Dental Library

Welcome to our Dental Library!

Where you can find all the information you need on the dental services that we provide here at our office. We are a multi-specialist practice, so we offer a variety of different procedures for you, which means there are many different terms that you may not be used to hearing. Hopefully this can help everyone get a better understanding of the quality work that we have to offer you. If you have a diseased or injured tooth it is very important to know and understand your options. 

Patients today have more options than ever before to treat their teeth!

Preventive Care- Preventive dentistry for the teeth can prevent problems from developing later on. Cavities, gingivitis, enamel loss, and periodontitis can all be avoided if you keep up with all the proper preventive care.
  • Prophylaxis (Prophy): Basic cleaning action taken to prevent disease.
  • Fluoride: A mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Everyday minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer. Everyday! Crazy right? This is done in two ways: demineralization and remineralization. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization leads to the decay of the tooth. Fluoride treatment is applied as a gel, foam or varnish by the hygienist to prevent this decay. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouthwashes. These treatments are most important for children between the ages of 6-16. However, adults can benefit from this treatment as well.
  • Sealants: A thin plastic coating painted on chewing surfaces of teeth, usually the back teeth (molars). This is another form of preventive care to prevent tooth decay. Why should you get sealants you ask? Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars. Children and teenagers are the best candidates for sealants. However, just like the fluoride, adults can also benefit from this. Sealants can protect the teeth from decay for up to 10 years! But they need to be checked for chipping and wearing at regular dental check-ups.
  • Oral Cancer Screening: Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have started to spread. It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms.
Restorative Care- There are different ways your dentist can replace or repair missing parts of the tooth structure. Tooth structure could be missing due to decay, deterioration of a previously placed restoration, or fracture of a tooth. Some examples of restoration are the following:
  • Fillings- A way to restore the tooth that has been damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. When a dentist does a filling for you he or she will first remove all the decayed material, clean up the infected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. This closes of the space so bacteria will not be able to enter. Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, a composite resin, which is a tooth-colored filling, and an amalgam, which is an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin, and sometimes zinc.
Periodontics- A branch of dentistry that works on the supporting structures of the teeth. This is done by a specialist called a periodontist.
  • What is a Periodontist, you ask? A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease (disease of the gums) and most importantly in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive three additional years of extensive training after dental school for these specific areas. They are trained specially with the latest techniques that can diagnose and treat periodontal disease. Periodontists offer a wide range of treatments and can treat patients with severe gum problems using many different surgical procedures and non-surgical procedures. They are trained in the placement, maintenance and repair of dental implants. Periodontists are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do they have experience working with other dental professionals, but they also have special knowledge and training that you need to have in order to have teeth that look like and feel like your own!
  • Why should you see a Periodontist? It is especially important to see a periodontist if you experience any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, but regular periodontal examinations should be a part of everyone's routine oral health care regimen. An evaluation sometimes may be the only way to detect periodontal disease. You should also visit the periodontist regularly if you have diabetes, heart or respiratory disease, osteoporosis, malnutrition, or smoke or use tobacco; all have been linked to periodontal disease.
  • Non-Surgical Periodontal Procedures- These procedures are being done for patients who are in the early stages of gum disease to prevent further deterioration of the teeth and gums. These treatments include deep cleanings, scaling, and root planing (a professional cleaning that is done to the root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from the periodontal pockets, which are the pockets between the teeth and the gums). They then proceed to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. After the deep cleaning is completed, the doctor or hygienist will place a medication called Arestin into each pocket where needed. This medication is used to reduce the pocket depth in patients with adult periodontitis.
Surgical Periodontal Procedures:
  • Gingivectomy- In this procedure, the access tissue is removed under local anesthesia. The gums usually heal in around 8 days after this procedure and teeth contours are restored.
  • Pocket Reduction- In this procedure, the doctor will fold back gum tissue and remove the disease causing bacteria before securing the tissue back into place. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to the healthy bone. Reducing the pocket depth and getting rid of the bacteria is very important to prevent damage caused by periodontal disease and to help you maintain a healthy smile. Deeper pockets are difficult for you and your dentist or hygienist to clean, so it's important for you to reduce them.
  • Gum Graft Surgery- This surgery is done to cover roots or develop gum tissue where it is absent due to excessive gingival recession. During this surgery, the periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This is done to even your gum line and to reduce sensitivity. This surgery is beneficial because it can cover exposed roots to prevent them from decaying. Whether you have the gum graft surgery to improve function or have it for esthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both. They have a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health!
  • Bone Replacement Graft- This procedure is done to recreate bone and soft supporting tissues that have been lost due to gum disease. This is also called regenerative surgery. The doctor is re-growing your lost tissue.
  • Dental Implants- A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or a bridge. Dental implants are an option for people who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or any other reason. A GOOD candidate for dental implants should have good health and good oral health as well because adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant. The BEST candidates have healthy gum tissue that is free of periodontal disease.
  • Osseous Surgery- This surgery is done to reshape the bone that holds one or more teeth in place. It is done because people with periodontitis develop defects (holes) in the bone and around the teeth. Osseous surgery gets rid of those defects. Before this surgery you need to have scaling and root planing done. What is done during this surgery? The dentist will cut around each tooth to release the gum tissue from the bone and this allows access to the roots and the bone. After the roots have been cleaned, the dentist will use a drill and sharp tools to reshape the bone around the teeth. Bone is removed in certain areas to restore the normal contour of the bone, but at a lower level. Sometimes, they may need to do bone grafting if there are large defects. After all of this, the dentist will place the gum back over the remaining bone and stitch it back into place. After this surgery, you may have some swelling and bleeding and could get an infection, so it is VERY important that you take care of your teeth and gums after this procedure. Not to worry though because your dentist will monitor you closely after you get this done!
Endodontics: Endodontic treatments treat the inside of the tooth. They deal with the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases and disorders of the tooth’s root, dental pulp or pulp chamber and surrounding tissue. This treatment is necessary when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected. The cause of this infection or inflammation could be a number of things, such as deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth and/or large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth or trauma to the face.
  • Root Canal or Root Canal Therapy: This is done to save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. During this procedure, the nerve and the pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, disinfected and then filled and sealed with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. After this procedure, the tooth is restored with a crown for protection and the tooth is back to normal and continues to function like any other tooth!
  • Post Crown: Post Crowns are most often used following a root canal procedure. They may also be used when a tooth has been broken off at the gum line and the tooth isn't sturdy enough to hold a crown on its own. There are three parts to your post and crown, the post, the core and the crown.
Prosthodontics: Prosthodontists are experts in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Loss of your natural teeth, whether it be from an accident or as part of the aging process, can be traumatic and have an effect on your outlook of life. The simple pleasures such as going out to eat or smiling can become stressful or embarrassing. With the help of a prosthodontist, you will have many options if you have lost some or all of your teeth. Crowns, bridges and full or partial dentures are just some of the procedures that can help you get your smile back and improve your self-confidence. Another option that has improved greatly during the past ten years is Dental Implants. These are a more permanent solution thanks to the newest techniques of prosthodontics. Whether you need to replace one tooth or many, a prosthodontist will work with you every step of the way all the way through the follow-up care. After 4 years of dental school, prosthodontists complete an extra 3 years of specialized training in an American Dental Association (ADA) accredited graduate program. They are trained to handle the most complex of dental restorations.
  • Complete Maxillary Denture: A removable prosthesis (replacement for a missing body part) to replace missing teeth on the upper jaw. These are most commonly known as false teeth. Dentures are usually made up of acrylic resin and the "gum" and "teeth" parts are made to match as closely as possible to the existing gums and teeth. Complete dentures replace the full set of teeth and partial dentures replace only some of the teeth. The use of dentures can improve chewing and speaking capability and restore your confidence. The process of making a denture and adjusting the denture will take numerous trips to the dentist. While making this denture, the dentist will take multiple molds of the patient's mouth and measure the size of the jaw, teeth and spaces in between. They will also note the color of the teeth and gums so the end result is as close as your own mouth as possible. There will be some minor adjusting before the denture is made. Depending on the type of denture, some of the teeth may need to be removed in order to prepare for the denture. The mouth’s structure may change after all of the preparation for the dentures and may take a while to settle. A temporary denture will be used until the final denture is fitted and after the gums are healed. It is very important for the denture to fit correctly to ensure comfort and to make speech and eating much easier. At first, the dentures will most likely be uncomfortable and, in some situations, they may even cause sores on the palate or gums due to rubbing. Don't worry! This will not last. After a few visits, the denture should feel comfortable and barely noticeable to the wearer. Once the denture is fitted, it is very VERY important to look after it and keep it clean. Like natural teeth, they need to be brushed to remove food and plaque. The structure of the mouth and jaw changes as we get older. Therefore, dentures need to be replaced every 5 years on average.
  • Complete Mandibular Denture- Same as above, but for the lower jaw of the mouth.
  • Flipper- A dental flipper is the cheapest way to replace a missing tooth. It is often used as a temporary tooth replacement while you wait for a dental bridge or for healing after a dental implant is placed. A flipper is made out of acrylic. It is made by taking an impression of your mouth and then a plaster cast is poured. This is sent to a lab with a prescription of the shade of the tooth and then a tooth is selected to match closest to that shade. A dental flipper is made to be temporary, but some people wear them for years.
  • Crowns- A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth. Crowns are important because they are used to restore a tooth’s shape, size, and strength, and to improve its appearance. A dental crown may be needed for the following situations:
- To repair a tooth that has been severely worn down.
- To encase a dental implant.
- To repair misshaped or severely discolored teeth.
- To anchor a dental bridge in place.
- To cover a tooth that was weakened, usually due to decay.
- To stabilize sections of a cracked tooth.
- For broken tooth repair.
- To reinforce a tooth that has had a root canal.
- To cover and strengthen a tooth where there is a large filling and very little tooth structure remaining.
Call Sparkle Dental or use this online appointment request form to schedule your preferred consultation.
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