A deep cleaning or also known as scaling and root planning is a more involved procedure. If a patient is experiencing symptoms of gum disease such as swollen, red, tender or bleeding gums, gums that recede or move away from the tooth, persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth, loose teeth and visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums, then scaling and root planning would be indicated.
A measurement is used to help identify the severity of the gum condition. The measurement is taken from the top of the gumline to the where the gum tissue attaches to the base of the tooth, the larger the number, the more bacterial plaque and tartar have the ability to accumulate under the gumline to negatively affect the health of the bone supporting the tooth and gum.
Why is it important?
Dental disease is mostly preventable and the health of your mouth is just as important as the health of the rest of your body. Regular six month check-ups and cleanings helps prevent cavities, enamel loss, gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth loss.
A routine, professional cleaning involves scaling the teeth and the gumline to remove plaque and tartar, and polishing to remove stains and smooth the tooth's surface to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The mouth is a breeding ground of bacteria which left untreated can contribute to serious health problems such as a tooth infection spreading to other parts of the body and affecting pregnant mothers.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be repaired with a filling. Crowns cover the weakened tooth structure, providing strength and protection against fractures and cracks. Crowns help protect teeth after root canals or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity, the more likely a crown will be needed. The crown will help protect the tooth from the tremendous pressures exerted by the powerful jaw muscles.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. At the first appointment, any cracks, decay or large old fillings are removed and the tooth is shaped for the future crown. An impression is made and is sent to the lab to fabricate a customized crown. The patient will leave with a temporary crown. In two weeks, the patient returns for the delivery of the white, ceramic permanent crown. Several steps are done to ensure the customized fit at this appointment. Sometimes the crown needs to be sent back to the lab to do further customization. Once the crown is cemented, the procedure is complete; however, with true function of eating and grinding, sometimes the patient needs to come back to have the crown fine-tuned to his/her bite.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If the space remains, the teeth surrounding the gap will begin to shift inward and move into its space, creating a whole chain reaction of negative consequences. A lack of tooth support occurs and the bite changes over time to pressure which can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ. The surrounding teeth can begin to deteriorate and eventually are lost too.
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium post is surgically positioned beneath the gum line. The bone grows and develops for several months around the post forming a tight connection. This can take 3-6 months depending on the location in the mouth. Once the implant is firmly set in the mouth, then an impression is made to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the post. The dental implant does not stress the surrounding teeth for support, and if the tooth should wear out, another can simply be replaced on the post.
Implants can also be used as support for several missing teeth as part of an implant bridge. This is superior alternative to partial dentures. The implants are supported by bone and not tissue, so an implant bridge does not move like a partial denture in the mouth. The chewing strength of the implant bridge is like that of natural teeth unlike a partial denture where there is a loss of 50% or more of chewing power. Implant bridges do not need to be removed from the mouth like a partial denture
Dentures and Partial Dentures share a common function. They replace teeth that have become lost due to gum disease, deterioration, decay and many other reasons.
They replace one or more missing teeth. Partial, meaning existing only in part, not full loss of teeth. Partials are removed from the mouth daily and require daily cleaning. There are different types of partials depending on the material such as a flexible material, all plastic or all metal and combinations do exist.
They replace upper or lower jaw teeth or both. Dentures are a replacement for no teeth and patients often have trouble chewing and breaking up food since a majority of chewing strength is lost. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth and it can take some time getting acclimated to chewing and speaking. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures.
Thorough brushing and flossing cannot always adequately remove food particles and plaque in the narrow grooves and pits of the chewing surface of the tooth because the toothbrush bristle can’t access them.
These depressions will develop into cavities overtime so the dentist or hygienist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. The procedure can be direct or indirect.
The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding.
The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be 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 usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very esthetic.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable. Veneers are recommended for teeth that have large fillings or little tooth structure.
Fillings are done to remove decay, and replace the affected tooth structure. It is called a filling because new a material fills hole that decay left. Now days most teeth are treated with bonded tooth colored composite resin fillings. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and the tooth would need root canal treatment or extraction.
This is a focused beam of X-Ray particles through bone which produces an image on special film, showing the structure through which it passed. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention.
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses several methods: Boost, Custom Tray whitening, and professional prefilled Ultra Fit trays called Opalescence GO.
Boost is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It's safe and very fast. In just over an hour in the dental chair, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The Boost whitening procedure is simple. It begins by the clinician isolating your lips and gums. Two 20 minute applications of the Boost whitening gel are applied to the teeth. You will be amazed by the results! You will leave the dental office with teeth that are at least six to ten shades whiter, Trays with gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance. Click on the button below to see a short video on the procedure
Boost is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. It's safe and very fast. In just over an hour in the dental chair, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. The Boost whitening procedure is simple. It begins by the clinician isolating your lips and gums. Two 20 minute applications of the Boost whitening gel are applied to the teeth. You will be amazed by the results! You will leave the dental office with teeth that are at least six to ten shades whiter, Trays with gel are recommended afterward for maximum whitening and maintenance. For more detail view the video below.
Custom Trays involve having impressions made in the dental chair. Custom vinyl trays are fabricated from the impressions. A patient places the carbamide peroxide gel in the trays and are worn for approximately 30 minutes. The entire process takes 2-3 weeks of daily use. Custom Trays are imperative for the maintenance of whitened teeth and should be used every several months.
You can pay for your office visits and any treatments by cash, check, credit or debit card at the time of treatment. We also accept most major dental insurances. To discuss your payment options or insurance coverage, please call (225) 769-0031.
Our office is open Monday through Thursday and select Saturdays. We understand your time is valuable. We have structured our hours to help accommodate your busy schedule, including over the lunch hour. We work diligently to ensure that you are seen in a timely manner.
Monday - 9:15am - 4:30pm
Tuesday - 9:15am - 4:30pm
Wednesday - 7:15am - 2:30pm
Thursday - 7:15am - 2:30pm
Saturdays (Once a month) 9:00am-2:00pm
Emergency and After Office Hours:
Dental emergencies are never convenient or timely. At Hightower Dental Concepts we are committed to our patients' dental health no matter what time of the day or night it is. If you are a current patient, and have a dental emergency after regular office hours, please call us at (225) 802-6097.