Preventive and Restorative Services
We are a General Dentistry practice that offers a full range of restorative and preventive services. In all dental procedures, from the simplest to the most complicated, we provide superior care using proven state of the art techniques and equipment. Dr. Ference and his staff are experienced professionals whom you can trust to have carefully thought out every aspect of your dental treatment. We keep current with continuing education so that our patients receive "cutting edge" dental care.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that has fractured, is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. During the first visit, decay is removed from the tooth and the tooth is shaped to accept the crown. The doctor performs a crown buildup procedure on the tooth if more strength is needed to preserve the integrity of the tooth. An impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. At the end of this appointment the patient is fitted with a temporary crown.
Between the two visits the crown is made off-site at a dental laboratory. Most crowns are now made of high-strength zerconia material, a ceramic like material milled to detailed specifications. The length of time between the two visits is usually three weeks.
In the second visit the temporary is removed, and the permanent crown is adjusted and cemented in place.
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) may shorten the life of some crowns. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.
A bridge replaces a missing tooth, or teeth, both functionally and cosmetically. The new tooth sits between two supporting crowns and lies over gum tissue. The materials used are now tooth-colored zirconia material but also may be porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or gold alloys. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
As with crowns, two appointments are necessary and bridge appointments are somewhat longer.
COMPLETE DENTURES & PARTIAL DENTURES
Dentures are made to replace multiple missing teeth with appliances that are taken in and out of the mouth. They offer some of the lowest cost options for tooth replacement. The fabrication of dentures takes two or three appointments with impressions being taken of the mouth, diagnostic records made, and sent to a laboratory. The completed denture is returned and then ready to be fitted.
The use of dentures to replace missing teeth is one of the oldest methods available to dentistry. Dr. Ference discusses the best options with his patients based on age and the number of teeth needing to be replaced. Use of implants or fixed bridges are often better options for long-term dental health.
Before development of dental implants, bridges and dentures were the only alternative to replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Implants are synthetic structures that are placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. Implants are anchored to the jawbone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases. implants can be used to attach dentures.
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant, however. For an implant to be successful a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. In all cases, dental implants require strict oral hygiene.
Implants are designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Implants are usually made of a synthetic yet biocompatible material like metal or ceramic.
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and placement of the implant. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to integrate and for bone tissue to build around and anchor the device. Later, in many cases, a metal post is anchored to secure the crown.
Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Two bones, cartilage, and five muscles are involved in this small area.
Problems with TMJ can cause:
- Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
- Clicking or popping of the jaw
- Pain in the jaw muscles
- Soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding. In extreme cases, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.
We offer a wide variety of cosmetic options. Some of these options are whitening, recontouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain-like crowns.
Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull, or discolored teeth. Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth's enamel by a certain protein. Products like coffee and tea, berries, and soy sauce are nororious for staining teeth. Over time, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances. One type of stain--caused by traumatic injuires, medications and fluorosis--actually begins inside the tooth.; brushing and flossing don't help. Another type of stain--one that can be more easily attacked by brushing, flossing and rinsing, is caused by external factors such as foods. More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procdures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.
Some commerically available "whitening toothpastes" or procedures, can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth a few shades brighter. Over-the-counter whitening systems can also be somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely. However, often patients wish to whiten their teeth beyond a subtle change and seek professional care at our office.
We use a custom tray system for our bleaching treatments. During the first appointment impressions and models are made of the teeth. In approximately one week the patient returns to the office, receiving bleaching trays, bleaching gels, and instructions on how to use the system. One week later a follow-up appointment is scheduled where the patient's progress is documented and factored into the patient's final whitening goals.
The whitening products used in our office are effective and safe.
Teeth that are badly stained, shaped or crooked may be improved by a veneer placed on the surface of the affected teeth.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are only applied to teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth/teeth. This method is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique involves two appointments because veneers of this type are fabricated at a dental laboratory. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very aesthetically pleasing.
The advantage of veneers over crowns is that much less tooth needs to be removed, and the procedure is generally less involved. Crowns are recommended when teeth have large fillings and/or little tooth structure.
ORTHODONTICS, ROOT CANAL, EXTRACTIONS, AND ORAL SURGERY:
We have trusted specialists that we refer our patients to for braces, root canals, extractions.