Below is a list of complete dental services we provide at Fair Lawn Dental Associates:
Preventive Dental Care
Dental Cleanings (aka Prophylaxis)
Dental cleanings are the gentle removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures. They are intended to removal irritants from the teeth. Regular cleanings help keep gums healthy and teeth cavity-free. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque and having the teeth polished to remove stains and further buildups of plaque that are not removed when regular tooth brushing is performed.
Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in water and many foods. Fluoride builds up teeth’s strength against the acids that cause cavities and tooth decay. The ADA (American Dental Association) encourages fluoride treatment, stating that professional fluoride treatments are beneficial and are best utilized as part of a comprehensive preventive program at home.
Dental sealants are a safe resin material applied to the surfaces of teeth (commonly permanent molars) to prevent cavities. Sealants fill in the crevices of a tooth and “seal” off the tooth from cavity causing agents like food and plaque. The teeth are prepped for the sealant application and the sealant is painted directly on the chewing surface of the teeth. Sealants are applied in one visit.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer affects thousands of Americans yearly. We use the latest technology to detect changes in oral tissue consistencies and/or lesions. A UV light is shined into the mouth to detect unhealthy tissue. Healthy tissue looks lighter under the light while spots of bad tissue appear dark. With early detection, cancer may be caught before it has time to spread, potentially saving lives.
Comprehensive Oral Evaluation
An oral evaluation is recommended every six (6) months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. During an oral evaluation a thorough examination is done to check the hard and soft tissues of the mouth.
Digital Radiographs (X-rays)
Dental X-rays are important for the accurate evaluation of problems not visible to the naked eye. Digital technology has improved the way dentists practice their craft. Thanks to science, digital X-rays are extremely safe, with 90 percent less radiation usage than film X-rays. Today’s digital radiography produces quality images within seconds, which can be viewed immediately by the dentist and patient.
Composite Natural Color Fillings
A composite filling is a tooth-colored plastic and glass mixture used to restore decayed teeth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth. Aesthetics are the main advantage of composites, since dentists can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth.
A crown is a natural looking restoration that covers, or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to restore a tooth when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
Dental bridges are natural looking fixed prosthetic devices which are cemented onto existing teeth or implants. Bridges are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. They span the space where the teeth are missing and cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. Porcelain or ceramic bridges can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Bridges are made to last a lifetime.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support and they are permanent and stable. Implants are a good solution to tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth.
Gum disease can loosen or severely damage a tooth. Removing a tooth is necessary when decay or an abscessed tooth is so severe that no other treatment will cure the infection. A tooth that is severely damaged may need to be removed using local or general anesthetic. After the tooth is removed, you may or may not need stitches. The removed tooth can be replaced with an implant, a denture, or a bridge.
Root Canal Therapy
Our primary goal is to save your natural teeth whenever possible. 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.
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.
Cosmetic bonding is the process of filling or restoring teeth with a tooth-colored material in order to maintain its natural appearance. In order to bond a tooth, tooth colored material is added to the tooth to build it up.
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.
An inlay or onlay is a partial crown restoration that can be placed when there is not sufficient tooth structure to support a filling, but not quite large enough to require a crown. They are made of a composite or porcelain that aesthetically replaces the missing tooth structure.
Cosmetic Periodontal Surgery
Cosmetic Periodontal Surgery includes, but is not limited to Crown Lengthening, Soft Tissue Grafts, and Bone Grafting. These procedures can enhance your smile by correcting problems like long or short teeth, uneven gum line, receding gums, exposed roots, and indentations in the gums or jawbone.
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.
Osseous Surgery (Pocket Depth Reduction)
A surgical procedure used to smooth and reshape affected bone under the gum tissue. This procedure is performed when a pocket around a tooth (or teeth) has not responded to other treatments. It creates a shallow pocket making it difficult for bacteria to survive and damage bone, resulting in bone loss and ultimately, tooth loss.
A periodontal surgical procedure that regenerates jaw bone and surrounding tissue. This procedure is often performed to protect your existing teeth and the tissues that keep them in place from bacterial plaque. The gingival tissue is folded back to remove the disease-causing bacteria. Membranes, bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage the body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy
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.
Endodontic or Apical Surgery
In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the infected root tips or apex and the nearby tissue. This is known as an 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth.
Complete (Full) Dentures are made after all the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw 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.
Removable Partial Dentures are made only when a few teeth need to be replaced. The removable 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. Removable partial dentures can be supported in place by attaching them to dental implants when wearing them during the day.
Occlusal Guard(Night Guard)
A removable acrylic appliance intended to relieve temporomandibular joint pain and other effects of grinding the teeth (bruxism). Usually worn at night to prevent grinding during sleep.
Oral appliance therapy involves the selection, fitting and use of a specially designed oral appliance that maintains an open, unobstructed airway in the throat when worn during sleep.
Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe sedation agent that is inhaled through a mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Mixed with oxygen, Nitrous oxide allows you to breathe normally through your nose and within minutes you should start to feel the effects. You may feel light-headed or a tingling in your arms and legs. Some patients comment that their legs and arms feel heavy. Ultimately, you should feel comfortable and calm. The effects of nitrous oxide wear of quickly after the small mask is removed. Talk to the doctor about whether nitrous oxide would be a good option for you.
Local anesthesia is the elimination of sensation/feeling, especially pain, in one part of the mouth by the topical application or injection of a local anesthetic drug.
We also offer IV Sedation for our patients undergoing more extensive procedures. All our staff are well trained and certified in CPR. Please make sure to bring a responsible adult with you to your surgical appointment. They must be available to remain in the office during your procedure and to drive you home afterward.