Hign Tech Services

Non-Invasive Diagnostics | Conservative Treatment Options | New Technology | New Discovery

 

Non-Invasive Diagnostics

 

Digital X-rays | DIAGNOdent | Supplementary Head Light | No-biopsy Cancer Screening

 

Digital X-rays

We offer one of the latest technological advances in dentistry with digital radiography (X-rays). A wireless sensor is placed in the mouth, and a computer generates an image in 30 seconds as opposed to the general 4-6 minute wait time for images taken on dental film. These X-rays can also be enhanced on the computer and enlarged.

Not only are they friendly to the environment, they are much safer than traditional X-rays. Digital radiographs reduce radiation exposure by 90 percent!

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DIAGNOdent

Did you know that half of cavities found in your teeth could go undetected by current diagnostic techniques? However, our office now offers a new diagnostic method that can more accurately define caries in teeth.

We offer a unique service that can detect caries at the earliest stage. The DIAGNOdent Laser Caries Detector is over 90 percent accurate in detecting even the smallest lesions that don't even appear on X-rays! Early detection enables us to better preserve and protect your teeth.

The DIAGNOdent Laser Caries Detector boasts a high patient acceptance and satisfaction with its quick, simple and painless nature.

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Supplementary Head Light

Our treatment rooms are equipped with leading-edge technology to assist us in delivering the highest standard of care, including supplementary head lights. These advanced lights provide ample lighting for Dr. Dean to thoroughly and effectively examine the entire mouth.

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No-biopsy Cancer Screening

At each dental visit, we will perform an oral cancer screening. We practice a non-invasive diagnostic technique, thoroughly evaluating any suspicious cancer lesions without the need for biopsies. We use the Oral CDX biopsy brush to help determine if a lesion is cancerous or not.

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Conservative Treatment Options

 

Dental Implants | Conservative Gum Treatment | Interceptive & Functional Orthodontics | Anxiety Control | Migraine Treatment with NTI | TMJ/TMD Therapy | Oral CDX®

 

Dental Implants

When patients lose a tooth or teeth due to trauma or periodontal disease, dental implants are an ideal option for patients with good general oral health. Implants look and feel like your own teeth and can last a lifetime if given the proper placement and maintenance.

Why are Implants Better than Dentures and Bridges?
There are other routes a patient can take to replace missing teeth, including dentures and bridges; however, dental implants are a much better solution for many reasons.

  • Adjacent teeth do not have to be altered to support an implant, such as with bridgework. This is significant for your overall oral health by leaving more of your own teeth untouched. With a tooth-supported fixed bridge, the adjacent teeth are ground down to support the fixed bridge.
  • Dental implants are integrated into the structure of your bone, preventing gum recession and possible bone loss that can sometimes be attributed to bridgework and dentures.
  • Dental implants function just as your natural teeth do, offering you more comfort and stability than conventional dentures.

Placement of Dental Implants
Dental implants aid in replacing a single tooth, several teeth or even all of your teeth. The implant itself looks like a screw or cylinder and is placed into the jaw. Over the period of 2-6 months, the implant and jawbone bond together to provide an anchor for the crown. An abutment is used as an extension to complete the foundation for the new tooth to be attached.

Sometimes several teeth need to be replaced, and implant-supported bridges are a prime option as opposed to fixed bridges or removable partial dentures. The bone is better preserved with implant-supported bridges as it replaces some of your tooth roots that had deteriorated.

Replacing all of your teeth is also possible with implant-supported full bridges or implant-supported dentures. Patients are able to preserve their natural bite with implants and achieve more comfort and stability than with conventional dentures.

Post Implant Care
Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

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Conservative Gum Treatment

Even when periodontal disease is in a fairly advanced stage, it is possible to improve or even reverse the condition with non-surgical procedures. Depending on the type of disease and its severity, one of these approaches may be suggested
by your doctor. We offer a conservative approach to the treatment of periodontal disease using scaling and root planing. We also have several medications available including localized delivery of antimicrobials to stop the bacterial infection.

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Interceptive & Functional Orthodontics

We highly recommend early interceptive treatment for children, starting at age 7. By starting treatment early, we are able to recognize potential problems early and correct them before they become more serious. This not only saves you and your child time, but also money.

Early interceptive orthodontic treatment has proven to be beneficial for the overall desired result. Because a young child's permanent teeth have not finished erupting, we are able to thoroughly evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and address any impending problems at its earliest stage.

Dr. Dean will evaluate your child's mouth to determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed, such as potential crowding, open bite, overbite or gummy smiles. It is possible that immediate treatment is not necessary at the time or even at all. However, if treatment is indicated, we will create a personalized treatment plan for your child that will prove to be the most beneficial for his/her specific case.

We practice a modern approach called functional orthodontics to enhance our patients' smiles. Instead of using appliances like headgear and common practices like tooth extraction, we guide proper growth of the jaws and the teeth to fit perfectly in alignment.

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Anxiety Control

Does dental anxiety or fear of the dentist prevent you from optimizing and maintaining your oral health? Anxiety causes many people to avoid routine visits to their dentist, which has a negative impact on their over-all dental health by limiting chances of prevention and early detection.

To successfully accommodate those patients who experience increased anxiety when visiting the dentist, we employ various proven techniques to ease your fears. We believe in open communication about the fears you experience. Many times we learn that dental anxiety is a result of a bad dental experience. Therefore, the most important step to overcoming dental anxiety is finding a dentist you feel you can trust.

A dentist should be:

  • Highly Competent
  • Patient
  • Caring
  • Nurturing
  • Unintimidating
  • Willing to Answer Any Question You Might Have/Educate you on Your Treatment

Creating a good partnership between you and your dentist will limit your anxiety. Articulate your fears to us, so that our dentist is able to create a treatment plan with a special understanding of your individual fears. Our dentist will take time to explain to you each procedure he plans to do and describe how it may feel. You will know exactly what to expect, with no surprises. We will move at your pace, with no pressure to continue beyond what you are ready to handle.

Here are a few other tips that may help to limit anxiety:

  • Bring a Trusted Friend or Loved One Along for Support
  • Do Not Schedule Your Dental Appointment on a Day When You Know Other Major Stressors will be Present (ex- Important Business Meeting)
  • Use Guided Imagery (Think of a Happy, Pleasant Experience) During the Procedure

We take every step possible to provide you with a comfortable and relaxing environment to make your treatment as stress-free as possible. We offer movies to watch during treatment as well as music playing throughout for your listening pleasure. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is also available for our more apprehensive patients.

With a good dentist-patient relationship and with good communication, dental anxiety can be overcome. We are committed to making you feel comfortable discussing your anxieties, and you can be confident that we will do everything possible to reduce your anxiety.

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Migraine Treatment with the NTI Appliance

While migraines, tension headaches, teeth grinding/clenching and TMJ/TMD problems are all separate conditions, they can all bring misery to the people who suffer from them. Now, science is discovering that there is a common culprit for many cases of these and other conditions: the trigeminal nerve system.

The trigeminal nerve system is responsible for interpreting sensory input from your head, behind your eyes and your upper and lower jaw. All of these nerves feed into one central nerve cluster – the Sensory Nucleus. When this nerve center malfunctions, it can cause your brain to interpret sensory signals from these affected areas to be misinterpreted – causing your brain to respond inappropriately. For example, the simple change in blood pressure around your brain during a heartbeat can be interpreted as a "pounding" sensation, or the input of bright light can illicit a painful response.

While it is not currently known why or how the trigeminal nerve system malfunctions (and indeed it could be different among many cases), what is helpful for nearly everyone who suffers from any of these conditions is to minimize the sensory input to the Sensory Nucleus.

To do this, scientists have formed the NTI device. The NTI device is a dental mouthpiece that must be created and customized with the assistance of a dental professional. The mouthpiece attaches either to the top of bottom teeth, and is custom-designed to position your teeth in a perfect "rest" position – one where the trigeminal nerves are neither reporting signals from your teeth touching (which also leads to grinding/clenching), nor where your mouth is perceived as "open", causing your temporomandibular nerves to report to the Sensory Nucleus (also a cause of TMD symptoms). This way, sensory input from the trigeminal nerve system is minimized, and the frequency and intensity of the associated conditions is minimized as well.

If you'd like to know more about the NTI device or whether it may help you with any conditions you may suffer from such as migraines, schedule a consultation with us.

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TMJ/TMD Therapy

The "Temporomandibular Joint," more commonly referred to as the "jaw joint," assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that "popping" sounds in the jaw indicates a TMJ dysfunction, this is not always true. Many times, your jaw is functioning properly even if a "popping" sound is present when chewing or talking.

We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the "hinge" of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue (which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth). Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.

For more serious cases of TMJ, we will recommend alternate treatments. Often, we will suggest using a mouth guard to relieve teeth grinding. In some cases, we will instruct you to use orthodontic appliances or retainers to alleviate discomfort or redirect positioning of the TMJ joint. For the most severe cases of TMJ, we may recommend certain invasive procedures.

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Oral CDx

If caught early, oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases. With proper screening and early diagnosis, the severity of oral cancer drops significantly. But as with most forms of cancer, being able to detect the cancer in an early stage is crucial.

Our practice is proud to offer the Oral CDx® Brush Test®, a painless and quick method used to test the red and white oral spots most people generally have in their mouth at one time or another. Using the Oral CDx® Brush Test® we can determine if the spot contains pre-cancerous cells that could develop into oral cancer.

The test requires no anesthesia and causes little to no bleeding. We'll send a sample of the spot to a laboratory, where specially trained pathologists will carefully analyze it utilizing state-of-the-art computers. This revolutionary method enables us to recognize potential oral cancer areas early and treat them before they become more serious.

Don't become a statistic – talk to us today about the dangers and warning signs of oral cancer, and schedule an appointment today!

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New Technology

 

Temporary Anchorage Devices (TADs)

One of the many important advances in orthodontics has been the development of temporary anchorage devices, or TADs. Made of a bio-compatible titanium alloy, TADs are miniscrew anchors which are inserted into specific places in the mouth to be used as a fixed point from which teeth can move. Before TADs, orthodontists who wanted to move some teeth while keeping others still, or to achieve orthodontic movement in a mouth with missing teeth, had to rely on headgear for their fixed point. But TADs now provide an option for that fixed point that is smaller, more discrete, more efficient and requires significantly less work for the patient. In certain cases, TADs may reduce treatment time or provide an alternative to surgical correction or implants.

Temporary anchorage devices may not be recommended for everyone, and in fact, anchorage devices at all may not be needed in all cases. Contact us if you'd like to know more about TADs and how they can potentially prevent you from needing orthodontic headgear.

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New Discovery

 

When left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can inevitably lead to tooth loss. The term "periodontal" means "around the tooth". Therefore, periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. While this is often the main cause of periodontal disease, other factors can also be attributed to affecting the health of the gums and bone, including:

  • Smoking or Tobacco Use
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Medications
  • Diabetes
  • Poor Nutrition

Periodontal disease comes in many forms. Gingivitis is perhaps the mildest form of gum disease. While the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily, there is very little to no discomfort associated at this stage of the disease. Through a good oral hygiene regimen and treatment from your dentist, the results of gingivitis can be reversed.

Periodontitis is another form of periodontal disease and can be aggressive or chronic. Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of periodontal disease and is frequently seen in adults. The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation.

Treatment and Prevention

In certain cases, periodontal surgery may be recommended to treat periodontal disease when non-surgical treatment is ineffective. We may advise procedures such as pocket reduction, soft tissue grafts or bone regeneration to treat periodontal disease. If a tooth has been lost due to periodontal disease, dental implants are always an option for permanent tooth replacement.

Good oral hygiene and regular visits with your dentist and periodontist can prevent periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing can keep plaque to a minimum and, in conjunction with professional cleanings 2-4 times a year, can keep your teeth healthy for life.

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