Comprehensive Dental Services
Preventative Dentistry - Cleanings and Exams
Routine exams and cleanings are the fundamental components of preventive dentistry. At each biannual appointment, your hygienist will carefully and gently scale away any bacteria, plaque, or tartar in hard-to-reach places on your teeth. Then Dr. Russell will evaluate your teeth and gums. He will look for lesions on your soft tissues, enamel erosion or cavities, gum inflammation, and soft tissue recession. We will also take digital x-rays as needed to find any hidden decay.
Regular visits can often stop decay and gum disease before they start. Nonetheless, we offer comprehensive care and can treat these conditions if they do arise. For example, if you are suffering from gum disease, we can perform scaling and planing to eradicate oral bacteria on a more frequent quarterly basis.
The deep crevices and grooves of molars are more susceptible to tooth decay. Even careful brushing and flossing habits may not be sufficient to remove plaque and tartar from hard to reach areas in the mouth. To help our patients prevent cavities, Russell Family Dentistry offers dental sealants. Once a dental sealant is placed, the thin layer of plastic serves as a cavity-preventing barrier between the tooth and bacteria. Dental sealants can be used as a preventive dental option for children, teens, and adults.
Teeth Grinding Treatment
Most people probably grind and clench their teeth from time to time. Occasional teeth grinding, medically called bruxism, does not usually cause harm, but when teeth grinding occurs on a regular basis the teeth can be damaged and other oral health complications can arise. Because grinding often occurs during sleep most people are unaware that they grind their teeth. However, a dull, constant headache or sore jaw when you wake up is a telltale symptom of bruxism. At Russell Family Dentistry we can fabricate a custom night guard that can work wonders relieving headaches, stop damage caused by grinding during sleep, and jaw pain. Certain mouthguards can also help with sleep apnea by repositioning the jaw at rest.
Sports Mouth Guards
We offer custom-molded sports mouthguards.
Digital Imaging Equipment
Instead of using photographic film, digital x-ray systems use sensors to produce an image. On the opposite side of the sensor, a digital receptor captures the incoming x-ray, which is then converted into a digital image and sent to a computer. Unlike a conventional x-ray which must be developed in a darkroom, a digital x-ray can be viewed almost immediately. There are many benefits to using this technology, including reduced exposure to radiation, higher image quality, and eliminating our team’s exposure to hazardous chemicals and fumes involved in developing traditional x-rays.
We offer composite and metal free fillings for natural looking results. The dental filling procedure is performed during a single visit to our office unless a larger filling is required. For your comfort, a local anesthetic will be administered before we begin. The first step is to gently remove all decayed material or tooth surface and to thoroughly clean the area to be filled. Using a tooth colored bio-compatible composite, Dr.Russell will fill the area and sculpt the material for a natural fit and comfortable bite. Once the filling is in place, we will permanently seal it with a special light and polish the surface.
Over time, our teeth begin to weaken and can become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, and discoloration. If you feel your smile isn’t what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. If a tooth is decayed, or seems weakened or cracked, a crown may be necessary to make sure that there are no additional problems with the tooth. In cases like this, a filling or bonding will not be sufficient. Dental crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or gold. To maintain a natural look and feel, a porcelain finished crown is most common, as it can be matched to the shade of your other teeth. This will allow it to blend in with the rest of your smile.
The process of installing a crown usually takes 2 visits to our office. On the first visit, the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, a mold will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, we will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready and schedule your next appointment to place the permanent crown.
Dental crowns typically take about 2-3 weeks to be returned from the lab. At your return visit, you will again be given local anesthetic to numb the area and the tooth will be placed using permanent dental cement to ensure that the crown sets in place. We may make some minor modifications so it fits just right. Following your procedure, you may notice some extra sensitivity in the area that received the restoration. That is normal and should subside within a week or two.
Dental bridges are designed to replace one or more missing teeth. A traditional bridge consists of two crowns, which get placed on top of the teeth next to the empty space (the abutment teeth). One or more artificial teeth goes between the crowns to fill in the gap. Bridges are a popular tooth replacement option because they are sturdy and provide a strong bite force. They also have the potential to last for several years, and they can be quite natural-looking.
In addition to traditional bridges, we can also provide implant-supported bridges. Rather than relying on abutment teeth for support, these restorations gain all of their strength from artificial tooth roots that are placed beneath the gum line.
An implant is a synthetic tooth root in the shape of a post that is surgically placed into your jawbone. The “root” is made of titanium, the same biocompatible material used in many joint replacements. After the implant integrates with your jawbone, we attach a crown to it. Implants can replace one or many teeth, and they look and function just like natural teeth. Since implants actually fuse with your bone, they also prevent bone loss which would otherwise occur. Implants are superior to a “bridge” for tooth replacement because they don’t rely on and compromise the adjacent teeth for support. They are also more stable long-term so you can smile and eat with confidence. You can never get a cavity on an implant tooth. We can also use implants to retain full dentures so our patients don’t have to rely on adhesive.
Dentures and Partials
Conservative dental bonding can make a big difference to the aesthetic of your smile. This cosmetic and restorative procedure can conceal small chips, cracks, and gaps in one convenient office visit. A tooth-colored composite resin material can be used to conceal aesthetic imperfections or discoloration and fill small cavities. Bonding is a common technique used in several different procedures, and it is often combined with other treatments to achieve optimal results. Composite resin blends in seamlessly with your surrounding teeth, resulting in a brilliant, natural-looking smile.
Porcelain veneers (sometimes called dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length. Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, Dr. Russell will reshape the tooth surface by an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. A model or impression is taken and sent to a lab to fabricate the veneers. Temporary veneers will be made in our office and placed on your resurfaced teeth until the permanent ones are available.
Tooth whitening is the removal of stains and discolorations from the enamel and dentin. The outer layer of the tooth is enamel, and beneath the enamel is dentin. Enamel is thin and typically much lighter in color, while dentin is darker in color and makes up the bulk of the tooth. Enamel can be discolored over time simply from age, but also from outside sources like coffee, tea, tobacco, and other foods and beverages. Also, as we age, our enamel thins, causing more dentin to show through, making the overall appearance of the tooth look darker.
Whitening your teeth removes these stains and discolorations, giving you a whiter, brighter smile. The active ingredients in professional whitening gels pass into your teeth to oxidize the discolored molecules deep down n your teeth, removing stains and whitening your smile.
At Russell Family Dentistry, we make custom whitening trays for you to use at-home overnight to achieve the shade you desire.