On your first visit to our office, you will be welcomed by our staffs as you walk into the office. Once you arrive, our staff will explain and guide you through the new patient registration process. You will be asked to fill out our new patient form. For your convenience, you may download and complete the form prior to your first visit.
During the dental examination, you will go through a pre-clinic screening process in order to check any tooth decay, cavities, fractures, and other possible conditions that require dental treatment. The process may require taking digital X-rays if necessary for further evaluation and consultation. During this process, our doctors will answer your questions regarding to possible procedures and treatments.
If you have dental insurance, please bring your insurance card. We also need copies of your medical or dental record if you are seeking for a second opinion or being referred by another dentist. If you have any question prior to your first visit, do not hesitate to contact us.
prophy and regular check-ups
Even if you brush and floss your teeth faithfully, it is important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. It's because over time they tend to build up a layer of plaque, a sticky bacteria-rich film and hard deposits called tartar, or calculus that is very difficult to remove without special tools. When these deposits remain on the tooth surfaces or below the gum line, they provide ideal conditions for bacteria to grow and multiply. The acids produced by some bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease; if left uncontrolled, this can lead to inflammation and infection of the gums.
The tooth cleaning is called prophylaxis, from the Greek word meaning to protect or guard against. The focus is on preventing tooth decay and gum disease. Prophy is performed in conjunction with a routine dental examination. While your teeth are being cleaned, it's also a good opportunity to take a close look at your oral health in general and check for a few specific problems.
Teeth cleaning is often performed by a dental hygienist, a highly trained technician who uses a special set of tools designed just for this purpose. The dental hygienist will do an oral examination to evaluate the health of your oral tissues. Then the cleaning will take place using either a Cavitron or hand scalers to remove the plaque and calculus from the tooth surfaces. The ultrasonic scaler is a hand-held tool with a tiny tip that vibrates at a very high frequency. Hardened deposits are broken up by the rapid movement of the tip, which does not damage the tooth. Some hygienists prefer scalers/curettes, which are hand-held instruments that are curved and tapered to fit around and in between the teeth. If your teeth are sensitive, using hand-held instruments may be more comfortable for a professional cleaning. Finally, your teeth are polished with a low-speed rotary brush fitted with a soft rubber tip. A slightly gritty, toothpaste-like gel is applied, and the tip spins around and polishes the teeth, making them smooth and shiny.
If your gums are irritated due to bacterial buildup, they may become sore or bleed slightly during the cleaning. You can prevent this from happening in the future with oral hygiene you perform at homes such as improved flossing techniques or special mouth rinses; it might also indicate that you need more frequent in-office prophys. This type of regular maintenance will help you avoid more involved dental procedures down the road and it will give you the best chance of keeping your teeth for life!
scaling and root planning
Periodontal or gum disease is caused by bacterial plaque and biofilm which is a thin, sticky layer of microorganisms at the gum line. Without effective daily oral hygiene, accumulated bacterial plaque will cause inflammation that can gradually separate the gums from the teeth, forming little spaces called periodontal pockets. The pockets offer a sheltered environment for the disease-causing pathogenic bacteria to reproduce. If the infection remains untreated, it can spread from the gum tissues into the bone that supports the teeth. If this happens, your teeth may be loosened and eventually be lost.
Followings are treatments for gum disease:
Scaling and Root Planning — An important goal of gum disease treatment is to get rid of the bacteria and the toxins they produce, which may become incorporated into the root surface of the teeth. This is done with a deep-cleaning procedure called Scaling and Root Planning or Root Debridement. Scaling involves removing plaque and hard deposits, calculus, or tartar from the surface of the teeth above and below the gum line. Root planing is the smoothing of the tooth-root surfaces, making them more difficult for bacteria to adhere to.
Antibiotics/Antimicrobials — As gum disease progresses, periodontal pockets and bone loss can create hard to reach areas that are difficult to clean. Sometimes it is best to try to disinfect these inaccessible places with a prescription antimicrobial rinse containing chlorhexidine. These are used only on a short-term basis because it is not desirable to suppress beneficial types of oral bacteria.
Bite Adjustment — If some of your teeth are loose, they may need to be protected from the stresses of biting and chewing particularly if you have teeth-grinding or clenching habits. For example, it is possible to carefully reshape small amounts of tooth surface enamel to change the way upper and lower teeth contact each other, thus lessening the force and reducing their mobility. It is also possible to join your teeth together with a small metal brace so that they can support each other, and/or provide you with a night guard to wear when you are most likely to grind or clench your teeth.
Oral Hygiene — Since bacterial plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease, it is essential to remove it on a daily basis. Your homecare will play a large role in keeping your mouth disease-free. You will be instructed in the most effective brushing and flossing techniques and you will be encouraged to keep up the routine daily. Becoming an active participant in your own care is the best way to ensure your periodontal treatment succeeds. Keeping up your oral hygiene routine at home and having regular prophys and checkups at the dental office will give you the best chance to remain disease-free.
Composite fillings are the dental restoration designed to fill in decayed areas of the teeth, as well as to repair a deteriorated filling, chipped, or broken teeth. The decayed or damaged portion of your teeth will be removed and filled with a new tooth-colored filling. The new filling will then be shaped and polished to blend well with the teeth. It looks more natural than silver amalgam fillings, which are darker and easily noticed by other people. We offer composite fillings to restore natural looking teeth.
Dental crowns are custom-fitted tooth shaped prosthetics that are used to restore or replace missing or prepped tooth structure. If some portions of the tooth structures are damaged, decayed, or missing, the dentist will prep the tooth, so a crown can be fixed over the surfaces of the remaining tooth structures. Also, Crowns can be restored over dental implants as well. While a dental lab is making your custom designed crown, you will be fitted with a tooth colored temporary crown until the permanent one is ready for placement. Patients who get crowns to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth.
Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth. If one of your teeth is missing, but the empty space is surrounded by two natural teeth, a three-unit-bridge may be the solution for you. The two adjacent teeth will be reduced and prepped to ensure a proper fit of the bridge. The empty space will be covered by an artificial tooth structured pontic which is connected to the two adjacent crowns. It will appear as though a natural tooth instead of the empty space. If you are choosing a porcelain bridge, the color will be matched to the natural shade of your other teeth. While a dental lab is making your bridge, you will be fitted with temporary crowns or temporary bridge until the permanent one is ready for placement.
A night guard is a custom-made dental appliance to protect the teeth from unconscious grinding and/or clenching during night time and also to protect the teeth, tongue, and cheeks during sports and high-impact activities. You may not notice grinding and clenching during sleeping but you may be diagnosed with bruxism. Over time, grinding or clenching the teeth can lead to wear and irreversible damage such as Crack Tooth Syndrome. Sleeping with a night guard can protect the teeth from these unwanted side effects. At 209 Brookline Dental office, an oral impression of your teeth will be taken and sent to a dental lab to fabricate a dental night guard. These night guards are created uniquely to each patient and professionally fit to ensures maximum comfort and protection during wear.
Wash your night guard and other oral appliances with hand or dish soap, never with a toothpaste. Also, bring your night guard with you to your normal dental cleanings and check-ups for a professional inspection and cleaning.
What is tooth cracked syndrome?
Your teeth are remarkably strong; yet it's still possible for them to chip, crack, or even break. The common causes of tooth fractures include biting on hard objects, accidents causing injuries, and having large cavities or old amalgam fillings that weaken the tooth's structure. There is some evidence that our teeth are developing cracks at a record rate in this time of era. This may be due to increased stress levels which may induce clenching and grinding of teeth. There are some symptoms that indicate a tooth may be cracked and we can offer several treatments depending on the severity of the injury. There are three different types of tooth fractures and the symptoms they may produce.
Minor Cracks (a.k.a craze lines) — The tiny fissures on the outer surface of the tooth often do not cause any symptoms. Most of these craze lines do not require any treatments. However, if you develop tooth pain, these cracks will need to be evaluated and possibly treated. Without a careful examination, there is no way to know whether these cracks are only on the enamel, the outer surface of the tooth, or if they penetrate into the dentin, the inner body of the tooth. The tiniest craze lines do not show up on X-rays, but they can be detected by tactile using a dental instrument, by having you close down on a “bite stick,” or by the high-magnification intraoral camera with light. If a minor crack is detected early enough, it is often possible to seal the fissure with restorative composite filling materials.
Vertical Cracks — Vertical crack often starts at the chewing surface of the tooth and extends toward the roots. Depending on the extent of the fracture, you may feel some minor discomfort in temperature changes when you drink a hot or iced beverage, or it may produce sharp pain when you chew. Appropriate treatments for a cracked tooth depend on the extent and the severity of the damage. If the crack has not reached the root and remains on the visible coronal part of the tooth, a crown restoration may prevent the further progression of the cracks. For larger cracks that involve the pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment may be required. Afterward, the remaining tooth structure will be restored with a crown. If the cracks are left untreated, tooth extraction may become necessary.
Deep Fractures (a.k.a Split Teeth) — When serious fractures occur, the parts of the tooth can be separated from each other, and tooth's pulp is often inflamed, and it produces pain. It is rarely possible to save the affected tooth and the tooth will need to be extracted.
The preferred treatment for cracked teeth is wearing a nightguard for prevention. Wearing proper protective equipment such as a custom-fitted mouthguard when playing sports and sleeping at night can prevent cracked teeth.
root canal treatment
Root canals treat infected parts of the roots or “legs” of teeth. The decay or damage allow bacteria to infect the pulp inside your tooth. The pulp is the most vital part of the tooth which contains living tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. When it becomes infected, patients can experience pain, swelling, and even total loss of the tooth unless treated. Root canal treatment removes the diseased portion of pulp and infected portions inside the roots. The tooth will then be filled, sealed, and restored with a crown that provides normal tooth function and a natural appearance.
A root canal will allow you to preserve as much of your natural teeth as possible instead of extracting both the healthy and diseased portions of your tooth. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed to help prevent further infection.
The main goal of dentistry is to preserve your natural teeth and keep them healthy for as long as possible. However, there are times when you must remove a tooth or extract. Perhaps you have a tooth that has been severely damaged by decay or trauma or an impacted wisdom tooth that may cause trouble later on. Maybe your teenager will soon undergo orthodontic treatment and has not enough space for adult teeth. The complexity of extraction is depending on the location of the tooth to be extracted and the shape and formation of the roots. For example, a front tooth with a single straight root is easier to remove than a molar tooth with multiple roots near nerves. This is especially true when that molar is a wisdom tooth that is impacted in the bone below the gum tissue. Still, tooth extraction is nothing to be feared when done by an experienced hand.
After your tooth is extracted, the socket will be covered with sterile gauze; gently bite for 30 minutes to give some pressure to control bleeding. It is normal to experience some mild to moderate post-operative discomfort and/or swelling. Taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen the day of surgery should control most symptoms. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to ensure infection-free healing. Using ice packs on the outside of your jaw and eating softer foods until you feel more comfortable can also be helpful. Do not smoke or suck through a straw for 2-3 days after the extraction to prevent painful dry-socket to occur. Within a few days, all should be back to normal.
Dental implants are surgically placed root devices that are manufactured to last a lifetime and support permanent crowns. These artificial roots are anchored in the bone beneath the gums where they fused and integrated into the jaw bone. A crown is mounted on the top the implant for a long-lasting and natural looking smile. Many dentists and patients prefer dental implants because they offer the same function as natural teeth. Dental implants may be used to replace single or multiple teeth.
You may qualify for dental implants if you have missing, broken or severely decayed teeth and are in relatively good overall healthy bone.
The placement of dental implants is a multi-step process that is performed by a specialist and it typically takes between 6 and 9 months to complete. It begins with a surgical procedure during which a titanium implant is placed. The gums are sutured over the implant, where it will stay for several months while it heals and begins integrating with the surrounding bone. After the healing period, you’ll return to our dental office to place permanent crowns.
Dentures are an affordable way of replacing missing teeth. Both partial and full dentures can be fabricated to restore much of their original tooth function and create a beautiful, natural-looking smile. If you have any decayed or damaged teeth, they will be extracted. Then we will take an impression of your remaining gum structure, as well as the roof of your mouth. This mold will be sent to a dental lab for denture fabrication. When the dentures are completed, you will return to our office for a final fitting. Dentures are custom-fit so patients can eat foods and speak with confidence.
Invisalign is an orthodontic appliance that is a clear aligner made of almost invisible plastic. Not like traditional metal braces that are cemented or bonded to the teeth, Invisalign is completely removable for important social occasions, eating, and tooth-brushing and flossing. Here are some other advantages of the Invisalign system:
Improved Oral Hygiene — Since this orthodontic appliance is removable, you will be able to clean your teeth much more easily than if you were wearing metal braces.
A Discreet Look — If you want your orthodontic treatment to be a private matter or simply feel that metal braces do not fit with your self-image, an invisible orthodontic treatment might suit you.
More Dietary Choices — If you wear a metal brace with wires, some diet modifications are necessary. With Invisalign, you can still bite into an apple or a crispy pizza crust.
Comfort — Invisalign is made of the thin, flexible material which will not irritate the soft tissues of the mouth while metal wires and braces can.
Teeth-Grinding Protection — If you have a teeth-grinding or clenching habit, clear aligners can function as thin nightguards that will protect your teeth from excessive wear.
Clear aligner technology has been improving over the years and can correct many malocclusions. Invisalign work the same way as traditional braces by applying carefully controlled forces to teeth to move them into a better position. Specialized computer software is used to design a plan for moving your teeth from the current positions into the best possible alignment. This movement will be broken down into perhaps several dozen stages. For each stage, the Invisalign company will manufacture two plastic mouth trays or aligners, one to fit over your upper teeth and one for the lower. You will wear this first set of trays for two weeks, for a minimum of 20 hours per day. You will then move on to the next set of aligners in your series to accomplish the next stage of gradual movement. You will keep doing this until your teeth are correctly aligned.
Teeth whitening procedures are used to brighten the appearance of a patient’s teeth and smile. According to the American Dental Association, teeth whitening procedures have become some of the most popular esthetic dental treatments among patients throughout the country. Professional teeth whitening service is prescribed for take-home use by a patient. In comparison to over-the-counter teeth whitening products, professional whitening uses stronger whitening agents that deliver faster and more effective results. At 209 Brookline Dental office, an oral impression of your teeth will be taken and sent to a dental lab to fabricate a whitening tray which is unique to each patient and professionally fit to ensures maximum comfort and result. You will apply some whitening gel inside of the whitening tray and wear it at home. Your results will vary according to the natural shade of your teeth and degree of discoloration, but most patients experience a lightening of several shades.