Both oral care and dentistry have a broad range of treatment needs from simple to complex. Although we’ve invested in technologies that set us apart from other practices, Pioneer Valley Dental still has roots in general dental care.
Over 60% of the patients that we see require general care procedures such as hygiene and screenings, bonding and cavity fillings, teeth whitening, tooth extraction and so on. We treat each patient that comes into our office as if they are a neighbor and close friend because we know every person—regardless of their distance from our office or our homes—has needs that we can fulfill.
Bonding and White Fillings
You know what they say about people with white teeth? "They have white teeth." A little dental humor… You can be one of those people with white teeth with dental bonding. The results are beautiful. What’s more, it’s not just limited to making your smile whiter—it’s also great for filling cracked teeth, filling gaps between teeth or treat cavities.
So here’s the process of dental bonding—after we place the color resin and adhesive on your tooth (or teeth), we use an ultraviolet light to harden the resin and fix the adhesive to the enamel surface of your teeth. We polish it to a natural bright white smile. Dental bonding has a life expectancy of about 10 years or more.
Dental Bridges, Crowns and Crown Lengthening
If you have a missing tooth, a dental bridge may be a solution to fill the gap from the missing tooth. The process is seamless and we’ve been doing it for years.
Here’s how we do it—we prepare the two existing teeth (called abutments) on either side of the missing tooth by removing most of the enamel from the teeth. A mold of the area is taken and sent to the dental lab where a fabricated bridge is made. This takes a little time so we put a temporary fixture in to protect the two abutment teeth.
Think of your dental bridge as three dental crowns that are fixed together. The two side “crowns” are cemented to the abutments and the center one becomes your new tooth. With proper care, a dental bridge is a long-lasting solution for a missing tooth.
When decay occurs below the gumline, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue to access the decayed area. Your dentist may request this
procedure before he or she makes a new crown for your tooth.
Crown Lengthening procedures are done for both restorative dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. We sometimes will require a crown lengthening procedure prior to restoration of broken or severely decayed teeth. This procedure adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.
Sometimes crown lengthening is done to improve a "gummy" smile because the teeth appear short. The teeth may actually be the proper length but excess gum tissue may be covering these teeth. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.
Our Dental CO2 laser is amazing for accomplishing this procedure painlessly.
Hygiene and Periodontal Health
While at our office, we make sure that you receive the highest level of service and ensure that our dental work is of the highest quality. To ensure that you maintain great oral health, this level of quality needs to extend into your personal oral hygiene routine. We can help you establish a dental hygiene routine that will keep your teeth healthy and white. If you have any questions about your current hygiene plan please ask us.
Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Healthy gums are essential to oral hygiene as well. We can provide periodontal cleanings and treatment, or refer you to one of our recommended specialists. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are a very important part of the dental visit for the patient. With the advances in modern technology, we are now able to pinpoint the start of a potential problem much earlier in its evolution. The ability to do so is extremely important in being able to treat any issues prior to them becoming a major irreversible problem.
The oral cancer screening is often completed with an ultraviolet light or similar device that allows us to view issues that can't always be detected by the human eye under normal conditions.
Certain lifestyle choices can have a great impact on the health of tissues and your overall health in the mouth. If you are a smoker or heavy drinker, make sure to get regular screenings when you visit the dentist.
Often there is plaque and tartar that accumulates below the gum line. In this scenario, we will clean and smooth this area with special instruments to ensure that the area is completely spotless. If this area is not kept clean, the entire area can become irritated with the bacteria that resides in the tartar and plaque. It's very important to have your dentist check these areas if you have bleeding during brushing.
Veneers are an excellent way to redesign and reshape your entire smile. Veneers are a very thin ceramic shell that covers your existing tooth structure. In placing these new veneers on your teeth, you are able to overcome issues such as staining, cracked teeth, spaces, misaligned teeth, chipped teeth and many other issues.
In terms of the process to place veneers, it is a process that takes two to three visits. In the first visit, we will discuss your desire for the new shape and look of what you want to accomplish by placing the veneers. Once we have put a plan in place, we will carefully prepare the teeth for the placement of the new veneers. As we complete this piece of the process, the next step is to take an impression of the newly prepared teeth. This impression will be sent to our laboratory for the final product to be fabricated. We only utilize the best materials for fabrication of all of our work. This process at the laboratory takes between 10-14 days. While the new veneers are being fabricated at the lab, we will provide you with a beautiful temporary smile to wear for this time.
As the veneers are finalized, we will make every effort to make sure that your new veneers will
feel just like your natural teeth. We will bond them into place ensuring that you can enjoy your new
smile for a very long time!
Teeth Whitening and Bleaching
Keeping our teeth their whitest is a lot harder than it sounds. With all the coffee, wine, soda and other foods that have the ability to stain our teeth on a daily basis, even proper maintenance sometimes leaves them a little lackluster. Teeth whitening is an excellent way to restore the natural color of your teeth or even make them whiter than your natural color if you would like.
To accomplish the whitening of your teeth, we utilize a tray whitening system. This tray whitening system is completed in 2 steps. The first step is to make an impression of your teeth. With this impression, we'll craft for custom whitening trays that you can use over and over. Finally, you will take the whitening gel and put it in the tray for a short period of time over a period of a few days. This often results in a whiter smile of 4 - 8 shades!
We also offer in-office bleaching for people in a hurry!
Please contact us today to see if you are a candidate for this type of whitening.
Wisdom Teeth and Tooth Extraction
Wisdom teeth extractions are a fairly common procedure. Wisdom teeth often cause problems as they are trying to emerge through the gums. When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it means the tooth is coming in at an angle and not straight through the gum line. This can cause pain, the tooth can come in unevenly, or the tooth may only emerge partially.
When a wisdom tooth only emerges partially, a flap of skin called an operculum, may form over the tooth. This can make the tooth hard to clean, and particles of food may be caught under the skin. This makes it easy for an infection, called pericoronitis, to develop. This causes swelling and pain in the area.
Impacted teeth and wisdom teeth that can potentially cause problems, such as infections, need to be removed. Extractions can range from a single tooth, to removing all four wisdom teeth at once. Based on the preference of the doctor and/or the patient, a local anesthetic could be used to numb the areas where the teeth will be extracted. Others will prefer conscious sedation, or even opt for general anesthetic so that they will be fully sedated during the procedure.
Your doctor will give you detailed instructions on what to expect following the extraction—whether a wisdom tooth or any other tooth, and we will provide you with the best care available.
Dentures and Partial Dentures
Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth that can be removed and put back into your mouth as you please. Depending on each individual patient case, full or partial dentures may be an option. Full dentures are used when no natural teeth remain.
Partial dentures are an option when not all of your natural teeth are missing. This is similar to a fixed bridge, but it is not a permanent fixture in your mouth, it is removable.
Your dentures may take some time to get used to. The flesh colored base of the dentures is placed over your gums. Some people say that it feels bulky or that they don't have enough room for their tongue. Other times the dentures might feel loose. These feelings will affect the way you eat and talk for a little while. Over time, your mouth becomes trained to eat and speak with your dentures and they begin to feel more and more like your natural teeth. They may never feel perfectly comfortable, but it is an alternative to not having teeth.
Even though dentures are not real teeth, you should care for them like they are. You should brush them to remove plaque and food particles before removing your dentures. After they have been removed you should place them directly into room temperature water or a denture cleaning solution. Never use hot water because it could warp the dentures. Your dentures are delicate; so make sure you are careful when handling them so you don't drop them. Also, never try to adjust your dentures yourself. You could ruin them, so you should always seek assistance from your dentist if they feel uncomfortable or too loose.
If you have a dental emergency, we are a phone call away. You may need treatment for a tooth avulsion (knocked out tooth), a toothache (root canal) or you may need a tooth extracted—we’ll take care of it right away. We do treatments of all sorts for emergency dental patients.
On occasion, the appropriate dental treatment is to do nothing until swelling goes down. We also use our laser to immediately treat a cold sore or fever blister. For a cold sore sufferer, this is like magic!
If you have an emergency and need to get in fast, our doors are open.
WE WARRANTY OUR WORK
Our friendly staff at Pioneer Valley Dental takes great pride in both the quality of treatment that we provide and in the materials we use to do it. Many of our patients ask, “How long will this work last?” It’s a valid question. In most cases we warranty our work for 3 to 5 years—depending on the treatment.
Please call for more details or set up an appointment and we’ll consult with you on your dental needs.