Restorative – Dental Services
All phases of restorative dentistry are offered from conventional amalgam restorations (silver fillings) to the newer tooth-colored, composite restorations. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and can be discussed for each individual’s needs. Porcelain facings and bonding are also options for cosmetic purposes.
Crown & Bridge – Dental Services
Crowns and Bridges are also known as fixed partials. The broken down and missing teeth are replaced with restorations which are cemented in place over your own natural teeth and are not removable. These are restorations that most closely resemble and feel like your original teeth. The advent of the newer porcelain materials has made these restorations very life-like in appearance.
Endodontics (Root Canals) – Dental Services
Root canal treatment usually gets a bad rap from comedians but the truth is that in most cases the treatment results in little to no discomfort at all. Treating these infections early can reduce the chance of a severe infection and the accompanying difficulty in treating them painlessly. The process involves removing the infected tissues and replacing them with a specialized material called Gutta Percha. After endodontic treatment, a crown is generally placed to restore the lost strength of the affected tooth. (see Crown and Bridge)
Orthodontics (Braces & Retainers) – Dental Services
Our office is a provider of a short-term cosmetic braces system called Six Month Smiles. It’s a solution designed specifically for adults and teenagers over 15 who do not have major bite issues but want a quick remedy for crooked, crowded or spaced teeth.
Here’s how Six Month Smiles is different from traditional braces:
Oral Surgery / Implants – Dental Services
Although we do accomplish some oral surgery, we also refer to several of the outstanding oral surgeons in the Baton Rouge area. Each case is different and may or may not require referral. We work very closely with surgeons and periodontists in designing cases for implants and the restoration of implants that can be used in carefully selected cases to replace missing teeth.
Dentures (False Teeth) – Dental Services
We take great pride in making dentures and partial dentures look as life-like as possible. While no denture can replace the excellent form and function of the natural teeth, in most cases they can be made to function acceptably with good esthetics.
Sleep Apnea – Dental Services
It’s possible you’ve already heard about sleep apnea, and perhaps you even recognize you have some of the symptoms. Ignoring these early warning signs, however, is a mistake. Some of the complications of sleep apnea are also likely to sound familiar, even if you didn’t know that sleep apnea can be a cause. They include:
Brushing & Flossing – Adult Hygiene
Good oral hygiene begins at home. No frequency of professional cleanings can overcome poor home care. Plaque is a soft material which forms quickly and is easily brushed and flossed away by regular care and is the culprit in almost all oral health problems. A thorough brushing and flossing twice a day is generally adequate to remove plaque and maintain good oral health.
Since the object is plaque removal and plaque is soft, and the ends of the toothbrush bristles are what are effective in removing plaque, use a soft brush, gently. Hard toothbrushes and scrubbing are not nearly as effective as a soft brush used gently. Another danger in using a harder brush is the wear and tear placed on the teeth and gums, which frequently result in dental sensitivity.
Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease) – Adult Hygiene
Periodontal disease is generally a reaction to the acidic by-products of bacteria that live in the plaque and calculus found on the tooth below the gum line. If all of the plaque is removed daily, calculus cannot form and periodontal disease is not possible.
The early stage of periodontal disease, known as gingivitis, is a reversible inflammation. Getting the teeth clean will allow the inflammation to subside and the tissues return to health. There is no irreversible damage to the tissues in gingivitis.
Periodontitis is the stage beyond gingivitis where some damage to the soft and/or hard tissues has occurred. It may be mild to severe and may include treatment as simple as deep scaling and cleaning of the root surfaces to effect health In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be required.
Untreated gum disease will eventually result in the loss of the affected teeth. Until gum disease is severe, it is usually painless and you may not know there is a problem. Because it is painless in it’s earlier stages, the only way to diagnose it is through an oral examination of the gums.
Halitosis (Bad Breath) – Adult Hygiene
Bad breath is a problem for some people, many of whom are not even aware that they are having the problem. There are many causes of halitosis, the most obvious of which is the buildup of plaque and calculus and the resultant gum disease. In those cases, curing the gum disease, cures the bad breath.
Recent research has shown that halitosis is often caused by anaerobic bacteria (the ones not requiring oxygen to survive) which are hiding in the nooks and crannies of the mouth. Oxidant toothpastes and mouthwashes are effective against these bacteria and work well to address the problem. Other causes are smoking and dietary issues including vitamin and nutritional deficiencies. Once the cause is identified, a treatment choice can be made.
Sensitive Teeth – Adult Hygiene
There are a variety of causes of sensitive teeth. Decay can make a tooth sensitive to temperature changes. Sweets getting into a cavity may cause sensitivity. A fractured tooth may be sensitive to pressure or biting. In some cases, brushing too hard can irritate the root surface near the gun line and the teeth will be sensitive. Grinding or clenching can make teeth sensitive. The treatments are as varied as the causes.
Newborns – Children’s Hygiene
Your baby’s teeth and gums should be cared for soon after birth. After every feeding, gently wipe your baby’s gums with soft, damp wash cloth or gauze pad. This will keep the bacterial level lower and get your child used to the concept of cleaning the mouth. Soon afterward, begin using a very soft “baby tooth brush.” This will save you a great deal of grief in brushing your child’s teeth as they get older. They will already be used to cleaning their mouth and they will be less likely to fight you to the bathroom floor!
Teething – Children’s Hygiene
This cranky time can be lessened by gently rubbing the gums with a clean finger or damp gaze pad to massage the tender gum tissue. A teething ring is also beneficial. A tip from our hygienist is to let the child chew on a frozen pancake! It is cool and eatable as it thaws. Teething is often blamed for a variety of ills from fever to colds, but there is no data to suggest that these conditions are related to or caused by teething.
Baby Bottle – Children’s Hygiene
A baby’s teeth can develop cavities quickly. The two most common causes of decay in young children are not brushing the teeth and gums and allowing a baby to take a bottle with them to bed. If you want to allow your child to have a bottle at bed-time or nap-time, only fill it with plain water.
Tooth Eruption – Children’s Hygiene
All 20 primary (baby) teeth are already being formed in the jawbones at birth. Generally, the first teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors (front teeth) around age 6 months. By the age of three, all 20 primary teeth are usually completely erupted. All of these teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth beginning around age 6 and continuing until about age 14. The permanent molars will erupt behind the last primary molars, so having to brush further back becomes a new experience for the First-grader.
Brushing – Children’s Hygiene
Always use a soft-bristled brush-the softer, the better. The mistake most often made is using too much toothpaste-only a small pea-sized dab is needed and will be better accepted by a small child. By elementary school age, introduce flossing as part of their oral hygiene.
Nutrition – Children’s Hygiene
The same healthy eating habits that result in good general health lead to good oral health. Sugars are broken down into acidic by-products by bacteria that live in the mouth. The presence of undue amounts of acid next to the teeth are what cause tooth decay. Sugar snacks between meals result in long periods of acid exposure to the teeth and result in tooth decay. Choosing more nutritious snacks such as vegetables, fruits and yogurt are a healthy alternative to sweets and sticky foods that adhere to the teeth for long periods of time.
Fluoride – Children’s Hygiene
When present in water or vitamins, the fluoride ion soaks into the tooth and makes the tooth less soluble to the acidic by-products of bacteria. This chemical barrier to acids helps make the tooth resistant to decay. The optimum level of fluoride intake is low and more is not better. It is important to know whether or not your water supply is fluoridated. If it is, no other supplement is required.
First Visit – Children’s Hygiene
It is important to expose a child to their first dental visit in a positive way. The first visit should be soon after the child’s first teeth erupt. Bring them with you for your regular dental cleaning. There are many things in a dental office that look ominous to a small child and exposing them to them when no treatment is intended is a good way for them to become comfortable with the environment. Many children will then want “their turn” and we can examine them and show them how to brush their teeth. Later, their own appointment is not new to them-they’ve been there before.
Radiographs – Children’s Hygiene
Since the primary teeth hold the spaces for the permanent teeth it is important for them to remain healthy. The only way to see between the teeth is with radiographs. The new digital x-rays require much less radiation than was required only a few years ago. These x-rays are also important in seeing the permanent teeth below the primary teeth.
Sealants – Children’s Hygiene
The most susceptible surfaces of a tooth to decay are the chewing surfaces, which are covered with grooves. Food particles can become wedged in the grooves where they are difficult to impossible to remove with normal brushing. Sealants are placed on the teeth to fill the depths of the grooves to keep them from getting decay. If a child can be kept decay-free through the cavity-prone years, there is a much greater chance that problems through adulthood will be minimized.