Midwest Family Dentistry
Comprehensive Oral Exam
A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by your dentist at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will include the following:
Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then restored with a composite filling.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings are the most widely used today for relatively small restorations. There are some exceptions when a composite material can be used for a large restoration, but it is not generally advised. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Reasons for composite fillings:
Closing space between two teeth.
Cracked or broken teeth.
Professional Dental Cleaning
Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
Teeth polishing: Polishing smooths the enamel surface to facilitate the removal of sticky plaque at home and removes extrinsic stains.
Review of home care and education: We will ask you to describe your home care routine, including questions about your type of toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and timing. We will ask about sugary food and drinks, snacking and any non-nutritive habits that might compromise your tooth structure, gums and jaws. Once we know your routine better, we can offer advice on how you might make small changes to improve your dental health. We offer this advice and will provide you with training if needed to improve your brushing and flossing technique. Dental health is maintained best with optimum home care.
Cosmetic dentistry is dentistry aimed at creating a positive change to your teeth and to your smile. Smile enhancement can have dramatic results on your overall appearance; even the smallest step can boost your confidence, self-esteem, and make you want to smile more. With modern advances in dentistry, cosmetic procedures can range from a basic color correction to replacing missing teeth, and everything in between.
Don't hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a consultation appointment with one of our dentists.
Dental emergencies happen all the time. When you or your loved one gets hurt it is very important to seek qualified care as soon as possible. Please click here for "First Aid Instructions"
During our operating hours please call, email, text or use the chat window on our website; yes, you can use all methods of communication to get a hold of us.
After hour emergency care information can be found here:
Whitening treatments can be effective on both extrinsic and intrinsic staining. Only natural teeth can be whitened; in most cases, tooth-colored restorations will not bleach.
Whitening treatments include in-office bleaching procedures, dentist-supplied products for use at home, and over-the-counter (OTC) whiteners. Temporary tooth sensitivity and gingival inflammation are the most common adverse effects.
Your dental team can offer you information if you are interested in teeth whitening.
Teeth are rarely perfectly straight and they do not need to be in order to function. But sometimes misalignments can lead to other dental problems or affect self esteem. If you could benefit from orthodontic treatment, we can schedule a consult with our in-house orthodontist. The majority of our orthodontic patients are adolescents, for whom we recommend traditional braces with brackets and wires. Whereas these issues can be best corrected while the jaws are still developing, we also offer clear aligners and/or traditional orthodontics to our adult population.
Wisdom teeth are a controversial topic because some dentists advocate for their removal in 99% of the population and some in 1% of the population. We do not operate at the extreme end of the opinion scale, but somewhere in the high-middle, as is fitting to each individual. Wisdom teeth often grow in a false direction leading to poor hygiene, poor function and in many cases, disease. If they are not removed early, problems appear later in life when healing is not as rapid and there is a higher rate of surgical complications.
Composite Fillings - how are they placed?
Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment.
While the tooth is numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. If the decay was near the nerve of the tooth, a special medication will be applied for added protection. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.
In our office, we have invested in a revolutionary filling system that provides a stronger, more complete and stable restoration called Sonicfill. https://www.speareducation.com/spear-review/2016/12/sonicfill-as-good-as-it-sounds
We also utilize an Isolite for more precise placement of restorations: https://youtu.be/OCyH5hO76ZQ
It is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, however this will subside shortly after your tooth acclimates to the new filling. If you notice sensitivity when biting, then please contact our office for a next-day appointment to correct the bite balance.
You will be given care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.
Everyone has heard about implants, but not everyone understands what they are or how they work. If a tooth is lost from trauma or disease, it can be replaced with an implant. Essentially, a biocompatible metal post is screwed into the bone where the tooth root used to be. The bone adapts to support this post which is subsequently crowned and the visible/functional part of the tooth is restored. So an implant replaces the hidden, non-visible portion of the tooth: the root.
We understand completely if you have some anxiety regarding a trip to the dentist. Dental treatment involves a great deal of trust, and we cannot expect that trust at first visit. We operate with a principle of hoping to earn that trust as you get to know us and we get to know you. Please bring your questions, concerns and skepticism to our attention so we can have a conversation. For treatment appointments, some patients request either nitrous oxide or anti-anxiety medication. We can discuss these options, if you like.
We are so privileged to serve a community of young families! Please bring your little ones for first visit at one year of age. We begin the process of earning their trust, monitoring their development and providing professional guidance with home care and diet. Many visits for our younger people involve the parents getting some cavity-prevention hands on training. This is fun, and if incorporated at home can COMPLETELY prevent tooth decay! Let us show you how to avoid additional visits for treatment.
Root Canal Therapy
If the blood supply to the tooth gets diseased or damaged, it needs to be removed in order for the tooth to remain healthy in the jawbone. Root canal therapy (RCT) is simply the removal of this tissue, disinfection of the hollow internal structure of the tooth and then filling it with a biocompatible material. After this therapy, most teeth require more adequate stabilization than a simple filling can provide. We will discuss whether a crown or onlay is needed for long term stability.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that acts like a hinge, connecting our lower jaw to our skull and enabling us to open and close our mouth. This joint can become inflamed, which causes chronic pain for sufferers. It can also impact jaw mobility.
Disorders of the jaw and the muscles that control the jaw are referred to as temporomandibular disorders (TMD), although many people refer to this as TMJ disorder.
TMJ disorder encompasses a number of issues. Each patient is different, but these are some of the most common symptoms of TMJ disorder:
Chronic pain in the head, neck, and upper shoulder
Clicking noises when opening and closing the mouth
Ringing in the ears or earaches
Problems opening and closing the mouth
Pain with speaking, chewing, or yawning
What can be done?
Tell us about it either during your regular 6 moth hygiene appointment or simply make a consultation appointment.
Brushing and Flossing
Most people are pretty good about brushing and not so great with their flossing. We will do our very best as your dental healthcare professionals to help you do better than that. We can help with adjustments to your technique and tools. We can help find a way to improve the technique of nearly all of our patients, even those who are AMAZING at home hygiene and diet. Step by step, visit by visit, we track your progress until one day you are diligently brushing for 2 minutes morning and night, followed by daily proper flossing, every day, without fail. And we will still find something to improve, just to be as helpful as we can be.
Education & Prevention
As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health. We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”. That’s why we focus on thorough exams – checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams, and taking x-rays when necessary. We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease. Not only are we focused on the beauty of your smile, we’re also concerned about your health. A review of your medical history can help us stay informed of your overall health, any new medications, and any illnesses that may impact your dental health.
Although we do our best to avoid losing teeth, sometimes it is the best solution. If a tooth is damaged beyond repair, whether by trauma or disease, it might be time to remove it and consider replacement options. This is routinely handled in our practice and we share with you the desire to have a healthy outcome. We normally request you return for follow-up after surgery so that we may monitor your healing progress.
Crowns, Inlays & Onlays
Different from the ceramic fillings which contain ceramic pieces within a matrix, these pieces are cut from a solid block of ceramic or created from liquid ceramic which is pressurized into a mold. Either method produces very strong ceramic “puzzle pieces” that fit exactly into your tooth to replace lost natural structure. Although ceramic crowns, inlays and onlays are strong, beautiful and long lasting, they are only a substitute for the real thing. Finding the right solution for your tooth means determining how to best preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible.
We use digital X-Ray technology to help us diagnose dental problems. We will take radiographic images of your teeth to gather information about the teeth and supporting bone. By comparing what we see radiographically with what we find clinically, we can better determine if any treatment is needed. If treatment is recommended or not, we can point out problem areas using your own radiographs as a visual aid. You are welcome to ask for the digital files so you can get a second opinion regarding a treatment recommendation, but most people take pictures of the screen with their smart phones.