Click a link below to see a detailed description of each procedure.
- Cleanings & Exams
- Air Abrasion Fillings (Drill Free)
- Bleaching & Whitening
- Clear Aligners
- Composite Bonding
- Dentures & Partial Dentures
- Implants & Mini-Implants
- Inlays & Onlays
- Night Guards
- Periodontal Disease
- Scaling & Root Planing
- Root Canal (Endodontics)
- Snoring and Sleep Apnea Device (EMA)
- Porcelain Veneers
Even if you brush and floss after every meal, a thin film of plaque can still accumulate on your teeth and gums. Left untreated, it can cause everything from cavities to gingivitis. That’s why the American Dental Association recommends that you have your teeth cleaned and examined by a qualified dental professional once every six months. While at our office, we make sure that you receive the highest level of service and ensure that our dental work is of the highest quality. To ensure that you maintain great oral health, this level of quality needs to extend into your personal oral hygiene routine. We can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your teeth healthy and white. Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Your gums are essential to oral hygiene as well. Gaw Family Dentistry’s expertly trained staff will carefully examine everything from your teeth to your tongue for any evidence of decay, teeth grinding or other potential disorders. Then we’ll remove any plaque that may have built up since your last visit and polish your teeth. We also suggest you have X-rays taken during your check-up. By giving us a clearer picture of what’s going on inside your mouth, X-rays enable us to detect any decay that may be developing between your teeth as well as possible signs of tumors, cysts and bone loss.
During air abrasion, an instrument that works like a mini sandblaster is used to spray away decay. During air abrasion, a fine stream of particles is aimed at the decayed portion of the tooth. These particles are made of silica, aluminum oxide, or a baking soda mixture and are propelled toward the tooth surface by compressed air or a gas that runs through the dental handpiece. Small particles of decay on the tooth surface are removed as the stream of particles strikes them. The particles of decay are then “suctioned” away through a thin tube. Only composite filling material can be used following air abrasion because it adheres well to the smooth surface created by the air abrasion (amalgam or silver fillings require drill-based cuts to prevent the filling from falling out). Air abrasion is safe. The only precautions needed before air abrasion is protective eye wear (to prevent eye irritation from the spray). Air abrasion is not recommended for deep cavities (those close to the tooth’s pulp). It is best suited for removing small cavities that form early on the surface of teeth.
Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, smoking and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Tooth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like. To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize a tray whitening system. This tray whitening system is completed in 2 steps. The first step is to make an impression of your teeth. With this impression, we’ll craft you custom whitening trays that you can use over and over. Finally, you will take the whitening gel and put it in the trays for a short period of time each day over a period of a few weeks. Results vary for each individual. We have had great results with this procedure!!! Please contact us today to see if you are a candidate for this type of whitening.
Traditional braces have been around for many years. They are the standard among patients looking to straighten their smile. Today’s contemporary braces are made of exceptionally strong metals as they need to be able to stand the test of time while they are on your teeth. While contemporary braces are metallic colored, there are a number of bands and features that can be utilized to spruce them up Whether you’re an adult or a teen, we all want to look our best at all times. Changing the way your teeth are structured takes time and there are now ways to keep you looking your best during this period. Clear braces or ceramic braces are translucent. This new technology is available for most cases. The great benefit of these braces is that you won’t have to have that metallic look. In addition, clear braces are specifically designed so that they won’t stain or wear over time.
Aligners are another system of straightening teeth without the use of conventional braces. A series of clear plastic aligners are utilized to create tooth movement. Moving teeth with removable aligners is not new. It has been used with success for many years. Clear Aligners are recommended for orthodontic situations with mild to moderate spacing or crowding. They are virtually undetectable, easy to use and comfortable to wear. Give us a call today so we can discuss in more detail which option is best for getting you that perfect smile!
Dental bridges are a great way to replace missing teeth. Your existing teeth are used to literally create a bridge to cross the area where your tooth is missing. Bridges are made from gold, metal, alloys, or porcelain to ensure that they are strong and durable. Bridges can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of two porcelain crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap left by the missing teeth and a replacement tooth (or teeth, depending on how many are missing) in between. At Gaw Family Dental, our bridges are custom designed to look, feel and function just like your real teeth, restoring both your bite and your appearance. By filling the hole between your remaining teeth, bridges prevent them from gradually drifting out of alignment. Unlike dentures, however, bridges cannot be removed. They are permanently and securely cemented into place, providing lasting support for the life of your smile. After the teeth have been prepared for the bridge, a mold is taken of the area and then sent to a dental lab. We will fit you with a temporary bridge while we wait for the lab to craft your permanent bridge. This will protect the teeth and the exposed gum areas and look more appealing than having a missing tooth. When the permanent bridge has been created, you will have a follow up visit to seat the bridge. It will be placed on the teeth and the dentist will then use an adhesive to cement the bridge permanently. The bridge may take a little while to get used to, but after a few days it should feel like you have your own teeth back again. You should eat soft foods for the first few days after having your bridge placed. After the initial phase, you will be able to eat whatever you want with no issues.
Composite bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to correct disfigured, discolored or decayed teeth or close gaps between teeth. After removing the damaged or unsightly portion of the tooth, we apply a composite resin filling that looks and feels remarkably like your enamel to the remainder of the tooth. We then meticulously mold and sculpt the resin to match the tooth’s original appearance. Bonding is a popular method to enhance the aesthetics of your smile. Bonding can be used to correct cracks or gaps in teeth, as a filling after a cavity has been removed, or to cover up stains or discolored teeth. A composite resin is used on the affected tooth or teeth. It is molded and sculpted over an adhesive gel that is placed on the tooth. After the resin has been applied an ultraviolet light is used to harden the resin, which is then polished to give you a fresh, new smile. Bonding is an obvious improvement over silver amalgam fillings. With the advancements in dental technology, bonding can last for several years although they can stain over time. It is a safe, affordable, and attractive solution for many dental problems.
For some decayed, damaged, chipped or cracked teeth, fillings alone won’t do the trick. A crown may be needed to restore the tooth to its original size and shape. Also commonly referred to as a cap, a crown shields and strengthens the tooth by encasing it with a protective coating placed over the tooth from the gum line on up. While materials such as gold or acrylic resin can be used to manufacture crowns, many of our patients prefer porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Our porcelain crowns are custom made to resemble your original tooth as closely as possible. And because porcelain tends to reflect light the way your teeth do, it offers the most natural appearance. The crown can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in and appear just like one of your natural teeth. The procedure for a crown usually takes 2 visits. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, you will be fitted with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready. The crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist. At this time you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will possibly have a local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed using a cement to ensure the tooth sets in place. When you look in the mirror, you will see your old smile back. Crowns are durable and will usually last about 10-15 years. You should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing. Call us today if you would like to learn more about how crowns can help restore your smile.
Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, they may receive full or partial dentures. Full dentures are used when all of the natural teeth are removed from the mouth and replaced with a full set of dentures. There are two types of full dentures.
- Conventional Full Dentures – This is when all the teeth are removed and the tissue is given time to heal before the dentures are placed. It could take a few months for the gum tissue to heal completely, and during this time you will be without teeth.
- Immediate Full Dentures – Prior to having your teeth removed, your dentist takes measurements and has dentures fitted for your mouth. After removing the teeth, the dentures are immediately placed in your mouth. The benefit is that you do not have to spend any time without teeth. You will, however, need to have a follow up visit to refit your dentures because the jaw bone will slightly change shape as your mouth heels. The dentures will need to be relined after the bone and gums have healed.
- Partial dentures are another option when not all of your teeth need to be removed. This is similar to a bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth. It is made of metal and acrylic with teeth placed in the partial. It needs to be taken out a t night and rinsed after you eat, if possible.
A Valplast partial is the newest partial being offered. It is made entirely of nylon with acrylic teeth. It does not have any metal and is a little harder to keep stains from forming on it. Many love it because it is more comfortable and looks more natural. Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don’t have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly natural but it is much better than the alternative of not having teeth. Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. After they have been removed you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate, so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don’t drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or loose.
At Gaw Family Dentistry, we want your teeth to last as long as you do. Sometimes, however, a tooth may be so severely damaged that it simply cannot be saved. The tooth may need to be extracted so that we can replace it with a bridge, implant or partial denture. We’ll walk you through the procedure from start to finish, going over every last detail and answering every last question. Before removing the tooth, we’ll apply an anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain. We can also administer nitrous oxide sedation to help you relax. In some cases, we may recommend extracting wisdom teeth if they become impacted or there is not enough room for them to come in. Wisdom teeth typically come in during your late teens or early twenties. If they don’t emerge all the way, they can become impacted. Other teeth may block them, making it difficult for you to clean them properly. That, in turn, makes them more vulnerable to decay and disease. Impacted wisdom teeth can also irritate and inflame the gums, causing painful swelling. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to protrude through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially. When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially a flap of skin, called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and pieces of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. It will usually go away on its own, but it causes swelling and pain in the area. Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth that can potentially cause problems, like infections, need to be removed. The gum tissue around the wisdom tooth is cut open to reveal the tooth. The tooth is loosened by gripping it tightly and wiggling it back and forth until it can be lifted out of the gums. Sometimes a tooth may be impacted so tightly that it cannot be simply lifted out of the gums. In cases like this the tooth will be sectioned into pieces first before being removed. Depending on the incision and extraction site, sutures may be needed to close the area.
Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth. The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured. The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile. After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment (or crown) on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. We will have to send it to an outside lab to be made. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth. Mini dental implants are about half the size in diameter of a regular dental implant. This offers many benefits, and they can also be used in situations where regular implants cannot. If an implant needs to be placed in a narrow space, mini implants are the preferred method because of their smaller size. A main use for mini implants is to install a full upper or lower denture. A series of mini implants (4-6) are placed along the gum line and they serve as the base of the denture. Rather than placing a single implant for a single tooth, an entire lower or upper set of teeth are directly attached to the gum line. The small size of mini implants often means that no incision needs to be made to place the implant. They can usually be inserted right through the gum into the bone. This eliminates the need for a recovery period, and the restoration can usually be placed right away or only a short time after. Mini implants are also less expensive than regular implants. Only your dentist knows if mini implants are right for you, so call for your consultation today.
Inlays and onlays are often referred to as partial crowns. They use the existing tooth as a base and fit the inlay or onlay onto the tooth. This is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage. An inlay is done when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth and the inlay can be placed right on the tooth. An inlay is used when the damage is a little more extensive. The decayed area of the tooth is first removed during the procedure. A mold of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental lab. They create a restoration made from porcelain, gold. The restoration takes about 2-3 weeks to make, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed on the tooth for that time. During your next visit the inlay or onlay will be placed into your mouth and set with cement. Your tooth will look natural and it will be hard to tell it is there.
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 many years if properly cared for. 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.
At some point during their lifetimes, nearly one out of every eight adults will suffer from some form of periodontal (gum disease). Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in Americans over 18 years old. Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gums that starts out with plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack is the early stage of gum disease known as Gingivitis. Left untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth and the bone that holds your teeth in place. Tooth loss is only the most obvious indicator of gum disease Except for bad breath and gums that bleed, there are very few early warning signals. The disease advances silently, often without pain, and before you know it, you are losing your teeth and you don’t know why. Scientific research has discovered linkage between gum disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes – even an increased risk for pregnant women. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened. Because gum disease begins below the gum line, early detection is difficult. Many symptoms are barely noticeable at first and you may not experience any discomfort until the disease has progressed to its later stages. When you come in for a check-up at Gaw Family Dentistry, we’ll thoroughly examine your gums for any possible problems. If we discover the disease early enough, we can minimize or even reverse its potentially devastating effects by scaling and root planning. In severe cases, we may refer you to a qualified specialist.
Gingivitis is a generative disease that left untreated, will cause significant tooth and gum deterioration. Just the word gingivitis can strike panic in a patient’s mind. The reality is that the treatment is simple and performed right in your dentist’s office. Plaque and tarter that sits on the teeth provides an environment, which allows bacteria to thrive and multiply. The bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed. The condition becomes more noticeable when you brush your teeth or sometimes when you eat. These are signs of the early stage of gingivitis. Gingivitis is easily treated by having the hygienist clean and polish the teeth. If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition will progress and the roots will need a planing. The difference between scaling and root planing is simple. Scaling is the removal of the dental tartar from the tooth surface. Root planing is the process of smoothing the root surfaces and removing the infected tooth structure. As a non-surgical procedure, scaling and planing is sometimes performed without any anesthesia, in the dentist’s office. While the procedure is usually painless, advanced stages of gingivitis may make it necessary to numb the area for complete comfort. Deep scaling and root planing is usually broken down into one half of the mouth per appointment. This allows for adequate healing time, and reduces the time for each appointment.
Endodontics is the dental specialty that deals with the nerves of the teeth. Root canals are probably the most notorious procedure in dentistry and the most common procedure relating to endodontics. When a tooth becomes infected it is usually related to the nerves in the root of the tooth. The infected nerves need to be removed. If left untreated an infection can turn into an abscess, which is a much more serious problem that includes bone loss in the jaw. The area around the tooth is numbed with a local anesthetic to start the procedure. The dentist will then drill down into the tooth to create an opening into the canal. They will then be able to remove infected tissue and clean the canal. After the infection has been removed, the space if filled with a sealant called gutta percha. It is highly recommended that a tooth that has undergone a root canal is fitted with a crown. This will improve the appearance of the tooth, and will also make it much more likely that the root canal is successful. “Root canal” has become a scary term for dental patients to hear, but the benefits of the procedure and advances in dental technology have made it much less “scary”. Local anesthetics and proper pain medication allow the procedure to be performed with little to no pain in most cases. There may be some soreness following the procedure, but that is normal for most dental procedures. Over the counter painkillers are usually enough to relieve any pain afterwards, but your dentist may prescribe medication. The procedure will also relieve you from pain caused by the infection allowing you to enjoy all the foods you love without any pain from heat, cold, or biting too hard. If you are experience significant pain, consult your dentist.
EMA® is a simple, patient-friendly oral appliance for noninvasive treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep Apnea is the temporary cessation of breathing during sleep. Sleep Apnea sufferers will often snore or awake gasping for breath. Apnea-related disturbances occur repeatedly, resulting in restless sleep and daytime drowsiness. The disease can cause serious health issues including increased blood pressure and the restriction of oxygen to the brain and blood stream.EMA is relatively less expensive than other oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea. How it Works: The primary treatment mechanism of opening the bite and gently moving the mandible forward is achieved using interchangeable elastic straps that offer varying degrees of mandibular advancement. By holding the mandible forward, the EMA maintains a clear airway to reduce snoring and improve breathing. We have had great results with this appliance!
TMJ is the acronym for temporomandibular joint, which connects your lower jaw (the mandible) to your skull at the temporal bone. This joint controls many jaw functions, like chewing. If the chewing muscles or the joint itself are causing you pain you may have temporamandibular disorder, or TMD. TMD can be caused by stress, continual clenching of the jaw muscles, or teeth grinding. Some of the symptoms of TMD are:
- Pain when opening or closing mouth
- Trouble chewing
- Jaw becoming stuck open or shut
- Headaches or ear pain
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening your mouth
- Teeth Grinding
Many of these symptoms can often be associated with other health problems, so only a medical professional can tell you if it is due to TMD. Teeth grinding is an especially problematic symptom because it can lead to further problems. Prolonged teeth grinding, or bruxism, can cause enamel to wear off teeth and expose dentin. This material is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. Sensitivity to hot and cold food or drink may also develop from excessive teeth grinding If you suspect you may have TMD come in for a consultation. We can help diagnose you and provide relief for your symptoms. Pain relievers and hot/cold compresses are short term methods to provide relief for pain symptoms. A night guard can be used to help prevent or lessen the effects of teeth grinding at night. This can lead to a more permanent solution. In very severe cases of TMD surgery may be required, but behavioral treatments to change the way you use your jaw muscles are usually enough to provide relief.
Veneers are commonly used to correct imperfections in your smile, such as unsightly gaps or chipped, crooked or discolored teeth. Ultra-thin, semi-transparent shells made of porcelain, our custom-made veneers are custom fitted to the front of your teeth, subtly altering their shape, color and alignment to create a more attractive appearance. The procedure itself is relatively simple and can be typically completed in just one or two appointments.
Services provided by a general dentist, Member of ADA