General and Preventive Dentistry
Examinations and Cleanings
Maintain your teeth by keeping them healthy!
The American Dental Association recommends regular 6 month exams and cleanings for maintaining a healthy mouth and preserving your teeth. We will provide you with a gentle and thorough cleaning and show you the best ways to maintain a healthy mouth.
Each time, a comprehensive examination is done, Dr. Bailon checks for cavities, signs of gum disease, signs of malocclusion, and any other issues you may have a concern about. X-rays will be taken if needed and will be also reviewed by Dr. Bailon for problems not seen by the naked eye. Cleanings are done using a gentle ultrasonic cavitron scaler. The mild vibrations remove tartar buildup and stains on the teeth. In addition to the cavitron, Dr. Bailon also uses a handscaler to provide more precise focused cleanings.
Looking for a dental exam or a routine cleaning? Just want to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy? Don’t leave unhealthy teeth untreated!
Injections you won’t even feel! Natural looking fillings you can appreciate!
We offer composite (tooth colored fillings) for most cavities to blend in with your natural teeth. Now you can change you amalgam (silver) fillings for a more cosmetically appealing look. Some shallow surface cavities won’t require any injections! But rest assured, Dr. Bailon will ease your fears about injections with her gentle style.
Cavities are caused by tooth decay. Tooth decay is influenced by lifestyle, what we eat, how well we take care of our teeth, heredity, and presence of fluoride in our water and toothpaste. While cavities are generally more common among children, adults are also at risk.
Adults are especially at risk for cavities if they suffer from dry mouth, a condition caused by lack of saliva. Dry mouth may be caused by illness, medications, radiation therapy, and may be either temporary or permanent, depending on its cause.
Cavities are very serious. If left untreated, a cavity will destroy your tooth and kill the delicate nerves at its center, resulting in an abscess, an infection area at the root tip. Once an abscess forms, it can only be treated with root canal therapy, surgery, or by tooth extraction.
Types of cavities:
- Coronal Cavities: Most common. Usually located on the chewing surfaces or between teeth.
- Recurrent Decay: Decay can form around existing fillings and crowns. This is due to areas that have a tendency to accumulate plaque, which can ultimately lead to decay.
- Root Cavities: As we age, our gums recede, leaving parts of the tooth root exposed. Since there is no enamel covering the roots, these exposed areas easily decay.
Diagnosed with a cavity or two? Think you have a cavity? Early preventive care of cavities is critical in your oral health!
Root Canal Therapy
Saving your natural teeth from extractions!
Using motorized rotary instruments (versus traditional hand files) and local anesthesia, Dr. Bailon performs root canals in a comfortable and efficient setting.
What is a Root Canal Therapy?
Root Canal Therapy (RCT) is an endodontic procedure used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. The living part of the tooth, the pulp, is made up of nerves and blood vessels. It becomes infected or dies for many different reasons:
- Decay: bacteria causing tooth decay infects the pulp.
- Trauma: traumatic injury can cause an inflammation of the pulp.
- Deep fillings: fillings that have been placed close to the pulp chamber because of tooth decay or tooth fracture.
- Unexplained: the pulp can become inflamed and can die from no apparent reason.
During an RCT the nerve and pulp are removed from the canals inside the tooth.
They are then cleaned and sealed with a medicated material.
What are the symptoms indicating a need for an RCT?
- Moderate to severe lingering tooth pain associated with hot or cold foods.
- Pain when chewing or biting.
- Toothache pain that wakes you up at night.
- Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums.
- A persistent or recurring pimple on the gums.
A tooth’s nerve and pulp can become irritated, inflamed, and infected due to deep decay, repeated dental procedures on a tooth, large fillings, a crack or chip in the tooth, or trauma to the face.
A Root canal can be an excellent treatment for infected pulp. Dr. Bailon specializes in fast and comfortable root canal treatments.
Deep Cleaning (Gum Disease)
Understanding and caring for your gums!
The primary cause of gum disease is the presence of bacteria. There are multiple stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. We perform non-surgical treatment in mild cases of gum disease to remove the bacteria. The procedure is painless and done carefully and thoroughly by performing a deep cleaning, also known as Scaling and Root Planing.
|Healthy Gums||Gingivitis||Periodontitis||Advanced Periodontitis|
What are the symptoms of Gums Disease?
Gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common among adults. If detected in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed. See your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender.
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing.
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded.
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket.
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- Pus coming from between your teeth and gums.
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
During a Deep Cleaning (SRP), we numb your gums using an effective topical anesthesia - no injections involved! Dr. Bailon scales below the gumline, into the pockets surrounding the tooth, removing the hard tartar/calcular deposits that regular brushing cannot remove.
Scaling and Planing (smoothing) the root surface allows the surrounding gums to heal, rest, and shrink back to tooth root, making it more difficult for plaque to deposit there.
The most important thing to do is to correctly diagnose the presence of gum disease. We do this by properly reviewing your x-rays and measuring the pockets surrounding the teeth. Then we make an appropriate treatment plan to prevent the progression and spread of the disease.
Painful gums? Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? You might need a deep cleaning to remove hard-to-reach tartar and bacteria.
We offer extractions for wisdom teeth and other situations that call for a tooth to be removed. However, before we perform an extraction, we make sure to save natural teeth from being extracted by treating them with either a Root Canal, a Filling, or a Crown. Dr. Bailon takes special time with patients who are afraid of tooth extraction. We provide a most comfortable setting and do our best to minimize the pain and recovery time from the extraction.Types of Teeth Extractions:
- Wisdom teeth – Usually erupt when you are 17 years old. In most cases, the jaw bone is not large enough to accommodate these additional teeth that grow in the back of the mouth. When they do start to come in, they often need to be removed. Some people retain their wisdom teeth all their lives. However, if the wisdom teeth begin to provide discomfort, or grow in impacted (causing other teeth to shift and become crooked) the simplest way to relieve the pain is to remove them.
- Health concerns- If a tooth is severely decayed and infected and there is no way to save it, it becomes in the patient’s best interest to remove it.
- Root fragments- Sometimes, broken teeth, caused by extensive decay, leave many root fragments behind. These decayed fragments may cause infection and pain and may pose a health risk.
Require teeth extractions prior to orthodontic treatment or for other reasons? Dr. Bailon provides a soothing and comfortable way to extract teeth.
What is a Bridge and why is it needed?
Bridges are used to cover the gaps left by missing teeth. Spaces left by missing teeth affect the rest of your teeth. Even if only one tooth is missing, other teeth slowly start to shift out of place, causing a misaligned bite and changing your smile. Over time, you’ll start to notice more spacing where you had none before. Bridges, like dental implants or partial dentures, offer a solution for missing teeth.
What is the procedure for a Bridge?
Teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are prepared and fitted for a permanent bridge. A typical bridge consists of a pontic (to fill the missing tooth) that is attached to two abutments (crowns on adjacent teeth). A crown is permanently cemented and non-removable.
Is a Bridge the best option for you?
If you are apprehensive about reshaping the surrounding teeth (especially if those teeth have no cavities or crowns), another option is getting an implant or removable partial denture.
Untreated gaps between teeth are unhealthy and uncosmetic. A Bridge looks great and prevents further shifting of teeth!
Natural looking, resilient, and comfortable!
What are Crowns and when are they needed?
A Crown is a type of dental restoration which fully covers a tooth. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal (gold or metal alloy), or a combination of both (PFM: Porcelain Fused to Metal). Crowns are commonly made using the PFM method. The metal provides support and strength while the porcelain provides a more natural appearance. We offer the option of an all porcelain crown (eMax).
A variety of situations require a tooth to be restored with a dental crown. The two most common are:
- Large Filling: When a tooth has a cavity or fracture that involves half the width of the tooth or more, it needs to be covered with a crown. This is because the remaining tooth structure around the filling is so weak that it is prone to fracture. At other times, a large filling that has been in the mouth for a while will need to be replaced with a crown because the tooth shows signs of stress and cracks around the filling.
- Root Canal: root canal treatment leaves the tooth hollowed out and predisposes the remaining tooth to crack. So, a tooth that has had and RCT almost always needs to be restored with a crown immediately to prevent it from fracturing.
What is the procedure for Crowns?
The procedure first involves numbing the tooth with local anesthesia. Then the tooth is shaved down to an abutment to make room for the crown and an impression is made of the prepared tooth with a putty-like material or a digital scanner. We then help you decide on a shade for the crown that matches the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown is made and temporarily cemented until the lab returns the permanent crown - usually within one week. Once the permanent crown arrives, it is inspected for proper fit, bite, and smooth and closed margins. After you approve, it is permanently cemented.
How long do crowns last?
Dental crowns should last on average from 10 to 20 years. Crowns are still subject to fracture and cavities, so it is important to take extra care in brushing and flossing around the crowned teeth to prevent them from needing replacement too often. When all-porcelain crowns or veneers are present, it is often advisable to wear a mouth-guard at night to protect the porcelain from fracturing and to prolong the life of the crown.
Crowns are an excellent way to cover a broken or decayed teeth. They are safe, long-lasting and get you a great smile! See how a crown can help you look and feel great!