As the name indicates, preventative procedures are dental services that are designed to help avoid restorative procedures. These include oral examinations and dental hygiene procedures such as 6-month cleanings and exams. A key part of your exam includes the use of intra oral and panoramic radiographs (X-Rays).
For children, preventative procedures also include application of fluoride and sealants to the teeth to help strengthen and block out bacteria and the decay that they cause.
During the clinical examination and evaluation, Dr. Cochran will be looking for any areas in the teeth that have been damaged due to decay from bacteria, wear from excessive grinding, and fractures or cracks in the teeth. If any of these, or other issues, are found, the need for a restorative procedure is indicated. As part of your visit, we will also clinically and radiographically evaluate the tissue and underlying bone for signs of gingivitis (gum disease) or periodontitis (bone loss due to inflammation or infection).
If the need arises, restorative procedures can be used to alleviate discomfort and return the teeth or gums to health. Procedures in this category include both white and silver direct restorations (fillings that are completed at the same appointment chair-side using composite dental material that can more closely match the color of your teeth or amalgam which can be stronger and last longer and are ideal for some areas of the mouth) or fabrication of indirect (meaning made outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory) restorations including: inlays, onlays, crowns, and bridges.
We provide fabrication of removable appliances, including: sporting mouth guards, night guards for grinding, anti-snoring, and/or jaw pain (treatment of TMJ disorder). We can also replace missing teeth through either a partial denture (used when only a few teeth are missing) or full dentures on one or both upper or lower jaws (when all of the teeth of an arch are missing).
While our primary focus is to maintain your oral health and avoid restorative procedures, we also offer procedures that are considered cosmetic and are used primarily to improve the aesthetic look of your teeth and overall smile. These procedures include tooth colored composite fillings and ceramic inlays, onlays, crowns, and bridges as well as minimally invasive veneers (requiring little to no preparation of the tooth).
Also considered in this category of dental services is the use of implants to replace individual or multiple teeth. When implants are not an option, either removable partial dentures or fixed bridges can be used. While many traditional metal-framed partials have clasps that are metal and can be visible when you smile, newer materials have allowed for the fabrication of more aesthetically pleasing options. While considered a restorative procedure, there is an obvious cosmetic aspect to the fabrication of full dentures and we work closely with you to create your ideal smile, with choice of tooth color, shape, and arrangement.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST….. WHITENING. Whitening is one of the topics that we get asked about the most when it comes to the look of a patient’s teeth. The desire for whiter teeth and a brighter smile is achieved through the use of bleaching products. While many offices promise whiter smiles with in-office treatments, we have found better long-term results with less sensitivity with the use of at-home bleaching. This at-home treatment utilizes professional strength whitening gel and custom-made trays created from impressions of your teeth to perfectly fit your smile. This ensures that the gel stays exactly where you want it.
When the need arises for a surgical procedure, we can provide many of these services in-office, as a convenience to our patients. These procedures include tooth extraction, tissue biopsy, and root canal treatment. While we strive to provide most services in office, we also work closely with trusted oral surgery and endodontic specialists for more complicated procedures dictating the need for the expertise these partners have.
When a patient has the need for a more advanced or deeper cleaning, we are able to provide periodontal procedures such as scaling and root planing to clean the surfaces of the tooth and root that are both exposed and under tissue. These dental services can help resolve inflammation, and prevent further bone loss and mobility of teeth. We also work with area periodontists to perform advanced surgical procedures such as grafting of tissue and bone, or removal of excess tissue to lengthen teeth and create a more even smile.