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Preventive Care

Cleanings, Sealants, Fluoride

Our Hygienists will thoroughly clean and polish your teeth. The doctor will do an examination and discuss his concerns and advise you of treatment options if needed. Preventative measures such as fluoride to strengthen the teeth and sealants to protect newly erupted permanent molars in young patients may also be suggested.

X-rays

We use x-rays to diagnose and defend the need for treatment. We strongly recommend bite wing x-rays be taken once a year to detect cavities between the teeth. Panoramic x-rays are taken once every 3-5 years. This is a large film that is taken by a camera that rotates around your head. They are beneficial in the removal of wisdom teeth and treatment planning for orthodontic cases. The jaw bone and joints can be seen in this film as well. We also use these films to screen for pathology, such as abscesses and cysts.

Oral Cancer Screening

Examination of the mouth for lumps, lesions or discolored patches is done at regular hygiene appointments. Early detection is important in the successful treatment of oral cancer.

Mouth guards

Protecting your teeth is important to us. Mouth guards are custom made from your impressions. The fit is amazing! No more bulky drug store protection. We recommend mouth guards for all contact sports and also for our patients who grind their teeth. Our mouth guards are worn by many of our local Albany River Rats, players in the National Hockey League, and have been spotlighted on the front cover of USA Hockey Magazine!!!

Consultations

When considering treatment options or surgery we strongly advise a consult. This is a chance for the doctor to explain step-by-step what will happen. You can ask questions and get the answers. Consults for wisdom teeth extractions, orthodontic treatment and implant surgery are standard in our practice.

Second Opinions

We realize that people need to be informed before making their decisions. Drs. Davis & King are happy to evaluate your provider’s treatment recommendation and provide you with an experienced and honest opinion. Knowing your options is your right and we respect that.

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly referred to as laughing gas, our office offers this form of conscious sedation to patients of all ages. It is highly effective in reducing stress and anxiety. The patient inhales the anesthesia through a mask placed over the nose. The charge is sometimes covered by insurance.

Composite Restorations (white fillings)

White fillings or bonding is a resin material used instead of amalgam (the silver fillings). Composites can be placed on any teeth. First decay is removed, the tooth is etched, the bonding agent is brushed on, and the resin is placed and then cured by ultra violet light. The filling is then shaped and polished. Composite fillings require no time to set. You can chew on them immediately. Be careful if you’re numb! These fillings look like your natural tooth.

Root Canals

Root canal treatment or endodontic treatment is the removal of nerves from the root of a tooth. This is done in an attempt to save an infected or abscessed tooth. The patient is numbed, access is achieved through the chewing surface and thin files are used to excise the nerves within the canals of the roots. Once the canals are clean, they are filled with a rubbery material called gutta percha. After the canals are sealed, a restoration is placed. A crown is routinely recommended to protect a now brittle tooth root structure.

Crowns

Sometimes fillings aren’t the answer. Age, decay, fractures, root canals, and grinding are just some of the reasons you may be a candidate for a crown. This procedure will require two appointments. The first is usually a 90 minute appointment. All decay will be removed. The tooth will then be shaped so that the crown can be placed upon it. An impression of the tooth will then be taken and sent to a laboratory for the design of your crown. The next step is creating a temporary crown. We try very hard to make this look as close to your natural tooth as possible. Your second appointment will be approximately three weeks later. This appointment is usually scheduled for 40 minutes and at this time we will place your crown. Success comes from a tooth that feels and looks as good as your natural teeth.

Bridges

One option for replacing missing teeth is a bridge. Missing teeth can have serious effects on articulation, digestion and the alignment of other teeth. A bridge is a span between two permanent structures. A dental bridge is much the same. We use the natural teeth on both sides of the missing tooth to support the structure. The procedure is similar to preparing a crown. Teeth are shaped, impressions taken and sent to the lab. A temporary bridge will be created for you. Three weeks after this appointment your bridge will be seated. An excellent bridge should fit perfectly, feel natural and look unrecognizable from your other teeth.

Laminates / Veneers

Laminates, often referred to as veneers, are thin porcelain facings that are placed on the front surface of your tooth. They are recommended for treatment of fractured or chipped teeth, deeply discolored teeth and crooked teeth where orthodontics is not desired. They require the removal of much less tooth structure compared to a crown. If an individual laminate is done, consider bleaching your teeth prior to your procedure, since the shade will be determined from the surrounding teeth. If multiple laminates are done in the anterior, dramatic changes in shape, shade and ultimately appearance can be made in a matter of a few weeks. The benefits of laminates are stronger, more aesthetically pleasing teeth that are resistant to staining. A beautiful smile is priceless in terms of self-esteem and your initial appearance to others.

Extractions

Teeth are extracted for many reasons including orthodontics, severe decay, infection, advanced gum disease and problematic wisdom teeth. Extractions may be necessary for relieving overcrowding in complicated orthodontics. Extractions may be necessary if a tooth is not restorable due to a deep cavity; if a root canal is not desired or if periodontal (gum) disease had caused uncomfortable and mobile teeth. Lastly, extractions may be necessary due to third molar (wisdom teeth) problems. The most common problems are insufficient space, pain, infection and partial eruption. The use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral medication such as valium are commonly used to make the procedure as comfortable as possible. The appropriate medication will be given to you for any post-operative pain and infection.

Implants

Implants are the best choice for replacing missing teeth if possible. An implant is a titanium cylinder that is placed into the bone. It acts like the replacement of the root of a tooth. The procedure normally takes less than an hour and usually has less discomfort post operatively than an extraction. It then takes 3-4 months to integrate with the surrounding bone. The final step requires taking an impression to send to the lab. In 3-4 weeks the crown and appropriate hardware will be fitted and secured to the implant. Bone grafting may be necessary in areas where the bone is inadequate in either width or length to accommodate an implant. This would be done prior to the placement of the implant. Implants are also ideal for a lower denture that is too loose and uncomfortable. It would secure the base of the denture with the lower jaw, making eating and talking much more natural. The advantages of an implant are no involvement with other teeth, immunity to future decay and being more permanent than a crown or a bridge.

Periodontal Evaluation / Root Planing & Scaling

Gingivitis and periodontal disease are more common than you may think. Symptoms include puffiness, redness and bleeding of the gum tissue. If your dental hygienist determines you have these issues, she may recommend a root planing or scaling. This is a non-surgical procedure. Local anesthesia is provided for your comfort. The hygienist will remove tartar from below the gum line. This procedure will remove harmful bacterium that has formed in the pockets created by tartar buildup. It is the accumulation of bacteria and tartar, and the associated inflamation that cause bone loss. Once removed, you will be advised on techniques and products that can assist in the rejuvenation of your gum tissue. Healthy gums promote strong bone and this will help assure that you keep your natural teeth for years to come. Proper periodontal maintenance is also important to your overall health! In a number of recently published medical studies, periodontal disease has been recognized as being a contributing factor in up to 40% of all heart attacks.

Dentures & Partials

Dentures and partials are removable replacements for missing teeth. The conventional full denture is placed after all of the teeth have been extracted and tissues have healed. This would also be the choice for replacement of an existing denture. Healing could take several months without teeth, although this helps insure the best fit, it is not always practical.

Immediate dentures are inserted immediately after the remaining teeth have been extracted. Impressions are taken before surgery. They then sent to the laboratory for the fabrication of the denture. The benefit of this type of denture is that the patient doesn’t have to be without teeth. However, because the healing process of the extractions may reshape and actually shrink the bone and tissue that supports it, your denture must be relined several months after insertion to fit properly. Partial dentures replace missing teeth and are usually anchored to your existing teeth. The missing teeth are cast to a metal framework and attached by clasps. The partial is an alternate treatment to bridges, which are not removable. One benefit is that teeth can usually be added to the partial as necessary.

Orthodontics / Traditional & Invisalign

Traditional orthodontics would include the movement of teeth with brackets and wires. We have come a long way in making the process more attractive and desirable. Patients enjoy selecting new band colors at their monthly adjustment appointments. This conventional approach is both effective and a less expensive alternative to invisalign. We offer both ceramic (clear) or traditional metal brackets. Invisalign is a relatively new system of aligning the teeth with a series of clear plastic retainers that have been designed by a computer program to create the desired movement of your teeth. They are the perfect solutions for correcting moderate spacing or crowding. Impressions, a panoramic x-ray and photographs are required for this procedure. A series of trays is customized just for you. You will receive them with instruction at your scheduled appointments. The trays are undetectable and comfortable, and the success of treatment is virtually the responsibility of the patient.

Upon your consultation, it will be determined which system will best suit your needs. The doctor will go over your treatment plan, estimate the length of treatment and advise you of the fee. Please feel free to ask questions or voice concerns at this time.

Teeth Whitening (In-office & Take Home)

Often referred to as bleaching, whitening teeth is an easy way to beautify and brighten any smile. There are two popular methods of treatment. In-office bleaching offers the immediate rewards of lightening your teeth shades brighter in just 90 minutes! This is done chair side with the application of a bleaching agent to each tooth. The area may then be infused with heat or light to achieve the best results. The results can be different for each patient. We encourage patients who choose this method to also have the take-home trays designed to enhance and maintain the desired effect.

Take-home whitening systems are the most popular among our patients. Impressions of your teeth are taken and models are poured. Acrylic trays are then customized to your teeth. Trays are trimmed so that the solution does not come in contact with the gum tissue. You will receive bleaching solution and a convenient case for your trays. You will also receive instructions on the application of bleach in the trays and amount of time you are to wear them. In 7-10 days you should witness a significant brightness. Touch –up kits are always available. Please note that bleaching works only on natural teeth, if you have restorations you may consider replacing them once the desired shade is achieved.

Soft Tissue Laser Surgery

The laser has been proven to be an effective tool in the reduction and healing of periodontal pocketing and bone loss. This method is used to sterilize the infected areas of tissue, eliminating harmful bacteria and to promote the growth of new, healthy tissue. We also use the laser for gingival contouring. This procedure defines the tooth structure from the gum line. In both described procedures the laser is preferred because it is the least invasive method of treatment and there no blood evident. We are proud to have this option available to you.