Common Dental Procedures
Regular Exams and Cleaning
Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. With the use of x-rays, we can also find bone decay, tumors, and impacted teeth. Dental exams can even help identify early signs of general health problems such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus.
During your regular exam, we will:
- Check for any problems you may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or other signs of tooth decay
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
- Perform a thorough teeth cleaning
Bonding is a conservative way to repair slightly chipped, discolored, or crooked teeth. It can also be an effective way to make minor changes to their shape, size, or appearance, but isn’t ideal for large cosmetic procedures.
During dental bonding, a white filling material made of composite resin is placed on your tooth to improve its appearance. First, we use a shade guide to select the right color bonding material. Then, the surface is cleaned, and any decay is removed. Once the surface is prepared, it’s covered with a liquid bonding agent.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, a bridge is often the most effective option to fill the space for cosmetic reasons. A bridge may also be used to help maintain the shape of your face or alleviate stress on your bite.
Dental bridges fall under one of four types. The most common is the traditional dental bridge. These are a good option when there are natural teeth on either side of the gap from the missing tooth. The neighboring teeth are crowned to support the bridge.
Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
A crown is a “cap” cemented onto an existing tooth that usually covers the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
There are times when it is necessary to remove a tooth. Sometimes a baby tooth has misshapen or long roots that prevent it from falling out as it should, and the tooth must be removed to make way for the permanent tooth to erupt.
At other times, a tooth may have so much decay that it puts the surrounding teeth at risk, so the doctor may recommend removal and replacement with a bridge or implant. Infection, orthodontic correction, or problems with a wisdom tooth can also require removal of a tooth.
Dental fillings treat tooth decay and cracked teeth, broken teeth, or worn teeth. They may also be used to hide cosmetic flaws. If dental fillings are applied promptly, they can prevent tooth loss, which can be expensive and painful.
Traditional dental restoratives, or fillings, may include gold, amalgam, porcelain, or composite. Newer dental fillings include ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. These compounds, often called composite resins, are typically used on the front teeth where a natural appearance is important.
If you are missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth. If properly maintained, they can last a lifetime!
An implant is a new tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s composed of two main parts: one is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the other is the tooth-colored crown that is cemented on top of the implant. With implant treatment, you can smile confidently, knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.
Dental Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay. It also discourages plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. Regular fluoride treatments, along with brushing at least twice a day, regular flossing, and a healthy diet, will give you the best chance for optimal oral health.
Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in bones and teeth. Soil, rocks, plants, and even the air also have varying levels of fluoride content. While most people consume some fluoride from dietary sources, and many city water supplies are supplemented with fluoride, it isn’t always enough.
When playing sports or engaging in an active recreational activity, your teeth are as vulnerable to injury as any other area on your body. Dental mouthguards are protective coverings that fit across your upper teeth to prevent trauma to your mouth. The American Dental Association recommends anyone playing a contact sport to wear a dental mouthguard to preserve the look of their smile and oral health.
Although believe that dental mouthguards only prevent damage to teeth, this equipment will also significantly reduce the severity of force from a hit along the jaw that could otherwise transfer to the central nervous system near the bottom of the brain. In addition to tooth protection, dental mouthguards also prevent gum and soft tissue damage, broken jawbones, lip cuts, cheek cuts, and concussions.
Dental Night Guards
Some people wake up with headaches, sore faces, and swollen jaws due to bruxism or teeth grinding. People with this sleep-related condition may grate, grind, or clench their teeth as they sleep, often unaware that they are performing these movements. As a result, they may feel pain or tension in their head, jaw, or neck.
Most cases of bruxism are mild and do not produce noticeable symptoms. Frequent grinding can produce concerning issues and pain, including:
- tongue indentations
- flattened teeth
- loose teeth
- increased tooth sensitivity
- worn tooth enamel
In the past, if you had a tooth with a diseased nerve, you’d probably lose that tooth. Today, with a special dental procedure called “root canal treatment,” your tooth can be saved.
When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. If left untreated, an abscess may form. If the infected tissue is not removed, pain and swelling can result. This can not only injure your jawbones, but it is also detrimental to your overall health.
Sometimes brushing is not enough, especially when it comes to those hard-to-reach spots in your mouth. It is difficult for your toothbrush to get between the small cracks and grooves on your teeth. If left alone, those tiny areas can develop tooth decay. Sealants give your teeth extra protection against decay and help prevent cavities.
Dental sealants are plastic resins that bond and harden in the deep grooves on your tooth’s surface. When a tooth is sealed, the tiny grooves become smooth and are less likely to harbor plaque. With sealants, brushing your teeth becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
You no longer need to hide your smile because of gaps, chips, stains, or misshapen teeth. With veneers, you can easily correct your teeth’s imperfections to help you have a more confident, beautiful smile. Veneers are natural in appearance, and the perfect option for patients who want to make minor adjustments to the look and feel of their smile.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells made from tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain. They are designed to cover the front side of your teeth. To prepare for veneers, Dr. Rizvi will create a unique model of your teeth. This model is sent to the dental technician to create your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, Dr. Rizvi may need to prepare your tooth conservatively to achieve the desired aesthetic result.