At Laurel Park Dentistry, our team is prepared to provide quality treatment in a gentle environment. Our goal is to help you maintain a healthy smile by providing you with routine appointments to ensure periodontal health and to prevent disease.
We look forward to working with you to achieve a common goal. As always, we are available to answer your questions about your dental health.
Our experienced hygienists will provide you with cleanings to remove soft plaque as well as hard calculus that accumulates on teeth over time. Regular cleanings will prevent bacterial build up on the teeth that may lead to caries and periodontal disease. Brushing twice daily and flossing once daily at home to remove plaque is also a very important part of preventive care.
Caring for children’s teeth is fundamental. Children should begin seeing a dentist as soon as tooth eruption begins. At a very young age children can develop healthy dental hygiene habits with the consistent help of their parents and dental providers. We recommend brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, dental cleanings every 6 months, the placement of fluoride varnish on the developing dentition to strengthen the enamel and prevent decay, and the placement of dental sealants on permanent molars to prevent biting surface cavities.
Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gum tissues and bone surrounding the teeth. Bacterial colonies and calculus form below the gums and around the teeth causing bone loss. Often it is does not cause pain or discomfort to the patient. If not treated early, bone loss will lead to the loosening of the teeth and may cause eventual tooth loss. Brushing, flossing, and a regular cleaning alone will not remove these bacterial colonies. Scaling and root planing treatment or a deep cleaning is needed to effectively clean within those deep pockets to remove bacterial colonies and calculus so that healing can occur. We cannot bring any lost bone back but we can prevent further bone loss from occurring and create a healthy environment under the gums to prevent disease progression.
Crowns and Bridges
Crowns are a protective covering for a compromised tooth. A tooth may become compromised largely due to a large cavity, a large filling, a root canal, a fracture, and/or weakened enamel due to clenching and grinding. As well as being strong and long lasting with proper care, crowns are a beautiful replacement for enamel and can be placed to enhance esthetics. A crown fitting will require two visits.
A bridge is an attached set of crowns recommended for the replacement of a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. A bridge will require the preparation of two or more teeth on either side of a space that serve as attachments for the replacement teeth.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy will help to save a tooth from being removed. A root canal will save a tooth that is infected and a tooth that has been traumatized. A root canal can also be an elective procedure to help save a tooth that has a large fracture by providing a clean space for a post that will help retain a crown. The root canal treatment involves cleaning the inner space of the tooth followed by the placement of a sealer to prevent any future infection.
Implants are a reliable option for the replacement of teeth. A single tooth implant is placed after a tooth is extracted. If there is not enough bone present, then a bone graft may be necessary prior to or in conjunction with the implant placement. The implant is given a healing period of 3-4 months to allow it to fuse to the bone. Once healing has occurred, an impression is taken for the implant crown or bridge. The restoration is then secured to the implant.
An extraction is the removal of a tooth. Our goal is for you to be able to keep your dentition for chewing and speaking functions but unfortunately there are reasons for why teeth may need to be extracted. Extractions are needed when a tooth breaks too far below the gum and bone level, when a cavity is too large and the tooth is not able to be fixed, when a tooth has a large infection, when a tooth has severe periodontal disease, or when teeth are worn down and need to be replaced for ideal form and function. There are various replacement options that can be discussed if a tooth needs to be extracted.
An occlusal guard is a preventive dental appliance that is worn to prevent trauma during clenching and grinding habits. An occlusal guard may also help with jaw joint pain and jaw muscle tension but other treatments such as physical therapy may be needed to help.
Teeth may become stained extrinsically over time due to dark beverages, dark foods, and smoking. Extrinsic staining can be treated with regular cleanings, custom made whitening trays, and prescription strength whitening gel. Some teeth are stained intrinsically due to medications taken while the dentition was forming. Intrinsic staining may require dental veneers and crowns to whiten dentition.