Comprehensive Exam and Dental Cleanings
For optimal dental health, we recommend that you have a complete dental exam and cleaning once every six months. This ensures that your teeth are well-maintained, and any problems are spotted early before they become of significant concern. This comprehensive examination includes:
- Radiographic (x-ray) exam
- Oral cancer exam
- Gingival (gum) exam
- An assessment of TMJ function
- Occlusal (bite) evaluation
- Charting and assessment of existing restorations
- Examination of the teeth for cavities, fractures, and other problems
Good oral hygiene starts with regular dental cleanings. Regular teeth cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar build-up, which contribute to periodontal disease. We recommend patients schedule this appointment twice a year.
The staff at Dr. Nicholson’s now takes digital x-rays. This is a system that sends images of the patient’s teeth to a computer monitor. While the patient is still sitting in the dental chair, a small sensor is placed in the patient’s mouth. The sensor reads the x-ray beam and records it as an image on the computer. Digital x-rays are faster, and deliver 75-80% less radiation than conventional film x-rays.
We provide restoration of tooth structure with metal, porcelain or resin materials using the most current technology available for fillings.
We offer mercury-free fillings and replacements for those patients who prefer this option. Porcelain and composite resin tooth-colored restorations are not only beautiful but also add strength to weakened teeth.
Crowns and Dental Bridges
A crown is a cap that is designed to be placed over a tooth to restore its strength and improve its appearance. A crown may be needed for traumatic fractures, wear due to teeth grinding, tooth decay, cracked fillings, and root canals.
If you have a missing tooth, a dental bridge can fill the gap in your smile. Bridges resemble natural teeth and are designed to take the place of missing teeth.
Dental implants are the permanent replacement of missing teeth with artificial teeth that are attached to metal anchors, usually made of titanium and have been surgically inserted into the jawbone. This process is started with an oral surgeon or periodontist. Dr. Nicholson finishes the implant with a beautiful new crown or bridge.
A root canal is a procedure performed on a tooth because it is either non-vital (dead), or has infected nerve tissue. During a root canal, the damaged pulp tissue is removed from the tooth through a small access hole in the biting surface of the tooth. The narrow canals in the roots are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and filled with an inert sealer to prevent germs from leaking in or out of the tooth. Many people don’t know that today’s root canals are virtually painless under most circumstances with modern anesthetic and techniques.
Teeth whitening is an easy and affordable process that can eliminate stains and discoloration to restore a beautiful smile. In the office, we’ll make thin, clear custom trays which fit over your teeth. You’ll take them home, place a special whitening solution in the trays and wear them for two to four hours a day. Appreciable whitening of the teeth is usually visible in as little as a week.
Porcelain Crowns, Veneers, and Onlays
The rehabilitation of a smile with all-porcelain, metal-free restorations can be dramatic. The natural appearance of porcelain crowns, veneers, and onlays is due to the physical properties of porcelain, which allows light to be transmitted through these restorations similarly to the way it is transmitted through a natural tooth. Porcelain restorations are most commonly used in the following ways:
- To fill or partially cover a tooth to achieve a natural appearance
- To fully or partially cover the front of a tooth to conceal an unattractive appearance (veneers)
- To create a crown
- To close gaps between front teeth to rehabilitate a smile
- To replace missing teeth in the most visible parts of your smile