Dental Procedures in Kent & Portage County
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4 Million Year
Tooth enamel is the hardest material in the human body. It is so hard that outside the mouth teeth can exist intact for millions of years. Numerous fossilized teeth of our human ancestors, some dating back 4-6 million years old, have been discovered—often in perfect condition! Yet inside the mouth, teeth can literally dissolve away within a few short years, due largely to acid-producing microorganisms.
The mouth is a very harsh environment! If left neglected, the dentition can rapidly and irreversibly be decimated.
This can occur at any age as with baby bottle caries in the very young, or with xerostomia (a condition referred to as “dry mouth”) in older persons. Dental diseases are often rampant and insidious, occurring without pain and without the patient even being aware of the problems until the damage becomes severe!
But The Good News is...
You Can Have Healthy Teeth For Life!
There is almost no reason why you can’t have healthy, beautiful teeth your entire life!
If you learn to develop effective oral health care habits relatively early, coupled with regular (at least twice a year) dental examinations and teeth cleanings, nearly all dental diseases and problems can be avoided.
The cost savings of maintaining one’s oral health can be huge. Consider dental neglect; just for treating a single tooth over the span of one’s lifetime could easily cost over $10,000. (This might include filling the tooth, then refilling it several times, possibly placing a crown, doing a root canal treatment, and eventually extracting the tooth and replacing it with a prosthetic tooth). Remember the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – Benjamin Franklin.
We see patients every day in our office who take great care of their teeth and have little or no dental problems year after year. For Doctors Chris and Carol Martin, this is what dentistry is all about. It’s the fun, rewarding part. In our office, our greatest enjoyment comes from not just restoring our patients’ mouths to a better state of health, but to enable them to keep their own mouths clean and free of disease on a daily basis. They love their happy checkups!
More Good News...
At Martin Dental Care, we realize that accidents do happen and not everyone is blessed with perfect teeth! For those patients having a history of dental problems, today’s dentistry has many new advances in materials and techniques that enable us to restore mouths to full chewing ability and enhance the cosmetic appearance. Please see the Procedures heading on this page for a partial listing and explanation of the dental services we offer.
Trouble-Free and Affordable Cosmetic Dentistry Can Make a Difference in Your Life!
With cosmetic dentistry you will speak and eat as you normally would. You’ll look years younger and feel much better. Your friends will say you look great when they notice the change in your smile.
See how! Call us today and request an appointment
for your complimentary cosmetic consultation.
Did You Know...
Research shows most people consider their smiles as being their most attractive feature. Smiles consistently outranked the eyes, hair, and body! So Protect that Smile!
A properly fitted mouthguard is of the utmost importance for participation in many sports including football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, soccer or any other sport that involves contact with other players or the games equipment. Many people are unaware that store-bought mouthguards simply do not provide the protection necessary in these contact sports. At Martin Dental Care, our team will create a custom fitted, pressure-laminated mouthguard to provide optimum protection for your smile while also making it easier to breathe and speak while playing your sport.
Meet Doctors Carol and Christopher J. Martin. and Staff
Dental exam and cleaning
Having your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year by the dentist and hygienist may be the most important component of maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, it includes the following:
- Medical and dental-history review: Many diseases have an oral component. Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications and illnesses gives us insight into your overall health and possible oral concerns.
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detecting caries, cysts, tumors, bone loss, abscesses, impacted teeth, developing teeth, root fractures and root positions.
- Oral cancer screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, floor of the mouth, soft tissues and gums are checked for any signs of oral cancer.
- Gum disease evaluation: The gums and bone around the teeth are checked for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. These signs include: red and swollen gums, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, pus around the teeth and gums, tenderness or pain, and receding gums. The periodontal pockets are also measured.
- Examination for tooth decay: All tooth surfaces are checked for dental caries and evaluated for potential risk of decay.
- Examination of existing restorations: All current fillings, veneers, crowns, etc. are evaluated for proper contour and fit, and checked for fractures, recurrent decay and discoloration.
- Evaluate occlusion: The way the teeth bite together is checked for excessive wear or chipping, grinding and clenching habits, loose or mobile teeth, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
- Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is the calcified plaque that builds up, becoming firmly attached to the teeth over time. Special dental instruments are used to remove it.
- Removal of bacterial plaque: Plaque is the sticky colony of bacteria, food debris and saliva known as a biofilm that rapidly grows on and between the teeth. The bacteria produce acids that dissolve minerals out of the tooth surface, leading to decay. They also produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammatory process is the start of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- Teeth polishing: This helps to remove stains and plaque on the tooth surfaces.
- Oral-Hygiene recommendations: Home care is reviewed and oral hygiene aids (electric toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, mouth rinses, fluorides, etc.) are recommended as needed to establish and maintain effective dental hygiene habits.
- Review dietary habits: Eating disorders and habits may be detrimental to your dental health.
Caries Risk Assessment
Do you ever wonder why some people continue to get cavities throughout their lives? A healthy mouth requires more than just brushing, flossing and fillings. Dental caries and the subsequent dental decay is a complicated multifactorial disease of an epidemic level affecting children and adults. The Caries Risk Assessment is an effort to identify risk factors and to look at this disease from a medical (preventive/therapeutic) approach. New scientific evidence and treatment regimens allow the patient and the dentist to select proper therapeutic strategies designed to prevent, stop or reverse the cavity process.
Generally, most dental procedures are done to eliminate disease, restore function and improve the aesthetics of patients’ smiles! However, depending on your particular needs, some dental procedures can be used to markedly enhance one’s appearance by creating a more beautiful, confident smile.
- Teeth whitening: Although there are many ways this can be accomplished, the most effective, long-term results occur with a procedure called “home whitening.” This is a dentist-supervised treatment utilizing custom trays made from accurate impressions of your teeth. These thin trays hold and retain the whitening gel comfortably and intimately on your teeth, preventing the saliva from diluting or washing it away. Treatment time varies, but typically a two-week protocol is recommended. The whitening trays are either worn at night while sleeping or, if preferred, a daytime regimen may be used. The trays can then be saved and used for an occasional touch-up when desired.
- Aesthetic recontouring or shaping: This is an easy and inexpensive procedure to reshape teeth that are chipped, worn, uneven, pointed or just sharp and possibly irritating the tongue or lips. Your smile can look years younger with this simple, painless treatment!
- Composite restorations and bonding: These tooth-colored filling materials have many uses. They are widely used instead of amalgam (silver) fillings to repair small to medium areas of decay or replace old, defective fillings. Multiple shades and translucencies allow these restorations to blend in imperceptibly. Bonded tooth-colored fillings are also used to repair chipped, broken or discolored teeth. In addition, bonded composite restorations are used to close spaces or gaps between teeth and to protect sensitive, exposed dentin or root surfaces caused by gum recession.
- Porcelain veneers: Veneers are individual, thin, custom-made, natural looking ceramic restorations that are bonded onto the front surface of teeth to create a perfect smile. They can cover or hide damaged, worn, discolored, poorly shaped or misaligned teeth giving your smile a more uniform and youthful appearance. Veneers are used when the teeth are largely intact and require only minimal or no tooth structure to be removed from the tooth surface. Two of our favorite veneer porcelains are LUMINEERS® and IPS Empress®!
- Porcelain crowns: A crown is a custom-made, tooth-colored restoration that encircles all the tooth’s surfaces and restores it to its ideal original size and shape. Crowns strengthen and protect teeth that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. They are ideal for teeth that have large, fractured or broken fillings, cracked teeth or teeth that are badly decayed. Procera, Lava™, and eMax™ are some of the types of porcelain/ceramic crowns we often prefer.
- Dental implants: Dental implants may
well be the most significant advancement in dentistry over the last two decades! It’s almost like growing a new tooth! Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw. They are made of titanium and have a surface that enables bone to grow directly to it as it heals a process called osseointegration. The implant becomes solidly anchored in the jaw allowing it to be used to support a natural-looking custom replacement tooth called a crown. Implants are most commonly used to replace single missing teeth, but may also be used to support multiple missing teeth by serving as abutments for a fixed bridge or full denture. By virtue of their comfort and stability, implant-supported restorations work well to restore chewing function where there are missing back teeth, or to restore a smile where there is a missing or badly damaged front tooth.
- Smile makeovers: A great smile can make a difference! Getting started is easy. Just schedule a preliminary no-cost, no-commitment, smile-makeover consultation. This is a free, short visit where we will happily discuss your smile makeover concerns and answer any questions you may have. Whether simple or more complex, creating a more beautiful smile may involve multiple dental disciplines such as restorative, endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics and sometimes oral surgery. If you are a new patient to our office and opt to proceed, the initial smile-makeover evaluation usually starts with a comprehensive examination and also includes a full radiographic series, photographic series, impressions and fabrication of diagnostic models of the dental arches. Medical and dental histories are gathered along with the patients concerns, expectations and desires for his or her new smile. Treatment options and recommendations are then discussed along with fees and sequencing of treatment.
This refers to the intricate surgical procedure in which the dead or dying nerve (dental pulp) is removed from the pulp chamber and canals within the tooth roots. The canals are then disinfected and sealed to enable the tooth to be restored into proper function for continued use in the mouth. Root canal treatment itself is generally fairly painless and is managed with just a local anesthetic. Post-treatment soreness is usually controlled with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen for a day or two. Antibiotics may be used if the tooth infection had already spread into the bone, causing an abscess or cellulitis.
Teeth with advanced decay, recurring decay under deep fillings or internal cracks extending into the center of the tooth will often develop irreversible damage to the dental pulp. Eventually, without root canal treatment, the pulp will become infected and die (necrotic) and an abscess will develop in the jaw bone, eventually resulting in loss of the tooth. If the damage to the tooth is too extensive, then it may no longer be an option to save it using root canal treatment. In this case the tooth would need to be removed.
Signs and symptoms of teeth that may require root canal treatment would include the following:
- Constant aching or throbbing
- Throbbing that is worse while sleeping or wakes you up during the night
- Pain while biting or eating hot or cold foods, especially if the pain lingers for awhile
- More severe pain requiring medication to try to relieve it
- Swelling of the face or under the jaw
Sometimes it becomes necessary to remove teeth. Simple, straight forward extractions can often easily be accomplished in our office under a local anesthetic. This would include teeth that can no longer be restored due to extensive decay or cracks that involve the tooth’s root, teeth with severe bone loss as a result of uncontrolled gum disease, retained root tips, or baby teeth that sometimes develop problems during their exfoliation.
On occasion, it may be necessary to refer a patient to an oral surgery specialist. Patients diagnosed with impacted teeth, more complicated extractions, a significant medical condition or when a general anesthetic is indicated, would be referred to an oral surgeon for treatment. We have a great professional relationship with all the area specialists and will provide you with a recommendation. In addition, the doctor will prepare and forward a referral letter to introduce you and to explain the diagnosis, requested treatment and any treatment concerns. Appropriate radiographs would also be forwarded for you.
Prosthodontics (Replacing Lost or Missing Teeth)
When all teeth are missing in the dental arch the most common way to replace them is by making a full removable denture. Most people are able to wear and use their dentures successfully. However with time, many people have more difficulty wearing their dentures. This may be the result of: continuing bone loss within the jaws; an unfavorable dental arch form; a dryer mouth because of decreasing salivary flow due to medications and/or aging; or the denture just being worn down. Often refitting (relining) or replacing an old denture with a new one can be helpful.
For some patients, dental implants can make a world of difference in their ability to wear dentures. Implants can provide the stability, retention and increased biting force patients need to restore self-confidence and comfort. Consider asking about converting your denture into an implant-supported denture.
A removable partial denture is made to replace missing teeth when only some of the teeth are missing from the dental arch. There are many different types and designs of removable partial dentures. The optimal design will depend on the number, condition of, and which teeth are still present. Dental implants can also be utilized to retain and support a partial denture.
When only one or a few teeth are missing, a fixed partial denture or fixed bridge can be made to restore the dental arch. A fixed bridge is permanently attached to either the adjacent teeth or it can be supported by dental implants. Because it is not taken in and out like a removable denture, the fixed bridge is easier to clean, more comfortable and feels more natural.
Everybody grinds their teeth together to some degree. Most of this grinding occurs while you are sleeping. When it becomes excessive we call it bruxing or night grinding. People who brux their teeth will display excessive wear and chipping on the biting edge of their front teeth, causing their teeth to appear shorter and worn down. Often the back teeth will show heavy wear, chipping, and cracked or broken cusps.
Although we can’t prevent you from grinding at night, we can help prevent the wear and damage that it causes to your teeth. A night guard is a dental appliance made to snugly fit and cover either your upper or lower teeth, preventing them from rubbing together while asleep.
Athletic Mouth Guards
A properly fitted mouth guard is of the upmost importance for participation in many sports, from football to basketball to hockey. Many people are unaware that unfitted store-bought mouth guards simply do not provide the protection necessary in these contact sports. At Martin Dental Care, we’ll custom-tailor your new mouth guard to not only protect your smile, but to help improve your breathing, your speech & even your athletic performance!