With all the advancements in dental technology over the past few years, patients no longer need to suffer with a less-than-ideal mouth. Whether you need a simple filling to seal a small cavity or something more extensive like a bridge or veneers, we are here to help.
At All About Family Dentistry, we have the knowledge, experience and training to give you the smile of your dreams, no matter if you're 4 or 104 years old. All of our dental hygienists and assistances are fully certified, and Dr. Sara Farahani is an expert dentist with a gentle touch, who will always go that extra mile to make you feel comfortable.
The procedures we provide area:
Today there's really no reason to settle for a smile that's less than ideal. Thanks to a dental technique called bonding, you don't have to live with chips, cracks, stains or gaps in your teeth. When you choose bonding, your dentist prepares your tooth with an etching solution. Then special composite resin materials are blended in colors carefully chosen to match your own teeth. These materials are applied to your teeth, and then shaped into just the right contours. Finally they're hardened or bonded in place.
Teeth that have been bonded look just like your own teeth. And bonding can be an affordable way to have the smile you've always wanted. Ask your dentist if bonding is an option for you.
You may need a crown to cover a tooth and restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. It can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't enough tooth left. It can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that's already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It's also used to cover a dental implant.
Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviating the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth. A fixed partial denture, a bridge replacing missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been. The restoration can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support. Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
Dental implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable teeth. Their many advantages include improved appearance, comfort, self-esteem, oral health, durability, and convenience.
The tooth root implant is the first step in the dental implant procedure. This is where a small titanium post is placed into the missing tooth’s bone socket. Then as the jawbone heals, it grows around this implanted metal post, anchoring it securely. Once this new implant has fully bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post, or abutment, is then attached to securely hold the new tooth into the post.
A new replacement tooth, or crown, is based around a model of a patient’s bite, or impression. Instead of opting for one or more individual crowns, some patients instead choose to have attachments placed into the implant to retain and support a removable denture.
Your new teeth will exactly match your natural teeth, and will look, feel, and function the same way. Just like your real teeth, however, dental implants require the same amount of brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.
Removable partial dentures usually consist of replacement teeth attached to pink or gum-colored plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework. Removable partial dentures attach to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.
Precision attachments are generally more esthetic than metal clasps and they are nearly invisible. Crowns on your natural teeth may improve the fit of a removable partial denture and they are usually required with attachments. The first few weeks your new partial denture may feel awkward or bulky. However, your mouth will eventually become accustomed to wearing it.
Inserting and removing the denture will require some practice. Follow all instructions given by your dentist. Your denture should fit into place with relative ease. Never force the partial denture into position by biting down. This could bend or break the clasps.
What should you expect when you are scheduled for a tooth extraction? Your dentist will numb the area to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regiment to follow, in most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal.
Avoid anything that might prevent normal healing. It is usually best not to smoke or rinse your mouth vigorously, or drink through a straw for 24 hours. These activities could dislodge the clot and delay healing. For the first few days, if you must rinse, rinse your mouth gently afterward, for pain or swelling, apply a cold cloth or an ice bag. Ask your dentist about pain medication.
You can brush and floss the other teeth as usual. But don't clean the teeth next to the tooth socket. When having an extraction, today's modern procedures and follow up care as recommended by your dentist are there to provide you the patient great benefit and comfort.
Fluoride and Sealants
How does fluoride prevent decay?
It interferes with the bacteria in plaque - which break down sweet foods and starches to form acids which attack the teeth.
It alters the structure of tooth enamel to make it more resistant to acid attack.
It helps to regenerate and repair enamel which has started to decay.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that prevents tooth decay systemically when ingested during tooth development and topically when applied to erupted teeth. Fluoride is incorporated into the surface of teeth making them more decay-resistant.
Topically applied fluoride provides local protection on the tooth surface. Professionally-applied fluorides are in the form of a gel, foam or rinse, and are applied by a dentist or dental hygienist during dental visits. These fluorides are more concentrated than the self-applied fluorides, and therefore are not needed as frequently.
The ADA recommends that dental professionals use any of the professional strength, tray-applied gels or foam products carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Fluoride is silently at work fighting decay. Safe, convenient, effective...however you describe it, fluoride fits naturally into any dental care program.
Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria. The sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often.
A sealant is a plastic material that is usually applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth — premolars and molars. This plastic resin bonds into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of the chewing surfaces of back teeth.
The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth. But toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque. Sealants protect these vulnerable areas by "sealing out" plaque and food.
What is the procedure for placing dental sealants?
Placing dental sealants can be a very easy process. The plastic used to seal a tooth is somewhat related to the plastic a dentist uses to make "white" fillings. So, even if you have never had a tooth sealed you might have an idea of what the procedure is like.
Here are the individual steps required for placing dental sealants:
1) In order for the sealant plastic to bond to the tooth the tooth's surface must be clean. A common way for dentists to clean a tooth is to polish it with a small brush.
2) Next the dentist will squirt out an "etching gel" on the tooth. This gel prepares the tooth's surface so the sealant plastic will bond to it.
3) Once etched, the dentist will dry the tooth. The part of the tooth which has just been etched will look "frosty" to the dentist, similar to the way etched glass looks.
4) While the tooth is dry the dentist will paint, or dab, the liquid sealant plastic into the grooves of the tooth.
5) Once the sealant plastic is in place the dentist will shine a special light on the tooth, often this light is blue. The light causes the plastic to set immediately.
6) The sealant is now in place. The dentist will check the bite on the tooth so to make sure the plastic is not too thick. If it is they will simply use a drill and buff it down.
7) Since the sealant plastic is now set, there are no limitations on the patient's activities. Eating and drinking, even immediately, are no problem.
Sometimes, no matter how careful you've been about brushing and flossing, your dentist has bad news for you. You have gum disease.
Depending on how extensive the condition is to your gums, the recommended treatment may be a special kind of cleaning called scaling and root planing.
Starting with a local anesthetic to reduce any discomfort, your dentist or hygienist uses a small scaler or an ultrasonic cleaner to clean beneath your gumline and remove plaque and tartar. Then the root surfaces on the tooth are planed and smoothed. This lets the gum tissue heal and reattach itself to the tooth again.
Once you and your dentist are sure that healing is well underway, be sure to practice good oral hygiene to keep your teeth healthy for years to come.
Inside each tooth is the pulp which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth; it runs like a thread down through the root. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it.
After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then your dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger. Your dentist uses root canal treatment to find the cause and then treat problems of the tooth's soft core (the dental pulp).
Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were removed. Today, root canal treatment has given dentists a safe way of saving teeth.
The pulp is the soft tissue that contains nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue. It lies within the tooth and extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root in the bone of the jaws. When the pulp is diseased or injured and can't repair itself, it dies.
The most common cause of pulp death is a cracked tooth or a deep cavity. Both of these problems can let germs (bacteria) enter the pulp. Germs can cause an infection inside the tooth. Left without treatment, pus builds up at the root tip, in the jawbone, forming a "pus-pocket" called an abscess.
An abscess can cause damage to the bone around the teeth. When the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jaw bones. Without treatment, your tooth may have to be removed.
Here's how your tooth is saved through treatment:
1. First, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth.
2. The pulp is then removed. The root canal(s) is cleaned and shaped to a form that can be filled.
3. Medications may be put in the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help get rid of germs and prevent infection.
4. A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits. Your dentist may leave the tooth open for a few days to drain. You might also be given medicine to help control infection that may have spread beyond the tooth.
5. The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal(s) are cleaned and filled.
6. In the final step, a gold or porcelain crown is usually placed over the tooth. If an endodontist performs the treatment, he or she will recommend that you return to your family dentist for this final step.
During the past 40 years, dental research has led to many advances in materials used to restore decayed teeth.
Silver amalgam and white fillings are the most commonly used. Which material is most appealing to patients? Composites, or, as you may know them – white fillings.
Composites are fillings designed to match the color of your teeth. The two main ingredients are plastic resin and a filler of finely ground glass-like particles.
The dentist matches the composite material to the patient's tooth color. Because they blend so well with your tooth enamel, composites are used where dental work could be most visible including the front teeth and at the gumlines.
Composites may not work if a cavity is too large or an area is subject to heavy chewing. Your dentist knows when composite resin is most appropriate as a restoration material. For many patients, white fillings, or composites, make a healthy smile a natural looking smile.
There's no reason to put up with gaps in your teeth or with teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistake or the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile.
Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They're made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist.
You should know that this is usually an irreversible process, because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.
Your dentist may recommend that you avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or discolor your veneers such as coffee, tea or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or fracture. But for many people the results are more than worth it.
If you have any questions about veneers ask your dentist.
Why Do Teeth Darken?
A patient of mine asked me recently, why are my teeth getting darker? I told her there are several reasons.
First, you may be taking medications that could discolor your teeth. If so, talk to your physician.
Second, you can get stains on your teeth from smoking. Tobacco also has lots of other side effects, many of them downright dangerous to your health. Another reason is that coffee, tea and certain fruits can stain your teeth.
Still another possible cause is that, as you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away. Eventually it reveals the darker tissue underneath, at the center of your tooth around the nerves and blood vessels.
If you're concerned, ask your dentist about the possibilities of bleaching, bonding and whitening treatments.
You may want to start by speaking with your dentist. He or she can tell you whether whitening procedures would be effective for you.
Whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow-ish hued teeth will probably bleach well, brownish-colored teeth may bleach less well, and grayish-hued teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, bleaching may not enhance your smile if you have had bonding or tooth-colored fillings placed in your front teeth.
The whitener will not affect the color of these materials, and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you may want to investigate other options, like porcelain veneers or dental bonding.
If you are a candidate for bleaching, your dentist may suggest a procedure that can be done in his or her office. This procedure is called chairside bleaching and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from 30 minutes to one hour.
During chairside bleaching, the dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent.