In addition to preventive and restorative dentistry services, we can provide many additional dental services to treat a wide range of client issues. When you come in, please discuss your concerns with us, and together we can develop a treatment plan using any number of techniques.
Scaling and root planing
Scaling is the process of carefully removing plaque from beneath the gum line on your teeth. Residual plaque can cause tooth decay and even infections over time and should be removed. Once scaling is completed, root planing smooths the surfaces of the teeth roots, providing a clean and prepared surface for the gums to heal and reattach to the roots of your teeth.
A root canal is a procedure to remove the injured or infected nerve root inside a tooth. The dentist will anesthetize the tooth first, then carefully drill into the top of the tooth. After extracting the damaged nerve root, the void is carefully filled with medicated amalgam, and the tooth can be filled or given a crown to provide a permanent repair. There is no reason to live with tooth nerve pain, and a root canal is a common procedure to give you relief.
On occasion, a patient may have a tooth that cannot be saved using restorative techniques. It may become necessary to extract the tooth to prevent infection or further injury to adjacent teeth. The area around the tooth is first given anesthesia to numb the area, then a device is used to loosen the tooth. Finally, forceps will extract the loose tooth. Depending on the condition of the gums where the tooth has been removed, stitches may be used to close the area to prevent infection while the area heals.
TMJ Disorders and Treatment
Some patients suffer from disorders of the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge where the jawbone connects to your skull. TMJ syndrome can be quite painful as the joint and its surrounding muscles move in ways they are not designed to move. Causes can be misaligned upper and lower teeth that create sideways pressure on the jaw when biting down. Or, the joint can be damaged by an injury or illness.
Regardless of the reason, TMJ disorders can be treated using different procedures. Sometimes a soft food diet for a period of time is all that is needed to reduce the discomfort. Periodic use of ice or anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve pain. In more extreme cases, a split may be needed to provide proper jaw alignment while the joint heals. A patient’s bite can also be modified by checking the current bite using carbon paper. High spots or irregular surfaces on the teeth can create sideways pressure on the jaw, and they can carefully be removed or re-surfaced by the dentist. The dentist may also recommend a night guard for patients who grind their teeth and create incorrect pressures on the teeth and jaw. Don’t live with jaw pain, let Dr. Lattinelli diagnose the issues and work out a treatment plan for you.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments and Appliances
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where a patient’s airway is intermittently or regularly blocked by the soft palate at the rear of mouth while sleeping. Sleep apnea can be very debilitating because patients will wake up due to lack of oxygen, resulting in poor sleep and chronic fatigue. The doctor can design an appliance that is worn during the night to re-align the jaw and open up the airway in the throat. This can be much less expensive than having to purchase a constant positive air pressure (CPAP) device that forces air into the windpipe while a person sleeps. Patients who are claustrophobic may also find a CPAP intolerable, so talk to the doctor about obstructive sleep apnea treatment if you have found other methods unacceptable for you.