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Dental Treatments

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Oral Sedation Dentistry

Have you avoided going to the dentist due to anxiety or fear? Do bad childhood experiences prevent you from taking care of your current dental health issues? Approximately 50% of the population avoids the dentist and fear is the number one reason for this. Oral Sedation has become the solution for many nervous people.

Will oral sedation work for me?

The first step is to determine if you are a candidate for Oral Sedation. We will invite you to the office for a consultation to discuss your current dental needs and your past history. A thorough review of your medical history determines if Oral Sedation is right for you. We will discuss everything you need to know to make an informed decision about Oral Sedation. If you decide to proceed, we'll send you home with the medication as well as important instructions to ensure the success of the sedation. You will need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from your dental appointment.

What does oral sedation involve?

Oral Sedation involves the administration of a small pill the night before your dental appointment and a second small pill the morning of your appointment. The result is a pleasant, drowsy feeling during your dental treatment. The sights, smells and sounds of the dental office will be less noticeable and the time will go quickly. Many people become so relaxed that they fall asleep. This allows you to have more treatment completed than you would without the sedation. We stay in the room with you throughout the entire appointment, ensuring your comfort and monitoring your level of sedation. At the end of the appointment your driver will ensure your safe return home. After a good night's sleep, you will wake up rested and with little memory of the dental appointment.

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Dental Implants

Dental implants are a permanent alternative to dentures and dental bridges. With dental implants, patients can eat what they want, when they want and never have to worry about embarrassing mishaps or the pain of ill-fitting dentures.

Dental implants  are fused to the jawbone, giving you a reliable, secure fit and preventing further bones loss. They are ideal for replacing one or more teeth, supporting a partial fixed bridge or a complete dental restoration through the use of maxillofacial surgery.

Dental implants require several visits over a period of many months. First the supporting posts are surgically implanted in your jaw, below the gum line. Then the implant is given the opportunity to heal to ensure the posts are secure and provides the lifetime stability that makes dental implants such a popular choice.

The next step is an impression of your mouth to ensure proper alignment. The new artificial tooth is then secured to the post above your gum line giving you a completely natural looking smile.

Dental implants are a wonderful choice for many patients. Be sure to ask Dr. MacDonald if dental implants are the right choice for you.

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Oral Surgery

Dental Extraction

Teeth that are suffering from severe dental decay or gum disease may require removal by the dentist. With today's advances in dental technology, the tools required for dental extractions allow for less invasive procedures than in the past. Most extractions can be done by your dentist; however more complicated wisdom tooth extractions may be referred to a specialist known as an oral surgeon.

It's important to note that good health and taking care of your teeth will reduce the need for dental extractions.

Sinus Lift

A sinus lift is a surgical procedure intended to increase the amount of bone in the upper jaw. A sinus lift may be recommended for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is to increase the bone in the site of a missing tooth to allow for a dental implant to be placed. If a tooth has been missing for a long time, the floor of the sinus naturally drops. The sinus lift gently raises the floor of the sinus to allow for the accurate placement of the dental implant and the protection of the sinus.

Bone Graft

A bone graft is a surgical procedure intended to replace missing bone. It is typically used in areas where bone has been fractured due to trauma, reduced due to disease, or disappeared at the site of a past dental extraction. The bone graft acts as a replacement for the missing bone and also stimulates the natural bone to re-grow. A bone graft may be necessary prior to placing a dental implant.

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Porcelain Crowns

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth.
  • Cosmetic enhancement.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Fractured fillings.
  • Large fillings.
  • Tooth has a root canal.

What does getting a crown involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

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Fixed Bridges

A dental bridge is a fixed (non-removable) appliance and is an excellent way to replace missing teeth.

There are several types of bridges. You and your dentist will discuss the best options for your particular case. The "traditional bridge" is the most popular type and is usually made of porcelain fused to metal. This type of bridge consists of two crowns that go over two anchoring teeth (abutment teeth) and are attached to pontics (artificial teeth), filling the gap created by one or more missing teeth.

Dental bridges are highly durable and will last many years, however they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:

  • Fill space of missing teeth.
  • Maintain facial shape.
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability.
  • Restore your smile.
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance.

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and cemented to achieve a proper fit. Occasionally your dentist may only temporarily cement the bridge, allowing your teeth and tissue time to get used to the new bridge. The new bridge will be permanently cemented at a later time.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of the procedure. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

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Porcelain Veneers

Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to create a beautiful and attractive smile.

Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile. They can often be alternatives to crowns and the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions.
As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for porcelain veneers:

  • Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Misshapen teeth.
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth.
  • Teeth that are too small or large.
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces.
  • Worn or chipped teeth.

What does getting porcelain veneers involve?

Placing veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light beam is used to harden and set the bond.

You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.

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Composite Fillings

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced.

 Reasons for composite fillings:

  • Chipped teeth.
  • Closing space between two teeth.
  • Cracked or broken teeth.
  • Decayed teeth.
  • Worn teeth.

How are composite fillings placed?

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove the decay. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished.

It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling.

You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

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Dentures & Partial Dentures

A denture is a removable dental appliance replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue. They are made to closely resemble your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile.

There are two types of dentures - complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting.

A complete denture may be either "conventional" or "immediate." A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed, usually taking 4 to 6 weeks. During this time the patient will go without teeth. Immediate dentures are made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

Reasons for dentures:

  • Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch.
  • Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch.
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues.
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion.

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several "try-in" appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures.

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Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the number one aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth.

What does tooth whitening involve?

This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution for about 30 minutes once a day for about 10-14 days. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped the process.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

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