The first line of defense against oral health problems
In general dentistry, the dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of conditions, disorders and diseases affecting the teeth, gums and maxillofacial (jaw and face) parts of the body. Even though general dentists primarily provide preventative care and minor restorative therapy, they are often able to perform a wide array of other dental procedures, including some minor cosmetic treatments.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that patients visit their general dentist at least once every six months to ensure proper oral health and functionality. Regular oral health check-ups and maintenance help to prevent the development of serious dental problems that may require more extensive and costly treatments. General dentists are highly educated and trained in multiple facets of dentistry, providing a variety of different services for you and your family including:
• Crowns and bridges
• Specialty Dentures
• Dental implants
• Gum disease (Periodontal) treatment
• Root canal therapy
• Cosmetic contouring
• Cosmetic Fillings
• No Metal Partial Dentures
• Scaling and Root Planing
• Regular Dentures
• Cosmetic Dentistry
• Ultrsonic Scaling
• Teeth cleanings
• Dental fillings
General dentists who do not perform a certain treatment will provide you with a specialist referral.
Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits. The following are helpful recommendations:
• Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum.
• Floss every night in an up-and-down motion while keeping the floss in a U-shape and against the tooth surface.
• Avoid smoking.
• Avoid sticky sugary foods.
• Eat a balanced diet.
• Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed.
• Have sealants placed on young permanent teeth.
Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull, or discolored teeth.
The darker tissue of your teeth, the dentin, can become exposed as the outer layer of enamel is worn away by the effects of aging or things like caffeine and tobacco.
Food particles are naturally attracted to a tooth's enamel by a certain protein. Products like coffee and tea, berries and soy sauce are notorious for staining teeth. Over time, teeth actually become more absorbent and vulnerable to staining from food and other substances.
One type of stain—caused by traumatic injuries, medications and fluorosis—actually begins inside the tooth; brushing and flossing don’t help. Another type of stain—one that can be more easily attacked by brushing, flossing and rinsing—is caused by external factors such as foods.
More and more people today are choosing tooth-whitening procedures to reverse the effects of aging and abuse from food and tobacco stains.
Some commercially available "whitening toothpastes" can be somewhat effective at removing stains and making teeth a few shades brighter. However, many of these products have abrasive substances that can actually wear away your tooth's enamel.
Whitening agents actually change the color of your teeth, but only are effective on certain types of stains. For example, bleaching agents have a difficult time removing brownish or grayish stains. These products also are not as effective on pitted or badly discolored teeth, or on restorations such as crowns, bridges, bonding and tooth-colored fillings (porcelain veneers or dental bonding may be more appropriate in this case).
Professional whitening performed by our office is considered to be the most effective and safest method; done properly, tooth whitening can last as long as five years. Over-the-counter whitening systems are somewhat effective as long as they are monitored and directions followed closely.
Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth.
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.
Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
A tooth must usually be reduced in size to accommodate a crown. A cast is made of the existing tooth and an impression is made. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.
Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.
Caring For Your Crowns
With proper care, a good quality crown could last up to eight years or longer. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.
Certain behaviors such as jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding) significantly shorten the life of a crown. Moreover, eating brittle foods, ice or hard candy can compromise the adhesion of the crown, or even damage the crown.
We believe that a healthy mouth sets the tone for a healthy body, which is why we emphasize the importance of regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Beyond what regular brushing and flossing can accomplish, we remove any built-up plaque and strengthen your teeth's defense against decay, followed by a thorough oral examination. We also strive to include your input during the process, so we can address any specific concerns you may have.
Gingivitis and periodontitis affect millions of Americans, but so few recognize the lasting impact that gum disease can have on your entire body. If you experience chronic toothaches and jaw aches, suffer from swollen, receding, or bleeding gums, or have a persistent unpleasant breath that you can't quite get rid of, it is important for you to talk to a dentist to determine whether you have periodontal disease, and how you can stop or reverse its effects.
For many patients, the idea of having a root canal treatment is a scary thought. They would rather endure the pain of an infected tooth or the permanent effects of an extraction than face a dreaded root canal. We strive to provide a different experience here by making the procedure as fast and comfortable as we can, and by keeping you informed through every step. When we are finished, your tooth will be restored to its fullest function to last for many years to come.
One of the most important tools a dentist has are dental x-rays. These allow for the early diagnosis of potential threats to your oral health, stopping small problems before they become big conditions. Our state-of-the-art imaging technology allow us to take the highest quality photos possible, revealing the smallest traces of decay, bone loss, or problems inside or around the tooth, all to ensure you receive the most comprehensive dental treatment you need.
If you have one or more missing teeth, our durable dental bridges are a great choice to fill the gap in your bite. A bridge consists of a series of crowns placed over natural teeth, connected by a replacement tooth placed over the space left by a lost tooth. Beyond simply placing the bridge, we will show you the proper method for cleaning and maintaining your new teeth, so they will last for many years to come.
Veneers recreate the natural look of teeth without entirely reshaping the tooth for a crown. Comparable in appearance to healthy teeth and as strong as natural tooth enamel, they are great for changing a tooth's shape, size, color, or position in the mouth. If you would like to make an alteration to the appearance of your teeth, ask our dentists if veneers are the right choice for you.
At Robert L. Kasting, DMD - Family Dentistry, we value the comfort of each of our patients while they are in our care. That's why we offer the administration of laughing gas during any of our procedures. Laughing gas is ideal for helping our patients relax in the dentist's chair. It blocks pain and relieves stress, and wears off within five minutes after your treatment is over, so you will not need someone else to drive you home.
A dental sealant is a thin film that is placed over teeth to shield them from debris and decay. They are an inexpensive way to protect against cavities, since they cover hard-to-brush groves in the teeth where food pieces or bacteria would otherwise get trapped. They can be applied in a single visit, and provide protection for several years, saving your smile from tooth-eating bacteria and costly fillings.