Our general dentistry practice can provide a wide range of dental services. We can typically provide every type of dental service without having to refer you to other specialties. This flexibility saves you time and keeps your total dental care within one practice. Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with regular hygiene visits, check-ups and continued home oral health routines.
Our practice also provides the highest-quality services for restoring mouths damaged by dental disease, injury and common problems that require cosmetic dentistry. Our primary goal for our patients is to achieve and maintain optimal oral health through advances in techniques, technology, and by maintaining their scheduled dental exams. Experience the many benefits of general dentistry; almost everyone is a candidate.
Routine dental cleanings and regular checkups are at the heart of maintaining healthy teeth and gums and keeping your teeth refreshed and vibrant looking. Routine dental cleanings help maintain a healthy mouth and can prevent future problems of the teeth and gums, such as cavities and periodontal disease. Periodontal problems require more extensive treatment with more frequent check-up visits, often every 3-4mo visits.
At least twice a year, you should schedule a periodic examination and cleaning with the doctor and Hygienist. During your visit the hygienist will examine your mouth and teeth, perform a cancer screening, take any necessary radiographs (x-rays) perform a dental prophylaxis (routine cleaning), apply fluoride, if applicable. The doctor will give you an examination, discuss any concerns he has and answer any questions you may have.
The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay or fracture with a material. We replace old, broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that contain traces of mercury with white fillings (composites) to restore your smile and teeth to a more natural look and feel.
With today’s advancements, no longer will you have to suffer the embarrassment of unsightly and unhealthy silver/mercury fillings or metal margins of the past. Eliminate the dark, black appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin or porcelain materials.
A crown is a custom made covering that fits over the original tooth. Crowns are needed when a tooth is damaged by decay or fracture. Crowns are also used for full mouth restorations and certain cosmetic treatment planning to change shape and shade for a patient.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it
- Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks)
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created
- Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place
This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.
A bridge is a custom made device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied or was congenitally missing. Each tooth has a purpose and is positioned to keep all the other teeth in line to perform its intended purpose. Bridges are needed to maintain tooth position in the mouth. When a tooth is lost or missing the adjacent teeth (teeth on either side of missing tooth) and the opposing teeth (teeth above or below the missing tooth) can shift or super erupt leading to bite problems, decay, periodontal disease, chewing issues and TMJ.
There are three main types of bridges, namely:
- A fixed bridge attaches to the teeth on either side of the missing tooth (retainer teeth) and are connected to each other by a “fake” tooth.
- A Maryland bridge attaches to the teeth next to the missing tooth with “wings” that are then bonded to the retainer teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
- The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
The Process of Making Crowns and Bridges and the Cerec Technology:
Dr. Buzbee is trained in the use of Cerec Technology. This technology allows us to prepare your tooth and place your new porcelain crown within a few hours at our office.
At your visit we will take an optical image of the prepared tooth and opposing teeth. With these images we design the crown or veneer and mill it in a milling unit. From there it is tried in the patient’s mouth to evaluate, fit and function.
The custom designed Crown is then glazed and placed in an oven for 20 minutes to cure. After cooling it is prepared for placement and then bonded onto the patient’s natural tooth. This is all done in one visit.
Occasionally a situation dictates an impression and temporization for crown fabrication in an outside lab. This would consist of two visits to the office.
Crowns and Bridges can be made of gold, porcelain & gold, porcelain to metal or all porcelain. All porcelain by far has the most natural and cosmetic appearance, but historically was less durable than metal or metal based restorations. With the advent of zirconium and lithium disilicate as a base for crowns, it is possible to utilize metal free all porcelain crowns with a high degree of success.
A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthening filler.
A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the tooth enamel. Left alone long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure.
When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity. This saves a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.
- The patient undergoes anesthesia.
- A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
- The tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp.
- The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals.
- With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals.
- The tooth is filled again with cutting edge biocompatible filling material.
- A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening.
- Patients MUST see their regular dentist quickly for a permanent restoration of the tooth.
An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if:
- A primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth
- Tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired
- The patient has gum disease
- The tooth is impacted (usually wisdom teeth).
Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure you or your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure x9.
Your third molars are more commonly called “wisdom teeth.” Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction.
When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.
In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.
To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.
Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures.
Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Anterior Replacement
- Posterior Replacement
- Full Upper Replacement
If the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, the dentist may decide an implant is the most appropriate treatment choice or option.
Post Implant Care
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede.
Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.
We offer one of the latest technological advances in dentistry with digital radiography, also known as digital X-rays. A wireless sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image in 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. These X-rays can also be enhanced on the computer and enlarged.
Not only are they friendly to the environment, they are much safer than traditional X-rays. Digital radiographs reduce radiation exposure by 90 percent!
Bonding is a common solution for:
- Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
- Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
- Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface
Often, composite bonding is used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.
Composite bonding has many advantages:
- It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
- It does not reduce the tooth’s original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
- Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
- Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.
Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.