Dr. Cooper does a complete head, neck, oral, and periodontal examination, in addition to an examination of the teeth and a review of the full mouth x-ray survey. Dr. Cooper will carefully evaluate your periodontal health in order to allow his dental hygienists the opportunity of customizing the cleaning of your teeth and gums to address any gum disease that you may have.
Fillings do not last forever—they wear out and have to be replaced periodically. It is very difficult for anyone to determine precisely when an old filling must be replaced. As a prevention-oriented practice, we do not believe that it is in the patients' best interest to wait until an old filling actually breaks or falls out. If you wait until you are aware that old fillings need to be replaced, it is usually too late, and you risk having complications. Complications are usually more time-consuming to treat, cost more money, and can cause more pain. For these reasons, we feel that complications should be avoided. We will advise you about fillings that appear to be wearing out so that you will be able to plan for the replacement. Most patients prefer to be in control of their dental treatment, rather than being inconvenienced by an unexpected dental problem or discomfort.
When a tooth has been decayed and filled several times, or when there has been an excessive amount of tooth structure destroyed by decay, there may not be enough tooth structure to adequately retain any more filling material. In situations like this where there is not enough tooth left to fill, the tooth must be restored with a crown. Crowns can be gold, porcelain fused to metal or all porcelain. The type of crown depends on several factors: the location of the tooth, patient preference, cost, functional stresses, etc.
Sealants are a fabulous way to prevent cavities from developing on the chewing surfaces of the molar and bicuspid teeth. This technique has been used for about twenty years, and has been proven to be effective in preventing tooth decay in children's teeth. For the best results, sealants should be placed as soon as the permanent back teeth become functional, usually between the ages of six to thirteen. There is no need for anesthetic or drilling. The teeth are cleaned, etched with a mild acid and then a tooth colored resin is placed over the areas of the chewing surfaces that are the most susceptible to decay. They are a very successful part of our prevention oriented office.
Cosmetic dentistry is rapidly developing and changing. Cosmetic dentistry requires very clear communication in order to clarify expectations. We have to be certain that we can satisfy your perceptions or how you want to look. At the present time, cosmetic dentistry consists of whitening, veneers and crowns.
Dental emergencies are common. They can range from a tooth ache, broken tooth, lost fillings, even something as severe as a broken jaw. Here's some helpful information you need to know and steps you need to take when a dental emergency does happen.
Call the dentist immediately, especially if you're unsure what to do. If the dentist is unavailable, call your family doctor or local hospital for advice.