Family Dental Services
- Composite (tooth-colored)
- Amalgam (silver)
- Fillings without anesthetic
Fillings are most commonly used to treat decayed areas of the teeth called cavities. In some cases, fillings can also be used to repair cracked, broken, or worn down teeth. Several types of fillings are available. Composite fillings are made of plastic resins that are tooth-colored to maintain a more natural appearance. In the event that the area to be filled is not highly visible, an amalgam (silver) filling may be used. Fillings are conventionally done using a drill in the presence of local anesthetic (injection), but the development of laser dentistry has resulted in the ability to perform many fillings without the use of a drill or anesthetic. That means no shots! The next time you need a filling, be sure to ask Dr. Hymas and his staff about this cutting edge filling procedure.
In the event that a tooth has extreme decay or has become abscessed, it may be necessary for the tooth to be extracted (removed). Extractions are often performed when the decay or abscess is so severe that no other treatment can cure the infection or relieve the symptoms. Extractions may also be performed on baby teeth to make room for permanent teeth or for orthodontic correction.
When a tooth is weak, cracked, broken, misshapen, or has a significantly large cavity, it may be impossible to repair and keep the natural tooth fully intact. Instead, a crown (also called a cap) may be used to restore a damaged tooth to its normal size, shape, strength, and appearance. They may also be used to cover an implant, support a dental bridge, or alter the cosmetic appearance of a tooth. A crown is basically a synthetic tooth made of metal, ceramic, or porcelain that fits over the top of the existing tooth in order to restore normal appearance and function. Traditionally, preparing and placing a crown is performed in two separate visits, but Hymas Family Dental offers CEREC restoration services, which means that precisely-designed, color-matched and highly durable ceramic restorations are made on site, while you wait, so that you get the results you need in a single appointment.
A dental bridge is a permanent fixture that is used to bridge a gap between natural teeth. A bridge may be necessary in order to restore your smile, enable proper biting, chewing, and speaking, and to prevent teeth surrounding the gap from drifting out of position. For a traditional bridge, the two teeth adjacent to the empty space are ground down in order to be fitted with crowns that will hold the false tooth (or teeth), called a pontic, into place. A bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials depending on location, personal preference, and budget.
- Implant crowns
- Implant and implant crown restoration
A dental implant is a device that is used as a foundation to recreate a missing tooth. In contrast to a bridge, a dental implant does not require the crowning of adjacent teeth and is installed as its own independent unit. A dental implant is made of titanium and is inserted into the empty space such that it will permanently fuse to the bone, over a period of months, in a process called osseointegration. Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, an additional piece, called an abutment, is fixed to the implant at the gum line and provides the attachment site for a crown to replace the missing tooth. To determine if you are a good candidate for the use of a dental implant (instead of a bridge), please make a consultation appointment with Dr. Hymas to discuss your options.
Endodontics refers to the treatment of the inside of the tooth (the pulp) when it becomes inflamed or infected. This type of inflammation or infection can be caused by a crack or chip, trauma, deep decay, a faulty crown, or repeated dental procedures on the tooth. If left untreated the tooth may become painful or develop an abscess. The primary treatment to preserve the natural tooth in these cases is to perform a root canal. During a root canal, the infected pulp is removed, carefully cleaned out and disinfected, the space is filled and sealed with a rubber-like material, and then the tooth is restored with a filling or a crown to restore proper appearance and function to the affected tooth.
Regular cleaning appointments that include dental hygiene assessments and counseling are an important part of maintaining oral health. These visits also include additional preventative care, such as x-rays, oral cancer screening, and fluoride treatment, when necessary. During a cleaning appointment, dental plaque and tartar (hardened plaque deposits) are carefully removed from the teeth, especially in areas that are difficult to reach with routine brushing and flossing. In addition to using the traditional method of scraping away the plaque with a metal instrument called a scaler, Dr. Hymas and his hygienists also perform ultrasonic dental cleaning with a Cavitron, which is an instrument that uses ultrasonic vibrations and water to efficiently remove both light and heavy plaque build-up around the gums. Using the Cavitron can also help destroy bacteria that may contribute to periodontal disease. Following a thorough cleaning, the teeth are polished using a rotary rubber cup and a slightly abrasive paste to help prevent future plaque buildup.
- Fillings without anesthetic
Lasers are instruments that deliver energy in the form of light. In dentistry, this energy can be used for a variety of procedures, such as fillings or the treatment of gum disease. In the case of fillings, lasers are used instead of drills to remove tooth decay, which eliminates the vibration, heat and pain associated with traditional fillings and results in a filling procedure that can be performed in the absence of anesthetic. That’s right, no shots! Because lasers can be so precisely pinpointed, decay can also be removed with minimal disruption of the existing healthy tooth structure, meaning a smaller filling. However, there are limitations to the use of lasers for fillings, such as the inability to remove an existing silver filling, so be sure to talk to Dr. Hymas to determine whether an anesthetic-free laser procedure is right for you.
- Deep Pocket Therapy with New Attachment™
- Root desensitization
- Cold sore treatment
- Canker sore treatment
- Laser bacterial reduction
For some patients, oral surgery may be required to correct issues with the jaw and teeth. For example, tooth loss due to an accident or an infection may require restoration using a dental implant that is surgically placed in the jawbone in order to get permanent fusion of the implant with the jaw. In some cases, bone grafting is necessary to provide the proper support and integration site for the implant. Oral surgery may also be necessary for the removal of the wisdom teeth, which are the teeth that are furthest back in the mouth and the last to erupt. If there is not enough room in the jaw for the wisdom teeth to come in, then they may grow sideways, only partially emerge, become trapped below the gums, or move around other teeth in the mouth. If these teeth are not surgically removed, then they could disrupt proper tooth alignment or become infected, causing pain, swelling, and illness.
Adult teeth often become darker, yellower, or stained over time. Therefore, whitening of the teeth is often desired in order to restore teeth to a preferred color and give teeth a younger appearance. The main causes of tooth discoloration are genetics, antibiotics, aging, eating certain foods (coffee, tea, dark soda, etc.) and using tobacco. In order to counteract these color changes people may have their teeth whitened by a dental professional. During this procedure, a bleaching solution is applied to the teeth, while the rest of the mouth is protected from excessive exposure to the whitening solution. To help maintain the effects of an in-office whitening procedure, custom trays may also be created to provide better application of over the counter whitening products. If you are considering a tooth whitening procedure, consult with Dr. Hymas today to come up with a whitening plan that is right for you.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is commonly used in dental offices as a form of light sedation to relax patients and diminish or prevent feelings of pain that may be associated with their procedures. The gas is administered through a small mask that fits over the patient’s nose, so that the dentist can administer the appropriate mix of nitrous oxide and oxygen to quickly achieve the desired effect. If visiting the dentist results in discomfort or anxiety, then be sure to ask Dr. Hymas and his staff about the possibility of using nitrous oxide.