Preventative and Diagnostic
An oral examination is a visual inspection of the mouth, head, and neck, performed to detect abnormalities. X-rays allow for a more complete examination, helping the doctor to detect cavities, problems in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession, infections, widom teeth, or other abnormal conditions within the mouth, head, and neck area. It is true, that 80% of the exam is not relying on the x-rays, but the 20% that we use the x-rays for is where the serious problems hide. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in digital x-ray machines so that we need a very minimal x-ray dose to get the information we need. Our biggest investment has been in a machine that takes the x-rays and turns them into a 3-D model, and gives us 3 viewing planes like and MRI. This uses less x-ray dosage than the old film machines. The accuracy of diagnosis is amazing! I can’t imagine planning, or doing treatment on someone without this new technology.
Almost every filling we do is made with the tooth-colored material call “Composite”. Sometimes people mistakenly call them porcelain fillings. It is called a composite because it is a mixture of resin and small glass-like materials that make the fillings strong and smooth. Once the decay is removed, the tooth is filled with a composite material which is then cured (hardened) using a specialized light. Composite fillings can be done in one visit and are completely ready to go as soon as the appointment is over. Because we are bonding (glue) the fillings into the teeth, we don’t need to make the hole in the tooth any larger than the damage the decay caused. The old metal fillings didn’t bond to the teeth and large excavated areas needed to be prepared to hold the material. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, tooth-colored fillings were still too soft to use in back teeth, and they turned yellow or brown after a few years. As with almost everything else, they have come a long way since then. A tooth-colored filling is now a stronger, more predictable filling than the old metal ones used to be.
Whitening, also known as bleaching, is the procedure used to brighten teeth. There are two different ways to achieve a desired whiter smile: In-Office Bleaching and At-Home Bleaching. There are so many different products and methods, I can’t touch on all of them. The basic principle for most systems is some form of peroxide. The peroxide breaks up the little particles of stain on and in your teeth. The stronger the peroxide, the sooner you will see results, but you will also experience more sensitivity.
Many people ask about the advantages to different whitening systems. Some use lights, some use retainers or trays, some are paint on or stick on, some are used for minutes, some all night long…. Based upon my experience these past 20 years, I have seen a general pattern to the different systems. Most systems are effective to some degree. I have noticed that the one hour, or daytime use whitening systems, as a whole, tend to not whiten as deeply through the teeth, and therefore the teeth don’t get as white, or stay light for very long. The wear-at-night systems, tend to produce a more natural whitening that is more stable for years. But you do need to do the whitening every night for 10-14 days in order to achieve the best results.
So, you have many options to chose from. I would base my decision on what your desired result is, how long you are willing to whiten each day, and what you can tolerate to achieve the result you are hoping for.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a patient experiences one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. The sleep disruption caused by sleep apnea can negatively impact your quality of sleep, leaving you tired and irritable.
Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and/or surgery.
Some patients who suffer from loud snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea can get great improvement by using a special night guard. This night guard holds the lower jaw slightly forward to keep the tongue and throat tissue from falling back and closing off your airway during sleep.
Sleep health is such a critical part of your health, in order to make certain a night guard made for sleep disorders is the most healthy option for you; a prescription from your sleep doctor, and having tried, and failed CPAP therapy is needed before we can make you an appliance.