The New Patient Experience; What to expect
Our entire team is committed to a single goal:
To help you keep all of your teeth; in maximum comfort, health, function and appearance for your entire life.
The first step is getting to know you. A thorough dental examination and any necessary x-rays are essential for an intelligent and complete analysis of your dental health.
At this first meeting, one of Dr. Root’s skilled dental assistants will take a full mouth series of films for you if a set is not available from your previous healthcare provider. Dr Root will evaluate them during your visit.
Dr Root personally reviews your medical history with you and takes time to hear your primary concerns. This is followed by a visual examination of all tooth structure and any dental work that has been previously completed.
We also take the time to do a full periodontal screening for you. Six measurements are taken per tooth and any area of bleeding or bone loss is documented.
The clinical examination is concluded with an oral cancer screening. Dr Root checks the roof of your mouth, the floor of your mouth, the tongue and all soft tissue for any signs of lumps, bumps or discolorations.
Informing you of his findings and helping you to understand both the conditions and treatment plan options is necessary for building trust as we begin to build our relationship with you and therefore Dr Root makes it a priority to take time to do this before he considers the examination complete.
Root Dental has a Wand
The WAND is a computer-controlled local anesthetic delivery system. Its use has been proven to be more comfortable for dental patients at difficult injection sites such as the front teeth. The source of most discomfort for injections isn’t the needle. It’s the flow of the anesthetic into the tissue of the mouth. Unlike traditional syringes, The WAND delivers anesthetic at an optimal flow rate for a comfortable injection every time. The key to the WAND’s pain-free anesthetic delivery is based on its ability to compensate for different tissue densities. Using a microprocessor, the WAND provides a controlled delivery at a constant pressure and volume that is typically below the threshold of pain. The WAND looks completely different than a traditional syringe, so the patient’s psychological association with “the needle” is removed. The visual differences and the painless performance make for a positive experience and even minimize awareness that the injection is being administered. It’s just one of the many ways we deliver exquisite patient care here at ROOT DENTAL.
Dental X-rays have come a long way. Todays dental X-rays are safer, faster, more comfortable and more informative than the X-rays of years past. Digital X-rays, one of the latest and most advanced dental technologies, produce high-quality images of your teeth that can be viewed instantly by you and your dentist on a LCD monitor. Digital X-rays reduce radiation by up to 90% and provide exceptional diagnostic information to ensure that potential problems are caught in their earliest stages. Intraoral photography is another alternative to traditional dental X-rays. With intraoral photography, problems such as cavities, fractures and discolorations in the teeth are captured through clear and sharp photographic images that are taken with a 35mm or digital camera.
Professional teeth cleaning by a certified dental hygienist aims to remove plaque, tarter and stains that have accumulated on the teeth. Even with routine brushing and flossing of your teeth and gums, tarter can develop. The professional cleaning of teeth is a crucial part of good oral hygiene and is needed periodically to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Most dentists recommend having your teeth professionally cleaned every 3-6 months to reduce the likelihood of periodontal disease progressing. In between routine cleanings, good oral hygiene at home is vital to prevent tarter build-up and gum disease.
Dental cleanings are designed to remove plaque and tarter deposits that have built up on teeth over time. Plaque is the sticky, soft film that contains millions of bacteria. This bacteria found in plaque is what causes gum disease and tooth decay if not removed by daily brushing and flossing, as well as routine trips to the dentist. Tarter, or dental calculus, is a hard calcified deposit that forms on the teeth and can contribute to their decay. Hygienists use specialized instruments to gently remove these deposits without causing harm to the teeth. The first tool that is generally used to clean teeth is an ultrasonic instrument. This device uses mild vibrations to loosen larger pieces of tarter. It also sprays subsequent mists of cool water to wash away loose debris. The tips of the ultrasonic instrument are rounded and curved, and kept in constant motion. The settings on the device can be adjusted for the patient’s comfort.
Once larger pieces of tarter are dislodged, the hygienist will make the switch to finer hand-held instruments. Often referred to as curettes or scalers, these tools are designed to eliminate smaller deposits on the teeth and smooth the tooth surfaces. Each tooth must be scaled individually to ensure that all tarter is removed. Once the surfaces of the teeth are smooth, the hygienist will polish the teeth. Using a slow-speed handpiece containing a soft rubber cup, the polishing device spins at the tip to smooth teeth. Prophylaxis paste, a gritty toothpaste-like solution, is put into the rubber cup. The cup containing the solution spins on the teeth to create a shiny, smooth surface. In some instances, your hygienist may also apply fluoride or a chlorohexidine rinse as the final step in cleaning. Fluoride is used to strengthen teeth and protect them against dental plaque and tarter and chlorohexidine is used to minimize infection and tenderness in the mouth.
The majority of dental patients find routine teeth cleaning to be painless. After a professional teeth cleaning, you may notice that your teeth feel fresher and look brighter. Teeth cleaning procedures are designed for more than just appearances. Professional teeth cleaning treatments are the primary means of preventing and treating periodontal disease and maintaining tooth health.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The keys to surviving oral cancer are early detection and early treatment. This starts with a regular oral cancer screening – at least once every six months. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free and can be performed during regular dental exams. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical: Oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk of oral cancer include people over the age of 60, tobacco smokers and heavy drinkers.
If your silver fillings make you feel self conscious when you smile, or it's simply time to replace them, consider composite fillings. Composite fillings are just as durable as they are attractive! Made of composite resin, composite fillings match the natural color of your teeth and are an excellent option for small to mid-sized cavities. Composite fillings are strong, stain-resistant and require less removal of your tooth structure than amalgam fillings.
Although dental crowns can be made of a variety of materials, including stainless steel, gold and silver, nothing looks better than a porcelain dental crown. Porcelain crowns match the natural color of your teeth and are virtually undetectable by the naked eye. And because they're metal-free, porcelain dental crowns are an excellent option for patients with metal allergies. Best of all, porcelain crowns don't just look beautiful – they're long-lasting, too!
Fixed Bridgework has been used for centuries to replace missing teeth. Today, fixed bridgework is still considered one of the most durable, conservative and cost-effective options for bridging the gap between a missing tooth and surrounding teeth. Comprised of two anchoring teeth and a replacement tooth, dental bridges help prevent surrounding teeth from drifting out of position, improve chewing and speaking, and help keep your natural face shape in tact.
There are three types of dental bridges: 1) traditional dental bridges, 2) cantilever dental bridges, and 3) Maryland bridges. Traditional bridges have either dental crowns or dental implants on either side of the missing tooth, plus a replacement tooth, which is held in place by a post-like structure called a dental abutment. Cantilever dental bridges are used in cases where there are surrounding teeth only on one side of the missing tooth. Maryland bridges are made of a specialized resin that is cemented to a metal framework and cemented to the enamel of surrounding teeth.
Fixed bridgework typically take 2-3 weeks to complete and are less invasive than other options, such as dental implants. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, dental bridges can last up to 30 years.
Using dentures to replace missing teeth is not only great for your oral health; it's a great way to look and feel younger! Today, there are a variety of natural-looking and comfortable dentures for patients who need to replace missing teeth. Made of a gum-colored plastic resin or acrylic base and either resin or porcelain replacement teeth, dentures are custom designed to fit your mouth. If you have several teeth or all teeth missing on the upper or lower jaw, full dentures may be your best option. Partial dentures, which can be either fixed or removable, are great for patients who have several missing teeth scattered along the upper or lower jaw.
The process of getting dentures may take a few months and several dental visits. In some cases, however, same-day dentures are also possible. With same-day dentures, the dentures are created right in the dentist's office instead of at an offsite laboratory. Same-day dentures aren't for everyone, though. If your dentures require a lot of customization, same-day dentures may not be right for you.
Just as with your natural teeth, dentures require daily maintenance. With regular wear and tear, your dentures can last 5-7 years. During that time, you may need periodic denture relines to accommodate changes in the contours of your mouth. Regular denture relines involve resurfacing the base to ensure that your dentures fit and function perfectly. If you break your dentures, it's critical to bring them to your dentist for professional denture repair. Home denture repair kits can cause more damage and be even more costly to fix.
Removable Partial Dentures
A removable partial denture is also known as a removable dental bridge. A removable dental bridge fills the gap between two healthy teeth and consists of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base. Removable partial dentures are connected by a metal framework that helps keep them in place.
Gum Disease Treatment
Red, swollen gums are a red flag for one thing: gum disease. If you have the symptoms, you're not alone. More than 80% of adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, there are many effective and pain-free gum disease treatments. For gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, treatment typically involves a thorough dental cleaning, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, requires scaling and root planing to remove stubborn deposits below the gum line. Laser gum surgery, a new alternative to scaling and root planing, uses beams of high-speed light to remove plaque and tartar buildup. If non-surgical methods of gum disease treatment are ineffective, a gingivectomy, or periodontal surgery, may be necessary.
If you've been living with persistent jaw pain, ear pain and headaches, you could have TMJ – temporomandibular jaw disorder. TMJ can often be traced back to an improper bite, misaligned jaw joints, or an injury to the jaw or face. TMJ treatment from a dentist can relieve the discomfort. Although TMJ treatment varies from patient to patient, it typically involves one or several procedures, including the use of an orthotic splint, enamel reshaping, dental crowns, dental braces or night guards. The goal of TMJ treatment is to stabilize your bite so that your teeth, jaw muscles and jaw joints work properly together without strain – and without pain!