General Dentistry

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Dobbin Dental Suite can provide a wide range of dental services. We can typically provide every type of dental service without having to refer you to other specialties. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice.

Dental Examination

We will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, specifically looking for any potential problems. Depending on the patient, X-rays may be taken. If there are any signs of decay or other problems, we will recommend treatment options and make notes of any conditions that may need future observation. Oral hygiene instructions will also be provided along with suggestions to help you care for your teeth.

Routine Teeth Cleanings

Twice a year, you should schedule a routine dental cleaning. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and between teeth. We will then clean your teeth and apply fluoride to help protect your teeth once you leave the office.

Fillings

“Fillings” replace damaged or decayed tooth structure with a restorative material. After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer-lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. These new tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The fillings can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.

Crowns

A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown usually involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown
  3. Making a physical or digital impression of your teeth in order to create the custom crown
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it to the tooth while the custom crown is being made
  5. Removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth
  6. Ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, and cementing it into place

New technologies have greatly reduced the time needed to make strong, natural-looking crowns. Once the procedure is completed, proper care should be taken to ensure the crown remains in good condition and the teeth and gums are healthy. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime!

Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent the shifting of teeth, to fix bite problems or to ensure the strength and integrity of the surrounding teeth.

Fixed bridges are the most popular, and consist of a filler tooth attached to two crowns in order to hold the bridge in place. “Maryland” bridges, commonly used to replace missing front teeth, use tooth-colored metal bands bonded to surrounding teeth. And cantilever bridges use two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth.

Regardless of your needs, we have a bridge solution that will work best!

Root Canals (Endodontics)

A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed tissue from inside a tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthened filler. There are a number of reasons a root canal may be necessary, including dental injuries, severe decay and infection or inflammation in the tooth pulp. When left untreated, these problems can cause extensive damage to the tooth structure.

Root canals can typically be completed in one visit, although more extensive cases may require another appointment. You will also be able to drive yourself home after the appointment.

Tooth Extractions

An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if:

  • A primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth
  • The tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired
  • The patient has gum disease
  • The tooth is impacted – this is usually the case with the third molars, or “wisdom teeth,” as they erupt years after the other teeth and often have insufficient room in the jaw

Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early 20s, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort.

Dentures & Partials

Periodontal disease, injury and tooth decay can all cause a loss of your natural teeth. However, we can bring back the smile on your face with dentures to restore your missing teeth. With improved technology and updated materials, dentists can now make them appear more natural and more comfortable for the patient.

There are two types of dentures: complete dentures cover the patient’s entire jaw, and partial dentures, with their metal framework, replace multiple missing teeth. To know which type is best for you, be sure to ask your dentist.

It may take some time to adjust to your dentures. Speaking and eating may feel different at first, but these regular activities will resume normally once you are accustomed to your new dentures.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease

The term “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Therefore, periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth.

Periodontal disease comes in many forms. Gingivitis is perhaps the mildest form of gum disease. While the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily, there is very little to no discomfort associated at this stage of the disease. Through a good oral hygiene regimen and treatment from your dentist, the results of gingivitis can be reversed.

Periodontitis is another form of periodontal disease and can be aggressive or chronic. Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of periodontal disease and is frequently seen in adults. The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation.

In certain cases, periodontal surgery may be recommended to treat periodontal disease when non-surgical treatment is ineffective. We may advise procedures such as pocket reduction, soft tissue grafts or bone regeneration to treat periodontal disease. If a tooth has been lost due to periodontal disease, dental implants are always an option for permanent tooth replacement.

Good oral hygiene and regular visits with your dentist and periodontist can prevent periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing can keep plaque to a minimum and, in conjunction with professional cleanings 2-4 times a year, can keep your teeth healthy for life.

TMJ Care

The “Temporomandibular Joint,” more commonly referred to as the “jaw joint,” assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that “popping” sounds in the jaw indicates a TMJ dysfunction, this is not always true. Many times, your jaw is functioning properly even if a “popping” sound is present when chewing or talking.

We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth). Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.

For more serious cases of TMJ, we will recommend alternate treatments. Often, we will suggest using a mouthguard to relieve teeth grinding. In some cases, we will instruct you to use appliances or splints to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint. For the most severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend certain invasive procedures.

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit.

Oral Conscious Sedation
Through the use of sedatives and pain relievers, oral conscious sedation produces a relaxed state of consciousness to lessen pain and discomfort. Patients who receive oral conscious sedation are still able to speak and respond to questions during treatment, and express any pain or discomfort they may be having, although they may remember very little or nothing about the procedure. Other side effects include headache, nausea and vomiting.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation.

IVSedation
Intravenous (“IV”) sedation is sometimes known as “sleep dentistry” or “twilight dentistry, “ and involves administering a dose of sedatives directly into the bloodstream via an IV. IV sedation is highly effective for patients who are fearful or anxious about their dental visits, as the sedatives will calm the patient almost immediately. It also acts as an amnesiac, causing them to not remember the dental operation afterward, even though the patient will remain conscious and responsive during the procedure.