Gentle Dentistry offers a relaxing environment for your dental needs. Whether you need a cleaning or a crown, we are here to take good care of you. Our doctors offer a wide range of dental services including cosmetic dentistry. Brighten your smile with whitening, or have us help you obtain the smile you’ve always wanted. Services we offer include:
During an oral examination, a visual inspection is performed to detect normal and abnormal structures of the entire mouth, head and neck. Along with radiographs, an examination detects cavities, abnormalities in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession and any other abnormal findings within the mouth, head and neck.
A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. Once all the tooth surfaces have been cleaned of tartar and plaque, the teeth are polished.
Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease. During the scaling process, specialized dental instruments are used to remove dental plaque and calculus from beneath the gums. Planing is the procedure used to smooth the tooth’s root after the scaling process. Root planing helps the gums heal and reattach themselves to a cleaner and smoother root surface.
Whitening, also known as bleaching, is the procedure used to brighten teeth. There are two different ways to achieve a desired whiter smile, In-Office Bleaching and At-Home Bleaching.
In-Office Bleaching usually requires only one office visit. A protective gel or a rubber shield is placed over the gums to protect the soft tissue. A bleaching agent containing carbamide peroxide is applied to the teeth, and a laser light is then used to enhance the action of the whitening agent.
At-Home bleaching requires an impression of the teeth to be taken to make a customized mouth guard to hold the whitening gel, containing carbide peroxide, against the teeth. Once the mouth guard is made, it is worn for a period of time, as instructed by our office. The amount of time may vary from a couple hours a day, or all night, for up to four weeks or longer, if desired.
Invisalign® takes a modern approach to straightening teeth, using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligner trays are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You just pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete. You’ll achieve a great smile with little interference in your daily life. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers the outside of a severely decayed tooth. Dental crowns can be completed in two visits. During the first visit, the tooth is prepped (shaved down) and an impression is taken. A temporary crown is placed while the permanent crown is being made. During the second visit, the permanent crown is fitted comfortably and then cemented into place for a permanent restoration.
A bridge replaces missing teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. A false tooth is held in place by being attached to a neighboring tooth. In order to fabricate a bridge a crown(s) is made for the teeth on either side of the space and a false tooth is placed in between the crowns, as a support.
Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth. To place a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed. Afterwards, an adhesive layer is placed between the slightly prepped tooth and the veneer. The veneer is then hardened with a curing light.
Dental implants are the replacement of tooth roots in the mouth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants are small anchors made of a biocompatible metal called titanium, which are placed in the jawbone. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the permanent attachment of the replacement teeth.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. There are two types of dentures, complete (full) and partial dentures.
Complete (Full) Dentures are made after all the teeth in the mouth have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. The denture includes an acrylic base that is custom made in the dental laboratory and are made to look like natural gums, which sits over the gums or can be anchored to dental implants.
Partial Dentures are made only when a few teeth need to be replaced. The partial denture either attaches to crowns on either side of the denture or to a metal framework that is attached to the teeth on both sides of the partial denture. Partial dentures can be removable or they can be anchored in place by attaching them to dental implants.
CAD/CAM is an acronym that stands for computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing. CAD/CAM technology is used to help the dental team fabricate precise shapes and sizes for dental restorations including inlays, onlays, crowns and bridges. This technology provides patients with durable, esthetic, well-fitted single and multiple tooth restorations in a more efficient manner. The first step in using CAD/CAM technology is tooth preparation. Next, a digital impression is taken that sends the prepared tooth’s exact dimensions into a computer. Afterwards, the computer software creates a virtual restoration replacement part for the missing areas of the tooth. The software then sends the virtual restoration data to the milling machine, where the replacement part is carved out of a solid block of ceramic or composite resin. The restoration is adjusted in the patient’s mouth and cemented or bonded in place.
Lasers in dentistry allow for many dental procedures to be performed with no noise, very little pain and fewer appointments. All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used for “curing” a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents. The procedures performed with dental lasers are minimally invasive and preferable to conventional surgery.
Other benefits of laser dentistry over traditional methods can include:
Reduced heat and vibration
Little or no need for anesthetic
Faster treatment time
Increased rate of retention
Less post-operative complications
Some of the dental treatment provided by lasers are as followed:
“Cure” or harden fillings
Reshape gum tissue
Biopsy or remove soft tissue lesions and ulcers
Remove areas of tooth decay
Eliminate pockets of infected gum tissue
Root canal therapy Correct ankyloglossia (tongue-tied)
Oral surgery and extractions
Biomimetic Dentistry is defined as the reconstruction of teeth to emulate their natural biomechanical and esthetic form and function. Simply put, biomimetic dentistry means to copy what is life-like. With biomimetic dentistry, only the damage and decayed part of the tooth is removed and the final restoration is bonded to the remaining healthy natural tooth structure. Biomimetic restorations include stress-reduced direct composite restorations and porcelain/composite inlays and onlays that restore the biomechanics of broken and damaged teeth. Traditional dental treatments do not follow the biomimetic approach.
When restoring damaged, broken, and decayed teeth, the goal is to return the tooth to its original strength, function, and esthetics. Biomimetic dentistry accomplishes all of this in a conservative, strong, and attractive approach.
Dental implants are the replacement of tooth roots in the mouth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants are small anchors made of biocompatible metal called titanium, which are placed in the jawbone. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the permanent attachment of the replacement teeth. To fabricate the replacement teeth, an impression is taken and a model of the bite is created. The replacement teeth are based on this model. Replacement teeth can either be crowns or dentures.
A wisdom tooth that is deemed problematic is normally extracted to avoid any oral complications. To have a wisdom tooth removed, a small incision is made to open up the gum tissue over the tooth and remove any bone that is covering the tooth. Once the tooth is in view, it is gently grasped with a dental instrument, known as a forcep, and gently rocked back and forth to loosen it from the jaw bone and surrounding ligaments. Sometimes the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces to make it easier or removal. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a wisdom tooth.
A tooth that can not be saved with restorative materials may need to be removed. Before removing your tooth, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. The tooth is then loosened using a special dental instrument known as an elevator. After it is loosened from the socket, it is gently removed by a forcep, a dental instrument commonly used in dental extractions. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a tooth.
Bone grafting is the replacement or enhancement of bone around teeth. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone collapses. Bone grafting is performed to reverse bone loss or enhance bone. The bone can be taken from parts of the body or from synthetic material. Bone grafting allows for proper support of dental implants or prostheses.
An impacted tooth is a tooth that fails to fully pass through the gums for various reasons.
Impacted wisdom and cuspid (or canine) teeth are fairly common. To correct impacted teeth, there are a few treatment options. For impacted wisdom, the most common procedure is extraction. For impacted canine teeth, several treatment modalities are available. Treatment can involve orthodontics (braces) to allow open spaces for proper eruption, a visit to the oral surgeon to remove over retained primary (baby) teeth or to surgically expose the tooth and place an orthodontic bracket to help bring it down into proper alignment.
Facial trauma involves injuries to the bone, teeth, skin, gums or other soft tissues.
Depending on the type of facial trauma sustained there are many different treatment options available. However, the goal of treatment is to stop any bleeding from occurring, create a clear airway, repair any broken or fractured bone, and or suture any damaged soft tissue. Treatment is immediate, as long as there are no neck fractures or life-threatening injuries.
A sinus lift is a surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the premolar and molar areas of your mouth . To add bone, an incision is made where the premolar and molar teeth were previously. Once the bone is exposed, a small circular shape is made in the bone to access the sinus. Once the sinus is accessed, the sinus membrane is gently pushed up and away from the upper jaw. Once this is done, bone graft material is filled into the space where the sinus was previously. Once the bone is in place, the incision is closed and the healing process begins.
Oral and maxillofacial pathology refers to the diseases of the mouth and the jaw. Treatment options vary based on the patient’s specific needs.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is similar to a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.
To treat TMJ disorders, first the cause has to be identified. In less severe cases TMJ disorders can be treated with self-managed care (easting soft foods, using ice packs, avoiding extreme jaw movement) or nonsurgical treatments (anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, stabilization splints). In severe cases surgical treatments (jaw joint replacements) may be necessary.
TMJ conditions fall into three main categories:
Myofascial pain which involves discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function.
Internal derangement of the joint that can mean a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle.
Arthritis which is degenerative inflammatory disorder.
Orthognathic surgery is done to correct misalignments or other abnormalities in the upper jaw and lower jaws.
Orthognathic surgery can involve surgical procedures such as an osteotomy (bone cutting), bone grafts, or distraction osteogenesis (stretching of the bone) and orthodontic (braces) care. Orthognathic correction is conducted in stages, and the course of treatment can last a few months up to one year or more.
In order to perform the procedure successfully, the jawbones will be repositioned in accordance with one’s specific needs. Inconspicuous incisions are usually made inside, and if needed, outside the mouth to allow for surgical plates, screws, wires and rubber bands to be used to hold your jaws in their new positions.
Cleft lip is an opening/split in the upper lip and cleft palate is an opening/split in the roof of the mouth (palate). Cleft lip and cleft palate result when these developing facial structures in an unborn baby do not close completely.
A series of surgeries can restore normal function and achieve a more normal appearance with minimal scarring.
A cleft lip is usually repaired between the ages of 3 to 6 months. Some children require a lip adhesion or a device such as a molding plate to bring the parts closer together before the full lip repair. A child with a cleft lip that is repaired will have a scar on the lip under the nose.
A cleft palate is usually repaired between 9 and 12 months of age. To repair the palate, the soft palate muscles from each side are connected to each other and the normal barrier between the mouth and nose is created.
Additional surgeries are needed to improve the appearance of the lip and nose, close the opening between the mouth and nose, help breathing, and stabilize and realign the jaw. Once the permanent teeth grow in, braces are often needed to straighten the teeth.
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which one experiences one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
Sleep apnea is an ongoing condition that disrupts sleep. When breathing is paused or becomes shallow, one will often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep, making the quality of sleep poor.
Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, breathing devices, and/or surgery.
For mild sleep apnea, a custom fitted mouth piece or some lifestyle changes (weight loss, smoking cessation, clearing nasal passages) may be helpful.
For moderate to severe sleep apnea, a breathing device called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or surgery to widen the breathing passages by shrinking, stiffening, or removing excess tissue in the mouth and throat or resetting the lower jaw may be helpful. A CPAP machine uses a mask that fits over your mouth and/or nose and gently blows air into your throat. This air pressure helps keep your airway open while you sleep. Surgery to shrink the tissue involves a small shot into the breathing passages. Surgery to stiffen excess tissue requires a small incision in the tissue and inserting a piece of stiff plastic.
Facial cosmetic surgery is performed to correct physical malformations of the face.
The following are some of the facial cosmetic surgeries performed:
Facial and Neck Liposuction
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), a growth factor, is a mixed gel that can be applied directly into tooth sockets and other sites. The use of PRP in tooth sockets after tooth extractions is capable of improving soft tissue healing and positively influencing bone regeneration.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a new approach to tissue regeneration. PRP derives from the centrifugation of a patient’s own blood and contains growth factors that influence wound healing. This is important in tissue repairing mechanisms. The use of PRP in surgical practice could have beneficial outcomes, reducing bleeding and enhancing soft tissue healing and bone regeneration.
Anatomage, the latest in dental virtual reality is a 3D imaging software used in dentistry to detect, diagnose, and treat all types of dental procedures. Anatomage imaging software offers a variety of imaging detail in every area of dentistry, from 3D hard and soft tissue reconstruction to impression- less virtual models of teeth.
Gum reshaping or contouring is a procedure performed to reshape the gums if they rest too low or too high on your teeth. In order to reshape the gum tissue, a line is drawn to mark the new gum line. Once approved, anesthesia is applied to the area and the contouring begins. Then, a dental instrument (typically a scalpel or laser) is used to reshape the gum tissue and trim away any extra tissue overhanging the tooth.
Our primary goal is to save your natural teeth whenever possible. Our practice specializes in Endodontics, commonly referred to as root canal therapy. Endodontics is the treatment of the pulp and surrounding tissues of a tooth. When root canal therapy is performed the pulp chamber of the tooth is removed and then filled with a suitable filling material. Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. People have anywhere from 1 to 4 canals in a tooth. Extra canals may branch out and are called “accessory canals.” The number of canals and anatomy of a tooth can vary. The word “endo” comes from the Greek language and means “inside” or within. Endodontists work with the “inside” of a tooth.
Occasionally a tooth that was treated months or years ago may develop new problems. In some cases a tooth that has received endodontic treatment fails to heal or continues to have pain. You may have another chance to save the tooth with a second endodontic procedure.
In some cases it may be necessary to remove the infected root tips or apex and the nearby tissue. This is known as a apical surgery or an apicoectomy. The area around the apex of the tooth that is infected is cleaned, and the tip of the root is resected and sealed. Sutures are placed and an ice pack is applied. Medication is prescribed to help alleviate any pain or discomfort and it is best to plan to rest for the remainder of the day. Most patients will have some minor swelling and occasional bruising with some numbness.
Symptoms of a cracked tooth are varied and may include pain when chewing, temperature sensitivity or pressure sensitivity or a combination of these. Because the pain often comes and goes, it can be very difficult to recognize what is causing the problem. It can sometimes even be difficult to identify exactly which tooth is causing the discomfort.
Even small movement of the cracked tooth pieces during chewing can cause irritation to the tooth’s pulp, which causes pain. Similarly, when the bite is released, the crack can close quickly, causing sharp pain. Over time, the tooth pulp will become damaged. As this happens, the tooth will hurt more consistently. Cracks can sometimes lead to infections in the pulp tissue and spread to the surrounding gum and bone.