Educating our patients is one of the strongest preventative dentistry tools we have. We can teach you proper home care techniques, as well as nutrition tips, to prevent dental problems. Our in-office exams, x-rays and regular professional cleanings will help detect issues and keep dental decay and tooth loss from progressing. Make a positive change today, and let our experienced staff guide you to the dental smile you’ve always wanted!
At Summit Dental Care, our recommendations for best practice oral hygiene are in accordance with the American Dental Association:
- Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
- Replace your toothbrush if the bristles are frayed. Using a soft bristled toothbrush is recommended.
- Use floss to reach those hard to reach areas between teach. Flossing daily helps remove particles that cause your teeth damage.
- As always, eat a balanced diet, and avoid sugary food and drinks.
- Visit the dentist regularly for exams and checkups.
Fillings are used to replace decayed portions of teeth and to prevent further decay. Fillings are generally placed using tooth colored resin that help to restore a tooth to its natural shape, color and function.
Crowns are a porcelain cover or cap placed over a tooth. This is done to teeth that are misshaped, fractured, weak, discolored, unable to support larger fillings, need a bridge, or replaced with a dental implant. These crowns look natural and are of the highest, most durable quality, allowing the full function of a natural tooth.
Summit Dental is pleased to offer the latest in material options for crowns. With improvements in materials, tooth colored crowns mimic natural tooth so much better than in the past. Gold crowns are also available and provide excellent restorations for certain situations.
Bridges and Implants
When a tooth is lost, the empty space can be filled by the use of a bridge. Natural teeth next to the opening have crowns placed on them, with an attached “false” tooth to fill the open space between. This ultra-durable bridge allows a natural appearance for both the teeth, and the patient’s mouth. The bridge allows for natural teeth to maintain their position and support the cheeks and lips natural appearance.
Another missing tooth replacement option is an implant. An implant is made up of a small screw that is placed into the bone and then has a crown that attaches to it. This modern advance in dental technology allows for tooth replacement in the most tooth like way available today. This procedure has benefitted many, and can even be utilized to help support a loose denture from moving around and coming out easily.
We are in the business of saving teeth but there are times it is necessary to remove a damaged tooth. Most teeth, including most wisdom teeth, can be removed in our office without the need to travel to a specialist.
After extractions, it is important to follow the post-procedure instructions provided by the office to ensure proper healing without complications.
Removeable Prosthodontics or Dentures
For some patients, dentures are the preferred way to overcome years of issues with their oral health. Dentures simply are removable, replacement teeth. There are two kinds of removable dentures that our office provides – partial dentures and full dentures.
Removeable Partial Denture (RPD)
A removable partial denture is a good way to replace multiple missing teeth. It helps patients chew food properly and also offers support to lips and cheeks. An RPD usually is made of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base with a metal framework underneath, but can be done with a no metal option as well for improved esthetics.
A full denture is an ideal solution for patients who have lost all their teeth from various causes such as tooth decay, injury, or periodontal disease. Patients who proceed with dentures can chew food normally, see improvements in speech, and their natural appearance is restored.
Made of acrylic plastic, the base, or the structure of the denture has a coloration that mimics the natural gums. The bottom denture is U-shaped allowing full movement of the tongue, and the top denture covers the roof of the mouth (palate) to create added support and retention. Many times securing a denture with small screws called implants can provide a more solid and more tooth like solution.
A person’s smile is priceless and cosmetic dentistry is a wonderful way to enhance the beauty of each patient. We offer a broad range of cosmetic dental services, including resin or tooth-colored fillings, all-ceramic veneers and crowns, tooth whitening, bonding, and enamel shaping. Braces, another form of cosmetic dentistry, is something we would send you to see a specialist (Orthodontist) to correct things like crowding or spacing issues, crooked teeth and biting or occlusion issues. This type of dentistry can be life changing to a patient in many different ways. It can allow someone improved hygiene and most importantly to smile again and be confident and happy with their appearance.
Porcelain veneers are similar to crowns because veneers “cap” a natural tooth with a more conservative wafer-thin sheet of porcelain that is bonded onto the front side of teeth. A veneer can change the color and shape of teeth. They are excellent options for patients with teeth that are misaligned, worn, discolored or chipped. Veneers are also used to treat spaces between teeth. There is minimal tooth preparation involved and the results are completely natural looking and can create a stunning smile.
Summit Dental uses the best and latest materials for crowns. We use the highest quality aesthetic based porcelain that looks and performs just like a natural tooth. The strength of modern porcelain has eliminated the need for most crowns to be reinforced with metal that is noticeable because of the dark margins at the gum line.
Bleaching (Tooth Whitening)
If you have stained or discolored teeth due to years of damage, bleaching is a perfect solution to bring back that bright, white, sparkling smile. Molds are made by taking impressions of your teeth, which you can take home and use as you please.
Bonding is a process in which natural tooth-colored agents are bonded and applied to the surface of your teeth. It is a perfect solution if you have spaces between teeth, stained, or damaged teeth, including cracked, chipped, or broken teeth.
Enamel shaping is a quick and easy solution to improving the appearance of teeth, by modifying and reshaping the tooth’s enamel. Usually accompanied with bonding, this process yields immediate results.
Periodontal Therapy is a critical tool in providing years of optimal oral — and physical — health for many patients. Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support teeth and gums. Severe periodontal disease, however, doesn’t stop at the mouth, but also has been linked to damaging affects to a patient’s systemic health. Many studies have shown that periodontal disease is a contributing factor to stroke, heart disease, diabetes and pre-term low-weight births.
As the disease progresses and tissues are damaged, there is bone loss causing the pockets around the teeth to bleed and measure depths greater than the healthy mark of less than three millimeters; the more severe the disease, the greater the pocket depth and irreversible bone loss around these areas. This increased pocket depth provides an environment where harmful bacteria accumulates and thrives while also making it more difficult to clean. If left untreated, a person can lose so much bone around the teeth that it can lead to infection and tooth loss, while other less obvious health risks are advancing within the patient’s body.
Signs and symptoms
- Gums bleed easily
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gum tissue has pulled away from the teeth (recession)
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between gums and teeth
- Separation and/or movement of teeth
- Change in bite or how your teeth come together
- Sometimes Asymptomatic
Risk factors for periodontal disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Medications (steroids, anti-epilepsy, cancer, blood pressure). Some medications can cause dry mouth resulting in easily irritated tissue and chronic periodontal and teeth conditions.
- Compromised fillings or restorations can hold plaque and trap food, increasing the risk of periodontal disease
- Puberty, pregnancy and oral contraceptives can change the body’s hormone levels
- Family History
Checking for Periodontal Disease
During each professional cleaning, Dr. Christensen use a dental probe, x-rays and visual readings to assess each patient’s periodontal health and establish the recommended treatment.
Are there preventative measures?
Following these preventative dentistry best practices.