Oral exams are an important part of preventive health care. During a dental exam, your dentist or hygienist will likely discuss your diet, oral hygiene habits, and will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques. Other topics for discussion might include lifestyle factors that can affect oral health as well as possible cosmetic improvements to your teeth.
During a dental exam, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth and check for cavities and gum disease. Your dentist or hygienist will also evaluate your risk for developing other oral health problems, as well as check your face, neck and mouth for abnormalities. A dental exam may also include dental X-rays (radiographs) or other diagnostic procedures.
Fillings, sometimes called restorations, are the main treatment option when decay has progressed beyond the earliest enamel-erosion stage. Fillings are made of various materials, such as tooth-colored composite resins, porcelain or combinations of several materials. Silver amalgam fillings contain a variety of materials including small amounts of mercury.
If you have extensive decay or weakened teeth, you may need a crown. A crown is a custom-fitted covering that replaces your tooth’s entire natural crown. Your dentist will drill away all the decayed area and enough of the rest of your tooth to ensure a good fit. Crowns may be made of gold, porcelain, resin, porcelain fused to metal or other materials.
A sealant is a protective plastic coating that’s applied to the chewing surface of back teeth, sealing off the grooves and crannies that tend to collect food. The sealant protects tooth enamel from plaque and acid. Sealants can help both children and adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends sealants for all school-age children. Sealants last up to 10 years before they need to be replaced, though they need to be checked regularly to ensure they’re still intact.
If your cavity is just getting started, a fluoride treatment may help restore your tooth’s enamel. Professional fluoride treatments contain more fluoride than the amount found in tap water, toothpaste and mouth rinses. Fluoride treatments may be liquid, gel, foam or varnish that’s brushed onto your teeth or placed in a small tray that fits over your teeth. Each treatment takes a few minutes.
Some teeth become so severely decayed that they can’t be restored and must be removed. If possible, consider getting a bridge or a dental implant to replace the missing tooth as having a tooth pulled can leave a gap that allows your other teeth to shift.
We diagnose and refer our patients to a specialist for root canal treatment. When decay reaches the inner material of your tooth (pulp), you may need a root canal. This is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. The diseased tooth pulp is removed. Medication is sometimes put into the root canal to clear any infection. The pulp is replaced with a filling.
A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can occur in different regions of the tooth for different reasons. We are able to treat a tooth abscess by draining it and getting rid of the infection. This procedure may save your tooth along with a root canal treatment, but in some instances, it may need to be pulled. Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.
We diagnose and refer our patients to an Endodontic Specialist for treatment, surgery and dental trauma. Root canal therapy is one of the most common procedures. If the dental pulp becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment is required to save the tooth.
We advocate the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases involving the gums and bone surrounding the teeth, and the mucosal tissues of the mouth, and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants.
FAMILY DENTAL CARE
We are proud to provide care for your entire family. To help prepare your child for a dental exam:
Carefully time your child’s visit. Schedule dental exams for your child at a time of day when he or she is well rested and most likely to be cooperative.
Be positive. When talking to your child about his or her dental exam, avoid using words such as “pain” or “hurt.” Instead, tell your child that the dentist will use special tools to make sure your teeth are healthy. Remind your child that you visit the dentist too, but don’t talk about any negative dental experiences you might have had.
Listen to your child. Encourage your child to share any anxieties he or she might have about visiting the dentist or having a dental exam.
Call us at 808.737.8988 as soon as possible.
It is sometimes possible to successfully implant permanent teeth that have been knocked out, but only if you follow these steps immediately before getting emergency dental care. If we are not open, go to the emergency room.
1) Handle your tooth by the top or crown only — do not touch the roots.
2) Inspect the crown and root to determine if any portion of either appears to be missing or fractured.
3) Don’t rub the tooth or scrape it to remove debris. This damages the root surface, making the tooth less likely to survive.
4) If your tooth has dirt or foreign material on it, gently rinse your tooth briefly — no more than 10 seconds — in a bowl of lukewarm tap water to remove the debris. Don’t hold it under running water, because too much pure water could kill the cells on the root surface that help reattach the tooth.
5) Try to put your tooth back in the socket. If it doesn’t go all the way into place, bite down slowly and gently on gauze or a moistened paper towel to help keep it in place. Hold the tooth in place until you see your dentist.
6) If you can’t put your tooth back in the socket, immediately place it between your cheek and gum, or in some milk, your own saliva or a warm, mild saltwater solution — 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1 quart water.
Baby teeth (primary teeth) are not implanted if they’re knocked out.
7) For permanent teeth, if a sharp surface or shiny surface is apparent, there’s a chance that part of the root is still in the socket, and re-implantation becomes less successful. If re-implantation does not occur within two hours after the tooth is knocked out, the likelihood of success becomes poor, so it’s vital to get emergency dental care.