Sonoma County Family Dental Services
Your first visit in our practice will always include a through examination by the dentist. It is important to set aside enough time to perform a complete exam. Please plan on being in the office for at least an hour for the first visit. Exceptions to this would include an emergency situation. Our dentist will share all findings and a treatment plan will be arrived at in a team effort between doctor and patient.
X-Rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process and to avoid x-rays could lead to undiagnosed disease or pathology. Our office uses digital x-rays to help lower the amount of radiation with each picture we take. Digital radiography uses 50-70% less radiation versus conventional x-rays. We also use specialized computer programs to help digitally enhance the films allowing for better diagnosis.
Routine & Deep Cleanings
The gums, ligaments, and bone around the teeth form the foundation for our teeth. All these structures are referred to as the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it affects the health of the tooth as well, similar to cracks in the foundation threatening the stability of the house. Signs of unhealthy periodontium (gum disease) can be red gums, gums that bleed easily, persistent bad breath, gums that pull away from the teeth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. With proper care, however, it is possible to reverse gum disease before it is too far progressed. Treatments include a deep cleaning or root planning done with use of local anesthetic along with local antibiotic agents. If the gum disease is too severe, it may require surgery by a specialist.
Sealants are used to fill in the narrow grooves in the chewing surfaces of teeth to aid in the prevention of cavities. Some teeth have grooves so narrow that the bristles of the toothbrush are unable to clean the area properly. These will develop into cavities over time and a sealant seals these grooves to prevent this.
Fillings are done to remove decay and to replace the affected tooth structure. We use a tooth colored composite resin filling material to do this. If caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If left untreated, decay can lead to tooth pain and / or infection and the tooth may need a root canal or an extraction.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to repair a tooth that is likely to break or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly down following root canal treatment or when a large filling wears out. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body and teeth are susceptible to tremendous pressures. Crowns provide strength and protection to the tooth.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic materials. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and esthetics.
We are proud to partner with SoCo Dental Specialty Group (www.socodentalgroup.com) for our patients that need or want braces. Dr. Paul Sauget is a highly skilled orthodontist who works alongside our team to create beautiful smiles. There are options for Invisalign braces, the clear alternative to traditional braces. Our team is specially trained to help you make an informed decision to create your dream smile!
When a tooth is past the point of repair, an extraction of the diseased and decayed teeth may be recommended. Wisdom teeth or third molars are often recommended for extraction due to lack of space in the mouth or unfavorable eruption patterns. Great care is taken to perform these surgeries with comfort and speed.
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. A small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to heal. The bone grows around the implant forming a tight connection. Once the implant is firmly set in the bone, we can attach a replacement tooth onto the top of the implant. This permanent solution is a great option to avoid drilling on nearby healthy teeth for a bridge. Implants can also be used to support an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures.
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is a safe, effective mild sedation method to help those patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety. The gas allows the patient to be comfortable during longer dental appointments. There are usually no side effects and the medicine is reversed at the end of the visit.
Our kids dental partner is Sahouria Pediatric Dentistry. Rohnert Park and Cotati’s only board certified pediatric dentist Dr. Jamie Sahouria is located in our building and we have a direct link to her kid friendly office. Please visit www.BrushFlossSmile.com for more information.
There is so much technology in dentistry these days that anyone who is unhappy with their smile can change it. The color, alignment, spacing, as well as regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that give the overall appearance. Any of these can be altered to give a stunning look to the mouth. We offer a wide variety of cosmetic options. Some of these options are whitening, smile design, recontouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. The procedure can be direct or indirect. The direct technique usually involves placing composite resin on the outside of the tooth using bonding. This method is usually referred to as bonding. The indirect technique usually involves two appointments because the veneers will be fabricated at a dental laboratory. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic and look very natural.
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter. Our office uses several methods including passive tray whitening and professional strength white strips. Ask us about our 20 minute whitening and cleaning special through Sinsational Smiles.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material to the front of the tooth. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, to close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes.
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. They replace teeth that have become loose or have been lost due to bone loss. No one enjoys losing their natural teeth but with well made dentures, one can talk and eat regularly. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth but once this passes, these are a great alternative to tooth loss. Implants or mini implants are often used to stabilize dentures if no teeth remain to rest the dentures on. These mini implants can be placed in one appointment and be immediately used.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal therapy or endodontic therapy is made necessary when a cavity is allowed to reach all the way to the pulp (or nerve) of the tooth. Regular dental care through cleanings and checkups can prevent this problem. Sometimes severe tooth trauma to the tooth can cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected and this infection can extend to the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp becomes infected, it must be treated as it cannot heal on its own. Symptoms of pulp infection can include temperature or sweets sensitivity, pain, swelling, pain on biting, and a bad taste in the mouth. In some cases, no symptoms are present and the person is unaware of any problems until a check up. A root canal is performed to clean out the infected pulp and disinfect the tooth canals. Usually a core build-up and a crown are the recommended treatment following a root canal.
It is important at each dental visit to review your oral condition and look for any signs of oral pathology. Depending on the findings, a biopsy may be recommended. Recognizing any abnormality early is important for prognosis. Please share with our dentist if there is a history of oral pathology or past biopsy results.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. The temporal area is the temple area of skull; mandibular stands for the mandible, or lower jaw; and the joint is where the head and jaw meet. Problems in this joint may be caused by a misalignment of the teeth, trauma, or excess muscle tension. Aside from the two bones that meet there, cartilage buffers them and five muscles are involved in the area. If there are outside forces to unbalance this area then problems can occur including: headaches, earaches, soreness in opening and closing the mouth, clicking or popping of the jaw, pain in the jaw muscles, soreness in the area, sometimes extending to the face.
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, and filling gaps between teeth. Each treatment for TMJ is tailored to the patient as there is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that can contribute to TMJ issues. If left untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.