bridge will then be permanently cemented into your mouth.
There are many advantages to a fixed bridge. First of all, it is never removed. It is stable in the mouth and works very similar to natural teeth. The bridge in essence, fills in the space and stops the movement of other teeth. It is an excellent investment in that it provides better chewing ability for the patient, helps to prevent jaw joint problems and saves money that would otherwise be sent on future dental treatment.
There are very few disadvantages to a fixed bridge. They are highly durable, but eventually they may need to be re-cemented if they become loose or replaced due to normal wear and tear. An alternative to the fixed bridge would be either a dental implant or a removable partial denture.
Sapphire bleaching takes an hour and a half to two hours and the patient can lighten their teeth anywhere between 6 to 12 shades in that time frame. Sapphire bleaching consists of 3 applications of a bleaching gel and light for 20 minute intervals. Occasionally, a patient will experience sensitivity after or during bleaching. It is recommended that the patient use sensitive formula toothpaste and discontinue bleaching for the time being. Sensitivity caused by bleaching is never permanent and will usually subside in a couple of days. Many patients ask about over-the-counter whitening systems. These systems do work, but the patient will only be able to lighten their teeth a shade or two and is not nearly as effective as take-home bleaching or Sapphire bleaching.
Invisalign is an effective alternative to metal braces that is comfortable, clear and completely removable. Invisalign continuously works on advancements in the treatment process for conditions such as gap teeth, overbite, open bite, crossbite, and overly crowded teeth. Treatment time is comparable to traditional braces, taking anywhere from 3 months to a couple years depending on the amount of tooth movement needed.
Once a treatment plan is created, impressions of the patient’s teeth will be taken using specialized Align Technology to create custom aligners that will only fit one person. The aligners are made of BPA-free plastic that won’t irritate the inside of the mouth like traditional metal braces The benefits of Invisalign will be seen nearly immediately after the start the process and through each set of aligners, which should be changed approximately every two weeks. Occasional checkups will be scheduled to monitor the aligner’s progress until the treatment is complete.
SAME DAY DENTISTRY
Sunnybrook Dental is bringing Same Day Dentistry to our patients! Dr. Mindy Stevens and team welcome the NEW E4D Dentist™ system to our suite of services. Say good-bye to temporary crowns and multiple dentist visits! The E4D System truly is Modern Dentistry that Fits Your Lifestyle.
E4D is a new technology which allows dentists to obtain clean, fast digital impressions of their patient’s teeth in a few minutes using a laser scanner in the mouth. This laser scanning technology is not only extremely precise when “capturing” all of the details of a patient’s smile, but is also as safe as the check-out scanner at a grocery store. But, best of all, there is no need for a patient to hold unpleasant, possibly distasteful material in his or her mouth.
You don’t have to travel far to experience the convenience and precision of E4D Dentistry. Our dentists at Sunnybrook Dental has already invested in this innovative technology because we believe our patients deserve modern dentistry that fits their lifestyles. Simply call us at 712-274-2338 and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about E4D Dentistry.
How does the process work?
Using the chairside, computer-based design center, the a dental professional custom designs a crown, veneer, or filling perfectly suited for the patient based on his or her condition. From there, the information about the restoration is transferred to the in-office milling unit, where the patient’s crown, veneer, or filling is made. Shortly thereafter, it’s permanently seated in his or her mouth.
How long does it take?
Provided your dentist is agreement E4D is Dentistry is right for you, patients can be in and out of the dental office with their permanent, natural-looking and metal-free restorations in a single visit.
How do I know if I need Same Day Dentistry services?
Patients who suffer from chipped, worn or cracked teeth; teeth that are discolored or have gaps and spaces between them; teeth that have decay and/or old, worn fillings are recommended for E4D.
What are the benefits of Same Day Dentistry?
With modern, state-of-the-art E4D Dentistry:
• Patients don’t need to suffer through traditional impressions
• No need for temporaries
• No need to wait days—or more likely weeks—for their permanent restorations
• No need to be inconvenienced with the back-and-forth typically associated with crowns, veneers, and some fillings