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General Dentistry

Seaside Dental Center provides all phases of dentistry for the entire family, including children as young as 1 year old. As we are a full spectrum dental office, all aspects of dentistry are facilitated at Seaside Dental Center. Our team is a unique conglomeration of specialists and very capable doctors who are devoted to making your experience a pleasant one.

Dentures

A denture or a complete denture as it is often called, is an appliance that is inserted in the mouth, replaces natural teeth and provides support for the cheeks and lips.

Most dentures are made of acrylic and can be fabricated two different ways.

  • A conventional denture is made after all teeth have been extracted and the tissues (gums) have healed.
  • An immediate denture is fabricated and inserted immediately after the teeth are extracted and the tissues are allowed to heal under the denture.
  • An upper denture has acrylic, usually flesh colored, that covers the palate (roof of the mouth).
  • A lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to leave room for the tongue.

The teeth are made of plastic, porcelain or a combination thereof. Dentures can be fabricated to fit over endodonticly treated teeth and a complete denture can be attached to dental implants to allow for a more secure fit of the appliance.

Dentures over a normal course of time will wear and need to be replaced or relined in order to keep the jaw alignment normal. The alignment will slowly change as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to the extraction of the teeth. Regular dentist examinations are still important for the denture wearer so that the oral tissues can be checked for disease or change. (Dental Sealants)

Child Dentistry

Your child's first visit

The first "regular" dental visit should be just after your child's third birthday. The first dental visit is usually short and involves very little treatment. We may ask you to sit in the dental chair and hold your child during the examination. You may also be asked to wait in the reception area during part of the visit so that a relationship can be built between your child and your dentist.

We will gently examine your child's teeth and gums. X-rays may be taken (to reveal decay and check on the progress of your child's permanent teeth under the gums). We may clean your child's teeth and apply topical fluoride to help protect the teeth against decay. We will make sure your child is receiving adequate fluoride at home. Most important of all, we will review with you how to clean and care for your child's teeth.

What should I tell my child about the first dental visit?

We are asked this question many times. We suggest you prepare your child the same way you would before their first haircut or trip to the shoe store. Your child's reaction to his first visit to the dentist may surprise you.

Here are some "First Visit" tips:

  • Take your child for a "preview" of the office.
  • Read books with them about going to the dentist.
  • Review with them what the dentist will be doing at the time of the first visit.
  • Speak positively about your own dental experiences.

During your first visit the dentist will:

  • Examine your mouth, teeth and gums.
  • Evaluate adverse habits like thumb sucking.
  • Check to see if you need fluoride.
  • Teach you about cleaning your teeth and gums.
  • Suggest a schedule for regular dental visits.

Baby teeth are important as they not only hold space for permanent teeth but they are important to chewing, biting, speech and appearance. For this reason it is important to maintain a healthy diet and daily hygiene.

Highly effective in preventing decay on the biting surfaces of your chewing teeth, dental sealants are a simple procedure in which a tooth-colored acrylic "coating" is painted onto the surface of the tooth. This effectively "seals" the deep grooves, acting as a barrier and protecting enamel from plaque and acids. Sealants protect the depressions and grooves of your teeth from food particles and plaque that brushing and flossing can't reach.

Easy to apply, sealants take only a few minutes to seal each tooth. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and can last several years before a reapplication is needed. Children and adults can benefit from sealants in the fight against tooth decay.

Tooth Whitening

What can cause tooth discoloration?

There are many causes. The most common include aging and consumption of staining substances such as coffee, tea, cola, red wine, or tobacco. During tooth formation, consumption of certain antibiotics (i.e. tetracycline) or excessive fluoride may also cause tooth discoloration. Other culprits of tooth discoloration include old "silver" (amalgam) fillings and trauma or nerve degeneration.

Who may benefit from tooth whitening?

Just about anyone can benefit from tooth whitening. However, treatment may not be as effective for some as it is for others. The degree of whiteness will vary from patient to patient, depending on a number of factors including the structure of the teeth, the nature of the discoloration/staining, and the number/duration of applications or cycles. Also, keep in mind that whitening is only for natural teeth; the whitening process does not affect or change the shade of existing restorations (i.e. fillings, crowns, bridges, and veneers). In the case of extreme tooth discoloration, crowns or veneers may be the only choice. We can determine if you are a candidate for tooth whitening by doing an oral exam and shade assessment.

Do the results last a long time?

Definitely, a bright, beautiful smile can make a big difference both personally and professionally. Just let us know anytime or at any appointment if you are interested in whitening your teeth.

Is tooth whitening safe?

Yes, research and clinical studies indicate that whitening teeth under the supervision of a dentist is safe. In fact, many dentists consider whitening the safest and most conservative cosmetic dental procedure available. The teeth are gently whitened without altering tooth structure and existing dental work. As with any tooth whitening product, whitening is not recommended for children under 13 years of age and pregnant or lactating women.

Do the results last a long time?

By following the simple post-whitening care instructions, your teeth will always be lighter than they were before. In order to maintain the whitest tooth shade possible and to keep your teeth looking their best, avoid or minimize consumption of substances that are notorious for staining teeth (i.e. coffee, tea, cola, red wine, and tobacco). Brush at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and keep up with your regular check-up and cleaning appointments with our Dentists.

With proper care, your smile will sparkle for years. However, some people may need a periodic tooth whitening "touch-up" (for 1-2 days, once or twice a year) with take-home gel. This is a professional formula product designed specifically to keep your teeth their brightest. They are available through our office.

Are there any side effects?

After a whitening procedure, many people have no post-treatment sensitivity or symptoms. However, some people may experience temporarily increased sensitivity to cold or an occasional tingling sensation after treatment. These symptoms are only temporary and disappear within 1-2 days after a whitening treatment.

Considerations for Teeth Whitening

Over-the-counter bleaching agents are available for purchase at drug stores and pharmacies. However, since these products can cause harm to the gums and teeth, it's better to use products that our practice recommends.

Laser Dentistry

One of the lasers our Dentists use is a soft tissue laser. This laser can be used to treat cold sores and fever blisters, as well as recontouring your gum tissue. The laser breaks down the bacteria or virus that causes cold sores and fever blisters to flourish. It also shields nerve endings to prevent pain and sensitivity. With gingival recontouring, the laser can enhance the tooth to gum ratio by eliminating gum tissue that creates "gummy" smiles. Another way lasers can be used in dentistry is in the removal of frenums. A frenum is the fold of tissue connecting the tongue, cheeks, or lips to the jawbone. In some cases, the frenum may be attached too close to the tooth, which can interfere with the structure of the bone and jeopardize the teeth. Teeth may erupt from the gum line very crooked in young children causing discomfort, speech may be impaired, or frenum tissue may need to be removed for dentures to be placed comfortably. In these cases a frenectomy, or removal of frenum tissue, is performed with a laser. This can be done quickly and is a fairly routine procedure. In the event of periodontal pockets, which are deep pockets between the tooth and gum and a marker for the onset of periodontal disease, a laser can effectively decontaminate the pocket of destructive bacteria for approximately 60 days. This will assist in the treatment and healing you need.

If you would like to have more information on the use of lasers in dentistry, please contact us for additional information.

Extractions

Your Dentist may determine that you need a tooth extraction (tooth removal) for a number of reasons. A tooth may be deemed non-restorable and require extraction because it is severely decayed or broken in a way that cannot be repaired. Extraction may also be indicated due to advanced periodontal disease or poor positioning in the mouth (such as impacted teeth). It may also be necessary for orthodontic treatment (braces).

The removal of a single tooth can lead to problems related to your chewing ability, problems with your jaw joint, and shifting teeth, which can have a major impact on your dental health. To avoid these complications, your Dentist will discuss alternatives to extractions as well options for replacement of the extracted tooth.

Conscious Sedation for Wisdom Teeth

  • IV Sedation for wisdom teeth or an abscessed tooth.
  • Simple teeth extractions.
  • Impacted teeth extractions.
  • Removal of retained roots.

Root Canal Therapy

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for more extensive treatment, such as dental implants or bridges.

At the center of your tooth is the pulp, which extends from the crown of the tooth to the tip of the root. The pulp is a collection of nerve tissue and blood vessels that supply nutrients to the tooth as well as form reparative "dentin" (inner layer of tooth structure). When the pulp becomes injured or infected due to trauma, deep decay, fracture, etc. and is unable to repair itself, it becomes inflamed and dies.

The most common cause of pulp death is a cracked tooth or a deep cavity. Both of these problems can let germs (bacteria) enter the pulp and result in infection. Left without treatment, pus builds up at the root tip, in the jawbone, forming a "pocket of pus" (abscess). An abscess can cause damage to the bone surrounding the teeth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to neighboring teeth and/or result in tooth loss.

Swelling, pain, and temperature sensitivity (especially "throbbing" pain to hot foods/beverages) may be indications of an inflamed or dying pulp. However, when the pulp is completely dead (necrotic), there may be no symptoms of discomfort since there is no vital nerve tissue. In other words, absence of symptoms (having no pain) is not an accurate indicator of pulp health.

Dietary Counseling

Dietary counseling provides individualizing nutritional care for encouraging the modification of eating habits. It may also assist in prevention or treatment of nutrition-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. We here at Seaside Dental Center believe that today's major health care problems are increasingly the result of acute and chronic conditions related to poor nutrition and/or overconsumption. A large proportion of coronary disease and cancer can be attributed to unhealthy eating habits and obesity.

Individualized nutritional counseling can provide the patient important insight into food-related illnesses and education regarding how various nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat, alcohol) affect illnesses, cavities, periodontal disease or obesity. Alternatively, dietary counseling can provide prevention of nutrition-related conditions such as the need for weight management. Dietary counseling can be tailored to meet the treatment needs of patients at diagnosis of specific illnesses, can help reduce complications and/or side effects, and can improve general well-being. We believe in prevention at all levels: primary (preventing disease), secondary (early diagnosis), and tertiary (preventing or slowing deterioration) requiring active patient participation and guidance and support from the dietician or physician. Education, motivation, and counseling are needed for effective patient participation. In addition to patient education, dietary counseling often includes meal planning.

Cosmetic Procedures

Restorative and Cosmetic Tooth Fillings

We are a mercury-free practice. However, many people still have silver/mercury fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain inlays and Tooth Colored Restorations (onlays) create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Disadvantages of Silver fillings:

Silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split. Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums. Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with Tooth-Colored Restorations.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations

There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger. Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums! The result is a beautiful smile!

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations

There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Resin onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger. Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums! The result is a beautiful smile!

Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth Colored Restoration

You can have your silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored restorations (onlays). This process requires two appointments.

Your First Appointment:

  • The old filling is removed along with any additional decay.
  • An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
  • A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth.

At the Lab: A resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look natural.

Your Second Appointment:

  • The temporary onlay is removed.
  • A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
  • Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
  • The tooth is then polished.

Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!