Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between, we promise to provide you with exceptional care . Below are just some of the many procedures and services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results. Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.
As a general and family dentist, Dr. Elloway is devoted to providing you with optimal oral health care. With a comprehensive philosophy of preventative, restorative and cosmetic dentistry, he promotes proper oral hygiene and tooth health. Our team will work with you to develop a customized dental hygiene plan that incorporates dental examination, tooth cleaning, X-ray and use of other diagnostic equipment to prevent, uncover and treat potential oral problems as early as possible.
Teeth Cleaning and Oral Hygiene
In our office you will spend approximately an hour with our dental hygienist during a routine hygiene visit. You can expect to have a thorough teeth cleaning, exam and tooth polishing by our hygienist bi-annually. During your annual hygiene visit Dr. Elloway will also examine and proscribe any additional necessary records. Our hygienist will go over your health history and medications at each visit and review with you the latest, most helpful oral health techniques. For extra sensitive patients, both topical and local anesthetic is available. Periodontal patients are welcome.
Fillings may be necessary when cavities are found in the teeth. Today most teeth are treated with tooth colored composite resin material, bonded to fill the tooth where decay has weakened and caused the loss of tooth structure. Caught early enough, cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. If not treated, decay can lead to tooth pain and/or infection, and could lead to root canal treatment or extraction.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the area of the tooth that needs treatment. This is done to repair damage done to the tooth by decay, to alter the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for cosmetic purposes. First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding. A primer/adhesive agent is applied and adheres to the surface. Then the resin material itself is placed on the tooth in layers and cured with a bright light. The composite resin material is then shaped and polished to a lustrous finish as a last step.
X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an X-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissues, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention. In our office we use digital radiography which allows us to take X-rays using 50-70% less radiation versus conventional X-rays. Coupled with computer monitoring, digital x-ray technology allows us to enhance the images for better diagnosis of any dental concerns.
Cosmetic dentistry is done to correct imperfections in the appearance of the mouth. Anyone who is unhappy with their smile can have it fixed. Color, alignment, and spacing as well as regularity of the teeth are the characteristics that give the overall appearance of your teeth and smile. Any of these can be repaired to give the mouth a stunning appearance. We offer a wide variety of cosmetic options. Some of these options are whitening, smile design, re-contouring of the shape of the teeth, veneers, bonding, and all ceramic/porcelain crowns.
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. Our office uses both tray whitening, and professional strength whitening strips.
The tray method involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months.
Veneers are a dental procedure in which a covering is placed over the outside (visible area) of the tooth. Veneers are usually only done to the part of the teeth that are visible when talking or smiling. 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. At the first appointment the teeth are prepared, impressions taken, and the teeth are given a temporary covering. In two to three weeks the veneers are back from the laboratory, the temporaries are removed and the veneers are bonded to the teeth. The laboratory fabricated veneers are usually made using porcelain or pressed ceramic, and are very aesthetic.
The advantage of veneers versus crowns is that much less tooth material is removed, and the procedure is generally less uncomfortable.
Invisalign straightens your teeth with a series of clear, virtually invisible custom-molded aligners. Using a series of these in steps, Invisalign straightens your teeth with results you'll notice sooner than you think. The course of treatment involves changing aligners approximately every two weeks, moving your teeth into straighter position step by step, until you have a more beautiful smile. And unlike braces, these clear aligners can be removed while you eat and brush your teeth as usual.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits the crown is made, usually of high-strength porcelain/zirconia based ceramic material. During this time a temporary crown is worn. In the second visit this temporary is removed and the permanent crown is adjusted as needed, then cemented in place.
There are different types of dentures, but they share a common function. They are a substitute for teeth that have become loose or been lost due to bone loss. When bone loss around the roots of teeth is great enough to loosen them or let them fall out, dentures are one of the alternatives that can be chosen. Relax. No one enjoys losing their natural teeth, but you can still eat and talk regularly.
The entire mouth is examined and a determination is made as to which teeth will have to be removed, and which will remain. The loose teeth are then extracted. Dentures are fitted to go over or around whatever teeth remain in the mouth, depending on the type. There is an adjustment period after dentures are placed in the mouth, and it can take some getting used to. But once accustomed to the dentures, all the normal functionality and appearance return and one just carries on as usual. Often implants can used to further stabilize the dentures. There are several options for dentures currently to make them as comfortable as possible.
A dental implant is an option to replace a missing tooth. In this procedure, a small titanium shaft is surgically implanted into the bone and allowed to integrate. The bone grows around it forming a tight connection, which additionally slows or stops the bone loss that occurs when the root of a natural tooth is missing. Once the implant is firmly healed in the mouth, the dentist then works to attach the replacement tooth onto the top of the shaft. This permanent solution has the advantages over a bridge because it does not involve or stress the surrounding teeth for support. If any portion of a bridge is compromised, all of the bridge is compromised, possibly leading to more tooth loss and less support for another restoration or bridge.
Implants can also be used as support as part of an implant bridge. This is an alternative to partial dentures, and has several advantages. First, there is no adjustment period to acclimatize the patient who, once the work is done, only feels teeth, not metal supports intruding into the mouth. Second, this slows the bone loss occasioned by missing teeth. Third, there is no discomfort or difficulty in eating. And, best of all, of course, they don't have to be taken out all the time.
Implants can also be used to support a removable partial or full denture. Instead of anchoring a removable partial denture to existing teeth with silver clasps and rests, it can attach to implants with hidden attachment which do not show or wear on the existing teeth in the mouth, preserving their integrity far longer. In the case of a complete denture, some people find the palatal area, of an upper denture, to be thick and/or bothersome. Dentures sometimes are hard to keep in the mouth without adhesive, and sometimes that doesn't work. Implant stabilize dentures, usually allowing a more natural connection to skeletal support and more normal eating, speaking, function and aesthetics.
One of the most important features of an implant is that it usually minimizes surrounding bone and tissue loss. It is better to place an implant when the area is the healthiest or the supporting tissue will usually deteriorate, leading to bone loss. This can often take many treatment choices a patient has, away from them, unless more extensive repairs are made.
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Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when a cavity is allowed, through neglect, to reach all the way to this pulp. (Regular cleanings and checkups prevent and detect problems early) Sometimes deep restorations or trauma to a tooth may cause the nerve to be damaged to the point it needs root canal therapy also. Once this occurs the pulp becomes infected, and can even extend through the root tip and begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is an abscess). By the time the pulp is infected it must be treated, and cannot heal on its own. It can even weaken the entire immune system. This is dangerous, not to mention very painful. Symptoms that the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and/or a bad taste in the mouth. Sometimes, however, no symptoms are apparent and the person is unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is then performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, and disinfect the canals of the tooth. The only other treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal(s) are filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up, for support, and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal therapy.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. In most cases an implant is the treatment of choice for missing teeth. When a bridge is chosen, it is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. 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 material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or aesthetics.
It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible for several reasons. If not treated the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and, with one missing, they start to "fall." As this worsens the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, or TMJ. The surrounding teeth deteriorate and it is just a matter of time before they, too, are lost. Gum disease becomes a serious problem, with the difficulty of treatment increasing as the neglect continues.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. Temporal, as in temple area of skull; mandibular as in mandible, or lower jaw; joint as in it's 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 something goes wrong a good deal of trouble can result.
Problems in this area can cause:
Trouble/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
Gingival and bone support loss around teeth
Abrasion and notching of the teeth
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite, filling gaps between teeth, etc. There is no one solution that is right for all cases. Sometimes a plastic mouthpiece is used to prevent clenching or grinding that is contributing to the problem. If untreated and taken to extremes, surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint.