Our office has specially designed cameras that can produce a magnified image of a patients’ tooth. This image is transferred directly to a TV monitor or computer screen. It helps identify problems such as tooth decay, broken fillings, and cracks in teeth that may otherwise have been undetected by other means.
This is a great tool to be able to educate our patients about their dental health and potential treatment needs. It can also help us communicate better with dental laboratories to ensure that the color of your crown or veneer matches perfectly and looks natural when you smile.
Digital intraoral radiographs
During your comprehensive examination, our staff may take individual radiographs, as necessary, to accurately diagnose tooth decay, gum disease, and potential dental infections. Our DEXIS digital radiographs are safer than traditional X-ray film and save valuable time for our patients. A digital sensor captures an X-ray image in a matter of a few seconds, as opposed to a four to six minute wait with traditional X-ray film. The image is immediately transferred to a computer screen and can be enlarged for a closer and more precise look. The exposure to radiation can be reduced by as much as 90 percent, making them much safer than traditional X-rays.
At your initial visit, we may take a panoramic X-ray. This image shows all of your teeth and the bones of the upper and lower jaw. It also shows surrounding anatomical structures such as nerves, TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) and even sinuses. It help us visualize your entire mouth at once, and better detect impacted wisdom teeth, dental infections, TMJ joint disorders, sinus problems, or rare tumors or lesions of the jaw. Usually these x-rays are only necessary every 3-5 years.
Diode lasers are proven technology that has been used in dentistry for over a decade. Our ODDYSEY dental laser allows us to treat a variety of periodontal (gum) procedures in a minimally invasive and conservative manner. Aside from treating gum inflammation and disease, it can also be used to perform aesthetic contouring in cosmetic cases in order to minimize “gummy” smiles. Traditionally, these gum procedures required a dental drill; and a scalpel to cut the gums. Lasers provide a great alternative that requires NO scalpel, less bleeding, and often times, NO discomfort afterwards.
Periodontal (Gum) Cleaning
Early diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease is essential to your overall health. Aside from causing bad breath, it can lead to gum infections, bone loss, and in advanced cases, missing teeth. It has also been linked to other systemic diseases such as heart disease.
In order to prevent the need for future gum surgery or eventual tooth loss, our staff may suggest a deep cleaning. This procedure is similar to a traditional dental cleaning, but cleans underneath the gumline to remove the bacteria that causes bone loss and gum infection. If necessary, our hygienists are trained to administer local anesthetic (numbing) in order to ensure patient comfort.
After this is done, most patients are able to maintain healthy gums with proper homecare, and regular dental cleanings.
Tooth colored (composite) fillings
Composite fillings are a tooth colored material that is designed to look and feel just like your natural tooth. Unlike silver fillings, composite fillings are bonded to your tooth with a special adhesive. In cases of larger fillings, this can actually help strengthen the tooth against future chipping or fracture. They also require less tooth removal than silver fillings.
Dr. Jason prefers to place tooth colored fillings, but if there is a special indication where an amalgam filling is better suited for long-term success, he will discuss that as an option. Ultimately, he wants your teeth to be healthy and strong.
When a tooth has a large cavity, a broken filling, or a very large filling that requires replacement, a dental crown may be indicated. A crown covers the entire biting surface of the tooth and protects the tooth from future cracking or chipping when you eat.
Nowadays there are many strong and beautiful ceramic and porcelain materials available for dental crowns. These materials look more natural, are less likely to chip or break, and require less tooth removal. They can also be fabricated with the latest CAD-CAM computer design technology to ensure a precise and accurate fit.
Here is an example of a new all ceramic crown replacing an older metal-based porcelain crown that had broken:
Dental implants are the most comfortable and durable method for permanent tooth replacement. At Legacy Dental Care, we can help you determine whether or not implants might be a viable solution for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants consist of a titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone in the space the missing root used to occupy. Implant placement is typically done by an oral surgeon or periodontist. Healing takes several weeks or months ,and during that time the implant must completely integrate with the jawbone. Afterward, a post (abutment) and crown is placed over the portion that extends above of the gum. Once the crown is in place, no one will even know that you had a missing tooth!
Are dental implants for you?
The most common limiting factor for dental implants is having enough bone in the jaw to support the implant root form. If you do not, you can still have dental implants, but bone formation at the site of the dental implant will be necessary first.
Are you wondering if you might be a candidate for dental implants? Call us for a consultation with Dr. Jason. He will perform a thorough evaluation and explain the steps necessary to replace your missing tooth/teeth.
Another alternative to replace missing teeth is a bridge (also called a fixed partial denture). A bridge is custom fit and permanently cemented and anchored by the adjacent teeth. This treatment can be a good choice if the teeth adjacent to the gap are in poor shape and need crowns to protect the stability of the natural tooth structures. They are fixed in place, and will therefore look and feel like a natural part of your mouth.
Dental bridges can be affordable, beautiful and durable. If you are missing teeth, talk to us to see if a dental bridge might be a good option for you.
Dentures have been around for centuries and thankfully have evolved over the years. Although the fit of dentures is not ideal, we can achieve great stability with the placement of strategic implants under the denture. They can restore your smile if you have lost a substantial number of teeth due to dental decay, gum disease or accident.
Root Canal Treatment
Symptoms that may be alleviated by root canal treatment:
You have a tooth that aches badly enough to wake you up in the night
Drinking hot or cold liquids leaves you with moderate to severe lingering tooth pain
You have a tooth that is sensitive when you tap or press or chew on it
We make root canal treatments as painless as possible
Sometimes, when the nerves of the tooth are already dead, no anesthetics even necessary to treat the infected tooth.
It can take one to three visits to fully complete a root canal. We remove the infected or inflamed nerve during treatment, which provides relief from any discomfort or pain you may be having. Once the tooth is free of infection, we may recommend a crown to protect the tooth from future fracture.
Sometimes a tooth can be severely damaged or cracked and requires removal. If you require an extraction, we will discuss tooth replacement options and make you as comfortable as possible during the removal. Most cases only require local anesthetic as needed for a simple filling. Any discomfort afterwards can often be alleviated with over-the-contour pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol.
Our office offers the Colgate® Optic White™ professional whitening system. The optic white system will get your teeth nearly three times whiter than whitening toothpaste alone.
- Optic White™ can give you dramatically whiter teeth in 7 days.
- We will create a custom tray fitted to your teeth
- Use the tray at home once daily for 30 minutes
- Clinically proven whitening efficacy
- Formulated with potassium nitrate to reduce sensitivity and fluoride to strengthen the enamel
- Safe, convenient, highly effective teeth whitening
Many people grind their teeth while sleeping without knowing. This is known as nocturnal bruxism. Excessive tooth wear, waking up with jaw pain, neck pain and other aches in the head and/or neck area can be an indication of teeth grinding. The long term result of night grinding is extra joint stress, and potential cracking and wear on your teeth.
Dr. Jason can diagnose the problem by examining your teeth and offer a simple and very effective solution. A custom fit night guard can be created for you to wear at night. We take an impression and a few measurements of your teeth. At the second appointment, we deliver the custom nightguard and, if necessary, make minor adjustment to ensure proper fit and feel. This will protect your teeth from further wear, and can act as a splint to relax your TMJ, reducing stress the joints, and relieve any jaw discomfort you may have.