General Dentistry in Modesto, CA
It is crucial for you and your loved ones to visit your general dentist on a regular basis. When you visit your dentist for routine examinations and cleanings, our dental team can catch early signs of decay or even prevent decay from ever occurring. When small oral health issues like tooth decay go too long without being treated, they can become more serious problems like gum disease. You can protect your health and the health of your family by visiting your family dentist regularly.
Bonding is an affordable cosmetic solution that can be successfully used to treat relatively minor cosmetic imperfections, including cracks, chips, gaps, and misaligned or misshaped teeth.
The material used is called composite resin, which is also used to build tooth-colored fillings. Our doctors will select the closest match to your natural smile’s color and then apply the composite resin, carefully sculpting it into place to create the most pleasing and seamless appearance. Once securely in place, the addition will look and function just like natural enamel! Better yet, it can last for quite some time with the right levels of personal and professional maintenance.
Regular exams are an important part of maintaining your oral health. Your regular exam will take about 45 minutes. Each regular exam includes a detailed teeth cleaning, in which we will clean, polish, and rinse your teeth to remove any tartar and plaque that have built up on the tooth’s surface.
During your regular exam, we will:
- Check for any problems that you may not see or feel
- Look for cavities or any other signs of tooth decay
- Inspect your teeth and gums for gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease
- Perform a thorough teeth cleaning
Visiting our office every six months gives you the chance to talk to the doctor about any questions you may have about your oral health. Regular exams are offered by appointment only, so please contact our practice today to schedule your next dental exam and teeth cleaning.
Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment for patients who wish to replace missing teeth. Implants provide a very real and cosmetic solution when a tooth is missing or is beyond saving. Instead of dentures, you can have teeth you won’t have to take out at night, can chew all foods with, and are absolutely natural looking.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They allow you to live the way you want to – confidently eating, smiling, laughing, and enjoying all of your everyday activities without worrying about your teeth.
Dental implants act as artificial roots for teeth, similar in shape to screws and made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone. The artificial teeth (porcelain crowns) attached to implants are natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile.
Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally. On occasion, they will have to be tightened or replaced due to normal wear or oral habits such as smoking or teeth grinding that can shorten the longevity of a dental implant.
- Advantages of Dental Implants:
- Improved appearance
- Improved speech
- Easier eating
- Improved oral health
How are dental implant placed?
The process of having dental implants placed and restored requires a number of visits over several months.
Records are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and bond to the bone for three to six months. The next phase is to gather impressions and information to fabricate the “connector” – known as an abutment – and the crown restoration for the implant.
Two to three weeks later the lab fabricated abutment and restoration are carefully placed onto the implant. You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed. Good oral hygiene, eating habits, wearing a night guard if recommended, not smoking, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant.
Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth, and if properly maintained, can last a lifetime!
If you are missing teeth, it is crucial to replace them. Without all your teeth, chewing and eating can destabilize your bite and cause you discomfort. When teeth are missing, your mouth can shift and even cause your face to look older. Implants are a great way to replace your missing teeth, and if properly maintained, can last a lifetime!
An implant is a new tooth made of metal and porcelain that looks just like your natural tooth. It’s composed of two main parts: one part is the titanium implant body that takes the place of the missing root, and the second part is the tooth-colored crown that is cemented on top of the implant. With implant treatment, you can smile confidently knowing no one will ever suspect you have a replacement tooth.
In addition to tooth replacement, implants may be used to anchor dentures, especially lower dentures that tend to shift when you talk or chew. For patients with removable partial dentures, implants can replace missing teeth so you have a more natural-looking smile.
Endodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that deals with the complex structures found inside the teeth. The Greek word “Endodontics” literally means “inside the tooth” and relates to the tooth pulp, tissues, nerves, and arterioles.
Endodontists receive additional dental training after completing dental school to enable them to perform both complex and simple procedures, including root canal therapy.
Historically, a tooth with a diseased nerve would be removed immediately, but endodontists are now able to save the natural tooth in most cases. Generally, extracting the inner tooth structures, then sealing the resulting gap with a crown restores health and functionality to damaged teeth.
Signs and symptoms of endodontic problems:
- Inflammation and tenderness in the gums.
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold foods.
- Tenderness when chewing and biting.
- Tooth discoloration.
- Unexplained pain in the nearby lymph nodes.
Reasons for Endodontic Treatment
Endodontic treatment (or root canal therapy) is performed to save the natural tooth. In spite of the many advanced restorations available, most dentists agree that there is no substitute for healthy, natural teeth.
Here are some of the main causes of inner tooth damage:
Bacterial infections – Oral bacteria is the most common cause of endodontic problems. Bacteria invade the tooth pulp through tiny fissures in the teeth caused by tooth decay or injury. The resulting inflammation and bacterial infection jeopardize the affected tooth and may cause an abscess to form.
Fractures and chips – When a large part of the surface or crown of the tooth has become completely detached, root canal therapy may be required. The removal of the crown portion leaves the pulp exposed, which can be debilitating painful and problematic.
Injuries – Injuries to the teeth can be caused by a direct or indirect blow to the mouth area. Some injuries cause a tooth to become luxated or dislodged from its socket. Root canal therapy is often needed after the endodontist has successfully stabilized the injured tooth.
Removals – If a tooth has been knocked clean out of the socket, it is important to rinse it and place it back into the socket as quickly as possible. If this is impossible, place the tooth in special dental solution (available at pharmacies) or in milk. These steps will keep the inner mechanisms of the tooth moist and alive while emergency dental treatment is sought. The tooth will be affixed in its socket using a special splint, and the endodontist will then perform root canal therapy to save the tooth.
What does an Endodontic procedure involve?
Root canal therapy usually takes between one and three visits to complete. Complete X-rays of the teeth will be taken and examined before the treatment begins.
Initially, a local anesthetic will be administered, and a dental dam (protective sheet) will be placed to ensure that the surgical area remains free of saliva during the treatment. An opening will be created in the surface of the tooth, and the pulp will be completely removed using small handheld instruments.
The space will then be shaped, cleaned, and filled with gutta-percha. Gutta-percha is a biocompatible material that is somewhat similar to rubber. Cement will be applied on top to ensure that the root canals are completely sealed off. Usually, a temporary filling will be placed to restore functionality to the tooth prior to the permanent restoration procedure. During the final visit, a permanent restoration or crown will be placed.
If you have questions or concerns about endodontic procedures, please contact our office.
Onlays are also made of porcelain by a lab and take two appointments to complete. An inlay is like a dental filling, but the restoration is made of porcelain by a lab and is placed within the cusps on a tooth’s chewing surface.
Many times, we hear from new patients that when they left other dental offices, they had more questions than answers. As a valued patient, every question and concern you have is important and each will be answered to your satisfaction.
Partial crowns, often referred to as onlay’s, are a type of dental restoration or porcelain filling that covers one or more cusps of your tooth. Onlay’s are also made of porcelain by a lab and take two appointments to complete. An inlay is like a dental filling, but the restoration is made of porcelain by a lab and is placed within the cusps on a tooth’s chewing surface. These restorations are much more conservative than crowns and can be imperceptible from your natural tooth. However, the use of onlays and inlays are limited to very specific situations and are not as common as a dental crown.
What is a Dental Inlay?
An inlay is a lab fabricated porcelain filling that fits into the grooves of a tooth and do not extend over the cusps of tooth. The patient is numbed using a local anesthetic and the dentist drills the tooth to remove and clean out the decay in the tooth. This is one of the restorative methods used to repair a tooth after it sustains harm from injury or decay that does not affect the cusps of the tooth. The dentist takes an impression and sends it to a laboratory where the inlay is made.
Inlays are manufactured from porcelain or composite resin material matching the color of the tooth and provide almost invisible dental restoration while repairing the chewing surface. Dental inlays are generally more durable than regular fillings made from composite or amalgam.
What is a Dental Onlay?
Onlays also fit inside the tooth but extend onto the chewing surface of a back tooth to replace one or more cusps. In the past, onlays were made only of gold, but like inlays, more and more patients request a tooth-colored onlay. Making the onlay of ceramic/porcelain allows the restoration to be bonded to the tooth.
This bonding process may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the onlay to the tooth. Sometimes It is difficult to determine when inlays or onlays can be used instead of crowns or caps. But, you are in great hands at Filbrun Family Dentistry as our dentists will review all your options with you to determine the best dental plan.
The first line of defense against gum disease is a unique type of cleaning called “scaling and root planing.” In this procedure, an ultrasonic cleaning device is used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth where regular cleaning devices can’t reach: under the gum line, on the tooth, and around the root. Then, the rough surface of the tooth and the root are smoothed out (planed). This provides a healthy, clean surface that makes it easier for the gum tissue to reattach to the tooth.
If you address your gum disease before it becomes severe, scaling and root planing may be the only treatment you need. However, as with any dental procedure, after-care is vital. In order to keep your teeth in good shape and resist future occurrences of gum disease, you must brush and floss daily, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco use, and have regular dental checkups. Even after a successful scaling and root planing, if you don’t attend to your teeth properly, it’s quite likely that you’ll develop gum disease again.
If the tissue or bone surrounding your teeth is too damaged to be repaired with non-surgical treatment, several surgical procedures are available to prevent severe damage and to restore a healthy smile. We will recommend the procedure that is best suited to the condition of your teeth and gums. Following is a list of common types of periodontal surgery:
- Pocket Depth Reduction
In a healthy mouth, the teeth are firmly surrounded by gum tissue and securely supported by the bones of the jaw. Periodontal disease damages these tissues and bones, leaving open spaces around the teeth that we call pockets. The larger these pockets are, the easier it is for bacteria to collect inside them, leading to more and more damage over time. Eventually the supportive structure degrades to the point that the tooth either falls out or needs to be removed.During pocket reduction procedures (also known as “flap surgery”), we fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria hiding underneath, as well as the hardened plaque and tartar that have collected. We may also remove any tissue that is too damaged to survive. We then sew the healthy tissue back into place. Now that the tooth and root are free of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, and the pockets have been reduced, the gums can reattach to the teeth.
When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth have been lost due to severe gum disease, we can restore these areas with a regeneration procedure. During this process, we begin by folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Depending on your situation, we may then perform a bone graft to stimulate new bone growth, or we may apply a special kind of protein that stimulates tissue growth to repair the areas that have been destroyed by the disease.
- Soft-Tissue Graft
A frequent symptom of gum disease is gum recession (also called gingival recession). As the gums recede, more of the roots are revealed. This can make teeth appear longer and can also create sensitivity to hot or cold liquids or food. It also exposes the tooth to increased damage from gum disease, as bacteria, plaque, and tartar attack the surface of the tooth and the root.During a soft-tissue graft, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is sewed to the gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. This procedure can also be performed for cosmetic reasons.