Smile 4 Life Dental’s treatment philosophy is geared toward treating existing dental problems and helping our patients in preventing future problems. We treat patients of ALL ages, and we offer a broad range of treatment options ranging from the most basic to the state of the art. Our comprehensive services include the following:
Spectra Cavity Detection Aid
Spectra is a safe, non-invasive digital device that emits a blue light onto the surface of your teeth. Vital information is then transmitted and available in vivid color on a computer monitor. This allows your dental professional to detect cavities early, as well as know when it is best to replace existing fillings. The early detection of potential problem areas in your mouth is an excellent way to prevent tooth loss and help to maintain healthy teeth for a lifetime.
Our office uses a fluoride rather than a rinse or gel. The varnish is easy to apply, children love the taste and there is no fear of swallowing excessive fluoride. The best part of the newer fluoride varnishes is that they are 4 times better at preventing cavities than any of the previous methods.
A dental sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surface of the back teeth. These surfaces have pits and grooves that trap plaque, bacteria and bits of food. The pits and grooves are hard to keep clean because toothbrush bristles cannot reach in these areas. The sealant material flows into the pits and grooves in the teeth acting as a barrier by “sealing out” plaque and food. This procedure is less expensive than a filling, does not require removal of any tooth structure and does not require the patient to be numb.
One American dies every hour from oral cancer. When oral cancer is detected early, treatment can be successful 82% of the time. The ViziLite Plus exam is a painless exam that your dental professional can perform in just a few minutes. ViziLite Plus uses a light source that helps that helps to improve the examiner’s ability to identify abnormalities that may have been missed under normal lighting.
Digital x-rays are a form of x-ray imaging, where x-ray sensors are used instead of traditional photographic film. Advantages of digital x-rays are that they require less radiation to create the image, are more time efficient and produce a better image than traditional methods. With digital x-rays there is immediate image preview and availability, allowing your provider to analyze and evaluate the image immediately.
We offer two different forms of teeth whitening in our office. Liquid Smile is a whitening pen that can be applied at night in less than a minute. Liquid Smile is 3X stronger and 4X faster than store bought whiteners. LumiBrite is a take-home whitening method that uses 32% carbamide peroxide as the whitening agent. With this system, your dental professional will make custom trays and instruct you on the best way to lighten your teeth. Ask for information on which system will be best for you.
Scaling and Root Planing with Laser Therapy
Scaling and root planning involves the removal of plaque, tarter and stain, as well as smoothing the root surface. This procedure is used for the treatment of gum disease. In addition to scaling and root planning, we also use a soft tissue laser to reduce the bacteria and remove infected tissues. Laser therapy has proven to be more effective in treating gum disease than scaling and root planning alone. It also ensures less discomfort following treatment and has a biostimulation effect on the body which promotes faster healing.
Once a patient has been treated for gum disease, it is very important for them to have continued care. It takes about 3 months for the bacteria in our mouths to build up enough bacterial colonies to start causing damage. For patients who have a history of gum disease, it is essential to maintain regular appointments. Periodontal maintenance appointments give your provider the opportunity to clean out all of the bacteria and monitor the health of your tissues. Patients that stay on a regular maintenance program can maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.
A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the esthetics of a tooth, or to protect a damaged tooth surface. There are two types of material used to make a veneer: composite and porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly made by a dental technician in a dental laboratory and later bonded to the tooth. A porcelain veneer is always indirectly made by a laboratory technician and then bonded into place.
Dentures are a prosthetic device constructed to replace missing teeth. Conventional dentures are removable, however there are many different denture designs, some which can clasp onto teeth or attach to dental implants.
A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants. A bridge is made by preparing the teeth on either side of the missing tooth or teeth. In other words, the teeth on either side are reduced in size to accommodate the material used to restore the size and shape of the original teeth. In some instances, implants can be the supporting structures for a fixed bridge. Bridges are made by a lab technician and can be made with various materials depending on what is best for your mouth.
An intraoral camera is a wand shaped device that takes pictures inside of your mouth. These pictures are then available for you to view on a computer monitor. Intraoral cameras allow you to look inside your own mouth and help make decisions on your treatment needs.
Laser treatment of cold sores
In our office we are able to treat cold sores with the latest technology. Our soft tissue laser allows us to help heal your cold sore or to prevent its eruption if caught prior to the outbreak. This treatment takes approximately 15 minutes and is painless. When the treatment is completed, the patient can no longer feel the cold sore and it heals the lesion in a day or two versus a week or more.
A dental implant is a procedure that allows a single tooth to be replaces without affecting the teeth on either side. A dental implant consists of several parts. A titanium screw is placed into bone in the area of the missing tooth. Once your bone has attached to it (it generally takes 3-6 months), the implant can be restored. The restoration consists of a crown and an abutment (the pieces that attaches the titanium screw to the crown). In some cases implants can be used as the supporting structures for fixed bridges, or even dentures.
An onlay is a restoration that is fabricated when the cusps (chewing part of the tooth) may be compromised but the tooth does not require a full coverage crown. Onlays are fabricated indirectly by a laboratory technician and cemented into place.
An inlay is a restoration that is fabricated when the middle of the tooth (in between the cusps or chewing part of the mouth) is compromised. Inlays are fabricated indirectly by a lab technician and cemented into place. Inlays are more durable then fillings placed directly and may be recommended in situations where a filling is not adequate.
Composite fillings are tooth colored restorations. Composite requires specific bonding techniques and actually bonds to the tooth allowing for greater retention. Composite fillings can be done in various shades allowing for very esthetic results. At Smile 4 Life, composite restorations are the only type of fillings we place because we feel it is a better, more esthetic option, then other traditional filling materials.