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General Dentistry Prevention

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is the progressive breakdown of the tooth from the enamel surface to the inner pulp. The interaction of bacteria that naturally occurs on the teeth and sugars in the everyday diet produce acids that break down the mineral in teeth, destroying tooth enamel and forming cavities. Tooth decay can be prevented by adhering to the basic rules of dental hygiene: brushing and flossing between meals, regular dental checkups, diet control and fluoride treatment. Good hygiene avoids unhealthy teeth and costly treatment.

Sealants

The natural depressions and grooves (pit and fissures) in the teeth can often collect decay-causing bacteria and food particles that may be difficult to extract from the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Dental sealants are effective in preventing tooth decay when combined with proper oral hygiene.

Sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the pits and fissures, providing a shielding between the tooth and bacteria. Sealants are made of an acrylic-like material, typically applied to the back teeth (molars and premolars), areas prone to cavities. Sealants last for several years, yet need to be checked during regular appointments to evaluate retention.

Fluoride

Fluoride is a substance that helps teeth become stronger and resistant to decay. Regularly drinking water treated with fluoride and brushing and flossing ensures significantly reduced rates of cavities.
Dr. Grasso can evaluate if supplemental fluoride is needed to help in the prevention of cavities for children and adults. Our office offers fluoride treatments at routine dental cleanings and recommends fluoride for children up to the age of 17.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb Sucking is a natural relax that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Typically, children stop thumb sucking between the ages of 2 and 4 years. Thumb sucking that persists beyond the eruption of primary teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb sucking behavior in your child, Dr. Grasso can assist and consult in

General Dentistry Restorative

Composite Bonding

Bonding is a common solution for:

  • Restoring teeth that have cavities.
  • Repairing chipped or cracked teeth.
  • Correcting unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth.
  • Correcting discoloration or faded areas on the tooth’s surface.

As the name indicates, composite material, either plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite binding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

  • Composite bonding has many advantages:
  • Time-efficient, typically requiring an hour appointment.
  • Preserves the tooth’s original structure while being relatively inexpensive.
  • Highly aesthetic, ranging in a wide variety of shades to provide the best match for your tooth color.

Although composite bonding has many advantage, there are also concepts that need to be taken into consideration. Composite bonds are not as durable and long lasting as veneers and crowns, possibly requiring retouching or replacing with time.

Composite bonds also stain more easily, requiring proper care and regular cleanings. In order to ensure the longest retention of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, and candy.

Bridges

A bridge is a fixed dental prosthetic that replaces a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge is permanently cemented and is not removable. A bridge may be necessary to prevent the following:

  • Shifting of teeth that can lead to bite problems (collusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Shifting and tipping of teeth surrounding the missing tooth.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

Most Common Options for Bridges:

  • Fixed Bridge- a fixed bridge consists of a replacement tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing adjacent teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • Cantilever Bridge- often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of teeth missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space of end.
  • Implant Supported Bridge- an implant can also be placed where there are no adjacent teeth to retain a conventional fixed bridge. The placed implant supports the bridge that is fixed over the implant.

Veneers

Veneers are thin, semi-translucent “shells” attached to the front of your teeth. Veneers are custom restorations made of porcelain material and permanently bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great alternative to bonding restorations or full crowns to improve the appearance of your smile!

Veneer restorations are considered a restorative option in the following cases:

  • Spaces between teeth.
  • Broken or chipped teeth.
  • Stained or discolored teeth.
  • Crooked or misshapen teeth.
  • Cosmetic improvement to create a uniform, radiant smile.

Veneers are a great aesthetic solution for your smile that may help avoid orthodontic treatment. Cosmetic changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.
If you have any further questions or concerns regarding veneers, please contact our office!

Crowns

A crown is a permanent cemented restoration that covers and fits over an original tooth that is decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a combination of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable than a full cast gold crown.

  • The procedure for a patient receiving a crown involves:
  • Anesthetic to numb the tooth and allow for removal of decay.
  • Resculpting the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  • Impression of your teeth to ensure a custom-made crown by our lab technician (processing usually takes one to two weeks).
  • Temporary crown made of acrylic resin is fit onto the tooth during the interim period when the permanent custom-crown is being created. This temporary crown is intended to protect the prepared tooth, holds the space to keep the prepared tooth from shifting and provides functionality for the time between appointments.
  • Application of the permanent crown, including removal of the temporary crown and fitting of the permanent custom-crown onto the prepared tooth.
  • After evaluation by Dr. Grasso for proper aesthetic and function, the crown is permanently cemented into place.

This process generally consists of two to three visits over the course of a three to four week period.

Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is essential to maintain healthy crowns as well as gums. Aiding in the prevention of gum disease, proper care can assure crowns that can last a lifetime!

Implants

An implant is a titanium “root” placed in the jaw bone to restore missing teeth. This is an excellent option to not touch the neighboring teeth like a bridge.

Periodontics

Periodontal simply means “the gum and bone tissue supporting the teeth.” Periodontal therapy is the treatment and surgery of this area, which is often characterized as gum disease. Periodontitis (gum with bone disease) is more than gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).

This disease attacks the supporting structures of the teeth, causing inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Plaque, a film of bacteria formed on the teeth, forms acids in the mouth by mixing with sugars and starches in the diet; thus, irritating the gum tissue. Gum disease can also be caused by other factors including irregular oral states of harmful habaits, an unbalanced diet and certain medications or diseases.

The effects of gum disease can be damaging to your dental health, as well as your overall health. Periodontal disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight in babies. Some effects of gum disease include:

  • Swollen or puffy red gums that bleed easily.
  • “Long” teeth (receding gum lines expose the root portions of your teeth)
  • Discolored or deteriorating tooth structure.
  • Gum depressions (voids of gum tissue in between the teeth)
  • Tooth loss or mobility
  • Bad breath

The most effective and conservative periodontal therapy procedures performed include but are not limited to:

  • Frequent dental cleanings 3-4 times a year
  • Full mouth debridement
  • Periodontal root planing
  • Local delivery of medicaments
  • Periodontal surgery

Periodonrtal and soft tissue management, which treats the four stages of the disease:

  • Stage 1- Gingivitis
  • Stage 2- Mild periodontitis
  • Stage 3- Moderate periodontitis
  • Stage 4- Severe periodontitis

Dr. Grasso and our hygiene department are available for oral hygiene instruction to all our patients. Please contact our office to inquire and to schedule an appointment for oral hygiene instruction. Proper oral hygiene, daily dental care and regular dental checkups will minimize the risk of this inflammatory disease.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Bleaching

Teeth bleaching is an option in cosmetic dentistry to achieve a brighter, healthier and more youthful looking smile with a safe and conservative dental procedure. With the administration of a prescription strength active whitening ingredient in direct gel application, tooth enamel can be bleached up to 7 shades lighter!

Zoom 2- This one-visit, in office teeth bleaching option whitens teeth with the activation of a bleach gel by a laser light. Consequently, Zoom is our most effective and efficient option for teeth bleaching treatment!

Take home/ Custom Tray Bleaching- With the fabrication of custom-bleach trays and prescription strength bleaching gel, you can achieve a whiter smile at home! Our office offers various options for take home bleaching and upon evaluation, Dr. Grasso can assist in choosing the correct program to suit your needs! Take home kits come in a variety of application times including, one-hour, overnight and turbo. Keep in mind our kits require a 7-10 day regimen to achieve optimum results and your custom trays can be used again whenever you find the need to touch up on your smile! Bleaching gel refills can be purchased directly through our office.

Tres White- Tres White is dispensed as a 10- day kit, with 20 pre-loaded bleaching trays (10 upper & 10 lower). Each pre-loaded one-time use tray contains the adequate amount of bleaching gel for each 30-60 minute application. This professional, prescription bleaching option is dispensed by our office and requires a two tray application per day for a period of 10 days.

Prototype/Trial Smile

Considering the cosmetic rehabilitation of your smile, our office fabricates a preliminary mock-up (Trial Smile) in a wax and acrylic prototype temporary crown. Dr. Grasso creates your new smile, taking into consideration the shape of your face, lip line, gum line and ultimate masculine/feminine shape of your new restorations.

While designing your new smile, Dr. Grasso may recommend gingival sculpting and contouring, as well as possible orthodontic treatment to assist in the achievement of your desired cosmetic results. These changes and improvements are addressed initially and the expected outcome is included in the prototype; the cosmetic prototype allows the patient to view their new smile prior to any cosmetic treatment!

Trial smile is an effective step where the Doctor overlays your existing teeth with a newly designed prototype restoration. The overlay Trial Smile gives the patient a clear a precise view of the end product that will be permanently cemented.

Prototyping and Trial Smile eliminate the guesswork and confirm the end results. The fit, form, function and aesthetics of the cosmetic case are addressed, allowing adjustments to be made during the prototyping process and confirmation of your new smile! Dr. Grasso prepares your teeth to take on the permanent cosmetic restorations only upon completion of the Prototyping and Trial Smile design. Please contact our office to schedule your cosmetic consultation!

All Ceramic Restorations

All ceramic crowns are fabricated following Dr. Grasso’s specifications in our renowned cosmetic laboratory. Together, with our technicians, Dr. Grasso can give you a dynamic, healthy and natural looking smile. Using the latest techniques in smile design and porcelain materials, Dr. Grasso creates a vibrant smile that mimics natural tooth enamel. The porcelain absorbs and reflects light with three-dimensional vitality as Mother Nature intended. Following the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry’s guidelines, Dr. Grasso’s ongoing training and education incorporates current and up-to-date techniques, selection of proper materials for each case as well as patient case qualification.

Achieve Optimum Results

In addition to cosmetic rehabilitation and restoration, Dr. Grasso may present incorporating orthodontics through fixed (brackets) and removable orthodontic appliances. Orthodontics will correct crowding and rotation of teeth, as well as any teeth that may have drifted and shifted throughout the years. Achieving proper alignment with orthodontics gives the patient and Dr. Grasso ideal circumstances for cosmetic consideration. Orthodontics may be incorporated as part of the entire cosmetic evaluation, allowing proper planning, proper diagnostics and case preparation to take Dr. Grasso and the patient to their final dynamic cosmetic result!

Orthodontics

Children’s Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment can benefit children with insufficient jaw size. Up to 80% of children have a jaw that is too small. Orthopedic appliance therapy will expand jaws to the proper size, helping avoid costly and lengthy orthodontic treatment throughout teenage years. In accordance with the American Association of Orthodontists and the International Association of Orthodontics, we recommend that children have their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of 5. With prevention, early evaluation and diagnosis, children can achieve optimal orthodontic results. Early treatment has many benefits and often means that a patient may avoid surgery or other complications in the future.

Adult Orthodontics

Dr. Grasso treats our adult patients, with our milestone orthodontic patient at age 70, by correcting issues with fixed and removable appliance therapy. Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and improve the health of your teeth and gums. Crooked teeth, poor chewing function, crowding or an incorrect bite can contribute to gum recession, bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of tooth enamel surfaces, periodontal disease as well as headaches and jaw joint (TMD/TMJ) pain. Dr. Grasso can correct the alignment of your teeth to achieve your aesthetic appearance as well as address challenges that correct or prevent more serious issues that could interfere with overall function and bite.

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