New Patient Comprehensive Exam

A new patient exam with Dr. Serge includes a comprehensive oral assessment. During this assessment, Dr. Serge will examine every tooth in your mouth checking for caries (decay) or damaged teeth and evaluate your hard and soft tissue. The comprehensive exam also includes a screening for periodontal disease, oral cancer and an assessment of your TMJ/occlusion (bite).   Digital x-rays are used to help accurately diagnose your dental situation. Dr. Serge will address any immediate problems and create a treatment plan according to your dental needs.

Cleanings

Routine dental cleanings and exams play an important role in keeping your mouth happy and healthy. Plaque and tartar can build up over time and cause gingivitis and are harmful to teeth and the surrounding gum tissue. By cleaning and examining teeth regularly (the American Dental Association recommends to have cleanings twice per year) the risk of developing many problems can be lessened or avoided. At your cleaning and check-up appointment, Dr. Serge will examine your teeth and gums. At your cleaning appointment, Dr. Serge can detect small problems that are not visible to the naked eye and correct them before they require more advanced dental work. Together, you and our dental team will work to help keep your mouth clean and healthy.

Fluoride

Following a cleaning, Dr. Serge may recommend a fluoride treatment. The outside layer of a tooth, called enamel, is continually broken down by plaque acids and then is rebuilt via the minerals in saliva. In the presence of fluoride, the remineralized structure becomes stronger and more resistant to acid attack and caries.

Dental Sealants

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating placed on chewing surfaces of newly erupted permanent molar teeth. Having sealants placed is simple and painless. The sealant material is painted on as a liquid and is quickly hardened to form a shield over the tooth. By covering the chewing surfaces of the molars, sealants help to keep out the germs and food that cause decay. Sealants often last up to 10 years or more and will need to be checked at regular dental check-ups to make sure they are not chipped or worn away.

Dental restorations

Restorative material will be placed to restore function, integrity, and morphology (shape) of missing tooth structure. The loss of tooth structure is typically a result from caries or some external trauma. Dr. Serge first prepares the tooth by removing any decay or portion of the tooth that is not structurally sound. The tooth is then restored using specific materials chosen to restore the tooth’s shape and function.

Crown

A crown may be recommended to restore and preserve a broken, cracked, decayed tooth, or if a tooth’s structure is weakened by a large restoration. Restoring your tooth with a crown usually takes 2 dental visits. At the first visit, your tooth will be prepared by removing any caries (decay) present. The tooth will then be restored, reduced and shaped. A mold or impression of the prepared tooth is taken and sent to the dental lab to make your permanent crown.   Dr. Serge will place a temporary crown over the prepared tooth to protect the tooth between visits. In 2 weeks time, your permanent crown will be ready to be placed. After ensuring that your new crown has a proper fit, it will be cemented in place and the shape and function of your tooth is restored.

Bridge

A dental bridge is a way to replace one or more missing teeth. Gaps caused by missing teeth affect the rest of your teeth and jaw. Shifting teeth may change your bite (the way your teeth fit together) and may make your jaw sore. A fixed bridge is one or more replacement teeth (pontic) attached to natural teeth next to them (abutments).   It will take 2 to 3 visits to prepare and fit your bridge. First, teeth on either side of the space will be shaped to hold crowns that support the bridge. Impressions are taken at this visit and sent to the dental lab to make your permanent bridge. Dr. Serge will then place a temporary bridge to protect teeth between visits. After about 2 weeks, your bridge will be ready to be cemented into place.   You will be given special floss to help keep your bridge clean. Chewing will be comfortable again and you can feel confident about your smile.

Root Canal Therapy

The soft tissue inside the tooth (pulp) consists of nerves and blood vessels. If this becomes inflamed or infected, you may have symptoms such as sensitivity to hot and cold, pain and swelling. Or, you may have no symptoms at all. X-rays will be used to show the structure of the teeth and surrounding bone. X-rays may reveal a problem such as an abscess. Digital radiography emits very little radiation-enough to create an image, but not enough to harm you. To prevent infection from spreading to the bone, root canal therapy may be recommended. Root canal therapy is a way to stop the infection by removing dead or dying nerves and blood vessels from the tooth. This allows you to keep your natural tooth in place. Though many people believe that root canal therapy is painful, this is a myth. The treatment rarely causes discomfort.

Veneers

A veneer is a thin, translucent coating usually made out of porcelain or composite (plastic). They are used to correct dental problems such as; teeth that are discolored, front teeth that are worn or chipped and gaps and spaces between teeth. The procedure can usually be completed in 2 to 3 visits. At your first visit, Dr. Serge will evaluate your teeth and decide the best option for you. Your teeth will then be prepared and an impression will be taken of your teeth and sent to the dental lab to have your veneers fabricated. In about 2 weeks, permanent veneers will be ready to be bonded to your teeth. The veneers are bonded with special cement that is hardened with a high-intensity light. Once veneers are placed, they are permanent, comfortable, and give you a great looking smile.

Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleaning)

If not removed, bacteria in plaque and tartar can cause an infection called periodontal disease. This, left untreated, can lead to gum damage, bone loss, pain, and even tooth loss. During your exam, your gums will be checked for firmness, swelling, recession and bleeding. X-rays will show the bone surrounding the teeth and help detect bone loss. A periodontal probe is used to measure the depth of the pockets surrounding your teeth. Deeper pockets indicate more severe disease. A special type of cleaning called scaling and root planing may be recommended. This removes plaque and tartar from beneath the gums and controls the growth of harmful bacteria. The goal is to help restore health to your gums and teeth.   Periodontal disease can be an ongoing problem. To keep your gums healthy, brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quit. Our dental team at Dental Care by the Square is part of the ongoing effort of controlling gum disease and the success of fighting gum disease is in your hands!

TMJ Disorder

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a group of problems associated with your jaw joint. This joint is complex and made of muscles, ligaments and jawbones. If muscle and joint problems disrupt the way your jaw works, the resulting pressure and wear on the joint may lead to other conditions; Pain in your head, neck, or jaw, inability to move jaw easily or smoothly, or an improper bite due to worn or shifted teeth. Dr. Serge can help determine if TM disorder is a problem for you by reviewing your dental and medical history, examining your jaw joint, muscles and teeth, and evaluating images. Dr. Serge may recommend that you wear a splint -a clear plastic appliance that fits over your upper or lower teeth- to establish balance between your muscles and joints and help relieve pain and discomfort.

Extractions

If a tooth is determined to be non-restorable, Dr. Serge will perform an extraction which is removing the tooth under local anesthesia.

 

Partial and Complete Dentures

A partial denture helps preserve the life of remaining teeth when one or several teeth are missing. It consists of a customized metal framework with one or more replacement teeth attached. Unlike a fixed bridge, a partial denture can be taken out. Several visits are required to complete the partial denture and sometimes the surrounding teeth may need fillings or crowns to give strength to the teeth that support the partial denture.

A complete denture is a way to replace teeth and restore function when there are no natural teeth present. Dr. Serge will begin designing your denture by taking an impression of your mouth. Dr. Serge will then work closely with the dental lab to fabricate a denture that is both esthetically pleasing and functional for the patient. Several visits are needed to ensure that the denture will be comfortable and fit properly.