General Dentistry – Lakewood

Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, or a full-mouth restoration, we promise to provide you with exceptional care.  Below are just some of the many procedures and services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results.  Your health and your smile are our first priority.  Our clients come from all areas surrounding Lakewood, from Genessee and Arvada to Golden and Wheat Ridge.  Come see why.

 

Root Canal Lakewood

Root canal therapy is needed when the nerve of a tooth is affected by decay or infection.  In order to save the tooth, the pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth), nerves, bacteria, and any decay are removed and the resulting space is filled with special medicated dental materials which help to restore the tooth to its full function.

Having a root canal done on a tooth is the treatment of choice to save a tooth that otherwise would die and have to be removed.  Many patients believe that removing a tooth that has problems is the best and only solution, but what is often not realized is that extracting (pulling) a tooth will ultimately be more costly and cause significant problems for adjacent teeth.

Root canal treatment is highly successful and usually lasts a lifetime, although on occasion, a tooth will have to be retreated due to new infections.

Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:

  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe toothache pain
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present
  • Swelling and/or tenderness

Reasons for root canal therapy:

  • Decay has reached the tooth pulp (the living tissue inside the tooth)
  • Infection or an abscess has developed inside the tooth or at the root tip.
  • Injury or trauma to the tooth

What does root canal therapy involve?

A root canal procedure requires one or more appointments and is performed by an endodontist (a root canal specialist). We do not perform root canal therapy in our office, however in the event that a patient would require one we have several offices that we work very closely with that we can refer them out to.

While the tooth is numb, a rubber dam (a sheet of rubber) will be placed around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva.  An access opening is made on top of the tooth and a series of root canal files are placed into the opening, one at a time, removing the pulp, nerve tissue, and bacteria.  If tooth decay is present, it will also be removed with special dental instruments.

Once the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, it will be sealed with a temporary filling. After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth continues to heal.

Approximately a week later, , 8 a filling will be place to inside the tooth to seal the root canal. In addition, most teeth that have root canal treatment should have a crown (cap) placed unless the root canal therapy was perfomed on a previously crowned tooth.  This will protect the tooth and prevent it from breaking, and restore it to its full function.

You will be given care instructions after each appointment.  Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your root canal treatment.

Crowns Lakewood

A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size.  A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.

Although there are several types of crowns, ceramic/porcelain (tooth colored) are the most popular because they resemble your natural teeth.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain and ceramic crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Reasons for crowns:

  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings
  • Tooth has a root canal

What does getting a crown/onlay involve?

A crown procedure usually requires two appointments.  Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown.  A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory and ready to be placed. Our CEREC technology allows this procedure to be accomplished, typically, the same day. (link to Cerec).

If CEREC cannot be used, While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown.  Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.

Dental Veneers Lakewood

Veneers are very thin pieces of durable, tooth shaped porcelain that are custom made (for shape and color) by a professional dental laboratory.  They are bonded onto the front of your teeth to create a beautiful and strong smile.

Veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile.  They are a great alternative to crowns and are the ideal solution in treating many dental conditions.

As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement.  They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful, long lasting smile.

Reasons for porcelain veneers:

  • Cosmetically, to create a uniform, white, beautiful smile
  • Crooked teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth
  • Teeth that are too small or too large
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces
  • Worn or chipped teeth

What does getting porcelain veneers involve?

Getting veneers usually requires two to three visits to complete the process,.  The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer.  A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond.  Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special curing light is used to harden and set the bond.

You will receive care instructions for veneers.  Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.

Dental Implants Lakewood

…minutes from Golden and Denver
Dental implants are typically the best way to replace missing teeth and also provide a more permanent solution to having removable partial or complete dentures. Dental implants are artificial roots (usually titanium) that are surgically placed into the upper or lower jaw bone by a Periodontist – a specialist of the gums and supporting bone.  The teeth then attach to implants are very natural looking and often enhance or restore a patient’s smile!

Dental implants are very strong, stable, and durable and will last many years, however as with other types of restorations y, they will have to be re-tightened or replaced due to normal wear.

Reasons for dental implants:

  • Replace one or more missing teeth without affecting adjacent teeth
  • Resolve joint pain or bite problems caused by teeth shifting into the space created by a missing tooth
  • Restore a patient’s smile
  • Restore chewing, speech, and digestion
  • Restore or enhance facial tissues
  • Support a bridge or denture, making them more secure and comfortable

What does getting dental implants involve?

The process of getting implants requires a number of visits over several months.

X-rays and impressions (molds) are taken of the jaw and teeth to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant.  While the area is numb, the implant will be surgically placed by the periodontist into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself for two to six months depending on your bone type and if a bone graft (adding bone) is needed.

After several weeks of healing, the patient will return to our office where an impression is taken and  the artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the implant.. .  The artificial teeth are then securely attached to the implant, providing excellent stability and comfort to the patient. The restorative portion of the implant is usually two visits. In highly esthetic areas more visits may be required to obtain optimal esthetics.

You will receive care instructions when your treatment is completed.  Good oral hygiene, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new implant

Cracking a tooth or filling may be easier than you think.

It can happen from chewing on hard objects or foods like ice, nuts or hard candy. Accidents can cause a cracked tooth, especially those involving a blow to the mouth. Tooth-grinding or clenching or having uneven chewing pressure can lead to a cracked tooth. Tooth structure wears down over time and large fillings or other restorations can result in a crack. Finally, you can crack a tooth by exposing tooth enamel to extreme hot and cold, such as when you eat hot food followed by drinking ice water.

The result of any of these events is often painful and can lead to further oral disease.

First, how do you know if your tooth is cracked? Look for these signs:

  • You have sharp pain when biting down that quickly disappears.
  • You have pain that comes and goes but does not hurt all the time.
  • You feel pain when eating or drinking.
  • You may have no pain at all.

Cracks are sometimes invisible to the eye and don’t always show up on dental X-rays. By noting a couple of things, you can help us identify the problem:

  • Take note of the things that cause you pain, such as heat or cold, or eating foods that are sweet, or biting pain .
  • Try to determine the area of the pain.

Treatment:

Treating a cracked tooth depends on the size and location of the crack and the symptoms you are experiencing. At our office, we will discuss which treatment is best.  If you are experiencing localized pain, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth and call your dentist.

If we recommend treatment, that could include:

  • Repairing the tooth with a filling material.
  • Placing a crown to protect the tooth from further damage. Con possibly be completed in 1 day using our Cerec (digital scan technology).
  • Endodontic (rootcanal) treatment if pulp is involved.
  • Extracting the tooth if it is severely cracked and cannot be saved.

 A cracked tooth can become a bigger problem if left untreated. If you think you may have a cracked tooth please call us immediately.

TMJ Treatment Lakewood

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) refers to a variety of conditions that affect TM joints, jaw muscles and facial nerves. TMD may occur when the jaw twists during opening, closing or side-motion movements. People with TMD may experience these symptoms:

  • pain in or around the ear
  • headaches and neck aches
  • tenderness of the jaw or jaw muscles
  • jaw pain or soreness that is more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
  • jaw pain when chewing, biting or yawning
  • difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • sensitive teeth when no other dental problems can be found

TMD affects more than twice as many women (particularly those of childbearing age) as men and is the most common non-dental related chronic facial pain.

 

The source of these aches and pains may be related to one or both of the temporomandibular (TM) joints. Located on each side of the head, these joints work together, with a complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones, to make different movements for chewing and speaking.

Stress and TMD

Stress is thought to be a factor in TMD. Even strenuous physical tasks, such as lifting a heavy object or stressful situations, can aggravate TMD by causing overuse of jaw muscles, specifically clenching or grinding teeth (also known as bruxism).

What can I do to treat TMD?

At our office we will fully evaluate your TMJ, muscles of the head and neck and how your bite comes together or occlusion.  We may take additional x-rays to help in the diagnosis.  The treatment may be as simple as resting the jaw to as complex as jaw surgery.  For most people the treatment is somewhere in between.  We may recommend one or more of the following:

 

Modify the pain. This can mean resting the joint, taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or applying moist heat to the painful areas.

 

Splint Therapy.  If your teeth, muscles and jaw joint (TMJ) are not in harmony with each other, your jaw muscles may tense up and cause moderate to severe muscle pain.  We can create a acrylic splint that covers your teeth and by having regular adjustment  can relax the muscles of the head and neck.  Over several weeks to several months this creates a perfect bite.   Creating a perfect bite typically relieves the pain symptoms and more permanent treatment can be completed.

 

Fixing Malaligned Teeth –  After your muscles symptoms improve, we may suggest a comprehensive bite adjustment (equilibration),  orthodontic treatment, restorative treatment (ie. crowns, veneers, bridges, implants) to realign the teeth, or in advanced cases, possible jaw surgery may be needed to correct the alignment of the teeth.

 

There are occasions where a referral to TMJ specialist may be appropriate.

If you have a chipped, stained, broken tooth or small gaps in teeth, you may want to consider dental bonding, sometimes referred to as composite bonding or teeth bonding. Dental bonding involves applying a shade matched, tooth-colored material to the tooth and shaping it in order to make corrections to the appearance of your smile. Dental bonding is ideal for small changes.

The process starts by cleaning the tooth and applying a bonding liquid that will help the restorative material bond to the tooth. The material, generally composite resin, is then applied and sculpted. Once your tooth looks beautiful and is shaped properly, it is cured (hardened) with a light. Dental bonding is not as strong as your natural tooth enamel, or porcelain/ceramic, but it can last for many years when combined with good dental hygiene habits.
   
Dental bonding is a simple, non-invasive treatment that generally typically takes only one visit to our dentist to complete.

There are several advantages to dental bonding. Dental bonding is one of the easiest and least expensive of cosmetic dentistry procedures and can usually be done in one office visit. In addition, only a small amount of tooth enamel needs to be removed, so more tooth structure stays intact. When the procedure is completed, the treated tooth will be virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth and your smile will look as good as new. The results of dental bonding can last for many years, and the procedure is a quick fix for lot of dental problems.

COMING SOON!