~ Our Services ~
At Brinton Family Dentistry, we believe in providing high quality, comprehensive dental care. Our promise to you, our patients, is to provide complete and comprehensive dentistry that we can be proud of and that you can enjoy. We believe in doing things right and treating people like we'd care for our own family. We will always provide you with exceptional dentistry. We'll always work with you to recommend treatment options that you can choose from that will meet your goals and preferences.
As the old adage reads, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Staying regular with your routine dental checkups and cleanings will help you and your family prevent the destruction that follows the build up of bacteria-related infections that cause gum disease, periodontal disease, and tooth decay.
Routine visits also allow us to look for signs of TMD/TMJ (jaw joint disease), oral cancer, growth and development issues, and even some of the oral signs of broader diseases of the body like diabetes, immune diseases, obstructive sleep apnea, and others. Let us help you save time, money, and your health by scheduling a dental exam and cleaning today.
Sometimes life gets busy and we put off things we know that we need to do - not because we don't want to do them (OK, there's that too) but because time slips away from us. We know this can happen with the oral care of some of our patients as well and that significant gum and periodontal issues can develop requiring some additional attention.
Don't worry: we won't judge, but we may recommend a deeper level of periodontal care also known as a "deep cleaning" or "scaling" to help you get back on track to regular checkups. We want to see you back at the top of your game again and will always recommend whatever will help get you there.
Tooth decay can do a real number on teeth. When bacteria get a hold of the food that you eat they put off acid as a byproduct. Eating away at your tooth, this acid forms a cavity that grows larger and larger over time becoming an isolated hideout for more and more of those harmful bacteria. Dental radiographs (X-ray images) and your regular checkups help us find cavities early so that we can clean out the decay and restore your tooth with beautiful filling materials to give it its natural look again.
Now what if a lot of tooth structure has been lost? If a tooth has a large filling or if the stresses of biting and grinding have caused cracks in the tooth itself, your tooth likely needs a protective covering that surrounds the tooth and prevents it from splitting apart altogether. A tooth at high risk for being catastrophically damaged or lost needs to be covered and protected. This custom-made protection is called a crown and is placed on a tooth that has been specially prepared to receive it. And what do we use to make these crowns? Only the highest quality modern crown materials, including ceramics and zirconia materials that are both stronger and more beautiful than crown materials of the past. Not only that, these modern materials can be thinner and lighter meaning that we keep even more natural tooth structure than in the past as well. Yep, they're that good. The majority of the time this crown procedure can even be completed in one visit without the need to come back for the finished crown or deal with a temporary crown for multiple weeks like during the Reagan administration.
Teeth are a living part of your body and can get sick or even die. When the nerve inside a tooth is irreparably damaged it can either die and decompose quietly or flare up and create a really bad toothache on its way out. This will happen after irritation from either deep decay or cracks, fractures, or other trauma take their toll.
As long as the hard tooth structure around the nerve is sturdy enough, the diseased nerve inside the tooth can be removed - referred to as a root canal procedure - and the tooth built back up, often with a crown, but sometimes with filling material only. Root canal treatment has come a long way from what you may have heard in the past - today's conservative treatment approaches can get you back on your feet in no time.
When a tooth is fractured or decayed beyond repair or if the foundation of gums and bone around the tooth has receded away through periodontal disease, the tooth needs to be removed so that the affected area can become healthy again and feel better. If it comes to this, we'll talk and make a plan to make healing as easy as possible for you and get you out of pain and on your way to a quick recovery. Don't worry, we'll get you feeling better in no time.
Once a tooth is gone, then what? The tooth or teeth need to be replaced to regain your smile and get c hewing again. Missing teeth can be replaced with removable or attached fixtures, depending on the situation, how many teeth are missing, and what your priorities are. Our goal is to find a solution that fits your needs and priorities: dental implants, a bridge, or a denture.
Implant Placement and Restoration:
When a tooth is removed, or has been missing for some time, things start changing, sometimes very quickly. Teeth shift sideways and vertically into the empty space causing a collapse of the normal bite as well as changes in the jaw joints. In addition, the precious bone that used to support and surround the tooth and its root starts disappearing. What you need is to turn back the clock and put the tooth back in place and prevent these problems from changing your mouth for the worse.
This is where dental implants come into the conversation. Dental implants are amazing! They are by far the most tooth-like replacement that modern dentistry has to offer and can be the solution for which you are seeking. Dental implants maintain your bite and prevent your teeth from collapsing together or , letting you eat normally again and smile with confidence. It can take time to make things right again, so let's talk today and get you back to your best you.
The mouth is a big place - some bigger than others - but all of us have more going on in there than we realize. Not only do you have your teeth and gums to care for, but there is the jaw bone, the jaw joint, the throat and airway, and all of the muscles and nerves and blood vessels that control how everything relates and interacts. Needless to say, it's a complex system.
In any complex system, it's no surprise that over time things can get a little "off" and need a bit of help to get back and stay on track. The temporomandibular joint, or jaw joint is one example. No joint in the body gets more use than the jaw joint - it moves every time you eat, drink, swallow, or speak from the time you were born all of the way through life.
On top of all of the normal work we ask the jaw to do for us, many of us (and I mean MANY of us) ask our jaw joint to put in a lot of overtime by way of the clenching and grinding we do day or night whether we know it or not! Overuse of the jaw joint can wear the teeth down over time and cause horrible muscle irritation and pain, joint swelling, bite changes, loss of sleep, headaches, ear aches, and other problems. Any occurrence of these symptoms caused by dysfunction of the jaw joint are grouped under the umbrella term of Temporomandibular Dysfunction, or TMD (formerly referred to as TMJ).
So how do you stop clenching and grinding your teeth? All you have to do is eliminate all of the stress in your life that is causing you to do that clench and grind.... Yeah right. Definitely easier said than done, of course. The next best thing is to cover the teeth with a thin, custom-made grinding appliance carefully made for protection and to teach the jaws to relax and take it easy. These bite guards do a lot of good for a lot of people whether they are they type that are just slowly wearing their teeth down with grinding while they sleep or have full-blown TMD with all of tooth and jaw challenges that come with it.
If you have any of the signs of TMD, let us help get you out of pain. If you have no pain and are wondering if you are quietly and slowly wearing your teeth down come chat with us and we'll take a look together. Easy stuff, we promise.
Not everyone with sleeping trouble just has TMD or grinds their teeth. Many people suffer from Sleep Apnea, a condition where breathing momentarily stops during sleep, which, unless you're a sleep-snorkeler, is not something you want to be doing. Though there are some with Central Sleep Apnea where the brain is at fault for the pause in breathing, the most common form of Sleep Apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in which the drive to breathe is there, but the tongue or constricted throat is blocking the air from getting through.
Traditionally, treatment for OSA begins with your primary care doctor and a CPAP machine that pushes air through your airway once the device is in place over your nose and/or mouth. This CPAP treatment is very successful for many patients, but there are also many patients who don't tolerate CPAP therapy, don't find it convenient, or are interested in alternatives. These individuals look for different ways to keep the airway open for proper breathing, which is where we come in. We can work closely with your doctor and sleep experts to provide alternate ways to help treat your OSA. We can offer a variety of oral appliances that, when worn, help to keep your airway open and allow for proper breathing and a great night's sleep. Sounds like a dream come true, right?