Patient Education

Thank you for visiting the Patient Education page of our web site. Dr. Roy Coleman offer a variety of services. This page is designed to help answer your questions about a few of the dental procedures we offer.

TOOTH COLORED FILLINGS

In the latest technological advances patients and dentists prefer dental restorations done using tooth-colored composites or porcelain. Use of tooth-colored filling material is not restricted to only new restorations. We can also restore older restorations which need replacing. There can be many reasons why your older restorations may require replacing and with our new technological advances we offer safer and esthetic materials. It is no longer necessary to have "silver" fillings, and it is much safer to use tooth-colored ones.

Examples of the procedure:


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CROWNS AND BRIDGES

Full crown work is indicated when there has been root canal work, when a lot of tooth structure has been damaged or lost or when a tooth has become cracked, broken or chipped. In our clinic we construct a crown on teeth that have lost sufficient tooth structure to place a filling in.

When tooth loss occurs, we may recommend the placement of a bridge. A bridge is one or more replacement teeth anchored by one or more crowns on each side.

Examples of the procedure:


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PORCELAIN VENEERS

Porcelain veneers can really make a difference in your smile.


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BEFORE


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ROOT CANALS

Root-canal treatment is often the only way to save your tooth and repair the damage if a tooth's pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels, becomes infected or damaged because of decay or injury. One to three visits is usually required, depending on the pulp's condition. The infection may have to be drained before the root can be filled if the tooth is abscessed.The filling or crown may need to be replaced, but the material used to fill the root canal will probably last a lifetime.

Pulp becomes damaged and infection spreads to the bone and tissues. An abscess forms at the roots.
The dentist makes an opening in it to reach the pulp chamber. The infected pulp is removed, and the chamber and the root(s) are cleaned out, enlarged, and then shaped.
Once clean and free of infection, the pulp chamber and the root canal(s) are filled with a rubberlike material. The tooth is then filled.
The tooth may need a crown as well. Some crowns may need a post and core for additional support.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal diseases are caused by certain types of bacteria in plaque, the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins which irritate the gums and result in a breakdown of the attachment of gum tissues to teeth. Over time, these toxins can destroy gum tissues, allowing the infection to progress to bone loss.

There are two types of periodontal diseases: Gingivitis is the earliest stage, and affects only the gum tissue. At this stage, the disease is still reversible. If not treated it may lead to a more severe condition. The more advanced stage is called periodontitis. The gums, bone and other structures that support the teeth become damaged. Teeth become loose and fall out or may have to be removed. At this stage, the disease may require more complex treatment to prevent tooth loss.

There are many other factors that contribute to periodontal disease. People who smoke or chew tobacco are more likely to have a greater risk of developing periodontal diseases, and to have it more severely, than those who do not use any form of tobacco.

Poorly fitting bridges, badly aligned teeth or defective fillings, can all contribute to plaque retention and increase the risk of developing periodontal disease. Habits which place excessive biting forces on your teeth, such as clenching or grinding, may also accelerate the rate at which supporting bone is lost.

Poor diet may cause periodontal diseases to progress more rapidly or increase the severity of the condition, according to some researchers. There is also some evidence that an unbalanced diet makes mouth tissues less resistant to infection. Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives increase hormone levels which can cause gum tissues to react more sensitively to the toxins in plaque and accelerate growth of certain bacteria. The gums are more likely to become red, tender and swollen and to bleed easily.

Systemic diseases, such as AIDS or diabetes, can lower the tissues resistance to infection, making periodontal diseases more severe. Medications—steroids, some types of antiepilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and many others-affect the gums.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime is possible if you take proper care of them. Here’s how: Clean your teeth daily. Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day. This removes plaque from the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of the teeth. Use dental floss or other interdental cleaners to aid in removing plaque from between the teeth, where a toothbrush cannot reach. Eat a balanced diet for good general health. Select foods from the basic food groups: breads, cereals, and other grains; fruits; veggies; meat, poultry, fish; milk, cheese and yogurt.

Most importantly you should visit the office at least twice a year. Remember, periodontal disease seldom causes pain. And it can be diagnosed in its earliest stages only through the use of the dental probe which measures the depth of the sulcus that surrounds the tooth. A healthy sulcus will only measure 2 to 3 millimeters and will not bleed when probed. It's impossible to do this measurement yourself.

What is the treatment for periodontal diseases?

The first line of defense against periodontal disease is actually prevention. This includes a good oral hygiene routine at home. Brushing at least twice a day and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss helps prevent plaque from accumulating. Depending on the severity of the disease, more in-depth oral hygiene instructions may be recommended. Our dental office staff may provide instructions on additional cleaning methods or oral hygiene products to use at home depending on your specific needs.

Depending on how far the diseases have progressed, treatment can vary widely. In the early stages of gum disease, treatment may involve scaling and root planing. This means removing plaque and calculus in the pockets around the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. Scaling and root planing helps rid the mouth of infection-causing bacteria and irritants beneath the gumline.

More advanced cases may require periodontal surgical treatment. The goals of this treatment are to remove calculus from deep pockets around teeth, reduce the pockets, smooth root surfaces and arrange gum tissue into a shape that will be easier to keep clean.

The many benefits of periodontal treatment include fresh breath, the ability to chew your food more easily, healthy gums that are free from infection and most importantly, helping you achieve your goal of keeping your natural teeth for a lifetime!

Whatever the treatment may entail, our goal is to return you to good oral health and then to help you to maintain it.

How can you prevent periodontal diseases from returning?

Periodontal diseases can and will recur if you do not follow a strict program of supportive periodontal therapy. You play the primary role in preventing further outbreaks of disease. Nothing will help you maintain the results of professional treatment better than daily removal of plaque by proper brushing, flossing and other cleaning methods recommended for you.

We believe in a team approach to help prevent your periodontal disease from returning. Once the diseases have been arrested, a regular maintenance (cleaning) recall schedule will be set up for you typically alternating between your general dentist and our office. This ongoing supportive phase of treatment will allow your dental health team to continuously assess your periodontal health and make sure the infection stays under control. During these recall appointments, your mouth is closely examined, new calculus and plaque are removed, your dental restorations (fillings and crowns) are inspected, and your teeth are polished.

Remember, good oral hygiene and regular professional care are the keys to preventing dental diseases. By following this simple, straightforward program of good dental health, you can help prevent gum disease and keep your teeth a lifetime!


Healthy Gum Tissue


Early Periodontitis



Moderate Periodontitis


Advanced Periodontitis


DENTURES

Dentures have actually been in use for more than 2,000 years. As substitutes for missing teeth, dentures have been improved so that they are effective, easy to use and aesthetically appealing. Properly fit dentures not only can improve your appearance, but also can help you to eat more comfortably and speak more clearly.


DENTURES CAN REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR SMILE.

DENTAL IMPLANTS:

At Dr. Coleman's practice, we can restore implants. At any age, the loss of teeth can be devastating emotionally, functionally and esthetically. Today's advances in dental science make it possible to feel more confident, restore your chewing efficiency and recover and maintain a more youthful, natural appearance. Dental Implants can provide the most natural and permanent solutions to tooth loss. You will feel good about yourself, feel healthier, look better and smile without reservations. Uncomfortable bridges and dentures are part of the past. The solution today is Dental Implants.


Before Dental Implant


After Dental Implant


What are dental implants?

Dental Implants are artificial substitutes for natural tooth roots. Dental implants are actually small titanium anchors shaped like screws that are placed into the jawbone. Although dental implants have been used in the United States and Europe for more than thirty years, the recent technological advancements in the titanium metal and surgical techniques have dramatically improved the implant success rate. In general, the success rate of dental implants is around 95%.

Dental implants can provide non-removable tooth replacements in the toothless jaw. They can provide support for a full denture, making it more secure and comfortable or they can assist in the replacement of a single tooth without the need to alter adjacent natural teeth (figure 1 and 2).

How are dental implants placed?

The total implant process is a technically exacting procedure. The evaluation to determine if the patient is a good candidate for a dental implant may include a series of radiographs (x-rays), the construction of cast molds, or the fabrication of a template that will be used to help position the implant.

Once the area for implant placement has been determined (figure 3), the next step is the surgical placement. After the site is prepared, the implant fixture is screwed or pressed into the jawbone (figure 4). The implant will then go through a process called osseointegration, where the bone will actually grow around the implant at the cellular level. This period, when the implant and the bone integrate, can take anywhere from three to six months depending on the quality of the bone and where the implant is placed. Following the appropriate healing period the top of the implant fixture is exposed and the new tooth prosthesis is attached (figure 5).

How long will dental implants last?

If cared for properly, dental implants can last a lifetime. After treatment is completed, implants are similar to teeth in that they require the same, if not better home care. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are essential to the long term success of the implant.

Losing one or more teeth can certainly be a traumatic experience with devastating functional and psychological implications. Today, dental implants can once again return the patient to the level of comfort, confidence and well being that they once had.