Everything you need
for a healthy smile
We offer quality service with a gentle touch and friendly atmosphere. Our services range from routine cleanings to extensive reconstructive work that can repair years of damage and neglect with just a few visits.
You can read more on this page about specific services.
- Prophylaxis “Cleaning”
- Periodontitis Stages
- Scaling & Root Planing “Deep Cleaning”
- Cracked Tooth
- Root Canal
- Implant vs Partial Denture
Brushing is one of the most important ways to care for teeth. Proper, regular brushing removes plaque (the sticky substance that collects on teeth), which helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Each tooth should be brushed individually.
The recommended amount of time to be spent brushing is two minutes—thirty seconds on each quadrant of the mouth.
Prophylaxis is a standard procedure that is performed by the hygienist each time you have a dental cleaning. Prophylaxis includes scaling. Scaling is the removal of calcified plaque and tartar from the outer surfaces of the teeth.
Prophylaxis is performed with special dental files and scalers. These tools are specifically designed to fit in the spaces between teeth and under the gum line. They are sharp enough to dislodge hardened plaque and tartar from the tooth, but gentle enough that they do not damage the tooth enamel.
Prophylaxis should be performed every six months. It is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require any anesthesia and does not require any post-procedure care beyond normal brushing and flossing.
Periodontitis, or gum disease, is the infection of the gum tissue that supports the teeth. It is most common reason for tooth loss in adults. It is characterized by swollen, bleeding gums that pull away from the teeth.
Periodontitis is caused by plaque, the sticky film that covers teeth. If plaque is not removed, it hardens and becomes tartar. The tartar builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums, causing periodontitis.
There are several stages of periodontitis. The first (and least severe) stage is known as gingivitis. During this stage, gums are red and swollen but have not started to pull away from the teeth. Gingivitis can usually be reversed by meticulous brushing and flossing.
The other stages of periodontitis are distinguished as mild, moderate, or severe. If periodontitis is not treated it can cause irreversible bone and ligament loss.
Scaling and Root Planing “Deep Cleaning”
Scaling is the removal of calcified plaque and tartar from the outer surfaces of the teeth. Root planing is scaling that takes place below the gum line. Root planing is performed on teeth with severe plaque and tartar build-up below the gum line. This procedure is different from the normal cleaning done during a visit to the dentist because it takes place entirely below the gum line. If left untreated, the plaque and tartar build-up on the roots of teeth can lead to periodontal disease.
A sealant is a protective, plastic material that is placed directly on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars. Sealants protect tooth enamel from erosion and drastically reduce the occurrence of tooth decay.
Teeth are prepared for sealants with a thorough cleaning, followed by the application of a specialized dental solution. This solution roughens the chewing surfaces, making it easier for the sealants to adhere to the teeth. The sealants are then painted on the chewing surfaces of the teeth and a curing light is used to harden the sealants.
As long as the teeth receive regular care, sealants can last several years before requiring a reapplication.
A cavity is a hole in a tooth that is the result of decay. Tooth decay occurs when plaque, the residue that builds up on teeth, combines with sugars and starches from food. This combination of plaque and food residue mixes with the bacteria in the mouth and forms an acid that erodes tooth enamel, exposing the tooth to decay. If a cavity is not treated, the decay in the tooth will spread until it affects the root of the tooth.
Cavities are treated using either a direct or an indirect filling. The most esthetically pleasing type of filling is a direct composite (or resin) filling.
Composite fillings are made of porcelain and are white in color. Composite fillings are not as strong as amalgam fillings, but they bond directly to the tooth and require less of the natural tooth to be removed. Because of this, composite fillings are used primarily on low-impact front teeth.
Sometimes the pressure on a tooth from biting, chewing, and jaw clenching is so great that the tooth cracks. Cracked teeth are often sensitive to hot and cold and are painful during biting and chewing.
Cracked teeth are weak and are not able to support as much pressure as healthy teeth. The cracks in teeth may grow and eventually cause a piece of the tooth to break away, especially near a filling.
It is unhealthy to let a cracked tooth go untreated. Bacteria can seep through the crack in the enamel and cause an infection in the pulp (root) of the tooth. This infection can eventually spread down the root of the tooth to the jaw bone and cause an abscess.
Treatment for a cracked or fractured tooth varies depending on the location of the fracture. However, a root canal is almost always required on a cracked tooth.
A root canal treatment is the process of removing the infected, diseased, or dead pulp from the root of a tooth. If a root canal is not performed on an infected pulp, the infection will spread to the rest of the tooth and the entire tooth will need to be extracted.
A root canal treatment consists of the creation of an access hole in the tooth, the cleaning and refilling of root canals, and the placement of a filling.
Crowns are used to cover and protect damaged teeth. Crowns are often placed on teeth that are broken, stained, poorly shaped, or misaligned. Crowns are also placed on teeth with large fillings and teeth that have had root canals.
Because crowns are custom-made, they require two appointments to place. At the first appointment, the teeth are slightly reduced and shaped to prepare them for the crown. Local anesthetic may be used prior to this shaping. An impression is made of the prepared teeth, and a mold is sent to the dental lab. Temporary crowns are placed on the prepared teeth until the permanent crowns are ready.
When the dental lab has finished creating the crown, the crown is placed on the prepared teeth using a strong dental adhesive. A high-intensity light is used to set the adhesive and permanently bond the veneers to the teeth.
Crowns can be made of various materials. In order for a crown to last, they require proper care.
A veneer is a thin, porcelain shell that is bonded directly to the top of teeth. Veneers are cosmetic tooth restorations that are used to correct spaces between teeth, cover chipped teeth, shape small or misshapen teeth, and whiten stained or discolored teeth.
Like crowns, veneers are custom-made and require two appointments. In order for veneers to last, they require proper care.
A bridge is a permanent solution for missing teeth. It is a fixed partial denture used to replace missing teeth and preserve correct alignment in the mouth.
A bridge can be made from various materials. It consists of a false tooth, or pontic, fused between two crowns. These crowns are placed on the healthy teeth on each side of the missing tooth.
Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth. An implant consists of a metal anchor that is screwed into the tooth and a crown that is attached to the anchor.
Because they contain a metal anchor that is screwed directly into the jawbone, implants are only successful when there is sufficient underlying bone structure. Implant candidates must also have healthy gums that will withstand and recover from the surgery.
Implant vs Partial Denture
There are several options for replacing missing teeth. Two of those options are dental implants and partial dentures.
Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth. These implants consist of a metal anchor that is screwed into the bone and a crown that is attached to the anchor. Dental implants are only successful when there is enough underlying bone structure to support the implant.
Partial dentures are a permanent but removable solution for missing teeth. Partial dentures consist of one false tooth or several false connected by a metal framework and attached to a pink base. A partial denture may be used when surrounding teeth are not strong enough for a bridge and bone structure is not sufficient for an implant.
Dentures require several steps, as well as several visits to the office to complete, as well as for adjusting the denture for the best possible fit.
Step 1: Your dentist will take an impression of your gums. If you need extractions before creating your denture, your dentist will wait until your gums have healed before taking the impressions.
Step 2: Wax rims are placed in the mouth to establish a proper bite and orientation (occlusion) of the teeth. Patients can then select the size, shape and shade of the teeth for the denture. Your dentist will help you to make this selection, but we also recommend having someone who knows you very well help make the selection. Your dentist will send the impressions, as well as the selection for shape, size and shade to a dental lab.
Step 3: Try-In: This is a critical step in the denture process. The dental lab will send a mockup of your denture, which includes a set of pre-made plastic teeth, set in wax, to make sure you are happy with the general color, look, fit and feel of the denture. If any changes are needed, additional try-in appointments may be necessary. Once the denture is made to your satisfaction, the try-in denture will be sent back to the lab to create the final denture. At HMS Dental, we will always help to make sure you are pleased with your denture, and that it looks and feels as natural as possible. However, this is an important and final decision, and we strongly support bringing a spouse or friend who knows you well, and who will give you honest feedback about how the denture looks so you can make your selection with the greatest amount of confidence.
Step 4: This is the fitting of your final denture. The lab has now processed the premade teeth into a hard, tissue colored acrylic base. If necessary, your dentist will make adjustments to the fit and the bite, and you may need to return to the office if you experience any sore spots or issue within the next few weeks to have the denture adjusted.