When should I start taking my child to the dentist?

A child’s first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable and positive. The more you and your child know about the first visit, the better you will feel. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child’s newly-erupted teeth (usually between 6-12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.

What is the benefit of a composite (tooth colored) filling?

Technology has rapidly advanced in the area of composite or “tooth colored” fillings. Not only are we able to match the filling material to your natural tooth color, we are also able to provide you with strong, bonded restorations that are both esthetically pleasing and functionally sound.  When preparing a tooth for a filling, less tooth structure needs to be removed when placing a composite restoration than when placing an amalgam restoration. With this in mind, in most cases, it is in the best interest of the patient to protect the integrity of the tooth by removing as little tooth structure as possible and placing a bonded restoration.

Although we use composite fillings as much as possible, there are instances where amalgam fillings may be used due to the increased longevity and tensile strength of the material as well as the inability to keep the tooth dry in certain areas of the mouth during the bonding procedure.

What happens when my tooth needs a root canal?

Every tooth in our mouth has at least one root and several layers of tooth structure. In the center of the tooth is a canal, which houses the pulp or nerve of the tooth. When the tooth dies, or an abscess forms at the end of the tooth, a root canal is necessary to restore the tooth. When this happens, Dr. Eikenbary will remove the nerve from within the canal of the root of the tooth and will first place a medication in this space followed by a filling material.  Most root canals take two appointments to complete, followed by additional appointments for the final restoration, usually a crown.

What is an implant?

When a tooth needs to be removed because it can no longer be restored, often times the most beneficial replacement is an implant. In this instance, an oral surgeon would place a titanium post in the area where the tooth was originally. After a few months, the implant can be restored with a crown at our office. Although it may seem like the procedure is lengthy, the bone around the implant needs time to integrate with it in order to provide a strong, stable result.

Can I have “laughing gas” for my appointment?

We do offer nitrous oxide sedation for patients that are anxious and would like a way to relax during their dental appointment.

I was told I needed a “deep cleaning”.  What does that mean?

All our teeth sit in a pocket that has many periodontal ligaments surrounding it. Healthy gum tissue has pocket depths of 1-3 mm. Once your pocket depths reach 4 mm and beyond, a deep cleaning called scaling and root planning, is required in order to bring your gums to a healthy status. When this happens, a registered dental hygienist will numb the area to be worked on and clean deep into the pocket to remove the bacteria and calculus that has accumulated in the area.