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Location, Office Hourss
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General Procedures
:: Adult Exams and Cleanings
:: Child/Youth Exams and Cleanings
:: Fluoride Treatments
:: Sealants
:: Sensitive Tooth Treatments
:: Restorations (fillings)
:: Crowns
:: Bridges
:: Dentures
:: Implants
:: Nightguards
:: Headache Treatment
:: Periodontal Treatment
:: Root Canal Treatment

Adult Exams and Cleanings
Most adults should have an exam and cleaning every six months. Bitewing x-rays should be taken every six months to a year. These x-rays are necessary to diagnose cavities between the teeth that cannot be seen visually. They are important in diagnosing periodontal disease by revealing the associated bone loss.

Research shows a possible link between periodontal disease and heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes control. There is no substitute for regular cleanings.

X-rays of individual teeth should be taken as needed and a panoramic x-ray should be taken every five years to screen the health of the bone throughout the jaws and the nerve health of the teeth.

child brushing

Child/Youth Exams and Cleanings
The first visit for children should be around the age two. If a child is not quite prepared to have an exam, at least a ride in the chair, a new toothbrush, and a trip to the treasure box will help him or her become more comfortable being in the dental office. This is helpful since a child may at first feel that it is a medical office, where he or she may have had unpleasant experiences. In time, cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride treatments can be added.

Regular six month visits for exams and preventive care minimizes the need for fillings or more extensive treatment. The primary (baby) teeth are important for speech, appearance and eating. As the jaw grows and develops, these teeth save the space for the permanent teeth.

Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a natural mineral which has the ability to prevent tooth decay, minimize tooth sensitivity and help remineralize areas where early decay is detected.

Both children and adults can benefit from this easy preventive treatment. Sealants are resins that are bonded into the pits and fissures of teeth to act as barriers to decay. It is a very conservative and cost-effective procedure which requires no anesthetic.

Sensitive Tooth Treatments
Various problems can cause tooth sensitivity. It is best to have an examination to determine the cause and plan appropriate treatment. A tooth-colored filling can be placed to fill sensitive notches in the sides of teeth that have formed due to clenching or improper tooth brushing. Fluoride or desensitizing varnishes can be used to treat root surface sensitivity. Desensitizing toothpastes can also be effective in eliminating sensitive root surfaces.

Restorations (fillings)
We use composite resin filling material rather than silver amalgam fillings.

Composite Advantages:

  • Tooth colored for a natural appearance
  • Can be used on both front and back teeth
  • Preserves as much of the tooth as possible
  • Bonds to the tooth adding internal strength and sealed margins
  • Recurrent decay is visually detectable and conservatively repaired
Amalgam disadvantages:
  • Healthy tooth structure must be removed during its placement which can weaken the tooth
  • Expansion of some amalgam leads to fractures in teeth requiring extensive treatment
  • Fillings turn black, visibly darkening teeth
  • Difficulty detecting leakage before larger recurrent decay occurs
  • Public concern over the mercury content and associated health concerns
  • Amalgam scrap (waste left over after placing an amalgam) contains mercury and requires special handling to protect the environment

Fees for composite fillings are somewhat higher than amalgam fillings because more time and attention to detail is required to place them. We believe composite fillings are more cost effective by helping prevent more extensive procedures over time. Some insurance companies only reimburse at the lower amalgam fee.

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This restoration is a complete covering of a tooth. Unlike a filling that restores only part of a tooth, a crown is used to restore a much larger portion of the tooth. It can also be used to repair a broken or discolored tooth, and can be used in conjunction with an implant. The most popular type of crown is made with porcelain fused to metal. A crown can last for many years with regular checkups and good oral hygiene at home.

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance that is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It consists of a pontic (artificial tooth) that is fused between two dental crowns placed on the teeth on both sides of the space.

A denture is a removable appliance that replaces missing teeth. A partial denture can replace one or more teeth. It is held in place by wire clasps that fit around a few of the natural teeth. A full denture replaces all of the missing upper or lower teeth. Dentures should be checked periodically for adjusting or relining to maintain a healthy mouth.

Implants are an increasingly popular means of tooth replacement. A minor surgical procedure is performed to place the implant. In four to six months an attachment simulating a tooth is placed onto the implant. Then a crown is placed to complete the tooth form. Implants can be used as alternatives to tooth supported bridges which require natural teeth to be crowned.

Implants can also be used to support bridges and dentures. They achieve a level of retention not previously possible in lower full dentures.

Wearing a nightguard prevents the fractures and wear to teeth caused by clenching or grinding while asleep. These biting forces are much greater and very destructive compared to normal chewing. The damage caused to the teeth can require a variety of treatment including fillings, crowns, root canal treatment, gumline surgery and sometimes extraction.

A type of nightguard called an NTI is often the best choice. In addition to protecting the teeth, it also decreases clenching power to 1/3, greatly reducing unhealthy strain to the jaw joints (TMJ) and head and neck muscles.

Headache Treatment
Nighttime clenching is often a contributing factor or trigger of migraine headaches and muscle tension headaches. The NTI often reduces the pain and associated symptoms of migraines by 75% and at times complete relief is attained. It is the only oral appliance approved by the FDA for the treatment of migraines.

Periodontal Treatment
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It attacks in the gumline crevice around teeth. As it progresses, the bone is lost around the teeth and without treatment can lead to tooth loss. A common early warning sign of periodontal disease is gums that bleed easily. There may be no warning signs. Regular checkups are very important.

child brushing

Recent research shows a possible link between periodontal disease and heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes control.

Treatment depends on the type of disease and progression. It can include regular dental cleanings, deep cleaning, or periodontal surgery by a periodontist to help create healthier gum tissues and enhance bone support to the teeth. With regular checkups, appropriate treatment, and good oral hygiene at home, you don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease.

Root Canal Treatment
The nerve of a tooth can become inflamed or infected (abscessed) due a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, injury, or a fracture line. The tooth can be saved with root canal (endodontic) treatment. We work closely with endodontic specialists who carefully clean the canal, remove the infection, and fill and seal the space. With modern techniques and anesthetics, most patients report they are very comfortable during the procedure.

After root canal treatment we place a crown or another type of restoration on the tooth to protect and restore it to full function.

Cleveland Dental Office