Smiling Woman

General Dentistry

We are a full service dental office providing family, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry.

Dental Exams & Cleanings


We begin with a comprehensive examination of teeth and gums in order to create a treatment plan that is customized for your individual oral health needs. During your comprehensive examination, we will perform digital radiography, which is a technique in which an electronic sensor is utilized. This electronic sensor captures and stores the digital image on a computer, which can then be instantly viewed by your dentist and hygienist. These images can then be contrasted and enlarged to help the dentist and hygienist detect problems more easily. Digital x-rays also reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays. During your examination, we will also conduct an oral cancer screening by visually examining the soft tissues of your mouth or using a special tool to detect abnormalities. We will also look for any areas of decay, gum disease or any other issues in the mouth.

During your cleaning, your dental hygienist will carefully remove any plaque and tartar utilizing both hand instruments and an ultrasonic scaler to gently break up plaque and tartar that build up below the gum line. We will also tell you what you need to know about home care between visits so that future cleanings will be effortless and easy.




Fillings


A filling is best for cases of mild to moderate decay. If decay is more extensive or extends over one or more cusps, a larger restoration, such as a crown, may be required. Treatment for cavities is simple and cost-effective and can be designed to fit your budget.

When it comes to having a cavity filled, it’s important to know that you have the right to decide, after consultation with your dentist, what treatments and materials are used for your dental care. Your dentist considers materials to use on an individualized basis, taking into account the size and location of your cavity. Cosmetic considerations, how long the filling could last, insurance coverage and out of pocket costs are some other factors you might want to consider. The ADA encourages you to talk with your dentist so that together you may choose the material that’s right for you.

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that need to withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. They can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.




Cosmetic Dentistry


Whitening: Teeth whitening is a simple and highly effective treatment to lighten your smile! Some people get their teeth whitened to remove stains, while others just want a brighter smile. Discoloration, which occurs when a tooth’s enamel wears down, can be caused by medication, coffee, tea and cigarettes as well as genetics and natural aging processes. Teeth whitening can be performed by your dentist in the office or at home under dental supervision. We can provide you with a custom-made tray for at-home whitening and instructions. Veneers: Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain or composite materials that are permanently placed over the front teeth to change their color or shape. Veneers are used on teeth with uneven surfaces, unevenly spaced or crooked; or on teeth that already have large fillings placed. Veneers can be used to treat some of the same issues as direct bonding and crowns. Bonding: Bonding, which is also called direct bonding is the use of tooth-colored material to fill in gaps or chips or to change the color of teeth. Bonding lasts several years and often requires only a single office visit. Bonding is also used to fill small cavities, to close small spaces between teeth or to cover the entire outside surface of a tooth.




Crowns


A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant. If your dentist recommends a crown, it is probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.


For more on dental crowns visit this link.




Bridges


A fixed bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth, thus bridging the space between two adjacent natural teeth or implants. A traditional fixed bridge consists of a false tooth or teeth fused between two crowns that are cemented on the surrounding teeth. An implant bridge is fastened to two or more implants that are submerged in bone tissue.

A bridge is a great option if you are missing any teeth. The resulting space from missing teeth can cause speech or chewing problems and can cause your remaining teeth to move out of position. With a fixed bridge, you can replace the missing teeth, correcting your bite, improving your chewing and speaking abilities and maintain the shape of your face.




Implants


A dental implant is a post, usually made of titanium that serves as a substitute for a tooth’s roots. The implant is placed in the jawbone so that it may fuse with the natural bone to become a sturdy foundation for a replacement tooth. Implants can be used to replace individual teeth or to support a bridge or denture containing multiple teeth.

Dental implants can be provided to most patients who are missing teeth due to decay, disease, injury or other medical conditions. You may also be a candidate for a dental implant if you can’t wear dentures or find them uncomfortable, or if you don’t want to sacrifice existing tooth structure to support a dental bridge. Ask us about how implants can help you get back a healthy smile today!





Root Canals


It’s always best to keep your original tooth if possible, and root canal therapy allows you to do that. Inside your teeth is a soft material called the pulp that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. If this pulp become infected, it can cause severe tooth pain. In some cases, that infection may require root canal therapy.

Nerves enter at the tip of the tooth’s roots and runs through the center of the tooth in small, thin root canals, which join up in the pulp chamber, Each tooth has at least one root canal, but may contain more. When injury or trauma occur to a tooth, the pulp can become inflamed or infected and eventually the pulp may die. Damage or dead pulp leads to increased blood flow, creating pressure inside the tooth that cannot be relieved. This may result in pain with biting or chewing and pain upon consuming hot or cold beverages. Without treatment to the tooth, the infection can spread.

Root canal therapy is a procedure in which the damaged or dead pulp is removed. After the pulp chamber and root canal are cleaned out and reshaped, the canal is filled with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha to prevent recontamination and the tooth is permanently sealed.




Extractions


An extraction means to have a tooth removed, usually because of disease, trauma or crowding.

If you need an extraction, your dentist will first numb the area to lessen any discomfort. After the extraction, your dentist will advise you of what post extraction regimen to follow. In most cases a small amount of bleeding is normal. Your mouth will slowly fill in the bone where the tooth root was through the formation of a blood clot.




TMJ Issues (Temporomandibular Disorder)


TMD Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) occurs when the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is damaged or deteriorates or when the muscles surrounding the joint malfunction, causing imbalanced jaw movement. The chronic muscle pain and spasm can become painful. TMD can be caused by trauma, such as injury or dislocation, or an improper bite, which affects the chewing muscles. Stress and its related behaviors, such as clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth, may aggravate the condition. Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also cause TMD.

Signs of TMD: Jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon, jaw pain associated with chewing, biting, or yawning, clicking noises when opening or closing the mouth, difficulty opening and closing the mouth., locking or stiffness of the jaw when talking, yawning, or eating, teeth sensitivity not associated with dental problems, headaches or neck pain, earache not associated with ear infection. Many TMD cases can be handled with simple treatments and lifestyle modifications, such as eating soft foods, using warm compress, taking OTC non-aspirin pain relief, but in more severe cases, we may recommend physical therapy, appliance therapy (a splint, mouthguard or bite plate), or medication.

Bruxism Bruxism is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is usually accompanied by the clenching of the jaw. Researchers classify bruxism as a habitual behavior, as well as a sleep disorder. It can have numerous causes, such as bite problems, stress, medical conditions, or certain medications. It can lead to earache, headache, sore and painful jaw, shortening and blunting of teeth, tooth sensitivity, notching of the teeth at the gumline and fractures. It can also lead to muscle pain and TMD.

After careful analysis, it can be treated with mouthguards, bite adjustments, biofeedback devices and repair of damaged teeth.




Dentures & Partial Dentures


People who have lost all or most of their teeth are candidates for complete dentures, which replace all of the teeth. Dentures can help restore your ability to eat, speak and smile with comfort and confidence and we can customize your denture to the shape of your face to create a natural look.

Partial dentures are for people who have some natural teeth remaining; they can fill in the space created by missing teeth and prevent other teeth from changing position. This type of denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a pink plastic base, held in place by metal framework and clasps.

Overdentures fit over a small number of remaining teeth or implants after they have been prepared by your dentist. Your dentist will usually try to preserve your remaining teeth, which can help preserve your jawbone and provide support for the denture.




Pediatric Dentistry


The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child's first dental visit when the baby teeth begin erupting, or at least by their first birthday. At this time we can instruct parents about oral care, fluoride and diet guidance for your children as well as what they can expect as more teeth erupt, and their child's dental growth and development progresses. If your child is older but has not had a dental check-up, it is never too late to get started. We teach older children the healthy way to take care of their teeth, along with other preventive measures. We make the dental experience fun!

Primary teeth are important for many reasons- not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they erupt.

For more on pediatric dentistry visit this link.




Emergency Treatment


Whatever the dental emergency, you should be seen as soon as possible! Call our office and we’ll do our very best to get you in that day to be treated and feeling better in no time.

The following are dental emergencies: Dental Abscess Dental abscess is a dental emergency and should be treated immediately. Dental swellings could spread and become dangerous situations if not treated properly. Read more here.

Dental Trauma Traumatic dental injuries often occur as a result of an accident or sports injury. The majority of these injuries are minor - chipped teeth. It’s less common to dislodge your tooth or have it knocked completely out but these injuries are more severe. Treatment depends on the type, location and severity of each injury. Regardless of the extent of the injury, your tooth requires immediate examination by a dentist or an endodontist. Sometimes, your neighboring teeth suffer an additional, unnoticed injury that can only be detected by a thorough dental examination.

For more on dental emergencies visit this link.





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Please feel free to contact either our Hixson or Gunbarrel office, both conveniently located in Chattanooga, TN to schedule your complimentary consultation. 

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