We have extensive experience in this area. There are many techniques available to improve the appearance of your smile. Just mention what you might want to improve and you may be surprised how manageable it may be. Check out our smile library for an idea of what we can do.
Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that is a great alternative to metal braces. Virtually invisible, the Invisalign system works through a series of custom aligners.
During the first step, we will take an impression of your teeth, and photos of your existing smile. A 3D digital image is created from the impressions. Based on your specific needs, we will plan the movement of your teeth and generate custom aligners. These aligners will gradually move your teeth to the desired position, giving you a beautiful smile.
Treatment time varies per patient, but it is generally 6 to 18 months. Patients normally progress to the next aligner every two weeks. For optimal results, it is recommended that the aligners are worn at least 22 hours per day. Our doctor will determine if you are a candidate for Invisalign. (link)
One of the easiest ways to enhance your smile is teeth whitening. With teeth whitening, we can bleach the enamel to remove stains and other discolorations. We provide treatments that are safe and effective, and non-harmful to your teeth and gums.
With professional teeth whitening, you can choose either at-home or in-office whitening. For at-home whitening, impressions of your teeth are taken to create a custom whitening tray. After applying professional grade whitening gel to the trays, they are typically worn for an hour each day until you reach your desired tooth color. For in-office whitening, the gel is applied directly to your teeth so results are immediate. When you leave our office your teeth are many shades lighter than when the procedure started.
Whether you choose in-office whitening or our take home trays and whitening gel, your desired results can be achieved safely through professional whitening.
Root canal therapy is a commonly performed procedure that treats problems related to the inner pulp of a tooth. Root canals help to save teeth that have been become irritated and inflamed due to deep decay, large fillings or trauma.
When nerves inside the tooth pulp die, the tooth can no longer receive necessary nutrients and moisture. If left untreated, bacterial infection and inflammation can result in the need for an extraction. Root canal therapy is necessary to protect the tooth and jawbone.
Research shows that at least 75% of all adults have some form of gum disease. Gum disease can cause many health concerns, so it’s important to begin treatment at an early stage. Research has linked gum disease to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Patients who smoke, have diabetes, have excess stress and don’t eat properly are particularly susceptible.
Most patients diagnosed with moderate periodontal disease will be treated with a scaling and root planing. This treatment is generally performed by one of our dental hygienists and is conducted over one to four office visits, depending on the level of treatment needed. During this procedure, the dental hygienist will scale the teeth to remove plaque and calculus and plane the roots to smooth them. Patients are frequently prescribed a take home rinse to help clear infection and inflammation.
Dental Crowns and Bridges
A dental crown is shaped like a natural tooth and is cemented over healthy tooth structure. Crowns may be an appropriate treatment option for weak, broken or cracked teeth. A complete crown treatment can usually be completed in one visit to our office. We will prepare the tooth for the crown and make an impression of your surrounding gums. Our CEREC machine will fabricate the crown right in the office while you wait. When the crown is ready, it will be cemented onto the tooth.
Botox (technically called onabotulinumtoxinA) is used to treat a variety of issues, both cosmetic and non-cosmetic. Botox has made a huge impact on facial aesthetics and is one of the fastest growing cosmetic treatments today.
Dr. Southwood has been providing these smile enhancement procedures for existing patients since 2009. He is an active member of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics AAFE. (link)
Tooth colored bonding material can be used to restore broken or chipped teeth, reshape teeth, or to fill in gaps between teeth. The bonding is usually a composite resin that is sculpted to your tooth, in a single visit.
Patients who experience jaw joint pain, have difficulty opening or closing their mouths, have sensitive teeth, or experience headaches may be grinding or bruxing while asleep or awake. If uncontrolled, damage may be caused to the jaw joint, your teeth, and any existing dental restorations.
There is currently no cure for bruxing, but it can be controlled. We may recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from these grinding forces. A night guard is a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to deflect the hard forces of chewing. Night guards will also increase the longevity of your dental work.
Single Visit Crowns
With a CEREC machine, damaged teeth can be restored in a single appointment with a high-quality, durable material that matches your natural tooth color. Using CAD/CAM technology, CEREC allows us to save as much of your original tooth structure as possible. With a high-tech camera, an optical impression is taken of the damaged tooth. CAD technology will be used by the dentist to redesign the restoration. The CEREC machine will automatically fabricate the restoration. Once completed, the dentist will bond the new restoration to the surface of the old tooth. The whole process takes approximately one to two hours.
Dental Implant Restorations
Our dentists work in conjunction with Oral Surgeons and Periodontists to provide dental implant restorations. Patients first visit the dental specialist to have the new “root” or post implanted into the jaw. When the dental specialist determines the implant has healed around the bone, you will return to our office to complete treatment. Here, we will place the abutment, which acts as a connector between your post and the new crown we will create for you. Dental implants can also be used to secure fixed dental appliances like bridges. Often the entire process takes 4 to 6 months to complete.
Nitrous oxide is a safe, well established method used to deal with dental anxiety. Although you remain completely awake while it is administered, you will experience a comforting effect. Nitrous oxide also tends to increase a patient’s pain threshold, reduce gag reflux, and make time seem to pass more quickly.
Complete and Partial Dentures
Dentures are removable tooth replacements. They may be the answer when teeth are lost to injury, tooth decay or gum disease. By helping you with daily functions like eating and speaking, dentures can improve your way of life and restore confidence in your smile.
Making a complete or partial denture is a process that may take between 6 and 12 weeks, depending on the patient’s individual needs. Usually, a patient will visit our office a number of times, so we can ensure the proper bite and fit for your mouth, and then the final fabrication of the denture is made.
Dental bridges are a common treatment to replace one or more missing teeth. They are a bonded restoration, so the bridge cannot be removed. We will prepare your supporting teeth for the bridge and take an impression of these teeth and the missing teeth to be replaced. Next, we cement your bridge and adjust to ensure proper fit and comfort.
Porcelain veneers are thin, ceramic shells placed over natural tooth surface. Because they are designed to mimic the natural translucency of teeth, they produce a very natural result. Porcelain veneers are beautiful restorations used to correct flaws like crooked teeth, gaps between teeth, and deep discolorations.
Porcelain and Composite Inlays
If a tooth is too damaged to support a traditional filling, but not damaged enough to be restored with a crown, dental inlays are usually the recommended treatment. Inlays are custom fit fillings made directly in our office. First, dental decay is removed, and an impression of the tooth is made. Our CEREC machine fabricates the custom inlay while you wait. The restoration is bonded to your remaining tooth structure to complete the treatment.
White fillings are often referred to as “composites” or “tooth colored” fillings. There are many benefits to white fillings, including a natural tooth color. White fillings bond to the tooth, which in turn helps to prevent breakage and insulates the tooth from excessive temperature changes that can cause silver fillings to expand or contract.