Our patients are all ages: the youngest is 2 yrs old and the oldest is 98. It is important to start a child on a good dental routine before there is an emergency. This is so we can build their trust and develop a good relationship with them before they are introduced to dental “horror stories.” Our kids will tell you that our “magic cavity spray” is the best!! This is our secret weapon that helps make everything numb so Dr. Seume can do his job.
Elderly patients sometimes require special care such as home visits or longer/shorter appointments due to their health. We are always willing to work with them and enjoy the chance to talk to them and learn about their era.
Our patients are scheduled on a 3, 4, or 6 month recall system, according to their individual needs. At that time, our hygienist not only cleans their teeth but goes over oral hygiene instructions so that they can obtain maximum results from home care.
Once a year, four X-rays are taken to disclose any decay between the teeth, Dr Seume examines the mouth for lesions and new decay, and he checks the health of existing restorations.
A full mouth X-ray is taken every 5 years to monitor not only the health of a patient’s teeth but also the bone level and to insure there are no tumors or abscesses that may not be visible in the mouth.
In-office bleaching takes one to two visits of one hour each and can lighten teeth 3-4 shades. It’s a great way to jump start bleaching trays! The teeth may re-stain if a patient’s diet consists of certain foods.
Bleaching teeth at home with custom trays can often whiten teeth dramatically. Molds are made of the mouth at the first visit, and custom trays are made. On the second visit, the patient is shown how to apply bleach, the shade of the teeth is recorded, and they are given the bleaching gel.
Typically the patient is asked to come in to check shade progress every two weeks until the desired result is attained. The major benefit of bleaching this way is that patients can touch up at home if their teeth become dull again.
Fillings are the most conservative and inexpensive way to replace the tooth structure destroyed by decay. Amalgam (silver) fillings are the filling of choice on back teeth with large cavities. Front teeth and small cavities are best filled with composite (tooth-colored) fillings.
When decay is so extensive that there is not enough tooth structure to hold a filling, the tooth has to be crowned or “capped.” A crown covers the whole tooth and protects it from fracturing due to loss of tooth structure. Most crowns are tooth-colored, although some people opt for gold on the back teeth due to a heavy bite and the need for durability.
A bridge replaces one or more missing teeth in the same quadrant by bridging the gap using the teeth in front of and behind the missing tooth. The teeth are prepared and an impression is taken, then approximately three weeks later the bridge is permanently cemented on.
The patient cares for a bridge basically the same way they care for their own teeth. The downside of a bridge is that the teeth in front of and behind the missing tooth have to be cut down to accommodate the bridge.
Decay that has reached the nerve of the tooth either has to be removed or endodontically treated (with root canal therapy) to save the tooth. This usually is done in one visit and is a relatively comfortable procedure. Saving a tooth through root canal therapy is less expensive than having it extracted and replaced with either a dental implant or bridge.
Periodontal disease is a “silent” disease and produces very few symptoms. 75% of the population has periodontal disease. It is the leading cause of adults losing their teeth and needs to be diagnosed and treated.
Our hygienists monitor the patient’s gum tissue on a yearly basis by taking measurements of the pocket depths around each tooth. If detected, the first step is to have deep scaling and root planing done. This is followed by three-month checkups and lots of homework by the patient. Usually this is enough, though in some cases periodontal surgery is indicated.
An alternative to replacing one or more missing teeth is a dental implant. Dr Seume places the implant and monitors its healing for approximately eight weeks. At that time, we are able to put either a single unit crown on the implant or–in the case of multiple teeth–a bridge, partial denture, or full denture.
Sometimes the implant may need to be placed by an oral surgeon or periodontist. In those cases the doctor will have Dr. Seume restore the implant after sufficient healing has occurred.
When multiple teeth are missing on an arch, they may be replaced with a partial denture that attaches to the existing teeth with clasps. The partial denture is removable and is a viable choice.
Though every effort is made to save teeth, sometimes a full mouth rehabilitation is needed and a full denture is the most feasible option. Impressions are made of the mouth and multiple procedures are done to insure that the correct fit and look are achieved.
Dentures rely on suction to hold the denture in place and can be difficult to wear, especially a lower denture. Dental implants now are a good choice not only for new denture wearers, but for existing denture wearers as well, to stabilize the patient’s denture.
The dental specialty and practice of preventing and correcting irregularities of the teeth, as by the use of braces.
Dr. Seume offers treatment for select orthodontic cases. However, most of the adolescent cases are still referred to an Orthodontist since they specialize solely in this area of dentistry. This service has proven to be popular among our adult patients who have been eager to modify their natural teeth in order to achieve the smile they’ve always wanted.
Crystaliners are retainers that act as braces to improve the smile by straightening one or several teeth. This is accomplished by wearing several clear trays for two to six months. We do not recommend this method for full-mouth restoration cases.
Smiles are getting a lot of attention on television today, so everyone is interested in improving theirs. Veneers can eliminate a crooked tooth or the color of several teeth. With the use of Lumineers, we can often do veneers without removing tooth structure. This means no injections, and it allows us to conserve vital tooth structure.