What is gum disease and how is it treated?

Gum disease (Gingivitis and Periodontitis) is a bacterial infection of the tissue around the teeth. Gum disease is the #1 reason for tooth loss in America today. Once under the gums, bacteria can travel into the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body. Pain is not usually the first sign of gum disease; however, the first indication may be bleeding gums. This is the stage of gum disease that is the easiest to treat BEFORE permanent bone infection and bone loss occurs, leading to what is known as periodontitis.

While brushing and flossing are very important in maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile, getting a professional dental cleaning helps to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that a toothbrush and floss can’t reach. Our Hygienists work hard to eliminate the hard to reach bacteria in order to help our patients with their oral health and well-being. Professional cleanings 2, 3 or even 4 times per year is a great way to stay healthy.

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What is a Filling?

Tooth decay starts with plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that form on your teeth. When the bacteria come in contact with the teeth, they break down the sugars we eat into acids, which breaks down the enamel, hard, outer layer of teeth.  Dental decay is one of the most common problems for both kids and adults. A dental filling is the treatment recommended to restore back function, strength, and tooth structure due to decay (cavity). A filling requires cleaning the tooth by removing the decay and replacing it with a tooth colored filling (composite).

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What is a Dental Crown?

If you have a weakened, cracked, discolored, or broken tooth, a crown, also known as a “cap,” may be recommended. When a tooth has a large filling and there is not enough tooth structure to support the filing, a crown helps to strengthen the tooth from breaking. A crown is also used to cover a dental implant.

A crown is made in 2 visits. The first visit requires the tooth to be shaped and smoothed. An impression (replica) of the tooth will be taken in order to send to the dental lab for the crown to be made.  At the second appointment, the crown will be permanently cemented, polished and adjusted.

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What is a Dental Bridge?

When one or more teeth are missing, a bridge may be recommended to help restore both chewing and your smile. A bridge is a series of caps joined together to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge attaches natural teeth to an artificial tooth in order to replace the space.

A bridge is completed in a very similar way as a crown, except there are more teeth that need to be shaped and smoothed. A bridge is completed in 2 appointments. The first appointment requires smoothing and shaping of the teeth. An impression (replica) of the teeth and missing space will be taken in order to send to the dental lab for the bridge to be made. At the second appointment, the bridge will be permanently cemented, polished and adjusted. The bridge does not come in and out, it stays in place.

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What is a Root Canal?

When bacteria make its way through a deeply decayed tooth and into the nerve, a root canal will be needed to save the tooth. When the nerve of a tooth becomes infected, you may be sensitive to chewing, hot and cold temperatures.  Pressure and swelling can be common as well.

A root canal is completed in 1 or 2 visits, depending on the severity of the infection. We use local anesthetic to help make the root canal experience very comfortable. Once the area is numb, the infected tooth is cleaned, shaped and medicated to reduce the infection and swelling. We then finish the procedure by sealing and filling the tooth root to protect it from further infection. A crown or “cap” is often done after a root canal to help prevent the tooth from breaking down or cracking. Root canals have a very high success rate.

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What is a Dental Extraction?

Oral surgery consists of many in-office surgeries from simple extractions to third molar (wisdom teeth) extractions.  Most people realize that they need their wisdom teeth taken out when they experience pain, however, preventing pain and infection is possible when teenagers and young adults are pre-screened for third molar complications before they happen. The typical age for wisdom tooth removal is 16-22 years old depending on the size, location and position of the teeth. Many times, a blocked out third molar can damage or cause a cavity on a perfectly good second molar due to its position.  Once again, early treatment especially with IV Sleep Sedation can truly be a painless procedure.

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What are Dental Implants?

A Dental implant is a titanium screw (mimics a tooth root) that is surgically placed into the bone. After a certain healing period, an impression will be taken, and a dental crown will be made to fit over the dental implant.  Most patients love that they can brush, floss and treat their dental implants just like a natural tooth.  Implants can be used for single or multiple teeth. Some procedures may use implants to anchor crowns, bridges and even dentures.

Dental Implant’s change people’s lives. From a single implant to full mouth reconstruction, Dr.  Bruce Smoler, our full arch implant surgeon, has the clinical skills, knowledge and compassion to help patients look and feel great with dental implants.

Past dental implant patients routinely say the same three things:

  • There was little or no pain
  • They should have done it years ago
  • It was worth every penny!

Don’t forget Dental Implants never get decay or need a root canal and can be a lifelong restoration with proper care and maintenance.

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What are Dental Veneers?

Are you looking to close spaces, brighten, or cover permanently stained teeth? Ask Dr. Zoma if Veneers are right for you!

This procedure adds thin shells, made of tooth colored material that conform and seal to the front of your teeth. You can get them on a single tooth or multiple teeth to revitalize your smile entirely.

Veneers can help close gaps, replace chipped, discolored, and worn-down teeth.

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What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth can stain 2 ways: Intrinsic or extrinsic.  Intrinsic staining occurs on the inside of the teeth, while extrinsic staining occurs on the outer surface of the teeth. Some over the counter toothpaste can eliminate the extrinsic stain (outer surface stain), but professional teeth whitening can help to remove deeper stains.

We offer 2 types of whitening systems. One will fit you just right!

Option 1:

We have the 14 day take home tray system called Opalescence. Opalescence will give you the smile you have been wanting. Brighter, whiter and will fit your budget! The use of this whitening agent requires impressions of your top and bottom teeth to allow for custom trays to be made.

Opalescence gels contain an active whitening ingredient (Carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) that penetrates the enamel (white part of the tooth) to break down discolored molecules. As a result, your teeth become brighter and whiter.

For more detailed information, please ask our dental professionals or visit www.opalescence.com

Option 2:

We also offer our in-office whitening called Philips Zoom, a high intensity light bleaching system.  We can enhance your smile in just 45 minutes!

It’s simple! It is used with an excellent pre-whitening surface cleaner and is the most convenient way to get a bright smile, faster! Take home touch up whitening gels are also included.

For more detailed information, please ask our dental professionals or visit www.usa.philips.com

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What is Invisalign?

Straighten your smile without invasive braces. At Zoma Dental, we are fully equipped to provide you with Invisalign.  Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of removable aligners (made of flexible thermoplastic material) for 22 hours a day that gradually straighten teeth, without the use of brackets or wires.  Through the use of impressions and digital simulation, this allows for precise movement of your teeth.

Though not possible in every condition of crowded or crooked teeth, Invisalign is great for many of our patients. We offer FREE consultations to see if Invisalign is right for you!

For more detailed information about how Invisalign can help you, please ask our dental professionals or visit www.Invisalign.com

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What are Complete and Partial Dentures?

Both Complete and partial dentures replace missing teeth and supporting tissues in the mouth.

Dentures are an artificial way to replace all missing teeth. They can be supported by dental implants to help prevent bone loss and allow patients to chew and bite properly. Standard dentures rest on top of the gums and rely on suction to stay in place. Without teeth or dental implants, the underlying bone will shrink and atrophy over time. Dentures are never easy to get used to, but we have various options that can help! Just ask one of our dental providers and they will help explain the option that is best for you.

A partial denture consists of replacement of one of more teeth that are attached to pink (gum colored) acrylic, which is connected by a metal bar or framework.  There are different types of partial dentures available to help hide metal clasps, also known as a precision partial denture. A precision partial denture gives a more natural looking appearance, without the fear of metal claps showing when you smile.  Ask your dental provider and they will explain the option that is best for you.

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